Monday, August 19, 2013

The wheels on the bus go round and round!

In our neck of the woods it is the first day of school for most kids--the hubster is a school bus driver for the largest school district in our state. I got the bright idea a few months ago that he should have a very special shirt to wear back to school on the first day:
Itty bitty buses on lime green! I cut out the shirt while at my sister's weekend before last (because it was a secret, of course). I had all these warm fuzzy feelings of how his little bitty students would love it and maybe even make them feel a little bit better about going back to school. It didn't hit me until late last week that all the other bus drivers might have a good laugh out of it--but I had already cut everything out and it was too late to turn back! The surprise leaked out of me Friday evening and he actually helped me put it together. 
Can't get the man to smile on demand! 

I actually have fabric cut for another school bus shirt (scored both pieces on sale at Fat Quarter Shop) that I plan to complete in the next few weeks.

Hubby suggested that the NEXT time I purchase fabric for shirts to please make it batik.

Sunday we celebrated our oldest son's 31st birthday with a brunch. Our son Ross and daughter-in-law Katie were in New Orleans celebrating Katie's 30th birthday, but we had everyone else and had a great time:
...and everything was gluten-free.

I'm still quilting that charity quilt! Hope to have it off the frame by Friday.

Happy quilting (and sewing),

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Stay-cation Days 4, 5 and the Weekend before I returned to work.

I realize I've been absent for a stretch--I had this post written at the end of my stay-cation but put off publishing it because I wanted better photos of what I accomplished. Then I got busy sewing and quilting and forgot all about it, until one of my girlfriends asked me when I was going to put up another post! So, without further ado...the rest of my stay-cation:

Day 4, Thursday, was not very productive--I am a SLOW quilter and I took most of the day making the backing for the Barn Chicks quilt. I am not fond of anything related to cutting fabric and squaring up is one of the worst chores for me (I know, I know--cutting is essential to quilting!)--but I'm short and my cutting table is tall. I finally got everything loaded and completed the top border Thursday. 

Thursday night Katrina and I took LeiLani out for sushi for her birthday--and we decided we would only take hand work with us on our annual Labor Day quilting retreat. I'm hoping to have at least a couple of quilts ready for binding!

Friday morning, Day 5, our oldest son, Jack, came over to help brainstorm over the idea I have for the fabrics I bought at the quilt show last month. We made some decisions and he will draw the pattern. Katrina will enlarge the pattern for me and hopefully we'll have it traced onto the background fabric before Jack goes on tour in October. I can't tell you anymore about it because it's for a very special someone, and I want it to be a surprise!

Friday afternoon I was able to quilt the first of four rows of the Barn Chicks quilt. I'm quilting a different design inside each chicken and quilting chicken feathers in the rest of the area. The quilting of the eggs in the borders is not going as smoothly as I would like, but I consider every quilt a learning experience and will just keep plowing.

I'm using a different pattern inside each chicken, and quilting chicken feathers around each chicken.
Saturday I finished quilting the Barn Chicks! Lordy--that one was difficult for me because I just couldn't get inspired by it. I appliqued eggs throughout the border and placed an egg basket in the lower right corner. It was a good idea in concept, but I couldn't come up with a decent design to quilt in the border--so I treated the eggs as if they were the yolk in the center of a fried egg. Like I said, uninspired. The egg basket is heavily stitched because it was fused and not previously anchored down by stitching before going on the longarm. I scribbled around each egg in the basket. I used Signature Golden Harvest on top and Fil-Tec in the bobbin.

I'll get the binding attached and ready for hand stitching for our Labor Day retreat. Next in the longarm is a charity quilt Katrina designed and pieced. I'm treating it like another practice quilt and I'm taking my time with it, but I have to have it done before we leave for our retreat!
On Sunday our youngest, David, came over and he and I worked on a special project which, of course, cannot be shown just yet. 

And Monday I returned to work ready to slay dragons again. That was almost 2 weeks ago--and I had such a great time during my stay-cation that I have sewed or quilted each night since to keep up the good vibes. 

I'll have an update next week on some of the things I've been working on since stay-cation. Until then, quilt every day! 

Happy quilting,

Saturday, August 17, 2013

A lovely waste of time

At our Girl Gang retreat a couple of years ago we discussed Pinterest. One of our Gang members asked what it was, and I replied, "It's a lovely waste of time." I used to spend a good chunk of my morning routine scouring the boards to see the overnight activity...and I would get completely sucked into that vortex and my brain would zip and zing in a million directions and think about all those wonderful projects I could possibly make! This is me: day I just stopped. I needed to do and make things instead of spending precious time looking at things that I might make. I stopped in January. When we had our Girl Gang Retreat this year, it had been 3 weeks since I had visited Pinterest and thought I would catch up then, but I didn't. After returning home, I still didn't get back to it. I began working on my own projects.

This week I finally dove in--lately when I'm searching for something on Google, i.e., quilting designs, etc., I'm led to someone's Pinterest board. I saw enough there to log in to my account and looked for a while, and even pinned a couple of things. I did NOT look at everything I've missed over the last 7 months! 

I worried that I would again get sucked into the vortex, and my fears were unfounded. I think I've finally broken the habit. It's still a lovely waste of time and sometimes it's good for finding what you're looking for, but I'm now of the mindset that I would rather work on my projects and accomplish something while I'm here on this earth. I'm sure I'll go back to it from time to time, but for now I'm saying:

Which reminds me--I know I haven't posted about the remainder of my stay-cation--I need to take better photos of what I worked on and should have that post up by the end of the weekend. 

Happy quilting,