Projects Galore

I decided to start another project, along with my other 2 current projects. Obviously, because 2 in tandem isn’t enough! But I have to get started because it’s a memory quilt for my son, Logan. You see, he just received his acceptance letter to University of Maryland, College Park and will be living near campus because we live to far to commute daily. The goal is to have it complete by spring, when he leaves.

My objective is to make a “masculine” quilt for him to have that is made from his sister’s clothes. I have decided that a denim quilt made (hopefully, if there are enough) completely out of Briannas’ jeans.

I designed a simple block that will create the entire quilt top and will rotate it so that it has a “weaved” look to it. His will be a queen size, so he can use it for years to come. I started deconstructing/cutting up her jeans yesterday. So far there are about 20 pairs cut up. I think I only have 3 more pairs left to cut. Sounds like it will be enough, but Brianna was a very petite young lady…short and trim. So the jeans aren’t very big to begin with. Plus, in total, I will need 315 rectangles! I figure if I don’t have enough, I can mix in some of his old jeans and maybe ours if need be.

I have decided to save the thick inseam and leg cuffs for a project I see in my future. Maybe rag rugs or for mats for hot pots, a trivet of sorts. I am also planning on up-cycling the back pockets. They look like they will be purrfect to create small purses. I’ll fold them in half so there is a pocket in each side, attach a strap….maybe even a lining and “poof”, a small purse. I know Brianna would love this! Some of my girlfriends and nieces may be getting a cute purse in their near future!

**I just struck gold! I remembered we had a bag of Briannas old clothes that she no longer wore, waiting to be donated from 3 years ago, in her closet. I found 10 more pairs of jeans! Hopefully, this will stretch enough to do the entire quilt top! Keep your fingers and toes crossed!**

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Getting Back Into the Groove!

Couldn’t be happier that I have my sewing machine back. She’s certainly running like a fine tuned machine now. I will be doing some research on a larger home machine in my near future, but until then, I am enjoying getting back into the groove!

Today, I decided to start my BOM (block of the month). It’s called Mystical Prism by Wing and a Prayer Design. I purchased it through Stitchin’ Heaven. The first block is called the Glow Block. When I opened my package, I realized why I fell in love with this particular quilt pattern. It’s full of Batik’s! Yay me!

I carefully read the directions before I started cutting. They only send you enough to make the designated block each month. So I wanted to be extra cautious. I certainly don’t want make any mistakes and end up not having enough fabric to complete my two blocks for this past month. It’s technically labeled as Septembers block, but I hadn’t gotten a chance to work on it before my machine needed service.

I will admit that I took over 30 minutes to figure out the “flying geese method”. I went through the directions a few times before I realized it was on the very first page. Albeit I felt brainless when I realized my oversight, I didn’t mind since I didn’t want to make any hasty decisions and run out of fabric.

I took my time measuring, cutting and squaring up pieces as they needed. And I am extremely happy with how the first few blocks turned out. I honestly can’t wait until this months supplies arrive! I’m pretty sure they ship out at the end of the month. Lucky for me I have another project (the butterfly quilt) I am working on in tandem and will have that to keep me occupied while I wait.

 

Sew Happy!

(Warning: this will more than likely be my shortest blog ever! 😁)

Yep, I said it. Sew Happy! Got the call yesterday evening that my sewing machine was all fixed and ready to be picked up. Can you believe it? They finished her early! Picked her up this afternoon. She’s even all wrapped up, all that was missing was a big red bow! Totally great way to end my hectic, super busy work week!

Say It Isn’t Sew!

Can’t believe I’m at a stand still, I was on a roll with this quilt for raffling next year. Had to stop my progress because my sewing machine is on the fritz! Yeah…say it isn’t sew! I can’t sew!  I feel like a kid that lost his/her favorite teddy bear or Pearl without one of her blankies!

How is it on the fritz? When I use my walking foot, it will stitch for a few inches, then it “jumps”, “hops” or “skips” (however you want to phrase it) several stitches and jerks the fabric. I can’t be the only person to have had this problem/issue, can I? I have to stop, take the fabric out of the machine and then rip the extremely “long”, skipped stitch and try again…or not. I opted to stop and evaluate the situation.

I turned off my machine, and yelled some colorful language at it. Yes, I did. It was out of frustration, my sewing machine and I may need therapy. Not that it cares. (Don’t act like you’ve never done it before, we all have!) I read the trouble shooting section in my manual, no help there, so I did a quick google search (gotta love the internet). Per google, check to make sure your presser foot/walking foot is attached correctly. I check and it is. Per google, if attached correctly take in for service. Wow…so helpful!

I opted to venture on my own before going to drastic measures, like taking it in and dropping it off for service. I mean, what would my machine do without me? It needs me just as much as I need it! Regardless of the verbal abuse! I decided to try cleaning it. Which it apparently needed, there was a lot of lint under the needle plate and bobbin case…even between my feed dogs. Once I cleaned everything out, I put her (maybe if I refer to her as a being rather than an object, she will work! Positive thinking people, cut me some slack!) back together and even put on a fresh, sharp, brand new needle. Feeling optimistic, and confident that I knew what the heck I was doing, I re-threaded her and wouldn’t you know it, sew about two inches and yet again, “jump”, “hop”, “skip” as several more explicit words shot out of my mouth and I shut her down. Needless to say, I dropped of my machine at a local service repair shop on Monday.

Called the shop yesterday, they tell me I need a new walking foot.  I’m like, that’s all? Nothing else? They proceed to say she needs to be lubricated and her timing is “off” and that they will adjust/fix it. Total cost $150ish. I told them it was fine to repair, and asked when/if I could pick my machine up, tomorrow? They told me Tuesday next week! What the f***! A whole week? I am going through literal withdrawals here. What the h*** am I supposed to do?

I have been thinking about buying a larger machine (not a longarm…at least not yet!), one with a bigger throat space so I can easily quilt without wrestling my small machine to push the quilt through. Just imaging not having hand fatigue and the ease of flow makes me blissful. Now, I’m seriously contemplating biting the bullet and just doing it. After all, you can’t go wrong having a back up for when your main machine is down, right? I will be having a serious sit down with the hubby since I know it will be pricey. Only quilters will understand the expense of a good quality sewing machine. Not for justification,  but for clarification…this is not a WANT! It’s totally a NEED!

Keeping Busy

My oh my how the weekend flies when you are keeping busy. I have three day weekends every week, but they sure flash before my eyes. My days stay full with laundry, litter boxes, dishes, other housework, errands and of course sewing.

Once my normal duties were completed on Friday, the rest of the day was spent cutting fabric for several blocks. I managed to get two of them sewn as well. Saturday was mostly spent running errands, however I squeezed in picking complimenting fabric and cutting for the final eight blocks..yes I said it…FINAL eight blocks. I’ve been on a roll! Pretty much every weekend I try to cut and piece a few blocks.  And today, I finished sewing the last eleven blocks that I needed to start putting the quilt top together. This butterfly quilt that I said was “much more complicated” is apparently not as complex as I initially thought, cause this girl is on fire! This is the quilt I will be raffling for Team Brianna’s-AFSP (American Foundation for Suicide Prevention) Out of the Darkness fundraising efforts next year.

I should mention that this weekend just so happens to be my first experience sewing curved edges. I was slightly intimidated, but just went for it. I found that once I pinned the center, then the ends and finally in between it wasn’t as daunting as it appeared. The most dangerous part was escaping without any pin pricks on my fingertips! No blood shed here!

It looks like I have “over” purchased fabric for this project. Darn…I am so not disappointed about this. I have a strong feeling I’m going to love how this particular quilt turns out. The pattern is just gorgeous.  I will definitely be making another one for myself. What better thing to do with extra material, right? Plus, with a second version with the same material, I can create different color combinations. If there is anything remaining after I make a second quilt top, I’ll save it for scraps for an other project!

My husband says that we won’t ever need to paint again. He thinks we will just start hanging my quilts on all the walls as decoration. Who needs new paint or wallpaper. Laugh if you want, but it may just end up being a house full of “usable” quilt art!

Unfortunately for me, it’s back to the work week tomorrow. And Monday’s are typically crazy busy. You never know what emergency will be coming through our doors. I’ll be looking forward to Thursday afternoon, the day I will be getting my quilt wall out to start piecing this butterfly quilt top together! Of course in a perfect world, I could just cut and sew everyday, but the way it is, is purrfect for me!

Staying Busy is the Key

I know it’s been almost a month since my last blog. It is not my intention to have such a long gap between my thoughts. September is a difficult month for me and my family, as my daughter passed on September 9, 2014. This year was more difficult because the American Foundation For Suicide Prevention- Out of the Darkness Walk (for our area) fell on the 9th as well. We walk in honor and memory of Brianna. Since we had the largest team, almost 60 people, we were asked to lead the walk.

I believe I mentioned previously, that I had made a butterfly quilt that we raffled to help raise monies in support of suicide prevention. With that raffle, we were able to sell 236 tickets and raised $950. The winner (Kim D.) of that quilt had never won anything before and ironically, happens to be a quilter too! We also did a paint night event and sold “Team Brianna” t-shirts this year. With all of our events, plus word of mouth fundraising our team was able to raise $4094. Myself, my husband and son are extremely grateful for all of our friends/families support. Without all of you/them, we wouldn’t be able to continue to honor Brianna and raise suicide prevention awareness. We know Brianna is proud of all of us.

As you know, Brianna is the reason I started quilting. My first endeavor was her memory quilt. Since my last blog, I finished and delivered two more of her memory quilts. One of those is in Maryland and the other is in Idaho. I also sewed another puppy made completely out of Briannas clothes, with the exception of the bow for one of my nieces. So, even though I haven’t “blogged” in a while, I have remained busy! I find staying focused on ways of honoring Brianna, keeps me from dwelling on the sadness of her loss.

I have also been diligently working on the raffle quilt for next years AFSP-OOTD walk. Today I sewed about 86 blocks, 68 of them are (2.5″ x 2.5″) half square triangles. Anyone that thinks quilting isn’t strenuous work is so wrong. Between the up and down from my chair, bending over to measure and cut, standing over the ironing board and pressing seams open, my neck and back are killing me.

On a good note, I see a massage from my hubby in my near future…thats a plus!

Decisions, Trouble & Cuddles

My last blog I talked about a quilt I made for charity. It went so well, I already picked out a pattern for next years raffle. It’s called The Butterfly Quilt by Tula Pink. For this years quilt, I tried to pick something on the relatively easy/simple side since I wasn’t sure how well the raffle would do. Because it ended up with fabulous results, I have decided to challenge myself with this quilt. And trust me, looking at it last night, I will need to take my time with this one!

Since the raffle and walk we do is in honor of our daughter, Brianna, I have chosen another butterfly for next years quilt. The quilt shown on the pattern package is mostly in pinks, not Brianna’s favorite color. I will be changing that to blues and some purples. There are blocks in this quilt that I have never made before. Floating crosses, log cabins, flying geese, wheel blocks and many more. The truly difficult part of this pattern, is deciding which colors to put with each block. I started to work on this last night and will hopefully finish that today. Of course, I will add blogs with my progress on this quilt. It should take me awhile. Lucky for me I have plenty of time!

Now how does a girl get in trouble? This girl goes to the fabric store and buys material for a new quilt. I took my husband and son with me to help me decide and finalize the colors. I kept warning the them that it was going to be an expensive trip, I don’t think they really believed me. While I did manage to steer (mostly) away from the batik section, I still ended up spending a couple hundred dollars. I know it will be totally worth it in the end.

Just for giggles, this blog took me forever to write…my quilting buddy decided it was cuddle time!