Sunday, September 27, 2009

A First Time For Everything

I have always steered clear of using flannel in my quilting projects. Not sure why, just never chose flannel. I really wanted to make my husband and my son a quilt for Christmas and just could't settle on a fabric that I felt would be suitable.

While discussing this issue with Kellie; we made our way over to the flannel section of her cute little shop and I decided the colors were certainly manly, but, I was afraid that the flannel might be difficult to work with. Boy, was I wrong! I now love, love flannel, too!

The blocks I have completed went together like a dream. I can't wait to get all the blocks so I can decide if I am going to sash it or not.

The blocks are big! The center square is 11 1/2 inches, making the star block 23 inches. It should go together pretty quickly. I suspect quilting this may be (as one of the ladies on Homesteading Today says) like wrestling an anaconda!

Hope I can get it done quickly! After seeing Reenie's finger injury from her roatary cutter, I may be doing my cutting with scissors!

Keep stitching everyone and have a blessed week!

Monday, September 21, 2009

Freezer Died This Weekend...

Terrible loss...In my craziness and hurriedness, I left the door to our freezer open( for two weeks). It was full of fresh veggies and fruit that I canned this summer. Over 100 quarts of corn, same amount of peas and butterbeans, deer meat and beef, all lost. A co-worker suggested contacting our homeowner's insurance, I didn't, because no amount of money could cover all the hard work that went into putting that food up and our deductible is indescribable...Oh well, no homegrown veggies this winter! Oh, and the freezer motor burned up! All my fault.

On a brighter note-This is that bright, sunny little quilt getting its final quilting stiches sewn on! I love it, love it, love it! I also love the lime green Arrow table it is sitting on. I mentioned to hubby having seen a wonderful sewing table. I explained to him it was not only a sewing cabinet, but a fine peice of furniture that may double as a buffet in the dining room. He insisted I get the table. But, I know how his brain works. He wants a motorcycle, you see "He is going to DIE if he doesn't get a big ole HARLEY DAVIDSON SOFTTAIL CUSTOM DELUXE." ( The Harley deal is a whole new post.) But I got the table, so I am slowly getting accustomed to the Harley thing...I am only having full out "certain-I-am-having-a heart-attack" spells once a day now! Sorry, I digressed again.)

Here a pictures of the front and back. I think I will call it Sunshine on My Shoulder's. (Don't know why I am calling it that other than I sang the song the whole time I was quilting it.)

Not that you can see the quilting on this little quilt, as I am a terrible photographer, it is really quite pretty. I used my walking foot and did wavy lines. I quess beauty really is in the eye of the beholder, because I am thinking it is just fabulous!!!

Now to decide which fabric needs to be Sunshine's binding!

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Saturday at the Beasley's

Gobble, Gobble by Moda

This is another one of my "didn't have a plan" projects. I saw wonky blocks in a magazine and thought, "How hard could that be?" It wasn't hard, but their's sure was prettier!

The fabric is from the Gobble, Gobble by Moda collection and I LOVE it!
Don't cha think it kinda looks like spooky eyes looking at you? Hmm...
In retrospect, I am not even certain this is a wonky block, maybe it is a log cabin gone wrong??? At least the cactus is gorgeous!

Here is a close up of one of the blocks.
I had strips leftover from a little sample wall hanging from Gobble, Gobble that I did for Kellie's Pins and Needles. Seeing how I haven't figured out how to throw even the tiniest scraps away yet, I just started sewing them up! I think wewill call it a table runner!
Next time I try wonky blocks I will look at some of the fine tutorials on other this one at Cluck Cluck Sew!

Boy, if I would have only looked at her fabulous instructions first!
Oh, my! When I was clicking on her site for a link, I saw her Double Hourglass Tutorial. All I can say is YA'LL GO LOOK! She is so talented and creative!

On a different note, Hubby helped me make a fabulous salad for supper tonight. Lots of fresh veggies and some left over grilled steak from last night. It was delicious, homemade dressing and all! Our evening has been great, the kid's are out doing their own thing and for a change we have the house to ourselves! (If your thinking Yippee for me, don't...I am blogging and he is on the sofa asleep!)

We are in the process of putting a wood fence aroung our yard to keep future cows out. It started with the idea of just having barbed wire, but WE can't do anything the easy way. I told hubby that he just created work! I can't complain or fuss, because for all of his hard work our home and land are just beautiful!

I will put a photo up tomorrow of the new fence. You will see that I will have plenty more opportunities to practice my landscaping skills. A curving row of Knock Out roses would be stunning lining the fence.

My Newest Project
I am making this to hang in my dining room! I love the bright 30's fabric. The backing is peiced. I love peiced backings. One solid block of fabric on the back of a quilt is gorgeous on other folks quilts, but I like a little craziness on the back of mine!

Now, before any one thinks I don't know, I know that this quilt is quite wrinkled. I hauled it around folded in the trunk of my car for about a week. All you quilters know why I hauled it around. I HAD to show it off! In doing so, I showed my little work of art to my quilty friend, Ms Carolyn, who ever so gently and kindly informed me that one should never use pure white in a quilt! I thought that was the most hilarious thing I had ever heard. ..Turns out, there is some "rule" in the quilting commandments that states pure white that is solid without relief should not be used in a quilt top. Ha! Good thing I don't follow rules! (I'm just jesting Ms Carolyn, if you told me that I should layer a quilt with the batting on top of the quilt top, I would do it!)

The little quilt is now neatly pressed and sandwiched and currently on my machine being quilted. Ya'll are gonna faint when you see how I am quilting it!

But that will be another post! And the Turning Twenty turned out beautifully and is hanging in Kellie's shop for a couple of months. I will post a pic when I get a chance to take one.

Friday, September 11, 2009

I Really Can Follow Directions!

Just so you know, I can follow directions (mostly). Things go much smoother when I do. But, time and time again I jump into project without much of a plan at all! I followed directions for this 45 x 45 wall hanging.
This is my Christmas wall hanging from 2008. It is done in deep tone on tone reds, brown based florals, green tone on tone and a lovely little floral stripe. It compliments my decor so well that I leave it displayed year round.
The pattern is out of Quilter's Magazine, if you are interested, let me know and I will dig out the issue.
By the way, I learned a huge lesson on this project as well. PREWASH!!! ( The fabric shrank when I washed if after I completed it. It wasn't so lopsided before I washed it! Live and learn.

Thank God It is Friday!

There are about a million things that I love about Friday! The end of the work week means some much needed rest and much needed family time! Bailey is coming home from college, Sherri Girl will be off of work and Dan, my rugged, hard-working hunk of a husband will be coming home, too! Dan lives out of town and is only home on the weekends.

Hubby and nephew , Austin napping on the "fishing deck".

But, alas, this weekend hunky hubby will not be coming home, as he has been called to another location and will be working the next three weeks...I will miss him terribly!

Hubby loves that I sew, but he is not in the LEAST pleased about the current mess in our dining room... (where I sew because my sewing room is occupied by a sweet young man that needed a place to stay for a little while). I will show you all a picture of the dining/slash sewing room when I get to know ya better!

Turning Twenty, Again and Again and Again...

Anyway, back to the good freind Kellie of Kellie's Pins and Needles asked me to make a sample for her store. She selected a gorgeous collection of Free Spirit fabric called Cloe's Imagination by Tina Givens.

Isn't it fabulous! I love the wonderful colors and the mix of bumblebees, ladybugs and faux flowers! ( A photographer I am not, perhaps I should take some classes...or then, maybe it is my camera???)

We will blame it on the rain! Yeah, yeah.

Kellie asked me to choose 20 peices of the collection and her only stipulation was that it be made by the Turning Twenty pattern! How easy could that be? Yeah, right!

Right off the bat, I cut the large squares 10 inches instead of 10 1/2 inches! Of course, I was using the stack and whack method, so I cut six of the fat quarters wrong. I was forced to modify the rest of the pattern. After the initial mistake, the cutting went well and I was able to get all of the blocks completed evening before last.

The laying out of the squares would prove most difficult. I could not find my little Turning Twenty book anywhere! Having made a quilt top from the pattern last year, I decided I could wing it! WRONG! Wrong, wrong.

Tonight is my second night of trying to lay this blasted thing out. I always have 1 block that is "out of wack"! In this photo I think 15 out of 20 are turned wrong!

I have turned 20 blocks 65 times! If only I could find the pattern book! I feel like the man on the commercial that has the big fine house and beautiful vehicles, and is crying "Somebody help me"! while he is riding his big new lawnmower and he hasn't a clue how he will pay for it all.

Enough fussing for now. Signing off to turn twenty a few more times. Perhaps tomorrow I will have a post of the top completed.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

My First Quilt

As per my blog title, you might guess that I don't always do things the "right" way! My first quilt was a doozy! I chose a sampler several charm packs and a jelly roll by Moda's wonderful Portugal collection. I am the type to just jump right in...and, as we say in Mississippi: This 'bout whipped me!

I made every mistake one might make attempting to make a quilt. I had no idea that one should sew 1/4 seams, or that using what-ever color bobbin I might have in my drawer might cause disaster. I purchased a million yards of fabric to enlarge the quilt because I just guessed that surely it would be at least full bed size. I didn't know to square up with each block......SOOOOO...I ended up with a quilt top that was at leat 30 feet out of square. I ripped the whole thing back down to the squares (after a huge temper tantrum, only to realize that this was just a lesson in patience) adding sashing and borders as directed by the really wonderful directions that I didn't follow, ending up with a quilt top about an inch out of square.

I had no idea how to sandwich a quilt, or quilt it. I am not going to tell you how I sandwiched it, I think it would border on, well, it might be a hanging offense.

So, with the top and back sloppily put together, I got out my trusty old machine, took the foot off of it and went to town"free motion quilting. (Just a note: This does not work well with out the appropriate equipment.) I broke 300 needles, declared that it was the machine fault, convinced Hubby I must have a new machine to be successful at my newest passion. He agreed, but suggested quilting lessons might be in order as well! Ha! "I have been sewing all my life", he was curtly informed!

I got a new machine with a fancy free motion foot and a jillion quilting stitches built in and I discovered free tutorials on awesome quilting blogs. Thank you Jesus!

Things would start to turn around! A beautiful new sewing machine (a Janome 6500), quite a bit of humility and embarressment and now I have 6 quilts behind me, 13 (really, not exaggerating on this number) started and a fabric collection that I am sure might qualify me for free mental treatment!
I am so eager to learn, so eager to try new techniques and evn make new mistakes. Thanks for taking the time to read my silliness, and.....
If ya want to know how not to bind a quilt, just ask me!

Ok! Here is the deal!

I have sewn since I could see over a sewing machine! My earliest memory is hiding myself under Grandmother's Quilting frame during a Mississippi summer thunderstorm. I loved sewing, but it never occurred to me to attempt quilting.

Several years ago, I made a new friend in the gardening community. As I helped her design her landscape, I became intoxicated with the beautiful quilts she had hanging in her home. At the moment I saw them, I became badly infected with the quilting bug.
I was so eager to learn, but found her "all hand sewing" approach beyond my idea of fun and beyond my capacity to sit still. Machine quilting would be the way for me!
Diane is not only one of my dearest friend now, she is a powerful prayer partner and a great encourager, not only in my quilting endeavors, but in all other situatios that might occur in my life.

Thank you Diane, for re-introducing me to this wonderful passion. I look forward to learning to quilt and hopefully encouraging someone else with this attempt at blogging.