Sunday Stash

the tan back ground I had was planning on using puckered and was EVIL! evil I tell you. No matter what I did I could not get it to lay flat once I sewed the circle on. Then my mother came over and said it was ugly. Then I asked my DH and he said it was too flat and maybe ugly was too harsh. Not untrue but too harsh. Thanks Honey.
I decided that I would use a background I owned and not go out and buy something else. Provided of course, that I could find something I had enough of, and laid flat. So....
IMG_0945 by you.
It sews up super flat! That is a huge priority. The rings will go together and the pattern reads like a solid. Another bonus. Lastly, its also a masculine blue and the rings will float up and off hopefully.
This brings me to the subject of fabric selection for each President. I have decided to use fabric I love and then try and tie it to each POTUS. If I don't love it, it's not going in. I get to use all those FQs of stuff I couldn't help but buy because I fell in love. I mean, is somebody really going to glance at a ring, in a historically correct print and say " wow, that ring really interpretes President Arthur's policy towards civil service"? no they are not.
Here is some of the fabrics I hope to use for a ring this week.
IMG_0944 by you.
I have noticed that since the rings are in different fabrics, it looks better if they are closer in shape. When rings are the same fabric they look fine different shapes.
So we finally got the sewing machine table sort of finished. I mean, the machine is in and the table is put together, but the handles and power strip are not in yet...
IMG_0933 by you.
There is my nice sunken machine sewing a now abandoned George Washinton ring. While we doing this we noticed that on the bottom of the machine I only had 3 feet and a nub. If you have a Bernina, do you have that too? Is it for leveling?
Take a look and let me know will ya?
IMG_0929 by you.
Now that my husband is on sabbatical, and spending a lot of time in my studio, he finds a need "to fix" things... Seriously, I love you but don't touch Mamas machine!
Now if I could only convince him he wants to reorganize my stash.

No, I don't think so...

Abandoned Experiment. by you.
Here is a pic of Abandoned First Attempt ... I liked it but I thought it was way too Red, White, and Blue. It was difficult to sew around in a circle with all that bulk . Still, .... I love how they are not completly "round" and kinda have that Angela Adams feel.
That red is WOF and about 20 inches long. The rings are about 8 inches in diameter.
I have a improved construction technique for the rings so that was another reason I abandoned it.
This is going into the "to quilt" pile. It may need one more ring.
I have figured out what fabric I am using for 1, 2, 3, but 4 is giving me problems. I will share them as I make them ...
Quilters Rock!

Marching Forward!

IMG_0923 by you.
Well, the new craft table moves forward at a snails pace. My room is a disaster. Nor am I getting a lot done... Train Wreck!
I watched a lot of TV yesterday . I taped the Cspan coverage and sped thru it to the good parts . Thanks TiVo. It was great!
Sam Adams has pissed me off. Politicians, mo or not, need to keep it zipped around teenagers.
ProJect Improv:
I have finally decided what I am doing. *choir sings "hallelujah" in the backgound*
Okay, so the .pdf said "This piece has no restrictions except that it is to be improvised, not
made from a pattern" that part is easy for me as I rarely use patterns. I like to do re-inventions of old patterns. I thought at first I would do a Improv of my Kite top I just finished but knew that it was too soon and kind of a cop out.
then I decided to think on it a while. ....
I asked myself "what is it I don't do?"
I don't generally work with solids. ( I have been lately, but I have been pushing myself)
I don't work with too many colors at once. Usually, when I am working with solids, I do a blue/green or a pink /orange color way. If there are a lot of colors, it's a fabric line bundle I am using.
And I never work on heirlooms or "big idea" quilts. Obviously, it's because I am a lazy cur.
I like to make easy quilts with a simple idea behind them and no complicated work required to get it together.

So,... what I am doing is what I don't usually do! I am going to use a solid, I knew this and just went to Fabric Depot and bought a beautiful brown a couple weeks ago.
I am going to use lots of different fabric mostly from my stash.
*Drum Roll*
I am making a "Big Idea" quilt! I want it to be modern and interesting. I have known about this quilt called Ringtoss by FunQuilts for some time. And I love Angela Adams Rugs this one in particular.
I decided to do a Presidential Quilt of 44 rings. I am going to make each individual ring a reflection of that president. It's a traditional idea but hopefully I will have a fresh interpetation.
I just did a bunch of experiments to see if I can do this. I figured out how to do them using machine applique, but not raw edge. I am not going to set them in, the way it's done over at FunQuilts.
Here is a ring:
IMG_0925 by you.
It's one of my tests. Its not sewn down yet.
I am thinking of doing George Washington in this cherry:
IMG_0924 by you.
I know he didn't chop down a cherry tree but still.
I still haven't figured out exactly how I'm gonna handle "death in office" or mutiple terms. I had thought I would try to do a fabric a year or a term but I don't think so. We'll see.
I guess that's where the Improv comes in.
What I am going to do is google "first POTUS" read about him, then make a ring, attach it to block of background, then google "2nd POTUS" and repeat steps . I think there is some Improv built into that process.
Have I told you lately that "Quilters Rock!"?

It's so close... almost here

you can see pictures of my new craft island sewing room redo WIP on flickr.

This weekend I am going to be celebrating the new administration. I hope you will be too.
Right now U2 is singing "in the name of Love" which is about MLKs murder and MLKs message about social justice.
Singing at the Lincoln Memorial to President Elect Obama and a sea of people.

I am 43 years old. How grateful I am to be alive at this moment.
I can remember about 6 years ago being in Mississippi for work.
Following the steps of Fannie Lou Hamer.
Standing in the driveway at Medgar Evers house.
and NOW
watching a man not much older than Medgar was when he died become president.
Beyonce pulling a "Marian Anderson " on the steps.
My eyes are puffing from crying and its only Sunday .... I am thrilled.

New Ironing Station

IMG_0887 by you.
Well, we are in the middle of a redo. I have wanted a sewing table and better storage for forever.
Sooo... My DH and I are installing some new cabinets and lowering my sewing machine. We just finished recycling some Metro shelving from my "single" life into an ironing station and storage.
Notice the wheels so I can roll it out away from the wall. Delicious!
IMG_0886 by you.
It has room to hold my iron, water and some fabric. On the back wall there is my old design board from the other house.
IMG_0884 by you.
Look, its a sexy little water bottle! I have had this about 5 years.. My boyfriend (now my husband) bought it for me when I started sewing... what a sweetie.
I am busy trying to get it all together and cleaned up so I can focus on the new year.

Practice Makes Perfect

IMG_0891 by you.
Or .... clearly not perfect but I am at least "more practiced". I finished my Spare Change Swap top and wanted to quilt it with this swirly business. So I spent a portion of the weekend practicing quilting. I was inspired by this quilting.
Here is a pic of the top almost finished.
IMG_0868 by you.
Now I am making the back with some leftovers.

Sunday Stash

Sunday Stash 11209 by you.
Friday I went to Fabric Depot with a girlfriend. It was my first outing since I caught that bug from my DH.
I went in search of solids for my "project improvisation". The 2 browns on the end are kinda "non-colors" or "shadows" meant to help "show off " prints. I was really looking for grey. They had about 3 but they were all wrong. Amy Butler Solids were on full display, but at 11$ yard minus 35%, I'm sticking to Kona and RJR, which is 5.99 yd minus 35%.
If you live in the Portland Metro Area and don't go to Fabric Depot- go now! If you don't live local you can visit them online. It's like a costco sized store and it's all on sale.

Hi! Hello! I'm Back!

Its been awhile...
let's see.... I will catch you up.
lots of holiday work. ..
did a holiday girl scout sewing class.. so crazy cute... they made little "present" potholders.
IMG_0830 by you.
I designed that bow just for them, and Millie commented "that they would be cute potholders".. which is the perfect sized craft for girl scouts. So..

I quilted a client quilt freehand.. I added her kids hand prints on the border and made a mark at their height. I added words/graphics that meant something to her along with the year and an Obama symbol.
IMG_0806 by you.
Got a job to piece, quilt and finish a project for a catalog. I usually sew test tops for them so this was a "step up" for me. I was happy.
We got sacked with a 40 year snow storm.
IMG_0866 by you.

IMG_0843 by you.

IMG_0867 by you.
Quilted a project for Craft Warehouse - my first 2 color thread job.
IMG_0824 by you.
Sliced a fillet of flesh off my index finger. Included a bit of nail. One trip to the Emergency Room, a schmear of glue, some drugs, 3 days on the couch with finger elevated , and I was
ready to get back to work. No kidding. No pictures. Hurt worse than my kidney stone.
My husband who is on sabbatical decided to "fix" my "M" size bobbin winder. He managed to load about 2/3s of a spool of Bottom Line onto a bobbin before it failed and just sort of fell apart. Then he "fixed it some more" and the next bobbin fairly exploded! Kazow! parts go whizzing thru the air - He could have put an eye out!!
IMG_0823 by you.
I readjusted it to "working fine" - which is how I like it.
Husband left to go back east for Xmas to see his kids, brother and 83 year old father. His kids live in Arizona and Chicago ( My step son who is working on his Masters at the Art Institute. He is 27 and I would like to find him a nice Jewish girl, so he can settle down. He doesn't currently go to Temple but will follow the right girl anywhere. So, if you know/are a good match let me know.)
I had a chance to be really be alone and get some sewing done! Yee- haa!
I worked on my Spare Change top and started yet another project.
IMG_0807 by you.
How cute is that? I mean really! It's exciting! I'm loving this. Its my own design and super easy.
Reworked my blog page and added a Completed in 2009 list and some other stuff.
When my husband came home He brought me a cold that has kicked my butt! But I am getting better! I wrote this post. I feel like I am getting back.