30 August 2010

Quilts From The Heart

Last week I was browsing around a local quilt store (lqs) looking for a ruler, which I haven't found in town yet, and came across a local group of gals that make quilts to donate here in the local area. They meet every Monday at various locations so there I am agreeing to meet with them on Monday's. I ran a local chapter of Quilts For Kids when I was in the Las Vegas area so this just happened to fall in line with my charity side. I went to my first meeting today and rather enjoyed myself, they meet from 12-4 but since I have to be home when my youngest gets out of school I can only stay until 230, but I did get a lot done for my first meeting. We ended up pinning 6 or 8 quilts with the batting, backing and top so that they can be sewn really quick and then turned inside out. Then after that I helped tie a fleece blanket, and I also cut the backing and binding away from one ready to be turned.  I am thinking next time they will have me cut some kits and since I love to rotary cut that might be the fit for me.

That is about all of the quilting I have done since Saturday. I had my niece yesterday so I just had a really lazy day, went to church and sat around most of the day and of course watched the Denver Broncos last night.

I did get up this morning and cut scraps. I made a small dent, I think.... My goal is to get all of the scraps done by the end of the year so we shall see what progress I make.

It is hard getting used to a new routine around here. Husband started work today, which in turn leaves me to pick and take up my middle one from school, Ryan, and then come home and get everything ready for dinner. Now I will be taking my youngest one Jared to school on Mondays and Wednesdays since he is joining a before school reading/coffee group. I think I am going to be living in my car at times.  This is a big adjustment from someone who stayed home for the last 5 years and took care of 5 little ones all day long. There would be days and days I would not leave the house at all. I guess that is the joy of being a stay at home mom and I know before long I will be sad that they are all grown and out of the house. In the meantime I wonder how many miles and gallons of gas I will use.

I don't like posting without a picture so here is a quick block I made just for the heck of it. What I will do with it, who knows, may end up in the back of a quilt somewhere down the line.  It was paper pieced so that was a nice break from the normal as well. I love to paper piece but I can't do it too often since I seem to lose patience after awhile.

Good news is there isn't too many outings other than to and from school this week so maybe I can get some major quilting done, although I have to admit being home alone is rather weird.  I felt really weird most of the morning with just the dog, cat and 2 birds for company. I guess I will get used to it eventually.


28 August 2010

Storm at Sea

Between yesterday and today I had alot of errands and chores to get done, so I didn't get too much quilting done. I had planned on quilting all night tonight, during football, but my back is a killing me. I guess I will take a break tonight and just try and getting some binding done, but it is soo hot here today. I guess doing 5 loads of laundry, taking them out to the line, cleaning the house, running my mom on errands, making a cake and now ......dinner....hot dogs it is....glad the boys are not too picky.

You remember those blocks from the other day? Well, I did get the top done, it was a Storm at Sea pattern, now I have to decide what kind of border and how big? I really don't want this to be a huge quilt though, since I hate quilting them when they are large. It is just really difficult to do and I tend to lose my patience really quick.  I do know that I want to put a dark blue or brown or....who knows  mini border type thing around first. You know the kind that is folded in half but not sewn down just sewn between the top and border....as you can tell I can't remember what it is called. I want to say flange but I don't know if that is correct.

Don't know how much quilting I will get to tomorrow. I have my month old neice coming by for a stay, this way I can get my baby fix.  That should make for an intersting day and more than likely remind me why I don't want to have another baby.

Enjoy the wonderful weekend,


26 August 2010

Bee in my Bonnet

Yesterday I decided to run to JoAnn's to get some fabric to make a quick bag for my neice. I am done shopping and on my way home singing to music, nice day, window rolled down about  1/3 of the way, if that. And all of a sudden I hear this loud pop and feel something on my head. Well, by this time I am only 2 blocks away from the house, so I look in the rear view mirror and I can see something moving around in my hair. I scrunch down and pull my shirt up around my neck, since I don't want it going down my shirt, whatever it is. I then have a block left and am totally freaking out by this time. I can feel something going around the back of my head right above the shirt collar. So I proceed to take off my seat belt and fly around the last corner to the house, I come screeching into the garage and jump out of the car leaving everything, including the keys in there. I run over to my husband, who is outside sanding a table and can't hear me (come to find out he has headphones on and can't hear anything). I finally get his attention by jumping in front of him waving my arms frantically to and fro. I am screaming get it off, get it off, and of course he can't find anything and now I am covered in sawdust. He proceeds to go over to the car, which of course has all windows down and the driver side door open, and all I hear is a stomp of the foot. After I get a paper towel and give it to him, he picks up the creature and shows me that it was a bee.  Now it wasn't a humongous bee and it sure as heck wasn't small, but it was a pretty good size bee none the less. I am just grateful that I didn't get stung, I don't even know if I am allergic to them.  So needless to say for the rest of the night I felt like I had somthing crawling all over me.

But, this didn't stop me from getting some stuff done in the studio. I proceeded to make a bag for my 3 week old neice, so that when she goes to my mother's house she only needs that filled with clothes. It actually was easier than I thought and I have an inkling that I will be rodeoed into making some more of them. These are the only types of bags that are allowed at the junior high school here for 7th and 8th graders. Kinda silly to me but oh well.

I then decided to watch a remake of Ice Castles (still liked the original one better) so I had to find another project to do since I was up there....and out of nowhere this batik kit showed up, ok so it was in a drawer and I had to open but you know how that goes....  I was able to finish the squares today so I have also included a sneak peek of those.

Now I am on my way back up there to work on something else while Big Brother is on, family is going to watch Planet 51 and that is just not my thing, but the boys will like it.

I do have 3 charity quilt tops that I finished the other day with the blocks I won, but do I really want to cut backing and batting and quilt while it is still so hot here. My studio faces west in the evening and I don't have heavy enough curtains to block the sun yet, so it gets mighty hot in there.  I think I am in the mood to start something new again, I mean come on now what is another UFO among friends, my other UFO's might just enjoy the company.

Until next time,
Sew in piece,


25 August 2010

Scraps and Strings and Everything in Between

I have a large stash of scraps. I don't like throwing them away because I am always thinking that I will find a use for them. In the mean time, while I am saving and saving and saving they seem to have a mind of their own and multiply and spread all over the house like molten lava.

So, I have been cutting and cutting and cutting trying to get this pile manageable.  I have been using Bonnie Hunter's scrap system (http://www.quiltville.com/) and am making slow but steady progress (and what I have finished looks mighty darn good if I do say so myself).  In the mean time there are scraps that just don't fit anywhere whatsover and that is where the blocks below come in to play.

My pineapple block is 5 inch's finished so 5.5 unfinished and is made up of 45 different pieces of fabric.  Believe it or not this uses very little fabric, but will look cute when all bazillion of them or done and in some type of quilt, until then I will keep making them as time and desire permits.
These are my string blocks and they are super easy to make and once I get enough I will just lay them out and whip up a charity quilt or something. I usually work on two at a time so that I can string piece them as I go. This makes the process go twice as fast for me.

So...... I guess what I am trying to say is that.....I am making progress with my scraps, it is just a slow and enjoyable process. Who cares about the mess or the ever growing amount of fabric that is following me around the house.  I am still making something scrappy, warm and who knows it may become a charity quilt that will make someone smile and keep them warm.

Now I am off to make a totally new and unplannes quick project for my 3 week old niece.

Take Care,


24 August 2010

State of My Sewing Room and Stash

I have been busy the last few days doing a little bit of this and a little bit of that and yet it seems I have not accomplished much of anything. It is crazy when you work almost all day, everyday for hours and hours, and yet it LOOKS like you have done absolutely nothing. I admit though I did get a couple of string blocks done and a 5" (I think) pineapple done and it only took about an hour, but it does look rather good if I say so myself.

On the other hand the state of my stash does not seem to diminish, of course it doesn't help when you continue to buy fabrics, well...I did need more lights and they were on sale.... but will it ever end? Probably not.  My sewing room is overflowing and always looks like a bomb went off in there. I know that once I get more of my shelves completed and new cupboards bought it will all be hidden and look a little bit more "put together". Of course on the other hand I really don't think I should worry, my husband and kids don't mind why should I? It is an eyesore at times though, when you walk in the front door and low and behold it is right there smack dab in front of you, well a little to the right and up the stairs but still. I guess I shouldn't worry about what I think others think and be content with it the way it is, since 9 times out of 10 it really doesn't bother me.

With that being said, I can honestly say that I think cotton breeds in the dark, since it always seems like my stash keeps growing and growing and growing.....whether I buy or not. I don't know if I will ever get it all used but, boy oh boy the process of trying is a total enjoyment.

So these are pictures of all of my scraps in buckets and yardage. I completely emptied out all of my totes that held fabric and put them on these cubby shelves. Which by the way will dissappear as soon as possible, they were great for daycare...not so good for hiding yardage and such.

Well I am off to finally start working on my embroidery blocks for the two baby blankets I have to get done and then whatever else catches my fancy.

Stay tuned for the next post....scraps and.....

Piece for the joy of it,

21 August 2010

Bow Tuck Saturday

I was at a loss yesterday on what project I wanted to work on. I have a few UFO's to do and of course I still have those 11 quilts that need to be basted, yes I admit I am procrastinating on those big time, so I decided to do a Mini Bow Tuck purse that a friend of mine wanted. So off I go to my stash I pull out the fabrics and I start working on it.  I know from experience that it only takes me a couple of hours to get one done. Well I get on a roll, get all of the fabric cut, the fusible fleece cut, get everything going and start quilting the front and back then low and behold my husband gets a phone call. YES he finally has a job.  He starts a week from tomorrow. I am so excited. So needless to say no more quilting was done, but we did go out and have a celebration dinner.

So between going to my niece's soccer tournament  today,(two games one at 11am and one at 5pm - couldn't get them any farther apart that is for sure), I was able to get the purse done. Although I did not do it with out having problems. I mean come on, I have made at least 15 of these purses, well either the regular Bow Tuck or the Mini, so I should be able to almost make them with my eyes closed. But no......I put the magnetic button on the wrong end so I have to remove that. Well of course we know the button will leave a hole, so in my moment of ingenuity I grab a 2 in square of fabric, sign my name and the date and sew it right over the hole, of course this was in a perfect place, the bottom of the bag, so it looks like I planned it.  Then I go and sew the two pieces  of lining together wrong, so un-sewing that was a pain in the behind, because fusible fleece is not good to be seam ripping.  Finally, about an hour longer than I had planned I did get the purse done.  And NO I do not plan on making another purse anytime in the near future, no matter who asks for one, that is my final word and I am sticking to it, well.....I may make one for me in the near future...hmmm.

I finally decided that I would procrastinate sewing down some binding so off to the quilt room I go.  I happen to have an extra one of those 5 gallon plastic buckets, I use mine to make my laundry soap, so I shoved as many scraps from my large tote in there as possible and headed over to the brand new pressing surface, which I still am in uber love with, and I listened/watched football and ironed. I now have a large stack of scraps ready to be cut and stored when the time permits.  I try to do at least 15 minutes a day and even some while cooking dinner since the cutting table is right around the corner.

Well it hasn't been a real eventful or productive time but I am getting a little bit done at a time.

Guess I will try and figure out what I want to do tomorrow. I really should get these baby quilts done, but Christmas fabric is calling my big time........

Until next time
Sew in piece.


19 August 2010

It's Progress

Well I am no longer hoopless. I finally found them and of course they were in my TUTO embroidery bag in a pocket that I didn't know was there.  Well I did know because I put them in there but since then I conveniently forgot.

I also made my pressing board, it is totally cool and I love it.  As you can see in the picture I have it sitting on top of my ironing board right now, it is not totally stable but will work until my husband can make me the stand for it.  Should be coming soon I hope.

I also finished my buck a block that I started a couple of months ago at one of my lqs'. Then while I was taking the picture to post on here I realized that I sewed the first block together wrong. So, after dinner off I go to unsew and fix it. At least I noticed it that is all I have to say. I am using Thangles with this pattern and they are pretty nifty. Might have to keep those in mind for future use.

Finally I have a picture of my treasure I bought the other day at the mall. I think they are just too cute. How often I will wear them I do not know, since pink isn't really my favorite color of all time.

So other than that,  I can honestly say I have not done anything else major.  Yesterday, I took my mom to the grocery store and then ran to do more school supply buying  for the boys and of course I had to watch Big Brother. I was off to bed early since I had a short night the night before, my mind was going a mile a minute and it was really late, or early depending on how you look at it.

Now,  I am already trying to decide what I want to do tomorrow. UFO, new project, embroidery project, oh the list goes on and on. I more than likely will work on a purse I want to start and finish really quick, I would like to have it done by next Thursday.  It is the mini Bow Tuck pattern so it goes together really quick, I mean I have already made about 6 large ones and 3 small ones, so I am kind of procrastinating since I don't really want to do another on of those right now, but I told my friend I would do it....oh well .....do it and get if over with, that usually always makes me feel better in the long run.

Take a few minutes and doing something crafty, it makes ya feel better.

17 August 2010

Back to School Chaos

I have to admit that back to school totally kicks my behind.

Yesterday I was able to go and get my pressing board material, husband is in the process of sanding it. I also went to JoAnn's and picked up my duck cloth, coupons are wonderful things.  After that very little quilting was done. I did look around the entire house again and still no hoops. I admit that is driving me totally crazy.

Today was off to the junior high for orientation, going through all seven classes with 300- 6th graders and their parents was crazy, there were 7 minute classes with 5 minutes in between and believe it or not you have a "one way" zone in the hallway.  Unfortunately, a couple of my sons classes go from room 104 all the way around the square to 230 something then his next class is like 108 but to get there...yep you got it..he has to walk all away around the big square to get back to that classroom it is crazy. 

After that it was off to pick up my mom and neice, then to the mall. That was fun and exhausting. I did buy a little something and I will take a pic. tomorrow and post. My mom said it was totally me. She did find a purse in one of the stores she want me to make her.  She wants it yesterday...like I can just figure it out and make it like that.  Of course it is my mom so I said ok, get right on that.

Then from there it was back home for a few minutes and off to the elementary school for 4th grade orientation. That was nice though, for $8.00 the whole family got to eat, sandwhich, soda, chips, and a cookie.  At least I didn't have to cook dinner.  The ironic thing about the elementary school is that it is the same one I went to as well as my sister, my brother, my oldest son, my niece and now my youngest son,  and he happens to have the same teacher my neice had.  So that was kind of nice.  Too bad none of my old teachers were there, but that was too long ago.  Although I do have to admit my oldest son did have the same gym teacher I did, a long, long time ago.

And then from there it was off to Wal-Mart to get those last minute school supplies that were not on the list, and of course they were out of pink erasers...go figure. I was hoping not to go anywhere tomorrow since I was rudely informed by my youngest son, Jared, that "I really needed to do some laundry since there was way too much in there, and I really needed to get crack a lackin on it", got to love the kiddos for sure.

In between all of that I did get the binding hand stitched on my little coffee table runner. So poof just like that a kit, to a one day UFO, and now a competed project, finished.  Now if I could just get the rest of my projects done that quick.

Well off to bed since now that the kiddos are back in school my sleeping in days are over.  Who knows maybe I will be more productive, yeah right, I can dream can't I.   I do have two movies to watch this week so hopefully I can pop those into the DVD and quilt away.

On an upbeat not my hubby finally has two interviews this week for a job.  Getting a little worried since we only have about six more weeks of military pay before the retirement kicks in and.... we all know those paychecks aren't near as big as need be. 

Happy sewing,


15 August 2010

Hoopless In Colorado

It has been a rough day, but more on that momentarily.

I did go up to Denver yesterday and I did go to the Great American Quilt Factory. I was only in there for a little while but I may go back up again when time and finances permit. They have some wonderful stuff in there. I did not walk away empty handed though. I bought a pattern from Possibilites (since it is their store anyway) titled the Lunch Bunch and the lining to go inside which is called PUL. (I am going to try and upload pictures so we shall see how that works.) I am hoping to try this pattern out in a couple of weeks so I will keep you all updated. Anyway the PUL is a polyurethane laminated fabric, therefore it is wipeable. If you google PUL there are a ton of sites that come up that can help explain this better.

They had some on display in the store and they were just too cute, the lunch bag and the snack bag look like they will be pretty quick to make.

Anyway that was yesterday. Today I decided I would go ahead and start working on some embroidery projects I need to get done for the two baby quilts. I grab the lap top, the embroidery module, the spray, the table cover, the embroider box with all the special tools, the fabric and then.....I go looking for my hoops. I have my mega hoop hanging on the peg board but I can not find my other two hoops anywhere. Between my husband and I we searched everywhere in the quilt room (a number of times), the storage room where excess stuff is kept, behind furniture, in closets, even in rooms I would not think anything quilty would be.  Needless to say no luck. I have no clue where they are and I am totally frustrated about it. I remember bringing them with me when I came out before my move, they were in my Tuto bag, and I even remember taking them out and setting them on the table because at the time my peg board was not up.  After that I have no clue. So after ranting and raving I decided to just start something simple and maybe they will reappear in the next week or so, probably while my machine is in the shop.

What I ended up doing between cooking dinner and watching football (yes I am an avid football watcher--I love it) was a kit I have had for awhile, "Madison Square Runner" by GE Designs.  It was a quilt as you go so I did not have to worry about putting the completed top on my ever growing basting pile. I just have to sew the binding on it and poof another project done. Yeah.....

So now I will spend the rest of the week off the sewing machine and basting quilts. Although if I really need to sew I do have my little Bernina 220 to use. I think I have only used it twice since I bought it so it probably needs some attention.

I also am debating whether I will head up to Loveland for a quilt show up there this weekend. I think the complete Hoffman Challenge will be there. I just didn't want to go by myself and I don't think my mom can handle the long day. It takes about 2.5 hours to get there and then back. Maybe I will just wait and go next year or wait and see if my husband finally gets a job this week and decide from there (that could be my celebration), he is finally supposed to have two or three interviews. Will be keeping my fingers crossed for sure on that one.

Well I guess I will go and try and get a little bit of binding done before I am off to bed.

Until next time
Piece for peace.


13 August 2010

Batting Rules The Day

I didn't get any quilting done today, go figure. I did cut my batting for the eleven quilts I have waiting to quilt on my domestic machine. Most of them won't be too bad but I do have one that is 108x108 so that one will be a challenge.

It was so nice to pull my bolt of Warm & Natural batting out, head to the garage and the banquet tables and start cutting away. I always buy my batting by the bolt with a 50% off coupon from Joann's. This makes it so much more affordable and I will always have batting when needed. I am glad to say that after cutting the batting I still have quit a bit left.  The average size I had to cut was 82x82 so I think that buying this way is the icing on the cake.

I posted earlier this week about Sharon Schamber's site and her free video on how to baste a quilt, well any who, we went to Lowe's to check out the boards and they didn't have the exact ones that were discussed but had some that would work, of course I am trying to go the least expensive route. So hopefully by next week I will have my boards and will be hand basting away.

We also checked out the wood and priced that since my dear husband has graciously decided, with a little incentive of course, that he would make me a couple of cabinet type shelves to for my sewing room. These cabinet, nook, bookshelf type things will go in the open spots at the end of my quilt table to make it larger and more importantly help the fabric not fall into the only open space on my sewing table, it will also give my more storage too.  I totally hate it when the fabric goes that route, it always seems to get stuck in the crack at the 90 degree spot and frustrates me to no end (Yes I am easily frustrated). He is also making me a cabinet, shelf or whatever you want to call it,  to be used for pressing. I am using the pressing surface suggestion from http://www.sharonschambernetwork.com/ and making a pressing surface two feet wide by five or six feet long then he will put the same size shelving underneath and that will lend to more storage in an otherwise dead space, and I won't ever have to buy another ironing board or cover again, I hope. I am so excited and can't wait for that to be done, hopefully in the next month or so.  It sure will help me clean up the piles of stuff I still have laying all over the place from the move.

Don't think I will get much quilting done tomorrow though, we have yard work then have to travel up to Denver to pick up his DJ amp. Although my dear hubby did offer to stop at some quilt stores while we were up there, I said thanks but no thanks.  As much as I would love to go to a quilt store, going with a husband, and two boys 9 and 11 would not be my cup of tea (or theirs for that matter) well......maybe.

As a side note my quilter buddies back in Las Vegas are having an all night sew in at a LQS, so Linda, Jan, Marie, Ophelia, and Norma...hope you all had fun...miss you guys tons.....

Until next time
Sew in Piece,


12 August 2010

Sewing Machine Blues

I whacked out my sewing machine a little bit today totally bummed me out. I have a Bernina so when you go to put the presser foot on it lines up crooked, like at a 30-45 degree angle, not good when you are trying to sew straight. So what is a girl to do? Well....I did the unthinkable and started messing around with it and I did get the presser foot to go on straight after loosening and tightening a bolt above the shaft quit a few times since it decided to move around as well. But now I am afraid I might have totally thrown something else off so needless to say it goes to the repair shop on Monday, it needed a lube and cleaning anyway. Which by the way takes a week to get back. Can you say FOREVER. I am so spoiled, in Vegas I usually got it back the same day, oh well what can you do.

So with preparation for the baby going to the hospital I decided to cut the backings for some quilt tops I have had hanging in a closet. I figured I could baste them and get them ready for when the desire to quilt them arises, which at this point could be a long way off. Well lo and behold 4 hours later (and a couple of breaks) I finished cutting and sewing the backing for 11 quilts. Yes I said that right.... 11 quilts have been hanging in my closet, I guess I am farther behind than I thought I was. So tomorrow I get to cut the batting for them and then next week while my baby is in for repair I will hand baste them.

I watched a video for basting at www.sharonschambertnetwork.com  (love her stippling on domestic machine as well, she makes it look so easy) and I think this would be a great way to baste. I am willing to try anything new after using the fusible this morning and it not fusing then having to 505 it and then quilt it. I am so over that and safety pins kill me, besides you can't leave them in forever and sometimes it might take me a long while before I quilt a quilt.

I did take some pictures that I hope to figure out how to upload in the next day or two so that will be nice.

Until next time
Sew in piece,

11 August 2010


I figured an introduction would be the best way to start so.......

My name is Michelle Ford and I love to quilt. I taught myself to quilt while we were stationed in Germany. I have been quilting for about 10 years now and love every minute of it. I am a mother of three boys, 19 (and now in the Navy), 11 and 9. I also have a dog-Noah, a cat - Zeus, and 2 birds - Shooter and Rufus. Needless to say I am still the only female in the house.

My husband recently retired from the military so we moved in June from Las Vegas, NV to Colorado Springs, Co (my home town). I finally have most of my house unpacked, so I have been able to get back to  quilting and all of the UFO's, PIGS, and PHD's.....etc . I have found that quilting is a major need that I have. It relaxes me and allows me to have the peace that I so desperately need and desire and it is fun!

I decided to start a blog to keep my long lost quilting friends in Las Vegas updated and hopefully to make many new friends and acquaintances.

Until next time..
Sew in piece.