Monday, December 30, 2013

Design Wall Monday 12-30-13

How can we be so close to saying good bye to 2013?  It was only 109 posts ago that we welcomed it.  Sigh.  Not much quilting going on this past week but yesterday I started back in the studio with the goal of finishing one more quilt before the end of the month. 
This is what I am trying to finish before midnight tomorrow!  I still need to actually sew those mitered corners.  I have Susan Cleveland's book, Marvelous Miters.  It is my go to book for how to miter corners quickly and easily.  Except, it took forever to make the borders for this one, or so it seemed. Today I'll sew the corners. Piece the backing and get it loaded on Ruthie.  Then if I still am motivated, I'll start quilting it.  It will get an all over design that has lots of curves on it. 

Here are the finished ornaments I made for the girls.  I learned as I finished each one.  May need to rethink how long a hanger I need for future ornaments. 
My kids know me so well.  They gave me quilt books for Christmas.  I requested the log cabin one.  Wow!  I want to make several of the ones in it. Argh, it will take me forever to do any from there but I really like the look.  I'm hoping to do the one Aimee picked out sometime.  I really need to finish a few UFO's before I start anything new. Jenny hit the nail on the head with In the Studio.  I always need new ideas for what to quilt on my quilts.  I've taken a Craftsy class with Angela Walters so this will reinforce that and add to it. Fun!  

I did remarkably well on my goals this past week.  Perhaps because it was stuff I absolutely had to do! 

Week of December 23, 2013
Clean house
Make whatever food can be done in advance
Finish T Shirts
Finish secret project
Do final prep for anything needing to be done by Christmas
Sing Christmas Eve service
Enjoy time with all the kids here!
Visit Ginter Gardens
Make borders for red, white and blue X block quilt
Sew backing for X block quilt oops, not yet!

And, for the last few days of the year I'm not quite as focused except on the X Block quilt.

Week of December 30, 2013
Sew backing for X block quilt
Load and quilt X Block quilt
Bind X Block quilt
Clean and put away stuff in the studio
Try my new Sizzix cutter
Make FCQEquilter blocks
Get back to working on A Tisket, A Tasket
Finish baby quilt
Set up new Mac Power Book YIPPEE!

I've been a modern grammy long before selfie became a word!  I've been taking selfies with the grands since the first grand.  And here we are Grammy and Ellie.  I'm not so thriled with the wrinkles on Grammy's face but I do like this picture of us.  Hum, maybe this should be printed and framed. 

Time to get up to the studio.  Please take some time this week to visit Patchwork Times to see what folks are up to in their studios. 

Happy Quilting All! 

Monday, December 23, 2013

Design Wall Monday 12-23-2013

I'm now officially in the Christmas rush.  Yes, I've got too much to do and too little time to do it.  Somethings are going to sink by the wayside instead of being done.  I suspect it will be multiple cookies to share with the family.  They probably won't miss them. Are you going to take time to visit Patchwork Times to view design walls across the internet?  I'm going to try to when I need a break from the work. 

Nothing to share on the design wall but several projects either done or well in progress. These pillowcases were finished.  I should have made pillow shams but I really don't like to make them.  These were fast and easy.  Hum, I may need to do different ones for next Christmas -- ones with more of a gold and white look to them.  these could go to one of the other beds.  But, they are done! 

Next up one of my many little projects in process. 

Finally, I saw this beautiful cardinal in the cherry tree yesterday.  He preened quite a bit and let me take lots of pictures of him.  The bird feeder/coffee cup and saucer was made at Jennie's house in November.  It works quite well for bird seed.  With this crazy warm weather we are having the cherry tree is blooming, again.  I doubt we'll have many blooms by the time it is spring.

I did amazingly well on my goals this week.  Hum, maybe having a little time pressure would be helpful in the future! 

Week of December 16, 2013
Keep working on placemats (4 to go)√ all done!
Make 2 pillow cases for Christmas Quilt√ done
Keep on the knitting projects
Work on secret project
Christmas Shopping, wrapping, etc.√ still need to wrap a few more
Figure out embroidery designs for little t shirts√ one left to do
Write and send Christmas Cards√ 2/3rds sent, need more cards, bummer! 

Week of December 23, 2013
Clean house
Make whatever food can be done in advance
Finish T Shirts
Finish secret project
Do final prep for anything needing to be done by Christmas
Sing Christmas Eve service
Enjoy time with all the kids here!
Visit Ginter Gardens
Make borders for red, white and blue X block quilt
Sew backing for X block quilt

It's a long to do list but I'm counting on getting most everything done on it.  I really want to get one more of my quilts done before the end of the year.  Yea,  you know it is because I want to finish the year using more fabric than purchasing.  We'll see whether it is the X block quilt or the shaded 9 patch.  They are both awaiting borders and I have backing for both.  We'll see if I hit the studio after the family heads home on Saturday. 

A quick additional thought -- I have tried to use my search feature and have had absolutely no luck.  I plan on removing it and resetting it to see if I can get it to work.  I would be happy if someone else could give it a try and verify that it doesn't work. It won't be happening right away but soon. Thanks. 

Happy Quilting All!  And wishing all my readers who celebrate Christmas a most joyous time. 

Friday, December 20, 2013

My Studio -- The Real Studio Tour Part 3

It's time!  I've given you glimpses of my studio since the photos of the guys knocking out the attic ceiling to the outside air.  Today, I'll give you an area by area tour of my studio.  But first this word of thanks.  Pat has always been supportive of my sewing, quilting, knitting, cross stitch, crocheting, basket making -- whatever my craft du jour has been. Very early on I had my own space in which to create.  However, I must say that this space takes the cake! It is light and roomy and I have space to grow my talent and/or interests.  So first, a big shout out to Pat: 
THANKS, Honey! 

And, now a comment on nomenclature.  You know, what you call your space.  Years ago I started calling it my studio. It has always been more than a sewing room to me.  And, now more than ever, it is a wonderful room to retreat to and enjoy being in a special space with all sorts of material close at hand. 

Probably one of the things that Pat and I both really like is the couch. I sit on it when I need a 5 minute break.  Or, when I want to look through books or magazines.  Or, even to do handwork as I have several good lights near.  Pat lounges on it when he keeps me company.  Sometimes he brings me lunch upstairs and we eat on it.  You get the picture -- a great place to relax and enjoy each other and my space. 

Let's start after you walk down the hallway into the studio.  Fair warning!  This is a picture intensive post. Here are my three sewing stations.  My Bernina, a really old serger and my little Featherweight are always set up and ready to sew. 
Long view of the left side.
Let's look at these set ups. I am a messy sewer although this is much neater than previous sewing areas. Bubbles, the Bernina is under the white cover. (Yes, I know I need to do something about that dust cover but ... later!) 

And, these drawers have given me a much more usable storage area next to this space. I love that the bottom two shelves are drawers. Bottom drawer holds my collections of half triangle squares, squares and big strips in shoe boxes. The middle drawer holds various other machine items.  The rolly cart with drawers hold the 2 1/2", 2", 1 1/2" and 1" strips. 

Next up is the two other sewing stations. The first one holds the old serger. The second one has the Featherweight. We've just moved that lamp up and it desperately needs the correct shade.  There is a great view out of my windows of our backyard,neighbors' houses and then on into a row of trees.  My huge design wall is next.  You can really see just how big this section of it is as those are 6" blocks.  I can't wait to have the time to go back up and just sew away!
Let's get a look from this side off to the right side of the room. Remember my ironing station from last week? Yes, there is a little design wall behind the ironing station. The door goes into what is left of the attic. 
Here's my desk, printer and bookshelves.  They need to be better organized but I'd much prefer to sew and quilt! And, I love my big letters.  I probably should have had Pat put them just a tad lower on the wall.  I used Mod Podge and scrapbook paper to cover them. 

Next up is the long arm, Ruthie.  On the far wall are more bookcases holding some things for the long arm and other "stuff." Once we started moving things into the studio I really had wanted to start sewing and quilting again so this side  got short changed.  I still have boxes and bags that need to be dealt with.  (SHARON -- help!  Maybe you can get me motivated to take care of a little of this stuff!!) 

You can see the couch against the far wall.  Next to it is an air controlled closet for storage.  My main concern was having space to store all of my quilts.  The summer heat in the attic is awful and of course winter isn't great either.  So here's a peak inside the closet. And, yes, I do store out of season clothes in there too. There are shelves to the left also. Quilt tops get hung in here also. 

Next up is my cutting table. This is the only part of the room I cleaned up a bit.  (Mostly because we are going to wrap presents up here and I needed the space to do that!) I have two cutting areas, this side and the other side which you can hardly tell what it is.
Here's what is stored under the cutting table.  On the right side I've got batting stored.  The left side is for project storage.  (Well, a lot more but those are easily identified.)

We're are coming to the end of the tour of my studio. When you enter my studio space you walk down a long hallway.  I have made it a small quilt gallery on one side. (Click on the colored words to go to the post about the gallery.)  On the other side is more storage, specifically my fabric storage and quilting books. 

I truly love my studio now and I am trying very hard to keep it neat.  Keeping it clean is easier as a couple of times a week I vacuum or dust mop the space since it does get pretty dusty.  It is so much easier to put things away now that I really do have lots of places to store things!  

I hope you have enjoyed my studio tour.  One of the nicest things about having all this space is being able to invite friends to come sew with me. So far, I've had several different groups of friends come over to sew or craft with me.  I'm looking forward to Sharon coming again along with some other Maryland friends for an "in house" retreat. 

Don't forget to visit Field Trips in Fiber to be able to visit more studios. It's live now so take a peek at other studios across the internet.  

Happy Quilting All! 

Monday, December 16, 2013

Design Wall Monday 12-16-2013

Hum, did I get anything quilty done this past week??

Well, yes, I finished quilting and binding a charity baby quilt.  But, oops, no pictures.  I do have fabric ready to make my pillowcases.  On the holiday front, we got our Christmas tree up and decorated.  The dogs tried hard to undecorate it on Sunday.  Bad dogs!!

This is the little ornament I made last week with the neighborhood gals.  I should make a few more -- it's a wonderful way to use up bits of fabric. 
Here are few additional pictures showing making one and finished projects. 

 Here's where I hung mine -- over the kitchen sink. 
And, wow!  This is one Diana made using basket reed and much bigger.  Hum, I want to make one of these too.  I have left over reed from when I made baskets.... maybe in the spring, so we can work on it outside. 

Did I do any better on my goals list? Well, yes but it wasn't perfect! 

Week of December 9, 2013

 Finish and mail a secret project
Keep working on placemats (4 to go)
Make 2 pillow cases for Christmas Quilt washed, ironed and ready to cut out…
Keep on the knitting projects
Start another secret project
Embroider sweatshirt for ME! Decided against it…
Make ornaments with Diana and gals
Sing at the Advent Lessons and Carols

Week of December 16, 2013
Keep working on placemats (4 to go)
Make 2 pillow cases for Christmas Quilt
Keep on the knitting projects
Work on secret project
Christmas Shopping, wrapping, etc.
Figure out embroidery designs for little t shirts
Write and send Christmas Cards

Have a great week.  Spend some time checking out design walls across the internet by visiting Patchwork Times.

Happy Quilting All! 

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Hot Stuff!

Nothing like a hook to draw the readers in, or at least that was what I was taught in my journalism classes years ago.  

Today's hot stuff is the new ironing station Pat made me a few months ago.  When we moved me into the new studio, with hard wood floors instead of carpeting, we found out my incredibly old (35+ year) ironing board was scratching the floors.  So Pat came up with an ironing station/cart. 

He put it on wheels which he purchased from Ikea. These come as pairs and have a locking mechanism.  So cool.  When I need to move it, I just flip the lock up with toe, move it, make sure the locks are in the front and flip it back down to lock it. The hardest part is making sure the locks are facing front.  

He used white laminate because much of the furniture in the studio is laminate. He sized it to fit my big board. And then he added shelving so I could get rid of a little table that sat next to it (and collected dust!)  

So far I've stashed my collection of spray adhesives, glues, starch and water bottles under there.  I need to think about what I really want to store there in addition as I have some more room.  Pat backed it with a piece of wood he already had to keep the stuff from falling off the back.  

This is such a great addition to the studio.  Although I haven't had a reason to move it more than away from the wall, it is so easy to do.  My collection of ironing "stuff" moves with it.  Wonderful. 

I've looked at a lot of pictures of studios on the internet and on Pinterest.  In fact, I got a lot of ideas from there.  One thing I've noticed about a lot of the pictures is they have white laminate furniture and very neat, color coordinated accessories or things stashed in the furniture.  Mine will NEVER look like that.  I am all for functionality.  Thus you see what I use around my ironing station -- starch in various forms, scissors, a little thread catcher, a sheet of something that I can iron with adhesives so they won't get on my board, a pin cushion... you get my drift.  

Vicki W is into her second week of 

The REAL Studio Tour - Week 2 - Storage Solutions so I will be linking up with her.   I've already decided I like her idea and will have DH look into doing that for me.  Why didn't I see this was happening?  I guess I am very behind in reading blogs.  Bummer.  (added 12/13/13) 

I haven't had a whole lot of time in the studio lately.  I hope to spend a good part of today there so I can get some things done.  I've got a baby quilt to finish quilting so I can give it back at the guild meeting on Sat. I still have a bunch of placemats to finish in time for Christmas. I want to make 2 pillowcases for our bed.  I guess I'd better take a look at my weekly goals to make sure I work on what I really want to get done! 

Happy Quilting All! 

Monday, December 9, 2013

Design Wall Monday 12-9-2013

Here's what's on (or was on) the walls: 
Jenny's Row By Row was delivered last week but I thought I would share the whole thing.   You can see a little of quilting if you click on the picture. 
This mug rug is almost done!  I couldn't find dark buttons for the eyes.  It's a very big mug rug or it might be considered a mini-quilt, your choice! 

From previous week's goal list -- I got all the rows of this X-Block quilt put together. 

Here's a closeup of the possible border for this quilt.  Last week I ordered some things from Connecting Threads so I decided to add a backing fabric for this.  I was going to order border fabric too but then I thought about using strips of red, white and blue to make a border.  What do you think?  I'm pretty sure the backing is going to be a dark blue....who can remember after I've been doing so many other things?  

I do know I plan to mitre the borders. I'm not sure whether I'll have enough of the blue stars to bind it but I have enough of the red fab for binding. 

I didn't do as well on the goals list because it took nearly 3 full days of quilting to finish the row by row. (Or at least as full day of quilting as I could stand!) 

Week of December 2, 2013
Finish quilting Jenny’s quilt
Finish and mail a secret project Almost done mailing tomorrow
Keep working on placemats (4 to go) nope
Make 2 pillow cases for Christmas Quilt nada
Keep up on the knitting projects√ one is closing in on a finish
Visit Mt Vernon bad timing… didn’t make it
Visit with Sophie, Natalie, Jenny and Brian√ great time!
Sing at the Advent Lessons and Carols Nope, it got iced out.

Week of December 9, 2013

Finish and mail a secret project
Keep working on placemats (4 to go)
Make 2 pillow cases for Christmas Quilt
Keep on the knitting projects
Start another secret project
Embroider sweatshirt for ME!
Make ornaments with Diana and gals
Sing at the Advent Lessons and Carols

That's it for today.  I'm off to make some ornaments with Diana, Jennie and Mickey.  Oops, no, it isn't it!  Don't forget to visit Patchwork Times to start your visit to design walls across the internet. 

Happy Quilting All! 

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Triangle Thursday #27

Old Maid’s Rambler
This design is number 3159 in Barbara Brackman’s Encyclopedia of Pieced Quilt Patterns. It is attributed to Orange Judd Farmer in 1903.  Orange Judd Farmer was the western edition of the American Agriculturalist and published quilt patterns on the women's pages.  You can find a printer ready copy here

Cutting directions are for 6”
Number to cut
1 dark
1 light
Cut 5 3/8square.  Cut in half diagonally.
2 light
2 dark
1 1/2” template.  Alternately cut 1 light and 1 dark square 2 3/8” cut in half diagonally.
1 light
1 dark
1 ½” by 7 5/8”

First you need to cut triangles off the rectangle. Carefully fold the rectangle in half matching the ends equally.  Line up your 45ยบ degree line along the bottom of the rectangle.  Trim off the excess triangle on both the light and dark rectangles.

Next, sew the triangles on the end of the rectangles. Notice about a quarter inch overhangs the rectangles.  Stitch one to each side of the rectangle. Repeat with the dark rectangle and light triangles.  
Press the seams to the dark.

Now it’s time to attach this unit to the larger triangle.
Fold both the large triangle and the rectangle units in half.  Match the centers carefully and pin the ends and the center. Notice the little corners sticking out?  Don’t forget to have them peaking out on yours.  Stitch with the typical ¼” seam.

Press to the dark side. Repeat with the other side.

Pin the two sides together. Again, fold the two units in half and match the centers up.  Make sure to pin where the triangles meet to make the half triangle squares. Sew with a ¼” seam. 

Look for the last Triangle Thursday in two weeks, on Dec. 19th.  
Happy Quilting!