Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Ran out...

Do you ever get the feeling maybe you shouldn't be doing something? Back in Aug. I bought 2 yards of this really pretty purple/raspberry/green batik. I loved it and still do. I also bought 2 yards of purple and a yard of raspberry batiks to compliment the fabric and make a Miranda bag for me as well as a mini Miranda. I gave the raspberry and horse fabrics to my mom and asked her to pick up a King Tut thread for me as we were leaving for her house and I wouldn't get to the store. She did and it matched great. We cleaned/rearranged her sewing room. I brought home a ton of quilts to quilt for her and do you think I could find that little bag with the fabric and thread in it? NO! Mom has looked, I've looked, in our houses, in the bags I brought back, in our vehicles - to no avail!
So I decided to go ahead and buy the fabric and thread again. It's been a month, it's not going to be found. I bought two yards of each of the fabrics and a new spool of thread. I quilted the pieces for two Miranda's and a mini Miranda this weekend and started putting them together. Last night I realized I was running out of thread. I didn't think about how much more thread it takes to quilt on the frame versus just regularly or the fact that I was making three. I started cutting out the linings and oh no... I have enough for handles for one, but not the other two and lining for the two big ones, but not the smaller one. I knew there wasn't much left on the bolt, so I was afraid it might be gone. I finished up the main parts of the large bags and realized I had sewn one step wrong, so I decided it was time to quit for the night! Today I went to the store and bought the last 2 1/4 yards that were on the bolt. I'm not sure I'll use it all, but just in case I find the other fabric... I'll have enough. I also bought two more spools of thread. I don't plan to go back to either store until Thurs. night for sewing, so I think I can sew to my hearts content tonight and not have to stop. Last night I was really not feeling that I should be making these, but now that I have the fabric in hand, I'm ready to go!

Finished UFO - Mt. Rushmore T-shirt Quilt

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This is the t-shirt quilt I made out of all my t-shirts from the 6 summers I spent working at Mt. Rushmore. They all hold very special memories for me. I have the quilt hanging at work. I didn't used a pattern for this and made it a long time ago before I really learned how to quilt. I did the quilting on my quilt frame and put a flag binding on it. I'm really pleased with how it turned out and so glad to have it done!

Monday, September 29, 2008

More PJ pants

PJ pants have become one of my favorite things to make. With the serger, they whip together in less than a half hour. It takes longer to cut them out than to sew them up. This is a pair of long shorts I made for my hubby. He really likes them.
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I made the pair below for myself. These are the Outdoorsy Guys from Alexander Henry.

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These are so comfy and I love to wear them while I quilt at night.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Three quilts finished in one week!

Anyone who knows my quilting style knows I work on one project at a time, finish it up and then begin a new one. This month though has changed me a bit. I've been working on a friendship quilt all month and finished the last of the handsewing on the binding on Thurs. It received rave reviews from my new co-workers as well as those at the quilt shop, so I hope the recipient loves it. I've uploaded my pictures of it, but I'll post more about it with pictures after it's received. I've also been working on a t-shirt quilt and have the hand sewn binding finished. I'll have to take a picture of it later this week. It turned out great and finishes up my oldest UFO!
The other project I've been working on is a quilt for the Pres. of the campus I worked at. He is leaving to go to a new school in MO. Karen, my co-worker, and I make quilts for people when they leave and he loves them, so we knew one was in order for him. After passing it back and forth all week, it was completed on Fri. We each made half the blocks. I sewed them together, she put the borders on, I quilted it, and she put the binding on it. Our co-workers all signed the back and we plan to present it this week. Since I'm guessing he doesn't read this, below is a picture of the finished project. You can see there are various department pictures. The pictures printed out really well and we are very pleased with it. You can see the loops I quilted in it. It's about 36"x40", so a nice wall hanging size.
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It's pretty rare that three quilts get finished in the same week. I'm so pleased with all of them and now I can move on to a few projects I've had planned.
I had bought fabric for a new Miranda bag back in Aug. Mom picked up the thread to match and we took it to her house over Labor Day weekend. Somehow while I was there, it got misplaced! Neither her, nor I can find it and we've both searched our houses, vehicles, and bags. It's disappeared! I was so frustrated, that I bought the fabric again this weekend and started quilting. I'm making three bags, two different sizes and hope to have them finished by next weekend when we go to my parents... where I'll probably move something and find the fabric I purchased last month! I finished up a bag for my MIL today. Last night I finished PJ pants for me, shorts for Paul, and a pillowcase for MIL that I had started on Thursday night. I also have shorts cut out for my little bro and a pillowcase for a friend.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Hand Sewing

It seems like I have nothing to show for all the work I did this week. Monday night after work, my MIL and I went to the LQS and picked up fabric for the back of her quilt and some pants fabric for Paul and I. I'm making him shorts and PJ pants for me. I think they are going to turn out way cute. I also picked up some more flag fabric for binding on my Mt. Rushmore quilt. I worked on the hand sewing of binding on the friendship quilt and sewed all the blocks together for a going away gift my co-worker Karen and I are making.
I worked on the binding more at lunch on Tues. After work Tues. night we had supper at Qdoba, my favorite fast food place. My mom needed us to haul a chair for her, so we went home and got my pickup and picked up the chair and took it to her. She gave Paul a box of fresh baked cookies, so he was happy. When we got home, I made and sewed the binding to the front of my Mt. Rushmore quilt. I started hand sewing it down, but I kept poking one spot on my finger and had a huge hole, so I quit. I bought these Milliner hand needles on the recommendation of a quilter who's had numerous quilts in big shows and won, so I figured she had a good idea of what needles work best for hand sewing binding. They are awesome, compared to the el cheapo needles that come with el cheapo sewing kits. You all know the ones I'm talking about... pair of scissors that won't cut anything, a measuring tape that isn't long enough to measure a whole lot, thread that breaks when you pull it on those little itty bitty spools, a needle threader, and a roller for using with tracing paper (who uses those anymore).
I'm getting better at hand sewing and I don't actually mind it too bad now that I have new needles, but I've decided I need a good thimble. I bought a couple of those rubber ones, but they don't stay on my fingers. Last night I went to TSC and bought thread to quilt the quilt for our boss and picked up a leather thimble. I'm really impressed with it and it made a world of difference in my hand sewing last night.
I loaded the quilt Karen and I made and quilted it within an hour. It was so easy and looks really cool. It's all pictures and I did loops on it. Karen will put the binding on and then I'll get a picture. Our old boss leaves next Fri, but we hope to have it done by tomorrow, so everyone can sign the back. I had the tension up to 8 and it really made a big difference. I'm so happy with the way it turned out. I'm loving the speed control. I may have to save my money for the stitch regulator, but so far the speed control has fixed a lot of my issues. After I got done quilting, I hand sewed binding on the MTR quilt for an hour, but I'm only about 1/4 done with it, so I brought it to work to spend some time at lunch on it.
Tonight is Wind Up Round up at the store, so I plan to cut out the PJ pants and shorts and serge them all up and I have a few pillowcases I would like to make too if time allows.

Sunday, September 21, 2008


This has been a successful week for me... after a few minor problems. I started quilting the friendship quilt on Wed. night. I had Sew and Sews club on Thurs. night, so I didn't get much quilting done. I bought the speed control for my machine and got it installed on the frame. I did two rounds and was starting on the third. I started getting nests. I was so frustrated and it was late, so I gave up for the night.
Friday I had supper with the ladies I work with at our bosses house. Her house was simply amazing and so beautiful. She designed it herself, so lots of unique features.
I worked on Sat., but supper was ready when I got home, so I ate and then went to work on my quilting. I was still getting nests and finally realized I needed to rethread the top. Why I didn't think of this first I don't know, but it fixed the problem and I was on my way. I got the quilting finished at 11 last night.
Today I slept in and then went to the 80th b-day party for Paul's grandma. When I got home, I just couldn't focus. I worked on handles for a bag until I ran out of thread, then put the binding on the friendship quilt and finally moved on to a picture quilt I'm working on for a boss who is leaving the company I work for. My co-worker Karen and I are making it together and she had brought me her half done and I got mine done tonight, so we can lay it out tomorrow and I'll sew it together and quilt it this week and she's going to put the binding on it. I feel like I have so many projects going on, but I'm getting closer to having a few of them done.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

One Down, Two to Go!

All I can say is I have an awesome dealer! I took my machine in on Monday and he looked at it, replaced the fuse and serviced it and I was able to pick it up on Tues. I was so excited that after mom and I ran errands I came home and finished quilting this wall hanging. It's the one I was working on when the machine quit. It's a VERY old UFO. I think I made it two or three years ago or so. I worked at Mt. Rushmore four summers while I was in college and then for two summers while I was teaching school. We always got a special staff t-shirt as well as half off in the gift shop where I worked, so I had a lot of t-shirts. I combined them all into a wall hanging. I had the top all ready and the back ready, but hadn't quilted it. I found it when I went to look for another UFO, so I pulled it out to practice my stars and loops on the frame. It's all quilted now and I just need to find something for binding.

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Below is a picture of the top. I had a lot with just the little front patch and some that were wider fronts, so I combined them. I'm definately not a quilt designer! I only had a couple yards of this material, so I made the quilt a large wall hanging size instead of a full size quilt.

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I'm pleased with how it turned out and with a little help with the stars I am now making them look like stars. I'm very pleased!
Last night I loaded the friendship quilt I'm working on. I thought I had it all right and then pulled out the directions and it's not right and now I think I have my frame set up wrong, so after this one is done I'm going to have to fix it. So far it's working though and I got two passes done before I called it a night. I'm so happy to have my machine back!

Monday, September 15, 2008

Oh NO! No sewing machine...

This has been a busy week as I have been doing both my old job and my new job. Friday I moved into my new private office with my own keys! It was a lot of work, but I love my new space. There are four blank white walls, so plenty of room for new quilts. I finished up a old UFO top of t-shirt quilts from Mt. Rushmore and got the back ready to quilt Fri. night. Then on Sat. night I worked on my purple Happy Hour quilt top. I planned to sew it together and be ready to quilt it, but I was too tired. I finished sewing the blocks in to a top on Sun. and then I put the t-shirt quilt on the frame. I was practicing Red White and Blue stars and loops on it and all of a sudden my needle break and I went OH NO! I got an E1 error on my machine and anyone who has a 6600 and has experienced an E error and it doesn't reset by turning it off and turning it back on, knows it's not good news. So today my machine went to the shop at lunch. I'm hoping it's just the fuse they think it is and hopefully they have one in stock. I'm going to be so upset if it takes very long to fix it. I have three quilts ready to go on the frame and another one that has to
be done by the end of the month! Here's a little preview of the border on a quilt I'm working on.

This weekend I started helping my MIL make a lap size Jungle Fever quilt. It's a kit of a variety of Asian prints and will be very pretty when she gets done. We're doing 6 blocks a night, so it's not too overwhelming and she can see the finished blocks. There are five different cuts with 6 blocks each.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

PJ Day at The Quilt Corral Too!

Saturday was PJ day at the Quilt Corral Too! All the employees got to wear PJ pants for strip club. It was the way that we were introducing our Pajama Party on November 8, 2008. The big sale of the day was buy 2 yards for PJ's and get the 3rd one free. Rox didn't have a pair, so I went next door to the Sewing Center and whipped up a pair that morning in 1/2 hour so she would have a pair to wear. She loves Halloween, so hers had bats on them. Some made the Alexander Henry shirtless guys pants... firemen or carpenters. Joan, the owner did two different legs and Lu made hers out of Laurel Birch. This is about 2/3 of our staff, the other 4 or 5 had gone home or were not working that day. This is in front of our color wall. Any cotton quilting fabric works great for PJ bottoms.
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This is the strip club quilt that Rox made. It's very simple, but the quilting on it is amazing. Click on it to enlarge and look at the blocks. Especially the bottom black one that has a free hand skeleton on it and the orange one above it that has a spider. Laurie T. did the quilting and it's stunning. She just got her machine at Christmas last year and quit her job in June to quilt full time. Her quilting is absolutely stunning! She even wrote Trick or Treat in one of the blocks.
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I spent Sat. and Sun. working at the quilt shop, so didn't do a lot of sewing at home, but I had a great time. We have strip club the first Sat. of Every month at 10 and 2 and it's always a great time.

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Clean Sweep After...

And after three days of cleaning and organizing for three days, notice the 5 o'clock on the clock... we finished at 5 on Monday night! As you enter the room now, we tipped the bed up on end, and put the ironing board in front of it. The fan is now on the floor.
This is the north west wall, we moved the counter top to the north wall and left all the small tool drawers where they were. Mom can now look out the north window and see who is coming into the drive way while she is sewing.
This is the west wall. We moved the cutting table over to the west wall in front of the window. The serger thread stayed put on the wall. All the embroidery supplies are now in the drawers under the cutting table. The other drawer set has all sewing related fabrics in it. Mom loves fabrics that related to sewing. Both are on wheels.
We took the two big drawers down from this spot and put 4 skinnier drawers next to each other, which hold the fabric better. They are still by color. the small drawers on top are supplies like elastic, ribbon and other things you need, but don't need out all the time. On top of those are three scrap bins, reds/blues/creams. All seperated and ready to be used.
We moved the wood cabinet over to this side of the room and all her books and patterns are on it. Thanks to Jen for the awesome bin idea! Patterns fit in them so well. We also got a couple cinder blocks and put them under the cabinet so it is up off the floor and more usable. It's full of backing fabrics and Christmas fabrics.
This is as you would go out the door to the south east. The door is where the closet of batting is located.
This is an overview of the room from the door.
This is from the southwest corner. The quilt covering the bed was made by my grandma on my dad's side. The printer/ copier is on the microwave cart. Mom read that you should have a copier in your sewing room for doing paper piecing. It works great and it's linked to the embroidery laptop, so she can print out templates if she needs to.
When we come to visit we just have to take down the ironing board and scoot the bed out and it will go right in the center of the room. Before we had to move the cutting table each time we came. I think this all came together. We folded fabric for an hour and realized it was going to take us a day to actually get the folding done, so that is one thing my mom can do as time permits. We are hoping to have a two day sewing weekend in November on the opening weekend of deer season and make Loralie quilts. We both have a bunch of her fabrics and panels and want to make a quilt. We're hoping we can manage to both be off and get to spend time sewing together.
It was a ton of work getting the room back in shape, but it looks great! Plus I gained about 5 quilts/batting/backing pieced to practice quilting on! Yeah I have something to practice on now!!

Clean Sweep Before...

Three and a half years ago in February my parents moved into the house they live in now. Less than a week into putting stuff away, my mom fell down the stairs and broke her right ankle. So needless to say she was layed up for 6 weeks, but couldn't do much for 12 weeks. This was just after she had breast cancer surgery in July, radiation, and chemo and my grandma passing away, all with in 6 months. My grandpa passed away a year later in Aug. My brother and his wife got married, and then Paul and I got married, so my mom has had a lot of stress in the past 4 years! She never quite got around to getting her sewing room set up so it was useful. I kept saying I would come help her, but it wasn't a 1 or 2 day project, we knew it was going to have to be a full 3 day weekend.
So Friday night I went to my parents with my mom and I took these before pictures...
This is coming into the room, there is about a 3 foot hall way and to my right is the very small closet, behind the door to the room. This picture shoes the full bed on the wall ( the extra bedroom when Paul and I come home) and her Horn cutting table.
Going around the room counter clockwise this is the north wall with lots of organizational places to put thing and the ironing board. (It's a big board Paul and I made out of OSB board and covered with thinsulate and batting and pink ribbon fabric.)
This is the west wall, where there is a eight foot counter top for her machines, serger thread on the left side of the window, and lots of small tool drawers to the right.
This is the south west corner where the TV and thread is and more plastic drawers of embroidery thread.
This is the south wall and it has tons of plastic drawers for fabric. The big drawers are by color. There is a wood cabinet below the drawers, but you can't see it as it was hidden and hard to get to.
This is looking toward the east wall, same as the first one, but from a different angle, the cutting table and microwave cart of embroidery supplies.
These are the before pictures. My mom is only home one or two days a week, so she doesn't have time to clean, when she has to be sewing samples for her classes at the store. We had our own clean sweep and took everything except the furniture out of the room and started moving furniture. We got everything out on Sat. while we were watching my beautiful niece Molly. Mom and I got to babysit all day while her parents went to the city. Check back later for the after!

Monday, September 01, 2008

Packages are in the mail!

I packaged up 15 different packages to go in the mail this weekend. Sat. I took them to the local post office and sent them. No problems whatsoever! I love my parents PO.
I'm so thankful for all the special votes and words of encouragement that were sent my way during the survivor competition that I spent special little gifts to my supporters. This is one project I'm glad is done! The applique was horrible, the zippers were terrible, and the serger gave me a very bad day every time I used it. I feel like Alexander and the Horrible, Terrible, No Good, Very Bad day making these, but I finally worked past most of my problems and got them made. I won't be working with big zippers and canvas again any time soon!
Mom and I are still busily working on her sewing room. Things are coming together pretty well.