Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Black and white quilt done

Woke up this morning determined to get this thing done. The red binding was just the right thing. I figure that it takes me 6+ hours to bind a lap sized quilt. I don't know what it is about binding a quilt that is so relaxing. I make sure the drink next to me is full, there's something interesting on TV or DVD, and I'm in my favorite recliner.

My friend, Pat, is coming over on Friday morning and we'll spend all day and night quilting. She's bringing a Halloween print charm square project and her machine and will be spending the night. Now that I've finished this quilt, I have to decide what project to work on while she's here. I have a choice of 4 different sets of fabrics to choose from but don't have a pattern in mind yet. I have been playing with my Like Sew quilt pattern generator to see if I can find something to try next.

Sunday, July 22, 2007

What's black and white and red all over?

Okay, so it's not red all over but I think the red really adds a visual punch to it.

I'm not totally happy with the way the center looks in this photo. The pattern of the 4 patch looks heavy on the right but, unfortunately, this didn't show up until I was editing the photo. Too bad, because I'm not taking it apart at this juncture. I don't have a design wall but rather a design floor and was just happy to get this much done.

The 4" squares were some that I bought on eBay and the red was a fat quarter I've had in my little stash for a couple of months. The outer border was one of the fabrics I bought yesterday. I have 3 more black/white fabrics from which to choose to complete the quilt. I just might have to go to the store and get more of that red to bind the quilt. I haven't decided yet. I think that would look really good since the backing fabric is basic black.

Friday, July 20, 2007

New quilt finished this week

Pieced and basted on Tuesday then quilted and bound on Thursday. I made some coasters on Wednesday and just played around with little placemats made from quilt scraps. I had to finish yesterday because I knew I was going to meet my quilting friend for lunch today and wanted to show it to her finished. I'm getting better at stitching in the ditch but joked at lunch that it looks like I Q.U.I., or quilt under the influence, because sometimes I'm in the ditch and sometimes I'm not. I had planned to quilt-as-you-go with this one as well but messed up and had to do it the regular way, which wasn't as bad as I thought it was going to be.

When Bernie came home from work this morning I showed it to him and he asked, "How many of these do you plan on making?" I said "millions" and he nixed that idea. I told him that there is always someone's birthday or baby or other event to give one as a gift. He hates that I've taken up quilting. I don't know exactly why. He calls me a traitor and sell out to my knitting and crochet. I still love those but this is something new that's not boring yet. I hope to get better and better. Yes, this can be quite expensive but so can knitting. I remember spending $100 on yarn for a shawl that has yet to be finished. So far, the most I've spent on a quilt is $25-$30. I'm not saying that I won't spend more. I'm absolutely sure I will!

Today after lunch, Pat and I went to Centennial Quilts, a shop next to the Greek restaurant that we like. They're closing their store and all fabric is 50% off! I bought some Moda fabric for a couple of quilts and still only spent $35! Pat spent close to $170! I told her that if Bernie ever found out I spent that much, he'd kill me. When I told him that, he actually said he wouldn't. I was shocked.

Perhaps he doesn't like that I'm quilting because my sewing area is upstairs in our loft (which gets excellent daylight) and he is crocheting alone downstairs. No wonder he has been spending more time in his office playing X Box 360. We used to crochet side-by-side or he'd watch TV while I crocheted or knitted silently next to him. I'll have to make an effort to spend more time with him downstairs. Too bad he was on duty yesterday when my ass was in my recliner for 6 hours while I sewed the binding down on my quilt!

Saturday, July 14, 2007

For my kitchen table

I finished these placemats yesterday (I made 4 of them) and whipped up these coasters and trivet today. I just don't feel complete unless I sew something every day. I used to feel this way about knitting and crochet. I know I will get back to those but for now I just need to feel the instant gratification that sewing provides. However, the other night, I sat in bed and crocheted a coffee cup cozy because I just felt the need to touch yarn. Weird, huh?

Friday, July 13, 2007

Quilted coasters - photo tutorial

I know these aren't new, but they're new to me. I've never made them before although I've seen them around. I found the instructions here called "Penny's Easy Holiday Coasters" but there were no pictures to illustrate them. I made a few of these this morning and decided to put up pictures of my steps.

These should probably be made with 5" squares but I had a bunch of 4" squares left over from my last quilt to play with. You could also put a piece of batting between the bottom two full squares if you wanted to but I'd cut the batting 1/2" smaller to decrease the bulk you're sewing through. For the example at the bottom I used a 3 1/2" square of batting with my 4" squares. Wouldn't these be cool at a party at the base of wine glasses, especially if everyone's were unique? They'd be able to tell which glass was theirs, unless they were totally obtuse like some people I know. I'm already thinking Christmas gifts in stacks of 4-6. Hmmmmmm.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Another quilt done - Quilt as you go technique

This one is about as done as it will ever be. It is a different quilt-as-you-go technique in which each block has it's own built in sashing attached. It really looked simple to begin with and very straightforward. However, I found it to be a royal pain in the ass! I intended it to be a lap sized quilt but since I hated practically every moment working on it, I'm lucky it is as big as it is. It looks to be the right size for a crib. Of course, Sophie thinks every afghan, quilt, etc. is her personal doggie bed and just had to model it for you. It is made of recycled fabric for the backing/sashing and 4" squares purchased from eBay. The one thing about it that I'm happy about is the finished binding. It is part of the backing folded towards the front but I wanted to do something other than plain topstitching. I got really nice mitered corners and used a decorative leaf stitch all the way around. Other than that, I don't think I'll make another one like this again.

Friday, July 06, 2007

I'm so cozy!

I'm getting better at this! I whipped these 5 cozies up this morning after the little one went to school. I think I can squeeze 3 of them out of one fat quarter with careful maneuvering.

I am gifting one of them tomorrow when I meet a friend for lunch. Too bad I already told her about it. I should have just slipped it on her coffee cup. We're going to a Mediterranean restaurant that has the most amazing food. They won awards for their Aphrodite cheesecake that has a baklava crust. Yum! We always split a piece over a cup of Italian coffee after we've practically licked our lunch plates clean.

It was 122 degrees here in Las Vegas today. Don't believe the posted temps in the news reports. They take the temperature in the coolest part of the valley in the shade. Bernie called me from work this evening because they'd responded to 3 fires today and he thought he was all out of clean clothes. Poor guy! And here I am complaining about how hot it is in my car until the A/C kicks in! I can't even imagine how hot it is in all of his turnout gear inside a burning building. I'm just glad I'm married to a man who likes his house very cool inside, especially in the summer, and who doesn't mind that our power bill is $536.00 this month. I'm curious to know how typical our bill is compared to others here in Las Vegas.

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Cozies, cozies, cozies on the brain!

Okay, so I was up until 2 a.m. this morning sewing coffee cozies. I've been wanting to make some but didn't want to knit or crochet them...I wanted to sew them! I looked around online and saw some that I liked. They look a lot easier to make than they actually are if you don't already have a pattern. Chris and I stopped at Starbucks on the way to pick up Anthony from his night class and that gave me the cup and cardboard sleeve from which to draft a pattern. Out came the fabric scraps and machine and several templates later, this is what I got.

They're all quilted in some way to keep the batting in place. The pink one has a seam in the back which I'm not at all happy with so I wanted to buy some Velcro and do a closure like that with the subsequent ones but, dear friends, it's 118 freaking degrees outside today and I don't want to go to the store for some. Besides, I needed it at 1 a.m. After I woke up this morning I was still obsessing about them and decided to try a buttonhole closure. Only problem is that I've never done a proper buttonhole before. Undaunted, I got out the manual and figured it out. The green one is the first to get a button, then the golden yellow one told me it wanted not one, but two buttons, then finally I made the black one. Can I just tell you that I also sewed the buttons on by machine? Yep, somebody just try and stop me now!

The last two pictures are just to show that these are really good for cold drinks too so you don't have to worry about the condensation on the outside of the glass! Off to enjoy my iced tea now!

Happy 4th of July!