Friday, May 25, 2012

Sweet Treats may help

Yesterday was one of those days. Everyone has them from time to time. It seemed like every time I got started and focused the phone would ring. I would deal with whatever was given to me during the phone call and try to get back and focused on sewing and someone would come to the door. All day long!
Three phone calls from my sisters about my dad in the nursing home. Three telemarketers (two from the same company!) One Pharmacy call. One Doctor. I called my friend to ask questions about Daddy. Ray called FIVE times. Needless to say I got way less accomplished than I had hoped.

I wanted to get the monkey basted...nope!
I was trying to test a quilt pattern for a 2am I was still working through it.
During some of the calls I was mindlessly sewing strips for a design Judy Laquidara called Sweet Treat. She is doing a sew-a-long if you are interested.It's pretty simple, but with all the distractions I think I may have done something wrong. I will have to recheck.

Even if I did I like the way it looks so far. Plus I like the name, Sweet Treat. I have to go pick Ray up from the airport in a little bit. I can see a trip to Yogurtology before we return home!

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Local Quilt Shop

I had to make a run to the quilt shop closest to me. I am so fortunate to have two quilt shops within about 15 minutes of my home.  I remember the days of 2 hour drives when I lived in Texas, so two within such a short drive, I am one happy girl.
Anyway back to the trip. I needed a new 6 1/2" ruler. Mine had a chip out of the corner and I couldn't trim my HSTs. This ruler was old enough that you couldn't just flip it and use another corner, as there were no markings. No biggie. I wanted to look at the Creative Grid rulers anyway. I have old Omnigrid rulers, the ones with the yellow markings and then some slightly newer Omni-grip. I like the Old Omnigrid, but they are so slick and I can't find anything that I like to make them not slide across the fabric just as I am in the middle of the cut. Grrr. The new Omni-grip are losing their neon green/grip stuff so they are starting to slide, plus most of them have chips since I am notorious for dropping things.

I found a ruler and it looked good so I grabbed it. Out of the corner of my eye I saw this book.
I love all things Kim Diehl. I love her color choices. I love her designs. This book even has a patchwork pillow for cat lovers! This book went home with me!

Love, love, love this!
I can see this one in my living room!

Pardon the crappy picture. I'm still not too friendly with my phone camera.

Then I saw this...


When they said small pieces I think they meant tiny, but knew they would scare off too many potential buyers.  One inch strips makes for tiny 4-patches!

As far as the monkey quilt goes, I have decided it is finished. No second bright blue border. I will bind it in the blue since I think it needs another splash of it. Now I have the backing to cut and piece together and baste on. I hope I can start quilting today. Ray just called and he may be delayed another day so I might actually get to it since I get another day of no cooking and cleaning. But really, whether he comes home or not I must do laundry and dishes. it is beginning to look like the dwarf's cottage  in the woods. Too bad there isn't a singing girl and helpful critters to do the work!


Wednesday, May 23, 2012

It's a top!

I would have been finished with the top a lot sooner if I had not jinxed myself by saying yesterday I had not had to rip very much! I spent a lot of time last night ripping and re ripping. I knew I had to put some coping sections in the border, but I read the graph paper wrong and put them in the wrong places. I was just putting on the last two borders and realized when I was 4 inches short something was very wrong.

I am debating putting another small strip of the bright blue on the outside. I don't want it to look framed, but I think that blue makes it sparkle. What do you think?

I may just bind it in that color if it looks too much like a picture frame with another border.

It sure feels good immersing myself in my sewing again.


Tuesday, May 22, 2012

New quilt

I have been working for the past couple of days on a very special project. My longest and dearest friend has a precious grandson that has been sick for quite a while. Many doctors have been on the case but no one knows what the problem is. This little cutie loves monkeys. I mean he LOVES them. He has been Curious George for the last two years at Trunk or Treat at their church. His Grandma , my friend, makes both of the boys costumes each year, just like she made her own children's in years past. I'm not talking about finding a pair of brown sweats and gluing on a tail. Oh no, she spends weeks  making the suits, after weeks of searching for just the right fabric.
Anyway back to sweet grandson #2. Looking at him he reminds me a lot of my youngest since he is so small. GS2 loves monkeys so much that when I saw the Quiltmaker magazine with the monkey quilt in it I knew I had to make it for him. I redid the sizes in the pattern since there was no way I was going to cut one of anything with a 3/8" in it, much less many that size.  Plus there was just one banana in the whole quilt. Anyone who knows monkeys know they love bananas so I adjusted the border to fit a few more.
Yesterday I did a marathon sewing on this guy. I realized when I crawled in the bed I had worked him him almost non-stop for 15 hours. I did stop for about 40 minutes to cook the husband some dinner, but then right back at it. I only had to rip once! Pretty good!

Ok, back at the machine! I want to get the borders on today. Ray left this morning for a two day trip and I set a goal of working on this as much as needed to finish before he returns. Since I won't have to cook or do housework. Sounds like fun to me!


Thursday, May 17, 2012

How special!

I have been working on Ray's tiny PITA quilt. Yes I really do call it that. It is wearing on my patience! I do more cussing under my breath when I'm working on it.
For some unknown reason the tiny pieces, even though I pin usually don't piece straight. The edges are straight when I pin them and they are even when I am through piecing, but when you open it up they don't go straight they either bend in a V, or in an upside down V or one piece ends up a smidge longer or shorter. I try hard to not be a perfectionist, but it really makes me crazy when I can't figure out why something is going wrong. Any ideas?  I paper pieced so those parts are as close to perfect as they can be. Then they are pieced to more PP HSTs. So those should come out right if I pieced them right.
I like the center of this one!
This center not so much!

See how this one is wonky?

even though it is PP and pinned it is not quite right

This one is doing the same thing.
 Maybe I should call it the Wonky PITA quilt.
Another thing that is making me slightly crazy(er) is the whole pressing the seams open thing. I understand they are supposed to make the block lay flatter and quilt easier. Well I don't know about the quilting part as I don't normally go there, but that is what the designer said so I am trusting her.  I can't seem to press them open without causing issues in other areas. Maybe it will come with practise.

This is mostly medical so you can skip to the bottom now if you don't care, but for the ones who ask me about my health I share...

I went to my rheumatologist yesterday. He told me to stop playing around with my medicine doses.
I was trying to take less of one of my meds. For some reason I got it in my head I was taking too much. I am supposed to take one three times a day. I decided to take it twice a day. Not a good idea! I woke up each of those nights in so much pain Ray said I had been whining in my sleep every time I moved. Ok, so I will not try and play doctor.
I was just worried I would have to keep increasing the dose and be one of the people who have to "doctor shop" to get enough to keep me from hurting. The doctor assured me I was not taking a large dosage, and I was stable as the dosage had not increased in almost two years. He also assured me he would keep a close eye on the dosage and for me to not worry.
It sounds so silly now that I am typing it, but I really was concerned.

Now to the special part. My right foot has an inflamed tendon near the heal. I have tried to be very careful with it and wear proper shoes (when I remember shoes at all!). Then yesterday I tell the doctor my left foot is hurting in the middle of the foot, but on the outside edge. He said it could be two things...yep after the xray it was determined I have an inflamed tendon on my left foot! How special! He said he could put me in a boot, but he was afraid it would cause issues in my hips and lower back and that would hurt much worse than the foot. First order of business is never go barefooted! Are you kidding me? I don't wear shoes! 95% of the time!


Monday, May 14, 2012

I bought a new book or two

While in Mobile the last time I heard about the upcoming retreat class that will be available. I was so excited after seeing the sample! I met Karen at a previous retreat and found she was not only very nice but super talented.
Karen will be teaching us out of the book Geometric Gems by Cathy Weirzbicki. This is a pretty exciting book! Right off the bat I know of three I want to make. You will be surprised how some of them are pieced.
Karen will be teaching the quilt Pineapple Nine Patch. You can see it here on Karen's blog. Previously Karen made another quilt like this as a mystery and this is the one I fell in love with since it is made in all of the colors I love so much.

Isn't it beautiful? If you are not a fan and haven't clicked on the Karen's blog ling go ahead and go there now. I know you will love the latest one she made! Go on...I'll wait.
Like I said really beautiful!
If I ever get my sewing room straightened up I know I have enough browns and creams to get one made. remember the picture of the creams through brown shelf? I have enough huh?

On the same order I received a new beading book. I almost didn't order it as it looked way over my skill level. Boy am I glad I got it. The first day and a half I just turned the pages over and over again loving the beautiful pieces. Then I started looking at my beads and knew I didn't have what I needed to make anything in the book. Then I just threw up my hands and decided to make do.

It is the same bracelet taken with different lighting. The top one makes the round beads the correct color and the bottom one has it right on the blue/green beads. Not only did I surprise myself that I could make it. I was so pleased I had tried my own colors and it turned out pretty good.  Ray asked me if I would wear it and I told him, you bet your sweet bippy! I need to finish the clasp and it is done.

The puppies are asking to be walked.


Thursday, May 10, 2012

Can you guess?

Just by looking at this picture can you guess which is my favorite color? Which is my least favorite? Hint, my favorite takes up a whole shelf and the least isn't even a whole stack.
I have always LOVED browns, golds, and tan colors. That is my great weakness. I don't think I have ever met a brown I didn't love.
Last week I had a crazy idea I wanted to refold my fabrics to see if I could get them all to fit in one spot. I didn't succeed in that, but I did get a fresh slap in the face about my vast stash. I got another elbow to the gut when I went to rearrange and sort through the UFOs. Would you believe me if I told you as I was giving myself a good tongue lashing about all of them I actually saw a pattern and thought how fun it would be to make it? OMG! I am hopeless! I was thinking how my family will say after I am dead and gone. Mom left us all of this fabric and patterns, no quilts, but great intentions!

The only way I could get all of my fabric sorted by color and style was to move my civil war fabrics to a shelf out in the room instead of in the closet. This might work better since I mostly use these and I won't have to leave the closet door open for easy access. These of course are not sorted by color yet as I just dumped them there about midnight. Aching back and legs made me stop for rest.

Ray has been talking about getting a sewing desk built. Now I am trying to decide if I want one. If I do, what size and how do I want it to look. If I don't want it how will I rearrange the room to work better. I still think I will remove one of the tall tables. But after I thought about that I realized I store quite a bit under the tables. What will I do with all of that? Does anyone live near me and want to come advise me on this stuff? I need help. I don't want a fancy room. We have discussed before that I am not fancy. I just want a well organized, well laid out, functioning room. Right now I spend way too much time looking for all the stuff I now I own. By the time I find it I have to stop and do something else since I wasted all of my sewing time hunting and searching.

Teresa over at Fabric Therapy has a VERY organized sewing area. I think I will use one of her ideas and go buy me a bin/drawer thing to sort all of the gizmos and whatsits I have accumulated.

Have I already mentioned all of this before? I feel like I might be repeating myself. If I have forget it and I will try to do better. It is just this is what has been on my mind A LOT lately.


Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Wash, Fold, Repeat

     I have been on a cleaning jag in my sewing room. I never seem to be happy with my sewing room. I change it and think it might be the right way then after a few months I am seeing problems. Right now I have two adjustable height tables. One for ironing and one for cutting. Well that was the original plan, but I have noticed a trend. I am actually ironing on a small pad to the right of my machine and cutting on a mat to the left of my machine and the two large tables are over flowing with fabrics, patterns, magazines, books, rulers, etc!
     So basically I could get rid of the tables and not lose any space. Why do I have them? I don't know. I guess I thought I still needed them. I originally used them when I had the business and they were perfect. Now I don't iron large multiple yard pieces and I don't cut from 100 yard rolls. I think I will keep the cutting table because I do like having a large area when I am cutting, but the ironing table can go. It is just a catch all. I think the ironing board with my home made big board will be sufficient.
     If I put a shelf unit where the ironing table was I can get stuff put away. Maybe. What i have found if I might have all of my fabric in the closet, but as I search through and pull fabrics I tend to put them in the floor in front of the shelf. This creates another issue. The door can no longer shut and I have a huge mess in the floor. Honestly what I need is an assistant who goes behind me and cleans up after me. Refolding the fabric, clearing off the tables, turning off the iron...sounds a lot like a mom or wife. Well, not my mom, she would make us do it ourselves, but maybe a wife. That's it! I need a wife! If I had one I could sew all day and she would have dinner ready when I got hungry! She would have the laundry done and the magical underwear drawer would be full again. But if I had a husband might get ideas...never mind!

Ok, back to the sewing room to wash, fold and repeat. Pictures soon.


PS. Thank you to all who were concerned with my "blues". Today I feel better, we will see what tomorrow holds.