Monday, July 31, 2006

Another Quilt of Valor

Saturday evening I got my QOV loaded on the machine. I am going to Nashville on Wednesday and want to be able to hand deliver the quilt to my friend Jim. Mom gave Jim her QOV quilt for his friend, Jeramy, and she said Jim got a little teary eyed. I am already worried what will happen when the quilt is for him! (Yes, I will make sure someone is taking pictures.)

Anyway, Sunday I got one pass quilted - loopy-loops and free-hand stars. This morning I finished it up. Then I had a very attractive offer to help me unpin the quilt. I can't refuse an offer like that!

This is the label from Jim's quilt. The quote is from the song "Hail Columbia" which was written to be performed at George Washington's inauguration in 1789.

I really like the flag fabric. Me and Nines found it at Hobby Lobby in Tennessee.

Friday, July 28, 2006

Ready to go..

Last night, for some unknown reason, I had the house to myself for about two hours! DH was next store fixing some things in the spec house and the kiddies were outside playing. What's a girl to do? I made myself drag out the flannel and the blanket binding and work on the blankie for my coming niece/nephew. She/He is due to arrive in about two weeks!!! Yes, I have already made this baby a quilt - the yellow one, but what is an over excited auntie to do? Sew!

The blankie is a nice size - 35 inches by 44 inches. The reason I was putting off making this blankie is the HUGE amount of satin stitching around the inside edge of the binding. Takes forever to do. I did one side at a time and then took a short break.
Since I had to drag out the newer Singer to do the satin stitch, I thought I might as well do the hooded towel too. After all, it takes all of two minutes to do. Yes, two minutes...if you go really slowly. Sew the washcloth to the towel, centered of course. Then sew the top of the washcloth together (on the inside). Done! Yes - this is for the same baby. Too much? Naaah!

I get all of this done - it is about 7:30 pm and still no family! No dinner either but no one seemed to care.

All that is left to do is sew the label on the baby quilt. Yes I wimped out and did it on the machine.

Several people have asked how I make labels on a ink jet printer. I used to use the chemical stuff you soak the fabric in but my bottle got old and the ink would not set. So now I buy the pre-treated sheets at Walmart. These sheets work great but they are made of a heavy fabric and are kind of hard to hand stitch thru. I have done it by hand but end up with some very sore finger tips!

Today I am mailing off the box of goodies to my SIL. Hope she likes it!

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

A label for the yellow and white baby quilt

This morning after another practice session on the machine, it was time to make the label for the baby quilt. I could not figure out how to line up a whole row of letters correctly. The machine will only do one word at a time. So I decided I would have to do the label part on the inkjet printer and do the decoration on the embroidery machine. I think it turned out cute!

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

New (borrowed) toys!

I have been notified (again!) by several members of my family that my blog has not been updated since Friday. Sorry! Friday and Saturday were spent giving the house a very thorough house cleaning in order to have the new preacher and his family over for dinner Sunday night. Monday I cleaned up the dinner mess, read for a while, and spent the afternoon shopping for an armoire for the TV. Finally gave in and ordered the one I really liked from Rooms-to-go. We had gone there last Friday and seen it in person. The only thing is I now have to wait until August 30th for it to be delivered. Do I have that much patience? We also ordered a mission style leather chair from JCPenney. Hopefully that should arrive this week.

I managed to get the binding and the label on my dad's quilt. Wanted to get it and my mom's QOV in the mail to them today. The quilting really helped this quilt out. Maybe it would be more interesting if you used pieced blocks for the nine inch squares.

Tonight I went over and borrowed my friend Christie's embroidery machine. She assured me I could figure it out without her there holding my hand. After speed reading thru the manual, I gave it a whirl. I broke a needle because the white thread I was using for the star centers got caught on the edge of the spool. But we got the needle replaced and was able to start over and make it thru with no further excitement. Ian thought it was interesting that the machine would go by itself. The first time he came in, he looked under the table and saw no foot pedal so he started asking questions. Later he came back while I had gone out of the room for a moment and he just stood there in amazement. Tomorrow I am going to try and make a couple of quilt labels with this machine. We shall see!

Friday, July 21, 2006

A lovely Friday despite the nasty heat

It is a small comfort to know that it seems to be the whole country is sweltering together in this nasty heat wave. It was in the high 90's today with the usual oppressive humidity. When does fall start again?

This afternoon we piled the kids into the car and drove to Montgomery to hit four more furniture stores. We were still wavering on whether we wanted a leather sofa (mucho dinero but very cool!) or some sort of reasonably priced upholstered sofa. At the fourth store we both agreed that we could live with fabric sofa we found. Only $500! Not too bad. It looks kind of olive green under the store's very dim fluorescent lights but when I took a pillow outside it looked more brown. So I guess I will have to be surprised when I see what color it looks like in my living room. I get ALOT of natural light so I am hoping it looks more brown. Now we still have to find an entertainment armoire for the TV junk. It needs to be at least 6 feet tall because our living room ceiling are 12 foot and it would be going against a huge empty wall.

When we got back home we found the Nintendo Gamecube my DH had ordered "for the kids" waiting on the front porch. Guess who has been playing the most? That's right, the DH! We have ordered some more kid friendly games off of e-bay and that should be arriving soon.

While the rest of family was huddled around the gamecube, I went and sewed on the binding to the yellow baby quilt. It looks so cute! Nice and neutral! Now to get the label done. And the hooded towel. And the flannel blankie. Can you tell I want to spoil this child before it even arrives?

Almost done ...for...

Yesterday I decided to get Papa's quilt done so that I could mail it to him along with mom's quilt of valor. (Plus his b-day was this week and I didn't even get a card mailed!) So I pieced the backing, pinned the top and backing onto the machine, and went in search of some batting. I had two good sized pieces leftover from the yellow and white baby quilt. Got out the iron-on interfacing and fused the pieces together. I made sure the piece ended up being wide enough but didn't actually measure the length. Surely it was long enough because it was longer than it was wider by a good amount.

I am quilting along, getting close to the bottom. Two more passes and I will be done. Then I look down.

Oops! It is going to be close!

After I was done quilting and unpinned the top from the roller, this is what I was left with. In certain places, the top comes exactly to the edge of the batting! Very close call!

Several of the fabrics had leaves on them - so I did a loopy-loops with leaves scattered throughout. I think the quilting definitely helped this quilt! Now to find some dark green fabric to make the binding out of. All of the pictures should be clickable.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Mom's quilt of valor

Here is what I have been working on today. This is a quilt my mom made for a friend of the family's close friend who was injured while fighting in Iraq a few months ago. Jeremy has already been through several surgeries and faces several more. Jeremy is a friend of our friend Jim who I have made a quilt for. Jim goes back to Iraq in September and I hope to get him his quilt before then.

I just did a big loopy-loop with stars in strategic places. I think it turned out nicely.

Saturday, July 15, 2006

A late evening snack

Tonight after getting the borders on the baby quilt, I decided I wanted to play with my lovely hand dyed fabrics. They have been calling to me for a couple of weeks now. While at my in-laws, we took the kids to the library, where we all got to check out a couple of books. One of the books I checked out was called "The Amish Quilt" by Eve Granick. It isn't really a pattern book, but rather a history of Amish quilt making. I love reading about history anyway, so this was fascinating.

I wanted to try and piece a small Amish inspired quilt. I was going for a diamond in a square kind of top - but of course my math was way off and the outside square was way too big. But I liked the look. What do you think? I think I am going to do two more blocks and make it into a wallhanging for above my sewing table.

One thing I have figured out is that fat-quarters are really too small to do anything of great size. Next time I dye fabric I am going to leave it in 1 yard cuts.

Time for bed!

Got those borders on!

This morning we went couch shopping. Once again - my taste versus DH's taste. We had agreed that we wanted a leather couch but who knew there were so many styles out there. I wanted clean lines. Unfortunately, the cleaner lines usually were accompanied by the standard brass nail thingys. Do you know what I mean? Stacy wanted something with cushy low arms and it has to be long enough for him to stretch out on.

Anyway, we came to no decisions and gave up and came home. After lunch and a nap, I decided to tackle the borders on the baby quilt. I think the top turned out really cute.
Now I am trying to psych myself up to have a quilting marathon. Somehow I have accumulated a pile of quilts that need to be quilted. Here's the list:

1 - this baby quilt

2- a quilt of valor my mom made

3 - the quilt of valor that I made for the our blackhawk pilot friend

4 - my dad's "the biggest blocks he's ever seen" quilt

5 - the civil war repro quilt my mom gave me a year ago

6 - the pink YBR quilt my friend Christie made for her daughter

7 - the lap size YBR quilt my other quilting student is finishing up

This should keep me busy for a while!

Time to get the kids ready for bed! Hope everyone is having a lovely weekend.

Friday, July 14, 2006

Try, try again!

Ok, let's see if blogger wants to play nice today!

Here is the picture of the baby quilt I am working on for my new niece/nephew. Do you know how hard it is to get a good picture of a quilt made from soft yellow and white fabrics? I had to adjust the contrast in Photoshop so you could have some idea of the pattern.

Blogger seems to be in a better mood today - so let's share some more pics from the grand adventure in Tennessee.

Here are the girls in their adorable dresses that Nina made. The front panel is faux-redwork, done on Nina's sister's MIL's expensive embroidery machine. Got all that? Me and Nina used to make the girls lots of matching dresses when they were littler. Is littler a real word?

Here is my sweet Papa reading to the kids. Notice the beautiful quilt at the foot of the bed. Such stunning workmanship. Yes, I am humble!

In honor of Nina's love of all things ORANGE - my mother came up with an orange food dinner. You had your choice of baby carrots, cantaloupe, orange jello with oranges in it, and BBQ pork with an orangey BBQ sauce. No, this was not planned - but we all found it quite funny!

Yet another sweet picture of Eva, Maddie and Bekah. They were all so glad to see each other. When Nina pulled into the drive way, Maddie started squealing at the top of her lungs and ran to the car, jerked the door open, and could hardly wait for Eva to get out so she could hug her!

And lastly, here is Nina, modeling her t-shirt I made for her.

Time to go clean up the kitchen and get dinner together. Nothing has gotten done around here today. We spent from 8:30 a.m. till 12:30 p.m. up at the grade school putting together the school supply kits that will be for sale on "Meet the teacher" night. We made up about 200 paper bags full of school supplies. I love school supplies! After lunch at Burger King, we headed to Walmart to buy our own school stuff. Ian was so excited that he got to buy school supplies this year.

Ok, ok - dinner time!

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Home again, home again, AGAIN!

Last week, I was with out children until Thursday, at which point me and the DH went to Nashville to retrieve them. Friday morning we headed to Little Rock, Arkansas to visit DH's side of the family. We just returned home last night. Aahhh! My own bed!

Of the many adventures we had, the most exciting was that Maddie fell off a bed while watching a movie. She got several scrapes and a few nice sized lumps. As you can see, it has turned into a nice black eye! The bruise extends from right in front of her ear, up over her eyebrow. With her bangs hanging in her eyes, I didn't notice the black eye until this morning. Bad mommy!

We also drove down to Shreveport, Louisiana to visit DH's grandmother and two sets of aunts and uncles. These aunts and uncles are a hoot! I am glad that my kids are getting old enough to hopefully have memories of their great-grandmothers. DH has one grandmother still alive. She just turned 88 last week. And I have one grandmother who will be 80 in November. Anytime we get 4 generations together, I try to snap a picture. So this picture is of Maddie (DD) , Cleo (MIL's mother), Cherry (MIL), Stacy (DH), and Ian (DS). Can you see the family resemblance?

We are now back home and relaxing before school starts in just three more weeks. I spent the day sewing on the baby quilt for my new niece/nephew that is due to arrive in about a month. I want to get it done and delivered before the baby arrives. That way if it is a girl (like I am hoping for) I won't be so tempted to make it a pink girly quilt! I'm sure I will still be tempted but maybe I can control myself! Lots of half square triangles in this one! And for some reason I can't count to 25 today. Several times (yes, more than once!) I had to stop and make more triangles because I didn't have enough for the 25 needed blocks. Maybe I should have quit and taken a nap! Anyway, the main part of the top is done - now I can move on to the borders.

Well, blogspot has suddenly decided not to play nice with pictures. So I guess I will post a picture of the baby quilt later.