Sunday, March 15, 2015

Crochet deadline; plants doing well!!!

A new project; a new deadline has been underway for the past week.  A customer (via Etsy) requested a 90x95 afghan in the same colorway of another afghan I have for sale in the shop.  He's willing to wait the 6-8 weeks I've requested to complete it;  this will most definitely be the largest afghan I've made.  Each row is taking about 20 minutes to complete, increasing the length by 1/2", so... approx 60-65 hours will be needed to finish off the project.  Guess who's going to busy? ;)

Just prior to having the newest customer, I had been making progress on the Mystery Crochet-Along;  I had been worried up until the last clue -- I'm really liking how my colors are playing together!

And of COURSE, the plants are growing, growing, growing!  Yesterday morning, Cass and I had the task of transplanting many of the tomatoes, peppers and broccoli;  some herbs too.  For the first few minutes, I was really feeling overwhelmed!  I've never jumped the gun like this before.  I've never planted so MANY tomatoes before.  I was running out of transplanting containers.

Growth after transplanting last week (Week #4)

Current growth (Week #5).  The tomatoes look AMAZING!  I just hope I can keep them alive for another (*whiper*) ......... two months!  There is NO WAY tomatoes can go in the ground in our area before mid-end May.  *gulp*
Lesson learned. :)

Time to find some (LOTS) of 5-gallon pails...

Spring weather has hit!  Last weekend, we found ourselves enjoying the first 40 degree day since last Fall!  The girls couldn't wait to pull out their bikes and enjoy.
Since then, this past week, we actually hit temps of 60!  Hallelujah!  Most of the snow is now melted;  even snowbanks have mostly melted away :)

Paul decided to finally burn up the pile of rubble we've been growing for the past few years.  Bonfire time! 
*sigh*  I can only hope that our Spring is truly underway similar to 2012.  We had a stretch of weather just like this;  our first picnic on March 16 even.   Every week, we were all wondering...."Is this the week the temps will drop back down?  Is this the week we get a Spring snow storm?"
But, it never happened!  We had green grass in April;  by May we were ready to mow AND plant the garden still with a little nervousness.  The rule of thumb up here:  "never plant before Memorial weekend".
I was done with harvesting the whole garden in August that year;  I'd love for another year like that!!!

Did you enjoy PI day yesterday?  

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Quilting over embroidery - It can be done [Quilting]

A couple of weeks ago, MIL and FIL came for a visit, partially due to MIL needing to drop off some crib quilts she wanted me to machine quilt for her.
I've quilted some of her hand-embroidered quilts in the past.  The first time was the toughest because I struggled with the thought of, "Dare I really quilt over her embroidery?"
I had found only a few images via a google search about quilting over embroidery before attempting it for myself.  My biggest concern for quilting over the embroidery, of course, was losing the embroidery in all the quilting, but I don't think that really happened.  Another concern was 'catching' the embroidery with the machine quilting foot, but that never happened.
A concern for NOT quilting over the embroidery was whether the non-quilted areas would get all puffy looking in comparison to the quilted sections.
Therefore, in the end, the full pantograph quilting won out.  And MIL was satisfied with the results.

I had been putting off the quilting of these projects for her simply because it is SOOOOOO cold downstairs in the basement, specially in my open space where the quilting frame is.  At least in my sewing room, I can turn the space heater on, but not so much in the open area.
Therefore, hubby to the rescue this morning without me even asking him to do this.  He simply realized that it's COLD down there, and I NEEDED to get going on this quilting projects.
He uncapped one of the venting pipes from the wood furnace that is directly in line with my open quilt-frame space.  Yay!  It was actually reasonably comfortable while quilting my mini-marathon today.

The first two quilts went smoothly and quite quickly, using a pantograph "Climber" by Meredith England.

But as I unfolded the last two ....
Oh dear MIL.  I must must must stress to her again the importance of having at least 2" of extra width on each side for the backing and batting...

These last two.... well.... she kinda gave me zero.  In fact, in some spots, the batting almost equated to a -1" span. Ummmmm...... 

But, I did my best, and figured I'd trim off some of her edging if needed...
After breaking three (3) needles and dealing with some minor frustrations on the finishing edge...

They were both finished.

Quilting marathon -- a success.