Friday, September 30, 2011

Christmas Countdown

Well, i started writing this post on Wednesday and here it is Friday.... and still no post! akkk!!!
My sewing room is coming together nicely. I can say ironing is not such a bad thing anymore now that i just have to swivel my chair around and there is the iron! (i will confess, i rarely ironed anything while piecing before... i just hated it!) I still need the 2 chest of drawers that will hold most of my fabric, i think we will be getting that this weekend.

I realized it is time to really get serious on these Christmas presents and i need to quit messing with organization and scrap projects... they are really procrastination projects and i cant procrastinate any more!!! I only have 12 weekends till Christmas and a ton of quilts to finish!!! holy cow!!! I am truly sorry that i just counted those and informed yall on the fact that there are so few weeks left... i know when someone does that to me i wanna smack them, i prefer to live in clueless bliss most of the time... but i am determined to finish all of these quilts by Christmas.

So from now on Fridays will be my Christmas Countdown Progress report:

First celebrate the accomplishments:

In the finished pile: 6 (Ralph, Tristan, Ally, Waylon, Trini and Desi)

Done Pile (not pictured are Tristan and Ally's since i gave them to them already. The denim on the bottom, is not going to be a gift after all, i don't like how it turned out)
 Now the work to do:

In the I'm quilting stage: 1 (Sharon)

In the flimsy done, backing ready... need to quilt stage: 3 (Bridgette, Buck and Wesley)

In the it just needs borders and backing stage: 2 (Landon and Caty)

In the its cut out and I'm piecing it stage: 4 (Travis, Adrianna, Dallas and Trevor)

In the its cut out, just need to piece it stage: 4 (Jonathan, Chris, Coleman and Jess)

In the I'm cutting and sewing as i go along stage: 2 ( Faith and Harley)

In the I still have no clue what I'm going to make for her stage: 1 (Lea)

I have been working on the denim and since it requires a needle change, I'm gonna continue to work on those for a while. I finished one flimsy, although the denim is heavy... its really not very flimsy!! I almost finished a 2nd yesterday and this morning i counted my squares and i have exactly enough to finish the other 4. I am really in love with the denim ones. If i could i would use this as wall paper or curtains... or something... i am just a denim kinda girl i guess.

OHHHH.... i made my first flying geese!!! I'm going to use these as a border for Landon and Trevor's "kisses from Paw Paw" quilts!

dang it though... i took the pictures without the memory card in the camera and now i cant get the pics of my pretty little flying geese

There... my first Christmas Countdown Progress Report....

hope yall have a wonderful weekend, I don't have to go anywhere or do anything so mine will be spent in my sewing studio! My goal is to have all the denim flimsys finished for the 6 guys, quilt Sharon, and finish the flying geese for at least one of the kisses from pawpaw's!

Friday, September 23, 2011

its begining to look like home....

I got my table from storage, i have missed my old friend. I already have it cluttered though... lol. the stacks to the right are the piles of scraps sorted by color, i moved them off of the iron surface behind my sewing machine.

I ironed all that i put together yesterday. I have 200+ of the 2 1/2 in hst's for the ocean waves!!

my piles of scraps sorted by color... I went by myself to the storage unit and I got the table in the truck with pure determination. that thing is heavy! The dressers are a little more delicate and i didn't want to do them by myself. But.. once i get the two dressers in the room, the scraps will have a home. I grabbed a bunch of boxes though and i found two unfinished quilt tops that ralphs mother had made! I will have pics of those on a nicer day!

Thursday, September 22, 2011

sewing to reduce stress

I think i mentioned these past two weeks were going to be stressful, well they were, it is... phew but the stress is almost over.

I realized, i do sew to reduce stress! I took apart my sewing room because any day now were going to go get my table... its been driving me crazy that i couldn't work on any projects so today i brought my sewing machine to the dining room table and grabbed my 2 1/2 and 1 1/2 bins and started sewing. I couldn't work on any of the things i SHOULD be working on... so i just sewed....

this mornings creations.

upper corner: Half square triangles from 2 1/2 squares for the ocean waves... loong way to go on this one.

below that: hmmm... not really sure, i am going to call them fugly for now because its 4 patches out of some really ugly late 80's early 90's fabric that was given to me. Do i think i can make something retro out of it... i dunno... gonna do something. I think im going to put them with snowballs with something bright and fun since they are so drab...but then again... there are alot of blacks and darks in there, i could stay dark and make it a "guy" quilt... for now they are my fugly squares

the blue and red 10 pieces and 4 pieces: they are actually sashing, but i haven't decided whats going to go between them, probably stars of some sort from red and blue and yellow.

the little stacks above the stripes: 3 pieces and 4 pieces of 1 1/2" squares for my lovely little windows quilt

the stripe blocks: centers to stars, i know they are different sizes, not sure how im going to do that yet but dont you love the little 16 patch on the top right and the bordered square on the bottom right!

I also put together a denim clutch, which i didn't like and i wont take a picture of... its crooked! I am putting it to good use though, it now has all those computer cords that i have to carry around with my laptop in it.

Hmmm.. just realized what ive done is created a whole bunch of ironing! I hate ironing!!! my ironing space is also piled with fabric till i get my table and dressers in my room, darn... cant iron! lol the messy sewing space is what i should have taken pictures of.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

The love of my life

Authentic Worn Texas Horseshoe $6.00
Yep if there was one image that represented him, a horseshoe would be it. He has been a certified farrier for over 25 years. (he puts horseshoes on horses) He went to school for it, taught it for a while and made a living (even supported 6 children) doing it. He only works part time horseshoeing now, I dont think he will ever give it up, he loves it too much. I sometimes go and help by holding the horse for him and it is amazing to watch him work. He has that way with horses that made the term "horse whisperer" a household name.  It isn't easy work, it kills his back... but he keeps on and works hard even in the 100 degree heat or the freezing cold. He has loyal customers who are dreading the day he retires, they have counted on him for so long.

Ralph with grandbaby Waylon

Lately with the quilting we have been talking about "hobbies." I keep telling him he needs to get one because he really doesn't, we are both workaholics and that is what he does other than sleep. I could tell it bothered him that i had found something other than work to think about and do... a "well, what DO i want to do with my free time" thing.

Today, I think we figured it out. He is a blacksmith and i asked if he could make things out of the horseshoes and he said not without a forge. That lead to, he doesn't WANT to make things out of horseshoes (we have plenty of horseshoe art in our house that has been given to him as gifts and making it doesn't interest him) which lead to what would you make if you had a forge. He lit up like a kid at christmas and said KNIVES!

OK.... im not a big knife person other than i do insist on a good sharp chefs knife here at the store and at home... but... he has always liked pocket knives and of course were from texas, so bowie knives. Today he showed me some of the hand forged knives that hes been looking at and he wants to make. I have to say, they are really beautiful works of art. Today, all day, he has sat here and watched videos, searched for other knife makers, looked for the equipment and supplies he would need, figured out he wants to BUILD a forge this time... i really think he has found something he wants to do! im so happy for him because seriously if we both keep working as hard as we do, we will both have heart attacks in the next 5 years!

so... we both have hobbies!! yeah!!

Now about that horseshoe for sale....

I have been looking at Etsy. I of course am looking for a way to support my quilt habit... lol. But i wandered around the vintage section and im AMAZED at what junk sells for!!! I could raid our well house and make a killing and plan on doing it, but also my latest obsession is garage sales, and i plan on looking for stuff there.

That horseshoe picture, people are selling used horseshoes for 6 bucks on ebay and etsy! do you realize we THROW THEM AWAY! We have more horseshoes than we know what to do with!! (ok, recently we started taking them to the metal recycler) If i can sell them for 6 bucks... i have thrown away a fortune! I really have studied this one i took pictures of today, see how the ends of it are curved in, i even know what horse that one came off of because of the shape of it! lol.

So.. if you want to buy a horseshoe... for good luck... let me know!!!

Saturday, September 17, 2011

a give away!

I am in love with these fabrics! They are michael miller. I know i use mostly recycled fabrics, but oh these i could find a place for!

Samelia's Mum is giving them away on her blog... be sure to go visit her!

Friday, September 16, 2011

I inspired someone!

A few months ago my ex-sister-in-law visited. That one was hard to introduce.. uhh this is my ex sister in law, her husband and her step daughter, my niece. We have a strange family, we stay friends with our siblings ex's, my sisters still talk to my ex even though i haven't in 6 years! We figure they were family once and just cuz my brother didn't like her anymore, doesn't mean i don't have to. Now in this case my brother has passed so he didn't get mad that i invited her to come and visit me in Texas!

Anyways, she was always crafty and i of course showed her my work while she was here.  About 3 weeks later i saw she had been to Jo Ann's and then the other day she posted this and tagged me in it! Its beautiful!

Amy's Trip Around the World

I would like to think i inspired her to quilt again... lol.

In my family we always had the tradition that we made each other Christmas ornaments each year, Amy made beautiful ornaments the funny thing is the one that i like the most from her are these exact colors!

My progress since Wednesday... none. I took apart my sewing room. I have had furniture in storage since i moved into the ranch. At the time i moved in two of Ralph's children lived there with their spouses and we had 8 in a 2 bedroom house. One couple moved out immediately, the other hung on for a year and since he moved out we haven't had the time to get my stuff from storage. This weekend were going to and i have a dining room table that i plan on putting in my room. I have been using 2 round tables that we have for our next restaurant and well, it was a pain, i need a big rectangular table, i couldn't lay stuff out on them cuz the middles sagged. I cant wait till Sunday! I have missed my table, it needs to be refinished, but honestly i love it just the way it is. It was an old science lab table, sturdy as heck and i took the laminate off leaving glue and old paint, i think a perfect patina. lol Ralph just thinks its ugly, but then again, hes not the one who will have to do the work to refinish it!

I also have two dressers that will probably go in the room for fabric storage. I really need that because I'm running out of places to stack it!

For my living room an old china cabinet that i plan on displaying some of my quilts in. That might inspire me to do something with my living room! The couch and love seat we had we gave to the kids to take with them because it was pretty worn, we had planned on replacing it but now theres no room because we bought stuff for our next restaurant and i needed someplace to store it! lol someday i will have a normal house that doesn't have 42 chairs stacked in its living room. If i would just clean out the room that used to be the garage, i could store the restaurant stuff in there... i don't know, maybe bringing back some of my furniture will inspire me to make it a living room again. It just seems were never home and the bedroom, kitchen, sewing room and office are where we spend all of our time anyway!

Its Friday, I'm gearing up for a busy day of slinging pizza. Hope yall have a wonderful weekend, I will post pics of my improved room when i get it finished Sunday!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

WIP Wednesday

Im participating in the WIP Wednesday! I love wednesday because there is always so much eye candy over at freshly pieced!!! I like seeing the process!

WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced

I had alot of time to play in my studio this past weekend. I went on a denim kick. Sorry about the pics today, i was in a hurry... life has been so busy lately!

I made this bag ...

Recycled Jeans Bag
its from legs of old jeans and the inside is a vintage sheet i picked up the other day. Its ok, but its not big enough to be a big bag and not small enough to be a purse type bag... im going to work on the design of that and maybe make a few of these for christmas presents. this one i am using for my laptop, wish i would have padded it but... i will have to make a laptop sleeve now, wont i!

Well, making the bag, gave me an idea... i triple stitched the bag and the seams were so nice and flat afterwards... i thought hmmm.... I have 800 6 in squares cut out for 6 denim rag quilts, i have made one but you know what, those rag quilts are a pain in the patootie. so... i started sewing them together like this....

Denim Quilt

Im staggering the bricks and double seaming them to reduce the bulk... im really digging it and i think i will make 6 like this instead! I had planned on making a texas star on the back of the rag quilts and i have enough red, white and blue fabric, i can just piece it! These will be for the hampton sons and son in laws (travis, jess, buck, coleman, chris and jonathan)

Speaking of Jess, Ralph's oldest son, he has been diagnosed with spinal cancer. We dont know anything else other than that. So please keep him in your prayers, he is only 34 years old. He lives in Alaska and I think he will be coming home to live with us through this.

But back to WIP's... I worked on the other Kisses from Paw Paw Quilt for landon or trevor. I have one flimsy done, im putting together the other...

Hugs from Paw Paw Quilt

I figured out on the first one, i could put these 6 pieces together and do it two rows at a time instead of one.... so its ready, i just need to start making the rows.

Here is a better pic of the one i have finished:

Hugs from Paw Paw Quilt

Landon is 5 and Trevor is 4. Landon started pre-K this year and yesterday as we were leaving for work in the afternoon the school bus dropped him off... I cried... he looked so grown up!!! Travis' family lives on the ranch in the spot where ralph raised his 6 kids, we live in the ranch house that his mom and dad built in the late 60's. Its nice having them so close by!

Other than that, my pile of flimsies is growing. I did start quilting sharons pastel stripe saturday... but ohhh i have a puppy in some trouble, he chewed the batting from between the layers on one side while i was taking a break. Fixing that of course has overwhelmed me and im not sure what to do! I have a hole that is 6X12" I cut a piece of batting to fill the hole but im not sure if i should sew the two pieces of batting together or just quilt it making sure they stay together... any suggestions would be greatly appreciated!

You can see all of my on the WIP tab above...

The only one that made any other progress was Adrianna's HST Diamonds. I started putting rows together yesterday morning and should have more of it done by next wednesday!

hope yall have a beautiful wednesday... cant wait till the weekend so i can sew some more. This is a busy week for me with alot of stress and bills due... ugh... i cant wait to escape to my projects.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

another flimsy and a plan

I worked this weekend on this:

Kisses from Paw Paw

I am making a matching twins for Landon and Trevor. Since they have a bunk bed. I'm making them slightly small for a twin, i always hated making the bunk beds with all that extra comforter.  They are 3 1/2 inch squares. Mostly it is plaid shirts but i threw in some 30's retro prints, gingham and some shirts that weren't plaid as well. This is the first quilt ive made "on point" and it was easier than i expected, i had been really intimidated by that.

It took me a while on this one to figure out the quickest way to put this together, but about half way through i figured it out.  you put the three pieces together, add one of the other points between two whites to make a 2X3 block. Then you connect these with the point from the next row combined with a white. The trick is, other than the three next to each other, you should never be sewing a print to a print, its always print to white. hmmm... might have to actually show that in pictures, it sounds more complicated than it is. I am about half way through piecing the 2nd one. I think they are going to have solid blue borders and i have a few blue and green sheets that will make the backing.

I also mentioned that i was collecting scrubs for my neices' quilt. I am going to use solids with white points.

Making Rounds

Ive decided the name is going to be "making rounds" instead of nurses running in circles. I can make pretty drawings now, I bought a box of crayons when walmart had their school supply sale. I love my crayons!! I had a box of colored pencils but it was a small box and i couldn't get darks dark with them... lol im a kid at heart and i like crayons.

I'm not sure how big I'm going to make the solid pieces, it depends on how big the pieces are that i have to work with when i start cutting into the scrubs. Id like big blocks 10" or so but if I'm going to get more mileage from smaller squares 6" or so... i will have to do that.

Yesterday i fixed a wrinkle in the pin basting of the striped quilt that is ready for quilting. It is much much cooler now (i had to go put on socks this morning cuz my toes were cold!!) and i can begin quilting that the next time i have a few hours to work on it.

All of my finishes and flimsys are in a stack. i cant wait to see the pile when they are done. I'm really looking forward to Christmas and having a huge stack of quilts that i get to give out! ho ho ho i will feel like Santa!

Saturday, September 3, 2011

quilts in progress

the heat wave has broke!! woo hoo it stayed in the 70's and 80's today. We are getting a ton of rain from tropical storm Lee and it is SO badly needed here. This is the dryest it has ever been in recorded history! I am hoping to get back to the quilting tomorrow!
I have been doing a little organizing...

Fabric for Recycling

Ok, so i have been buying alot of shirts, we went yardsaling today... i now have almost a full closet of shirts for quilts and i have a plan for each and every one of them. See those oranges, i bought another today and as soon as i have 12 or so... it will be this:

I am now using pintrest, i found this from sometimescrafter

i dont know what it is about orange right now but it calling "make me into something beautiful" In the mornings i sit there with my coffee and stare at my fabric stash (a closet full of shirts i have bought) and those oranges keep smiling at me. I get up, rearrange the shirts to put green or blue or brown or grey with them... and yeah i like it... but the oranges dont seem to smile as much... so i saw this and there it is!!! that is what i want to do with my beautiful orange shirts. They need to be alone and smiling.

I have also been buying scrubs. I have a neice who is a nurse so next year she is getting a quilt out of scrubs.

Of course when i need red and blue plaid shirts to finish dallas' quilt, those are the ones i cant find. I am still looking for some red ones.

I have finished the irene flimsy and hope to quilt it and bind it tomorrow... although it may become a lee quilt if it doesn't quit raining in south lousiana which is closer to home. (however it can keep raining here in east texas, please!!!)

Irish Chain Quilt

I am working on adriana's quilt. I have a stack of these:

HST Quilt

and im not sure what to do with them now. I had planned on doing this:

HST Diamonds Quilt

But when i was playing with them trying to decide, ralph really liked this:

Pinwheels Quilt

I will play some more tomorrow maybe matching up the fabrics on the 2nd one.

one of my "leader/ender" projects (thats what im going to call it at least, its really its a "i really love to play with 1 1/2 in squares"

Lovely Little Windows

I have about 30 with 2 sides sewn on and i am LOVING it. But... im getting ahead of myself because this was going to be for NEXT christmas and i need to finish THIS christmas, AND it was going to be for the neice who is now getting the scrub quilt. hmmm this one might actually be for ME!!!

The other "leader/ender" project is an ocean waves quilt, i have been making these and when i have a shoe box full, i will count and see how many more i need! lol.

Ocean Waves Quilt

Its going to be incredibly scrappy and im using every bit of ugly fabric i can find.

I think thats a  pretty good run down of whats perculating in the studio!!

Friday, September 2, 2011

Its another grandbaby! This is Allysa Ann Madison and she is 2 days old. She has the thickest black hair i have ever seen on a baby.. i swear she already needs a haircut! She weighed a whopin 9 lbs 2 oz and i am so proud of her mamma, she was a trooper! She belongs to Caty and Jonathan... Caty is my manager at zippys and ally is the reason im working so many hours!! Ally, like her cousin Tristin born in June, has a mad face looks just like ralph... so she has a paw paw look too!  Ally is grandbaby #12 and #13 is already on its way (Buck and Sharon are expecting)

speaking of 12 grandbabies... oh my its already september... ralph and i had the "christmas is coming and we should start buying presents now" talk today... which always translates into christmas eve a mad dash to the stores to fight the crowds. Ralphs previous wife was my best friend and i miss christmas eve shopping with her. That woman could SHOP!!! She could find incredible deals and the cutest clothes, for teenagers... who can really shop for a teenager? I tell you that woman could do it. I am not lydia however and a christmas eve dash to the store without her equals really lame presents.

I think actually last year we decided to not buy the kids something, just the grandkids and we both woke up on christmas morning looked at each other and said, it dont feel right... LOL we then went to the only stores open within a 30 mile radius (gas stations) and we actually found gifts for all 6 kids! So yeah... the last christmas was pretty lame and this year id like to do better!!!

So im trying... I want to buy cool gifts too!!! I will in no way be as good of a shopper as lydia... but in my own way, id like to get them things they want, need, treasure... you know i have that "perfect christmas" syndrome thing in my head that i know i will never live up to... but i would like to do a little better than i have in the past.

On the treasured gift part, I am making everyone a quilt (omg its september and i have a ways to go) Id like to make the girls all something for their kitchen too... not sure what yet... some project that i can make 6 in a day would be good! The other gifts... i have no idea. Our budget isn't huge and there are so many to buy for (he has 6 kids, 5 daughter/son-inlaws, 12 grandchildren) 

Anyways... my progress on christmas presents

Tristin - done and he is using it already
Ally - done and she has it already
Trinity - done
destiny - done
waylon - done
ralph - done
sharon - quilting
bridgette - flimsy done
wesley - flimsy done
caty - needs borders
dallas - piecing
adrianna - piecing
faith - piecing
harley - cut out
landon - cut out
trevor - cut out
leah - fabric purchased
buck, travis, jonathan, chris, jess and coleman - im making denim rag quilts, one is finished, the others i have the denim cut, i just need more flannel to finish them.

phew... i think thats all of them...

anyways, i took some pics the other day of some of my recent work and inspiration. I sat down to blog about that but i got sidetracked and its now time to pack up and go home... so tomorrow i will post about my quilt progress i promise!