One of *those* Days

After a long weekend getting a TON of house stuff done with my husband, I have to catch up on all of the other mundane day-to-day that keeps life.  Paying bills cutting out work quilts, making phone calls, getting new contact info from my brother who just moved, making worksheets, texting my mom, blah, blah, blah…

It’s one of those days, I know I’m getting a lot done, but it just feels like I’m spinning my wheels.  It makes me a little crazy.  I only have a 3 day quilt week this week, with the holiday yesterday and a meeting on Thursday for Camp Create, and having a work quilt to do makes this week look like not a lot of fun.  I will be spending the whole week either working, shopping, in meetings, or doing laundry. Welcome to adulthood, right?  :)

Ah well, I know it will be ok.  Work quilting is still quilting, which is better than working retail, right?!

Piece!

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Appliqué and Cold Brew

Well, I’m stuck right now in appliqué hell.  I’m splitting my time alternating between the sashing and cornerstone blocks for my Plain and Fancy Quilt that I have talked about, well, honestly on SO many occasions now.  I’m inching closer to the finish line, but ugh, it’s seemingly miles away at this point.  It took me three days to do the first batch of sashing strips, and it took me two days to make the first set of appliqué cornerstones.  I have three sets of each to make.  All this, just to avoid making the Mario baby quilt I have on order right now… ;)

Trying to focus has been a little challenging for both me and for the dogs.  They IMG_0067are wanting to be outside for hours at a time with the cool beautiful weather.  I don’t blame them.  The cool sunny days might be part of the reason I’m having so much trouble focusing myself.

I had to close the door after I found Pixel laying in the chair on the screen porch after being outside for TWO hours.  Taco has been inside on the couch for an hour at that time!  I’m sure they will want another hearty play session in about an hour and a half.

I am desperately behind on laundry.  I have SO much that needs to be done and I think even more that needs to be put away.  My closet is a disaster area, so this weekend one of our major projects (of which we have SEVERAL) is going to be gutting the closet and going through everything.  ugh.  We also have to empty and clean the hot tub, do all of the yard work and maybe plant some flowers, but that’s it…  Right.

On the upside, I am trying my hand at cold-brewed coffee.  It is working away in my French Press right now.  I will will have to run to Starbucks for some syrup tomorrow before we partake in the goodness.  Hopefully it will be good. :)

Well, I should be back to work, I’m not sure what I will be starting on.  Let’s see where the afternoon takes me!

Piece!

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Unlikely Heros

I have talked about pressing before, and I have talked about some of the problems I have with it, I talked about that mostly here.

Well, I’m still on Tiny Star Sashing Street in Plain and Fancy Town, I feel like for as long as these sections are taking, I might as well get a house on this street.  However, today, I hit a BIG pressing snag.  I had HUGE stains/spots on the white parts of two of my tiny purple stars.  Now, granted I could have re-made them, I have enough fabric, but I was like, really?!  REALLY?!  Best Press isn’t supposed to spot.  Did I scorch them?  Is there any possible way to remedy this?  Well, here’s the after to prove that there is…

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Yes, it’s true, I was too afraid to take a before, they were that bad.  You can still see a tiny spot in the center triangle on the bottom of the right hand star, but compared to the stains you could have seen from space they started out as, I think these came out AMAZING!

How did she do it, you ask?!

Step 1:  Had a mental melt-down, thinking I would have to recut and make two of these tiny stars.

Step 2:  Consulted the internet.  Google, is it possible to get out iron scorch marks?!  PLEASE!?!

Step 3:  Found some instructions, scoffed, I don’t think that will work.

Step 4:  Tried them!  Started by spraying the stained pieces with my spray bottle of just water.  that seems to get the fabric actually absorbing stuff, and not just bouncing it off the top.

Step 5:  Pour on a bit of Hydrogen Peroxide on the spotted sections and rub it in with a Q-tip.

Step 6:  Dip a different Q-tip into some Ammonia and rub that over the spotted sections.  I rubbed a little harder and used a touch more where the staining was very dark.

Step 7:  Wait 10-15 minutes, but don’t let the fabric dry.  When mine started to just a bit, I gave it a quick spritz with my water bottle.

Step 8:  My instructions were for a garment, which I am obviously not working with, it said to flood with water then wash in Oxy-Clean.  I simply sprayed them down very well with plain water, then set them on a folded hand towel.  I folded the  rest of the towel over the stars and pressed, then rolled the towel up.

Step 9:  I did all of this on my ironing board, so I sprayed it down very well with water and then used my iron to dry it.  I left my stars rolled up in my hand towel while I did that.  Then I simply unrolled them, and gently pressed them dry with my iron, gave them a light spritz of Best Press, and they are back in the done pile.

Whew!  Dodged a bullet there!

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In Fashion?

I’m going to be honest with you, I live in New Hampshire, that’s not really the center of the fashion universe.  Boston is not really known as fashion forward like the nearby high fashion of Manhattan, and New Hampshire?  Well, maybe a few steps away from that…  Quite a few.

I’m kinda used to used to living “off trend” as it were.  I grew up in a very small town in the Midwest.  The “coolness” of the coasts took, well honestly, YEARS to reach my small town.  All that being said, I still sorta get it.  I work in color and pattern and trends.  I may not dress in haute couture, but I can understand how it works and what it is.

Driving along the main road in my New Hampshire town this morning, I witnessed someone walking with a Marilyn Manson shirt on.  I immediately wondered, is that guy being ironic, serious, or was it 1995 again?  Was I going to turn on the radio and hear a mixture of Hootie and the Blowfish, NIN and Natalie Merchant?  Well, we may never know the answers as to whether this Manson fan was serious or not, but I am pretty sure it’s not 1995 again.

20 years have passed, and I’m not just about to graduate from High School, thank goodness!  But I was amused to have that moment of flashback to then.

IMG_0062Back to the present and reality, it is spring for real, finally!  We had to put in the A/C in the bedroom on Sunday.  It was SO hot.  We haven’t used it since, however.  The lilacs are out and they smell so yummy and bring back so many memories of my grandma’s house in the spring.  The neighbors have all sorts of flowering trees and bushes.  The dogs are enjoying the warmth and they are basking in the sun whenever possible.

IMG_0059Today, I am working on Plain and Fancy, I have lots of little piles, I have cut all but the background for all of the pieced sashing stars.  Is this quilt still in fashion?  I think so, yeah.  It’s been out for a couple of years, and it’s not necessarily my colors or fabrics, but because of good design and color choices, it is so striking and I think it’s classic, timeless, and therefore still in fashion, and I think it will always be in fashion.

Marilyn Manson t-shirts, though?  I’m not so sure if those are all that timeless. :)

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Chug…

IMG_0058I have chugged away and finished my wedding gift quilt…  Finished all but tacking down the binding that is.  For some reason, I have been putting that off for a couple of days.

I have fabric to start a special quilt for my oldest niece who graduates from high school next year.  I want to make her a quilt for her dorm room.  Right now, I’m thinking I will make that same Asterisk pattern, but sideways and doubled in order to fit a twin XL bed.  I’m going to play around a bit in EQ first to make sure that is really what I want to do, but I have got enough fabric to do either way.

I volunteered to work at my church’s VBS-type program this summer.  They put me as co-in-charge of the art department.  I am a little bit crapping myself, but I think it should be ok, I have been crafting for a LONG time.  And it’s just little kids, right?! :)  At least I’m paired up with the pastor’s wife, and she has been doing this for 10 years.  I think she will have some great guidance.

Today I am trying to point myself in my next direction.  Do I work on Plain and Fancy or do I start something new?  I don’t have any immediate deadlines, so I am a little rudderless.  I am sure I will figure it out just in time to take the weekend off. :)

IMG_0226I took this picture while I was on vacation, and I feel like it would be a cool abstract quilt, maybe I will try to figure that out. :)

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Have You been Wondering?

Have you wondered where I have been as of late?  Well, I assure you that I have IMG_0053IMG_0054been working, but also, my Mom was in town for 2 weeks…  The dogs were just as thrilled as I was to have her here:

They both love their grandma.  She loves to sit with them and pet them and pet them! :)  That’s a good grandma!

While she was here, my mom and I each made a quilt!  I finished mine within the 2 weeks she was here; she got only half of her binding turned.  Here’s what they both looked like on the design wall.

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Mine is the left, hers is the right, she was feeling the springy pinks with purples and greens, I went with a cool palate of all green, blue and purples.  I think they both turned out pretty cute!

BIMG_0057IMG_0050oth finishes, turned out great in my opinion, mom showed hers off because it’s really her first quilting project that she did start to finish.  I was super proud of her, she stuck with it, even when she hated doing it, or when her points didn’t match up that well, she figured out a way to keep going, I have to give her props also for her fabric choices.  Granted, we both just used fabric from my stash, but she is typically not one to mix different colors together, so her picking pink and green nearly floored me, but I was so happy she did!

My light blue fabric was one of Tula Pinks, and it has some raccoon faces on it, in a few of the blocks, I just got some raccoon eyes, so I named it “Somebody’s Watching You.” That amused me very much.  On the back, I used up a number of weird scraps that I had laying around, I did some extra border pieces from both of our quilts, plus the long skinny leftovers from other backs I had done in the past.  I am not sure what I’m going to do with it, but it was our project for whenever we had a rainy day, or my hubby was watching a ball game, it was nice to have a little escape for those situations!  I think I might try to come up with a project for the three of us when my Aunt comes back with my mom in September!  something smaller though…  I’ll have to think on it.

Yesterday morning I dropped my mom off at the airport super early in the morning, IMG_0056and when I got back home, I was exhausted.  I didn’t get much done yesterday, but today I broke out the fabric for a quilt that I am making for my husband’s cousin that is getting married in June.  It will be my first quilt top made completely from solids, and it will be, besides the ones that I sell, my first repeat quilt.  I am using the Asterisk Pattern again, I am in love with that quilt, it’s a good large lap size, it was very fast to put together, and it’s very visually striking!  I am doing this version in all Bella Solids, in black, grey, white, and a pop of blue.  I am super excited to see how it turns out in the end.  I think it’s going to be awesome.  I got the asterisk appliquéd down today, and that’s it, but I did have a late start, due to needing some thread.

IMG_0055I also am doing some thinking on what to do for my niece’s graduation quilt.  She doesn’t graduate for another year, but I found a fabric pack on Gotham Quilts.  She is graduating a the top of her class and planning on going to college for Bio-Tech, so I thought the science-y fabrics would be perfect for her dorm room.  I will be thinking hard on what do to with what pattern I want to make with these gems.  So, as you can see, even though I haven’t said much, I have been hard at it.  I will be posting and sewing more in the coming weeks, so we can all look forward to that! :)