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Archive for the ‘sewing’ Category

Since I have started working for Callaway County, I have really enjoyed my three day weekends when they come around.  In January we had January 2nd and 16th off, February 13th and 20th and then we have to work 5 days a week for a while but I have been very productive during my 3 day weekends.

This past weekend (February 13th is observed Lincoln’s Birthday for us), I went to a sewing class in Centralia and made a pretty shoe box quilt using “Hometown” by Sweetwater (I think) and it turned out great, even though I modified the directions a little.  Sorry Kathy, I always seem to do that!  It is fairly simple using a layer cake (If you don’t know what that is, it is 42 10″ blocks precut for you!) and I added a border on mine.  Don’t know why, just did!

Anyway, here is the finished top, just need to piece the back and it is ready to go to visit Jan for a bit.

And while I was there, I couldn’t resist buying this fabric to make a quilt that I had my eye on this pattern for quite some time, just couldn’t find the main fabric that I really loved enough to make it.  Well, again Meredith and her shop just screamed for me to buy this lovely blue material.  I really love how this turned out.  After I finished it, it so makes me think of someone I work with.  Not even sure why but when I finished it Tuesday morning (before going to work), I hear this voice in my head, say Davine!!!  I even have enough to make another one (I think!!).

I know, very soon, the sewing machine will be put away and out will come the gardening tools and the lawn mower but I am making the most of my quilt making time right now.

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String quilting??

Sorry it has been a while since I blogged.  I know, Jimmy kept reminding me how long it has been.  The winter has been mild (until this week) and wonderful.  Very little snow and lots of days of 50 degrees+ temperatures.  As I look outside today, it is snowing and they are calling for 2-3 inches.  Being a County Employee, I had the day off anyway and had great plans to stay home and quillt.  Finished one up on Sunday morning that I will be posting about soon, working on another today and making the hubby (and Shawna) a yummy supper, thanks to a Pioneer Woman post!  Can’t wait to try it, she has never steered me wrong yet.

My good friend from Material Girl Quilt Shop in Centralia, Meredith,told me about a new type of quilting she was working on a few months back.  After she explained the process to me and I knew how many scrap pieces of material I had sitting around in the craft room, I knew I could make a queen size quilt pretty easily.  Meredith is an awesome inspiration to me and so helpful in anything quilted.  Between her and Jan, they continually feed my desire to piece quilt tops.  Meredith has so many beautiful fabrics in her store and Jan is an amazing machine quilter.  If you don’t know them, I suggest you visit Meredith at her shop on Sneed Street (right off the square) in Centralia.  Jan works out of her home but you can find her on Facebook at Prairie Queen Quilting.

So here is the direction Meredith gave me.

Cut paper into squares (she cut 8.5 x 11 into 8.5 x 8.5 squares), use a glue stick and glue the first strip onto the paper.  Get the next strip, put the right side to the right side of the “glued” on strip and sew a 1/4″ hem.  Iron each seam down so the strips lay nicely on the paper.  Continue in this manner until the paper is covered.  Trim off the excess (it makes it easier if you have an acrylic square to square it up).  Tear at the perforations off and your first square is complete.

I am going to put mine together with 1.5″ white strips between each square and maybe a border, haven’t decided yet.

What an awesome way to use up scraps (even what you trim off) and anything leftover that is 1.5″ wide, you can save for a postage stamp quilt (which takes something like 6400 squares for an 80 x 80″ quilt, remember!!).  I am close to finishing up all the blocks and then just need to set it together.  Wonder who will get this quilt?

The only drawback is if you don’t like to iron, you might recruit someone to iron the seams for you.  It is a must!

So here are pictures of my quilt.

First strip glued down to the paper!  Sorry you see all the scraps that I have laying around.

Finished squares ready to be set together.

Here it is.  I think it turned out pretty well and I still have scraps left over so I will have to work on another one soon or do something else with them.  Now just to finish a back and get it to Jan to quilt!  Then it will go in the blanket box waiting for someone to gift it to!

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We had a few weeks of wonderful spring weather and then off we went to Florida to come back to SNOW!!!  Yuck, we wanted to turn right around and go back.  Since then, it has been cold and snowy or rainy.  So with nothing else to do but study for my exam near the end of April and a pile of fabric, I decided to work on both. 

Here are the four quilt tops that I have finished and bagged up, ready to go to the quilter soon!

Line Art quilt in Purples

This quilt is for Brittany Bowman.  Shawna and her have been best friends forever, their birthday’s are the same day and they are more like sisters than friends.  Brit is a huge part of our family.  She loves purple and liked the other line art quilt I made so I started collecting purple fabric to make this for her.  I think I have 18 different patterns of material in this one.

True Love's Knot Quilt in Red and White

This quilt is for Jodi and Logan Mayfield.  Jodi and Shawna have been friends forever as well.  Jodi got married in November and they both are huge Cardinal fans (hence the red and white theme).  I saw this quilt and immediately thought of them.  It was a little more difficult to make, first because I created the pattern from a picture (I was too cheap to purchase the pattern) so I made my own and second it is a variation of a log cabin block, large blocks and if you didn’t pay attention, could get mixed up (which I did several times) and everything should match when put together.  It turned out beautiful but I was really glad to complete it.  Of course, it only has two colors but I love the pattern.

The third quilt is one that was fairly simple, even though it looks a little hard.  Just a lot of sewing. 

It is going to the ladies at story hour at our local library.  If you look closely, the black and white dots are the shelves and the “blocks” are books stacked on the shelves, some even have a nameplate.  The border is red and black and has children on it.  Have to expand the picture to see all the details but it was cute and fun to put together.  I had lots of fun picking out the material for the “books”.
 

Stacks and Strips Quilt

 
The fourth quilt is for our niece Hanna (she is also Jimmy’s god-daughter). 
 She saw me making Shawna’s quilt and wanted one as well.  She wanted all pink.  I think there are 15 different pink materials in this quilt and I also found some Disney material that had a saying from Tinkerbell on it.  Words only, it is the white material in the center of all the “H’s. 

Hanna's "H" Quilt

Most of my quilts have pieced backs, so it is like having two quilts in one (and you can reverse them if you want).  The one for the library and Hanna’s quilt do not, but I want them to be able to see the beautiful quilting done by Jan Forsee (who will do the machine quilting).  She does beautiful work and has such a wide choice of patterns.  I LOVE her work.
Can’t wait to get them back and take pictures of the finished product and share with you all.
Since I will probably be mowing next week sometime (if it dries up), the quilt piecing will slow down, but I am getting more material to work on more and I have to do one for a wedding coming up this summer.
And I am almost finished with the studying for the exam.  Well, I will continue to study up until I walk in the door for the exam!

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Last night it started snowing and we had about 4″ by the time we went to bed. This morning when we got up there was much more. Do you know how much I do not like snow? Well, Missouri is as far north as I will ever live!! I could live somewhere south and love it except all my family lives here so I guess I will stay.
Of course, if we didn’t have cold weather I couldn’t justify a wood stove could I? I love my wood stove, especially when we have ice and other people have no way to cook, we just lift the top of the stove and put a pot of something on it. Or like today, the wood stove is going and I put a pot of chili on it, no need to waste electricity cooking it when I have heat anyway. I am really conserving electricity today, a lamp on, the laptop and the serger in addition to the refrigerator, freezers and hot water heater which are always on.
The sun is shining finally today and reflecting off the snow so I am not needing artificial light. I guess if we have to have this weather, we should look at the bright side right?
And I guess I wouldn’t need quilts which I have been working on a lot right now. I finished the bed runner top last night and then realized I hadn’t purchased any batting or backing material. I think I can find enough backing material but no batting really slows down a quilting project. Maybe Saturday if I leave home early enough to go to Tara’s I may trek over to one of the fabric stores to pick up some. So I started a new quilt project today, it is called Line Art and is a strip quilt that has a ton of colors and can’t wait to see how it looks.
And since I was stuck in the house, I journaled two scrapbooks today! Couldn’t get on the school website to take my quiz, so I will have to get on that first thing in the morning but I did make good use of my time.
But winter, come on, I thought we had an agreement, remember January Thaw? Well we have not had one this year. New year’s eve does not count because that was officially December and New Year’s Day was terrible. As soon as a little snow melts, you bring more to cover the ground. If we promise to seed the waterways this weekend while there is snow, will you agree to not send anymore? I measured a couple of places in the yard today and it ranged from 5″ to 13″. Yes we have drifts and the UPS guy wouldn’t drive up the drive, he backed in part way and walked the rest of the way, well I met him part of the way down the driveway. Poor guy. And what about the MODOT guys, don’t you think it is about time to give them a break. I am sure they have racked up enough overtime to last them all winter.
That is ok, you only have 11 more days in January and February always is better by far than January, We have the Polar Bear Plunge to look forward to, Shawna and Brit’s birthdays, Valentine’s Day and there is only 28 days.
One last thing, thanks for allowing the days to be longer, I love the sun shining when my husband is heading home!

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Now I know I am not technically a fulltime housewife. I am a student/housewife/babysitter/grandma and whatever else comes along.
Whoever said a housewife should get bored staying home all day has evidently never attempted it for any length of time. Let me just give you an idea of how my day usually goes.
First I wake up and visit with Jimmy for a while before he goes off to work, get dressed, take my meds, think about eating breakfast, then sit down to the computer to start on school work. I usually study for three hours every day Tuesday thru Friday because I babysit the grandkids on Mondays (so very little gets done on Monday except playing with them).
By that time it is around 10:30 and I check e-mail, write a little on my blog, check FB to see what is going on in the world, you all are my news team! and in there somewhere I have usually forgotten to eat breakfast and it is now too late, I need to be thinking about lunch.  And I usually have dishes to put in the dishwasher or empty it.  Have to feed the wood stove during this cold winter a couple of times each day.  And pick up a little on the house.
Then depending on what day it is and what my schedule will allow, I start sewing, scrapbooking or cleaning house. I have so many ideas for quilts swirling around in my head that I don’t know if I will ever get them all done. I saw recently in a magazine a pattern for a bed runner, much like a table runner but it goes on the foot of your bed just as a decoration and I want to do one with something representing all 12 months in a topsy-turvy pattern. (any of my quilter friends I may be asking to swap fat quarters with you sometime) but that if for another post.

Right now, I have Shawna’s quilt finished and on the blanket box in our room, Tara’s is sitting on the table, waiting on the backing material to arrive (hopefully this week) so I can finish it and contact the machine quilter to complete that project.  I have a tote that I have started that is almost complete, just need to finish the handles and lining, sew them on and done!  Start looking for material for the next project, I want to make some Christmas potholders and have the material for them as well, so might start on them next but that will not take very long.  Working on crocheting a rag rug but have run out of rags to cut up to crochet, need to look for more of them. 

Scrapbooking is coming along rather quickly, I have been working on it a little every night while Jimmy is watching TV.  Need to journal and get some of my completed pages in albums now.  Last week I completed 195 pages which I think is a record for me.  I need to place an order with Creative Memories for more supplies so I can get everything in albums, and journaled, think I will work on that tomorrow!  How much can you journal if you get about 7 hours to write?  I bet I can finish a whole bunch.  All my Christmas cards and photos are now in an album and I am so excited but I don’t think I even printed off last years Christmas Pictures so I better go through everything and double-check!  Time to order more pictures as well I think.

Every week at least twice a week, I try to carry in wood so Jimmy doesn’t have to.  It is hard to do when it is dark and there is snow or ice on the ground and since I am home, I can pick and choose the days I do this, and you can bet it will not be Thursday this week since they are calling for more snow. 

Menu planning has never been a big thing around here, sometimes we eat supper and sometimes we don’t.  I always try to have something ready and this usually depends on Jimmy eating lunch and how late he ate.  Sometimes he doesn’t take lunch break until 2:00 and is not ready to eat again at 6:00.  When we have the kids, I try to have something ready for them right at 6 so they can eat and Jimmy can watch the news. 

All of this is in addition to all the other things that are required to keep a house running, cleaning, sweeping the floors which seems like a daily occurence here, laundry, dishes, picking up toys, and keeping up with the mountain of recycling that seems to accumulate weekly here.  One of the reasons, I try to go to town once a week, to drop off recyclables and get groceries. 

So if you ever decide you want to stay home but are afraid you will be bored, don’t worry, something will find you to keep you occupied.  Just make sure you are doing what you want and not what other people have planned for you.  Enjoy being a stay at home whatever you might be (as long as you enjoy it and can afford to do so).  I know I have been blessed this past year to be able to stay at home and work on my schooling and everything else has been fringe benefits, but I would like to be finished with school.

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Remember when I told you my resolutions and the first one was to make a schedule every week of what I want to accomplish that week.  So school starts on January 11th and I need to start working on that schedule.  I think if I allow myself 3 hours every day for school work, I should be great, then on to other things.

Since Jimmy leaves for work around 7:15 every day and gets home around 5:30 that gives me just a little over 10 hours to get school work and projects done each day.  Of course, on Mondays I have the kids so my time is a little limited for my projects, we go to story hour in the mornings and if I am lucky, they both nap at the same time so I can study then.   So that will just leave me an hour left to study on Mondays. 

Tuesdays I will probably start the day studying and by 10 am or so, I can work on other projects.  Maybe Tuesdays need to be dedicated to scrapbooking after school work, since I am sooooo far behind.  I have Jimmy working on  a couple of shelves for my scrapbooks (that is step two of getting organized) so I will need to fill them up. 

Wednesday will start out the same way, studying until 10 am, then on to sewing.  Hopefully I can get many projects finished for Christmas early and not have to stress over what to buy later in the season. 

Thursdays, more studying (man I should be really smart!) and who knows what I will do, hopefully more scrapbooking or sewing, maybe a little housework and grocery shopping, eating lunch with friends.

Fridays, study, study if I don’t have it done already, then laundry and all the rest of the housework.  Prepare for the weekend.

Hopefully the weekends will be reserved for things Jimmy and I want to do.

This schedule should see me through the first part of March when the semester ends (I have 8 week semesters) and I will have to revise my schedule because somewhere in there I will have to add mowing and yard work to the schedule.

Pray that I at least try to follow this schedule.  And my life gets a little more organized and I don’t get further behind. And most importantly, that I meet these goals and by writing them down,  you all will hold me accountable.

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Yesterday, I was on Facebook and a friend of mine posted that the next 5 (I think) people who posted what they wanted her to make them would get it, the only strings was to repost and offer others the opportunity to do the same.  I didn’t post to her because A) I know she is a very busy person and didn’t want to add to her stress level and B) I was a little afraid what people would ask of me because I have been posting about all my quilting escapades lately and C) school starts on Monday and I wasn’t sure how much time I would have to dedicate to this project, but I do have an idea for paying it forward another way.

Since I have been on a quilt kick lately, a couple of the women in our church and I have been talking about making quilts.  There are tons of opportunities to give back to your community and our community is very well-known for doing just that. 

There are things like “The Linus Project” and “Quilts for Kids” that focus on children’s needs and there are other projects that focus on other needs as well.  I was talking to our former preacher the other day and in her new church, they have a quilting group that makes quilts for people who are sick.  One lady uses her’s when she goes in for her chemo treatments, saying it makes her feel so peaceful, like Jesus and the church family has wrapped their arms around her while she is wearing this quilt.

Maybe that is why quilts are so important to us, it is like a human touch when we need it and the feeling of warmth it brings is like the glow of love we receive from people who are important to us.  I remember that is one thing Jimmy’s grandmother wanted when she lived with us.  She had a purple double wedding ring quilt that she had pieced herself and even though she was 90 years old, she wanted that quilt on her bed every day.  I have no idea when she made it for her and Grandpa but it was an old friend to her.  She made each of her grandson’s one and gave it to them when they got married, we still have ours and use it because she said they were to be used not put away.  It always makes me smile to take that quilt out and put it on the bed in cold weather.  At my grandmother’s house (Dad’s mom), she always kept a quilt on her feather bed.  Talk about heaven on a cold night.  Who cares if there were eight of you that wanted to sleep in that feather bed, somehow we made it work and loved every minute of it.  Of course, we never had to make that bed, thanks to our Aunt Dorothy 🙂  She was the best, very strict but also very indulgent to all those nieces and nephews.

So now they don’t teach sewing in schools.  Why you ask, well it would be because of declining enrollment of those types of classes according to the department of education, and by those classes, I am talking about life skill classes, cooking, sewing, family dynamics, what us old timers called Home Economics.  There are 4-H classes that teach sewing and I am very thankful for that, but what about all those kids that don’t belong to 4-H?  Well, there are really cool people like Kathy, Margaret, Agnes and others that are willing to teach others how to sew (and if you are lucky, quilt) but you have to know where to find them.  This year for Christmas, I heard more people say they wanted a sewing machine!  Wow, maybe there is hope for this country.

I think if each of us that could sew could teach someone else how to sew and pass it along, soon most of the people would know how to sew again.  No it may not be cheaper than purchasing garments from the store but you will have a one of a kind piece of clothing that you made yourself.  OR you could make something for someone else, a pair of pants, a shirt or even a quilt and give to someone less fortunate than yourself.  How difficult would it be to teach a person (young or old) to sew squares together to make a quilt for a baby that doesn’t have anything.  Margaret, why did you get this idea started in my head today?  You always have such a clear vision of what is needed in our community and can usually make things like this happen.

Jimmy’s grandmother was always big on saving clothing that was no longer used and making quilt pieces from them.  Was she environmentally conscious all those years ago?  I don’t think she was intentionally but she lived during the depression when they made everything last and maybe we should adopt that philosophy again, so next time you are going through your clothes and you find something that has a worn place or is not serviceable for clothing (if it is, take it to the local resale shop so someone else can use it), throw it in your stack of material for quilts.  I may have to talk to my friend that works at a resale shop and have her keep clothes that they can not sell for me to add to my pile of material. 

Would you be interested in helping sew a quilt for a child/man/woman who needs one?  If you are interested, go to http://www.quiltsforkids.org/patterns/request/ they will send you the material to make the quilt except the batting and thread and you have to promise to send it back within 4-6 weeks completed, you will pay return postage as your donation to the organization. Or go to http://www.projectlinus.org/faqs.html and they explain how to get involved with this project.

I am sure any of the cancer centers in Central Missouri would work with you if you are interested in starting a chapter for them.  Most of the nursing homes I know would be more than happy to work with you as well.  If you don’t know how to sew, ask a friend to teach you or find a friend that loves to sew and doesn’t have the  money to purchase supplies and buy them for this friend to make the quilt.  It doesn’t cost that much if everyone helps out.

And even if we decide to form a chapter and start meeting to make quilts for kids in some form or whoever, that is not what I have in mind for paying it forward.  You see, there are a group of men that always cook for us on the 4th of July celebration in Hatton.  Jimmy always brings another shirt to change into because he always seems to get his dirty during this event.  Well, after a sewing class I took recently (thanks again Kathy), I found out how easy it would be to make them all matching aprons and have a local lady machine embroidery “Hatton Extension Club” on them and maybe each of their names as a thank you for doing this for us.  How many guys would love to have their own “Grilling Apron”?  If you know one of these guys, please don’t say anything to them, I would like to give this gift to them at an Extension Club Meeting.  And I might even make the person that decorates a new table runner that uses patriotic material.  So Kathy, that satisfies your 5 people (maybe more, I think there are 5 guys that cook). 

So if you could choose one thing for me to “pay it forward” for you, what would you choose?  To my daughters, remember I am not working and am spending all my money on school.

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