At Plum Loco Ranch, Door County, WI.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Stash Report Week 13

It has been a busy week...but first, here's the latest look of our landscape.
It snowed for approximately 8 hours yesterday afternoon and evening.  Visibility was quite low when we went to pick up the car (see yesterday's post).  Dobb's fixed my car about 24 hours after it was towed in.  The location closest to us usually takes days to get a repair done.

The snow was very pretty as it fell - big flakes.  This is what my oldest bleeding heart looked like at noon, see all those buds?.  Now it is completely covered with snow, which I left on it to help insulate it against the possible 26 degree overnight temps.

Back to my busy week:  After a a crazy weekend including a quilt show, relocating plants in the yard (lots of bleeding hearts), and a midnight sew down at my LQS, then my first ever Tupperware party (where I wanted to buy more than I did but thankfully restrained myself since the kitchen is my least favorite room in the the house), I was beat.  We lead a very low key life and all that activity wore me out, but I enjoyed every minute of it.

Monday DH went out of town for four days.  Also on Monday my parents dropped my grandma off at our house on their way to Dallas to pick up a 12 thread embroidery machine (my stepdad now has two, he works with the local shop that gets lots of business from the area schools).

While packing, DH reminded me that he had a new pair of jeans.  UGGH!  That means my sewing machine becomes a tailor and that I have to get out the book to see what code numbers to push for the overlock, zigzag, and double straight stitches.
Compare old to new
The moment of truth - it cannot be undone!
The big rotary works best for denim.
A big Thank You to Gutermann for making a thread that matches Levi's.
 I have to peg them slightly and then hem them, so I cut up the outside leg as well as the bottom for length.  My mom showed me how to do this.  I can do it in less than an hour - after about 7 pairs over the years.  I am a quilter not a seamstress - this is definitely outside my comfort level.

My monthly quilt guild meeting was on Tuesday evening and our usual babysitter wasn't available.  Grandma has gone with me before but this time she stayed home with DS, who was so happy to have "Grammy" here.  My grandma could give "grandma lessons."  My only worry was that she might fall and hurt herself with no other adult here.

They got along fine and I won the BOM block lotto - four more Ohio Star blocks.  COOL!  These past two weeks have been lucky for me.
Last week I found out that I won 4 yards of fabric from 1 Choice for Quilting, a new store with pretty fabrics and lots of giveaways. This week Shawna gave away 20 yards of fabric in her Just One Star giveaway (10 yds each to two winners). This pile has 8 half yard cuts of Sunkissed.  It's very springy and I'm a bit surprised at how much I like it as I usually like very intense colors.
I might even use it to make this quilt that I found in a used Quilt Sampler mag that I bought at the quilt show.  The piecing is easy but I LOVE the applique.  Those flowers are columbines, which should be coming up in my garden soon.  I would love to do more applique and this bundle of Sunkissed just might get me started.

A few projects:

I finished two drawstring bags for the bean bag quilts.  We quickly discovered that something was needed to keep 16 bean bags together. The blue quilt is in Indiana to be delivered to my friend's son.

With all the snow yesterday, it was a perfect sewing day.  Sew, I worked on my quilt along projects.
This is the pinwheel QAL with Sew Lux Fabrics.  I've never done pinwheels to place side by side, they've always been in the center of a larger block.  Well, when sewing to place side by side, one must keep the light and the dark of each block in the same location.  Notice that in the top left of each block the light is on top?  I did that for 7, had to unsew the other 5.  Lesson learned!
Here's my Dresden plate for Lily's Quilts QAL.  This went together in a flash!  This is all straight seams.  Each blade is 9 inches long.  DS says he wants a quilt like this b/c it looks like a flower!  I just might have to the 6 block version.  If I do, I will buy Darlene Zimmerman's large Dresden ruler that I saw at Joann's Friday, as my old template only goes to 8 inches. 

Whew!  Are you tired of reading about my week yet?  Okay then, here are the numbers:

Used this Week:   1.5
Used year to Date: 28.875 (28 7/8)
Added this Week: 4
Added Year to Date: 30
Net Used for 2011:   -1.125 (-1 1/8)

I'm in the red again but not by much - that's okay, I'll keep the Sunkissed!!  Next weekend is our local Shop Hop so my post will be late, like after I get home Sunday afternoon.  Check everyone's stash numbers over at Patchwork Times.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Party link ups


This is what we woke up to yesterday morning.  More is predicted for tonight.  Funny, I was doing yard work in shorts and T-shirt just 4 and 5 short days ago. Now I hope my pretty spring flowers don't get derailed.

I brought in two stems of hyacinth.  I set them on my sewing table and MY-OH-MY do they smell good!

On to the reason for the post:  it is time to link with Confessions of a Fabric Addict and see what other fabric-holics have been working on this week.  The project does not have to be finished - just something you've been working on that makes you happy.

The other reason for the post:  it is time to link with Sew Many Ways for the Sew Darn Crafty Party.  The party is not limited to sewing - can be anything crafty. Also check out Karen's Tool Time Tuesday posts or her recycling posts - lots of great ideas.

I finally finished up the bean bag quilts.  Ya'll thought they were done, didn't you?  Well, they were quilted and bound but they needed storage/carrying bags - after all, there are 18 pieces to the quilt: the quilt itself, 16 bean bags, and 1 "toe the line" to stand behind. 

I made two of these drawstring bags this week.  There are many, many drawstring bag tutorials out there, just google it and pick one. The first one is already in Indiana on its way to its recipient.  The second one is in my son's room.  WHOOP WHOOP!

Here's the lemons part of the story:  after buying the cording for the second bag yesterday afternoon, the key would not turn in my car.  The steering wheel moved, the AAA tow truck driver put WD-40 in the key hole.  It needs a new lock cylinder - oh - we're talking about a $400-500 repair, after the part is marked up twice the price and labor at $100/hr for approx 1.8 hours (there's a web site where DH looks up all this car stuff).

The silver lining:  DH was home after traveling all week and I did not have my 4 yr old with me in the drizzly cold with a broken down car!  Also fortunate, this did not happen while I was traveling as a consultant in a few weeks.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Stash Report - week 12: More projects

Guess what!

Last night was Sew Down at my LQS and we decided to make Just One Star blocks.  We had a big pile of scraps that we brought to share, wish I had gotten a pic. Five of us made eleven blocks. 

If you add that up you know we made more than one.  Well, one of our ladies is so proficient with star blocks she churned out 6 of them!

I completed one other star block last night - for my guild's Civil War BOM.

Since I've finished two projects, this week I committed to two more.  Although, these projects are small, wallhangings, they really don't count as new projects in regards to my New Year's resolution.  I gave myself an out in that respect and specified no new quilt tops without a finish.

What are the new projects?  For the first time I joined a blog-land quilt along (QAL for short) - not one, but two, in the same week!  The first one is with Sew Lux Fabrics. There are three options/sizes: to use a charm pack, FQs, or a layer cake.  I chose the charm square option that finishes at 20x26 - perfect size and a great chance to use up some charms that have been sitting in my drawers for about a year.

Check out Sew Lux Fabrics and Gifts.  This store has yardage and pre cuts but I especially like the small bundles that they put together, maybe 4-6 FQs.  Great for small projects and much easier on the pocket book than buying the FQ bundles from the manufacturers.

Lynn of Lily's Quilts is hosting a dresden plate quilt along. She is also providing size options - yeah!  The plates are large and the 30x30 option is one block, the 60x90 option is 6 blocks.  The plate is not appliqued to the background as they are traditionally constructed, so we will be sewing a curved seam. That's a new one for me.  We will be using a quilt as you go method that I will read about, although, it may be mute since I am only doing one block.  New techniques in a small project = very exciting!
I had a great time going through my batiks to select 6 FQs.  This background fabric that is so horribly wrinkled here has been pressed and is awaiting its turn at the cutting board.

My other new project is making a mug rug for the swap at Leona's Quilting Adventure.  My partner likes Civil War fabrics.  I've shown some of my recent CW fabric purchases but I felt I needed some variety.  I have blues and browns but no yellow/cheddar or green.

One of our local guilds had their biannual show this weekend so I shopped the vendors and found one booth that had CW fabrics and they had two yellows. Here are my buys: one 1/2 yd, 2 FQs, and a pattern (not pictured are two used quilt mags for $.50 each).

That pattern is so cute. It's a miniature!  The double wedding ring blocks in this one finish at 3-3/4".  This is definitely a someday project.

Here are two little coin pouches I made for my son to carry his allowance in.  I used this tutorial from pmthreads.  It said the pouch finished at 4x3.25 but - wow- that is small.  So, I made another one a bit larger.  This was truly one of the fastest project I've ever made.  If I had more zippers on hand I would have made a few more.

So, on to the numbers:

Used this Week:   0
Used year to Date: 27.375 (27 3/8)
Added this Week:  1
Added Year to Date:  26
Net Used for 2011:   +1.375 ( +2 3/8)

Click over the Judy's blog at Patchwork Times to see more stash reports.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Happy Monday!

Here's what I woke up to!  Isn't it pretty?  It is still coming down in big flakes.  And just Saturday I was out in my T-shirt doing all sorts of spring cleaning in the yard. 

It won't last long.  The forecast says it will be about 36 degrees by this afternoon. 

Ruby isn't too happy, though.  This is her usual path to the back yard.
She'll be wanting out the basement door this morning!

Do you have any crazy weather in your neck of the woods? Have a good day! 

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Stash Report - week 11

And another finish.............

The Bean Bag Toss Quilt is quilted and bound.  Now, I need to make a drawstring bag to hold...

the 16 bean bags.  Yep, that's the game 16 different squares on the quilt with one bean bag to match.

The breakdown (from the pattern):
16 Fat Quarters (cut well, makes 2 quilts) = 2 yds
sashing/inner border = 1.5 yds
cornerstones/border/binding = 2.25yds
backing =  3.66 yds                                                                     Total Used = 9.25 yds (9 1/4)

Here's a little doll quilt I've been working on for my niece.

The pieces all came straight from the box from Tamera's giveaway, including backing/binding. I have another doll quilt in the works using scraps from her latest quilt that we gave her at Christmas.

I added one 3.5 yd cut of flannel to back a quilt for my mom.

Back to yard work.  There's mulch to put down -- over the next few weeks.
This is quite lovely if you're close enough to see the plants peaking through the soil!

We have a wooded ravine behind our house which means we have an abundance of leaves - EVERYWHERE.  We learned to rake up most of them but I leave them on my beds over winter, which are numerous as 1/3 of our back yard is planted with shrubs and perennials since it is on a slope. 

So, yesterday I felt  a little like a mountain goat cleaning off the slopes, which I will have to finish next week.  Yesterday was all about cutting the ornamental grasses and cleaning the beds between and beside the patios.
This is my largest sloping bed.  There's a narrower one on the other side of our steps leading to the lowest level.

I was outside all day - loved it!!  After a little hard work it is very rewarding to sit and listen to the birds and squirrels chatter.  I have the back door open atm just so I can hear the birds saying "Good morning." Sometimes I marvel that I have chosen such a sedentary hobby as quilting as my second hobby (gardening is my first). And - Boy! am  I sore - but I like it!

Rather than quilting this week, I plan to move the Asiatic lilies from the back beds to the bed along the NE side of the house.  Not hard, just time consuming. That means a trip to Lowe's for a soaker hose is also in my future.
This photo is from the Dutch Gardens catalog, where I got my bulbs.

Back to the fun, here are the numbers:

Used this Week:    9.25 (9 1/4)
Used year to Date: 27.375 (27 3/8)
Added this Week: 3.5
Added Year to Date:  25
Net Used for 2011:   +2.375 ( +2 3/8)

I'm in the black!!!!!  I won't crow too long, there is a local quilt show next weekend and the local shop hop is the weekend after that.  This victory may be short lived!

Head over to Patchwork Times to see more stash busting numbers.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Friday Finish

WooHoo - the sun is out and I finished another UFO, PhD, WIP, or whatever you like to call those pesky projects that plague us til they reach completion.

More details later.....

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Odds & Ends

Happy Hump Day!

I have a few things to share today.  First, I finally threw out this receipt from last week when I went stock up shopping at Target with a fistful of coupons.  And, I got a $5 gift card for buying specific products that, happily, were on my list, too.  Gotta love that "You Saved" line!

Then, one evening last week I put together my first hexie.  They are all over blogland and I decided I needed to see what it was all about.  It was fun!  A nice little hand project.  I'm saving the 2nd one for another day when I want to sew and put my feet up in the recliner.

For the past two years I've picked up a free sample at the Paper Pieces booth at the AQS show in Paducah.  Thinking about our trip to the show coming up next month, I pulled out my goodies from last year.  There were these little hexies - I couldn't let them sit unattended for another year. I just might make a purchase this year - either some hexies or a mini kit - we'll see.  Hopefully, Paper Pieces will have a booth this year.

Lastly, I purchased another book.  After previewing Ann Fahl's book, I decided that I liked free motion embroidery and that I needed to add it to my library.  Found it used on Amazon for $3.95.  With shipping, I paid less than $8.00 - that's a good price.

How have you been using the goodies in your sewing space?  How have you been saving $$ with gas prices going up?

Have a great week - see you Sunday for the Stash Report.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Stash Report week 10 - Finally, a big finish!

After 2 months of small projects I finally found the gumption, nerve, energy...whatever you call it, to really dig into my UFO's and finish one.  To keep myself motivated to tackle those PhDs, I don't count yardage in the stash report on a project/quilt until it is completely finished/bound.

Here it is:

A Christmas quilt made with a Cranberry Wishes (Kansas Troubles) jelly roll that I won at my first retreat.  The pattern is Split Decision by Teacher's Pet, which used practically all of the jelly roll (36 strips), a big plus in my book.  Bought the border fabric and backing (on sale) online.  This is my first quilt that is entirely finished with a single line of fabric, which is not something I necessarily strive for, but in this case my close LQSs don't routinely carry KT or similar lines on bolts that I could try to match.

Used: 36 jelly roll strips = 2.5 yds
          1st border = 0.75 yds
          2nd border and bindingm = 2.5 yds
          backing = 4 yds                                                             Total used = 9.75 yds (WOW!)

I finished Cranberry Wishes on Friday morning which motivated me to get busy yesterday with this little quilt top I showed you before the holidays.
It's 60x60, the bean bag toss quilt, and I had it spray basted before 8 AM yesterday morning.  All the quilting is done, just need to bind it over the next couple days and count it next week.

I ran out of steam at 4 PM yesterday.  Sewing all day is hard work - being sedentary so long - OUCH! she says reaching for the yoga mat to stretch - must go to the gym today AND walk the dog.

The weather was a motivator, too. It was cold and icky and when it gets nice again I have spring cleaning in the yard to do and eventually a short-term consulting job that will take up all my free time. Thanks to DH for keeping our son occupied and letting me have the basement with Pandora tuned to the blues.

This week I received two bundles of fabric scraps in the mail.  One was an envelope of little boy prints from Leona that my son commandeered and placed on his art shelf!  The other was a box - a big box - of scraps from Tamera's giveaway.  Now I need to add some of my stash, including a pattern and magazine, to it and send it on it's way, maybe at post #100.

Here's something new that I tried this week.  Bohin pins - .4 mm, Murano glass heads, almost unbendable.  I used them on my binding (using Judy's tutorial for machine binding) and they did not add any bulk and I only bent one - when I hit it right on with my needle!
If I could read French, the description accompanying the picture would be wonderful, I'm sure.

They run about $0.15 each - i.e. $15 for 100.  A quilty friend and I split the last box in the shop.  They are so fine they will bend for the bulky seams but they bounce back.  My LQS owner said they were made from piano wire.  I haven't found this tidbit in any online description of them but they are definitely unlike other pins.
How many of you miter your bindings?  This is how we were taught in our beginner class.  I tried to follow instructions for continuous binding but my corners always looked round to me.  I like not having a huge long strip of binding to worry with, just 4 strips. I use the Binding Miter Tool from Animas Quilts.

On to the numbers...almost in the black - WOO HOO!

Used this Week:    9.75 (9 3/4)
Used year to Date: 18.125 (18 1/8)
Added this Week:  0
Added Year to Date:  21.5
Net Used for 2011:   -3.375 (-3 3/8)

Head over to Patchwork Times to see more stash busting numbers.