Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Move Along (WiPocalypse #8)

Move along, there's nothing (much) to see here.  Stitching went by the wayside this month as during the first half I was preparing to move my son and during the second half I was racing around getting ready to go back to work.  Some of that was fun as it included lunch with friends and a fabric shopping trip in Lancaster County.  And then there was the part that was actual work--interviewing for a new therapist in our department, attending a conference on billing and doing an evaluation.  My district has four days of teacher inservice this week and the kids start on Tuesday.  I'm already bringing work home in an effort to keep up!  Funny thing is, though, that I find I actually stitch more when I'm on a schedule.  Hopefully, I'll have more to show in September, but for now, this is all you get.

Some progress on Quaker Christmas

I picked up Elizabeth Rush again on my birthday.  Those over-one letters have been stitched, frogged and re-stitched because I didn't pay attention to the thread color.  Ditto for the vine band under the letters. 

The basketweave fo the background is completed thank to several long car trips.  This has now become my "strand a day" project until I complete the stitching on the shell.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Rehab is Working!

Here's Block #3 in the Fat Quarter Shop's 2009 Designer Mystery.  I tell you, I have totally amazed myself with being able to piece these blocks.  I think this is the most complicated block I have done to date.  Only some minor re-sewing was involved this time as I had to switch the "wings" on the top and bottom flying geese.  That's because I took this block to piece at my guild's UFO workshop on Saturday and didn't pay attention to the directions.  I did have lots of fun talking to friends on either side of me which is also why it took me nearly half the day to get this block done. 

And speaking of those "amazing" piecing skills--well, not so much with my Thimbleberries block of the month.  The top went together like a dream.  So did the first strip of half square triangles for the border.  The second strip of triangles needed some adjustments in the seam to make it fit, but that was really no big deal.  I got the top and bottom borders on and then looked more carefully when I started to put the side borders together.  Do you notice that strip of green in the middle of the border?  It was supposed to be cut 4.5 inches wide, not 2.5 inches.  OK, nothing to panic about as the quilt shop put a genorous amount of fabric in the kit.  After some time with my seam ripper, I re-sewed the border and found that I had attached those half square triangles upside down.  So there was yet another opportunity to use the seam ripper.  I finally got both the top and bottom borders reattached and put on one of the side borders.  Which took forever because I am now paranoid about it not fitting correctly and about the orientation of the triangles so I was obsessively pinning, checking and re-pinning.  All the while, I was muttering to myself about how I could have just put a plain border on.  The reason I didn't do that was because I wanted to improve my skills.  I think they're improved alright, especially the skill of using the seam ripper. 

So by now, I'm completely out of love with this quilt and tempted to stash it away until it becomes a vintage UFO.  But all it needs is one side border (only 66 more half square triangles!) and another plain border and then it will be ready for the quilter.  My plan is to devote one hour a day to this top until it's finished.  I have one week left before I start back to work and unless there is a significant amount of re-sewing, I should be able to show you  next week that BOM Rehab has been successful.

Monday, August 13, 2012

BOM Rehab

I completed Block 2 in the Fat Quarter Shop 2009 Mystery BOM.  I love the colors!  I'm getting better at doing the layout correctly the first time, but there was still some re-sewing involved in this block.  Still, these are fun and I'm looking forward to the next one. 

The last three weeks have been hectic here as my son got accepted into graduate school on his birthday (exactly three weeks ago) and started his graduate assistantship today.  My husband and I accompanied him on the 21 hour drive to his new home near the Mississippi last week.  His Honda Civic was stuffed with an amazing number of his things.  I reminded my son more than once that I am a genius at packing and got rewarded with an eye roll each time.  Seriously, if there was an Olympic medal for packing, I would win gold hands down. Of course, there wasn't too much room in the back seat and for awhile, I doubted that I would ever be able to walk normally again after the trip.

I found myself wondering more than one time during this journey how we ever functioned without the internet.  My son was able to order furniture and set up a new bank account online.  I used the 'net to scout apartments before our first visit last week and to find  a place to stay in Tennessee on the first night of this trip. We used my phone's GPS countless times to navigate our way around a new city.  My husband and I had some fun remembering the "old days" of how we found our first apartment and learned to negotiate our way around without the benefit of technology.  Again, the eye roll from our son.
It was hard to leave yesterday, but we feel we left our son in good hands.  During both visits, we experienced plenty of Southern hospitality and everyone at the university was very helpful in getting our son settled.  The two days we spent setting up the apartment were busy and we didn't get to do any sightseeing this trip, or visit the needlework and quilt shops. We're planning a return visit during the winter as the current 95 degree weather with about 96% humidity made it tough to enjoy being outside. We did get plenty of great seafood and bread pudding, one of my favorite desserts.   We also returned with some new purple and gold clothing with the university's logo and a new football team to cheer for (Go Tigers!).    And there was a new quilt kit with purple and gold fabric and a tiger paw design waiting for me in the mail held during our absence.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

A Day Late

Here's my BOM Rehab for this week, a day late.  This is from the Fat Quarter Shop's 2009 Designer Mystery Block of the Month.  I think I bought this in 2010 as I received all of the blocks at once.  I was pretty new to quilting in 2009-10 so I didn't tackle this one right away.  My piecing skills have improved and I felt ready for the challenge.  Just wish my layout skills had also improved so I wouldn't have had to rip out half-square triangles that were turned the wrong way  (not just one of them, either).

I was definitely in a "Christmas in July" frame of mind last month as, at home,  I worked exclusively on Quaker Christmas, bought fabric for another Christmas quilt and pulled this out of my stash.  I also made a baby quilt for a little girl who will make her appearance in September and took that to the quilter.  The five-hour drive up to Newport, Rhode Island at the end of July turned into an eight-hour drive and I nearly finished the background on the Sanibel canvas. 

Last week, my son and I flew to visit the graduate school where he will begin a research assistantship on Monday.  While he met with the professors, I scouted apartments.  We found one near the campus and he signed the lease.  Since then, life has been a whirlwind of organizing, packing, and hosting "send-off" parties for his friends and our family.  Today we load the car for the (approximately) 21 hour drive and ship any boxes that don't fit.  It probably goes without saying that not much needlework or quilting is being accomplished right now.  That's OK as I'm very happy my son got this position.  It seems like a good fit for his career goals and we'll get a chance to explore a new part of the country during the next two or three years.  I'll try to post a picture or two when we return.

A clarification:  The woman in the picture on the post "It's an Epidemic" is not me!  It's not my stash either.  (I have a lot, but not nearly that much--I've only been quilting about four years).  The image is one I found on-line and it captured how I felt about my sewing room at the moment.