Thursday, June 25, 2009 in crafty things, Featured Articles

Quilty Fabricy bits

Seems weird to be right into quilting when the weather is getting increasingly hot out there. But I can hide in the living room, the Cave we call it, where it is still cool and blissfully dark.

Oh, but I need a light for stitching.

Amish Sunshine & Shadow

This quilt I kept having endless issues with. In an effort to use up some scraps, they were far too short for any speed strip piecing techniques. I would up spending more time fiddling with strips and ripping out seams than I did putting blocks together. I forged through until I got 16 blocks, then I stopped. It’s lap sized or wall hanging sized. It still needs a border, and then quilting. Not sure how I’m going to quilt it yet, or even what color thread. Then I think I may sell it.

The process of hand quilting

I am quilting my daughter’s quilt, on my mother’s quilt frame, with my grandmother’s tools. I have decided that while I like speed piecing techniques, I adore old-fashioned patterns and quilting. I like some machine quilting as long as it’s on a small machine. I don’t like long-arm computerized machine quilting. It makes the quilt look store bought, and then I think what was the point in that?

And I am cursing myself over Sarah’s quilt. When I pieced it together, I had a new serger and sewed many of the strips together with that. then decided to hand-quilt it. If you don’t just go “ow” I’ll tell you why: serged seams are bulky and stiff. My stitches mostly skip them entirely. And there is a lot, as I also pieced the back. Yes, I have learned a ton of stuff since then.

There’s two stacks of fabric waiting to be cut for quilt tops. One, the old soft florals for Ron & I, another, reds and yellows with white. Can’t wait to see it. I keep swapping out fabric until I am satisfied, and I have an idea for the block layout, but I’m not sure I can pull it off without overthinking, and I don’t want to mess it up either.

It has to be enjoyable for me, this piecing together of fabric and pattern and color and shape, so they all work as a whole. I see it in my head, this quilt. The hard part is getting it out.

Not sure if I want to hand-quilt a third quilt, especially a big one. But either of my machines are to cranky to machine quilt with. My mom will be loaning me hers to try, as an instructor told her it would do machine quilting quite well. If it does, and I get the hang of it, I’m sure I will be doing all mine and mom’s too.

tally:
– one quilt on the frame (Sarah’s blues and pinks)
– 3 finished tops needing to be sandwiched and basted, then quilted (blues, baby and navy/yellow)
– 3 tops in process (purple pinwheels with Nanny’s dress, Amish sunshine & shadow, rainbow stripes)
– 3 stacks of fabric waiting to be cut (faded florals, red/yellow/white disappearing 9 patch, green florals for triple Irish chain)

Oh wow, that’s ten. I’ve got it bad. Right now, I’m mostly trying to use up the stash, and picking out fabric combinations and trying to be inspired.

Minor tweaks

Over the weekend, I saw a LOT of family. (more in the next entry) Some of them complained – and rightly so – about the lack of latest Flickr photos in a prominent, above-the-fold area.

Actually, it was more like “Where the heck did your pictures go? Sheesh, bring ’em back will ya?”

So I’ve tweaked the header just for you. I need to tweak it further, as I’ve never liked how the thumbnails link to just a small picture. I want it to go right to the Flickr page.

EDIT: I updated the plugin, so now it does that! 😀 So click on any pics above.

Anyway, we had a busy weekend. You can look at the pictures with captions and comments over here.

Saturday, June 13, 2009 in Featured Articles

May I always have time to quilt

Meaghan sorted my fabric for me.

It’s not all my fabric: this pile is just the large pieces of quilting cottons, the ones I have plans for or need to be inspired by, or have to look at to check against another piece. The “in use” pile.

Not to be confused with the container of just flannel, the large bin of scraps which may have large forgotten bits in it, and the other large container of knits and non-quilting type fabric. Oh, and the bin with in-progress projects that had to be put away for a while until I feel like working on them again.

Faaaaaabric

Meaghan’s making a quilt too.

Meaghan's project

Hers is six-inch squares, finally making use of a stash I got through a long-ago swap. All greens and purples, we hunted and tore and cut our way through my entire stash of fabric so she had as many different pieces as possible.

There is a dearth of some colors in my stash. You can see from the top photo – hardly any reds, minimum orange, barely any yellow. But a riot of pinks a healthy amount of greens and look at all that blue. I blame my mom for that, as she frequently hands over fabric.

It’s funny, I look at the pile and see the quilts I *want* to make; an Amish sunshine and shadow, maybe one really bright and one more subdued. I think I have enough for that. Realizing I have enough florals to make another quilt exactly like the one I have planned for Ron and myself. Queen-sized, old-fashioned florals in soft colors. I am going to have to pay for decent batting on that, as I want a certain look to it after I’m done quilting it. Or the long piece of white that reminds me of the finished spinning spools blocks tucked in a container. The large stack of blue and while fabrics inspire me to do an entire quilt in nothing but blue and white prints. And I don’t even like blue much, but this I know will be gorgeous. It makes me want to do more two-toned quilts, maybe a yellow and white floral with white. Or better yet, my mind wanders, a two-tone quilt in just solids, preferably a red or yellow with white, the block choice showing off something special – a curve, or a pleated part perhaps. Drunkard’s Path or Ohio Star.

I love piecing the tops, whipping them up quickly. The quilting part I can do, it just seems to never get set up. I took my .. er, I mean my mom’s quilt frame down to Rose’s house. Rose, you know Rose. Rose said she’s be happy to quilt for me, she loves it. One of the few things she can still do. She’s young at heart, can’t get out much and poorer than the church mouse. But her eyes lit up as I set up the frame in front of her favorite chair, made sure she had some quilting thread and promised to bring the needles too. “Well would ya lookit that!” she keeps telling her husband. I brought her a couple tupperware containers, a couple glasses to replace the last of her that broke when her hand shook so bad.

The phone rang. It was her husband, tired and worn. “I hate to tell you this, but you’ll have to come pick up your stuff and take it back. Rose had another mini-stroke, so she won’t be able to quilt.”

Yes, she’s fine now, yes she’s home resting comfortably.

I think when I bring the frame and quilt back I’ll set it up somewhere instead of packing it away again.

Sunday, June 7, 2009 in all about me, crafty things, Featured Articles

More weekend stuff.

I uploaded a bunch of pictures to my flickr. I seem to do them in batches.

And I’m annoyed at ebay buyers. I sold a small pile of stuff, answered a HECK of a lot of questions about shipping (yes, I’ll combine) and then after they won, I sent combined shipping charges, no payment. I sent a reminder. No payment.

If it was one person, that would make sense, but out of 4 buyers, two have neglected to pay after a week. Both for multiple items. One won two auctions, the other won 4.

I may have to threaten them with neutral or even negative feedback.

But! I sold an item on etsy! I was pretty happy ’bout that.

Thursday, June 4, 2009 in I Forgot To Pick A Category

Lots of changes

So. If you popped round here lately, you’ll note I changed the theme. again. I am probably going to keep this format, as it fits into my long-term plans. I’m still tweaking, so it may change gradually, or quite a bit, depending on when you check next. 😀

Another thing I did was ditch the BlogherAds. They had changed their payments (understandable) and with some other things, I felt the amount of space they were taking up wasn’t worth the money I was getting back from them. I’ve already replaced their ad strip with a gallery of my etsy shop.

Oh yeah, I opened an etsy store. Etsy is a site to sell handmade goods and vintage items, two things I have a lot of. 😀

I have an upcoming server move and software upgrade/changeover to come too, but no idea when that will happen yet.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009 in Featured Articles, Them kids o' mine

This time it was different

Over the weekend, we helped Sarah pack up most of the crap in her room, stuff it in our dinky car, and then I drove her down to Fredericton. She’ll spend the summer working (when she finds a job) and then in September will start classes at the NB College of Craft & Design.

It will be her first day of “real” school. 😀

Yes, we have already sent one kid off into the wild blue yonder of “real life”. But this time was different, and my feminist cred is gonna slip here, but… this time, it’s a girl-child! It’s totally different!

Alas, we managed. We stuffed what she really needed into her new room downtown (easy), I spun her around the grocery store (she’s familiar with it, knows how to shop), impressed her new roomies with the fact she knows how to cook more than KD (one guy’s face looked like he just saw heaven), and then…

And then I had to just… Leave her there. That was the hard part.

Skip past the melancholy glaces into her half-empty room, the mental fingers in my ears as I try not to think about it…

The smiles when I see an email that says, “I bought second-hand curtains, they’re awesome!” (paraphrased, not a direct quote), or the note on Twitter that she unfurled her freshly laundered blankets that night and found emma’s pajama pants tangled up in them. Or seeing how she has a stuffed full calendar of people to visit, things to do, places to go.

Yeah, she’ll be fine.

Not so sure about the rest of us.