Tuesday, June 29, 2010

New Toy

Something fun came today. I ordered a QuiltCut2. It looks like it will be very useful in cutting squares for all the Half-Square triangles I make. Already, I cut over 160 squares in very little time.
The cutting guide does not move real smoothly, so I will have Dave take a look at it. Maybe, it just needs to be used more.
I am still finishing the binding on the baby quilt I quilted yesterday. I started coughing so much in the last couple of days, that I thought maybe the unwashed fabric was bothering me, so I put the quilt aside last night.
Looks like it is might be the beginning of a cold. I will know tomorrow if I still feel bad. So today, I pre-washed all the fabric that I cut into squares, just in case.
Still have not bought a new computer.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Bye, Bye Computer

My computer crashed this past Friday (I got the Blue Screen of Death) and since I don't like working on this laptop, no pictures from me. Lucky for me, my sewing machine still works. I finished two little triangle baby quilt tops, quilted one today, and applied binding on another (still need to do the handwork), mopped three floors, and cleaned the stove top. I get more done when my computer doesn't work! Hmmmm!

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

After the Show

As I have told you, numerous times, when I am a vendor at a quilt show,
I demonstrate my Stitching Lines.......over and over and over again. I never thought I would get tired of sewing, but on those weekends I can.
Anyway, before the show, I pull fabric scraps from my stash that go with a particular fabric (something that I can use as a baby quilt). I pre-cut the scraps into 3-1/2" squares and stack the squares neatly in a ziplock bag. That is the end of the neatness!
When I get to a show, I stack the squares into pairs that might look good together. It doesn't really matter, since these will be very scrappy quilts. But, I make an attempt!
I set up my little tiny Janome machine and sew away making half-square triangles and demonstrating how to use Stitching Lines.
At a good show, I will go through at least one package of Stitching Lines.
That means 400 half-square triangles! That is enough HST's for at least two of my baby quilts.

When I get home, I press all of them open and square them up.
Most of the time, I only need to trim two sides. I sew these little babies pretty fast when demonstrating. So they are not always perfect, hence the squaring up!
I love the little 4" Omnigrid Square! Perfect size for what I need.

These are all squared up. Some need a dog ear trimmed off.
Now, if I could only remember what fabric they go with!!!

One side note. The quilt I am designing right now......the one I can't show you, of course, uses half-square triangles.
I am cutting them at a perfect 2-7/8" square and then I don't need to square them up.
I get nice 2-1/2" squares. I love it!

Sunday, June 20, 2010

My Spaces

I took stock of where I'm at.
That is, where I'm at inside my house. I tend to spread out with my stuff.

Going on a little tour of my house, I noticed that I am indeed taking over most of the rooms in the house. Well, why not? The kids are gone! It's better to use the space than have empty rooms. That's my theory anyway. My husband keeps teasing me about using all the rooms in the house for my sewing/pattern design business. It might be true.
I can't argue with what I see as I walk through the rooms.

On to the tour.
Make up your own mind as to whether I have taken over the house.

Sewing Room........I am designing and working on a new pattern. So the place is a mess.

Entry Way......... Boxes of Stitching Lines. The printer put them in large boxes this time and they are too heavy for me to move.

Living Room....Tables, chairs and grid from last show. They haven't made their way into sewing room yet. Remember, that room is a mess because I am designing new pattern. There is no room until I clean it up. I haven't shown you the dining room. That's where I assemble Stitching Lines when I need more. Yes, I do it all myself!
Right now it is actually picked up, so need to show it.

Upstairs....Extra Bedroom. It has no purpose so I put my Grace quilting frame up. Notice how it is covered with wrapped fat quarters. I keep product in here for quilt shows. And I really am not into quilting that much!
There is a lot of empty space underneath the frame,
because I haven't put everything away yet.
Remember, I am designing a pattern right now!

Hallway.......... This is where I store my quilts between shows. Keeps the wrinkling to a minimum. I still have one bag of quilts downstairs in living room.
I cheated and didn't show you that!

Loft.........This is my computer desk where I design and write my patterns.
Not showing up is another desk on opposite wall where I put patterns together and on another wall is where I package up orders to ship out.
Can't remember when I last closed the doors to this cabinet!

Now, I told Dave he could have the other bedroom and move his computer setup into there. I think that is generous. But, he is not interested in the work involved in moving all his stuff. So I put a small quilt rack in there and
piled up a bunch of quilts in that room also!!
LOL Hey, he has a three car garage!

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Bad Doggy, Bad Doggy

My daughter Carol gave me back a quilt I made for her a few years ago.
It needed some surgery.
It seems that new puppy Ginny likes to chew up quilts, rugs, shoes, grass, socks
and pet toys. There must be more.....I just can't think of them.

She chewed the edge off of their bed quilt.
Ginny has a tendency to stealthily sneak up on their bed at night.

So here is what I did.

I cut a piece of batting, bigger than the hole and pinned it in place on the front side.

From the back, I made a clean cut through the quilt and new batting.

I used some neat tricot fusible to attach the batting to the quilt on the front and back.
I ironed it in place on both sides.

This stuff comes in a roll, about 1-1/1" wide and is meant to use when you need to piece together batting. You know all the pieces we have left over that are two small for the project we are working on. I have tons of left over.
This could be great!

I got this from The Batty Lady at the last quilt show I went to.
I traded my Stitching Lines for her Heat Press!

I made patches out of the front fabric and the backing fabric.
It does come in handy when you buy too much of what a pattern calls for!!

And then my camera died and I didn't want to quit working on this.
So fast forward to the finished patch job.

If you zoom in on this you can see the black zig-zag stitch around the patch.
I figure no one will ever see it. I did sew the backside patch on by hand.
I pieced more binding and finished the job.

This could have been one of those jobs I put off forever, so I am very proud of myself.
It only took me one week to get myself to do it.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Finishing Quilts

I finished up a new quilt top the other day.

But I can't show it to you.

I am going to make some more changes to the design (this is not the final).
I hope it is going to be my next pattern.
So these are just teaser pics to show that I am actually working on something.
Notice the Half-Square triangles and Snowball corners. You can be sure that I used my Stitching Lines!

I quilted and bound another child size quilt. I made the top years ago, but only finished it up last week (in the interest of getting UFO's out of my closet). It's cute.
It was Moda fabric that I cut up. I think there was a free pattern from Moda.
At the time, I was managing a quilt shop and made it up for a sample.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Dinosaurs in My Bookcase

I found dinosaurs in my house. I moved two bookshelves from my family room to my dining room today. Whoa! Even with the sliders underneath, one was a real bear to move. I guess I should have emptied it completely!!
But what I found lurking on the very dusty shelves made me take time to ponder.
Back in 1990, as good and thoughtful parents we purchased a very expensive set of World Book Encyclopedias for our kids. And for several years, I dutifully upgraded the set with the yearly Yearbook. And then right afterwards, the internet took off. And nobody ever opened the books again. Some of the yearbooks are still wrapped in plastic. What does one do with these? My friend Amie told me today that Goodwill won't even take them. They are that obsolete! She is thinking of just sticking hers (she has two sets) into the recycling bin on trash day. Oh my, that just doesn't sound right. But, my gosh they do take up a lot of room.

Another couple of books I found were Thomas Brothers map books. When was the last time I used one of those? Helloooooooo! We have Mapquest. The books don't tell us how long it will take to get where we are going. And it is pretty hard to figure the mileage with the books, let alone trying to find the right page to turn to.

So what is the next item that will become obsolete or useless in 20 years?
Our fancy sewing machines. It could happen. My 20 year old embroidery machine is practically useless.......can't get parts to it anymore. We will be laughing at our primitive iPhones. You can be sure of that! Our computers will be so small, we will take them everywhere we go. And our children will be saying "Remember when..."

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

This and That

The Beach Cities Quilt Show has come and gone. It was no better and no worse than other quilt guild shows. Except, the guild ladies could not have been more gracious and welcoming to us vendors. My goodness, they provided a full breakfast bar with coffee, quiche, fresh fruit, bagels and more. Ice cold water, cookies and trail mix were delivered to our booths each day, along with lunch from Panera if we ordered. Talk about pampering your vendors. I'll will go back again, that's for sure!

Andy and his girlfriend Tracy help me with set up on Friday.

I have been working on a new design that,of course,uses my Stitching Lines. This time around, there is absolutely no waste. I use 2 strips that are each 4" long for the half-square triangles. Then I use the remaining 2" for the snow ball corners. And I can use all 3 lines on the 2" pieces. Then, I cut the 4" long center strip left over from the HST, in half and also use them for snowball corners. Can't wait to finish this up and turn it into a pattern.

Looking in my sewing room closet, because I was thinking of cleaning it out, (mind you, I said thinking)I found this afghan that I started years ago. It is just double crochet over and over and over again. Maybe that's why I got bored with it. I can't even remember what crochet hook I used. I know it was purple, but one of these hooks, I don't know. Anyone know a way to figure that out??? I need to finish this up before it gets too warm again to work on it. What with the crummy TV programing on right now, I could actually do this in the evening.

Friday, June 4, 2010


I am off to a show in Aliso Viejo today to set up. I've never been to this show, so don't have any idea what to expect. It is at Soka University in Aliso Viejo. I expect it should be a nice location. My car is packed. I am getting good at that....only 30 minutes from start to finish.

I found a website with a very interesting premise. Some of us only like to blog about finished projects. We wait to post until we have a good photo to show. I am guilty.
So in the interest of something to blog about more often, I have taken the pledge to post more often, about the process I go through to get to an end. (Hopefully, a finished quilt or even a pattern)

So this is what I am working on right now.

Can't show you the blocks yet, as I may turn them into a pattern. But this is the mess I work through to find the fabric I want. This pile of batiks may have to be put away before I go much further!
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