Sunday, June 2, 2013

catching up

I can't believe it's been over a month since I last blogged, but there's been a lot going on.  Not a lot that would be terribly interesting to share, but I'll give some of the highlights...

I've been using the longarm a bit...

More of the "Motel 6" charity quilts - not made by me, just quilted as a favor.  It's hard to get people to commit to making anything larger than a throw if they know they have to quilt it on their little machine, so I opened my big mouth and volunteered.  (I need to learn how to get that under control...)

And a little bit more of the sneak peak.  Still not able to reveal this one...  The binding is mostly on and with it being cold these last few days, I've been making progress.

Though I'm WAAAYYYY behind on my own block challenge, I did manage to finish this charity quilt top:

This one is named the "1-2-3 Quilt" because the blocks are made up of 1, 2 or 3 pieces.  It's incredibly scrappy, but it was a kit cut by a member of my guild and I just had to sew it together.  I got a lot of it done a while back and it ended up in a pile of stuff and I nearly forgot about it!  It's 66x90 and the blocks finish 6".

There is also a little project in the works:

But again, because I'm not sure who might see this post, I can't reveal any more.  Soon!

Last Thursday, my guild had a "UFO Auction" and we were invited to bring anything sewing-related that we no longer wanted and items would be auctioned, the profits going into our charity quilt fund (mostly to purchase batting and backings).  It was for members only and was rather disappointing in what people brought, but I got a few goodies:

This sewing box is so awesome.  About 100 years old and handmade (though not out of the best wood), it's in very good condition and I'm excited to have an actual box to put my sewing goodies into!  Even the hubby (who told me to buy nothing) approved of this purchase.

And there was also this actual UFO (much of what was brought was fabric scraps and older books):

Minkee and calico cut and started sewing to make a blanket.  My youngest niece is reported to have fits when her current minkee blanket needs washing.  And we all know how quickly a 6-month-old teething baby dirties things, so I had already an idea in my head to make her a second one.  Perfect!

I decided to finish it with the premade satin binding and purchased that yesterday.  I will not be using that again any time in the future, but the project is complete!

I still plan to wash it before giving it to her (it earned a little cat fur here, but I also have no idea what it went through before I got it), but I hope she'll like it and it will serve as an alternate to her favorite blanket.  (If the cats are any indication, it's fantastic...I had lots of help...)

My mom was asked a while ago to teach a fussy cut dresden plate class to my group.  Only 12 members signed up, but they made some fantastic projects.  I'm still waiting to see more finishes than what I have here (this is from the first night of work), there's lots of promise!

I "helped" teach the class - mostly just hung out because my mom knew no one.  I didn't take the class, as the dresden plate pattern holds little appeal for me and, honestly, having watched my mom make about a dozen of these over the years, I pretty much already know how...

And last but not least, I get to start a new project!  My hubby's buddy and his wife are expecting a little girl in October.  They just found out it will be a girl, so I jumped right into the fabric purchasing part of the project...I was hoping to get to cutting today, but the 1-2-3 quilt and the blanket took longer than I anticipated.  (I was a pro with the seam ripper today for a while...)  At least it's washed and ironed.  (And let me tell you, any one of you who whines about having to iron fabric after washing it, I will gladly send you my work clothes to iron in exchange for ironing your flat pieces of fabric!)

You can sort of see the pattern there at the top, but I'll be sharing more as I get going on this.  It's not exactly a surprise, but I also doubt they'll find my blog...or even look for it.  I'm excited to have a new project, but told myself I had to get at least one old project done before I could start this one.  Technically I finished two, though one was less than a week old!

In addition to not sewing very much, I've planted a garden (just tomatoes this year) and been working on weeding my flower beds.  I don't much care for that task, so I've been procrastinating with reading.  I've re-discovered two authors I've read before and liked, but hadn't read anything of theirs in a while.  Jane Hamilton (just read "The Short History of a Prince") and Anne Rice (currently reading "Blackwood Farm").  After a number of books in my giant stack that were less than compelling, I've had trouble putting both of these down and wishing they'd just keep going!  But my stack from 2011 currently has only one book left in it!  Of course the 2012 stack hasn't been touched and here we are fast approaching the book sale for 2013 (July 4th!), so I'd better figure out how to sleep less?

These books are great entertainment while out on the boat with the hubby, though I do need to remember to bring my Sea Bands, as I find the older I get, the more prone to seasickness I am.  The hubby says it's all in my head, but they work.  Whether it's in my head or not, I don't care because they work!

I've also been trying to do some of the things I've pinned over on Pinterest.  A coworker brought in a lot of rhubarb not too long ago, so I had a recipe for Strawberry Rhubarb Cherry Upside Down cake.  TASTY even if it didn't look nearly as pretty as the photo.  I took it in to work and everyone loved it.  I also made some Chicken Alfredo Lasagna Roll-Ups.  While they were fairly good, they were a pain to make and I'd probably just make it as normal lasagna next time.  If there is a next time...

There's of course all the normal stuff going on - work, cooking, cleaning, etc. - but nothing bad.  My parents are recovering from their flood, but very wary of putting anything of value in the basement again.  And I'm getting excited for summer vacation plans that include a family reunion, a quilt retreat and a week-long vacation with the hubby.

I hope to get back to blogging more frequently.  I do make an effort to read what you all are up to at least once a week, but often it's on my "smart"phone that does strange random things when I'm trying to leave comments.  (I don't care what the marketing people say, that darn phone is NOT smart.  I've seriously considered trading it back in for something much less sophisticated.  You know, one with actual buttons for dialing?)

Happy quilting!


A Left-Handed Quilter said...

Glad to see you blogging again! Thanks for the highlights - wondered what you were up to - ;))

Your sewing box is AWESOME - and your projects look TERRIFIC! I especially like the 1-2-3 one as I'm getting very partial to 6" blocks - ;))

By the way - the only way I know to learn how to get your big mouth under control is to keep opening it and volunteering - haha - ;))

---"Love" said...

Girl, you really have been busy, busy! Lots of really nice projects! It's really good to read what you've been up to. Hope you'll be posting more often again. ---"Love"

Beth said...

Seems like you have been very busy! What I could see on the longarm looked great (the quilting) can hgardly wait to see more.
Love the cats and the Minkee. I am surprised that you could part with the kitty material. LOL
Great fabrics for your new projects.
Sounds like you will be having an awesome summer. ( I sure hope the weather gets better).

a good yarn said...

Seriously? You've crammed all of that into a month? Sheesh! How do you do it? No, don't answer that. Everything looks amazing. That satin binding is a horror and only ever used once. Hopefully Bubby will be happy to snuggle such a nice soft blankie.

Liriopia said...

You have been busy and all your work is awesome! Love your Mom's Dresden Plates. Does she have a pattern or is it all done with math? Will she be writing a tutorial? I've seen a lot of Dresden patterns but I really like this one.


Ruth said...

Lucky you to have a long arm to use!! Sometimes it takes a few times of volunteering to realize it's better not to - especially when you work full time. However, it's good to quilt some donation quilts. I recently quilted one on my Janome and it came out OK. And when my GD asked me if I would quilt her quilt when she gets it finished, of course I said I would. I might be in luck with that, though, because she doesn't get much sewing done due to her extensive social schedule, work and school! Hope your niece likes the substitute blanket! You never know with kids/babies. Good luck with your gardening and reading!

Marsha said...

When I was involved with Boy Scouting, I eventually learned to sit on my hands when they were looking for volunteers. I could only do so much with my time. It took a while, but I did learn! All of your projects look wonderful, you are playing with some pretty fabrics. I love the wooden box to hold all of your sewing supplies. That would be something I would take home with me. You are keeping busy, have fun!

canuckquilter said...

Nice to see the longarm coming out to play again :) I love both your stack of project fabrics. I'll be waiting to see what they become when you are able to share! Nice sewing box. My mom (who doesn't sew) used to have one, as did my grandmother, though I'm sure mom's at least was of a newer vintage than yours. Good luck with the weeding! I'm procrastinating on that front too :) I wish the non-weeds were growing as fast as the weeds.