Saturday, September 24, 2011

Selvedge Yard quilt Done-done!

So, as an out-of-my-box experience goes - let me tell you - that quilt grew like a summer weed. Here begins the saga: years ago I started making string blocks incorporating selvedges. 6 inch blocks and they were fun. Something else came along ... distractions, many quilts, you know how it goes.

The blocks were buried - but I still cut selvedges when I could. Those little gems are deceiving - a 'muffin-top' filled shoebox goes a very long way!! I have to admit, most of those selvedges are my very own. I did collect some from friends; at workshops and actually bought a fat quarter just for the selvedge at the end!!! I was convinced I absolutely needed, had to have, a selvedge that said 2011!! I have selvedges that have many, many dates - at least a 20+ year span. And I organized a list of all I could actually find on the quilt. If only I could find that darn list now!! There will be a later update on that!!! Much later!!!

There are 600ish selvedges in the quilt - yes, there are repeats! And the most colorful ones came from the quilts made for grandkids and the many pair of pj pants I've made them. But there are many reproduction fabrics represented!!

I always wanted to do LazyGal's free-style 'wonky' alphabet and this was the project to do it. Those letters are fun - use a whole lot of thread and are bigger than you think they are. I made the choice early on that I was going to use 'many' muslins in the words. Knowing me, it was going to happen anyway!!

I figured out my saying - hmmm - too long, shortened it and started creating. Let me tell you there were threads everywhere!! But words appeared. After I had the quote 'written' out, it was bigger than planned. [Of course, it IS that quilt!]

Revision - gonna need more blocks!! I had 25 ready to go - optimist!! Like twice as many! Oh Dear! Sew machine - sew! Most of the parts were together - altogether 49 6inch string blocks - I fit the pithy quote around the outside. Using some fudge factors - it fit pretty well!

There was blank space at the end of the words - before the corners. Hmmm, I could lengthen the quote with quilted words - fill in, so to speak, but now I'm stuck with an "AN".

Think of adjectives that start with an vowel, make lists in the middle of the night! Consult with mom over the phone. Using my own 'best' [HA! - my handwriting isn't known for it's clarity!!] handwriting I added these 'secret messages' to the quote and free-motion quilted the words. I'm pretty proud of how they came out. I even added interface to that area because the back was shadowing through. But, seriously, you could even read them!! Who knew!!

Darn - you know what would look really good finishing it off - a selvedge border!! So four 3" borders 58 inches long - I'm back in sweat shop mode! I'm loving that new ironing board that works. Sewed all four at the same time, chain stitching 60" long strips, well, better planning might have avoided that tangle!! Onwards and upwards.

Why the 'sweat shop mode'? Well, at the beginning of the summer, our local guild issued a challenge - use something in a quilt you usually don't use. Bring it to the September meeting. Of course, you mull it over, you gather the blocks, you check the selvedge supply, you have company come, you go to an awesome retreat in Sisters with Sue Spargo and Tonye Belinda Phillips, you revise ... CRAP! It's now September - hello-o-o, it has to be a finished project!!! I'm sure this sounds familiar to others as well! I do 'sweat shop mode' really, really well - lots of practice, etc!!

The back: Well, I was certified (I know you believe that now!!!) on a longarm this year and that practice piece was driving me bonkers! Too big to throw away; to big to store in my itty-bitty sewing closet - what to do! Of course, it was too small for this brute now. Pull out a way-to-dark-for-me blue backing I bought on sale eons ago - add it on. Need more batting - so I whip stitched some pieces together - yes I did!! Another first in a very long list of challenges incorporated into SY.

I considered using Tonya's alphabet to make my label - but I'd have to figure out how to make it tiny. So-o I sewed 3 blank selvedges together - and wrote my own selvedge label.

I sewed the binding down by machine, added the label and sleeves by hand. Threw that puppy in the wash with a dye magnet and ended up with the first quilt that ever obviously bled for me in a 36 year quilting career. Oh yeah - it WAS that quilt!! Poop - I washed it again with Oxy-clean and Tide stain-remover. Still bleeding. Of course, being me - I dried it in the dryer so I may be doomed. I'll go into town this week and see if they have that magic dye product and try again.

Ta Da - without further delay - presenting Selvedge Yard:

The original too long saying was: Quilting: not so much a hobby, more like an obsession. I love me some (quilting)

The revised saying with the quilted words is: Quilting: not so much a hobby [you know] more like an [infectious] obsession [and we love it sew]

Thank you, thank you very much. Elvis has left the building!!

Monday, September 5, 2011

Bonus Post!! Happy Labor Day

Hope you're having a great weekend. Our weather kind-of reminds us more of winter than summer this weekend. Wearing sweatshirts and socks. Closed windows - because "we're NOT" going to turn on the furnace at the beginning of Sept!! Is that the ongoing battle -err, rule- at your house too??? LOL!

Well, good news and bad news. Bad news: Our company cancelled this weekend. [Sorry it didn't work out B&D - hope everyone's feeling better soon and we'll have better luck next time.] It might have been better if they had cancelled BEFORE we bought the groceries; baked the pie and switched out the bedrooms and baths!! Good news: I had a clean house and 2 'new' days to fill with what I wanted to do!!

I'm officially CRAZY! [okay, I knew you knew that already!] The UFO I’m working on is "Selvedge Yard" made from - you guessed it, you clever girl - selvedges. Lots and lots of selvedges.

For the back, I used the long arm sample I got certified on – I heard that snicker!! Of course, I had to make it bigger, because this quilt is growing like a late summer weed! That meant I had to sew on extra batting – this may have been the first time I’ve done that!! Then add another piece of fabric for backing. I may be carrying this challenge a little farther than necessary! [ya think?] Today I’m going to frame it and spray baste it (if the weather cooperates) and hopefully, get a good start on the machine quilting.

Saturday, without company coming, I ran into the library to pick up a book or two. On the way home I had a thought. With all those selvedges - some with dates - how will anyone know when I stopped? Other than the label of course! DUH! So I stopped at the local quilting store. Bought a FQ -not my style of fabric at all - simply for the selvedge that said 2011!! AS IF I needed another one; AS IF anyone would spot it in this mess I like to call ‘SY’! LOL!

Although, while there, I did spot the new Quilt Sampler magazine and brought it home too. I'm not saying I'm a 'type A' when it comes to quilting. BUT I take my "Quilter’s Travel Companion” book and highlight the Top 10 stores when they are published. It all started when in Mpls we had time for one quilt store. Using the yellow pages, I picked one –boy, it was pitiful!

When I got home, I found out I missed a Top 10. As Scarlet in “Gone with the Wind” might had said, “As God is my witness, I shall never miss another Top 10 shop!” Each year, after I transferred all the highlighting to the new “Quilter’s Travel” book – my old book was fought over by quilting friends. I used to buy the new edition immediately upon publication – now I skip years. We don’t travel off the beaten path much now. Ironic, isn't it!! But when we do travel - the Companion goes with us. No matter how hard DH tries to hide it, then bury it in the car!!

Did I tell you my ironing board died. Yep - it only lasted 40 years, and I'm pretty sure I inherited it from my mom, at that! But I wanted to get a wide one that still folded up so I could make room in a very crowded sewing room for beds for guests, when they come to visit. Well, I'm glad to report, got my new ironing board! 18” wide – it was quite the saga!

I tried all the usual places in our very small town; nada, then our ‘local’ Walmart –45 miles away – they didn’t have that size either. So off to Medford, the ‘big’ city! Well, the medium sized city, Bed, Bath and Beyond had one – a Rowenta ironing board -$99. Hmmm, possibly not. That could buy alot of selvedges - errr, fabrics!

On to Sears – didn’t have ANY! Apparently, Sears has two grades – I was at the smaller store and they didn’t carry anything I wanted!! BUT they had a catalog que in the store. Had a 18” ironing board for $35ish. That’s better. But shipping was $39!! Wait for one almost as expensive as one I take home today?? Maybe it will have to be Rowenta's.

Then, thankfully I remembered the Medford Walmart is bigger than Crescent City's – before I cave into $99, go check it out! Happy Dance! They had it. My price range. I bought the extra cover while I was there! Goodness knows how hard that would be to find later!! Fit it into our new car - a sedan, leaving room for the golf clubs, and life was good once again!!

In fact, a little too good! I set that puppy up right next to the machine, at the low height, sewed the selvedge borders one after another – forgetting to get up and about crippled myself!! 59 - it's not just a number you can ignore!! Yesterday I set it up a few steps behind me – just so I wouldn’t forget to get up and stretch!

I’m off this week to a Folk Art Weekend with Sue Spargo in Sisters. I had to call the store to be sure … not a typo, sewing machine not required!! We’ll be gone a week by the time we also go to Portland for Miss P and DH’s birthday. A week without my sewing machine … how unusual!! But there will be plenty of handsewing of wool available!

Doni @ Oregon coast

Friday, September 2, 2011

Catch Up Time!

How on earth did it get to be September? The summer is winding down and I've got lots to tell you!

I've finally gotten my quilting mojo back. YeeHa! I started with a plan I heard years ago on the Stashbusters online quilting group. Pick 5-7 projects you want to complete. Assign each one a day.

Example: Monday: Mr D's Jungle Baby quilt ... Work an hour on the project that day. After that hour is done, continue working on that project; move to another project or go sit on the deck with a book! Doesn't matter! Next day - pick up the "Tuesday" project. If you miss a day - simply start up where you are - don't worry about getting caught up.

So the first day I got the first border on Mr D's jungle baby quilt and set it aside for 'consulting' with his mom and dad as to how big to make it. [Silly mom said, if we make it bigger, we can use it on his 'big boy' bed. I said, "No worries about that, I always make a 'big boy/girl' quilt for the bed. How big do you want this baby quilt????" We decided a little longer will work. Piano key border in the works.

The second day I got out the "Selvedge Yard" UFO. And from then on, I ignored the other projects and worked on this one 5-6 hours a day!! It grew and grew and grew ... I added Unruly letters to it and am almost done with the selvedge borders going around it. This will be double credit for me - an UFO finish AND a summer challenge at guild - due in September. YIKES! It will have to remain a surprise until that meeting's reveal. But other than being twice as big as I thought it would be, I like it! And nope, not running out of selvedges yet!!

Today, it all got put away - company coming tomorrow for the weekend and needed room for the other single bed in the sewing/guest room. I feel odd about not sewing on it today - but there were threads EVERYWHERE - and we vacuumed today - so best not start up again!! Monday when they leave ... sewing commences again!

Poor "Birds of a Feather" has been languishing in the corner. So close and yet so far! But I'll get back to it - hope to finish it in September too - at last!

I've got to tell you about the coolest quilt hanger I bought. No affiliation - yada, yada - the Hang It Dang It quilt hanger.

As you know, I used to live in a large house in Nebraska. I had quilts hanging in each room - sometimes more than one in the room. Now I live in a small [some might say, 'itty bitty'] condo with lots of south facing windows and only one wall large enough and dark enough to hang a quilt. But I want to hang a bed-sized quilt today, maybe a 40" wall quilt next week, then a 60" wall quilt for Halloween ... HOW? Let me tell you!! This telescoping rod hangs with a magnet on -wait for it - one nail in the middle!! All you need it a sleeve on the back of the quilt - as usual. You might have problems getting a quilt to hang straight if there's alot of embellishments, some heavier than others. But that's not my style - so no problem!

Go to their website and check it out! I measured and hammered and hung it all by my little lonesome, while Rick sat on the couch and watched sports!! Woohoo! I've had 2 quilts on it already - both looked awesome!

A little Mr D story before I go. We were there last Monday - L & J2 had bought, for my birthday, tickets for 3 of us to go see "Pirates of Penzance" at the Shakespeare Festival in Ashland Oregon. BeachPapa was the designated babysitter. The show was G*R*E*A*T! The casting wonderful and the stage props hilarious!! A good time was had by all. If you have an opportunity to see it - run like the wind to it! And be prepared to have a great time!

We came home to a calm Papa and a calm baby - until 2 am. Then it was a howling good time for a couple of hours! I got to give him his bottle in the morning. I warmed it up first and then went in to get him up. He was all snoozy and cuddle-ly and hardly opened his eyes while chowing down the bottle. Half way thru - time for a burp. No burp cloth so I sat him up, braced against my hand. He turned and looked at me with big amazed eyes like I was crazy! "Good grief, don't you know how to burp a baby??"

R threw me a burp cloth, and Mr D went to my shoulder like 'Frankenstein' arms straight out. R laughed and he got one of those wide-eyed looks, "Good grief, there's someone else here too??" So fun to see his little personality developing. He's 5 months old, rolling over and trying to blow bubbles. Just perfect!

Next time pictures!! Happy Labor Day weekend!