Thursday, December 27, 2007

Getting Organized

Puttered around in the studio today. Yesterday, hubby built a couple more shelves for me to store some of my bolts of fabric. (That's not really a big mess on the table, I had just cut the batting for a customer quilt and layed it down when the phone rang).

I'm still getting the new studio organized. Yesterday, I turned the sewing area around, and then ended up putting it back again. To finish up, just need to hang quilts, curtains and get the remaining fabric that is still in tubs and onto shelves. Having one of my Bees over later in the month, so that will give me a nice deadline to finish it up.

Been working on UFO's. Got the Fractions quilt quilted, and the binding attached. Will sit and finish that up tomorrow evening in front of the tv. Also, worked on my Bamboo and Pinwheels quilt that our 'sub-bee' swapped blocks for in November. It's a cool pattern, and you end up with two quilts when you are done. One is Bamboo and the other is Pinwheels. Picture shown is the Bamboo quilt. Got all the triangle blocks sewn into blocks. The pinwheel blocks (the other half of the triangle) are in a nice stack for later (oops I mean another potential UFO).

Pulled out another UFO. It is a batik spiderweb quilt that I was going full guns on, then got hung up on the corners of the borders. Decided today that it wasn't that big a deal, so will finish that up first thing tomorrow.

Saturday, several of the girls (sub-bee) are coming over for an impromtu sew-in. Going to pick out the fabrics for our class later in January, and then work on UFO's. We're not buying any fabric, but plan to work on something that is in process and hopefully get finished up.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Cool new toy - Pfaff Needle Punch Machine

Felt so guilty today, as I hardly worked on customer quilts at all! However, I did do some prep work on a t- shirt quilt where the customer wants me to include all the 'stuff' including the entire back of a cheerleading jacket. The back of the jacket is curved at the top, so was debating how to add cotton or whatever to the WOOL of the jacket and make it look right.
It finally dawned on me to use my new toy that I bought at Festival in November. My Needle punch Machine! Here is a closeup of where I needle punched the heck out of the layers, then did a quick zig-sag stitch over it for good measure. The extra stitching probably was not necessary, but figured if it was laundered, that would ensure that it did not come apart.
Anyway, think it turned out pretty nicely, but still have to do some calculations to figure out how to have a 21 x 15 inch center in this quilt!

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

UFO's and Stashbusting

OK, it is after Christmas, I have a few days before the new year, and it is time to start considering goals and objectives for next year. I have had a huge list of UFO's and Ready to quilt items listed on the side. How many new projects will I start? How many projects have I comitted to? Oh, and the block exchanges and Mystery quilts !!
Right off the bat, my Monday Bee is doing a Charity Challenge where everyone gets a yard of the same fabric and the challenge is to complete a charity quilt by a certain date, and we all turn them in a future guild meeting. They have also discovered Dear Jane. Mine has been sitting since 2005 (see for my DJ Journey).
I've joined a BlockBuilders Bee with Greater Houston Guild. They do 4 block exchanges each year. My Thursday Bee (original name huh- we meet on Thursdays!!) will probably do several exchanges and quite a few charity projects, not to mention road trips and retreats!
So, the question really comes down to, do I WANT to finish those UFO's? Do I just need to prioritize the list? Do I just need to cull out that list and just give in to the fact that I may never get them done?
With the new studio, I actually have room to get projects out. The ones that I really want to complete, I will set up a 15 minutes a day type of commitment to work on them. I find that actually works, and it is amazing what you can complete.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Merry Christmas & Happy Holidays

Wishing everyone a very Merry Christmas and a very Happy New Year.

Friday, December 14, 2007

Quilting Studio Update!

Been working on the new quilt studio. Moved it from the upstairs garage apartment to the floor level full size workshop. I actually moved into the new studio in October, but was so busy with Quilt Festival and holiday customer quilting, that I didn't have much time for posting (and room was in quite a mess).

Here is the 'before' and mostly wasted space and hubbys' storage for motorcycles, camping stuff and airplane overflow parts.

During the process, we cleared everything out, mudded walls, textured ceiling, power cleaned the floor, tiled, painted and so on. Quite a transformation! Since the previous owner of the house used this as a wood workshop, there were already plenty of outlets and lots of overhead lighting, so we didn't have to do any additional work there.

Moved out all the old books, and moved in quilting (& other craft) books and stuff. The Gammill has a new home and Jon even built me a world class portable cutting table. Right now, I mostly leave it under the big window.

Friday, December 07, 2007

Carolina Crossroads Mystery Quilt - Part I

Well, I got about 50 of my rail fence blocks completed, and my sewing machine blew a gasket or something. The top stitch looks great, but the under side is giant loops of fabric. It's like the tension totally went away. I re-threaded top several times and reloaded the bobbin. No help. Wonder if they will do emergency repairs on the weekend??? Fotunately, I do have a back up machine.

I'm using dark blues and reds. I have lots of reds in my stash and scraps, so am looking forward to using these in this mystery. As soon as I get the backup machine setup, I'll be able to finish up the last of these rail fences and move on to Part II.