More (Last?) Merit Badges

Merit Badge Sash - January 2015
Merit Badge Sash – January 2015

Last time I had to sew on merit badges, I thought it would be the end. However, the Young Man came home with a few more than he needed sewn before the Eagle Scout Board of Review. I don’t even think this will be the last time, because if (and I am pretty sure he will, but I don’t want to tempt fate) he gets his Eagle rank I’ll have to sew all the accoutrements of that onto his sash and shirt.

My mom commented, when she ironed his uniform for the Eagle Scout Board of Review, that the shirt was really cheap. I wonder if I should get one that is more substantial. More likely, I think, is making a shadow case picture with the shirt and the sash, etc in it for him to hang on his wall.

The Eagle Scout Board of Review was last Tuesday (a week ago) and he is now a candidate for the rank of Eagle Scout. He has been approved by the local district. His application will be sent to the National Organization for approval. Cross your fingers!

Last Merit Badges

5 Years Worth of Work
5 Years Worth of Work

I think the last time I sewed merit badges was almost a year ago. That can’t really be right, can it? Perhaps I just didn’t write about it.

The Young Man earned 5 merit badges since last May’s Court of Honor, a couple of them were at his last summer camp as a youth scout. The others he just had to work at on his own.

Eagle Required
Eagle Required

So, the other day, I sewed on 5 merit badges: Cooking, Personal Management, Space Exploration, Scout Heritage, and Citizenship in the Community. Three of the above were Eagle required. Most are really useful skills, though they still don’t have sewing. The empty spot is for the last merit badge. He has one more to earn before he can be an Eagle. He just has to do the paperwork and then he will get that one signed off. With luck.

Non-Eagle required badges
Non-Eagle required badges

These little pieces of cloth represent a lot of work and for a kid whose organizational skills make librarians cringe. It is amazing that he could get this far.

I know I should be saying this when he gets his Eagle, but I am so proud of what he has done so far that I just can’t help myself.

To make this more quilt/fabric related, I use the following to sew on the merit badges:

  • Aurifil #2600 for the  Eagle required badges
  • Aurifil #1231 for the non-Eagle required badges
  • Janome zigzag: 3.5mm width, 1.5mm length. You can go about 1mm longer on the length. I just don’t like the stitches to get beyond the border.
  • Janome clear applique foot

Happy Blogiversary

China Cake Plate
China Cake Plate

I started this blog in 2005 – 9 years ago, if you are counting. I have written over 2900 posts, some good, some bad. I have 4,600+ images in my Media Library. I write about a lot of stuff including:

Idea Cloud
Idea Cloud

I have 74 items marked as being about a completed project.

Thanks for reading all this time and for commenting on my projects and posts. Without you, why should I bother?

 

Check out the creative prompt, which was posted yesterday for those of you keeping track.

Sewing Machine Frustration

Sigh.

My iron died earlier in the week. I did find a spare, but it smells funny when I press. Fortunately, Amazon has the iron that I wanted, the Panasonic Sarah recommended in her DVD/online class,  and it arrived yesterday. I haven’t tried it yet, but do not anticipate any problems. Of course, one has to sew things together in order to have need of an iron to press them.

Yesterday my machine refused to continue stitching the decorative stitch I was using to finish a bag that will, with any luck, be a part of a Christmas gift. I had done half the top stitching and then the machine switched to straight stitch.

This is really unfair. I have two weeks ahead of me (minus the holidays) to stitch and my machine acts up? It couldn’t wait until January 5th?

As luck would have it I got a brochure from my ‘local’ dealer for new machines at Holiday prices. I don’t want to buy a new machine now for a number of reasons:

  1. Money doesn’t grow on trees
  2. I like my machine and want it to just work
  3. I don’t want to buy a machine in a rush; I’d like time to do some research
  4. I don’t want to learn to use a new machine right at this moment
  5. I’d rather buy my dream machine when the Young Man is out of college and we have some spare funds.
  6. If I buy an interim machine now, I will feel like I have to wait longer to buy a dream machine….unless I win the lottery, of course.
  7. A new machine would have to fit in my table, because I certainly don’t want to buy a new table and the machines with the larger harp space don’t fit.
  8. I would have to get a new insert for my table

The machine that caught my eye in the brochure is the Janome 6600P. It seems like it would be a good interim machine. It has similar features to the machine I have without the embroidery module. In looking at the web page, I can’t tell what kind of decorative stitches it has.

Well, hopefully, I can get the last bit of decorative stitching done and then switch to the Jem for regular piecing.

What a pain.

Happy Blogiversary!!!!

Yes, today is my 8th blogiversary!

We are celebrating here at ArtQuiltmaker by…

China Cake Plate
China Cake Plate

eating cake…

Wine Bag, detail
Wine Bag, detail

drinking wine

and, of course, sewing. Of course, this is all virtual, since I am probably headed to work as you read this.

Have you been blogging that long?

Are you inspired when you read my blog?

Enjoy the party and let me know if you want me to write about something special during the next year. I can’t promise I will do it, but I will try to be inspired by your request!

Various & Sundry #16

Housekeeping

Sadly, someone has somehow hacked into the Google search results for my site. I am working on it, the webhost is working on it and Deirdre is working on it. It appears to be different from the regular Pharma{}Hack, which is causing diagnostic problems. Here is how you are affected:

  • Live links are no longer allowed in comments. You can put the link in and it will be turned into text. Instead of clicking it and going to the site, you will need to cut and paste it into your browser.
  • HTML is no longer allowed in comments. We have found embedded code (damn you, clever hackers!) in spam comments which we think may be one of the culprits.
  • Spam is being deleted automatically. I booted Askismet off my site, because they wouldn’t do any of the above and have a new spam eradication service. If your comment looks like spam, it will be automatically deleted and I will never see it. If I don’t get back to you in comments or via email, your comment may have been marked as spam and deleted. You can reach me at jlapac {at} gmail {dot} com, if you want to contact me via email. I do prefer blog comments, though, so everyone can enjoy the conversation thread and your valuable comments.
  • If you click on a link to my blog from Google results, it might look fishy, but will take you to a spam free post.

So sorry about this nonsense. I hope it will end soon.

Doing Good
A month has passed since Hurricane/SuperStorm Sandy hit the Northeast. It is so easy for us here in the West to just go on with our lives and forget what others are going through, because we were not affected. The Red Cross needs donations. Use an official site or envelope to donate; don’t give to random people who ask you for money. If you want to contribute to Hurricane Sandy quilt efforts, the Vesuvius Mama blog (the blocks I made have already arrived.) and eQuilter are both coordinating efforts for quilts for Hurricane Sandy victims. You can see some of Vesuvius Mama’s quilts on a later post. Other types of crafters need supplies, too. Thanks to Deirdre for the link to CERF + Exchange Artists Relief effort.

Victoria Findlay Wolfe has also started collecting quilts and store bought blankets for her neighborhood, Rockaway. You can read her blog post for details.

My local guilds are working on quilts, etc, too, so…

Go out and do some good!

Quilts Around the Web

The Blogger’s Quilt Festival has been a treasure trove of quilts. I have been particularly interested in the various Jelly Roll quilts or Jelly Roll looking quilts that I have seen. The Something for Nothing blog had a Jelly Roll quilt that is one of the most successful I have seen. I like the way she has added a solid Jelly Roll to the print Jelly Roll.

I like this Spiderweb as well. I like the way she used one print for each pointy piece.

If you are not reading the Sweet Dreams by Sarah blog, you should. She has a great voice. Not funny so much as it makes me smile.

Quilt World News

City Quilter in NYC was closed for several days due to Superstorm Sandy. They are back in business after their water and power was restored. No damage and their employees are all fine. Hooray!

Sad news that has nothing to do with Superstorm Sandy. Kindred Quilts in New Jersey is closing. Toby wants to spend time with her family, so the store will be closing before Christmas. They will be having a massive sale, so go visit, if you live in the area.

SherriD is writing letters. Did you see her post? Will you write letters, too? I have 4 letters, yes real letters with handwriting and stamps, that need responses. I spend too much time sewing!

GenQ magazine is doing a survey. It isn’t a terrible survey. I think they ask some good questions, but they don’t give opportunities for essays. I always like to give people my opinion. I just like to do it in my own words. When you create a survey, make sure they is space for essays and ideas.

I thought about putting this story about Idaho inmates making quilts into the Doing Good section, because they are doing good, but there is a different tone in that section today. I like the recycling and making do aspect of this project. I am also thrilled that the project is doing the inmates some good.

Amy Butler has launched Blossom, her “visual journal, which is all about loving your life and living it fully and authentically.” The first issue is free.

Patterns, Ideas and Inspiration

Here is a hand sewn hexagon sewing caddy/pincushion tutorial. Pam of Hip to be a Square podcast fame made one from the Sew Mama Sew line.

I found a great use for Pinterest: shared boards! TFQ and I are planning a project. I think we will each work on our own, but do the same pattern. We were emailing links and photos back and forth and I was creating a Notability notebook, but then I thought I would create a board on Pinterest when I started to bump up against my limited Notability skills.  TFQ saw that I created a board and wondered if she could add to it as well. I checked around and found that we could both contribute! Now we are both adding ideas for quilts to the board. We are having so much fun PLANNING and talking. It is just what I was imagining when we started talking about it.

The project above started when I started hearing the podcasters, such as Pam, Sandy, Daisy, Nonni, and Katie, talk about Bonnie Hunter’s Easy Street Mystery quilt. They and a number of listeners are working along with Bonnie Hunter on this latest mystery quilt pattern. Apparently she does one every year. This one has been going on since 11/23. The podcasters started a Flickr group to show photos and encourage each other. Despite all this support, I am not much into mystery quilts, so I decided to download the patterns and see what I need to do before I commit. It isn’t like I have a shortage of projects to work on, you know. Have you seen the 26 Projects list? 😉 You can still get started and play along.

Along the Easy Street lines, Daisy of Lazy Daisy Quilts has a Flying Geese tutorial for the second part of Easy Street. This is similar to Deb Tucker’s Wing clipper method, but you don’t need the ruler. The method works with a regular ruler as well.

Pat Sloan has a machine binding tutorial. I haven’t had a chance to review it, but I want to after my attempt at binding a quilt by machine.

A week or so ago, I posted about a pattern I called Stars & Stripes. I couldn’t find it in EQ7, but I also didn’t look very hard. One of my fabulous readers, Mrs. K wanted the pattern and I got some others who were interested as well. I drew it out quickly and am posting the Stars & Stripes Foundation Pattern and a rendition of the Stars & Stripes Foundation Sample Quilt for your sewing pleasure. Note that you need 4 of the foundation patterns to make one entire star.

Pat Bravo has her own blog now. I would have thought she had one for a long time, but I guess not. Her first post is filled with luscious inspiration from her trip to Paris. I want to go and buy some of those cups.

Do you EQ? Here is a blog post that gives some tips and trips about importing doodles. You know you want to machine applique‘.

In the same area, there is also a BlockBase sew-along, which gets you sewing and gives lessons on using BlockBase (and by association, EQ). If you want to stretch, this is your project!

If you haven’t been following Sandy’s Total Color Tuesday posts, she just posted a new and fun one this week. These are a good group of posts to read in order to learn about color.

Gratitude

Happy Thanksgiving

  1. I am grateful everyone who reads this blog
  2. Thanks to my dear, darling fabulous husband who puts up all the time and space I need to sew and blog
  3. I am grateful for everyone who comments on posts
  4. Thanks to everyone participates and shares their projects for opening my eyes to new fabrics, blocks and possibilities
  5. I am grateful for my first quilting teacher, Kathy, who taught me great skills and has provided me with an ongoing sense of joy for these many years.
  6. I am grateful for the podcasters like Frances, Sandy, Tanesha, Pam and all the others who take the time out of their busy schedules to entertain us.
  7. I am grateful that I have fabric from which to choose
  8. I am grateful for CQFA and all of its members provide me with endless inspiration and continuing awe
  9. I am grateful for BAMQG and the energy and fun the people there bring to my life.
  10. I am grateful for the BAMQG Charity Girls who have provided me with a sense of contribution and joy this year through the donation program
  11. Thanks to all of my teachers who encouraged me to write, because it brings me such joy to write about quiltmaking
  12. Thanks to all the quilt book authors who take their time and energy to share their designs and ideas with me
  13. I am grateful to Lark Crafts for letting me one of their bloggers.
  14. Thanks to the authors, publishers and narrators who make audiobooks possible
  15. I am grateful to everyone who appreciates my quiltmaking efforts

Brief Update

Target
Target

Am I on target?

Not by any stretch. Sewing is going very slowly and it is aggravating. I want to spend a stretch of time in front of the machine and it just isn’t happening. I hope to devote Saturday to sewing. Damn the bulbs I bought on Monday that need to be planted.

UGH! My stomach is killing me this morning and it is not my normal stomach issues. I can’t think. I hope I don’t have the stomach flu. If I do, at least I get to stay home, but no chance that I will be able to sew.

I want to work on the whole cloth quilt. I need to devote some time to it so that I can finish, at least the quilting, and have it ready for the BAMQG October meeting. Saturday.

I have also been thinking of making a bag. I bought some of the press on vinyl that Pam of Hip to be a Square mentioned recently in one of her podcasts. I found that my water bottle gets the Springy Bag‘s pockets a little wet from the condensation. I thought that ironing on this vinyl to the inside of the bag might help with that. I hope to try it; I just don’t know when. Have you tried the iron-on vinyl?

Short, but sweet. I am having a hard time keeping up with the blog, but, for YOU, am trying. Have a great day.

 

Happy Mother’s Day!

KQED, my local public radio station, has a feature called Perspectives. Perspectives are small audio essays by regular people on a subject. On Friday, in the half awake state before I have to jump out of bed and start my day, I heard a Perspective by PeiPei Zhou. Ms. Zhou talked about all the sacrifices her mother made for her so she could have a better life. Immediately my mom popped into my mind.

I knew we weren’t rich. I never had the trendy clothes and shoes that my classmates sported, but I never felt deprived either. I traveled, I went to college all because my mom made sacrifices. I didn’t even realize the magnitude of her sacrifices for me until I was an adult. I am not sure I can fathom them now. I only know I have what I have and have accomplished is due to my hard work, but the unfailing, unquestioning support of my mother.

I probably wouldn’t be writing this blog without my mother. She sewed a lot when I was a kid — at least I remember her sewing a lot. You know how kids and time are: they think you did something all the time when you only did it once? I remember her sewing costumes for Halloween, school play costumes and doll clothes.

Cara of TalknT said it very well this morning on Twitter. She said “Happy Mother’s day to all the moms, mommys, Grandmas, mom in waitings, Stepmoms and caregivers. Blood doesn’t make a family. Love and you do.”

If you like this blog, or tolerate it 😉 head over to Mary’s Art Musings and say hi to my mom, Mary, and thank her for everything she has done.

My 3 Moms: Ruth (l), Edeltraut (m), Mary (r)
My 3 Moms: Ruth (l), Edeltraut (m), Mary (r)