Saturday, December 7, 2019

Caught up for Christmas!!

All the quilts I needed to have done for customer Christmas are finished!! There are a couple of quilts to be done yet in the queue, but they are not due by there holidays. I'm sure someone will bring something they want done ASAP, but it will be easy to do if I need to. Today, I plan to wrap presents and get them situated under the tree. It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas here at Wazoo!

I did another quilt for this customer recently, all in pink. This purple one is for her sister. The maker is a new quilter, and she does a wonderful job. Both quilts were flat and perfect!

She wanted hearts and flowers, so I used the Panto Frolic. 
Purple, purple, purple!! I guessed she was a tween, and I was spot on!! Eleven years old.

Here is the finished tee shirt quilt that had the screwed backing. I cut two strips 12" wide from the length and sewed them end to end. Then I sewed them to one side of the backing, making is just big enough to get the clamps on. I had to charge for all that fixing because it took almost an hour to do.

At 84 x 98" it is a really big quilt. Notice there is no sashing or borders either. The customer said there are 70 tees in this quilt!! Yikes! With flannel backing and 80/20 batting, it weighs a ton.

Panto: Rounded square plaid

The flannel is really thick and heavy, adding to the weight of the finished quilt. I'm glad it isn't my job to do the binding!

I L-O-V-E this quilt! The photos are old family pictures, some dating before the Civil War. The customer told me that her family has been in Georgia for generations, and many of her relatives were Confederate soldiers. There is also a picture of her grandfather in his doughboy uniform from WWI. From a divided nation's fight to a unified country's war, her family has served.

The quilt is custom quilted, using a block pattern of leaves and curls for the pieced blocks, and a frame of leaves and swirls for the photos. Because the quilt will and on a wall, it was okay to have the photo blocks lightly quilted to retain the integrity of the photos.

I used a copper colored thread for the antique look.

This is the customer's Great-Great Grandpa as a little boy. His hand-me-down outfit has several holes from rough wear over the years. I love the history in this quilt! One of the pictures is a row of open sided old busses with the drivers posing in a row in front of them. Her family has been school bus drivers for three generations.

This is the backing. After seeing this quilt, I want to dig out the old photos and make one of our family. My Dad as some really old pictures of relatives I could scan and use. Stay tuned for that!

I ended the day sewing some blocks from 10" squares and will get the second round of sewing done today. I saw a pattern in a shop in Wisconsin and wanted to give it a try. A project just for fun!
When I left the studio last evening. I enjoyed the lights Mr Wazoo put up. He has finished decorating the tree and will be out in the yard today cleaning up leaves and mulching the gardens for their winter sleep. He spent the day yesterday planting bulbs for the Spring.

This little vignette is in the side garden

The colored balls look nice against the dusk sky and Epp Mountain.

Lighted icicles across the porch. The wind always wraps the flag up on the pole. We undo it every morning.

Thursday, December 5, 2019

A day trip bust

We ventured out to Gainesville yesterday, but didn't find anything we were looking for there.
The trip takes us through the mountains  and runs along a parallel track with the Appalachian trail.It was a cold, windy day on top of Blood Mountain, where the Appalachian trail is at its highest point in Georgia and the only place the AT passes through a man made structure. In the thirties, a stone building was constructed by the Civilian Conservation Corps as a hostel and supply store for hikers to get out of the elements and have a place to rest and rejuvenate before trekking north again.  Every year we go there are look for interesting gifts for the family, and it never fails to produce them. From the Bigfoot tee for my granddaughter to the lovely jewelry for her mother, we found some wonderful gifts. If you are ever on the trail, or just driving Highway 19, stop at Walasi-Yi, better known as Mountain Crossing, and enjoy the view and the history embodied there. It is at Neel Gap on the AT map.Tip: wear a jacket!! It is usually quite windy and brisk at over 3100 feet elevation.

Cold and blustery atop the mountain.
Mountain Crossing

The logo
Some of the more touristy stuff at the shop

There is a wide selection of shirts, sweaters and jackets, too.
Outside (and in the shop, too) there are hundreds of pairs of old hiking shoes and boots hanging from the trees. There is a huge selection of hiking gear (including footwear) in the shop, and I guess this is the place to get a new pair along the trail.
More shoes abandoned in the shop.
This is actually part of the AT. I can say I walked part of the trail since I did go up the steps to get a better photo of the view. ha ha
The view from the outdoor picnic area is spectacular every season of the year. But very cold!!
I can't imagine hiking up this. That's why I am not a serious hiker!
Even in the winter violas and pansies manage to continue to thrive. We plant our pots with them at home for a wintery pop of color. These are at Mountain Crossing.
Leaving Mountain Crossing by foot, this is the way to Maine!
We left Neel Gap and drove to Gainesville on the Christmas gift quest. Nothing doing. After three stores, we gave up looking and went home. The only buying we did was at Hobby Lobby where Christmas stuff was all 50% off. We bought a few new ornaments and some decorations to replace our tired 30+ year old stuff, and left for home. I did get a day of rest out of the venture, as well as a fun day out with Mr Wazoo. We put more stuff on the tree, and will probably finish it up later today.
There are still boxes of decorations to be unpacked and put on there tree!
Its beginning to look a lot like Christmas. I took this from my chair as I write this.
Now, I have to get back to the studio. There is a customer coming with a rush custom job. I didn't think I would do any more  of these before Christmas, but I am an easy touch for a sad story...

Wednesday, December 4, 2019

Fun finishes

We postponed our Christmas shopping until tomorrow because Mr Wazoo was on a roll with decorating. I was okay with that since I had some stuff to  finish in the studio. If you remember the steam punk quilt; it was first to be done before I even stepped into the studio! It took a couple of evenings and this morning to finish the binding. The customer was super happy with the quilt. She also makes jewelry, and brought me a pair of bears on earrings! I love my job.
Mr W is about half done with the ornaments. I'll be doing some on Wednesday!

I put on my new earrings as soon as my customer gave them to me!
Early on in the studio, I worked on the two memory pillows from a deceased husband/Dad's shirts for a customer to give her kids for Christmas. I finished them at 6 on the dot. For something so simple looking it took a long time to make them!

The shirts had small logos on them, so I used circles on a nine patch base to display them. The father's name was Chip, and I put one piece with his name on each pillow.

This one is for the daughter

This one is for the son.

Dad and son played paintball, so his pillow got the only big logo on the back.
A new custom came today with two tee shirt quilts she made for her daughter. One is shirts from the girl's childhood, and the other one from recent shirts.  The child one is small and has her grandpa's lap blanket on the back. I have never quilted a blanket before, but it went fine.

Little girl shirts on a small quilt

Panto: Flower Power

Grandpa's blanket just fit! All I trimmed off was the fringe!
Here's a math problem for you...I get stuff like this all the time and have a brain explosion trying to figure out how to fix them. Here's the dilemma: The quilt I have to do is 84x98. The backing she made is 67x132. What?!! I need a backing somewhere between 90x104 and optimally 94x108. How do I cut and re-sew the backing to make it fit? This is why we longarm quilters get frustrated. Most of the mistakes we see are in the backings. I'll tackle this on Wednesday.
Meanwhile, I finished the quilting on the quilt for my daughter's boyfriend and did the hand sewing of the binding while binge watching four episodes of The Crown. What a riveting program. The acting is superb. There are more episodes, but I finished the quilt and want to get to bed earlier than usual so I don't nod off in the car tomorrow!

The pattern is one of my favorite go-to ones for a quick, good looking quilt, BQ2. (stands for Big Quilt #2)

Panto: Rounded square plaid

The backing and binding are a soft flannel.
I had better quit while I'm ahead and call it a night. Christmas shopping tomorrow!!

Monday, December 2, 2019

Snow!! Well, sort of...

We woke to a dusting of snow this morning. I wish it was more, but that can wait until all the packages are shipped and shopping done. We expect the Sears man to be here some time today to look at the oven. Sometimes it doesn't heat up at all, and the rest of the time, it takes forever to get to the desired temperature. With Christmas baking just ahead, this is unacceptable. While we're captive, I will be finishing up the last of the Christmas customer projects and starting my own gift sewing.
We have been having to take in the bird
 feeders at night because the bear came and trashed them one night. The birds were abundant and looking for the feeders in the snow, so Mr Wazoo needed to hurry and get dressed and get the feeders back up!

With the leaves off, it is easier to see Epp mountain just next to us.  Over the weekend, we heard numerous gunshots as the deer hunters are busy killing in the woods over there. The Epp family allows hunting on their land. I always hope the deer will walk over here and hang out in the woods behind us where they will be safe. Six were there yesterday morning, four of them were just youngsters. A couple of years ago we had a herd of pie bald deer here. They were mostly white, and really pretty. We haven't seen one since the hunting season that year. I think the hunters shot them all because of their novelty. 
One of the mama deer with her pie bald babies. There was a herd like this around the area in 2015.
Mr Wazoo worked hard to get the lights ready and put up around the yard. It's really hard to get a decent photo in the dark, but you'll get the idea from these pictures.

Mr W and his friend put up the light balls in the dogwood tree. We first saw these in Charlotte , NC and he had to have them.

We bought this garland of colored balls in Wisconsin years ago. Mr W carefully went through the entire garland testing each light and replacing the dead ones. I really like it. It is pretty in the daytime, too!

This tree was our first Christmas tree here in Georgia. It was about 15 inches tall in a pot. We decorated it and then planted it in the yard. Now, it is almost as tall as Mr Wazoo! He figures next year he will need a ladder to get the lights on it to the top!
Our first little tree.
Well, it is time to get to work. I have a quilt cut out and the block pieces sewn waiting for me in the studio. I have to make a couple of tee shirt pillows for a customer, and then I will be finished with all the orders for the holiday. The binding is being sewn by hand on the steam punk quilt and should be finished tonight. Time marches on, and Christmas is a mere 23 days away!!

Sunday, December 1, 2019

Thanksgiving in the rear view

I can not believe it is December!! I did some armchair shopping on Black Friday, and plan some brick and mortar shopping this week. Mr Wazoo has all the exterior illuminations out and twinkling, and the tree stuff is staged and ready for decorating. It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas!
In the studio, I have been sewing and quilting like crazy, getting things out the door for my holiday customers.
After sewing down all the fused elements on these two wall hangings, the quilting was a snap. The customer picked them up on Thanksgiving morning, on her way out of town. One is for her and the other for her son, who she was visiting that day.

Panto: Simply Stars

I sewed the two backings together and quilted both wall hangings at the same time! I'm more clever than I look. Ha ha.

My daughter and her boyfriend scored tickets to the Packer game in San Fransisco, where they had a good time despite the Packers playing pitifully on the field. One for the loss column.

After the cat quilt came the dog quilt. They're both cute, but I am partial to dogs.

Some of the custom quilting.

And some more...

The back. During the evening TV watching, I am doing the hand sewing on the sleeves and binding I made and attached yesterday. The cat quilt is done and the dog quilt ready to be sewn tonight.

The same customer made five small vignettes to be stretched on canvas stretchers to be hung on the wall. She fused the designs, but (once again) didn't sew anything down. First order of business was to do all the invisible thread sewing to secure the elements. Then, each one got a different background treatment. 

She had the measurements of the finished piece on her instructions, so I tried to keep the background filler to the edge of my chalked perimeter.

All those pussy willows and bird beaks were a booger to sew without messing up the edges.

This was the biggest one, at 14 x 18 inches. I also sewed down the leaves and bird with some decorative stitching.

To understand how small the bits are, this bicycle piece is only 10 x 10 inches!

Millie had to chug along on this quilt for two whole days! It wasn't especially big (90 x 90) but the pattern took over a half an hour to do one pass. This photo is from day one.

I love my Bernina 770, but when I take the bobbin race out to oil it, I can never get it back in correctly. I messed with it for what seemed hours, and then Mr W came in and wiggled it into place in just a few minutes. Thanks, Babe!! I was back in business making miles of binding and two hanging sleeves.

Non-plussed as usual, Molly napped under the Gammill while I worked overhead.

Ooh-la-la! Naked tattooed girls and loads of skulls on the fabric for the Steam Punk quilt. 

If you don't know what steam punk is, it always incorporates gears in the design. This fabric is from Spoonflower, where you can design your own fabric and they will print how much you need. 

Meanwhile, Mr W was back in his garage staging area, trying to get the garland of lighted balls to work.

One at a time, he checked the lights until he got them all working. Clark Griswold, anyone?...

I finally finished the steam punk project in the late afternoon yesterday.

The daughter, who this is for, also loves sunflowers.

The Panto is called Steam Punk (duh)

This is the backing. 

There are embroidered elements throughout the quilt, all done by  the customer. I made the binding before quitting for the day, but didn't get it on. I will be sewing that, and making two pillows from tee shirts for another customer today.
We were going to get the Christmas tree up and start decorating it, but the sun has come out and Mr Yardman wants to go outside and play... He'll get to it tomorrow. The Sunday morning shows are over, and it is time to go to work. I hope your Christmas season is off to a good start. 24 days left to get everything done. Yikes!!