Mar 7, 2011

I've been busy...

Well this post is going to have quite a few pictures :o) I'll make them thumbnails, some with links to the full size.

I finished up the two blocks I needed for [info]blockofthemonth last week:
 

These are January and February. I'll make March's block later.

While sewing these, I finally remembered my leaders & enders blocks. I got one done but something went wrong with my friendship star.



I don't know how this happened but I almost did it on the next one! I left this one alone and fixed the second. It looks funny but not entirely unappealing so I don't think I'm going to fix it.


I got a new dog. I didn't want any more animals. We have a snake, 2 cats and 2 dogs already but his owner lost his house & was moving to an apartment. The last person who took his dog kept him outside & he wasn't very well taken care of so his owner was going t o take him to the pound. We had dog sat him before, so I told my husband we couldn't let him go to the pound. He's a nice dog but I had forgotten how big he is! He is at least mostly Great Pyrenees, supposedly he's a mutt. His disposition fits the breed however. This is my Bear.

 

If you click on the second picture, you'll see he has two different colored eyes. This giant dog is a big baby & whines when people leave. I'm really happy to have him even though, right now, he's shedding about a Chihuahua a day and I expect him to eat us out of house & home. I call him our latest economic refugee. We actually took in my husband's second dog before the winter because his owner left him to wander the neighborhood after leaving. He also has 2 different colored eyes. I've never seen that before in a dog and now we have two.

I also finally hemmed the bottom of my work pants after wearing them for 6 weeks! I guess it's like the plumber having a leaky pipe sort of thing. Now I just have a pair of pants to fix for my son and another for me, guess who's goes first.

This past weekend, I desperately wanted to sew but never got the chance. I did however see this block pattern for a shamrock that would work great for 2 yards of St. Patrick's Day Snoopy fabric my MIL gave to me, by accident I think. I was so inspired I modified the block to be bigger and started working on the pattern on graph paper. I haven't gotten it to Inkscape yet. I use graph paper first to determine the feasibility of a project. For this one, I tried to figure out how much background fabric I would need. It turned out to be over 3 yards because of the almost snowball block but I would also get like 400 HST out of it to possibly make a pinwheel border. I was also considering changing the stem to a bias applique' strip instead of the pieced one to save on fabric, maybe use some stash fabric. I'll work on it a bit more and maybe post something from Inkscape soon.

While working on this project, I thought it would be awesome to have a spreadsheet that told you the finished size of a quilt if you input the block, sashings and border sizes with a table of common sizes in it to compare them to. Maybe even tell you the on point setting sizes. I might have to work on this also, if there isn't one out there yet. I get tired of having to do this math every time I see a new block. I'd also like it to figure out how much fabric you need if you entered in the number & size of square.  I love math and figuring out these little details but sometimes I get tired of punching numbers into a calculator.

Also this weekend, I found this nifty application through a blog. Someone on a quilting blog somewhere (can I be anymore vague, but I forget) said they used Evernote on their iPad to save information & inspiration for quilts on. I went to the site and found out it's for any type of computer and you can sync them all together to have access to it from anywhere, including your internet phone. So, I immediately uploaded it and started using the free version. I also installed the extension to use in Firefox. So now I can just highlight what I like on a page or a quilt picture and click the Evernote button, which is a cute elephant head, and it makes a note on my computer & their server, including the link, that I can put in a specific notebook and tag right away. I can also do that from other computers and actually Twitter & email myself notes! It's too cool but I may have to upgrade to premium if I go over the monthly upload limit. I've used 40% very quickly. I told my husband and daughter about it and they both signed up for accounts right away too. I love it because there are always little quilting tips & hints I love to save from the internet. There are a ton of uses for it. Go to their website & check out their videos.

Just today, I hung up my new design wall. YEA! It's a 60"x104" flannel backed tablecloth I got on clearance for $2.50.



So I had to play a little bit



These are all of my [info]blockofthemonth  blocks I've made. I wasn't putting them in any serious order. I just wanted to admire my handy work. I put some large eyelets across one short end of the table cloth and hung it on some cup hooks I screwed into the wall high up. These blocks are 16.5" square and 3 fit across nicely with some space left over. I actually bought 2 of these tablecloths. The other I'm going to use as a drop cloth unless I need more design space ;o) BTW, I threw this in the dryer for about 10 minutes to let out some of the wrinkles. It was on low but when I took it out, parts were sticking together and I ended up with more wrinkles than I started with. I hope I remember not to do this again. It could have been disastrous.

I think that's it for now. I'm trying to focus on my sewing communities and blogs lately because I know it makes me happy. I've felt a new surge of creativity lately and I want to ride it for a long time. Because of this, I'm abstaining from reading. I love it but it's a black hole of time that I don't want to escape to anymore. When I sew, I'm so happy and engaged I forget to eat because it satisfies me in a way that reading can't. Reading sucks me in and I enjoy it but in the end, since I'm not a writer and never will be, there isn't anything productive about it and I feel guilty for "wasting" the time. I hope I'll be able to come back to it soon and be able to control the hold stories can have on me. For now, I hope I can get miles of thread through my needle, either by hand or machine, and make wonderful things for me & those I love.

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