Monday, January 12, 2015

Design Wall Monday--1/12/2015

On my design surface today is the result of an Ugly Fabric challenge block from my local Modern Quilt Guild.  Boy, was that fabric ugly.  I did play with the Quick Curve Ruler a little first before cutting into the 12.5 piece of ugly fabric. 

My practice pieces didn't square up perfectly, but with more practice I'm sure they will.  I did watch the videos, which appeared completely unrehearsed, but adequate :)  Of course, then I decided to use a different shape and set to work by cutting the 12.5 block down to 10".  My sewing was off, probably because I pulled the convex piece too much, therefore the squaring up meant my oval piece ended up smaller. 

I added back the excess cutoffs of ugly fabric to make the block the required 12.5" square.  I thought it looked like an Omega sign.  You don't notice the ugliness of the fabric now, do you.  It will be interesting to see what the other ladies made of their ugly fabric. See more design walls on Judy's Patchwork Times

I spent a great deal of the weekend moving stuff from here to there in the sewing room to get my new desk constructed and moved into place.  All went together fine, although I did develop a lovely blister from hand turning all the screws.

Unfortunately, the desk was too low to fit the storage pieces under it as I desired.  Things on paper so often don't match reality, no?  I MacGivered a setup with some ramekins to see if the carts fit, then set out on an odyssey to find bed risers.  None worked and I ended up with some bun feet and paint.  I had to unscrewed the threaded bolts in the feet and paint them, but it all worked out.  Total cost for desk, feet, and paint was about $150.

The desk gives me a lot more surface area to junk up work with.  The remainder of Sunday afternoon involved a lot of sorting, tossing, and rearranging items for the bins.  They still need some labels. 

Monday, January 5, 2015

Design Wall Monday--2015 begins

On my design surface is a simple table runner I had every intention of finishing this weekend, but best laid plans...

These simple 9 patches and some white triangles stitched up quick enough.  I also found a piece of backing easily in my bin of Christmas fabrics.  The binding fabric was more elusive. 

I settled on this fat quarter and hope there's enough to make it around the runner.  I may have to do a single fold binding, which I find harder to deal with than a double fold.  It's those trickier corners, I guess.  See more design walls on Judy's Patchwork Times.

Grandson Cove was a champion sleeper on his overnighter here New Year's Eve--went down easy and woke up 11 hours later, a happy boy.  After his Mama picked him up post-breakfast, DH helped me with the tree undecorating and then I spent a number of hours gathering and putting away many more decorations before our family New Year's BBQ.  Today saw the last of the decorations finally packed away and stored in the garage.  There were some additions to the collection this year:

DD Erica bought a lot of ornaments in Glasgow, Scotland while there in October.  The pretty beaded thistle she gave to me, but she hung the others on our tree too.  Don't you love the Highland cow?
The bagpiping Santa is pretty special.  Such great detail, love it.  I also added to my advent box display.  My father in law made me a 24 sectioned wooden box over 25 years ago and I've had the same box fillers for most of those years. The openings are about 2.5 inches square so items have to be pretty small to fit.

These glass figures are positively tiny standing at the end of the box.  It is surprisingly not easy to find small enough decorations to fit in the boxes, so I was happy to see these.  Finally, I did get my holiday greetings printed, folded, photo inserted, addressed and stamped yesterday.  Better late than never! 

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

More Holiday Cheer

All of us being adults, there are few surprises at Christmas, but we did have a good time opening our presents.  Among the lovely gifts I received was one DD Elaine gave me--a ruler I desired:

I'm planning to try it out on the ugly fabric challenge project :)  The advice in the instructions says to practice on scrap fabric first.  I'm sure that's sensible.

An unexpected gift from grandson Cove was this treasure:

"I heart my Mimi"--so cute!  Some of my favorite photos of that adorable baby. 

I did order myself a couple of gifts that my husband said "Merry Christmas" to.  Both are for streamlining and unifying my open, cluttered sewing room.  First is what is actually a computer desk, very simple, white, and open.  This will house an added scrapbooking storage bin cart.  The plan is to have three of the carts under the desk, which in turn will free up space under the cutting table, which in turn will allow room for my extra sewing machine, now occupying space in my husband's music room.  There will likely be a lot of things moving around in the near future!  This includes the current desk sitting next to my sewing machine desk:

This belonged to my mother-in-law.  She gave it to me maybe five years ago when she moved to a smaller unit at her senior living complex.  I thought it was mid century blond but it is maybe older than that--1940's?  While I like it, the storage is minimal and it isn't being used for housing a sewing machine.  I can't seem to find anything like it in online searches so have no idea what to ask for it if I sell it. Pondering...

There was some holiday sewing post-Christmas, more trees. 

These are improv trees from Amy Smart's tutorial. I used only two colors in my previous use of this method, for the crayon challenge I showed before, but free of that restriction, this deep red complemented the Cotton + Steel charm pack prints.  Leftover scraps for ground and trunk were easily added.

A little batting, rattail cord, stitch and turn, a little handquilting, and these were quickly snapped up by my daughters, niece and daughter's friend. Quick and fun. Tonight we will keep Cove for his first sleepover, and celebrate the New Year tomorrow with a family BBQ.

I think the best Christmas gift I gave this year was finding a new place for my sister to live.  This happened fortuitously when I called the mother of a friend whom I knew has a big house and sometimes rents to others.  Timing is everything--she had a room available and has met Kathy on several prior occasions so knows her already.  Serendipity!  Kathy's daughter is here visiting and will be helping her move to the new place before she heads back to St. Louis Jan 2, where she is starting a new job after being unemployed for many months.  Wonderful news for all--Happy New Year!  

Monday, December 29, 2014

Christmas Was Merry!

We had our little family gathering Christmas Eve, and after posing for our Christmas card photo, we shared a light dinner of two soups, garlic toast, and some gelato for dessert.  Then came time for the presents.  Cove, of course, was the star of the show.  

 He especially liked the bows and paper. 

Mimi had the honor of helping Cove open his very first Christmas present from us, which was a chunky wooden puzzle with knob handles--hence the odd lumps of the package.  He liked it!

Then he went to town as more presents were opened, grabbing all the wrapping paper and tissue and rolling it over and over in his hands, swiping it on the carpet, and throwing it out of his way as he crawled around.  He was having a grand time.

We finished up fairly early and our daughter and family headed home, which is less than a mile away.  We later got a photo of Cove completely crashed out on his changing table, knocked out from his exciting evening, not even able to stay awake enough to finish a bottle :)

Cove had a few more gifts to open at his great-grandparent's house on Christmas Day.  Here he is with his Dada meeting Mr. Fox, from his great-aunt and uncle.  The puffy red Patagonia vest he's wearing was another gift he received.  So cute!  We had a great time with a lot of family members, and I was a baby hog (and didn't care!).  It was a lovely few days off and I was stingy with my vacation time--I barely left the house for the next three days!  Today it was back to work, but I will be off New Year's Eve day and New Year's Day. 

Happy New Year to All!

Monday, December 22, 2014

Design Wall Monday--12/22/2014

On my design wall is the beginning of a project I showed a couple weeks ago.  My daughter Elaine's friend was having her second baby, who was expected January 1st.  Well, he showed up early so the crib quilt DD asked me to make is going to be late.  This morning I cut the 1/4 yard cuts we previously picked out into the strips called for by the pattern. 

Ignore the bright green underneath the strips, it doesn't belong!  The fact that I woke up at 3 a.m., got up at 4, and cut these at around 5 hasn't much to do with it, I suppose :)

Here's a potential strip set.  DD Elaine will hopefully have a chance to collaborate on the strip sets, which will be sewn together WOF and then cut into 45 degree diamond sections.  The pattern is Scout by Cluck Cluck Sew.  The sections are mirrored cuts separated by solid color strips.  Here's a pic of the pattern and the fabrics we picked out at Superbuzzy.  See more design walls on Judy's Patchwork Times.

Christmas countdown is ticking away and I'm still not ready for it.  This year we're accommodating the growing family by switching our holiday get-together to Christmas Eve dinner rather than our usual Christmas morning breakfast.  So glad we'll get the time together, the "when" isn't important.  Grandson Cove liked the stocking ornament I made for him--he immediately tried to eat the silky cord hanger :)  I fed him his breakfast and watched him play with his toys.  What a joy he is!  Looking forward to seeing him unwrap gifts in a few days.