Thursday, October 27, 2016

Making progress, bit by bit

Image result for drawings of women's bad hair day

Yesterday I'd forgotten that I had an appointment for my monthly hair trimming and remembered it at a few minutes before 11 am--and I was supposed to be at the shop at 11!  I've done this in the past--totally blanked on hair appointments and my hairdresser has always been quite gracious about it, but I always feel guilty for standing her up.  I know this is her livelihood and I hate to forget appointments. So, I panicked a little when I realized there was no way I could get there in time. When I called the shop to let them know I was running a little late, she told me it was okay, she had time to take me even if I was late.  Whew!  My hair is so shaggy now, I look a lot like Prince Charles and I HAD to get it cut and styled right now.  So, I got in the car and on my way to the shop, I glanced at the clock and saw that I had plenty of time. What the heck!  Then I remembered that I'd reset my bedroom alarm clock the other day to be 10 minutes fast.  I don't need that kind of confusion in my life right now!

After all that drama was finished and my hair was tamed down, I headed to the basement sewing room to make a parka for the AG dolls.  Here is Samantha modeling her new red fleece parka.  I think the modifications I made work quite well.  I added several inches to the length of the jacket and cut the width a little larger to accommodate full skirts.

I used this red, gray and white cat patterned fabric for the lining.  I think it looks cute!  And so does Samantha!

I also did some work on these 5 present blocks, turning them into a table runner, but I ran into a snag around 5:45 and decided it was time to put them aside and go upstairs for dinner.  Today, with a fresh mind, I'll work on them again.

These blocks with the green borders are more difficult to work with. They look so dull when I put them side by side. I have to find some fabric to use to brighten them up a little.  Or maybe I'll just put them away and deal with then later!

When I read Bonnie Hunter's blog this morning, I learned that she's getting her 2016 mystery ready to launch.  Here's the link to her post.  The colors are based on her visit to the lavender fields of Provence France--just gorgeous!  I'm not sure that I want to use the colors she chose--I'll have to do some thinking of what I want to substitute for the purples.  They're just not my color thing.  I'm glad she's not beginning until after Thanksgiving--the Festival will be over by then, and I'll be ready to begin something new--without any pressure!

Today, I'm back in the sewing room. You know the drill by now!

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

A nothing day and a something day

Monday, the first day after my quilt retreat, was a "nothing " day, meaning I never made it into the sewing room.  I actually did quite a bit--just not sewing.  So yesterday, Tuesday, I made up for it and spent about half the day sewing--a something day.

I worked on doll clothes all afternoon, getting a lot of finishing done.  I made a black T shirt to go with this twirly skirt.  Let me stop here and tell you about making T shirts for 18" dolls.  My youngest daughter gave me a number of her T shirts that she wants made into a memory quilt. I've gotten as far as to cut off the sleeves and backs, which I saved. I'm using them to make the doll T shirts--using the already hemmed sleeves and bottoms so I don't have to do that myself.  It works out very well and it's free!

So, anyway, this outfit is ready to go on sale at the store.

I made white T shirts to go with these flannel pajama bottoms, so they're done.

This dress needed the velcro sewn on the back and the hem stitched up with matching thread. I also found a decorative button in "brass" that I sewed onto the front of the bodice.

This dress also got a decorative button on the bodice as well as velcro and a proper hem. Both of these dresses are now hanging on the little doll clothes rack my husband made for me.

I found enough black fabric to make another pair of slacks like the ones shown here.  They have a subtle charcoal stripe along the length.  I had made a blouse out of brilliant green batik that never found a home with anything until I paired it with the black slacks.  Now it's an outfit!

And just before I had to come upstairs and begin fixing dinner, I modified the pattern and cut out a parka from the red fleece that I'd bought the other day at JoAnne's.  Today, my first task is to sew it up and see how it goes. As you may recall, I had a difficult time working on the sample I made at retreat, but now I think I'll be able to make it now without too much problem.  I'll let you know.

That's all that I have planned for today--sewing more doll clothes and hopefully other items to put up for sale in the store.  I counted up the value of the doll clothes I've made so far and if they all sell, it will be a couple hundred dollars, split 50/50 between the Guild and the domestic abuse agency in our county.  And that makes all the work worthwhile.  Besides, I love making these little clothes. LOL

Monday, October 24, 2016

Whew! I'm back!

Yes, I survived 5 days of quilting retreat with 24 of the most fabulous, funny and farcical women I know!  It was a ball, and I actually got some sewing done in between laughing, snacking, and chatting.  As usual, my photography-challenged self neglected to take many pictures but I'll share what I have.

At this retreat, I decided to simply work on making doll clothes for the country store the guild is having as part of the Quilt Tour on Nov 12.  I also knew I'd be assembling blocks made by my fellow retreaters to make up two Quilts of Valor to be presented on Veterans Day, Nov 11.  First I'll share what I have about this project.  I have no pictures of the quilts--they were passed on to the longarm quilter who generously offered to do them at a significantly reduced fee, thus freeing me up to make more items for the store.  The quilts are simple and scrappy red-white-blue blocks that will be quilted with variegated thread in an allover star design.  When I got home last night, I had to quickly prepare the backings (thank goodness, I'd purchased backing fabric over the summer!) and take them and my roll of batting to the longarmer.  I'm sure she'll have them ready in a few days.

It took me all day Saturday to put together those two quilt tops. But on Thursday and Friday, I'd already made these doll outfits:

2 pj bottoms made from flannel scraps

2 sets of flannel pajamas
And after I'd finished the QOV quilt tops, I managed to make two dresses:

One holiday dress

Back of holiday dress
The holiday dresses aren't finished since I didn't have the right color thread to stitch the hem and to sew on the velcro closures.  I also want to add a brass button of some sort to dress up the front of the dress.

The second holiday dress with lots of lace!
I worked on one other doll garment that took most of Friday-- a fleece parka.  I had some leftover fleece that I used to experiment with the pattern I'd gotten off the internet. I had to make quite a few adjustments and now I'm not sure it'll fit the doll, so I'll try it on one of the dolls today and see. But I learned how to make the parka  and am ready to try again. JoAnne's is having a big fleece sale right now so I stopped off and picked up some to make into jackets for the dolls. I also have a pattern for a doll coat and I found some fleece that looks like white fur, so guess what I'm going to be playing with!  My friend mentioned that her granddaughter wants some new clothes for her doll, especially a white fur coat.  I think she's going to get her wish!

Before I left for retreat, I'd made a couple batches of soap and cut them into bars.  They should be well cured by now and ready for packaging.

This is "Pomander" glycerin soap--orange and clove scent with bits of cinnamon stick mixed in 

Coconut and olive oil soap
I made this soap in a crock pot in a couple of hours and have used the scraps in the shower--it has virtually no fragrance, but it lathers up beautifully and is very moisturizing.  I used a muffin tin for the mold.  I'll probably bundle two smaller bars together and keep the really wonky ones for myself!

So, I guess I have a full day ahead of me with these projects.  Fortunately, my husband did all the housecleaning--and laundry!--while I was gone so that's not on my mind.  I do have to make a grocery run before I can get going on taking care of these tasks and moving on to new ones.  Busy day again--and I love it!


Wednesday, October 19, 2016

October Retreat!

I'm on my way to the guild October retreat and will try to keep up with the blogging but I'm planning on having so much fun and "sew" much sewing that I'll be too exhausted to write a blog post.  I'll try but I'm not sure how it will be since I'll only have my Kindle Fire to write on.

In case you don't hear from me for the next 5 days, please don't send the sheriff out to find me--I'll be in quilting heaven!   A nd no one will be watching!

Image result for happy quilters cartoon drawings

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Nothin' going on here, folks

Yesterday, I managed to make some progress on the things I'm making for the country store. One batch of soap is in the mold and I filled the 4 little cream bottles with lavender milk bath.  I also stitched on the label for the quilt of valor for the deceased veteran's family and took it over to the Veteran's Service Office.  It will go from there to the family who said they wanted to display it at the visitation.  But I did not get into the sewing room to work on those table runners. Sigh!

Instead I had errands to run and I got my supplies for this week's retreat. Oh, didn't I mention it? Indeed, I'm going on the Guild retreat and I'll be there from Wednesday (tomorrow) through Sunday. Five days of sewing bliss!  I picked up some snack food for the group and a bottle of Kringle Cream Liqueur shown here:

This stuff is soooo good!  It "tastes buttery, nutty, and sweet and is made with real Wisconsin dairy cream." And it has a bit of rum to perk it up a bit!  Yumm! I've brought a bottle to the last 2 retreats and I'll share it with the group on Saturday night.  It's kind of like Bailey's but a different flavor. So nice to pour it over a little ice and sip--or in the morning, it would be great in my cup of coffee.  But after a cup or two, I don't think I'd be able to sew a perfect 1/4" seam!  LOL 

Today promises to be more of the same.  Getting things organized for retreat, packing a suitcase, and just taking care of things before I have to go.  I do want to make the last batch of soap so it can cure while I'm gone and be ready for packaging in time to go into the store. And, as always, maybe I'll get something done on those table runners. Do you want to make a bet on that?  Nah, I wouldn't either.

Monday, October 17, 2016

Number 1 Quilt of Valor

Yesterday my plan was to update the inventory of the  store items and then spend the rest of the day working on table runners and a potholder.  Well, that didn't exactly happen.  Life interfered, in a way.

Yes I did get the inventory done and I'm truly impressed with how much we have--and more to come.  But I didn't get any work done on the table runners and potholder. I received an email from the county veterans office letting me know that one of the veterans who had been selected to receive a Quilt of Valor from us on Veterans Day, a 90+ year old WWII prisoner of war, had passed away on Friday. They asked if we could award the QOV to the family and I said of course.

I had a quilt here at the house that just needed binding and the label, so that's what I worked on instead of following my plan.  Here it is, draped over a chair in my sun porch.  It's a beautifully made scrappy quilt and I hope the family enjoys having it.  I only wish the veteran could have been hugged by it before he traveled on.

After the QOV is delivered this morning, I plan to finish the soap making I've had in mind in order to get the soaps cured and finished up before it's time to package them and put them up for sale.  And, if there's any more time, I promise I'll get some work done on the table runners and potholder.  Promise!

Sunday, October 16, 2016

Two table runners and a potholder

I spent yesterday morning with members of the guild at a work day--making items that we'll put up for sale in the country store that we're running in November.  For those of you who don't know, I'll explain what this store is all about. Every 2 years, my guild participates in a fundraiser called "The Quilt Tour" for the local domestic violence agency.  This is a quilt show that's located at 4 different locations in our town. People buy one ticket that gets them into each of the 4 sites.  My guild has one of the largest sites and, in addition to the exhibit of quilts, demos and vendors, we also offer a "Blue Plate Special" lunch and we have a country store boutique.  Members of the guild have been working all year to make items to sell in the shop--not just quilted items, but things the quilters might like for themselves and for gifts as well.  Yesterday was the second workday we'd arranged to gather together to get some things made up.

Of course, when you get a group of quilters together, you get just as much--or more!--chatting and laughing as you get sewing.  Nonetheless, I managed to put together a few things.

I made a total of 11 Christmas present blocks (5 of each design and one a little different) and will use ten of them to make into 2 table runners--if I can get the math to come out right!  And the 11th one will become another potholder to join the others that I've made.

Last night, I began working on the redwork ornaments that I mentioned yesterday.  I managed to finish the stitching on one of them.  They're only 6" in diameter and it worked up very easily, and I really like how it looks.  Of course, the proof is when the entire thing is finished and ready to hang on a Xmas tree.  These ornaments will be up for sale in the shop as well as the potholders and table runners.

Today, I have to take an inventory of the items that were brought into my house to store until the shop is ready to set up.  My job is to keep track of all the items we have so we can better plan how to display them and what prices to put on them.  When that's finished, it's back into the sewing room to work on those table runners and a potholder.

On Wednesday, I'm leaving for the guild retreat and will be there until Sunday afternoon. Oh Boy! Am I ready for that getaway!  I'd planned on taking two new projects to begin as well as one that I'd begun last winter and then set aside.  And my embroidery as well.  This morning as I lay drowsing in my comfy bed, I realized that I was going to be gone for 5 days. Five days away from my shop sewing!  That's not good! I decided to take along all of my supplies for doll clothes and to work on them exclusively.  And my embroidery as well.  I should be able to make considerable headway in that area in 5 days of working pretty much exclusively on doll clothes, don't you think? I'll probably not do much blogging while I'm away--I'll be too busy having fun with my fellow quilters!

Hoping you have a happy Sunday, I'm off to do inventory!