Sunday, February 26, 2012

Sunday Stash Report

Used this Week:                  1.00 yards
Used year to Date:           18.11 yards
Added this Week:                2.25 yards
Added Year to Date:          31.625 yards
Net Used for 2012:          - 13.515 yards

Didn't report anything last week because there were no changes. This week we visited a quilt shop during the retreat. Of course, I found a few pieces that I just had to have. Kept it down to only three half-yard pieces and three fat quarters. Is that will power or what? I used one yard for the bag that we started at the retreat. I managed to finish it today. Wanted to report fabric used this week!! LOL  Have to look like I make a little progress.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Home from Retreat

Received a call from my daughter Natalie this afternoon. Since I had not posted retreat results, she was wondering if I was home yet. Yes!! I am home. Going to retreats is fun but it sure can be exhausting. I arrived home late yesterday afternoon and I was tired!!  Fell asleep on the couch for a nap before dinner (Hubby cooked) and did absolutely nothing in the evening except catch up with the shows I had saved on the DVR. Is that lazy or what?? LOL Sure was nice though.

Arrived up at the casino on Monday afternoon and set up all of my equipment.  The guys from St. Cloud Sewing Center were at the doors to help us unload all of our supplies. That was great!! Since this was a machine embroidery retreat, most of us came with two machines; one for machine embroidery and one for general sewing. Some of the ladies bring their whole thread cart, computers, extra small table, irons, etc. The retreat went until Friday afternoon. The food was great and the beds were very comfortable in the hotel. My friend, Maureen, and I were roommates. I served her coffee in bed in the morning! She is a slow starter in the morning. LOL  Her husband is going to have to fulfill some big expectations! ROFLOL What ever I can do to help the situation.

The first project we worked on was a felt bag with a mylar applique' on it. It will make a great Christmas gift bag. The snow flakes were embroidered on first, then we placed the mylar snowman applique' on and embroidered the texture all over the mylar, then embroidered the scarf and nose on the snowman. They turned out very cute and shiny. I still have the sides and handles to put on the bag but I want to embroider a name on the bag first.
Another project we worked on was a purse. I still have the lining and pockets to finish and then it is done.
Since most of the work for the purse was done in the hoop it was a challenge. Some of the machines did not like the layers of peltex, fabric, and buckram. One of the things I found out at this retreat was, if you are traveling with electronic sewing machines and are doing heavy duty sewing - BRING A BATTERY BACKUP/SURGE PROTECTOR!!! I have always traveled with plenty of surge protection but never battery backup for my sewing machines. The issue some of us had, was that we were experiencing mini brown outs when all of the machines where running and it caused other machines to experience operating problems. It was a little disappointing because I was not able to work on all of the projects but I still enjoyed the social time. St. Cloud Sewing Center works very hard to provide us with fun projects plus a lot of fun gifts and door prizes.

On Tuesday evening, Kenny and Lisa from Embroidery Library and Karline from Urban Threads brought a trunk show of embroidered items for us to see. It was awesome!!! I loved some of the edgy designs that Urban threads has.
Kenny from Embroidery Library

Karline from Urban Threads (center) and Janelle from St. Cloud Sewing Center (on right)
Retreat Photos
 Working Hard!!
Lots of supplies!
Dedicated workers!
Linda and Judy with their purses. Great job!!
How about having some Mascot's?? LOL Just too cute!
Enough thread??  No, I don't think so!  LOL
I still think scrapbookers have more "stuff" at retreats then quilters or machine embroiderers. Not sure anybody left anything at home. Thank goodness the casino had plenty of large carts for us to haul all of our things in and out with. Too bad it is another whole year until we have this retreat again.


Monday, February 20, 2012

Off to Retreat We Go

Well, I have been packing since last night!! I still am not sure I have enough "stuff" and that I have everything that I need. This retreat is a machine embroidery retreat. That means two sets of projects - one set for machine embroidery and one set for quilting. Of course two machines are going with me. I will be bringing my Bernina 640 with embroidery module (Queen Bess the Bernina 830 has to stay home) and my little Featherweight.  Since this retreat is only 30 miles away, I can always zip home to get something or have hubby bring it to me. The retreat is at the Mille Lacs Grand Casino, so he will not mind making the trip. LOL  Now that I have taken a picture, it doesn't look like much in the picture but I still have more to add. No, I am not taking the whole sewing room with my like my DH thinks!!
For the OB turtles, I am still making progress but I am not taking Orca Bay with me to work on at retreat. When I get to layout stage I like to work at home. Instead I am starting Blue Ridge Beauty from "Leaders and Enders" by Bonnie K Hunter. Blue Ridge Beauty is a super simple pattern with just a lot of sewing that will be a great project for being able to socialize, eat, socialize, sew, and socialize. 
Well, better finish packing and getting ready. The computer needs to be packed up yet.


Friday, February 17, 2012

Orca Bay Progress

Well, it is a slow process, but I am progressing with OB little by little. Glad I made the UFO Challenge committment because it would be so easy to start something that is a little less intense.

Over the years of making easy, fast to piece quilts, I had forgotten to just enjoy the process of making a quilt that takes a little time and effort. It will be well worth it when I get it done!!!!

Even though most of the fabrics I used are from my stash (only bought two FQ's of black with white and three FQ's of white with black), no dent was made in the stash. The stash must just keep having babies while I am not looking.


Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Valentine Flowers

Today was my bowling day. Had two games that were at least my average and one game that --- bleep, bleep!!!!  After bowling, my teammates and I go to lunch. We are a very noisy group, have the same waitress each week (she adds to the noise), and have gained a reputation in the small town where we bowl. People almost want to evacuate the restaurant. LOL

Today a special surprise arrived at the restaurant --- FOR ME!!!   Flowers from the Hubby. What a wonderful surprise. Of course, there was a great deal of teasing and we won't go into some of the comments!!!  Hubby knew I was feeling a little down and upset over some stuff with our son, and so he thought he would cheer me up. Well, he certainly did.  Since we live 20 miles from town, he had them delivered to the restaurant because he knew they would not deliver to our house.  Aren't they beautiful???  Guess I will keep him for another 44 years!!  Tee Hee!!!

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Quiet Week in the Sewing Room

Had one of those weeks where I was busy all week but not a lot accomplished in the sewing room. On Tuesday I went bowling (bowled much better then the last two weeks) and after bowling I attended Machine Embroidery Club. Since we will be having a retreat February 20 - 24 for machine embroidery, I wanted to make sure to attend so I could see the projects we will be working on. On Thursday, I attended Featherweight Club (must have a Featherweight machine to attend) and sewed on a binding. On Friday, my Hubby wanted me to go bumming with him. Guess I can't sew all the time and neglect the poor boy!!!   LOL

I did do some sewing on the 38 cancer bags that I have in progress. Have to admit after I do a certain amount on them, I get bored and want to sew on something else. The cancer bags are made out of a variety of fabrics, but decorator weight is the nicest for these bags.
 I took a break from sewing the Cancer Bags and started working on Orca Bay quilt again.  Almost done with all of Part 4, which is red string piecing. I have been cutting up one of the physcian directories that the insurance company sends out each year. The pages are wonderful for the foundation piecing. Tears off very easy. Great way to recycle!!
After the string piecing is done, the block gets squared up.
 I then tear the paper off the back, spritz lightly with water and press flat. After pressing the front and back so it lies good and flat, the square is cut across the strips on the diagonal.
Now I lay my ruler (it is just like the companion angle ruler) on one piece, lining up the 3 1/2" line with the cut diagonal edge and trim off the excess fabric.

For Part 7, I added the pieces from Part 5 (black wing pieces) to the pieces from Part 4. I skipped Part 6 at this time (do have the pieces cut).

Are you confused yet??  Can you tell I tend to work in the order I want to work??  Oh, well!! Makes life interesting. I will get back to Part 6, but I wanted to check that the above units are going to be the correct size. I can understand why Bonnie sets out the steps to the mystery the way she does. She is only trying to keep us from guessing what it was going to look like.  I am so wanting to get this top done.  It also means another UFO quilt top done (some call these flimsies). Love the name "flimsies". 

Sunday Stash Report

Used this Week:                   0.00 yards
Used year to Date:            17.11 yards
Added this Week:                2.75 yards
Added Year to Date:           29.375 yards
Net Used for 2012:            -12.265 yards

The fabrics added this week were supplies for the machine embroidery retreat I am attending February 20 - 24. Needed 1/4 yard felt for one project (didn't have quite enough on hand). Also, needed 1/2 yard of linen for another project and purchased 2 yards for scarves that I would like to embroider. WooHoo --- NO QUILTING FABRIC!!!!   LOL

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Sunday Stash Report

Used this Week:                          1.11 yards
Used year to Date:                   17.11 yards
Added this Week:                     4.5 yards
Added Year to Date:                  26.625 yards
Net Used for 2012:                     - 9.515 yards

Country Caboose in Wahkon, MN, started their Super Bowl sale on Saturday and we were driving within a short distance of the shop and of course I had to check out the sale. I have been trying so hard not to buy fabric but I had a specific project in mind for my grandson's graduation quilt. This weekend was a good opportunity to buy the main batiks on sale for the quilt. I hope to get the border fabric during the Leap Year sales at the end of the month. By the 29th of February, I should know exactly what I need for his quilt.

I finished a pillowcase to be donated through our guild for service project. Have 38 cancer bags in process but can't deduct that yet. The cancer bags are given to the hospital and all newly diagnosed cancer patients get a bag to hold all of their papers and any other handouts. This is a standing service project for our guild. The hospital needs approximately 700 bags per year. These are not hard to make, just take a little time and should help to keep me out of a little mischief.

WooHoo -- Hubby has actually consented to go see the movie "War Horse" with me. He hasn't gone to a movie with me for 4+ years. I usually end of going by myself or with my children. Nice treat to have him with!! 

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Clean Sewing Room

Almost!!!  It is not quit clean, but the sewing room is presentable enough to take pictures. Since I featured my daughter's sewing room while I was in Fargo, thought it was only fair to show mine.  So here goes ---

View as you walk in from the kitchen/living room area:
To the left, as you walk in, is my design wall.  I have two rods from which the design wall hangs and it works like sliding closet doors. The center and largest piece of foam slides on the front rod.  The two smaller pieces of foam slide on the back rod. (This idea came from sliding closet doors my Mother had on her closet)  There are cabinets behind the covered foam insulation boards which hold fabric and projects. The panels easily slide to expose any section of cabinet I want.  ** You can see a section of Bonnie Hunter's Scrappy Bargelo in progress in the center.
This picture shows the cabinets behind the design wall panels. I also have storage up above the cabinets.
Moving around the corner of the room is my ironing area. I have a big board on the top of a shelving unit. (If it takes up space, it has to have storage. An ironing board provided no storage.) There is a covered idea board on the wall above the ironing station.  My laptop is on a rolling cart which can be moved any place in the room.
On the same wall as the ironing station is the first sewing/embroidery station. In the corner, I have a tall bookcase that holds books, magazines, and my TV. 
Moving around the corner, is the second sewing station. The cabinet was made by a cabinet maker when I bought my first Bernina in 1984. There are french doors behind the cabinet which I never use. The room is suppose to be a formal dining room, but who really uses a formal dining room very often? Sewing takes priority -- doesn't it??
Going around the last corner, I have my cutting table which is on the same type of shelving unit as the ironing station. The shelving units were on sale and very inexpensive. I did purchase a ruler rack for on the wall. It holds a lot of my rulers and my spinning cutting mat. My templates are stored in a bag hanging from the shelf bracket for the wall shelves.
Last area is my sitting area. Have to have two chairs because my children often join me in the sewing room when they are home. (Dad only watches westerns and my son likes a lot of the same programs that I watch.) The girls like to see what I am working on and check out current books and magazines. There is a little blue shelving unit made with wooden spools to separate the shelves behind the chairs. It was a find at an occasional sale. They are so much fun. The table between the chairs is half of my grandmother's sewing cabinet. She had sawed the center section out and made end tables. I only got one of them.
The room is 12' x 14'.  Thought it was going to be large enough to hold everything but ----  IT DOESN'T!!!  I only keep what is current in this room. Other projects, fabrics, and supplies are stored in a walk-in closet in one of the bedrooms. My mid-arm quilting machine on a frame is kept downstairs. Gives me an excuse to get some exercise by going up and down stairs. This room is always in transition because I am always thinking there is a better way to arrange everything, hoping to get more into it.

Friday, February 3, 2012

Guild Meeting

Wouldn't you know that I would not only forget my name tag but, also, my camera for the guild meeting. We had such an interesting young man (18 years old) as our guest speaker at the St. Cloud Heritage Quilters guild meeting. He designs patterns and has been doing this for a few years. His name is Doug Leko of "Antler Quilt Design".  What a fun person he was, and very relaxed in front of a group of women. We were impressed by all his energy. He is a High School Senior, attends business college one night a week, teaches, designs patterns, and has now added long arm machine quilting to his list of things he does. Wow ---  Did I ever have that much energy?  Maybe when my children were young and I had to manage to multi-task while I had a little one hanging on my leg and one resting on the hip. That was a looooooooooong time ago!!