Monday, November 16, 2009

Forgetful me!

While the knitting is going well, quilting is progressing at a snail's pace. But did I remember to say why? Of course not! QuiltMom is back to Working QuiltMom. Just as panic was setting in I found a job. The pay isn't good (we're talking 30% pay cut from my last job) but the potential future with this company is very bright. Heck, they're sending me to Germany in December at their expense! And I work from home 2-3 days a week. It really helps balance the low pay.

Another neat surprise - my mother-in-law decided to start handing out my phone number to people looking to have their quilts quilted and one of them called me. She was just looking for a price but it's a start. Apparently there is quite a shortage of longarmers in the immediate area. It maybe time to bite the bullet and put an ad in the paper to take in tops for people. I may not feel ready for fancy custom quilting, but the basics and a little beyond are well mastered. We'll have to see....

And now a quilt pic, because I need one. Don't you?

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Ooooo, pretty!

I think I'm in love! A friend's blog mentioned an Etsy shop she loves give-away and Wow! I love the fabric on their home page. Lorenza by Alexander Henry is my new favorite fabric. I'm all about girlie things since StinkerBella. Go check them out and enter their give-away.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Branching Out

First of all - isn't the new blog template great? Many, many thanks to Template-Mama and her wonderful blog and fantastic directions.


What is this you say? A scarf?! Mittens?! These are not quilted! Well after trying to work on UFO's, QuiltMom craved new learning. New quilt supplies were not in the budget and toddler demands mean larger chunks of time in the basement are just not possible. I did however have a stash of 30 year old yarn and an 11 year old who wanted to learn to crochet. With internet directions in hand, #2 learned to crochet. He's making this scarf for his grandma's birthday. Ssshh, don't tell.

Well crocheting didn't appeal really but knitting, now that sounded challenging. And I hate not knowing how to do something. It's a sickness, I know. So, in just under 3 weeks I've taught myself how to knit and made 1 scarf, 1.9 mittens (ran out of yarn & local store is out), and 1/2 a sock. Plans are in the works for a sweater for StinkerBella. Cables, I think. I'd like to try those. Is quilting gone? HECK NO! But I can knit in the living room and play with the girl. I can make useful things and be cost effective. It definitely has it's place. Who'd want to miss things like this?

FYI - that bag my girl has was my first applique project 11 years ago. Drew it myself. Didn't even know fusible web existed - I held the pieces down with pins!

Note: Some quilting has been accomplished too, just nothing finished yet. Slow but steady.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Perils of Not Pre-Washing

So after 10 years of not prewashing, disaster has finally struck. I made StinkerBella several T-shirt dresses using some favorites from my stash as skirts and a beautiful blue batik bled all over what used to be a bright pink T.It actually is worse in person. I've rinsed and rinsed and rinsed and dye still pours out of this fabric. Sigh. I loved this fabric but I'm glad a quilt wasn't ruined.

Now will this make me into a pre-washer? No, probably not. If anyone knows a cheap way to stop the "run", please let me know!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

A Vile Book

I re-read a book I own this week and once again wondered - why on earth do I own this book? It's Fat Girl by Judith Moore. The inner cover and reviews make this book sound like a triumph of woman over biology, a victory. It's not. It's 196 pages of self loathing, I spent the whole time reading it wondering if the author was dead by her own hand. It tells the author's life story from childhood on and never once calls the mother's and grandmother's treatment of the girl for what it is - blatant child abuse. Every page is full of hatred, just to read it makes me feel bad about myself. The whole book views being heavy as a permanent character flaw. It even implies those who are fat are evil at heart. It's not that I don't understand some of the sentiments. Believe me, I've been there. I'm not *huge* but I was heavier during my first marriage and the shame of being told you're too fat to f*** never goes away. Once that idea is there you always wonder if you're too big to be loved or desired by anyone without a fetish of some kind. There is no light at the end of this tunnel, no acceptance, no recovery, no hope, just a never ending spiral of despair. So, I've made a decision. This book will not stay under my roof but I cannot in good conscience give it away to possibly damage anyone's self worth. So I'm going to destroy it. It's not a no-one should-ever-read-this-burn-them-all thing. I simply don't want to be responsible for passing on the idea that being fat is a moral failing or damaging anybody else's self worth.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Progress...... or Tales of a Free Couch ;)

So a solution has appeared for my rut - a free couch my husband got on Craigs List. Huh you say? Eeeew? No really, it's a couch from heaven. So it's very 1980's but it's clean and comfortable - an excellent basement couch. How did this help my sewing? I spent Sunday organizing and straightening the basement in preperation for it which also meant getting out and putting away quilting things. I've sewn everyday since. Stinkerbella's quilt is done. Yeah! To paraphrase a friend - Wow! She's only a year old!


I've also finished the bag portion of a Rumbleford Bag I started for my niece when she was born. She goes to kindergarten in a couple weeks. Yikes!


All I have to do is get some gromments and it's off the list! That will probably be a trip to the hardware store tomorrow. Can't go without Hubby - he loves the hardware store and today is going to be crazy busy. Two school open houses & football practice on top of the usual daily mountains of laundry and dishes. Back to work!

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Side Tracked

I've been so side tracked since the move, I can't even locate the tracks! My sewing machine is still packed in the box. I have plenty of UFO's mere hours from completion, I just can't get my butt down there and do them! Maybe it's me, maybe it's the 6 kids, I'd just like to figure out how to accomplish something everyday. Any ideas?

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Via Colori! or Sidewalk Chalk for Grownups




This weekend is the charitable art festival here in Bardstown. One's first thought is (of course) "Art? Quilts?!" No, no fabric was involved but there were some beautiful and inspirational works of art. Can you believe these are done with chalk on the street? I don't think I could bear to have something I worked so hard on be worn or washed away.


This one was my personal favorite:



And Stinkerbella's:

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Home!

This is it, our new home! The 400+ mile move to Kentucky was.... interesting. I have no intention of ever moving again. Ever. Seriously, if I never have to pack up another thing ever again it will be too soon.

The house is beautiful. 4 years old but no one has ever lived in it with the housing market being the way that it is. The ceilings are amazing, to put it in quilting terms - fans with an inner border and a daisy batik outer border but done with plaster! The paint/drywall guys were clearly masters of their work; the plumber, however, was a moron. Our basement flooded when I did the first load of wash because they forgot to remove a plastic knock-out in a drain. There are other things too but I digress. Hubby is handy so it will all be fine.

The day after move in the rest of our menagerie came home for the summer so we're up to six rug-rats till the end of August. We'd love to have them all year-round but that's not going to happen without an act of God. We all went to the zoo last week, it was a riot. Are soon-to-be 14 year olds too old to wear matching shirts? Probably {sigh} I spent the whole day counting heads to make sure we hadn't lost anyone (we didn't). Here's all but the teenagers, they're too cool to pose with the orangutan ;)
I did also finish (& start) a quilt for #2's best friend's sister's new baby due at the end of the summer. A quick Yellow Brick Road with a little of the monster truck fabric in my stash and some fat quarters. I managed to make the whole thing and only needed to buy quilting thread and batting. How could I not have rainbow variegated thread before now?

I quilted cute "car" words in the quilting too. But, Yah!!! a finished quilt!!!!



All in all it's been an exhausting few weeks. I think StinkerBella says it best....

Thursday, May 14, 2009

My Husband......... the Quilter?!

My husband is many things: hot, wonderful, handy, kind, funny..... did I mention hot? But a quilter?! This I am not ready for. He has taken to using my EQ program and loves it! He's addicted! Ok, so none of the blocks he draws are possible to piece and his color sense is, umm, interesting. But they are creative. It's incredibly cool and weird all at the same time. It's definatley going to take some getting used to.

Friday, May 1, 2009

Murphy's Law of Quilting

So I've finally finished quilting Stinkerbella's quilt. What's the hold up you say? Well, I got mad at it and left it sit on the frame unloved for a week+. But why you say? Because I ran out of bobbin thread with this much left to go and had a temper tantrum! I didn't want to wind another bobbin for this!Yes just that stupid square! I was so pissed, livid in fact. I stomped by foot too. It wasn't pretty. And I turned a 3 -4 hour job into 2 weeks. Oh well. I feel better now and here's better picture of the quilting. Will post the whole thing after I bind it.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

A Big Sigh of Relief

My long arm works!!! Why does this thrill me you ask? My poor, beloved machine has endured a vengeful x, storage through an Illinois summer and early winter, and non-use in the past year and a half. It's been home and "up" for 5 months and I've been afraid to discover unseen damage. It was bad enough the x stole the screws to the data cable (!?) but what other harm did he do? Apparently none! The timing was still perfect and even the top tension barely needed tweaked for the lighter thread.

So StinkerBella's Double Wedding Ring quilt top is loaded with a soft sea foam flannel backing. I'm doing a background meander with loops through the arcs and loopy daisies in the corners. I'm rusty but it is a baby quilt and I'm not going to stress about it too much. Pictures will follow soon - one thing at a time!

I've also started pieceing a split nine patch out of some Chez Moi charm packs I bought at Tammy Tadd's a few years ago. I've heard raves about this pattern every where since I saw it here on Sunflower's blog. She is one of my best friends and always does the best versitile and dynamic patterns. In her honor, here's a picture. Can't have too many quilt pictures.I love this quilt and it will hang somewhere in the new house dispite the fact hubby's first wife liked sunflowers. And for the heck of it (and because I like to brag about my kids) StinkerBella. Happy Quilting!!!


(Oh, p.s. to my friends in Illinois - It's been 70 here for two weeks, I wore a skort today. Hahaha!)

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Just one more, honey.......please?

Why do the little one's only nap for an hour when you're motivated to get stuff done? And how did I do it when #2 was a baby? Now that she's mobile (and standing!), Stinkerbella has graduated to the into-everything-stage which should last the next 13+ years. This does mean I can't sew with her in the sling or on my lap - she's way too interested in the sewing machine. But hey, maybe she'll be a quilter someday.

The progress for this week - the last two days I've been working on the double wedding ring. All of the arcs are stitched down and half of the corners have been sewn on. If the stinker takes another short nap I'll finish the top today, if not I'll have to finish next weekend. Now back to work!

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Multi Tasking

So long time no post.... Hubby has been home for 2+weeks (kinda like him ;) and I started a full time job as branch office manager for an investment firm last Monday. This is of course on top of teaching quilting and the three full time kids and their activities. What does this mean? That I'm tired! Seriously, paychecks are good but leaving Stinkerbella is hell and she's miserable every morning when I leave her off. But you have to do what you have to do, whether you like it or not.

I did manage to get a few things done though. Stinkerbella is now 8 months old and her quilt still isn't done. I planned a pastel 30's Double Wedding Ring using QuiltSmart interfacing before she was born. It was sweet and adorable. Perfect for my gender-unkown progeny, even perfect for a tiny new girl. BUT it's not looking like it will suit the sassy little girl I have. I do have a couple charm packs of Chez Moi fabric calling to me.....

Before:
After:

See that empty space in the after? Yeah, I lost an arc. I found it though, just have to drag the iron and the ironing board out to press one stinking arc..... grrr. Here's a closer look with the corner fabrics....


My Beginning Quilting students are all finished with project #1. They look fabulous! I'm so proud!!! Where are the pictures you ask? Well, smart me took a picture with the cell phone.... but there's no way to get it off the phone! I maybe should have thought of that first (sigh). I did finish the runner top that will be the ladies second, and final, class project. There where some cutting issues. Like I cut the wrong fabric and didn't have enough to recut, took time to figure out how to make it work without starting over. My pattern allows extra and has correct instructions!
This is what it looks like (recognize the fabric Jennie?):


This is what it's supposed to look like:

Isn't EQ awesome? I can't even tell this isn't a real quilt! On to other things!

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Useful Things

Quilter's don't often get to make useful things. Yes, a thing of beauty is useful in it's own right but practical, use-it-and-abuse-it things seldom seem to enter our scope. It's just too hard too see something you've poured yourself into worn out or abused. One of the projects I made this fall (and forgot about) is definitely one of those useful things. A wish-I'd-made-it-sooner kind of thing. When Stinkerbella was a month old I made a baby sling. Best baby thing ever, wish I'd had it when she was born. Little ones want held constantly, and unless you have a domestic god for a spouse and no other children, you still have things you have to get done with or without baby. I had five other children to take care of - usually with one hand and no more than an hour or so sleep at a time. These things are $40+ on the internet, some $100+! I made mine for less than $15. It was soo simple. I did have to experiment with a couple different shoulder seams to find the most comfortable one but I found excellent directions here. I could only find one source for the rings (you really don't want to take chances with these) but they were very affordable - I'd recommend buying 2 sets (and making two slings!) for when one sling is in the wash. I'm still using it, although not daily any more, and can see where I'll use it for another year or two. Keep in mind the girl is 17+ pounds now and I'm still comfortable.

This is a hip carry, good for older babies (she's fully supported by the sling - the arm around her is habit & extra protection, her current favorite position)






the Semi-Reclined Cradle Carry - good for even tiny babies (Stinkerbella has never liked to lie down - she has to see what's going on. She's really too big for this now but it was perfect at 2 months.)











Front Facing/Forward Carry - good when they have good head/neck control (she's getting too big for this one too)



the Vertical Carry - good for all ages, feet/legs in when tiny, out when bigger.





On a personal note - if you care how you look or how your clothes hang, think about what you're wearing before you go out and use your sling in public. Putting the sling on and pulling on the tail can pull your top around and baby will pull on your neck line and give everyone a show. And thick sweaters are horribly unflattering ( I do have a waistline - sort of).

Friday, February 13, 2009

Ups and Downs

On the up: Stinkerbella is officially crawling! The best motivation is always the things they shouldn't have: Legos, small bouncy balls, ear protection.....

video
The house just got a whole lot smaller.

On the down: Hubby (or Mega Man) was supposed to be home Sunday. Given that he's been home once since starting this job in November, this was a huge deal. It turns out they have either forgotten to let him go or they want to keep him longer. His boss isn't sure. So we are all pretty bummed. Yes it's good he has a job but I was really looking forward to having him home - even if it was just a few days.

And just because, here are a few of my favorite quilts:


Ok, I have other quilts I like too and/or better, but I've taken pictures of these.

Back to chasing the baby and trying to cheer up the boys :(

Monday, February 9, 2009

There's Something with Kids of Quilters

Those kids of quilters. You know the ones who choose to go to quilt shows with mom and nominate themselves official trip photographer. The ones who go to kindergarten knowing the 3 B's before the 3 R's - Borders, Blocks, & Binding. The ones who want to grow up and run a long arm and write quilt patterns. Yes I have those kind of kids.

But they are becoming more "normal". We spent Sunday afternoon checking out the museums in downtown Little Rock. The Discovery Museum was cool. The kids got to pet a live alligator, broadcast themselves on TV, and build wind powered sail cars. It was geared to younger/older kids though - the 4-8 crowd. We also went to the Arkansas Historic Museum. They have an entire block of mid to early 1800's houses that managed by pure luck to all remain standing and are even still in their original locations! Of course Mini Man's favorite exhibit was the sword collection, #2's favorite the knife collection. We will of course have to go back next month because Mini Man missed the knives - he was too busy ogling the swords. They do have a quilt collection but it is not on display :(

The nicknames - in the name of cyber safety I won't be using my kids real names. It is a public blog and I'd have a fit if either of the boys ever gave out their names online - no less should be expected of me. Mini Man and Stinkerbella were easy. That other one is not. So he is temporarily #2 - until we can think of something more fitting.

Now back to the sewing machine! I have the runner for the beginning quilting class I teach almost finished and need to start the applique samples. And that means playing with my stash! So til next time - Happy Quilting!

Friday, February 6, 2009

You have to start somewhere.....

Yaah me! I got something done. Not lots (yet) but you have to start somewhere. So off the UFO list are the Hanging Sleeves and Sewing Baby Ball Holes. In my defense the quilts waiting for sleeves where hanging on the long arm frame so that's clear now to load. And Stinkerbella was starting to pull the stuffing out of the balls. Good for baby's pincher grasp, bad for eating and Swifering. So here are the balls - with their owner.


And here's another project I finished in the fall I forgot about.



It's a Minkee blanket animal. I bought the fabric and pattern at Quilter's Haven in Rockford, IL a couple of years ago. On a shop hop I think.

Ok, enough play time - back to work!

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Progress

It's been a rough couple of weeks. But today I was motivated. I cleaned the kitchen, gave StinkerBella a long splashy bath, finished organizing the spare room, and cataloged my UFO's & USO's. I even found a few things I thought my vindictive ex husband tossed. Not everything, but enough to get my long arm up and running with the addition of 1 yard of velcro.

Oh all the USO's! So many beautiful fabrics and wonderful projects! And I love some of those UFO's! Not all of them. Some are UFO's for a reason.

I work so much better in a clean, organized space. So tomorrow morning I'll sew while StinkerBella naps. Work on aclamating to a new quilting space while the light is good in that room. Maybe I'll work on something I'm supposed too - or maybe an old favorite!

Friday, January 16, 2009

Brrrrr?

Yesterday's high temp at my house was 25 degrees. No big deal right? Not too cold for a northern Illinois girl. Not even cold enough to require pre-heating the car. Now things here are apparently different because Mini-man said half of his classes were empty! Kids didn't come to school because it was too cold!? I realize the "halls" of the junior high are outside but they do sell hats, coats, and gloves here. Gees people, be a man about it!

Ok, so I haven't done any sewing still but I did EQ. That counts right? Gets the creative juices going, right? Here's a pattern I think I'm going to write up and teach. I can't come up with a name though (so much for the creative juices). Any ideas?

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

And so it Begins

So here I go. A blog. Why am I doing this to myself? Because I went from unhappily married and inspired, putting out 20-25 quilts a year (no joke....seriously), to very happily, ecstatically married but uninspired. I've made 1 purse, 1 quilt, and 4 taggie baby balls in the past year and a half. I haven't even finished Stinkerbella's quilt! I want that part of myself back. I want to have days when I ignore the house (but never the baby!), when all I want to do is quilt. So I will do this, I will share a piece of my life, and I will make myself accountable. So lets go quilt!.... Tomorrow, now I'm going to bed.