Heartbreak in the Sewing Room, Color Proofs, and Something Funny

March 26th, 2010

This is the center of a quilt that needs to have a binding applied.  It has a 16 1/2 inch feathered wreath that has a compound/complex spine in the center block and that wreath is also trapuntoed.  Suffice it to say, this very basic Amish quilt has a lot of quilting time invested in it.  Two days ago, I spent 6 1/2 hours seated at my computer cropping and labeling still photos so Ernie could insert them into the next DVD.  Time spent like that is very frustrating to me, so when late afternoon rolled around and I had a brief opportunity to sew, I jumped at the chance and ran down to the sewing room to try and get something done in a short amount of time.  Well, this is one sad lesson in rushing around!  In my haste to get that binding applied, I wasn’t thinking, and when I went to square up this quilt, I accidentally sliced way too much off and now my binding will partially cover many of the plumes from the feathers in the corner design:

At least I can laugh about this now!  I am telling myself that it will serve as a good example of a mistake you DON’T want to make; I mean, we teachers need some examples of how to do some stuff wrong-don’t we?!

In other news, I spent today going through the color proofs for the feathers book.  These proofs are completely different than the proofs I got for the Hyperquilting book.  Here’s an example of one:

They are about 3 feet x 2 feet and are printed on heavy card stock, almost cardboard, and what’s printed on one side of a page has nothing to do with what’s printed on the other side of the page!  That made going through them kind of a challenge!  Here’s another one:

This was really exciting to go through all of them; I think this book is going to be terrific!  When I went to drop the proofs off to overnight them back to the printer, they weighed 10 lbs! And remember, you can still get in on the drawing for a free feathers book or a free hyperquilting book by scrolling backwards and making a comment on that free book giveaway post!

One more funny thing…I’ve gotten a number of email asking me about what “freecycle” is.  It’s simply  a way to recycle stuff you don’t want/need to someone else in your local community who would like what you are giving away.  Normally, I don’t pay much attention to the postings on freecycle, but this week I gave so much stuff away that I had to pay attention to pick up the emails of folks who wanted my stuff.  Anyway, I have to share this freecycle listing that was posted yesterday:

OFFER:  Frozen Rodents.

I have several bags of frozen rats and chicks. Originally from Rodent Pro reptile food. Must go ASAP. Too big for my snakes and takes up way to much space in my freezer. Thanks!

That was sure good for a laugh!  And to see the ultimate in recycling, check out this site that my friend Nancy Bruce forwarded today.  All of these sheep are made from recycled telephones!  Click on the picture to see the details!

False Starts, Spring Cleanup and Thread Give-Away!

March 23rd, 2010

Spring Quilt Market is just around the corner, so in preparation, I wanted to make some easy tote bags that feature our square wreaths with interchangable centers.  The photo above shows the front and back of the first bag, and the photo below shows them sewn together before I made the box-corner bottom.  You can see that they were quilted in fairly basic designs:

I made the box corners on the bottom and wouldn’t you know it, the proportions of the bag just weren’t right:

Drat!  (The picture above doesn’t show it well, but it’s way too tall for its width.)  I stopped right there (fortunately, no handles or lining had been sewn on yet), and began experiment #2 with different fabrics…I’ll post that attempt once it’s done.  Only time will tell whether or not I’ll go back and rip this first attempt apart to see if I can re-size the pieces into something useful.  GRRRRRRHHH!

But, the good news for me is I made some headway doing some minor spring cleaning in my sewing room.  I was able to recycle tons of sewing supplies through my local freecycle group this week and here’s a shot of one counter that hasn’t seen the light of day in over a year:

I love how all those cones of thread look when they’re sorted into warm and cool color groups-wonder how long that will last?!!  Those cones are all spools of hand dyed size 12 pearl cotton embroidery threads.  I still have tons of spaces to clean out in my sewing room, but I’m making headway!  Here’s a shot of my main sewing table; those grey foam forms are all my bobbin bays and they’re sorted by color.  They’re much easier to move from one side of the table to the other (depending on which side I’m working on) without bobbins falling all over the place:

Does it show that I’m a thread-lover?  Sadly, this doesn’t even come close to showing all the thread inside this room, but I really do use all this stuff!  BUT, the threads in the photo below will never be used by me so I am very happy to give them away to an interested reader of this blog:

There are 4 never-opened large spools of Coats and Clark variegated thread and many large spools of Valdani variegated threads (and also a few of those bicycle thingydo’s that were supposed to help with stitch in the ditch quilting).  I don’t use much cotton thread for machine quilting anymore and truthfully, I don’t think these are high quality threads.  I bought them years ago when there was very little available in variegated cotton threads but now there are great quality threads out there that are easily accessible, so I know these will go to waste if left in my hands.  So, if you’d like these threads, post a comment to this post by midnight, Friday 3/26/10 and you’ll be in the drawing!   I will happily pay to ship them to the winner, wherever in the world that might be!

On Cloud Nine!…and a Give Away!

March 18th, 2010

…that’s how I’m feeling the past few days since the files for “Feather Adventures! Volume I” has gone to the printer.  It’s official; it’s in the can and my feathers book is being printed as we speak!  This has been a monster of a job to put together but worth every second of toil and sweat because, if I do say so myself, the book is FABULOUS, simply FABULOUS!! Do you think I’m a bit biased?!  Yup!  I am, but I am over the top excited!  I don’t have an exact date yet, but expect both the Feathers book and the Hyperquilting book to be released simultaneously and I’m guessing it will be 3-4 weeks from now, possibly a bit sooner and possibly a bit later.  I can’t wait!

On top of that, it’s sunny and warming up and spring is really here!  Spring is my favorite time of year as it’s just so great to see the world around you spring back to life…

I feel like I’m exploding with excitement, just like all the colors in this quilt!  To celebrate, I’m offering a give away of one copy of the Feathers book and one copy of the Hyperquilting book!  To be eligible, all you need to do is to leave a comment on this post telling me why you’d like a copy of whichever one interests you, and I’ll draw the winner the day the books debut!  If you’re interested in a copy of both books,  please post 2 separate comments, as I’m going to divide these comments into 2 subsections when I do the final drawing. And now that I have a bit of time on my hands, I’m going to the sewing room to whip up something FUN!

Feathered Frames and DVD Give Away!

March 15th, 2010

Isn’t this feathered frame design fabulous? I just love it and it’s one of the feathered frame designs from our next DVD. Actually, the DVD is really about feather border designs, (and most of them are actually fairly easy to do; it’s all about the magic of how you lay them out!), but I ended up throwing in 3 chapters toward the end about feathered frames just because they are kind of related and they’re really fun!  This has been a really fun DVD to work on and I’m going to end up with several really beautiful quilts that I made as I tested out designs!

I’m hoping to have some really exciting news to share pretty soon, but in the meantime, I’m going to spread the word about a great giveaway and a really fun blog!  If you haven’t been over to Kelly Jackson’s blog, now is the time to go!  She’s celebrating  the one year anniversary of her online shop, I Have a Notion, and to celebrate, she’s having a full month of giveaways!!  Right now, she’s featuring a give away of all 3 of our feathers DVDs, so if you’ve been hoping for one, zippity-do-dah your way over to Kelly’s and post a message to be entered!  If you’ve already got all 3 of those DVDs, check out her blog anyway!  It’s always upbeat and fun, and she’s great about posting news about all kinds of new quilting products and she posts great tutorials about how to use all this stuff!  If you want to keep on the lastest and greatest in the quilting world, Kelly’s is the place to go!