Saturday, March 27, 2010

Welcome Changes...and Quilting Update

It's been an interesting couple of weeks around here. In an attempt to cut some expenses, or at least get more for the money we're spending, we're making some changes to our wireless services and launching ourselves into the 21st century...well at least taking some baby steps in.

The biggest changes for me are a cellphone plan that allows me to actually talk on it, LOL, (I had one that I only used when absolutely needed) and a wireless internet connection rather than the archaic dialup. Don't get me wrong, I was content with the dialup service, but being able to shift expenses to include wireless internet is wonderful.

With the change to wireless, my computer desk became movable. I was limited to where I could put it when it needed to be near a phone line, but now that it doesn't, I did some furniture moving as well. The computer desk used to be where the bookshelf is and vice versa. I also swapped the tables, putting my sewing table in our dining room and bringing the dining room table into my sewing room. This opened up quite a bit of floor space and, so far, seems like a really good change. I took the leaves out of the table to fit it nicely in my sewing room and can put them in when needed, for now, I'm adjusting to less table space and hoping this makes it easier to keep it cleared off.

I took a short break from my challenge to make this baby quilt, which Bren's mom bought from me and gave to a neighbor. These are so fun much to make, I've done a few of them now in various sizes. Tone on tone fabrics with quilting motifs done in colored thread, they are easy to get to the quilting stage and quilt up quite quickly in spite of the amount of hand quilting on them.

I'm getting anxious to get back to the posies and celtic quilt. I haven't done anything on it in quite a while, and the plan is for it to be the next one in the hoop. I'm appliquing on the border, have the posy sets chosen and ready to applique along with more bias made and ready to sew on.

The Oriental Roads quilt is moving along well. I'm on the outer row of blocks and hope to be quilting on the borders by Easter weekend. I don't know how realistic that is with all else that is going on here this week, but that is the plan.

Ruthie loves to have her picture taken and this one was taken just after her bath. Her hair is still wet and she's all snuggly and quite mellow.

I have mixed feelings about the warm weather coming, I do love when the windows can be opened, we can take walks, and sit outside. I'm not a warm weather person, though. The hand quilting may have to take a back seat on the warmest days, but I have plenty of hand piecing waiting to keep me busy! I'm already starting my list for next year, which will start off with whatever doesn't get done this year (I really think I've bitten off more than I can chew this time.)
Nothing will get finished if I don't get to it, so it's time to go!
Happy quilting!

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Olympic Quilting Wrapup

I never know what to expect when I plan these heavy quilting times. All kinds of things can come up to thwart them, and that first week of the Olympics I ended up having a bunch of things to do that I didn't expect. In spite of that, I was able to get quite a bit of quilting done. Thankfully the second week was not as busy and that was a good way to end, had the busy week been second, I would have definitely felt that my Olympic quilting experience was tainted some.

I finished the shade on Thursday of the second week, which means I spent most of the Olympic days working on it. I'm really pleased with how it came out and, though I had hoped to finish it during the Olympics, I wasn't sure if it was really possible. Here is a closeup view.

Here is a view from a little further back. The next step is to turn it into a Roman Shade, something I'm still trying to figure out. I found what looks to be some good directions online and hope to get it strung and hung before too long. It will replace the blue checked curtains you can sit a bit of in this picture. I'm hoping that I can figure this out without too much trouble as I have one to make for our bedroom, too!
When I was nearing the end of the shade, I took some time out to baste the baby quilt that I made on my sewing night and I also basted the Oriental Roads. I started quilting on the baby quilt on Thursday and finished the quilting on Sunday. I don't think I've ever quilted a baby quilt that quickly. I put binding on both the shade and baby quilt a couple of days later.
I was still watching Olympic coverage when the quilting was finished on the baby quilt so I picked up the Oriental Roads and started quilting on that one. Here it is in the hoop, with a view of part of one of the Jacob's Ladder blocks.
Here is the center block. The middle and squaring up triangles have this feather motif, in red, with off white crosshatching. The rest of the quilting is in red.

This one will take at least a few weeks to quilt, and I will probably take days off to work on the Posies and Celtic so it is ready for the hoop when the Oriental Roads is finished.

Looking over my challenge list, I realized everything left (except for the sewing together of blocks) is hand work....hand piecing, hand applique and hand quilting. Though I prefer handwork, I actually do enjoy machine piecing when I'm in the mood for it and am thinking ahead for when my challenge year is over. I printed paper for the next strip quilt. I did one where the whole block was strips, one where half the block was strips and the other half background (the shade) so this one will have strips on both sides of the center line with a background triangle at each corner. The pages are printed and I played with the lines, now all 256 have to be marked like this one.

I'll be working on this project when I have a hankering for machine piecing, and on my late night sewing nights, which lend themselves better to machine work than handwork most of the time.

And finally, Ruthie. Here she is, bed head and all. It was around Christmas time and our oldest had just come back from the youth Christmas party (he is a leader) where they all brought white elephant gifts. He received a Barney video, which he gave to Ruthie when he got home. She had just woke up from a short nap and was THRILLED to get this video. She has since "bought" a couple more of them in the Awana store (where they trade earned shares for various trinkets.)
Hopefully this is a big quilting day for me. I have nowhere to go, a few daily household chores to do, but mostly a day that is wide open. I'll quilt on the Oriental Roads and if I need a break will work on drawing more lines on the strip quilt and/or cutting some more strips for scraps. With the successful mastering of the curved piecing foot, some Drunkard's Path pieces will also be cut from scrap and a new "when I feel like sewing" box will be started.
But nothing will happen if I don't scoot!
Happy Quilting!