Monday, August 27, 2012

UFO Sunday, Week One, Part Two

I'm baaaaack!  Since it was Sunday, and I posted early, I thought I would add today's accomplishment!

Tetris - Blocks put together and ready for borders!

The design is by Melissa of Happy Quilting.  Her version was made with 5-inch squares, but I decided to use what I had on hand from my charm packs, and made mine with 2 1/2 inch squares.  It measures 24 1/2" x 36 1/2" right now, and it is the perfect size for a playpen or stroller.  It will make a great baby boy quilt for any upcoming babies, or I can use it here at the house for the grandbabies.

This one didn't actually make the UFO list, but because it was covering my ironing board, I decided to finish it rather than put it aside.  I'm going to put a black border on it, perhaps two but I'm decided.  I'll let it percolate a bit.  It will now go on the list - hopefully temporarily.

I pulled another UFO out, Vintage Valentine. 

 I started this project about 4 years ago, and started doing the machine applique but I didn't like it.  After a good look at it today, I realized it was because I didn't like the buttonhole stitch I was using and the delicacy of the design needed a fine satin stitch instead.

It's really obvious in this block and it was at this point when I put it aside.  I have done the red and pink on three blocks at this point, so I brought it upstairs to 'frog' out the old.

While I was digging around, I found another UFO that never made it past the 'buy the fabric' stage.  The fabric is an old Debbie Mumm line, Noah's Ark.  I envisoned a nice crib quilt for a boy but could never settle on a design.  I think there is enough fabric to make two, including backings!  I going to choose a Bonnie Hunter pattern, like Princess Crown or something similar and use it as a Leader & Ender project after I finish the Thangles quilt.

Thanks again, Leah, for giving me the push I need to get some of this fabric out of here!

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Joining UFO Sunday - hosted by Leah Day from The Free Motion Quilting Project

The last few weeks I've been beating myself up about the number of UFOs (UnFinished Objects) and WIPs (Works in Progress) I have on the go, but it hasn't stop me from starting more!  Let's face it - they are all UFOs in my house.  I'm pretty sure I suffer from QAD (Quilter's Attention Deficit). I'm putting a moratoriam on starting any more, unless they are a gift for a specific person for a specific date.  After all, I proved I can do that by making baby Brayden's quilt in just two sittings!  

Then last Sunday, I came across this post by Leah Day.  I think she was reading my mind. 

I love Leah's blog, The Free Motion Quilting Project.  I found her when I was searching how to free-motion quilt on my home machine (not that I've really tried much yet!).  She has terrific videos, goes into great detail and shares so much of how her mind works as she comes up with designs.  She also shares her personal history and how quilting has helped her, and as someone who also has had a difficult background, she has given me some great insight.

I've challenged myself to learn how to set up a new page (yay! done that) so I can list all my UFOs and I'm committed to UFO Sundays! And I've set up a separate page so I can list them all in one place, have links to their related posts, thereby tracking my progress and celebrate my finishes.

See my page here!

 Eventually, I want to have links on each name so I can go back and just see the posts related to that quilt.  I think might have to stop putting so much in to one post, and start posting more regularly with just one or two subjects.

This week's project - get my precious new-to-me Featherweight up and running! 

(Accomplished! and work done on an actual UFO - full story below if you want to read on!)

I purchased it six months ago, but have been afraid to use it until I dealt with this:

I'm scared of anything electrical (my sister lost her home to an electrical fire), and this was the original wiring, and there were exposed wires where the tape ended.  Major confession here - I have not even plugged it the machine since I bought it. So last Sunday, after making my UFO list, I put in a new light bulb, bravely anxiously plugged it in and flipped the switch.  NOTHING HAPPENED! OMG, what have I done?  Thrown away over $200 on a doorstop? I started googling and found out the switch only turns on the light, so obviously power wasn't getting to the light.  (PS: The Ebay seller was upfront and said she had no idea if it worked as it was her grandmother's and she had no idea how to use it.)

I googled some more, and decided I could handle looking inside the plug, after all I couldn't make it any worse. It was a mess, so what harm could I do?

 I got all the wires cut back and rewired in the right places (photos are so helpful at this point).  Plugged it in, and lo and behold the light came on!

I gingerly stepped on the foot controller and....NADA!  Still nothing.  I figured I would have to hunt for a new foot controller so back to Google I went.  I couldn't believe my luck - there was a Featherweight maintenance and repair workshop being held just 45 minutes from my home, across the border in Lynden, WA just 5 days later.  It was being put on by Tangled Threads and the teacher was none other than Dave McCallum from Featherweight RX, the author of "The Featherweight and I" and "Those Fantastic Featherweights".  According to everything I read, this is the guy who knows everything about Featherweights.  The only condition of the class was you had to have a running Featherweight.  I emailed Dave, explained my problem and asked if it would still be worth coming to the class.  I was surprised when he personally phoned me, and after talking, he assured me that it would definitely be worth my while to take the class, and even if it was full, to come anyway and he would get me up and running. I registered, went to the class on Friday and Dave plugged a new foot controller into my machine and just like that, my machine is running as smoothly as a brand-new machine.

It turned out I didn't even need to replace the foot controller - I just had to replace the power cord at a cost of $13.50!  If you own a Featherweight, I encourage you to buy his bundle which includes the book and DVD set.  It has everything we learned in the class and more, and well worth every penny.  You would never have to send your machine for service again, and I even learned some tips for my newer machines.  (No affiliation or compensation - I was just so impressed with the class and with Dave and his wife).

I was so excited I went home, pulled out the first UFO I could get my hands on (dating back to 2008), went to my friend's home and started sewing.

This is the first Thangles project I signed up for.  My LSS does one every year, and for $2/month you get 2 strips and the instructions to make one or two blocks.  I finished the flimsy of one in July and have two more to do.  This one is pink and green, the other one is black and rose.  I didn't participate this past year, because I had 3 unfinished.  I've promised myself if I get them all done this year, I could join again next year if one appeals to me (or not!).

Thanks for reading! 

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Sunday Stash Report, Week 33

I've had a very busy couple of weeks sewing, celebrating my brother and his wife's 50th birthdays, wrapping up my office job (Yay, I'm back to working from home!) and dealing with a case of vertigo for the last week.  But even with all of that, I still managed a finish or two!

Used this Week:  3.75 metres
Used year to Date: 73.25 metres
Added this Week: 11.1 metres
Added Year to Date: 67 metres
Net Used for 2012: 6.25 metres
I used up about 1.5 metres and the last of my Pure for an adorable baby quilt:

I finished my entry for the Bowls with Borders Blog Hop:

More about that here!

All in all I moved out about 2.5 metres of scraps, and 1.25 of Minkee that I had to buy for the baby quilt.  I also used up some piping that came from my mother's stash that I inherited!

Of course, all this sewing means ideas were running through my head, and I had to hit my favourite quilt shop, Hamels Fabrics, and take a run to Bellingham, WA.

I got 2 layer cakes - Sew, Mama, Sew by Sweetwater and Pezzy Prints (total 5 metres - did you know there was that much fabric in a layer cake?) - nothing planned with those yet.

The map fabric (0.6 m) came from Joann in the states - Alex and Zoey love to look at an old children's atlas that I kept from when mine were little, but I figured I should get something current since the USSR no longer exists! Alex insisted I show his two favourite countries for the picture, Canada and New Zealand.  Why those? That's where his Gramma (me in Canada) and Nan and Grandad (in NZ) live!

I also picked up 2.5 metres of Aqua Bella Solid at Hamels for borders for Zoey's big bed quilt (enough for trim on the curtains, and leftovers for the stash, of course.

I also got enough (3 m) of the coordinating Dragonfly print to make curtains for her room at Fabricland at 50% off!  That's a total of 11.2 metres - yikes! I have made a new rule for myself - no more fabric until two more UFO projects are finished

And I picked this handy tool up.

I thought it would self-stick to my machine, but it does have to be taped down.  I hope it will help with my flying geese - I really hate marking all those things.

PS:  I never showed the finished quilts for my brother and his wife - they were very well-received and put to use that night out on the deck!

Happy 50th, B & A!  Welcome to the downhill side!

Friday, August 17, 2012

The last of the Pure!

Thanks to everybody who has viewed and commented on my Bowls!  I'm sorry I haven't replied to each of you personally but I'm suffering from a bout of vertigo and can't stay on the computer for long before everything spins out of control.  I will be going through in short spurts through the weekend and can't wait to see all your lovely bowls as well.

In the meantime, I wanted to show you what I did with the last of my Pure fabrics. After making my bowls, I still had a good pile of scraps and I had a baby shower coming up, so I played with them and came up with this:

Sized at 36 x 46", it took just 2 evenings.  I used my favourite chocolate Minkee on the back and turned it to the front for the binding.  I even broke into my precious Heather Ross goldfish to make a label:

(Get it?  My last name is Fisher ;o)

The word print fabric is perfect for a little boy - all the things I wish for him in the future.

I think he likes it!

 I started out with a small bundle of Fat 1/8's - about 12-15 and 1 yd of one of the blue prints (I think) and made the bench cover.  I also bought 2 charm packs at the same time.  A few months later, Melissa of Happy Quilting had a quilt-along, and the size I chose needed a layer cake or 4 charm packs, so I did what any good quilter would do and bought the layer cake!  I used the 2 charm packs and half the layer cake, so that I would have bigger pieces left over.  So glad I did, because they were perfect to piece my bowls from.

Now, this is all I have left over:

Who says you need a lot of yardage to make quilts?

I'll put the 5" wide pieces in one bin, the remaining 2 1/2" wide pieces in another and the left-over HSTs in a third, and use them eventually - probably in another Bonnie Hunter scrappy quilt!  Her latest book is on its way to me as I type this.

Thanks again for all your kind comments.  Time to go lay down again as the room is spinning.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Bowls with Borders Blog Hop!

Today is my day to show you the bowls that I made for the Bowls With Borders Blog Hop.
(The dates for this hop are August 13 through August 28.)
Regina Grewe of Textile Landscapes makes fabulous paper piecing patterns and was kind enough to share her Bowls with Borders pattern for free to anyone who was willing to make something for the blog hop. Of course, you still make something by buying her pattern or one of her many others.
Thanks to Madame Samm from Sew WE Quilt
 and Carol from Just Let Me Quilt for organizing this wonderful blog hop.  My fellow contributors today are:
Rita, Crooked Quilter
Geema's Wonderings

Piece Peace

 And here is mine!

I started with the idea of making a wall hanging, when I realized I need a new tea tray liner.  First I resized the pattern by photocopying it at 200%.   I had scraps leftover from this quilt:

and this bench pad:

(and can you believe I still had enough left over to make a baby quilt - my next post!) I've pretty much used up all my Pure fabric, what is left will be fed into my Scrap-Users System.

I was kind of making it up as I went along - so I trimmed it to be an exact fit for the tray, planning on using ric-rac then a traditional binding.  Much to my dismay, what I remembered as being brown ric-rac turned out to be brown piping - so I used that and the liner is a wee bit small (but not enough to notice!).  Here's some closeups of my finish!

I still have to hand-sew the binding down on the back side, but I'm really happy with how it turned out.

Thanks for visiting!  I'm sorry I don't have a giveaway this time, I just got back from holidays and have not had time to sort one out.  I have a blogiversary coming up, so watch for one in a few weeks!

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Sunday Stash Report, Week 31

Yay, I have some big numbers to report this week (partly due to no stash report last week)! 

Used this Week:  8.75 metres
Used year to Date: 69.5 metres
Added this Week: 6.75 metres
Added Year to Date: 55.9 metres
Net Used for 2012: 13.4 metres

I finished two, count them, two quilts this week for my brother and his wife. 

The first one is the "boy" version for my brother - the colours aren't quite true, it was still early in the morning when I took this picture pre-pinning.  I've quilted it in a simple cross-hatch.

This is the "girl" version for my sweet sister-in-law.  Angled straight lines finish it off.  Both were pre-made panels that I bought on clearance about 4-5 years ago, and are from Moda's Chocolat line.  The top one is wovens and the bottom one is a mixture of wovens, regular fabrics and even a few jacquards.  Of course, I forgot to take a final picture so I'll post them next week.

And there was this pair of pj pants that Alex helped me make for him!

And my wonky Union Jack got finished into a pillow. 

I used the trimmings to piece a back.  Originally I was going to use a grey zipper but at the last minute I changed my mind and used red - so glad I did. 

I recycled a down pillow by giving it a new ticking and voila!  A beautiful pillow for just $5 and 1 metre out of the stash (including the ticking).

And last but not least, I finished my secret project for the Bowls with Borders Blog Hop except for the binding (my post is due on August 16th)!

Of course, once you use up some stash it's a good excuse to go shopping!

A close-out sale of a quilt shop in the next town (so sad to see another one go) and a sale on a Mary Englebrecht checkerboard that I may use for sashing for my Farmer's Wife.  Another 6.75 metres added to the stash - at least I'm still ahead by 2 metres on the two-week total.