Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Snow Break

Everyone laughs at us Southerners and our reactions to snow... or even the possibility of snow.  However, for us, snow is rare and thus... a huge treat.  It snows, it melts, and we go on with life.... snow is never much of a problem.

School (aka work) was cancelled for Tuesday based on reports from the weather folk but snow didn't arrive til dark... after about an hour of sleet.

By this morning, we had approximately three inches of the white fluffy stuff.

The snow plows are out on the main roads...

Photo courtesy of The Pilot, Southern Pines, NC

...and the sun is starting to come out.

Photo courtesy of The Pilot, Southern Pines, NC

However, it's 19 degrees out with a predicted high around 30 degrees.... so what melting does happen thanks to the sun, will refreeze for a "fun" mess on the roads come morning....

 Photo courtesy of L.Chandler Photography, Aberdeen NC

....especially on the side roads where sun doesn't hit the pavement as much as on the main drags.

Photo courtesy of L.Chandler Photography, Aberdeen NC

So yes, we Southerners do make a big deal of snow... it's so lovely when it's falling!  So quiet you can almost hear the snowflakes hit the ground...

Then we hunker down because we know what follows...

...of course, making up snow days on Saturdays and over spring break ain't so much fun.   

And yes, it does snow at the beach...

 The old Coast Guard Station on Ocracoke Island, NC - Photo by Jack Willis, NCCAT

I wonder if school will be cancelled tomorrow or if we'll have a two-hour delay?

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Runner for the Dining Room Buffet

I was able to finish up the whole-cloth runner for the buffet in the dining room and am pleased with it.

I like glass stuff and have a small collection plus a lovely set of candlewick glassware that was a wedding present to my maternal grandparents.  The larger pieces don't fit in any cabinets that I have so I display it on the dining room buffet and table.  

I had been using a quilted place mat for the buffet but it was too small to accommodate the candlesticks...   and, without anything on the buffet, the glass seems to disappear.

The quilting took more than two bobbins of thread but I do like how it turned out.

It was funny but it was much easier to see spaces I had missed from the back rather than from the front with the printed fabric.

One "incentive" to get this project done was that I did not remove the Christmas decorations from the buffet until I had the runner ready.   So one of today's project is to get this stuff put away!

A simple project but one that allowed me to get in there and practice FMQ-ing... both moving the fabric and controlling motor speed with the foot pedal.

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Another FMQ-ing Project

I am determined to stretch my limited FMQ-ing skills this year and have pulled this lovely fabric from my stash.  Purchased for a previous project, I have about a half yard left.

Can you see the weave in this fabric?  I think it's so cool...

I am going to trace all the stems and outline most of the flowers and leaves. 

It's going to take me a while but I will get a lot of practice....

Thursday, January 16, 2014

New Runner for the Buffet

I like small projects... such quick finishes!   

Here's a before photo...

...and another after...

...and an after with stuff and the plates on the wall.

I'm glad I decided to go with the larger blocks...  

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Pinning & Quilting

I rummaged around in my stash of blue fabrics and pulled one of my favorites, which has been "maturing" in my stash for sufficient time to be used.

If you're seeing a pattern here with the rich blues, you're on target...  love cobalt blue!  Even have a soap dish that I use for collecting basting pins...

Once I had the table runner pinned... it was off to the machine and do some quilting.  I did some ditch work along the sashings but needed to do something with the 10" finished blocks.... so I decided to follow major seams of the designs.   Can you see the Snail's Trail outline?

Here is the Dutchman's Puzzle from the back with the central pinwheel outlined.

Now to trim and bind....


Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Flimsy Finish

I finished the top of the table/buffet runner and I like how it turned out...

Now to get it sandwiched and quilted....     *pondering on the quilting part*

Monday, January 13, 2014

A Few More Blocks

I finished up a couple more blocks for the first small project this year...

Block A is called Old Favorite, block B is Snail's Trail, block C is Flower Basket, and D is Dutchman's Puzzle.

I am designing this project myself but am getting the measurements for these 10" finished blocks from one of my very favorite quilty books:  Judy Hopkins' 501 Rotary-Cut Quilt Blocks, which I've mentioned before.

This block is for the cornerstones and is called Broken Sash.  The size chart for Broken Sash only went down to a 4" finished block and I needed a 2" finished block...  so I had to do a little math... 

I've not decided on the exact order of the four larger blocks but there's no hurry on this project.   

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Cobalt Blue & White

I started my next project...  a small one so that I can practice my quilting more frequently this year.  I'm using a dark blue/cobalt floral fusion fabric by Robert Kaufman and a white-on-white Dimples by Andover.... both from my stash.

I wanted to wait til it was sunny to take a photo but it's been raining here for two days running.  Can't complain... seems this State is always in drought stage.

Thursday, January 9, 2014

A Quilty Report

Expectant mom/coworker hit 37 weeks gestation yesterday.  Her three boys came 2-3 weeks early and Christy had a doctor's appointment after work to get an updated ETA.   So it's possible that... next Wednesday when I'm at the school again...  her daughter might have arrived!

Christy loved  the quilt as you may be able to tell by her smile!  We had a nice visit over lunch... baby stuff, comparing "having a baby now" and "having a baby 40 years ago," and even a little work-related conversation.

Now I'll just be waiting to hear...  in the meantime, I'm pulling fabrics for the next project, which will be one of the small ones I've been planning!

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Baby Quilt: A Finish

All finished...

...all nice and crinkly...

...all ready to head out to the expectant momma this morning!

If the baby-to-be's name had been shared, I could have included it on the label...   but we'll go with this!

Monday, January 6, 2014

Baby Quilt & Quilting Challenge

One of the things I want to work on this year is improving my FMQ-ing.  I know perfectly well that if I wait til I have a regular-sized quilt finished, I won't get in much practice time.  So...  I have been planning a number of small projects and the first of which is a baby quilt!

Mom-to-be is a grown-up tomboy and is the perfect mother for her three boys.  In fact, she's wondered if she will be able to parent a girl... and I've assured her it will come naturally.  After all, kids are kids... whether they are boys or girls!

I managed to get the quilt pin-basted and quilted yesterday despite laundry, bill-paying, and other weekend chores.  While not as good as I would like, I am getting better and there wasn't too many loops and points on this project.  Despite trying to emulate a blogging friend's beautiful meander, I'm finding the FMQ-ing is as individual as one's hand-writing.  

I plan to bind the quilt after work... my first day back after Christmas break.... iffen I ain't too tired.    Then it will be on to the next project.....

Sunday, January 5, 2014

What Next?

I finished the last of the 7ft lined curtain/drape panels and am glad to have that project done!  I'm thinking I have appx 2 hours labor in each panel for a total of 8 hours.

In case anyone is interested, I did not use twin sheets from Walmart for the lining.  
You may save a few bucks but you would increase the amount of labor
unpicking all the seams and cutting the sheets to fit the width of the outer fabric.

Next up is a quick baby quilt for a coworker who is expecting a daughter the end of January.  She and her husband already have three boys and this will be the first girl born into her husband's family in several generations.   I imagine they received a LOT of pink, girly-girl stuff for the holidays....

Saturday, January 4, 2014

Second Sewing Project for the Year

My DIL asked if I could make new curtain panels for her.   So... here are two of four 7ft lined panels...

If anyone is interested, I am using THIS TUTORIAL to make the panels...  very easy this way.

Friday, January 3, 2014

First Sewing Project for 2014

As a school employee, I am required to wear an ID badge when at work for safety reasons.  Since I'm itinerant (assigned to 3 schools that I visit weekly), I have six work-related keys... three for office doors and three for the file cabinet in each office.

World's worst photo... sorry!

Because I wear this every day for 11 months, it's gotten a bit worn.... so it's past time for a new one.  Part of the delay was I loved this fabric and, not having anymore, had to decide on what fabric to use. 

To make a lanyard....  in case anyone would like to make one... all you need is a 2.5" strip of fabric, coordinating thread, and a 7/8th inch strip of batting.  

Press your fabric strip in half lenth-wise and then lay the batting along the fold line.

Fold the fabric edge over the batting and press.   Then pin the other side, folding under the raw edge.

Stitch 1/8th inch from the folded edges.  I do this by shifting the needle one notch to the right... my machine has this option... and using a regular presser foot.  This allows me to line up the folded edge with the inside of the foot and makes it easier to sew straight.

Repeat top-stitching on the other side.

You could sew the raw ends of the 2.5" strip together before inserting the batting but I prefer to wait to sew the ends together because... I attach the ends so that the folded edge of one end is matched with the folded-under-edges of the other end.  This makes the bottom of the lanyard to lie flat.   Hard to describe but I prefer it this way.


I use a D-ring to attach my ID badge and a plastic badge holder, which holds a card with PINs and other information related to work, including emergency contact info in case of an emergency.

In addition to three office keys and three file cabinet keys, I also carry a flash drive (I don't want to lose 15 years of templates and this year's work if my laptop goes down... like it did mid-September 2013!) and a pen.   Every thing I need for work so I don't have to load up my pockets or hunt for stuff in my purse.  

New year... new lanyard!   It's a good thing....