Monday, August 31, 2009

Two to go in more ways than one

Two to go Part I

My First topic of two to go are with the Breast Cancer Quilts. I was able to complete the quilting on 2 of the Breast Cancer quilts this weekend. I just quilted using stitch in the ditch but still took some time. I love how the stitch in the ditch makes the blocks stand out even more. Two more to quilt and then it's on to binding.

Ok, so I took the easy way out for the binding. I was able to find Moda Pink pre-ironed binding! I'll just trim up the quilt edges and adhere the binding. I usually like making my own binding but not for four quilts! These bindings will be completed using the sewing machine. I usually use the clear thread so you can't see the stitches. I think sometimes, sewing the binding with machine is just as tedious as by hand. I just have to keep the momentum going. 1 month left to complete them.

Two to go Part II

We released our second Monarch tonight. This little guy took off right away and flew high into the sky. Now we have about 8 more chrysalises to go. Although, I'm not sure about 4 of them. You see, I placed the plastic lid of the second batch of the chrysalises into another netting container we had. I used the sticky Velcro on the top of the lid and then stuck the other side to the plastic top of the netting container and squeezed real hard.

An hour later when I came in to check on them, I couldn't see them hanging from the top. Much to my horror, the Velcro let loose of the plastic and the lid with the chrysalises dropped straight down. I lost one chrysalis right away and the other four, I'm just not sure. Only time will tell. That was such a downer for the day.


I was able to spend some creative time making a card for my Mom's Birthday. Of course I forgot to take a photo of the finished product but here is the front in the beginning. I added some ink to break up all the white of the card. I used my Silhouette Die Cutter to cut out the titles and center frame. I have the inside shown below as well but blurred the personal message.

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Friday, August 28, 2009

Our First Monarch of this year

We have our first Monarch Butterfly! OK, it emerged on Monday and I'm just writing about it now. We have since released it yesterday. It was so pretty! Within the next couple of days, we will probably have about 3+ more Monarchs.

This isn't the greatest photo of it but look at it's wing span how pretty. This was when he took the container outside to let it go.

It climbed up on my finger when I was letting it out of the netting while I was trying not to disturb the other chrysalises. It stayed there for about a minute, open/closing its wings and then flew off.

This video was taken about a day after it emerged. It climbed up the to the top of the container and hung on the safety pin suspending the lid that the chrysalises are attached to. It was drying it's wings. You can barely see the clear chrysalis in the bottom right area (maybe too blurry) and then a full green chrysalis beside it.

This weekend, my goal is to either create all the binding necessary for the breast cancer quilts or to quilt at least two of the four quilts.

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Monday, August 24, 2009

Quilt Sandwiches, Coupons and Chrysalises

Quilt Sandwiches

The Breast Cancer Warrior quilts have all been staged into quilt sandwiches. I'm so glad I was able to complete all of the quilt sandwiches over the weekend! That's a lot of pins!
If it weren't for my little Kwik Klip gadget and curved safety pins, I'd have myself some sore little fingers. I had to go the route of pinning the quilts since there are so many baubles on the quilts that I am not going to be able to do any design quilting on them. In addition, I would not want any thread design to detract from the written text in each block. So, over the next couple of weeks it will be stitching in the ditch. This should go pretty quick though.


During a trip to Joann's this weekend for more curved pins, I came across the new edition of Fashion Fusion magazine in their pattern section. It has 30+ Simplicity designs to view but the best part is that there are 6 coupons on the back of the magazine. Two 50% off coupons and Four 40% coupons good until December 26th 2009. I'm so glad I caught them early this time. I buy a couple of these magazine and then use the coupons whenever I want. I Place a couple in my purse and I'm set for anything I need to pick up at Joanns or Michaels. I've saved a lot of money with these coupons!


So, we had the caterpillars in the little plastic container and then they started going into Chrysalises. We had to wait until all four larger caterpillars became chrysalises before we could transfer them to the netting container. Do you know how hard it is to come up with a way to hang a solid lid. Thanks to some craft supplies, I was able to come up with a way. Nothing a few curved safety pins and ribbons can't achieve. So, we are patiently awaiting our first round of monarch butterflies! It's not the best photo but since they are already in the netting, it's hard to take a great photo inside it.

Thanks for stopping by!

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Combining Craft Hobbies - Archiving your Quilting

As the title goes, I love all things crafty. There are not many craft areas I have not tried. When I have an opportunity to combine crafts, it's even better. I love working with digital photos and I am usually pretty good at taking photos of all the quilts I've assembled along the way. I'm terrible with keeping track of finish dates so the photos allow me to keep my date archive as well.

In the past couple of years, the hard back photo books have become such a rage. Upload your photos to a, or and you can create a hard back digital photo book to share with friends! Here's an example of a photo book I created of random quilts completed.

This was completed when Oprah provided a coupon for a free photo book and I did not have a lot of time to complete it. So, I forgot to add important information such as dates to the photos! However, I can add those back in with the labeler machine. You can also place as much text as you want. This was so easy since I used pre-made template pages. Just drop your photos in, add some text and you are a done.

Below are the front cover, 3 random pages and the back cover.

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Monday, August 17, 2009

Corner Block Borders Completed and Snakes

I was able to complete all 4 Breast Cancer Quilt tops with corner block borders this weekend. Now all that's left to do is to square up the tops again and then on to quilt sandwich assembly and quilting. Hopefully, each upcoming weekend I'll finish one quilt! I snapped photos of each quilt and merged them for a quick look. I was too lazy and kept each other quilt on the banister below each photo'd quilt and it caused it not to lay straight. So, they are cattywompus.

Breast Cancer Quilt topsI took each corner block and removed the stabilizer. The outside of the heart was really easy to remove the stabilizer but I could not get a grip of the inside stabilizer to get it started. Once it was started, it was easily removed. Finally came up with starting it with my seam ripper. Worked like a charm, but be careful. One time not paying attention and you have both the stabilizer and the fabric in one rip. Happened to me and I had to go back to the embroidery machine and make one more puffy heart corner block.

It's Still Here..

DH was out cutting grass and put the riding lawnmower away in the shed. Of course he's always a little more cautious since we saw the snake on the shed. Well yesterday he saw something out of the corner of his eye. He found evidence that the intruder has taken a liking to our shed and has taken up residence. I may have to serve an eviction notice somehow. Of course in a humane way, maybe someone can catch it and release it elsewhere. The photo isn't the whole skin. The ends seem to be broken off as well. Can you say gross!! To be continued...

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Thursday, August 13, 2009

Don't turn around or they'll multiply

I am still in my mass cleaning mode after the yard sale this past weekend and I have been preparing clothing and items to be donated to our local charity. The more I gather things, the more I notice the multiples of things. I wonder if it is just crafters that tend to have multiples versions of items. Then, I step back and see all the Philadelphia Eagles shirts my husband keeps so it's not just us. But, here are some items I'm seeing. See if you can shake your head and say... yep, me too.

Fabric, threads and scissors...
This goes without saying for a quilter. I'm sure there are a lot of quilters out there that see the same thing. But, when I step back and look at my quilting items, I'm amazed at the multiples. I must have 6 different quilting rulers that are all square and 4 different types of longer rulers. 3 shades of tan threads and multiple other colors. And fabric... I could spend a whole posting on that but you get the picture.

Die Cutters...
When you love making cards, die cutting shapes go hand in hand. But when I was cleaning out the office area I came across my silhouette die cutting machine that I had disconnected when my previous pc crashed. I kinda forgot about it (don't know how) and recently reconnected it and have been using it a lot lately. But, I also have the smaller slice machine and another manual die cutter. Each one serves it purpose and does more than the other but when I step back and look through my husbands eyes, why the duplication.

Yes dongles. Being in the IT field, I understand the need to secure your software so that it is not pirated or distributed. But lately, I've noticed a lot of software packages for crafts using dongles. Ok, so now I need to figure out which dongle I need to insert to use which software package. I have 4 dongles. I have some higher end software packages that do not use dongles. Maybe it's just the crafters, maybe they just share items too much. Look at the photo, I'm trying to use different color ribbons for each dongle.

Digital files...
If you embroider, there are a multitude of free files out there to download and use. However, if you are not careful, you'll start amassing gigs of files on your computer. Not to mention the digital die cutting files and the digital scrapbooking files. Heck, I'm going to need an external hard drive just to house all those files. I'm running out of back up cds :-)

Ok, I just had to throw this one in. Hubby has been faithfully checking the milkweed plant for Monarch eggs. When I last posted, I had one or two. Now, we have probably 8 eggs in waiting and 3 caterpillars already. Pretty soon, we'll need to move to the larger Tupperware container :-)

Closing thoughts...
If you are still with me after all those topics, thanks for hanging in there! Now it's time to go to work and then back to cleaning and trying to remove some of these multiplications. If I can't remove the crafting multiplications, at least I can remove all the other household items. Heck, all it's doing is making more room for crafting!! Just kidding.. have a great day!

Thanks for stopping by!

Monday, August 10, 2009

Yard Sales and Crafting

I spent much of the past week preparing for the "big" yard sale our street was going to have over the weekend. Believe me, I have more than enough things to sell. As I was gathering things up throughout the week, I would return to my craft room (which is overflowing) and tried to find a few things to contribute to the sale. Each time I would pick something up, I heard my inner crafter saying... NO.. you might need that someday! You can't sell that now, wait and sell it online. Yeah right, like that will happen.

Why is it that I have no problem getting rid of clothes, furniture, sentimental items, etc.. but, when it comes to the craft items or fabric, there's always a possible use!! Case in point, I was just about to sell the following two items... some plastic containers and these huge binding rings. The plastic containers were reprieved at the last minute to house my backup cd's (perfect fit!) of digital scrapbooking images... The huge double binding circles, now hold my different rulers. I needed to use both to position the rulers flush with the wall.... It's a sickness I'm telling you! Or do I look at it another way and say.... "I'm doing my part to recycle!!" :-)

I was able to finish all the puffy applique hearts for the quilts. You can't see them all in the photo but 16 puffy applique hearts completed. They are really fast to put together now that I precut the stuffing and the applique design fabric.

Now I need to decide if I want to add one more border on each quilt. It's something that keeps coming to my mind but we'll see if it appears on the quilts.

Thanks for stopping by!

Monday, August 3, 2009

88' of Border & Puffy Applique

I'm happy to say I made some real progress this weekend on the breast cancer quilts. It's amazing what a rainy weekend will do for a crafter :-) I started thinking about my heart corner blocks. I created an applique heart in the embroidery software to sew out.

Puffy Applique

I experimented to see what it would be like if the heart were puffy applique using Pellon fleece as stuffing. I layered the Pellon fleece and top fabric on top of the sewn outline and trimmed after the second sewn tracing. I found it extremely difficult to trim the Pellon fleece and fabric in the applique.

So.. I printed out the embroidery design and taped to some cardboard to make a template. I precut my Pellon fleece and top fabric before I went to the embroidery machine and it was so much more faster and cleaner. I have 7 of the 12 blocks needed completed. It's hard to see the dimension of these blocks. You can see it best in the right photo, top left corner. I know I'll be revisiting this process around Valentine's Day!!

88' of Border

I was also able to cut both border fabrics strips, sew the strips together and iron all of them. I figured out that this was 1056" or 88' of sewing and ironing!! Once I finish all the corner squares, it should be fast sewing for adding the borders.

Thanks for stopping by!