Sunday, July 22, 2018

No quilts were harmed!


I managed to get two more customer quilts completed yesterday, but not before I almost had a meltdown with both of them.  I should be very clear that it had NOTHING to do with the quilts and all to do with either the operator or the computer.

Here's the first one.

Customer quilt - DONE

Second customer quilt - DONE

For some reason, that computer had a mind of its own yesterday and twice I stood there with my brain puzzling as I tried to figure out how to get back to where the computer was supposed to be. There's nothing like having the machine stop in the middle of the row and then decide to do its own thing. I recovered rather nicely on both accounts. But GRRRR - I must learn the proper way how to fix that problem.

Guess what? I discovered that there are manuals for the software! I was helping Diane the other day with her machine (we have the same software - different machines). Her manuals are right on the main screen. My manuals are "hidden" in the help (?) function. Now that I've messed with the machine for a couple of months, I guess that I really should read them. In my defense, I didn't know they were there, although I should have assumed that there would be manuals. I've figured out the basic stuff, but I have no idea what the commands are called so I make up my own names. I'm good with that.

Anyway, got all three of these quilts trimmed and ready for pick up today.


Customer quilts are trimmed and ready for pick up

As part of my day today, I have this one to trim. And under that quilt (which are both hanging out on the ironing board) is another quilt I want to work on today.

Two projects hanging out on the ironing board


I managed to cram all that stuff on those four tables onto two tables. I just need to move a few sewing machines and we're good for sewing today. Yeah - can't wait. I didn't get as much prepped as I would have liked. OK - I did zero prepping yesterday. I'm going to do some this morning before everyone arrives. But we're only 6 in total so there won't be a huge demand for the cutting table.

But first, I have to tidy up the cutting table. It's not clear at all, but this is mostly stuff that didn't get put away yesterday and what I wanted to prep for today. The bottle of vodka? Oh - it's empty, but after my run-in with the machine yesterday, I sure could have used a drink.


Cutting table to be cleaned


As I was moving stuff yesterday, I kept out the most urgent stuff that I'm working on and it's all piled on this table.
Urgent stuff to work on

Now wouldn't it be great if I could just keep working at this pile of stuff until it's completed? I better write that in that Task Master and pay attention to it!

I did get some more bindings on yesterday. I had to trim one of the quilts and two more bindings were put on from the previous day. All of these need the bindings stitched to the front. Thank goodness, I don't do them by hand anymore. Can you imagine?



Quilts need to have the binding stitched to the front

I got one more trimmed in this pile and the binding is stitched to the back. Some of these will need sleeves and all need the binding stitched to the front.


Wall hangings that need binding stitched to the front


Everything that needed to be trimmed is now trimmed and all the scraps from that (batting and backing) are sorted and put in their respective places. There is one quilt in this pile that needs a binding made. My new perspective - well it's not new, but for years, I've always made the binding when I finish the top. That way when you're ready to sew it on, you don't have to make the binding or find the binding fabric. It's been a great help. The one that needs binding? It's a community projects quilt (that I made from scraps) and I have to go searching for something to match as there was nothing left after making the top.



The binding pile that needs some work

 I'm very pleased with the progress. Now I just need the focus to keep at that stack. Can you imagine what it would be like when it comes time to tidy up for the sit n sew and there was NOTHING to move? That would be amazing. Or everything could be piled into one or two bags and moved off the tables? Yes - I'll get there. I'm much better than I was, but I still have a long way to go.

Now - I have a favor to ask. Does anyone have this pattern??? Actually, this was one of two patterns that made up the four seasons. I have the Spring/Winter one. I also have the Summer/Fall pattern, but cannot find it. And I'm supposed to make the Summer/Fall for my Mom. Yes - I'm making the silly things - she asks every time I chat with her. But in the interest of time, it might be easier to beg, borrow or steal it from one of you than to try and find it. So it looks like this, but it's NOT this one - it's the Summer/Fall one.

E-mail me if you have the pattern and I could borrow it or buy it from you.


Looking for the companion pattern to this - SUMMER/FALL



We all know that the future of quilting/sewing will depend on how the millennials pick up the hobby. Here's an interesting read on how they look at the craft.  I totally disagree with Jennifer Moore's comments about quilt stores and I've sent her a note this morning to tell her that she should go into the store before she talks about something of which she has no knowledge. That kind of comment (based on her perception) is harmful to the quilting shops.

Did I make it to the backyard yesterday? You bet - TWICE. The last time after dinner, I even had to come in to get a quilt as it was getting cold out there. I dozed and read and chatted with the girls. It was great and next thing I knew, it was late and dark and I could no longer read. A glorious day to be out!


And on that note, it's raining this morning. Not sure that I want to venture to the dog park and come home with two very dirty dogs. They can play in the backyard - it won't hurt them and I get another 45 minutes to prep for the day.

Have a super day!!

Ciao!!!




Saturday, July 21, 2018

A binding marathon!


I'm disgusted with myself! OK - not horribly disgusted, but still - I have way too much stuff for the amount of time that I have to do it.

There's a sit n sew tomorrow. You know what that means - the studio has to get tidied up. And as I surveyed the wreckage yesterday morning, I was totally dismayed. There's stuff there that I've moved for the last several sit n sews. What is wrong with me? Why am I not getting those things completed? I'm getting lots done, but the quantity of stuff that I'm working on is HUGE!!! Where's my FOCUS?

So while babysitting a quilt on the long arm, I moved things where they are supposed to go. It doesn't help that there are numerous sewing machines as well. Stuff was all over, on the floor, on chairs and everywhere in between.

I cleared off the cutting table.

Cutting table ready for cutting


I cleared off the ironing board. Notice how I switched the cover end to end (the black used to be where the iron sits). This cover has lasted MANY years and you can see exactly where I've done the majority of my pressing. After many years, there's one small hole in that spot. By switching the cover around, I can get a few more years out of it, depsite the fact that I have a brand new cover.

The ironing board is ready for pressing


By the way, does anyone have a Reliable ironing board that they use in the traditional format with the narrow end? I have a brand new cover that I don't need and I'm ready to part with it. I LOVE my Reliable ironing board.

Then I cleared this one group of tables.

One group of tables - clear!


My regular sewing machine is in the small table to the left. I know - how silly is that. There's this big beautiful table that I could use and I'm using the small one. I'm strange like that!

Then there's the table with the loaner machines.

My serger and two loaner sewing machines


Oh - so what happened to all the stuff?? The same thing that always happens - it all goes on the other set of tables.


The disaster zone


There are four tables buried under the wreckage that is my "current" UFO pile. It's a rather sad state of affairs.

I decided that I'm tired of moving that stuff and some of it has to be finished. I figured the easiest thing to get started on would be binding the finished quilts that are on the table.

If you remember, I was just whipping them off the long arm or the domestic machine and throwing them on a chair. Well, I needed the chair for the last sit n sew and they got thrown into a heap in a corner. Time to deal with that.

I found one wall hanging and two table runners that had the binding stitched on the back and needs to be stitched to the front.


Binding is sewn to the back on these projects

I found one quilt that was trimmed and needed the binding sewn to the back of the quilt. Then I trimmed THREE quilts and stitched the binding to the back of those as well. Now there are four quilts that need the binding stitched to the front.

The binding needs to be stitched to the front of the quilts

As I was trimming and binding, I also dealt with all the scraps of batting, fabric, and binding. It's all sorted and in its appropriate home.

I trimmed one more quilt and it's waiting by the sewing machine for its binding to be stitched to the back.

A quilt ready to have the binding stitched to the back


There are still four wall hangings that need to be trimmed.


Four wall hangings that need to be trimmed

And there are five more quilts/wall hangings that need to have the binding stitched to the back.

These quilts are trimmed and need the binding sewn on


If I counted correctly, there are SEVENTEEN projects that need the binding completed. They are all MY projects. Isn't that ridiculous? What am I going to do with 17 more finished projects???

I don't seem to get a lot of sewing time for myself these days - there's plenty of other non-sewing stuff to do. I'm going to make sure that I'm super productive on those sit n sew days. So I'm going to take a wee bit of time this afternoon and make sure that I have work prepped so I can sew the entire day! Just like I do for Monday.

I have to clear five of those 7 tables for tomorrow. That's OK - most of that stuff (once I finish those bindings hopefully today) can be scrunched onto two tables. It's the Thursday Sit n Sew that's going to be a problem. There are 10 people coming so ALL the tables need to be clear. It's going to be a busy week.

Plus I'm prepping more blog posts, but I have a plan to help clear the tables and do the blog posts at the same time! Stay tuned for that!

And there are MANY projects on those tables that are so close to being finished - I just need a kick in the butt to get them done. I don't want to move them again!

Since I didn't get any quilting done earlier in the week, I had to make up for lost time and managed to get two quilts done yesterday. Both are for customers.


Customer quilt - DONE

Another customer quilt - DONE

 The next quilt is loaded and ready to go this morning. I'm trying to keep a schedule so no one has to wait super long. So far I'm doing OK. Trying to do four customer quilts and one of mine each week.

I didn't manage to sneak into the gazebo yesterday and I think you can see why. It was a LONG day. However, one of the audio books that I had on hold came in and I listened to half of the book while I puttered around yesterday. I hope to finish it today as I have another heavy duty day of work in the studio planned. Although I might slip out to the gazebo and try some embroidery now that I have the audio book.

I need to make a pact with myself. There will be NO pulling projects from anywhere except the tables. I don't care how "fun" the other project is. Those projects have to get completed so I don't have to keep moving them. That's such a time waster! And I know those tables have to be clear at least twice a month for the Sit n Sews and hopefully more often as I intend to teach some classes here in the fall.

I'd like to make note that I have completed 41 projects so far this year!  Yep - 41!!!!!  Sleeves are on the ones that are getting sleeves and they all have my small label. Some may require another label - I'll see how that goes. It's time to get serious about a quilt storage system before my stair rail collapses.

On that note, I'm out of here.

Have a great day!!! And I hope you're as productive as I am!!!

Ciao!!!!





Friday, July 20, 2018

You're never too old to learn!


I hope you weren't disappointed in what was in the crate. I have to tell you about the crate. My brother works at a place where they ship all kinds of stuff on palettes. Originally we were going to just put the chair on a pallet. But then he remembers they have a crate palette. OK - what do I know? So yes - that smallish chair went into that big crate. But it worked out fine with a little bit of cardboard to protect it. In total, the thing weighed a LOT because of the crate, the chair (which is solid wood so it's not light) and that antique sock knitter which probably weighs more than the chair!!!  All arrived without getting damaged and that was the key. Now to get rid of the crate from the garage.

You're never too old to learn. Doesn't matter what the subject, learning keeps you young. I learned that from my Dad. And I'm constantly learning new things - whether it's how to keep a very unruly dog under control, new quilting stuff or just things in general. Ask lots of questions - that's how you learn. Test the teacher - see if they really know their stuff. I love when students do that - it means they're thinking and I absolutely love when they come back to me with the thought process worked out. It means I've done my job.

I've mentioned before that my Dad, who is 85, is still learning. He's constantly checking out YouTube videos to learn things about motors and alternators and generators and whatever. Then he applies that to his daily puttering at the Western Development Museum where they're in full swing getting as many tractors running for the upcoming "Those Were the Days" show at the Museum. The day he can no longer do that is likely the day he'll be gone. The crazy guy still puts in a full day FIVE days a week. We tell him to slow down, but that's like - well it isn't going to happen.

In light of that and the amount of fabric that's in the basement, I'd better keep learning or I'm going to be gone as well, although I do like to spend an afternoon or two, just hanging out in the backyard!

In addition to fiction, I read a fair amount of non-fiction as well. Right now, I'm reading a quilting book and I wanted to share it with you.

The book is called Quilter's Academy - Volume 1. There are six books in the series.


Quilter's Academy
 The book was written by Harriet Hargrave and her daughter Carrie Hargrave. Gosh - it was published in 2009. ALL of the material is still extremely relevant today. Read the reviews on the link above - everyone loves this book.

Oh my gosh - this is a very IMPORTANT book to read. I want to back up here just a wee bit and say that I took a class from Harriet years ago. I was still very new to quilting. And I learned a TON of stuff from her in that class. The class was all about machine quilting as she was the guru (at that time) on machine quilting.

I've been planning on sharing some samples with you for a long time and well - today is the perfect day for that as the samples were made shortly after I took the class from Harriet. Funny how that happens. 

I know what you're thinking. Why is an experienced sewist and quilt teacher reading this "beginner" quilt book? There are several reasons - I might pick up a new tip, I may find a different way to present some of the things that I know, to get confirmation that how I'm doing is the best method, but more importantly that why I do things has a logical reason for doing them. I think I just finished the second lesson and I have resounding WOW to all my reasons for reading this book.

It's really a shame (and Harriet) mentions it in the book - there are so many quilters (both experienced and not experienced) who sit down at the machine and sew. No concept of what they're doing or more importantly why they're doing it. I'm talking basic things - like how to properly use a seam ripper, why the 1/4" is hard to achieve and tons more. This book goes into a lot of detail - the boring behind the scenes stuff. The stuff that helps you when you get stuck. It's GOOD information.

I've borrowed this book from the library. If you can get your hands on it, I would highly recommend that you read the book. Actually, I would read ANY of the books by Harriet. They may be "old", but the information in them is amazing. It's jam-packed with ideas, tips, etc. Newer books, tend to slide over that in favor of flashy projects and cutesy modern prints. But they don't touch on this stuff. Today's society doesn't care about what's under the hood - they just want to make the shiny thing on the outside.



It may be hard for you to see the samples below clearly but you should be able to click on them to make them bigger.

This was an experiment that I did with batting. I just checked - yes this is the BATTING TEST from Harriet's Heirloom Machine Quilting book - page 58. This is the 3rd edition - there is a 4th edition out.



I took TEN different battings and made FIVE samples for each batting type. Yes - that means there are 50 samples in total. It took a long time. I'm sharing some of them with you.

How does it work? One side of the sample is plain muslin with a 6" square drawn on with a permanent marker. This will help us test for shrinkage. The other side is half muslin and half solid black fabric. This will help test for bearding (the batting coming through the fabric).

Each sample had a different combination of washed or not washed which was written on each sample. I've taken a picture so you can see which was which. Then each sample was quilted with a wreath pattern with no quilting in the center of the wreath or outside the wreath. The edges were serged and then all the samples were washed. The results are VERY interesting. 

The batting used in the samples shown is a 100% cotton batting

Sample One - the top and backing were washed, the batting was NOT washed 

Sample 1 - Front

Sample 1 - Back

Sample Two - the top and backing were not washed, the batting was washed

Sample Two - Front

Sample Two - Back

Sample Three - the top was washed, the batting and the backing were not washed

Sample Three - Front

Sample Three - Back

Sample Four - NOTHING was prewashed

Sample Four - Front

Sample Four - Back

Sample Five - All three layers were prewashed

Sample Five - Front

Sample Five - Back


While the end result of all samples is a crinkly looking quilt (that's one of the reasons why you should always wash a quilt that is being gifted - if the new owner washes the quilt and it goes from crisp to crinkly - they freak out!)  It doesn't matter if you prewash the batting, the backing or the top - the end result is a crinkly quilt. You can spot a washed quilt from an unwashed quilt a mile away.

Things I learned from doing this experiment - I did not like the fact that the center of this wreath was not quilted. The crinkly look in the center of the wreath is not the same "consistency" as the spaces between the feathers and it doesn't look appealing. The same with the space outside the wreath. That is good to know - I'll make sure that the density of my quilting is similar over the entire quilt - no "holes" or "gaps" in the quilting for me! The samples where the cotton batting was NOT washed, but some combination of the top and backing were washed have the most pronounced effect. The sample where nothing was prewashed is actually not bad, as all the materials shrunk at a somewhat similar rate. There is shrinkage and in some cases, the height shrunk more than the length or vice versa. The ones where the batting was not washed shrunk the most. But it's as high as 1/4" over 6". All of them had some shrinkage. The cotton bat did NOT beard through the black.

Now before you set about washing everything or not washing - check the labels on your quilt batting. Some cotton bats would disintegrate in the washing machine - oh yes - I did that (as part of my experiment). Like everything - you MUST read the labels. And the more you experiment, the more you learn. I've made tons of samples and done tons of experiment over the last 20 years. Guess what? I'm still learning. I used flannel as one batting, muslin as another, wool, combinations of polyester/cotton. One had scrim. A total of ten different types of filler.

I would suggest that if you use predominately one batting type, that you do this experiment. It's interesting to see the differences. It may help you next time you try to decide if you want to prewash or not. By the way, Harriet has a GREAT section in the Quilter's Academy Volume I on whether to prewash or not. Get the book and read it!!!!  And if ever you hear her in person, the way she pronounces the word WASH will have you in stitches. Somehow she manages to get an R in there or so it sounds from her accent.

That's my learning tip for today. Heck - I could do a lecture on this subject - all my work is done. OH - I checked my Heirloom Machine Quilting - Harriet signed it in September 2000. That book is also a MUST HAVE. Everything I learned about machine quilting, I learned from Harriet and her book.



On that note, I'm out of here. I'm home all day so I've got loads to do - quilts to quilt, the studio is a HUGE mess (and there's a sit n sew this weekend) and I've got blog posts to write.

Check out the final day for QUILTsocial and see my finished pot holders. They're super cute.

Have a great day!!!!

Ciao!!!

Thursday, July 19, 2018

Today's the day!!!!

Yep - today's the day.

I had an assistant come over and it's time to open that darn crate! Yippee!!!

Instead of making it boring with just pictures, I decided to do a video of opening the crate. Thanks to Celeste for her help. And thanks to iMovie on my iPad, I was able to splice the three short clips together to get one clip. And where can you find this clip? I uploaded it to YouTube yesterday. Here's the link.    Don't look at the mess in the garage!

I hope that wasn't too anti-climatic. But the items in the crate mean a lot to me. I've contemplated bringing the larger item home several times but never did. But now it's here. It's still in the garage this morning and it may need a bit of tender loving care, but I'll give you the whole story of that item when I have a bit more time.

Here's a couple of pictures of the smaller items in the crate. There's that nice tin with the hinged lid. Must have been a box of chocolates at some point. Chocolates with liquor in them  - I HATE those.

Nice tin box
Open it up to discover a whole pile of hand crocheted (by my Mom) doilies. There are various sizes in the box and I need to take stock very quickly of what's in there as I have a plan for these. No sense in having a box of small doilies hanging around. Nope - I've got a plan. A plan with a deadline no less. And that's all I'm going to say about these. Except that my Mom must have crocheted miles and miles of crochet cotton and yard over the years. The HUGE number of afghans that we've found in the house would blow your mind! I think I took pictures - no maybe I didn't because it was so hard to get a picture. Anyway - there were TONS.  Not quite in the three digits, but it wouldn't surprise if it were close.


Small crocheted doilies

And here's a picture of the other fabric thing in the box. This is a box of Dresden plate blades. How many? NO idea, but the box is pretty big. That's my Mom - why make ONE, when thousands will do? This is all leftover fabric that she had from dressmaking. She used to sew her own clothes and make me matching dresses when I was little. How cute is that? I do have one picture which I've posted online at some point about our matching dresses.

OH OH  - I found the link on my blog about the matching dresses. Check it out. And check out what I'm wearing in one of the pictures and then look closely at this box. Notice the black/white fabric???

That red/brown plaid in the top right corner is from a shirt I made when I was in high school. Hmm - that would be a few years ago.

Box of Dresden blades

I'm thinking that it's time to shake up those Dresden blades. How can we make a modern quilt from them? That would be pretty awesome given the origin of the fabrics. OK - another quilt on the "to make" list. But there will be loads more than I need for one quilt. Seriously - why she would go gangbusters is beyond me. I'm obsessive, but I don't think I go this crazy.

The other thing I've been doing when I should have been working was to take this apart. It was a jumpsuit from Ann Curry from NBC. I know - why do I have her jumpsuit? A number of years ago, I made several quilts for The Quilt Project. We had several celebrities donate clothing so a quilt could be made in an effort to raise more money and awareness. This was the item that we received from Ann. I had made a quilt from the sleeves of the garment, but the rest has sat for years. It was time to get it out and do something with it. Unfortunately, I don't know where the pictures of those quilts are. Hopefully, somewhere in this mess. If I ever find them, I'll show you - I LOVED those quilts and they are NOT on the internet. I don't think.

Jumpsuit

I know - you're thinking why now? Well, there's a lot of talk about using odd materials to make a quilt (oops - did I say that out loud?) and I thought I'd get this garment prepped. I know exactly what I'm going to make with this jumpsuit.

Anyway, it's now in pieces. Between my seam ripper and a pair of scissors, I've separated the small crappy parts from the parts that are usable. I even found a note in one of the pockets. Was it something interesting?

The parts that went in the garbage

Nope - unless you know what loop, hammer, 1/2 cuban, 1/2 loop and 1/2 roll mean. I think it has something to do with car racing???? Nope - I checked car racing terms - not related to car racing.


A list of terms????


Let's just say that it's time to shake up the quilting world. We're going to go crazy!!!

And seriously - I need to get my act together. The call of that lounge chair in the gazebo is killing me. I went out with the intention of reading a wee bit. I was working on an intense project that wasn't working out to my liking. In disgust, I had to leave it. I took some reading material outside. Next thing I know, I'm having a nap. It's just too darn nice to be in the house.

But after dinner, I did manage to redo what was not working in the afternoon and although not perfect, it looks pretty good. I'm happy with it and that's all that counts.

I see that Miss Lexi has been on the computer again. That silly dog. She sure loves to blog even though it's mostly about her sister.

And don't forget to get the latest on those cute pot holders on QUILTsocial. I love them.

Checked my bloodwork online last night - everything is NORMAL. That's it - I'm done with medical stuff for the next couple of years. OK - maybe one year. It appears that the older you get, the more often the doctors want to check up on you. I don't need checking on yet - give me another 5 - 10 years and then they can check me.

On that note, I'm out of here. Another day of adventuring and no work being done in the house. But come tomorrow, I'll be back to my normal routine.

Have a great day!!!

Ciao!!!



Wednesday, July 18, 2018

A clean bill of health


I thought I was doing great with the online sign-in for the lab. But I had received TWO times. I took the latter time and sure enough, when I got there, my name wasn't on the list. After waiting for what seemed like an eternity, I got to the counter. Why was I waiting? Because the patients in front of me did NOT speak English. I'm OK with that, but seriously - if you're going for a medical appointment (at the expense of OHIP), you'd think you would bring someone with you that could understand what is going to happen to you. Totally crazy and not responsible on the part of the patients. They need someone to come with them. Then once I got in the line, I had to wait another half hour. Thankfully, I had a book with me.

Anyway, they took my blood and I'm going to sign up later today so I can see the results online. I'm sure everything will be fine.

Then back two hours later for the ultrasound. This is how relaxed I was about that appointment. When the technician left the room to consult with the specialist (normal procedure), I'm falling asleep on the table. Oh great - I checked my pulse - 48. Practically comatose. No worries there! But everything is fine - I'm just a lumpy, bumpy girl and having lost the weight, it's more apparent.

I spent a very leisurely afternoon in the gazebo. I know - I must STOP that, but the weather is so darn enticing that I really can't stop. Then I MUST stop reading. It's fabulous to be outside and I want to enjoy every minute that I possibly can. Today, I don't have that luxury. I have a lot of work to do. I haven't been able to get to the paperwork thing much this week and I can't this morning either.

It would appear that I'm an all or nothing kind of girl. If I don't have a clear three hours, then I don't get much done. Why??? No idea.

Cranked out another 30 K at the gym this morning on the bike. I've been following my food intake and something very interesting is appearing. It's so about the choices of what you eat. It's super easy to eat within the caloric intake each day - I rarely go over my 1,960 calories, but boy - it's super easy to go way over the sugar intake for the day. EVERYTHING is laden with sugar. Normally I'm pretty good, but I had a lemonade from Wendy's for lunch and I was WAY OVER the sugar for the day, but still well within the caloric intake. Next time, I'll just have my iced tea at home.

I've got loads to tell you, but I've got an appointment this morning so there goes one more morning of paperwork out the window. But it's a fun appointment. I'm sure that Lexi will tell you about it one day.

Speaking of Lexi, you can check out her blog this morning to find out why Murphy was so covered in mud.

And don't forget to check out QUILTsocial. There's another day of great tips for applique.

Have a super day!!!

Ciao!!

Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Time or money?


Another great day at Motivational Monday. It's amazing how much one can get done when everything is prepped or you have the tools to do the prep at the sewing day. And with great conversations and lots of laughs - well it's a great day!

It's my favorite day of the week and I'm getting much better at prepping when I get home so that everything is ready to go for the following week. No rushing around on Sunday evening or even Monday morning. It makes a huge difference. I'm finally learning to be super productive.

Going for my bloodwork this morning so I haven't had breakfast. GRRR! But I've done my online check-in and I have a 66-minute wait. At least I can do the waiting at home instead of there. I think they send you a text when it's close to your time. Not as convenient as making an appointment, but still, better than endless waiting.

And that gives me a chance to get the blog out of the way!

What got accomplished yesterday?  More of the Farmer's Wife blocks. This time I got NINE blocks completed.


The Farmer's Wife book


9 Farmer's Wife blocks DONE!!!

Some of these were very fussy to do. The one in the top left - easy. The next one was fiddly as there were two inset seams. The next one - easy. The ones on the next row were not bad - some just had a lot of pieces so that took time. The one on the bottom row left was almost done from a previous sewing day so that was super easy to finish. The next two were paper pieced. I had so much trouble with the middle one on the bottom row. It was a pain to get all the fabrics in the correct position. GRRR! - but it's done! The last one was a remake of the one I goofed on last week. I decided to remake it. It was also paper pieced. But nine more complete!!!!  I'm not sure how many are left, but I think I'm down to less than 40????

I have one pattern to draw out in EQ8 for next week, but otherwise, everything is ready to go. Now I know you're asking why I have to draw it in EQ8? There is a CD with all the templates for the weird blocks. However, I no longer have a computer with a CD so that won't help me at all. I'll just redraw it and use the EQ8 templates to cut the block. There are 11 blocks in total that are weird to put together. I believe I have three of the 11 done or am working on the third one. They will be ugly to do!!

As my ender and leader project, I brought the missing double wedding ring arcs and I got 5 (of 20) sewn. That was awesome. Once the arcs are together, I'll do the insert for the center part and then they'll be ready to put into the quilt. There's definitely a light at the end of this tunnel and in anticipation of quilting these quilts, I have purchased a digitized quilting pattern for the blocks. I actually bought two patterns as I like them both. But I'll choose only one for both quilts. The other pattern can be used on the small project.


Arcs for the double wedding ring

It took quite a while to get those nine blocks completed for the Farmer's Wife, but I still had a bit of time so I cut up some bias strips to make the stems for my maple leaf blocks. I got all the bias stems made (with fusible on the back) and pressed them to the blocks. I even managed to get all the stitching done (thanks to Diane for loaning me her applique foot). You try to be super organized and I could NOT find that darn foot last week when I was prepping, but when I needed it last night, there it was in the presser foot box!!!

Stems are fused and sewn

Now they are trimmed and ready to sew in next week

Someone gave me this fabric yesterday. Orange and Halloween - perfect!!!!  Thanks!!!

Orange Halloween fabric - I'm sure I can find a use for that

While it doesn't look like I got a lot accomplished yesterday I still came home feeling very accomplished. Those are fiddly things that got done and now this coming week should be much easier. I still have one or two fiddly blocks that I keep bypassing but I think I am now completely prepped to get them done this coming week. Think basket block!

I've mentioned that we don't turn on our AC. It's on at the church that we sew at and I normally take a sweater because I hate AC and find it too cold for my liking. A couple of ladies brings fans on top of that and I was desperate yesterday as I had forgotten to bring a sweater. I did something that I never do, but as mentioned - it was that or go home. I found a sweater in the closet - no idea who it belonged to, but I wore that sweater all day and I was just comfortable. Yikes - I must have something wrong with my temperature control.

Do you join pieces of batting? Whenever I make quilts for myself, I search through my batting leftovers to see if I can find pieces that would work once they are joined. What's the easiest way to join? You can stitch them together on the sewing machine, but I like to use the fusible tape.

When I grabbed my bag of fusible tape, I found a couple of rolls that I had picked up over the last couple of years. No, they hadn't even been opened. I didn't have anything else to use in the bag, so I opened up one of the packages. I must say that it was fast and convenient to use the roll.


Using a roll of batting seam tape to join two pieces of batting
Here are the packages. One of them cost $6.99 (top right) and the other was $9.98 but I had gotten it on sale for $4.99. 


Batting Seam Tape

However, the pioneer in me says it's way more economical if you cut your own strips. The strips are made from fusible interfacing. Fusible tricot which is stretchy, but I don't think stretchy is all that important. Once the quilt is in your quilt, you don't need stretchy. I often use this kind of interfacing shown below. While the price says $33.98 on that package, I paid $7. Each of those rolls is 1 ½" by 10 yards. Buying by the yard you get 20" by 20 yards. You can see that buying the interfacing by the meter and making your own tape is way cheaper. Not as convenient, but way cheaper.


Package of fusible interfacing to make batting seam tape


The same reason that I would make my own batting strips for the jelly roll rug rather than purchase the package. I just realized that you need TWO packages to make one rug. That's over $30.  I use my scraps from quilting and cut that into 2 ½" strips. I'm just way cheap!!!

On that note, I'd better get this finished off before I get a message to get my butt in gear to get to the lab.

And if you want to see what happened to Murphy, you'd better check out Lexi's blog this morning. You are NOT allowed to laugh at me. This dog is trouble! Thank god she's cute.

Don't forget to check out the QUILTsocial blog this morning as well. Lots of tips if you're going to do fusible applique.

Have a super day!!!

Ciao!