Monday, August 29, 2011

To Do

My Sunday "to do" list looked like this:
1) Sleep late
2) Practice free  motion quilting
3) Get DD1 to the airport
4) Send DD2 on driving practice with DH
5) Quilt more while I have the house to myself.

The real list went like this:
1) Wake at the usual time.
2) Try to calm DD1 who's anxiety about the trip was huge.
3) Help DD1 kill time when she realized her flight was 2 hrs later than she thought by cleaning the room DH refers to as "The Fire Hazzard".
4) Do 4 loads of laundry and the dishes. Might as well clean the rest of the house while I'm at it.
5) Get DD1 to the airport & DD2 on drive with DH

6) Have friend stop by to use my rotary cutter/ruler to slice 9-patch blocks.
7) Help her to finish piecing the baby quilt.
8) Sew donated pieces of batting together to make a free batting.
9) Drive to over-priced grocery store near house to buy roasted chicken for dinner.
10) Brainstorming phone call with colleague.
11) Add some straight line stitching to some of my practice blocks.
12) Worry about why my internet was down (last time it was b/c DD had illegally downloaded music).
13) Sew hexies together while watching football.

A very productive Sunday...though not at all what I'd planned.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Really Trippy

Skater Girl visited me at the machine last night before bed.  "Dude!  That is really trippy!  I didn't know your machine could do that."  
Duuude!  Like I Know, Right?

Friday, August 26, 2011

Groom's Quilt Pieced

Despite many interruptions, I managed to get the "Groom's Quilt" (aka You're Sleeping on the Couch) pieced.  I opted for different widths on the horizontal and vertical sashing so that the final quilt would end up square. 

The next conundrum is how to quilt it. 

The sashing is 4 & 6 inches wide and the outside border about 9 inches.  That requires some interesting quilting.

I traced one of the blocks with wash-away ink onto a  piece of white sheeting to practice.  I scoured Leah Day's website for ideas for new-to-me fills.  I now have several new favorites including Matrix, Pointy Paisley,  and Mussle Shell

My free motion quilting is slowly improving.  I'm finding certain shapes to be pretty comfortable and others still look pretty ragged.  I also find that I start creating new designs when I wander off my planned route and opt not to un-stitch.  My biggest challenge is to keep from stitching too dense of patterns. 

I think I'm going to give one more try to FMQ tonight.  New challenge is to see if I can get the tension adjusted so I can use one color on the top thread and a different one for the bobbin. (A girl can dream, right?)

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Sleeping on the Couch

Managed to spend a litle time this afternoon finishing up the last of the "Sleeping on the Couch" blocks. Made Skater Girl and her friend Meg play "Design Wall Speed Rearrange" with me until we all liked this lay out.

Tomorrow, I have time set aside to add sashing and maybe you'll get a finished photo in good lighting of this project.

Meanwhile...Harley Dude and I are on our way to enjoy a 21st anniversary dinner.  Wow.  How did that happen so fast?  It probably helps that many quilt shops are located next to bars.  Some may say it's coincidence...I say it's either really good  business practice or maybe just Karma. 

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Contributing to the deliquency of a minor

My teen-aged friend Miranda asked if I'd help her to make a baby quilt. 

I offered 2 pattern options, and she chose the disappearing 9-patch.  After a trip to the fabric store and some time cutting 6 inch squares, we had a few lovely 9-patches.

Which I cut into quarters, rearranged, and had her sew back together.  We are both pleased with the result.

Unfortunately, I had some math errors and ended up with double the fabric needed.  Looks like I'll be sewing a bonus quilt for her with the leftovers as an apology for making her buy more than necessary.  (Although my guilt is mitigated by the fact that my coupons and stash fabrics had already cut the cost in half.)

Monday, August 22, 2011

Oregon Bike Trip

I love the fact the the Quilts Plus in Halfway, OR has about as many bolts of batik fabric as they have residents of the town.   I was picking out fabric with wild abandon and  received a surprise bonus when I found out that there was 25% off sale.  Hurray!

We also stopped at the 3 quilt shops in Baker.  One was closed and the other 2 I'd been to last month - and they didn't have anything new in fabrics I was looking for.  So we stopped at the Geiser Grand for a cold drink.  It's a haunted hotel.  We stayed there a couple years ago with the family.  When we walked into the library for the first time, all 4 of us (without saying anything) walked up to this book case and started looking for secret triggers to make the bookcase move.  There isn't one.  We just all read too much Nancy Drew.  I sent this pic to the girls by phone to see if they could guess where we were.

And the quilt shop in Joseph is open 11-3 on Sundays from Easter to Christmas....just in case you needed to know.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

I've just been bribed into going to the Bronze Bike Ralley in Joseph Oregon this weekend with the promise of stopping at the quilt shop in Halfway, OR (and maybe the 3 in Baker...and a couple in LaGrande).  Does anyone know if the quilt and yarn shops in Joseph are open on Sunday????

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

WIP on Wed - Aug 17 Hexies

I'm slowly making progress on the hexi quilt.  I am still very pleased with the design (based upon an antique original) but now that I have what is to be the width of the quilt, am quite concerned with it's small size (only 46 inches).  I guess that means some borders and some very challenging color matching. 

As I was hunkered down on the couch Saturday watching cooking shows, I was amused by the assortment of eclectronic gagets that were starting to accumulate around me.  And I was pleased to be sitting on the Joseph's Coat quilt that was left of the couch/futon after a guest had come to visit.

The other accomplishment of the week was back to school registration and shopping for Skater Girl.  We had surprising success finding "chill" clothes at one thrift store.  And I just might have snagged this great piece of retro fabric for my stash.  Don't you just love it???

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

WIPs on Wed - Aug 10

I've done some hand-work this week.  I pulled out Rita's hexi quilt and stitched together a few of the pieces that I'd already prepped.  I read about a technique used with plastic templates that stitches only on the back side, instead of the right-sides-together & whip stitch that I normally use.  I much prefer the outcome with not even the smallest stitches visible, but it significantly slows down my process.

I'm up to 11 of the blocks for the Groom's Quilt that were detailed in the past 2 posts. 

But my main project this week has been upping my physical activity.  I need to do get serious about doing something to off-set all the sitting-and-quiltmaking time.  The physical activitiy challenge at work in July got me started. (This was the view under my desk yesterday)

My new iPod arrived today and thanks to e-books (and a borrowed mp3 player), I've started increasing from 150 minutes a week with a new goal of 300 or more.  8/3-8/9total: 273.

I think it's starting to work.  I was assessing my mid-section yesterday and I think I'm up to a 2-pack.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Groom's Quilt Cont.

I made progress today by finishing the book on tape and turning the random shaped pieces into some blocks that are 9x15 inches.  I am, in theory, about 1/2 way done.  I think there may be 15 blocks to this quilt.  But then again, I thought the blocks were going to be a couple sizes different than what they ended up.  At times I didn't think I'd have anywhere near enough fabric to make 15 blocks, now I'm wondering if I'll have tons left over.   The current plan is to set these off with sashing...around 3 inches wide... also in white.  Only time will tell.

Friday, August 5, 2011

Groom's Quilt

Earlier today, I wrote a brilliant post in my mind which I have completely forgotten.  My brain is now completely numb from 11 hours of piecing and listening to Eat, Pray, Love as a "book on tape" downloaded from the library.  About noon, my daughter asked why I didn't just watch the movie.  Now that I'm on chapter 66, of the 13 hour recording, I too am wondering. 

Enjoy the pretty picture and I'll give you details when I regroup my lost mind.