Friday, October 26, 2012

Magic Kingdom

Doesn't time get away from you when you have company? Even though our five house guests - our daughter, SIL and three grandies from Kansas City - were here only three nights, it seems like we've been on-the-go more than that. We were thrilled to have them visit though, and I'm glad they could see where we live. We received nice compliments on our house and the decor. I'm still counting my blessings about living here.

During their visit we went to Sumter Landing Market Square for an evening of live music and dancing... 
Celina at the Square
...rode in the golf cart... (Always a treat for grandchildren.)

...watched a little TV... 
Tay and Aesa
...and hung out with Hogan.

We also took the little boys to The Villages firehouse where they received special treatment.

Then, on Monday, for the first time in more than 25 years, we (both our kids, their spouses, and our four grandchildren - ten of us!) went to the Magic Kingdom. Though we think it's changed a lot, some things remain the same.
Austin with Bapa
His little face looked like this through the entire "It's a Small World" ride!

deciding what to do next
part of our caravan
our handful, and then some!

A day in the Magic Kingdom inevitably ends like this... and it wasn't just the children who wanted to be doing this!
Just as the family arrived, so did my new iPhone 5. I'm excited to have it, and especially to sign up for service (Verizon) that actually works where we live. Since my old camera has only 6.3 megapixels, and the iPhone camera has 8.0 megapixels, I used it to take the photos in this post. Some of them are a little fuzzy, but I can definitely blame that on the photographer.

Have you seen the cute iPhone TV commercial featuring the camera's panoramic option? You know. The one with all the kids in costumes, and they're told to "say che-e-e-e (deep breath) e-e-ese." Here's my first try using that feature. Yep, you're looking into our garage. That's Hogan and Celina, and our sidewalk to the front door. I think this photo option will be fun to play with.

The negative about my new phone is that it displays an inaccurate date and time. I woke this morning, October 26, to October 17, 2:58 p.m. An internet search provided info about the problem, and it is a problem. It happens only between an iPhone 5 and Verizon. Each company is blaming the other and there's no fix for it yet. I phoned Verizon to register that I'm one of the unlucky iPhone/Verizon owners who's having such a problem. In the meantime, I've set the date and time manually and will leave it that way. 

I hope that wherever you are, you're living in the present and appreciating every moment! Linda

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Company's Comin'!

Threads have been flying as I'm making a mad dash to finish up a few sewn items for the house, and knock-out the last bits of sewing before disassembling my sewing room. The reason it has to be disassembled? Company's coming. My sewing room will become the second guest bedroom.

First up, the guest bath shower curtain is finished. It was a quick patchwork project, which, if I'd had more time, I would have appliqued instead of cheating by using palmetto frond print fabric. The curtain is lined with muslin, pre-washed, and finished with a dozen buttonholes to hook onto the double-sided hooks on the shower rod.

My design is a knock-off of this one. Though fabrics (Kona snow and caramel) came from my stash, I'm sure mine cost as much as the ready-made version!

As far as the sewing goes on the hexagon runner... it went. The hexies went together by machine surprisingly well. Quilting also was easy. I just machine quilted a quarter inch on the inside of each separate hexagon. But the binding? Ack! After tediously sewing it to the edges by machine, and then trying to hand-sew it down on the back, I realized what a poor job of folding and turning I'd done. I took it all off!

And here it is with the backing and batting trimmed to the edge of the top, and then just straight-stitched along the edge! How pitiful is that?!

 It doesn't look bad from a distance, but it certainly isn't the finish I was going for!

I thought to satin-stitch or blanket-stitch the edges, but they just rolled up. Not sure what I'm going to do, but this has to be good enough for now.

A somewhat prouder moment was finished my last two Blogger's BOM blocks. These are month #13 designed by Sarah Fielke.

I now have 26 of these eight-inch blocks. How will I put them together?!

Has anyone else noticed, or is it just here at the local JoAnn Fabrics, that Denyse Schmidt fabrics - DS Collection - are in the 50 percent off section? I was stunned, but happy to pick up these for only $6 a yard. The "figure eight" green piece is a restock to my stash. 

Oh! I must tell you! Eleven of us quilters are officially organizing a new chapter of The Modern Quilt Guild! I'm so very excited! Our new chapter is even listed on the MQG website! We're the Central Florida Modern Quilt Guild and you can go to our new blog where I've written our first post. If you're in the area, do come to our November 15 meeting.

Now that I'm caught up with sewing, and family is coming tonight (!) for their first visit, it's time to disassemble my sewing room. To make room for a double air mattress, the tables will be taken down and folded up. The room can go from this...

... to this, for the grandchildren. Pretty much everything (except for the white trestle legs which are in the garage) is behind the two hollow core doors leaning against the wall on the left.

It sure keeps a quilter on her toes, organization-wise, to be able to do this! Linda

Friday, October 12, 2012

A-Bunting We Will Go

For my newly finished sewing room, I decided to sew a few buntings to hang above the bay window. Following a tutorial by pinksuedeshoe, instead of pointy pennants, I cut and sewed 29 of these 8"-wide, half-circle pennants, that show off my pretty aqua and orange prints. 

The instructions would have you clip those curves after you've sewn them. In fact, the curves need to be notched. Big difference! To notch, just pinch a fold of the seam allowance and clip through all the layers.

After notching and turning the piece right-side out, this is what it looks like on the inside of the pennant.

The outside curve needs to have space that allows the fabric to overlap on itself.

So if you're ever doing this yourself, wondering whether to clip or notch a curve, remember to "notch the mountain!"

When I was cutting and sewing miles 11 yards of bias-binding for stringing the pennants together, I knew it would be easiest to make the binding by pulling the fabric strips through a Clover bias tape-maker. Darn. I didn't have one the right size! 

But I remembered an old trick that I want to share with you. Instead of pressing the binding in half, wrong sides together, and then opening it back up to press each long side toward the pressed fold, do this. Pin two straight pins into your ironing table in such a way that the opening is the exact width that you want to make the bias strip.

In my case the pins are "woven" into the ironing table with a 2" opening.

After pressing those two outside folds, I folded the strip in half and pressed again. Lotsa bias binding to sew pennants together! Binding is made with the pretty Painters Canvas fabric in the color "sky."

Here's the before. Plain and boring.

The after is bright and happy!

Now to make a shower curtain for the guest bathroom. Company's coming next Wednesday! Linda

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Colorful Quilt and Cabinet

A dentist appointment, line dancing class, yoga, stitchery group, modern quilt group, a new Bible study, dinner with new friends... and in the blink of an eye an entire week rushed by! Such is life in The Villages, AKA "Disney World for adults."

I'm so glad to have a first floor sewing room that's next to our living area. (How did I get by for 20-plus years sewing in the basement?) Now, in brief snatches of time, I can sew a seam or few to make progress on my projects. 

In a previous post, you saw one of the beach cabanas I've been sewing. Here's a look at the beach scene I've put together. My Iowa friends' names are hand-embroidered - meant to look like sand-writing - in front of the cabana sewn with their fabric. The sand fabric and the individual beach items are cut from fabric in the "It's a Shore Thing" collection by Dear Stella. The sky is one of my own hand-dyed pieces. I hope my buds like what I did with the fat quarters they gave me, because I sure like this piece. It reminds me of them and what a great time we would have sharing a day like this in Florida. Quilting is to come soon.
32" W X 34" H
The final piece of furniture for my sewing room arrived and was assembled last week. This white, 71"-tall by 31"-wide by 14"-deep, six-door storage cabinet came from Home Decorators.

After my hubby spent 3-1/2 hours assembling it, with a little help from me, I was excited to move my fabrics from wire racks onto the shelves. Imagine my dismay when I realized the fabric stacks were folded too deep! The fabric hung over the edges so the cabinet doors wouldn't shut.

Argh! Several hours of last week's busy days were spent refolding, to shorten every piece of fabric.

Now it looks like this, and I love it! Two more Martha Stewart canvas bins from Home Depot are on top to utilize as much space as possible. 

Retallying, the final cost of putting together my new sewing room was $1,284. I'm pretty pleased with myself for keeping the costs to a minimum. For me, that means more money to spend on fabric... though I don't have much room to spare in that cabinet!

A bit more of the sewing I've been doing is this, my first foray into machine-sewn hexagons. They will become a table runner/dresser scarf for the guest room. Of course, I'm lovin' the colors.

The most exciting news is that a group of quilters (about 12 of us) are starting a new chapter of The Modern Quilt Guild! We'll be the Central Florida Modern Quilt Guild and will meet outside of The Villages so as to allow younger (less than 55 year-olds) quilters and wanna-be quilters join us. Our first open-to-the-public meeting is Thursday evening, November 15 at 6:30 p.m. at Sharky's Vac 'n Sew in Wildwood. We plan to show modern quilts in a presentation called "The Modern Quilt Guild: Quilting for a New Generation." Now we're looking for people who will design our chapter logo, and set up a web presence for us. Then, depending on the response to our November meeting, we'll begin meeting monthly in 2013, choosing officers, establishing dues, and adopting by-laws (Thanks to the Des Moines MQG, we have great by-laws to model.) Of course, anyone in the vicinity is welcome to come! Linda


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