Friday, December 12, 2008

Should I move my studio back?

I have had to relocate my studio this year. It was in the second master bedroom. I loved that room as it is a big room (20 x 15). It has windows on 2 sides, a separate full bath and a huge closet. But when things got tough earlier this year, my son and his family (read as 3 kids under 6 years old) moved in for 3 months.

It turned our lives upside down, no doubt. But I loved hearing their little voices and getting those good night hugs and kisses everyday. Hunter, the redhead, is 5 and a half and he guides his little brother, Gavin - 3 yo, on adventures around the house. There is no shortage of space ships (closets) and sofas (speedracer) for them to stay entertained. And of course, if it is dark outside (and their father is not around) we play flashlight tag. Too fun.

Madison, the 15-mo old just likes to snuggle. I would be in my studio working on a quilt and in she would come. I have a dozen or so cones of thread within her reach. Of course, she had to rearrange my thread cones first; work first, play after, etc. Once she was done, then she wanted to snuggle or to use me as a transportation device. She would point to the way and off we would go. She loves to be carried around. And somedays, I miss them being right here at home with me so badly, that I have to call them so I can hear their little voices. Well, OK, I talk to my son and DIL all the time, I really miss my grandchildren.

Anyway, I gave up my studio and another empty (guest) bedroom for Jake and Dana and the 3 kids. We moved my studio out to the living room. Who needs a formal living room and dining room these days anyway? My next house is going to have a great room, no formal any-room. The living room had 3 doorways without doors.

The dog and cat have always been able to cruise in and out of the living room. They re-arrange my sofa pillows for just the right amount of animal comfort, look out the patio doors and snooze in the the sunbeams on the wood floors. So they did not understand why that room all of a sudden became off-limits to them. Well, that's not totally accurate. The cat, Razzle (the original scaredy-cat), could not care less about the studio move or the loss of the living room. As soon as the first StrideRite hit the floor, she hid in our bedroom. But the dog, Mokey, found it inconvenient to say the least.

How in the world was she expected to get dog snot the full length of the living room patio doors if she was locked out of there? Locking them out is another story entirely. The Great Wall of China did not encounter as many problems as I had in trying to isolate my studio from my animals.

So when the longarm machine was disassembled and reassembled 40 feet up the hall, we thought that the bulk of the work was done. Hmmm, what about all that batting, rolls and packages and all those UFO project boxes and the loose stash? All those things lived in those nice big closets in the second master. So we built 3 of those Costco aluminum shelves with rollers to hold some of that stuff. Funny how the living room (aka - new studio)seemed to shrink with each one of those rollered shelves. And then I bought one of hte those big ironing boards for pressing my quilt backs. My little computer desk was getting used to hold thread, stencils and whatever I was using on the current quilt. So how do I check my mail now? Grrrr.

Fast-forward several months. Jake and his family have moved closer to their work and baby-sitter. They've actually been gone 4 months but they still have lots of stuff in the 2 bedrooms that they used while they were here. I'm getting tired of my cramped studio since there is no reward of nightime kisses from my grandchildren. We have decided to update our master bathroom so we will probably move into the second master while the work is being done.

As a make-do effort, we decided to use the rollers on those 3 shelf units and we rolled them out o fhte living room and down the hall to the second master. The extra room in the current studio makes it more tolerable.

And here I thought that the only hassle to moving the studio was moving that 12-foot sewing machine.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Batik Pineapples






I love the combination of blue and orange in batiks. It is made with half-square triangles. The tension must have been bad on the piecer's sewing machine because I could see light between the seams. I fixed about a dozen of the seams, gave it a good dousing with Fresh Press for just a light touch of starch and pressed it nice and flat.
I had to quilt it from the front of the machine because I had to be careful that I didn't snag a seam. The back is an azure blue with pineapples. So I drew inspiration from those pineapples and freemotioned a pineapple diagonally in each block. I didn't dare SID the block because it could break the exposed thread in some places. I decided to go the whimsical way and used serpentine (wavy) SID to nail down the edges of the blocks. You have to admire spirit of the piecer. She attempted this half-square triangel quilt as her second project in quilting.She may be trying to run before she walks.



Cars Quilts



The Cars craze has landed at the home of this grandmother of two. She made two of these for Christmas gifts. She beefed up the panel with some coordination blank thin borders and multiple reds and checked fabric. She told me to "just do anything". Oh, that sounds like Circle Lord Swirls to me. I think both grandma and the kids will like these quilts. I used the new Bamboo-cotton blend of batting. It it si soft and drapey. I loved it so much I just ordered a roll of it from Brewer Sewing.

Sunday, December 07, 2008

Buckaroo Stars



OK, the piecing on this PIGS (Project In Grocery Sack)is done. I started this when my oldest grandson was born. He is now in kindergarten. It is all bandana and horse-shoe fabrics with big funky yellow stars on it. So now, the second grandson will probably get it, he is only 3. I'll just do a loopy star thing on it, get the binding on and it will be ready to go - only took 4 years.

The pattern is Martha's CraZy Dozen from our LQS, essentially a Stack n Whack. I'm not a big fan of these but I gave it a try in these red, white and blue prints. And well, I'm still not a big fan of stack and whack patterns. But they sure are forgiving. And now I have one less PIGS in my house.

Chinese Coins - Phase 1





This was such a cool pattern when I saw it at the Cozy Quilts shop in El Cajon. It intrigued me so I bought the pattern. Months later, I bought 8 coordinating fabrics and a wonderful pale blue-green Fusion for the background from our local quilt shop The Crazy 9 Patch. The tranquilt feel of the fabric is full of post marks from far away places, bits of elegant flowers all in muted colors with splashes of cranberry. The pattern is strip piecing so was easy when I could break away from the longarm long enough to do some piecing over on my turbo Juki TL-98Q. Love that machine.


I had originally planned to put it on my king size bed with a nice drop. But after looking at it all assembled, it was beyond boring, just too linear for me. I liked it better in small doses. Since I had plenty of the fabric, (I over bought as usual - just can't stop myself) I decided to split the king into to two large lap-sized quilt. The one with Quilter's Dream Puff batting will go to the Friendship Quilters of San Diego, my guild. The other is for me and I will use Quilter's Dream wool batting. I used a new pattern name Palm Fronds 10" from Quilting Design Studio. I have no idea who the designer is but I love the look of it on this vertical quilt.


You can really see the stacked palms on the back of the quilt.




A friend of mine does the binding for me. I can do it but it is never quite right. Since this is going to the guild, I wanted it to be straight and true. So that means Marilynn does it for me.

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My life has changed in the last couple of years - some bumps, I retired from quilting, and then I moved to Texas. I'm anxious to see what new adventures await me in the next phase of my life.

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Ramona, California, United States
I started quilting when a quilt shop opened in our little town in January 2004. I have been hooked ever since.

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Books I"ve read lately

  • The Help (Kindle)
  • The Appeal by John Grisham
  • Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd
  • Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen
  • To Kill a Mockingbird (again) by Harper Lee
  • Bleachers by John Grisham

This is called Fruit Cocktail

This is called Fruit Cocktail
It is all batiks