Wednesday, November 30, 2011

WIP: I think I love you Lee....


Without you, Lee at Freshly Pieced, I wouldn't have accountability for all the things I have floating in my brain or stacked up in my studio in various bins and baskets!!!

Bear with me today.  I don't have a lot of pictures!  I have to run to the school for their dress rehearsal to see if my alterations and new costumes all fit!

Dots and Checks

Finished.  My longest running quilting UFO to date! 
You can find out the details HERE if you missed it Monday.

Highchair Cushion

Finished!  I don't have pictures yet...I can't find my "Before" pictures!  So maybe Friday, I will share?  Can you forgive me?

Christmas Musical Costumes

Some of you ladies really wanted to see them. 

Unfortunately, I was going to take pictures yesterday, but ran out of time and had to get them in the car ASAP for the dress rehearsal today.  I think I will find an old picture and do some editing of kiddos faces so I can share them.  But warning...ugly fabrics!

Baby C Puffy Quilt

I ran out of batting.  So sad, right?  When I return from the dress rehearsal...all time will be spent getting it finished.  I promise will be in the mail by Thursday or Friday.  No ifs, ands, or buts!!!

 Hawaiian Quilt

Again...MAJOR progress! 

I am just about finished with all of the echo quilting in the white background. I sat a few nights with the family bored out of my mind watching college football.  Thank goodness for some handwork, right?  
I also think watching a movie production of Mansfield Park by Jane Austen got me in the mood one late night.  
Do Jane Austen movies motivate anyone else like it does me?

Go to Lee's blog by clicking the image....fantastic ladies getting things done is VERY inspiring.  I constantly find ideas to "pin" on Pinterest!!

You just might fall in love with her too....hopefully she won't be creeped out about me saying so! I the only one that can't believe that tomorrow is DECEMBER?!?!?!?!


Monday, November 28, 2011

Dots and Checks: The End!

The top?  
Started and finished it in 2 days last year.
A simple "Snowball" pattern.

Then I finished the back in one afternoon about a month later.

And promptly folded them both up and put them away....

I think I wasn't sure about the unknown velour-like fabric I had chosen from my stash.  Or I think I just didn't know how I was going to quilt it.

Either way, I completely forgot about it!

But I think it was fate that I found it again recently.   Otherwise, I wouldn't have had a complete quilt to take a spin on Ole Betsy.   It made my Thanksgiving day a bit brighter while the boys and Mr. Boss cheered on their Dallas Cowboys.  (pssst...I am so tired of sports in our house.  I wake up every morning to the ESPN sound)

I started with FMQ and it just wasn't looking well.  I tore out all the stitches.  Two hours worth.  I just checked on my Turkey in the roaster every once in while!

I finally found a maple leaf pantograph and took it for a spin.

Not perfect...but it will do, I guess.

I didn't watch any vidoes (even though I have TWO from Handi Quilter) on how to do it with the laser.

So I had a few oopsies where I trailed off the border.

Of course, this weekend, I watched the videos and realized that I should have tried to use the pattern for my border.  It would have looked better than my free hand leaves.

And can you please squint....those stitches along the binding need to be pulled out. They were the stitches that were holding my quilt to the leaders.  They are supposed to be hidden by my binding.

I REALLY need to work on that skill getting it closer to the edge of my fabric!!!

Otherwise, I am pretty happy with it overall.

Lessons learned?

Watch as many Handi Quilter videos as possible.  I am so thankful they gave me 7 free DVD videos with my purchase.  

Many things are much clearer now after watching them while ironing and sewing costumes!!!

Am I a good girl for showing you my failures? 

Or have you lost even the small amount of respect you had for me as a quilter?


Friday, November 25, 2011

Grateful for the Ordinary

I realized yesterday that our Thanksgiving Day was ordinary.  Ordinary other than the fact that I made a big meal that took all day to cook.  But only 15 minutes to eat.

But I am grateful for the ordinary. 

Ordinary includes: 

Mr. Boss watching a little football with his boys.

A little basketball out on the driveway in gorgeous weather.

My boys spending time together.

Bunny enjoying his favorite activity.

 Button drooling all over his Turkey appliqued shirt and bib.  

I would show you the bib, but it is currently covered in Sweet Potatoes and Prunes.

So I will entertain you with me realizing that I officially lost my model.

He's a sneaky baby, this one.

 I even had some time to do the quilting on my Dots and Checks quilt top.  I thought I would give Ole Betsy her first "official"spin on a real quilt.

I gave some FMQ a try, but didn't like what I came up with.  It took about 2 hours to pull out the work.

Of course,  I had to make things difficult and choose a pantograph design.

 There is a lot "ugh" and "ewww, yuck" quilting, but it sure was fun!

 I just REALLY had to use the maple leaf pattern.

It isn't my finest quilt, but I think I will love it for being a bunch of firsts.  The first time I did a quilt again after the loss of my daughter in 2009.  The first time I did a pieced backing.  The first time I used my long arm machine.  And the first time I made a binding with different colored fabrics.

Which is still getting finished today!  I will share the complete quilt when I get it all finished!

But the biggest reminder that yesterday was just an ordinary day?

A pile of dishes always reminds you that a woman's work is never done......

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Fall is not over yet!


Baby C puffy quilt is almost done!!

I can't believe I managed it this week with all of our sickness!! 

I not only filled all the biscuits....I pieced them together. 
Border, backing and I come!

Hawaiian quilt

I finished hand quilting the appliqué!!! 

Now, I can put my efforts onto echo quilting the off white background. Progress!! I thought I'd never get this close to a finish! It is so sad that it is only 21in by 21 in. Quite embarrassing, actually.

Secret project

I will let you drool over the yumminess that arrived on my doorstep from Moda.

Bella solids in warm pastels (Jelly Roll and Layer Cake)

1862 Battle Hymn by Barbara Brackman (2 Charm Packs)

Rouenneiries Dues by French General (jelly roll and yardage)

I can't wait to share the project and the tutorial!
 Did I mention they arrived on my birthday? Happy birthday to me!! Happy birthday to me!

Dots and Checks

I hope to get this top on my longarm today or tomorrow.

  I finished the top LAST fall and am embarrassed to say that she pops up in WIP Wednesday every once in awhile.  I guess my own personal torture...or reminder?
I WILL have a "fall" quilt for Turkey day.

I will not start decorating for Christmas until Friday at the very least. It is my personal snub to da man. 
I refuse to celebrate nor decorate before other holidays get a chance to shine. 

I even hung my garland of leaves, wreathes, and other paraphenalia just last weekend.

  A sign to show my neighbors that had their Christmas lights up before Halloween that I march to my own tune.

Mr. Boss would just say that I am stubborn and it is just another private Heidi boycott. I am known for my one woman boycotts in these parts......

Christmas Musical Costumes

Nada. Zip. Zilch. 

I have to get it all done. They are next on the docket because they are taking up too much room in my closet.
 Oh, and they are due to be completed by Monday? Yikes!

To see what everyone else is doing....go visit Lee!!  Just click on the image below!

And here's to a WONDERFUL Thanksgiving to everyone tomorrow. 

Monday, November 21, 2011


Image from google image land....

It is still an infirmary around here.  Don't get too close to your computer screen....
it might be catching!!

Mr. Boss and Bunny have skirted around all the illness...waiting for them to go down for the count next!

I am very worried that I have so much to do and now so little time!

This is usually my "YAY!  I don't have to be a bus driver for a whole week holiday!"  
Yes, the boys don't have school this week!

Too bad that I can't even sit up at the sewing machine for more than 30 minutes without wanting to go lay down.

I don't even think my Sew Heidi. Go Heidi. chant would work at this point.

The only thing I did was sew two old curtain panels together to cover Ole Betsy.  We have to keep the spider webs and dust off her!


Friday, November 18, 2011

Fast Forward Button

"Life would be better if girls had mute buttons, boys had edit buttons, bad times had fast forward buttons and good times had pause buttons."

Now, I am not saying that I believe in the mute button, but today?  
I sure wish I had a fast forward button!

I had all my woes typed out, but realized the short of it?  80% of our household has some sort of sickness.  Button, included, with a nasty double ear infection. 

I have to give him props for going all out for his first true illness.   Not one ear...but both!!!  And on my birthday too! 
Happy Birthday to me!

Despite all the AWESOME CHANTING last week (I really could "hear" everyone cheering me on!), I didn't do as well as I would have liked.  But it is better than nothing, right?  I won't link up with WIP Wednesday because I really don't want to rewind to Wednesday, but I will share what I accomplished the past week!

Fall Throw Pillows

There was so much love for the fabric last Wednesday, that I was compelled to get them together.  They are simple, no frills.  But I love them.

The other pillows covers are the ones I made last years for the two chairs in my family room.  

It is all scrap fabric from my ottoman covers and my kitchen window treatments.  

The embroidery took me one whole day to do both.  The amount of color changes was exhausting, to say the least!  I haven't done a pattern/design with that many since.

Cuppa Joe blocks

I finished them!!!  

I really enjoyed making them! I busted into my fat quarter collection and found random fun fabrics.  I decided to stick with six fabrics and used all three cup styles.  I opted for Moda "Wildrose" by Brannock & Patek for the background fabric for all of them.  I am not sure how well I did them since I was trying to do them with a sick baby.  I also realized that I need to spend more time with my newish domestic machine.  I hadn't really machine appliqued in a while since I have been using my embroidery machine for that!  I opted for a blanket stitch.  Hopefully, they are up to par to the rest of the contributions!!
They have been sent off for the swap and now I can't wait to see what I get back.  Not sure what I will do with mine!

It's official.  All of the comments and emails made me realize that I should never have even posted the name.  As soon as it was in writing, it was all over.  The name is growing on me.  Even Button knows who I am talking about!  He likes to watch her go!

Sharon, the Handi Quilter representative, came out and gave me basic instructions yesterday.  We loaded a 36in x 36in muslin sandwich to practice on!  She was even very understanding that Button was sick and was clinging to me.  There was an elaborate checklist she had to follow...all bases were covered.

We used the thread that was given to me as my "start up" quilt.  I think I will practice at least one more time on muslin or scrap, but with a colored thread so I can see how I am doing a bit better.  I really do need to practice though!  Above is just some fun free-hand.  My looping, leaves, and flowers are not looking to shabby, but what is up with my inability to do meandering well?  Any thoughts?  I think I over-think it!

Here's to hoping my fast forward button decides to land on a day that I can think clearly, stop sniffling myself, and feel good enough to sew.  Just typing this post is a great feat!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Ole Betsy

That is the name Mr. Boss came up with for my New Girl.


The scary thing about it? 
My oldest is home sick today and I asked him in passing if he had a name for the machine.
His first response.

Old Betsy.

Something tells me that they are in cahoots.  Butter swears that he did not know his dad had said the same name.

I am not amused.....This name goes to the BOTTOM of the list. 


The nicest lady named Sharon came with her daughter to put my new girl up on her frame.  She said when I spoke with her Friday, that she allows 5 hours to set it up.  

Luckily, there was a lot of room for her to work with in the garage.


Unfortunately, or fortunately?  
I live in the Houston area....which in November...can still be warm.
  How does 79 degrees sound to you, right about now?
I had to open the garage doors and run a fan.  
They were much more comfortable after that!!

And it was completely set up by 12:35 pm.
Just in time for lunch!
It fits quite well.  

She even was kind enough to make sure the fridge could be open.

And there is plenty of room for me to stand behind.

I think Mr. Boss will disagree. 

I am actually posting this earlier than planned because he is waiting to see the final results and is on pins and needles at THIS very moment.

Luckily, Sharon mentioned that I can get casters from Handi Quilter to add.  I think that will make him much happier if it can be pushed all the way against the wall out of the way.   There is plenty of room in that space for me to pull it out at an angle if I wanted to!  

There is much to be desired about the atmosphere, but that will come in time, right?

Sharon handed me the "Getting Started" DVD on the way out.

No worries, though!  They don't leave you hanging high and dry.  She will be back Thursday morning to give me a three-hour instructional class.

How cool is that?!?!?   

But, still not as cool as Mr. Boss buying....

*cough*  Ole Betsy......


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