Monday, October 27, 2014

Seasons Greetings Dearies!!

My Halloween mantel!  The three Jack O'Lanterns are the UFO I finished as queen.  Thank you, thank you very much!!  It's the equivalent of a pot holder, but a finish is a finish and I'm glad of it!

The three pumpkins are actual pumpkins!  My friend J gave them to me and I was so impressed by what came out of her greenhouse this year!  And the cat jumping over the jack was a treasure I found in Nebraska in August on my visit!  It was still marked down from last year and I grabbed it!

Halloween is like decorating for Christmas but no stress about presents!  That stress will come soon enough.

We had a heck of a storm this weekend here.  DH was off on a golf trip and that's a shame - he loves storms much more than I do!!

It woke me up at 2:15 am on Saturday.  That's hard to do!!  I usually sleep hard in the middle of the night, and we're the middle floor in our condo building - hardly ever hear anything.  AND we don't usually have thunder and lightning here!  I've probably only heard 10 thunder booms since we moved here!!  We've been here 6 1/2 years!!!!

The rain was pounding that hard!  When we looked at the weather station site in our little town on the coast - the storm gave us THIRTY inches of rain in just 2 days!!  Unbelievable!  DH was doubting my definition of a storm - but he's a believer now!!

Stashbusters Online has a reminder for the 25th of each month to work on something "Christmas-y" and I always ignore it!  And I'm always sorry I did.  Well, believe it or not!  This weekend I finished 8 dish towels!  I'd found them in the depths of my closet looking for UFOs during my reign!  Stuffed there after I'd finished some last winter.

They are very simple - meant to be used.  And they are D*O*N*E!  It's a new record for me!  A work session before November!!  Hip, Hip, Hooray!

Well, that's all for today!  I'm off to a Fun Day at Guild.  We're making baby quilts today for the annual baby shower our town has.  

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Greetings from the Queen of UFOs - oh, NO!!!

Yep, I've reached the top of the UFO list once again.  This year has been a bit of a PIA and I sure didn't pay any attention to how fast I've been ascending that list!  Oh, well!  It is a good chance to boss people around!!  The Queen Says... do this, do that!!!

I told my DH that I was Queen.
DH:  Is that a good thing?
ME:  NO!  If I don't finish something this week, I have to pay a FQ!
DH:  Well, that seems reasonable - but I know how much you hate to give up FQs!!
LOL!  And I thought he wasn't paying attention!!

I did have a successful finish this week - my DDs 10th anniversary is this month.  She wanted a "family portrait" and I made one.  I was very scared about her reaction!!  She can be a little opinionated about home decorations!  And no, I don't really wonder where she got that!!  BUT I'm relieved to say, it was a big hit!  What a relief! Sorry for the reflection in the glass!  Guess it was sunnier than I thought!

Even Meg the Dalmatian was interested in it!!

I had added lots of personalized details and my daughter found them right away!!
Meg had a "heart" spot when she was younger.  M loved purple, so he's in a purple shirt.  L has a favorite necklace, twists her hair over her shoulder when it's drying, is always in jeans and flats.  J has 2 tattoos, worked for Ohio Northern baseball out of college.  Miss P had fake glasses that she loved, is usually in a dress and leggings.  Tonka is of course, the middle dog and Poor Rocky - this is the only time he ever had a halo!!  That chocolate lab loved chewing on stuffed animals - I had to repair alot of them!!

Here's how the family portrait developed: 

I made the people and dogs individually; then appliqued them to the background.

If I do another one - I would make the background darker - the faces tended to blend too well.  I ended up re-coloring the faces - that was nerve wracking!!  And then outlining them in black to get them to show up!!

There is both machine quilting and hand quilting on the piece.

I tried Jo Morton's framing technique.  Sewing the quilt to the matting!  It's scary to start but I liked how it turned out.  The tip that helped is - do all your figuring and drawing on the back of the mat!!  Duh!!

On the back, mark the center, vertical and horizontal.  Measure the quilt, divide by 1/2 and then mark the lines from the center to where the quilt edges will be.  Double check, okay then check one more time!!!  

Start poking holes through the mat from the back with a large needle.
Poke those holes just inside the drawn lines - it helps keep the stitches from showing and the quilt from stretching!!  Your thread should match the MAT!!  Seems backward, but it helps to float the quilt!  

Lay your quilt on top of the mat - check the placement of the holes.

Start from the back of the mat - I know, backwards! Make a BIG knot and tape it to the back of the mat.  I used a L*o*n*g thread doubled and knotted.  Go into a hole, take a stitch on the edge of the quilt, go back down the same hole.  Keep a little pressure on the quilt so there's no floppy edges.  

Go to the next hole ... and so on.  At the end knot the thread and tape it down.

Remember you'll need spacers in the frame to avoid squishing the quilt.  But. in general it was the easiest part of the whole project!!  Trust me!!

So, as Queen, I started straightening the sewing room today - OYE VAY!  Where did all this stuff come from??  I thought I was being really good this year, not buying much!  Apparently not!!  

DH is golfing in CA this weekend - so I have until Monday to sort and shovel it all back into place.  I'm hoping to find a UFO that I can finish within the week - I do hate to fail as Queen!!

So far I've found:  a wool jack o'lantern project ready to pillow; a wool Christmas mat; baby quilt tops, a machine stitching sampler piece the right size and color for a Veteran's wheelchair quilt; and a Grandmother's flower garden quilt - waiting for it's binding for at least 7 years!!!  

Well, you see how I get into this mess!  I really haven't been able to face that darn binding!  AND the quilting group offered to bind it for me, and I turned them down!!!  We'll see - this could be the week!!!

Your adorable queen, sweating under the ermine cape!!  doni