Wednesday, December 30, 2009
Tuesday, December 29, 2009
No, no, no, I did not buy two bolts of fabric, I did buy flannel backing fabric (which was in their clearance section and 50% off) and a whole bunch of Moda muslin. I asked for a couple of the cardboard bolt thingies, it makes it easier to store the fabric until I'm ready use it, especially the bulky flannel. I also picked up a Bali Pop and a coordinating batik (the green) to make up Raspberry Pops, a pattern I bought at the shop the last time I was there. The other fabrics I bought when I went up to Eugene. Don't ya love the wire basket, got that at the Goodwill.
So, are you thinking of making New Year's resolutions? I'm thinking I should not buy any more fabric or patterns.
Monday, December 28, 2009
But before that begins I need to have the big reveal...what have I been making the past few months? To plagiarize myself:
So after making my prototype I went into production and made 5 more, still have one to go but it is not a gift. Bow Tuck Totes - by the 5th one these were a breeze.
I also made four of something else - these were really fast and easy, plus I got to practice more free motion quilting. Sewing mats - although one of them will be used as a laptop mat. I got the pattern from Jenny at Elefantz.
Along with all that I made a big one of this, A quilt for Ben. The pattern is Illusions in Neutrals, American Patchwork & Quilting December 2009 and the fabric is Northcott's Stonehenge.
and this cute thing. An apron for my Mom, made from a pre-printed panel.
Sunday, December 27, 2009
Jayme made pork chile verde tonight for dinner tonight. OMG was it good. I, of course, ate way too much. She also made a pot of beans just for me (almost), I have a big container of them in my Mom's freezer to take home with me, plus some left over chile verde. I'm a happy camper.
This is my Mom's cat (hissy-face) Smokey hiding one last time under the Christmas tree before it gets taken down.
She is not the friendliest cat, unless you have food, she begs worse than any dog I've ever seen. She also has claws like razor blades. According to my Mother, her cat is perfect - we caught the perfect cat eating the turkey before it was cooked a couple of Christmas ago...perfect cat??
Thursday, December 24, 2009
The quilt shop in Roseburg is one of the largest I've ever seen. The Country Lady Quilt Shop had two huge rooms, in one they had 3 very large Gammill long arm quilting machines.
This picture is from the entry way, what I didn't take a picture of is the Quilt in a Day display. The store had every pattern and book published.
This is a little side room they had with their 30's and 40's fabrics.
This is the second room with the long arms at the end. They had the largest selection of batiks I've ever seen.
There were kitchen cabinet doors painted with quilt designs. Very cute.
The second shop we went to was just the opposite. We were so distracted by the sign for Brothel Cafe that we didn't see the quilt shop. It also didn't help that there was no sign for the quilt shop. Turned out the cafe is now the quilt shop, it had lots of fabric, some new some I'd purchased 10 years ago, and not a book or pattern in sight. The shop was a little different, but the lady running the shop was very nice and helpful. Cottage Village itself was nice, looked like it had some interesting shops, but it was just too cold to walk around.
We also went to the 5th Street Market in Eugene. If you like needlework of any kind, there is a store there called Mindy's. Beautiful hand painted needle point canvas (painted by the owner), tons of ribbons, beads, buttons and cross stitch.
I bought a few "me" Christmas presents at each shop. Jayme even bought some fabric to make a little table topper.
All of the places we went to were either in historic downtown districts or outdoor markets. We decided we need to make this trip again in the spring or summer, it was just too cold to walk around and window shop.
Sunday, December 20, 2009
So after making my prototype I went into production and made 5 more, still have one to go but it is not a gift. I also made four of something else - these were really fast and easy, plus I got to practice more free motion quilting. Along with all that I made a big one of this, and this cute thing. Plus the three little girls skirts and three puppies. Not bad, started in late October and finished four days before Christmas. I've taken some pictures, so after the holiday I can show you what I've been working on.
My car is all packed up with gifts, and my suitcase is almost full. Tomorrow I will head out to my Mom's in Oregon. It's suppose to snow, but less than an inch so I'm not too worried. There is only one part of the trip that I don't like - driving down from the top of the summit to Ashland - it's probably not even 10 miles, but it is steep curvy and almost always in the shade, which means it has the potential for ice. Hopefully there will be enough big rigs on the road that it won't have time to form. Where's my Willie Nelson... On the road again...
Tuesday, December 15, 2009
For the last couple of years Stephanie and I have gone down to Carmel-by-Sea and Monterey for a getaway day and a little Christmas shopping. We've had to reschedule a few times this year but finally got to go yesterday. It was a gorgeous day, sunny and warm.
We started in Carmel with a late breakfast / lunch at a little restaurant called The Cottage. Eating here is also becoming a tradition. We both had omelettes that were sooo good. I had fruit with mine and you would not believe all the berries - strawberries, blueberries, and blackberries - I was in heaven right there, I love all types of berries. I then dragged poor Stephanie into every shop on Ocean Street.
We went to Pacific Grove to check out Back Porch Fabrics then on to Monterey's Cannery Row. Yes, we played tourist the whole day. The picture above is the back of Cannery Row.
We headed for home after a little more shopping in Monterey with a stop for dinner at the Cheesecake Factory. We must of been very tired, neither of us got any cheesecake.
Saturday, December 12, 2009
The puppy takes 88 2.5" squares, it makes a 14" high x 12" long x 2" wide puppy.
The body is 3 rows of 5 squares, the head is 2 rows of 3 squares, the feet are 1 row by 2 squares, you will need 2 bodies, 2 heads and 4 feet. You will also need 4 single squares that will be used for the tail and ear.
I put together the body parts first, then add the feet to the body it is the same for the front and back.
Next add the head, tail and ear. ***Important*** the front and back are reverse of each other (mirror each other??). I always forget this, to remember I make sure they can "kiss" - then I know I have the front and back correct.
When you are sewing the various items to the body, where ever there is an inside angle stop sewing 1/4" before you get to the end of the square (or start depending on the direction you are sewing). Example: When you attach the head to the body there are two inside angles, one along the back and the other is the chin, so you need to start a 1/4" in along the back and stop a 1/4" before you get to the end of the body under the chin.
After the front and back are made create a long strip with the rest of your squares, this will be the gusset - do NOT create a loop. I used smaller stitches putting it together so it wouldn't separate as I was sewing it on.
You can start sewing the gusset on anywhere - right sides together with one of the body pieces. I think it would be easiest to start at the bottom or center of the back foot (this is not what I did and it was a pain the patootie, I'll explain more in a minute).
When you are sewing on the gusset, you will have to stop sewing a 1/4" before any outside or inside angle. You have to stop at a 1/4" before the end of the square so you can turn the gusset around a corner, I normally back stitch here to re-enforce the seam. Then you have to pick up the needle and move to the other side of the corner and do the same thing - start a 1/4" in, re-enforce the seam by back stitching.
I pull the whole thing out from underneath the sewing foot so I can turn the fabric, match up the corners, pull excess fabric out of my way then place the needle down in the correct spot. It is a little like sewing the inside of a Y seam. If you do this, make sure your threads do not get looped on your sewing foot.
Gusset sewed on to one side.
You can't see it too well in this picture, but I pinned the gusset seam closed - do NOT sew it closed, this is where you will turn and stuff the puppy. I found it easier to sew the second body part on if this was pinned closed.
Sew the second body piece to the gusset - right sides together - following all the same 1/4" rules I mentioned above. Remove the pin connecting the gusset together. You should have a slit in the gusset, you can pull the puppy right side out through that slit. Make sure you "square up" the ear, tail, head and feet - you should have nice square corners if you followed the 1/4" rules.
Stuffing makes all the odd/bad sewing start and stops disappear. I stuff the ear and tail first, then the head. I like lots of stuffing so he looks like a fat little puppy. Stuffing tip: pull the stuffing apart in small pieces like it is cotton candy. This makes it easier to stuff and your puppy will not have lumps.
The pain in the patootie part: I tried to put the slit on the inside corner of one of the legs. I thought it would be easier to hid my slip stitching there. However that inside corner has four seams leading into it. As I was stuffing it all four seams started to separate.
Once he's stuffed, whip stitch the slit closed.
I also glue a felt floppy ear to each side and tongue on the front.
Add a ribbon collar and he is ready for a walk.
I hope this doesn't sound too confusing, it is really very easy to make.
Thursday, December 10, 2009
Alas, I bought the things I came for - on sale of course - and came back to my sewing room.
Monday, December 7, 2009
Remember the fabric bundle I bought a few weeks ago? Saturday I made three of these...
My niece has a 4 year old daughter, she is dating a young man with daughter's who are 3 and 2 years old. I'm making them each a gathered skirt. I just love how they turned out. Each skirt took three fat quarters and they were so easy to make. I have a feeling they are going to be too big, so when I go up to Oregon this year for Christmas I'll bring my Featherweight with me to custom tailor each skirt. Cute, bright and sunny.
Saturday, December 5, 2009
Nancy came over to sew. She is working on a quilt call Eye Candy by Love Quilt Patterns.
Then the mail game. I won another giveaway. I won a cute backpack from Melisa at Sweet Home Quilt Co. during one of her Friday Favorites giveaways. As always my picture doesn't do this justice, very cute very roomy. Thank you Melisa!
Wednesday, December 2, 2009
Remember my prototype from last month? Well I've moved into production. Its interesting how much faster each project is. I can't do them in assembly line fashion because I am using color coordinating threads. I am taking advantage of the little bit of machine quilting on each project to try out new free motion quilt designs.
Hmmm, maybe my thread coordinates too well, the above is an ocean wave design.
This one is an elongated loop. At least you can see my chalk line...jeez.
One thing I have learned is needles are cheap, taking out quilting is not. If a needle is bent or dull it will skip stitches when you are free motion quilting - not one or two stitches but an inch or more, acts like it is stitching but it doesn't catch the bobbin thread to create the stitch loop. You many not even see it until you are done quilting. I am now starting each project with a new needle.
My aunt had cataract surgery today, while waiting for her I got some binding sewn down...so a little progress was made today.
Sunday, November 29, 2009
My Mom and I shop at only the fanciest stores. Black Friday we went to the Goodwill, yesterday we went to the Dollar Store.
Don't you love these angels? My Mom and I each bought a set, the four in the back are playing instruments, and the one in the center is holding a heart. I haven't decided if I'm going to keep them, or give them as a gift...they look really nice on my buffet.
If you need large gift bags, the Dollar Store is the place to go, I bought one that was 28x20x8 - huge! Perfect for a quilt, a large toy, or to fool someone, hide a gift card in.
I'm still working on making Christmas gifts, got one done yesterday and should finish another tomorrow. Making progress, but still have a ways to go. Boy, am I going to have a lot of pictures to share after Christmas is over.
Friday, November 27, 2009
Did you go Black Friday shopping? We did, but not at 5:00 a.m. this morning. About noon my Mom, Aunt and I went to a furniture consignment store, a patio discount outlet and the Goodwill...the Goodwill was having a Black Friday sale of 50% off everything except pink tagged items, of course the only thing I wanted had a pink tag. Not the normal stores to shop on Black Friday but we did find a few bargains.
We got home just before it started thundering and raining. We even got hail! I didn't think it was cold enough for it, but it sure came down hard. You should have seen Siddi, she thought the hail was great when it was coming down lightly. I could read her little mind..."oh must be some kind of bug, can I catch it?". Then it started coming down really hard and blowing against the window. She was gone faster than the hail was.
Here's a pic of Siddi enjoying the sunshine yesterday.
Wednesday, November 25, 2009
Monday, November 23, 2009
Well, Johnny and Orlando almost did it, Brad definitely didn't do it, but I did it. I finished it. I thought about torching it a few times, but I finished it. And I really really like it. But I can't show it to you. I soooooo want to show it off but I'll have to wait until next month.
I don't know if it is the sense of accomplishment, artistic pride or the relief that it's over and done with but I think my favorite quilt is always the one I just finished.
My Mom and Ben will be coming in tomorrow for the holiday. I went grocery shopping today for Thanksgiving dinner. I was in shock! Not how high the grocery bill was but how low! What a difference when there is only four people to cook for - I'm not making mash potatoes and gravy, I'm not making a fancy stuffing, I don't have 3 different types of pie, I didn't have to get a veggie tray, I didn't buy a 22 lb turkey. I am fixing a small 10 lb turkey (gotta have left overs), stuffed sweet potatoes, fresh green beans, a cranberry jello salad my Mom loves, spinach salad (maybe) and pumpkin pie. If everyone else really needs stuffing (I can't eat it), I've got a box of Stovetop cornbread stuffing that can be made.
I'm also going to make a hot artichoke dip that my family LOVES!
1 can (13-15 oz) artichoke hearts (not marinated)
4-6 oz cream cheese
1 cup mayonnaise
1 cup shredded parmesan cheese
1 sm can chopped gree chilies
Drain artichokes, cut up in pieces and set aside. Place cream cheese in mixing bowl and bring to room temperature. Blend in mayo and mix well. Add artichokes, parmesan and chilies, and stir until well distributed. Transfer to a baking dish, bake for 20 minutes at 350 degrees, broil for 2 - 5 minutes until top is browned. Serve with chips or crackers.
Saturday, November 21, 2009
Friday, November 20, 2009
Fred just showed up in my back yard one summer. I was feeding my neighbor's cat and he started coming by to mooch. He was about 9 month old, not fixed and it looked like he had been in a number of cat fights - pretty beat up. I was gone three weekends in a row and each Monday he would be lounging in my back yard. I checked around the neighborhood and he didn't belong to anyone so I decided to take him in...but not before he got checked by the vet and was fixed. Turned out he wasn't getting in fights, he had a severe case of ear mites, he was scratching at his ears so hard that he had torn them up with his claws.
When he started putting on weight I had him checked by the vet again. I guess it is common for a cat that didn't know where or when his next meal was going to be to over eat.
He is the first one to kittie approve every quilt.
Fred doesn't really meow. If anything comes out at all it is more of a squeak.
He may be big, but I think he is a handsome boy.
Wednesday, November 18, 2009
...I won another giveaway, Quiltmaker's 100 Blocks given away by Gudrun Erla of GE Designs. She has a wonderful blog and is currently having a Cross Country Quilt Designers Blog Hop.
...It should be a law that I am not allowed to trim any plants. I filled my green bin today and my neighbor's. My poor plants never saw the electric hedge clippers coming.
...I'm having Thanksgiving dinner this year. So far it looks like there will only be four people for dinner (I've never had less than 11 in the past). So how come my grocery list is 2+ pages long?
...I'm not too sure about the quilt I'm quilting, the design is working out okay on the front but the back has issues. I don't know if I pulled the flannel too taut when I was pinning it or not taut enough. I have puckers in the straight stitching and paunches in other areas.
...I'm not going to the midnight premier of New Moon on Thursday, however I did spend all day yesterday reading Midnight Sun from Stephenie Meyer's web site.
...I'm not going to bore your with my theory on how aliens must perceive Earthling and their pets.
...I am going to rub this belly.
I told you he equaled 1 1/2 cats.
Monday, November 16, 2009
I'm suppose to be working on that.
This picture was taken 8 hours later...Obba has moved but nothing else has. I have mowed the lawn, done two loads of laundry, re-arranged almost every cabinet in my kitchen, packed up three boxes of dishes and such for my niece but I have not touched that.
Told you I was good...nobody can procrastinate better than I can.