Monday, March 31, 2008

Easter Quilts

OK, so they aren't really Easter Quilts, but I did finish them in time for Easter gifts!

I actually took a big leap of faith and entered Shawn and Tasha's on MQResource's UFO challenge for March. That means someone is actually going to look at them...or at least one of them. While I could have entered all three, I only wanted to show off one. I'm not that brave yet!

The first one is Shawn and Tasha's, the second one is for Amanda and Korey and the last is for Michael.

I hope everyone that sees them will realize I am still early in my quilting career, but am not giving up yet! By the way, I am still working on my feathers. Not yet ready for anyone to see them, not even my husband! but they are beginning to come around. I'll get some more muslin tomorrow and then I can practice a bit more!


Thursday, March 27, 2008

Feathers and Cameras

I've been working on my feathers on paper and they are really starting to look half way decent. I got a lot of help and advice from MQResource, and can't wait to get started on fabric! Hopefully, i'll have some pictures of feathers to post this weekend!

Speaking of pictures... I NEED to get me another digital camera! The one we have, my husband takes it to work. Now, that in itself would not be a problem, except that when I want to take and upload pictures, I have to get the camera out of his police car (he hides the key from the kids), take the pictures, find the cord to transfer to the computer, and then I have to SEE all those pictures that he takes. If I can just figure out a way to download only my pictures!

I bought him the camera for Valentines Day a couple of years ago. Our old digital camera did not survive our first trip to Disney intact. (come to think of it neither did our video camera!) So, for our second trip, I got him a new digital camera. Now he uses it at work. He doesn't like the quality of the camera the department gives him.

Maybe, sometime in the next millenium I will get some pictures posted. Until then, trust me... I really do know how to take pictures, and I even know how to upload them!

Grand daughter Alyssa has awoke from her majesty's nap, and is trying to help me type, so I will run for now!


Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Practice, Practice, Practice!

I have spent the beter part of today practicing feathers on paper. So far they are looking pretty good. I am going to spend this evening watching Sharon Schamber's videos on how she makes her feathers again, and then get back to paper. My plan is to work on paper for the remainder of the week, and then work on some muslin this weekend. Hopefully, feathers will be flying from my studio this weekend!

So far, my only problem is trying to figure out how to translate my paper feathers to the machine. I KNOW my feathers will not be as small and neat on the machine, but I am not sure how they will actually space out... not that I'm making much since...

I'm thinking of asking online for advice on those people that make those gorgeous feathers all the time. They always have such good advice!

I really would like to make a Christmas quilt for ME that has some feathers on it. If I get started on it by July, I know I will have it bound and ready for use by the holidays! (I'm a little slow sometimes!) My only fear is that on a print fabric, I can't see the feathers well enough to know if I am doing it right or not until I am finished.

Well, back to the practice paper... feathers, here I come!

Monday, March 24, 2008

Easter Musings

Easter at Shawn and Tasha's house was a blast! Everyone LOVED their quilts, and Tasha wants me to make her another one.

After the cook out, the kids had their egg hunt and then they all went fishing in the lake. No one caught anything, but they had fun anyway.

Now, after a day off to rest, I am working on planning my next quilt. It will either be a quilt for Damien, or one for ME! Damien is a bit upset that everyone has a quilt except him. Of course Rex tried to convince me to keep one of them for us... so I think he expects one for our bed soon...

I'm currently working on plans to redecorate our bedroom, so there is a need for a new quilt for our room, so I guess he has a point.

The quilt show in Kansas City is definitely out. Checked the dates this morning, and it is the same week Alyssa has her surgery, so there is no way I am leaving my baby while she is in the hospital. So it looks like no quilt show this year. We will be going to Savannah in August, so I don't think I can convince Rex to go to Nashville the same month!

Our crazy weather has turned cold again...we've actually had snow flurries today, and it is getting down to the low 20's tonight! What happened to that 70 degree weather of a couple days ago? turning into quilt weather again!

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Latest Lessons Learned

My last post was at 11:45 last night, now it is 10:39 Saturday morning and all my Easter quilts are completed!

I learned a few new things with these quilts. I remembered how important pressing as you sew really is! On Amanda and Korey's quilt, I was working after a shoulder injury and was heavily medicated! I didn't realize just how bad my cutting, piecing, and pressing really was. I thought everything was OK... my first hint was when I was trying to get the top completed. I noticed immediately that my blocks were measuring anywhere from 10 to 12 inches... had to add a lot of strange borders and insets to make a square-ish quilt.

Then when quilting, I had a lot of seam allowances that were anywhere from 1/4 inch up to 2 inches? Not sure how I missed that when I was putting the top together a month or so ago. I also had about 5 blocks that ended up coming apart in the quilting process. My foot kept finding each weak seam.

In putting the binding on, I realized that pressing when you are tired can really mess up a binding. I also realized that while the glue stick is easier on my hands, the glue bottle holds better. I will now run and stock up on glue bottles and keep my eye out for those beginning of the school year sales!

Since I was using flannel for both the backing and the binding, I had some really thick seams. When you add in the glue, well they were pretty stiff. Discovered that a shot of steam would dissolve the glue and make the binding behave, and then the sewing was a snap!

Amanda and Korey's quilt and Michael's quilt are both in the wash to get rid of the glue. The first wash always reveals those seams that were missed (and I expect a lot of them in A&K's quilt!), so I expect to spend another hour or so 'grooming' the quilt (clipping threads and re-attaching seams) then I can package nicely and forget about them until tomorrow morning.

I will probably load everything in the car tonight, sometime after I start the baked beans for lunch tomorrow. It is so nice not to be hosting a holiday family get together. Didn't have to clean house!!

That's all for now. I will wait to get the pictures of the quilt until after the 'grooming'.


Friday, March 21, 2008

My baby is Growing Up!

Well, it is getting time for me to hit the bed and close for the night, but I had to make this note about Alyssa! Today, she was playing with her baby doll. I told her to give it some love, and she leaned over and kissed her doll! Then she gave it a bit of a 'hug'!

While this may not be that big of a deal, she is only 6 months old and this is the first time she has showed that she really understands what we are saying.

I wrapped her doll up in a blanket and tried to get her to rock her baby to sleep, and she yelled, ripped the blanket off, threw the blanket in the floor and hugged her doll... I think Grandma was being told her doll did not want to take a 'night-night'!

My baby is growing up!

I've finished up on Amanda and Korey's quilt and only have to finish sewing the binding on the back of Michael's quilt. I was afraid I wasn't going to get them finished for Easter, but I should have them finished by noon tomorrow and still have some time left to clean the house...oh joy.

Pictures are on my list for tomorrow!

Almost Done

Last night was a good quilting night! On Wednesday night I finished putting the binding on Shawn and Tasha's quilt, and I rather like the way it turned out! Made me decide to give it as an Easter gift. So now I have to finish Amanda and Korey's quilt. I loaded it yesterday afternoon, and started... while the stitches look good as far as stitch quality goes, I wish I had tried something a bit more challenging on it. The very simple heart panto is pretty, but I'm tired of it. It is the same one I used for Shawn and Tasha's quilt.

I did run into a bit of a problem, though. S&T's quilt was a king size and I had no problem fitting it into my machine... but, A&K's quilt is only a double and it does not want to fit! I guess the batting is a bit 'fluffier' so it doesn't fit as well! Ran out of 'height'... was not expecting that! I guess that is another reason to want a bigger machine!

Rex did ask me last night when that quilt thing was in Kansas City... unfortunately, I believe it will be out of the question, since Alyssa will be having her surgery in May, but nice of him to think about it, it means he is starting to take me seriously. Now if only I could take myself a bit more seriously!!!

My machine and I are getting a bit more comfortable together, and I am finding things I can do to tweak her a bit here and there. Maybe I should think about giving he a name...

Monday, March 17, 2008

Monday Ramblings

Monday mornings bring thoughts of starting the week getting something accomplished. No different this morning, but somehow I am looking at the clock discovering it is already 3:00 and nothing extra is done!

We will go upstairs to the studio in a bit and hopefully I can get the binding on Shawn and Tasha's quilt and get started on the binding for Michael's quilt. Tomorrow we will go to Joann's after Damien's therapy and get the girls a gift certificate for Easter baskets and try to get some fabric for the backing for Amanda and Korey's quilt.

I think once I get some quilting done today I will feel a lot better about getting something accomplished! Last time I quilted, I had the tension pretty good and I was pleased with the results, so maybe the worst is over! I would love to be back in love with my machine, but the weird tension problems I was having, really made it more of a hate relationship instead of a love relationship.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Weather, Weather Everywhere

Well, today has been a wild weather day! Started last night with a tornado touching down in Atlanta. As rare as that is, another one touched down today!

We had a tornado warning at 6:55 this morning, resulting in all 4 of us running down to the basement only to discover that by the time we got there the warning was over! With all the warnings and watches today, we have had no more severe weather since this morning. All around us was having hail and wind damage, but nothing here. Barely a sprinkle!

Shawn and Tasha had a lot of hail at their house, as did Korey and Amanda. But the worst damage was at my nephew's house in Social Circle. He has holes in siding, holes in the roof, and he said his car looked like a pin cushion!

But everyone was safe, and that is what really counts!

Last night, I spent the evening working on Shawn and Tasha's quilt. I thought I was wanting to do feathers, but after I got the first feather done, I realized I needed a lot more practice before I could be happy with the results, so I switched to a heart panto. I really like the results and now I need to put the binding on and that will be one Christmas present down.

(of course, i still have to put the binding on the quilt I made for Michael)

Brianna is working on her second quilt. It is using the hand dyed fabric from Sharon Schamberg. I was concerned about the actual cutting, so we tore the fabric into long 3 inch strips. It is a strip pieced quilt in every sense of the word!