kingjenia's Blog

This is where I yap about the quilts I'm making, ideas for new quilts and little things about life that gets in the way.

July 2013 - Posts

 

July 17, 2013

One row down and 5 to go.

Last night I actually did get to finish the purple row from the a crazy Rainbow Rows.  It felt like a relief to have it completed.  Now when I look forward to the remaining 5 rows I kind of cringe.  Whose idea was this anyway?  Haha.

Heres an over all view.  See how the black edging just makes it all pop?  I really like how its turning out, it's just very very time consuming.  I am doing it all by hand as my usual method.  

I am trying to picture a detail of some of the beautiful lace and edging material I have found in the photo below, but the iPad camera doesn't seem good enought to capture the pretty styles.  I have found them mostly all on ebay at nice bargains.  The edge is an embroidered piece of webbing that I added for a little bit of length to even up the edge with the other rows.

 

I am buying it in smaller 5-10 yard quantities as I move through the quilt, so these that I begin with will likely be different than those that I end with.  Naturally in a crazy quilting fashion, this shouldn't be a problem with design as I will save a few pieces from the beginning to use at the end I,hope, any way.  I refuse to pay too much for the lace, so I wait until I see a good price and then go for it.

The stitches on the backside are basically invisible because of the backing fabric I chose.  I didn't want the crazy pattern to be too prominent on the backside as there was no rhyme or reason to my placing of the pieces in the rows.  So the quilting stitches are actually the sewing stitches I am using to place the lace and trim.

I will show a photo of the back later when you can see some dimpling but not really the stitches.

i am taking a break from this for a little while while I work on the first block in the BOM I signed up for 4 months ago in which I am already 3 months behind.  More on that in the Cowboys and Indians pages.

Sew, bare with me until next time when I revisit this monster and begin wit the blues.  From purple haze to the blues brothers, naming the rows silly names keeps me motivated some how, albeit strange, it's just my way of moving forward.  Jake and Elwood would be proud.

I have advanced far enough of completing the "quilting" of the first row of my Crazy Rainbow Rows to have reached the final hoop area and even the final inches of stain glass edging to be sewn on.  I can't believe I didn't finish it last night.

I am so disappointed in myself about this.  I sat down yesterday about 5 pm to finish and forgot that I had to cook dinner.

So several hours later with dishes done, dogs fed and full belly I sit down once again to finish it.

I got about 1/2 way done at at 11 pm I  just could not keep my eyes open any longer.  My stitches were getting crooked and it was definitely time to call it a day.

So now I'm sitting here extremely bored at work with nothing to do but sit here and think gee I wish I was home that last hoop would be done by now!  It's almost like torture sitting here at work with nothing to do when so much is left undone at home. 

I am so much looking forward to pulling that hoop off, laying the quilt flat and getting a good view of how she looks in progress...ugh....another few hours.  I hope to be able to post a photo tomorrow the the complete row and how it looks in comparison to the other unifinished, un-stained glass edges.  I think you will all be surprised along with me at how much better the colors and fabrics pop with the lace, velvet and satin edges that I have applied to the purple row.  At least I certainly hope so, but you never know until it's off and sitting before your eyes.

Sew....anticipation for this evening fills every second of the day....as the minutes are ticking away the moments that make up a dull day....

July 12, 2013

My partner and I had an anniversary on the 10th.  It was the 6th year after the day we met.  We have never married, but we still celebrate this as our anniversary because we feel that we are life-long partners and we may as well be married.  It was actually super-love at first sight.  We saw each other, talked all night and just knew it was destiny that we be together.

I know that sounds very very corny, but it really does happen.  I never believed in it either until it happened to me.

Anyway, I have recently been making fun of us.  The "so exciting" couple.  I sit on the futon in the evenings quilting, he sits on the couch working on his model cars.  I guess we are at least still in the same room and we are enjoying the movie or whatever is on the tv at the time together.  We talk during our hobby sessions, but we don't cuddle like we used to.  We used to lie on the couch together snuggled up in a knot watching the tube, or just watching the fire and talking.

Our anniversary evening was spent in this same old fashion.  He working on his craft and me on mine.  He actually fell asleep very early while I stitched away.  I wasn't mad or angry about this.  I actually enjoyed the evening and got much accomplished.

Last night on the other hand we spent in the swimming pool together.  WOW, how much fun we had!  It was one of those nice warm evenings, the pool temperature was at a very hot 100 degrees but very enjoyable as we just bobbed around talking and enjoying the company of each other.  I didn't miss quilting at all!  I think it will be one of those special nights that you remember forever even though nothing particularly spectacular happened.  It was just a very nice together evening.

It got me to thinking if quilting is getting in the way of our romance?  I do miss our early constant intimacy, but this morning I also feel that I neglected the quilt.  I am SO close to completing the quilting of my first row of the Crazy Rainbow Rows.  It will be done the next time I sit down to it and this is going to be a very busy weekend with much going on that is not sewing friendly. 

I actually think I started quilting because of the natural lack of romance after the first few years together.  I needed something to keep my mind occupied and my hands busy.  Jim is a sickly man.  There are many days that he just doesn't feel good and I definitely needed something to take up some time while he recovers from this or that illness. 

Do any of you feel the same way?  Do your hobbies get in the way of your romance?  Do you use your craft to occupy a void that used to be romance?

July 6th 2013

My "mother-in-law" Lynora, is a very sweet lady.  I put that in parenthesis because I'm not really married to her son, but we consider ourselves life-long partners.  I am sure she considers me to be her daughter-in-law because we really do get along fabulously.  We share some very common interests, have similar political views and we just seem to have one of those easy relationships where conversation is never uncomfortable.  We share many laughs and we have also cried together, yes she is my Mom-in-law in every way.  

She is 82 years young and still gets around on her own.  She's independent, still drives, still gardens and still takes on many charity cases that she really shouldn't worry about at her age.  One of these cases is our pets.  She watches our pets for us when we go on vacation or go out of town.  For this she is golden in my eyes.  It's  a 1.5 hour drive to our house for her and yet she makes the trek by herself and always brings me goodies.  She has garage sale finds for me all the time.  She has started me on an amber glass collection that is spectacular.  I don't think there's an amber piece that I don't have yet.  

She supports my quilting habit by way of bringing me fabric and always tells me how pretty she thinks my current project is.  Even if it were dirt on a string she would still shower me with flattery for the project.  

Anyway,  in tribute to my mom-in-law I wanted to make her a special quilt.  Something pretty but something of my own design as well.  I wouldn't be confident enough to make her something from my head and I have always wanted to try a block of the month.  Well, I saw this Navajo sampler from the Kokopeli quilt shop in Albuquerque and I knew it was for her.

 

 

Jjj

i signed up back in March so I have three unopened packages so far

 

Kkk

I plan on changing some of the colors and using some colors from my stash to put  my own touch on this.  I am also going to make it bigger.  This is designed only to be a lap quilt.  So I plan on using this lap quilt as the center piece and then add cowboy boots and hats around the outside so that it turns out to fit a full bed which she has.

hhhhh

This pattern came from the same shop.  Of course the cowboy boots and hats will be my entire color choice and boy do I have some great ideas for fabric choices!  It will likely take one boot and one hat on each side of the inner Indian pieces so I'm sure this will be another big project.  However I do believe it will help me not get too stuck in a rut working on my crazy quilt.

Lynora grew up in Montana and has lived in New Mexico most of her life, so she loves the Cowboy and Indian themes.  It's who she is on top of everything else, she is a western lady.  I want to make this so special for her.  I know she will love it, even if it turns out horrible she will still love it because I made it.  I know that sounds awfully conceited, but I have that much confidence in our relationship that I know it to be true.  It's not very often that moms-in-laws get along so fabulously with their daughters-in-law.  

It shall be made with love and great appreciation for this wonderful lady who I have had the privilege of having in my life.

 

July 6, 2013

Onward through the sea of purple.  I just keep on plucking away at adding my black edging.  It's slow going, but I'm really liking the results.  

The black outlines sure do make,the patterns and colors pop.  It's really very sticking up close and personal.

Well the photos aren't wanting to cooperate and go into the text as planned but you can see how,things are looking above. 

I pulled an all nighter on Wednesday being the holiday eve, I'm hoping to d it again tonight, but no guarantees on that!  All nighters can't really be planned, it never works out that way.  You either get in the zone and just keep going or yo done.  I hope to finish the purple row and then perhaps take a break from this and try tto cut and piece some of what will be called Cowboys and Indians for my mother-in- law.

sew, until next time, please take a look at the Cowboys and Indians quilt design.i will be posting soon

~~~~~~~~~~

June 25, 2013

I have only moved the hoop once in 5 days, this is going to be a slow-moving quilt for sure.

Well to be fair the first day was spent figuring out which embroidery stitch will work best for each type of lace and edging that I have.  I definitely don't have enough black edging and will have to amass more as time goes by.

So I have started my second hoop area moving down the purple row as I go.  The parts that are complete really do look very pretty.  I am glad that I chose a loud pattern for the back because the quilting stitches are going to make such a hap-hazard pattern on the back, it's not going to have a flow.  I'm ok with that because of the pretty flowered backing.

They have started work on our roof today.  Something I have been waiting 2 years for.  After the roof is fixed much home improvements are in our future.  So this quilt might just forever be in my hoop.  When the roof is fixed we have 3 rooms that need new ceilings and remodeled.  The main bath, the family room and the 5th bedroom which serves now as my home gym.  Thank goodness it doesn't rain in New Mexico much.

Sew, until next time

 

June 20, 2013

Well, after more than a month of working on the competition quilt, I'm at a point where I can get back to what I really want to do which is this crazy quilt.  I will post the results of the competition quilt when its ready to be sent in.  i will post it as a separate complete blog.  I have been taking notes on it and will just post a nice neat one page document when it's done, not necessarily detailing all my thought  processes like I do here, but just the results.

We have had some progress on the home front as well.  I painted and grouted the tile on our swimming pool and got it ready to actually use this year.  We have been living here since November 2011 and the pool has been sitting empty ever since.  It was very depressing last summer to look out of the back patio door and see an ugly, empty swimming pool.  I have lived with a pool most of my life, to me it's almost an essential part of daily summer life.  I have been swimming almost every day since the pool has been full.

Tonight I skipped my swim because I was excited to be able to get back to my crazy ways.  I got it pinned to the backing, rolled and placed in the hoop.  At that point I just could not wait to begin placing some of the edging to see how the stain glass portion of this idea  is going to look.

For those of you with pets, I'm curious how in the world do you get your quilt pinned up with the critters thinking you laid out that nice new pretty blanket just for them?  I had to battle Lucy, Day-z, Angel, and our Tuxedo along with mom-in-laws pup, Missy.  I don't really mind if they sit on it gently, but when the cat attacks the background by balling it up on his belly and going on attack.  Also Angel and Day-z had a play session which I had to end.  After the battle was somewhat won, I finally got it pinned up.  Another question, doesn't the pinning just kill your back?   Sitting, kneeling, bending, stooping all found me stiff by the time it was to move to the next area.   BTW this is a king size so it takes up much more room on the floor and takes quite some time.  I didn't time it, but I think it took about 3 hours to get it all pinned up.

Ok enough with the complaining and on to the best photo so far.  Here we are in the hoop with the very first section of stain glass edging trimmed up and generally put in place.  Wow, I'm excited to see this!  My idea is going to be fun and I really do like it!  I think I might find that I don't have enough of the smaller lace and velvet.  I probably have to get back to ebay for some more velvet and delicate smaller lace.  Here is the beginning of the very long stain glass edging project

I have received some good advise from a member here on how to organize future blog posts which I will try with my next project.  I wanted to let Pam know that I didn't give up writing a blog and I didn't ignore your suggestions.  I will give your organization method a try when this one is complete. I don't want to reorganize things as the are now.  But I do understand what you were saying and I hope to get this quilt blog done and begin another one first on the competition quilt and then on my block of the month which I have received 2 months and have completed 0 blocks.

I like the fact that I can get some piecing in (in the form of placement and choosing the right edging material for the fabric area) with the quilting of this.  I definitely cannot get bored with this one, if nothing else the colors will keep me awake, right?

Sew...till next time I will be designing pinning and quilting; and then designing pinning and quilting over and over again for a very long time. 

 

May 16, 2013

Our guests actually left Wednesday morning, so that allows me to work last evening and this evening.  Hooray the top to the crazy rainbow rows is done!  The quilting will come in a few weeks.  

I will be taking a break to do an art quilt for a contest Jim talked me into entering.  I'm not usually a competitive type, but when I told him my idea for this project he kind of insisted and talked me into giving it a try.   I bought the fabric and its definitely not my usual taste so, I'm stuck with it now.  If I don't enter I will have wasted the fabric.  That's what's particularly challenging about this contest, I don't even like the fabric that you have to use.  

When I come back to this project you will find me outlining each little piece of the crazy quilt in various black outline material.  This stitching will go through to,the printed background which will make the quilting of this project.  

I will be writing up my new project under a different title and then come back here in what I hope is just a few weeks.

Sew, till next time check me out at a new quilt channel....

 

May 14, 2013

So close and yet so far....

Last night I finished the yellow row and I only have 1 more to go.  The red will be the 6th, last and final row and the quilt top will be done.

However!  and this is a big HOWEVER - we now have a house guest.  We host cross-country bicyclists because our house is directly on the southern tier route.  Any way this guest will be staying a couple of days as he waits for his partner to catch up.  His partner had mechanical issues with his bike 2 days ago and had to wait for a bike shop to make repairs. 

It's always fun to host our cycling guests....it's great to hear their stories and just to be able to offer a hot meal, hot shower, and laundry means the world to so many of them. 

I used to do this kind of long-distance cycling.  Me and my little dog Lucy would take bicycle camping trips.  I toted her and all of our food and camping gear on my bicycle and ride for at least 30 miles a day to get from one campground to another.  We had great times together.  That was when I was kind of running away from home getting out and away from a marriage that was falling apart.  Here's the link to my cycling experiences:

http://www.crazyguyonabike.com/JeniaCiomek

and here's a link to our hosting experiences:

http://www.crazyguyonabike.com/doc/pecan-house

Now that I love my home life and want to actually spend time with my partner and love of my life, Jim, I don't get out on long cycling trips any more.  He would be happy to tag along and spend time with me, but he can't bicycle because his COPD won't allow it.  He has been known to follow along in the truck with the other dogs and then we camp together.  Those trips were also nice; but it's not the same as being out on the road all alone making your way on your bicycle from one place to another.  It's a different kind of adventure now.  It's nice to share the hosting experience with Jim - he's a fabulous cook and he has great stories of his own to tell.  Growing up in rural New Mexico gave him the "real" cowboy spirit who has lived a varied and interesting life!

If hosting is something you may be interested in there's also the warm showers organization.  We are not listed there, because we aren't always available.  When we are home and available we send out invitations to those who write their journals on crazyguyonabike.com  and accept requests by email from those who are not a crazyguy.

Anyway, sometimes hosting is just so much fun I don't get around to doing any sewing while visitors are in the house.  Other times we could just be watching tv and enjoying the company.  If that's the case I might just get the red row done tonight but I wouldn't count on it.

Sew...till next time

`````````````````

 

May 12' 2013

Well, the past few days have been pretty exciting, for me, or any quilter I would suppose.  HA, I can't believe I just called myself a quilter!  I'm not just tinkering around any more, I'm really doing this! 

I received my new Barnett's laptop square hoop and I have really been putting it to the test.  Here more information for this wonderful product.  Harry makes them all by hand each one to order.  He makes them with as much pride as I use in making my quilts.  A great product from a great American company.  This is the one I ordered

http://stores.laptophoops.com/-strse-1237/Barnett%27s-18%22-Custom-Square/Detail.bok


The hoop sure  makes things so much easier!  I bought it to make my hand quilting go smoother, but right now I'm also using it to keep things taut while I apply the inner edges to my crazy rows.  I would say it speeds things up by more than half.  It was taking me 30 minutes to use up one thread (about 3 feet in length); with the hoop it takes about 10 minutes.  I find myself opening and moving the fabric far more often then I thought I would.   Here's the first section I sewed with it.

 

This also gets me away from my sewing desk and into the living room with Jim.  It allows me to sit any way I want on the couch - cross legged, Indian style, legs stretched out, or sitting proper.  It keeps me for getting back and shoulder aches from sitting and sewing in the same position night after night.  I'm loving it!  I also got these clamp things so that on lovely weekend afternoons I can sit on the porch and quilt without getting my edges dirty!

I am currently working on the yellow row which is second to last.  Only 2 more satin inserts and I will have completed the quilt top!  Here's a photo of the half way point.

This is not my only quilting news,  however.  

I guess this is the reason I am considering myself a real quilter now?  I will soon have 3 projects going at once.  I typically like to finish what I started before moving on to the next thing, but sometimes life just doesn't work out that way.  

I have decided to enter a quilting contest, with much encouragement from Jim to be sure.  I don't even expect to be a runner up, but hey, I think it will be fun to try!  I think my idea will be so unique, they can't help but like it for originality, we shall see!  

I have also joined a block of the month program, and purchased my first set of patterns.  All my other work has just been something I dreamed up or finishing Granny's quilt tops.  The block of the month will be done for my wonderful mom-in-law.  I will be setting up new blogs for each new project and hope to keep the planning and design, etc written for each as good as I think I have done for my crazy rows of the rainbow

 

 

 

I have some plans to change this up a bit, but that's another story

Sew, until next time perhaps a new quilt time and a new quilt channel! 

May 6, 2013

I'm 100% BACK!  I'm totally excited once again about my project and also excited about the ones in the hole!  I've been dealt a great hand of ideas and I will be playing them to the fullest (I hope so any way).

i am doing this all as I go, not knowing if one step is going to be the right one.  I had no idea how to work with the satin blanket binding, but I did have a plan!  Sometimes that's a very scary thing...just ask any commuter technician.  I know enough to be dangerous.

I attached the folded end of the satin binding to the row of orange fabric.  I did this all the way across using a backstitch like you would outline something using embroidery.  For this project I am using Coats hand quilting thread in black.  Sewing it onto the orange at the fold leaves a flap (or envelope) of black satin.  I then arranged,the green fabric row into the open pocket of satin and pinned this all the way across,the row.  I HAVE NOW ATTACHED 2 OF THE ROWS TOGETHER!  Well that is, they are pinned and looking good in my humble opinion. 

At this point I was so excited I just had to take a sneak peak of what the outlining is going to look like!  I'm one of those people who always reads the last few pages of,a really good book before I get to the end.  I'm a previewer, I suppose I really am guilty of it.   So after sewing about 2 feet of the satin not,the green, I took a break from this step and took some small pieces of bias strips that I had in my sewing basket and roughly outlined with pins a very small section of the 2 rows:

This is what they call stain glass quilting technique, I believe.  Each piece will be outlined.  For the photo opp I used just this bias tape - but for the real deal I have varying sizes of black lace, black velvet, small rope, woven satin, and cotton binding in various sizes...all in black.  

Sew till next time I will be adding satin and rows to my (un)rainbow quilt!

Feel free to comment, I would love to hear your thoughts even if they are not nice.

I honestly humbly thank you all!

 

May 5, 2013

Well after a week of real blues, or stress, or menopause symptoms I actually moved a step forward on the quilt this weekend.

A bit of advise from all of the ladies here at QCA helped me tremendously.  A little bit of music, a little bit of anger, a little bit of laughter, and a lot of love and understanding from poor Jim has me back to my creative self!  You can read more details of my slump if you'd like by clicking here:  http://www.quiltersclubofamerica.com/forums/p/40944/536390.aspx#536390

Saturday night I was happy to pull another all-nighter!  Even though I have no schedule for my project, I really felt kind of guilty about taking an entire 2 weeks off, one for vacation and the other slothing around the house in a slump.

Saturday I finished the last and final row.  The (violet) purple row is complete!  I pieced and basted the final section with the last stitch being sewn at about 1:30a.m.  I could not have timed this better if I wanted to because the next step will be laying out all 6 rows and see how what order I would like them to end up.  

My original idea was to lay them out in the colors of the rainbow:  red, orange, yellow, green, blue, violet.  When I had completed 3 of the 6 rows I realized that I was probably not going to follow that set up.  Here it is in that order (shown backwards here because the ipad posts my photos upside down sometimes using this program)

As you can see it appears that we have a tale of two shades here: bright on one side, dark on the other.

When you have 3 dogs  and a cat, you can understand why I was happy to be rearranging the pieces in the middle of the night!  I moved and shuffled the rows in various orders to see what looks best.  It was nice not to have to fight the cat for the pieces and not have to explain to the dogs that this is NOT their own personal blanket.  Every time we lay something out on the floor, like sheets or blankets, our loving pets all think it was set there just for them!

Any way after about two hours of rearrangement in varying set ups I finally decided on this one.  The order will be red, yellow, violet, blue,orange, green (ROYGBV is out RYVBOG is in).  Here's the arrangement with the row dividers laid out as well.  In between the rows will be a piece of black satin blanket binding to hold it all together.

I hope you can all see why I made the change? I like the brights mingling with the darks.  

After deciding on the arrangement I sat on the floor and immediately fell asleep.  I suppose I slept on the living from floor  for about an hour, so not very long at all, but I was so excited when I awoke, I went ahead and pinned the satin pieces to the bottom edges of their placements setting each one aside in my current project sewing trunk as I went.  When I got to the last row to pin which is orange, I pinned it and then began sewing.

The plan is to sew the bottom of the satin binding to each of the correct color section.  I will then insert the proper color section in between the satin binding sheets and sew it all together as it grows.

I do all my work by hand, so I am imaging that by the time the sections are all put together its going to be fun getting the last piece but I've dealt with this before, it's all fun.

Sew, until next time, I  will try to stay as motivated as I am now

 

April 26, 2013

Well, we are heading home from our week-long visit with my family in Huntsville, Alabama.  I hate saying goodbye.  They are all so important to me, but saying goodbye to Granny and mom is especially hard.

I am coming home with 4 new projects to contemplate.  

I have a fan quilt-top made by Granny which I plan to finish for my brother, Michael.

I have a sackful of Crown Royal bags from my cousin.  I hope to make a cathedral window quilt with these.

I have a quilt-top that Granny gave me, but she didn't make it.  It's just 2-inch squares in various colors, mostly white, sewn together.  It's not put together like 9-piece block, but it is similar.  I noticed some are not completely square.  I think I'm going to try and make a puffy quilt out of this.  I found a puffy twin size quilt on eBay made in a similar fashion.  It was only $10, so maybe I can take it apart to see exactly how to make a puffy quilt.  Granny didn't know how, but she had some ideas.  

Then Granny gave me a set of feed-sack 9-square blocks that she made when her kids were just little.  The feed sacks came from the 1940's and she would have put them together in the late 40's or early 1950's.  I am not sure if I will actually make something with these or not.  She suggested that I sell them.  These were made in Granny's learning days so some are not the same quality as she typically offers.  Granny's stitches are the tiniest most even hand made stitches I have ever seen.  Even these early pieces look wonderful to me.

Sew....until I can get home and finish my crazy rainbow rows....all of these are on the back burner.  I also have the necktie quilt which comes between this crazy quilt and the crown royal quilt.  I am so excited to work on them all.  This hobby has consumed my entire life.  I think about quilting all the time now.  I have become  a fanatic.  

I hope to get right back into this one just as own as I get home!

~~~~~~~~~~

April 20, 2013

She approves!

You would not believe how nervous I was to show Granny her Granny's Flower Garden!  I fretted the entire trip about it.  When we were packing up I told Jim to put it in the car last and leave it behind if it didn't fit.  Haha, well he put it n first to make sure it would fit.  So during the 20 hour drive, I knew the day would soon come.  I would have to face the music and admit I'm just not that good a this new hobby I have come to love.  

I just knew Granny would criticize and not be happy about what I did to her quilt top.  She wouldn't tell me in so many words because she would never hurt my feelings.  But I would know, I would be able to tell she hated it.  My head ran through her facial expressions and how she would just not say much at all.  She would never again let me work on her quilts again.

Well the moment came the very first night we arrived.  Jim brought it out and my heart sank.  What seemed like minutes to me was really just seconds as her face smiled, she looked close at my stitches (no where near as tiny and neat as hers) she held it back and looked it over good and she SMILED!   She said its beautiful! She liked my idea of contrasting thread colors and she even liked my eyelet edging!  She LOVED it, I am so proud and happy.  That moment has made me happier than I could imagine!  

Guess what?  She even gave me another top to finish!  I now have another future project to finish.  It's a very pretty fan pattern that needs the corners fixed and then it needs quilting.  I will likely give this to my brother who will be shocked when I send it to him.  He would never suspect this of me especially because of a little spat he started with me last year.  If it turns out nice I will do just that.  I know Granny would rather see our family together than hear about this little family feud Michael started.  If I can give a peace offering, perhaps he can open his mind some. 

 

April 19th, 2013

Well I will be off for a while as I go visit family.

Wouldnt you know in time of need. Mom-in-law tells me she's bringing me some fabric when she comes to house sit for us.  In this box of treasure among beautiful orange, brown, blue and green prints are 5 beautiful purples WOOHOO!  She couldn't have picked these out better for me if I asked for them by name.   I showed her how well they will go in the row and she couldn't have been happier.  

I did a very little bit of stitching last night, but packing and preparing for the trip cut it all short.

Sew...until next time which is about a week or so from now, my project will sit with the purple row about 3/4 done and waiting for new fabric to be placed.

 

April 16, 2013

Looking back on sewing last night I realize just how therapeutic quilting can be.  I actually thought about how much my mind wanders...

Thinking about the day....about the events in Boston today...about how things can change in an instant...I feel bad for the victims.. I wonder who did these horrible things...I wonder what has happened to the world...I begin to get depressed and then my mind moves on...

Thinking about my upcoming vacation trip back to Alabama to see my Granny and how many quilts she has made in her lifetime...I wonder how many such thoughts have touched Granny's mind.  I wonder what Granny would think about while quilting...I wonder if life was just a little bit simpler in her prime quilting days, or perhaps they were actually more complicated.  I wonder if she ever contemplated the cold war and the "big" one coming from Russia?  I wonder if I will talk to her about this when I see her; or will I just keep things light and fun like we always have.  She is 94 and has seen many many changes in her day.  I wonder how she cut out all those little pieces for her quilts without a rotary cutter, without all these fancy rulers we have today. 

Granny is my quilting inspiration - she and I are a lot alike.  We are both happy people, but pretty darn independent for ladies of our time.  Granny was a worker, but she was also a mom - something I missed out on in my life.  Cancer took care of that for me, while cancer took her husband away from her, we were both touched by it in our own ways. 

I wonder what Granny will think of the Grandmother's Flower Garden that I will be taking with me, for her to inspect for the first time....I know it's nowhere near as good as what Granny would have done with it; but will she even like my attempt?  Granny made the top and I quilted it and put binding on it.  I completed it and I love it; but will she? 

Here's a photo of me and Granny together at her house - can you tell we are so happy together?

I think about missing my 4-legged kids while I'm away on my trip.  I think about my mom-in-law who just turned 80 who is going to watch our house and kids for us while we are away.  She will have help, Jim's sister will also stay with her, but I sure hope I'm that energetic when I turn 80. 

I think about property taxes that are due...I think about buying a new lawn tractor...I think about the wind storm and dust that's coming tomorrow...I think about what's going to happen at work without me for a week. 

I wonder if my new quilting hoop/frame will be here when I get back or if I will still have to wait a while. I keep thinking and planning the stain glass portion and how the quilting is going to be pieced in this way.  I try to visualize how this quilt will look if I do change up the order of the colors...will I be turning my back on my rainbow idea, or will it enhance the beauty to balance out the bright/dark colors?

Then I wonder if I have enough variety in purple fabric...I think again about buying a new lawn tractor and property taxes...I think I DO have enough purple, I will have to live with these that I have.

All these rambling thoughts as I methodically plunk away at piecing and basting in purple pieces on that last row of my quilt.

Damn where did the time go?  Before I know it I have pieced another 1/4 section of my purple row, it's after 11 p.m. at night and I need to make the coffee for tomorrow and get off to bed.  Here it is time for bed and I had tucked away the horrible happenings of the day, if just for a little bit.  Just like reading a good book, it's a great escape sometimes!

Sew, till next time.....

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

April 14, 2013

I finally got to sit down today and begin working on the 6th and final row, which is purple.  I'm actually using purple, gray and blacks simply because I like the way they look together and they compliment each other.  For the same reason I used brown in the orange because I think they belong there.  

I am hoping to complete the purple row before Friday because we will be going out of town for a week.  I wish I could take it with me.  Well one things for sure, it will still be here when we get back!  I don't think our house sitter will be working on it for me, and I really wouldn't want her to.  It would spoil my fun.

So here are my purple fabrics pieced in the first little section

It seems like my colors are so much more vibrant in person.  The color photograph here on my screen seems to be washed out.   Trust me there is nothing dull about this quilt, lol. 

Now to quit typing and begin stitching...I will be sewing till next time....

~~~~~~~~~

April13,2013

Im thinking of rearranging the colors of my rainbow rows.  Instead of being strict and following the rainbow, I would change things around so that the bright orange and yellow offset the darker blue, green and purple.  Jim insists that I do so, he thinks having all the brightness together is a bad idea and that the orange and red rows are too similar to lay next to each other.  When I laid this out, I told myself purple is going to have to go before red...and then Jim made his comments.

Perhaps when I have it all done I can position the rows in various set ups and maybe get some feedback from the forums here at QCA?  Part of me wants to follow the strict rainbow code because of my natural instinct to follow nature and how beautiful a rainbow can be.  However the little color designer in my head says this is my design and i can lay it out however I want to!  

I did make the decision to change from a stiff webbing n between the rows to satin blanket binding in between.  I don't have enough of,the webbing anyway I would have to buy more, so why not get something that will be more pliable and softer to the touch?  

April 12,2013

It's Friday night and I still have the blues... I have the fun blues like B.B. King live on stage, like Blues Traveller belting out a tune on the harmonica... Yes it's the fun blues.  Piecing the rest of my blue row and sipping a few glasses of wine while loving husband plays silly movies that I listen to in the background.  Life doesn't get any better than this right?

My goal tonight is to finish basting in the blues and then prepare the purple row.  I will be in a purple haze come about 3a.m. after my 4th glass of wine, and peering through rose colored glasses through the fog and haze of the steam iron.  Haha getting closer now.

I am so excited to get my new lap top square hoop, ordered special from Barnetts lap top hoops.  All of these years I have muddled through the 3 quilts I have done with cheapo flimsy hoops, hunched over the living room coffee table working on my quilts.  Well this lap top hoop looks so superb I just can't imagine being disappointed!  Harry who makes these all by hand (in America I might add) sent me a note that he's backed up and won't be able to ship for 2 weeks. Which may be perfect timing.

I hope to have the purple pieced before next Friday when I leave for a week long trip to Alabama to visit Granny and other family.  If not it will be shortly after we get back, than I can piece the rows together and be ready for my new hoop when it shows up!

Any way this is likely going to be an exciting all-nighter for me.  I actually love my late nights sewing away on my current project.  I am easily amused and lovingly addicted to my hobby.

sew...till next time

~~~~~~~~~

April 10, 2013

After piecing half the blue row I realized I needed a better variety of blue fabric...hi ho hi ho it's off Hobby Lobby we go...I picked up some really pretty options for the second half of the blue row.  Buying fabric for scraps, seems kind of counter-intuitive, doesn't it?  But I feel much better having these additional options.


I thought about removing some of the pieces that have already been pinned but not basted to insert some of the new fabrics.  So I reflected on the pinned area and figured its good any way I just didn't want to repeat the same fabrics more than what I thought would be regular.  So I just basted most of the night and still didn't get it all stitched in, but it's almost half way done.

I also picked up a different fray stop item, this is new to me I hadn't even heard of this wonderful stuff until signing up for the QCA website.  The first type I purchased (pictured on the left) is like a glue and dries really stiff and hard.  It's hard to sew through after it has set up on the fabric.  So I saw this new stuff (Fray Block) at Hobby Lobby and thought I would give it a try.   It seems to dry without turning hard.

 

 

even working at this early stage it seems like the new Fray Block dries softer than the old Fray Stop.  It is clear coming out of the tube (the other was white and dried clear).  However the block is more watery in the initial application, so harder to pinpoint the spots, but I do like the way it dries far better than the other stuff.  So far so good any way...

Sew into the wild blue yonder we keep on keeping on for a few more days...

Thanks for following me, I really appreciate it!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

April 9th around midnight

this is all I can accomplish in a work night evening between laundry, dinner and pet duties.  But at least the we now have the blues

April 8, 2013

Wow, what a weekend....just too bad not much in the way of quilting got done.

I did get my blue fabric ironed and organized Friday night.  It's totally obvious green is my favorite color.  You can see below when I did this with greens I had a full filing system plus two zipper bags, with blue I have 1/2 a filing tub and 1 zipper bag.  But I'm sure I have enough variety to fix up the blue row of this quilt. Then again,  is there really ever enough when it comes to fabric?

Anyway it's a good thing I at least got this done because every other minute of the weekend went to other duties.

Saturday we finally got to use Jim's birthday present - his birthday is November 7th and I had purchased him tickets to see George Straight, The Cowboy Rides Away Tour with Martina McBride.  It was a great show, although the seating in the venue was horrible.  They were made for elementary children and neither Jim or I are very large we are both tall.  My knees were firmly stuck up against the row in front of me and Jim is 6'4" with me being just 5'8" he had to be miserable.  He recently had back surgery in December and this was our first real night out since.  What a great show, but an uncomfortable seating arrangement. 

Then, we were to meet the new tenants for our rental house in the afternoon and here they call about 1 hour after we got out of bed at around 9 a.m.  Ouch, time to go earlier than we wanted to on that slow Sunday morning.  Then what we thought would take about 4 hours (it's3 hour round trip driving) took more than 7 because we just kept chatting with them and took them out for lunch etc.  By the time we got home Sunday evening, it was time to catch up on laundry and take care of our wanting puppies and kitten. 

We are in the midst of a dust storm here, so I will probably get some sewing done this evening because it makes no sense to dust the house when it's blowing in through the cracks of the windows, right?  Right?  Please tell me I'm right!  haha

Hopefully I will sew...till next time :>)

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

April 4, 2013

Onto the wild blue yonder....

Finished basting the green section last night...tonight I will be preparing my blue fabric just like I did the green.  It was so much easier piecing the green withe everything in sight and at my fingertips.  I just hope I have enough cardboard to wrap the large blue pieces like I did the green.  I guess I can unwrap some of the smaller leftover greens if I need to.

Tonight we shall see.

Sew till next time...

 

April 3, 2013

First let me say happy 13th birthday to my niece Libby!  She is on her way with my sister, her mom, and her sister, my other  niece to visit our family including my  Granny.  If you. haven't heard, Granny is my quilting mentor and the best grandmother in the world (I'm sure we all think that about our Grandmothers don't we).  Anyway I will get to see her soon, but it didn't work out for us to all be together, bummer.

I finished piecing the green row, I just need to baste this last little section together.

I am very pleased with my fabric colors, the are really bright and vibrant in real life.  I still like the idea of outlining each piece, but if I didn't this wold still be a pretty piece in my opinion.  The black outlines should make each color really pop when it's done!

It might be the few glasses of wine,or just all these late nights catching up with me, but this lady is sleepy tonight.   I had better hit the hay before I do something stupid and make a silly sewing boo boo.  

I heard from our renters today, they are back on American soil from South Korea.  I am proud that I will be renting to an Air Force family and so happy that this young family was able to escape before anything horrible happens.  They move into our house on Sunday after visiting with family n Oklahoma for a few days.

Sew, till next time.....

 

April 2, 2013

I think I have everything in the correct order now in this blog, with the most current information at the top.  Please let me know what you think.

 been fitting in a little bit of sewing along with other daily activities over the last few days. 

I haven't had much progress, but little by little the green section is filling up.  I am a little bit more than 1/2 way done on my green row.

We had unexpected guests last night, but they were welcomed as most folks are at our place.  It was nice to see old friends again.  My girlfriend is into selling recycled artwork things that had a prior life, that is worked on a bit by an artist and made into something very nice for the future.  Like old suitcases she fixes up to be tables and stuff like that.  I told her about my necktie quilt idea, and she is wanting to see them.  I might have an outlet for them.  Not that I ever really wanted to sell them, but it would be neat to see how things go.  She will be having two booths of home-made projects like this at a up-coming show at Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas. 

If I had my wits about me I would stop the crazy quilt and begin a necktie quilt so that I could be prepared for her show if she chooses to put one in her booth.  But, I'm the sort that likes to do things in order (an accountant by trade) and interrupting my current project will likely make it back burner forever.  So I will just keep plunking away on the crazy quilt for now.  I need the practice any way, and I really had no intention of selling any of my quilts.  I want to give them to family and friends.  But I would guess selling one would buy lots of future fabric.  I don't even know that she would want to carry one, but it's kind of exciting to think about any way.

Now it's off into the great wide yonder of the world to do grocery shopping, (significant other is cooking today, sweet man of mine), dog walking and feeding, a tad bit of cleaning and then (and only then) working on the quilt dang it, never enough sewing hours in the day in my opinion.

anyway...as always

sew, till next time!

 

March 28, 2013 - Updated with photos and other comments March 29

Well I think I like new posts on top so I will start editing this way now.  Eventually I will move yesterday's post to the right location.

Anyway no actual sewing on the quilt happened today, but I did hem curtains and I did do a lot or organizing.

The curtains are the reason I didn't work on the quilt today, just another daily duty that gets in the way.  Here in the desert if you don't have e-glass on your windows they create great heat in your house.  Our old roman shade was so sun beat we had to replace it, so now we have insulated curtains mounted inside the window with California blinds on the outside, pretty and practical.  The curtains needed hemmed to fit inside the window frame.

Also I was so inspired by a product I saw here, those fabric keepers http://thefabricorganizer.com/. I wanted to organize all the pretty green fabrics have for the green row.  As I mentioned yesterday green is my favorite color and its obvious from the scraps I have amassed

I have access to pieces of cardboard from work that I have been saving for no particular reason.  I now have a use for them.  I will use them like the fabric organizers.  Jim will spray paint them for me so that they are smooth and neat not just plain cardboard bur for these green pieces, will use them raw because they will be used over the next few days while I piece my green row.  I started with this and two Walmart bags full of green scraps:

 

So, after about an hour or two of ironing and rolling some of the larger pieces onto my cardboard this is what I have to work with tomorrow:

I don't know why only some photos that I upload with my iPad come through upside down, imagine this the other way around

Is there any reason I can't store fabric wrapped around bare cardboard?  Is there an acid problem?  I know we shouldn't mount pictures and painting on cardboard because of this, but what about fabric?  Will Jim spray painting the cardboard help?  Will I then be able to store fabric indefinitely on my free cardboard scraps.  Scraps of cardboard for scraps of fabric?

But how small is too small to keep.  See those little 1 inch pieces I have actually used some like this for the other colors to fill in the blanks.  But I also have a stringy piece of striped green (two circles were cut from to make yo-yo's leaving the little strips around the circle) that I consider throwing away.  I want to show you this piece and I wonder from the experts here; what kind of scraps do you save?  At some point I think I have to realize it's just trash, right?  Would you save this:

Wow, that took a lot of figuring to get the photos and still some are upside down.  Does anyone know why the iPad posts some photos upside down?  Is there a fix for that?

Sew till next time...

March 27 2013

 

Yesterday I completed piecing the yellow row and I just have to peak with every section done.  It appears that my supervisor approves of the progress. So far:

 

 

My kitten Tuxedo simply had to inspect the roll of webbing for between the rows.  He says he doesn't think it will work, it should become his personal string toy.  Actually it's going to work out perfectly if I can get it out of his cute lout painful little clawed paws.

wouldn't you know it was another late night as I simply HAD to start the green row!  

It will soon be obvious to all that green is my favorite color.  I have the prettiest fabrics all in green!  I should post some pics of these, the scraps I have in green are just gorgeous.

Thank you all for your comments, they are much appreciated!  I hope I'm doing this right.  Perhaps new posts should go at the top?  Suggestions are welcome.

Also, since joining this group is have discovered two kinds of quilts I absolutely love.  Bargello and one block wonders!  Each is so pretty in their own ways.  Maybe you all can tell me your,opinions n them, which would be easier for a beginner like me?  I'm leaning toward the one block wonder to do first but have so many projects already lined up they will be years in the planning! 

As I'm basting the pieces together on the crazy rows I'm testing out various cross stitches and such to see how I will attach the stain glass portion of this quilt.  The stitch I choose will have to look pretty on the back because that will be my quilting of this,piece.  I found a fabulous book for help with this it's called Elegant Stitches by Judith Baker Montano.  Here's the link to the book on amazon 

http://www.amazon.com/Elegant-Stitches/dp/B004KZ246E/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1364449887&sr=8-3&keywords=Elegant+stitches

It's well worth the $25 price tag.  I spent hours just looking at the stitches available and planning in my head.  Time to call it a night.

Sew, till next time

~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Ok, so what is this blog section for when we have a message board? 

Perhaps it's to track progress on a quilt you are making; perhaps it's to rant about problems at home or work; perhaps it's just to chatter on about nothing in particular because we can?

Well I think I will use my time here on this blog to track the current quilt I'm working on - why not, right? 

It will be called Crazy Rainbow Rows.  I have always wanted to do a crazy quilt and I had plenty of scraps from previous projects (at least enough to get started) enough to think about getting started.  When researching crazy quilts online I also saw a stain glass crazy quilt and loved it, so I decided mine would also be a stain glass crazy quilt.  However I didn't like the idea of doing blocks, it would look too much like all the other crazy quilts I have seen so I decided to do rows and rows of the rainbow with each row being a different color. 

Good old ROYGBIV....well mine is ROYBV.  Row 1 is Reds and Pinks; Row 2 is Orange and Brown; Row 3 Yellow and Tan; Row 4 Green; Row 5 Blue; and Row 6 Purples, blacks, grays and violets.

Yesterday was a good day! 

My new backing arrived!  It's so pretty, all black and white little daisy flowers.  I had originally thought to use a solid red backing, but have changed my mind.  The quilting will consist of the stitching it takes to do the stain glass trim and I thought the black on red would be a little bit too bold for that kind of stitching.  However with the black stitching on the black and white daisy design it will be understated and pretty (I hope anyway).

I'm not sure if I'm utilizing this blog thing correctly, sorry if this is not what this section is for.  But I thought what a cool way to explain my thoughts while completing a project, right?  Anyway if this is the right thing to do I will write more about completing this quilt as we go.

Seems like a good way to learn about my own mistakes and to realize exactly how things went during the process.

Sew, till next time!