Too gone for too long

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Too gone for too long

It’s been a while since i had a chance to post. Summer was so busy and seemed to just disappear. I can’t even say what exactly it was I did this summer that kept me so busy, but it must have been something very important. (uh huh) 

School has started again, and my wee man is in Grade 2. Tomorrow, my littlest man starts pre-kindergarten. It’s a bittersweet day for me. I am looking forward to having some “free” time, but I am sad that my baby is growing up so fast. I have my day planned so that i won’t be home, alone, listening to the clock tick and ugly crying at my kitchen table.

A few weeks ago, I put an ad up in the local buy and sell asking for free or very cheap sewing machines, and i have three to pick up tomorrow. my plan is to clean them up, tune them up, and donate them to people who need a machine, but can’t afford to buy themselves one. I’ve done this a few times in the past, but am looking to donate to a organization that is able to distribute them for me. A friend of mine steered me to an organization in a neighbouring city that I hope will be able to find the machines a good home. I’ll let you know how it goes.

I also have a BEAUTIFUL quilt to drop off for a lovely lady named Diane. She contacted me several weeks ago about quilting a crazy quilt she had rescued from a thrift shop. I got it on the frame yesterday, and spent the day getting it done. 

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It’s such a beauty, i don’t want to give it back! Shhhhhhhh! Don’t tell her! The quilt was foundation pieced onto white broadcloth and was originally tied with acrylic yarn. i have no idea when it was put together, but whoever made it was probably a seamstress. The fabrics run the gamut, from cotton to nylon to polyester in every weave and weight you can imagine. The maker also embroidered over each seam using a herringbone stitch and a different colour floss for each block. 003

Unfortunately, the poor thing has seen better days, with some of the embroidery missing, and a few patches that are threadbare or full of holes. I’m confident it’s gotten a new lease on life, and I hope it lasts for many more years.I quilted it with white thread in an allover meander, as I didn’t want to take away from the fabulous fabrics. Also, i wanted to be at the front of the machine (instead of the back as I would have been had I done a pantograph) so that I could watch for any delicate areas, and avoid catching the hopping foot on any embroidery, or popped seams. I used a flannel sheet for the backing, and two old wool blankets for the batting. I wasn’t sure if I would have any issues, but of course, my Lucey stitched like a dream and it looks wonderful! it’s very heavy (in a good way) and I know Diane will be extra cozy snuggling up in it this winter.

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Finish a Quilt? Me?

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  I don’t know about you, but i usually have more than one project on the go at any given time. I’m not sure exactly why I can’t stay focused on one thing until it’s complete. Perhaps it’s my perfectionist nature. If something isn’t working the way i think it should, i just set it aside and start something else. I’ve been this way for as long as I’ve been sewing, so you can imagine the plethora of partially completed projects i have kicking around the house. Every once in a while, i go back to something I’ve left and try and at least get it to the flimsy stage. i hate to admit it, but i have about 25 flimsies waiting to be quilted. I know. I need to get my s*** together.  

  Several weeks ago, i started reorganizing my fabric storage. I have left it for months after racing to get ready for this trade show or that, and i have fabric pulled from the shelves and piled everywhere in my sewing area. i did some looking around and decided that the best thing for me to do was to use my 6″ x 24″ ruler to help me fold the fabric neatly and stack it on my shelves. It works great! everything is neat and tidy, and i can see all of the fabrics on the shelf. NO MORE DIGGING!

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Unfortunately, this task has fallen by the wayside, like so many others before it. I got all of my batiks refolded and organized, and a few of the colour groupings tackled. That is where it ended. I don’t know if I’m overwhelmed by the sheer monstrosity of the task, or if I’m just lazy. I seem to have so many things that need my attention and instead of addressing them, i sit on my bum and think about them, and how I’m never going to get it all done. I am fully aware that unless i get off my bum and start, nothing will EVER get done. The first step is getting off the couch. Here i go…..

 

  

Trippin’ Slowly

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I’ve had a couple of busy days and haven’t had much time to get to my machine. I do try and sew SOMETHING everyday, even if it’s just a seam or two. I am amazed at how much I can get done in just 15 minutes of sewing.
Yesterday, I sewed four strip sets together for my Scrappy Trips, and cut out the sections I needed to make 4 blocks. Today, I got two blocks put together.

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That brings the grand total of completed blocks up to four!!! (Please. Stop. You’re embarrassing me!)
OK. Enough of the sass. I’m thinking I’m really going to love this one when its done. I may have to bump it up to queen sized so I can use it on my bed. I apologize for the terrible picture quality. Photography is not my forte.
  Thanks so much for your encouragement. I truly appreciate your kind words.

Scrappy trips

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I have been wanting to do a Scrappy Trips quilt a la Bonnie Hunter for quite some time. (pattern here) I’ve been working on taming my scraps, and I’ve had a colour combination brewing for a while. Today I finally got some scrap 2 1/2″ strips pulled. I have no idea how many strips I will need, but I’m not worried about running out, that’s for sure. I really like the first block, but I’m not so keen on the second. It seems a bit too ‘white’, if you will.

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I will most likely just leave it, cause the thought of picking it out does not thrill me. I’m concerned it will stick out like a sore thumb, but I think I’ll just have to check my perfectionist tendencies at the door and let it be. In fact, that’s exactly what I’m going to do!!

Its a lot harder than I thought it would be

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  I have a confession. I am a fabric hoarder. I have had an obsession with fabric since I was a little kid, going to Fanny’s Fabrics, or Silk-O-Lina with my mom. I loved going fabric shopping with her!! I would fondle all the beautiful fabrics, immersing myself in the beautiful colours, patterns, and textures. I would always stop at the thread displays to make certain that all of the spools were in their proper places, rearranging as needed. Of course, a trip to the button racks were always a must! Who could resist spinning the racks and racks of gorgeous buttons? Not me!!!
  I have been quilting for 19 years now, so I’m sure you can imagine the fabric stash I’ve accumulated. Sometimes I am reluctant to cut into my fabric, especially if it’s one I really love. For the most part, I use more than I buy. Of course, I can’t throw my scraps out, so I started sorting and cutting using Bonnie Hunter’s Scrap Users System. For those if you who aren’t familiar with Bonnie, you’ll find her website here. She has LOTS of free patterns and she describes her Scrap Users System. There are many different methods for taming your scraps. I don’t think there’s a one-size-fits-all solution. I would do some research on various blogs and forums to get some ideas, and find what works best for you.
  Do any of you use a particular method for organizing your scraps? Please share it with me!

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Try try again

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So, it’s been ages since i’ve blogged., and i feel like a big dud. i started off with a bang, and then quickly lost my gumption. i’ve been thinking about starting up again for quite some time, but could never commit myself to it. i did decide to focus on quilting, as that is truly my passion. I find myself overwhelmed with ideas and inspirations, and often have a difficult time buckling down and actually completing a project. I do hope that by sharing my quilting journey with you, I am able to focus and also be accountable to myself. I would be honoured if you decided to join me!

 

i’m still here!

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it has been quite some time since i last sat down to write something, and for that i apologize. it has been a hectic few weeks and i’m just now getting back into the groove of things. lots has happened, so bear with me as i fill you in on the details.

the last thing i posted talked of my reluctance to spend a huge whack of money on a new longarm quilting machine. well, the decision was made for me (kind of). in my haste to get a new machine, i listed my old one and then promptly forgot that i had done so. a week or so later, i was contacted by a lady who was interested in the machine and she drove an hour to come test it out. we haggled over the price a little and couldn’t agree, so she left sans machine. she called me the next day to say she’d give me what i asked for it and we made arrangements for her to pick it up the following saturday. now, it doesn’t seem like this would be an issue, but i had cancelled the order i placed for the new machine and with the old one sold, i had no way of getting anything ready for the evergreen show. i found a very good deal on a show model apqs and went for it. my basement was empty for almost two weeks before my lucey arrived, but the wait was worth it. she is GLORIOUS! i had 11 quilts done in less than a week and had enough done so as not to embarrass myself at the show. i am so glad i upgraded my machine, and can’t help but think that i ‘forgot’ about listing the old one on purpose. yay for me!

harvest went well for curly and he was officially done work at the end of october. it helped that we got a lot of snow the 3rd week of october. it’s going to be a long winter.

i celebrated my 40th birthday at the end of october. for some reason, i feel i have really acheived something and should be walking about with a giant ‘i’m 40! can you effin’ believe it?’ sign around my neck. i don’t know why. any insight?

evergreen was an amazing experience. the venue was beautiful and the whole thing was very well done. there were amazing artists from every medium you can think of: paint, fibre, wood, bead, pottery, food, music, the list goes on. i sold two items, which paid for my table and my gas, but more importantly, i gained experience and got my name out there.

this past week, i finally got my completed quilts listed on my prairie charm facebook page AND i even opened a store on etsy. come have a look at my stuff here https://www.facebook.com/PrairieCharm?ref=hl and here http://www.etsy.com/shop/PrairieCharm.

all this has been going on between regular stuff, like school, chickens, and housework. pfffffffft. housework? who am i kidding?