Thursday, June 30, 2011

One of those days...

My two oldest children, Alexa and Zachary, are with a youth group from our church.  They are reenacting some of the Mormon Pioneer Trek.

Here are a few of them aren't they cute.  Zachary is 2nd from the right (hiding mind you he didn't want to wear the hat).  Alexa is 4th from the right.
I will post more pictures when they get home.  I sure hope they have fun.  I also hope they have tons of pictures because Zachary took my camera so I have been without it all week.

I spent an hour in the pool with the little kids, CJ and Isabel yesterday.  I wish I had been able to take pictures and video.  We were having so much fun. 

I also don't have pictures to go along with my Stephie Story for today.

As you may or may not know for the last 6 years I have worked as a Quality Control Inspector in nuclear plants.  It's a good gig and I meet a ton of great people.  One thing we hear a lot in my line of work is that the jobs we have done repeatedly are typically the ones that will get us in trouble.  This happens because of complacency.  We have done it before so we are confident we know what we are doing and we aren't always as careful as we should be.  Difficult or unfamiliar jobs brings on a bit of caution. 

Guess what!!!!!!!!!!!!  They are right! 

I have a cute little scribbles basket quilt that I bought a while back and started but never finished.  I thought I would spend the day working on it.  It's simple really, I already made all the half square triangles squares (HSTS) I just had to add some strips and squares and line them up properly.  It's the simple really part that got me in trouble. 

I thought I had it all figured out and made a block.  No problem.  Then I made a mistake. 

I messed up a block.  I mean messed it up on like the first two squares, I put the HSTS backwards, but didn't noticed until I got the block finished.  Heck - I didn't even find it then.  The big problem is that I was stacking the blocks on top of each other as I finished.  (The blocks are all the same block but different color options.)  I stopped going by the pattern and using the blocks I had finished so I kept making the same mistake over and over.  When I finally realized they were wrong (I was obviously not paying attention.  After all... I've done this before and I know what I am doing.) I had made four blocks all of them wrong in the same way. 

I had to unstich all of the blocks and start over.  So now I am covered in bits and pieces of thread, annoyed and I only got 6 blocks finished. 

Oh well, lesson learned... at least I hope it is.  :)

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Copy Right information

Here is an excellent article about copy right laws and how they apply to quilters. 

Quilter's Club of America is an excellent resource of information!  I am often on their website, reading blogs, looking at amazing quilt projects, and learning all that I can!

As a quilter I would rank myself as a confident beginner or intermediate quilter at best.  I am so grateful for talented people who are willing to share their knowledge with others.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Well, that didn't go as planned

Well, due to an ongoing health problem that flared up on Friday and hung on through the weekend, I didn't get my Jelly Roll Race quilt finished.  I will keep working on it and post pictures when it's finished.

Since the 4th of July is right around the corner I wanted to get the little flag banner that I bought done.

I was super excited about it.  This is a little kit that I bought when I was working in Illinois earlier in the month.  The pattern uses a little tool called a twister to make the pinwheels. 

It's supposed to be really, really easy.  You just have to sew up 3 1/2 in squares, then cut them with the tool, make a little twist and boom...pinwheels.

Note: This is actually a tool made by the quilt shop, with permission of the designer of the original twister. The original Twister tool is available in two sizes, one for 5 in squares and one for 10 in squares.

Well, that part was easy enough.  Especially because when I opened the kit the squares were all pre-cut.  I didn't know it was a pre-cut kit.  So, now it should go really, really fast.

I started cutting it out with the little tool and it just didn't work. The twister is supposed to lay on every intersection.  However, the tool was cutting through too much and it wasn't looking anything like it was supposed to.  So, I went back to read the directions again.  Good news, I guess, I pieced it right.  The bad news...

The pre-cut squares weren't the right size.  They were cut 2 1/2 inches (which is the size of the twister, therefore the size AFTER cutting) not 3 1/2 inches. 

So disappointed.   I guess I'll go try to find some blue and white in my stash and try again.

Linking up with Fabric Tuesday!  You should check out all the amazingly creative people out there!

Friday, June 24, 2011

Go! Baby give away

The Go! Baby is a fabric cutter using specialized dies!  It is great for cutting out applique pieces as well as perfectly accurate piece work shapes.

GO! Featured Products

Vicki B Quilts is having a Go! Baby giveaway which includes the Go! Baby and three dies!  Check out her blog.  She has a lot of fun information!

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Despite the dark cloud hanging over my head alot was accomlised today!

We never seem to catch a break around here.  There is always some new stumbling block to climb over.  I was feeling pretty overwhelmed and sorry for myself this morning.  I wanted to climb in bed, pull the covers over my head and shut the world out.  However, I had too much to do today!

My two oldest kids leave for "Trek" next week.  They are traveling some of the Mormon Handcart pioneer trail that goes through Iowa.  They will be in pioneer clothes, pulling handcarts, and hopefully getting an idea of what the Mormon Pioneers experienced.  I made a skirt and apron for Alexa.

Super easy skirt and apron.

Just need to head to Goodwill to find a long sleeve shirt for her to wear.

I also got the borders added to the Jelly Roll Race quilt.  In hind sight I should have taken pictures along the way and made a "how to" entry for this quilt.  It is sooooooo easy that anyone who can sew a straight stitch can make a beautiful quilt.  Maybe I'll have to make another one soon! :)

I wish my camera did a better job at the colors.  They are batiks and marbles and they are very bright and cheerful!

Tomorrow is "Finish it Friday" so I will try to get it quilted.  Maybe the binding can be next Friday's project.  I'll post it when I'm done.

All this work actually boosted my mood a bit! 

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Sneek Peak

I started a new project at 11:00 last night when I couldn't sleep.  Here is a sneak peak.

Approx. 1600 in x 2 1/2 in.

Not as quick as I thought it would be.  Ran out of thread at 2:30 am.  By then I was tired enough to wait until morning to rethread my machine.

Hoping to have this part done before youth activities at Church tonight so I can go buy the border and backing fabric.

I got the top finished with time to spare.  The picture just does not do the color's justice.  They are all brights.  I like it.  Now I just need to get the border and backing fabric. 

I will keep you posted on how this is going.  I sure hope it turns out.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Measure once cut twice - Using the right set of instuctions is a good idea too!

I joined a quilting group when I moved to Iowa.  I felt like it was a good way to meet people with like interest in my new town.  It's been great.  However, since I am so rarely here, because I'm working out of town, I haven't gotten to do much with them.  But they are always so gracious and happy to see me when I am in town.  They sure are a great group of ladies.

Fair time is coming and the group puts together a sampler quilt for the 4-H group to auction.  We were each given 12 inch squares of five different fabrics.  The rules were...

1. At least four of the five fabrics had to be used.
2. No additional fabrics could be added.
3. Design could be original or from a pattern, and could be pieced, applique, or a combination.
4. No embellishments that would interfere with machine quilting.
5. Finished block needed to be 9in. (so 9 1/2 in raw).

I found this great pattern that I loved.  However, it was 12 inches finished.  No a problem, right?!?  I did the math and wrote down the new measurements for the cut pieces.  Then I went to work at the Quad Cities Nuclear plant for 7 weeks.

Well, the block is due at the end of the month so I wanted to get it finished today.  I pulled out the pattern, cut up the pieces and made a beautiful.... 12 in block.  YIKES!!!!!!!  I forgot all about the finished size thing and didn't use my adjusted measurements.

So, I did some frog sewing... (you know rip it, rip it, rip it) and got back to the nine units.  Then I did some more math and cut them down.  Here is the finished 9 in block.  It still looks pretty good.

Re-sizing the green/red/beige block was the hardest one to get right.  But I'm pretty happy with it.

Here it is again against a dark background.  I thought you would be able to see it a little better.

I'm Back!

OK - So much has changed in my life lately that I decided I really need to get back to blogging.  I've also decided to start using my blog to not only share stories of my kids but of my quilts, work and life in general. 

A quick update!  I moved to Iowa!  Still now sure what the heck we were thinking but we are adjusting.  This is our new house.  Isn't it cute!
I have also started working as a contracting QC Inspector.  It has kept me away from home a lot but I am home for the summer so I'm pretty excited.  I've got a lot to tell you and I'm excited to get started!