Friday, May 23, 2014

Springtime in Wisconsin

I love my neighborhood.

Yesterday was a beautiful day.  Once I turn off the busy main street, here's what I see all the way home:

Turning into my driveway... I guess I was looking into the sun or something.

My back yard from the end of my patio.

I put my patio chair right next to this bush.
Sew on!

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Bits and Scraps of This and That

Sometimes I'm at a loss for something to write and sometimes I get on a roll.  Every once in a while I start typing with an idea in my head, and it takes a left turn at my fingers making the keyboard go in a totally different direction.

I wonder about my brain!  Whether it's even tethered to the earth...

Oh well.

Last week I finished up a quilt for the preschool at our church.  It was one of those kiddie hand print block things and was probably the only thing besides mending that I actually sewed on during the month of May.  It was so nice to see it completed.  I posted it to Facebook and got some 'likes'.  The lady who does the actual quilting is so talented and we make a good team.  Good job, Suzi!

I have so many projects in my head.  This week has been mad crazy busy at work, and of course I have lots of financial things that must be done, so no slacking off!  But I'd so much rather be off work and sewing.  Maybe this weekend, since it's a long one, I'll be able to go into the sewing room.

But the weather finally got nice here, so even though last Sunday was a free day, I was loathe to go into the basement when the sun was shining so delightfully!  Besides, I needed to rest up from our last day of Sunday School.  The kids were so excited to recite their memory pieces, they were literally vibrating as they stood.  It was adorable.   My little opening message was using Legos to tell them how they're building a foundation for their faith by learning the commandments and prayers.  I do so love them all.

But now I'm excited that my book that was backordered from Nancy's Notions is being shipped, so I want to get back to sewing again.

First, I got all those nice patterns from Samina at the Sew Everything blog.  I am looking forward to making that Sandra Betzina green blouse.  I have the perfect fabric in mind...

Then I bought that lovely stash of stuff from Sewing Weekend.  And I also won a book from Randi at the Barrister's Block blog.  And here is where I would post photos of all that stuff if my camera was working.  Imagine cool stuff.

This week I did sew up a little skirt for Miss A.  She was in the sewing room with me while I was finishing up the quilt.  She spotted this pink plaid half yard of fabric that I bought to make some doll skirts.  I should have predicted she would love it, it was three shades of bright pink. 

Not the right fabric but the one she has is this color.

Miss A:  that's good dress fabric.

Me:  it's too small a piece for a dress.
Miss A:  well, is it enough for a skirt?
Me:  Probably, if it's a small skirt.
Miss A:  I wear a small.
Me:  I can see that.  Do you want a skirt from this fabric?
Miss A:  Yes, please.  And can you do it now?  You're not doing anything right now anyway.
Me:  to myself -- you mean not doing anything with YOU right now...

So she went home wearing a new skirt over the top of her leggings.  No picture though, she ran too fast.

Tonight when I get home, my book "It's All About Embellishment" by Gail Yellen should be there.  Time to read and dream about more projects.  And wish for more time.

Sew on!

Monday, May 19, 2014

A Finished Quilt

For the past several years, the preschool associated with our church asked the quilting group for assistance with their year end raffle quilt.

The four year old classes do a paint hand print on muslin when they're learning about the letter Q, and the teachers ask the parents and/or grandparents of the children in the classes if someone can make the squares into a quilt.

Almost every year there is at least one class with a quilty mom or grandmom, so usually we'd only have to do one.  A couple of years ago we had to do both of them!  This generally isn't a huge problem, except when we don't get a lot of advance notice... like this year.

This year, one class needed a 'foster-quilter', and graduation is this Friday, May 23.  I received an email on May 7 asking if we could do a quilt.  Now these quilts are generally small in size, more a wall hanging than a blanket.  BUT some things can complicate the process:

  • The teachers generally use unbleached muslin.  Sometimes it's pretty rough stuff.  One year it shredded pretty horribly while I was cutting it down.  The other thing is, the color is so anti-anything you find in kids' prints for sashing and borders. 
  • They use whatever color paint trips their triggers.  This year, one class used only orange and teal paint, making it easy to match to some solid-looking fabrics.  This was, unfortunately, NOT the one I was working on.
  • The teachers write the names of the students on the squares with a sharpie marker.  One class wrote the name right below the thumb print.  That was so cool.  That was NOT the one I was working on. 
  • The muslin squares do not all start out life the same size.  This year, the set I was working on had one square that was so not square, I ended up cutting down all the other squares so much that it was a near thing to get the hand print and the name all within the block and not in the seam allowance.
But honestly, my sewing partner Suzi does such a nice job on the quilting, hardly anyone notices my challenges, and the sum total is so cute it all works out.

The school will raffle the quilt off on Friday and funds will go toward some project they have going for the kids.

Here's the results of this year:

My attempt to fill the empty square since there were only 15 in the class.  I wish I'd had time to get more creative...

This was as small as I could go without cutting off names or fingers!  I guess I could have moved his name up, but the handprint was so close to the top, it was a near thing.

So many colors makes picking a border a challenge.

Suzi channel quilted in the border and around the blocks, then I ran a line of stitches around the hands.

If I had had just a bit more time, I would have unearthed a lamb embroidery, but with the date fast approaching it just didn't work out.  I am sure that while the teachers appreciate the output, they really don't have an idea about how long any of this takes, all of it done while you're working full time and taking care of your own obligations. 

All I can say is, thanks for keeping the class sizes small!!  But I am counting this as a finish for 2014.

One down...  sew on!