Sunday, December 30, 2012

Stashbusting 2012 - Week 52

Hard to believe its already the end of 2012.  This year has flown by!

I'll start off this week with a few pre-Christmas purchases.  I purchased two scrap bags from Southern Fabrics.  Each scrap bag was about 2 yards of fabric.  I wanted to add some variety to a few scrap quilts I have going right now.



Next come the Christmas goodies. :-)

I was given the "My Comfort Cutter" by Grace company.  I have to get a ruler or two now.  These cutters have a guide on them to fit into a groove on the ruler such that you don't have to force the cutter up against the edge of the ruler.  The guide keeps it right next to the ruler.  The package of pins was actually a Thank You gift from Keepsake Quilting.  I guess I bought some stuff there this year. ;-)


Next are some other Christmas gifts.  I wanted to do some more hand-applique, so I had asked for a book of traditional applique blocks that are found in Baltimore Album quilts.  The handy thing is that it comes with a CD so you can print out the appliques at any size you want.  I also asked for the Winding Ways die for the Go! Cutter.  I have the cutter system already and have wanted to make a Winding Ways quilt, but didn't want to have to hand-cut all those curves.  Yay for the Go! die!


Finally, my sweet hubby bought me fabric!  And lots of it!  Below I've fanned out one of the fabric medleys he got for me.  They are all batik-styled prints in different colors.


Here's the rest of the stack of fabrics...purples, pinks, blues, greens, dark blues...yummy!


So with the 4 yards of scrap bag fabric and the 28 yards of medleys....I'm definitely in the red this year.  It just means I'll be all set for next year, right?  ;-)

The yardage I used this week was actually a backing for the Lone Star quilt.  I've basted it and did a bunch of SID quilting.  Now its time to get down to the fine custom work on it.  This quilt will probably take a while to finish up (getting sick this past week hasn't helped my productivity!).

Here are my numbers:

Added This Week:       32.00 yards
Added Year to Date:    66.29 yards
Used This Week:          3.63 yards
Used Year to Date:       31.52 yards
Net Year to Date:         37.54 yards

Go on over to Judy's blog to see how everyone else did this year.

Happy Crafting!
~Sarah at upstateNYCreations

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Pre-Christmas Quilting

Its been a little while since I've posted.  Things got pretty hectic just before Christmas.  I had a client quilt to finish up by the 21st along with fitting in Christmas shopping and finishing up work for the year.

I'm not going to show the entire quilt for my client, but I'll show the backing and the quilting that I did on the quilt.  In this particular case, the client wanted me to follow the butterfly patterns that were on the backing material, so I had to load the quilt upside-down on my frame (i.e. top was on the bottom roller, and the backing was where the quilt top normally would have been).  This made it a bit more difficult as I couldn't actually see the quilt top itself.  When all was said and done, I had about 11-12 hours of work into this quilt.

Here's the backing material loaded onto the frame:

Client 2 - 1

The next series of photos shows the flowers, hearts and the butterflies I traced from the backing material.

Client 2 - 2

I even worked in some caterpillars and leaves as the client was going with a garden theme.

Client 2 - 3

Client 2 - 5

Client 2 - 6

It was an interesting quilt to stitch on and the client really liked the finished product.

Since today is Saturday already, the rest of my fun over Christmas will posted with the Sunday stash report as it will be the last report of the year.  I did get some yardage for Christmas, so I'll definitely be counting it this year!  :-)  Maybe my reports next year will be more in the black.

Happy Crafting!
~Sarah at upstateNYCreations

Monday, December 17, 2012

Make-A-List Monday

I've been a bit quiet in the blogging world lately.  Initially it was due to being very busy with work and trying to get a client quilt finished up.  Then things changed on Friday.  While I don't like to dwell on sad things, I want to take a few moments to give tribute to Sandy Hook Elementary.


My husband grew up in Sandy Hook and up until a few years ago, his parents owned a home less than a mile from the Elementary school.  It has been surreal for us the past few days.  I first saw the headline on the news and it simply referenced a shooting at a school in Sandy Hook, but it didn't give any of the details that we now know. 

Sandy Hook truly is your quintessential New England village.  Its a quiet place where people gather at the local coffee shop prior to heading out to the weekend soccer and ball fields.  If you picture those post-card views of a New England town in the fall... that's Sandy Hook.

My heart breaks for the parents of the lost children and also for the children who have survived.  Life will never be the same for anyone in that small town.  The pain will never be gone, but I hope they can move forward and keep those precious 20 children and brave 6 adults in their hearts.

So on to quilting items...

Here was what I had planned for last week:

1. Quilt client quilt and remove from frame. Done!  This is all set to go back to the client.  Since I forgot to ask ahead of time, I can't show any pictures.  I want to make sure the client is OK with showing pictures before I actually do it.
2. Hand-sew binding on Charity quilt. I haven't been working on this since I've been focusing on #1 and #3.
3. Hand-sew binding on Whirly Stars quiltGetting there. :-)  I have one long side left before I'm done.
4. Square-up backing fabric for Lone Star quilt. Not done.  I've been focusing on #1 and #3.

I'm glad to have the client quilt done.  It has been one of the few projects that truly have a deadline that isn't self-imposed.  It was supposed to be done by this Friday, so I'm glad I got it done a bit early.  With that being done, it also frees up some time to do the binding on quilts and also to get moving on the Lone Star quilt.

Here's my plan for this coming week, which will be a little odd since I'm only working two days and my vacation starts on the 19th.  Yay!  I won't have to go back to work until January 2nd.

1. Square-up backing fabric for Lone Star quilt.
2. Hand-sew binding on Whirly Stars quilt.
3. Hand-sewing binding on Charity quilt.
4. Baste Lone Star quilt on quilting frame and start custom quilting.

Happy Crafting!
~Sarah at upstateNYCreations

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Make-A-List Monday

 Yes, I know today is Tuesday and my post title says Monday. :-)  This just shows how this week has been already.  It's been a bit crazy with work, Christmas shopping, dealing with 2013 healthcare issues, etc.  The last few weeks of the year area always crazy here at work and it seems to be a bit more so this year.

I didn't get everything done that I wanted to last week....

1. Prepare backing and baste the Lone Star Wall hanging. Nothing. :-(
2. Trim quilt top for Whirly Stars baby quilt and add binding. Done.  Starting hand-sewing binding.
3. Trim quilt top for charity quilt and add binding. Done.  Starting hand-sewing binding.
4. Post picture of Christmas tree and snowman applique project.  Nothing. :-(

While I didn't seem to get a lot done here, I actually did get a lot of things done.  On Monday evening (12/3), I received a call from a local quilter asking if I could quilt a for her.  We met Tuesday evening and she left her quilt with me.  I have to have the quilting done by the 21st.  It will be a bit interesting to quilt as the top isn't too terribly flat.  I think it will just be a lot of extra pinning to ease the bulk in without creating pleats.

I also wrote up Christmas cards (with hubby's help) and we completed about 90% of our Christmas shopping.  Yay!  We spent last Saturday doing a little bit of window shopping at the local mall.  It was EXTREMELY busy there.  It re-affirmed why I don't like going to the mall anymore.  We did pick up a few things for Christmas gifts, so it wasn't a complete loss.

We also did some window shopping at a music store that's in the mall (yes - kind of odd).  This music store sells guitars, keyboards and also full-size grand pianos.  We're contemplating getting a baby grand piano to use at the house.

I've played piano since I was 5 and I love playing.  When I was in an apartment in Connecticut, I needed something to play, so I paid $$ for a digital piano by Kawai.  While it wasn't the same as playing on a real piano, it was close and sounded very good.  It still sounds very good over 10 years later.  Now that we're in our house and not really moving anymore (hopefully), we'd really like to get a full piano versus the digital piano.

A friend of ours has a used Steinway and every time we visit them, we play and wish we had one of our own.  So now we're starting to check out a few places that sell them.  I'm not bit into name brands, so the piano doesn't have to be a Steinway (I've played on some really great Steinways...and some really bad Steinways).  For me, it all comes down to how the piano feels and what it sounds like.  Heck, I'd buy a Yamaha grand piano if I loved how it played and sounded.  I'm a bit partial towards Kawai pianos as they have a very clear, bright sound to them and they don't sound muddled like some of the "old-name" pianos sound.

The best part about window shopping for pianos is that you get to try them all out. :-)  When we went to the mall this weekend, we didn't have any music with us, so it was playing bits and pieces by memory.  We plan on checking out another place this weekend and we'll be sure to bring music with us this time.

So what's my plan for quilting items this week??

1. Quilt client quilt and remove from frame.
2. Hand-sew binding on Charity quilt.
3. Hand-sew binding on Whirly Stars quilt.
4. Square-up backing fabric for Lone Star quilt.

Happy Crafting!
~Sarah at upstateNYCreations

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Superior Threads

I'm going to start out this post by saying that I am not receiving anything from Superior Threads for posting my opinions about their threads or their services.  This is not a paid advertisement or anything like that.  I just want to share my opinion about what a great company they have.

When I first started quilting, I wasn't very particular about my thread choices.  To be honest, I didn't think it mattered.  How wrong I was!  :-)

I started using Superior Threads after I had a minor thread meltdown with my Viking MegaQuilter.  I had picked up some thread with a nice sheen to it and I hadn't ever had a problem with it before (I'm purposely leaving out the name of the thread here).  However, the thread was 40% rayon and while my standard sewing machine (with a max stitch count of 900/minute) didn't have a problem with it, when I put it on the MegaQuilter (max stitch count of 1600/minute), the thread proceeded to just melt due to the friction of it moving through the machine.

It gummed up the bobbin area of my machine so badly that my bobbin was thrown off kilter and it was rotating 180-degrees from where it should be and snapping every needle that I put into the machine.

I guess it took a problem like that to learn my lesson. 

So I started using Superior Threads because I had heard a lot of great things about them and they had a HUGE selection of threads.  What a different thread really does make!

The better threads not only make my machines run smoother, but they also produce less lint and they feel great when you do hand-sewing with them, too.

I think one of the things I like the most about Superior Threads is their customer service.  I had ordered a few thread cards earlier this year and they were out of one card.  They kindly called me at home and let me know they were out of that one and asked if I wanted to substitute a different card or they could refund my money for the card.  I gave them the replacement card number and they shipped them out that day.  Even better....I received them the next day!

Their shipping is absolutely incredible.  I placed an order on Wednesday morning of this week and they shipped the order out on Wednesday afternoon.  It was shipped via priority mail (their cheapest option) and I'll probably receive the thread Friday.  You really can't beat ordering thread and receiving it within 2-3 days.

They are a great company and are actually considered a small business, so I'm all for supporting small businesses especially here in the US.  If you haven't checked out their threads yet, I highly recommend it!

Happy Crafting!
~Sarah at upstateNYCreations


Monday, December 3, 2012

Make-A-List Monday

Its Monday again...  I feel like I should put one of those Garfield cartoons on here regarding how bad Mondays are.  I think Garfield once proposed eliminating all Mondays from the calendar.  :-)  I would totally be up for that!

I actually got quite a bit done this past weekend.  Two quilts are now quilted and ready for binding.  A third quilt has the backing prepared and is ready to get loaded onto the quilt frame.  Here's one of the two quilts that got quilted.  This one got done Saturday afternoon between entertaining my in-laws.  Its a quilt that will given as part of a charity function with  my guild.  Another member had pieced the top and prepared backing and binding, but the quilt needed the final quilting and binding. 


I love the texture this pattern leaves on the quilt.  I quilted it using Baby Blue from Connecting Threads in the top and a coordinating shade of blue from Superior Threads Bottom Line in the bobbin.  I love using the Superior Threads various different types of threads.  The Connecting Threads is also good (no problems with my machine), but it does produce more lint.


So here's what I had planned for last week.

1. Post pictures of completed quilts and update blog. Done!  Posted here and here.
2. Quilt charity quilt for guild.  Done! (above)
3. Post pictures of Patchwork Garden completed.  Done!  Posted here.
4. Post picture of Christmas tree. Oops!  Forgot about this one.  I really should get a good picture of the tree as its very pretty this year.

This week is probably going to be another busy week, but here's what I would like to get done.

1. Prepare backing and baste the Lone Star Wall hanging.
2. Trim quilt top for Whirly Stars baby quilt and add binding.
3. Trim quilt top for charity quilt and add binding.
4. Post picture of Christmas tree and snowman applique project.

I hope everyone's week is starting out well!

Happy Crafting!
~Sarah at upstateNYCreations

Also, check out this pretty cool piece of wall art.  I could actually see hanging this in our foyer...we have a lot of blank space there!

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Stashbusting 2012 - Week 48

Its been a few weeks since I last posted for the Sunday Stash reports, but I have been doing some sewing.  Not a whole lot of stash used, but some.  I have been busy with work and also with the Thanksgiving holiday here in the US.  Three Thanksgiving dinners in one week....I think I'm done with eating for the next month. :-)

So here's what I've been up to:

- I finished the binding on this baby quilt for my husband's co-worker.



- Then I quilted a quilt for the charity group at my guild. Someone had already pieced the top and provided backing, batting and binding. So yesterday I spent a few hours and quilted it up.



- I also prepared some backing for this quilt (which is my stash used).


I also bought fabric for another quilt that I'm making for another of my husband's co-worker's and some good friends of ours.  So that's my stash added this week.  Since I couldn't pass up the good deals at Connecting Threads, I also bought a fat quarter sampler of their Winter Frost line.  It looks gorgeous and I can't wait to make some table runners with it.

Here are my numbers:

Added This Week:       10.75 yards
Added Year to Date:    34.29 yards
Used This Week:          2.20 yards
Used Year to Date:       27.90 yards
Net Year to Date:         6.40 yards

I'm back in the red again by 6 yards.  :-(  I think I'll be able to use the fabric for the new baby quilt pretty quickly and I have another backing to get ready for another quilt, so that will definitely use up some fabric.

Check out how everyone else is doing with their stash over at Judy's blog.

 Happy Crafting!
~Sarah at upstateNYCreations