Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Help for Joplin

Judy at Patchwork Times has come up with a wonderful idea for helping the residents of Joplin.  See this post on her blog if you are interested.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Fruit Cocktail is finished!

After the novel I wrote the other day, this will be a short post.  I finished sewing down the binding on Fruit Cocktail while I was at Dawn's on Saturday and started on the hand sewing for the Friendship Star quilt.  I used King Tut #901 for the top quilting and a green variegated Coats & Clark in the bobbin.


We also hit the 25% off anniversary sale at one of our local shops and we picked up a few Kaffe Fasset fabrics at good prices so that was fun too, although I really didn't need any new fabric lol.

And here is the progress on my needlepoint picture.  It is called Sawtooth Sampler by Laura J. Perin and it is from her quilt pattern series.

Friday, May 6, 2011

Where to Begin?

It has been so long since I last posted that I don't even know where to begin.  The good news is that I survived tax season and immediately reopened the quilt studio and have been quite productive!  I had planned to do many posts over the past couple of weeks with progress reports of what I have been working on, but somehow I never got around to actually writing the posts *sigh*.  I did, however, get around to taking pictures of the quilts projects as I worked on them.  That's progress from my last post!

As soon as the tax deadline was over I started my own personal quilting retreat and did basically nothing but quilt for about 5 days.  Oh, and take care of Maya since she decided to blow out her good knee on April 13th.  More about that in a bit.  First I want to talk about the quilting I have been doing.  Echo found the pile of quilts on my sewing table today and decided they were there for him to lay on.  What is it about cats and quilts???

So anyway, as soon as the tax deadline was over, I got busy in my sewing room.  Oh, and I washed the mountain of fabric that I had purchased during the past few months.  But I digress.  The first order of business after April 18th was to get Chocolate Covered Cherries basted and ready for quilting.  I have all of the ditch quilting done and have started the quilting of the blocks. 

Next I basted Fruit Cocktail.  Twice.  I forgot that the backing was just the right size and left the usual margin on the one side only to discover a drastic shortage on the other side when I went to baste that part.  So I undid all of the basting and redid it with the backing properly centered.  This quilt was made during my beginning quilting class in, ahem, 2001.  Yes, it has been sitting here unquilted for nearly 10 years.  But now it is not only basted and quilted, but I have the binding half sewn down.   Speaking of the binding, I have had that made and stored with the quilt for literally years.  As I'm sewing it on by machine, I realize that it is about half as long as it needs to be.  I think I had another quilt with the same binding and probably switched them.  As luck would have it, I found another binding the same width in my drawer of leftover bindings that matched well and was just the length I needed so I added it to the other one and finished up the machine sewing.  For the quilting, I did straight line quilting in the blocks and my wavy line quilting in the border.

The quilted top:

A closeup of the block quilting:

And the back.  It's kind of hard to see the quilting on the back since the fabric is so busy.

Then I quilted this little orphan bargello block.  It had been basted since last fall.  Took all of 15 minutes to quilt so I don't know why I let it sit so long *sigh*.

And finally, I quilted this little Friendship Star quilt.  It is also from my beginning quilting class which hopefully explains some of the whacked off points on the stars.  Thankfully my piecing has improved!  The binding is attached and ready for the hand sewing, which I'm hoping to work on tomorrow at Dawn's.  I ran out of the top thread with about 4 inches left to go on the quilting.  I found a similar purple thread in my stash and finished it with that.  Done is better than perfect!

And the back:

Amidst all of the quilting I also got bit HARD by the needlepoint bug.  I have had some charts forever, as well as threads, but just never got around to trying canvas work.  That has all changed.  I went to a local shop a few days after tax season ended and came home with the canvas and chart for a new project.  I already had the threads in my cross stitching stash.  Shocking I know lol.  For about two days, the quilting sat untouched as I stitched away on my new project.  I have made quite a bit of progress and plan to work on it more tomorrow, so I will save the pictures, etc. for a separate post.

And then there is the real life stuff that has been going on.  As I mentioned above, Miss Maya decided to tear her ACL (her knee) on April 13th.  She had surgery on her other knee in August 2007 when she tore that ACL, but the surgery was hard on her and at her current age, surgery is not an option.  There was quite a bit of drama for a few days as the ex and I came to terms with her situation.  We thought we were going to have to put her down since surgery wasn't an option.  Thankfully the vet said she could heal on her own.  Funny how everyone said differently when she tore out the first knee.  At that time we were told that her knee could only heal with surgery costing in excess of $2000.  So of course we did the surgery.  That was pretty annoying to find out that we wouldn't have had to put her through that, or spend all that money, but at least we didn't have to put her down. 

The other complicating factor was that my ex had arranged for a pet transport service to pick up Maya, Koda and Sammy the cat on April 30th to take them from Phoenix to his new place in Ohio.  He thought for sure that they wouldn't take Maya while her leg was healing, but he was wrong, thankfully, and they all were picked up on the 30th and arrived in Ohio this past Wednesday safe and sound.  So in the last week I have reduced my pet population by half, which has taken a huge load off.  No more barking dogs day and night and no more getting up 50 times a day to let someone out or bring someone in.  Could be why my blood pressure was down to 102/76 at my physical on Wednesday!

So that is what has been happening in my corner of the world for the last month or so!