Monday, March 2, 2015

Deign Wall Monday -- 3-2-2015

I'm  so done with winter!  How about you?  We had another snow storm and then just to make sure we didn't get lonely for crummy cold weather we had sleet yesterday morning.  This week we're going to see the 60's during the day and then plummet down to below freezing.  Here's our forecast: sunnny, rainy, rainy and snowy. That's today through Thursday.  ENOUGH!

Here's as far as I've gotten on the Wild Dog Quilt. It may not look all that differently but the first blue border is on. I've still got two more borders to sew on.  Hopefully I'll get those done this week.  I'm making progress on my log cabin quilt too.  I didn't do a whole lot of sewing this week but those are the two I worked on along with finishing the quilt for TAPS. I'll take photos when the weather warms up and post them.  

The weather was ok so a group of us could go to the Mid Atlantic Quilt Festival on Friday. We were very happy we hadn't planned to go on Thursday as more snow fell and it would have been a mess getting there. Luckily by Friday the roads were clear.  Although I did spend some time seeing the quilts I can't deny that I spent more time looking at the vendors.  I needed to buy thread for my long arm so that was my big purchase.  

I like to check the vendors for new products and I found something something that struck my fancy.  Evidently this product came out in the last year.  After watching the demo I purchased Quilter Ruler Update Kit.

The kit provides material to update two rulers: a 24" ruler and a 12" ruler.  This picture shows what is to be used on the 12" ruler as I already updated my 24".  The "stuff" on the brown paper is thin, long strips of plastic that is put on the long sides of the ruler.  The yellow piece attaches to the underside of the ruler and is moved for the size of cut you want to make. Here's what it looks like in use. 
It is designed so that fabric snugs up against the yellow piece. The strips on both long edges holds the ruler up and when you press your ruler as you cut, it makes the ruler very steady.  It worked really well yesterday when I cut out a strippy quilt.  No moving and messing up your cutting. The one thing that might get annoying is having to move the yellow part to the size of strip you are cutting. My guess is if I'm cutting a whole quilt out and making multiple cuts for each size it'll be great.  If I'm just trying to do a quick cut of one strip... well, the other 24" ruler might be coming out.  

If you get to one of the big quilt shows check this product out.  I'll let you know how I like it as I continue to use it.  You can see what it is all about by checking the website for Guidelines 4 Quilting

And on to the weekly goals. Finally, a week where I got several things done and every item was moved forward! 
Week of February 23, 2015
Finish quilting r, w, b quilt
Make binding for r, w, and b quilt.
Finish Wild Dog Borders  well the 1st border is done
Attend Mid-Atlantic Quilt Festival

Week of March 2, 2015
Finish Wild Dog; prep backing
Continue on the log cabin blocks
Have fun with an in house quilt retreat with Sharon and Mary Beth! 
Sew the strippy quilt to top stage

I'm linking up with Patchwork Times. 

Happy Quilting All!  

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

15 Minute Studio Spiff Up #8

It's time to start a new area to spiff up in our studios.  It's going to take me a couple of weeks to get this area the way I want it -- partly because I have a lot to do and partly because I've got a lot going on this week. 

This week's assignment is: 

Time to organize and straighten up your books.  

Yep, I've been avoiding this chore for quite a while.  A year or two ago I started listing all of my quilt books in an Excel file.  I'd really like to have a list of books that are in my collection so I can quickly check to see if I own a book rather than have to look at each title.  I found the beginning of my computerized list and have now been adding to it.  When all books are listed I will organize them on my shelves.  This shelf hasn't been listed yet. 

Having been a school librarian I have a thing for "edging" my books.  That means the books line up evenly along the front edge of the book shelf.  And, oh my, they look so nice and neat when they are edged.  But the big issue will be how I will organize them. My first thought is alpha order by last name of author.  That works pretty well unless I don't have a clue who the author is but I remember I want that appliqué book.  One thing I didn't add to my Excel list is subject headings.  Oops! Hum, nearly 80 books have been listed and no subject indexing.  Not too smart from my point of view.  

This shelf is where I'm moving books after I list them on the computer.  The books to the left of the slanted books have been entered.  Wait, I've got nearly 80 books on the list and that's not enough books on the left.  Hum, part of the list has already been done so I guess I haven't come to all of them.  I need to finish my computer list and then make this look good. 

Do you still buy lots of books?  I find I really don't. I have these two shelves for the most part.  The copyright dates on my books range from the early '90s up to 2014. I've lost my first quilt book, Quilt in a Day's Log Cabin in a Day -- it was published in 1980. As you noted in my last post, I'm still making log cabin blocks! Between the books I currently own and the easy access to quilt patterns on the internet, I really don't need to buy too many books. 

So how are you all doing with your "spiff up?"  Next week I need to have my secondary sewing machine desk cleaned up as I've got my friends Nancy, MaryBeth and Sharon coming down for a mini retreat.  We were going to go down to the beach but the weather there has been awful. The Outer Banks has had below freezing temps off and on for a week or so plus snow a couple of times this week.  We're looking at getting 7 or 8" more snow overnight at home. Most of the snow from last week has melted but not too many days are getting over 32º.  Spring ... spring?  Where are you? I guess I need to get some more spiffing up done and quilting! 

Happy Quilting All! 

Monday, February 23, 2015

Design Wall Monday -- February 23, 2015

What an unproductive week!  We had a major snow storm on Monday into Tuesday.  10" of snow in our little county, the most in all of central Virginia.  And, it brought the whole area to a standstill. Generally, after a snowstorm the weather immediately warms up and it all melts. Nope, didn't happen.  Instead we broke low records during the week.  Good gracious, one night it was -3º!  Now, I'm sure some of you northern girls are laughing your heads off and commenting about the -20º you are facing, and worse, but I moved South so I wouldn't have to deal with all that really cold weather.  Bummer!

Schools were canceled for the rest of the week.  Nearly every social event was canceled.  We got out of our drive way on Wed morning to do our normal workout at the Y.  But the roads weren't plowed in our neighborhood so we were cautious. And, the snow didn't melt!  A week later we have snow but at least some of it is melting now.  Thank goodness.  More snow is predicted this weekend and we don't have any sustained time with temps above freezing.  The snow is going to hang around for a while. 

Unlike others, snow doesn't make me want to run upstairs and quilt.  I tend to huddle under quilts and read.  But even I was getting sick of reading after a few days.  And, then Saturday we woke up to no electricity.  And, it didn't come back on until dinnertime.  Well that made it really hard to do any quilting.  Boy it got cold in the house -- 54º.  Luckily we were meeting a friend for lunch so we really only had half a day with no electricity.  The only good news was by Sunday afternoon I was ready for some quilting time. 

Last week I picked a new UFO to work on and I've been diligently adding to my black and white log cabin blocks.  I've moved the whole project along nicely.  I'm hoping to get 24 or so blocks finished in the next week or so.  These are in all different stages of logs, but you get the idea.  

I started getting the borders on the Wild Dogs yesterday but had 2 long phone calls interrupt.  I will try to get at least some more borders on this week.  Who knows if I will.  Perhaps the log cabin blocks will go back to the back burner. 

My goals didn't get accomplished for the most part.  And, it isn't looking too much better this week.  I've got a social obligation and a fun obligation.  Friday a group of us are going to the Mid-Atlantic Quilt Festival and I have a big shopping list.  Whoop! Whoop! 

Here's sad results from last week's goals:
Week of February 16, 2015
Finish quilting r, w, and b quilt.
Make binding for r, w, and b quilt.
Get the borders on the Wild Dog Quilt Started finally
Attend several social things this week everything was canceled with one exception!

And this week's: 
Week of February 23, 2015
Finish quilting r, w, b quilt
Make binding for r, w, and b quilt.
Finish Wild Dog Borders
Attend Mid-Atlantic Quilt Festival

That's it from here.  I'll be linking up with Patchwork Times.

Happy Quilting All! 

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

15 Minute Studio Spiff Up #7

Do I dare admit I'm not too interested in spiffing up the studio these days?  The worst part of my studio has been cleared up and is workable.  But I know I should be continuing so I've picked something that was easy for me.  I hope it is easy for you too. 

This week's assignment is: 

Straighten and clean up your ironing station. 

I have a rolling ironing table that my husband made for me.  You can read about it here. Some times it is piled high with stuff -- extra fabric, scissors, spray starch, finished blocks.  I do tend to pile stuff on it.  But, honestly, this week it wasn't all that bad.  Here's what it looked like today. 

One thing that did need to be done was dust each of the shelves.  So I cleared every section, dusted the items and the shelf and returned the items.  Surprisingly, it didn't take all that long to do and that includes ironing that blue fabric and putting it away.   

Here's the finished ironing station. It doesn't look all that much different.  If I'd taken a picture that showed all the dust then you could have seen a big difference! 

Look over your ironing board or station.  What can you do to clean it up?  Do you need a new cover for it? (Luckily, mine is fairly new.) What about cleaning your iron?  Does it need a good cleaning too?  

That's your assignment for this week.  Pretty soon we'll be starting two week assignments because the jobs are going to be bigger.  Or at least in my studio the upcoming jobs are going to be longer than a week.  I think I have one more one-week job to do.  How about you?  Are you doing areas you need to work on? We've got a few more weeks of work.  And, then I plan on doing a once a month spiff up.  Shouldn't we be able to keep our space cleaned up with just a little work each month?  We'll see if that works for us in the coming months. 

How is your spiff up going?  Do you have specific areas you want me to include. Just leave me a note with the area you need help with. 

Happy Quilting All!