Friday, September 25, 2015

Getting A Handle on Some Projects

Yesterday afternoon, I spent some time working on another Row by Row kit.  The finishing details and machine stitching on the applique are all that's left on this one.  Hopefully I'll have some time to spend in the sewing room this weekend to get it completed.  

There's also a Civil War Sampler block down there about half finished.  I haven't been spending as much time down there lately.  It's not that I'm disenchanted with quilting, it's that when I work on these I wind up spending money.  Lots of money on new projects to start.  And, I neglect all the other projects that are in the works.

I spent quite a bit of time yesterday working on the paisley pumpkin, and it's just shy of the half-way point in completion.  I plan to work on this almost exclusively this weekend.

Another project getting some attention now is the afghan I'm making for my niece.  I have several projects on my WIP list that are gifts, and I'd like to get them done soon.  This one will move to the top of the priority list once the paisley pumpkin is finished.

Thursday, September 24, 2015

When I'm Gone, When I'm Gone

You're gonna miss me when I'm gone ......


I tried switching my schedule around, and now everything is messed up.  Yep, I'm a creature of habit, and when my habits get interrupted, everything goes amiss.  I was doing so well blogging in the mornings, so not sure why I decided to switch it up, but I did.  Well, yes, truthfully I do know why I switched it up.  I've been doing this online Bible study.  The book is "Taming The To-Do List".  

It made me feel guilty for not putting more emphasis on my spiritual growth, so I decided to do my Bible studies first thing in the morning.  

It made me feel guilty for not putting more effort into getting my housework done, so I decided to do the cleaning right after Bible studies.

By then, I'm ready to tackle some crafting, and blogging just went by the wayside.  I've tried blogging at other times during the day before, but if I don't do it in the morning, I wind up putting it off and never get it done.

I actually set time aside today to get this post written, but tomorrow, I'm going to start blogging in the morning again.

So anyway, last time I blogged, I showed a photo of several Bento Box quilt squares I had made for some charity blankets.  After I bought the fabric, I started having second thoughts about how bold it seemed.  It just didn't seem appropriate for this charity.  My husband told me it was fine, and since he usually has such good taste, I went ahead and made all those blocks.  Those doubts just keep niggling me though, and once I had the first quilt top done, I couldn't ignore them any more.  The fabric just wasn't right for this cause.  I put all those blocks away, to be used in a quilt for me some day, and bought other fabric to re-make the quilts.  I'm much happier with my efforts now.

Here is the finished stack of blankets.  They went with my husband to his workplace to be donated this afternoon.

I used fat quarters of baby flannel for this small blankets, and added a crocheted edging to them.  After making four of these, my hands are cramping up.  I'd forgotten how rough it is on the fingers to force a steel crochet hook through the flannel to get that first round of edging on there.

 The next set of blankets I made are simple granny square blankets, worked up in white, with pink and blue ribbons attached at the edges.  I made two of each color.

And last, the simplified version of the baby quilts, in less loud fabric.  I'm much happier with these, and wish I had just listened to that little voice in my head to begin with.

I practiced my free motion quilting on the pink quilts, using a rose stipple pattern.

And, did some simple cross hatch quilting on the blue quilts using my walking foot.

 Also this past week, I finished up another of those old quilt tops that have been taking up room on my craft shelves.  This one was quilted a month or so ago, but I finally got around to binding and washing it.

I also pulled out one of the Row by Row kits.  This one was done except for doing the satin stitch around the applique.  I decided to do all the stitching in black.  It gives it a coloring book feel I think.  Four more rows to do, then I can start setting the top.

Some time has been set aside to work on the cross stitch paisley pumpkin too.  This project needs to move to the top of the priority list or I won't be able to use it as a table topper this fall.  After the stitching is done, I plan to add borders in fall themed fabric and quilt it.

Monday, September 14, 2015

I'm Back In The Saddle Again

Wow!  It doesn't feel like I took over a week off from blogging, but that's exactly what I did.  Had a lovely time with my daughter and her boyfriend, even though everyone except me wound up getting sick with a nasty head cold.  One right after the other ... first the daughter, then her boyfriend, then my husband.  How I've managed not to come down with it will probably remain one of the mysteries of life, but I'm sure glad of it.

After the kids left, I got to work on another of those old quilt tops.  This one another interlocking rings, only a different setting.  The quilting is done, a simple spiral from the center using my walking foot, and all that's left to do is bury the ends and sew down the binding.  There's another quilt that's at these finishing stages too.  I thought I had gotten a photo of it, but I guess not.  I'll try for tomorrow. A bit of Netflix tonight while Paul watches football and I should be able to complete the first one get some work completed on the second.

I had plans to concentrate on the cross stitch paisley pumpkin for my October table topper, but Paul sent me an email he received at work about donating handmade items to a charity.  I checked out Mikaya's Grace, and was moved to participate.

Yesterday, while he watched football, I made enough Bento Box squares to complete 2 boy, and 2 girl quilts.  This afternoon I will work on adding sashing and borders.  Tomorrow should see the quilting started on these.

I am also crocheting blankets, and have some flannel that I will add a crochet border to.  I might get some fabric and sew some gowns too, as those should work up quickly.

Even with the extra charity crafting I'm doing, I did manage to get my Civil War Sampler blocks completed.  I really like the blue and green one.

And, I also managed to finish the last of the BOM from hell blocks.  Again, the background fabric for this block measured less than the 12 1/2" the package says the block will finish to.  Sigh.  These will be set aside for awhile, but I'm hoping to decide how I want to border them and have the top finished before the end of the year.

I also got some work done on an afghan I am knitting for my niece, who has just started her first year of college.  I love the way this pattern is working up!  It looks much more complicated than it is.  Only 4 rows to memorize, worked 3 times, then shifted ... rinse, repeat.

Thursday, September 3, 2015

I'm Walking On Sunshine

 Yesterday I finished up two more of the BOM blocks.  Both went together without issue.  Only one more to go, and I've gotten a good start on it.

Sunshine and shadows was probably the most tedious of all the blocks so far.  Even the ones that had size issues weren't as tedious as sewing together this many 1 1/2" squares.  I love how it turned out though!  A quilt made using just these blocks would be beautiful in the right fabrics.

The flying geese block was not one of my favorites.  I doubt I'll ever be making a whole quilt with these.

The block I'm working on now is being hand stitched.  It will probably take a few days to complete.  I'll work on it in the evenings when I'm watching the boob tube.  It should be done when I blog next, which probably won't be until after the holiday.  My daughter and her boyfriend are visiting over the long weekend, and I won't be wasting time on the computer during the visit.

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

You Got To Know When To Hold Em

Last night I worked a bit more on the BOM from hell block kits.  Lo and behold, the card tricks block went together without a hitch.  No pieces too big, or too small.  It was refreshing to be able to just sew it together and not have to worry.

Since I had no problems with that one, I pulled out another and put it together too.  The fan block had no problems with the sewing, but again, the base piece for the applique was too small.  I'm going to have to add a border to all of these blocks before adding sashing so I can get them all to the same size.  Only three more of these blocks to go.

I also had time to square up all the Framed quilt blocks.  Here they all are lying on the bed.  I'll adjust placement a bit on some of them, but then it's ready to be sewn together.  I'm debating whether to add white borders so this can be used on the bed, or leave it as a large throw.  I think I'm leaning towards using the fabric I bought for the back to add additional length and width, and getting more of the turquoise to use as the back.

I was able to get a bit better photo of the paisley pumpkin this morning.  This is working up pretty quickly, so I think I'll have plenty of time to create a table topper to be used in October.  It seemed bigger than I thought it would be, so I double checked my fabric.  What I thought was 25 count is actually 22 count, so yep, it's going to be bigger than the one in the magazine.  Still small enough to use in a quilted topper though, so no major worries.  What is it with size and my projects lately?

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Back On The Chain Gang

Finished!  Yay!  This poor quilt top has been put together since 1997.  I made it in my other life, when I first started quilting.  I don't think I had any kind of pattern, just winged it.  That's pretty apparent here, since it's a mish mash of a bunch of stuff all thrown together.  It's a franken-Irish Chain I supposed.  I started hand quilting this, then it got put away when I broke ties with that other life, and wasn't looked at again until we had a minor flood incident in our last house.  When I looked at it, I was reminded that it was made to go on a different bed, and I just didn't want it anymore, but who wants to throw out that much work?

I asked one of the boys if he would like it if I finished it.  He said he thought his lady would like it, so I started looking for the thread and template I was using for the quilting.  Not much work was completed, and that was three years ago.

I recently pulled it back out, and since I'm doing some machine quilting now, and not much of this was done, I ripped out the hand quilting, and prepared to start over.

I used my walking foot to do the straight line quilting, and then I tried my hand at some free motion quilting for the hearts.

The free motion quilting is a bit wobbly in some areas, and I didn't always cross in the center at the exact same spot, but all in all, it turned out nice for a first effort.  I'm sure Adrian and Sandra will get some use out of this.

Also finished up another block for the Civil War Sampler quilt.  Again, half square triangles, sigh.  I should be really good at these once this quilt is finished!

And, a bit of work completed on the paisley pumpkin.  Excuse the weird photo.  I haven't figured out yet how to get photos of cross stitch to show up nicely.  The fabric always looks strangely pixelated, and that makes the stitching look odd too.  One day I shall figure out what settings to use to fix this!