Anniversary Trip

My husband and I celebrated 24 years of wedded bliss yesterday. We always go away for our anniversary and this year when he asked what I wanted to do, I could only think of 2 things… I wanted to visit our son who attends college out of state and stop by some of my favorite quilt shops! We started our trip off by visiting our son in Wake Forest N.C. We spent a couple of days with him and attended church with him on Sunday.

IMG_1763

Windy day

Afterwards, we headed to Gastonia N.C so I could go to one of my favorite stores, Mary Jo’s Cloth Store.

IMG_1771

This store has been around for many, many years and they have the largest selection of fabrics and notions that I have ever found in one place.

IMG_1773

We also visited another favorite; Foust Textiles, Inc. in Kings Mountain N.C.  They have the friendliest, most helpful staff of any place I have ever shopped. You have to be a professional with a tax ID number to shop here daily but they do offer a few days per year in which the warehouse is open to the public (check online for dates). You  have to purchase fabric by the bolt, they do not cut so it is a great place to purchase fabric for quilt backings!

IMG_1780

IMG_1779

I bought 5 bolts of fabric, some thread and a roll of king sized batting. I also purchased a bolt of woven stabilizer because I use this on all of my customer t-shirt and memory quilts.

I’m also in the market for a new longarm machine. I want a computerized machine that has more bells and whistles than the one I currently own. I looked at the new Babylock Regalia but it wasn’t set up for sewing yet so I will have to go back and try it out another time.

IMG_1774

The table is adjustable which I love because I am tall, 5’9 to be exact! It has a 20″ throat space which means I will be losing 2″ from my current set up, but with all of the added features I probably wouldn’t miss them. I’m determined NOT to buy the first machine that I love but to try out everything in my price range! This will be a test of patience for me because I did that with the machine I currently have and  found out later I could have gotten a lot more bang for my buck if I had shopped around. I have 3 quilt shows on my schedule to attend in the next month so hopefully I will be able to narrow down my choices soon! I’m thankful for a husband who supports me and doesn’t mind hanging out in quilts shops on our anniversary!

The Busiest Time of Year!

 

I love Christmas, but this year has been tough! I think the reason for the difficulty is because this is the first year my husband and I are alone. We are officially empty-nesters and it’s made me a little depressed, especially during the holidays. I was a homeschool mom for 12 years so I spent a lot of time with my children and I loved every second of it. Our oldest son just celebrated his second wedding anniversary and our youngest son is attending college out of state. I usually start my Christmas decorating the day after Halloween, but this year I didn’t start until my son was due home from school (end of November). Another reason for the delay in decorating was I had an order for 4 memory quilts the week of Halloween and finished them before we went on vacation at Thanksgiving. I worked day and night to get them completed because I wanted to finish them before the Thanksgiving holiday.

I knew when we got home from vacation I would have Christmas gifts to work on and I wanted to give the memory quilts my full attention. Plus, I don’t like to take orders for quilts after Thanksgiving because we are so busy during the 4 weeks leading up to Christmas. We’ve had parties and church events to attend every weekend this month plus a few on weeknights. My husband and I are runners and we just wrapped up a very busy race season to top it all off! We have run 5 races since October 28th. All of them were out of town but one so we had to travel to get to them. Needless to say I’m ready for some down time to get creative and have some fun in my sewing room!

I usually finish the majority of my Christmas shopping on Black Friday but couldn’t get it done this year. I’m actually supposed to be shopping now but I’m taking a break and having a ‘pick me up’ to help motivate me to continue. Hopefully I’ll finish today but if I don’t, no one but me will know that I didn’t buy every little thing that I had on my list.

IMG_1472

I have completed a few embroidery projects for stocking stuffers, and enjoyed every bit of time I was able to spend in my favorite room in the house. I still want to make a Santa purse for my niece but I’m not sure I’ll get to it before the big day…

I can’t wait to have a full day of quilting after Christmas. My resolution for the new year is to finish every UFO in my sewing room!

IMG_1459

Gracie the thief!

T-shirt Quilt

Our youngest son will be leaving for college very soon. I have offered many times to make a quilt for his dorm room bed and he has declined every time. I was okay with that even though I have been saving his t-shirts since he was 10 years old to make him a quilt. While going through his clothes to see what was needed for school, he was sad that many of his favorite shirts were too small and decided that he did want a t-shirt quilt after all! Of course that meant that I had to put everything on hold (sorry 3 fabric bargello) and get busy!

IMG_0924

 

I quickly cut them up and ironed on a lightweight stabilizer.

His dorm bed is a twin XL so luckily it’s not a large quilt. I had to make a trip to my LQS because he couldn’t find anything in my stash that he liked for the sashing and borders. Before sewing on sashing, I like to arrange the squares on the floor in a pleasing order.

IMG_0930

I don’t use a pattern for my t-shirt quilts because I like them to look very random. I cut them into different size squares and use sashing on the sides of each block to make them the size of the largest block in each row. Then I piece them vertically instead of horizontally with sashing between each block. I use color coded sticky dots to number my rows and blocks so if they get out of order, I can quickly figure out where they go. Sometimes I get lazy with this step and just take a pic with my cell phone of the layout before piecing.

IMG_1061

After sewing, I press the seams open because they can get a little bulky with the t-shirts and stabilizer.

I got a little emotional cutting up some of his shirts because it hit me that he is leaving and we will be empty nesters in the very near future. I have been a homeschool mom for 12 years and I am excited to see the plans that God has for his future but sad that he is leaving. He will be attending college out of state and will be about 5 1/2 hours away from home.

IMG_0600

Below is a pic of my progress so far. I still have to sew on the final borders, quilt and bind it. We leave in one week to take him to school and I also have to get him packed and organized during the week as well. I will update with a pic when finished…

IMG_1062