Saturday, November 23, 2013

Painting for the Grandkids Guest Room

23 Nov 2013

Today, I finally finished the painting I've been working on for the grandkids' guest room. When I look at it I think, "Meh."

But, it will do. Every painting teaches me something and eventually I may do one I really like. . .
Here's how it looks in situ:

After my last post (in June) we sold our house in Virginia (July), and closed on a new house in North Carolina. We moved in on August 5th. (During that time I also spent several days in Missouri helping move my mother into an assisted living home.)

At the end of August, my mother had a stroke, and, I made another trip to Missouri at the end of September to work with my siblings on packing up and clearing out Mom's house. I was gone almost two weeks.

On October 25, my mother died, and we flew to Missouri for several days.

Given all this, and the fact that I am still unpacking/setting up some parts of our house, I guess it's good that I even completed this. It looks a bit too paint-by-number-y for my taste, but, it is what it is.

I'll try something different next time. . .

Monday, June 24, 2013

The Completed Quilt

24 June 2013

I sewed the first step of the binding at my dining room table since
I had to pack up my sewing area to stage our house to sell.

The Completed Quilt

I finally finished the quilt last week and put it in the mail to Ryann on Friday. She should get it today.

It was a real frustration working with the woman who did the quilting. I gave her the completed top, the batting and the backing on April 9 and she promised me I'd have it back by May 20 (so I could finish it and get it to my granddaughter in time for her high school graduation on the 25th.) She lied. I didn't get my quilt back until June 22!! I kept contacting her and she kept making excuses. . . and, I was stuck.

At the end of May I attended a quilt show at the Dulles Expo Center and talked to someone who sells long-arm machines like the one the woman I hired owns. I asked her how long it would take to machine quilt a quilt the dimensions of mine. She said about 3 hours! Then, I met another woman who does machine quilting orders. She lives in Atlanta and people mail their projects to her to quilt, then she mails them back. The price she quoted me was exactly what I paid this local woman and she told me that once she received it, she'd complete it and mail it back in two-to-three weeks!

Live and learn! There are a number of things I learned from this experience. One is that I will try to machine quilt future quilts myself — even though I can't afford to own a long-arm quilting machine.

Still, I'm happy with the finished product and I think Ryann will be happy with it, too. That's what matters most.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

A Quilt for Our Oldest Granddaughter

11 April 2013

It's hard to believe our oldest granddaughter, Ryann, will be graduating from high school next month! Where have all the years gone?

Last summer I decided to make a lap-size quilt to give her for graduation — as a sort of virtual hug she can wrap up in as she faces important challenges in the coming months and years. Making the quilt blocks has been a longer process than I expected it to be, but, I finally finished them and got them all sewn together.

Originally, my plan was to also learn how to machine quilt on my own sewing machine so that I would not only piece the quilt blocks and assemble them, but do the quilting, too. The realities of life at the moment, however, have led me to alter that plan a bit. (I think I need to learn the machine quilting part on my own time, when I'm not under any pressure to finish a specific project.)

So, on April 9th, I took it to a woman I met in Ashburn, Judy M., who has a long-arm quilting machine. What a machine! Wow! (And, I can only dream of someday having the space that she has for sewing.)

After looking at a variety of pattern options for the quilting, I choose a dragonfly and hummingbird design. The fabrics in the quilt are all very contemporary and I think it will be fun to have a more youthful motif in the quilting. Judy said it should be finished in about 5 - 6 weeks.

When I get it back I'll square it up and sew on the binding — and it will be ready to mail off.

I've learned a lot in the process of making it. And, despite it's flaws, it's a huge improvement over my first quilt (pictured in an earlier post.) I have a couple of other quilts in mind already that I want to get started on soon. :-)

Sunday, January 27, 2013

My Little Birdie Painting

Have been thinking of birds lately, and did a little painting (paint doodling, really) for these long winter days. . .