Saturday, January 30, 2010


I got the train quilt top done! This means I can move onto some other quilt projects that have been lurking in my head the past month. :)

There was 288 HSTs... just about wiped me out.

I timed myself, it took 50 minutes to just iron them open.

Then it took another 20 minutes to clip off the dog ears.

Good thing I didn't try king sized, it needs 972 HSTs.

24 blocks, and I managed to bust around 5.5 yards for this top.

I'm down to just inches on the blue, yellow and train fabric. That left either white or green for the binding... and any sane person would pick green!

I opted to put sashing on this quilt, even though the original directions didn't call for it. I just couldn't bear the idea of matching up all those HSTs seams. Yes, I'm a wimp. :)

I was hoping that the white in the quilt would give a railroad crossing look. Yellow yard, green shrubbery. Eh... pretty good for being all from stash except the train fabric. I really don't buy a lot of focus fabrics.

If we end up having a baby boy, I'll have a good quilt for him to grow into. It measures about 52x78. Not quite twin sized, but good for a child under 10. If I don't have a boy... we can always try again. ;)


Saturday, January 23, 2010

A new mat

A couple posts ago, I mentioned that I wanted to get a bigger cutting mat. I finally did! JoAnn's was having a 40% sale on notions, 50% sale on Kona cotton fabric, and through my guild, I have a 10% discount card for all purchases made. It just means that I got $65 of quilting goods for $35. :)

Not only is there double the cutting width, but my rotary cutter slides SO much smoother! I felt like swearing I had put a new blade on, but I hadn't. I think the biggest thing with my old mat, it just had a million little grooves from 4+ years of use. I was always needing to clean off little bits of green rubber from my blade. Yet if I didn't press harder, it wouldn't cut the fabric. Now I'm just whizzing through the fabric on the new mat. I did switch from Olfa to Dritz, merely due to the cost.

Currently I'm working on a train themed quilt... and frankly my heart isn't very into it. Yet I know if I don't push through and finish it, it'll never get done! I want to at least get the top made before moving onto a new project. I think the 288 HSTs really kicked down my excitement for the quilt. And it's just a lap size one! :P


Friday, January 15, 2010

For the guild

At the last guild meeting, I snagged a baggie with 5" blocks and 6" border fabric, to make into this top.

What I had in mind, and what actually came out are two different things, but you can a semblance of a pattern going on for the most part. At the top, I had to get creative since I didn't have a perfect balance of brown and blue blocks.

Every year, the quilt guild asks that each member participates in at least one charity quilt. You can make your own or you can work with one of the kits they provide. Sometimes the kits are to put together a top, other times it can be a quilt to finish - just take what you're capable of doing.

I figured I should get started on 2010's charity quilt sooner than later, since my hands are going to be very full with the coming baby. :) And I bet the guild would forgive me if I couldn't find the time to get one in for 2011, but I hope that's not needed!


Thursday, January 07, 2010

Half way there

Today marks 20 weeks exactly, half way done. :)

I was thrilled that I made it to 2010 in normal clothes (non-stretch jeans), but on January 3rd, I caved and switched to maternity bottoms. I'm so glad my mom bought me a few back in October, I'm having a hard time finding stuff that works!

I tried on a pair of jeans I found at the thrift store - they were long! Everything about them was good, except they were really snug in the knees. I never had that issue before. When I got home, I asked Chris "are my knees fat?" Poor guy, he didn't know what to think or say. ;)

The funny thing is that I've only gained half an inch. Before getting pregnant, my waist was 41", then as soon as morning sickness hit, I puffed to 43" and didn't budge for the longest time. Yesterday I measured 43.5". I think it's a combination of losing some back fat at the same time I'm putting it on the front. Problem is my normal clothes don't want to conform to the shape change! :P

How are things going? Pretty good. I've got a midwife appointment next week - I'm sure it'll be rather routine, but she wanted to see a bit of belly showing this time. I've only gained 2 pounds over the holidays, and still 13 pounds less than my pre-pregnancy weight. Hopefully breastfeeding will be kind to my body also. :)

The baby is kicking up a storm these days - thankfully during the DAY. I'm not woken up with little jabs in the middle of the night. Haven't had any luck in getting Chris to feel movements yet (apparently his hands have a calming effect), but we're sure it'll happen in a good time. And we've gotten nowhere on names. Well, he's really good at eliminating stuff. :D

No more baby stuff purchased since that box of wipes. I keep telling myself that I'll hit garage sales as the weather warms up. Maybe I'm just waiting for it all to rain down from the sky. ;)


Monday, January 04, 2010

A cleaner room for 2010

After Christmas, I figured the best thing I could do for my quilting was clean out 2009's messes.

I started off with my sewing machine. A bit of lint had built up from all the free-motioning.

I also put in a fresh needle. If you can't remember the last time you put a new needle in, it's time for a change!

Time to retire my free-motion starter. It's just two pieces of fabric with some leftover batting. This really has prevented moments of frustration over bad tension - it's on the scrap piece, and not the quilt. No need to get friendly with my seam ripper!

For whatever reason, certain Essential threads aren't holding their tension. I just blame the age (2+ years old) and the air (very moist in the summer, rather dry in the winter). Thankfully the bad free-motion threads still piece just fine, so it's not a total loss.

My cutting table certainly has seen better days. :P

I have a habit of slicing off the ends and then pushing them to the right. It's not so bad when it's fabric, but when I'm trimming completed quilts, it piles up real fast!

Nice and clean now. I can find my rulers, I only have 2 projects on the table; this is much more manageable.

Sometimes I ponder on buying a larger mat, mine is only 18x24. I think a 24x36 would be just lovely, but somehow I never remember about that when I go to JoAnn's. I guess it's not that important. ;)

I figured the year's end was also the perfect time to refold the pile of quilts. Don't want lifelong creases in them!

Refolding quilts will probably end up being one of the baby's chores down the road - they're perfect for it, since they would fold them lopsidedly. :)

All refolded, and a couple more quilts added. I was letting them pile up in the bedroom for no logical reason.

I might need to relocate some of the quilts, to shorten the pile. The cutting table is to the right of the stack, and since I'm left handed, I keep whacking my elbow into the quilts. Thankfully it doesn't hurt, but one of these days it'll take me by surprise and I'll drop an open rotary cutter on my other hand or something.

Don't think I'm perfect though, there's one part of the room I haven't even touched! The fabric and batting.

I kept digging through my fabric for "the piece I KNOW I have!" at Christmas. No time to refold it then. The batting pile is half back-less quilts, as I don't have ready backing pieces for them. At the bottom is the big ol' yellow bag with at least 30 yards of batting left. I definitely have everything I need for making quilts from start to finish. :)

Is your space all set for a new year of sewing? If not, what'cha waiting for? Santa Claus? ;)


Friday, January 01, 2010

Ann's NYE 2009 Mystery

Yesterday Ann had her New Year's Eve mystery. You got a teaser of the fabric back in November.

I'm pretty pleased with how mine turned out. The only thing I would have changed is the yellow for some light pink. No matter, a butterfly border should pull the quilt all together.

I've already started a twin size quilt with train fabric. I figured I better start making some more boy quilts, since my husband's family thinks that's what we're having. I think that since we're already going "against the grain" (midwife, no OB, no ultrasounds, etc) the baby might be everything they DON'T think it is. ;)