Sunday, September 25, 2011


I had a busy week, and got some things done!  Not like some of you overachievers, who manage to quilt four quilts, make seven tops, till the garden, do Fall cleaning -- no, I'm not a bit envious and I'm not trying to be snarky.  I'm just in awe of those who get so much done.  But the little bit I managed is happy for me :-)

I finished quilting a top for a friend who is making TWENTY quilts for a homeless shelter!  Now, she's one of those overachievers I mentioned.  I offered to quilt some, and so far have finished a grand total of TWO :-/  Oh well, here's the second one (back and front):

She sent me a low-loft batting, but it really puffed up to look like trapunto, so I didn't quilt anything in the green parts.

The tool apron!  This was what I'd call a prototype, which means I plan to make at least one more, right?  Well, if I do, there are a couple of things I'd tweak, but not much.  This may be just fine. It's loaded up with my Zune (the earbuds go through the back of the pocket and out through a hole in the top of the apron; here, they're draped around the strap), glasses, tweezers and seam ripper, tape measure, scissors (both large, in a pocket, and snips hooked onto the tab on top), etc.  That nasty looking bit on top is the piece of batting with threads I've snipped.

On Friday, a couple of us got together here for lunch and a bit of stitching. I'd wanted to try the "jelly roll races" quilt, which was enormously fun!!!  We gathered about 10 a.m., and finished around 2, with breaks for fixing lunch and eating.  So, I'd guess-timate it took me about 3 hours.  The first part took longest because I pressed seams open and snipped the triangles from the mitered joins.  This is a great project for a stitch-in, for making comfort quilts, or just mindless sewing!

I even started a new project!  I just stuck these on my design wall so I could take a picture.  It's going to have sashing between, and there will be more green and aqua boxes.  I think there will be 16, total.  Another fun pattern ("Flurry" by Kate Spain), very quick to put together.  I found some of her "falalalala" print that I may use for borders, but it's just green and red so might not go as well as I'd hoped.  We'll see.

And here's today's Annie sighting.  I had to put a new basket by my sewing machine -- the old one was too big and took up space on the sewing table.  This one fits perfectly on the top of the drawer section.  It looks too small for her, but believe me, she's been curled up small enough to fit into just half of that basket!  How convenient the designers of the basket left earholes so her hair wouldn't get that "bedhead" look :-D

Monday, September 19, 2011

Design Wall Monday 9/19

If you read blog on 8/29, I said I had settled on making a version of Cinco de Mayo.  I even pulled the fabrics for it.  Yeah, about that...  Instead of Cinco, I decided on Fiesta! by Possibilities.  Cinco is the same blocks throughout, just changing the fabrics.  With Fiesta!, there are six different blocks, and you make several versions of them.  I'm liking that idea a lot.  The picture shows each of the six, which makes an interesting variety.  So that's the direction I'm going.  At least, today :-)

While I was on blogging vacation (since the 29th!) I quilted a quilt for a friend, but since it was virtually the same as the last one, I didn't take a picture.  Simple meandering, which, of course, was perfect for fabric with a camo design!  

I have another comfort quilt loaded right now, but for some reason, the tension keeps getting quirky.  I've tried a few things, even called HQ (which has wonderful customer service -- the tech called me back within 10 minutes!) and it's better.  So I have to work on that this weekend.  There's another one just like it next in line, but I don't think I'll do as much quilting on it.  I'm doing a quilting pattern that Diane Gaudynski calls headbands, and it takes a long time!!  Hard to see, but the green parts look trapunto'd because I've stitched around the inside and outside of it.  Kinda cool!  

Annabella's favorite thing in the whole world is playing in quilts!  Not so much fun when the bed is completely made, with everything flat and smooth.  But when it's all bunched up from sleeping under, taking a nap, or, as here, undone to wash sheets,  Annie goes bonkers!  She gets her mousie and she leaps around, digs under, grabs for meese under the folds, and has lots of quilt to get a toe-hold in order to zoom around on the bed!!  She's so silly.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Apron for Quilting Tools

Isn't this a mess?!?!?  I have my measuring tape, scissors, eyeglasses, a piece of batting for cut threads and pins, and my Zune for listening to audiobooks.  You know those wires that turn into birds nests behind your computer or TV?  Well, I had that going on around my throat!!!  It was scary!!  Talk about a tangled web, well it was all that and more.  My ear buds would get yanked out of my ears when I'd pull my scissors.  And my glasses were always tangled in the cords.  I'd wind up yanking off the whole bunch, untangle it, and cuss. Plus, I'd always go rummaging around the sewing room for my Line Tamer ruler, tweezers, seam ripper, marking pen or pencil.  

So!  Voila!  A solution started emerging in my pea brain, a teeny-tiny little spark of an idea.  What if they were all right there, but separated from each other, so they couldn't wrestle and make knots of each other.  All the aprons I've looked at online, like the one Nancy V. Taylor wears, have big ole pockets, where you have to rummage around looking for your stuff.  So what if everything had its own pocket, kinda like a purse organizer?  

I set out everything I wanted to have within reach. Eyeglasses, tape measure, seam ripper, tweezers, regular scissors, marking pen and pencil, piece of batting for thread and pins, Line Tamer, Zune and scissors on a fob.  One of the worst problems with using the Zune is the cords for the earbuds.  So, what if I put the Zune into its own pocket, with a hole out the back for the cords for the ear buds to go behind the apron.  I've always used a piece of batting on my right shoulder-ish area for thread snippits, so that was a consideration.  So I drew out an apron shape on paper, drew pockets for all the parts, then finally traced the real tools and cut them out of paper and laid them out on a real piece of apron fabric.  Which, by the way, is a piece of light weight upholstery fabric that won't sag or rip easily.  I cut the pockets from a piece of home dec fabric, adding a seam allowance, turned under the edges, and sewed them onto the apron piece, and -- so far, so good!  Not sure what I want to use for the neck and apron strings.   Oh, I forgot to mention two other little things -- I like to keep my small scissors on a fob that retracts, and I've always hung it on my shirt neckline.  For the apron, I made a little double-folded tab on which the scissors can hang.  And slightly up and right from the tab is a little circle I stitched where I can pull the earbuds to the front, then up to my ears. And I left a space on my right shoulder to pin the piece of batting.
So, there you go!  I hope the idea helps someone else out there who is strangling with tools, or is forever searching for the parts they need!

Now, click the Whoop! button on the left to see some of the things people have accomplished this week, over on Sarah's blog: