Thursday, February 14, 2013

Crib Quilts - baptism

Our church quilt ministry is responsible for quilts to be given out at baptism events.  For younger children, think it is like 4 years and younger, we give the person getting baptized a quilt, usually crib size or at least on the smaller size.  There are cross wall hangings for all those older.  I like to make the crib quilts, can make them all day long and back.  The cross wall hangings...different story.  That is what is so nice about our group.  There are some that would prefer to make the cross hangings.  It is just too many pieces for my taste. 

The wall hanging is made from a bunch of 2 - 1/2 inch squares, the image of a cross is formed with the color placement of the squares, ironed to a sheet of heat bond. Once ironed down, the squares are sewn together horizontally then vertically.  Then baste and quilt.  I will make one, taking photos, to better explain the process.  All those seams are what bother me.  Ironing them to the backing does help hold the many squares in  place, but it is still a lot of seams.

The crib size  quilts are much better for me to work with.  They are quick, easy, and I can change up the block, layout, size and such as much as I want.

These are two I made yesterday.  These are in the flimsy stage as I am waiting until I can use the tables at church to baste them.  Saves my back so much pain.  These two quilts are actually the same two blocks, a 4 patch and a square, but you see that it makes a big difference how the blocks are placed for the finished result.  No right or wrong way, just lots of options for a quilt.  These are great stash busters, but I am fortunate that fabric is available to me when ever I want to make one.

Happy Valentine's to all.  Thanks for visiting and do come back soon.

Friday, February 8, 2013

Wow...Rough & Tough

It has sure been a rough few weeks.  I had all these grand sewing and cleaning plans that I would do while hubby was gone on his business trip.  It all went down the tubes in a blaze when I got sick.  However, I was able to get a little bit of work done.

I have been quilting.  Well, got two flimsy tops done.  My goal is five so I have three more to go.  These are really simple, 6.5" squares sewn together, 7 rows across, ten rows down.  Although one of them has 11 but they said to just leave it.  The total yardage busted for each is a little over 2 yards.  Our church quilt group is making these quilts for an orphanage in Russia.  The group plans on making and sending a total of 25 quilts.  They are half way there with out my two.  My part is done with the tops though, another person in the group will baste them together.  The plan is to just sew them up, then turn it right side out and stitch the opening closed, in other words no bindings.  Then a work day will be held to take thread and tie knots to anchor the quilting.

I am going to try out my AccuQuilt Go for another top, doing the tumbler shape.  Will see how that goes and may be able to start on that this afternoon.

I am also happy to say that I have finally got my sewing room set up the way I want and all is working out quite well.
My new chair, it is a recliner, and smaller desk.  The chair is SO VERY COMFORTABLE, am just loving sitting in it for just relaxing or hand stitching.  The smaller desk actually has more space since the front opens up for a storage area for the keyboard and mouse, leaving me room to have some writing space for doing the bills and mail and such.  Yesterday I moved the plastic rolling cart to sit up under the back of my sewing table, moved the desk over more and set the new printer/scanner between the desk and recliner.  I had some little thing come up with my computer and lost my printer drivers and even with the CD could not get my Windows 8 to install the printer software properly for the scanner to actually work.  So, I bought a new one and started fresh.  Kind of frivolous on the one hand, but on the other hand makes total sense.  The original printer/scanner is located in the bedroom, it still works with all the other computers in the house.  Draw back to location was that hubby goes to bed early and then that shuts down the use because it is really loud when it prints.  Now, I have this one installed only on my computer and it is located right next to the computer.  Makes it easy for scanning, especially for scanning in blocks and fabric for my EQ 7.  Also, I can print any time I want.  Yes, I think in the long run it was the best decision.  I wish it was a little smaller, more compact, but it is what it is.  I had it narrowed down to this one, an Epson and one other one, an HP.  They were the same price, the HP was a little more compact, but the ink is a little cheaper for the Epson and taking in to consideration how much ink I go through the price difference was a significant amount to make the Epson the choice.  I am well pleased so far, will be printing off some color images later on to see how they look.  I also need to see how the scanner works, as that is a very important part of what I do as well.

Speaking of EQ 7, I am SO, SO glad that this version comes with the ability to download on my computer as many times as I need.  With learning how to run this new computer I have had to install the software back on already about 5 times.  Thankfully, when it restored, all my saved quilt files done with EQ 7 were still there.  I am thinking I really should save those to a CD or stick drive.

Also, on the quilt front, a local quilt store has started their BOM program up again.  I used to participate in this, about ten years ago or so.  At that time, for $5 you received the pattern and the fabric to make one block each month.  Usually had two color choices and you could purchase the second color choice for an additional fee as well.  The store used this as a sales tool.  We would line up, get a number and then they took about 25 customers at a time in to the class room and we would sit through the sales pitch for new fabrics, new gadgets and of course upcoming classes.  Just a big sales pitch to a captive audience because you didn't get your block until after you sat through the sales pitch. This year, the cost is $10 a month.  You get the pattern, the amount of fabric you need to make that block, each month.  Still have to sit through a little sales pitch, but it ends with a little demo of the block we will be making and some tips to make it easier.  The store is asking us to commit to them to purchase all twelve blocks (yikes $120) plus of course there was a fabric pack for the alternate squares (the quilt is set on point), the sashings, borders and backing. 

This is what the quilt will look like when we are done.  HOWEVER...I will not be doing the same sashing.  Don't want to do all that piecing.  So, since I have the EQ 7, I tried some different looks and have decided that I will do just strips of the same inner border fabric with one of the lighter fabrics for the connecting pieces.  I feel the solid sashing looks less busy.  I know that with the traditional blocks a lot of people like the pieced sashing, it is more traditional.  There is nothing wrong with that.  I am just saying that for my on personal opinion, it is just too busy.  Plus I don't want to do all that piecing.  Yes, I am a bit lazy I guess.  At any rate, by the time it is all said and done, the quilt will cost me about $200.  I will be working on it very carefully as I plan to donate this for a raffle prize when it is all done. 

I have recently found out that I can take off the exact cost of materials for any quilt I donate from my income tax.  I am really keeping up with receipts for any fabric and supplies I buy, keeping a spread sheet for each quilt's cost, because for 2013 I will really need the deduction. I make a lot of quilts for charity, especially since the family is tired of getting them.  However, my nieces and nephews are starting to get married, a few more of my kids are married now, and have added some grand babies.  Three so far, all boys, and recently found out that number 4 will be a girl.  I am so looking forward to making some ruffled things and pink quilts.  I also still have a plan to open an online store, am just waiting until I have a decent amount of inventory to offer. 

I think my book and supply orders have finally gotten all caught up.  The book I ordered - Jan. 21 - finally arrived today.  It has the pattern in it for a quilt called Shakespeare in the Park and that is the quilt I bought the book for. You can Google it, or click here for a link to the many images of the quilt online. The book is by Judy Martin called The Creative Pattern Book.  Be for warned though, if you order it from Amazon, it will take a while to get it.  I chose Amazon as the seller because I have a Prime membership so I get 2 day shipping free.  Well, suddenly the product description had a notation that expected shipping date would be Jan. 28, then it changed again, even got an email asking me if I still wanted to order it if they were able to find it.  Now I see that it doesn't give a date, just tells you will ship when they find it available.  In my opinion, the fine print should be a little bit more obvious to let a buyer know there might be problems with delivery.  Had I known that, I would have just bought a used one listed.

Goodness, just noticed the time.  Where has my morning gone?  Got to get some lunch so I can get to doing some sewing this afternoon since I don't have Mister M.  Since I have been so ill he has been staying with his mom, we didn't want to chance me passing it on and the doctor said it was a good bet I would.

Thanks for stopping by and come back to visit again.