Sunday, January 19, 2014

Sarah's Quilt

My friend Carrie asked me to make a T-shirt for her daughter Sarah (also one of my former students).  I have had the shirts for at least two months now, but have not had the time to start it.

I have a long weekend off school, let's see what I can accomplish.

It is 12:00 on Saturday.  I am just now cutting the shirts apart.

 3:05 on Saturday, with a one hour break for lunch prep, consumption and clean up, I am pressing interfacing to the shirts and cutting squares.
4:15 on Saturday, squares are all cut, I have laid out the design on my studio floor.  I like to take a photo once I have the design finished, then I can follow the photo when I sew the rows together.  I found it is much easier this way!
This photo shows the upper right corner, that is not visible in the above photo!

5:06 on Saturday, rows are completed.  Getting there! 

8:40 on Saturday,  top is finished.  (Yes, I did stop to make and eat dinner!  Dinner prep, cook, consumption and clean up was 2 hours.)

I spent another hour working on piecing the back for the quilt.  I am using the backs of Sarah's T-shirts to create the backing piece.  I cut the backs into large rectangles and stitched them into rows. Tomorrow, I will stitch the rows together and get this quilt basted!

All together, I spent 7.5 hours working on this quilt today.  I  still need to finish the backing, baste, quilt and bind the quilt.  Many people have no idea how much work is required to make a quilt of this nature, or any quilt for that matter.   When people ask me to make a quilt and I quote them a price, they often decide that the price is too much. 

Consider this.  At $10 per hour, I have $75 of labor invested in this quilt.  That does not account for the electricity to run my machine and iron, the wear and tear on my machine, iron, rotary cutters and mats, or the price of batting, thread and interfacing.

A little internet research and here are the figures for materials:  Fusible interfacing is $33.00 a bolt (10 yards) which is then $3.30 per yard.  I used 5 yards for this quilt.  Total cost:  $16.50.  With tax:  $18.11

I will probably use up one entire spool of thread on this quilt; I use threads from Connecting Threads.  Cost is $2.79.  With tax:  $3.06

I buy my cotton batting on sale, by the roll.  I will need 6 yards for this quilt, for a cost of $30.  Cost with tax:  32.93. 

Total cost of materials:  $54.10

At this time, I have $129.10 invested in this quilt. 


Thursday, January 2, 2014


The house is still in a state of flux.

As usual, new projects cropped up occasionally.  We had a septic tank backup that required us to remove the carpeting in the downstairs bathroom.  Who puts carpet in a bathroom??  Around the same time, the drain in that bathtub failed.

I did go out in June to purchase a new tub drain, new tile and all that was needed to install it, however, Vince did not want me to tackle that job.  I never seem to do major tasks to his satisfaction...he is such a perfectionist!  So, they sat.

Unfinished projects:
  1. pantry is still unfinished --just needs trim.   
  2. Master bedroom closet
  3. master bedroom shower
  4. Mom's kitchen
  5. Front walkway
  6. Mustang repaired so it is drivable
  7. Great room walls--paint?  panel with wood?  undecided yet, but must be done
  8. Remove carpet and put wood floors in the Great Room
  9. Clearing out of ALL stored items in the garage
  10. Organizing Vince's workshop
  11. Front Walkway--stone?  concrete?  decking?  undecided yet.  
  12. WoodShed needs doors and half a roof.  Weird that the roof is half done, right?
What was completed in 2013?
  1. Vince completed Mom's bedroom and living room on the extension.  
  2. He completed the wrap around portion of the deck. 
  3. Vince finished tiling the floor in the downstairs bathroom. The bathtub drain is replaced and working well.  Yesterday, I installed the hand towel hook and declared it finished.  Now when Rob and Izzy come to visit, they will not be creeped out by the bathroom.  
  4. We moved the beige living room set into Mom's living room and found the couch was too big.  
  5. we sold the beige living room set
  6. Mom purchased a sleeper loveseat and table, so her living room furniture is completed. 
  7. I finally repaired the ceiling in the master Bedroom.  Now the pieces of sheetrock tape are not hanging down!  

On New Year's Eve, we did our last shopping of 2013.  I purchased a new bathroom faucet and shower head for the upstairs bathroom.

Since I have been off on Christmas Break from school:
  1.  I have quilted half of the Bunny Run T-shirt quilt--I made a great stencil of the Bunny Run Bunny and that is the quilt design!  I have quilted 12 bunnies so far. 
  2. I replaced the bathroom faucet with A LOT of help from my friend Whitney.  It was harder to remove the old faucet than to install the new one.  I had to go out to buy plumber's tape and found that my car battery was dead.  So, that was hooked to the charger while we went to the hardware store!
  3. I hung a shelf unit up in my studio
  4. I hung two curtain tie-back hooks in the bathrooms to use as hand towel holders. They work great!
  5. I hung a blind in my MIL living room
  6. I caught 6 mice!  5 in the ceiling of my studio, one in my car!
  7. I had two helpers paint mouldings for my MIL's apartment. 
  8. I cleaned out the garage, hung posters and other framed prints on the walls (sounds weird, but they have been sitting out there for 7 years!)  I also sold 5 boxes of stuff from the garage.  It is neater now, but still rather full.  
  9. I laid some excess tile pieces at the end of our walkway ramp to keep us out of the mud a little bit more.
  10. I started a new quilt top using my Jelly Roll books.  Janice came over for the day and we sat and stitched together.. She also started a Jelly Roll quilt.  We had great fun. 
  11. I taught my friend Whitney to sew recently.  Over the break she finished her curtains and made a bed for the dog!
  12. I replaced a pocket on Vince's flight suit.  The zipper on the original one was broken and it was easier to replace the pocket with one from a damaged suit than it was to replace the zipper!
  13. I raked leaves for over 4 hours!  Amazing how many of them get under, in and around the bushes!
  14. I repotted a house plant.  This is one I have not managed to kill in over a year!  So, I figured it needed a nicer ceramic pot.  
  15. I cleaned out my car--it needed it after the mouse incident...could not stand the thought of mouse turds in my car!
  16. I have baked, cooked and cleaned several times.  
  17. I had two overnight guests (young friends of mine) who helped my MIL and I with painting.  They also moved concrete blocks from under the decks. 
  18. I have my lesson plans for Dateline: Troy outlined, and have been fine tuning them over the past two days. Tomorrow I go back to school, and will hopefully have the afternoon to finish these lesson plans. 
  19. I participated in two Secret Santa Exchanges...that was fun! 
  20. The house has been decorated for Christmas and since Robert and Izzy have not come to visit yet, I plan to leave the decorations up for a while longer!  

I guess that is about it...all in all, I had a very busy break and cannot wait to get back to school and a normal routine!  I have been productive and have accomplished a number of small tasks that were waiting around for a long time.  It feels good to finish these tasks.

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

New Year, New You?

What about that resolution? 

Yesterday, my young friend Dakota asked me what 'resolution' meant. 

I explained that it was a custom (or tradition, need, feeling, want, dream, get the idea) that some people follow on New Years Eve every year. 

A resolution can be anything that you want to change about yourself. 

Now, we all have made resolutions in the past, some we have kept, some we have not.  The best ones became habits. 

Oftentimes, people bite off more than they can chew when making resolutions. 

(I told Dakota I was going to stop biting my nails.  Mom C stated "You do not bite your nails!"  So, apparently, I have managed to achieve that resolution.)

Change takes time.  A resolution made on New Years Eve may help some people get started, but I know from my own personal experience that I will start off well and then get caught up in my 'normal' lifestyle and neglect to follow through.  Instead of creating yet one more stressor for myself, I am not going to make any resolutions this year, I plan to continue living my life one day at a time, enjoying the moments I can and not bothering much with those I do not enjoy. 

What are you doing with your life?