A View of My Quilt Life

Friday, February 27, 2015

Finally ... Friday

Time to wrap up another winter week!

Yesterday's morning commute was a three hour adventure with lake effect snow making a mess of the roads.  

The best thing to do is slow down and take your time driving but not everyone understands that, occasionally resulting in sliding...right off the road.  Not me, thankfully!

 But I did see 3 cars like that - one of which only stopped when it hit a tree. OUCH! No one was injured but someone's day was ruined. Come on, Spring!

Wednesday night found me on the couch, watching Bonnie Hunter's QuiltCam and trimming the last of the dog ears off the HSTs.  Current count stands somewhere around 1372 blue batik HST units ready and waiting. WooHoo!!

Funny things happen when I'm not at the sewing machine. Here we have a picture of Drake being attacked by an alligator:

Here we have a picture of Drake looking at me wondering what I find so funny about having stuffed Gator on his head:

He's a very patient dog - particularly when I'm being rather silly.  Drake is proud to announce that he is an Uncle. Three precious puppies were born two and a half weeks ago - 1 boy and 2 girls. 

Boy, Girl, Girl

This much anticipated litter was the result of over a year of careful planning, responsible breed research and rigorous health screening!  The boy looks very much like Drake at this age. I am so tempted...

Hope you all have a quilty weekend! I have two tack sales to attend and want to fit in some time either continuing to quilt the Chirp, Chirp project or finally stitching some HSTs into blocks.  Come back on Monday to see how I did.

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Dog Ears & Kitty Paws

I received some very special help trimming a gazillion dog ears off the blue batik HSTs. 

Nope - still couldn't convince the DH that this would be a relaxing and rewarding evening activity while watching TV.  Not sure why - he's usually pretty easy going about these things and doesn't mind helping.  I probably need to bake him some of his favorite cookies, even though he did the grocery shopping yesterday and there is quite the collection of baked goodies that came home with him.

Zena wasn't interested in being involved in my project either.

Since Sweet Man wasn't up to the challenge, Ziggy took pity on me and decided to lend a helping paw.

DH did find this amusing enough to take pictures of her getting involved in my quilt work.

It's not always easy to get a picture of Ziggy but she loves the 'Living Room Camo' quilt

About 900 of the HSTs have been prepped for sewing.  And I've been kicking around a second quilt design for these units - after I finish the Ocean Waves of course. 

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Studio Addition

I found the coolest thing for the studio and want to share.

Wall space in my studio is at a premium but I needed a large calender to keep track of contest deadlines, quilt shows and life in general.  The quandary was where to hang it and how to see a year at a time.  I found this.

It's a four panel, dry erase wall decal yearly calendar!!  It has a peel off backing  and will stick to any finished surface. Best of all, it's repositionable, leaving no residue. No picture hangers to pound into walls, no special hanging gizmos or wires.

I found the perfect place to hang them - the side of the entertainment center - so it doesn't take up valuable real estate. And I can move the panels around as the year progresses and keep the current months up top. Not everything is on there yet but it's a start and hopefully a great way to keep me on track.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Chirping Along to Downton Abbey

Chirp, Chirp is under the needle!

I got this layered last week and started the machine quilting over the weekend. 

It's progressing slowly. 

I've used this same quilting pattern on "Living Room Camo" but since I'm using the same thread throughout it becomes a continuous line pattern, or nearly so if I don't lose my place and turn in the wrong direction. 

I finally broke down and put Downton Abbey Season 5 in the DVD player while working on this.  It was a great Sunday - Drake at my feet under the sewing table, laundry going, Downton on, a lovely candle burning, quilting getting started and no pressure of a deadline and when I wore out - nap time! 

I hope to be binding this come next weekend - we'll see.  In the meantime, there's plenty of HSTs to cut apart.  I've had absolutely no luck at all in convincing DH to help me with that step.  Bummer.

Monday, February 23, 2015

On the Mend Monday

How do you know when a quilter is actually sick?

No sewing machine sounds coming out of her studio!

How do you know if she's feeling better?

Another 400+ HST units get sewn in one afternoon!!

I did not take yet another picture of a pile of sewn squares, not cut apart or trimmed.  Just take my word for it - I got the third batch of blue batik HSTs sewn.  With luck, all of the cutting apart, trimming of dog ears and finger pressing will get done this week.  I am SO READY so start sewing some blocks together!

Once I had them sewn, I didn't feel like stitching on another project so I turned my attention to the machine.  Wild Cherry has been working hard! She needed a quick de-linting and a drink of oil.  Feeling guilty that I hadn't had Dot (the black FW) out in quite awhile, I gave her a going over.  Since she hasn't really been run since her tune up, no oil this time just some quick scrap sewing to move the mechanics.  I did need to adjust the belt tension a tiny bit. No big deal.

Finally, it was time to bring out the 301A, Wendy!  I've been meaning to get to know her and it was time!  A quick check over revealed the bobbin base 'finger' outside the groove of the needle plate.  Though I was pleased, of course, to see that she did have a bobbin case.  

It is NOT compatible with Dot - ask me how I know!  Wendy was not a linty dirty girl.  

But pulling off the needle plate and poking around revealed a long thread wrapped inside and behind the bobbin base. So glad I found it and got that out! 

Pulling the cord & pedal out of the case gave me pause. Tape. Oh, no - what was under the tape.  I was hoping ti was just there for a strange, non-repair related reason - it was. Whew! Dodged a bullet there - didn't want an electrical issue.  

I was surprised at the two separate cord system this machine has - just not used to it.  

I was generous with the oil and ran her through some scrap sewing to move those mechanics!  And she is one Clean Machine.  Check out her undercarriage!  All I did was remove the base plate - didn't clean a thing.

The tension is just a hair off but nothing that can't be worked out.  I chose not to get to deep into that - I'll save it for another day.  Right along with doing something about her beat up case.

That's a project for another day!

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Sick Day

This blogger has been hit with a double whammy!

I am down for the count with a nasty sinus issue.  I pretty much crashed out by 8:00 last night, hoping the extra sleep would do me some good. There will be not much of anything except rest going on today. It hurts the eyes to focus on anything right now so reading is out. The DH will just have to put up with Sick Wife today.

On top of that, outside air temperature are -9 degrees F, with wind chill temps about -25.  This also drops the temp in the studio, even with the space heater, as it's on a concrete slab. 

Unfortunately this makes for very poor blog fodder so Cherry Quilts is taking a sick day.

Stay warm if you're in the Northern Hemisphere!  And for those in the Southern Hemisphere - send a bit of your summer our way!

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Going Gold

I had a early evening appointment yesterday that required me to leave work at 3:00 pm and travel thisclose to another LQS.  My commute to a previous place of employment had me driving past this shop twice a day for a short period of time!  It's not a huge place but they carry batiks and that's what I was hunting.

I needed two more cream-ish batiks for the Ocean Waves project.  But as I stood in the shop I realized that my cream-ish batiks were definitely to the warm side of neutral.  I prefer them that that way.

The numbers next to each swatch are the number of actual 2.5 inch squares cut from a half yard hunk of fabric.

The two new fabrics are decidedly more golden than the others.

But I think they will make a great addition to the project.  I can't wait to get the last 400 or so HST units sewn so i can mix them all together and finally start sewing them into blocks!

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Weekend Shopping Adventure

Shopping Maven strikes again!

Sunday dawned cold and clear, with the open road ahead of me.  I was Northward bound - to the 4H tack sale in Waukesha, Wisconsin. The destination was to meet up with friends and our trainer, her husband, her assistant and other riders from the barn and participate in some serious secondhand shopping.

Most everyone came with a list, wanting to find many different items.  Some were experienced, others overwhelmed  and unsure where to start. To me, it's the thrill of the hunt - finding what we need, a hidden gem, a fabulous bargain or helping someone.  We were there less than 5 minutes and I had located two items on P's list! 

I found a set of burgundy shipping boots for $20. (regular price about $50.)
A saddle riser pad for only $5. (regular price about $35.)

I found a young rider a black hunt coat - little K should be able to get two show season out of it for $15. (regular price about $80.) I LOVE finding great deals!!!

The list of things goes on & on - English bridles, cotton lunge lines, padded black dressage headstall, riding gloves, breast collars, etc. Finally, after three hours of digging through bins and boxes, sorting through tables piled high, negotiating deals - I found my hidden gem.

It's a brown leather, fully padded English bridle to go with my dressage saddle - almost brand spanking new. 

I paid the full asking price of $50. Happily! As brand new, this bridle runs $199. My riding budget is carefully monitored so as not to interfere with my quilting budget.  Though with all the tack sales happening in the spring, the pendulum swings heavier toward all things horse right now.  Only two weeks until the next tack sale weekend - two different sales, two different states, double the chance of finding a good deal!

Monday, February 16, 2015

Little Bit of February Love

Happy Valentine's Day!

I'm a little late with my wishes but I'm hoping you all had a great weekend. DH and I planned a quiet, low key, stay-at-home date day.

It included cooking, laundry and, yes - some sewing time!
Okay, it also included quality couple time watching movies and sharing dessert - white chocolate raspberry bar cake - YUM!!

I did some early morning stitching so I would have hand work to do during the movie. Wonder what I was working on?

Look familiar?  This is the first batch of blue batik HSTs: 468 units!

This is the second batch I sewed on Saturday that still needs to be cut apart: 452 units!

That gives me 920 HST units done. 

The funny thing:

I STILL have these two piles of blue squares that need to be matching with cream-ish batik and sewn up.  I have no idea how many squares are there.  I'm not going to stop & count them but I am going to have to find another cream or two to get them stitched.  Oh, darn! a little more fabric shopping!

Now if only I could find something creative to do with these.

Friday, February 13, 2015

Four More for the Stash!

Squishy Package arrived in the Post!

It was the last (hopefully) four fat quarters of Peppered Cottons to add to the Sauder Village Challenge Stash. 

They are already washed and ready to go. It's time to start playing with the color placement on the design.  Part of Valentine's weekend will be spent with this project.  That's my plan anyway and we all know how plans go sometime.

Take last night for example.  On the way home from work, I stopped and did some shopping for weekend provisions, arriving home a little later than usual to find Drake limping. Uh, Oh!  This can't be good.  DH informed me that all day was fine and the limping started at dinner time. A quick check revealed a sizable abscess between the toes on his left front foot - the size of a small grape. Crap!!

An urgent trip to the vet derailed any plans to tackle the laundry.  Oh, well - there's always tomorrow.  Drake will be fine with a little TLC and some meds. 

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Dog Eared Stockpile

After last week's snowstorm, temps dipped down quite low making it too cold to spend evenings in the studio. 

Wanting to be productive and warm,  I opted for some hand work - without a needle & thread - up in the living room.

I have about a GAZILLION dog ears to trim off the HSTs. 

It was important to keep the trimmings under control, lest the pets decide to eat them as fabric salad! 

Drake was thrilled to be upstairs snoozing on the couch rather than downstairs.

I was thrilled to see these units stacking up, all ready to be used. Going to have to do some quilt math soon to figure out the setting for the Ocean Waves. Wonder how many 'extra' HSTs I've made so far?  This is too much quilty fun!