Studio Update

Well, a lot has happened in the sewing room since the last post.  I estimate that 75% of my stuff has been relocated to its new location. Here is the view as you look in the door:

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My sewing machine is set up and I even sewed a bit on it the other day.  Most of the fabric is folded and stacked neatly.  The few bolts and pieces larger than a quarter yard are in that black bookcase in the right corner.  On the hearth are two CD shelf units that I got from a yard sale. They are perfect for holding folded fat quarters. The one on the left has the fabric I have been collecting for applique and one shelf has the 1/2 pieces that I have dyed myself at a couple dye workshops.

The assortment of decorations on the mantle will be arranged more carefully once I decide just what is going up there. Right now they are just there to be out of the way.

Here is my desk and a section of the big pegboard that was upstairs. There are six cubbies on each side where I can stash a lot.

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Here is another view of the work tables. I think I can make room for two or three visitors if the opportunity arises.  I would like to make pretty covers for those brown chairs though, and maybe add cushions to the seast so they are more comfortable.

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Here is the fabric corner again and the ironing board. That little IKEA  light is just right to brighten my ironing spot when the sun is not shining.

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Here is the bookcase. I was so surprised to find out that all my quilting and craft books and magazines fit and there is room for more. I thought I might need more shelves, but now see that I don’t.  That is Max there on the directors chair.  You can also see the front of the treadmill.

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Here is a view of the design wall and one end of the pool table loaded down with finished quilts (a few) and quilts waiting to be quilted (way too many). I’m not sure what to do with the blank wall in that corner yet. Maybe more shelves or another design wall. I will let you know when I figure it out.

The little sofa in the foreground is in a nice spot to sit and do handwork. That cornucopia is laying over the back to remind me that it needs a hanging sleeve. Although it looks very nice there, eventually, it will go in the dining room. Maybe I will make something else for that spot.

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Next is a straight view of the design wall with my Birds of a Feather blocks. I am nearly done with the blocks (three blocks to go) for this quilt and hope to have it pieced and ready to quilt soon.

You can seem more miscellaneous stuff on the pool table waiting for homes.

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Here are the plastic shelves with most of the stuff that hid in the closet upstairs. I need to make new labels for the plastic boxes so I can find things when I need them.

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This is the other empty corner. I plan on making another design wall for it.  Then I can sit at my desk and look at the design wall from a nice distance to see how a project looks. That will be good. On the floor there are some more bags of stuff waiting for a home.

You can also see the shelf that I used upstairs as a window treatment over the sliding glass doors. Unfortunately, it is not long enough for either of the windows down here. My new plan is to cut it in half and make two shorter shelves.

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The two shorter shelves will go on the wall over these plastic drawers.  These drawers hold all my odd bits of fabric that have been cut and are uneven and won’t fold up nicely to go on shelves. I have them arranged by color in the two stacks on the right. The other stack is arranged by type of fabric: Christmas, landscape, sewing themed prints, panels, etc.

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Here is the other piece of pegboard with all my rulers and cutting tools. Eventually, my cutting mat will be located on the end of the pool table by this pegboard. I think it will be very handy.

That blue bag of fabric is the little bits that many quilters throw away, but I love to make crumb style quilt blocks with them. so I save just about every piece. Every now and again, I get into a mood for some mindless sewing and dig into these scraps. One of these days I plan to sort them by color and put them into their own little bins, but this is how they sit for now.

Do you see that pole with the rolls of ribbon on it? That is the curtain pole that held the valance over the window upstairs. It just stuck through the curlicues of the shelf bracket.  Well, once the shelf gets cut and put on the wall, I plan on hanging this pole (shortened to fit of course) through the curlicues again to make the ribbon accessible. For years, these spools of ribbon have been tucked in a big plastic box and I never remembered to use them because I forgot about them. Now they will be very visible and more likely to be used.

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These drawers hold most of my UFO’s.

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Another view of the little sofa and pool table.

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This is my desk so far. Those two monitors are from my old computer.  If we decide to put TV down here, one of them will be the TV. I am not sure what to do with the other one, but didn’t have a safe place to put it while I figure it out.

I plan on getting another of those two-shelf shoe racks to stack on the one already there, and another three drawer plastic unit to stack on the one there.  I visualize this whole wall being stacked up with shelves and cubbies to hold all manner of goodies.  I also have a  small two drawer file cabinet that will go under the desk on the left once I empty it of the files it currently holds.

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Here is another look at the thread board. I plan on getting another thread rack to hold my applique thread and will have to rearrange the lower part of the board to fit it in.

Finally, I hung a bunch of hooks along the bottom to hold some of my  bags and totes.

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That’s the tour for this week. Check back to check on the progress.  Maybe I will have some quilty stuff to show you too!

I sure am enjoying this little adventure and am so grateful that I have such a sweet hubby who will move things and hang things and move them again when I change my mind. He is a dear man and I love him more than I can say.

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And now for September

First up is my sunflower quilt. It was part of a row robin we had earlier this year in Crazy Quilters guild.  I made the center block then passed it along to Sharon.  She did the middle borders up to the yellow strip. Then Delores got it and did that fancy outside border.

I quilted it and added the binding as part of my UFO challenge for Chattanooga quilters. I am really happy with the quilt. I had no idea what to expect and think it is better than I could have imagined. Thanks Sharon and Delores for all your hard work.

Next is the quilt I made from the Pat Wys workshop that was arranged by Crazy Quilters Guild. My quilt is called How Does Your Garden Grow!

It was a lot of fun to make. I decided to use my reds ad pinks and valentine fabrics and I love the result — it is a very happy quilt.

Finally, hear are three cuddle quilts that I started at the Choo Choo guild cuddle quilt workshop. They werw fast and fun.

And because it is always good to receive critique on one’s work, here is Max’s opinion of one of the cuddle quilts:

January Leftovers

I sure have been neglecting this blog lately. Sorry.  Here are a few things from January:

This is a journal I covered.  i happen to see this fabric in one of my bags of fabric and remembered how much I liked it so decided to put it on a journal. It is woven fabric, not printed. You don’t see that very often these days.  I added a strip of delicate lace to remind me which side was front. I don’t know how many times I have opened a journal and got it upside because I could not distinguish the front from the back.

This is the view of it opened. What pretty flowers.

Here are Max and Zeena enjoying their new play tower.  The outside light was so bright it made the inside look dark, but it wasn’t really that dark. In the mornings, they like to lay in the sun here. Later in the day, they enjoy the elevated view outside where they can watch the birds play in the birdbath.

This is the first block of the block-of-the-month that I am doing at Sew Bee It quilt shop. This year we are taking a departure from the Jan Patek Girl Gang blocks-of-the-month and making Birds of a Feather by Barb Adams and Alma Allen of Blackbird Designs. So far, it is fun.

This is block #seven of “pushing Up Spring” from Apple Blossom Quilts, a block-of the-month from 2009 that I have been working on for quite a while.  There are 16 blocks all together, so I am nearly half way there. Block #8 is prepped and glued down and I have started stitching on it. I love the bright colors of these blocks. Here is a picture of the whole quilt:

Now, I think we are up to date for January. I have a picture or two for February, but will wait a day or so to put them up.

Mystery Quilt Finshed

I know you have been waiting on the edge of your chair to find out which arrangement I decided on for the mystery quilt Iwas making with Chattanooga Quilter’s Guild. Well here is the big reveal.

Oops! That’s not the quilt, that’s my girls, Max & Zeena, napping. Aren’t they cute!

Let’s try again to find the quilt. . .

That’s better. As you can see, I decided against the peachish hourglass blocks and went with the turquoise ones. I will have to measure it, but it is not quite bed sized, but would be a comfy couch quilt. And here is the back:

I didn’t have this lovely green fabric when I started the quilt, or I might have used it for the background.  I am seriously considering making another one like this. It was so much fun.

It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas

This shows the first snow of the season. The next day we got some more and it has been very cold, but the snow is all gone and I didn’t think to take a picture when it was at it’s heaviest.

Here are Zeena and Max snuggled up with Santa. Aren’t they sweet!

This year we got a little Christmas tree and have decorated it a bit. In previous years, Raymond hung lights on the outside of the house, but this is the first year he wanted to have a tree. I think he got a bit of Xmas spirit when we were visiting the family up north. Jenny put up her tree the day after Thanksgiving and started decorating. I think some of that holiday excitement rubbed off on RB.

Anyway, since we had a tree, I figured I should make a tree skirt for it so it wouldn’t look naked all by itself. Here is the tree with a few  decorations. We got some ‘shatter-proof’ sparkly balls for it hoping the cats wouldn’t decide to break anything. So far, they have not shown the least bit of interest in the ornaments.

On one of my mail lists (Stashbusters) someone mentioned the ten minute block and listed a link to a video showing how to make it. I found it very interesting and decided to try it out on a tree skirt. It is actually quite similar to the way I did Jenny’s tree skirt, only with larger blocks which make it a quicker finish. And the blocks are easier to work with in the larger size.

Here is the finished skirt pinned to the design wall. I used smaller squares of fabric, but followed the video pretty much exactly.That lighter green fabric is from Hancock’s of Paducah!

And here it is with the tree:

Isn’t it cute! As you can probably tell, we ran out of garland for the bottom part of the tree, but will remedy that soon.  It only took about three days start to finish. And with the left over fabric I made a little table mat and a couple of coasters.

How festive is that!

 

Thanksgiving Adventure

Raymond and I decided to go to Illinois to visit the kids and my sister for Thanksgiving. According to my map program, it was 628 miles and would take around 9.5 hours to drive (it was way off). We decided to leave on the Tuesday before Thanksgiving in the afternoon and drive till we got tired and stop for the night. It was fun packing clothes and goodies. I made three kinds of cookies and put them in containers: one for Christopher, one for Jennifer, and one for my sister, Laura. I also took the fixings to make pumpkin ginger bread, although I never got around to making it. Oh, and I took the Christmas tree skirt that I showed you in the last post.

Traffic leaving Chattanooga was very slow but after a couple of hours it thinned out and we could go the speed limit. We drove till Paducah KY and stopped for the night at a Holiday Inn Express. When we got up Wednesday, it was drizzling rain and ended up raining almost all the way, which slowed our progress.

We had one memorable experience in Paducah. In the hotel lobby, I found a brochure for the Paducah Quilt Museum. It was just a short ways and even on the exit we had taken. If we had had more time, I would have liked to stop, but we would have had to wait for it to open and that would have us arriving late. Happily, we will be going that way again and can plan around a stop at the museum.

Then when we leaving the hotel, Raymond turned to the right toward a gas station to fill up before we got on the road. As we were leaving the gas station I glanced across the street and saw the legendary Hancocks of Paducah, a fabric Mecca! It was open and we got to go in and browse. What a wonderful store. So many bolts of fabric. Wow. It was hard to leave, but again, now that I know where it is, we can go back. You saw the pictures of the fabric I got there in a previous post. It was a wonderful little side trip.

Back on the road, the rain was steady slowed us a bit. We didn’t get to Jenny’s house till after three pm. The next couple of days were spent between Jenny’s house and Christopher’s house where we slept. Thanksgiving day was great. There was so much food, and we ate and talked and played games, and talked some more.

Joe and James, my grandsons, are both taller than me! That was such a surprise. I can’t believe how much they have grown.  And of course, they have gotten more handsome too. I wish I would have thought to take a picture of the three of us. I also got to meet my two grand-puppies, Dexter and Buddha.  Dexter is the beagle and Buddha is a great dane. He is only 10 months old, while Dexter is a year or two older. Both pups have the sweetest temperaments and are quite lovable.

Here are Buddha and I hanging out at Chris’ house. What a big puppy!

The weather was not much cooler than it was in Chattanooga at the time, but we did appreciate having heavy coats and lots of layers of clothing. Sight seeing was at a minimum because the real purpose to go was to be with the kids. We did take a little trip across town to Robert’s Sew and Vac, where I got a couple more pieces of fabric. And I got to show Raymond all the high points of Joliet. We got food one evening at Portillos. http://www.portillos.com/, a great restaurant with a pretty good version of an Italian Beef Sandwich (which I have searched for in vain here in Chattanooga and previously in Florida).

It was so good to see my kids and grand kids and grand puppies. They are all happy and doing so well. I love them more than I can say.I also got to spend time with my friend Lynn, whom I also love.

We planned on leaving Saturday morning to have time to hang out with my sister before heading south again. We stopped at her house and the three of us went out to breakfast at the Chick o Dee restaurant in Wilmington. That was where Laura and I would have breakfast with Aunt Lena and Aunt Mae on Sundays before going to visit Gramma Webster at the nursing home. It was quite a tradition for several years. After Gramma passed, we still had breakfast with the Aunts.

After that we drove all over Wilmington, showing Raymond all the significant places of our childhood – where we went to school, all the places we use to live and hang out. He even got to see the giant astronaut at the Launching Pad drive-in http://www.il66assoc.org/attraction/launching-pad-drive were we use to get ice cream. Laura drove us over to Morris where we got to visit our friend Lorraine in her shop, The Birds and the Teas.

This is my sister Laura, Lorraine and me. Laura and Lorraine have been friends since they were in sixth grade. I think that is very cool to have a friend for so long.

The last leg of our tour took us through Mazon and to Verona to the farm where Aunt Mae and Uncle Paul use to live. No one lives there now, but it is a place full of wonderful memories of summer vacations and ponies and horses and sheep and tractors and corn and soybeans.

Eventually, we had to say good bye and headed back home. The day was bright, the weather was clear and we made good time, ending up staying in Paducah again, at the same Holiday Inn. Again, we got up and on the road too early to try to visit the museum, but one day I will get there.  Traffic slowed down again as we neared Chattanooga.

As much fun as it was to go and visit and all that, it was also wonderful to get home. We had left the cats with lots of food and water and an extra litter box, and they managed fine without us.

A Little Scrappy Fun

Since I took Pick-and-Choose to be quilted I have not been in the mood to work on anything that requires a lot of focus and concentration, so I sorted out my little scrap basket and took all the white and off-white scraps and the handful of blue and purple scraps and made this very scrappy little quilt top.  That kept me busy for a few days.  Here it is next to the backing fabric I chose for it:

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It’s cute in it’s own special way don’t you think?  I am going to make it a cat quilt. I bet Max and Zeena will love lying on or under it, and it is really too small for anything else.It is probably about 2.5 by 4 feet.  I love using up every bit of fabric like this. It is like getting an extra, free gift when you buy fabric for a particular project.