Monday, December 31, 2012

Sea Glass tutorial (at last!)

I've wanted to do this for a while, and kept meaning to... a Sea-Glass tutorial.  I've made this quilt in several color and layout variations so far, and am working on yet another one, so... why not?  Here it is - the Sea-Glass tutorial.

Fabric A and B— 1 yard each, Fabric C, E, F and H – ½ yard each, Fabric D and G – ¾ yard fabric,  backing fabric – 3 yards
Note: all materials are in yardage, NOT fat quarters 

Cutting Directions

Quilt block layout

Cut 25 of each piece: (I don’t care if you use scissors, rotary cutter, your teeth…)
A—6.5”x6.5”               E—2.5”x2.5”
B—6.5”x6.5”               F—5.5”x3.5”
C– 3.5”x3.5”                G– 5.5”x3.5”
D—7.5”x3.5”               H—2.5”x4.5”

Sewing Instructions
Cut fabric and arrange in tidy stacks.  Or messy ones, whichever works best for you!

 Sew Piece A to Piece B along one seam.  Repeat for other sets, put aside. 
A to B

  Sew Piece C to Piece D along one seam.  Repeat for other sets, put aside.

C to D

 Sew Piece E to Piece H along one seam.  Repeat for other sets, put aside.
E to H

 Sew Piece F to Piece G along one seam.  Repeat for other sets, put aside.
F to G

  Iron all seams, either press open or press to darker side.  Or press as you prefer, really.  It's your quilt.  And then, back to more sewing!

 Sew Piece C/D sets to Piece F/G sets on one seam,  Repeat for each set

  Iron all seams as before.
 Sew all C/D/F/G sets to E/H sets.

 Iron all seams as before.
Sew all A/B sets to C-H sets, using quilt block diagram on back as a guide.

Iron once again as before.

The layout is really a personal matter - I've done two different layouts, and the one in the step-by-step pictures is going to have a third layout. 
The original Sea Glass is laid out as follows:
Lay out first block with the A piece in the upper left corner.  Next block to the right will have A piece in upper right corner.  Next block will have A piece in lower right.  Fourth will have A piece in lower left.  Fifth (final) in top row will once again have the A piece in upper left corner of the block.
The second row will start with the A piece in the upper right corner, and follow the same pattern.  All following rows will do the same—advance the location of the A piece by one position.

The second and third versions I did are laid out a little differently...

In this version, Piece A is matched to Piece A (making one giant Piece A that everything else turns around).

Stitch blocks together!  We’re almost there!  This is the part where I step back and say: Back, quilt, and bind as you prefer.  Oh, and if you do make a version of Sea-Glass, let me know!  I'd love to see pictures!  (And I will try to get a flickr page set up for them, too!)


Monday monday, again....

Wow - the days have just shot past in a blur recently!  Holidays, family, work... it's all conspired against me!  (As has blogger...I've tried three times to post a tutorial, and it pegs out every time... sigh.  I'll try again later today).  At any rate... decorations are down, packed away, and tidied up, leaving home and cube feeling a little barren.  So, to combat the blahs, which have been pretty impressive this year... I'm making more things.  (What?? Really??  MORE things?)

The first up - a wonky sun banner (well, banners, in two parts, because I learned my lesson when it comes to decorating my cube.  no more 15' long banners!)  The wonky sun will be two pieces - one for one side, with the wonky sun, the other part with maybe either trees or a beach scene... I haven't quite decided yet.  I made a test sun last night, and it turned out... well....

Wonky... but not quite like I want it yet.  The only corner piece I am happy with is the one in the lower right - I thnk the narrower looks best.  Which means that when I make the "real" one, I need to make sure I have narrow corner wonkiness... also, the rest of the rays aren't wonky enough for my tastes.  :)  I'm picky about my wonky?

But it's not a failure - I know what I have to do to "fix" the issues, and it shouldn't be that hard.

Other than that, not much happening in the forge these days.  Frank is back to hiding behind a green wall of dwarf fruit trees, so quilting on him is on the back burner again.  I've stumbled across a pattern for a quilt that screams that it MUST be done - don't have nearly enough quilt ideas, apparently....  *sigh*  But.  I will obey this one, because it amuses me. 

Part of one wall of buttons

We went fabric shopping for faire this past weekend - went down to Perth Street in Dallas, and *sigh*  If I only had all the money I wanted, I could have bought some FABULOUS fabrics!  (not that I need them, but still).  And then... in a little store with a wonderfully crazy owner, we hit on the button motherlode!  He had three rooms full of buttons... everything from cheap plastic buttons to lovely metal shank buttons that looked like wolf-heads....

Needless to say, I came out with buttons.  Some I know what I will do with, others, maybe not, but I couldn't pass them up!  And the owner was crazy, cheerful, chatty, and all sorts of lovely.  He has a textiles degree, and a Tibetan terrier, and all sorts of useful knowledge.  So we stayed a while.  And could have stayed longer!  (Oh, and yes, we did find some fabric, hopefully).

It's the last day of the year, and I will send it out tonight like I do so many other nights - probably sewing!  I have over 100 little hexes made, and soon will have to move them from their shoebox to a larger box!  But for now, there's quilts to plan and make!  Happy end-of-the-old-calendar day!


Thursday, December 13, 2012

Oh, Hemxas Tree, Oh, Hexmas Tree....

oh, hexmas tree....

Hanging now on the pillar outside my supervisor's cube - the Hexmas Tree,  Everyone who passes it smiles and stops to check it out.  A small project, but totally worth it.  Easy to put together, easy to trim out. I think it came out rather well!

We had a small earthquake here last night - 2.6, according to the USGS.  Now... this is Texas.  I don't expect earthquakes.  Ever.  Big or small.  So that was a bit of an experience for us!  No damage - too small a quake for damage - but it certainly freaked us right out!  A rumble, and then the house shimmied a little.  The cats ran amok briefly, their tails fluffed and backs arched.  But after confirmation of an earthquake, we settled down and went to our beds.  This morning we checked the quilt forge, and all was well there, too.  Not that we expected otherwise.

There's a company dinner tonight, and a company party tomorrow morning, so these two days will shoot by like no one's business. But that does cut into the forge time.  (Not that I've felt overly much like working out there last few nights - I'm feeling lazy).  I must get back out there soon and get back to work - too many quilts and things yammering for my attention!

I have this urge... I want to make a ridiculously detailed quilt.  Pieced in ridiculously small pieces, with all the detail I could ever want.  My big problem is what I want to use as a design - I don't have anything in mind.  I have LOTS of things in mind.  But I can't draw.  Nope.  Not a bit.  Not to save my life.  I still draw horses that look like dogs.  So... I need to figure out some geometric pattern - or attack a coloring book for a design.  I don't know...  In the meantime, I will continue on as before.  Hexes, piecing, quilting.  I am not upset, just... a little frustrated.  I am reasonably capable, but I want to be able to do so much more.  I want to be Good, with a capital "G."  I know it takes time, and I know I am improving all the time.  But grr...  Meh.  Enough of the whining. 

For now, there is plenty to do, and I will do it.  And at this moment, that involves hexes and the quilts I've already got pieced, and the other 60-odd quilts planned out.  (Boy, do I need to make more sewing time!!)

(frustrated, but not defeated)

P.S.  I think when I do make the uber-detailed quilt I want, I shall call it Invictus, after the poem of the same name... 

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Things on the Anvil

Good morning, superfriends!

I've been busy the last few days... making alterations to a dress (almost done, hooray!!), decorating more for XMas/winter, and so on.  Nothing new on the random quilt front, except to add more ideas to my list.  At this rate, I will never have better than a 15% completion rate!!  (But most of the time I am all right with that!)

Here is my HexMas tree.  I finished the stitching together last night - this afternoon and tonight I will work on decorating it so I can hang it up.  I've pulled beads and such to decorate with.  Hopefully that won't take too long, since I am getting close to the end of decorating time!  It would be nice to have it up by tomorrow, to give me more time to enjoy it.

The HexMas tree is made with the Hickory Nut hex pattern - I changed the size a little (shrank it down) from the one in the magazine.  Now I have little ones and huge ones.  :)  I thought about a huge HexMas tree, but didn't have a place to put one.  Maybe next year.

Yesterday at work I came back from lunch to find a chicken on my desk.  A stuffed, country-looking chicken.  Now, normally I am not a country-decorating kinda girl.  However, I do have a stuffed turkey under my desk that comes out for Thanksgiving decor.  So the chicken seemed appropriate to my co-workers.  Now the chicken has a name (Cogburn) and a Santa hat, so he can stay out for XMas.  I am already planning his next costume (he'll get a party hat for New Year's, and so on....).  So... here's Cogburn, the Christmas Rooster. 

Tonight, after I finish the dress alterations, I intend to finally get BST on the hoop so I can start that one.  I am really hoping it co-operates tonight.  So many ideas that need following up on... so many things to sew.  With luck and hard work, I can get BST done pretty quick.  I will be posting a tutorial pretty quick on Sea-Glass.  All I need to do is flesh it out a little, and we'll be in fine shape.  So, tutorial to come.

On the quilting front, BST will take me a little longer than anticipated, because Frank is currently unavailable for quilting, which slows things down a little.  By Thursday, he'll be back up, but right now, not so much.  The machine is fine, but since the weather turned frigid really quick, we moved our dwarf fruit trees inside where it was warmer.  The only place to put them is right around Frank, who now is hiding in a jungle of fruit trees.  But... he'll be out of hiding soon enough, so it's all good.

And soon... soon... things begin to ramp up for Scarborough Faire Renaissance Festival.  I only have to make a new bodice this year, but I may make another skirt just so I can rotate the ones I have just a little more.  A little less wear and tear on the ones I have would be good.  But there are plans... oh, yes... there are plans.... 

Secretly, I love this time of year.  (Not the incessant commercials and Christmas music, mind you).  But the snap of the air (and the pop of static electrical discharge), and the anticipation.  I look forward to another year at faire, to the quieter days at work, to all sorts of things.  I may be solar-powered, but bring it on!   Come on, Texas winter!  Show me what you've got!  (oh, look... 68 degrees by the end of the week).

So, in trucking terms (and in forge terms, too!), time to put the hammer down and get things moving!  I've got a lot to do, and a short time to do it in!  Cya later, good buddies!


Thursday, December 6, 2012

Woo-hoo! Finished stuffus!

Morning, superfriends!

I feel... accomplished.  If a little klutzy.  More about that second one in a minute.  First - the accomplished feeling. 

I've fiinally finally finally finished Little Moo.  Here's a pic of it on the floor at work, bound and everything.  The quilting that really shows up here is the sky - it makes the clouds look a very puffy!  (And the tree quilting shows a little... that's cool!)  I'll get a close-up of the fence rail in a few seconds here... hang on....    The funny thing is, now that I am completely done with Little Moo here, I don't really like it.  It's not bad, it's not hideous... I even like parts of it.  The sky quilting I like.  The fences I like.  I even do think he's relatively cute, for a cow.  But.... overall.... I just don't like it.  Which all in all is a bit of a shame.  I suspect the problem lies in that Little Moo was my first real applique, and it was a bit of a learning curve.  I could probably remake it a lot faster than the first go-round, should I ever be so inclined.  And because the top frustrated me, it took me FOREVER to quilt it.  But, it's done now, and I can step away from it for a while.  See how I feel about it later on.
So anyway, there's Little Moo, aka Texas Daycare, all done.  Hooray!  I do feel a sense of accomplishment in finishing him up.  And a close-up of the fence that surrounds him.  Copper embroidery floss and brown thread to make a barbed wire fence!
The other thing I finished was another Hexen.  I like the proportions of this one better, so I will run with it on my bed-sized project, I think.  This will definitely be an ongoing project (of course, I thought that with Crazy Diamonds, too, and that top is already done)!  The quilting on it is a simple swirl kinda thing radiating out from the center.   Now... on to the real thing!!  Time to start ploughing through my fabrics and seeing what I can make!  I should really decide if I want a common background or not.  It might look more unified if I did, but it would be much more in keeping with ME if it didn't.

As for the klutzy....  about 9 months ago, maybe a little less, I did something to my ankle.  No biggie.  It hurt, it swelled, it got over it.  In the last month or two it's been getting a little worse and aching a lot.  No clue what I did originally, since I was deep in fair, and it stopped hurting.  But I turned it recently, and I think it did something.  Because one of the things I did last night was try to set up BST for quilting.  I tweaked my ankle AGAIN whilst trying to do that.  So... fun fun.  It REALLY hurt last night.  REALLY.  So I am wearing a brace on it today and seriously considering going to a doctor about it.  I did not get BST ready, either, which annoyed me.

But tonight there is a wedding, and I will not wear the brace for that.  Nope.  Uh-uh.  Refuse.  I'm already going to look silly (from my perspective.  I don't dress up much, so when I do, I feel weird). 

And this weekend.... well, I got myself a new peg loom.  It's three feet long.  I'm either going to make a rug or a shawl.  I haven't quite decided which one, but I will make something.  And sew some more.  Hooray!!!


Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Hexen Wednesday

Good morning, superfriends!

Finished my test hexen.  I'd call it a hexie, but it's 12" across!  The quilting ALMOST shows in the picture, but either way, it's good, because this was merely the test version.  I can now make adjustments to the template - like making the outer hex a little smaller, so it takes up less room in the center.

Test Hexen #2 is in the works.  The plan, ultimately, is to have a bunch of giant hexen and zigzag stitch them together for a bedspread.  The biggest thing is what to quilt in the center.  I have many ideas... this one was just a random motif.  But oh, the ideas I have.

Little Moo is almost done.  I should be able to get the binding on him tonight and be done!  There are few words for just how happy I will be to get him done!  Once Little Moo is done, I will only have... err... 5 to quilt.  I think.  *sheesh*  I should quilt faster!

On the plus side, I have fabrics currently for only 2 more quilts.  I have lots of plans, but I've only got the stuff for two of them... 

This morning we stopped for doughnuts on the way to work.  D picked up a lot of doughnuts for her department.  I might stop for same for my department tomorrow.  Maybe.  Or maybe wait until Friday.  But the guy at the doughnut shop was amazingly nice!   He gave us LOTS of bonus doughnuts.  Yum!!!  Mind you, I already had my breakfast - mmm.... sushi for breakfast....  I found some at our local Central Market that they call Japanese Bagel Rolls.  :)  Yum.  Rice, Nori, Avocado, Cream Cheese, and Salmon.  Makes me happy! (but I did get a doughnut or two for a mid-morning snack!)

who should seriously consider making a doughnut quilt....

Monday, December 3, 2012

Monday. I think. Yes.... yes, it is.

Needless to say, my days are obviously a little messed up right now.  I spent the weekend down with a migraine.  Hooray.  I missed work on Friday, and that threw my whole weekend off.

But.  All is not lost, superfriends!  (*shrug*  I dunno... I just type this stuff).  I managed to get my second AAQI quilt finished.  I will send it off after Christmas, I suspect, since mailing things will be touch-and-go until then!  And that way maybe I can finish the next one I've got planned, too!

Here it is! -------->  (duh).  What doesn't show so well in this pic is the quilting.  I need to get a better up-close shot.  The quilted clouds show up pretty well, but the quilted trees do not.  Yup.  I quilted rows of trees into my city.  It seemed appropriate, for a quilt called "I Remember Trees Here." 

So, two down. 

And making more hexes recently.  Managed to get the pattern enlarged ridiculously, so I can have HUGE hexes!  I am working on a test one tonight.  We'll see how far I get with it.  I have Plans (yup, with a capital Puh).

And in even more fabulous news, my mother is improving all the time.  Talked to her today - she is doing much better - feels much better, and sees much better now.  She went to the doctor today and he was pleasantly surprised at how much better her vision was.  That's a good thing!  Of course, now my dad has the flu, so he's miserable.  They finished up their remodeling, and are taking time to relax and heal up.

As soon as I finish quilting my BST I will post it, and prob a tutorial for it, too.  It's an easy one.  VERY easy.  And hopefully I will soon get Little Moo FINALLY finished.  I'm close to being able to bind it.  I had hoped to tonight, but I am coughing a lot so I will head to bed when I am done with this post. BST is next in the rotation when Little Moo is done - so there is method in the disconnected sentences above.  Gotta finish Little Moo before I can put BST in the hoop and quilt by hand.

So that's me for the night.  I am taking my kitten and going to bed now.

Have a good night!

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Work Wonky Star Runner

Finally.  I finished the Wonky Star Runner.  It's all of 15' long, and about 17" wide.  Yeah.  It's long.  I don't think I ever want to bind another one like it.  :)

But I am pleased with the overall effect.

It makes things much calmer looking in my cube.  (Please ignore the tub up front in the picture).  The Wonky Star was easy to make up and piece together, and it only took a few days to put together.  The binding was the longest part!  I will admit, that was the case because I opted to hand stitch the back of the binding.  And it takes FOREVER to hand stitch 30+ feet of binding.  Wheeeeee!!!

 Here's the other half... It currently bunches up a little behind the computer, but I can fix that tomorrow morning before I clock in!

Now all I have to do is bring in blue, silver, and white deocrations, and I am all set for Christmas at work.  Whaddya think?

I have a few battery-operated candles that I will light up for December, and so on... but I am so far quite pleased!

In looking at the pictures, I am a little weirded out.  Not because of the state of my cube - it's actually pretty tidy (which IS weird, but that's not what's got me).  I have never made a holiday-themed decorative piece for myself.  It just doesn't happen.  And I have certainly NEVER made a Christmassy-winter quilted project.  Things like that have always smacked of... well... my grandmother and my great-aunt.  Not that there's anything wrong with that (she says hastily, forestalling the glares).  It just wasn't me.  It was them - quilted ducks with wreaths around their necks.  Pillows that said NOEL in appliqued red and green letters.  I don't know why I developed an allergy to those things, but I did.  "Not for me!" I'd say to myself.  "I won't be making Christmas crafts for ME."

And yet... there it is.  It isn't screamingly Christmas.  But it's holiday quilted decorations.  For me.  I don't know what it says about me.  Maybe I'm getting lax in my 'old age.'  Maybe it's just different enough that it doesn't somehow break my self-imposed ban on holiday quilting crafts.  Maybe I'm just branching out.  I don't really know.
What I do know it that it's still not my grandmother's/great-aunt's Christmas craft. 

Now.... for the rest of the projects in progress!!!  It might be a little tough to get things roaring along again, because we're having massive house-cleaning for the rest of the week.  The woman we bought the house from last year is coming to see what we've done.  We invited her last year, but she wasn't able to make it.  She finally is, and so we're going to be doing a nice hard clean-up to get things perfect!  Vacuuming, mopping, the whole shebang. 

I still hope to get a little time in to finish up a few things - namely, BST and my second AAQI quilt.  I am getting close on the AAQI, and have plans for a third.  Hopefully my skills are improving with each one (I think they are), and will raise at least a little for AAQI.  Oh, yeah... I made a tunic-style shirt Sunday.  I should post a picture of it (on my mannequin). 

We shall seeeeeee.......  tonight, there will be a ridiculous amount of cleaning.  And maybe tracking down a basket for all the cat toys.  (I have a smart cat.  This is not always a good thing).  She's getting bigger all the time, and while I know every cat owner thinks their cat is smart (okay, not ALL cat owners... because let's be honest, some cats are just NOT smart), but Joji is.  She's figured out where the cat food is, and is working on trying to learn how to open it.  (It's stored in a trash can with a step-on lid lift thing).  She's a problem-solver.  Should continue to make life interesting!


Tuesday, November 27, 2012

When did it get to be Tuesday???

Wow, how the time slips into the past....

Long weekend.  The day before Thanksgiving, my dad called and said my mom was in the hospital with chest pains.  That was the longest drive ever.  Normally, it's 4.5 hours.  This time, because of stress and traffic, it took almost 7.  I think.  Something like that?  6 maybe.  *shrug*  The long and short of it is: she's getting better.  Strong heart.  An artery clogged, but treatable with meds.  But it was a weekend of in and out of the hospital.  And I had to come back and come to work.  We did manage to eke out a little Thanksgiving - it was just weird.  This was already going to be the smallest Thanksgiving for our family EVER, and Mom in the hospital just made it weirder.  My sister and I made most of the meal, and it turned out pretty good.  But we definitely missed having Mom at the table!

She's doing much better now.  My dad just texted me to say that they are going to go out to lunch, so she's getting better all the time.  And that's good news.  So now my days can slow down and I can take a look around.

So here's what I have been doing today.  Hickory Nuts.  Why?  Why not.  I think I will wind up turning these into either tree ornaments (with a little more decoration on them), or string them together for a little colorful bunting.  I am not quite certain yet, obviously enough.  All I wanted to do was see how it all went together!  Pretty easy, neh?  Needless to say, they go together quick.  I will decide more firmly what I want to do with them later on.  Maybe tomorrow.  Or this weekend.  So much still to do!
On the "What I did this weekend" front...  I managed to finish everything but the binding on the Wonky Stars, pick a quilting motif for Crazy Diamonds, finish BST's top and get batting and backing.  I hope to pin it tonight and I can show a pic then.  I am a little more excited about it now that I can see what it looks like almost completely done. 

For this week, I intend to finish the binding on Wonky Stars, quilt BST, finish quilting my second AAQI quilt, and get started again on Little Moo.  Not too much, right?  We've hit the slower part of the month at work now, so I am hopeful.

And coming up again - First Monday Trade Days.  I love First Monday.  I've been going since I was very very small (I was a short child), and still look forward to it.  Of course, it's changed a lot over the years, but it's still an amazing place.  And this time we're totally tracking the brisket tacos down.  Those were amazing!!!  If I can remember, I'll take pics to post.  It's... huge is an understatement.  Fruge comes closer, but still doesn't quite catch it. 

In passing.  The next time I decide to make decorations for my work cube, and measure to cover the inside of the cube to sew up a cute little runner... someone remind me that binding 15' x 1' is... tedious, monotonous, and very much a marathon!!!!  Sheesh....


Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Running Screaming into Wednesday

Gift dress - done.  Anything else?  Well... nope.

Work.  Work.

More work.

And exhaustion.

So.... yeah... anything else will have to wait until after Thanksgiving. 

Now for the cleaning and packing and prepping and maybe even sleeping.


Monday, November 19, 2012

Monday (deep breath) and duct tape

Whew.  Made it through the weekend!  No, it wasn't a bad weekend, just one that happened at light speed.  I spent most of my weekend in the forge, working away at a variety of projects - from piecing to cutting to sewing a gift dress, to... to... ugh.  I don't even remember it all!

Oh, and a better picture of Sea Glass.  I like this one.  We finally found something to drape the quilt over so we could get it out in the sunlight for a picture.  I'm much more pleased with this pic!

Let's see... I worked on Crazy Diamonds (both halves are pieced now... now to decide how to quilt them!).  I finished up the individual blocks for my Wonky Star Runner.... sometime this week (or next weekend) I will cut the sashing and borders and get that done.  Quilting it will be a breeze (she says boldly, once again using WAY too many parentheses). 

Here's a collection of the Wonky Stars.  There are a fair number of them, and I am looking forward to seeing the whole thing done!  I was a little surprised, when we went to find material for the sashing and border, that fabric with stars on it didn't look good.  I went with a muted blue instead - not what I expected to get, but it looked better with all the myriad blues already present.  Should have seen us there, laying blocks over fabric, turning them, muttering under our breaths....

And the other project took up all of Sunday.  14 hours' worth, anyway.  I won't post pictures yet - both because it isn't QUITE done yet, and because while it's a slim chance, there's still a chance of her stumbling across the pic.  So... no pictures yet.  Maybe after Christmas.  :)

Here we have Shay's duct tape solution to sewing problems.  The edge of my work space is... unfinished.  Rough.  It catches.  And on the project from previous paragraph, I couldn't afford for the fabric to catch.  (It's fabric that catches easily already, it doesn't need help!)  So out of sheer frustation, I duct taped the edge of the work top.  Y'know... it doesn't even look that bad. 

One of these days I will paint the work space.  Eventually.  Right now, it's not really that big a deal.  It works for what it's intended, and it kind of fades into the background.  But I never actually thought I would be using duct tape for sewing solutions.  Silly me! 

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Saturday, round 2!

Got all the blocks made for Crazy Diamond.  Tomorrow... stitch 'em all together and start panicking about how to quilt them.  (Well, not really panicking... that would be silly.  But thinking really hard about it).
Star light, star bright...
Got half the blocks made for my Wonky Star runner.  It's going to be quite nice, if I do say so myself!  I just need to finish the rest, pull fabric for the sashing and borders, and quilt and bind it.  (No problem, right?)

And, for the other sewing projects: got fabric for my Phoenix quilt (hooray Batiks Galore!), got fabric for a tunic for me (hooray Batiks Galore - I love that shop!), and got the pieces for a gift cut out and ready to sew tomorrow.

Oh, and I mailed out the block exchange blocks (finally!  The wait at the post office was silly long!) and my first AAQI quilt.  Working on finishing the quilting on #2 tonight.  Some.

And made a batch of dressing.  It was... okay.  Think I know what I need to do to tweak it.  Tomorrow, test batch #2!

And I should go to bed now.


Saturday, round one!

More star blocks.  Yes, this one will be my humility block...  I stitched the white a little far out.  But, I think I like it that way, so I'm not concerned.  And since this one's for me, that's all that matters!

Today will be sewing and piecing and maybe a trip down to the Semi-local LQS for more fabric.  We'll see. 

And, if the sun co-operates, we'll take another good pic of Sea-Glass and get that on the pattern cover, and I can send that sucker off to pattern companies.  *fingers crossed* 

Oh, and I have to figure out how to make dressing for Thanksgiving today.  It should be fun!  (And a good thing D likes dressing!).  The biggest challenge is not the making of it, but making it tasty and as traditional as I can (for my father, who really wants a traditional Thanksgiving this year) and still making it vegetarian so my sister can have some.  So, kitchen playtime, here I come! 

I am also going to try to finish piecing Crazy Diamonds.  When I started this one, I swore it would be the project I worked on when I didn't have anything else going, or when I needed a break from other projects.  Somehow it hasn't worked out like that.  Somehow, it has become another of the "oh, I really need to get this one done!" projects.  So, if I can get it pieced today (only 24 more blocks to go!), then I am set - while I figure out how to quilt it! 

At any rate, there's the day as I have it planned.  Well, as much as I plan anything, really.  Wish me luck!

Friday, November 16, 2012

Friday forging

For all that is going on with the day job, I feel like I am not making enough time for the things I really enjoy - the sewing, the quilting, the MAKING of stuff.  So despite being up to my eyeballs (or so it feels) with the day job (10 hours a day adds up!!), I did manage to get a little bit of forgework done.

Here is the first block of my winter Wonky Star runner/cube decor.  I'm pleased with it so far, and only 14 more to go!  The pattern is ridiculously easy - less measuring than most, and easy piecing, and a lovely result!  I'm so glad to have been introduced to the block.

I'm intending to get more blocks done this weekend, and I will take pics and post as I finish them (well, maybe not POST them as I finish them.... that would be a lot of posts in a relatively short period of time!)

So... that's where I am as of this lovely chilly Friday morning!

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Thursday outside the forge

We looked outside the other day, and lo and behold, Texas has had fall.  Overnight, our lawn went from green green green to covered in the neighbor's leaves! 

In a way, it's nice.  Cooler temps are good, even if it meant moving the miniature tree orchard inside for a while!  And that's all right with the cats - means they get to explore new things and curl up in giant pots.  They seem moderately okay with that. 

We had class last weekend - unfortunately, a lot of people had to bail at the last minute, but that's okay.  We'll do it again, probably next month!  I can't wait to see how people's quilts turn out! I'll post pictures as soon as I dig the camera out of the pile of fabric it dived into.  Really.

This weekend will be hectic.  Not only is there quilting and piecing to be done, but Thanksgiving prep, and even working my day job on Sunday.  That part doesn't thrill me, but we're in a short business month because of holidays, and there's so much still to be done!  But... at home and in the forge, there are too too many projects happening!  I did manage to get enough pieces and bits to finsh up Crazy Diamonds - now I just have to do it.  And.... I pieced together blocks for the class, step by step to show how the block goes together.  And decided I really liked the color combo.  So.... need to get more material this weekend and work on that.  A lot more.  King-sized, even.

And mail my blocks to my partner in the block swap.  And then and only then (after Thanksgiving, probably) post pictures!  And finish my second AAQI quilt.  I'm working on the hand quilting now, and moderately pleased with it.  Moreso than the last one!

And I have projects to finish for other people before Thanksgiving rolls around (ack!  A week from TODAY!).  Wednesday will be work and then immediately hit the road and drive - leaving town to go see my parents and sister on the other side of the state.  Fortunately, D will be at the forge to keep the fires going!

Tonight... tonight... I will work on a runner for work - I almost have all the pieces cut out.  Once they're cut out... well, obviously I start putting them back together again!  And I'll post pics as I finish blocks.  Right now it's planned as 15 blocks.  We shall see!  One of these days I am going to post nothing but pictures!

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Quick update

Life.  Sometimes it gets in the way.  Mostly it's work right now, in all honesty.  It's hectic.  Testing, end of year, beginning of year, short months because of holidays....  And long days at work.

But.  I am still managing to eke out a little sewing time, and a little time for the other things in my life.  This weekend we're running another class, teaching one of my patterns.  If it goes well, there will be another one!  (and another, and another.....).  Oh, and here's the pattern we'll be doing.  Everyone has their own fabrics, so every quilt will look different!  Hooray!  I have three examples to show them, as well as a step by step breakout of how the blocks go together.  Since it is so simple, I have high hopes!

What I have managed to get done - in addition to prep for the class....

1. finish AAQI quilt #1
2. join Quilt Block Swap
   2a. pull fabrics and make test block for swap, decide I really like it.  pull more fabrics and cut.  (to be sewn tonight).
3. plan AAQI quilt #2
4. finish design for Bat Flight and purchase fabric (to start cutting tonight)
5. work on Crazy Diamonds
6. Clean the studio! (yes, this is technically prep for the class, but sometimes it just needs doing!)

 Here is my first AAQI quilt.  As soon as I have the number for it, I will send it out.  I'm both pleased with it and disappointed in it... it's not EXACTLY what I wanted, but it's not HORRIBLE.  Everyone else seems to really like it.  So it's going.  I wasn't sure, but I'm going to bite the bullet and send it off.  It's called The Fading Forest... there are more trees quilted into it  that didn't show too well in this pic.  Hopefully it will raise at least a little money for Alzheimer's research.

I have more planned, hopefully better.  We shall see... I always seem to have more and better things planned. 

When I am not in the forge working, I work in an office.  I'm not a very good office drone, really, but I am efficient and intelligent (usually) and manage to get my job done.  It's now progressed to the point where other people (who have been here YEARS longer than I have) ask me for assistance and for information.  It's both amusing and annoying.  I'm the new girl on the block - only been here three years....  I have my little cube, usually with small scraps of fabric, thread, and at times needles.  My Thanksgiving decor this year for the office consists of a giant stuffed fabric turkey.  He's cute!  Very low-key, for a giant fabric stuffed turkey. 

Soon will come the flurry of Christmas, and decorating for the season... I am half-tempted to make a quilted runner for my cube - just to post around my wall on the inside.... might have to do some measuring....  Looks like 14" wide, and long enough to run all the way around the inside.  Hmm... and a simple block... Maybe a Christmas-themed wonky star?  Might be workable.... More on that later!

Wish me luck for the class!!!

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Little Moo pics!

Work is kicking my buttocks recently.  It's the end-of-month tango of doom... happens every month, and I should be used to it, after 3+ years.  But it seems to get progressively more doomy, so it gets a little tougher each time.

At any rate, after going home and falling over for a while, all I managed to accomplish was a little quilting on Little Moo.  And...since I promised pics of Little Moo in progress, here are a few.  I've finished quilting the sky - and am remarkably proud of it.  The picture isn't fabulous (as usual), but the clouds show very well.  I am pleased.  There's a LITTLE quilting in the tree-top as well - not a lot, because it didn't show much and I got a little frustrated with it.  I may go back when the rest is done and play with it some - we'll see.

The grass quilting is going along just fine, except for those moments when the kitten decides to help! (she's very helpful).

I am looking forward to this weekend and time to sleep in, go estate sale-ing (if we find any good ones!) and working in the forge! 

Tonight will be time to move the little orchard closer to the house - maybe onto the enclosed back porch.  Time to see how the kitten likes the trees!  (Our little orchard is 7 or 8 dwarf fruit trees of various types... alas, we left our pomegranate behind in the ground when we moved last year).  So we'll get those moved in this evening after work and see how they like that.  It's better than leaving them outside unprotected when they are wee little things in pots, and the temp drops from reasonable to brrrrr. 

D took her cat to the vet yesterday for shots and to have her checked for kidney issues.  Vet doesn't think there's anything wrong with her, just needs litterbox changed more often.  So... there's good news there.  Also, her cat is going to be a big cat.  About 15 pounds, give or take.  And dense.  (in more ways than one).  But since my kitten is about 5 months old and half her size already, I think they will be fairly evenly matched!

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Brief update. Very brief.

Here it is... a layout for one of the blocks for the BST quilt.  :)  It's bright, ne?  That was the idea, and I think it's succeeding.  I can start piecing tonight, which will be lovely! 

And yes, I am still working on Little Moo.  :)  Just not right at this second.

I have hopes of getting home at a reasonable hour tonight, which will mean more time to sew and more time to do other stuff.  Last night was go home, eat, work a little on Texas Daycare, and then crash for the night.  I would like to have a LITTLE more time to do stuff tonight!

Friday we're going to Screams - yay for Haunted Houses!  I am looking forward to it.  I haven't been for a year or so, (duh), maybe even more.  Since it's almost an hour away, I count that as travel.  :)  Especially since it's for fun!

And this weekend might have sewing company, and a chance to work for long periods of time in the forge.  Even if it will be cold!  Brrrrr.

I PROMISE I will try to get a pic up of Texas Daycare tonight.  I was just too tired last night.
Busily yours,

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

More forge work

Here's D's mug rug.  It's smaller than mine, since she has a smaller desk.  But I might be making myself one this size as well.  :)  I like this one! 

Last night was work on housework and Little Moo (Texas Daycare).  I am working steadily on the grass for him.  (oh, and the lawn guy came yesterday while we were at work and mowed!  Hooray!!)  So, after dusting and dishes and all that fun stuff, I got some quilting in after all.  It made me happy. 

I didn't manage to get anything cut on the nerd quilt (BST) - but I did pull the last of the material for it.  It's going to be... interesting.  I hope. 

Here are the colors - for the blocks.  The sashing material I am reserving for now.   I already have the quilting plan laid out, just have to cut and piece and such first!!  And when it's all pieced, the quilting should go quickly!  I hope.  I may quilt it with glow in the dark thread.  We'll see....  I want a little sparkle on this one. 

I wish I had more to show!!  Maybe tonight I will post another pic of Texas Daycare.... just to show progress!  And soon... soon the weather will change to cold (brrr!) and I can haul Boston Molasses Flood back out and start working on it again!  (For some reason, it seems to be a winter project... I duuno.)

There you have it!  Two posts in two days! 

Monday, October 22, 2012

Hooray Monday and finishes!!!

It was a productive weekend!  Friday left me with an inclination to crawl into a hole and pull it in after me.  So this weekend I went to the quilt forge and spent a good deal of time there, with the end result that things got done.  Yayayayayayay! (Muppet flailing arms)

I really need to get better pictures!

First up - I found some scraps of material that (gasp) went together very well, so I made a mugrug or two.  It was something I could quilt on my machine while D was setting up a quilt on Frank for her to do.  I forgot to get a picture of the one for D, so I'll have to put that up here later.  But the one for me:

I like the peacock colors, even though they aren't my normal choice, and not something I'd wear.  But for a mug rug... you bet!  I might even make another one, a little smaller, if I get my work desk adjusted.  Then I can take this one back home and use it for a placemat!
It's a little big, but I like it.  It will handle a couple of mugs or bottles (since I usually have a DP and a glass of water with me).  It's also less lop-sided than it appears in the picture, which is nice.  All in all, a success!  And pic of D's will follow this evening.

The other thing I did get finished (finally!!) is my Black and White quilt.  I'm still pondering a name for it - it's the Sea Glass pattern, but in blacks and whites (duh).   It's 72" x 72" - so a nice size. 

Some of the contrast in fabrics doesn't show up quite as well in the pictures as it does in real life.  There are 8 different fabrics in this one, and I am quite pleased with it!

So that was my weekend - setting up Frank with black and white, sewing, quilting, helping D set up Frank with her blue and green quilt (Twisted, I think....), and working on Crazy Diamonds. 

I have 14 blocks left to do on Crazy Diamonds, so this week I will pull 56 fabrics from our stash that I haven't already used and get those blocks finished up.  Then I can figure out how to quilt it, since it's going to be too big for Frank!  (Not to mention I have no clue what I am going to do as far as quilting design.  *shrug*  Burn that bridge when we get there!)

Also, I got fabric in for the nerd/geek quilt on Saturday, so I pulled the other fabrics from our stash and started measuring and cutting.  I'm halfway done with cutting the blocks.  Tonight I am going to shoot for finishing the cutting, and start the blocks.  If I can do that, I will be most pleased! (The abbreviation for the nerd quilt is going to be BST for now).

Aaaaand.... I worked more on Texas Daycare.  I am quilting the grass now.  Once I finish that, I'll do the tree trunk and the calf himself, and then lay down the barbed wire border... and then bind him and call him done!  Hooray!  (hand quilting takes me forever!)

Gosh, it HAS been a busy weekend!