Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Hands2Help Reveal

I have my completed quilt to show. Supernova was showcased with some instructions by Sarah at Confessions of a Fabric Addict here. I had some orange in my stash and so away I went. I really enjoyed making this.
Thank you to my sis helping with the quilt holding :-)

For quilting, I wanted to use my rulers and do something different than usual....which are allover designs.  I struggled with coming up with something very interesting though.  I finally settled with just some defining lines.  It was not very exciting but I did get a lot better with ruler use by the time I finished this.

This quilt measures about 60" square.  It has Hobb's 80/20 batting and is sewn with Superior Threads Sew Fine and Bottom Line in the bobbin.
Supernova is headed to Emily of Em's Scrap Bag to give to someone going through chemotherapy.  Her charity is called Chemo Cozies. 
Thank you, Sarah for a fun design idea and for hosting Hands2Help!
Thank you to Emily for an avenue of sharing our quilts to cheer someone.

For anyone interested, I learned a couple of things with this ruler work business :-) 
I have not been trusting of the water soluble pens used for design marking but finally just went for it with this quilt. Long ago I had purchased a bottle of SewClean after taking a class from Pam Clark at a longarm convention up in Spokane, Washington (I think?).  I sprayed rather too liberally to get that blue ink to disappear and then found the quilt top fabric had some pieces that ran color. After finishing the quilting and the binding, I stuck it in the washer with just regular soap and a Color Catcher (purchased at my local market, not Amazon). The water took out all of the blue ink and the Color Catcher caught a lot of the excess color coming from non prewashed fabric.  I use to prewash everything but got away from it using precuts.  
I had gotten my fabric so wet with the SewClean though that fabric color had run all the way through to the backing.  This didn't come out with the first wash so I ran it through another cycle and this time added Synthrapol as well.  This took care of the excess color and the quilt was definitely clean :-)
I have since starting using yet another tool though besides SewClean...or actually...besides using my SewClean bottle which now just has water in it!
I am sewing on a Double Wedding Ring quilt that I made over a decade ago (!) and using that blue pen a lot.  This time if I want to remove the lines right away, I'm using a Sewline Aqua Eraser Pen. This was given to me in a big box of goodies from Moda that I was selected to receive a couple of years ago.  This is refillable using just water and maybe some dish detergent or whatever...I actually think just water will be be effective enough. It also is precise so I can just take out the line and not worry about dark fabric color running in the block next to where I'm using it. So thank you yet again to Moda for sharing this treat and useful tool with me. 

I am now deep into quilting the Double Wedding Ring.  It is going to take me awhile and with other things going on, I don't think I will get to work on it much very soon.  But I'm playing with my blue pen and curved rulers and learning a lot. I am also working with a friend making a Bonnie Hunter mystery from this past New Year's called En Provence. I'm having a great time making all the parts.
More later  :-)

Friday, April 14, 2017

Hands2Help 2017 Check-in

I had some fun sewing a bit this past month and so I have some pictures to show for it. The Supernova was pieced and sewn together...not without some unstitching as I managed to turn or just lay the blocks out wrong. Arggggh! Even found one in the very last corner after quilting most of it! I was able to pull it off the longarm and fix it without really much trouble though so all is good now. It amazes me how I can miss those things!
Choosing to play with rulers again, I ended up with a not very exciting design but one that was good still for practice and looked alright after all. 

After starting to sew the binding on, I was interrupted and came back to the machine to find this...
I waited a few minutes for the quilt blessing in progress.

But apparently it was going to take awhile. Then additional help arrived.

This wasn't appreciated but instead of arguing...Elinor just turned her back.
I wasn't getting anywhere fast but eventually the binding was sewn on.
More later :-)

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


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.