Friday, March 17, 2017

Hands2Help 2017

It's that time of year! Sarah at Confessions of a Fabric Addict has kicked off the challenge with weeks worth of inspiration in Stunning Star quilt patterns. Go to the website and enjoy the 5 wonderful quilts she shared with pictures, tutorials and instructions.  Then join us in the challenge to make quilts for chosen charities or for a charity of your own!
I was taken by her orange and white creation called Supernova. It looked like too much fun to pass up and I just happened to have some orange sitting there in my stash. :-)
It's all sewn up into half square triangles from 7" squares.



















Then an important step of trimming to make sure they are all 6.5" square. (wonky pic!)














And then on to laying the blocks out.


















My table wasn't big enough!  But I got them laid out and sewed blocks into rows webbing them like Bonnie Hunter shows. I can only seem to do that in one direction but it helps keep things in order....which I really needed with this!  I am almost done sewing those rows together and will hope to get this quilted this weekend. 
This was really fun to make and I will enjoy sending this off to Emily for her to give to as a Quilty Hug to someone undergoing chemotherapy.
Hands2Help challenge is a guaranteed good feeling activity that I highly recommend :-) and if that isn't enough...there are prizes for participating.
Please join us for a sweet cause.
Thank you for all the fun comments on my last post. I enjoy connecting with you.
I'm linking here to Whoop it Up at Confessions of a Fabric Addict and to Busy Hands Quilts: Finished or Not Fridays.

Monday, March 6, 2017

Rulers, Curves and Roomba

When showing you pictures of our new flooring, I forgot to tell you about my new hobby. Cleaning with Roomba!
With 3 dogs and 2 cats, the fur around this place can build up fast, so I run Roomba every morning and only have to clean it out once or twice while it's making its rounds.  It isn't very tall and so fits under baseboards and even our TV console. We have secured wires and cables so it isn't bothered by those and manages to back itself out of any other thing that might entangle it.  I pick up the dog toys but that's about all I do to prepare the way. The animals don't seem particularly bothered by it...much less than the regular vacuum anyway.  My back is also much happier than when I had to push the vacuum cleaner :-)  It leaves more time to sew ...which I have finally been able to get back to!
So I sewed up all those Mystery Wheel blocks and then pondered how to quilt it.  I have a pattern by Sew Kind of Wonderful that is similar and saw some design ideas on the pattern cover.  This quilt is too small for a lap quilt.  It is meant to be a wall hanging.  Since I was practicing with the curved piecing I decided to continue on and practice with some quilting using my curved rulers from The Quilted Pineapple.  A wall hanging could handle the stiffness that comes with quilting something to death ;-)  so I gave it a go.
Marianne decided to help.  But this process was already challenging enough. The curved seams were clipped at the halfway point and pressed in opposite direction.  So stitching in the ditch of the curves was even more challenging than usual...which is already requiring some skills on a longarm. I unsewed some of it and left some of the wonky lines when I realized that if you are putting tons of thread on the quilt, the wonky lines are less noticeable.
I got over being fearful of using the blue disappearing ink pens...haven't really trusted them to disappear! And learned a bit about design congruency, etc.
Linda's curved rulers are wonderful! I used them for marking and for guiding the foot along. They have lines for placement and you can use either side of the ruler for both. They also seem stable on the fabric, not slipping as I quilted along. 
This was fun to do and looks pretty good at a distance ;-)
I'm linking up with Confessions of a Fabric Addict.

Thursday, January 26, 2017

2017 January

Still not a single stitch of quilting here though I did mend some dog toys...twice. Sammy likes to chew off the legs of his soft toys. Grrr.
The flooring is completed


and the furniture moved back in. We are slowly putting felt under each piece to protect the floor. Some of this happened quickly with the help of the young men helping us move it all back in place but we ran out of supplies quickly and so it was left to us. It is likely we are overdoing this step....common here ;-)
For fun though, I have pictures of my cats.  A friend gave us two of these wonderful felted wool cat caves!
They are comfy for the cats and kind of entertaining for us to watch them used.
This has been a cold and wet month outside. Great days for curling up in a cat cave.  I am getting hopeful of being able to sew again soon!

Saturday, December 24, 2016

December 2016 and the New Flooring!

It's Christmas Eve here on the central coast of California and it is clear, crisp and getting green from the amazing rains we have had lately. We are all deeply grateful for the water!
We are celebrating the love God blessed the world with through His Son, Jesus. Even though Jesus wasn't really born in December, we're singing along with the angels that sang...whenever it was!...to rejoice in the salvation He is to us.  I don't really love the holidays but can say that people taking the time to show love and peace to each other is always welcome and stirs hope and more peace. I hope you are each blessed with loved ones with whom you can share joy.
We are also celebrating here with some deep chaos!  As I've mentioned before, we are getting some long needed new flooring. Our house is for the most part packed up and stored.  Most of my furniture is in my garage and will be for another two weeks!  Crazy! We didn't really plan it this way..actually, maybe we didn't plan at all!  But once we figured out what we wanted and found the right installer, we just went for it.  Of course, schedules were backed up and the job turned out to be much more than the installer estimated...but it is getting done and getting done very well.  The subfloor was actually in good shape but it is in Really Good Shape now.  This guy prepped thoroughly...with very loud tools! It was brutal for over a week but we can see some results and are quite happy.
The flooring...for those who have wanted to see pictures....is called Luxury Vinyl Tile (LVT)  Very scratch resistant and can be spilled on and mopped without fear of damage. It's also a little quieter than wood and yet looks like it :-)
Good bye blue carpet...


Subfloor was painted during original construction to protect it from the rain happening at the time. We only had one maybe two places where we had a squeak but our current installer drilled long screws securing the subfloor again to the joists....like every foot or so.  No chance of squeaks now!


They also sanded/ground the floor all over for maximum smoothness.

The outside edge of the house is cement and the center of the subfloor had settled to make up to about 3/8" difference from the center to the edge. So after underlayment (plywood boards) were placed in the center, a leveling compound was poured to even it out to the edge making it all the same height.

Then they went about laying planks.  The glue my husband chose is a crazy one that requires mixing and gave off lovely fumes so the men wore respirators for protection. The glue adds yet another layer of protection from moisture.  We are pet proofed!

A heavy roller sealed those planks down.

We still have quite a ways to go but it is looking good!
They completed the floor in our bedroom so we could put our bed back together and leave the upstairs (where we have been staying) for my sister who is 'roughing' it here with us for Christmas. We huddle in my husband's office where they brought in some chairs for us so we can eat and watch Christmas movies :-)
Then next week they will be at it again and tackle the stairs and upstairs bedroom after completing the bottom floor. 
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you all!  I think I'm starting the new year buying a Roomba to help with all this dog hair :-)

Saturday, November 19, 2016

November

Wow, it has been a busy month! Voting, animals to the vet for shots, exams and oral surgery for both cats...poor babies, but both are happy and healthier for it....still packing up the house for the floor re-do which got pushed back a week and will completely alter any idea of Christmas here, and of course, the twice daily hour long walks of the pups.  So obviously, NOT MUCH SEWING HERE :-(
Fortunately for the gift from Julie, I can still sneak in a few moments.


These blocks are slow going but very fun to sew. With no pins, it seems like magic when they go together so well. It dawned on me that I purchased a pattern from Sew Kind of Wonderful to sew up another Wheel of Mystery...that I will have to cut up myself. 😅😅😅   (Hey I just figured out how to add an emoji! though they don't look as good as they do on my phone...)

So hopefully, I'm getting some good practice with curved stitching here. 

To keep me in some good quilty spirits, I won two giveaways! 
Both were from a wonderful blog hop of new Kaffe Fassett material. From Amy at Mrs. Schmenkman Quilts, I won this beautiful jelly roll of Kaffe that I'm looking forward to sewing up in the new year. Thank you, Amy!


And from Sarah at Confessions of a Fabric Addict,  I won this sewing machine mat that she made herself (!) from the new Kaffe fabrics.  
This is truly gorgeous and so special to have something sewn by her. I am thrilled!  Thank you, Sarah!  When my sewing room is put back together it will be gorgeous!
Thank you all for reading along in my quilty adventures. I hope you are blessed with a grateful heart as we head into this holiday season with Thanksgiving. We all need gratitude and hope and are blessed when we are able to share it. 

Saturday, October 29, 2016

October part three

For some actual sewing this month, it took a treat in the mail to get me going. As I am sorting and purging through my stuff, Julie, of JulieKQuilts has been doing a bit of the same...at least in her sewing closet :-) She has a lot of wonderful projects started but was thinking some were just going to languish. So she sent me some wool applique blocks to share with me...I'll show these later when I get started working on them.  These are a particular treat for me as I love applique...but really don't like the prep part...and these are totally ready to go!  Awesome! Thank you so much, Julie!
A surprise in the package though was a precut kit for curved piecing project. Curved piecing peaks my interest so I jumped right in. 

I'm sewing slow and steady as these are not the easiest in the world to sew. And I'm not sure if I see improvement in my skill just yet but hopefully I will. It is so perfect for me right now with most of my house packed away. This little kit is too easy to pick up and just sew pieces together.
It is also giving me a chance to use something I purchased at PIQF. 


I think it was my last purchase as things were winding down Sunday afternoon. My sister and I listened to the demonstrator and it got my attention.  The cover uses the same material as firemen protective gear that reflects the heat back to what you are trying to press. So you can actually set the iron to a lower temp and also it was just a nice smooth surface for ironing. I have purchased an ironing pad at market before that was not really that great so I was leery of making another disappointment.  But they had a handy small pad just perfect for my pressing station next to my machine so I bought that for a test ride :-)
And I like it!

I was trying hard not to bring a lot back with me from this show.  I stuck with looking for some blacks and greys and reds that I haven't been finding at my LQS's.  I found these and am looking forward to sewing another red cross quilt in the new year sometime.

The white piece has demo stitches from the awesome Bernina 790 that I tested out.  It is quite a fun machine with beautiful stitches and great features.  I did not bring this home though!  I am happy to say that I'm quite content with my 1090 but it is fun to fly a jet sometimes :-)
In the not needed but still fun to purchase was this


...plaid, always a fun purchase!  and a pretty orange for pumpkins from Farmhouse Threads. I think this was their first year there and because my other favorite, Sew Cherished, was not there...these folks cheered me considerably. They have a beautiful booth with wonderful wools, homespuns and fun patterns. An oasis in a modern world :-)

Thursday, October 27, 2016

October part two

More pictures of PIQF








I'm not sure how this got hexagons in the name but I loved all these plaids and flying geese.
This next one was wonderful to see from designer, Sandy Klop.







And from two quilters local to me...



I think these were most of my favorites. The show had some beautiful quilts.
I'll save pics of my purchases and what I'm sewing on now for the next post.
We are getting rain here in dry California. An absolutely wonderful fall day!