Thursday, November 29, 2012

Year of the Bags

I think this has been the year of the bags.  I see that except for two they are all my old stand-by no pattern bags, but for different people mostly, and in lots of different fabrics, including cotton, velveteen, lamé and Ikea upholstery fabric.   I'd say 15 bags in a pretty good amount.  Sandra's Fire bag was a collaboration between my daughter and I. 

One Down Two To Go

It's blue like a river and shiny in spots like sunshine, I think it has the right name, and it's done, almost done.  Some ladies say it isn't done, done until it has a label and it doesn't have one of those yet. 

Pieced flannel back.  I had to use what I had, so there is some orange and purple in there, too.

While I was quilting the blue one, I kept thinking I liked it best, but now, here it is with its sister and  I'm back to wishy-washy.  I'm planning to give one away as a Christmas gift and I want to keep my favorite, what to do, what to do. 

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Thread Review

I'm about 1/4 finished quilting my Roll Roll Sunshine Rivers (RRCB) and I'm liking it so far.  I love Aurifil thread for it's thinness (I hate when the bobbin runs out), but the price is something that I don't love so much.  I thought I'd try some of the Essential Pro from Connecting threads, it is very thin and a fraction of the cost.  I don't have a longarm, I have a Juki, which many people use on a frame, so I thought it was worth a try.   I resisted, mostly because I have bought into the 'everything cotton' camp, but I got to thinking that I used to use whatever, and I haven't noticed any undue deteriorations.  Sooo, this is my first try and no problems so far (knock on wood), and a bonus, less lint.  The essential pro is 3315 yards for $5.99, and the cheapest that I've found Aurifil is 1422 yards for about $8.28.   I think Connecting Threads has a new believer.   Also, I love the King Tut for the top thread, again very expensive.  I tried the Coats and Clark machine quilting cotton thread from Joanns with a coupon, very much cheaper, and I also haven't found any problems with it.   Quilting is a fairly expensive hobby (obsession) and I think that this is one way to make it a little more affordable.  For me anyway. 
Don't you think the shiny blue border looks like sunshine on water. 
PS  It just occurred to me, I wonder how it would be in the bobbin for piecing.   I don't have any illusions that my quilts have to last for generations.  I make pretty simple quilts for the most part and not with exquisite quilting, etc., just nice not masterpieces.  If the bobbin thread took a year or two off their life, I don't have a problem with that.   If in future generations a museum is opened for quilts with 'mediocre meandering', I'm sure there will still be one or two they can use, lol.   

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Daughter and I Finished Her Bag

Not very good pictures I'm afraid, taken with my iphone in poor lighting.  The handles are orange, and the bag is denim.  It's very cushy

The front zipper pocket lining.

We added this pocket, it's big enough for regular sheets of paper and is open.  I had cut one out for my bag too, but got carried away with the directions and forgot to add it to mine.  It isn't in the directions. 

All the linings are different as we were using leftovers from Gator quilts, but they are all very Gatory, and I think they give it character.   Even the pulls have Gators on them.  I got the bag started and my daughter finished it. 

Filling in the Time and Catching Up

I got up early this morning, as usual, and started off by getting my daughter's Kindle Fire bag up to this point.  It's pretty close to finished probably only another hour or so, but I needed the D rings to go further and my daughter has those.  She's coming after work and hopefully, she will be using it tomorrow.   Hope the picture doesn't make anyone dizzy, I flipped it.

Yesterday, I basted the bottom quilt, my RRSR (RRCB) and the top quilt, Maddox's baby quilt, and after I got as far as I could on the bag this morning I started basting the middle one, my Craftsy BOM.  Now, to clean, oil and change the needle in my Juki, and wind about 100 bobbins (a slight exaggeration) and I'll be set to do some meandering.  When I was almost done I had to stop and take DH to the heart doctor.  He didn't seem to have any real answers, I hate when Dr's ask me what is wrong, but his loop recorder showed that he had had several episodes of atrial fibrillation in the past 2 weeks, so within a month he should be having his ablation.  Meanwhile, on Dec. 10th he'll have surgery for a skin cancer on top of his head.  I know it could be worse, but he doesn't seem to catch too many breaks these days.   I sure hope this helps and he gets some verve back in his life.
When I refrerred to filling in the time, I mean until Friday when clue no. 2 of East Street is out.  I think I'll be ready.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Ipad Bag from Craftsy Pattern

My daughter and I were going to make these together, but she keeps having things come up so I decided to do mine and then help her with hers.  More Ikea fabric, my embroidery isn't showing up so well, but I guess that's ok.  If I am out it probably isn't the best to advertise that there's an ipad in there.  I meant to add pockets but got following directions and then it was too late.  I do have the one big pocket on the front, and it is huge.   It is very cushy too as there is a layer of batting. 
The inside is all fully lined, as is the pocket and as you can see it's very roomy.  Room for papers etc, if necessary.  All in all, it's a success.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

A Little Bit of Christmas Sewing

My youngest granddaughter is getting a Kindle Fire for Christmas from my daughter and her husband so I found a good deal on a cover from ShopNBC and I made her this bag this morning to carry it in.  It is quilted and fully lined with 2 pockets inside and 2 outside.  Hope she likes it.  She's 9 so I was hoping that this Ikea fabric is young but not too young.  You can see the green striped pocket lining showing through, the inside is lined in the same fabric and the inside pockets are lined with the Ikea fabric. 

Friday, November 23, 2012

And Finished Step One "Easy Street"

About 200 of the little rascals.  My Ivory solid is Fairy Frost.  I told my husband that Fairy Frost makes me smile and he said I should put little bits of it all around the house.  I don't think I'll do that, but I feel happy when I even run across a piece in my scraps.  I like things that shine.  (Remember the monkey in my previous post.)  I didn't pick the ivory to use in my quilt because I agonized over the very best colors I could pick.  No, I saw Fairy Frost on clearance at Hancock's of Paducah and I couldn't help myself, I had to have it.  
 Easy Street is finished until next Friday, hopefully by then I'll have a finish or two to report and maybe an ipad or kindle bag, too.  It's amazing how much more you can do when you're retired, and how much more that could be done if I put the pedal to the metal.  I'm also good at taking breaks.  
There are a multitude of us working on "Easy Street" to see some of the progress go here to Bonnie's blog Quiltville's Quips and Snips.

Started on Step 1 "Easy Street"

My twosies are ready, if I figured right this is enough with a few extras, if I figured wrong it'll be back to cutting and sewing strips.  I just realized when I was trying to label this that I previously had done a post on it, but I had it as "Easy Money" instead of "Easy Street".  I think I've been watching too many crime shows on TV.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Yay! I Did It

I had to piece the batting for Maddox's quilt as I had enough left over of the wool batt from my Orca Bay (Sunrise, Sunset), I was pretty sure.   I was right, but all that was left was not even enough to make a potholder when I was finished.   I decided on a pieced backing with 10 inch squares for my Roll Roll Sunshine Rivers, so I had 70 squares to find flannel for, cut out and sew together.   I have the bindings ready and the other batts cut out and ready to go, so I'm ready for the Easy Money mystery.   I feel pretty sure that even with that going on I have a good chance of finishing these 3 by the end of the year.   For now though until Friday, it's time to think about Thanksgiving.  I have fudge to make, some odds and ends to shop for, stuffing to make and dinner to go to and then we'll see if Bonnie does like last year and starts off with an easy clue or two.   
I probably won't blog again until at least Friday, so for all those who celebrate it:
Happy Thanksgiving!!!   

Monday, November 19, 2012

RRSR (RRCB) is a Flimsy

Ignore the orange, it's sitting on my Orange Crush, but Roll Roll Sunshine Rivers is a flimsy now.  I added the little 2 1/2 inch extra border and I think it adds to the sunshine.   I'm hoping to get the back and binding done before Thanksgiving, and the 3 battings ready and then I'll have the Craftsy BOM, Maddox's quilt, and this one ready to be basted and quilted whenever I have time.  Hopefully, 3 more finishes before the end of the year.   I've decided to go with the yellow instead of the green on Easy Money mystery.  There was something familiar about pink, brown, green and blue.  Yes, pink, brown, yellow and blue-white and ivory will be my colors.
My daughter is having Thanksgiving at her house, so all I'm making is fudge and stuffing.   I hope my husband, Ernie, is up to going, if not I guess it'll be take out from Cracker Barrel, which isn't an altogether bad thing.  

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Slow Progress and New Name

Yesterday I got up and got started on my Roll Roll Cotton Boll thinking that by the mid afternoon I'd probably have a flimsy - wrong - I had a quilt center, but that's all.  Here is a small part of it, and it sure looks like chaos doesn't it.  
This morning I woke up with similar illusions.  I thought by this afternoon I'll have a flimsy - wrong again - after about 6 hours this is what I accomplished.  I don't know if I'll get back to it today, but now I have 'all' the parts prepared and I'm ready to assemble and add borders.  I know that I must be getting close now.  
I did think of a name for my Roll Roll Cotton Boll No. 2.   There's a whole lot of blue and I thought what rolls and is blue - a river.  I have a lot of shiny fabrics and so I thought ice, but no, I have 3 rivers in mind and one of them probably never has ice.   They all 3 have sunshine, at least sometimes, and sunshine on rivers can be very shiny so my name is "Roll Roll Sunshine Rivers"  and it's dedicated to the Missouri in Omaha, Nebraska, the Grand in Diagonal, Iowa, and the St. John's in Jacksonville, Florida.   My father and I were born in Omaha, my mother thought Diagonal was like heaven on earth, and my brothers and I were raised mostly in Jacksonville, my kids, too.   Sounds good to me.
I have been using my new setup with separate cutting and ironing areas and it is working out as well as I had hoped.  I feel much more efficient.  

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Ironing and Cutting

I've been a bit frustrated using my ironing board as a cutting table also, and forever moving things about.  I didn't think that I had room for a separate one, even though I do have a nice big sewing room it also doubles as a laundry room and a guest room.   I had purchased this nice big cutting board and then my brother found a "Big Board" ironing table top at a garage sale and it's been sitting on it, so it's been easier to use a portable cutting board.  This is my solution, I got bed risers, another folding 2 feet by 4 feet table and put my quilt rack underneath it.  So far so good and I know there will be lots of cutting for Bonnie Hunter's Easy Money mystery, so I'm ready. 
Right now I'm machine embroidering Maddox's quilt back, and that has spilled over to the top of my new cutting table.  

Because of my ironing board doubling as a cutting area, and I suppose a bit of carelessness too, my big board ironing cover has 2 or 3 inch or so cuts in it.  First I was going to buy some duck canvas and make another one and then I thought why not use up some of my scraps from using sheets as backs of quilts.  This is the result.  It is reversible and I put elastic all around, but it was too loose so you can probably see a couple of the pins that I used.  I really don't like the looks of them and if they aren't efficient, I may get some thumb tacks and try that.  I have a staple gun but I want to be able to turn it over when it gets dirty without a lot of fuss.  
It seems that sewing rooms are continually evolving and we are always looking for a better way.  I hope that I've found one, hopefully I'll be more organized and efficient.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Easy Money Colors

I ordered some clearance fabric from Hancock of Paducah and from Connecting Threads and the Hancock order came today.  The blue and whites, the top two browns and the ivory on the right are my new fabrics.  I am still trying to decide whether to use my original plan of gold-yellows or to go with greens.  These fabrics may or may not end up in the mix, as before I go to these I'll go to my scraps and smaller pieces, this was just 'to see'.  Opinions welcome. 

Monday, November 12, 2012

Flimsy Completed

I made one (to me, now) glaring error, but it was too late to change, so it is what it is.  I think on the whole it is kind of cute though.  All the geometrics kind of remind me of fencing to keep the little critters out of the garden.  
 I have a question for all you grammar geeks or English teachers out there.  What is the proper (or most proper) plural or possessive for a name ending in X ?  Would Maddox be Maddox's, Maddox', Maddoxes, or just plain Maddox.  I have started googling it, but haven't had time to really dig into it, and now I'm leaving to go to Orlando (about a 30 minute trip) to pick up one of my Grandson's from work. 
I ordered a folding table to use for a cutting table in my sewing room, and Walmart said it would be here between this coming and next Friday, but I got an email it is here today.   My book with RRCB in it is supposed to be here by Dec. 4th (I guess books get on the back of the pile at the US Postal Service as it was shipped a few days ago) and if I have similar luck with that, maybe I can keep up with my goal of having my Craftsy BOM, Maddox' (?) quilt and my RRCB all done before the new Easy Street mystery starts.  That would be wonderful.   If I do and I have lag time after working on Easy Street, I'll work on my Scrap Vomit (isn't that a horrible name), but if I don't I'll hopefully have the 3 more finishes by the end of the year anyway.
PS  We had a very nice day yesterday.  My son came and brought his dog and my daughter and one of my grandsons came and brought their dog.  We left the dogs in the back yard and went to a Mexican restaurant nearby that we really like.  Everyone enjoyed their lunch and the visit.  My husband, Ernie, probably wore himself out a bit, but I think that it was good for him and he enjoyed very much having his children (and his grandson) spend some time with us.   Everyone is so busy that we can't get together as much as we'd like, so it was a treat.    

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Beginning of Maddox's Quilt and Visit

I have the simple little blocks done and am about ready to start assembling them.  I hope Maddox and his family like it.  If they like it a lot, they are near Ikea and can probably add accessories for his room as the fussy cut blocks with the bunnies and the hedgehogs are Ikea fabric.   Should end up about 46 by 58 inches before washing, and a few inches smaller after washing.  Sorry, it's a little confusing sitting on my Orange Crush, but the bottom two rows with the borders should be how it looks.  Quite a change working with little blocks with from one to four pieces and ending up with a 6 x 6 inch block, after 60 pieces in an 11 by 11 inch block.  
Guess it's going to have to wait though, my son is visiting from Tampa and my daughter may come over for a bit, too.  Tampa is only a couple of hours away, but with everyone's 'life' getting in the way we don't get together as often as we'd like and my son is going to be out of the country for Thanksgiving.  Happy Veteran's day everyone.

Veteran's Day

For my father (Navy), my brother (Marines), my grandson (Army) and all the others who have served and sacrificed for our country's protection.  

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Heart Problems, Hospital, and a Few Blocks.

My husband is in the hospital, heart problems again.  I spent the night but came home this morning for  a couple of necessary errands and to shower, while home I also hurried and finished up my other 14 blocks. they were almost done when we found we needed to go to the hospital.   Just a quick picture with my iphone and I'm back on my way.   Don't really know how he's doing yet, hopefully we'll find out more today and hopefully it will be easily fixed.  He got a monitor put under his skin about a month ago, Thursday we sent the information for the first time, all was ok.  Thursday night lots of pain and some in and around his chest so he did another report and they said to go to the hospital.  Evidently at least a couple of times during the night his heart stopped, once for 4 seconds.  Evidently, he has an electrical problem.  I'll post more when I know more.
Update:  They really didn't find anything, the Dr. wanted to keep him another night so they could watch his low blood pressure, but he couldn't stand anymore and pretty much refused.   So, we are home and he's snoring away enjoying a nap. 

Thursday, November 8, 2012

First Block - Roll Roll Cotton Boll?

Block No. 1 of Roll Roll Cotton Boll No. 2.  I think it needs a different name, something to do with Florida or Nebraska, I'll have to think on it.   Only 14 more to go and then I'll have my strings and these blocks ready.  I haven't cut the strings up as I don't have the instructions and don't want to go by memory and mess things up.   I ordered the book last night, so hopefully it will be here soon.  Meanwhile, I can work on getting my baby quilt for Maddox ready and if the book still isn't here, I'll baste Maddox's quilt and my Craftsy BOM.

I wondered how it was going to look with the strings so I stuck a few on the design wall (piece of flannel) with the block.  (I kind of remind myself of a monkey sitting and holding something shiny and gazing at it in fascination.  Can you tell that I like shiny things.)
Kind of like him (Is a chimp still a monkey??).
Here was my first block from Roll Roll Cotton Boll No. 1.  Looks quite a bit different.  I didn't correct it when I realized that the browns and pinks were supposed to match, and I kind of liked it that way.  I corrected my mistake for future blocks though.