Thursday, January 26, 2006

Time Flies...

It's been a busy couple of weeks, but I got the memory quilt project finished, delivered and collected my pay for. Now I am concentrating on samples for the quilt shop. I finished this one last week. It was a very quick and easy project, and has been popular - sold lots of fabric so far with this one! I think it's prettier in real life, but most quilts are. I really enjoy doing a quick and easy project, especially after one of those tear your hair out projects. I am currently working on one of those. The instructions for the current project weren't the best, and it's a lot of picky work, but I do think it will be worth the effort in the end.

This is the very dark and forboding sky last week. We have had so much rain - it really makes me glad we live at the top of a nice , solid hill. There was a lot of wind and rain last night, and we are supposed to get more of the same today. A good day for sewing, but unfortunately I have other obligations, as much as I would like to stay home and have fun. Maybe tonight I can sew!

This is our Miss Cat. I caught her and her brother snug as can be sleeping in forbidden territory - my bedroom! Of course, they were being so cute that I got my camera to take some pictures before I kicked them out. I'm challenging myself to take more pictures now that I have the digital camera, so I suppose the cats better get used to me stalking them. I think she's a gorgeous kitty, and she definitely has the siameses temperament along with those looks. She's quite the huntress, always stalking small scraps of paper and snips of fabric. She has beautiful blue eyes and a very comical half of a tail ending in a lightening bolt zig-zag. She can be quite a nuisance at times - she loves to help my type on the keyboard, and if she gets a chance will sit on the most current quilting project on my table. Her name is Missy, but she gets called lots of other things like prissy - my favorite is Miss Cat.

Enough blabber, got to get ready for my day, and hopefully to get some sewing done tonight!

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Rain, rain go away!

Well, it's another downpour here today. A good day to stay inside and quilt! I made a lot of progress on the memory quilts over the weekend. I actually have four of them ready for quilting, and most of the fifth is cut out. I will be so glad to get this project over with. It's been over a year and has caused me a lot of guilt for not getting going on it earlier. I am just stitching these in the ditch. Not fun as the sweaters are rather thick and bulky. Not my best work, but for the materials I had to work with they are all right. Hey, adding a picture is not that hard! The worst part is remembering where I put it on the computer! Really need to organize those files and folder, too.

I finished the storm at sea paper piecing also, and now I need to figure out how to get the pictures to go where I want them to. Oh, well. It took me a while to fix those 6 little mistakes, but I am very glad to have it done now. I plan on hand quilting it and entering it in the local guild show this year.
Off to the sewing room to do some more on the memory quilts. The goal of today is to quilt two of them and piece the fifth. I would love to have these all done by the end of the week, but I have to work a couple days and teach a bible study, so I may not get that far, but I have made great progress.

Friday, January 06, 2006

My First Blog Post - The Lion, The Seam Ripper, and the Sewing Room

This is an experiment for me- I don't know if people are so interested in my thoughts and what projects I am working on, but I am challenging myself to get out of my comfort zone and do new things this year. The main things I plan to share about are the creative processes of my quilting. I got a new digital camera, so I plan on sharing pictures along the way once I figure things out!

I have a free day today so after fooling around on the computer for a bit it's off to my sewing room. I have had my sewing room for only a few months now and I am loving it! One of the perks of our nest being closer to empty. I really was shocked that I still can't fit all my stuff in one room, but at least I can find what I'm looking for now in a reasonable amount of time. I still have a twin bed in there in deference to my daughter - (she's still in shock that it changed so quickly), but eventually there will be another sewing table in place of that.

Sewing plans for today - work on small art piece. Cut out 6.5" squares of clothing for a memory quilt project for someone. Maybe redo some of the paper pieced squares of a miniature lighthouse project. As I was sewing the squares together I found about 6 or 7 mistakes (imagine that!). Contrary to popular notion I am not perfect, nor does every project go together perfectly! I am just picky and get it right eventually!

I have a funny story of a project that really was a challenge! Early in December I was contacted regarding making costumes for a play. I agreed, but with other commitments was unable to start the project until almost Christmas. One of the costumes is a lion. Not just any lion, but Azlan - so it has to look right, no cheesy looking lions allowed. I cannot find appropriate materials for a lions mane. The wearer of the costume has an inspiration and calls a taxidermist. No, he cannot come up with any lion fur, but he has a bear skin he would be glad to donate to the cause.

In a moment of temporary insanity I agree to work with the bear skin. I suppose I was hoping it would be a brown bear skin and not look too bad. Well, it was a black bear. Very black. No, that's not going to work, maybe we can dye it. After an unsuccessful e-search I decided that regular hair dye was the way to go. So, I sewed the hood together first. It really wasn't too bad to sew, just butted up the edges and zig-zagged them together. But it's really heavy and bulky. Plus, there is now bear fur all over me, the floor, the table, and everything else. It smells a little funny, but not too bad.

Now comes the dying part - I unsuccessfully tried to dodge that part, but couldn't find a volunteer hair dresser to help me out (imagine that). Up to the tub go me and the bear fur. 2 boxes of dye later it's starting to turn dark brown. I dry it with a hair dryer, but it's still way too dark. I tried another box and it looks a bit better, but it is still really dark, and I am done. This is just way too hard, and I do not want to go any further. Plus that by now the skin is drenched, too and it is twice as heavy as it was before. So I drape the thing over a laundry basket and set it out to dry. It doesn't help a bit that it is pouring down rain and the humidity is so high!

The wearer of the skin took it with him, and he dyed it next. 2 more boxes of die later, it's quite a bit lighter, though still not great, but we are both done with dying now! Needless to say, I was quite relieved when the project was finished and picked up on Wednesday! I'm curious to hear people's comments when they see the play. I will continue to volunteer to sew for the local productions, but no more animals - I'm sticking with real clothing pieces!  As you can see, it doesn't look too bad, and the play was successful.