Friday, July 15, 2016

I have NO BUSINESS joining a Quilt-Along!!

I need to turn in my entry for the quilt show in TEN DAYS, and I'm only 1/4 done hand quilting it.  But did that stop me from starting a new project?  Of course not!  Here's how it happened:

After Guild meeting on Saturday, a friend brought by a bag of donated fabric.  I didn't get a chance to go through it until this morning, at which point I separated it all by color or genre and put it away with the other donated fabric that I use for classes.  Some of it was Christmas fabric, so I stuffed it into the overflowing Christmas fabric bag that I have at the shop.

Then, at lunch time, I decided to visit some quilt blogs while I ate because I haven't been keeping up with blogs the way I'd like.  Somehow, I came across a Christmas In July QAL at Confessions of a Fabric Addict.  It got me to thinking about that overflowing bag of Christmas fabric, and when I read that an hour a day for 12 days would yield a 76" quilt, I thought, "why not?"  The blocks are big, (which is not how I usually operate; most of my quilts are built from blocks anywhere from 1.5" to 3", and the smallest piece I cut for this QAL is 4.5") and I'm only using 3 fabrics (which is REALLY out of character for me, the consummate scrap quilter!).  However, the fabric is cut, and I am all caught up with the first step - these fussy cut snowmen will be the centers of the four big blocks that make up the quilt.

Back to the quilt I am finishing up for the fair...I had seen a basting technique using boards that eliminated the need to crawl around on the floor while basting so I gave it a try on this quilt. OMG!!! I'll be doing this on EVERY QUILT from now on!  I sat in a chair at my dining room table to baste and it was a breeze!  And the backing is the smoothest I've ever achieved while basting any quilt.  And the whole process was quick, to boot!  I encourage you to give it a try!  The link I used was for Color Me Quilty.

Well, gotta get some Zzzzs tonight.  This week has been exhausting, teaching at Summer FAIR at 8 AM each day, and staying up past midnight quilting each night.  This week I taught the kids how to weave circular rugs on hula hoops using old t-shirts.  They did a fabulous job!

And I was thrilled that I had 6 boys and 3 girls in my class - how's that for thumbing our noses at traditional gender roles?

Saturday, July 9, 2016

Vacation sewing

Today was my first day home (and back at work) after a 2 week driving trip north to PA, MA, NH & ME to visit family and friends.  Two friends VOLUNTEERED to cover the shop for me while I was gone - I am truly blessed with the community we've created at The Stitchin' Post.

About half of this trip was spent camping in a tent.  That didn't stop me from sewing!  That is what the electrical hookups at campgrounds are for, right?

I finished up this quilt top which is both a baby quilt for a friend who is having a baby in November and my entry for this year's quilt show.  Just two weeks to get it hand quilted - better get cracking!  It measures about 43" square(ish).  It made a dent in my scrap bin, used up all but a couple small squares of that white, and used up most of that striped border (which was leftover from backing my last quilt).

My mom surprised me with a "new" sewing machine while I was visiting.  This gem (that she picked up at a yard sale for $20) sews like a charm, and comes complete with sewing stool with all the acoutrements under the padded seat.  I didn't have room to bring it home with me since my car was packed with camping stuff plus my sewing machine, but I'll bring it down in January when I go back to New Hampshire to bring my mom south for the winter.  I should have Mom tell me the serial number so I can see when this baby was born.

She asked for a clothespin bag while I was there, so I sewed this up on my "new" machine.  Simple and quick.

Of course, this trip included lots more than just sewing - campfires, swimming, games with the family, and, of course, FOOD!

There's a lot of crappy stuff happening in the world today, but still and all, LIFE IS GOOD!