24 February 2008

Inventory & Our Health

It's been beautiful weather. We opened the windows yesterday to air the house out after Reg gave the dog another bath .. she was getting a certain skunky air about her again. The first time she was sprayed she was lucky that a wooden fence took most of the hit - not this time.. it got her full bore in the neck .. phewwww - stinky dog .. but it was nice to get some fresh air in the house. We are all still sick .. well reg and I - Kyle feels better today - which is a good thing! Reg is a good patient .. Thank God!!

I did manage to get some inventory done, altho looking at it now, you can tell I'm not feeling good when I'm doing this. I did 2 mats and a basket yesterday. I wanted to do a binding around the edge of one, but i should have made the strips wider .. I did 3/4" - next time I'll do an inch .. it doesn't stand out like i want it to, seems a lot smaller. I did variegated thread on the one with the border and yellow thread on the rectangular one. Heh, I'm running out of motifs that i want to use for quilting these, there are only so many hearts, butterflies, and flowers that a body and can :S

Here's one of the many baskets that I did, this is the first one that I modified back to a 9 patch block. It turned out pretty good, but I can see mistakes in my my quilting that I may go back and fix, or I could save this one for a display model. I still have to tack the sides down. For the insides I used a hand-dyed pink that I did many years ago .. I still really want to find my dyes, I miss doing that! You get the neatest results from it!

23 February 2008

a wee bit quilty; basketball

Well reg's team didn't win tonite, they lost by 20 .. but these boys gave it there all didn't stop fighting .. I'm so proud of them and so is reg. His team was playing a team that is older (19 year olds) and larger .. Reg's team consists mostly of 16 year olds that are in their first year of senior basketball .. these kids will be unstoppable in 2 years and bloody hard to beat next year.

I'm still feeling like crap and have a headache like 10 men. I did manage to get a basket done tonite and I've got some fabrics picked out for the rest of the fan mats. I really wanted to get everything ready so I just had to quilt it all up tomorrow, but right now i just lack the energy.

Tomorrow is a new day and I'll be busy working on it then!

22 February 2008

Challenge, Inventory, health n stuff

Please click on the images to view larger versions in a new window ;)

It's been a nutty week - with Reg's basketball team season winding down, my challenge and getting sick.

Reg's team won their quarter final game on Wednesday by 15 I think .. it was a game that the ref's were absolutely HORRID and Herman led by at least 5 the whole game. It was good to see it! I had a splitting headache, was sicker n a dog, but enjoyed it. The semi's are tonite and I'll be going to this game as well. If they lose, they are out, so I want to be there to support the team.

I spent 2 days being sick and almost missed getting my candle mat in for the challenge. As it was i sent it up just before midnite and the email at midnite :\. This is the candle mat that I entered. I did the birthing method for quilting this. Made it quick to put together - I'm likely going to do this method for all the smaller items that I can; while I wish it had that pretty defining binding as a frame, i can always add an extra 1/4" to the outside for the appearance of a border. I used green thread for the quilting and did flowers and ditch stitching.

This is the candle mat that I wished was ready. While the colours are striking in the other one, this one just speaks more to me. I used a variegated thread for the quilting and did different flowers, butterflies and ditch stitching on it.

I used mum's machine on for the decorative / applque stitches for these mats. It only jammed on me one other time and that was right at the beginning just after I did the bobbin. This machine has such a tetchy petal!! It only has one speed - SONIC - so speed control was a huge issue for me .. but all in all, no serious problems while doing it - it was just nerve wracking is all .. thank you all for the prayers, naked moonlight dancing and burning feathers ;)

This is a finished basket; I say finished like that as I still have to tack down the flaps on the inside. This was very easy to make, altho I did have to man-handle this while I was sewing down the flaps to make the basket .. I'm just so glad that my machine was able to do this :D. For this I just did ditch stitching for the sides and meandered along the bottom for stability.

I'm still not feeling 100%, maybe 55% right now .. have another headache, and am still suffering from this cold - but i'm better today than I was yesterday and specifically the day before - Thank God!

20 February 2008

Catching up; baskets, candle mats

It's been in interesting few days. I've been going a wee bit nuts trying to figure out exactly what I'm going to do for the show coming up. I had a whack of ideas; but felt like a one-eyed cat watching 10 mouseholes. ;) I think it was just a case of nerves and just needing to settle on what items I was going to start on first.

I did find some really neat patterns and ideas on Freepatterns.com - it was just a matter of settling on what to do first. I found a really neat quilted basket there called Mexican Star Basket. It's the neatest thing - it's basically a 9 patch style 12" block that is folded and tucked at the sides to create a basket. I found a neat pattern called fancy flowers that is a traditional block so i am free to use it according to her terms and conditions. I cut out enough pieces for 5 blocks and rather outsmarted myself as I was going to cut them all out at once .. I made notes in the margin and ended up cutting wayyy more than I needed .. ah well .. I gots lots of pieces now :S I put the first one together and it looked really great.. so I started on the second one ... I realized that this was a 5 patch block - bloody hell! Well I had them cut, I was going to piece them .. i had all the sections of one block ready to put together and then I took a look and wondered how would this look without the sashings??? - welp i put it together and it looked great .. and what do you know .. i got my 9 patch block back :D :D :D I have 4 others like this but in different colourways waiting to be basted and quilted.

I decided to get going on my candle mats and pot holders to meet a challenge that one of my lists is holding. I need to have my mats done by Thursday at midnite. Well since my machine is still sick, I needed to use mum's. I've asked my friends to pray for me with this. I didn't care of they prayed, danced naked in the moonlight, or waved burning feathers .. I needed all the help I could get .. well I cleaned and oiled it this AM. heh .. only jammed once and broke a needle. I'm off to a GREAT start!!! I let it sit for the rest of the day so I could finish piecing the blocks for the baskets. I pulled it out and needed to make a bobbin .. heh .. you got it .. jammed on me again .. *Hellasigh Well I redid the bobbin again, double-checked to be sure that it was all in good working order and tried again .. so far so good .. i managed to piece 6 fans and it didn't jam again. I need to use this machine for the applique part of these fans. It's going to be a pain to have to swap machines around, but I don't have a walking foot for this machine and the speed is a wee bit tetchy for me to be wanting to quilt on it.

My house isn't as odorous, but Reg is sick and managed to get me sick as well .. oh well .. I started to hack and cough this am. I've got the itchy inside of the ear and the raw-ish throat. I'm hoping he and I start to feel better soon .. it's hard to concentrate and my temper gets frazzled more quickly right now.

But starting was the key - i'm not feeling so overwhelmed right now - matter of fact I can't wait to get a few things to the point where I can quilt them so I can see actually how they will work out. I'll be quilting stuff tomorrow .. it'll be busy for me tomorrow .. I have to go pay for my table at the show, reg's quarter finals for his bball team are tomorrow nite so I'm going - not been all year - would be nice if the coaches wife showed up .. I went to a lot of games last winter. Then that will leave me tomorrow nite and Thursday to get the candle mats done :D .. I can't wait to see how they'll turn out

18 February 2008

Blasted Bloody Dog!!!!

That stupid stupid dog!!! With the rain that we had overnite and today, our backyard has turned into Lake Lambie again .. it's a mudpatch, swamp, bog, marsh .. a MESS. So the dog hadn't been out in a bit and since it was like 10pm, I figured I could bring her out front. With her being in heat, she's not come out front in over a week. I knew that any other male dog around here wasn't going to be out - so safe enough right .. WRONG.

At the same time, we both see a polecat across the street, I'm like Orion don't you dare .. NO NO NO NO NO .. GET BACK HERE .. yes I was shouting by the end and my voice had been raising. While she didn't run headlong over there, she sure wasn't listening to me. She wanted to say hello - Bloody twit! DAMN DOG!!!! Needless to say, she got sprayed - and this isn't the first time. She was sprayed last july or around there - you'd think she'd learn?? What i'm more burned about than anything is that she not only didn't listen to me, she went across the road (!)

I had my last dog for almost 20 years; we took her to the mountains, state parks etc .. not once did she get sprayed, bit, porcupined, pinched (crabs) nothing .. and what's this twit do??? (@@)

Here I am manhandling this 70lb dog in the tub - she wasn't happy and i sure wasn't going to let her win .. i scrubbed and scrubbed and scrubbed. 30 to 45 mins later, out we come .. Reg is beside himself all ticked off at her .. he wanted to toss her outside .. I'm like are you kidding me, I JUST gave her a bath .. there is NO way you are putting her in the back yard NOW!

She doesn't smell right now .. the house STUNK / stinks tho. I had to wash all the towels, rugs, clothes i was wearing (winter coat included) - i burned 2 candles half the nite, put whole cloves and cinnamon on the stove to boil and 'fume'. Every time i moved my head, I smelt skunk .. even in the shower I smelt skunk. Pix just looks at me sideways if I got to pet him .. It would have been nice if it was so blasted cold out so we could open the windows and air the place out. Heh .. i just might do a bit of that tomorrow. Needless to say, she's not going on any of the furniture for a bit. She's already off the couch until she's out of heat. I set up a towel / padding arrangement on the swivel rocker for her, but she's not allowed on that at the moment. we have tv trays, laundry baskets and boxes blocking the furniture when we aren't on it.

Last time she got sprayed, we got her in the tub immediately and got lucky-ish. She had a certain air about her for a few weeks, but it was livable. I'm guessing it's due to her type of coat. Full of natural oils that just repels this stuff .. i wish she wasn't so bloody curious!!!

Heh .. maybe we'll do fish again for pets instead.

16 February 2008

Life is funny & sort of scarey too

Wow does life take a few odd turns on ya! I've been thinking about selling my quilts, and it's been on my mind more and more. We got our weekly pennysaver and I was looking in it for the retired sewing machine repair tech to come look at my 248 - he does adjustments for $12.50 .. i got 2 other machines he can adjust :D (featherweight and 15-91), when I saw this ad for Vendors Wanted. Bake and Craft sale at one of the local clubs. Well the price for the table seemed reasonable to me; $25 for 6ft, and $30 for 8 ft. So I started to think. I called the lady and talked to her, she said that she really didn't remember any quilters from last year but they had a lot of other things - so after talking to reg, my dad, and a few other friends, I've made the decision to sell my stuff.

What's great about this fair is that it's the first one after all the wedding shows in january and it's before the first huge one that is normally held in Forest Glade here .. will have to check out the show too :D So there will be a lot of people there.

I'm not going to do bed quilts for the show, but will sell them off my site - and lap quilts too, as I don't think that they will sell, but smaller items such as trivets, pot holders, table toppers, runners, smaller wall hangings, maybe some of those appliquilt blocks that are swimming around in the back of my head .. Pin cushions (not many – just a few in case) .. Coasters with a spring easter theme .. I think I’ll get Michigan Left ready to sell) .. IF I get my kitty quilt done, I'll bring that for display, maybe reg's quilt - but we'll see on that .. don't really want a law suit LOL

Since I have no experience in this, have no clue about the market, I'm more like shooting fish in a barrel or throwing a LOT of spaghetti at the wall and seeing what sticks.

Worse case senario – I break even or make no money and learn a LOT :D .. $25 – $30 for the learning experience is acceptable .. For one day ..

Judy is hunting links and send them to me (Thank you Thank you Thak you)

Oh geeze all I have to do; :\ Price tags, figure out a display, get my inventory built up - I think I'm a wee bit overwhelmed right now, but know that if I take it one step at a time, I'll be okay .. finding and deciding what to make to sell will be the hardest .. oh geeze I HATE not knowing the market .. with me being an advertising / marketing grad this just goes against my grain and training LOL - I have to do business cards, do my site - I'll advertise on kijiji.com and point that towards my website for local sales .. heck even not local .. have postage :D

OH geeze .. make business cards, update my site (no graphic change, just content), take photos of my done quilts and put them in a photo album, bags for sold items, bags for the quilts?? and there is NO such thing as a cheap pillow case (!), do i have a big enough stash!??! EEEEEEEEEKKKKKKKKKK

** Grace has just started to run around the room screaming and shouting .. we return you to to your regularly scheduled programming - she'll be fine ;)**

15 February 2008

split 9 patch - Michigan Left

With the kitties napping for a bit, I needed something else to do :S .. I pulled out my stars from the Sunny Swap that I did measure and sort by size; I even went as far as to pull out my blues and yellows for framing them. But the oomph to do it, just wasn't there. I also have a pattern kicking around in my head for a little swap that I'm going to do, but the idea has totally gelled yet. I open QuiltPro and fuss and delete and add and fuss and delete - nope that's not ready to come to me yet - close, just not quite there.

So I started to think about the Carolina Byways Quilt (split 9 patch) on about.com. Okay, I'm in - I've been itching to try this. So I pulled almost all my fabrics out and picked and pulled and decided on my first 6 colours (darks and lights). It went together REALLY fast! I really liked the look of it too. Only thing, this came out to 6" finished :\ .. I like this pattern, but I don't really want to do 37 of these things so it fits my king size bed .. I am going to fiddle with the math so i can end up with at least an 8 or 10" block .. Each set of cuttings gives you 4 blocks. Makes up really quick this way as it's all strip piecing and cutting. If you can work the seams to marry properly (I got 1 married - 1 not), then the final seam won't be so bulky.

I orginally laid it out as as a variable star and only had 1 set of 4 left to go - so to take a break I sat on my table and started to play with my blocks .. I twisted and turned and spun, and this image started to resolve itself - I instantly thought Michigan Left (For those that aren't aware of this anamoly, as Michigan is the only state in the nation to use them, please check out the link).
So, if this stays this way (won't get bigger), that's what I'm going to call this one :D

I tried to have each block share some colour somewhere with at least 1 or 2 sets. I needed to do 24 colour choices, 6 per set (3 light & 3 dark). And I also got more string scraps out of this - naw - I don't have a method to my madness ..

Heh .. i've already figured out how I'm going to quilt this based on it's name .. I'm going to do a log cabin pattern that is tilted off canter ;)

14 February 2008

Kitty Quilt squaring / Borders

Yesterday and today I tackled borders. I decided on going narrow with the piano keys border - it seems to me that the wider one just took from the whole quilt .. i had qualms about using kitty fabric as these aren't kitties, but with all the colours and fabrics used in this quilt, it was the easiest course of action for making all the colours make sense .. sort of cheating, but I know I would have agonized over my fabric colours - I would still be staring at a pile of fabric with no choices made.

I had a few waves in my quilt top that I couldn't get rid of by squaring, these are from a few pp patterns that I didn't want to frog or redo, I knew i could reduce the problem when putting on borders and then quilt out what was left if needed.

  • Measured in 3 spots from side to side; 52", 511/4", 511/2" - average 51 1/2"
  • Measured in 3 spots top to bottom; 56", 56", 561/2" - average 56 3/16" - let's call this one 561/4" - must be those pp blocks again rearing their ugly heads

    For side to side - I needed to ease in 1/2” on the top row and the bottom row was to size .. I used the longer side down on the feed dogs to help with the easing. Super easy to ease that amount over 52" and that wave that was there is beaten into submission now .. It's nice to see my quilt laying flat on the floor . yes there are a few bumps, but those are seams where I lost the battle of getting them flat and some stretching happened .. In this other picture, I had a nice little ski hill for ants going on .. nice and flat now! :D :D :D

    I did the top and bottom borders then called it a night. I was to tired at that point and just didn't want to mess anything up.

    The top and bottom went just as easily as the sides did. Just pinned them into place and away i went. There's a few waves there, but nothing i can't live with. I need to trim a bit on my borders, but all in all I think that I can say the top's done :D. Oh geeze .. I think my top's almost done!!

    I need to do embellishments; tails, some whiskers - I want to put 4 more cats on, and get the heads and tails for the fan kitties ready for appliquilting - WOW ..

  • 13 February 2008

    Border Run ..

    Yesterday I was going to attach my borders - measure my quilt, almost perfectly square :D .. just a 1/2" difference top to bottom and side to side i am plus/minus 1/8" of 48" .. I did my math and realized i was going to be pretty close with my fabric. Believe it or not, there was just TOOO much purple GASP I never thought I would EVER say that LOL. so the border was a great way to create some space between the top and border. But then i remembered that my original math did call for one border with different fabrics in it .. so I got to thinking - what could i do that wouldn't detract from my kitties .. Linda Marie in NJ inspired me to use a piano key border (Thank you!!!). I decided to do angle cuts so i could have wonky strips .. I've cut these long enough to use this as my binding as well. Heh and at this point, I've got enough strips cut that I can do a kitty fabric sting quilt.

    I got a sizable enough piece stitched and cut and put it up against the quilt top - I cut it 4 1/2" wide (4"finished) - hmmm .. i think i have to much border (!) **HELLASIGH** I'm so cursed some days me thinks .. I thought a bit, and said .. narrower .. so i moved the border over by half and it really does look MUCH better - In the pics i took, the wider version looks better .. but live the narrower one is better. Gives it a more distinctive frame

    I think that I'm going to do the narrow .. create a nice 'frame' and contrast and separate the kitties from the outer border. heh .. also, i've got my strips half done then if i cut these in half ;)

    My mouse inspector Kyle even says that the narrower one is better - amazingly enough this kid has some great taste and makes some really good choices for colours and clothes. Must be genetic - from MY side ;)

    12 February 2008

    Battle of the Meeces & Fish

    Meeces .. bloody meeces .. well as you know I had quite the issue with these bloody things (!) They'd not been approved by my family or even recognized. BUT i did get a brain flash yesterday regarding them .. What I did was make them like i was making a stuffed toy - right sides together, turned inside out and fused into place .. I fused taped them for the time being along with the opening i made when i surgically removed the offending ears. I think that I'm going to leave the ears loose and just quilt them at the base - 3D tails was suggested, but with the use that this quilt is going to get, I don't want to have to be attaching tails over and over again .. I think that I will just embroider them in place with floss.

    Kyle just came home and I aked him if he wanted to see my meeces .. he likes them and says NOW they look like mice (@@). He asked me what I was going to do with the meeces - meaning new squares - nope so I should him the surgery I would be performing ;). He thought it was pretty cool and is playing with some fuse tape and some scraps at my ironing board .. but this kid doesn't want to make a quilt.. he's made a quilt block for a school assignment, but not on my machine .. I had a BOM from joanne that included the fabric and let him hand sew it .. he did a pretty good job and got A .. he not only had to do the quilt block, but had to explain the process to his class - he was in grade 4 at the time.

    The fish gave me other issues as well - or I gave it to them .. I think that I was number reading challenged yesterday .. i thought I read 2 1/2" x 3 1/2" for the body .. It’s 2" x 3 1/2" and I didn't notice until the fish were almost done .. I got the itty bitty pieces for the body and background put together and then the tails done .. so I wanted to make one up to see how it looks, as I was getting ready to put the background strip across the top i noticed that it was wayyy to short .. i'm like .. !?!?!?!? .. so i looked at the pattern 3 more times before i realized i had miscut it .. i was horrified - just sick with it all - I had not been having a good nite at all and was more than a wee bit tense - BUT it was savable .. I just sewed an extra seam down the middle, so they look like HSTs instead .. i don't care - they are done and the right bloody size!! That's saying a lot.

    I got 4 more meeces to do .. well 3 1/2 as I showed kyle the steps I was taking on the one - then to decide putting it together ..

    11 February 2008

    Kitty Top Done - AGAIN; appliqued Meeces - update on meeces

    Regarding my meeces
    Kyle walked in and asked me why I was putting hippos in my kitty quilt :\ .. I'm like .. are you kidding me!?!?!? First Reg says they look like igloos with bumps and now this .. Pix batted them around he's so disgusted with them - Okay I get the hint!! I pulled out my pp pattern and was going to just do up the meeces from that - then I look at the picture and see that they have ears on them .. I'm like ?!?!? There's no ears on the pattern .. so i dig out the instructions and saw that they have you premake them and put them in when you sew between 2 sections .. so here I am thinking, I can just add ears like that to these meeces .. frog out the area around the ears, snip them off, tuck the seam under and then make the ears (sew them right sides together, flip right side out), then attach them into the seam .. I would leave them 'loose' for now, but would quilt them down when I do the quilting :D :D :D - Any other suggestions on this????

    After doing battle with squaring persnickety blocks, I am pleased with the result. Again the kitties relocated on me, but rather like this much better!

    I was working on the meeces today - I was giong to try the fuse tape applique method for the meeces, but the sections are just to small to get any sort of purchase on .. the first one I tried looked like it was suffering from some form of mutantism .. soooo- needless to say, I had to toss that idea out the window. What I had to do, was hand applique. I am not a big fan it and doing 8 meeces didn't change my mind .. maybe for larger pieces, but not for the small piece I was working with .. I'm really tempted to feed these to the kitties at this point .. Not sure if doing paper piecing would be better .. I have a whack of paper piecing patterns for meeces .. I'll just have to see after I do the fish how I feel about them.

    My Sunny Stars made it out the bag, separated into roughly 5 piles and ended back up in the bag again :S .. I do know what I'm going to do, just really didn't feel like doing all that measuring of blocks after I had finished squaring the blocks and evening up the rows. Plus these meeces :\ I'll get working on that soon .. might get as many as I can together and make that up into a family couch quilt. We'll just have to see. Reg told me that his quilt is to small for him (!) I measured it against him and made sure it was okay before I put the borders on .. oh well, I've been wanting to try a string quilt ;) Like I needed an excuse LOL

    10 February 2008

    Wandering Kitties / Sunny Stars

    Yesterday I measured my quilt for the borders; holybiblebatman!! I knew that it was out of square, but it was bad .. there are 5 rows in this quilt and of the 3 that I measured, not one was the same or even close and the difference between all measurements was 11/2". This just wasn't going to do. I did notice that the bottom of the quilt top had a VERY friendly wave it in. I didn't even need to think about it it, Frogging I go. I separated all the rows and took a good look at where the waves were. I didn't have to square up as many blocks as I had thought, but when I did one, I needed to do the rest of the blocks in that row so that the blocks would all be the same size. Fussy? Anal? You betcha - But i do now want to have to see and battle the size difference. Heh, and wouldn't you know, the little buggers moved around on me again .. there was one cat who's tail was upside down that I did take apart and fix, and he's relocated from the bottom of the quilt to the top of the quilt :)

    The whole process was very tiring, but I'm glad that it's done. All the rows are back together now and just waiting for me to join them up again .. I was soo bloody tired last nite, I didn't dare. I've started to piece on my 15 and have to find a happy medium between the edge of the machine bed and the table so I didn't want to have to battle the length / weight of my rows. Plus, the sewing room is right next to our bedroom and I didn't want to wake reg up moving machines around .. With the 15 on a TV tray, it's the same height of the table so it can take the weight and I won't have to battle with it. I've remeasured my rows (after I moved them around I didn't know what row went with what measurement) and will trim them soon. The meeces and fish colours have been decided upon, Joanne in NZ is sending me some black to do silhouettes, so things are well in hand again for my kitty quilt.

    As I was drifting off to sleep last nite / this AM (?), I started to think about my Sunny Stars Swap quilt that I ran a number of years ago. I got these blocks at all different sizes. There was a test line on the pattern that needed to be measured, but they didn't do it - the result, 5 different sizes. while I had enough for a double quilt, I didn't have enough of one size to make said quilt. What I will do is take the smaller ones and frame them in blue (dark or light depending on block background) and use yellow in the cornerstones - I was thinking of doing a dark light graduation of block colours .. so that will be going up on my design wall later today.

    09 February 2008

    Extremes / Seascape Quilt / Kitty borders

    Please click on the images to view larger pics in new window

    Today was a day of extremes for me. The right side of the bed did NOT exist for me today. Might have been due to the fact that Kyle managed to wake me up after 2 hours sleep - and he wasn't watching the dog when he let her out this am. She managed to get the gate open and escaped (didn't go far, but not the point - she was after cats down the block) she's about to go into heat and he wasn't quiet about opening the doors, slamming them, yelling for the dog .. woke Reg and I both up .. Okay .. so Reg wakes up to a pin dropping on carpeting .. i DON'T!

    I knew I needed to center myself, I was frustrated beyond all belief by not being able to find a rotary cutting pattern for a mouse (!) (and i started last nite). Even getting my DSL back today didn't make me feel better for long. I was ready to cheap out on my kitty quilt and just do fish. BUT .. I stepped away from it and worked on my Seascapes (Sea LIfe???) quilt that Joy gave me. I could't start it until after supper tho as my table can't come away from the wall to accomodate the boards I use. I did Sharon Schamber's basting method again and this time it worked VERy well for me. I took shorter stitches, longer thread, had the quilt on my cutting mat and really really really paid attention to the tension i was putting on my stitches .. I believe that might have also been a larger part of the problem for me the last time I tried this method.

    After basting this quilttop, I felt soooo much better - Like I had actually accomplished something .. and while I was basting my mind was working away on my kitty border issue. They resolved themselves in the back of my mind. I printed out my quilting motifs, grabbed the sullivan's and started to plot. I realized that i couldn't try the appliquilt on this quilt after I had laid all the templates out as it would make it to busy i think. I have the whole quilt covered with a sea scene and I just think that that would be overkill. If you look, you can see the seaweed and fish in the bottom left corner, 2 bigger fish swimming around, shells in the corners and waves and shells for the borders. I really don't think that I want to add anything else to this .. that does disappoint me tho as I would have liked to tried that method, but there'll be other opportunities - if not, I'll create them :D

    Now for the borders on my kitty quilt; I was at the point where I was just going to do all fish and be done with it. I did NOT want to do paper piecing, nor particularly applique at this point. I am so bloody close, that I want the top DONE NOW. well I almost short changed myself, but something kept me from doing so .. I have come up with what I think is going to be the perfect finish to this quilt .. All i'm going to say right now is it involves fish, meeces (appliqued) and kitties. Oh and it will involve math LOLOLOL But i'm feeling better about everything right now - borders are under control, Seascape is just about done .. I think that I'm going to see about using up the scraps that Joy sent me along with some other fabrics I have here and doing a scrappy binding.. I think that just might be the perfect finish to it

    08 February 2008

    Border Dilemma / sea critters

    Now the fun part .. i have decided that i want my border to be 3" wide for the fish and mice .. not going to do the other things (milk jug, yarn) as i really do NOT want to do more paper piecing. So, I have a rotary cut pattern and I can speed piece for the fish .. just need to find one for the mice .. the fish are 3x3 which is VERY good - spot on!! heh .. here's where the torture comes in .. do I want to do these with kitty fabric or other fabric .. i know i wanted JUST the kitties to be made with kittie fabric and the highlight of the quilt - The more I think of it, the more I am not inclined to use my kitty fabric for the border critters. They aren't kitties!! okay .. i'm off the rack .. sort of .. what colours :S .. heh .. just kidding, i'll likely go traditional colours for them .. but we'll just have to see what speaks to me - I guess I've resolved this now .. I love my blog .. LOL

    I've also got another project brewing :D. The quilttop that Joy made for me has spoken to me. That's going to be a sea floor scene :D .. I have some really cute sea motifs that I am going to quilt on it; seaweed with a fish poking out, shells, and a larger fish, as well as appliquéing (appliquilt maybe?? see i told you i was inspired!) with various sea critters on it .. I have to decide on exactly what critters I want before I do the motif. I'm thinking of an octopus, a crab and a seahorse. I can' put them on with embroidery floss over the quilting motifs. I can't wait to get started on this, but I have to baste the quilt first. I'll be doing that tomorrow - this should do up SUPER quick! I can't wait to get going on this one

    07 February 2008

    Kitty quilt top done!

    The day has finally arrived. I was honestly thinking that it would never come. I finally got the top together and somewhat squared for my kitty quilt. I had actually got it all pieced last nite, but was so bloody tired that I just didn't want to trim it for fear of destroying it. So it sat with ragged edges and all. heh .. this thing was a like a huge fabric puzzle for me. I had one row done and actually ripped it all apart as I moved some blocks. Not a day went by that these blocks didn't migrate to other sections of my quilt. I need to read up on squaring quilt tops as this one as a few little waves in it - i will do this before I cut and baste :).

    Quilting this will be pretty straight forward for the most part. I'm going to use freemotion quilting and outline all the kitties in the quilt, will do some other motifs in the blank spaces. Not sure exactly what yet, but I'm sure it will come to me .. for some reason I'm thinking of butterflies **shrug** Lord knows why .. could be Judi's fault ;P.

    The only offshoot for the quilting is to be the heads and tails for the fan kitties (notice they are headless and tailless now?? 1st row and 4th row). I'm going to use appliquilt for this. Meaning that they will be attached to the quilt and quilted at the same time. I'll use fusible tape to turn down the edges of the tail and head (almost thinking of raw edge applique for the tails so they fray a bit), secure it to the top with either a dab of glue stick or fusible web and quilt them into place in one shot! I sooo like that idea .. I will do a practice piece first to see if I can do .. if it doesn't work, you'll not need technology to hear my scream.

    While doing some research today joanne sent me a link from a blog, Mary Johnson has some phenominal quilts and ideas. I contacted her with what I proposed. She also seems to think it'll work, along with most of the ladies from my quilt lists. BTW .. if you have a problem spot in your quilt she has a very ingenious method for fixing it, this could use for anything from bleeding colours to holes. She showed me a quilt that was all done with blues and she had quilted it, then added appliqued fishies to it afterwards .. gorgeous quilt! Be sure to check out her quilts, they are linked off her blog - it will be time well spent. Mary, Thank you!

    I also pulled out an old blanket that I was thinking of using for Kyle's batting. It might work-ish. I'll have to trim a wee bit off the top and bottom to make it fit, but if I do do that, I can use those for my binding strips - at that point, I might as well take it from all sides :)

    06 February 2008

    Finished Quilt / Kitties subdued .. for now

    My Darling Reg wanted me to watch a movie with him last nite. With basketball season turning me into a widow, how could i say no?? Oh lordy did I want to tho LOLOLOL .. specially considering the movie .. super bad .. it was super bad alright .. blech .. but i did take advantage of watching the movie to finish reg's quilt :D :D :D .. WOOO HOOOO it's all done. it's been washed, dried and labelled. One thing off my quilty to-do list GONE :).

    Another thing off my list is getting those kitties in order. Those brats have been all over the map placement wise .. I've hesitated to post a pic of them together as it'll likely have changed by the time you see it. My plan (after a bit today) is to stitch them together - no mind you, this will NOT stop me from ripping the whole top apart as i've done it before when i didn't like the final appearance of something .. would prefer not to frog stitch all that - but it can happen LOL - it's almost the size i wanted it .. 1/2" short from top to bottom and I think it will be 1/2" to 1" short from side to side. My issue was the middle row- while i wanted space to highlight the twisted tail kitties (focal point), i didn't want to add to much more space .. i think that there is an excellent balance in that row and another smidge of space might have overdone it .. now I can always add to the first block if I feel so compelled.

    I think that i'm changing the name of this quilt to kitty puzzler as it's like a HUGE jigsaw puzzle with no fast set way to put together.

    05 February 2008

    Director of Security / Squishy Days; Machine update added

    Squishy Days are here :) .. My director of security informed me that someone was / had been on our porch. So a few minutes later I go to check the mail .. I saw a squishy!! Just what was needed to uplift my spirits as I was definitely out of sorts from yesterday. I knew that this was coming and had totally forgotten about it as US Postal service tend to load up snails for the mail run to Canada.

    But here it is .. Inside the adorable quilt top that Joy had made for me .. it's even more adorable in person, a needle case (purrfectly cute!!) (these items were expected), and the purple that she had used to make this quilt along with other leftovers from the assembly - these fabrics were NOT expected.

    I've been thinking about how to quilt this and I'm sure that something will come to me, loud and clear - I usually try to listen to the quilt, i can do birds, butterflies, flowers, cats, sea critters .. all sorts of things .. the TOT that she used is more gorgeous in person and the pics do NOT do this quilttop justice .. not be a long shot. With the discussion that joy and I have been having lately, i'm leaning more towards sea critters, the blues and greens rather lend itself to this too.

    I ripped out the row I did on my kitty quilt as I've changed my mind yet again .. shock surprise LOL .. I do have 2 rows sewn up and as I now have house to myself right now, I might actually get something done before Kyle comes home ..

    Machine Update

    Sick 248 / Mum's Touch n Swear
    I contacted singer today and had a wonderful chat with the lady on the other end of the phone .. Turns out she does garment construction and has a few machines herself LOL

    What it boils down to is timing or my bobbin case .. I explained all that it did and she says it's not my gears as they are on the top of the machine near the cams ..

    It was really great as she was looking at the exploded parts of my machine while I was talking to her and i was telling her all that i had done and the noises i had heard etc - I really hope it's not the timing as I talked to my repair shop today and that will be a hefty bill if they have to redo the timing .. If it's just a wee bit out of whack and needs a slight adjustment / no parts - then it's only about $10.

    I wanted to get the bday's for this machine and my mum's touch n sew .. Couldn't get either as the number stamped in the bottom of my machine does not follow the numbering sequence for machines made after 1900 .. Meaning it doesn't have 2 letters starting it .. It's just a bunch of digits .. That came back to me as I was talking to her .. This machine was made for only 2 years tho, 1980 - 1981. Now my mum's machine - production started on the in may of 1960 in St. John's - the records for this time period are missing.. Now I know she had this machine from when I was a little girl .. This might even have been the machine she made her wedding dress on - i can vaguely recall "something" about that .. If so, 1960 is about right .. So I struck out with dating, but had a wonderful chat with a fellow enthusiast and got a better line on what's possibly wrong with my machine ..

    04 February 2008

    sewper bowl; kitty stalls, speed bumps

    Sewper bowl Sunday??? not here it wasn't. The best laid plans are usually fraught with interference from outside forces. first was the issue with reg's team on Saturday; i couldn't just let him stew and not try to talk to him and quilt could I??? well maybe .. LOL .. j/k .. i wouldn't do that.

    Then there was my 'stall' today .. I hit a speed bump with a serious case of nerves. I was almost terrified to commit the kitty quilt to getting pieced together. I fidge and fudge with the layout in my mind, did some crazy mental math - yup it was mental alright (as my friend joy told me and everyone else LOL) amazing what sleep deprivation will do to you. Then as I'm ready to move on it, I gotta make the chili, then I gotta do this, then this comes up .. maybe i wasn't destined to finish this top this weekend .. It's not like it's going anywhere; until last month, it was just a dream in my head, now it's not .. it's a nitemare LOL .. j/k .. just nerves is all .. something that I've plotted for so long is coming to life and it's a wee bit scary is all .. it's when something you really want finally happens you are stunned speechless type thing ..

    But I got the first set of kitties together and it looks better than I imagined .. Maybe I'll have the top done tomorrow ..

    heh .. i didn't even get reg's quilt done during the superbowl .. we watched Minority Report last nite and I did 2 more sides, which only left one to do :S .. bah .. that'll get done too ..

    Regarding my sick 248, i'm just going to call the shop and see what they say .. i've been going nuts trying to get some help / advise on how to line it back up and i'm beating my head against my keyboard for my efforts; so tomorrow i'll just call the shop .. who knows, they might just walk me through the repair on the phone ..specially if it it's not going to net them much money .. we'll have to see .. they do have 2 locations and we'll see how it goes :)

    02 February 2008

    Kitty Quilts / OST Sew-In

    The mini kitties are done :D. These will be used as fillers in my kitty quilt puzzle. It's taken that name in my head. One of my lists has started a month long sew-in and my first project for this is to get this top done and ready for borders. (Which I've still not totally decided on in my mind) These little guys are all paper pieced and measure 4x4 or 4x6. There is 4 of each size and they will be perfect for the blanks that I have. I'll be using blank background fabric to fill in the rest of it. I was going to put yarn, fish, mice etc in there as well .. but I don't want this to be to busy, the focal point are the kitties, not HOW many kitties I've crammed in there.

    heh I did these all over a one day period being totall sleep deprived. Might not have been the best way to do it, but I likely made choices for these kitties I wouldn't have if I had been functioning at full mental capacity and the result is actually pretty coo in my mind. I had finished them yesterday but was way to tired to do more than take pics of them. I've removed the paper and repressed them.

    I'll likely be putting the mice etc as border pieces instead .. now I had to decide - do i use kitty fabric or just other fabric .. i'm inclined to use the kitty fabric as all the fabric in every kitty is kitty fabric .. the background is the only thing that isn't ..

    I've updated the kitty page and all the kitties are in there .. Happy reading :)

    My next project for the sew in will likely be finishing the binding on reg's quilt, basting kyle's quilt top (need to find a batting for it), starting on reg and I's bed quilt and maybe the carolina byways quilt (both for our bed; one summer, one winter), working on hand quilting based on the TV schedule ... i'm sure that more will come to me ;), I've got 3 squishes here waiting to be mailed out in the next 2 weeks

    Didn't get much else done today quilt wise - does doing the update for the kitty quilt count?

    01 February 2008

    Machines n kitties and cranky OH MY!!

    It's been a few days since I posted to my blog - and actually been a few since i've really done anything really quilt-like. I did finish the one block I wanted to for the scrappy red swap; packaged it up and will be sending it out in a week or so. I've also packaged up 2 other squishies for fabric that I'm trading :). Monday Kyle had a basketball game and I went to that. Spent the time before and after just spending time with Reg. Heh .. in my days of basketball widowship I grab my time with him when I can ;). Kyle then had a basketball tourney on Tuesday. He did pretty good and that took the afternoon .. by the time we got home and dinner was done, I was just to bloody tired to much of anything else.

    It's not been a total write off the past 3 days;

    1. I've been plotting my civil war quilt in the back of mind as well .. researching blocks and habits of quilters back in the 1800s . I'm learning a LOT and having fun!!

    2. I've also started to hand sew down the binding of Reg's quilt .. one side down .. 3 to go!

    I had a machine 'die' on me on Wednesday .. bloody thing .. was piecing a block for a swap when suddenly my machine sounded like a train .. Clickety clack .. Clickety clack .. I slowed down trying to pinpoint the location of the noise (could have hand sewn faster at that point) I figured I would finish that seam and then stop and look under the machine .. It stopped dead 4 stitches later .. I wasn't going fast at all . The needle did not break - didn't even bend. .. The bobbin case was secure and not lose, I removed the bobbin and casing, the needle was hitting the disc that is UNDER the bobbin case. It almost seems to me that a screw got loose and it spun (!) .. I've joined a few machine groups hoping that someone might have an answer for me .. i've research a lot of possible causes, but none yet .. I'm guessing that this really put me off my stride as I was really cranky for the rest of the day. The above is a copy and paste that I sent to the list.

    This is the machine that my mum bought me and while it's not a top end machine, there is sentimental value to it. It is also my only zig zag machine and the one I did all my quilting on. I don't like this for free motion as it skips stitches, but for regular quilting it's just fine. Now I do have my mum's touch n sew, but that machine and don't have any sort of common ground between us ... on one of my lists, someone referred to it as a touch n swear .. I believe it! This machine is also a slant shank machine and all mine are short shank .. feet are not interchangeable.

    I have finally done 3 more blocks for my kitty quilt .. I was rather putting these off as they are paper pieced and I've had enough issues with them LOL .. And these were a wee bit different as the lines aren't sewing lines, but guidelines .. well I finally bit the bullet and started them .. I got 3 done and they do go pretty quick .. once you get the hang of pp'ing this way, it is actually pretty easy! I only have about 5 more to go, then the fish, mice, yarn, and milk jugs .. altho, I just might do them for the border instead as this is going to balance out just nicely me thinks. I've not updated the scrapsnclaws webpage yet as I'm going to make more blocks and will update them when I get the set of 8 done I think.

    This one's feet are backwards .. I didn't notice it until I took the picture - I just may leave him like that

    This one i reversed the fabric for the tail to make it stand out more .. should have been the other way around, but didn't occur to me until AFTER I had him more than 1/2 way done

    I really like how this guys face worked out just right! Altho I think that this fabric is a wee bit to busy for the size of this block