Sunday, September 30, 2012

Sunday Stash Report, Week #39

Making a list of what I need to accomplish before Christmas has help tremendously!  Now I have focus when I go in that room and getting things done.  I had a big finish this week - Zoey's quilt top:

 I also made a doll quilt from the scraps:

Used this Week:  7.25 metres
Used year to Date: 88.5 metres
Added this Week: 0 metres
Added Year to Date: 88.5 metres
Net Used for 2012: 0 metres

Nothing new added this week, so I've broken even for the year!  Once I finish all the Christmas projects, and start Bonnie Hunter's 2012 Mystery Quilt, those used numbers are really going to start go up and I should finish the year a little lighter!
Zoey's quilt needed to fit a twin bed, and I usually only do lap-size when I use a printed panel, so figuring out borders was a bit of a challenge.  I was going to attempt a pieced border but at 11" wide, I quickly ruled that out.  I decided on a narrow purple, and a wide aqua, then added large prairie points to break up the expanse of aqua.


I have to buy 3 more metres of the aqua to finish the curtains, and I'm working on the pillowcases today (with a birthday party in between). I'm using a coordinating border print for the edge, which means the typical pillowcase construction won't work.  I'm taking pictures as I go along, so I can do a tutorial.

While I was uploading the pictures, I found this one on my camera! 

I guess he's moved from scissors to cameras!  At least he didn't hurt anything this time.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

The 100 Day Hustle

Kelsey over at Kelsey Sews is starting a work-along group called The 100 Day Hustle.  Did you know there are only 100 days left in 2012?  Yikes!  Since I work best with challenges, lists, deadlines and accountability, I'm linking up to this one as well as UFO Sunday. 

Kelsey Sews

My first priority is to get all the Christmas sewing out of the way, so here is my list. I had a total of 21, but now have 19 projects to finish in 93 days, that's one project every 4.9 days!

Projects 1-7:  7 pillowcases (finished 2 today!)

A baby one and a regular one for two little grand-nephews - these ones had to be done right away as they are going to Alberta at the end of the month (saves on shipping!).

4 more kitted up - one for Zoey, one for Alex and two the same for two more grand-nephews.  Still need to find something for the 5th, the grandchild of a friend.

8-14:  I kitted 6 Lazy Girl Wallets for my daughters and various friends (and one for me!)

As I've been decluttering, I found some more things that can make great Christmas gifts.

15: An apron for Zoey who is getting a little kitchen set from Santa.

16-17:  More panels - I had bought three of these and the coordinating fabric about 5 years ago. I'll make two lap quilts up for my daughters (one who said their husbands would also like some so I guess I better keep digging!)

18: And another one:  a Debbie Mumm vest that dates back about 10 years.  I'll make this one for my sister as she likes to wear the vests at Christmas time.

19-20:  And two more ( I can't believe I keep finding these things):  I'm not sure if I'll make wallhangings out of these or combine them into a lap quilt. For some reason, the picture won't turn.

21: I also have to finish Zoey's big bed quilt and matching curtains -  I got the rest of borders cut out today.

And I have two bonus projects for myself, I'd like to get this tree skirt quilted.

And finish this quilt!

How are you going to finish the year out?

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Pet Peeve #1

Once upon a time, in another life I was taking business courses at college. Some of them involved marketing.  One of the topics was how to increase profits by downsizing (shrinking contents and packaging instead of raising the cost).  Here is a perfect example I discovered in my own home today:

I hate this!!!! That is 20% less for the same price.  I wish my income would go up 20% in one fell swoop. Maybe those Doomsday Preppers  or Sheldon from The Big Bang Theory  have something right about a lifetime's supply (a little exageration) of non-perishables at one time!

Off my soapbox now,


Sunday, September 16, 2012

Sunday Stash Report, Week 37

It's also UFO Sunday today, and in order to finish off some of those old projects, it meant I had to make a little trip to JOann.  Actually, my daughter and I went because it was this little guy's birthday, and I wanted to take him to Build-A-Bear. We had wanted to go on his actual day, but the poor kid has had an ear infection and then was sick on his birthday, so we had to delay the trip until Friday.

I can't believe that I, a dedicated scrapbooker and a Creative Memories Consultant forgot to take pictures of him building his bear! We originally went to Bellingham, but they had closed the store so we had to drive all the way to Lynwood (about 20 miles north of Seattle) to find another one.  We should have stuck closer to home as there is one about an hour away near Vancouver, but Bellingham is actually closer to my home and there is the fun of finding different stuff in the States.

Alex is now 4 years old, weighs 49.5 lbs. and is 43" tall.  He is the size of an average 6-year-old, and has the verbal skills as well.  He is starting to recognize words and has about 2 dozen that he can readily pick out and read in the right context (he loves finding words he knows in signs when we are driving).  And he loves his gramma best of all!

Of course, with a busy birthday week there wasn't much sewing going on.  I did putz around on some UFOs, and analyzed what needs to be done next.  Hence, the little trip in Joann.

Used this Week:  0 metres
Used year to Date: 81.25 metres
Added this Week: 10.5 metres
Added Year to Date: 88.5 metres
Net Used for 2012: -8.0 metres

I picked up some Kona solids to finish off my Tetris quilt, and trim for pillowcases I make every Christmas for the grandkids, grandnephews and a very close friend's grandchild.

I couldn't resist this little bundle of Denise Schmidt's fabrics.  It was actually one yard, with 4 printed fat quarters.  It's a great idea, but the fat quarters end up being a little short at 17" instead of 18" (the width is fine at 22").

I also renewed my Fabricland membership, which came with a 50% off coupon for up to 5 metres of any fabric.  I was able to get my favourite Cuddle/Minkee backing for only $9.75 metre!  Now If I could just get in the quilting mood!

Thanks for visiting!  


Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Don't nap with a 3 (almost 4)-year-old on the loose!

You'd think after raising 2 daughters on my own, I would have learned my lesson!  My daughter dropped Alex off early Sunday morning, and silly me, stayed up way too late the night before so I laid down on the couch while Alex ate breakfast and promptly dozed off.  I'm a fairly light sleeper so I woke up when I heard him moving around, only to discover this!

He was obviously pretty quiet for awhile! 

His scissoring skills are coming along - he tried to cut out one of the circles!  It's funny how you gain patience as you age.  I didn't mad, but I did express my disappointment to him and he felt pretty bad.  He doesn't normally get into things, and it was the first time I've had to talk to him about doing something he shouldn't have done.  Not bad for almost being 4 and spending so much time at my home.  And I learned my lesson (again, after 25 years).

I took a day to think about how I was going to handle it - did I want to make a new block?  Of course, he had done this on one of the more detailed blocks. 

Ultimately, I decide to just repair the damage as I am not about perfection, but love family history and like the idea of having a story to go with the quilt. 

Turns out I didn't have enough fabric to make a new block anyway, but I did have a piece large enough to piece in a new strip.

First, I heated up the applique with the iron and gently peeled back the top row.  I had to pull the green leaf off as it had a small cut in it, and cut out a new one.

The background fabric had an off-set stripe pattern, which I was able to match up perfectly. 

I sewed the long edge first with a 1/4" seam on the new piece, and trimmed off the old after sewing it, leaving a good size seam allowance on the short side.

I then measured and folded over the seam allowance on the short side, and after pressing, used it as a guide for sewing it.

I was left with one small odd-shaped section that butted up to the appliqued ribbon.  I pressed it in the proper place and hand-stitched it down. 

Done!  And stripes matched perfectly. If it wasn't for the seam allowance, you wouldn't even know it was there and I didn't have to cut out all those little flower pieces again.  And, my quilt has a story!

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Sunday Stash Report Week 36

Some stuff to add this week, but I also moved most of it out pretty quick.  No pics yet, but wanted to get this updated while I still have it in my mind. This turning 50 thing is for the birds, my brain won't retain a thing!
I bought 6 m of assorted kids prints for pj pants and some PUL and flannel to make a waterproof pad for the bed in the kids' room.  Alex isn't a bedwetter, but I don't want to take any chances and he hates the crinkly cheap plastic mattress cover on it now (he says it keeps him awake!)  So a big addition to the stash this week, but 2 of the pj pants have already been made and delivered (using 3 m) and the PUL pad has been made and on the bed (5 m out).  I'm including them as I want to track my total purchases this year and try to cut back next year, plus increase my usage.

Used this Week:  8 metres
Used year to Date: 81.25 metres
Added this Week: 11 metres
Added Year to Date: 78 metres
Net Used for 2012: 3.25 metres

I hope the next few weeks see some big numbers in the net used line, as I'm working on some UFOs and Christmas gifts in the evenings.

Friday, September 7, 2012

Catching up! (Warning - wordy and long)

It's been ages since I posted, so I thought I would do a bit of a catch up - if for no other reason, to prove to myself I have accomplished something.

I had a bit of a setback a couple of weeks ago.  I was laid off from the one job that provided me a regular paycheque.  The slowing of the economy finally hit our area, and recent changes to mortgage regulations have led to a slowdown to the point there wasn't enough work for me.  I'm happy I still have two other sources of income, even if they are commission-only.  After taking some time to regroup, I am now ready to move forward.  In the meantime, when I pried myself off the couch, I did some more decluttering and sorting of UFOs, and worked on a few projects.

As I was going through my UFOs, I came across some very old projects.  Several dated back as far as my teens, and I was a teenager in the 70's!  This little bear is a perfect example - all complete except for attaching the head, which I couldn't figure out at the time without making a mess.  I've kept it all these years thinking there was too much work in it to just toss it.

I took a really hard look at it - it was a kit and is made from cheap fake fur.  Even if it was finished, it was not something I was going to love nor gift to anyone.  Given its age and the looseness of the fake fur, I certainly wouldn't let my grandkids play with it, so after 35 years I am finally ready to get this little monkey off my back and out it went! 
One show I watch regularly is Hoarders, which always inspires me to clean out a closet or drawer every time I watch it.  As I went through the process with my really old UFOs, I started to get an insight into how some of those people think.  Yes, I had invested time, money and energy into this little project, which was my rationale all these years to hanging on to it, but I am grateful that I am able to make those final decisions as to when to get rid of things.  Perhaps I hang on to some things too long, but that only applies to my crafts and sentimental items.

While I'm going through my UFOs, I'm taking pictures and deciding what the next steps are for each.  To keep track of this, I have set up a new page (click on the tab UFOs and WIPs) to record my progress on each.  Here is a sample listing:

Get the Featherweight up and running Accomplished - August 24/12

Leaders and Enders 2" Charms - ongoing

Vintage Valentine - started 2008 (?)

August 27/12: pulled 4 blocks to rip out machine applique done so far
August 27 - Sept 2: spent 1/2 - 1 hr each evening taking out all stitching done so far
Sept 4: Fixed block that Alex cut!
 next: finish fusing applique 4 blocks and medallion centre

I'm also going to add links to posts about the particular project as I go.  When I work on a project, I will post about it on the main page and then on the UFO page, just add the date, what I did and a link to the post.  Kind of like a quilt diary, only online.

And of course, I started another project :(

This is another cheater panel I purchased at the same time as the ones I made up last month for my brother and sister-in-law.

It was a simple kit from Hamels: panel, binding and minkee backing. I had full intentions of making it up as is, but it has sat for about 4 years still tied in its bundle.  None of the seams line up and are topstitched, so it would have made it challenging to quilt or even tie.

I pulled out my mini-twister, and after a modification, started cutting (I didn't bother with a border).  The blocks were too small to use the twister tool as is, so after a few trials, I cut a piece of cardboard and taped it to the bottom of my tool.  Worked like a charm!  My new twisted block is 3", which will finish at 2 1/2".  Teenie tiny twisters, for sure!

I discovered very quickly how important it is to keep track of how these little babies are cut out.  I have these great pins from Fons & Porter, and I have used a Sharpie on the back to number a bunch of them.

As I cut each block, I would pin it with an "UP" pin with the appropriate number on the top right-hand corner. 

Then, as I finished cutting a row of block, I assembled it right away (originally so I could reuse those pins, but realized that it was easier to keep them in the right order).

As I sewed each row, I moved the pin from the side to the top, but I've left the last pin in so you can see how helpful it was to keep these organized.

As I completed the rows, I label the left-hand side with the row number so I can make sure I add the next row to the bottom.

You'll noticed I haven't pressed the blocks.  Because they are on the bias, I am finger-pressing only.  Since the centres of the twist in the original block aren't lined up, I'm not too concerned about matching the new corners.  But for some reason, they are all lining up perfectly so far - go figure!

I have a third row cut and ready for sewing, but have put it aside temporarily as I have to make some more PJ pants for my grandson before tonight.  He won't wear any other pants to bed since I made him these, so we picked up more fabric at a great sale this week.

Have a great weekend,

Terri  in BC