Sunday, July 29, 2012

Ironing Pad for a Banquet Table

This project has been sitting untouched for about 3 months.  I made one of these 4 months ago for a charity group  that I sew with every month.  This is like a Big Board only a whole lot easier to make a store.  A couple dozen ladies come to every bee so two ironing surfaces are needed AND the facility we sew at does not give us storage for ironing boards.  So we needed something that was easy to transport back and forth the bees.

It wasn’t in the UFO pile very long.  Which makes me wonder… How long do you go without working on a particular project before it is considered an UFO?  I’ve never heard of a time rule being in the Quilt Police Rule Book!

If you have stumbled on this blog post and think your charity group (or yourself!) would Like to make one drop me a note and I'll share with you how I did it.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

This Problen I Got...

This is the next project I am hoping to get outta the UFO pile.  It just needs quilted and bound.  As soon as it was unfolded I realized WHY it was in that UFO pile.  That slight “S” curve that is very evident down the center is NOT part of the design.  The whole piece is CURVED like an “S”!  I gave it a good dose of Fresh Press and laid a hot iron on it while stretching the edge that curves to the inside and it didn’t HELP A BIT!  Short of taking it apart and giving it another round on the sewing machine, I’m at a loss on how to FIX THIS. 

Any suggestions on how I can fix this (preferably WITHOUT taking it apart) AND how to avoid this effect in the future?

Friday, July 20, 2012

Cleaning Out the Closet

Everyday when I enter my closet the same thought crosses my mind, “Man, there’s a LOT of STUFF in here.”  Yesterday was no exception.  Sometimes I’ll pick one (maybe two) things and throw it in the box for Goodwill.  I figure if I remove something (permanently) once in awhile then MAYBE it will gradually come down to a more acceptable level of STUFF.  I’ve tried the traditional, cleaning the closet method where ya just go in there with some boxes and remove everything that I no longer wear and it doesn’t work for me.  Brain takes over and tells me “You might need that for something.”  So yesterday I removed a pair of Capri pants that I haven’t worn in a couple of years.  As I’m walking across the hall with them I’m thinking, “These were really comfortable pants.”  You see, Brain does this to me every time; it tries to talk me out of getting rid of something.  Sometimes Brain wins and sometimes I win.  The conversation continued something like this…  “The only reason I stopped wearing these is because of the cuff.”  And then Brain said, “Well maybe you should just get rid of the cuff instead of the WHOLE pair of pants.”  “Hmmm” I said. “You’re right!  I could turn them into a pair of shorts which I would probably wear often cuz I don’t have a pair of grey shorts!”  So a new project was born!  So much for my mission to work UFO’s.

Here’s the carpi’s, 26 inches long.  As you can see Brain got them from the closet to the sewing room pretty quick!  To figure out how to take these from capri’s to shorts I measured the length of a pair of shorts I like and wear often to give me a  short length I'm comfortable with.

The capri’s were long enough that I could just cut off the cuff and have enough fabric left to give me the length I wanted with a nice size hem.  Much easier than having to remove the original stitching!

So I just laid a tape measure down the front of the capri's and marked the desired finished length, which was 22 inches.

I folded the fabric under (wrong sides together) at the 22 inch mark.

And simply pressed the fold to give me a visual line to start with.

Then I folded the entire bottom edge to the inside, making sure it was straight and level across and pressed across the whole bottom edge.  This not only helps hold the fabric in place but the crease also gives you a visual mark to fold and pin.

Then I folded the top raw edge down (wrong sides together) about a quarter inch making sure the top edge of the fold was 1 ¼ inches from the bottom fold.  Pins were used to hold it in place.  I then stitched along the top edge of the fold with a matching thread.

And here they are finished!  This whole job took less than an hour.  I could have done the sewing by hand which would have given a more tailored look, but I’m a casual kinda gal so the machine stitched hem works for me. 

Cleaning my closet out one piece at a time didn’t work for me this time, but I did get a new pair of shorts as a result of my attempt.  :o)


Sunday, July 15, 2012

UFO Now in the DONE Pile!

HERE IT IS!  DONE!!  I titled this one, “The Nine Patch Project”.  And here’s its story cuz every quilt has a story and we all love stories… 

It started as a friendship project between members of the Cactus Patchers,  The project began prior to 2003.   I know it began prior to 2003 because that’s when I joined the group and the project was part of history and the person who owned these blocks, Jean Lackey, was no longer a member of the group. 

This is how the friendship project worked.  Each participant would make six inch scrappy nine patch blocks using their own stash.  She would then trade her blocks with the other participants.  Each person would go home with the same number of blocks they made. 

In 2006 Jean came to the Cactus Patchers with news that she was having a sale to GET RID OF all her quilting STUFF.  (I really don’t understand how a person walks away from this craft, but anyway.)  At that sale I acquired her collection of nine patch blocks.

Now, I’m really NOT a nine patch kinda gal.  I do admire them but am not interested in making them.  So I gave these blocks my own TWIST by using them to create a wonky twelve inch block.  I don’t recall how many of these blocks were in Jean’s collection but there were not enough to make a quilt as BIG as I wanted so I made a few extra blocks (the finished quilt has a total of 72 blocks).  A border was also added to finish it off.  By the time I got done ADDING the top was 105 x 114”.  Plenty BIG enough to nicely cover my king size plush pillow top bed.  BUT since the quilt top was completed I have changed beds and no longer have that plush pillow top.  So the FINISHED quilt almost touches the floor on ALL three sides!

Cuz I’m a Quilt Police abiding quilter (sometimes) I did make a label.  I didn’t get fancy cuz my REAL goal was to be done with the project!  It was created in a word doc with a picture of three nine patch blocks imported and verbiage that shares the quilts story, then printed on fabric.  And it’s DONE!

Friday, July 13, 2012

Friday the 13th

Today I spent some time searching the web for information about the superstitious day, Friday the 13th.  There wasn’t any clear cut information on when, how or why the superstition was born.  But I did read some opinions and a few facts on the myth:

~ Some say the myth began to surface at least 1780 B.C.

~ The phrase Friday the 13th was not mentioned in American literature until 1907 but is frequently seen thereafter.

~ This date falls one to three times per year.  There will be three occurrences in 2012, exactly 13 weeks apart.

~ Paraskevidekatriaphobic is the Psychiatric title given to people who suffer from the disorder of a 'morbid, irrational fear of Friday the 13th'.

~ Some sources say it is the most widespread superstition in the United States.  The number of Americans suffering from this condition may be as high as 21 million, that’s eight percent.

~ Some people refuse to go to work on Friday the 13th; some won’t eat in restaurants; many wouldn’t think of setting a wedding on the date.

~ On Friday the 13th many people around the world avoid travel and surgery.

~ Many cities do not have a 13th Street or a 13th Avenue.

~ Many buildings do not have a 13th floor.

~ If thirteen people are seated at a table one of the thirteen will die within a year.

~ Never change your bed on Friday; it will bring bad dreams.

~ According to biblical sources, Friday was the day on which Eve offered Adam the forbidden fruit and Jesus was crucified.

~ The Turks so dislike the number 13 that it almost doesn’t exist in their vocabulary.

~ On the streets in Florence, Italy, the houses between number 12 and 14 is addressed as 12 and a half.

Attempts have been made to debunk the myth that Friday the 13th in unlucky:

~ A 2008 Dutch study found there were fewer automobile accidents, fires and crimes occurring on Friday the 13th, adding the caveat that superstitious would-be victim may simply have stayed out of harm's way.

~ A study in the United Kingdom found that while consistently fewer people chose to drive their cars on Friday the 13th, the number of hospital admissions due to vehicular accidents was significantly higher than "normal" Fridays.
~ One hundred years ago, the British government sought to quell the longstanding superstition among seamen that setting sail on Fridays was unlucky. A special ship was commissioned and given the name "H.M.S. Friday." They laid her keel on a Friday, launched her on a Friday, selected her crew on a Friday, and hired a man named Jim Friday to be her captain. To top it off, H.M.S. Friday embarked on her maiden voyage on a Friday — and was never seen or heard from again.

Some cultures don't consider Friday the 13th unlucky at all:

~ Ancient Chinese regarded the number 13 as lucky, as did Egyptians in the time of pharaohs.

~ To the ancient Egyptians life was a quest for spiritual ascension which unfolded in stages - twelve in this life and a thirteenth beyond, thought to be eternal life.

~ In many Spanish-speaking countries, instead Friday, Tuesday the 13th is considered a day of bad luck.

~ In Italian popular culture, Friday the 17th (and not the 13th) is considered a day of bad luck.

One Good thing I found mentioned on several sites is that a baker’s dozen is a good thing!

Information and quotes found in this post came from:

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

I Seam To Be On A Roll !

Seems like I'm on a roll with getting UFO's out of the closet and moving towards the DONE pile... Well, roll may be a bit presumptuous.  Roll sounds like I'm really going for it and gaining speed, when in fact I may run out of momentum at any moment.  A couple of days ago I shared a UFO from 2006 that was on the longarm (FINALLY) getting quilted.  Well now I'm down to doing the hand work on the binding.  Since hand work is an evening TV watching activity I decided to work on something else that requires a machine.  So in the closet I went again and dug out another UFO from 2006.

Backing Fabric

 This one, like the last one, is a top that needs a back pieced.  The top is a sampler (of sorts) with blocks that have a black background.  The block design was made using a multitude of scraps.  Not really wanting to go fabric shopping (Yes, you read that statement correctly) I made a visit to the STASH.  I did come out with a hunk of fabric that will serve well as a back on this quilt BUT there was NOT ENOUGH.  Which means I gunna have to do some real piecing!

Scraps From Blocks

 I went through the scrap bucket and came up with some of the same fabrics used on the front plus a few extras.  Since a whole section was going to have to be pieced into the back using all these SCRAPS I may as well make it look PLANNED.  And sewing the label into this section will accomplish that.  

Piecing the Back

 My label making method is to compose the verbiage in a word document and print it out on fabric.  But my printer wasn't on board with that plan.  The printer and I went 5 rounds with the printer CHOKING ON ALL 5 of them so I gave up and began to write it out by hand (something I haven't done in years).  Even this method was a trying one.  With a few words on the fabric my Pigma pen started to run out of ink!  REALLY!  But I persisted and kept going over the letters to darken them until there wasn't another drop of ink left, but a whole lotta words were still left.  So I drug myself out into the Heat Advisory temps and made my way to the closest JoAnn's.  Back home with my new pen I finished the label but the end result was pretty UGLY.  That section that I kept going over with the running out of ink pen, it was BLURRY!  I started over with a new piece of fabric and my new pen.  So my section that looks PLANNED with a label sewn in... took a total of 7 labels before the mission was complete!!!  That right there is dedication to the quilt police rule that says, "LABEL YOUR QUILTS"!

Being Quilted

YES, another 2006 UFO is on the longarm and getting closer to the FINISHED PILE. 

Hopefully the stash closet has something I can use for a binding.

Saturday, July 7, 2012

What's Next?

 Here's what I'm working on now.  This is a UFO from 2006!  The top was completed WAY BACK THEN and I THOUGHT the back had been pieced.  I was very surprised (and disappointed) when I discovered the back had NOT been pieced.  The fabric had been washed and ironed (as I always do) but that's as far as I got.  DARN!  Piecing backs is my LEAST favorite part of making a quilt so the part about it having been PIECED must have been wishful thinking.  It has been hanging (neatly pressed, folded and covered in plastic) for all these years waiting for me to GET IT DONE.  The past two days have been spent getting this quilt closer to being in the DONE pile!  One more day on the quilting and it will be ready for the binding and label phase.  This is a BIG one so that binding part is going to take awhile.  My goal is to have it done by Fall since it is Fall colors (well kinda).

I'll let you know when it's done and share the 'How This Project Started' story and show you a picture of the done project.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Patriotism and Bowl Shopping ?????

You have to love a nation that celebrates its independence every July 4, not with a parade of guns, tanks, and soldiers who file by the White House in a show of strength and muscle, but with family picnics where kids throw Frisbees, the potato salad gets iffy, and the flies die from happiness. You may think you have overeaten, but it is patriotism.
~Erma Bombeck~

Erma Bombeck was as American as one can be!  For those of you that spent any time with me you have probably figured out I am pretty pleased to be an American.  Even though I'm not celebrating our Independence Day the way Erma did my day was enjoyed.  I spent a few hours going back into bits and pieces of the past century AND stimulated the local economy with a trip to an Antique Mall...

My main objective was acquiring a bowl or two.  Recently one of my favorite bowls got broken.  It was one I purchased for .99 cents when I first set up housekeeping over 40 years ago.  I did not realize how much I used that bowl and how attached I had become to it until it was gone.  One thing I've learned about myself in the past decade is that I have an attraction to bowls, baskets and boxes!  I don't know where these attractions come from but when I see them I impulse buy them, those and chocolate candy bars! 

These two bowls fit the bill of what I was looking for.  They are not too BIG or too small.  They can be used for some light hand mixing and serving.  When I saw the RED one I immediately knew it was coming home with me cuz I love this vintage.  The yellow one was a little iffy, not exactly my style but it is vintage, a good size and it was really CHEAP.

Of course, I had to walk through the whole place to see if there were any BETTER bowls, or maybe the same bowls CHEAPER.  That's when I found these two covered dishes.  I love these!  I've been looking for some in good shape for awhile.  My mom had these in her kitchen.  It's kinda hard to tell in the picture (sorry about that, I'm really NOT a photographer) they are rectangle in shape with the blue one holding a pint and the yellow holds 2 quarts.  There are also red ones that hold a cup, those are still on my MUST HAVE list, but so far have proved to impossible to find in GOOD shape.  They are PYREX... oven safe... they can go from oven to table... and if there are leftovers you can put the lid on and stick it in the frig.  AND they are the same vintage as the red bowl above...  so my table looks like I'm all organized and planned it to look that way.  HA!

In my wanderings this Chicken called out to me.  YES, it is a bowl, with a lid!  When my youngest daughter was a baby I had one of these in green that I kept her pacifiers in.  It eventually disappeared.  A couple of years ago my oldest daughter gave me a gold one as a gift.  Pretty cool gift, huh. 

That gift kinda spurred a small collection to start... I think that's why this white one called out to me... It knew I had a small collection and it wanted to be part of that!

My Independent Day was enjoyed AND my bowl mission was successful!  The CAT also enjoyed the day cuz anytime I come home with paper, or a box, she thinks the shopping trip was all about her. 

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Another Jelly Roll Race !!!

Race Official, Andrea Williams

A few days ago I was a Pit Crew Member for a Jelly Roll Race held by the Cactus Patchers group,  I've been a member of this group since 2003 and like many quilt groups they do community service work on an ongoing basis.  Their current mission is to make 25 quilts for a group of homeless families.  The group rotates between local churches that each provide a week of night time shelter and meals for the families.  Cactus Patcher member, Lora Riordan, is a member of the Mission del Sol Presbyterian Church in our area, this church is one that provides the service.  The quilts will be used by the homeless families when they are sheltering at that church.  Cactus Patcher members got together and cut some of their charity fabric into 2 1/2 inch strips and packaged them into kits in preparation for the race.  Guess you would call these Scrappy Jelly Rolls. 

There were twelve Jelly Roll Racers all doing their best to complete the first Jelly Roll quilt of the race.  Phyllis Ames, Jelly Roll Queen, was the first racer to finish a top.  Eleven tops were finished by the end of the race.  The twelfth top didn't get finished because when the kit was being put together the strip counter MUST have lost count cuz there was waaay more than 40 strips in that bag!

It seemed as though some of the machines were not as into the race as the racers were.  There were a couple of machine casualties.  It appeared as though the machines could not keep up with the racers enthusiasm and they overheated, refusing to take even one more stitch.  I'm sure they will recover after a little TLC and R&R.

It was a really FUN day for all and the Cactus Patchers highly recommend this as a really great way to make quilts for charity.