Summarized Life Update

When I say summary I mean it.  A lot has happened.

July 11th our home caught on fire.  We didn’t lose anything, thank the Gods, but we did lose our home.  We’re renters with renters insurance, and that saved us a lot of trouble.  They took excellent care of us.  For the next three weeks we lived in a hotel 50 miles from my husband’s workplace (that was a nightmare and a half) with our two cats (now officially registered emotional support animals).  We spent that time home hunting.  Originally we wanted to buy a home, but nothing was within our price range, and what we could afford no mortgage company would help us.  We then turned to renting again, and that was just as difficult to find.  After hundreds of hours of hunting we found a home perfect for us.  It’s a three bedroom, two bath, double-wide manufactured modular house ten miles from my husband’s workplace.  It’s in a quiet area just outside city limits, the property sits on nearly a full acre of land, had two apricot trees, and a lot of space for gardening.  The fence needs repairing and replacing because of all the deer, and there are a lot of birdhouses and bird feeders to keep the cats entertained from the sun room.

We moved in on August 3rd.  On August 9th the cleaning and moving company delivered our now smoke-free belongings.  We’re about 50% finished with the unpacking.

August 8th I had the worst seizure I’ve had in years (I have epilepsy) and scared my poor husband half to death.  We knew the seizure was going to occur anytime, seeing as the worst of the stress was now done.  My brain decided it was safe to let go.  I pulled a few things, I’m covered in scrapes, scratches, and bruises, and need to take it easy for a few more days.  My tongue is a mess, and I bit my lip as well.  That very afternoon I had gone to see my neurologist, and we decided to raise the dosage of my medicine by 50 mg.  The raise in dosage has helped; I’m not longer having smaller seizures throughout the day.  It’s too early to tell how effective the dosage will be, but it’s looking promising.

In a week the unpacking will be finished.  I’ll then take new photographs of my quilts and other projects.  I’ll also work on finishing the coaster sets I had been making before the fire.

We need to get a dining room set (secondhand is just fine), a sofa or loveseat, washer and dryer, and a few other things.  We’ll get the washer and dryer during Labor Day weekend, which is just a month away.  That’s when the best sales are; otherwise we’ll be waiting until Thanksgiving, and I hate combat shopping.  We’re likely going to get a futon sofa and cover it with pillows.  We have plenty of pillows for that.  A futon sofa will be far less expensive, and there are a lot of places that sell them.  Plus it’ll fit the room better.  We would like to get two of them, but it all depends on the price.

I’ll take photographs of our home when we’re done unpacking.  My Etsy shop will be opened after I take new photographs of my work.

Now I’m off to work on unpacking my sewing room.  I’m working one room at a time.  After the sewing room I’ll work on our bedroom, and then the living room.  I’m hoping to have this all done within a week.

How have the rest of you been doing?

Making Progress on my Projects

I decided to scrap the place mats and make them into coasters instead.  More economical that way.  They’ll be sold in sets of six with six colors each.  I have 36 coaster.  Currently all I need to do is quilt them, which I’ll do with my sewing machine because it’ll be faster.

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I used a log cabin crazy quilt block design and made these using scraps.  I did have to purchase fabric for the red and orange because I don’t generally use those colors.

The rainbow fabric is from Time Treasures, and it’s absolutely PERFECT.  I have some left after cutting the amount I need for the backing.  Each of the coasters are six inches, the backing is ten inches as is the batting.  The batting I’m using is 100% polyester and really fluffy, but the quilting design I plan on using will keep the fluff from getting out of hand.

I should have these finished by this weekend, washed next week, and listed on Etsy next weekend.  Yay!  It’ll be $60/set of coasters.

I’ve also just finished the top for a table mat!

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It’s made entirely from batiks.  The purple strips will be the binding.  My sister gave me a charm pack of batiks and they made for the perfect little table mat.  After making this I’ve decided I’ll never make this block again.  It’s called the Cross Block and it’s so incredibly tedious.

Currently I’m waiting for my mom to reply to me regarding who in the family will love this.  I like getting ahead of all the holiday gift-making.  Less stress for me.  If she can’t figure out who would love this I’ll list it on Etsy next weekend.

Pride Place Mat Set

I’ve been working on these since finishing Picnic Tea Party.  The weather, and throwing my back out, have made things a little slower than I like.  I’m feeling much better now, and my sewing room doesn’t feel like an oven.  Getting things done while I can!

I’ve finished the top for purple, the blocks for blue, green, and yellow, and currently working on orange.  Then I’ll need to get to work on red, get some bright rainbow fabric for the backing, and practice free-motion quilting.  I’m debating on using my quilting foot instead because I don’t really need too much practice, I can go in spaced out diagonal lines corner to corner, and it’ll be faster.  I want to get some variegated rainbow thread, quite a bit of it actually, to do the quilting.

All this has been done using the crazy quilt style I love to bits.

When the set is finished I’ll have it listed on Etsy at $120.

Have any of you created something to celebrate Pride?

Picnic Tea Party is finished!

This adorable and beautiful quilt is machine sewn and hand-quilted by me. The fabric is cotton and batting is polyester. I made this with the idea of a picnic or tea party in mind. The backing is a green batik fabric with various shades of green and a fern design. Grass stains won’t show up. The thread is variegated; photographs don’t do it justice.

Because of the polyester batting the quilt is also very lightweight and fluffy. Great for warmer days and nights when you really want a blanket but everything else makes you too hot.

Not only is it great for picnics and warmer nights it’s also fantastic as a small bed quilt!

It’s 60.5 inches x 60.5 inches.

Machine wash cold and tumble dry low or hang dry to give the quilt a longer life. It won’t fall apart in warm or hot water, but it will have a shorter lifespan, much like clothing. The batting and fabric are 100% cotton.

*I live in a cat-friendly home. One of my cats insists she is very helpful and likes to sit on my cutting table. I’ve set up a bed for her there, and she tends to sleep in it, but sometimes she wanders. Even though this is pre-washed there is a chance it may contain some cat hair. If you, or the person you give this to, are allergic to cats I recommend washing it when you receive this.*

You can purchase this here on my Etsy page and see it in better lighting here on YouTube.

 

Picnic Tea Party update

With my wrist finally feeling better I got to work on quilting Picnic Tea Party.  It’s too large for my small quilting frame, which is kind of a good thing because the temperature has risen quite a bit here.  We don’t have an air conditioner, and having a quilt on my lap when it’s 90 F just doesn’t sound like fun.  My large frame takes care of that problem.

The quilt and frame have taken over my sewing room.  When not in there I have to keep the door closed because of my cats.  I learned long ago they think it’s a hammock.  Not this time!  The door’s open only while I’m in there.  Jasper thinks he’s being helpful though.

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I think he’s just enjoying the shade and slightly cooler temperature under there.  By the way, the backing is fantastic!  A lovely batik in various greens with a fern print on them.  Couldn’t ask for anything better for a picnic blanket, right?  Grass stains will be invisible!

I had to fold up my table and ironing board to make space for the frame.  The living room really isn’t an option because it’s very hot out there and this make walking through the living room impossible.   Fine by me considering the lack of distractions in my sewing room.

I’m sewing around each of the blocks and an X through them as well.  To get the straight lines I use medium adhesive painter’s tape as a guideline.  It barely sticks, leaves no residue, and does the job.  I tried using one of my rulers, but it kept moving while I quilted.  Not amused.

The quilting is about 80% finished.  The edges will be done using my smaller frame, and that will be rather fast.  I’ll work on that part in the early morning when the house hasn’t warmed up at all.

The batting is a low loft 100% polyester, making this ideal for use in warmer weather.  It’s originally designed to be a picnic blanket, but the buyer can decide for themselves if they want to use it as such.  It’ll be great for a light cuddling!  The finished size will be about 60″ x 60″ with solid brown for the binding.

A little bit of info regarding the extra material around the quilt.  When quilting the batting and backing get pulled in.  It doesn’t seem like much until you finish and see how much less you have left.  I suggest that for hand-quilting you have a minimum of two extra inches on all four sides, while for machine quilting no less than four inches on each side.

This will likely be finished by Wednesday.  I’m working on it for about ten hours a day, and it’s been two days of hand-quilting.  I won’t be pricing it at the full price I ought to for the number of hours I’ve worked on it.  Why?  I want this to be affordable to more people.  This quilt in particular I’ll be pricing at $275, though my husband wants me to put it at $375 minimum.  No, I’ll keep it at $275; that covers all the materials and a good portion of the labor.

Workspace

Not everyone has enough room to do the work they want to do.  Some quilters don’t even have a room designated for sewing/quilting.  You gotta make do with what you have, right?

I dream of a larger room.  In fact, the sewing room of my dreams is about four times larger than this, with lots of windows, space for a long-arm quilting machine, space for my recliner so I can hand-quilt with ease, lots of shelves and built-ins to store things, and even a walk-in closet.  Oh, and a section set aside just for painting.  I want to have my sewing desk in the middle of the room or at least a good distance from any wall to make sewing easier.

Alas, it’s only a dream…

My husband and I have come to an agreement that when we buy a house the largest bedroom will be my sewing room.  Unless the master bedroom has a walk-in shower; in which case the next largest bedroom will be mine to play in.

What’s your sewing room like?  Do you have one?  How do you have your space set up?

I Dream of Elephants is finished!

It took awhile but it was worth all the work.  Here are a few WIP pics as well as before being washed and washing.

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I had just finished all the hand-quilting at 11:30pm, was well past slap-happy, and wanted to take a few shots before adding the binding.  I had a different print in mind for the binding, but changed my mind after setting the fabric next to the quilt.  This polka dot print works so much better.

Here I’ve attached the binding by machine and then followed up with attaching it to the back by hand.  The backing wasn’t quilt long enough so I attached a few scrap pieces in no particular order.  I love that it really ties in the back with the front.

The binding is now finished, but the quilt hasn’t been washed yet.  It isn’t until washing that it really comes to life.  The batting fluffs up, the hand-quilting tightens up a bit, and it overall looks more alive.  I really love how much lighter the binding fabric is.  The original I had chosen was more like the bird fabric you see in the bottom picture, only the fabric was lime green with blue, grey, and orange birds.  It was part of the collection, but in the end it didn’t work well as binding.  It would have made the quilt look heavier and taken away from how lively it feels.

The grey backing was an excellent choice.  The top has a very geometric design but the prints have a more organic look to them.  The backing ties into that very well with it’s soft geometric design.  Here you can see the results of the quilt being washed.  The hand-quilting tightened up, and in turn made all the sections fluff up more.  It’s so soft!

The finished quilt is 64 inches x 52 inches and available for purchase here on my Etsy shop.  I ship worldwide!  Sewn by machine, hand-quilted, many hours of work, and worth every minute of it.

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Jasper decided to celebrate finishing the hand-quilting as well.