Thursday, September 25, 2014

Working on John Q's Quilt

This week I started the quilting of John Q's quilt.  Remember it is really thick, more like a comforter than a normal quilt that I normally work on.  There is so much batting (I used two extra loft polyester battings in this quilt) that it is difficult to get in the head space of the machine.  Each side of the block takes time to readjust the whole quilt, including rolling up the side of the quilt to fit it in the small space.  As I get out to the edges, I will have to even tighten it more and more.  I am not complaining, mind you, it give me that much more quilting experience on my home machine model.  This is important because I have somewhere in the neighborhood of 30 quilt tops, I would like to get done.  I am trying to talk myself into making a goal of quilting at least 10 5 quilt tops before doing any more UFO's, BOM's, or any other new project.  Hmmm.  That will take some talking on my part.

Continuing on the the original post, here are some pictures of the quilt under the needle.  You have to look really hard to see the sewing machine in the pictures, because the quilt engulfs it.

Here is what I have completed so far, as I started in the middle, and working my way out to the edges.  It is looking better than I expected. 

I told the client that my target date of finishing the quilt is next week.  Stay tuned....


Friday, September 19, 2014

Small Projects Progress

Notice:  This is another long post with lots of pictures.

The wrist splints are coming off today, so I will be able to get back to some serious sewing next week.  In the mean time, I have been able to maneuver enough to get some small projects completed on my clients orders.

But, I have to first tell you that while I was working on these small projects, I was busy harvesting our Roma tomatoes from the garden.  I have run out of freezer space for the tomato puree I have been making, and the tomatoes do not ripen enough at once to do a batch of canning, so I went to drying them.  Not exactly like "sun dried" tomatoes, but good enough for saving and using this winter.   I had a few pieces that did not totally dry, so I threw them in a pot with a small amount of water, and made some three bean chili for dinner last night.  Easy peasy!

This is my second jar of the dried Romas.  I still have another batch on the vines out in the garden, but will get to those next week.

Moving on to the sewing projects:

Here is the double college team baby quilt I posted about here.  The client wanted one college team on one side and another team on the other.  In this case, one side is the Nebraska Cornhuskers, and the other side is the North Carolina Tar Heels.  (I even looked  up what a Tar Heels was, and found out that this from Wikipedia:The exact etymology of the nickname is unknown, but most folklore believe its roots come from the fact that tar, pitch, and turpentine created from the vast pine forests were some of North Carolina's most important exports early in the state's history. For a time after the Civil War, the name Tar Heel was derogatory, but it was later reappropriated by the people of North Carolina.[1]
Because the exact history of the term is unknown, a number of legends have developed to explain it. One such legend claims it to be a nickname given during the U.S. Civil War, because of the state's importance on the Confederate side, and the fact that the troops "stuck to their ranks like they had tar on their heels".[2] )  One should know what it is they are working on, right?

The client is delighted, I am delighted, and it is off in the mail to the mother's baby shower.

During this whole interaction with the client, and ordering the fabric for each team, one of the first fabrics picked was the wrong type of fabric, meaning it was fleece.  So, since it wasn't going to be used in this quilt, I went ahead and made a couple of baby blankets and put them on my Etsy site.  If you are interested, just click on the upper right sidebar Etsy icon, and it will take you directly to my Etsy site.

Another client wants me to make her a set of college themed potholders representing the University of Oregon Ducks.  She also wants nine more sets representing the different holidays such as Thanksgiving, Valentine's Day, Fourth of July, etc.  Originally she has just asked for the U of O set of potholders, so I have done those first and they went out in the mail today.  I will be working on the rest of the sets in a couple of weeks, as I have John Q's quilt that needs to be quilted.

I also finished one of the pillow shams that will go with John Q's quilt, and I will be working on the other one today.

I kept it simple in the binding of the outer case, opting not to do a flange or ruffle, the customer is just not that kind of a person.  The back closure is just a simple envelope type, making it easy to get the pillows in and out.

Lastly, I finished the "marble" bags for the sling shot's that my dad had made (more about that in this post), but I didn't get any pictures before mailing them off to the client.  My dad had made a couple of sling shots for his neighbor, and the neighbor wants the bags to hold the marbles.


Monday, September 15, 2014

Surprise Treat

On occasion, when traveling with my husband to his trade shows, I am able to visit the local quilt shops. This weekend we traveled to Herminston, OR. This small town has two quilt shops, and I was lucky enough to visit both of them! The first shop I stopped at is called, Aunty Ida's, and she also sells Bernina sewing machines. I was fortunate enough to find some of Lecien's Durham rose collection fabric. Two pieces actually from the collection. Be still my heart!

Here is the first piece I found, and I purchased three yards.

This is the second piece, and I also purchased three yards.

This picture shows both pieces together, showing how wonderful they are side by side. Now I am in dreamland, thinking about what I am going to be doing with these pieces.

The next place I was able to enter is a shop called Material Girl. I mostly did a look about, but did come across Kim Diehl's newest book Simple Blessings.   If you remember, I have been working on one of Kim's projects, Prairie Primrose, from her other book, Simple Traditions.  You can read about the project's progress here.

I poured over it for hours last night working in my mind which patterns I would like to do. The two pictures below are the finalists in my decision making, only because I have so many scraps I want to get used up.


Saturday, September 13, 2014

Out of Service

I am of the plenty, I think, who have this nasty business called Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.  I have struggled with it for years, and it is just getting worse.  It flared up again, almost overnight, causing me not to sleep, and not able to work on any of my many projects, and no yard work.

So, off to the doctor I go to get the cortisone injections.  Supposedly, one can only get them a couple of time a year, and I am on my third in the last 12 months.  That just means I will be getting the surgery done sometime after the first of the year.  Nobody likes to have a surgery, but I will be glad to have this done, so I don't have to worry about the "flare-ups" any more!


Saturday, September 6, 2014

Harvest Season

I normally would have done three to five posts about all that I am doing, but I just haven't had the time to get to writing about it each day, so that is why this post is so long.  Bear with me...

Yes, I have been absent, only because it is fall and that means it is harvest season for all kinds of things.  More tomatoes being made into stewed quarts, about 12 so far this year and the tomatoes are still ripening.  I have had better seasons, but I missed about 6 weeks of spring and summer out of town, so I think this is pretty good so far.

We also roasted all of our green chili that we grew and ended up with about two quarts off of one plant.  I plan on planting more next year, as we use them a lot in our cooking.  We are originally from Albuquerque, and I have smuggled green and red chili home when I visit.  It would be so much better if I could grow enough here at home.

Then, two days ago, my neighbor called and asked if I wanted some plums.   Absolutely!  So I picked a bucket came home and put them in the dehydrator.  They came out so wonderful that I went over and asked to buy some more from her, and she said to pick all I wanted.  Should never say that to me!  So I am on my third buck, and third round of drying them in the dehydrator.  My husband and I eat lots of dried fruit and nuts while doing our trade shows, so I am getting all that I can get done for us.

This is the before picture:

 And this is the after picture:

They don't look to pretty, but they are 100% all natural and taste so much better than any boughten dried fruit.

I have done over 500 plums so far, and plan on doing another 250 or so, which is about 1500 dried pieces!  Wonderful! Awesome!

But I have been doing a little bit of sewing here and there, when I can catch a few minutes.  Here are the things I have gotten done:

John's Quilt:

I laid out the layers to John's quilt and got it pinned it together.  It is ready to go to the sewing machine for stitching.  The first picture is a pillow sham that I quilted up.  You can see that I didn't stitch in each square, I grouped together sections of blocks to give it a more random look.  The client was very happy with the way the quilting is going to be done for this and the quilt.  

This shows the quilt all pinned up ready for the stitching.  

If you look closely you can see I have used two extra loft battings to make this quilt more of a comforter.  The client wanted it really thick!

Next, I received an order for three bags to hold marbles for some homemade slingshots that my dad had made for the grandsons.  This is the first one I made, and I am sending it off to see if it will work before I make the other two.

On a personal level, I made two blocks of 20 that I need to make the next round for the Chocolat Legacy UFO BOM that I am working on currently.  You can find more information about this BOM here.

Lastly, I also received a custom order for a baby quilt.  One side needs to use fabric print of the Nebraska Cornhuskers, and the other side needs to use fabric print from the North Carolina Tar Heels.  So after ordering the fabric online and receiving it yesterday, I went out to get the alternate colors to use on each side and also started cutting out the 5" squares.  I needed to do some "fussy cutting" from the print to get the correct icons in the quilt.

Here are the two prints with the coordinating fabric:

This shows the "fussy cutting" I did on the Nebraska Cornhuskers.  There are three different logos/icons prints in the fabric.  I needed a total of 40 five inch squares, and I got all of them out of a yard of fabric.

I will be fussy cutting out the blue North Carolina Tar Heels print this evening, and the rest of the coordinating fabric, so I can get this done and out the door by the end of next week.