Saturday, November 30, 2013

Finished for my Dad

I finished this last week. I started it 2 years ago cutting 4 inch squares from my left over plaid fabric. I had alot at the time, and not sure what to do with it since I had finished the 4 quilts for the grandbabies... so i cut and cut.... then sewed them into 4 patches.... and it stalled.

Beth at Love, Laugh, Quilt inspired me to get it out again and work on it with an idea for the border. It was waaay to plaid and needed something and she had the answer. So... I just put 3 borders on using the pieces I had... and voila... a plaid quilt for my dad!

(The adorable little girl in the picture is grandbaby Sophie. She was in EVERY picture but the corner one... she LOVES having her picture taken! lol.)

(sorry about the bad pictures, its cold and wet outside and the kids playroom actually was picked up and I had room to lay it out!)

I have not seen my dad in almost 4 years. He doesn't travel any more and I haven't gone up to Michigan. He now has Korsakoff Syndrome which is like alzheimers disease. He sometimes remembers he has a daughter named Tammy, sometimes not.

But he is my other man in plaid... I used to steal his flannel shirts as a teenager... they were so comfy. My dad wore darker plaids than my husband, but I think he will appreciate the plaid quilt!

My sister posted this picture of him yesterday on facebook. Hes 86 now.

I am linking to A Passion for Applique Nothing but UFO's and Finish it Up Fridays

Friday, November 29, 2013

Sewing with certainty - perfection

Ohh the dreaded perfectionist is all of us rears its ugly head!!!

I tend to beat myself up for my lack of perfection. the last couple months because I was not putting in the time i needed to "grow" my etsy stores... because i was not spending disciplined time on sewing... and because i have a UFO pile that out numbers my finished quilts pile!

I think my great epiphany that i recently had was to stop beating myself up! initially i thought it meant to lay off sewing for a bit BUT... When I let that go of the guilt that i wasn't doing everything perfectly the creativity and desire came flooding back and Ive been busy, I've enjoyed myself, and I got out of my "creative" rut. Im still not doing it perfectly... but... its ok, i said as long as this family of 5 is living with us... im not going to expect perfection! (and i think i should learn from this lesson and never expect it again... but alas... i do know it will rear its ugly head again!)

I have wanted to make quilts (like my mother) since i was in my early 20s... at 45 I finally did it! well, I had started the quilt tops 4 years prior... and I finally quilted them at 45! I honestly was afraid to start and that fear came from wanting it to be perfect.

9 patch quilts, I finished 2 for my twin grand daughters.

Even today i struggle with this. I have this project that has stalled for almost a year because it has applique, I'm not sure about that!! but i will get to it.

I think the immediate thing i need to work on is my confidence with Tshirt quilts, they are taking too long to complete because I'm afraid I am going to mess up. I have two due next weekend and another two that I would like to finish before Christmas. These are orders i will get paid for!!! what is taking so long... just insecurity so... I'm gonna start right now... Tshirt quilts here i come.

Monday, November 25, 2013

Sewing with Certainty - my goals for my quilting

I saw this series a few weeks ago but figured I didn't have time to participate... but... i'm going for it anyways! I like that its designed to improve my skills and the skills of others... not just a show off what i made party! lol... i do like showing off what i made though! lol.

What are my sewing goals... i have actually put alot of thought to this for the last month so here it is...

1. I have a wonderful husband and due to him I do not have to get a paycheck.. for the first time in my adult life.... however being the work a holic I am I can not stand that I am not contributing to our finances... so my big goal is to make 1000-1500 per month with my sewing, vintage sewing patterns and fabric. Now I have decided to take some pressure off myself and just kinda work on this on the side because we have a house full of grandchildren (and their parents right now) but it is still my goal. So for this goal Im going to work on time management and doing the online stuff I need to do to continue growing those etsy stores.

2. This is a big one and one i haven't said on my blog yet.... I think I want to write quilt patterns. I dont ever USE patterns... probably because i hate authority and have never followed directions well... but I do think i have the creativity and the understanding of the math and geometry (and the writing skills although my blog tends to ramble i can be concise when i need to be) to write them. So my immediate goal is to write some tutorials so I can see how i do at that! I have two in mind that I want to write up and put on my blog for tutorials. A table runner and a quilt.

3. I want to make some quilts that show my ability to select color. I tend to make really scrappy quilts without alot of regard to color (and i LOVE them) but I think i need some work on putting fabrics together to make unified and pleasing quilts. I also want to do this without buying a collection of fabric from a designer... matchy matchy is not my thing either. So.for this one I want to use my stash for a quilt that has regard to color!!

4. FMQ... I've tried it... I have gotten mediocre results but I want to keep practicing to where I can use it.

5. Curved piecing... I want to make something with curves...

There are my goals for the Sewing with Certainty series... I dont think its too late... join us!

Sunday, November 24, 2013

what have i done? and a local quilt show.

the big fundraiser here is Relay for Life. There are several teams that throughout the year raise huge amounts of money. We have won awards for how much they raise per capita. Not bad for such a small town I think. We have several customers that are on the Fire Department team called the Cancer Kickers, so we end up donating alot of pizza and things to them each year.... Well... they are having a winter extravaganza on December 7th and they asked me to put a booth there with my items to sell... and I said yes! what was I thinking??? I dont have enough stuff for a booth!!

So just when I decide that Im not going to put pressure on myself to create.. i need to create! opps... lol.

My plan is to do enough christmas ornaments to cover a tree, maybe a couple denim tree skirts, (I'm going for a cowboy themed christmas) my table toppers, I might do some easy tote bags... we will see. I have to finish 2 tshirt quilts before I can start though because they are due on the same day... so... my plan was to make tshirt quilts this weekend! opps.. before I could finish them though I had to finish the plaid monster I am making my dad because it has all the safety pins in it. I refuse to buy more because I will just end up with alot of pinned quilts and never quilt them!

and well being an attention deficit disorder quilter... i couldn't just work on the quilt and finish it... i had to take breaks so here are the ornaments i finished this weekend.....

I have several others started but to get the frayed edges you have to wash them so they are in process.

Saturday Ralph and I went to a local quilt show. the flash is broke on the camera so I couldn't take pictures but honestly, there wasn't much that wowed me. I am not a part of a local quilt community mostly because they are well.. snotty. I tried to start a conversation with one of the long arm quilters that was there and she was very stand offish. We dont have a local quilt guild, just a bunch of women that gather at the quilt store so my kind of quilting is looked down on. I use recyced fabrics... i use sheets on the back.... lol... they dont ever use solids (because the quilt store doesn't sell any), OH and I quilt my own which really puts the 6 long arm quilters in the areas nose out of joint... for some reason. I do try to support the local quilt store because the owner is nice, but I do my best to avoid her other customers.

Ralph however came away from it excited and determined that i am going to start entering quilt shows. He said my stuff is better than theirs any day and I could win. (he is so sweet... and charming) I explained that if the person i made the quilt for loved it... thats all the recognition and reward I need... who knows maybe someday i will, i just dont feel the need right now.

But I guess thats why I blog... to be a part of SOME community because I dont have one locally. I have considered joining the Guild in Nacogdoches, but its a 45 mile drive each way... maybe this spring I will have time.

It was a rainy day saturday... this is what the driveway looked like when we got home from the quilt show... our fall colors in texas. I think this will have to be inspiration.... I love the scrappiness of the picture and can see a scrappy quilt with those colors just thrown about it! (and yes that is my boot toe in the picture... it was a perfect day to sport the cowboy boots)

I have to hand sew the binding on my dads quilt (which i plan to do while working at the pizza shop today since its slow on sundays) so pics of that once its finished!!! (and since i have to work all day... opps the tshirt quilts are exactly where they were friday!)

I also want to say thank you for the kind words Michelle sent me (you are a no reply blogger so I couldn't email back) I often avoid talking about personal life (partially because all i want to do right now is complain! lol) but I appreciate you encouraging me to keep blogging and talking about... just life.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Ive been lost in thought

Have i shared with yall that I have a wonderful and supportive husband? yep i do! I am at another one of those crossroads in my life, (did i have any idea at 21 when i declared what I wanted to be when I grew up that I would come to so many crossroads where I had to make that decision again??)

Im on the left - at 21

I had determined I want to do something with sewing, fabric, quilting, something that I love from home. Etsy is the place for me right now... but I was getting frustrated because I was not being disciplined (as i usually am) and I was not doing what I wanted to do. I have been struggling with this for about a month and then I realized that with his son, daughter in law and 3 additional kids in the house... the place for me is NOT working a stay at home business... i HATE being at home. I know, hate is such a strong word... but i do mean hate. We are both miserable with this arrangement and we are biding our time till they leave. That is not to say that I don't LOVE them or our grandchildren. I do very much... i love the little zombies to death. I just HATE sharing my home with anyone...

Waylon and Tristan... my superheros ...  that is the first quilt i finished on the bed!

So... for now, Im working at home when I can stand it.. I'm making a few sales... I'm sewing when I just can't stand that I haven't been creative in a while... and I'm going to post when the spurts of creativity happen... but, for now... im not really WORKING at what I want to do. Ralph and I have discussed it, for now I am going with him horseshoeing when I am needed (and when I'm not because I enjoy being with him) and I'm going to continue to work for his daughter at the pizzeria. Most importantly I'm going to quit beating myself up because i didn't accomplish what i wanted to do yet.... Im going to enjoy what I am doing.... 

Today I didn't have to work anywhere else and i was itching to be creative so I worked on some Christmas items to sell. I rarely buy novelty or seasonal fabric... but the denim was calling me.... here are my creations for today. (ralph and i ended up babysitting the kids so I managed to accomplish something with kids! I'm happy!)

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

A quilt for Audrey and works in progress

This beautiful little girl is my Great Niece Audrey!

She is 4 months old now... and just the cutest little thing. Since I made my great nephew a quilt, I needed to make her one too! I enjoyed this one... I love the colors. Her mom decorated the nursery with jellyfish, I decided to do the chevron and on pattern from quilty because, they kinda look like Jellyfish in a modern sort of way! lol.

I used a vintage sheet with big roses on it for the back and bound it in the pink polka dot. I had planned an orange, not thinking about how it would go on the back... the pink went with the roses much better!

I quilted with straight lines with the teal color.... this fabric was just my favorite and I dont know where it came from! I want more of it!

Its off in the mail to Michigan to cuddle the sweet bundle of joy!

For the works in progress I have a couple things im working on...

first are these. Im making rice bags for Christmas presents. I have been looking for projects to practice FMQ on and these are perfect. i am getting better... believe it or not! lol. I am using orphan blocks or pieces of them for the blocks and using scrap batting.

I am also quilting a few flimsies that I have finished. I haven't decided where this one is going. Its either for our bed or I'm going to send it to my Dad for a christmas present... Dads probably gonna win.

Here is a stack I have ready to quilt... i need to get busy!

I am linking up to Quilt Story: Fabric Tuesday and Works In Progress Wednesday on Freshly Pieced

Monday, November 11, 2013

For the Boys

Thank you Madame Samm and Amy  for letting me participate in my FIRST Blog hop!! I have been so excited about this post, my husband thinks I'
ve lost my mind!

I know a little something about making quilts for boys. I have 4 step sons, 2 son in laws and 9 of my grandchildren are boys.... and my husband of course. He is very opinionated about what he likes and doesn't like in my quilts!!

But in honor of veterans day, I'm going to begin with the quilt I made for my husband for our bed. Because it is by far my most patriotic quilt.  It is called "Lonesome Dove" because I stitched the binding while watching a Lonesome Dove marathon one Sunday.

I think the belief that you should not use florals in a man's quilt is crazy. They appreciate flowers too and as long as its not predominantly flowers. I see no problem. Lonesome dove was my first HST quilt and surprisingly not my last!

I also quilt outside the box in that I rarely (in fact only 1 quilt I have ever made) use all quilt shop fabric.I like using upcycled fabric in my quilts, its what my mom did, my grandmothers did and I'm sure all of my ancestors before that. They used what they had and what they could afford.... and so do I. So, most of my quilts use mens shirts, yardsale fabric, and of course stuff from the clearance isle at my LQS. and i usually use vintage sheets on the back.

I made 4 different quilts from 2 different patterns out of mostly my husbands shirts. These were called Paw Paw's Puzzle and Paw Paw Kisses. Landon, Trevor, Waylon and Wesley use these every day. Its nice seeing a grandchild wrapped in something you made!

For the 6 Men (sons and son in laws) I made a series of Denim quilts. I started to make rag quilts but they were just too messy for me. I decided to peice the 6 in squares and double stitch them. Each quilt back had a different pattern on them... depending on the recipients personality. I think one of these was the ugliest quilts I've ever made because it was my interpretation of camo.... but he loves it!

This one is being enjoyed in Alaska by our grandbaby Kegan. We haven't met Kegan but he does have a quilt where I used fabric from my clothes, my husbands and some of our parents! 

I made this one to sell, it is from striped shirts and I loved it... so did our grandbaby Tristan and it is The Quilt he uses at our house! lol.

Ok.. bad picture... but i did one to include this one. Its called Cowboy and it was a donation to the local Cowboy Church. 

Finally my most recent... and the only quilt I have made entirely from quilt store material. It is called This way (pattern in Quilty called Chevron and On) and it is for my first Great Nephew Joey.

Thank you for visiting today and I hope I provided some quilty inspiration. I hope yall enjoy the blog hop and be sure to go check out the other great posts today!!!