Monday, March 26, 2012

There was a quilt show this weekend

Image found on Google I don't know who it belongs to
I was so excited!
It has been a while since I have been to a quilt show. Well, November in Houston was the last show. I was feeling the need to see finished, completely quilted with labels quilts since I don't see many of them at my house.
Friday was the day! I got up and was shocked to see my husband was up and working in the livingroom. He was all engrossed in cleaning out boxes that I have been asking him to go through since we moved into the house. Two and a half years ago!
No biggie I will just go by myself, more fun that way anyway. Ray speaks up and asks me to help him a minute. Several hours later I look at the clock and realize by the time I shower and drive to the show I will have about 1 1/2 hours...I'll go tomorrow.
Saturday dawns and I know there is a Astros vs. Pirates ball game we are going to, but I can go to the quilt show before the game and have plenty of time to see everything and shop for any new stuff I might see.
Can you guess what happened next? I'll tell you. Ray's work phone rings and I know instantly my plans have just changed.

By the time we get to leave I will have about 45 minutes at the quilt show before the ball game starts and we still haven't eaten. I just say, forget it, apparently I am not supposed to go to this quilt show. I am sad, but I will get over it.
We a place that gave me indigestion.
We arrive at the ball game. Pretty good seat, but at McKechnie field in Bradenton there are few bad seats. The weather was perfect. Not too warm, nice breeze. Most people are rooting for the Pirates, but there are a few Texans there for the Astros.
I had forgotten how bored I get at ball games. 10 innings with minutes of excitement. The best time was the last two innings as right at the last minute the Astros hit a homer to get three runs and tie the game. They went on to win with one more run, but that was about it for excitement.

So for all the sacrifices I made to be a go along to get along wife? I was stinky from sweat, I had indigestion, got to see way more skin than I needed to on both men and women, skinny and not so skinny, and wait for it...I got a sun burn! My head, my neck and both arms. I wore a 3/4 length sleeve and we sat in the shade for most of the game. Apparently not enough shade or not enough of the time. :(
Next time there is a quilt show, I'll go! I have never gotten a sun burn at a quilt show!

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Why do we always put off until tomorrow what would be cheaper to do today?

I had to go get a new Passport photo today. We have needed a new one for several months. That is how long it has taken to actually pull into the pharmacy and get one. Did we do it back in November when we first realized ours would expire at the end of March? Nope
Did we go in January? How about February? No, we had to wait until March 22nd. The same day Ray found out he had to go to Canada on business. What would have cost about $100 (yes isn't that outrageous?) is now costing almost double that. (even more outrageous!)

I assumed since my passport needed to be renewed also we would expedite Rays and mine would go on the slow boat since I don't have to go with him. OH NO! We must do mine that way too. Now we are up to almost $400, and we haven't left the state yet! Now I can't wait to find out much the airline tickets will be.


Wednesday, March 21, 2012

My thoughts

Much to my surprise I read the sign, The Patchwork Pig is closing. I almost cried. It is an hours drive from my house, but I got to go 5 or 6 times a year. They had the best selection of civil war reproduction fabrics. I am sad just thinking about it.
Last year in the fall the LQS nearest me closed. Then I read about a shop I did business with on our travels closed. This is getting seriously sad.
Last month I was told the bead shop that I love so much is closing. The owners have hung on for 3 years with no pay and using their savings to keep the doors open. Much too long in my opinion, but I do understand the hope that it will turn around if you hang on just a bit longer.
Depressing. I know we had a boom for many years where people made good money and hobbies could be splurged on. Quilting was an area where I saw LOTS of money dropped and I did my own splurging and dropping. I know in the economy there are ups and downs, but I still find it sad that people, myself included love(d) their jobs/businesses but have to give it up. There just isn't the extra income anymore.
I hear from the business owners say they can't stay open if everyone shops online. I understand that. On the other hand as a consumer trying to stretch my money I can't see me paying a brick and mortar store $10-$12 a yard for the same fabric I can buy online for $7-$10. I completely understand  the B&M stores provide a service that you can't get online. But I also know for a fact they don't provide the services they did just ten years ago. First off when I started quilting the ONLY place to learn was at a quilt shop or guild. Now days you can learn so much online or take classes on DVD that you can stop and replay as much as you wish. Most of the quilt shops I know of (and that is a lot) don't even have classes on a regular basis and when they do it is for purses, or quick quilts I lovingly call slice and serve. It takes no skill and they aren't that appealing. Why would I pay you $30-$50 to teach me to slap a few fabrics together for a "quick" baby quilt, or to follow along a pattern that I can buy for $10 and do on my own at home.
I do hope the B&M store owners find a way to become a necessity again.

Then I think about all of the "stashes" that we all have. There was no way we could keep up that kind of buying. Our homes aren't that big! I hear so much about busting stashes, using it up, giving it away. People are embarrassed by the size of the stash. My former pastor would call that gluttony. I'm guilty so I'm not pointing fingers.
Lots of quilt shops opened during the feeding frenzy years. There were years of Shop Hops where you could board a bus and spend a day going from shop to shop. There were so many shops in some areas that it may take two days of this or more and you could spend less than an hour at each place. Women would come home and have spent LOTS of money. I have been friends with some ladies (they told me this in confidence) that when they got home and dropped their bags, they didn't open them for weeks or month because they had so much it got lost in the shuffle. I did this a time or two. I blamed it on the fact I was shopping at quilt shows I was vending at and I was just too busy to put it all away. The truth is I was part of the frenzy. Buying just because it was pretty and it called to me.
Now our closets are full to overflowing. There is no room for more sewing machines after the 5th or 12th  or 20th one. We own 7 cutting mats and 13 rotary cutters. There are 8 deep drawers of thread and that is just the embroidery threads, not counting the piecing or quilting threads. We have two or more books shelves that are buckling under the weight of books, magazines and patterns. We are taking medication for the anxiety we feel everyday after looking at the list of 73 UFOs we haven't touched in ages. The bright spot in the sewing area is looking at the finished tops we have ready for quilting. The anxiety continues when we realize there are 57 of these tops that need to be quilted. I have tops for my as yet to be born grandchildren. Two of my three children aren't even dating anyone much less married!!!

Ok, now that we are almost buried under our quilt obsession what do we do?
I say we dig ourselves out! Dig out and get to sewing!
Sews and quilt!
Give away the quilts!
Quilts of Valor!
Homeless shelters!
Emergency relief!
Just make beautiful quilts and enjoy the fabric, patterns, threads, etc that you own. Stop stressing over the size of the stash and sew! Stop stressing over the UFOs. If you no longer want to make the project offer it to someone. Sell it, give it away, just get out from under it. Sewing and quilting do not go well with anxiety. Sewing is supposed to be a stress reliever. If you are avoiding your sewing area due to the over abundance you need to take a deep breath, pull your shoulders back and dig in. Get the sewing area into a shape you can be happy about once again. Once you are happy you can accomplish great things.

Now that I have got myself all pepped up I am going to get a Coke and go sew!

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

My birthday

This past weekend was my birthday. Ray and I spent the day doing just what I wanted. I slept late, WOO HOO!  We got up and drove to Lakeland, and ate at one of my favorite restaurants, Harry's Seafood in downtown Lakeland. We walked over to one of my favorite quilt shops andI was shocked to learn they are closing soon. More on that later. I did buy me a few pieces of conversational shirting fabrics and two spools of thread.

We walked down the street a little more, it was a beautiful day. Went into a silly little store that sells old fashioned stuff like my Papa used to buy. There was Black Strap gum, Clove gum, and Beemans, one my favorites, but at $1 a 5 piece pack I don't see them staying in business long, YOW!

Well actually this is my favorite gum, but they didn't have any, but I had a pack at home.

After leaving Lakeland we started driving back toward our house but we HAD to stop at Yogurtology. If you haven't tried it before, you need to. They had most of my favorites; vanilla of course, yellow cupcake and salted caramel. Oh my goodness! It was so good! Ray got red velvet cake, strawberry and salted caramel.  This is not your run of the mill soft serve yogurt joint, it tastes like smooth soft serve ice cream. I'm sure it isn't all low fat, but I know they have several that are low fat and low or no sugar added.
Heading home we got to see the most beautiful sunset. They have been so pretty lately.   I got home to messages on the phone, birthday cards in the mail, and facebook wishes from so many that I know and love. I even got a text picture from my sister of my Daddy. She went to see him and she reminded him it was my birthday and he posed for a picture. He doesn't remember who everyone is every day, but that day he remembered me.

With all of this nostalgia and now talking about my Daddy I had better go before I cry again. But I did have a great birthday!


Monday, March 19, 2012

This little quilt of Ray's

This cute little pattern Ray picked out and I said, "Sure I can do that! It's just HSTs." Ha! It is eating my lunch!
The pieces are so small and my fingers aren't as nimble as they used to be so I have to be slow and deliberate when ironing and pinning and piecing. If not, I will be doing more ripping like I had to last night. The tiniest amount being off will make one piece not fit the next.
Last night I discovered, my 1/4" may be fine for larger pieces but for these tiny 3/4" HSTs it is way off. If this was for anyone else I might say forget it, but I am going to find the perfect 1/4" allowance and mark it with something. I have been using my special Bernina foot but it seems to be off by about two threads. Like I said that isn't much when your dealing with large pieces, but I'm not and it does matter here.
I may pull out my Featherweight and see if I can get a correct seam allowance easier.

I have lots of the pieces pressed and ready to assemble, but just that takes quite a bit of time for each one. I will have to time myself to know exactly but it isn't just slap it down there press and go.  I even had to retire my favorite little iron that sat next to my sewing machine. Since I press after each seam that is sewn I spent more time getting up and walking across the room than sewing. The only Rowenta iron that I owned and didn't spit died. I drug out my travel iron and it is okay, but the tip is really round instead of pointed. I will have to get used to it.

These finish at 3 1/2" each.
I think I will make some just a bit larger and see if I like them better. :)
It really isn't that bad. I am just doing everything so much different that I normally do them. I decided since they were such tiny pieces I would follow the directions to the letter and see if I could get them to come out right. That means making the HSTs with paper, pressing each seam open and lots of spray sizing. All of which are different for me.

Okay, off to get something accomplished today!


Monday, March 5, 2012

Some progress has been made

Can you tell what this is?
This is a container with all the little tips that I cut from the HSTs that I made for Ray's wall quilt. I think it looks kinda pretty, but I'm glad I cut them off. I don't always cut the tips off my HSTs but can see in a quilt this size how it would create lots of bulk.

This is a cigar box with some of the HSTs. They looks so cute all lined up and neat.

Here are a few more of the HSTs.
I made a sample block, and boy am I glad I did! I missed the small print in the pattern that recommended all the seams to be pressed open for bulk management. It was lumpy and bumpy and looked like I didn't sew straight.

There will be little time to work on them today as I have a full list of things to accomplish and I have had a late start. :(

Another item Ray picked out at the expo was a wool applique picture. His Granny used to make items for her house and he said it reminded him of her stuff. I have everything I need except wool thread. I guess a Google search will help with that. I hope so anyway.

Ok, off to start checking things off my list.