Saturday, March 1, 2014
I am having so much fun creating my new wall hanging. I'm not quite ready to post it, even partially done, but soon. This is the one about the cabin and having a story for each block. I'm using a lot of my scraps, especially in ways I never expected. I'm also honing my paper piecing skills like you wouldn't believe. I'm searching for new ways to do things and also those stories I talked about before. It's not without its mistakes like I always say but then I'm not taking the easy way with this wall hanging. When I get all the blocks done I will post a picture of my design wall. That's not to say it will look that way when I'm done but that's the point.
Friday, February 28, 2014
Yes, we had those frigid temps again last night - -12 this morning. When will it end? I've written before about us being number 1 in snowfall and how I've seen cold weather here before but never this prolonged. The last gas bill wasn't too bad but I'm afraid to see the next one. It's sad when we're excited when it gets in the 20's like that's so much warmer. I've also never seen so many pile-ups on the interstates as this year. I used to think accidents were the fault of drivers who didn't know how to drive in the snow or weather conditions but this year has changed my opinion. The pile-up yesterday on I79 close to here was because of a whiteout and the people weren't going fast. It just came on so sudden and even if you didn't hit the guy in front of you, it didn't mean the guy behind you wouldn't run into you. We saw the storm come up and couldn't see up the road either. I'm just so thankful we're retired and can just stay put until it's all over with. Hey, I can walk to the store if I have to.
Thursday, February 27, 2014
You've probably heard of snowball makers and block makers for snow forts but never one that actually makes the snowballs then shoots them. Well, yesterday while we were shopping at Bed, Bath and Beyond, we found one. But why do they put stuff on sale past the check-out? I've always wondered that in other stores too. I mean over thinking your purchase has got to be a retailers nightmare. That's exactly what we did but it certainly caught our eyes. I guess how it works is there is a removable ball maker on top where you put the snow in, close it, and the balls are formed. From there you feed the balls into a chute that shoots them. The hilarious part about it was the warning label. It said you should never throw snowballs at friends, enemies, animals or people. I mean who else is there! Get real. I understand they probably need to do this to protect themselves but this is the fun part of throwing snowballs. They could have said not to throw them at people's faces. The truth is that most of the time the snow is not good for packing and they break up too soon but snowballs are known for disintegrating as soon as they hit anyway. They danger would be in making the snowballs ahead of time, leaving them out in frigid weather and letting them ice over. I'll grant them that. You also have to hit your target which is hard and we're not convinced this will help those balls reach their target. Anyway, I thought it was an intriguing idea and worth keeping an eye on. If it gets reduced even more and we have another 20% off coupon maybe one will end up at the cabin for some winter fun. I hope the label ends up inside the back cover of Consumer Reports or late night TV.
Wednesday, February 26, 2014
Here are the 5 things I learned from making this quilt.
- Make sure you buy enough material from the beginning. I thought I had but since I created the size of the quilt from another pattern that was for a table runner, I misjudged the amount. Never assume when you go back to get more that they will still have it. This time I really lucked out and with the white, they had a bolt that hadn't been opened yet. The gray was a different story. They were completely out of it at my store and were waiting for them to make more. Thankfully I went to the JoAnn's in Westlake and found it. Now I have plenty.
- Be very precise in cutting the pattern if you want everything to fall into place later. My problem with this was that I was making my own templates. For the circle pattern I had to find something that was a 12 " diameter so I used a dinner plate. It still wasn't perfect and it showed later. Hopefully I'm the only one who will be able to tell.
- The quilting process itself needs to be thought through. The pattern showed a diagram of how it should be quilted at the end of the piecing. I found out that would not work for me very quickly. I needed to sew each row and quilt it before sewing it to the main quilt. That way I would not have a bunch of quilt to the right of my needle and would make it very difficult to work with.
- This kind of ties in with the quilting process because sometimes you need to change your sewing room to accommodate it. With the help of my hubby, we set up a 6' table and moved my sewing table around so when I quilted this the bulk of the quilt would follow the table. It worked pretty well. I also waited until I was ready to do all my quilting to change the room. I also found out that my back will be more comfortable if I have a higher ironing table.
- The last thing I realized was that I need a completion date to keep me on track. I guess that's why I'm able to finish so much right before Christmas. This was a more open-ended deadline and I got very lazy with it.
Thursday, January 23, 2014
I'm hoping my projects will take a new direction this year. I have a couple of quilt tops done or almost done but have yet to get them finished, either by myself or outsourcing. I've found that I so much prefer smaller projects that I can quilt on my own. My plan is to make all those wall hangings I want for my railing at the cabin. I've been planning this since the day we moved in there. At first I didn't want seasonal hangings but now I'm all for it. The way I figure, I can put them up and take them down just like the seasons change. Last fall I started my Twister Jack block but didn't finish it yet. I had too many other things to do than work on a Halloween project. It's ready to go whenever I am though. Right now what I'd like to do is my cabin hanging. So far I have a log cabin block, bear's paw block, Smokey the bear block and a pine lodge block. I also want to make a log cabin (house) block, flag, snake, sun and possibly more animal blocks. Size will definitely be an issue with this. I want it to be something we look at and remember a story about it. I'm hoping this will be an outlet for me to make several of the projects I have on my list.
Wednesday, January 22, 2014
I just finished a denim vest that my hubby ordered from Mary's sewing place. Ha, Ha. That's kind of what it seems like sometime. In fact, I told him one of the most intimidating phrases is "You know what I could use?" That always leads to some sewing project. It's not that I don't like doing it, in fact, it's just the opposite. I loved making this once we got past the preliminaries like style, material and function. I spent all day yesterday playing around with different pockets to put on it and learned a lot from it. I was glad I could make something for him since he is very supportive of my sewing habit. Couldn't ask for anyone better! Now I just have to prepare myself for the inevitable dirt that will befall this brand new vest and I know it will come. But I'd rather have it be filthy and well worn than pristine and still in the closet. Amen.
Saturday, January 11, 2014
Sounds really fancy like out of Project Runway or something. But all it is is a piece of flannel material taped to a wall. The fabric pieces stick to it so you can display it all before you sew. I decided to make a Christmas tree skirt out of what I was using for years which was an old round tablecloth. I cut squares of the tablecloth and mixed them with other Christmas material that I had. I needed to spread them out to see how they would look best and then I made my design wall. It works great by the way. Half of the skirt is done and I already found a piece that doesn't go very well. Now back to the other half.