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Sunday, November 27, 2011

Warning: Quilt in Progress

Good evening all!  I trust everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving and has sufficiently over eaten.  I know I did my part.

I had the honor of hosting my older sister (Marie) over the Thanksgiving weekend.  We have established a bit of a tradition.  She comes up for Thanksgiving, spends the weekend, we go to the Craftsman's Classic in Greensboro, hit a few fabric stores and spend the rest of the weekend sewing.  She brought a project with her.  A co-worker has commissioned her to do a T-Shirt quilt.

Marie arrived with a sack of the young ladies favorite T-shirts and instructions.  To say that the t-shirts were WELL worn would be the understatement of the decade.  The instructions were simple - include her "favorite" t-shirts and make it big enough for her to wrap up in.  I'm told she's a healthy young lady.  We decided to create 12 blocks in a 3 x 4 pattern with double borders between the blocks using several border fabrics.  We decided that the 1 shirt that absolutely must be in the quilt was not salvageable for a block in a quilt that would be used regularly.  My plan was to add a fabric border and frame it.

The favorite T-shirts were a hot mess.  "Hot Mess" is a new phrase I picked up this weekend.  The prints on these t-shirts were faded, stretched, cracked, stained.  One of these was a simple grey T-Shirt from her college days.  The design was simple -- the college name was written in block lettering across the front of the shirt but most letters were only visible by looking closely under the Ott light.  It was also full of holes - and I do mean full.  This was the one that was destined to be framed.   We started with about 22 shirts, picked 16 that could be salvaged and created 13 blocks by patching, combining, etc.

First task - make those must have shirts usable.  We solved the faded design issue with some fabric paint pens.  After some work here's what we ended up with ...

At the point we were auditioning blocks and borders,  our 3 x 4 plan became 4 x 4 which meant we had to come up with 4 more usable blocks.  We picked up 2 t-shirts that were in good condition but did not fit the overall school theme, and then we had to build 1 more out of shirt pocket logos.  We were still a block short so the framed piece became a block.  Now this particular t-shirt had been cut already with the idea of framing.  Using the fabric paint pens, the logo was restored, bonded a good t-shirt back to the logo to strengthen and cover up all the holes, then put tulle over the top to help with wear and tear.  Used the school colors to build the block but was limited on how to build it because the shirt was trimmed with the intent to frame for hanging on the wall.  Not a great block, but the "absolutely must have" shirt is now in the quilt.

At least 2 hours of moving blocks and deciding which border color to put on which shirt resulted in this top ....

The remaining pocket logos were mixed into a border that will measure 4" finished.  We built the borders and laid them out on my design floor.  I don't have a design wall yet.  My husband bought some new tools this weekend so I expect one soon.

Close ups of the the border inserts before sewing....

By this time it was mid Sunday afternoon and my sister had to drive back to SC.  She has to sew on the final border and get it quilted.  We will be sure to post the finished product.  I hope that we will also be able to post a picture of the young lady when she gets here quilt.

This coming week, I have to work on my dirty Santa swap and quilt of honor block for TMQG.  I'm hoping Santa will bring me a good camera with a wide angle lens for better pictures.

Happy quilting, sewing, knitting to all and to all a good night!!


Monday, November 14, 2011

Google Chrome; New Followers ... well almost....; other ramblings

I get so excited when I look at my blog and see that I have new followers!!  I know ... it takes so little to make me happy.  Today I have 11.  I am in the double numbers now.  Then I noticed that I am following my own blog .... TWICE!!   Now that is pathetic.

I have had trouble lately viewing photos in other blogs.  I started using Google Chrome a few weeks ago after researching web display issues I was having with Windows 7.   I am officially ready to make Google Chrome my default browser.  IE is no longer my friend.

Haven't been sewing this week but I have continued to work on cleaning up my sewing room.  What a mess!  A lot of the fabric I have found has me asking myself ... WHY????  WHAT????

WHY - Why did I buy this?

WHAT -- What was I thinking?

It is actually depressing to think of all the money I have tied up in fabric that will end up being donated to goodwill.  I found a ray of hope today.  I bought 2 quilting books with more modern fabric and designs.  I can see potential ways to use some of my ugly, outdated fabric.  I also found some hidden little gems.

My baby sister had the nerve to ask if I had found her sons christening outfit during my cleaning.  I took the outfit after the ceremony with a promised to embroidery his initials and BD on the little outfit.  The kid turned 4 this year and started pre-school.  Yes I did find the outfit.  There's one more UFO to strike off my list!!

Can't leave without posting at least 1 picture.    This is a picture of part of my "cleaned up" fabric stash.

Yummy Christmas fabric.  I stumbled across this video on folding fabric to keep your stash neat from Angie at Cut To Pieces --  I've tried many different ways to organize fabric over the years.  This is the first one I've found that makes sense to me.  It is easy to do and lends itself to on-going maintenance.

Happy sewing...

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Finished something, started something, started and finished something!

Retirement has been very busy for me.  I don't understand those folks who get bored.  I haven't had the time.

Finally Finished....

I have been working through my sewing room.  I've been trying to organize my stash to get a handle on what I have and to identify UFO's.  The first quilt I made was a blooming 9-patch.  I finished the top in the class, got it to the quilter (Kim Butterbaugh) for quilting, & dutifully prepared my binding while waiting on Kim to finish.  Got the quilt back from Kim.  That was at least 6 years ago.  Last week I managed to actually sew the binding on.  Now it is on our bed.  The fabric is all flowers and butterflies.  The semi-custom quilting has butterflies mixed in.  I have to make the label.  Think I will call it Field of Dreams.

Started Something New

The ladies presenting the trunk show at The Davie County QG in July were selling kits, FQ, books, tools etc.  I bought a Laurel Burch Christmas kit.  I opened the kit up last week and put the top together.  The sample and instructions called for rickrack for the ornament hangers.  I am not a rickrac person.  I found some funky fuzzy yarn in my stash.  I think it is perfect.  I'm am going to try to quilt this one myself.  Wish me luck!

Started & Finished

Our quilt quilt, Triad Modern QG, is having a Potholder swap at our meeting tonight.  I made 3 before deciding on which to give my secret partner.  

The 1st 2 are made from an adorable pattern I found at a quilt shop in Maggie Valley NC.  The cupcake icing is a pouch for your fingers so that you can better hold a hot pan.

The one below is a block called Grandma's hopscotch.  The block was meant to be 12" so I stopped with the center and 1st surrounding row.  I unwisely decided to make it an octagon (I was thinking snowball).  I was not thinking that now I have 8 mitered corners to do.  I took the binding off and reapplied once.  Still not happy.  Will have to take it off once more.

 Can't tell you which one I am giving to my secret partner until after the meeting tonight.