Sunday, February 22, 2015

A New Blog Post Three Years Later

Holy moly, where did the time years go?  I've been beyond MIA and have wanted to get back to blogging forever.  My day job took off and went in a whole 'nother direction that has me learning new things every day and has become a true challenge.  And well... I love it.  Not as much as sewing of course!  Here's what's been going on in my sewing world since 2012.

The "little bug" (my grandson) in my first post back in 2012 is now almost 4 and has a baby sister who is 14 months.  Of course, I had to make her nursery and birthday banner.

My Grandbabies
My grandbaby girl is a Christmas Baby so I made her birthday banner from Sugar Rush by Dan Morris for RJR Fabrics.  I thought this darling fabric would not only capture the season but it's also not so kiddy-Christmas that it will be perfect to put up for her teen birthdays as well.
My quilting skills have broken the boundaries and I'm nearly finished with my first commissioned quilt.  I'm working on a Crown Royal quilt (more on that in another post) that is at the quilter's now for long-arming.  It took 113 large CR bags and was an albatross.  I sewed everywhere I could - even with hubs and his buddies on a dove hunt.  Yes, I drink and sew simultaneously.  It's called being a multi-tasker.  Hey, don't judge.  If you had any idea about my day job...

This beast is king size:  104" x 104"
This is actually my 2nd CR quilt - my first being a lap size for a co-worker and it was a gift since I wasn't sure what I was doing.  It fell apart on the long arm from miniscule seams, it required tucks in the inner border because it wasn't square and rippled like crazy on the long arm frame.  I mis-measured my fabric so the horizontal sashing is narrower than the vertical sashing.  In short, it was a disaster.  And he loved it.  I warned him not to wash it and added a hanging sleeve to the back.

This time around, I used a Quilt in a Day Flying Geese Ruler which was a total game changer.  The lady who is quilting it said it lays perfectly on the frame without any ripples.  Excuse me, are those PERFECT points on those blocks?  Why yes, yes they are thank you very much.  The sashing is a discontinued RJR print I had to scrounge from multi quilt shops across two states and the backing is a Hoffman batik called Vegas Purple.
My sewing room blew up and gave birth to an embroidery machine.  It went from this:

To this.  Gad, I've GOT to lose that horrible swag over the window and replace it with the cute sewing room fabric I bought.  Don't you L-O-V-E that hanging ruler stand hubs made for me?  He thought it was so big that I'd have lots of spaces left to fill it up.  Ha...silly man.
I'm currently on a quest to successfully embroider a quilt so that it looks like it was done on a professional long arm.  This was done on my Brother PE770 Embroidery Machine using the End-to-end quilting technique by Amelie Scott Designs.  I'll do another post on that technique soon.

While not sewing related, this my new Sewing Retreat.  Hubs and I bought our own 4 bedroom/2 bath "wheel-estate" on a quarter acre on the Texas Gulf Coast and we spent the summer of '14 gutting and remodeling the interior.  I'm a tile-setter!  Who knew?  (YouTube is a wonderful thing...You can learn anything on YouTube).  That's our RV behind it where we stayed during the remodel.  Of course I put a sewing machine down there immediately.  He bay fishes and I sew in peace.  The previous owner's business sign is now gone from the fence and the place is receiving fresh exterior paint this week - a soft yellow with dark blue/gray shutters.  The project this spring will be to put an awning over the deck.  We broke into our retirement plans to purchase this outright.  I actually own this little piece of Texas.  Paid.  In.  Full.  It's right across the street from a neighborhood full of half million dollar homes with wet slips.  Location, location, location.  Maybe one day Valero will buy it to put up a gas station and I can retire and sew full time.  A girl can dream!

I went to the 2014 Houston Quilt Fest and met my quilting and sewing heroes.  I had to get pics and autographs like the dork I am.  This wonderful lady, Jenny Doan from Missouri Star Quilt Company, unknowingly taught me how to quilt starting back in 2011 with her online videos.  She changed my world and has cost me an ENORMOUS amount of money.  Ha!  But hey, you can't take it with you right?
And if Angela Wolf is teaching a Craftsy class, I'm enrolled.  I just love her teaching style.   I've bought her jeans pattern too so they are in my sewing queue.
And while I was at the show, I bought a Tin Lizzie long arm sit down machine that I'm just now beginning to get the hang of.  When they say "Practice, practice" it's the truth.  Right now I'm still learning to draw with thread and attempting stippling and pantographs.  I'm bound and determined to finish my own quilts but not having an artistic bone in my body makes it tough.  Being more analytical than artistic (left brained), I don't possess the ability to visualize a design from nothing to something, but I sure can follow a pattern, copy, and trace!  My mom kept all the artsy-fartsy genes for herself and passed none of them down to me.  So I spend a lot of time with practice quilt sandwiches just doodling and attempting to follow drawn lines.  Discovering the loop-de-loop method was heaven sent!

So that's it!  You're all caught up.  I plan to post regularly now and add my sewing adventures to the blog world.  Thanks for spending the time!