More progress

I made a little more progress on my scrappy improv rainbow project – I got the batting cut to size and I pieced the backing.

Here’s the back hanging on my design wall. I’ve had this bronze dot fabric for a while and up close it’s really pretty – but in pictures it reminds me of measles!! I didn’t have enough for the whole back so I added the other dot fabric.

I’m also participating in the #grannycabinsewalong and this week we needed to cut our fabric and make a test Block A. I’m so glad I made a test block because I don’t like how the print on my color 4 fabric looks once it’s cut and pieced into the block. I think it interferes with the design of the block so I’ll be finding another option.

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I spent some time this last week decorating above my kitchen cabinets. I had been waiting for DH to install ply board so my decorations wouldn’t get lost below the molding and then a friend said “why don’t you just use foam blocks to sit the items on?” Well HELLO! Why didn’t I think of that – LOL!! I measured the space and went to the store to find the size I needed but none of my local stores had the right sizes or enough foam blocks so I went to Amazon and found exactly what I needed. A few days later I started working on it.

I purchased all the decor a few months ago and unfortunately I didn’t buy enough greenery 😦 and now the store doesn’t have it out because they’ve switched to the seasonal stuff – UGH!! Crap!! I guess I’ll just have to wait until after Christmas to buy more – FML!

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I went to WW yesterday and as I suspected I went up a little bit, 1.2 to be exact. I splurged quite a bit this last week so I need to buckle down and get back on plan.

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Update on the house in Lake Wylie: The buyer has officially backed out and we told him he will not be getting his deposit back. DH spent all last week up there and was able to clear out all the remaining ‘stuff’ that didn’t sell in the estate sale. He also got the yard back in shape so now it can be put on the market. He talked to a realtor that lives in that neighborhood and he thinks we may be able to clear more than we had agreed to with the other buyer – that sure would be nice!!

That’s all for now – have a great rest of your weekend!!

Back in the groove

I failed to mention last week that while visiting my great niece her Momma gave me her old receiving blankets and asked me to make a toddler bed size quilt because she would be transitioning into one pretty soon.

I began thinking of a cute pattern and landed on a simple 4-patch/square design and without even hesitating I cut all the blankets into 10.5 squares and 5.5 squares…too bad I didn’t take a picture of those lovely stacks 😦

Here are the blocks on the design wall…and on the table because I couldn’t get them all to fit on the wall – this is going to be 70×90

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I spent all day yesterday piecing it together…while watching US Open tennis matches. Here’s the completed top on my bedroom floor.

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The lighting is horrible and the angle is pretty bad too but it was just too humid to take this outside for pictures – seriously, the deck was still damp from the overnight dew even at 6pm! ugh…I can’t wait for FALL!

I didn’t have anything big enough for the back – I didn’t want it to be pieced…so I hopped online to search for 108″ backing and found the perfect fabric! So this project will be put on hold until it arrives.

dotsy

Speaking of fall, I pulled my September Scrap Attack project…and look at this beautiful picture! Unfortunately it’s just a picture link on Pinterest so there’s no pattern or even a name I can give credit 😦

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Oh my…at first it looks like a lot of work but once I dissect it, it’s really just 9-patch blocks with heart applique blocks. I’m not going to make a bed size quilt so I won’t have near as many blocks to make.

I’ve already printed a heart shape from Google

heart-outline

…and I’ve already cut 3.5″ strips from my scraps to sew into groups of three…using a bit larger size will (hopefully) give this a bit of a modern touch – and the fabrics will help with that too 😉 Once the strips are sewn, I’ll cross cut them into 3.5″ strips and assemble them into 9-patch blocks. I’ve also got a stack of smaller pieces of fabric I can cut into 3.5″ squares if I need more.

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As if that’s not enough to work on…I have another memory quilt commission – here are three bags of shirts I need to deconstruct and apply stabilizer before determining the layout…she wants it to be random placement :-p

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And lastly, just because…here’s Miss Campbell at almost 10 months ❤ ❤ ❤

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A break in the weather

We were blessed today with very mild weather and I took advantage of it by spending quite a bit of time outside. First, K and I went running this morning…oh, it felt so good to not get overheated!

We started right around 7:45 and took a route around my neighborhood that’s mostly shady. I downloaded another Podrunner track, this one is 180 bpm – it’s a tad bit fast for me but I was able to keep up with it during most of the run segments. During mile 3 I extended the walk breaks by 30 seconds to catch my breath – all in all, it was a great run and I’ll definitely be using the 180 bpm track again!

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After I got cleaned up, I went out to lunch with DH and then I did a little retail therapy. I mentioned yesterday that I was going back to the QBee Quilt Shop to pick up fabric for the borders and backing on the Grandson’s quilts. I was the only customer in the shop so it was great to get a little help finding just the right fabric. We picked out a lovely blue print for Grandson #2 blanket and I got it all cut and pieced tonight…I love it!

Top with border

I also picked up this fabric to use as backing for both quilts; and I’ll have enough left over to use for appliqueing their initial to the front of each quilt.

backing closeup

We also picked out another fabric for the border on Grandson #1 quilt, however once I got it home and laid it out on the quilt – I don’t like it…nope, no way! There’s pale blue on the train which we ‘thought’ would be pulled out by this border but it’s just not happening – so I’ll save these strips for some other project in the future. Now I’m back to square one on what border to use.

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I have some left over dark blue that I used in the other top so I laid it up against this one…and I’m kind of liking it. I think I have just enough to do the border – but that will have to wait until tomorrow. I’m too tired now and I don’t want to make any measuring mistakes! 😉

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That’s all for now…G’night!

and now back to Quilting…

For the last couple of weeks I was focusing on running more than sewing because of the half marathon I had coming up; with that behind me I can pick back up where I left off with quilting. I finally got to Hobby Lobby to pickup batting – I bought plenty of extra so I won’t risk running out again 😉

Over the last two nights I worked on cutting and piecing the back out of the light yellow polka dot and incorporated my mini block. While watching The Voice finale last night (I just knew Sawyer would win!) I was able to get it all basted and now I can put my ideas together for quilting it.

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Here’s the back all pieced together – before basting.

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I basted with pins

Amanda Rolfe of 3and3quarters has posted the next video in her series “Quilt-Along-With-Me” showing how she quilted her blanket and I’ll be doing something kind of similar…but different. I’ve put together a crude example of my initial idea for quilting and I’m liking it! I’m not sure if I will use yellow or cream color thread but since I have much more cream I’ll probably go with that.  On the black borders around each block and the border, I plan to quilt straight lines with black thread so the blocks really stand out. I hope to start quilting tonight!! Weeeeeeeee!

Quilting template v1

I’m still stumped on what to use for binding but I have plenty of quilting time to think about that, LOL.

That’s it for now…

9 miles and then some

With only two weeks until my Half Marathon, I really needed to put in some miles to make sure I’ll be able to cover the distance. I also wanted to try out GU gels before & during the run to see if it provided any help.

I met up with my running buddies (L & K) this morning and we drove to a local greenway – it’s an asphalt path that winds in and around wooded areas for two miles (4 miles out & back). The temps this morning were a perfect 55 degrees and with most of the route covered in shade it still felt great even as the temps started to rise.

Me & L planned to do 9 miles while K planned to do 12 – which was fine because K is faster than both of us! We started out together with a 5 minute warm up walk and then we all fell into our own pace. The first few miles passed quickly with the turn around point at the top of the only real hill on the path – I was able to run up the whole thing, small victories!

As I said earlier, I recently purchased some GU gel pouches and wanted to give them a trial run today. The website says you should eat one 45 mins before your run and another 15 mins before; then one every 30-45 minutes as needed. I had a small bowl of oatmeal this morning so I skipped the one 45 mins before but I ate one just before we arrived at the greenway.

I had covered 3 miles by the 40 minute mark so I had another GU (mandarin orange flavor, btw). I was running a 3-1 interval for the first 4 miles which brought me back to our starting point; I turned around and headed back in for round 2. I passed several other runners that offered me words of encouragement – that was pretty cool. By the 5 mile mark I started to take longer walk breaks falling into a 2-2 interval. I took another GU at the 80 min mark which was just shy of 6 miles…clearly I was slowing down.

When I reached the hill this time I walked it, ugh…my legs were starting to feel heavy and I still had 3 more miles to go so I didn’t want to push my luck! Around 7.5 miles an old familiar song came on – Footloose – it was the perfect tempo to run to and it gave me the boost I needed. I ate one more GU at the 2 hour mark and then finished 9 miles about 7 minutes later 🙂

I felt pretty good afterward and although I snuck in a 20 min nap later in the afternoon I still don’t have any stiffness or soreness…hmmm, maybe this GU thing really works!

I wore my Garmin and used the C25K app but again the app gave me some trouble – it jumped almost 3 tenths ahead only a few miles into the run…I have no idea what’s wrong with the darn thing!

GARMIN:

5.2.15 garmin

C25K:

5.2.15 c25k totals

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So here’s the ‘and then some’ part – I needed to get fabric to finish the yellow & black quilt top I showed in my last post so after dinner tonight we went to Hobby Lobby. I was hoping to find a yellow that would match well with the top but maybe not as bright. I took the mini block with me and held it up to several options until I found the perfect one.

backing with mini block

It’s a little difficult to tell in this photo (I used my phone) but this fabric has a very pale polka dot design – from a distance it reads like a solid but up close you can see the dots.

closeup backing

(the shade of yellow didn’t turn out well in this shot)

Here’s what it looks like laying on the topper with the mini block…I think it’s going to look fabulous!!

backing on topper

And of course after I got back home and started to pull everything together to create my ‘quilt sandwich’, I realized I didn’t have enough batting – what!? ugh! how did I not notice that before…grrr!

So now I need to go back to Hobby Lobby (or some other store) to get batting. So many lessons learned :-/

That’s about it for tonight…

G’night

Update WIP project

As I mentioned earlier this week, I started a new top with the March fabrics from my FQ club.

I mixed 7 different FQ to make either the center or the outside frame and then I had ‘fun’ trying to figure out how to put them all together. Once I had them all laid out on my ‘design bed’ I found the colors and patterns were just too busy when butted up against each other which led me to the decision to sash them with strips of white.

I had a couple yards of plain white so I set about cutting all the strips I needed and finished putting the top together last night. I think it needs a border but I’m not sure what it should be…maybe a 3 or 4″ strip of solid orange or coral???

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The backing fabric I found for this project can be seen in the pic from my last post…oh, what the heck, here it is again. It’s a cute jelly bean/egg-shaped pattern with all the same colors as the top.

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Once I figure out what to do about a border, then I can move on to thinking about quilting. My initial thoughts are to stitch an echo diamond pattern inside and outside of the diamond centers and then maybe some straight lines on the white sashing…hmmm, I’ll keep thinking…

Exercise

I got another short run in today. The temps have started to rise here – after that winter I’m not complaining at all – but I’ll need to start getting up earlier. I went out around 9am today and by the end it felt really hot. My 10K is this Saturday and I’ll be interested to see how close I am to my time from last year (1:18:48).

4.9.15 Garmin

That’s about all for now…I’m headed to my sewing room.

G’night

Basting done

My Crossword Puzzle quilt is coming along nicely – I just finished basting it today with basting spray.

I wanted to do it outside so I didn’t have to worry about ventilation but I needed to wait for a day that wasn’t freezing (it’s been pretty darn cold here in SC!) I had seen a video about basting a large quilt using an ironing board and I figured I’d give it a try (I didn’t really fathom the idea of crawling on the floor).

Today got up to 55 so I drug my ironing board out onto the deck and centered the backing+batting+top on the board. I followed the instructions from the video – starting with the backing, moving from the center to one end then the other. I didn’t have the iron setup outside, I just used my hands to smooth everything out. Once the backing + batting were basted I did the same with the top and batting. In all it took about 30 minutes to complete.

I brought everything back inside and gave the entire quilt a good pressing, front and back. It’s all set in place now just waiting for me to muster the courage to start quilting on it. I plan to stitch in the ditch with black thread so the ‘crossword blocks’ will be outlined in black, I think hope it will look pretty good.

I had planned on binding with the same backing material but because I had to add a piece to the backing to make sure I had enough coverage, now I think I may be short of what I need to bind it – ugh. I think I might just buy some basic black for binding…

View from above, laid out on a queen bed
View from above, laid out on a queen bed (can you see the obvious alignment mistake?)

Corner of quilt, a better shot of the fabrics
Corner of quilt, a look at the fabrics

Super close up of corner
Super close up of corner

Quilt update

I’ve been plugging away a little each day on the Crossword Puzzle quilt and I’ve got the top all done – woohoo! Now comes the ‘scary part’ (for me anyway) I need to lay out the backing fabric, line up the batting and then line up the top – with no wrinkles! Here’s where my OCD will either be a help or a hindrance :-s

First I needed to make sure that I had enough backing fabric to cover with several inches of allowance on all sides and that’s where I hit my first snag 😦 I clearly didn’t measure correctly when I cut the backing fabric and I only had enough allowance on the sides and not the top and bottom – ugh! Ok, so this is my first quilt I guess those kind of mistakes are allowed 😉 Luckily I had a 4″ strip left over when I was cutting for the additional border so I added it to the top (you can see how it’s short on the upper right corner) – clearly not perfect but I guess I’m going to go with it anyway.

This picture was taken with my 'real' camera. It had just enough battery left to snap this shot.
This picture was taken with my ‘real’ camera. It had just enough battery left to snap this shot.

I need to press both the top and backing, mark the center of each and then take a shot at layering them with the batting (fingers crossed!). I’ll try to snap some shots of that process – I’m sure it will be hilarious!!

I had the itch to sew something else and I had read/heard that I should test quilting with the fabrics before I actually start on my main project so I thought I’d try making a mug rug. I had a left over 5″ charm in white and a piece of backing fabric 2″x40 so I used the ‘quilt as you go’ method. My machine had no problems going through the fabric + batting so that was a relief and since I plan to quilt using straight lines I think I’m good. The binding is another story! I watched several YouTube videos before starting but I still had horrible results…I attached the binding to the back and then tried to machine stitch it to the front – not pretty! Me thinks I may attach the binding to the front of my Crossword Quilt and hand stitch it on the back…we’ll see.

mug rug

And last but not least, I found it hard to keep track of all the pins I was using to try to keep my seams straight so I used a few scraps of backing fabric to make myself a pin cushion. I didn’t bother with making the closure look professional, after all it’s just going to sit in my sewing room. I had some long grain rice I used that as my filling…it works great!

pin cushion