Friday, November 22, 2013

New Plan...

Earlier I mentioned I was planning to work on a long time UFO.  But the more I looked at, the more I realized I just wasn't happy with it.  The quilt only has 4 fabrics - 2 blues, a brown and a cream.  Unfortunately, the blues I used just don't have enough contrast between them.

Only the border blocks and the sashing have these two fabrics next to each other, but I don't want to go to all the work of making the quilt and not like it.  So that means I have a lot of ripping out to do.  I have to unsew 160 2-patches, 80 HSTs, 4 blocks and all of the sashing strips.  I'm planning to work on it little by little at night while watching TV.

In the meantime, I've pulled out a couple of other UFO's, just in time for the Christmas season.  Back in 2011, I started a Dresden Plate table runner and a wallhanging using a Layer Cake of Nature's Gift by Deb Strain.  I had already finished piecing the table runner and started quilting it before putting it away.  I'm planning to do most of the quilting using metallic thread (which I don't have much experience with!)

Although I made all of the blades for the wallhanging, I hadn't started to put them together before both projects got put away.  (I really can't remember why I didn't finish them then.)  Since I've pulled it back out, I've made all of the Dresden Plates and I'm working on the centers.

FYI - I'm making this quilt.  It was a free pattern that came inside Moda Candy Bar boxes back in 2010 or so.

I was obviously confident of finishing way back then because I even made labels for the quilts that included the date.  Ha! Ha!  I'm just a little late, aren't I?

Hopefully I can finish them in time for Christmas 2013!

No, O people, the Lord has told you what is good, and this is what he requires of you: to do what is right, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God. 
Micah 6:8 (NLT)

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Bad Kitties!!!

Recently the machine on my frame, a Janome 1600 DBX, started acting up and had to take a trip to the repair shop.  Unfortunately, it was during the quilting of this quilt...

In the meantime, the temptation proved too great for these two troublemakers...

David and Sam
and they tore a hole in the batting during a wrestling match.

I'm not sure yet what I'll do when I get to this point in the quilting.  Any suggestions?

Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says. 
James 1:22 (NIV)

Sunday, November 10, 2013


Lately, I've really been enjoying the quiet mornings in my sewing room before the household starts to stir.  I sew, sit and think and watch the day as it gradually makes it's appearance.  And slowly I'm making progress on some of the items on my to-do list.  One of those items is the quilt X-Rated by Carrie Nelson in the book Schnibbles Times Two.  I've been wanting to make a patriotic version of this quilt for at least a year.

I had 5 charm packs of Independence Trail by Minick & Simpson that I thought would be perfect for this quilt.  I altered the pattern to use Charm Packs instead of a Layer Cake.  I didn't cut my charm squares down but used the full 5", so although my quilt has fewer rows, it still ended up larger than the pattern at 85" square.  I intended for this to be a lap quilt, it's just going to be a very large lap quilt now.

I didn't have enough yardage of any one fabric for the backing so I put on my thinking cap to figure out how to piece one together.  (I always make the backing as soon as I finish the top even if I don't plan to quilt it right away.)   It's also so wide that 2 widths of fabric aren't quite enough, so I needed to add a row in the middle.

I've already pulled out the next project I'm planning to work on.  It's a UFO from when I first started quilting.  Looking at it, it's obvious that I hadn't yet mastered the 1/4" seam allowance.  My seams are all a very generous 1/4".  It's going to make this one a bit of a challenge to finish, but I still like the fabrics and pattern, so I'm going to give it a try.

David has his way of trying to gain my attention while I'm sewing.  I'm grateful these machines are so sturdy!

David on top of my sewing machine
But the Lord stood with me and gave me strength. 
2 Timothy 4:17a (NLT)

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

My New Cutting Table...

I'm so excited that my new cutting table is finally finished and in my sewing room!  And although it took a while, it was so worth the wait.

My new custom cutting table
My very handy husband custom built this for me.  The top is 4 feet by 6 feet which should be plenty big enough for any project.  I've already filled the 3 drawers with all my handy sewing notions, rotary cutters, etc.  I'm planning to put a couple of baskets on the shelf underneath, but haven't found ones I like yet.

I'm going to put my ironing board along the backside of it.  It's 2 feet by 6 feet so it's the same length as the table.  It's also the same height.  I need to replace the cover on it this weekend.

The cutting table wouldn't fit up our stairs in one piece, so my husband built it to be modular.  He finished with the construction in early September, but it's taken since then to get it painted.  We used an oil based enamel paint that required 24 hours drying time between each coat.  I sanded between each coat as well.  Each piece needed 4 coats; however, we had a plethora (love that word) of kamikaze gnats that kept diving into the drying paint and messing up the finish.  I've lost count of the actual number of coats of paint this table received, particularly the table top.  In any case, it meant that it has taken a lot longer to finish than expected.

Modular pieces ready for assembly
I also have to mention that this is actually the second cutting table my husband built.  He built the first using specifications I gave him.  It was awful!  It was so large and clunky.  I am definitely not a furniture designer.  But he was incredibly sweet and built me the new one.  This time I just told him what I needed and let him design it.  It turned out perfectly.

First awful cutting table
This weekend he's planning to start on my sewing table, which is a simplified version of my cutting table.  As long as the gnats stay away, it shouldn't take near as long to finish!

Great is his faithfulness; his mercies begin afresh each morning. 
Lamentations 3:23 (NLT)