Monday, May 24, 2010

How can I find the time...?

Right now I have three large projects that need to be hand quilted. One is a beautiful quilt I saw made by my quilt doctor, Sylvia. Imitation is the greatest form of flattery and I had to make this quilt. It's been finished for at least a couple of years. This year I made The Gathering. Stunning quilt. Not completely bed sized; rather SQUARE but absolutely beautiful. Dark rich colors; many different sized blocks. I love it. Last year I did the Debbie Mumm BOM and that too is very pretty; more of a sofa quilt than the other two. I may do that one on a hoop just to try out that technique.

This year I am doing the Christmas Row By Row BOM and all of my friends who are also doing it are MILES AHEAD OF ME. They are caught up and have done ALL OF THE APPLIQUE which I have not started. So that one is on-going.

On the way home from Florida I stopped at Mardens in Waterville (OK...I stopped in ON THE WAY TO FLORIDA as well) and bought a total of 16 yards of fabric for two projects. The 10 yards will be part of Janice's Mystery Quilt which will start in September. The other six will be used for a fall project I's fall-ish but in a lovely quiet way!! THEN when I was barely back in the nest, I headed to Harbour Quilts...and bought the fabric for a quilt that appeared in Quiltmaker some time ago, called Moondance. I made it in seven shades of green and called it Greensleeves. (You can do that, can't you?!) Well that turned out to be my almost favorite quilt ever sewn here at 124 and this time I am doing it in seven shades of neutral starting with a gorgeous chocolate brown as the darkest.

So...the question remains...How Can I Find The Time For All of These Quilts?? ...and you know, there are probably more things in my sewing room to do as well. In fact, I know there are. Purse patterns. Karen Neary patterns. HILLARY RICE landscape patterns....GOTTA RUN!! Things to do and promises to keep!!! Thank goodness I have all of those new needles!!!

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Here's a look...

Found in my sewing room

Today I decided it was time once again to work in my sewing room and see if I could put better order in that space. It's not that I am unaware of what's in there...I know everything that can be found in that room...but finding it may cause a problem. Today I am going to comment on a few things that delighted me and which I found to be most interesting. Hope you can find the joy in these things as I did!!!

First of all I have to comment that my sewing room is also my closet and my ironing room as well as my gift room and our Christmas storage room. Are you getting the picture? All of my "soft" Christmas decorations are in there as well as the usual UFO's and patterns and fabric and tools and notions and plans and templates and sewing machines and things too pretty to use ... well you get the picture. But it's the OTHER things in there that I find funny.

A few years ago I decided I needed/wanted pasta bowls. After eating at The Outback in Orlando, I figured pasta bowls were the answer. Well I searched and searched and ultimately found them here in Pictou County; bought eight of them and they are on a shelf in my sewing room. No room in the kitchen; they have never been used. LB doesn't even know they exist. Some evening I will pull them from their resting place and fill them with a delightfully delicious pasta and look like a culinary genius or a lesser form of such. I am ready with the bowls when the occasion is fitting.

Four Royal Doulton ladies are neatly and carefully lined up on the top shelf. Before LB and I were married, I spied Fleur in Alteens and commented on her beauty. Do you remember when "your wish is my command" actually was a reality?...well before you could say "Buy Me", she was delivered and I have loved her since then...but the others....? Do my boys want them? Do their wives? Now that the piano is gone...where do I put them? The cats would knock them over....Top shelf of my sewing room. ... with the pasta bowls.

And then there is the beautiful black bag from Ann Taylor!!! I love that bag!!! The texture is smooth and silky and there isn't a wrinkle to be seen. Stunning graphics. Gorgeous!!

My favorite unusual item is a set of leather juggling balls. All of my boys can juggle. Back in the day, it was fun to watch one of them call out.....MOM...Juggling tomatoes!!!!! the produce section of Sobeys!! I can't bear to dispose of the balls and keep promising myself that someday soon I too will learn to juggle!!! Life long learner!! That's me. ... and so, what's the most interesting thing in your sewing room!!?? Can you beat juggling balls??!!

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Let's Hear it For The Big Stitch

Yes indeed...let's give a cheer for the big stitch!! Ofter overlooked in these days of machine stitching, it's time to consider the use of this technique to quilt those projects that seem to be in between hand and machine quilting.

Several years ago I made a Christmas wallhanging by Meme's Quilts and liked it so much, decided to do a second one, which I had planned to give to one of the boys for his apartment. Well the top was done and Christmas seemed to come and go that year, and the quilt top was put aside...out of sight and somewhat out of mind. I always knew it was there and it was certainly intended to be completed but its time just didn't seem to come. Getting ready for the upcoming quilt show, I realized that this short time period was just the thing to get this little gem finished. Any full sized quilt that went on my frame in May was just not going to be finished by the end of the month so the Noel quilt went on and is a matter of days. HOW GREAT IS THAT!!??

I am using a thread by YLI which is a red shiny rayon twist, a #5 John James needle with a great point and a large eye, and of course, the needle nosed piliers to pull the needle through the fabric. The extra bulk at the eye makes it a bit of a challenge to pull through with just fingers and I use the NNP's rather than the little grippers which always seem to be among the missing. It's a great technique to use for such a project which will likely be hung in a large space or draped over a piece of furniture. It doesn't need the denser stitches of hand quilting and works well for me on this kind of item. The pieces were appliqueed onto the top with decorative machine stitches, which makes me think I did this project right after I got my new Pfaff and I was trying out the different things the machine would do.

As long as you have the right needles and thread for the big stitch, it's a wonderful alternative to machine quilting. It's fast and eye catching. I like it!!!...and one more item is ready for the quilt show!!

Monday, May 10, 2010

Fitness while quilting...who'd a thunk it!?

I have been a proponent of therapeutic massage for years, after a comment made by chance to my RMT while she "worked" on an obvious problem. She asked if there was 'anything else' bothering me and my response echoed my physician's ... just a bit of arthritis in my hip which I supposed I would have to live with. Upon examination, she indicated that she felt she could help that problem, and I jokingly told her to just have at it. After two visits dealing with that situation, I was cured. It seems that the time I was struck by an errant golf club on the driving range at Bell Bay, some damage had been done to a muscle group and Sonja was able to relieve years of pain in a matter of a few weeks. A BELIEVER!!! Over the years I was a reguar on her table for this or that until eventually she worked herself out of a patient! My walking routine seems to have eliminated chronic problems and it's just been pretty clear sailing until this weekend. THE QUILT SHOW IS THE END OF THE MONTH!! I have been FINISHING things and quilting too much ...or so it seems.

The muscle spasms started two days ago. Ignoring them didn't help and so I enlisted LB to work on the location. His hands are very very strong and although the engineer's massage helped over the past couple of days, I went off to the RMT this morning. Good results but I have to sit with heat on the area every hour for twenty minutes each time. Eating into my day!!

TWENTY-FOUR HOURS LATER...after a vigorous walk this morning I believe I am on the road to recovery. The arm swinging seems to have helped, combined with yesterday's heat and rest...still lots of pain but not as often. The RMT told me it would take about 48 hours so today should be the day. I am sitting looking at the small quilt that has to be FINISHED for the show. It Will Be Done!! Slowly! With breaks. And Stretches!! Another victory for the massage therapist. I love that branch of my health care team!! Perhaps a little sewing this afternoon!!!