Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Labor Day Shopping Spree

I'm so lucky to have two terrific friends whom love to shop & sew & eat & blab with me! They are both from the next town over, but I'm in Quilt-shop Heaven, Lancaster County, PA. They both headed out my way on Labor Day to do some bargain shopping. Fabric + shopping + good friends + FOOD + a gorgeous weather day = a terrific fun-filled friend day :-) 

The fabric I was most looking for was something having to do with Toy Story. I've been looking high & low for several months to no avail. I could've ordered it online, but truth be told, I'm a fabric fondler -- I like to feel & see it "up close & personal" before I decide if it can come home. I finally found it (rather some kindly quilter woman found it when she overheard us lamenting about not finding it.... we quilters are so nosey & eavesdrop all the time, don't we?? But usually, no one cares either! Cause we all know we're nosey!) at Zook's Dry Goods. We have tons of Amish and/or Mennonite shops out here, and this is one of them. If you ever go, there's a shop next door that sells pretzels & homemade lemonade --YUM. 

Anyway, back to the Toy Story fabric. I want to make a snuggle blanket for a little boy whom I've never met, but who's very special to my heart. He's gearing up for his first back surgery to correct scoliosis. His mom & I are friends online because they're from Australia. Her little boy has Marfan Syndrome. My little boy had Marfan Syndrome. She has two little girls, and I have two girls. My little boy had also had this spinal surgery..... 7 times. I know I've written about Montie before... but just in case you're reading for the first time, Montie passed away March 19, 2009 due to complications associated with Marfan Syndrome. He'd received numerous snuggle blankets during his 13 surgical stays & during other illness related stays. For some reason kids really respond to a cuddly blanket when they're hurting. At some age, they realize, too, that someone's heart & time went into making it -someone who didn't even know them! That's how much they're loved. I've made a handful of these kinds of blankets for donation to  Project Linus and Quilts for Kids . 
Now to come up with a pattern!

I also grabbed some Christmas fabrics and .....

Halloween fabrics (I've got two mini quilt
tops done for my mini frame Zlaty!)

Stan Stan the Hairy Man -- Stanley the cat likes to curl up in my sewing room now that the weather has been cooler at night. I put him up here on my table so Smokey the spastic black lab puppy wouldn't try to chew on him.

I have lots of things I'm either in the process of making or gearing up to make. I'm going to try taking some of my wares to a couple craft shows this November, get my website up & running (it's out there, just with no content!), and set up an etsy account.

Stay tuned to see what I've been sew busy doing!

Thursday, September 02, 2010

Radiant Star Quilt is done!

Woohoo!! Finished the Radiant Star for my client, Randy Leonard, in time to begin focusing on the new school year. I tend to become ludicrously focused when I start quilting a new quilt. The process is such a lovely one for me... well, that is once I get past the nerve-wracking part of loading the sucker. There's always a chance something doesn't load straight or something isn't long enough, but I've been lucky thus far & haven't encountered much of either. I'm just the perpetual worry-wart & worry about these things even though they've never actually happened to me.

Anyway, I'm very pleased with the results & it seemed Randy was too. But being I'm a homeschool mama, I've been running ragged trying to catch up from my obsessiveness over the quilting. Once I start quilting, I just want to quilt & quilt & quilt. Sure my body protests, the feet hurt, my back hurts from hunching over, my hip hurt from hunching in an uneven way (I HATE being uneven as anybody who knows me will tell you!) I'm neurotic & a bit obsessive you might say ;-P

But I do think my obsessive quality does have it's payoff occasionally. For instance, I began this quilt with a whirling feathering going down the entire length on the largest border. I wasn't happy with my imperfect stitching so I literally spent a day picking out microscopic stitches done in invisible thread... um yeah, my eyes, neck, back AND head hurt after picking all those out!! Then I went back & restitched AND then took my fingernail over all the holes left by those rejected stitches!! But I was so glad I'd done it & was so much happier with the new & improved results.

The green border above is where I'd started the meandering feathering that was looking horrible, and thus replaced it with this meandering leaf. I'm not sure why the feathering in that particular border looked crappy & the feathered circles turned out awesomely?? My spellcheck didn't flag "awesomely"which is kinda cracking my up! Is that REALLY a REAL word??? 

Below is the backside of the borders......

Stayed tuned!! NEWSFLASH: I finally bought myself a belated birthday present.... a camera to replace the other one that got dropped on the hardwood floor on said birthday..... I'm trying not to harbor ill feelings about having to spend so much money to replace the camera which was being swung around & around by it's wrist strap, forming large O's near my DD's face. Imagine when -OOPS- the thing was flung to the ground & cracked?!?!? GRRRR... okay, gotta let it go... I'm a big girl now!

Anyway, the real point is that I hope to post more frequently the things I've been working on. Not only have I been quilting up a storm, but I've also been researching & testing out items to sell at local craft shows and/or etsy. I love to sew & create & quilt, and I'm at home (homeschooling), so I'd find it quite rewarding to manage to recoup some of the miniscule amounts of money I spend of fabric & such (no tittering!!)