Friday, July 29, 2011

What a Week

 Well, I have had some kind of a week. I told you I was dealing with a summer cold, and it has not been as bad as I thought it would be. I have been weak, not as bad as I have been in the past when I got a summer cold. Yea!!! Nice to be getting over it all though and feeling more like myself. I have been in the sewing room the last two days, and gotten a pretty good start on the quilt I am working on. This is another one of those ones I am making from a mans clothes who has died. I worked for this man's wife when I had a desk job and after he died she cut the legs of hubby"s pants off and saved the legs.Their son got the pants for shorts and the legs were put aside.  I guess time had passed enough she decided to do something with them and called me. I looked around for a while for a pattern to use that might not take too much of any one color of fabric. Kind of a fat quarter friendly quilt. I hope to be able to make two twin size quilts. These colors are all solid and , you know the typical men's slacks colors, green, brown, black, white and neutral. I will take some photos of the blocks tomorrow and post the ones that are finished. I pulled some black and white prints from my stash to give the blocks a little pop.
  My girls go out with their girlfriends every week for girls night. On occasion they invite me and one of the other girls mom to join them. Last night was one of those nights. One of the local chain Mexican restaurants does dinners once in a while that are sponsored by a Liqueur of some sort. Last night was one of those and it was sponsored by a Tequila company. We had a four course meal, with a seared Tuna appetizer, a fruit salad, beef and shrimp skewers, served with potatoes, and a spinach cheese dish, for dessert it was a wonderful vanilla Flan. I have never had a Flan that tasted as good as that one did. They served a different mixed drink made with the tequila that was sponsoring the meal. Well, I was the only one who had not been to one of these dinners before and I did not get the pace yourself with the drinks thing, that the others seem to get. I do not drink the hard stuff very often and needless to say I had to work hard to not act as inebriated as I was feeling. The girls helped with that by all wanting to go to the mall after dinner and do some shopping. So I got to walk off the effects before I got home. I did go straight to bed though when I got home. If I get to go to another one, I will do a better job of pacing myself with the drinks. lol I have to tell you though that Flan was incredible and I could not stop thinking about it this morning. Most of the Flan I have had just tasted like sweet eggs, and not like this amazing vanilla custard that we had last night. I sure wish I could find out what recipe they made it with. Not that I need any more ways of getting carb.s in my body. I am trying to learn to eat better, and I guess that is why I am talking about food so much today. Sorry
  Well, it is Fri. night and my girls have gone to the grocery store and when the get home we are going to watch a movie. I will go for now and I do hope you all have a very quilty weekend.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Thursday, UFO Challenge

  Good evening friends, well as you all know, I was not in town the first of the month and I just thought to go see what UFO I was supposed to be working on this month. It is not like I have accomplished even one finish so far, and that is a sad thought to me. I have finished several quilts just not the ones I was supposed to have done. I did get the fabric to complete the Brown and Pink one. I took almost a month to find the unfinished blocks and then when I found them, Yea, they were finished.  I just got stopped by the only one that is still not complete. It is not even a hard block it is just cut wrong and I have a block about trying to fix it. Do I remake it, do I add to the pieces that are already cut and sewn, or do I just make it like it is and add a boarded to it??? So many ideas and questions and no motivation to answer them and move on. I guess that is the reason my UFO's are still UFO's. I have lost touch with all my quilting friends in the area, or I would see if any of them would like to do a swap and see if we could find motivation to work on someone elses stuff. I wrinkle my nose as I think of that, because I think it is the best and worst idea ever. Best because there is a certain amount of pressure to do what you have that is not yours. The worst because I get confused when I pick up my own stuff that has been sitting for a while. Imagine how confused I would get with something I didn't start. Kind of makes me want to laugh, in a creepy crazy way. Enough of that, I will get busy on one of them I think. I just always have to try and make money. That is a big deterrent to doing what I want to. Then again it is also part of what keeps me always thinking and planning and designing in my head.
  Well, I have been trying to get in shape and feel better and lose some weight. That means I have been working out, and as seems to have happened every time I have done this. After about 12 to 14 days I find myself sick, not sick of doing the work outs, literally sick. About mid day yesterday I noticed I was freezing and coughing my head off. Yep, I had a fever. I went to bed early last night and took some aleve and my vitamins. I slept like a rock. When I got up this am I started coughing worse than I did yesterday. The hubby and daughter had ideas when they came in at lunch time. Go out side and do my yoga in the sun. ( we are in a heat wave) Then come in and drink some water and take a hot shower. Now I am feeling like I need to have a stiff hot toddy and my bed, but most likely I will find some Nyquil . Everyone seems to think I will feel better tomorrow for what I did today. I hope they are right because if they aren't when I do feel better I am gonna kill them. Just kidding but as I cough through my laugh I wish my head didn't hurt. Have a a very quilty week, until I check in again.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Now is The Time

  Hello, I have been gone so long not just from here, but from home as well. It has taken me almost a week to get caught up and back on track. Now that I have gotten almost all the laundry done, and made the little raggy quilt. I got to finish the tutorial I started just after I got home, now I can get back to writing.
  My trip to do the upholstery work was a great visit with my family as well as a learning experience. I have done a lot of that kind of work and on occasion thought I might want to offer my services up for a side income. No longer do I think I want to do that. Although it is not particularly hard work, it is time consuming and tedious and does not make a very good income. My Aunt paid me very well for my work, but I still don't think it pays enough for the time it takes.
  We had a good trip to visit our daughter as well. We decided not to try and make it in one day. We left on Thurs. evening and drove three hours before we stopped for the night. We got up and left by about 7:30 Fri. morning. Looking back on the day, we decided on the return trip we would drive longer the first day. We got to their house about four hours later than we thought we would, so we had to stop and get food on the way. Our daughter was so happy for us to be there, and we were so happy to be there too. Our friends from TN came on Sun. to spend a few days with us. Charlie and Roger spent a good part of the time doing little things to help the kids get their house in better shape. The drive way was completely dark, and Brena does not get home until the middle of the night most of the time. She works late shift and leaves for work mid afternoon. That was the first thing they fixed. The back door was in need of some help as well, so that got done. The mailbox had a retaining wall around a flower bed that was falling apart. Charlie got the stuff and rebuilt the whole thing. Brena had started redecorating the bathroom a couple of months ago, and there were still things they needed done. So we got the towel racks hung there were three of those. They got a medicine cabinet and hubby got it hung too.I can't even remember all the things he and our son in law and friend got done. We saw some sights too, and ate some fabulous food. I would love to show you some pictures, but I up loaded then onto my old computer and I am writing on the new one. It was so hard to leave when it was time to come home. I cried all day the first day. I hate to say it but I still get teary when I think of leaving my baby girl in TN. Oh, I almost forgot the most important part of the trip. We got to go to the Dr. with her the day they did the sonogram to find out if we were having a boy or a girl. My baby girl wants a boy, and that is exactly what they say she will have. I am very happy for her and have already started thinking of stuff to make for my new grandson. I will be going there when he is born to help them out. That will be in Dec. just before Christmas. Needless to say I am working out most days so I am in good enough shape to help and to climb those stairs. The house is a split level, with the mail part of the house up a half level and the master bedroom on the lower level.
  Well, this has not had much to do with sewing or quilting, but I am back and so glad to be. Last week I started a couple of quilts from another mans pants. I will show you all about them soon. Until then please have a very quilty week.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Raggy Quilt

  Well, I have been gone for what seems like forever, and I have so much to say, however today is a response to a request. A friend has asked me to do a tutorial on how to make a raggy quilt. I have not made one in a while so there will not be any photos today, I will add them in a day or two.
  So lets get started:
Fabric requirements will be as needed and using scraps can make this kind of quilt fun and memorable at times. My family has several quilts that are made with scraps from the clothes I or my mom have made for us over the years.
   The number of layers you use will also be dependent on what your outside fabric is and where you live. If you are using flannel for the outside, you may not want to use three layers. Then again if you live where the weather is very cold you may want to use three layers of flannel. Flannel is the preferred center fabric in my opinion. There is another one that frays more, but I can't think of the name of it and I don't like it because it almost disappears it frays so much. 
  Size of squares is the next consideration, I have made them all different sizes.  I like a five inch block so I cut my squares six inches. This gives me the needed 1/2 inch seam allowance. As you may have guessed you add a full inch to the size block you desire, when cutting your squares. You will need to figure fabric for the top and bottom and if you plan to use three layers then fabric for that as well. I have used color coordinated fabric for the center and I have also used just plain white flannel fabric. I like coordinated flannel fabric best, since you can see it when you clip the seams. This time I even used two different sizes on the same quilt. I thought a border would be nice.

  Now that we have all that figured out lets get our layers together with the outside of your fabric on the top and bottom. Sew from corner to corner in a large X to hold the two or three fabrics together. I am very careful that all three (or two) layers are straight and line up perfectly. It may not be that big of a deal since we will be clipping the seam allowance any way, but I still line them up carefully.  If you are using a specific fabric for the top and bottom take the squares you have sewn an X on and put them together with the backing fabrics right sides together and sew a 1/2 inch seam.
  Sometimes I sew them in sets of two and then add to them to make larger sets. Other times I sew them one row at a time. When you add one row to another make a decision what you want to do with seam allowances (where four blocks come together) and stick with it. ( sew them open or folded to one direction or another) I sew mine open, but you can make that choice on your own.Quilting is fun don't stress over this, it is just a seam.
  Once you have all the blocks sewn together you have a quilt. Not completed of course but a quilt none the less. At this point you need to sew a 1/2 inch from the edge seam all the way around the outside edge of the quilt. I usually do this twice 1/2, and 3/4 inches from the outside edge.
  Okay get out those scissors and begin snipping the seams, and the outside edge. The closer together you snip them the more fringe you get. I do not measure this, but I try to clip about every 1/2 to 1/4 inch for a nice fray. Be very careful when clipping that you do not clip through the seams you have worked so hard to sew.
  When the clipping is done, wet the quilt a little, either with a water bottle or just run it through the washing machine, and dry it. You get a better fray if you get it wet before you put it through the dryer. The more it is washed and dried the more it will fray. Some times depending on the fabric you will need to give your quilt a little hair cut after it has gone through the dryer. Again be careful you don't trim too much and cut off the fray(seam allowance).
  I hope this is helpful.
Have a very raggy quilty day.