Thursday, November 18, 2010

clothesline tips

Have you tried the wrapped clothesline bags? I had bought a pattern, but had not been able to find the cotton clothesline. Even the quilt shops did not have any. Now, you KNOW I don't need another project. But WHAT is a girl to do when she just NEEDS to start something new??? She pays attention when her friend Monica offers to show her a new way. AND THEN SHE JUMPS! She taught my Lunch Bunch group this method. AND its scrap friendly. I used a Bali Pop on this 1st one, but next time , I'm gonna stash dive in my strip drawer. It uses 2½ inch strips of fabric and batting. ::::tap tap tap::: did you say BATTING? YES! You know! All that left over batting that is not big enough to bother to piece together? The stuff you feel guilty throwing away? Or sometimes I stuff into a dog bed, but wish I had another way of USING it?! Yup..thats the stuff! Today I will show you how to make the strips. Next time I will show you how to block it. After that, I will show you the basic bag. YOU have to decide how to add your own touch: handles, pockets etc.

You ready? Here we go!

You will need:

machine with contrasting or matching thread
strips of 2 ½ inch fabric
strips of 2 ½ inch batting

(just one quick note: some of my friends had trouble with the 2 ½ batting.
They cut theirs 2 ¼. I didn't have any trouble, but in the stash busting
spirit, when I cut mine up, sometimes I got smaller than 2½ inches. Be flexible
and see what YOU like. I used both...they both worked for me)

Layer the strip wrong side up with the batting.

Fold the two long ends into the center....

fold in half. Try to keep the folds even. Dont' stress if they are not! Just make sure the raw edges stay inside. You can pin this if you want. I just folded as I went along.

Stitch down the center. I like to lengthen my stitch a bit. Its kinda bulky and takes long enought with a longer stitch. If you use your reg quilt piecing stitch, you could be there all day!

Thats IT! Its kinda mindless...I thought it was fun!. Try not to stretch as you sew. You will see why next time... For a nice size tote, you will need between 20 and 27 strips. See you next time!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

bad sad day

I usually wear a lovely pair of Clarks clogs when I travel by air. They look nice, I can walk in them all day and they are easy to slip on and off at security. Imagine my distress, when we were hustling to get our off-airport parking bus, I looked down and noticed that my shoe looked larger. In the bunion I DO have bunions. They don't bother me on a regular basis...only because I'm careful to get a shoe with a big enough toe bed. These clogs DO...but this day, my bunion was looking...larger. UGH... When I got on the bus I did a bit of investigating...and much to my distress...

THIS is what I found. A BLOW OUT! I was hoping I could get them restitched. That is until I checked out the OTHER shoe:

Here we have a sad case of disintegration.

I guess I need a day of shoe shopping. Oh and a trip to the shoe repair shop. I DO have a pair of black ones. Different styling, but they are NOT NICE to my bunions. I can only wear that pair from the car to church. By the time I sit, they are OFF. I think a bit of stretching is in order.

PS. Did you catch a load of the carpet? I may have shown it before. My husband was SO excited to find a quilt patterned rug...and the right colors too! I think I have him trained to see a quilt whereever he goes. He is a keeper!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

t-shirt/memory quilts

My friend Betty No Blog made this quilt. She was commissioned to make a series of quilts from clothing. She has a wonderful eye and I always get fired up when I see her work. This one is my favorite. It feels like art...and I get the same feeling as when I look at the Gee's Bend quilts. Just a simple snowball..but SO effectively placed! She asked me to quilt I did!

Just be warned that we both agreed to stay away from the corner triangles during quilting. There are 8 layers in those corners! Can you say 'broken needles'? lolol

I'm piecing 2 memory/t-shirt quilts and will post pictures as soon as I have them made into tops. Do you have a favorite way to showcase t-shirts or memory quilts? I'd love to see!

Saturday, November 06, 2010

worn OUT!

We had our monthly Lunch Bunch potluck yesterday. I had it in my brain that I would have my friend Nancy's quilt finished to lure her to join us. Why do I think I can get it all done in an hour? I must have a very inflated view of my talents...maybe I just have SUCH a good time, it FEELS like an hour! Her quilt is nice and flat...I'm trying out a new panto I had drooled over many times before I ordered it...and my sweet husband looked at the quilt and said "THAT is a very pretty quilt!" He very rarely comments (or for that matter notices) much of what goes on in either of my sewing rooms. They are both such messes, most of the time you cannot see anything in progress! Poor Nancy! Her quilt is still on my frame...BUT...I have more realistic goals today. I'm going to finish it! ROTLF!

Are you a group sew-er? On most Lunch Bunch days, I do schlep my machine. While I like to think I'm going to get TONS done, I usually have to check out everything the group is doing (lunch bunch rule #1: you NEVER have to do the group project), say hi to all the shop staff, say hi to all the shop get the picture. Yesterday, I did NOT take my machine, but I AM doing the group project. Miss M is teaching us how to make the clothesline tote bags. Did you know you can use BATTING strips instead? (you KNOW...all that scrap batting you either threw out or felt guilty about because you didnt' know WHAT to do with it?) I will show you pictures of mine, and how to do the strips soon. I have to block all of mine..they are kinda...well..lets just say..NOT STRAIGHT! It was fun to see all the colors of strips and hear the ideas flying around. When I got home, I sewed some of MY strips together, made dinner, drove and picked up Sports Guy from the last football game of his freshman year, and oh yes! I quilted 2 more rows on Nancy's quilt. I didn't realize how tired I was last night until I got up this morning. When I took off my nightgown to get dressed, I still had my BRA ON! ROTLF! Normally I that would keep me awake...I was WORN OUT!

I'm off to quilt, make Italian meat sauce for a company dinner on Tuesday, and dejunk my house...oh and there is laundry to do and put away, dogs to let in and out....see ya!

PS Sports Guy made the varsity soccer team as a FRESHMAN! There will be no living with him now!

Thursday, November 04, 2010

home again, home again

I DO like to travel...I just dont' like getting ready and then getting everything back to a normal schedule. I need a week to rest up from all my resting! We made a trip to Las Vegas for a soccer tournament, returned on Sunday night, my parents arrived on Tuesday, DH and I left on Wed. We spent our annual Cambria weekend with good friends, WAAAAY too much good food, and I think the best weather we have had yet. Of course, it went way to fast and now we have to wait a year to do it again...WAAAAA! We returned on Monday and my parents went home on Tuesday. Mr Sports Man and all the furry ones were glad to see us. (the furry ones wiggles and wagged tails..Mr Sports Man didn't!he is too grown up...trying out for the high school soccer team...more on that tomorrow)

I didn't take my sewing machine, but I threatened to! Instead I did binding...LOTS of binding! I finished the USC quilt..and delivered it. I thought Mr N was going to jump up and down. He loved it!

He and his wife were kind enough to let me get ONE more picture of it before it rode off into the sunset. It glows doesnt' it?

I also bound and delivered 5 of these pumpkin wall hangings. I just love pumpkins! And while I'm not a Halloween person, I DO give thanks for fall and pumpkins...funny I'm not a huge orange fan! The ladies were sweet to hang them up.

Here is a close up of one. I did them all the same except for the background fill on the pumpkins. Each one was different.

you will see more of these as I have 4 more to quilt! First up, I have a customer quilt on the frame. I taught a class on Tues and last night, and had another class scheduled for this morning, but I didn't get any students. A DAY FREE! Yippeee! (just so you know..i DO love to teach quilting..who would NOT want to hook someone on my favorite pastime? :::grin:::)

Any suggestions on how much to charge for a memory quilt? I had someone ask me to make two. I think I need to see what sizes of fabric I have to work with and how large they want them. I surely don't want to charge alot..but I don't want to give it away either. I think this is the hardest part of providing a service! I have heard people say 'oh,its just SEWING! how long could it take?' and then ask you do so something that basically needs you to take the garment apart and resew the whole thing. JUST sewing! HARRUMMPH!

Off to the frame and the washing machine! As Mrs Goodneedle says :

Life is GOOD!