Still Time for Quilting!

It’s rather been a whirlwind and adjustment period for me. Getting used to working again .. and not just 8 hrs a day – but for 9 hrs (minus ยฝ hr lunch). Doing the 4pm – 1am shift wasn’t to bad for me .. it seemed that I still got some ME time and quilting time. I’ve just finished my first week of my new shift – 12noon – 9pm. While you’d think that that was a great shift (and it is), there’s a period of adjustment to it for me .. For 2 years, I’ve basically gotten up when I wanted and slept when I wanted .. Doing the first shift of 4 – 1 wasn’t to bad, as I didn’t go to bed until 4am anyways .. I’d get up around 11 or so and have plenty of ME time and time before work to do whatever .. My body still is sort of awake at 3:30 – 4am right now, but I can’t really get up at 11 and expect to have enough coffee in me before I leave at 11:30 for 12 noon start time .. just leaves me feeling rushed and harassed. Ultimately my goal is to be up around 8 – 9am, so I can have those few hours to do whatever I want .. I’m still working on that ๐Ÿ˜€ But it is getting better .. It’s not a lot of time, but then again, I KNEW I wouldn’t have that time anyways – hence the quilting marathon I did in February and March.

When I’ve gotten home from work this week, I’ve not really had the focus to do a blog post, or even read much email .. and it’s all still there waiting for me to read it .. and my bloglines?? oi vay! we won’t go there!! But I will read them all .. eventually for now I’m just doing some mindless clicking on facebook and doing quick emails and txt messages .. I know ..exciting, eh? LOL

HPIM2860.jpgDuring the past weeks, I’ve taken the time to watch tv with Reg and I’ve gotten a few bindings done .. you know I’ve done the spinner quilt, and the other day I finished the big fan quilt .. It’s not been washed yet, but that’s tomorrow’s task. Here’s a quick peek of it with the binding sewn down tonite. I’m hoping to get some daylight pics of this and the spinner quilt since the weather is going (I pray) to be sunny! It is a wonderful feeling to get these quilts crossed off my list! I’ve not labeled this one as yet, and am not entirely sure what I’m going to call this one. This was the NYD mystery hosted on Planet Patchwork – and this was also the same day that I found out my aunt had been killed in car crash on her way to her bday dinner with friends the nite before … I’d like to dedicate this to her, but am still struggling with the name. This has become my favourite quilt. I love the way it quilted up, has a nice feel to it (even if it does weigh more than normal) – it’s just nice and peaceful .. I’m sure a name will come to me in time. But I can always do a label with the dates on it for now and add the name later.

HPIM2858.jpgMy next project is the binding on the kitty quilt .. sorry for the blechy pic, but this is just to give you and idea of what I’m doing.

Kyle is excited that I’m working on this quilt and he keeps giving me HUGE, BROAD hints about his bed quilt and wanting to have it done … he can’t wait until I get the rest of the threads snipped of his spinner quilt and the daylight pic done .. He says his current bed covering is just to heavy and is waiting impatiently for that one ๐Ÿ˜€ oh the one he’s waiting for is the Franken’quilt’

But work is going well, I’ve not lost any customers (that I’m aware of), altho one customer with a thick heavy accent asked me if I spoke english ๐Ÿ˜ .. I was absolutely rendered speechless, and that’s not something that happens to me often .. he ended up in the wrong department and was not wiling to answer my questions about best to direct his call .. **sigh it IS rather laughable tho .. anywho, the job isn’t boring, it is almost more challenging than I would like in one day out of every 3, but I do like it well enough .. would I rather be quilting?? you betcha .. but that just makes the time I do grab for it all that more precious to me ..

I start my weekend now (I’ve tues and wed for May for Kyle’s confirmation / rehearsal) and my goals are modest .. weed the front garden, plant my seeds, convince reg or kyle to dig up the back veggie garden and plant there, wash my fan quilt, stitch the binding on the kitty quilt and maybe get some laundry done if Kyle’s not taken over the washer again .. oh and try to avoid getting kidnapped for groceries and whatnot ๐Ÿ˜€

Have a great week!

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To the Binding Pile with you!

HPIM2700.jpgNow I can do the kittyhappydance!!!!! The kitties are in the binding pile now!! I should take a pic of that pile before I start to do the quilts – but at least pile is the almost finished pile! Anywho .. last nite I finally got around to do the heads and tails of the fan kitties appliquilting them down – I wanted to try something with this considering they were kitties and furry .. (and believe me, there is enough cat fur on this quilt for it to qualify as a 3rd cat in this house) .. **sigh Anywho .. I used my pinking rotary cutting to cut around the kitties, and instead of using a zig zag stitch, I just did a straight stitch – i want these kitties to ‘fur’ up a bit as it were. I think it’ll look really awesome with actual fuzzy cats! I did a generous-ish ยผ” seam – for the most part and just free motioned around the edges.

HPIM2697.jpgAs for the fru fru that I hinted at .. I designed this quilt with the spaces in the middle and sides just for these shadow kitties as I’ve been calling them since the idea clicked. I wasn’t going to do any embellishment on them and just leave them be .. there is quilting under them – so that wasn’t a concern, but the sleeping cat at top and bottom just looked so – naked – sooooo she got a wee bit of stitching to ‘dress’ her up The purple variegated thread is just great on these shadows .. as well as the fuzz and cat fur ..

HPIM2703.jpgI started this quilt back in January 08 after I finished Kyle’s bed quilt (Frankenquilt), so this has been a bit coming .. I really can’t wait to get the binding finished so I can actually use it!! I think it’s going to be just awesome! I’ve learned a lot, tested out a new technique and refined it, and also almost finished a quilt that has been in the design and planning stage for 9 years when I finally started to work on it. I think I’ve just about every technique (or a variation of) for piecing this quilt. Inset seams (Y-seams), paper piecing, templates, appliquรฉ and appliquilt, frogging LOLOL ahem – Quilted with kitties, butterflies, meeces, and cat paws .. definitely learned a lot and WOW .. it’s done ..

**kittyhappydance

Now for some fru fru

Wow .. the quilting on these kitties is DONE .. but I can’t do the kittyhappydance yet. Just a few more things to do .. There’s my 2 fan kitties that are still minus their heads and tails that need to be appliquilted on .. I know where the heads are, but I think that I’m going to cut out new ones as I’ve gotten a new idea that I’m going to try .. that along with a few other little things I want to do is going to be done tonite, then it’ll be time to cut the binding ๐Ÿ˜‰ WOOOO HOOOOO – A year later and it’s almost done .. how cool is THAT!

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Butterfly Border

HPIM2679.jpgOriginally I wasn’t going to do any quilting in the narrow border, but on looking at my motifs and the spacing from the edge in some cases, I thought it would be better safe than sorry .. so I wanted something that wasn’t to fussy for there and fairly easy to free hand .. that border is 1ยพ” – not to much you really want to do in that small of a space .. So, I decided upon some really simplistic butterflies in a continuous line .. no marking for these or tissue paper .. total freehand – and you can tell, but that’s okay .. they all look the same (for the most part) I’m good with it and pretty pleased too! I turned the butterfly on an angle to put in the corners of the borders for easy joining from each side.

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Meeces n Paws Outer Border

HPIM2690.jpgThen the outer border – that one I used tissue for and I printed them out instead of drawing them .. it went OOOOOH so much faster! And considering my scotch tape is still MIA (course NO ONE has seen it GRRR), I opted to use a dab from a glue stick for sticking it to the regular paper for running thru the printer. For this border I used a cat paw and the cutest mouse alternating in the border. They are almost the size width so it was easy math wise to work them in .. I didn’t use the original paws I had picked out as it ended up just being wayyy to busy .. maybe for the main quilt part .. but not the border – well maybe a wider border, but these are 3ยฝ” – and why not keep a good thing going, I used a paw in the corner to connect the sides. My original plan was to use white thread for quilting this and I am glad that I did find this variegated and decide to use it .. altho, it doesn’t quite make the statement that the white would have, it still does the job and I’m pleased with the overall results so far ..

Now I’m off to do my fru fur and appliquilting – then binding.. wooo hooo then I can do the kittyhappydance!!

The heads and tails are appliquilted on as well as a few surprise elements .. I did take some pics, but nite pics are not good for showing the finer details .. I’ll take some better pics when I get the binding on this quilt ๐Ÿ™‚ย  **half a kittyhappydance

Educational …

HPIM2667.jpgTo say the least .. With fits n bursts of working on the main part of my kitty quilt, I did manage to get that part quilted today. I didn’t work on it constantly – but thru the day.

I decided to try using the whole sheet for the quilting part of it – I can totally recommend AGAINST using the whole sheet for several reasons .. First of all, if you aren’t exact in having your motif repeat on your tracing, your pattern will be off on the tissue sheets when they are all combined. You won’t notice that you are off until you are into the second row of sheets (in my case sheet #4 – middle sheets). The top row went just fine .. no issues, problems – nothing .. the top right corner is me checking how the thread looks with this quilt .. I’ll have to wait until daylight to get a better pic (yes it’s 4am again :/). I didn’t realize that there was going to be a problem until the middle sheet (#5 – the one that looks like it went thru a cuisinart) – that’s when I noticed that my pattern was off and decided to try to ease and work it ..

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"repair" on Section / Sheet #5

But the time I got near the bottom left sheet (corner) – it was hair pulling frustration time! I battled thru that with tissue ripping, pins going thru the tissue getting lost (I’ll find them when the tissue comes off), and things just not lining up at all .. I was beyond frustrated – here I am more than ยฝ way thru the quilt and it’s getting ugly. I could have just cried! Nothing was lining up at this point and I could see all my work going for naught. But then I just decided to “piece” it as it were .. cut the rest of the middle section into strips and make it fit between the two outer sheets .. Thank God! That worked quite nicely .. I was able to get back on track and things started to go very quickly from that point on ..

As for the bottom, I pieced that one deliberately to have a full pattern fit with no excess bits between the borders. (Note to self – do the bloody math you twit to have full motifs from edge to edge – BAH!) Another reason why you really don’t want to use a full sheet, you are leaving to much of your quilt unbasted (even with pinning) for comfort .. the risk of things shifting is way to high .. I would hate to see how this would have ended up if my batting wasn’t cotton! **shudder**

So from now on, I’ll be printing out my motifs (to ensure accuracy), AND using smaller sheets.ย  I was saying to Carmen .. Even if your quilt is square – exactly how square is it – do you have a measuring tape that measure micrometers?? And exactly how square are your sheets!??! Nope not going to use a full sheet again .. I’ll be limited to the size that my printer will accept which is 8ยฝ x 14″. Least this way if something is off, thenย  adjustments can be made over smaller areas that won’t be as noticeable as adjustments over a huge 20 x 20″ area .. nor as frustrating!

I’ve updated the tissue paper tutorial as well for this ๐Ÿ™‚ Tomorrow the border motif printing – then the quilting .. I hope ๐Ÿ˜‰

Design Daze

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I think I’ve finally figured out why my kitty quilt has been waiting for me so long .. I had no bloody clue on what to do for the main body quilting .. that realization rather smacked me in the face over the past few days .. the borders were easy peasy .. but the main body .. EEEEKKKKKKKKK!!!!!

Nothing I found seemed to please me one bit! Some was to busy, other’s too loopy, other’s to blah, other’s to fussy .. But I finally found the purrfect (hehehehe) motif. So I went to work cleaning it up, resizing it and tracing it .. it was only AFTER I got all the sheets traced and my quilt ready to go, that I realized I hadn’t done a mock-up to see how it looked :O oops .. LOL ..

HPIM2664.jpgI know this sounds relatively simple .. and believe me it is .. but the right motif isn’t always that simple **sigh Rather like finding just the right fabric or thread or what-have-you .. oh speaking of thread … that was the easy part .. I was going to do white, but then this variegated thread spoke to me and asked to come home with me .. I won’t go into the whole story of that adventure .. Reg is still shaking his head at me .. he does that a lot …

HPIM2663.jpgMy machines all set up, the first tissue sheet is pinned into place (and yes my basting stitches are out) – I was going to start tonite, but I hit a wall of fatigue then started to watch TV with reg and woke up .. **sigh. But I’m not going to start quilting tonite .. The good news is, that the motif is large enough on this so it “should” quilt up pretty quick and this just might be a one day quilting .. for the main part at least .. I’ve not traced out the border motifs yet, so that should take a bit longer me thinks as the tissue needs to be cut to size still and I’ve rather had enough of that today all ready .. oh this is the first time I’m trying a full sheet method .. so we’ll see how that goes .. should be interesting .. for lack of a more polite word ๐Ÿ˜‰ SO tomorrow I begin on my kitty quilt – FINALLY

The border has already changed – nope that didn’t take long at all .. i’ll be using nothing in the wonky narrow border, but paws n meeces in the outer border … it’s just wayyy to cute for words!!

Underground RR revisited, berries

You know what i just noticed .. I flipped a row on that last underground RR section .. (groan) .. that I have to take out .. no choice in the matter .. I was just looking at it and my fabrics last nite when I noticed it .. I’m like .. are you kidding me .. for crying out loud!!!! bah!!! On a good note .. all I have to do is frog stitch just that section, flip it over and re-sew it .. so it’s not like it’s the whole section and lucky (yeah right) for me, it was at the edges .. holybiblebatman! twittwittwit – I am TRYING to be positive about this .. yeah right .. **grumbling .. **

I’m working on the centerpiece now .. I pulled out my green (pathetic amount that I have) and started to measure them for the Ohio Star points .. the two dark colours that I wanted to use were only 11&#189, and I needed 11&#190 – course it’s short .. soooo I’m using a light green and medium green .. I’ll use the darker green in the smaller Ohio star blocks .. will be using purple foregrounds for the sisters star blocks for the middle .. I have the Ohio Star points done and am going to start cutting the sisters blocks just after I post this or find something else to stall with ๐Ÿ˜€

On a GOOD note, I did get my kitty quilt basted and it did take less time that I actually thought to finish it .. cat hork not withstanding .. I was invaded by my dad .. (yup AGAIN – well it didn’t turn into a visit, more like a drive by and he did bring milk :D) while I was basting it and he was looking at it and oh that’s pretty .. I’m like … pretty?? (@@) .. thanx .. (dry sarcastic tone) .. he goes .. why’s it all wet .. I’m like wet??? where .. and I look .. my darling little Shadow(Pixel leaves bigger offerings) decided to leave a soggy splotch on the quilt .. I’m like .. the truth comes out on how she really feels about it .. good thing it wasn’t food or a hairball .. quick dabbing with paper towels and then a damp cloth cleaned it right up .. I think I would have rather had her chase my thimble around the house .. **sigh**

It’s a mulberry tree ๐Ÿ˜€ .. Thanx to all the ladies that sent me emails telling me what tree this is .. Thank you everyone!!

What are these berries???
I noticed the other day that there were squirrels and birds having a feast in my tree in the back yard .. and then I look closer and see .. berries ..does anyone have any idea what these are .. I thought this was the same tree that my dad had, but his doesn’t produce fruit .. then again, he scalps his every year and it just doesn’t .. I tasted it, not overly sweet nor tart .. just mild .. can you leave a comment in my blog (as that’s emailed to me) or email me directly if you have my email address – thanx .. I really do appreciate it .. I know they aren’t poisonous as the birds and squirrels don’t fall out the tree and the dogs even eating them .. crazy dog!

Now as for the dog .. I’m going to tie her tail to her whiskers she starts digging again in the backyard .. she started to go to town yesterday just under this tree, and then again this AM ..

You know .. my animals are going to look really funny with them all running around with their whiskers and tails tied together .. and yes even Pix ..

Quilts n Grass n Bagels!!

Yesterday was a busy day for me .. I had gotten no sleep overnite ..I hate when that happens .. and was waiting on a few phone calls that I didn’t want to miss, so I decided to stay up as I was afraid I would not hear the phone .. course they called .. in the afternoon :S

I had a whack of things to do yesterday .. cutting the backyard, making bagels, doing the laundry and I needed a break from all the browns in the repro quilt, so I decided to baste my kitty quilt.

The backyard looks GREAT .. maybe one more cutting and Kyle can do that one .. he’s gonna love that lol .. I just want to be sure that the latest seed I laid catches and it looks like it’s doing just that .. just have to combat all the weeds back there .. they are all on one side of the yard heheh .. I’ll pull them slowly and surely .. by labour day they should all be gone – heheheheh

I did that early in the AM so that I could do the bagels, laundry and basting at the same time .. breadmakers are wonderful things ๐Ÿ˜€ .. it does all the mixing and all i have to do is shape them, proof them, boil them (secrets in the boiling time .. the longer they boil, the larger and lighter they get), and then bake them .. voila!!! bagels .. I’m doing better at them too .. this is likely my 4th batch and I’ve finally got the knack of them .. reg actually said he thought they were store bought :D. I like the recipe I found, it uses both whole wheat and white flour – anything with whole wheat is good in this house. I had tested a few and this one won.

I’m still using Sharon Schambers method and like everything – practice practice practice .. i’m about 2/3 done and it shouldn’t take me more than 2 hours to finish it .. baring interruptions. I could have finished yesterday, but I wanted to spend time with Reg and I was WHACKED!

Normally I don’t leave stuff like that out .. i use the kitchen table for this and it’s right under a HUGE window – and any window in a house with cats is THEIR territory .. it wasn’t so much them sitting on it … – they do that all the time .. I was more worried about the needle and my thimble – My darling Shadow loves to bat things around .. (remember my seam ripper – that was her work) Pix is more likely to go after fabric and batting strips. But it’s all there .. first thing I checked when I got up this AM.

I’m still trying to decide what sections to do next for my repro quilt .. i’ve not heard back from the people i had emailed about the calico fabric or the simplex star block. I might just do the middle Ohio with the sisters blocks, or work on the Double X sections .. I am thinking I might want a quick section to finish and that would likely be the Ohio / Sisters – I’m also rather stuck on colours .. what to use .. The Double X uses more yardage and would like to have them as close as possible .. so I might have to do them next to ensure that .. I’m not worried about the background fabric .. I have enough of that .. but the foreground .. I would like to do greens and purples in the middle (Reg and I’s favourite colours) and they do compliment each other nicely – hen maybe reds and blues for the Double X .. (will only combine those if I don’t have enough of one colour) .. heh .. will have to check my math I guess .. ๐Ÿ™‚