Sunday, July 31, 2011

Kona Challenge Reveal - Las Vegas Modern Quilt Guild

This is a guest post that I wrote for the Robert Kaufman blog - Swatch and Stitch.


Hi! I'm Jan and I am the Vice President of the Las Vegas Modern Quilt Guild. We began forming our group in January of this year and we were very excited to participate in the Kona Solid Challenge.

We selected the Classic Palette charm pack and distributed them to members at our April meeting. The 'rules' were to use at least a bit of all the colors in the charm pack, adding as much yardage as desired of two additional solid colors. Of course, we knew that rules are meant to be broken, so our judging categories were: Best Large Quilt, Best Small Quilt and Best Rule Breaker.

Although, some of the challenge participants were unable to be at our July meeting, nine members 'revealed' their projects.
All members in attendance voted for the winners in the three categories.

Back left: Patty won in the category of Best Large Quilt. Next to Patty, Tracie holds her winning entry in the Best Small Quilt category. Carolina is kneeling with her winning Rule Breaker Quilt. (Carolina traded the 'warm' colors in her charm pack with another member for more 'cool' charms.)

You can see all the entries here.

The Kona Solid Challenge was a great experience and we appreciate Robert Kaufman Fabrics for sponsoring the event!

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

The monthly installment...

...or so it seems, these days!

I would love to show you some photos of the beautiful setting for the wedding in Mexico. But I don't have very many.

I took this one upon arrival at the resort. This was the view a few yards off our little 'porch'. And the ocean was that color!

That is about the last photo I took that was worth saving. It seems that my camera is a desert camera. In the tropics it fogs up just like my glasses did, every time I went outside! The glasses cleared up after a few minutes outside. The camera did not, so the photos turned out foggy and out of focus.

Everyone that took little point and shoot cameras got some great photos. Ms A took about 700 on her iphone. I have been promised copies of all the photos that everyone else took, but lives have to return to routine before all the photos can be compiled and shared.

In other news:

I have been working on my Kona Solids Challenge quilt for the unveil at the July meeting of the Las Vegas Modern Quilt Guild. I have had a couple of false starts, but I think I have something underway.

And, it is officially summer but we had a rainy weekend over the holiday that gave us a respite from the 113 degree days.

Its all good.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Just a catch up -

My camera is on vacation without me, so just a note to fill in the latest gap.

June has been quite the whirlwind! After enjoying the family reunion/birthday celebration for my Dear Aunt, The Mister and I headed down the road with Ms A to Kansas City. Ms A and I visited with her Grandmother and her dad and the three of us ate our way around the area, visiting our favorite restaurants.

After Ms A left to return to her life in the big apple, The Mister and I headed North for the Great Lakes Navel Training Center. Number one Granddaughter was on track to graduate from Basic Training there, the following week. (Her graduation was postponed, after she developed shin splints from over training.) The original date would have allowed me to attend, but as it was pushed back, I had to return to my life in the desert.

The Mister hung out on the shores of Lake Michigan for a few days in Illinois and I was home alone! I took my sewing machine with me on vacation to finish the gift for Dear Aunt, so I found myself with a weekend to sew with no machine. And, I have a project that I need to take on my next vacation - the wedding in Mexico, which is now 6 days away. (I leave in four days - the hectic continues!)

I am making a camera bag insert for my purse. I was coveting one of these, but I decided to try to make one myself, after seeing some great bags at Nordstrom's Rack on screaming deal clearance. I searched for a tutorial and came up with this one but I made it smaller to accommodate my purse dimensions. I don't have extra lenses or other camera stuff, so the smaller one will work for my camera, I think.

I looked on Craigslist to see if I could find a used sewing machine, but I didn't find any that I thought were worth fooling with, so I ended up buying an old used Singer that had been a trade in at a sewing machine shop. It is not as old as my other old Singers. This one is vintage 1975, and I have added zigzag to my stitch capabilities! It may go to charity after the featherweight returns, but, if I can find a corner to store it in, I may hold onto it. You just never know when you might need to zigzag...

I am almost finished with the main part of the camera insert, I just have to make the adjustable dividers which won't take long.

Since the Las Vegas Modern Quilt Guild meeting will be the week after I return, I also want to get my 'inspiration block' for our bee finished this weekend. I was hoping to follow Cola's inspiration to make a swell passport sleeve (she used this tutorial). I am thinking that will have to be given up on in the interest of time.

The Mister is on his way home - he stopped in Henderson (Nebraska, dang it!) last night, so I still have two days of leaving my sewing things strewn about the place without being in anyone's way.

We will only have a couple of days to catch up with each other before I leave again. I hope July holds a bit less activity!

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Finished before deadline!

As usual, May has shaped up to be one of the busiest months of the year! I hope everyone is having a good spring!

This is a project that I started way later than I should have, but I didn't have a fully formed idea in advance, so I couldn't have really started earlier than I did...

Embroidered birthday message using Sublime Stitching's "Epic Alphabet" transfer pattern.

We are celebrating my Dear Aunt's 90th birthday this weekend. Her true birthday was a couple of weeks ago, but in the same fashion as Queen Elizabeth, we are celebrating on a different day to accommodate the masses (or at least the cousins!)

I was trying for weeeks to think of a gift idea, something that she would remember after we left (the reliability of memory is not something we take for granted, these days).

I decided on a pillow that could serve as something celebratory and useful. I stamped the letters on Sunday evening and madly stitched in the evenings, and through lunch hours and a quilt guild meeting, but I still had a letter or two unfinished when it was time to leave. So, I packed up my sewing machine and supplies and finished the pillow on the road.

I used Kona Bahama (I think) for the inner border and a very fun dotted fabric that I picked up after the guild meeting for the outer border. The letters were stamped on a remnant that I picked up at Joann's.

The back is Kona Snow and I quilted it in a grid pattern with 2" squares. I brought some Pigma pens so that everyone attending the party can write a message or an autograph on the back of the pillow.

This is the first pillow that I have made and it was a very fun project, except for the looming deadline. I enjoyed experimenting with color combinations and stitches on the letters and it was a good small project learning experience of quilting and constructing the pillow cover.

Since a lot of my 'hand crafted' gifts seem to wind up being 'belated', I am proud that I finished this one in advance, even though it came down to the wire.

Maybe for her next 'milestone' birthday, I will be more organized. Maybe.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Finishes! Finally!

This weekend, I checked some things off my list!

I revisited the Quilt of Frustration and now it is the Quilt of Snugly Goodness:

Before washing:
After washing:
I am really pleased at how it turned out. My goal was to practice machine quilting with the walking foot. I did get some practice using the foot, but didn't really practice quilting patterns. I have another idea that will allow me to practice on another project.

I also finished a pin cushion project that I started a few weeks ago. The one that I had been using was about 30 or 35 years old and quite dirty. My mom stitched it up from some scrap wool and stuffed it with hair clippings collected for her by the beauty shop. It had a halo of hair sticking out all around it and was pretty tacky. I didn't really notice how tacky it was, until I took it with me to a quilt guild meeting and saw it in another 'setting'.

So, I decided to make one from some wool that I picked up at an estate sale. One of these days I am going to do an embroidered wool quilt, so I thought I would try my hand with a small project.

I decided on kind of a sampler design, but I didn't think my usual method of hot iron transfer would net a good result, so I basted in some guide stitches and kind of went free hand, but with a guide.

You can see the light tan basting stitches in this photo.
I outlined a square in pencil, then made marks outside those lines at intervals and ran basting thread all around and connected the intermediate lines.

This was my pattern guide.
After I finished the embroidery, I quilted it with some batting and a lining for stability and stitched it up. I stuffed it with batting and fabric scraps, but it just didn't have the same 'grab' that I was used to, so I opened it back up and pulled the stuffing out and replaced it with some wool roving. The roving was just the ticket and now I have a new favorite pin cushion!

Plus, I learned a new stitch, the Colonial Knot. I don't think I will ever need to do another French Knot, again!

I also finished a Christmas gift - unfortunately, it was a 2010 gift, that is now horribly late, but better late than never, I think! And, I finished up a couple of pillow case dresses that I hope are the right size for two little girls that live near the mountains.

All that, just so I could get started on the blocks for a challenge that we kicked off at the last meeting of the Las Vegas Modern Quilt Guild. We handed out charm packs at the meeting (generously provided by the Robert Kaufman Fabric Company) with the challenge to use every color in the pack (41 different ones) and only add two additional solid colors in whatever quantity required.

I have been searching for some inspiration for the last few weeks and finally decided on a design. I Sketched it out on some graph paper and made four blocks today. I was pleased and a little surprised that they turned out pretty much as I envisioned them. I am going to set a goal to get at least eight blocks done each weekend in order to stay on track for our July 'reveal'.

I feel good about wrapping up some loose ends today! Not as good as the President probably feels about finding Osama Bin Laden, but pretty good, just the same....

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Default to stitching...

April has been a busy month! I have a list of projects in my notebook and more in my head that beg for attention, but I am struggling to actually produce a 'finish' before starting something new! I did get one or two things finished up this weekend, but not as much as I had planned - no surprise!

One the quilting front:
Earlier this month, I started a rag quilt as kind of a skill builder for machine quilting.

I found the fabrics in the remnant bin at Joann, but they were all one yard cuts, as if someone had gathered the fabrics for a project and then changed their mind before check out. And, since they were on 'regular' sale plus the remnant discount, they practically paid me to take them away!
I got pink, yellow, violet, green and blue gingham check and small dot flannels and I added a couple of solids from the stash.

Without much invested in the fabric (I used remnant batting, too) I decided to use a pattern for a 'crazy rag quilt' that I picked up on sale, just for professional guidance.

Which was a giant mistake.

I cut everything as directed, sliced up the 'crazy' squares, mixed them up and started sewing them back together, but they weren't big enough to trim to the required dimensions. Since consistent seam width seems to be an ongoing challenge for me, I measured and measured again and pressed and repressed, and finally decided to just make my seams a bit more 'scant' so the blocks would be closer to the correct size.

When I got them all sewn and trimmed, it was pretty late and I should have gone to bed, but I was pretty pleased with myself. I wanted to stack a few together and maybe lay a few in a row and see what they looked like. But, when I started reading about stacking the little sandwiches together, the pattern went all crazy on me. It said to put the 'flannel' square in the middle of the sandwich, despite the fact that earlier it told me to cut batting 1/2" larger than the flannel that was now mentioned ( I know that you can use flannel or batting in rag quilts, but I expected consistency within the pattern) and the 'crazy blocks' were described as a half inch smaller than the pattern earlier had referenced, as well.

The pattern had a website listed which turned out to be a quilt shop in Texas. The same pattern was for sale, but the dimensions listed were a bit smaller. No doubt someone, at some point discovered the error and adjustments were made.I emailed the designer and asked if she had the updated instructions in a pdf that she could send me. I know that I can figure it out without the instructions, but I was so irritated that I would have to re-trim the blocks and the batting! I just wanted to tell someone how frustrated I was at wasting so much time and the amount of 're-do' ahead!

The designer answered my email and said she would 'look into it', but I haven't heard back from her. I have gotten as far as re-trimming all the blocks and I re-cut the batting blocks to the right size. But it has been sitting in a bag for the past couple of weeks.

Anyway, after that frustration, I decided that I needed a project that didn't require so much thinking and figuring out!

I had stamped these onsies in February, with the thought that they might be a travel project for my trip at the first of March.
Blue Swallow
Space ship alien.
Coral Kitty
They are intended for a small girl in Utah. I hope they have just a few more weeks of 'long sleeves' weather so she might have use for them.

The designs are from Jenny Hart's "Sublime Stitching", one of my favorite resources for embroidery patterns. First, because she has so many cute patterns, but also because she is one of the few sources for transfers. Not that I'm lazy, you understand. I just want to be able to decide on a pattern, iron it on and stitch away.

Or at least stitch away after two months or so...

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Taking the Tiny Car on the Road

This past weekend the 31st Annual "Southwest Unique Little Car Show" was hosted in Upland, California. The Mister and I loaded up the tiny car on Friday and headed out of town.
So shiny with a fresh wax and polish!

We stayed at the 'event headquarters', and there was lots to see in the parking lot!
This is a Zundapp Janus - it looks the same coming and going, with a door that opens in the front and in the back. The yellow car behind it is a Nash Metropolitan.

On Friday night, after check-in, about 80 participants "cruised" about 2 miles to the home of the couple that organized the event. I was not comfortable driving in Friday rush hour traffic on a busy street, so we drove the pick up and I took some photos as folks were arriving.

The driver of this tiny little Peel Trident had no reservations about driving in So Cal traffic. I guess he was sure that other drivers would see the smoke from his engine and get out of his way!

Doesn't it look like George Jetson's car? Only not flying through the air...
This was the scene on the street in front of the hosts' house on Friday night! (Please ignore the shadow of the photog!)
The flowers on this Subaru van looked like they had been on it since the 70's!
At the show on Saturday, there were about 125 micro cars and mini-cars. The 'rule' is that the engine must be less than 1000cc to enter. And most were from the 50's and 60's, but there were some interesting ones that were newer. No Smart-4-2's this year, though.

One marque that I had not seen before was this Singer! I will have to do a bit of research to see if it is related to my featherweight!

Here we are, parked at one of the main entrances to the show, so we had a lot of folks stop and look. I am not sure what model the blue and white car is. It was in 'survivor' condition and was missing all of the badges.

It was nice that the show was in a commercial setting. There were lots of shops and places to eat. I visited a few antique shops but my souvenirs came from the Upland Sewing and Vacuum Store:

I have been reading about 'that quilt' for a few years. I am not sure I will try to do the whole thing, but if I do, it will be red and white. I am guessing it will take me a long time to finish and red and white never looks old fashioned (well, not to me, anyway...)

We left before the awards ceremony, since it was getting late and we wanted to head home early today. I am pretty sure that we didn't win any trophies, this year. There were about 7 or 8 other Isettas there. Since it was not participant judging, I am pretty sure that others with more original restorations would carry the day.

The weather was nice and we had a great time, though. People who like funny little cars are an interesting bunch!

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Stars of Valor Blocks

I am taking these blocks to the Las Vegas Modern Quilt Guild meeting on Thursday to be sent with other blocks to Moda Fabrics as part of their "Just One Star" project. You can read more about it and how to join in here.

They are shown hanging from my sock 'chandelier'. A laundry day 'must have' for small spaces and wool socks!

I am not sure why, but I am having difficulty taking sharp photos these days, so you can't tell that one of the reds is a tiny stripe and the other is a tiny dot pattern. The blue has little swirls and tiny gold dots that kind of remind me of a starry night. (Kind of a star in a star thing.)

It was a good exercise for me to follow the instructions for cutting and piecing. I think that I finally have gotten the hang of a consistent seam allowance, as all three blocks turned out the same size. The star points are not all perfect, but there is really no overt wonky-ness!

I didn't have very much cream 'tone on tone', just a couple of small pieces from a scrap bag that I got at the lqs. I supplemented with Kona 'bone' for the large triangles.

I also finished up my name tag for the meeting this week. I am not thrilled at the result. It looks a bit like a coaster on a string, since I made it to hang around my neck. It is essentially a very tiny quilt and pretty stiff since I got carried away with the quilting. Another good learning experience, though. I think I will make another and use the first one for a luggage tag on my sewing machine case.

I am looking forward to the guild meeting this week. It is so inspiring to see what everyone else is working on!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

National Quilting Day & Disappearing Nine Patch

This weekend marks the beginning of Spring, as well as National Quilting Day.

The first day of Spring was not very exciting, as we are having cloudy cool days, but with lots of pollen. So all of the parts that we do not like and not any of the perks, so far.

National Quilting Day was Saturday, and I did take the opportunity to work on a project that I began a week or so ago. I was going to post 'in progress', but I was frustrated by the computer file organization in our new Mac Mini. I was successful loading the photos today, so you will see several days of progress condensed herein:

Hideaway Charm squares sewn into six 9-patches. (on my 'design bed') I supplemented with a charm pack of solids and some other hideaway scraps that I had from another project.

I had picked up several charm packs from the lqs some weeks back with a 30% off coupon. I have said before that the price per yard of the pre-cuts of off-putting to me, but with the discount, somehow it made more sense. I was at a bit of a loss as to what to do with them, though, when I came across a tutorial to put them together as a 'disappearing nine-patch'.
The sub-cut blocks laid out on the bed.

After the 5" charms are sewn together into a nine patch, the resulting 14" blocks are cut down the middle vertically and horizontally, which results in four, 7" blocks. At this point, it would be a very small quilt, about 28"x 42", even though I added the extra fabric to make more 9 patches.

These are the first blocks that I have stitched on my Featherweight and I am still finding my way to a "scant 1/4" seam". When I started cutting the 9 patches, I realized that my blocks had quite a bit of variance in size. So, I added borders...

With chartreuse borders.

Adding borders allowed me to cut them down to a consistent size, however, I did come to realize that my choice of chartreuse, was maybe not the best. In my defense, I did take the blocks with me to the store to choose a color and it looked fine in the artificial lighting of the fabric store and the dim lighting of my sewing area....

In the light of day, I am thinking something else may have been a better choice. So often, I default to a light neutral and I was trying to stretch my color sense...

I am going to add a couple of borders to see if it softens it a bit. I don't think it will be an heirloom quilt, but it has been a useful learning project. I sewed up another charm pack and I think I did much better at gauging the seam allowance with the second group.

This will be my first attempt at machine quilting. At least I don't have to worry about ruining a beautiful quilt with amateurish quilting!

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Convergence of Interests

A micro car at a flower show! The planets have aligned to combined two of my favorites -tiny cars and spring flowers!

An NSU Prinz surrounded by spring blooms at the Philadelphia International Flower Show.

What a great day!

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Las Vegas Modern Quilt Guild

At the second meeting at the Las Vegas Modern Quilt Guild, we had a mug rug swap. (I showed off mine here) Everyone who made one drew a number out of a cup. I drew number two, so I picked second.
And, this is what I picked!

No surprise, the red and white one called my name! This one was made by a very experienced quilter, so all the points point to where they were intended to point.

We had a great time and in my enthusiasm, I volunteered to be an officer of the club. Vice President, I think, but maybe still to be determined, as there were a couple of positions 'open'.

Maybe now that I have an 'official capacity' I can convince The Mister that I need use my vacations to travel around the country visiting other chapters of The Modern Quilt Guild. You know, as a mission of good will...

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

It's all about the accessories...

So, I am headed off to a photo opportunity extravaganza at the Philadelphia International Flower Show in four days! Last year, we made fun of Dsis's attempts at artsy f@rtsy photo taking, but secretly I was jealous that she knows how to use other settings than 'automatic'. I know one other setting - "no flash"- but that rarely turns out a good photo.

I decided that if I can't take professional photos, maybe I could look good taking them...

While I really want one of these stylish bags, I decided that it would be more prudent to go for a bit less flash and save the cash! (at least until my birthday...)

Next best - a new camera strap cover!

I picked up these fabrics from the remnant bin at Joann's. Not prints that I normally am drawn too, but they are some of the higher quality cottons that Joann's carries. The combination of their lovely hand and lovelier price made them 'must haves' and I think they were just right for this project.

The tutorial was a kind of a mish-mash of several that I found on Tipnut, but mostly from this one.

It was one of those projects that would be much easier the second try, but who really needs two camera strap covers?

Maybe I will make one to match my outfit for the summer wedding that required an updated passport!

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Conflicts of Interests

Last March, I attended the local quilt guild show and my goal was to enter a small quilt in the show this year. Another annual event has claimed priority on my calendar, though. I am headed East on Friday, for a visit with Ms A. She and I are meeting in Pennsylvania for the Philadelphia Flower Show. Our hostess will be niece K, who originally turned us on to this wonderment of floral excess several years ago.

I am sorry that I will miss the quilt show. But, since the formation of the Las Vegas Modern Quilt Guild, (of which I am proud to say I am a 'founding member'), I have more opportunity to see fabulous quilts during our 'show and tell'. And there is the added advantage of having the quilt maker in the room to tell more about it than just reading a show tag.

I have so many ideas and projects on my list! This weekend, I really had to have a talk with myself and commit to some finishes before starting anything else. And by 'starting', I mean actually cutting fabric. I have already been playing around with some patterns using a couple of charm packs that found their way into my stash!

Dearest Sister says she is about to finish up the quilt collaboration for Grandbebe T. She will be needing these blocks that I started last summer along with the other nine. I am glad to report that I finally finished them today!

This is Mother on her Goose. I have stitched this motif several times and I think it has lots of charm!

At first I was a bit puzzled as to why Tom is wearing a skirt, but then I figured out that if his dad is a piper, he is probably a Scotsman, so the skirt is really a kilt.

I hope the red knots will not show as much in the finished project. These flour sacks are not as thick as others that I have used, but the rest of my 'sack stash' is many miles away, so I used what I have.

And this is Mary and her Lamb on the way to school.

The rest are in my Flikr stream here. You can see the fabrics Dsis will putting with these blocks here.

Since we are having another wedding in the family, this year, I am thinking that we may have need for the makings of another baby quilt before too long. I am debating whether to try something we haven't done before, or re-using some motifs from an earlier quilt (in different colors and fabrics, of course).

I may just stamp up some squares for a travel project to take with me next weekend. I will have to commit to a color, if I do.

I am thinking that you can never go wrong with redwork!

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Cutting and Sewing...

...was my plan for today. I have been collecting fabric with the idea in mind to make a "Paintbox Quilt" inspired by this one. I have been faithfully watching and taking advantage of the sales on Kona Solids (and using my fabric store coupons). At this point, I have collected over 40 different colors. And I have pretty much memorized what colors are available at which store...

These are the solids paired with a corresponding print.
The matching up of pairs is still a work in progress and I have about 6 or 7 solids that I haven't put with a print, so there may still be some mixing and matching.

Because I am not working from pre-cut strips, I worked out what sizes I needed in what length and set about cutting the fabric for the first few blocks. After I had cut the fabric for the first two coordinating blocks, I realized that it would be more forgiving if I cut the strip pieces a little bit long and trimmed them after sewing them together. So, the subsequent strips were left the width of fabric.

After I cut the fabric for four pairs of blocks, I decided to sew them together before cutting more fabric, just to stay a bit more organized. After about an hour, I had one block complete. Not even on pair. Just one block.

I think I picked out every seam at least once on the first block. And re-cut the strips. It did not register when I was reading the instructions, that the solid pieces were to be more narrow than the prints. At least cutting them too wide is easier to fix than cutting them too narrow!

I finally finished the first block, but even after measuring the seams after I sewed each one, and re-doing the ones that were too wide, the block turned out a bit shy of the 6.5 inches that it should have been.

I am going to start fresh tomorrow and try leaving the strips for the outer pieces of each block a little wider, then cut them down to proper size.

Tomorrow is the Daytona 500. The Mister has been looking forward to the start of racing season for weeks. And 500 miles gives me a lot of time to sew!

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Finally, a Quilty Finish!

Some weeks ago, I saw a flyer advertising an organizing meeting of the Las Vegas Modern Quilt Guild. Although I am a girl that loves vintage fabric and traditional quilts, it seems to me that the modern quilt designs are not quite as exacting as the traditional quilts. And more suited to my skill level at this time.

I went to the meeting at the lqs and there was a very cool mix of women of diverse backgrounds, ages and experience. We talked a little about the business of starting a local 'chapter' of the Modern Quilt Guild, and got to know a bit about each other.

One of our group volunteered to do a demo at our next meeting of a wonky block and we decided to do a Mug Rug Swap.

When I heard 'mug rug', I immediately had a flashback to 1985 and some coasters made of plastic canvas and polyester yarn in dusty pink, that outlasted their charm by many years due to the fact that they were made by a lost sister. Today's mug rugs are different, it seems.

Big enough to hold a beverage and a snack, they are more of a small placemat, than a coaster. Six inches by nine inches was the recommendation and mine is just a bit larger by half an inch.

The yellow and green are Kona solids and the embroidery designs are from "Sublime Stitching", Jenny Hart's first book. (I put the initials "LVMQG" on the tea bag tag, but the quilting made it a bit hard to see.)
This is the back, a fussy-cut piece from a fat quarter from the same stack that most of the other fabrics came from. It's a Moda design called Hideaway.

This is the first quilted project that I have finished completely. First machine quilting and first binding.

The quilting went very smoothly, although I assumed symmetry in the new walking foot that I was trying for the first time. I stitched from the top down, then from the bottom up and notice after a few rows that the distance between rows was not the same. So, (and this is what I love about modern quilting!) I just varied the distance between the rows some more, so they were not a consistent 'thick and thin'. And of course, there are other inconsistencies, but overall, I think it turned out well.

I did a pieced binding, mainly because I had cut a bunch of small pieces that I didn't use and didn't want to waste. Also, I thought that a pieced binding would camouflage my errors a bit. A wider binding would have allowed me to stitch it down with the machine. I ended up finishing it by hand, which took no time, since it was such a small project.

Our next meeting is more than a week away, so I am also giving myself 'points' for not waiting until the last minute!

I suppose it was only a matter of time until I took over the 'livingdiningofficegymfamily' room for sewing. Oh - and the kitchen for ironing. I don't feel too badly, though. The Mister finally has a shop where he can work on cars. It is a storage place about a mile away, so not as convenient as in the back yard, but it is bigger that the garage we used to have, so he is able to spread out and see what he has and where.

We are both back to our favorite hobbies! (and trying to keep the other in the dark about how much we spend on 'parts'!)

Monday, January 3, 2011

A new day, a New Year and - finally - a new post!

I have been away from this blog so long that it is hard to know where to start! The fourth quarter of 2010 really rocked our world! But, we are getting settled in and now the holidays are behind us. I think we are even becoming comfortable in our 'new normal'!

I really struggled to get into the spirit of the holidays, this year. Not having much space to work in, or to make a mess in, seemed really limiting. And, even a 45 minute commute (round trip) eats up more of a day than you would expect. I finally got some inspiration to do some handwork, although not in time to finish before the holiday. I am nearly done, though, so I feel good about that.

Since 1/1/11 was on the weekend, this year, I have a holiday 'in the bank'. I am thinking that I will spend it on a day this week, or next, to finish up and ship all the un-gifted presents and to attend a class on machine quilting at the local quilt shop. If I don't, I am afraid January will get away from me, it will be spring before I know it, and the gifts will still be works in progress!

I am not one to make resolutions, but I have decided to make a plan for the coming months. I am going to walk 4 days a week (minimum) in an effort to lose 8 pounds. Why eight? It just sounds do-able. Living in a small environment means that everything is at hand. Once I get home and get out of my work clothes, I do not get much activity. I have begun to notice the slightest bit of weight creep. Well, before the holiday, it was slight, now I would have to consider it major... I am determined to turn the momentum, before it gets out of hand!

And, we are planning a trip to a South of the border destination wedding in June. If I am going to buy new clothes, I wouldn't mind buying a smaller size!

I sat down intending to at least make a start on a post and think about adding photos tomorrow, but I think I will hit the 'publish' button and see if I can get some mojo running.

Maybe you will hear from me again before the seasons change!