7/26/09

Birthday - July 26, 2009

So the binding is done, and the Hawaiian quilt is officially a quilt.
Yea!
Here's a look at how I do my binding.
I do it all by machine. I am a child of the new millennium, and have no desire to hand sew a binding ever in my life.
I'm quite sure there are many people who disagree with me, (I read your blogs!) but I'm ok with that.
Just tuck and roll, tuck and roll.
I tuck the quilt back into the binding, and roll the binding over to the back. Then sew it down.
If there are any stray threads, I just tuck them in before sewing it down.
By the way, the neon yellow is the "Post-It" trick. It's amazing! The idea is that you put a post-it in front of the... is it the throat plate? Is that what it's called? Or am I confusing it with a carburetor? Anyhoo, it keeps the bottom seam from catching and flipping the wrong way. It really works.
Back to the binding.
If I'm making a baby quilt, or something as a gift for someone, I like to hide a note in the binding. Just some good wishes, or a blessing or two.
Sometimes I write it on a tiny strip of fabric with a permanent Sharpie type pen, sometimes I write it directly on the binding.
Clip off the corners...
And when I come to a corner I just fold it up and try to land right where the two sides meet. This is not a very good picture, but can you see it?
Then pivot and keep going.
Tuck and roll, tuck and... well, you get the idea.
And this is what you get.
Like that.
Done! Here he is on my unmade bed...
And here he is on the stairs...
And here he is posing on the hood of the car, pin-up style. See? he's doing the sexy "Look over your shoulder" pose.
What a lovely quilt!

7/22/09

Humuhumunukunukuapua'a Y'all!

It's back! It's back! My Hawaiian quilt is back from the long arm quilter!
And it's beeeauuuutiful!
Don't you love it?
Someday I'm going to HAVE to figure out the white balance on my @$%#*! camera.
It's not so blue like the picture suggests.
It's just dusk.
This is the back...
Green orchids.
My Dad raised orchids. All kinds of orchids, but the stranger the better. He loved him some green orchids. For the 4th of July we would sometimes go to the Orchid Society Potluck and Bingo. Now, understand that I am the youngest of four kids. And the only girl. I am not, how shall we say, a good sport.
I do not lose gracefully.
There were a lot of game boards thrown across our living room back in the day. I'm not proud of it, I'm just saying.
I never won anything.
EXCEPT BINGO!
I LOVED bingo! It's a game of chance! I could actually WIN! I had HOPE!
So everyone would bring a potluck dish, and an orchid or two as prizes for the bingo game. When you won, (BINGO!!) you got to go up to the table and pick out an orchid.
Now, my brother and I always wanted the biggest ones!
Of course!
Big, full, green, luscious orchid plants!
But the big orchids were always the dime-a-dozen, nothing sort of orchids. Cattleyas and Phalaenopsis and Cymbidiums.
70's corsage orchids.
EVERYONE had those. Those were AMATEUR orchids! (eye roll)
Before the game even started, my father would give us our orders. In case of an actual win, see that tiny one at the back? The sad, scraggly one with two leaves and the roots hanging out? That scrub on the side that DIDN'T EVEN HAVE A POT?
Yeah, grab THAT one.
Daaaaaad! We'd whine.
We want the BIG ones!!
But no, like the dutiful offspring we were, we would stump up to the table, all thrill of winning gone, and reluctantly pick up the pathetic weeds with just our forefinger and thumb, and stagger, sighing heavily, back to our seat. Sigh. Stupid little orchid. Ruining EVERYTHING!
One year he made me pick out an Epidendrum cuchibambe. I practiced and practiced until I could say the name flawlessly. I came to love my tiny little plant.
Until I learned that it blooms ONCE EVERY FIVE YEARS!!!
THAT'S exciting for a 10 year old girl!
But I digress.
Can you see the quilting? It's beautiful.
I hesitate to tell you where I sent it, because you'll want some beautiful quilting of your own, and then you'll clog up my fabulous quilter with all your requests, but she's just too good not to share.
I sent it to Karen, from Karen's Quilted Creations
Doesn't she do good work?
Isn't she amazing?
I'll be sending her many more quilts, I can promise you that. She is sweet and professional and an excellent communicator, which is important because she's in Michigan and I'm in California.
I'm so glad to have it home!
Now just the binding to go, and you know I love binding, and then I'll have a new quilt for the pup to snuggle under.
Oh! And me too.

7/21/09

If You Think I'm Sultry...

Whaaa? Three posts in three days?!?
I know. I'm as surprised as you.
Remember the Sultry quilt?
So I've been chugging along on it.
Chug, chug, chug...
So I have this idea. The instructions for the pattern call for cutting off the sides of the "braid" so they're straight and smooth. Easy to piece together.
But I have this idea.
I know, why do I always have to have ideas?
I have the idea to piece the jagged edges together. Like the far left side in this picture. Wouldn't that be cool?
That green and brown and pink section? At the top?
In theory, it should be simple. Sew one little 2 1/2 inch edge to the side of the bar next to it.
Pivot, repeat.
Simple, right?
Yeah, not so much. It's taken me a VERY LONG TIME to sew about 10 inches. Then I tried doing it by hand, and THAT wasn't any easier. The trick is that you have to land your needle exactly 1/4 of an inch from the edge of the next piece, then line up the next piece exactly 1/4 of an inch from that. Did that make sense?
Yeah, maybe that's the problem. It doesn't make sense to me either.
This is one of my favorite fabrics. I want a whole wardrobe out of it.
And before starting, I treated myself to a nice, new, sharp blade for the rotary cutter. Oh! It makes such a world of difference! It cuts like buttah!
Cuts without effort!
Even my hand! Without even trying!
(I'm fine.)
And then, as I'm reveling in my new found wicked sharpness...

I ran over a pin.
DOH!!!
Now everything I cut is so NOT like buttah. Every cut I make is accompanied with a swear word or two. At the very least a growl.
Now everything must be cut twice.
TWICE!
Grrrrr...

7/20/09

SWOON!! (Does anyone else swoon over fabric?)

So I bought this cute, cute, cute fabric from this wonderful Etsy seller.
Isn't it adorable?
A kitten in a teacup! Is she a nurse?
It's called Animals in Cars, from Ikea.
A COW in a SUGARBOWL!! (swoon!)
I think this might be my favorite, a MOUSE! In a CUPCAKE WRAPPER!! WITH A LAMP!!
A giraffe? In a STRAWBERRY! I wish I had something stronger than capital letters! LOOK. AT. HIS. KNEES!!!
As you can see, I'm thinking of a small ring of black and white fabric, then maybe something more colorful.
Or maybe the other way around. We'll see.
Did I mention the tiger? THE TIGER IN A SPORTS CAR?!?!?
(faint)
I love it. I just LOVE IT!!!

7/19/09

Betcha Can't Sew Just One!

Do you like string quilts? I love string quilts. Like this one. And this one. Aaaand this one. And it doesn't have to be squares. Making them is like eating potato chips. Just one more block. Just ONE more block! Ok, now I have 1100 blocks. And I only needed 48 for this one! If you're not familiar, you cut some paper into the size you want, lay down strips or "strings" of fabric and sew and flip. The paper keeps you in the right shape, and stabilizes things while you're working.
So here is my blue and green string quilt. With, as my friend pointed out, Ninja stars.
I'm not sure about the stars now. What do you think? My theory was that it would break up all the green and blue, but now I think I find them kind of distracting. I do love blue and orange together though.
Yes, that's a chili pepper. And a dinosaur, and some bananas dancing in grass skirts. And a manatee.
I like to have surprises for people who get close. It's entirely from my stash. I thought I needed to whittle it down a bit, although I can't say it's made much of a dent. I love string quilts so much I'm thinking of a series of season string quilts. Greys and pastels for Winter. Bright yellow, orange and green for summer. Maybe mix it up with different patterns. Triangles? Rectangles? Have I mentioned that I love string quilts?
And from the back it looks like stained glass!
On someone's blog recently, (sorry! I don't remember who) I left a comment about paper piecing and how it was NO BIG DEAL to rip the paper out of the back at the end. HA! I said that, having not ripped any paper in a while.
I confess. It's a bitch. But it didn't take too long, and I just reminded myself of how much easier it made it to put it together.
Aww, da pup is snoring in her bed right now. It's the sweetest noise! Such a sweet, sweet girl.
Now to clean up the sewing cave and get on to the next one!

7/13/09

Happy Campers

Happy Monday!
I've been on vacation, and had to sneak in just one more day.
You know how vacations need to be just the right length, right? Too short and you don't want to go back, too long and you NEVER want to go back?
Well I'm sure that tomorrow morning I will leap out of bed, happy to get back to work.
I'm just sure of it.
We just got back from "camping" at Pismo Beach.
I say "camping", because I'm not exactly a woodsy outdoorsy kind of gal, so I camp in a hotel.
With soft water! I couldn't rinse the shampoo out of my hair for anything! That's roughing it as far as I'm concerned. Oh the trauma.
This was a fun year, (we try to go every year, with the Sweet Baboo's family) because we took Princess Fluffernutter with us! We've always boarded her, or had a friend take care of her. This year she came with us!
Here she is, having commandeered the bedspread for her own.
She was SUCH A GOOD DOG! I admit, I was a little nervous about taking her. She isn't the most socialized pup in the world.
But I underestimated her.
She was the belle of the ball, with several people commenting on how well behaved she is. Let me tell you, she slept well when we got home! That was a lot of activity for a little couch potato. Lots of new smells, people to greet, walks, walks, walks. I couldn't have asked for anything better.
She does this strange thing, Anyone else have a dog who doesn't speak dog?
We were walking through the campgrounds, and over to one side there was a yellow lab who saw Pepper and went IN...SANE. Barking and barking and snarling and frothing. Insane!
And there walks little Miss Pep; completely oblivious to him. Ooo! Look at this leaf! Whoa, is that a napkin I need to investigate? La la la...
It's not the first time, it wasn't even the only time this trip! One of our friends had her little weinerdog with her, and she was howling and yipping to get at Pepper, but Pepper didn't seem to notice. I don't think she speaks dog. I think she thinks she's a tiny, furry human, and these barks and howls don't even register with her. Maybe that explains why other dogs seem to hate her so much. Hmm.
You'd think I'd have a ton of pictures, but no. I have literally, three. These three. Two blurry pup photos, and one of this eucalyptus tree that fascinated me.
Don't you see a quilt in there? I don't know if it was the colors or the pattern, but I thought it was beautiful.
So today is just unpacking and cleaning and organizing, but I might find a few minutes to reacquaint myself with my friend Pfaffey. He's hungry for some fabric!


7/7/09

Like a Cool Breeze on a Summer's Day...

Ohhhhhhhhhh sigh.
I'm so tired. I was working in the sewing cave, minding my own business, putting needle to cloth, when I suddenly decided that I needed to clean and organize EVERYTHING. Do you ever have those moments? Where in an instant it all comes crashing down on you how incredibly disorganized you are? And how if you were just one of those a-place-for-everything kind of people then there would be no floods, no famine, no Michael Jackson memorial?
Me too.
So I cleaned.
I wish I was one of those people. I REALLY do! My problem is that it's not a question of putting things back where they belong, because nothing has a home. My sewing table is always stacked high with all my unfinished projects, so in order to work, I need to clean it off.
Every. Time.
And it's been a strange few days, where I kept running out of everything.
I put together the Sultry braid, but even though I separated all the different fabrics, and tried to keep an even mix all the way through, I somehow ended up short, so that the last few feet would be pretty much just one fabric.
Not cute.
When I found myself HATING this particular fabric, I decided to throw in the towel and buy an additional Jelly Roll.
Whatyagonnado?
It's what the quilt needed.
And I also ran out of Oh Cherry Oh fabric for the sure Cherry quilt. What the?
AND I ran out of thread. No kidding.
Sigh.
But I did manage to put some borders on the Metro Market quilt.
So cute, doncha think?
I love those chickens. And the beaters. Love! Now I just have to fix up a backing, and we're in the home stretch.
Do you have a friend? I mean, a FRIEND?
One of those "Don't know what I'd do without you" friends?
I do.
And look what she made me.
My crappy picture doesn't do it justice. It's soooooo adorable! It's such a creamsickle, summer day, flip flops and coconut oil picture!
She's got talent, this one.
You should go check her out. Tell her you'd buy one of these signs if she sold them in her Etsy store.
I would!