Saturday, July 31, 2010

Saturday Is Baking Day

Not a bad idea, but not on this Saturday in my house...too much quilting and sewing going on right now...

Friday, July 30, 2010

Friday Is Cleaning Day

Well, not in my house this Friday....too much quilting and sewing going on right now to worry about cleaning...maybe next month!

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Thursday Is Market Day

Well, technically I suppose it means going to the market to get groceries, but my idea of a fun market day is going shopping with friends at a quilt shop!

Here's a quick slideshow of a recent visit to Quilters Corner (I really wish they'd put an apostrophe in their name...) in Ithaca, NY. (If you have trouble viewing it, try a different browser...that's all I can suggest.)

Quilters Corner

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Wednesday Is Sewing Day

One of my favorite days of the week! I get to spend some time sewing with friends today. Perhaps I'll sew some of the 290+ inches of this bias striped binding onto my son's quilt.

Nick's quilt is now all sewn together and quilted. Initially, he thought he'd like just a plain black binding (the same fabric as the border), but after I took the quilt off of the HQ16 and auditioned both the black fabric and the striped fabric for him, he agreed that the stripes did add a bit more to the quilt than the black binding would. Yeah! I knew he'd see the light (I hope I'm this successful with my subliminal influence when he chooses a wife!).

Shouldn't every day be a sewing day?

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Tuesday Is Ironing Day

In addition to having to wash the backing fabric FIVE times to get the red dye out (see yesterday's post), I also had to deal with trying to make my backing square after piecing it. Washing FIVE times (three times with Color Catchers) may have taken care of the bleeding problem, but it also made for a very, very soft piece of fabric (four yards worth) that was hard to get square. Any sizing that may have been in the fabric when it came off the bolt was long gone after FIVE washes. It was no longer crisp and easy to cut (after FIVE washes).

I don't use starch when I iron, but I do like to use Mary Ellen's Best Press (I buy it by the gallon). It helped a bit with getting the backing to be more manageable (after FIVE washes), but not completely. But I'll deal with it.

The backing fabric (washed FIVE times) is now loaded on my HQ16 along with the batting and quilt top...I'm keeping my fingers crossed that the backing (did I tell you it was washed FIVE times?) isn't too wonky when I finish the quilting and take the whole thing off the machine.

My, I had a busy week. I washed my backing fabric FIVE times (or did I tell you that already...?)!

Monday, July 26, 2010

Monday Is Wash Day

Last week I blogged about washing the backing fabric for my son's quilt in order to get all the red dye out. Several of you suggested using Color Catchers, which was a great idea. I had used them in the past, but didn't have any on hand for the first two times I washed the fabric. On Friday I bought a box at my grocery store (found in the laundry aisle) and then washed the fabric THREE times using the Color Catchers. The photo above shows the three sheets...the one on the left was the first one used, then the second, and then the last. Remember, this was after I had already washed the fabric twice!

For those of you who are new to Color Catchers, here's what the box looks like.

I was pleased to see that the dye that had gotten on the selvages during the first two washings came out (mostly) after using the Color Catcher sheet.

Even though I have a high-efficiency washer, I'm afraid I used more than my fair share of water this weekend...

Friday, July 23, 2010

Almost There

I've finally finished all 28 blocks for my son's going-off-to-college quilt. Since the dorm beds are extra-long twin-size, I had to make this a bit longer than usual. Things look wonky in the photo because I just pinned the blocks to the design wall, but I'd like to think that when I sew them together, it will be square...

He's decided that he wants just a small black border and binding to frame it (darn...I was hoping he'd want the cool striped fabric that I blogged about here for a bias binding).

Perhaps I'll take my machine out on the deck this weekend and sew the top together...

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Get The Red Out

I found this backing last week for my son's going-away-to-college far I've washed it twice and the lint in the dryer trap is still very red...I wonder how many more times I'll have to throw it in the washer to ensure that the white fabrics on the front of the quilt don't turn pink! If that happens, I'm sure that the quilt will wind up in the back of the closet someplace...

The photo was taken before the first washing...right now the selvage has a definite pink cast to it...

Monday, July 19, 2010

What A Neat Idea!

On our trip to Ithaca last week, my friends and I noticed a storefront for a place called SewGreen. Since we were in the car and there were no quick parking places out front, we didn't get to check it out. (The photos are courtesy of Wendy Skinner of SewGreen). When I got home, I did a quick Internet search and discovered that it's definitely someplace that I will stop in to see the next time I'm in Ithaca.

Sew Green is a not-for-profit reuse and sewing program that carries fabrics that have been donated from the sewing community. The fabrics in the store vary widely in vintage (anywhere from the 1950s to last week) and type. The sizes run from tiny scraps to full bolts -- but most pieces are from a yard to 5 yards in length. Everything is clean, folded, and ready to use.

In addition to selling the fabric, the store provides very reasonably-priced classes for those in the local community who want to learn to sew. Materials and equipment are provided in the price of the classes.

One thing that I love about Ithaca is that there is a lot of support among the local community for businesses that are eco-conscious and socially-conscious. In my opinion, this type of philosophy benefits everyone -- both the businesses and the people who live there.

To learn more about SewGreen and what they do, check out their website or stop if you're ever in Ithaca. I can't wait to check it out in person myself!

Friday, July 16, 2010

Field Trip

A couple of friends and I spent some time yesterday at an exhibit of American quilts from the 19th and early 20th centuries on display at the Herbert F. Johnson Museum on the Cornell University campus in Ithaca, NY. No photography was permitted, so all I have to share with you is a photo of the brochure. The exhibit has about 20 bed-size quilts of various designs, including log cabin, ocean waves, and tumbling blocks, as well as a couple of examples of crazy quilting.

The exhibit is on display through August 1st. It's a nice trip if you're in the area...beautiful quilts, gorgeous college campus, and even a quilt shop to visit in town (I'll blog about that later).

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Got Thread?

A good friend of my mother's used to work in the garment district of New York and also worked as a seamstress on the side. She is now in her late 80s and suffers from glaucoma and arthritis, which means that she can no longer enjoy sewing, either my hand or machine. No one in her family sews, so since she knows that I am a rabid quilter, she has passed her thread collection on to me. And it's filled with good quality thread, mainly Gutermann...

I'm a lucky girl..(as well as grateful).

Monday, July 12, 2010

A Cool Quilt for a Hot Summer

Some of you may recognize this as the going-off-to-college quilt for my son that I've been working on for several weeks. I managed to complete 18 blocks by his 18th birthday yesterday. Ten more to go...

I would normally make this a 4x6 quilt, but since the dorm beds are extra long twin-size, I'll add a 7th row. And then probably a small border in black.
P.S. Go visit Judy's blog to see what's on other quilters' design walls today...

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Where Do the Years Go?

As of 1:12 PM Eastern Time today, I am the mother of an adult human being...Happy 18th, Nick!

Gestation time -- 9 months

Years to adulthood -- 18

Days remaining in nest -- 40

Friday, July 9, 2010

Out of Sight, Out of Mind?

I really haven't forgotten my Jane Stickle quilt...I've just put it aside for a while until I finish up some other projects that have deadlines.

Let's see...I have to put a label and sleeve on my main entry for my guild's September exhibit, I have to finish the challenge project for the exhibit, I have to finish another small quilt for the exhibit, and I have to finish my son's going-off-to-college quilt by August 20th! And I still have a friend's quilt to quilt on my HQ16.

Once I have an empty nest, I will need to keep busy, so I'm sure Jane will be there to comfort me...and then you'll once again see posts about my progress.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Bottomless Pile

Earlier this week, a couple of friends and I turned this...

...into this....

My guild is involved in a lot of charity sewing and over the years, we've accumulated a lot of donated fabric. The top photo shows just one of the many totes filled with various sizes of fabric pieces. The collection was starting to get out of control, so with two Accuquilt Go Cutters at our disposal, we made up kits for at least 15 quilts. We used the tumbler, square, and strip dies.

Hopefully, some of our fellow guild members will volunteer to put these tops together. (hint, hint)

Monday, July 5, 2010

More Lovely Art Quilts

As I promised a while back, here are a few more photos from when quilt artist Carol Taylor visited my guild...

The day after the lecture, Carol taught a workshop on making the curved lines. You can see more info about her workshops on her website here.

She also brought a gorgeous quilt made of 99 pieces of silk...She calls it Ninety Nine Pieces of Silk on the Wall (A Century’s Worth as We Enter 2000)

Here's a closeup...

As I said in my first post about Carol's visit, she was very gracious in letting us photograph and even touch her quilts. It was an awesome evening. I'll post more photos every once in a while...

Friday, July 2, 2010

It's Here

While I was away, my replacement iron found its way to my home...I tried it briefly yesterday, and so works...

As I mentioned in this post about a month ago, I will give Black and Decker a good grade for customer service (except for the initial request that I pay a $7.50 shipping fee). Hopefully, I won't have to blog about the iron dying on me six months from now...