Sunday, July 22, 2012

Hand piecing

Amazing how we sometimes get in a groove and forget about something for awhile. For me, it's handwork. I love to cross stitch. I don't mind hand slip-stitching my bindings on my quilt--I'm pretty dang fast once I get going, and my stitches are pretty even. I like being able to have control over the fabric and my stitches. And it's really relaxing for me. Having something creative and productive to do with my hands frees up my mind for listening or thinking. I wish I could take handwork to church meetings! One of my favorite things is cuddling up comfy with my cross stitch, quilt, dress hem, template plastics, or other project, and watching my favorite movie. Sometimes, even at work I can squeeze it in. I work as a Registrar in the Emergency Room, so sometimes if I'm working check-in registration in Triage for walk-in patients, there's downtime. I call myself a pretty voracious reader, but sometimes it's nice to have something besides reading to do during downtime.
Somehow I had the inspiration to take my Dresden plate with me last Sunday, when I worked at a smaller hospital last Sunday morning. And I was able to get 3 quarters of my Dresden hand-pieced in between patients. And it's fun explaining to patients and coworkers what I'm doing, and sharing what I love to do with others.
So then I decided to try the Winding Ways with hand piecing. I have to admit that I enjoy the curves even more with hand piecing, because you have much more control over the fabrics, especially with smaller pieces.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

WIP Wednesday, sampler tip

Hi all!
I guess I'm starting to get confused with all the things I want to do/ have started. Here's my list:
1-Casings and hems on my peasant blouse.
2-start sewing the skirt for my sister-in-law. The pieces are sitting on my table.
3-Cut and mark corner patches for my Winding Ways block, for my Sylvia's Bridal Sampler. I ran out of background fabric while cutting the last few blocks. I bought and washed more (and cut out my peasant blouse from it) recently). I guess I forgot to write down which patches I had missed, because when I pulled the Winding Ways Baggie so I could hand piece at work, I found out which ones I missed!

Tip: when doing samplers, I like to sit and cut pieces for each block all at once. To keep them sorted, I put each block into zipper plastic baggies, with the cut patches, cutting and piecing instructions, and the picture of the block colored with the fabrics. (My Quilt-Pro software prints out all of that on one sheet.. Well, except for piecing instructions--books are great for that!) Then all the baggies get stacked into a bucket for that project. Include the book or anything else you'll need for reference in the basket.
That way, when I feel like sewing, all I have to do is pull out a Baggie, layout the patches into the block, and start sewing!

End of the day Report on what I actually accomplished:
Got all the pieces for the Winding Ways block, in 12" size, and almost a of the pieces for a 6" version. That happened in between sharing my folding table with the little guys' puzzles and coloring, and learning Signing Time. Oh yeah, and starting to potty train!
Peasant blouse: Got the hems done, and the elastic casings for sleeves and waist secure, ready to thread elastic. Then I discovered I am out of 1/4" elastic for the sleeves. Darn it! Guess that's a good place to quit for the night.

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Permanent marker and quilts. Don't mix them!

I almost feel a blockage in my creative endeavors, just when I feel so excited to get started with my blog.
First, I haven't been able to see anything in my Design to Layout section, so there hasn't been any way to add gadgets and design! But I guess it takes a few days for things to process in the digital world, occasionally, because my layout just showed up tonight!

Second, I got out of the shower and dressed, to find that my three year old, once again, had been climbing on chairs and getting in things while I'm occupied....this time I followed the wall trail of permanent marker lines, to find him scribbling with that permanent, chunky-sized marker on the microfiber recliners, the entertainment center, and his big brother's quilt! This quilt is the first quilt I ever completed, and is almost completely hand-quilted! It took me almost two years to complete this quilt! It was his baby quilt but he didn't get it until nearly 2 1/2 years old!
I was yelling before, but when I saw the quilt, I started bawling. I think that scared the little perpetrator more than the yelling! He asked "mom ok?" and I answered between hiccups and gasps for breath, "no, mommy's not ok. Mommy's sad and angry because you made a mess and made S.'s quilt ugly!"
I tried the hairspray and rubbing alcohol trick, but found that only works on regular ink. I tossed the quilt in the wash. No luck.
So after posting a frantic "help" on QCA's forum, and a trip to the store, I found the Woolite Oxy Deep Carpet Stain and Odor Remover. It worked great on the microfiber recliners, but the spots heavily saturated with the permanent ink aren't quite completely gone. It barely worked on the quilt, even after several saturations and rubbings. I'm so thankful that it was near an outside border, that the border is a variegated dark blue, and only two yellow star points were colored on.
After alcohol and machine washing.

After first saturation of Woolite.

After second saturation and longer soak time. The quilt is still very wet from machine washing, too.
Oh, and incendentally, the marker on the walls didn't quite come off, either. I used a store-brand version of the Mr. Clean Magic Eraser, which works great for crayon and regular markers on walls. It only took off the first layer of permanent marker on the wall.

And here's the last one on Sunday afternoon, 24 hours after the scribbling. I took the advice from a comment on QC of A forum and used some acetone nail polish remover. Took off another layer. Then I rinsed it out really well in water. I'm not sure there's much else I can do.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Under Construction

My new blog is under construction. But here I am, in the quilting digital world with my own page! I can't wait to design more and share myself and my stitching with you!