Friday, September 16, 2011

Friday Finish

I'm introducing what I hope will be a fairly regular feature of this blog, the Friday Finish.

Here's a recent quilting finish, a project for my "Scrap Club" class.  We focused on applique for a few months and used a book that had lovely patterns for "toppers" for quilts and banners.  For once, I decided to start much smaller and made a placemat.  All the pieces were done with double-sided fusible interfacing even though we were encouragd to do at least one piece with freezer paper.  I felt it was better to stick with one method at a time!  I used my machine to stitch a blanket stitch around all of the pieces except the "string" on the balloon (which is in kind of a weird position, but I can live with it).  The string is zig-zagged.  I drew some stars on the background to add extra quilting there.  I had hoped to finish this one in time for my husband's big birthday, but missed that deadline.  I also missed my birthday.  Looks like me daughter will be the one to usher in our new tradition of using a birthday placemat.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Lightening Up

When it rains heavily, we get some water in our basement.  Not a lot, fortunately.  It seems to come from the foundation in a corner of the laundry room and follows a predictable path along the ironing board and under my cutting table to puddle at the side of the refrigerator.  I've learned to keep my stash of fabrics and bags of projects in plastic tubs to keep everything safe.  When heavier rains are predicted as in Hurricane Irene and Tropical Storm Lee, I take the extra precaution of moving everything out of the path of the water stream.  During the past two storms it became abundantly clear to me that I have More. Than. Enough. fabric and many quilting projects in the works. 

Having so many WIPs weighs me down at times and I decided it was time to finish up one or two of them.  Here's  the first one.  This table runner was a kit I bought at a quilt show when they were still being held in Fort Washington, PA.  Ten years ago, maybe?  At the time, I wasn't a quilter, but I had a sewing machine and this looked simple enough so I made a start on it.  I didn't know anything about rotary cutting and quilting rulers so let's just say my 3.5" squares were cut a little less than accurately.  I had only had one nine patch done so I took that apart and re-cut all my squares to 3" and adjusted the width of the borders.  The quilting is stitch in the ditch and some X's across the squares.  I had another chance to practice binding and find that it is getting easier.  I'm happy to have it done and to have the WIP load a little lighter.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Friday Night Sew-In

We're not even through this weekend yet and I'm already planning for the next one.  Good things are coming up--the Pennsylvania National Quilt Show in Oaks, watching my son run cross-country during his university's homecoming weekend, and spending some time stitching while Miami plays Ohio State.  I haven't even mentioned the Friday Night Sew-In.  You can sign up here and join the fun.

Measi sent a correction to my last post about WIPocalypse.  She's going to accept sign-ups through the first few months of 2012, so start thinking about which WIPs you'll finish next year.

I promise the next post will contain actual pictures of my projects!

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Wish I'd Thought of This

Measi is hosting WIPocalypse in 2012.   I'm in on this and you can be too if you go to her blog and sign up by September 30.  It sounds like a lot of a fun and a great way to finish up some of those UFOs.

Monday, September 5, 2011

My Work-in-Progress

I've been working on Grace Mason (Of Female Worth) for the last couple of weeks.  Grace has been a WIP for quite some time.  I remember that it was the first piece I picked up after my mother's funeral four years ago and that turned out to be so appropriate.  There will be a verse from the "virtuous woman" section of Proverbs centered on the lower half of the sampler.  That passage was the one the minister used as the basis for his sermon at Mom's funeral.  I also remember stitching some of the border as I sat with my then 90-year old aunt three years ago and listened as she wrestled with having to give up her apartment and her independence and move into assisted living. I was originally attracted to the sampler because of the colors and because of the Scottish style (my husband's family was originally from Scotland).

I think now it's time to finish this one and I've been enjoying it.  It has a variety of stitches including four-sided, double running, a few Smyrnas and lots of over one.  I've been trying to outline areas and do the fill-in if I'm tired.  Tonight I'm planning to stitch more of the border when I watch the Univeristy of Miami Hurricanes defeat Maryland.  I hope all of you in the US are also enjoying your Labor Day holiday.

Friday, September 2, 2011

Time Flies

I was pretty surprised to see that I haven't posted for almost two weeks. In the interim between the last post and this one, I've packed up and sent two children off to college, weathered an earthquake and a hurricane, and returned to work. Luckily, I didn't even feel the earthquake and we were only minimally affected by Hurricane Irene as it blew up the eastern seaboard. Both college moves went off without a hitch except for forgetting a cable for my son's new TV and having to make a quick run to Target. Returning to work was my least favorite of all these events, but not nearly as much of a shock to my system as I thought it would be. I've managed to leave behind my leisurely mornings and make it out the door around 7:30. Once the students get back next week I'm sure I'll enjoy it more, but right now, it's really boring sitting through endless rounds of meetings (some of which I conducted myself!) and hauling out the classroom materials from cupboards.
I've managed quite a bit of stitching in the last two weeks. Here's my finished "Home is Where My Heart Blooms" (Blackbird Designs). It's done on a 30ct R&R fabric, with the called for threads, I think. Not too sure about whether I started the house in the called for Shaker White from Sampler Threads or not. I ran out of thread about 2/3 of the way through (the directions do state that 2 skeins are needed, but who reads directions). I tried matching the current dye-lot of Shaker White to what I was using and found it was a lot grayer. The thread I was using was very close to GAST Straw Bonnet which is more yellow, and that's what I finished the house with. Had lots of trouble with that border because I can't count. Anyway, all's well that ends well and this will be framed shortly.
Thanks for all your comments on my last post about the problem I had with an on-line shop. I thought about it some more and have decided to e-mail the owner to let her know about the situation. Will keep you posted on what happens. And thank you for the suggestions of shops that do treat their customers well.
I see that I have several new followers. Glad to have you here!