Monday, October 19, 2009

More String Blocks { 2 More to go! }

Boy must I be feeling ambitious tonight. I managed to whip up 4 more blocks after dinner for my second Swap-Bot partner. I tried to select like colored fabrics for each block this time to change it up a little. I think I like these blocks better than my first ones. Only 2 more blocks to go and I'm already thinking of ordering another honey bun to make some for myself.

Happy quilting,

String Quilt Blocks | Come Join Us!

HAPPY MONDAY EVERYONE - Did you get to spend some time sewing, crafting or quilting this weekend? I spent most of the weekend working for the FH, but did manage to sneak in a little sewing therapy on Sunday. Most of my projects are packed up in totes for the move to the new sewing space (I sure hope that happens real soon!). My machine, however, will remain in place till the day that move comes. This coming from the guy who got a spare machine to use because he couldn't stand to be without one during the yearly cleaning servicing appointment. Ha! The fate of my old quilt room has been decided (our new pantry/laundry area) and that project has begun as well. So you can imagine I'm feeling a little cramped for space right now.

I'm participating in a string quilt block swap over on Swap-Bot this month. Surprise, surprise! I just can't say no!! This swap is being hosted by a wonderful person named Jennifer (aka Crochetjunkie). These blocks are so fun and go very fast once you set up an "assembly line" for them. Each person needs to make 6 (6.5") blocks for 2 partners (12 blocks total commitment) from fabric you have on hand. I decided to bust into a "Fresh by Deb Strain" honeybun I've been saving. Now, technically these blocks should be made from scraps, but but a lot of the scraps I have are too short for the longer strips in the blocks. Also, we a using the foundation pieced method to make the blocks stronger. I just cut some muslin squares for mine.

In a relatively short period of time you can take strips of fabric like this:

Sew them to your foundation:

Get them all trimmed up:

And wind up with these:

I love the bright colors in this line! Jennifer started a second round for this swap if anyone wants to join. I've got to work on 6 more for my second partner tonight.

I also managed to quilt my STUD quilt for October. Here is a sneak peek of the back. Doesn't it look like little houses? Don't be fooled though, that design has nothing to do with the piecing on the front. It just turned out that way after turning the quilt over and upside down.

Happy quilting folks,

Thursday, October 15, 2009

More Goodies For The New Studio

Another day, another dollar POORER...

Managed to cross off a few things off my list. Gosh, I can't believe it's Thursday already. I started quilting my STUD (Swap Till You Drop) quilt last night. I made 2 this time because it was so hard to part with my DQS7 quilt. I can't show any pictures yet as my partner knows who is making her quilt and I don't want to spoil the surprise. The theme this month was woodland. Erring on the side of caution I chickened out and signed myself up for the anything goes group. I know, boring, blah blah... It turns out the mini I came up with can count for either group! Very broad hint there. Wink wink.

I ordered a half yard bundle of Amy Butlers newest line LOVE. The colors and details of this fabric are astounding. If I wasn't trying to put together a new sewing space I probably would have ordered a yard of each. I'm planning on using it to make my Pillow Talk {Swap} pillow. I can share all that progress with ya as the partners are blind for this swap. Be sure to check back to see what I come up with. I'm thinking of doing a wonky log cabin a la Quilt Dad. They are in the middle of a wonky block quilt a long over at Old Red Barn on Flickr where John is hosting. Thanks for creating me a custom listing Kerri!

I also managed to drop some dough for a new sewing machine table. In my current sewing space I use a 6 ft long Rubbermaid table that has a cutting mat on one end and my sewing machine on the other. Since I found a dedicated cutting table and a larger mat I didn't see a need to have that long table any more. My Kenmore sits on top of the table and has an acrylic bed attachment. I thought that thing was the greatest invention since sliced bread, until I spent a whole day sewing. It is wonderful if you want a larger level surface to work on, but your hands are sitting as high as your chest and your arms get darn tired after a while. So, off I was on a new mission to find a drop-in table where my sewing machine can be cradled at a more ergonomic position and I found this table.

Gotta love Sears. I swear by their Kenmore machines (made by Janome). They offered this table on their website for only $109.00!!! A mere drop in the bucket as compared to the over priced Koala Cabinets they want $700.00 plus for. Now, granted this wasn't as fancy as some of the Koala Cabinets, but based on all the positive reviews I snatched it up. Here's some advice though. DON'T ORDER IT ONLINE!! Some of the products Sears offers you can have shipped directly to your local store for FREE. For some reason the Sears website wasn't allowing me to ship it to my local shop and wanted me to drop another $90.00 just to get it to my door! Yowza! I called up my local store and spoke with a customer rep and he did some digging on his computer. He was able to order it on his computer for me and it will be there next Friday. He had no idea why the website wasn't allowing me ship it to the store. I've ordered outdoor grills and even lawn tractors with no problems before. The only thing I could think of is that this was being drop shipped directly from the manufacturer and not from a service center. Anyway, instead of it costing me $200.00 plus I walked away with a neat table for $118.00 after tax. Cool beans!

Now to get some more of those other items checked off my list.

Happy quilting everyone,

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Finally An Update | Doing Well, Progress on Studio

HEY THERE EVERYONE - Long time no see! Well, sort of... Things have been settling down in our house for the most part. And that's a good thing. I think I have more gray hair to show for it! A big thanks to everyone for all your prayers and well wishes over the last few weeks. We've gotten quite a few notes with some great advice and we certainly appreciate it.

Baby Brennan had his 2 week visit at the pediatric orthopedist on Friday. Mom took him because Dad had to work. I got cell phone updates as soon as the visit was over. They took another X-ray which showed his collar bone healing very nicely. His tiny butterfly brace was taken off and boy was he happy. He's back to chasing his big brother down the hall in his walker. He's using both hands again and the doctor seems to think he'll have no long term side affects from the break. Whew! Life is marching on...

On the lighter side, round three of the 5" Noodle Fabric Strip Swap that I host over at Swap-Bot started on Friday. There are 16 people participating in the US version as well as 7 folks joining in the international round. I'll be posting round 4 sometime next week.

Besides Baby Brennan's boo boo, one of the other reasons I've been MIA over the last few weeks is that I've been painting and finishing my new creative space. The carpenter will be here sometime this week to install the laminate flooring! I've spent this weekend painting the walls and trim a shade of aqua called "River's Edge" by Behr. My wife and I are really pleased with the way the color came out. The trim is painted with a color called "Moon Rise," also by Behr.

We live in a 5 bedroom apartment on the top floor of an 1800's stable house. You should see the manor house next door. It's huge! A publishing company has a field office there and they've done a wonderful job with the upkeep. The home we live in was once a part of a horse farm in the early years of our town. A local undertaker purchased the estate and opened a funeral home in the bottom portion of our building and lived in the larger manor home with his family next door. The estate was eventually sold and split, but the funeral home still continually operates of which I am employed and where my family and I live.

The living room we decided to convert into a creative studio is the only room in our apartment with the original floor to ceiling windows (with wavy glass) and moldings. It's around 400 sq. feet. There is lots of light during the day and a big fireplace to keep us warm during the winters. It overlooks the courtyard of the manor house. This room has lots of character and we are so excited to finish this project. Unfortunately, the previous owner last updated the apartment in the late 70's and thought it was a great idea to replace all the moldings in the rest of the house with cheap alternative materials. He really did a number on destroying the historical wealth of the apartment. I moved in 10 years ago when I first came back home after school and this place was definitely a sight to be seen. Brown and orange shag everywhere with dark brown moldings and stained paneling. Blech! Luckily he left the first floor intact and it's immaculate. And the layout is identical, so we have a good reference if we ever decide to restore it.

Are you ready for a little preview? This photo was taken earlier in the week right after I finished the walls, but before I started the moldings and windows.

On my list for this week?

1. Rip up the carpet and pull the tac strips so the carpenter can get started on the floor.

2. Spray the radiators white to match the trim.

3. Quilt and bind my STUD (Swap Till You Drop) quilt and get it ready to mail.

4. Start the pillow for my Pillow Talk {Swap} partner. I think I have an idea my partner will LOVE.

5. Pick out my fabrics for the Noodle swaps and get them cut and mailed out to my partners.

Think I can get it all accomplished? I sure can try!

Happy quilting,

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