Monday, June 10, 2013

Back in the game, sort of... ROAD TRIP!

Well, I got my machines all set up and out of their traveling cases and into their new homes at my new place. Whew! It's already a mess and both the sewing machine and the embroidery machine won't be on the same table when it's done, but it's progress! It's amazing how quickly my sewing space gets messy. Having Jordyn open her bag of scraps didn't help! LOL!
I was wondering if I'd get back in the routine of stitching again with all that unpacking and organizing to do! Well, it's all here, maybe not in the "right" place, but at least workable. And now that it's all in working order, I'm getting packed up to take a road trip to California! I'm taking my 9-year-old granddaughter Jordyn with me on the way out. She'll stay with my ex and his wife, Nana & Papa, for 2 months. It will be fun to take her on her first cross-country drive from Kansas to California. I suspect there will be more than a few adventures to write about soon!

Me & Cindy in better times.
On a sad note, my sister-in-law Cindy, for whom I made the picture/embroidery memory quilt, passed away on May 14 as a result of her cancer roaring back before I could get back to California to see her. She passed just as our Relay for Life was happening, so I did a few extra laps and donated a few more dollars to have a special Luminaria bag on the track in her memory. She's why I'm making the trip--to spend time with my brother and his kids and grandkids.

I'll be bringing her Comforting Words quilt back with me to display in a couple of local quilt shows and to enter in the county and state fairs, and then I'll return it to my niece as a keepsake.

Stripping the rainbow array of batiks to add a splash of color to the back.
Before leaving for my roadtrip, I finally got busy and have my Eleanor Burns Zig-a-Zag nearly finished! The quilting is done except the final 2" border, then binding. I'm hoping to get that done tonight so I can take it to my old guild's meeting tomorrow night to share. My quilting buddy Sharon came to visit my new place last weekend and we got her quilt pinned and my Zig-a-Zag pinned. We've both been busy ditching and quilting, trying to turn UFOs into finished projects. :-) I set Sharon up at my machine with a practice square as she's a beginner FMQ person. I did some examples and then set her loose while I worked on my stuff. So far she's happy ditching, but will gain confidence as she continues to practice, just as I did.
Sharon practicing her FMQ
I decided I wanted to piece the back of my Zig-a-Zag. I still haven't decided on what I'm going to call my quilt, maybe Prismatic Progression. What do you think? At the MQS DreamCatchers Quilt Show that I went to last month at the Century II in Wichita, KS, I picked up a beautiful pack of rainbow colored batik half-yards and am using them to add a splash of color to the back of my quilt. Here's the layout audition that I chose to use, after trying several placements on the tables before pinning.
Auditioning positions for the rainbow splash for the backing.

My rainbow Zig-a-Zag ready to pin!
 Once it was pinned, I started the process of ditching the zigzags with a variegated lavender on the back and monofilament on the front.
Then I went back to do a single row of stitching in the center of each zigzag row. I did these in variegated threads in the colors of each row.

And a rare occasion occurred... my daughter was here while I was stitching and caught a picture of me in action! Wow! I don't get to be on my own blog very often. Oh, and this is a pic of the other side of the new sewing room... In the closet hidden on the left side is a stack of tubs with more stash that reaches up to the hanging bar and a stack of drawers with more stash on the right. Oh, and there's a whole pile of UFOs pinned and waiting to be quilted on the top shelf. LOL!
I still have that last border, trimming, and binding to do, but it's the first major progress on a UFO since my move!

Not that I don't have anything else to do, I took on yet another small project that proved to be more of a challenge than I thought it would be. Jacob (you remember, that cute little grandson I babysit?) turned one year this past Saturday. Ali asked me to embroider a t-shirt for him to wear at his monster-themed party. We looked around and ended up purchasing the Monster Mash Birthday Applique numbers to use with his name embroidered below the applique one. Ali had used my Cricut Mini Monsters Cartridge to make monster cutouts to decorate for the party that turned out so cute!!! I used her lead to pick colors for the applique in blues, greens and orange.
There was supposed to be a wonderful first birthday party/barbecue to celebrate on Sunday. Unfortunately Jacob ran a fever all weekend and the party got cancelled. However, it is being rescheduled and he will be wearing the t-shirt with the machine embroidered monster that I put together for him. I started out making a mock-up on cotton that turned out great! I've only done a little in-the-hoop machine applique, so wanted to be sure what I was doing before I put the t-shirt in the hoop. As I quickly learned, working on the t-shirt was another situation entirely...
After shredding thread, changing needles, having the applique pieces bubble and not get caught in the anchor stitching, and other mishaps, it finally came together! I guess I've spent too long away from my machine embroidery projects. Ali has it to take with her next weekend for him to wear. Yay! Sad part is I'll be on my road trip and will miss the party, but she promises lots of pictures of him wearing it. And we'll do another mini-party when I get home to celebrate together with my older daughter Jeni and her two kids, Joe & Jordyn, after Jordyn returns from her summer visit with Nana & Papa. We're thinking a family day at the Kansas City Zoo!
And so, now it's time to get my bag packed, organize all the stuff we're taking with us, and be ready to leave tomorrow morning. Jordyn has already asked if we can stop at quilt shops (Good Girl!!!) so she can add some fat quarters to her collection that she's using to make a scrappy quilt. And I'm off to get busy readying for our trip!

More snippets from the sewing room soon,