Saturday, January 31, 2015

Birthday Sister

Today is my sister Renee's 60th birthday.  I can finally reveal my covert sewing operation:

The pattern is called Falling Charms from Missouri Star Quilting Company.  I used two charm packs of Persimmon from Moda, off-white Grunge, and Downton Abbey fabric for the border and backing, all purchased at Bittersweet Quilt Shop in Pinconning, MI.  I arranged the colors going from dark to light, though it's a bit hard to tell from these photos taken on my cell phone by my sister Carol.  I quilted the 70" x 70" throw on my Juki 2010Q after piecing it on my Juki F600.  Once done I serged it using my Juki MO-1000, and bound it using the grunge fabric.  Can you tell I adore Juki products????!!!!

I gave Renee the quilt tonight following a large family dinner at Big Boy -- very fun time.  While the pattern name is Falling Charms, I told Renee I call it 'Out of the Darkness' -- which is the mantra for Suicide Prevention.  This is the first birthday for Renee without her son Paul, who committed suicide last June.  She's also the first sister to have a birthday without our Mom, who died in October.  It was good to have so many family members attend her party -- we took over the restaurant and sang Happy Birthday to her -- so fun!

Monday, January 19, 2015

Checking In

I've been sewing my little heart out, working on a stealth project.  No peeking just yet, but soon my pretty, very soon.

I've got to get my quilts ready for the GLHQ Quilt Show, just 6 weeks away!  I want to enter four quilts but I've got to get them photographed to enter them.  I might have to haul them into the office to get a tall guy to hold them up for me.

And speaking of the office, big drama last week.  Things had gotten so bad between my co-worker Debbie and our boss in North Carolina that she had been offered a new job and accepted.  She told the VP in our office who knew if she left I'd be right behind her.  They'd be left with no quality assurance analysts and that would put them in a really bad spot.  So he went to bat for us, convincing all the powers that be that the management of the QA team should be done here in Michigan and miracle of miracles it worked.  

Debbie had to turn down the offer at the new company and today was our first day with no micromanaging, no relentless banter, no angst.  It felt really good.  Late in the day I heard from a recruiter about a position I had posted for last week.  It sounds like a great opportunity but I feel like I have to give the new changes at my current employer a chance to succeed.  I told the recruiter I'd be in touch if it doesn't!

Sunday, January 4, 2015

Off to a Good Start

Welcome to the New Year!  I know I'm a few days late but time has been getting away from me, even this early in the new year.  Christmas was a whirlwind, full of last minute sewing, gathering with family, and traveling up north and back again.

Before I headed up north I made three pillows for my sister to go with the quilt I made her for her last milestone birthday.  She's placed the quilt on the bed in her daughter's recently redecorated room -- decorated around the colors of the quilt.

Even though I thought of the animal print side to be the back side of the quilt my sister likes that side best in this room.  I made her a 40" bolster, a 22" bolster, and a 14" square pillow, so far.

Here's a larger view of the room, including the crib for the baby when they all visit.

I'm always saying I need to start sewing for Christmas gifts much earlier than I always do.  Seems like I get into a fever pitch sometime after December 15th each year.

This past Christmas I made simple circle skirts for my two great-nieces.  They're made from a layer of knit fabric and a layer of sequin fabric, with a simple knit elastic band.  

I used my serger to sew the two layers together and then my sewing machine to attach the elastic band.  This close up picture of the serged edge is a bit too bright.  Serging the two fabrics together before attaching the elastic was a definite help.

I think they turned out so well -- I'll be making more of these.

I'm really enjoying my sewing time.  Being creative really helps me balance my life.  When I sit down to the machine I can feel my soul smiling.  You can't get much better than that.  Unless my grandchildren were here to spoil a bit.