I often claim to have a Quilting "Hobby" in attempts to hide my obsession with fabric and color.

Saturday, May 18, 2019

No quilting, sewing, or relaxing.

As the title suggests, it has been a really HARD last two weeks.

One May 6th, my family made the very painful decision to let go of our 12 yo Pommie, Maggie. She came into our lives as a puppy, and was a great adventure. She was a little younger than my youngest child, and was a staple in our house as we added new kitties. She as a goofy girl with some very bad breeding, but a heart of gold. From a glorious maned Pomeranian, to a scruffy patchy old timer, she was always true to her family. Cancer eventually beat her down, and we gave her the best end we could muster.

The same day, Jupiter, the kitty that walked literally into our lives, and proclaimed my husband as his own, decided it was time to have a full medical crisis. So, back to the Vet we went to see what we could do to make him better. Into "isolation" he went with a treatment plan. The vet called to check on him a few days later, and I was pleased to report he was on the mend. So I thought. Shortly after that, as cats like to do, he tanked again. Back to the vet, and home now with a small pharmacy.

If it wasn't enough stress, the Vermont weather decided to take one more stab at Swinter (Winter behavior in Spring). Rain, rain, and more rain. Oh, and snow. Thankfully, on the mountains, and not down in our Valley, but the temps were NOT spring like.

My head decided it had an opportunity to strike and oh did it. A full on Migraine with Vertigo, Nausea, and a healthy dose of Panic.

And to top it all off, I was told by a VERY dear childhood friend, that their health had taken a very severe turn for the worse, and Hospice was in the immediate future. This is a person that I admire, enjoy talking to, and have shared health issues of both theirs and my husband. Parenting is tough, and we have talked extensively about helping our children through the trials of a very ill parent.

But, now it is the weekend again. My meds are starting to work, my friend's pain is being managed, time has reminded me that we focus on good memories and not dwell on the silence, Jupiter is his usual spunky self again, and my husband and children are well.

Not every week will be a stellar sewing week I realize, and sometimes, we need to slow down and see life for what it really is. A journey, and a series of hurdles, that make us wiser, stronger, and more prepared for the next round.

It's not a gorgeous sunny day, but it's warmer, and not raining. So, I will open the windows, put out the flowers, and maybe play with fabric. Or read a book. And absolutely, go to the barn.

Monday, April 29, 2019

Spring Break 2019 (mom style)

So, what does Spring Break look like around here? Well, some sun, some rain, some .....snow. Yep, April, and there's still snow on the mountains, and a few flakes trying to land in our yard.  But that's ok. We have horses. 

Becca and I spent a bit of the week riding. Finally got out on the trails. So excited, I forgot to pull out the camera. Tuesday was a special ride because Becca got to take a lovely mare out for a ride that boards at out barn. We went out with the barn owner and had a blast. This mares owner asked if someone could spend some time with her, and Becca was all about it!

Of course, we also did house stuff, cat stuff, and other stuff. You know, it wouldn't be break if I didn't ask my teenager to clean her room at least 50 times. No pictures needed of course....any parent knows.

I took some time to clean the studio area. Parted ways with some supplies I won't use, for a machine I no longer have. And some project items that I abandoned. Plus I "found" a few of my older quilts that just got tucked away. Can't sell them, but will probably gift them at some point.

And then, the quilts. I managed to knuckle down and finish two quilts I have been sitting on. I have an addiction to fabric. Which leads to a love of making tops. But then, I slow down. I am NOT a fan of the pining to quilt stage. I dread making the back, the sandwhich, and the pinning. And then picking the thread, and fighting with my machine over tension issues. But that's another post completely. 

So, two tops, quilted, bound, and proofed. Ready for homes. And funny enough, now I want to "finish" more. Including a stunner my mom sent me to do. So, I guess the pretty fabrics and new patterns shall wait a little longer. 

And if you are still reading, I would love some feedback on any Seller experience with Etsy. I am going to dip my toes in that pool, and see if I can sell my treasures there.....Would love to hear the good, bad, and whatever. 

Till the next post, keep your world colorful!

Saturday, March 30, 2019

What a week looks like.

Sometimes I realize I do more than sew/quilt/hoard fabric. I also have a house to run, people to feed (my family), and pets to admire. 

We recently added a new kitten to the family. This was a big deal after the year we had, and it has been a rebirth of sorts for us. Her name is Chloe and she is a pure bread Maine Coon. Let me tell you, so far, she lives up to everything you can read about them, and more. Loving, affectionate, people focused, but also a real sprite, and trouble maker. The other cats have learned to tolerate/adore her, and everyone has their role in her up bringing. Even Sophie wants to be in on the kitten love.

Chloe wants to be my new work supervisor, making sure I stay on task.

Becca and I had a fun adventure out in the snow. 

Sophie finally won over the kitten.

And Milo has survived another winter with only a minor accident (and not so minor vet bill.)

 So this past week was a whirlwind of unexpected late season snow, topsy turvy temps, and a few mishaps. But we survived, and got lots of pictures in the process.

Now to finish another quilting project, move on to two more, and then to hopefully start creating more tops. I had intended to quilt more of the UFO's but I find that it pains me to go too long without building a new one. 

Saturday, March 23, 2019

A new binding.

This is the quilt I just finished. A beautiful pattern called "Half and Half" by Missouri Quilt Company. I used a collection by Nancy Rink. Prints, not Batiks (I know, right?). Backed it in a super soft, brick red flannel, and used a blush colored hand dyed batik (there it is) as the binding. Hung it up in my space (Bookcase) and took pictures. Then I left it hanging.


Well, to admire my work before it (hopefully) sells. To motivate me to finish another. And to scrutinize my work. And I did. And the more I looked at it, the more unhappy I became with it. Now, I know we are often our own worst critics. But we are also the most honest. And the more I looked, the more I realized what was bothering me. The Binding.

Usually I work with a 2.25 inch strip. It gives me a tight, rolled edge. I sew it on, and then also use my machine to sew it down. I KNOW there is a huge debate out there over front to back, back to front, hand sewn or machine sewn. I choose to double machine sew it because 1. I am not entering in a quilt contest, and 2. My objective it to make it as durable as possible. aka. Washable, dryable, kid friendly. (But that's another post all together.)

I realized what was bothering me were wavy, flat spots in my binding. Places where I could feel all the layers of the binding, but NO quilt. Not. Ok. Then it dawned on me, I had used a different ruler to cut my strips, had gone on auto pilot and used the marked points to cut. Those are 2.5 inch marks.

Lots of thread
So, the real work began. The quilt came down, and the seam ripper, trash basket, and clip light came out. 3 nights of watching (listening) to TV as I slowly ripped out a full size quilts machine sewn binding.

As I did this, I realized I had also sewn way too close to the edge. So, at least that was one less line of thread to rip. I could just sew in from the original spot, using up some of this extra fabric, instead of completely removing it and cutting off a 1/4 inch of fabric.

So, then it was back to the machine. And since another issue was the original thread was red, I used it as a chance to change up my color and use a better matched blush thread. Kept the red on the back.

Now, the quilt is finished, with a nice rolled binding, in a size I can admire and be proud of. I have come to recognize my own evolution as a crafter. 10 years ago, I would have been frustrated, and thought "oh, well. Live and learn. I will do better on the next one." But not now. Now, I realize it's not about the time it takes to make a project and finish it, but the quality of the work, and the pride of knowing it's done correctly, and well. I stand behind my statement, that I stand behind my work. I make quilts to be used, seen, loved, and worn out. But over years, not months.

Tuesday, March 5, 2019

2019 Already?

So, I realized after several YEARS of sewing, selling, and growing, that I had done NOTHING with my sites. And since Word of Mouth is a large part of my business, it was overdue and time to update.

In the time since I have posted last, I have:

*Become an equestrian and owner of 2 horses
*Become the mother of two adult children (they graduated HS and "aged" out of the home)
*Become the mother of a teen again (the youngest is now 13 going on 30)
*Said goodbye to some amazing pets, and gained new ones.
*Added a Long Arm sit down machine to my studio
*Discovered a love for Rulers and Batiks.

My work has taken on a new direction, and I am finding I love working in many colors I never used to consider. Besides my beloved Blues, Purples, and Greens, I have started exploring Reds, Oranges, and earthy tones.

I made a number of quilt tops and then let them sit. My focus as I enter into 2019, is to finish what I started and sell them. Some I have finished and am selling as it. Others, I am posting so that a potential buyer can have some input to color and backing material. I do not have a pantograph or computerized machine, so I still quilt in a more overall simple edge to edge. But in my time, I am mastering the art of the rulers. So much fun!

The other difficulty I have had with keeping up with posting is the iCloud photo hurdle. I take all my pictures with my phone, not a stand alone camera. And it is not as easy to upload to my platform anymore. So, while I figure this out, I apologize for the lack of pictures. It will be something I figure out soon I hope. 

Meanwhile, so pictures I do have, to show what I have been doing, and where my time has been spent.
 Bonny Hunters 2018 Mystery Quilt "Good Fortune"
 Quilt I am selling called "Color Study" with a beautiful Jinny Beyer Fabric line.
My second "Pick and Choose" quilt, sold.

A quilt my mother made, that I quilted on the long arm with rulers.

Thursday, December 17, 2015

2015 Is almost over, but my quilting has just begun!

Holy cow! Almost a whole year has passed without me posting. I guess it's true. I prefer to sew over typing. I know blogging, and maintaining a website are crucial for a business, but it's my least favorite part. I just want to create!

So, on to the fun part; time to recap some of my work this year. As usual, many quilt TOPS were made and hung for "quilt it later" status. And when I finally decided in November it was time to stop making, and start finishing, my faithful Janome MC6600 said NO! I took my work horse to be serviced, and much to the technicians frustration, even he couldn't get the FMQ setting (feed dogs down) to form a nice stitch. Different threads, new needles, tons of tension adjustments....it just wasn't happening. And this is a machine that I am very good about servicing and keeping clean. Prettiest piecing work you could ever wish for, and simple FMQ with the accu feed system in place, but any real attempt to do stipples or pebbles, and the thread breaks, eye lashing appears, or the dreaded bobbin thread loops start. A long talk with the Janome rep, and it was determined that my machine was just not behaving. So the question became to upgrade and sell it, or move into Mid/Long arm machines. Since the Janome is an incredible work horse, and my mother was so willing and wanting to help me out, I became the proud new owner of my first Long Arm Sit Down machine the week of Thanksgiving. And of course, it's Lily approved.

And now, the quilting frenzy has begun.

I am naming my series of little quilts (36 -64 inch square quilts) "Lil Bits" Quilts, for the little bits of fabrics they are made from. Some are scrappy, some are from Jelly Rolls, but they are are all basic patterns where I can experiment with layout and color, and learn how to do more than Stitch in the Ditch Quilting. A girls could spend days learning about thread weights, needle sizes, and tension combinations, oh my! And I haven't even really begun to learn the stitch regulator that came with my new girl....

So, some of these I have posted before as just tops, and now here they are with their quilting, backing fabrics, and fun bindings. The quilting will get more detailed as I get more comfortable on my new machine, but what fun I am already having.

 I plan to post these for sale as Lap/Chair throws. They are all made of 100% Cotton Fabrics, Batting, and Threads (unless otherwise marked) and make great throws on recliners, the floor for kids, or just to warm a lap.
 This is a shot of the work space before Brian made me a built in cutting station and all my tools got moved.

 I have also made a few gorgeous quilt tops and plan to save them for quilting once I am more skilled. This one so far is by far my favorite:

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Well, where did a year go? Here it is 2015, and the coldest day yet, and I realized I haven't updated my blog in 9 months. Yikes!  Then, I discovered not only haven't I updated my blog, but that I cannot find my pictures. I got a new iPhone, and I LOVE the camera. But I don't love the iCloud, sharing, or any of that silly business. So, I have to take some time, take lots of pictures, and figure out how to post them where I can then use them. But here's a few, to prove I wasn't a lazy bum the whole year. 

This little gem was an exercise in patience and justification of fabric hoarding. I had all these little square (2 inch) drops, so I made them into a little eclectic lap quilt. 

This is a paper pieced quilt, that my mother sent me the kit for, to convince me how fun paper work it. I can say she's right. And the accuracy is a major bonus. All purple batiks, even the light blocks.
This was my first go at an applique quilt, where the entire focus was the applique work. Fun, but very frustrating. The background fabric is very white and sheer, but once quilted, it will be a very nice  piece.
Omg, what was I thinking? Well, lets see. I had gotten this amazing Go! Cutter for Christmas last year, and thought, well of course Hexies are hard to cut out, so a cutter will make them super easy. To cut. NOT to sew. But again, a great use of my hoarded stash of Batiks that my Mom sends my way. Again, light background won't be so sheer once quilted.

And this is Ginger's surprise Birthday Quilt. Had to tell, but the border is this lush, rich royal purple batik.  She likes Southwestern patterns, and I put my own twist on the colors. 

But I am still missing pictures for several other quilts I made. Off to find them or retake them!