Saturday, August 26, 2017
Thursday, August 24, 2017
Just a quick post to let you know that we are not anywhere near the active hostage situation in Charleston.
We've had some serious medical news from both my and my husband's families in the last 24 hours, so we're particularly on edge today. Please hold good thoughts for them!
We don't normally watch the news during the day but I'm currently at the eye doctor's office and saw the local news. This office has wifi but no phone coverage so I thought I'd put up this fast post.
I did finish a gift baby quilt this morning, but no photos to share until it arrives at its new home.
Wednesday, August 23, 2017
Yesterday I tackled a couple of small canvas jobs for the boat. I dislike this type of sewing, but it's my responsibility so it was time to suck it up, Buttercup, and get it done. This little table is made of teak and has a lip all the way around it to keep your wine glass from sliding off. Unfortunately, that lip also collects rain water, so the table needs a waterproof cover.
I made one four years ago from a pretty floral fabric that was supposed to be weatherproof, but it faded badly. Then I made a quickie cover out of a vinyl tablecloth, which disintegrated in less than a year. So I finally did what I should have done in the beginning, which is make a cover from Sunbrella, which wears like iron. It's also like sewing cardboard, but it's finished now and looks nice so I'll stop whining (maybe.)
The bottom is elasticized with bungee cord for easy removal.
You may notice that the top isn't flat. That's because even Sunbrella will eventually soak up water if it puddles for several days. So we stuff this Nerf football underneath to peak the center of the cover up. Then the rain rolls right off!
In the background of the top photo, you can see several blue Sunbrella pillows. The first two I made using regular cotton thread, which degrades in the bright sunlight. I have since started using UV stable thread, which is thick and waxy, like dental floss. Eventually, one of the ties that holds the pillow to the railing fell off, and I stitched that back on yesterday since I had the UV thread loaded in the machine for the table cover.
I also did a repair of our life raft cover. The life raft in its container is about the size of a suitcase, and sits on the back port side corner of the upper deck, hoping to never be used. To extend the life of the fiberglass case, I made this simple, boxy Sunbrella cover about three years ago. There is a rather sharp piece of the raft that sticks up underneath on one end, and it rubs against the cover when the wind is really blowing and flapping things around.
That rubbing eventually caused a small tear, which I repaired with an iron-on patch from underneath. However, it still didn't seem quite secure enough, so I also ran a line of UV stable stitching around it. The tear still shows, but that doesn't bother me much. No one is closely examining the life raft cover! I also decided the minor amount of mildew on the cover was acceptable for the same reason. I'd rather see a bit of black or green gunk than remove the waterproof coating with harsh cleaning chemicals.
After wrassling with thick, waxy UV thread and bulky, stiff and dirty Sunbrella, I'm looking forward to slipping some nice Aurifil into my bobbin and getting back to quilting on cotton!
Sunday, August 20, 2017
Saturday, August 19, 2017
Saturday, August 12, 2017
Wednesday, August 9, 2017
If you'd like to purchase your own boat, here's the sales office. It's kind of a sales shed, but quite a nice shed. I used their advertising/sandwich board to display my quilt, and the southerly wind held it nicely in place. No flapping in the wind! I'll have to remember that for more photo shoots.
I have six little quilts in the washing machine right at this minute, and I'm eager to see how my various experiments in quilting and puckering have fared.
Tuesday, August 8, 2017
Monday, August 7, 2017
I first saw an Eye Vac automatic vacuum cleaner at a hair salon. The stylist used a broom to whisk my hair clippings into the base of this little black box, and WHOOSH! It all disappeared. I went home and immediately told DH Sean that we were getting one ASAP.
In this video, I demonstrate how simple it is to use. Just sweep the dirt up near the bottom of the machine, and it automatically starts, runs for several seconds, then turns off. I used little pieces of paper to make it easier to see the vacuum action. I also pulled it away from the wall for a better video angle. But normally it stays tucked in a corner and doesn't move.
Our Eye Vac sits right next to the cat-sized hole that leads to the litter box. Angel always tracks a few bits of litter out onto the wood floor, and I used to use a dust pan and brush to clean that up. Because that involved bending over to reach the dust pan, then carrying it through the kitchen to the garbage can, and I'm pretty lazy, cleaning didn't happen as often as it should. But now, it's so fun to make the Eye Vac go WHOOSH! that I use it every day. The dirt goes into a bin with a filter. To empty the bin, it tilts forward and away, and can easily be dumped into the trash.
OK, quilters: Imagine having one of these handy dandy robotic friends in your quilt room to suck up all the bits of thread and quilt lint that always ends up on the floor. I think this would be a neat addition to a quilt studio with tile, vinyl, or hardwood floors. Obviously, this isn't going to work if you have carpet. My sewing room is carpeted, alas, or I would have my Eye Vac down there in a hot second. Meanwhile, it's doing a great job with the cat litter, and anything else that needs sweeping up from our pilot house and galley.
Friday, August 4, 2017
Well, taking photos while the sun shines, anyway. I have two finishes to share today. First one is called Partly Cloudy. I pieced this little sample of dark and light strings a couple of months ago. After gathering, sorting into light to dark shades, and stitching together lots of 1.5" scraps, I ran out of steam when the top was about 36"x44".
Since coming to Charleston, I've learned about a charity called Quilted Embrace, which provides small lap quilts to wheelchair-bound seniors. One of the local guilds is collecting quilts for them, and I'm hoping to jump on that bandwagon if the guild allows me. Quilted Embrace requests 36"x48" quilts, so it was a simple matter to add a few inches in length to this piece and quilt it up.
The fabrics are quite busy, so a simple loop-de-loop motif inside parallel lines was a fast and easy way to free motion Partly Cloudy. I used a lighter neutral beige thread in the light sections, and a darker grey in the dark diagonal. It didn't actually make much difference, but it was a useful experiment. Black binding frames the riot of color and pattern.
The backing is a single piece of this pretty Asian-inspired blue and pink floral. As you know, working on smaller quilts is the best fit for my tiny sewing space, and I'm excited to be sewing up some pieces for adults. I'm still having fun with kid-friendly themed quilts, but have decided to concentrate on Embrace quilts while in Charleston. So excited, in fact, that I've already pieced and basted at least six quilts! I'll be sharing those with you one by one as I get them quilted.
If you read my guest post over at Kat's last week, you know how happy I am to donate this super-scrappy piece full of visual interest to a charity.