Sunday, October 26, 2008

All's quiet on the Home Front!

This past week has been kind of quiet. Almost strangely quiet! No quilting is getting done, no sewing is getting done. Nothing.

Part of the reason is my lovely daughter (Amanda) has decided she wants to make a quilt for her guestroom bed for Christmas. She is hosting our family get-together this year and wants to have it finished by Dec 20.

Now, you have to know that she has never sewed much of anything before. Earlier this year she and I made a Roman shade for her living room French door, but we both have to admit, I did much more of the work than I had intended to do!

She decided to go for it and called me about three times while she was shopping for the fabric, even sent me a picture of some of the fabric she was thinking of purchasing.

I have been over to her house twice now to help her with the mechanics of piecing the quilt. And, yes, I am making her do all the work! I showed her how to cut the strips and then turned it over to her. I showed her how to press the sewn together strips and then turned it over to her. I showed her how to cut the sewn together strips apart with the rotary cutter and then turned it over to her, and yes, you guessed it I showed her how to sew together the basic 4-patch block and turned it over to her to sew them together.

She is using a very basic pattern that we kind of made up as we went along. A basic 4 patch with alternating fussy cut patches of either a Santa or Snowman print. She is using a Christmas Tree stripe as a sashing between rows. I think it will be kind of cute when finished.

I know I could have made it much faster, but I really want her to feel the excitement of watching your hand work become an actual quilt. I can honestly say it has worked! She has been bitten by the quilting bug! She has done all the fussy cutting without me being there and has sent me another picture of the 'quilt' with the 4-patch and fussy cut patches laid out together with the sashing in between.

So, why am I using Amanda as my excuse to not get any of my own quilting done for the holidays? Well, it seems like a reasonable excuse to me! Seriously, my quilting/sewing time is severely limited, and each time I have planned on getting something done, someone has needed me to be something else for them, something like wife or mother or teacher or grandma!

Don't get me wrong, I am NOT complaining. I find it very exciting that Amanda is getting interested in quilting, and I love being needed by my family. I just feel I need to justify not having anything new to post on here!

Keep Quilting!


Tuesday, October 14, 2008

What a Weekend!

I am so glad this past weekend is finally over and things are back to normal!

On Friday I did not have Alyssa, so we got the kids a new movie and I went up to the studio to quilt. I finished Kaylin Marie Alley's quilt (my nephew's soon to be born daughter) and started to work on some of the Christmas stockings. I finished one and the quilting looked good from the front, but the back looked like a bird nest.

OK, so back to the machine to de-thread the bobbin area (what a mess!) and work on the tension a bit. I put a practice sandwich (two pieces of fabric and some batting in between) on to see if the stitch was right and poof! The machine locked up! After spending a few minutes trying to get every last piece of thread out, I decided to turn off the lights and go back downstairs.

Saturday I spent about 4 hours trying to get the bobbin area cleaned. I thought if I was able to get all the last bits and pieces of thread out it would work again...or at least that is what I hoped! I used canned air, WD40 and sewing machine oil. Nothing was working. I finally soaked everything down in oil and tried to go online to see if there was any help for me.

I was able to get in touch with a few online 'friends' who basically had good news for me and thought I was on the right track. But still I was one scared little girl. (maybe not so little) Sunday, after church, we went to Walmart and bought a small pair of tweezers to help in getting out the small bits of fuzz that was still where it didn't belong, but I wasn't having any luck.

Monday morning, I called KenQuilt, and after a brief discussion, discovered all I had to do was to manhandle my machine to get it working again. They told me where would be the best place to use a screwdriver for leverage to get it moving and how to best go about it. Rex was out at the range, so I decided I would have him work on it when he got back around lunch.

Because I can never leave anything alone once my mind is set to do something, I decided to make sure every oiling spot on my machine was oiled...with 3 times the amount that would normally be used. I got my small screwdriver I use on my machine and actually got it to budge ...just a bit. That was enough to keep me going , so I found the largest screwdriver we had in the house and went to work.

It only took me a few tries to get it moving. The right leverage in the right place made all the difference in the world! I let it run a few minutes to get the oil everyplace it should I just have to clean up all the oily mess!

What a weekend!!

Wednesday, October 1, 2008


It has been a while since I have much has happened!

First, I finished my second QOV quilt. It turned out a lot better than I thought it would. It was specifically for the Navy, so I used a 'wave-y thing' for the majority of it and did pebbles (or IS for Navy after all!) on the solid blue background. I was really surprised at how much control I had gained by the time I finished the quilt. I guess the old adage of 'practice, practice, practice' is REALLY true after all!

I'm still working on the Christmas stockings for my family, and they are really turning out better than I thought they would. And I made a table runner for Tasha in fall colors and it is so much better than I thought it would be! I am really proud of they way it looks! Now I have to get some more brown to finish up some to sell...

We did get the wood floors finished and now we are working on the tile for the kitchen. Shawn moved all the appliances out and tiled the main portion of the kitchen a week or so ago. Now that that part is put back together I have to say i LOVE the way it looks! Now he is working on the breakfast room and then he will finish up the laundry room. Right now it looks like we might have enough tile left to do the kids bathroom, but that will probably wait until after the holidays. It is really looking great, and I am starting to love my house again!

Alyssa is getting cuter every day. Her little personality is getting stronger and stronger. She has already shown that she is not going to be a weak person and has her own definite ideas about how things should be! One of those things is her walking...or lack there of. She turned 13 months a week ago and she still would not walk. It wasn't that she could not it was that she would not! I think she knew that everyone was a little anxious because of the surgeries and the casting, so she chose to keep us in suspense. Whenever you try to stand her up, she would just buckle her legs up and smile. She definitely was cruising around the furniture, and she could stand up in the middle of the floor whenever she wanted. It wasn't a matter of balance or ability, it was a matter of not wanting to.

Well, last night she decided to put us out of our misery and walked! Momma got a video of it and will be posting it to her blog. When she does, I'll add a link to it here!

Damien had his seventh birthday last week... while we know that was a momentous event, there was a time that we could not even dream of him having another birthday, we really didn't have a big celebration. Just a family dinner at his favorite Chinese restaurant, came back to our house for cake and ice cream and a few gifts.

The weather is finally starting to feel like fall around here, at least for the next week. We are going today to look for the kids' Halloween costumes and to pick out pumpkins. They are really excited!

I promise to try and post not so many tidbits and more often!