Friday, May 19, 2017

Activity everywhere!

It has been a very busy week here at Wazoo, and I have neglected my blog. So sorry. Mr Wazoo has been both quilting, and 'supervising' the building of a new set of back steps on the house. The original set were rickety and too narrow, so we are having them transformed into a nice 'deckette', if you will. The only drawback is that we have to walk around the house to the front door to get in. Poor Molly is so confused!!

Old steps off, area filled and leveled, and concrete footings put in
The framework is in, and today, we'll get to use the new steps to get out!
Down in the studio, I have been working on small projects during the tweaking of the Gammill Classic. Mr Wazoo has spent hours tuning up and adjusting things on the machine to try to fix the breaking thread and knots on the back problem. Finally, some success! I quilted three small projects with no problems, and fine results. Yippee!!
Low custom on this baby quilt for a customer

Only one thread break during the quilting process

Here's the back
I have a big customer quilt in progress on the APQS, and the center, pieced portion is finished, with the borders remaining to be done. I don't have a photo of what I've quilted yet.
I did these two quilts yesterday afternoon, and the Gammill ran like a top! No problem at all. Mr Wazoo will have clear sailing on the machine now. He has been quilting in the garage, using the Gammill Premier in order to keep up with his workload. It is a real sweatshop here!

I quilted this Kid quilt and added the binding

Panto: Modern Twist

I used the same panto on this comfort quilt for my Blue Ridge guild.
Meanwhile, we have been cat-sitting Maxine, my daughter's cat, while Carloyn is at a medical conference in Milwaukee. I have never had a cat, so this is new territory for me. What have I learned? Cats don't do anything much. She spends most of her time either under the guest bed or in the office, behind a stack of stained glass windows we have stored in there. I know she's okay because the food disappears and the potty box has deposits. Oh yeah, there are little black fluffs of hair here and there... Molly hasn't been too interested in Maxine, just watching her walk from room to room.

Maxine, behind the windows in the office. Just a
mound of black fur and two shiny eyes!

Maxine's accoutrements in the guest room,
and the fur tufts she leaves all over the place.

Food dishes being emptied are the biggest clue that there is an animal near by.
Tomorrow, I am taking a speed trip to Florida to deliver a sewing machine to a friend we ran into in Paducah who bought Kay's Janome rather than a new one at the show. Kay and I will drive down, deliver the goods, spend the night and come home Sunday. We both have too many obligations to linger there.
Later today, I am performing the Old Lady Who Swallowed the Fly for a fund raiser at the Presbyterian church the guild uses for their outreach groups. Self humiliation at its finest!
Next week, there are two guild meetings and getting Mr Wazoo ready for his trip to Oregon, where he and my daughter will pack her belongings and drive a U-Haul truck cross country to Charlotte, NC. The only one who has the life of Riley is Molly. My constant companion, and cat watcher.
Back to work!!

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Crisis averted!

I was happily sewing along when the machine suddenly groaned and ground to a halt. Oh dear!! When I looked at the thread path, I saw that the invisible thread on the top spool pin had gotten tangled with the gray thread coming from the upright pin and they were now both wound all around the inner workings of my machine!! Yikes! I immediately summoned Mr Wazoo, and he spent the afternoon (on Mother's Day!) taking the machine apart and getting the wad of thread extracted from the tension take-up arm and its parts deep inside the machine. I kept sewing , using my old Bernina, and worried that my Pfaff would need further surgery at the machine repair shop. Nope! Mr W got it running, and all was well. Gotta love that man!
Yesterday, I was sewing on my tee shirt project, and the iron decided to empty its load of brown water onto a white backing Mr W was ironing. Stop the presses! I washed the affected area with Oxy Clean and managed to get the brown out, but had to run off to Walmart for a new iron. I hope things go better today!
By the end of the day, I had the tee shirt top done and the backing ewn and loaded, ready for quilting today.

Tee shirt quilt, ready for quilting
Mr Wazoo spent part of the day in the studio, quilting this nice customer project, before going outside with his carpenter friend to begin work on the new back steps.

It's hard to see, but this is dark purple and white, with vines of green .

Dusty purple back. Panto: Trellis vine

Today, I have a board meeting, but will be quilting all afternoon. It's hot and sunny, beautiful Spring weather. Should be a good day...fingers crossed!

Sunday, May 14, 2017

Happy Mother's Day!

I had a great day, with calls from all the kids and a face time with the littlest grandson. I truly wish they all lived where they could come visit more often, but the miracle of technology, and face time, is a wonderful substitute.
Face time with Grandma
I spent a good part of the day in the studio, prepping tee shirts and arranging them on the design wall for a customer quilt. That is the tedious part of a tee shirt quilt; getting the shirts interfaced and cut own to reasonable block sizes. Once I finished all that, it was time for the fun part...arranging the shirts in a pleasing group. Once I am happy with the arrangement, I can figure out where to add sashing and make rows that are the same length.

The final arrangement...I think!
The sashing is black with white dots. I did get three columns sewn before it was time to go start supper.

The middle three columns are sewn.

Tomorrow, I will finish the other columns and put in the sashing between the columns.
On the way up to the house, I snapped a couple of pictures of the flowers, all competing for space in the garden. I love the English garden look, and Mr Wazoo is getting good at making it happen here in the Georgia mountains!

I believe these are Lenten roses, but we didn't plant them here. They just decided to grow in our garden!

Daisies, coreopsis, roses and peonies.
A lovely mass of color and scent.

Stella D'Oro lilies. My favorite

The lilies look so pretty next to the blue catmint.
Now, we're ready for the Mother's Day dinner!! Ribs, tater tots and baked beans. Oh yeah!!

Retro looks like modern!

Last week, a woman called about a quilt her mother made back in the 1950s. She said it had backing sewed on three sides, but no batting or quilting. That sounded like something I would love to tackle, so I asked her to bring it over. Sure enough, Mama had pieced Grandmother's flower garden blocks and appliqued them to mostly patterned backgrounds, then sewn a backing on and turned it right side out. I agreed to do the job of dismantling it and making it into a quilt for her family.
What struck me was that the fabrics look like the recent Cotton and Steel types of prints, and the mix of small prints on busy backgrounds is so Tula Pink!! This could be a retro quilt with a modern look way before it's time.
The applique made the 'flowers' pooch out and not lay flat. I even pressed them with starch, hoping they would shrink down a bit. No dice. After removing the backing from the pieced top, I carefully cut away the background from each flower block and, when they were all done, pressed again. Nice and flat! I mended a couple of holes and places where the stitching had come out, added enough fabric to the backing to make it big enough to quilt, then loaded it and started the machine quilting. I am so pleased with how it turned out! The customer came with her husband to get it and was overjoyed to have the finished quilt to use and hand on to future generations.

Loose from the backing and ready to have the background trimmed away

See what I mean about the fabrics?

All these wild fabrics were from the 40s and 50s.

2017 Cotton and Steel fabrics in a Millefiore pattern.
More modern Cotton and Steel fabrics.
These really look like the fabrics in the 50s quilt.

This is the backing fabric that came on the quilt.

Here is the finished project, quilted and bound. 
Panto: Flower Power

I had to add 8 inches of fabric in both directions to get the backing big enough to quilt.

The binding is a 40s reproduction fabric.
Mr Wazoo has been busy in the yard supervising the ramp building and generally making a pest of himself with the carpenter. They seem to be getting along quite well, however, and the project is coming along nicely.
When not outside, he did find time to quilt. He has three baby quilts for one customer, and has one done so far.
This is a nice masculine one for a boy

Panto: Autumn Oaks

I would like to say Happy Mother's day to everyone out there in Blogsville, and thank my kids for their good wishes to me today. Two of my four kids are married with children, and I wish the two mothers the best this Mothers Day.

My Daughter and her two kids

My son and his lovely wife and kids.