Sunday, July 27, 2014

Margaret's Hope Chest week

 I have overwhelmed my binding ladies so I think this week will be quilts for Margaret's Hope Chest.  I have about 15 quilts here needing quilting for MHC and I think I can blast through them all this week and get them in the mail.  I have a huge box ready to fill.
If you want to learn more about Margaret's Hope Chest and the great things they do for kids, there is a link on the right side bar.  If you would like me to quilt for you and send the finished (ready to be bound) quilt along for you, let me know and I will give you my address.  I'm happy to provide batting and backing fabric.

Do you have a quilt top sitting around that you know you are never going to finish?  MHC gives quilts to kids of all ages and also gives quilts to women suffering from postpartum depression through A Mother's Hope.

If you love to make quilt tops, but don't really have a way to finish them up, think about supporting Margaret's Hope Chest.

Final QOV

This is the last Quilt of Valor from the first round.  The lady who is in charge for the quilt guild will be picking them up today and says she will be bringing me some more later in the week.  This one I quilted with the pattern called A Hero's Heart.  It's a cute pattern too.  I have a horrible migraine today and feel very shaky and weak and just yucky.  I felt great going to church this morning.  Had to get to JoAnn's for their 70% off the notion's wall.  I figured by the time I got there it would be empty, but there were lots of goodies still left.  There were a couple of ladies just filling up their baskets.  One lady was buying everything and said she had no idea why she needed it, but for 70% off it must be a good deal.  She was ahead of me in line and spent $125 on notions.  Now I understand why people donate so many snaps and buttons and bits of elastic to me.  I must have thousands of dollars worth of notions that people just had to buy on sale they had no idea what they were going to use on.

I bought 5 seam rippers.  Every time I am looking for a seam ripper, I can't find one.  I got one for my sewing machine, one for the embroidery machine, one for my travel basket, one for the quilting machine and a one extra because I know in a day or two I will have lost one of them.  I also got an extra long measuring tape because those are always wandering off.  I just found one yesterday, but who knows how long it will stick around.  I only spent $7 on stuff I don't need :)  I felt pretty good about myself.  I went looking for something to put on the back of the patches I'm making.  You know, some type of mesh to cover the stitching and everything that was at the interfacing area I already have at home.  The line at the cutting table was so long, I decided not to stick around.  I already wasn't feeling very good and had to get milk before coming home.  I guess I will do a google search and see what I come up with.  I can always order something on line, or just leave the back of the patches alone.  They don't look that bad.  Besides, they get sewn on to a jacket or shoved in a drawer anyways.  I just wish my memory wasn't so bad.  I know I've put something on the back of the patches I've made in the past, I just can't remember what I've used.

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Late start today

 I just had no energy this morning and finally about 3pm I decided that rather than waste the day, I would at least get one patch done and load one QOV.  Well, the last 3 Quilts of Valor needed backings made.  If I'm going to make one backing, I might as well make all three and do the quilts one after another.  I can get them done much faster that way and before I knew what happened, I had 3 patches done and two quilts finished.  I have the last quilt loaded on the same backing fabric and want to look for a different quilting design before starting it up.  It will probably wait until morning before I get started on it.  My back is killing me now.  I even cut up a bunch of fabric.
I really like this quilt.  So simple with just one block and plain setting squares, but so striking.  I used a star splat design for quilting, which took longer than the meander star design on the other 4 quilts, but I like the feather effect of the splat part. Something different anyways.  I'm also using a very thin bobbin thread which means it will do a whole quilt without running out of bobbin thread.  I love being able to do that with the bigger machine.  I didn't load these sideways, which would have made it go even faster because the backing fabric I had was only wide enough to go the short way on the quilt.  I should have planned better.  Next time.

A call for quilts

Quilts are needed for the more than 300 families who have lost their homes in Washington State.  More information is on the Layers of Hope Quilting 911 blog.

We have a big fire locally that has burned 5 homes and is threatening about 250 more.  We have a bad drought here in California.  While the mountain is a beautiful place to visit, I'm glad in times like this I don't live up there.

Friday, July 25, 2014

more Quilts of Valor

 My younger son had his best friend over today to play video games all day.  Heaven for him!  I've been working on patches for my husband's tennis team and am almost done with them all.  I need 6 more and hopefully will get them finished up tomorrow.  I think I could make them in my sleep.  White, yellow, grey, black, green.  Over and over and over again.  I sewed two quilt tops as well while waiting for each color to finish and be changed.

These quilts for Quilts of Valor were blocks of the month for the quilt guild.  Can you see how these stretched stars have blocks of white fabrics with blue and red triangles on the corners.  If you look closely, you will see a red or blue star in the middle.  The bottom left block has a little boo boo in it where the red triangle got flipped.  I bet nobody noticed until the whole thing got put together.  I didn't notice until just now :)

How clever is that?  Have everyone in a big group make the same block and then put them all together to make a quilt!  Many hands make light work.
And here's another way to make a great QOV.  10 fancy star blocks and 10 plain red blocks.  Easy peasy and looks great too.  I love the bottom right block with the blue and gold sparkly fabric.  What a great way to highlight a fabric that you only have a small amount of.

I quilted both of these quilts sideways on the machine.  Much faster because you have to stop the machine at the end of each row and roll it.  Well, going sideways means less rolls of the machine and less stopping.  Aren't I clever?   Actually I had to do it that way because the backing was pieced so the long seam goes up and down.  The machine doesn't like it if you put it on with the long seam going that way, so since it fit going side ways, I figured why not.  Faster and the machine was happy.  Everyone was happy!

Quilts of Valor

I am now a Quilts of Valor quilter!  So excited to be asked to help out my quilt guild (even though I'm not an official member because I don't have time to attend the meetings).  I was asked if I could help out because so many other quilters are super busy.  6 quilts were dropped off yesterday and they need 18 by March.  Yeah, I think that's a very doable goal.  I'm happy to help with this very worthy cause.

And for anyone who has a robotic machine, check out Intelligent Quilting's Deal of the Day.  Every day there is a different quilting design for half price.  It's a great way to build up your design stash.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Purple is so not my color

 Quilted this huge quilt for a friend today.  Man is it heavy!  And lot of work went into it with all of these tiny squares that are sewn together oh, so perfectly.  I'm appreciating good workmanship these days as I get to see well put together quilts.
Yes, my carpet is purple and so is my toe.  I kicked a bag of quilting magazines that were sitting in the hall last night.  Really hard!  My #2 toe is numb now, I can't move it and such a lovely shade of purple.  No, I didn't pick the carpet color.  It was there when we bought the house and will be changed out once the kids leave and the dogs are gone, which will probably be never.  I don't figure that even if it is broken the doctor will do anything, so I will just feel stupid for a couple of weeks until hit heals.  And, no, I didn't move the bag of magazines, but maybe I should :)

love hate relationship

How do you feel about batiks?  Do you love them?  I sure do!  They are gorgeous.  The bright, vibrant colors.  The patterns to die for.  The soft feel of the fabrics.  The way they make you want a smoothie every time you sew!

Do you hate them?  I do!  They way you can't tell the front from the back of the fabric when you sew because instead of being printed, the color is dyed and sometimes it is so subtle, you sew the wrong sides together and then, when you are all done, you notice you sewed a wrong side together.  Ugh.  The way, when you are quilting, sometimes the fabric is so dense, the quilting machine hates you and skips stitches, just because it can, just because the fabric is so beautiful and then you have holes in the fabric that will never, ever in a million years close up to remind you that you hate batiks!  That the fabric stretches sometimes, just because it is a batik and is oh, so beautiful and you just had to have it because it was so pretty, but you knew you were going to regret buying it!

Yeah, that's my life with batiks.

Well, a long lost friend brought this quilt by yesterday for me to quilt for her for a friend who has cancer.  Of course I wanted to get it done quickly and that always means trouble. :)  The back is batik too and gave me a devil of a time stretching strangely.  Of course it didn't stretch the same in all directions.  Why?  Because it is a batik and can do whatever it wants to do.  I had to babysit it and hold it and make sure it didn't get a fold in it when it was quilting.  More time to look at the gorgeous quilt I guess.

And then, when I put the quilt on the frame, I was thinking, she didn't get enough batting.  That's really weird. She got everything at the quilt shop, but the batting is just barely wide enough for the quilt.  It was really stretchy, so I was able to make it fit, but usually the quilt girls are really great about making sure you have enough of everything and measure twice before cutting.

Well, I figured out the problem when I got to the end of the quilt.  The batting came up about 6 inches short at the end of the quilt and I could see the last 2 inches that it was folded over.  UGH!  How did I not notice that the batting was double when I loaded the quilt on the frame?  It is a poly batting and I use poly batting all the time.  But it is a very thin poly batting even when it is double, so if it was a single ultra thin poly batting WOW.  So, when the lady comes to pick up the quilt, I've got some explaining to do.  I was able to add some extra batting on to the end because as you know, I have about 72,000 extra pieces of batting of all different kinds around here and just happen to have the same kind laying around, but man, how did I not notice?  That stuff sticks together really well.  Then, I go up to the top, and that has popped apart and it is totally obvious it is double.  I feel really stupid.

Oh, well, the quilt is gorgeous and soft and not too fluffy :)  I hope she likes it too.

And since I don't quilt for hire, she can't complain about the price.

To console myself, I had another cupcake.  Boy, those things are good.  It's a good thing they are $2.50 each because if they were cheap, I'd weigh 400 pounds by the end of the year.

so yummy

 We have a gourmet bakery in town.  These yummy cupcakes were EXPENSIVE, $29 for a dozen, but oh, so good.  The bottom right one is a bacon cupcake.  I'm going to try it today.  I got it for my husband who said they are the best.  Um, ok, if you say so!  I tried two yesterday and they were quite delicious :)
 This is a little cutie, perfect for an incubator quilt and perfect for finishing up the last bit of backing fabric on the roll.
 I used the jumping trout quilt design on this quilt.  I'm finding it's a perfect design for guy quilts.  The date on this quilt is 03.  It's waited long enough to be finally finished and gifted.  The woman who donated all of these quilt tops said her mother was an OB nurse and loved children and would have been happy to know the quilts were going to kids.
I just wish I could have met her and we could have worked together so she could have seen her quilts finished up.

If you have a bunch of quilt tops sitting around not getting finished up, I encourage you to find a Binky Patrol group or Project Linus or even to start a group if you don't have one close to you.  Binky Patrol is a great group to work with and it's really easy to start a group.  The founder, Susan Finch is a really great lady and makes it really easy to run a group.  There's no pressure to make a million quilts and you get to meet a lot of great people, plus you get to give your quilts to kids who really need hugs.

Check out the website.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Happy Birthday Middle

 Daughter #2 had a birthday today.  I surprised her at work with flowers and mini cupcakes.
 She hadn't told anyone it was her birthday so having cupcakes means everyone knows now!
 See what a huge desk she gets!  Looks like she needs to bring some pictures.
 She sure looks grown up.  Where did the time go?
You make me proud to be your mom every day!  Happy Birthday Beautiful.