Sunday, February 16, 2014

DWM Feb. 17th





Just a short update.  I finished all the setting blocks and started piecing the top.  Here's everything laid out.  You can see the potential borders over there on the right.  



Here's a closer look at the assembled rows, upper left hand corner.  





This is one of the 9 setting blocks.  I counted up the pieces.  There are 2625 pieces in this top!


Ann

Sunday, February 9, 2014

The catch-up post and DWM

I haven't been doing well at blogging my finishes, so this is my 2013 catchup post.  I didn't do a lot of quilting last spring and summer since I was out in the garden.  Actually I didn't mention any of my finishes last year (yikes).  

Without further ado, here they are:
St. Patrick's day table topper






Baby quilt for Bentley.  I got the cutest thank you note for this.  The bow tie was adorable.  Oh, and by the way, Grandma N's rule on baby quilts is now in effect.







Brown squares quilt which takes a UFO off the list.  






Turquoise tree skirt for the living room - mentioned on the Christmas post

Scrappy lap quilt that got donated.  I don't have a finished picture for this.  This was taken before the binding went on.

  


No pix for the Halloween table topper that has been packed away with the decorations

I did bits and pieces of other sewing...a few scrappy blocks, a couple of almost completed lap quilts, started a reproduction quilt, a few gifts.  I finished the Designer BoM blocks, but haven't done the quilt.  And I got a few more lap quilts close to being done.  


And for those of you here for Design Wall Monday:  



I've finished 1 of 9 middle blocks.  Eight more to go.

Ann  


Sunday, February 2, 2014

New Design Wall



I don't know if any of the rest of you have experienced this when you moved.  It seems to me that the craft/sewing area is always the last area to get set up or unpacked.  Other people wanted coffee cups and cereal bowls (sigh), clean sheets and towels (really?), and curtains (gasp!), more than they wanted fabric and yarn unpacked.  Go figure.


Main blocks and setting triangles

My sewing studio is very slowly coming together.  At our last address I had two areas for quilting: one corner/half of the dining room and a closet in the back bedroom.  This meant I had supplies, tools, and fabric in two areas.  (I won't tell you how many places I had stashed yarn.)  Since I have a dedicated studio now, everything is reunited again.  Which is both good and bad.   I have a door now and I'm not in a "public" area, so it's easier to hide the mess, which is good.  All my fabric is in one room again, also good.  The fabric has been unpacked and sorted by color which is good and bad.  For some reason, the two fullest to overflowing bins are polka dots and civil war reproductions.  If you skim through my blog, you'll see that I really don't make reproduction quilts.  I have two 9 patch quilts in repro fabrics that are both 30" square or smaller.  I have enough fabric to make a couple of bed-size quilts. Where did it all come from??  Why don't the Amy Butler prints do that?  I must not have a size-able enough breeding colony yet.  



Detail 1

My biggest achievement in tackling the mess is remaking and putting up my design wall.  I've had parts of this at three addresses now.  It's sheets of styrofoam with a layer of batting and a layer of cotton fabric.  I added another section, so now it's about 8' square.  The white fabric is two or three different kinds.  It's what i had on hand.  I stripped the outer layers off the old sections, washed them, then replaced them.  I had to get additional foam for the new section and all they had at the hardware store was pink.  It actually has a layer of fabric, then batting, then more fabric and it still looks gray.  Oh well.   I chose foam so it would be pin-able.  

I used screws to attach the sections to the wall.  I should have used longer screws, but it seems to be holding well enough.  Pretty much once you use a power screw driver, those screws are now permanently part of your foam.  Screws get hot; foam melts.  Of course the screws looked ugly, so I decided I would hot glue a button on each one.  So, yeaaaah.  I mentioned that it's 8' square?  And it's 18" off the floor so I don't cover up outlets. So the top is 9 1/2 feet high.  I have to have a step ladder to reach the top.  So I'm climbing a 6' step ladder one-handed while carrying a slippery button covered in volcanic hot glue.  I'm proud that I only glued one button to the carpet, and none to my fingers or the ladder.

Here's what's on my fabulous, new design wall right now:

This is Bonnie Hunter's mystery Easy Street from last year.  I got overwhelmed around step 3, so set it aside.  I was looking at the pile recently and realized I really loved the fabrics.  I blew through steps 3-7 last week and over the weekend.  I'm piecing the blocks now. I switched out her dark purple for navy because i have  a lot more of that.  Pretty much the entire quilt is out of stash. 

Stay tuned for more posts.  I'm getting caught up!



 
Detail 2



Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Fabriholics Anonymous

Fabriholics Anonymous Button 

 So, you might have noticed a new button over there on the right.

It goes to : http://www.makingrebeccalynne.com/2013/11/fabriholics-anonymous.html

She's taking a 6 month fabric fast and inviting us along.  I'm just squeaking in by the deadline.  Good thing I haven't bought fabric since the first.

I realized after moving my entire studio and trying to organize it that I have a lot of fabric.  I also have a lot of unfinished projects.  I also have a truckload-sized pile of things I want to make - unstarted projects, if you will.  I'm also out of storage space for the most part.  Which is why I haven't put up many pictures of my studio.  I got tired of shifting the piles. Well, I could cram everything into the closet, but I'd like to be able to actually find things when I need them.

So, I pledge:
For the next 6 months, I will not buy random fabric.  I am allowed to buy fabric to finish a project (borders, backings, bindings) because I usually don't have yardage for those.  I am allowed to buy vacation fabric.   And I think there's a quilt show in my area in June, so I will allow myself shopping there, guilt-free.

This is actually kind of peripheral to my actual goal which is to FINISH STUFF UP!!

FINISH Four, START One!
My goal is to finish 4 projects before I start anything new.  I can work on anything I want when I go into the studio.  I can mess around with scraps, play with the colored pencils, make three new blocks then put the project away, but I can't start any new project til I have completed 4 old ones.   I also do not have to finish the "start".  I can, if I like, and it will count as one of the next 4 finishes, but I don't have to.  I'll still have a net gain on the unfinished list.  Hey, quilting is supposed to be fun.

So far, so good!
I've finished:
Brown squares quilt originally for the living room (December, '13)
Birds jellyroll quilt
Pale green broken dishes lap quilt
Living on Key West Time

My new project is a pair of valentine quilts.  I'll get pix up soon on these.  
I actually have a number of posts almost ready to go.  Stay Tuned!  

Ann

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Decked out

Yes, yes, I know.  Bad blogger, go sit in the corner.  I figure it's my blog; I'll write when i want to, and you can't make me, nyah.

Mostly I've been doing very little quilting the last year.  I've been focused on the yard and trying to get in into some kind of state that doesn't scream urban grunge.  I think I've climbed out of the ghetto chic hole though.  

So, yea,  Christmas has kind of jumped on us suddenly this year.  Or it seems so.  Fortunately I hosted the Christmas meeting for the quilting group, so I had plenty of incentive to get all my decorations up.  

Here's a bunch of pics of the living room, dining room and family room.  It isn't everything that's up, only about 2/3rds of it.  









Here's about the only quilting I've done:  One tree skirt


I did a DIY cupcake bar for the quilters.  Everyone got to pick what they liked.  






The label said it was a 7' tree, but we had to take off nearly 10" to get it to fit our 8' ceiling.  


Eventually I'll do a catch up quilting post. Stay tuned. 
And Happy Holidays.

Ann 

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Finally gardening


We finally got some warm weather around here.  I've been planting seeds in the basement since March.  Spring is almost 6 weeks later than last year, though this is the normal time for it.  The forsythia have gone to town.  They are really lovely.



I've been working on cleaning up flower beds and dead spaces left by neglect.  Case in point is the backdoor below.  This is a dark, windswept corner.  The black area is where all the mulch blew off over the winter.  I think it will be a challenge to keep anything going, but I'm giving it a go. 


Here's the after.  Not much to look at yet, but I opted for smaller, cheaper hostas than the bigger ones.  I put in 8 different varieties.  I also got a great deal on some partially frozen heuchera.  The planter has dusty miller and some ivy.  Eventually the caladium bulbs will come up.  This area gets about 15 minutes of sun a day, but I think everything will do well.  I might fill in with some begonias later on. 


 Looking away from the door. 


Looking toward the corner.  There used to be a random scraggly shrub and a volunteer tree.  I cut those out as best I could and treated the stump.  You can see the white circle that's left.  I hope once the stump rots a bit that I can straighten out the downspout extension.  


On the left hand side of the walk is a narrow strip.  I don't hold much hope for these plants.  There's 4 small hostas here.  The soil is really dreadful.  


 My other weekend project was finally painting the front door.  I got the paint last fall, but ran out of warm weekends to do it.  This is the before with our swatches.  We had a running tally on the fridge. It was really entertaining.  The UPS guy liked Plumage, the TV repair guy and most of the trick-or-treaters voted for Rainstorm.  I think the third one was called Kingfisher.


The winner was Rainstorm. 

Here it is finished: 

And closer: 


 It was a pretty quick project even though it took three coats of paint like everything else in the house.  Next up, I'm putting in a vegetable garden and flowers, and fixing the years of general neglect.  Lots of pruning in my future. 

A



Saturday, February 23, 2013

Kitchen month

 Happy New year...yea, I know.  Here's a blog post for those who have been pestering me.  Yes, I have been quilting a bit.  I'll do a catch up post later.  Right now, we're focusing on making the kitchen more functional since we're in there 3 times a day.  So far I've recaulked the counter around the sink, installed an undersink storage bin, hung a broom rack, and re-done the pantry.  The pantry was impossible before.  You couldn't take one thing out without causing an avalanche. Here's the pantry before:    


We decided to wallpaper the back wall just for fun.  Mr. Belfry found the wallpaper.  It was my first attempt so a closet is a good first project.  I'm not thrilled with how I lined up the designs, but again, closet.  I was surprised at out helpful my book and paper conservation skills helped.  Here's the during with the closet empty and the wallpaper in:








Here's a detail on the paper:


We opted with an Elfa system from The Container Store.  They were having a 30% off sale, and do every year in January.  Elfa is a Scandinavian company, like Ikea.  Except Ikea is good, affordable design; Elfa is good, quality design.  I had the measurements and they laid everything out, listed all the parts, cut everything to size, polished the cut bits so they weren't sharp, printed directions and helped load it all in the car. I installed the whole thing in about an hour and a half, not including the time to go out and get the right size drill bit. The top shelf wasn't fun to get in because I'm short   


Here's the after with most everything loaded back in.  I don't have to move multiple items to get one thing out anymore.  Mr. Belfry's beer brewing equipment is out of the basement now.  I need to get a couple more uprights for the cookie sheets and label a few things, but so far it's just wonderful.  I walk by and open it often just to look at it.  







 So, that's what I've been doing with my time.  I've got three cabinets to fix, then I'm on to the next room which is where the Christmas closet is.  Which will be good because I still have a tree up because i have nowhere to go with the decorations.  Don't worry, it's artificial.  ;)

ta!
a