Sunday, July 28, 2013

Don't Laugh!!!

So I tried out the Little House Blocks.  Please be kind when you look at the pictures.  I had no clue how to go about doing this.  Oh, and excuse the yellowish pictures.  I took the pictures on my cutting table under a lamp.

First, I got everything stamped.  I pulled some really old Robyn Pandolph fabric from my secret closet.  This is so old that Moda didn't even print the name of the line on the selvege back then.  I cut five inch strips and stamped.  Fabric decision and stamping - one hour.

I stamped each template twice because Jeanneke said you could do it twice from one inking.  I used my rotary cutter to cut apart the itsy bitsy pieces.  Cutting apart the pieces - two minutes.

Then I laid out all the pieces.  I don't remember now if this is the correct lay-out or my first attempt.  There was some switching around that took place.  Lay-out - five minutes.

Okay, how easy is this to sew together?  Right?  I machine sewed all the rectangles, everything below the roof.  I used my regular stitch length which was way too long.  Should have shortened the stitches.  Machine stitching - two minutes.

Anyway, when I got to the roof, I realized, "Houston, we have a problem!"  Yikes.  Those are Y-seams!  And those two pink do-dads up at the tippy top, the chimneys, are only about a half inch.  I gave it the old college try.  Four times!  Nope, it didn't work.  Failed attempt at Y-seams - 30 minutes.

I finally had to admit that I needed to hand piece that roof.  I have never hand pieced anything.  The very first quilt show like four months after I started quilting, I signed up for what I thought was a hand quilting class.  Turns out it was a hand piecing class.  I escaped the room very quickly.  In hindsight, I shoulda stuck around! 

I had no clue - none - on how to proceed.  So I just double threaded a needle with the cotton thread that was on the sewing machine and gave it my best shot.  Hand piecing the roof - 15 minutes.

ROFLOL.  Obviously this is a reject, a learning block, but it's hilarious.  All of my stitches are showing.  Go ahead, enlarge the picture!  I dare you!!  I don't know what kind of stitch to use.  The whole darn house looks like it barely survived a hurricane, but it did come to the right size .... 3.5" unfinished.  Hey, that counts for something, doesn't it?

I do know that ironing the seams down doesn't work when you're hand piecing.  But it was too late because I had already ironed them down.

I'm going to try another one and hand piece the entire thing.  First, though, I need to dig through the tons of quilting books I have to see if any of them will shed light on this subject.  Lots of light!!

Total time wasted -- just under two hours.

Total fun time playing with the block -- just under two hours!!!


I went to Amazon to see if they had books on hand piecing.  The first one on the list was Quiltmaking by Hand, Simple Stitches, Exquisite Quilts by Jinny Beyer.  I have that one!!

I'm going to fix lunch and READ about hand piecing for the rest of the afternoon!!


Another Update:  I tried again hand piecing the whole block.  It's still horrible.  But at least I put it together correctly.  The one on the left is the first one I did, and it has the door and window reversed.  The one on the right is the second one that I hand pieced.  It must have gone through the same hurricane as the first one.  They were probably next door neighbors.

Obviously this will be a long learning curve for me.  I need to get the Brrrrr Park finished and then I can try a third time.  They say, third time's the charm - but I'm not betting my next paycheck on that!!

Saturday, July 27, 2013

An Interesting Quilty Purchase

A friend posted a link about the Little House Stamp.  Well, that piqued my interest immediately.  All of it -- "little" - "house" - "stamp" - I definitely had to check it out.

And poke a button.........

Anyway, the pink post office notice was in the mailbox this week, and I had to find go to the post office in my town to pick up the registered package.  I've never had a registered quilt package before.  Where in the heck did it come from?  But mission accomplished today.

Turns out it came from The Netherlands.  How exciting!

Here's the link that started it all:

I'm going to play with this tomorrow.  One stamp is the house.  The other stamp is for all the other pieces, the doors, windows and sky.  A charm square will work perfectly for each. 

I have the Versacraft ink pad, so I think I'm ready to go.  Just need to decide what flavor of charms I want to use.

Isn't this fun?!  ROFLOL.  Of course, I may only make one - or make a bunch of them and have another project to take to The Home with me!

Oh, and the reason I was so excited about it coming from The Netherlands -- I'm reading the book Of Windmills and War by Diane Moody.  I'm about 75% through the book and I absolutely recommend it.  A young Chicago lad had to choose a pen pal from across the ocean for a school assignment.  He chose Hans from Holland, a young man about his age.  The story starts there, and moves through tragedies, friendships, and World War II.  I'm not telling any more about it! You have to read it yourself.  I'm learning so much about the Dutch Holocaust, Operation Chowhound, and a part of WWII that I had not heretofore read about.

In her forward, the author mentions hearing about a group of students visiting the Eighth Air Force Museum in Savannah.  The docent leading their group, a WWII veteran, was asked, "Did you serve in World War eleven?"  The author says, "Sadly, the person asking the question was the teacher."

Reminds me of the young lady I was interviewing several years ago.  Naturally she asked where I was from.  I get that all the time.  She should have stopped there.  She then asked me, "Where is Louisiana?"  Okay.  I'm never one to let an opportunity pass .... "It was one of the 13 original colonies."  She thought for a minute ... I saw the light bulb come on ... "Oh, yeah, it's up there by New York." 

I'm dead serious.  And just in case you're wondering, no, she did not get the job.

I got off topic again.  Sorry.  I do that all the time.  I guess I just want to say - read history, know basic US geography, and don't make stupid statements in an interview.

Long Beach quilt show next weekend.  I'll be there on Saturday, I think.  If anyone wants to meet up, email me!

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Changing Directions

I started off the day so motivated on Brrrrr Park, and things went awry!

After miscutting the setting triangles, I tried again.  Figured out that I was looking at the wrong line of the directions.  I cut the blocks correctly this time.  They're 28.25" square, and I need to cut them twice for the setting triangles.  Well, there's no place here that I have enough room to lay them out to cut without doing a lot of moving things and such.  So I'm going to take them with me to work tomorrow and stop by the quilt shop on the way home to use their big cutting table to do the deed.


Anyway, I decided to go ahead and get the binding done on 3 Sisters in Rome.  The bump in the middle is Penny's bed with her in it!

Since I'm still wanting to be in my quilting room, I've decided to start cutting the other Dr. Seuss quilt I have to make, Green Eggs and Ham.  Don't get me wrong -- Dr. Seuss is cute fabric and the quilts are cute, but they are SO out of my box.  The other one was Cat in the Hat that I finished in time for Christmas.  (I told their mommy that I get to pick the theme for the next baby!)

I've been pondering what's next on the cutting table when my quilt and the baby's quilt are done.  I think it's going to be Kimberly's Deck-ade the Halls.  I'm loving the blocks that are popping up everywhere on the internet.

MA, thinking about you today ...........

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Quilter's Helper

Honestly, I couldn't function without her help!

Gigantic blocks.  Little dog! 

I'm cutting more setting triangles now.  At this point the quilt looks really blah, but it will take on new life with the pieced borders.

May not get this put together this weekend, but I hope to make great headway!

Sunday, July 14, 2013

HSTs - 200 Done!

That sure doesn't look like 200, does it?

I'll probably need to make more for those borders, but I wanted to get at least the majority of them done.  I up-sized this quilt, so I'll to check where I left off cutting setting triangles, etc.  At least this much is done!

(Sheesh, I need to clean that cutting mat!) 

I'm going to move on to making a binding and sewing it onto a quilt so I'll have hand work for the upcoming week nights.  I found the strips had already been cut.  Then back to Brrrrr Park.

I'm focused!!


Binding is on.  And it wasn't easy!

I started sewing it on down a long side.  Got to the corner and realized for some reason I had sewn a half inch seam instead of a quarter inch.  So I had to take all of that out.  Got that side sewn back on and turned the corner.  Got to the bottom of that side and saw that my bobbin thread had broken about two inches after beginning.  So that side had to be done again.

I've said it before and I'll say it again ...... I have to do everything twice!!

Saturday, July 13, 2013

And She Sewed!!

It took a while to get going today.  I had a haircut this morning, and then ran an errand or two.  Got home and had help moving the machines around.  Then I had to lay down a couple of minutes because my back and neck were kinked.

But after all of that, I sewed.

Okay, so I only made 100 HSTs, but it's a start!!!!

I was going to work on something else, but decided to get this Brrrrr Park off my table.  Once I get these HSTs all done (and I might have to make a few more when I get it laid out), then it's just cutting more setting triangles and putting this baby together.  Of course, that may take a couple of weekends.  That's okay by me!!  I'm going to focus and finish what I started!

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Sewing Table - the Continuing Saga!

I swear, it's not easy being me.  I keep saying that and it keeps being true!

I called about the new sewing table I ordered two months ago that would accommodate the Bernina 750.  It seems the new 700 and 800 series Berninas are much heavier than the other models, and the lift in these tables will sink because of the weight.  Horn has re-engineered their lifts to handle the heavier machines.

So after waiting for two months, I must wait longer.  Of course, I had the option of getting a table with the original lift, which I was tempted to do.  I decided to talk to folks smarter than me before I made that decision.  So I asked someone at work who understands these kinds of things.  His advice - wait for the new table.

This weekend, hopefully with the help of a strong back, I'm going to take the 750 out of my old table and reinstall the 440.  Then I'll be able to get back to it after months of sewing drought.

The holiday sewing weekend I had planned with the new smaller 350 Bernina?  My body betrayed me.  I couldn't even get the box on the dolly to move it into the house.  I tried to pry open the box in the garage, and I couldn't even get that small task accomplished.

I hate feeling/being helpless.  I have these two new machines that I can't use.  I'm going to get the situation resolved this weekend if it's the last thing I do.  I feel good enough to want to sit at the machine and sew.  I have things to do!

Everything else in my life seems to be chaotic as well.  As a person usually in tight control of her surroundings, I find myself constantly at the mercy of others and their schedules.

Is that because I'm getting old?  Wait, don't answer that.

Thursday, July 04, 2013

Happy July 4th!

I hope everyone has a wonderful and safe celebration today!
Me?  I'm home all day with one thing on my mind -- sewing!  I still have not received the new sewing table, so my new 750 will not be seeing any action.  However, it's time to unbox the 350 and set her up on the Sew Ezi table.  Yeah, that's what I'll do.
First up is getting the binding sewn on a quilt so I can have some evening hand stitching.  It's the last one needing a binding.  Time to send more tops out to be quilted.
Because I'm feeling all patriotic today, I pulled out the Prairie Paisley quilt top.  I pieced the backing but it's a tad too short.  I'll try to remedy that this weekend.  This one was finished in 2009.  Yikes!  Time to just get it done!   And to find a custom quilter........
Brrrrr Park is calling my name loudly, but I don't think I want to work on it on the little sewing machine.  All of those setting triangles, you know.

I guess I'll have to find something smaller.  Maybe I'll drag out the James River blues that has about half the blocks made.  Or maybe I'll try again to do some hand applique.  Whatever, I'm planning on stitching!

This Monday was my first day back at work.  All I can say is "Wow."  Four months went by quickly.  Of course, I practically slept away the first two and a half of those.  I'm just thankful that this week was a short one, although I do have to work tomorrow for part of the day.  So I must, as they say, make hay while the sun shines today.

I'm so close to finishing up the organization in my sewing room.  I need a strong back to finish it up.  I want everything organized before this table is moved out and the new one installed.  Maybe this weekend.  Today is mine!

Enjoy your celebrations today!