Friday, May 29, 2009

40th Quilt, Quilted!

In the 10 months I've had my quilt frame, I've learned a lot! This past weekend I quilted my 40th quilt on the frame. I feel like I am still not where I would like to be with my tension, but I'm doing better and each quilt is getting better. I look back at some of my first quilts and shake my head, but that's how you learn. I have several quilts cut out now and I'm ready to start making them up, so I think I'll give the frame a rest for a while.
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My quilt frame has really helped me produce more quilts and I enjoy quilting them now. I also have taken on way more than I thought possible. I counted up my UFO's recently and they were over 20! This is so unlike me, that my co-workers at the shop said I was finally starting to act like a quilter. Although they did give me a hard time about throwing too big of scraps in the puppy pillow planter. My current projects... those I'm working on right now are a Professional Tote, Happy Hour quilt, Wonder Blocks' quilt, binding Pop Parade, and designing a charm purse for June Bag Ladies. I don't know what I'll do first, but I won't have much time this weekend as we are heading out to the ranch.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Happy Memorial Day!

Happy Memorial Day weekend to everyone! I love the start of the summer season. Working at Mt. Rushmore every summer I was in college, I always enjoyed Memorial Day weekend because there was always that first big rush of summer tourist traffic.
This weekend was unlike most for us. We usually go home for the family branding, but since we're going to my parents next weekend we stayed home and I worked both Sat. and Sun. My quilting was severly hampered by working, but I did get quite a bit of quilting done.

Friday night I loaded Pop Parade on the frame and quilted swirls on it. If I had known how long swirls would take, I never would have done it. I quilted a couple hours Friday night, a couple hours Sat. night, and Sun. night I finally finished up. I was exhausted, only to pull it off the frame and realize the last three rows had bad tension issues, so I spent an hour Sun. night, two hours today, and still have a good foot left to take out before I put it back on the frame to finish quilting it. I was so mad, but I want it to look nice, so it's worth it.
Here's a close up of the quilting on it.
Jill and I had been discussing doing a One Block Wonder together. I had a grand idea to use our cowgirls fabric, but figured for my first one I should try something off the sale rack. I found this peach Koi fabric and I know my MIL loves it, so I'm going to make the first one for her. It matches the blue pillowcase and pants I made for her last week.
Today we had grand plans of going fishing since I was off. Paul had me up at the crack of dawn. We went to Wall Lake and New Underwood Lake, but it was pretty windy, so no luck. Paul says it's called fishing, not catching for a reason.
We got home in time for naps and to watch the postponed Nascar race. They were talking about the Indy car race and I thought of Jennifer and her well planned family vacation.
I had planned to go to Hancock's for their big sale today, so I headed out mid afternoon. I picked up several zippers and magnetic snaps for a professional tote I'm making. Elastic for more pants. Leather thimbles, a new flex light (for good lighting for ripping), button pins for working on OBW, and some new scissors like Jen had a retreat. They are a lot lighter than the ones I normally use, so aren't as weighty on my neck. Ran in to some co-workers so ended up spending time visiting too. I went to Lowe's for plants, Best Buy for headphones, and Shopko just to look. It was a nice (but windy) afternoon and it was so great just to look. My MP3 player was taken at the airport on my way to retreat in OH, so last week I got a new one... 8 GB and FM Tuner... Paul is so jealous. He tried to convince me I could have his 4GB one and he'd use the new one. Not gonna happen! I love my new player and have already filled it about half full. I hated the headphones that came with it, so I picked up some new ones.

This week is the first class for the professional tote bag class mom and I are teaching. I am making one for a friend, so I planned to get it all cut out this weekend. That didn't happen, but I did get the fabric. The dots will be on the outside, the brown is the contrast, and the one on the right is the lining. I think it will turn out great.
I worked on cutting out a Wonder Blocks quilt out of the Mocha Meringue fabric this weekend, but didn't get it all done, so tomorrow I'm taking it to work and will do it at lunch. Jill made me this awesome Tool Caddy to take with me to work, so I'm taking it along with my rotating mat and hopefully I'll get it all cut out.
I love the little mat, rulers, and rotary cutter, which I didn't have. I so wish we had a Joann fabrics around here, but we don't so I get what I can at Hancock's when they have 50% off notions like they did today.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Bag Ladies - Miranda & Mini Miranda

Tuesday night was the final night of our May Bag Ladies Club. We made either the Mini or the regular sized Miranda Bag. There were 5 ladies in the class for May. Lu & Diane also made Mini ones as well, but I missed taking a picture of them. The ladies all went home with a finished bag after two night of class. I love teaching classes with my mom and this one was fun since it was a bag I knew how to make very well.
Laurie with her Miranda.
Linda with her Miranda
Wendy's Mini Miranda

Monday, May 18, 2009

Boxed Blessings/ Pop Parade Quilt Top Done

Tonight my goal was get the blocks finished for the Boxed Blessings quilt done. I had them done by the time Dancing came on, so while I was watching that I put them all out on the bed and played with them. I talked to Jill for a while and then went and sewed the blocks. I was so excited to get the opt done. Now I'll just have to quilt it. I don't think I'll end up putting borders on it. It doesn't call for them. I'll decide tomorrow when I'm at class and have some opinions.
Here's a close up. I'm very happy with how my corners matched up, even though I didn't have a very consistant 1/4". I didn't square them up, but they went together well. I'm using the lime green check on the back and the same lime/purple stripe in the block centers as the binding.

Boxed Blessings/ Pop Parade Quilt

My main project for Quilt Retreat with my peeps was the Boxed Blessings pattern by Ingrid Barlow. Mom had bought the pattern in Sioux Falls because that's the one thing I really wanted her to pick up on her trip. We had just gotten in the Pop Parade line, so I thought it would make the perfect line to make these blocks.
I only got about 3/4 done at retreat, because let's face it I got distracted with other fun and easy projects. I left this one till late Sat. night and all day Sun. and I couldn't concentrate, knowing the time with my peeps was almost over. I had the main stack on the left done by the time I left, and all the matching pieces (the ones in the middle of this picture) sewn together. They just needed to be attached to the main part. Last night I started attaching them. I got about 1/2 done with attaching one side.
This is how each block will look when I get them put together. Hopefully I'll get all the blocks done tonight. We were watching the Survivor finale when I was trying to do these, so not as much done as I would have liked. With Dancing with the Stars and Bachelorette on tomorrow night, I know I could be easily distracted. My second and final night of Bag Ladies is Tues. night, so it's going to be a busy week.

Charm Purse

I had this vision for a charm purse in my head so I started designing it on Sat. night. I put the squares together and sewed them the way I wanted. Then I made a lining to match. Sun. morning I got up early and put the snap in, quilted the front and back, and made the outer part and the lining. Then it was off to work. Everyone thought it was super cute. After work I put the ties on, made the handles, and attached it all together. I was happy with how it turned out, but I have another pack I'll make another sample out of. For this one I used the Moda Line, Objects of Desire.
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Sunday, May 17, 2009

Sewing Exhilaration

Last night I was on a sewing high and decided to make a new pair of pants for myself, since I had figured out what would fit. I usually buy 2.5 yards to make a long pair of pants and 2 yards to make capri's. These are capri's. I love how they fit and I can't wait to make another pair. I whipped these up in an hour. I use a McCall's pattern, but I don't follow the directions, I just cut out the two pieces, the front, the back, and if the print is directional make sure it is going the right way. I've made them for all sized people, up to a 4X, so I find it really easy. I do the inseam legs, the crotch seam, the two side seams, then serge the top and legs, fold in and sew with my regular machine for both the hems and casing, and then insert the elastic. I love the quilting fabrics as they are such high quality and so comfy.
After I got the pants done, I squared up and put the binding on the quilt for Leslie. It's now done and on her bed and she's super proud of it. I'm so glad it's done and I can move on to my retreat projects. I was on such an exhilarated hig from finishing both projects, that I started a new purse. Since I had to get my other machine out to quilt, I quit for the night.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Productive Pants & Pillowcases Night

Since I'd been quilting a quilt for my MIL for the past week, I hadn't done anything else or finished anything. I was getting restless and didn't know what I was going to work on next. I made a list of all the projects I have started, all the projects I have everything bought for, and a list of what I want to get done in the next few weeks. Tonight I decide it was time to pull out all the fabrics for pants and pillowcases. I had plenty of this fabric leftover from the backing of a quilt I helped my MIL make, so I made her a pair of capri pants. I wanted to make sure they would fit me as well, since the last pair was a bit tight and I couldn't remember which pattern I used since I have about 8 different ones. They fit great and are the perfect size. She loves them.

I still had plenty left, so I made her a pillowcase to match the pants/quilt. That's the last of the fabric. This is so NOT my style of fabric. I just don't care for asian fabrics, but she loves them. As a practical joke at work for Christmas the person who had my name, gave me 15 yards of this fabric in the peach colorway. Not only do I not like the color, peach is not one of my favorite colors either. I was really nice until the started all laughing. I'll always remember the joke and how hard we all laughed.
Then I made Paul a pillowcase to match the shorts I made him back in November.
Then I made a pillowcase out of the fabric I picked up at Fabric Shack when I was in OH. It's International/ Farmall which is very popular in my family, so it's going to a family member for his birthday.
Then I made a pillowcase for myself. It's out of the Buggy Barn. I made a quilt out of the same fabrics for a sample for my Happy Hour class. Since the class is over and we're out of the fabrics, it's time to bring my quilt home and now I have a pillowcase to match. I have enough of the fabric from the main part of the pillowcase to make a pair of PJ pants for myself now too. I'll probably do that tomorrow night before I put the serger away.
I don't use my serger all that often, but when I do I absolutely love it and can't imagine what I would do without it. I have a couple more pillowcases and curtains to make for my MIL to match her new quilt, but they will wait until I get the binding on the quilt and the curtains made. Now that I have the fabrics out of the fabric closet, I can work on other projects. I reorganized a bit and now I can start on some blocks I need to make and not feel guilty. I feel like I accomplished so much in such a short time.

Leslie's Quilt

Last week Paul and I were discussing Mother's Day gifts and he was working on a quilt rack for my mom. So I said I would finish up his mom's quilt for her. She had done the main blocks and put them together, but it needed borders and to be quilted. I put the borders on, loaded it on the frame last Thurs. and have been quilting on it ever since. We were gone for the weekend, so I didn't really start quilting it till Monday night, then worked on it for 3+ hours Wed. night and last night I finally finished the quilting. This is the quilt. We started with the black flowery asian print and the red butterfly print and went from there.
Here's a close up of the quilting. I did a meander all over it. It's 90x108" so probably the biggest I have done so far. It has a different batting which was thicker, so I was about at the limit for my machine. His mom loves it and can't wait to use it, so I'll work on the binding this weekend and then make her curtains and pillowcases to go with it.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

New Colts & The River & Mom's Quilt Racks

On Mother's Day, after lunch and a nap, we went by my cousin Tommy & Alice's place and saw Alice's new colts. She has about a half dozen so far. They are so pretty to look at, but they were hungry and mostly hid from me. They are in the pen between two barns and the windbreak protects them.

Then we headed down to the Cheyenne River. We went to a bit different spot because it had rained and we couldn't get to our normal spot because it is all curvy dirt roads. This was a great spot and easy to get to, but the river had come out of the banks about a month ago, so we had to be careful of the cut banks. The first two are pictures as we were coming down the hill to the river. The Cheyenne River is a major river in SD and eventually flows in to the Missouri river north of Pierre, which then flows in to the Mississippi.
On the left side of the picture you can see the cut banks. The river was completely over the sand bars on the right side of the picture from all runoff of all the snow/rain/blizzards we had this winter.
The river was clear back in those trees for quite a ways too. We were fishing by the trees. It's about 6 foot down to the river, so it was definately really high and fast moving when it came out over the banks. It was really peaceful down there, but since it was mid day we didn't catch much. Catfish like the early morning or late night. We'll probably end up going back later this year.
After fishing we went back to mom and dad's for supper. Paul had hung mom's quilt rack he had made for her for Mother's Day on the wall. This is the prototype, but he's planning to make more, just has to work on the design a bit.
We centered it under the heater, but the china cabinet has to move. We hung it there until we have a bit more time to move it. This quilt is a friendship quilt from the Wall Quilt Guild. It has a pocket in each heart for a little special gift from each member, so it needed to hang upright.
This is the standing quilt rack he made her for Christmas. It's a heart shape and the quilt hangs through it. This one is a friendship quilt from the Black Hills Quilters Guild.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Mothers Day Weekend

This weekend I took off from work early on Sat. and we went to my parents for the weekend. On our drive Sat. afternoon it rained off an on, but at one point we saw this beautiful rainbow spanning the horizon. The best part was you could see all the colors, both ends, and the top, which I rarely see. Since we were driving I couldn't quite get a picture of both ends. When we got home, Paul installed the quilt rack he made for my mom for Mother's Day. It's awesome! I have pictures, but they haven't uploaded yet.
We planned to go home this weekend because my little bro also had the weekend off and wanted to have a family shooting event. He had bought 3 boxes of clay pigeons and we were shooting them. Paul was using his new shotgun and the shell release stuck, so he'll have to get it fixed. He used my dad's double barrel and got quite a few pigeon's. Clay pigeons are round disks the size of a small planter bottom and they are painted neon orange, so you can see to shoot them.
He shot quite a few of them, as did both my bros. I shot Ed's new 12 gauge and I hit more than I missed, which was pretty good considering how many my bros missed. I have a very sore shoulder today though, since it has no butt pad, and has a kick to it. We had a lot of fun and I got a nice sunburn on my head. We spent the afternoon at the river fishing and I took quite a few pictures of the full river, but they haven't uploaded yet.
We had lunch at my bro & SIL's house so I took a picture of the pillows I had made them for Christmas. It's the first time I remembered to get a picture for my journal.