Boo!

I really like Halloween things. However, you can only use them a few weeks of the years. That, however, does not stop me.

I made this table runner almost a year ago at a mini-retreat with my quilting partner in crime, Lynn. I thought it was cute. However, this involved a lot of stitch and flip which I find annoying and wasteful. But I finished it. I had the blocks done last November, but finally sewed them together and put the finishing touches on. I feel like the only thing I make lately are table runners. It is sort of true. Made tons of them after my neck surgery. Smaller projects were easier to focus on.

I decided to quilt this on my long arm. Was initially disastrous. Somehow, not paying attention, I loaded it incorrectly and managed to sew it together. Had to take the pole off to get it off and take out the stitching. Don’t even bother to try and imagine what dumb a$$ thing I did. I am not sure myself. Almost threw it in the trash and then I remembered how much I hated stitch and flip so thought better of it. All that to quilt a lazy meander.

I am adjusting to life with my daughter away at college. It is quite different for me. I call her most nights before I go to bed and she usually calls and texts randomly throughout the day. It helps. Family weekend is at the end of the month, so I will likely go visit then and take her some college necessities.

Now that she is not here, it makes me feel old. I try not to feel that way, but I do. Such is life,

Happy Sewing

Happy Quilting

Déjà vu

Yep, you’ve seen these before. LOL. Apparently, I had some sort of pack with these fabrics. These 2 make three and I am pretty sure there is still an unquilted one in my sewing room. Not sure what I was thinking or what I will do with these.

I am on a mission to finish things up. There are several more table runners. Yikes. So many and a couple of quilts that need quilting. Who am I kidding? There are a lot of quilts that need quilted, but there is an order in my head. I need to get on that.

My daughter was home last weekend from school for Labor Day. Makes my heart happy to see her. She seems to be adjusting well to college away from MOM.

And here is the other one…..

Looks familiar doesn’t it?

I am working on some Non-SouthwesternI fabric things. LOL

I am working on my Halloween Table Runner. I actually plan on using it!. How about that.

Happy Sewing

Happy Quilting

Look… I finished something

It truly is a bittersweet miracle. I started this quilt for my daughter several years ago when she was an actual bookworm. Now I think she reads a lot…on her phone.

There are so many fancy bookcase quilts. Mine is not that fancy. But, I did include the titles of many of the books that she read.

Not all the books have titles on them, but I would guess that about half of them do. Haley wanted to take this quilt to college, so I had to get it quilted. She will be leaving next week. I did not think that I would like it, but when she held it up, I did think it was sort of cute.

I chose not to put a regular label on this quilt and instead quilted messages into the quilt. She noticed a couple, but there is a ton of messages in the quilt. I can’t wait until she finds “Moka smells like chocolate”. Haley has always said “Moka smells” and my response has been “She smells like Chocolate”. She is a chocolate lab.

Haley picked out the fabric for the back of this quilt. She chose Harry Potter themed newsprint. Seemed like a good choice for the back of a library quilt.

I can’t imagine her not being here. It will be the most difficult thing for me. I won’t be there to protect her. But, I raised a strong smart young woman. I need to remember that as I wipe away my tears. My baby has grown up and I don’t like it. She has been my purpose. My reason for being here.

Moka says Hi. She has a habit of sitting on people’s heads when you lay down. Haley was not impressed.

Happy Sewing

Happy Quilting

Rescue a furry friend

I am not a bag maker.

Nope, nope, nope. Making bags is not something I do very well.

So, I made a test bag a few weeks back. It had issues, but OK, I tried. I decided that I wanted to make another, so I had 2 and I could make emergency “stuff” bags for my daughter and her future college roommate. I was going to make 2 more after the trial, but Haley loved the purple bag even though it had issues. That was the one she wanted. Ok, I cut out two more anyway.

So, I found the instructions rather difficult to understand. I even read them this time because I had no idea what I was doing. Shocker.

For the first bag, I used regular quilt batting. For the next one (yellow) I used the fusible foam. I thought it would give the bag a better shape, which it did. It was just a bit harder to manage. It quilted nicely though.

I have put a million zippers in things. I put zippers in all the charity dog beds I make so they can be washed. I found the zipper instructions over complicated and the foamy stuff did make the zipper more difficult.

What was frustrating…..It had instructions to make bias binding and cover all the seems inside the bag with this bias binding. Umm OK. I did it on the purple one and found it difficult and did not really improve the inside look of the bag (mostly because I sucked at it). It was even more difficult with the foamy stuff. I gave up.

The pattern also called for you to zig-zag all the edges prior to sewing them, which I did, so it did not look completely unfinished. If I ever want to try again I will likley have to figure out how to rethread my serger UGH (a monumental and frustrating task.) and use that to finish the inside seams.

I will pack them both full of “emergency” college supplies, whatever that may be. Haley and Hailey. Yep my daughter, Haley has a roommate named Hailey. Both are studying the same thing. Odd coincidences. I have already apologized in advance for my daughter’s sarcastic sense of humor. I believe they will both get along well.

I, on the other hand, will be struggling with my new normal. I have been unsuccessfully preparing myself for her departure.

Happy Sewing

Happy Quilting

So much time has passed…

So much time has passed since I last wrote a blog post. I really have no good excuse. Sometimes life just gets in the way. My daughter graduated with her Associate’s Degree and then graduated from High school, then the party. There has been a lot going on.

Sewing/quilting has always been part of my relaxation effort and it totally went by the wayside. It wasn’t that I did nothing…. I still collected patterns and fabric (LOL). But completed ver little.

I am hoping that life will slow down a bit for me now and I can get back to the things I love to do. I find that a little time in the sewing room does do a lot for me.

I attempted to make my first bag!. You know one with a zipper and everything. It is far from perfect, but I think I will try it again.

It has lots of issues, but I still don’t hate it. Pretty fabric. I did learn a lot, which is good. The instructions were not easy to follow, but I did watch a couple of videos that cleared a lot up for me. It takes three fat quarters, which is nice. For whatever reason, I also decided to do a lot of quilting. Not sure I would do that much quilting on the next one. Pretty sure all that quilting took me 5 times longer than assembling the bag.

My daughter will head off to Bowling Green in August. I will be left behind to figure out what to do with my life. She has been and is my life. For so long it has been her and I against the world. I knew this day would come, yet I still find myself totally unprepared. We do everything together and that will change. While I am her parent first, she truly is the most wonderful person in my life. After all, “I made her in my lady oven”.

I hope to find myself expressing myself more often in blog posts, so you may hear from me more as I navigate my way through the next phase of my life.

Happy Sewing

Happy quilting

And Just like that…it’s nearly Christmas

Good thing I finished those placemats.

They came out OK. It does make my dining room look festive. My Santa chair covers also help. The stuffed dogs? Well, Raising Cains chickens sells them every year. I recently got 2 new ones (Charlie Brown and Snoopy). Proceeds go to help dogs. My daughter thought they needed to be in the photo. They are always yellow labs in a costume. Super-Cute.

The placemats came out ok. After I made a couple, I was unhappy with my thread choice. It was a pretty red/green twist. It just looks dark to me. Fortunately, my lines are pretty straight so it does not look that bad. I wish I had used thread that matched the background fabric. Next time.

So, I sent my Plaid Challenge Quilt to my brother-in-law. He had a rough year, so I thought it might make him happy and he does have to live with my sister. LOL. They sent me this picture last night of it over thier love seat.

I do love it when I see one of my quilts in use or displayed.

Everyone at my house is not feeling well. Not horrible illness, just enough to annoy you. Makes it difficult to get things done for the holidays. We have been avoiding everyone because it certainly could be the “Rona”. My daughter and I lost smell and taste. I am about 10 days in so on the back side. It just felt like a crappy head cold.

Happy Sewing

Happy Quilting

Merry Christmas

Happy New Year

Winner, Winner, Chicken Dinner…..

Last night my quilt guild, The Marysville Crazy Quilters had their Holiday party. It was also judging for “The Plaid Challenge”.

Great fun and food was had by all!

I placed third in the plaid challenge.

I won $25.00. WooHoo!

How will I spend my riches? I think that I will buy a Creative Grids Ruler with it. I only have 2 and find them very useful. That way I can look at that ruler and remember why I have it. LOL. I am such a dork.

I really do enjoy a creative challenge. Here is some really ugly fabric that does not go together. Go make something with it.

The rules were that you had to have some of every fabric in your quilt. It could be any size of a quilted item.

So, from left to right in the photo the quilts were numbered. I am number 7 (Carpenter star). Number 5 won 1st (looks like a planet in the middle) and #3 was Second (Tumbling blocks).

I think I do have plans to gift this quilt to someone. I know someone who could use a little happy and might appreciate it!

To me, it looks like a “dude” quilt. Not feminine at all. I need to wash it first. I once had a problem with black fabric that had been stored a long time and this was from my stash. I have no idea how old the black was. Better safe than sorry.

Happy Sewing

Happy Quilting

OMG, it’s December?

Where does time go? While sometimes it seems to be crawling, and then it is December.

I finished something (s)

So, I made this quilt for my Aunt. She is the only relative I have left and I think she will be turning 95. It is scraps, but to me, it felt like all my past projects going into something for her. It went together quickly and looks not too bad. I quilted with my heart ruler and meandering swirls. I hope to get it to her soon. It seems unlikely before Christmas, but hopefully soon after. She lives in Michigan, so only about a 3-hour drive for me.

I put pink and white flowered minky on the back so it would be soft. While I like the softness of minky for some quilts, I don’t find it easy to work with and it is messy. I have done it on my domestic machine and it was super hard to move around. My shoulders hurt for days. So, this one I pout on the long arm. It came out OK, I just had to be super careful with stretching. It is also very difficult to see if your tension is correct with Minky on the back. Now that it is complete, I think the tension could have been better, but it will have to do. I try to keep a notebook of all the things I learn along the way as well as how many bobbins are used and stitched. It helps me plan for the next quilt a little better.

So, I also finished all my Santa Chairs. I have a full set now. Makes me happy every time I look over at them.

Thank you to my daughter who always begrudgingly holds up my quilts for photos.

Happy Sewing

Happy Quilting

A little bit of work….

So, I managed to get the quilt for my Aunt on the long arm. I am about 2/3rds finished. I have to do a bit and walk away and come back to it. Too much standing kills me. I am getting there. Before, I just could not do it. Now I can do some. I’ll take it. I am using my heart ruler and curly q’s. Initially when I started, It would not sew. Screwed around for an hour did some research and figured out I put my new needle in backwards. Duh.

Quilt Police – So, I saw this photo on Facebook and had a good laugh. I am super critical of myself, always. The quilt police would have a hay day with binding like that. Given the true purpose of this quilt, that should never matter. It was made to keep someone warm and I am sure it did a fabulous job at it.

I follow a lot of groups on Facebook and Instagram, mostly for the pictures of quilts. I am sometimes shocked and appalled at things people say to fellow quilters. “Never ever by fabric at JoAnne’s or Wal-Mart. It is horrible quality”. There are quilters out there that can not afford to buy $12-$15 per yard fabric. Our ancestors, including my grandmother, used old coats, clothes, and feed sacks. Quilts were very often made out of repurposed items.

I was once told that the Kona that JoAnn’s was not the same Kona sold at quilt shops. Honestly, not true. I have bought some at both. Each raveled equally as bad. They felt the same. I do not believe the thread count was different. So, yep I used my 60% off Coupon to buy a large piece of Kona at JoAnn’s over the weekend.

I have also purchased Michael Miller fabrics at Wal-Mart. You just have to look.

Someone is wearing a quilt – I did not watch the met gala, but did see photos of this person wearing a quilt. Thought it was amusing. Turns out that this quilt was actually made by someone’s mother. The photo on the right is of it on a bed at their home. It wound up at a thrift shop and was purchased by a designer to make this…..whatever it is called.

The designer did end up contacting the lady who’s mother made the quilt once it came to light. She just wanted everyone to know that her mother made the quilt that this gentleman wore (rapper I think…can’t remember his name).

So, you never know where a quilt that you make might end up! Who would have thought the red carpet……

Senior Moment – Literally. No, not me (although I have plenty). My daughter is a senior this year., Hard to believe. We had Senior Photo’s taken recently. I cried the night before so I would not do it during the photo shoot. Our Photographer took 350 Photos. Crazy. Pretty sure I had one pose when I was a Senior and that was it. I do like the one with the waterfall, but I have not seen them all yet. That looks like my girl the most.

Happy Sewing

Happy Quilting

I swear, I really do make stuff….

I do not know why I am finding it so hard to write a blog post. I really do have the best intentions, but somehow it never gets done. I have made things….I did, I really did.

This quilt is the TRIAD Puzzle Quilt. What does that mean? Triad is my daughters school and their colors are red and black (she claimed this one early). “Puzzle”? When Nanette send me tis bunch of blocks. I had no instructions and just figured out how to put them together. Certainly not what it was intended to look like, but it works.

This was also the quilt that sat on my long arm for nearly a year as I recovered (sort of) from my neck surgery. It is an accomplishment that I finished it and got it off the long arm.

As you can see my daughter immediately put it to use. It has a lot of crazy quilting on it. Messages to her…..practice stuff etc… All that matters is that she loves it.

The Recovery

So, I am still recovering and feel like I may be doing it the rest of my life. I have taken my walks from the neighborhood to the walking path. The town that I live in has a very nice/beautiful walking/riding path. I ran out of mailboxes (and sidewalk) on my side of the street and did not like crossing the street. I am just too slow and it is a main road. So, I am not counting mailboxes any longer, but distance. Some days I can get to .64 miles. SO, just over 1/2 mile. Other days, I am lucky to walk 100 yards. I do not understand the rhyme or reason why some days I can do it and other days I feel so weak that I am holding on walking around my own house. To me this is the really frustrating part. I have gone for well over a week without being able to walk very far. When this happens I do try an increase my steps within the house, but sometimes even that is a stretch.

I have been spending time with my daughter. Last week she had her wisdom teeth out. If she knew I even had this photo she would be annoyed. It was last Wednesday. She is better but still can’t open up her mouth well. You would think I have silence, but I do not.

Happy Sewing

Happy Quilting