Thursday, November 22, 2007

Happy Thanksgiving!!

Happy Thanksgiving to all you out in blogland. We haven't had any turkey yet today but we'll be heading over to the mil's shortly to pig out. I love food so I can't wait.
The picture above is The Girl attempting to stitch on a quilt block I made awhile back that I didn't like. (Contrast wasn't high enough.) She tried so hard, and made two stitches, about six inches apart. Please oh please let her like sewing!!

I saw on Quilt Otaku that she suggested listing things you are grateful for. Here are mine:

  1. Family - that we are all together safe and sound is the best gift ever

  2. The three basics of life for my family - food, shelter, and clothing, and of course the paycheck that makes it possible

  3. Friends, online & off

  4. Having been born and bred a citizen of the United States of America - there are so many places where things we consider basic here are unreachable dreams. Not to say there aren't other great places, but I am grateful for living in a democracy.

  5. last but not least...QUILTING!!!

Just in case you thought I was getting too emotional or something, here is a little tidbit courtesy of The Boy. The Husband asked him, how do you make a turkey? His answer:

"First you buy a wild turkey. Then you put it in the oven and it dies. It turns brown. Take it out of the oven and put a bone in it. Then eat it."

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

That was quick

I finished the first step of The Boy's quilt. That really was quick, as the title of the book that the pattern came from implies. Of course there are more steps to go. Hopefully they can each be accomplished in about an hour and a half like the first step. Though the initial cutting did take me the better part of an afternoon.

I know Halloween has passed, but this is how The Boy and Girl got decked out for trick or treat. Those are The Husband's feet in the foreground. He wanted me to be sure to point them out. I made both of the costumes, much to the detriment of the Secret Project deadline. However I still got it done so there. The Children are already talking about what they want to be next Halloween.

Sunday, November 11, 2007


I've started the quilt project for The Boy. You may remember that I was making him an Ohio Star quilt. I decided it was turning out too boring for a five year old. And awhile back I decided that I needed to practice my quarter inch seam and precision. So I picked the book above to practice with. Not sure why I picked it in particular, I suppose it's availablity and the word "quick".

I chose a pattern from the book called Moulin Rouge. Here's something that kinda annoys me. Don't get me wrong, the pattern is fine. I think the overall look of it is attractive. I did pick it for The Boy, right? My problem is, the name implies that it is red. But I'm not making it red. It's mine and I want it to look like mine. (Ok, technically not mine if I am making it for The Boy.) What colors, then? you may be asking. Blue, green, and orange. Yeah man, it's gonna be loud.

Don't worry, I haven't left The Girl out. Her quilt is pieced & quilted, but not bound. I'm sort of being lazy about the binding, actually. The edges of the quilt have sort of a picket fence look and I just am not looking forward to the challenges of binding it. So my goal is to get The Boy's going, and one day while I am piecing his and getting bored out of my mind piecing the same two shapes together for the zillionth time, I'll whip out the binding fabric and make a binding.

Funny story: today The Husband asked the kids if they wanted to play Hungry Hippos. You know, the game where your plastic hippos have to out-eat the marbles of all of the other plastic hippos? The Boy pipes up and says, "YEAH! I want to play Humpin' Hippos!" I laughed about it all day. That is even better than him calling Joann Fabrics the "Crap Store". (Instead of craft.)

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Be free, and give warmth

Today the Secret Project went home to it's owners. I finished the binding and attached the label The Husband made for it this afternoon and barely got it washed and dried in time. The Husband had to stay home a few extra minutes to wait for it to dry and wrap it. I took the kids off to dinner and only had to answer that he would be along shortly once or twice.

So, here is a photo of it before I finished it:

And here are the proud new owners, and me:

And the new owners admiring a childhood photo of The Husband on the quilt:

It was welcomed with open arms, to many oohs and aahs. I am a bit sad to see it go home. Not because I wanted to keep it, but more because I often feel somewhat abandoned by completed projects. Weird, I know. It was my crafty companion for the better part of a year, and now it's all grown up and leaving the nest. Sigh.

I am super happy with how it turned out. My only regret about it is that I missed two people in the family tree that really should have been on it. And I did learn some things from it:
1) You really ought to iron the top before basting it. I know I should and got lazy and didn't and when I was quilting and found some seams flopped in two different directions I wished I hadn't been so darn lazy
2) Binding isn't so hard if you use a walking foot and do the corners carefully. I had never heard of using a walking foot before. I recently saw it mentioned on a Fons & Porter episode.
3) I enjoyed doing free style hand quilted feathers (only in the center medallion)
4) I like hand piecing too, but when there is a deadline it isn't a good idea
5) Skipped stitches when machine quilting is probably from using the incorrect needle

So be free, little quilt. Don't let the dog pee on you.

Next WIP: a quilt for The Boy. I already have fabric and a pattern picked out. Hmm, when can I start?

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Something other than the Secret Project

Today I joined the Quilt Studio blog ring. For awhile there I wasn't posting much, and I feel joining a ring may help me to restart the habit. Plus I'm all geeky about this stuff, you know me. I've seen these little links on people's blogs forever and I never thought, 'hey, I should join one of those' for some reason. But today I did. And the blogiversary is coming up, so maybe I'll be on the list by then.

Also in blog updates, I added a link to Quilt Otaku on my sidebar under cool quilting blogs. I discovered her site from listening to Annie Smith's podcast, which we both happen to be big fans of. Anyways. I've been reading her blog for a month or two now, so I figured it was time to add it. I even went back and read some of her archives (err, I hope that doesn't creep her out if she happens to read this.) Plus, you know how I'm always saying I'm a quilting nerd or that I'm geeked out over some quilting thing...Otaku actually means "nerd"! How funny is that? Her blog (unlike mine) seems to have a photo every post. Maybe it is time to resurrect my photo-every-other post goal, since it is way more interesting to read with pictures.

Yeah. That sounds like I am 8 instead of er, not yet in my mid-thirties-something. I meant that crafty stuff is more interesting with pictures. Show and tell at the guild would be pretty boring if people just stood around describing quilts.

And since I know that you just have to know...I did successfully create my binding and pinned it partially to the quilt. However we were watching 'Mutiny on the Bounty' (with Clark Gable, isn't he dreamy) last night so I didn't get to retreat back to the sewing machine to sew it on.

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

And the end nears.

I have finished quilting the top of the secret project. I actually did force The Husband to hold it up the other day so that I could take a picture, but of course I haven't downloaded it yet. Also when I post from lunchtime at work I can't upload stuff anyway.

So I started making the binding last night. I prefer bias binding for some reason, and I broke out my faithful Fons & Porter how-to book (I don't recall the title, but it was my very first quilt book and I use it quite often. That is probably why it is falling apart.) and went straight to the make-your-bias-binding pages. I followed the directions--quite accurately and carefully, I felt--and it turned out completely wrong.

Just FYI, this method is where you make two triangles, sew them together to make sort of a diamond and then you mark your strips on it and sew it into a tube. For the life of me I could not get the dang strips to line up on the tube. You are supposed to offset it one, so it doesn't lay flat and that makes it all the more difficult. But anyway. I ended up ripping a seam and cutting it into strips and I'm going to have to sew the strips together one at a time instead of in one fell swoop. Oh the humanity. Doesn't Fons or Porter realize I'm up against a deadline?

Actually I don't blame them at all, I've used the directions successfully before so I don't know what my damage was last night. Tonight hopefully I can get the binding created and begin pinning it to the top. I only have until 4 on Saturday to get it done. Yikes!!!

In other news, I think I failed to state that The Husband, along with my uncle, finished the bathroom tile in our upstairs bath. Now it just needs the beadboard and surround tile done. Hurray for The Husband!

PS - does anyone know how to make a low-flow toilet actually flush?