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Posts Tagged ‘fabric’

I have not done a very good job of blogging lately.  My beautiful daughter got married the end of September and I didn’t blog one.single.word about it although there were plenty of words in my head that day.

I have been working on their wedding quilt for the past several months although I didn’t get it finished in time to present it as a wedding gift ;o(  That makes me sad.  I DID get the last border on it today.

I’ve cleaned up all the loose threads, the backing is purchased, washed/dried/ironed and I’m taking it to the longarm quilter on Thursday.  I’ll be getting the binding ready while it’s away.

Thanks for stopping by…

;o)

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It’s all about “the quilt” right now, in my spare time, at least.  On my days off last weekend…it rained!  Big surprise for those that know me.  I have rotten luck when it comes to good weather on my days off.  That’s another story for another day.  Today’s story is about quilting.  Well, to be more precise, it’s about cutting big pieces of fabric into small pieces of fabric so that it can be sewed into big pieces again.  That’s what quilters know.  Here are some photos to give you an idea what I’m talkin’ about.

First I start with six rectangles .  These colors are not true but you will notice the fabric alternates light and dark.

Next, I stack them one on top of the other and draw the pattern that I will be cutting.  You have to look closely to see where I have drawn chalk lines.

Once I have drawn the lines, I pin a number to each piece.  This allows me to sew them back together in the right order.  I didn’t number the two pieces in the middle because they will be shuffled once the fabrics are cut.

Next, I cut along the lines.  Remember, there are six pieces of fabric stacked together.

Now that the pieces are cut, I shuffle the top fabric of the two middle pieces to the bottom of the stack.  Can you see what has appeared?


Ta Da!  A heart magically appears.  Then I sew each rectangle back together and every seam is a C.U.R.V.E!  I use lots of pins and I don’t sew quickly soooooo, it takes me about 45 minutes for each one and there are 36 of them.  Each set of six produces a different heart because I drew the template differently each time.

Good thing etiquette allows a year after the wedding to present a gift.

The photos are a little blurry because I cropped them to bring them closer.  I’m a quilter, not a photographer.

Thanks for stopping by…
;o)

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It’s been nearly a year since I posted to this blog ;o(  I got busy.  After returning from Florida last spring, I started working for the Animal Welfare Society in W. Kennebunk as the volunteer coordinator.  In addition, we adopted a dog from the shelter, on top of fostering several cats, kittens, dogs and puppies.  My daughter commented that I had an “insanely busy for being retired schedule”. Consequently, I didn’t do any sewing, didn’t visit any fabric/quilt shops, didn’t even unpack one of the boxes of sewing materials that I transported back and forth to Florida.

That’s about to change!  In August, my daughter was engaged to her longtime boyfriend and set the wedding date for September, 2011.  I promised her a quilt as a wedding gift.  No problem, I have a year.  Yeah, well, now I have less than six months and she finally selected a pattern.  Technically, she did that in February when she came to visit but I haven’t made much forward progress.   I managed to purchase two fabrics at a quilt show but there are a gazillion different fabrics that I need and there are a million gazillion cuts that need to be made before I can start sewing.  Holy Crap, I need to get going.  On top of that, I return to work on the 13th!

This is the pattern she selected…

Joker's Wild

This pattern is from the book “Stack a New Deck” by Karla Alexander.

These are the first two fabrics

It’s a start, right?

Wish me luck!

Thanks for stopping by…

;o)

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Okay, I’m a little too old to be called a girl, after all…I’m retired!!!

We are having a good time in Florida getting lots of exercise, shopping, exploring, shopping, relaxing and so on.  After visiting Gasparilla Island we spent a day on Manasota Key and checked out Stump Pass Beach State Park.  Although it was a nice day and we enjoyed ourselves, we didn’t like it as much as Gasparilla.

Stump Pass Beach

We spent an afternoon on Venice Beach, which we visited a few years ago and really enjoyed.

Venice Beach

If you want to go shelling, you don’t have to go very far.

Shelling on Venice Beach

We were walking along the jetty at Casey’s Pass and met Judy and Cubby Brown from Ellsworth, Maine.  We met them because Judy and I were wearing the same Acadia t-shirt.  What are the chances? 

These are our two new, quite expensive, beach chairs.  I think they should have come with their own cabana boy serving drinks…

For Christmas Bill got me the “bright light” that attaches to my sewing machine.  He ordered it from Patsy Thompson.  She has a great site which I suggest you check out here.  It is full of beautiful photos for inspiration and a wonderful on-line store.  I had a little trouble with the light but she provided superior customer service and had me up and running in a flash.  If you don’t have one of the lights, I highly suggest you get one as quickly as possible.  The light it provides is outstanding!

"bright light"

I picked up this new fabric at Wal-mart today.  It isn’t the best quality but they are the perfect colors for some Valentine gift ideas that are running around in my head.  Hopefully I can get them out of my head and into the mail for Valentine’s Day.  Fat Chance!  I don’t work that fast but I’m gonna try; they are little gifts and shouldn’t take very long.

Valentine polka dots

Lastly, we are volunteering at the local animal shelter; the Animal Welfare League of Charlotte County.  We love dogs; however, our current lifestyle does not allow for one so we get our “fix” at the shelter.  Ever since my daughter adopted a pit bull puppy, we have fallen in love with the breed and do all that we can to promote the breed.  They are our favorite and one day we will have one of our own.

Ginger catching a nap

How could you not love that face?  If you are thinking of a new pet for your home, why not make a visit to your neighborhood animal shelter?  They are doing a world of good.

Thanks for stopping by…

;o)

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This pattern is New York Beauty and this is the center panel; perfect for this week’s prompt.

"Points" (prompt from 9.4.09)

"Points" (prompt from 9.4.09)

Thanks for stopping by…

;o)

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Another week at “Fun at Camp” has come and gone.  This year was a little different because Greg, Vanessa and Ella came and spent the entire week.  That meant a whole week enjoying my granddaughter.  She is getting so big and is walking, although tentatively.  She gets around so much faster crawling that I think she prefers speed over technique.

Fun at Camp 8.09 033

Bill, Wendy and I arrived late Friday afternoon about 30 minutes before a horrendous thunderstorm struck the area.  It was very scary.  Lightening was striking everywhere around us.  Wendy was a little panicky because we didn’t have cell service and she was afraid something would happen and we would have no way of telling anyone we needed help.  Thankfully, that wasn’t necessary.  Neither of us liked it very much but Bill didn’t seem too shaken by the whole thing.

For the most part, the weather was good all week.  We were able to spend some time on the beach every day, even though it clouded up in the afternoon early in the week.  We took advantage of a cloudy day on Sunday and went to play miniature golf.  Well, it was cloudy when we left but was pouring by the time we called it quits somewhere around the 8th hole.  Everyone was drenched but that didn’t stop us from getting ice cream on the way home.

We spent time doing what we always do at camp…reading, floating, eating, relaxing, listening to the Red Sox (that can be a real downer sometimes, though).

Fun at Camp 8.09 067

Fun at Camp 8.09 068

Speaking of mosquitoes.  We were warned that they were very numerous this summer.  That was a understatement!  They were awful.  Usually, when we sit around the campfire at night, there are a few mosquitoes.  However, this year they were swarming all day.  Even though it didn’t rain every afternoon when it got cloudy, we couldn’t go outside and just sit because we would be eaten alive.  The little kids are very tasty to the darn things…they were full of little red bites.  Ella got most of them on her face and Trevor got them around his ankles.  Even though we slathered them with all kinds of kid safe bug killer, they still got lots of bites.  Finally, by the end of the week and cooler temperatures, they subsided, which allowed us to sit by the lake and read.  The only good thing about them was the fact that they were small and slow.  If you spotted them landing on you they were easy to smack.

It was an entire week without internet, which felt a little strange.  Funny how quickly the computer, e-mail, Facebook, Google etc. have become a staple of our existence.

Needless to say, I haven’t gotten any sewing done lately.  After completing the hanging sleeve for the “Oriental Flower” I actually got a few inches sewn down.  I planned to work on it a little last night but by the time we spent about 10 hours, packing, cleaning, unpacking and putting away, I couldn’t keep my eyes open much past 9.  I had to return to work today so going to bed early was not a problem.

Bill and I traveled to North Conway one afternoon to pick up some staples at the grocery store.  We stopped at a great little quilt shop there.  Of course, we couldn’t leave without buying something.  Bill purchased a charm pack of Halloween fabrics so that I can make something to decorate Wendy’s apartment.

Spook Tacular charm park

I found some butterfly fabric which I have started to collect for a quilt for Vanessa.  It was on sale for $3.99/yd so I bought the end of the bolt, 2 3/4 yards, which I can use for the backing.  I also bought some bee fabric on sale to use for the backing of Wendy’s bee quilt, which I haven’t started but have all the fabric I need.

butterfly & bee fabrics

Now to make a decision on the pattern.  I want to make a scalloped edge which I have never done before and am thinking about some applique but that may mean that I don’t finish it for another several years.  That’s just too long.

I have 9 more shifts and 16 more days to work before retirement.  I’m getting excited.  I have an interview with Loews on Monday for a part-time position.  They are opening a new store in town so it would be perfect.  I’m crossing my fingers!

Thanks for stopping by…

;o)

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misc 022

Greg’s funky monkey quilt is done, completely done.  I finished the label tonight and got it sewed onto the back.  I don’t know exactly how long this has taken but it seems like…forever.  Seriously, why can’t I complete a quilty project faster?  Answer…I don’t sew often enough.

The quilt has been called Greg’s Funkey Monkey quilt but I changed it on the label.  It is now (drum roll, please) “For The Love of Monkeys”.  TaDa  It is kind of a play on “for the love of money” and I thought it sounded cute.  After all, it is his love of sock monkeys that created a need for this quilt.

"For The Love of Monkeys"

"For The Love of Monkeys"

pieced back

pieced back

Hanging from the line

Hanging from the line

Hopefully, we will travel down the beginning of next week and present it to him.  I’m giving Vanessa the “tote bag from hell” which she commented she really liked the last time they were here.  On top of that, I have several outfits for Ella that I want her to have before she outgrows them.

Only 3 weeks until we all go to camp.   That will prove to be interesting; hope it all goes well.

Only 43 days till retirement; that will prove to be interesting as well.

Thanks for stopping by…

;o)

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Ella Bella's Funky Monkeys

Ella Bella's Funky Monkeys

Just in the nick of time.  I completed Ella’s quilt around 1:00 in this afternoon.  Her birthday party is tomorrow so I was cutting it pretty close.  I have mentioned previously in this blog that her quilt was actually a companion quilt to the one I’m making for her dad.  He loves sock monkeys, which I just recently discovered, so I made him a quilt using sock monkey fabrics.  Her quilt was made using one of each of the monkey fabrics in her dad’s quilt, along with some black and whites that I had.  Unfortunately, her dad’s quilt is still at the LA quilters but since it was her birthday, I gave her the one made for her so I guess that will make her dad’s the companion quilt.  He doesn’t know that he is getting one so I couldn’t even till him the story.

The back of Ella's quilt

The back of Ella's quilt

Ella Bella's Funky Monkey label

Ella Bella's Funky Monkey label

quilting patterns completed on DSM

quilting patterns completed on DSM

I’m especially proud of this quilt as it was completely my design, inspired by Project Improv.  I traced the patterns onto some iron-on paper and did all of the quilting on my DSM.  The biggest problem is pulling out all of the paper once the quilting is completed; very time consuming! One of these days I will attempt the quilting completed freehand.  I just have to work up my courage and not worry about ruining anything.

This is the first quilt that has been my own creation but I made a small wallhanging years ago that was also my own design, made from some leftovers from one of my first wallhangings.

Leftovers Again

Leftovers Again

Thanks for stopping by…

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A few posts ago I showed the tote bag pattern I had purchased at a little quilt shop in NH.  My idea was to whip up a few of these and put them in my Etsy store, which it still empty.

tote-bag-pattern-309You may not be able to tell from the photo but it clearly states that the pattern is designed for the advanced beginner.  Well, I consider myself that and maybe a little more.  I think I could be considered an intermediate but this little tote is kicking my butt.  I decided to make one for myself as a prototype and to familiarize myself with the pattern and the way it goes together.  HA.  First of all, there are dozens of pieces to be cut which took me at least a couple of hours.  There is the pattern to be fused to the front; I added some decorative stitching.  There is the lining to make.  All that went together fairly easily but certainly wasn’t “whipped up” like I had in mind.

Then came the bottom of the bag.  The front and back were cut at 10 1/2″ and the side pockets were cut at 4 1/2″.  No problem.  However, the bottom was cut at 10 1/2″ x 3″.  It seems to me that I’m about 1″ short on each side considering that they are finished at 4″ after they are pieced to the front and back.  I even tried easing in the side to fit the bottom but with the interfacing the sides were too full and the whole thing looked like, well let’s just say, not very good.  I ripped the whole bottom off last night and have decided to cut another bottom and make it bigger.  That is the only solution I can come up with at this point.  There is no way I will be making a number of these to sell; way too much work unless I find a way to streamline the project.

Tote bag fabrics

Tote bag fabrics

Tote bag and lining with pockets, unfinished

Tote bag and lining with pockets, unfinished

I will admit that I’m happy with the way it is turning out but it won’t hold very much if I don’t get a bottom on it.

Thanks for stopping by…

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Selvage stash

Karen Griska at Selvage Blog has asked us to post photos of our selvage stashes.  Mine is very small compared to some of those that have been posted.  I think I have a long way to go before I have enough selvages to make something.  Someday…

selvage stash

selvage stash

Thanks for stopping by…

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