Thursday, January 31, 2008

Can you see the difference?

Not long ago, I shared with you all the shameful disarray that is my sewing room. I put a link in my sidebar to a flicker photo album with several pictures of the all consuming mess. One of my sisters had the gall to mention to me that she wanted to see pictures of the floor so you all could see the whole story. Sorry Sis, not going to happen.

Another of my sisters left me a comment offering to help me clean it up. Thanks, Karen, but I got myself into the mess and I can dig my way out. In fact, I have been digging all week! I finally gave in and started cleaning when it took me forever to find all of the items I needed to take with me to class last week.

It has been a week long effort, but I think I am now ready to get back to business...after I finish with the honey do list my husband gave me.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

My night out

I mentioned in my last post that I would be attending the monthly strip club at my local quilt store. The store began holding these back in March, but this was my first time. I went with my sister-in-law, Judy. This was her first time at strip club too.

Judy is busy stitching her strips together.

Since we had the pattern for the class in advance, I had all of my fabrics cut into 2.5 inch strips and ready to go. Or so I thought. Judy had all of her strips sub-cut into the different lengths that were called for in the pattern. Sigh. Appearantly, I was not paying attention when the shop owner told us that most people have all their cutting done before class. Note to self: pay attention! I ,however, was not the least prepared person at class. There were two ladies who had none of their cutting done before class started.

I brought along my trusty featherweight, Flo. Here she is set up at our table. See the nice cluttered mess I have? I didn't get too much sewing in, since I was busy cutting my strips down most of the class.

This is what I managed to get done in class.

Judy managed to get substantially farther than I did. Aren't her fabrics pretty?

Some of the more experienced strippers managed to get most of their piecing done. I'm not sure I could be friends with the likes of her. ;) She makes me feel a bit inadequate.

I have not worked on this quilt since class last Friday. I think I will save it to work on at next months class. I may not be a quick stripper, but I do enjoy the social interaction.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Calgon, take me away...

from this cold, grey weather! I am in the midst of a serious case of the winter blues here. We have been getting a good deal of snow this week. All of the schools around us were closed yesterday, and they are saying it is possible we could get another 12 inches of snow before 1pm tomorrow. Yuck! As if the unbearable lack of sunshine weren't enough punishment. Sigh.

If you haven't already guessed, I have done nothing sewing related this week. In fact, I am struggling to find the motivation to do much of anything. I really hate this time of year. It messes with my system something awful.

In an attempt to lighten my mood, I even went so far as to buy a package at the local tanning salon. That is a first for me. Hubby thought it might help. So far there is no proof of it. I am so crabby lately even I don't want to be around me.

I am signed up for the strip club at the local quilt store Friday evening. My sister-in-law and I are going together. I have quite a collection of 2.5" fabric strips that will work up nicely into the quilt we will be working on. I guess I will soon have yet another top to add to my ufo pile.

Anyways, sorry for the rant. I get this way sometimes in the winter. It is a bit overwhelming.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

The search is over

My current project has been both a test and a challenge. It was intended to be made using left-over strips from a previous project along with some fabrics pulled from my stash. That was supposed to be the challenge. And it started out that way. I designed the top in a manner that enabled me to use what I had available. And the pieceful life was good. Until my son decided he liked it and wanted it for his bed.

Unfortunately, the quilt I designed is only 72" square. Which makes it a nice lap quilt, but not really big enough for a bed. Clearly I would have to enlarge it. But, now I have already used up the fabrics I had for the top. And they were left overs from a quilt I made in 2006, so there was little hope of finding more of the fabrics I would have liked more of. And I have nothing in my stash that worked with the quilt as it is. I would have to buy some more fabric.

It only took me an entire day and stops at five stores, but I think I found something that works. Here is the top in it's current state, minus the newly acquired fabric.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

I am so ashamed

While cruising along the Quilting for Fun blogring last night, I came across a post at Sister's Choice. Nicole has posted a photo of her cutting table and thought it would be fun to see who had the messiest table. You have to be kidding! I don't have a horizontal surface in my sewing room that wouldn't be a contender in that contest. And frankly, I have been avoiding my sewing room as much as possible the last couple months becuase I need to do a thorough cleaning. It is totally embarrassing. Still, I couldn't resist the urge to take my camera and document the shameful state of my sewing room. I made a set on Flicker of my messy sewing surfaces since one photo really does not give you the whole effect. Go ahead, take a look...if you dare! But here is the cutting table, head on.

Friday, January 11, 2008

Y oh Y...

...did I choose these stupid blocks? I take all the blame on this one. I am, after all, the one who designed the quilt. Clearly I was not thinking about the actual construction process. Y all the whining? It is because of all the dreaded "Y" seams.

Each of the blocks in the border has 8 of them.
Good thing I only need to make 12 blocks.

It's a slow process but I am making progress!

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Nobody Blink!

Because if you blink, you might miss it. The hampers are empty!!!! Plus, I want to catch that dirty laundry troll in the act.
Spent all day doing laundry yesterday. No surprise there, right? But, I was having one of my "can't sleep" episodes last night, so I did a little sewing. And now I will need to do a little ripping.
I decided to work on Matt's quilt since I was up anyway. I need to make some star blocks that are part of a border. And I have no experience with this particular block. I should have known better than to attempt it on little sleep. Still, I was surprisingly insightful in my sleepy state.
I tried to piece it in the order that I thought made sense. It went together ok, but there was a lot of room for improvement. Then I thought to see if there was anything in my Judy Martin Stars and Sets software that could help me. Sure enough, I found a block that was similar. And it had a piecing diagram. Yes! I tried the next block using that method and it was so much easier! I just love Judy Martin and her instructions! The only downside is that it spins my block in the opposite direction from the first block I made. Sigh. So I will now rip apart the first block and restitch it using my new and improved method. Later!

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

I need a maid

I love my kids. I really do. But I sure am tired of picking up after them! Let me explain that my kids are all adults now. And the two I have at home are in college. So why is it that they seem incapable of hanging up their coats? Or putting their dirty dishes into the dishwasher? (Or even getting them into the kitchen for that matter.) Sorry, I just needed to get that out of my system.

With the boys both home, all of my free time seems to be taken up with laundry and housework. The hampers above were empty yesterday! And now they are almost all full again- what's up with that?! I haven't been in the sewing room in a few days and it is really starting to get to me. Good thing they both start back to class on Monday.

Anyways, since I have nothing new to share with you of my quilting, I thought I would show you a couple more of the challenge quilts my quilting family made in October. I am missing photos of two of them. Hopefully I will have a chance to share those another time.

This is Pat's quilt. She has it displayed nicely on top of a coffee table. I removed a nice decorative arrangement from the table in order to get this picture. It looks great in her living room. :)

This is Karen's quilt. She has her's hanging in her dining room. This photo was taken during our family Christmas party, where it just happens to be above the dessert table. Sorry it is not the best picture. I think that chocolate fountain had me a little distracted. I need to tell you that this is Karen's very first quilting project. We kind of bullied her into joining the challenge, and she was reluctant. But she definately rose to it! I think she did a great job!

Thursday, January 3, 2008

Haste makes waste

I had a chance to work on the further design of Matt's lonestar quilt. In fact, I showed Matt the latest sketch, and he thought it looked cool. So yesterday I decided to start cutting out pieces for the next stage of piecing.
I had been careful to double check that I had enough of each of my fabrics left to complete the quilt as designed. However, on a couple of the fabrics, it was pretty close. So close, in fact, that it mattered in what order I cut the pieces in order to get them all cut. And I had thought all of that through ahead of time too.
So I can just kick myself now, because I wasn't paying attention when I cut pieces from one of the barely enough fabrics. And sure enough, I ended up cutting in the wrong order and running short. UGH! Luckily for me, I was able to find more of that fabric at my local fabric store. I guess I am lucky that I only needed to purchase an extra half yard and that I was able to get more. I just feel pretty stupid about it, as I knew I had to be careful.

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Happy New Year

I feel the need to apologize to you today. In my efforts to change over to a new theme, I forgot to add a post about the mini-quilt drawing winner. Yes, I did draw a winner. And she is...Rose. Congratulations, Rose. Thank you to all who commented. It is nice to hear from you and also to know that someone is actually out there reading my blog.