Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Busy, busy, busy!

I had the best intentions of writing twice a month - ok, I thought I'd write every week!!! But - late again!

Life has been busy here - let me think why!!  Nope, I've got nothing!!  And that's retirement all over!

But here's what is new!

I was Queen of the UFOs (again) and I managed to finish an OLD UFO - Moon Dance, pattern by Barbara Shapel.  Dancing in the Moonlight is 18.5 x 47 inches!!  This was a workshop we held oh-so-many-'moons'-ago!!  Mine had developed quite the 'elbow' in construction so it was in time-out all this time!!

Queendom was speeding toward me and we voted it 'most likely to be finished in time'!!  I ripped out the offending seam and resewed it to be straight.  Then started to machine quilt it.  I used my walking foot for all that I could. And then bit the bullet and started free motion quilting.  It was a good size for free motion - not too wide.  I echoed lines, I drew turtles, I followed lines in the fabric and then I really had fun with the "beach" segment.  I quilted in things I've found on the Oregon Coast. Starfish, kelp, and a Japanese Ice Tea Bottle that washed up after the Tsunami!!  That was amazing to find!

Why do I fight free motion quilting? I make excuses and find busy work to keep me from it ... does anyone else do that??  I've taken classes, I've watched demos endlessly AND I've done it before.  But apparently it's not my favorite - ever!

But the key is to just DO IT!  Finish the quilt and then wash it.  THEN you can look at the stitches!! Washing it gets rid of the strangely shaped curves, the eye-lashes and any tension problems. Almost anything is bearable after washing!

My other secret - shhhhh - about getting quilts to hang straight is put a sleeve on top and bottom.  Every time you walk past it hanging, you give the bottom dowel or curtain rod a little pull-down.  Wet it if needed and you can always add weight to the bottom.  I use an adjustable curtain rod in the bottom sleeve and hang mugs on each end.  In an emergency, I've been known to put soup cans in the mugs!!!  Go ahead and laugh - but try it, it does work! That sucker is straight in no time!!

I also made my first official facing with this quilt.  I can't believe I haven't ever considered this finishing technique in my 42 years of quilting!!  I also can't believe I've been quilting that long!! Wow!  But I just don't do many art quilt designs that need it!

First, I looked it up online, watched a few Youtube videos, and finally found an tutorial from Silly BooDilly, a blogger. I probably combined some of the information, and it worked out fine, was fairly easy!  I do love how the quilt looks - what do you think?


Here is Dancing in the Moonlight and details of the 'beach' portion.  Upside down!!  The photos aren't really working with me today - so I'm just going with that one!!

Now, not quilt related - here's a picture of Miss P and Mr M on the first day of school!  Ready for 4th grade and 2nd grade!!! And, gasp, I actually got the picture sent to me on the first day of school!!!  WhooHoo, Linz!  Doesn't my daughter take awesome pictures?  Lots and lots of experience!!

Mr D started Kindergarten this year and the GKids always get a new quilt to celebrate that!  For the last few years, Mr D has been about all things Superheros.  We even had to talk him out of his cape on occasion! But mostly we just let him wear it!

In the past, I incorporated a drawing by the GKid to add to the quilt, but Mr D wasn't interested in drawing.  So I tricked him - had mom and dad send me a hand tracing and I made a Batman with it!!!  I thought it was super cool!  Also below is Mr D wrapped in his quilt - and honestly that wasn't staged!!  And a picture of the label.

There are many thoughts on labels.  The only one universal is LABEL IT! There's embroidery, there's sewing machine alphabets.  But a few years back, I heard that since so much is automated these days, it's important to use your own handwriting - just to have a record of it!!  So since then, I've been writing my own labels with fabric dye pens and Pigma pens.  I kind-of like it!

Other events in my life these days include walking on the beach at low tide; going to Crescent City twice a week for Water Aerobics; TaiChi twice a week; sewing and reading books.

I did have quite the shock this am.  I got up at 6:15 and it was still pitch-black outside!  What???? When did that happen? We are headed to the dreaded short 8 hours of daylight days ... always hard to take.  I could never survive in Alaska!!

Oh, did I mention Mr D told his dad he didn't like SuperHeroes any more??? Sigh!  He was a gentleman when he got his quilt - was excited and loved it.  We think the statement was because Mr K - 2 years younger, now loves superheroes! 

PS Nana doesn't have a "Return Policy!!!"

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