Saturday, December 3, 2011

Sweat Shop

Oh my goodness - the girls were working so hard - I could see the steam rising!!!

So let me explain what is going on - yes - I actually have a few minutes to myself!!  A couple of months ago when I thought I had all my machine quilting under control (as if!!!), I thought it would be fun to get together with some friends at my house and sew our little hearts out!  I even offered them to stay overnight if they needed!

I checked my calendar and found FOUR consecutive days where I had no obligations. Sent out an e-mail and wow - I am so impressed. We are all cranking out some incredible stuff. I don't think I have ever been so productive in my life (and you should see what the others did as well) and I got rid of some projects that have been languishing for a LONG time. Oh yes - some people are here for all FOUR days, some came for THREE and some came for TWO days and one person came for ONE day. The beauty was - they could leave for the day and LEAVE all their crap (I mean stuff) spread out over their own personal sewing table!!!!   How cool is that!

Do you want to see what we are doing??????   Here is a shot of some of the girls hard at work!!!!

Sweat shop!

I'll start with my work and do the guests show n tell tomorrow.

Two blocks done for the Block of the Month at the guild. 

Thought I had got the colours wrong on the first set so I made a second set. Nope - I think the first set is the right colourways. Drat - well - two more blocks to add to the orphan box of blocks. 

And here is a dilemma that I have - while you get exactly the same look (value wise) from the two sets - my preference is for the second. This is an issue for me as I am about to embark on a Bonnie Hunter (read VERY SCRAPPY and LOTS and LOTS of pieces). Got to come to terms with that REAL SOON. But I digress.................

This n That Mystery - complete up to Part 5. And after I had sewn all the quarter square triangles together, I decided to take it apart and twirl the seams (why I didn't start like that is beyond me). Let's just say that I had a SLOW start to the day!!!!

Enders and leaders

And my nine patches. The two outside sections were together, but I had to make and cut half of the center section. I cut and pressed and cut and pressed and just plugged away and decided to work late (I think I finished at 10 PM) and got all 132 nine patches DONE. Now you have to wait to see what I am going to do with them. You will think I have flipped my lid when you see, but I think it will be cute.

So that was the end of day one for me. It was reasonably quiet - there were seven of us - everyone brought their own lunch so I could really focus on my own stuff.

Oh wait - I did something else that first day. After everyone left, I dug out this challenge issued by our guild. The community project group had cut some jelly rolls from fabric that they had in their stash. They coordinated the colours pretty well and our challenge is to make a quilt from the jelly roll. I went through the strips, did a bit of math, a bit of shopping Chez Elaine and came up with a shopping list for Ruti's and basically got this project ready to sew.

My guild jelly row challenge. Ready for sewing!!!!   Well almost - I had to purchase TWO more pieces to go with it. 

Day Two

Let's just say that day two was an interesting day. We were NINE. Yes - there is room for NINE to sew in this studio!!!!   Can you see why I love this place!  We could have squeezed in one or two more with no problem. Anyway - it was one of those days. Between the dogs wanting out, someone needed a bit of assistance (tried to nip that in the bud - these are NOT pampered sit n sew days!!!!!), a slight mishap on the stairs (which required a bit of cleanup), a CUT FINGER

See how pretty you can wrap up a finger - throw a panty liner on it and a bit of  fabric and VOILA - a beautifully packaged finger bandage!!!!  Well - she did cut a hunk out of her finger so there were gauze and what not under that all!!!!

And let's not forget the mirror that I broke while I was getting supplies!!!!!!   Good thing I am NOT superstitious!!!!

Let's just say that it was a BUSY day. But I did manage to get stuff done..................

It was time to buckle down and get some applique done. My first project was the Mystery from The Quilt Patch in Moose Jaw.
Two trees - DONE

Two snowmen DONE (they get arms later)

Two stars DONE

Six more stars DONE

Close up of the stitching.
I decided since this project is country (ish) that I would do a blanket stitch with my wool thread that I have never used.

Aurifil 12 Weight - Wool Thread

While I LOVE the look of this thread, my machine was being taxed. OK - let me rephrase that - the machine was fine - it was getting everything else right. I started off with a regular needle - NOPE that did not work. This thread shredded pretty bad and I learned that I could NOT use the scissors or the fix button on the machine. I had to leave long ends and at the end thread the top thread onto a needle - push it to the back of the work and tie it off with the bobbin thread. No big deal and was much neater than trying to use the fix button. I then switched to a top stitch needle - while better it was still not perfect!!!!  Then Marian suggested that I use a metallic needle. I only had a size 12 but it made a big difference. I think it can be improved even more with an even larger needle. Ronda had to make a trip to Fabricland and managed to snag me some Metallic Size 14 needles. Of course I am up to date with the applique so I hope there is more so I can try this out.

I was getting a bit fed up with applique on Thursday!!!   I would finish one clue - open the next envelope - more applique. Right now I am working on some piecing for the project. I hope to be up to date by the end of today!!!! Still have ONE more clue to open today!!!!

We did make a trip to Ruti's because we HAD to pick up our mystery clue for Border Creek Mystery. Do you see a theme happening here?????   Mystery quilt after mystery quilt and it doesn't end here!!!   Just wait!!!!  Anyway - did NOT get any work done on Border Creek - will maybe do some today????   Got to do some cutting and that is always a job for Mondays!!!!

That was the end of day two. I was EXHAUSTED!!!!!!!    Just a LOT happened that day!!!!  Oh yes - we ordered pizza for dinner and sat around and chatted - it was  a great way to end the day!   Oh - the day did not end before Paula (who came for the evening) did my hair. Like I said - it was a crazy day and honestly needed a revolving door!!!!

Pizza for dinner!!!!

Day three - I got smart. I put a note on the door - "the door is open". That saved a lot of time for me up and down the stairs. Only one new person came so only one machine to bring down and the dogs didn't bark. It was a great way to start Day three.

Let's head back to those mystery quilts......................

A while back I showed you a picture of this quilt without borders. All the fabric strips were jumbled together - it was a mess. And now look - DONE!!!!!
Debbie Caffrey Mystery (can't remember the name and the pattern is upstairs) - Top is DONE
Backing and binding DONE  (there was a bag of metallic thread with the project that I want to use to quilt it?????)

Then onto the next project. I have a number of projects that are DONE except for the applique. It is TIME to get them complete. So I pulled out this next project. Honestly I would NOT be done if it were not for the girls. I so wanted to stop. It was boring, boring, boring and fiddly, but I persevered and got it done. And not that any of them were standing over my head, but they were all so focused on their own projects - I couldn't just switch to another one!!!!!   They were my conscious!!!!   Thanks to Linda, Katheleen, Anne, Sharron, Sharon and Ronda for making me keep at it!!!!!

There were FOUR sets of leaves, branches and pine cones. While the branches were easy, those leaves were a bit of a challenge, but the pine cones took the cake. FIDDLY does not begin to describe stitching them. 

But stitching looked way better than NOT. 

I did a nice little blanket stitch (with embroidery thread so it was WAY EASIER Than the wool)

The top DONE (and yes - there was some applique on the cardinals as well)

The binding and backing for this quilt was already made!!!!!!

Oh yes - let's not forget that I had to fix the pocket and lining of my jacket. DONE!!!!

I did more work, but it is not finished yet so you will see it when it get done.

And when did the last person leave????   Oh yeah - it was 11:30 PM!!!!!   Had to scrap frost off the cars!! Ronda left at nine to pick up her son, Linda left shortly thereafter and Sharron and I chatted until 11:30 PM. Just as she was leaving, DH came home from his trip!!!   Perfect timing!

And I am having so much fun that I KNOW I am going to do this again!!!!   Probably April time frame! Got to check that calendar!!!

On that note - I am running out of time. Have to get back to work!!!!!

Have a great day!!!!


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