Saturday, June 29, 2013

HALF OVER!

    
     Oh my gosh! This year is half over already! How did that happen?!! I fear that I am not doing very well on the goals I set up for this year. Oh well. At least some good things have been happening. It is always nice to have a custom order. It just seems like so much time has gone by since I worked on the quilts I started piecing earlier in the year. Remember this?
 
     And this?

    
     And this?
    
     It may seem like I have forgotten them, but I haven't. I hope to get back to them before too much longer. I have been working away on the Ohio Star quilt for my Etsy customer. Still trimming the dog ears off of flying geese and choosing centers for each block, then sewing the geese onto the centers, and the background squares onto the geese.

     In the mean time I finished the rug I was weaving, and have set up another. 

     We have had quite a bit of cloudy, rainy weather here lately. All of the clouds gave me the opportunity to finally get a portrait of this rascal:

  
     I couldn't take the picture until I got the binding finished, and I couldn't get the binding finished until I got the label on, and I couldn't get the label on until I decided on a name for the quilt, but finally, all of that is done.

    And, I have a new sewing machine! When I went to Washington DC to help my friend, there was an vintage sewing machine that she didn't want. It is a Singer 404 slant needle! I always wanted a straight stitch only machine! I am so excited! It is currently being serviced. I will take pictures when it comes back. I am sure that Bonnie Hunter could have gotten it going by herself, but I am not as experienced with these things, and I did not want to mess up this machine. Since I have a feeling that no one has used it in decades, I thought it would be good for a professional to look at it and if there were any problems, or parts that needed replacing, he know what to do. 

     I am also very happy that I got signed on to do my first out of state trunk show and teach a class in Arkansas next year!

     I hope the first half of the year has been great for you too. Thanks for stopping by!

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

More About Retreat

     I go on 2 retreats a year with this group. One in February, and one in June. It is a really fun group of women, and I am always so happy to see them! And, I just love beeing surrounded by all of that creativity, and all of those beautiful projects! It makes it very sad at the end of the June retreat, when we contemplate not seeing each other again for 8 months! I think this came about this way because our first retreat ever was in February, something to chase away winter blues. Mary our fearless leader, and beloved organizer is a school teacher, and wanted to have us get together again during her summer break. We have talked about having another in the fall, but I think the fall is too busy. Several of us are in jobs that seem to be busier in the fall. Often, there are rugs that need to be woven in time for the holidays. I think the fall season is a bit busier for most people. A group of us are getting together to have a fall art show in November. So, hopefully, you will soon see blog posts about what I am making to prepare for the show. I have plenty of large quilts; but, I wanted to make some smaller "gifty items" for the show. This show will be a continuation of a show that used to be at my house back before I was blogging, and more of my personal work was weaving. This was before I found out how much I love quilting. We quit having that show because I moved into a smaller house. Now, a friend of ours, who was at retreat with us, has graciously volunteered to let us have it at her house.

     Anyway, back to retreat. We always have a fabric swap. In Februarys  we have door prizes, but in June we have the beloved pincushion swap. After doing this for several years, we are all getting quite a collection. Some of them are more practical than others. It is so much fun to see all of the creative pincushions they come up with. This is a photo of the pincushion, sitting on the fabric I ended up with in the fabric swap. I love them both. I had always wanted a chicken pincushion, and I am beginning to collect fabrics for a future red, purple, brown and (some form of) orange quilt; so I was thrilled wth this deep red fabric. Ironically, they both came from the same person. I think we must have similar tastes. Thanks Angie!

     This is a group shot of all of the pincushions.


     I forgot to take a photo of mine before I wrapped it. It is in the 2nd row, just a bit towards the left. It is predominately blue, with a blue ribbon. I made it out of a hand dyed hand woven wool scrap from my blanket weaving days. I like to make pincushions that would be easily usable as a pincushion. I always put a piece of template plastic in the bottom of mine, to keep the pins from going all the way through. I hate when you grab a pincushion, and get stung! I hope this cuts down on that experience. 

     Most of the time at retreat, I spent working on my Etsy quilt. When I was in the car, riding to DC, I pinned groups of a set of star points with a set of background pieces.


     I came to retreat with a whole box of them. I think I counted that I need 226.



     As you know, an Ohio Star has 4 flying geese in it, so my first task was to sew the first seam on each goose. I chain piece, and cut the chain in between each block and pin the  unused background squares and star points to the chain. This keeps each block together, and helps me stay organized.

       Then, of course, I had to press that seam. The running joke of the weekend was, how long it would take for me to get to the bottom of my box for each step!

     I got both seams on all of my flying geese sewn and pressed. Yesterday afternoon, I went to sew with some friends, and instead of bringing a sewing machine, I brought my box with a small cutting mat, ruler and cutter.


      This carrying case is one of my favorite quilting tools.  A  friend made it for me many years ago. It stores all of the tools I need to make small cuts, trim, and mark. It holds a 6" square ruler, a 6" long ruler, a small mat, rotary cutter, scissors, a piece of sandpaper to keep fabric pieces still while marking, marking implements, and even a spare set of reading glasses! All in a case that will fit in any project box. It is so so handy to have all of these things packed this way so I can just grab it and go-knowing that everything I need for certain tasks is in that case. 

    I trimmed the dog ears off of my geese, and choose a center square to go with each block. I got through about 1/3 of them. 

    Last night I did some sewing on the blocks I had trimmed and chosen a center for. I sewed a background square onto 2 of the flying geese, sewed one goose to the center square, then cut from the back of the chain, and sewed the other 2 background  squares onto the other sides of the first 2 geese, then cut from the back again, to sew the last goose on the opposite side of the center square. I ended up with this.
 
      They are still chained together, so they will stay organized. All I have left is to press these seams, and sew the 2 sides on either side of the center. Then I will be done with all of my small stars. I will need to put another round of star points on 20 of them to make the larger stars.

     So that is what I am up to. Thanks for stopping by!

 

Monday, June 17, 2013

Trying to Catch up

     Well, I finally got the Etsy-Ohio Star cut out, just in time to go to Washington DC. That worked out great because I got to pair the backgrounds with the star points in the car, on the way up. 

 
     The Washington trip went pretty well. We got a lot of packing done. We were blessed with weather no warmer than 82 degrees the whole time we were there. What a miracle!

     I came home to this in my next door neighbors yard. Talk about a shock!


      :(  They said it had dropped some branches-I had only seen one, so I was quite surprised that they were so expedient in taking it down. I guess it is for the best though. I know it isn't safe to have an unhealthy tree of that size around. Still, it will be missed.

     So, I only had 3 days at home. The first thing I had to do was to get the loom set up for the next rug.

   
     Then it was time to get ready for quilt retreat! YAY! HAPPY DANCE!

     Did I tell you that Missing Monkeys came back from the quilters? I trimmed the excess of of it.



     I like to bring a quilt that needs a binding sewn down. It serves 2 purposes. I can sleep under it, and I have something to stitch on if I need some handwork.

     I was a bit disappointing when I got home and loaded my photos onto my laptop. I thought I had taken many more pictures that I did. I guess I think of getting a photo of a certain quilt, but then put off taking the photo-hoping to get it in it's most finished state. I missed getting photos of many many beautiful  quilts. Here are some I did get though.


     Angie worked on this beautiful quilt. It was so rich looking from across the room. It made me want to make one.













          How is this for knock your socks off spectacular! Jeanne is working on this beauty. She is a flight attendant, and I guess she gets some time to do handwork on layovers and such. She pulled out another fabulous quilt. I forget the name of the pattern. Sunflower? There were circles and points. Brave! Unfortunately, that is one of the quilt that I thought I got a photo of, but didn't.

      Kathy made this quilt-the horse heads are machine embroidered, and she brought them back from Paducah.



     Mary Beth made this quilt out of the jelly roll race quilts we made last year. She just cut it up like fabric. Sorry this photo is a bit blurry.


     Eleanor has been working on this quilt for several retreats now. I love how eclectic it is. 

      As you may have guessed, I worked on the Ohio Star quilt, and made a binding for the Missing Monkeys quilt. More about that in my next post.


 
     I hope all is well in your world. Thanks for stopping by!

Saturday, June 1, 2013

Still Cutting. . . .

     Well, obviously I didn't get on the Blogger's Quilt Festival.  I misunderstood the deadline dates. Very disappointing. Maybe next time. . .

     I am still cutting the quilt I am making for the Etsy customer. Since my last post I bought a few more fabrics. This time I did better at finding more purples. I found some good greens too.


     I prefer to work assembly style, now that I have one block finished, and I have verified the piece sizes. So now I have all of my points and centers cut.


    
     
     Now, I am working on cutting backgrounds. I have a big basket of fabrics that I am cutting from.


     I have a trip that I am going on soon, and pairing points with background colors will be the perfect project for a long car ride!

     I also got the Missing Monkeys quilt back from Regina (my quilter extraordinaire) this week. I will put in a photo as soon as I get it trimmed. Getting the backgrounds cut before I have to leave town is a higher priority for now.

    That is what I am up to now. Thanks for stopping by!