Sunday, May 19, 2013

Slow Sunday Stitching

I want to finish this row before I go to bed tonight.
It was another sleepless night and in the wee hours this morning I could be found in the living room on the couch watching TV and hand quilting my Seven Sisters quilt. I am making very slow but steady progress and I am enjoying taking every stitch. I guess it could still be considered Slow Sunday Stitching even if it wasn't during daylight hours! Thank goodness I have a wonderful floor lamp that simulates daylight and it allows me to hand sew during the darker hours. My husband gave me the lamp as a gift several years ago but I think he uses it just as much as I do, maybe even more.

I still need to tuck in the thread tails.
Later today I plan to start hand stitching the binding on my Linked quilt. I had intended to give it my friend Evelyn a couple weeks ago but things didn't go as planned. I did get as far as sewing the binding to the front and adding the label, so after a few binding sessions I should have it done and ready to go to it's new home.

I am linking up to Kathy's Slow Sunday Stitching.

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Cutting and Sewing...

Yesterday I cut a bunch of reds and a blue dot fabric into 1.5" strips and by the time I went to bed last night I had lots of strip sets made and pressed.

This morning I cut them into 1.5" segments and I cut a few of the setting triangles as well. I did sew one sample together to make sure that they fit together and happily they work.

I am making these 9 patches for a border and I need 66 of them. When I was preparing the strip sets I didn't really pay too much attention to how many I was going to end up with but I did make sure that I had cut more than enough of the blue dot strips so there should be plenty. I just guessed on the allocation of how many red/blue/red vs blue/red/blue sets and hopefully I end up with just the right amount. What are the odds of that happening - who knows - but if I don't have enough of one or the other I can always make more!

I did make my blue 9 patches for the Rainbow Scrap Challenge this week. We are supposed to use our sapphire blue scraps this month and save the lighter blue and teal/turquoise for future months. I don't think I really have too many sapphire blue scraps but I do have a lot of darker or navy blue scraps so that is what I went with. I have plenty of these darker blue 2.5" squares to make many more of these blocks but this is all I need of this particular shade of blue for the rainbow quilt I am making. I am linking up with the Rainbow Scrap Challenge. Why not pop over to see what other participants have made with their scraps this week.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Green Boy's Britches

I have been making these blocks as part of the Rainbow Scrap Challenge each month but I didn't get these finished in time for the end of April. Better late than never! Green finished at the end of April and blue started in May so I am going to try to have something ready in blue for tomorrow.

I have a big problem with these green blocks that I didn't notice until I was finished making them. They have turned out bigger than all of the previous blocks. I have changed sewing machines and I thought I had set it up correctly for a 1/4 inch seam allowance but apparently not...boohoo. I will leave them for now and decide later whether I can just trim them down or if I will have to remake them. I am so hoping that I can just trim them but I don't want to ruin the overall effect of the blocks joined together.

Monday, May 13, 2013

Hand Quilting on Mother's Day

I had a wonderful day yesterday - very relaxing and stress free! I did some hand quilting on my Seven Sisters quilt and I am making slow but steady progress. I am not as far along with the hand quilting as I had hoped to be because my right hand and particularly my thumb start to hurt after a while. I really just took it easy for the whole day and enjoyed every moment. All of my meals were made for me and quite honestly I think I could really get used to that! I am still not able to use my sewing machines because my sewing room is a disaster area. I am hoping that things will get put into order today so that I can get back into it. I have been itching to work on a few things but I just can't access them right now.

Peanut outside wondering 'what's happening?'
Yesterday's weather was something else - I live in a town in the northern part of the GTA (Greater Toronto Area) so definitely not 'up north' but look what we got yesterday.

We had rain, snow, hail, freezing rain, winds, freezing temps - the whole shebang. I just hope that the fruit trees didn't take a beating and that they will still produce fruit. We have not really had any fruit on our plum, peach and pear
Pear tree in bloom and snow on the roof!
trees for the past two years because we got freezing weather while they were still in bloom. We thought this year would be different but after yesterday I am not so sure.

Friday, May 10, 2013

I'm Still Here

Exciting things are happening! I will be purchasing a used APQS Millennium long arm machine and I can't wait to get it here so that I can learn how to use it. I am hoping to pick it up on Saturday otherwise we will have to wait until Wed or Thurs and I just don't want to wait. Now that I have made my decision I just want it here now!

I have been spending quite a bit of time researching - contacting the somewhat local dealer and APQS directly as well. I have been watching tons of videos on-line and drooling at the quilting that some of these artists are doing - absolutely amazing and quite frankly stunning. I don't think I will ever be in those leagues and will be happy if I can just become half as proficient! I did try out the machine and I think I did pretty good for my first quilt. Of course, I didn't try anything fancy just my usual loopy-loop meander but I am happy with the way it turned out and it was quick to complete compared to my current setup. I am pretty sure the owner was glad that I didn't try to do anything too intricate. He did have a panto ready for me to use to practice with and it was also a loopy-loop design but it was huge and much less dense than I would normally do. I really wanted to test the machine using free-motion quilting and he didn't have a problem with that even though it did take me much longer than if I just used the panto.

I have started cleaning up and rearranging my sewing room and I think I am going to have to hang my sewing tables from the ceiling. My sewing room is a bedroom on the second floor and it is 10' x 15'. The new set-up is 12' long but I think I need quite a bit of space for the depth of the machine - up to 6 - 8 feet. That would include the space required for me to stand on either side to operate it as well. I really won't know until I have it here and set up but I am hoping that I can somehow squeeze my sewing tables along one wall. This will only be temporary until the basement is finished and then we will move it down there.

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Good Intentions

If only good intentions alone would get the job done. I ended up with too many obligations today and I only have had time to add this narrow framing border. Drats....I did want to add a pinwheel border and I got some of the pieces cut but I have had to face the fact that I have run out of time and I just will not be able to make the pinwheels. I am a little disappointed but stuff does happen and you just have to roll with it. I still need to make the backing and straighten it and I will get that done tonight after supper.

Some important things did get taken care of today - the snow tires have been taken off the car and I got some last minute grocery shopping done for things I need to make my contribution to a pot-luck party on Saturday. There were a few other errands taken care of as well but now I need to start making the potato salad that we are having for supper, ummmm, I think supper is going to be a bit late tonight!

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Making Progress on Donation Quilt

This is how I left my design wall last night and I am fairly happy with how it looks. I think the border is going to be too dark as is, so I plan to make some small pinwheels from the focus fabric and white to use in the border. This quilt top is coming together quickly and that is a good thing because I need it for Friday morning. I got all of the pinwheels made yesterday. I used white on white 3.5" hsts from my parts bins but I didn't have a lot of variety. I only had two different patterns and I used them all up and still needed more. I found a couple strips each of the same patterns in my 3.5" strip bins but in the end it still was not quite enough. I ended up cutting some pieces from solid white as well.

I want the quilt to be big enough for an older child or to donate to the women's shelter so last night I added sashing and cornerstones to most of the blocks. I just have a couple more to sash but I need to cut more strips of the teal fabric. At first I thought I would add a lighter/brighter fabric as the sashing but it just wasn't doing it for me. I am making this quilt on the fly - no forethought or plan so it is being designed by the seat of my pants using fabric that I already have in my stash.

I am going to Toronto this morning and probably won't be back until supper time so that leaves me with this evening and tomorrow to get it all finished and that is definitely do-able if I can figure out the border without too much difficulty!