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Please don't remind me that I'm poor; I'm having too much fun pretending I'm simply "living green" like everyone else these days.


Wednesday, April 29, 2009

It's been a week??

Yes, I guess it has been a week since I was able to post last. A lot has happened during the last week. My mother was sent to the hospital last week. I spent three days with her.

My granddaughter Ms Bunny (the one with sickle cell) was also hospitalized. She has strep throat but has to take blood transfusions too. Both parents are sick with strep throat so I took over for them watching the youngest granddaughter Ladybug. Who has also been sick. Can you guess what's in my future? I only need to hold out for a few more days before I get it. When everyone else feels better then is when I can get sick. Just keep telling myself.... don't get sick until next week.... don't get sick until next week....

While taking care of everyone else I did manage to finish the next quilt and get it in the mail. It should arrive by Friday. Just barely made the deadline. I also sent off an entry for MQS. I'm not expecting to win anything but it's fun to know Internet friends in far away places can see it up close and personal.

So here is the finished quilt. If it looks familiar that's because I did one just like it not long ago. It's a class quilt so there were several made just alike.

I'll start with the corners. I did a flower and leaf design. Also a leaf vine design on the inside border.

The side triangles got the same flower and leaf design.

A quirky feather and flower design on the outside border.

Here's a view from the back so you can see it better.

I did stitch in the ditch around all the applique. A swag design around these blocks. Meandering to make the applique pop up.

The tree of life block got part artistic design and line dancing. Straight lines on the tree trunk.

Part quirky feather and part line dancing.

Individual design in parts of the blocks and part line dancing.

More stitch in the ditch and meandering to make the design pop up.

A little designing and a little line dancing.

A little of almost everything in this one.

Line dancing and meandering.

A little of everything in this one too.

Another applique block.

I really like this block.

Leafy flowery design along with some feathers.

The center of the quilt. Feathers and line dancing and meandering.

The border around the center got the same design as the inside border around the outside.

A close up of the feathers.

A close up of the center block. There is a flower in there.

This one is back on the machine. I want to finish it before I get sick. I'm starting to feel guilty that it's already taken so long to finish. I believe she will be really pleased with the finished quilt though. Well worth the extra time it takes to finish it instead of just giving up on it.

There was one day.... can't remember which one... that I put a video on my helpful hints blog. I was doing paper clip weaving of a rug during my time at the hospital with my mother. I was proud of my new discovery so I did a video of how it's done. The video took no more than about 15 minutes to make.... and several hours to upload it to blogger. Thank goodness I didn't have to sit at the computer to wait on it. I just checked it every few minutes.
Time for me to go. Need to eat something then check on all the sick people.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Paper clip rug weaving

Ok, I did another video of the paper clip rug weaving. This one is an instruction video. I hope it's understandable. I'm still learning this video stuff. It's taken me 4 hours to upload it to blogger.
Please let me know if there are any problems viewing it. I only know what I see on my end.... not what others see on their end.

Weaving a rug with a paper clip

I thought I would show you what I've been up to. I found myself in a hospital waiting room while my mother had her throat stretched. She had to have this done because she was constantly choking on her food. It was not planned and urgent that this get done.

I had the thought to take some fabric strips and a crochet needle to make a rug while I waited. I just can't seem to sit idle, my hands must stay busy all the time. To my dismay the crochet needle got lost someplace. It poked a hole in the plastic bag and I didn't know it. There I sat in the waiting room twiddling my thumbs with a bag of fabric strips sitting beside me.

I didn't want to just sit so I thought about possibilities. I could braid them and then weave them together later. It didn't appeal to me. I thought about going to a store to find a crochet needle. Too far to go by bus.
Then I thought maybe I could use another technique of some sort to weave the rug. I asked the nurse if she had a large paper clip I could borrow? She did.... so I started experimenting. This is what I came up with. Of course, I made this video after I got home.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

The work goes on

I worked on the lone star quilt in the morning. At lunch time I took it back off the machine. If I work on it a little at a time.... eventually it will get finished.

This one went onto the machine. It will be going out to the owner by Friday. Monday at the latest. The owner has a deadline she needs to meet which is why I have a deadline to finish it. By bedtime I had it all stabilized and started choosing a stitching design for the border.

While doing the stitch in the ditch to stabilize; I moved my machine to bring up the bobbin thread and this happened. Somehow the foot went up onto a button. I'm thankful I wasn't stitching because it could have caused the needle to break and the timing to be thrown off or some other problems. I had to cut the thread that held the button so I could move the machine off the quilt. The only way I could get the button out from under the foot was to loosen the nut that holds the foot and raise it.

I was talking on the phone with one of my customers yesterday evening. She had called to say... "I'm not trying to rush you but could you possibly have my quilt finished by......" "Oh, and could you do heirloom quilting instead of custom?" I told her I would do my best and about how exhausted I sometimes get when I'm working so many hours without a break. I work 12 hours a day for 6 and sometimes 7 days a week.

She tells me "Anita you really should cut your hours down to only 8 a day and take some days off." I tell the customer.... I agree and I do my best to work less. Then I ask this customer..... So does that mean I can take some time off instead of getting your quilt done by the deadline? (hesitation and phone silence) She says "after you get mine done." I giggle a little then ask her.... which one or more of my customers should I tell I can't finish their quilt on time?

The customer then tells me that maybe I shouldn't book so many quilts. I agree again and explain I really didn't plan on being behind schedule. I honestly did change my waiting list to be less than half the number of bookings I had last year. My intention was to have fewer tops to quilt so I could have more time off. I based my waiting list on what I believed would be a normal work day and work week. Little did I know that by the end of January my list would be completely filled for the whole year. After our conversation she understood a little better the difficulties of staying on schedule.

So..... I have one more deadline to meet to finish her quilt before her deadline.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

This quilt was like the energizer bunny.... it just kept going and going and going....

I finally had to just say enough is good enough and get it into the mail so the owner can have it by the time she gets home from Paducah this weekend. I could have kept quilting for several more days and still not quilted everything.

This is one half the quilt....

This is the other half....

This is the whole quilt pattern picture.

I used 15 different colors of thread.

I lost count of the different stitching designs and the number of stops and starts.

Stich in the ditch was done around most of the applique.

I didn't want my work to over power the fabrics or the design which is why I used matching thread though out.

I'm not sure you can see it but this is meandering leaves.

Stars on the stars.

This house has tiny, tiny pebble quilting.

I tried to make this look like a plowed field.

I couldn't go around this applique. I explain all the time that buttons should be put on AFTER the quilting is done. I can't sew through or around buttons.

The fabric of this area gave me the idea for the stitching.

I ran out of time before I could put texture on these. They are small enough that the stitch in the ditch quilting is close enough to hold it though.

I only did stitch in the ditch around these too. That birdhouse is one inch with a button center.

I like the grass texture in this area.

More of the grass.

These blocks are made of three quarter inch squares.

More of the background texture. Straight echo lines accent the flutterbies. No they are not perfectly straight... just freehand straight.

More of this background.

I tried to keep the textures next to each other different to give the quilt more depth.

Another view of the different textures next to each other.

The horses only got stitch in the ditch.

This is a 4 inch block. It shows you how close the stitching is.

A four inch solid block next to the star block.

The larger star block made from one and a half inch star points.

Another view.

How the background textures merge with each other.

Does this look like blowing snow? I think it does.

The corners of the quilt. Are those supposed to be acorns or pine cones? I guess they could be either one.

I'm not sure you can see it in the picture but this background is a meandering star. Look just above the top of the tree on the right..... you may see a tiny star.

A close up of the meandering leaves of this background.

More of the backgrounds.

A close up of a couple of the trees.

A close up view of the border design.

Like the stitching..... the pictures could keep going and going.... but there are other quilts waiting on me. Hmm... should I clean house first? Naw... the deadlines are looming.... gotta keep going.