Daffy's Stitchy Friends

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Too Busy to be Totally Useless

If I had known this week was going to end up so busy I'd have created this post last weekend and scheduled it to post on the correct day. I didn't know...so I ended up missing the New Moon and I'm late for the Totally Useless Stitch A Long! I know many of you started the Party without me and that's OK!

I'm still cutting squares so my fabric ORTs are piling up and I've stitched a teeny bit to add to my thread ORTs. I decided to snap the photo of my ORTs with a view of my very cluttered desk! I'm a closet packrat and tend to have too many projects going at once...




I got crafty last Saturday and made this little tomato pincushion with a strawberry emery...




That one was so much fun to make I promptly made another one...




Aren't they just adorable? I looked at several tutorials online about how to make them, then just went for it. I was pleased to be able to do an entire craft project from stash! I even had the emery on hand. If you don't have real emery you can just use a fine craft sand. I love creating things!

I know you do too. Tell us...what craft project do you have planned next?


=^..^=

We want to see your ORTs! Leave a comment on this post with a link to your October TUSAL post so we can come visit! If I hold a Totally Useless giveaway your comment will earn you an extra entry.

Wondering what a TUSAL is and why all these people are posting pictures of rubbish? Click here to learn more and join the fun!

Thank you for visiting my blog today!
xox

Sunday, October 12, 2014

It's A Wrap!

My 1st quilt is done! I'm so proud!


After I finished, I tossed it into the washer and dryer to let it shrink & pucker. That may have been a little scary.


But it came out perfect! It's so snugly and warm. 


Best of all, from start to finish...I made it myself!


This spectacularly crappy photo shows it on a full-size bed. Wow, quilts are harder to photograph than stitching is! 

The quilt turned out approximately 60 x 80 inches after washing. I had the time of my life learning how to do each step. Is it mistake free? Not even close! Seam points don't all match up. There are a couple spots where the inner top pleated while quilting, and the border has some pleats...there is a special way to put on borders but I didn't know that!

If I had to pick a favorite part, it would be sewing on the binding.  From cutting & sewing the binding strips, to creating an invisible join, to hand stitching it closed...I rocked that like nobody's business!

Least favorite, pinning, hands down. Don't get me wrong, I enjoyed doing it...I did not like being unable to work on it due to sore fingers and an aching back. I know one can use spray adhesive to sandwich the layers but I am not sure how well that works on large quilts.  


What is that? More squares? 

Indeed, I've started another quilt. This one is going to be giant! I want a bedspread to fit my king-size bed. This will be a charm-style quilt. It can't be a true charm quilt because I don't have enough fabrics to make each square different. (but I am saving one 5 inch square from each fabric I have...maybe one day I will have enough!) Shown here are only a few of my fabrics, I think I have around 70 different ones.

Not to worry, I have been stitching as well as quilting, and I'm close to a finish. Stay tuned!

Thank you for visiting my blog today!
xox 




Saturday, September 27, 2014

Happy Pumpkin Day


Happy Pumpkin Day!


I miss you, Cathey.


Posted in remembrance of our beloved Pumpkin, taken too soon. 

 .)\ 
.....' `--` '.. 
. / .. ^ ^ .. \ 
. \ . \/\/\/ . / 
....'---------' 


If you don't know what this is, I was never able to bring myself to remove the Pumpkins for Cathey link in the top left sidebar, read about it there.

Thank you for visiting my blog today!
xox


Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Totally Useless September

It's that Totally Useless time again! 

Don't mind me...I've been busy quilting and a few cross stitches here and there. Not much new in the quilt ORT bowl but there are a few new threads in the stitchy jar!



I'm to the actual "quilting" point on my quilt. Exciting and nerve wracking at the same time! Am I doing this right? Is this going to show? How exactly do you sew on binding? (quick visit to YouTube) Binding looks easy enough, no problem! Hmmm, that is not how I sewed these borders on...they might be a little wavy when this is done. I will know next time around. I keep telling myself, "This is a practice quilt!"


Have you tried anything new lately?


=^..^=

We want to see your ORTs! Leave a comment on this post with a link to your September TUSAL post so we can come visit! If I hold a Totally Useless giveaway your comment will earn you an extra entry.

Wondering what a TUSAL is and why all these people are posting pictures of rubbish? Click here to learn more and join the fun!

Thank you for visiting my blog today!
xox

Saturday, September 20, 2014

I Basted My Quilt With Sticky Plasters...

...and other random/ridiculous thoughts by a new quilter.

It takes 45 35 minutes to open 600 597 safety pins and if one is OCD you spend another 10 looking for the 3 pins you dropped into the box before opening them. I ended up buying another box of 300.

OMG I own 900 safety pins.


The person that invented this Kwik Klip tool is my hero.



One obviously needs a few different projects on the go, in different phases...it's impossible to close *that many* safety pins while bent over, even if you are pinning your quilt on a table. My back is killing me! My fingers are sore! I'm having a blast!

Here my quilt is about half-pinned. I clamped it to a big table in the basement instead of taping it to the floor. My knees were very happy about that. Note: that table is 8 foot long by 3 foot wide! Quite a bit of the sides is tucked up under the clamps.


I know you are thinking, "She said she used sticky plasters to baste her quilt...those are just quilting pins, liar!" 


No, seriously, they truly helped me finish pin basting this sucker. My finger got so sore in the spot I use to push the pins with I could not pin for days. But I was anxious to finish basting. I tried using a rubber thimble but it made it too clumsy. Ha! A sticky plaster to the rescue! Those little dot bandages worked like a charm. I could still feel the pins but I had a little cushion to help with the initial push.

Now, I am American. In real life I call these band-aids, like everyone else here. But Brits call them sticky plasters. I thought that was so much fun I had to buy a box when I was in London.


Now my quilt is basted. I can start quilting it! I've adjusted Fern's tension, put on her walking foot and loaded up a few bobbins. Then I had to run to Walmart to buy a card table to put behind Fern to support that ginormous wad of fabric & batting. 

I have discovered quilters "see" quilt patterns. Walking through the hallway of our hotel I explained to Dash the carpet was a rail fence...

Irons that shut off automatically are a pain.

Speaking of irons, Molly spent a week flatly refusing to enter my craft room after I set up the ironing board. She didn't even want to go down the hallway it made her so nervous. Border Collie theology prevailed, "If you can't beat 'em - herd 'em!" Now, I have to lock her out of the room when I iron as she tries to "herd" the spray starch.

Nothing is so frightening as being charged by a snarling sheepdog while holding a flaming hot iron. One of us will get hurt! Idiot dog also wants to herd the salad dressing bottle. Have I ever told you how bored Border Collies invent stupid games? Oh, just did.

There are stray threads everywhere. On the floor, glued to the ironing board cover with spray starch, in pockets, in the dryer, the shower and I've even found one in my dinner. Stitching ORTs are much more containable.

If I would quit blathering more stitching could be done!


Thank you for visiting my blog today!!!
xox

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Please meet Fern

When I conceived the idea of learning to quilt my thoughts were along the lines of, "I have a sewing machine, what else would I need?" I mean people have quilted since before sewing machines were even invented, right? I have carpel tunnel so extensive hand sewing is not an option but I have a sewing machine ~ I'm set!

Not.

As I got farther into each step on my quilt, I knew I had better buy a walking foot for my machine before I got to that point. So I sit down and start searching. Oh NO! My machine is not made to use a walking foot!

Now, I had options...hand-quilting - out, as explained above...Have it quilted by someone else - I kinda had my heart set on actually learning to quilt, not just piece...Buy another sewing machine - sooo expensive! Drats...what to do?

I had already dealt with quite a few "problems" with my inexpensive, basic machine, an off the shelf Singer. It's always "needle up" and no way to change it. It has tension problems with the bobbin thread and no way to fix it. It's sewing speed is strictly based on how hard you push the foot control and I could really use a slower "top" speed until I get better.

Dash talked me into buying a new sewing machine when he learned of the problems I was facing. In fact...he searched the internet for the best possible price on the machine I was interested in and then insisted we buy it. She was delivered last week.

I'd like you to meet Fern. 


Fern, as I've named her is a Juki HZL-F600.


I think we are going to become very good friends!


I also got this nifty sewing desk for Fern to live on.


This all sits directly behind my stitching desk. All I have to do is turn my chair around to sew! I will need to buy a table to go behind the sewing desk when I'm actually quilting to support the quilt.

I've been practicing on some small pieces, while getting my big quilt ready for quilting. I'm looking forward to the finish!

Thank you for visiting my blog today!
xox 

Monday, August 25, 2014

A Totally Useless August

So I've been busy this past moon cycle, have you? It's the New Moon and time to show off the ORTs you collected! I haven't cross stitched but I have been stitching...with the sewing machine. Quilting creates tons of ORTs, doesn't it? 


About this quilt:  I started this project on July 26th. Before this, I could sew a pillow and maybe follow a basic, very simple pattern. My sewing skills are minimal at best. When I decided to learn to quilt I took the free online quilting course offered by Google and YouTube. Just kidding a little but hey, it's free and there are awesome teachers out there willing to share their knowledge if you want to learn!

I found photos online of quilts I liked, followed the sources and discovered what they were called. The one I liked best was the Disappearing Nine Patch. It looked really hard but wonder of wonders it was considered a beginners quilt!

I Googled to find out how much fabric to buy, how to cut the squares, how to sew them together, how to cut them again and sew them back together.



I learned how to square up my blocks. 
Then I stitched them together.



I ended up with a finished top.
Used an entire spool of thread.



Well, not quite finished, it needed a border!



So I Googled to learn how to miter corners.



I think the hardest part now is managing this big wad of quilt!



But all this "learning" is worth it. As of yesterday, I have a completely finished quilt top! In ONE month!!! I am taking "lessons" now on sandwiching so I can actually start quilting this into a finished quilt. Keep in mind, I work full-time (40 hours) and we are often on the go with other things that need doing. Every bit of this was done in what little spare time I can squeeze in.


Oh just what I needed...another stash accumulating hobby!

I guess the awesome ORTs it creates evens things out.

=^..^=

We want to see your ORTs! Leave a comment on this post with a link to your August TUSAL post so we can come visit! If I hold a Totally Useless giveaway your comment will earn you an extra entry.

Wondering what a TUSAL is and why all these people are posting pictures of rubbish? Click here to learn more and join the fun!

Thank you for visiting my blog today!
xox

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Iron Butt 1000

I'm pretty sure you all know how Dash and I are a wee bit on the crazy side? If you were not aware of this fact by now you will after this post! 

Last Saturday, Dash and I took our Gold Wing on an Iron Butt Association qualifying motorcycle ride. The ride we chose was the "Saddlesore." The premise...ride 1000 miles in 24 hours. The catch...you have to "prove it" to qualify. Your proof is witnesses at the start & finish, computer generated register receipts from gas/food stops and a log you keep as you go. Bear in mind, the IBA is dedicated to SAFE long-distance riding so riding at unsafe speeds is not needed to complete the rides.


Dash planned an itinerary that took us at least 1000 miles starting from home and ending at home. The "L" on the map is our start and end. Miss Molly got dropped off at the doggy hotel on Friday afternoon and we went to bed early.


At the crack of zero-dark-thirty (also called 1 AM) we dragged out of bed, drank coffee, showered and packed the bike. By 2:50 we had met our witnesses at the gas station, got a soda and gassed up the bike for that starting receipt. The official time of our start was 2:57 AM. I started a 24 hour countdown timer on my iPhone as we gassed up...1000 miles to go and 24 hours left...we were off!

Dash and I rarely ride at night so it was novelty to me, these first few hours. I quite like it but Dash, responsible for our safety, does not! This is the longest stretch between planned gas stops, from home to Wichita, Kansas. It's 75 degrees and there is a lightening show ahead in the distance, threatening rain!

After we gassed up in Wichita we donned rain suits since a check of the radar shows we'll be riding right through a good-sized thunderstorm. It was still raining in Salina, Kansas but now the sun is up, Dash can see better so he is more relaxed. I was glad we have full-faced helmets...only a few teeny drops of rain slipped through the air vents!

The rain was gone by Topeka, Kansas and we are making good time and feel elated. Our gas receipt here has to be corrected by the attendant because the time is not right on their computer. We remove our rain gear and each gobble an Atkins bar.

Our next stop on the "other" side of Kansas City was uneventful. The weather is cloudy and in the low 70's ~ perfect! When we reach Colombia, Missouri we decide to get some lunch at a Ruby Tuesday's that is across the street from our fuel stop. I write in my log that we have gone 534 miles with just under 15 hours left. Halfway!

We go through St. Louis, Rolla and Springfield in a blur. We are enjoying ourselves immensely. The weather couldn't be better and the sights-we-haven't-seen-before are entertaining us. At Afton, Oklahoma we stop and get sodas with our gas. Back on the road, Dash goes to pick his up and the lid pops off and flies away before I could catch it! Whoops! I hand him my straw and he slurps it down enough to not splash him at every bump.

By Tulsa my knee is aching and we are both feeling a little worn. The Gold Wing was made for comfort though, I could not imagine how tired we would have been on the VTX. We have already passed the 1000 mile mark, the rest is just padding. New sodas at Tulsa...we are almost home!

Oklahoma could take a few pointers from Kansas and Missouri on road construction. We hit a good bump going through Tulsa and I look down to make sure my straw isn't wiggling itself out and my drink is gone! Gone! I tap my intercom and tell Dash and we both have a laugh

A side note: To the people in the car behind us in Tulsa on 08-09-14...for the record, I did NOT throw my brand new, barely sipped, 32 ounce foam-cupped diet DR. Pepper at you, the road maintenance dept did.

We arrive back in Stillwater and get our last fuel receipt and I pause the timer on my phone: 



We had 4 hours and 22 minutes to spare! Our last receipt was timed at 10:35 PM. We made 1135 miles in just over 19 1/2 hours! Friends met us to officially witness for our paperwork. We got cheeseburgers, (the girl at the drive-thru told us she had never had anyone on a motorcycle come through her drive-thru, lol) we rode home, ate and went to bed.

Dash spent Sunday filling out the paperwork to send to the IBA for our certification, that might take a couple of months since they have to research the ride. If approved, we will be official Iron Butt riders! 

We averaged 17 minutes per stop and that time includes a half-hour lunch break. We both enjoyed doing this a lot. I think I expected to feel more tired and be more sore...either I am one tough cookie or I have a really comfy bike. We spent $103.85 in fuel and $4.75 in tolls.

We may have created a monster...Dash asked me which I'd rather do, a 1000 all-in-Oklahoma-Saddlesore or the 1500 Bun Burner? And I'm thinking the 48 states in 10 days actually sounds pretty feasible. But then, you already knew we were a wee bit crazy.

Thank you for visiting my blog today!
xox




Monday, July 28, 2014

Totally Useless July

Totally embarrassing too...I was SURE our Totally Useless Stitch A Long posted today but noooo...it was last Friday! Whoopsie! I have a good excuse for screwing up, Friday was the day Dash & I married 29 years ago. We celebrated with a day out shopping, saw a movie and then spent the rest of the weekend playing.

My ORTs are a bit unusual this time around. I have sewing ORTs in addition to my stitching ones!


Yup, that is a quilt square! I decided I really, really wanted to learn to quilt. Much research on the internet and lots of thinking led me to plan out a "disappearing nine patch" quilt. I bought my fabrics and started cutting out squares.


Quilt squares are so pretty! The rotary cutter makes these in a jiffy, even if it is scary as all-get-out to use. I already have quite a bit of the blocks sewn together. Soon I'll be cutting the blocks into four pieces and sewing those. I'm teaching myself as I go and having fun. There's sure to be many blunders (I've already learned you DON'T try to cut backwards with the rotary cutter if it doesn't cut through or you might cut your square WRONG!) but like stitching, practice makes you better.


I had to share the awesome food Dash smoked yesterday...chicken quarters and a beef tri-tip. Oh My Word that man can cook! The beef was medium rare and so tender and juicy and the flavor was divine. I'm such a lucky lady!

=^..^=

We want to see your ORTs! Leave a comment on this post with a link to your July TUSAL post so we can come visit! If I hold a Totally Useless giveaway your comment will earn you an extra entry.

Wondering what a TUSAL is and why all these people are posting pictures of rubbish? Click here to learn more and join the fun!

Thank you for visiting my blog today!
xox


Monday, July 14, 2014

One Cool Car

One of the "perks" of being a popular blogger (I still don't know how that happened) is getting offers for free stuff. I get a few every month but I rarely take a company up on their offer. Sometimes their products just don't mesh with my blog. Sorry, I don't think I can work little kid's clothes into my theme. My "kid" is 26! Or they want to send me a $100 gift certificate but everything on their site costs above $500...no kidding a lamp company sent that one. Or the company is too demanding about what they want me to post, word-for-word. No thanks. This is me. My blog, my words...real stuff here people. If I have to insert specific sentences written by someone else it isn't going to sound like me.

Every now and again though I get an offer from a great company with very few strings and this was one of them. They said, "We send you a $25 gift certificate. You buy one of our products with it and review it on your blog. Please link to our site." Wow. Easy enough. I looked through their stuff. Awesome! Done!

What is this great company?



I know, I know...you are wondering how on Earth I can theme a sign printing company to a stitching blog?



Boom

How freaking cool is that? I have always wanted a front license plate for my car. Black cars are so dreary and this cutie really brightens it up. The Build A Sign site was so easy to use. I chose my product, uploaded my photo and added text, previewed what I had created and checked out very quickly. My plate shipped a few days later, carefully packaged.



The plate looks fantastic and fit just right. I was a little worried it would be very shiny and you wouldn't be able to see the design but the printing is perfect. I told Dash I wanted to go to Tulsa and just park in front of The Silver Needle so people could admire it. *giggle*

It was such a pleasure working with Build A Sign. I would recommend trying them if you need printing done. I like looking at all the stuff you can create there. Check out the "Just Married" car magnets ~ love it!

The only compensation I received for this review was a free license plate. The only thing the company asked me to do was to review the plate and link to their site (I liked that.)

Thank you for visiting my blog today!
xox