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the truman show

So those fabrics that I picked up with my mom ended up sitting for a few weeks before I got my act together.  (during that time I was in a car accident too – not my fault! – and my car was totaled. sheesh!)  But I gathered up my supplies and attended Sew Hut‘s September Quilt and Dine and got started.
unpacked and ready to rock
unpacked and ready to rock
I had come across an easy, but interesting pattern in a “fresh quilts” magazine, and decided to do a spin on it for my nephew, Truman.
the magazine quilt had an applique that I decided to ignore
the magazine quilt had an applique that I decided to ignore
All my fabrics were little monsters or jelly fish, or rocket ships – anything I thought was suitable for a kid receiving a gift from their angry uncle;)
I didn’t realize it when I got started, but my quilting buddy Patsy explained to me that this was a quilt-as-you-go pattern, and although she suggested I disregard that part of the instructions, I figured, “what the hell” and decided to see how it turned out.
i love this iron.
i love this iron.
quilting as I go...
quilting as I go…
quiltblog-2366
quilted as I went, ready to trim…
Not too bad as it happens.  I had some problems with the flannel backing getting tiny folds sewn in, but I only tore out a few stitches and then decided to live with some very small ones. (Truman won’t care).  Overall, I’m very pleased with how this quilt turned out. I took some short cuts on the edge binding, and that could be better (it was an experiment in not wanting to hand-stitch), but I really like the effect of the quilt-as-you-go.
just finished!
just finished!
i machine stitched the binding on the back side too...
i machine stitched the binding on the back side too…
it didn't look as good on the front as I'd hoped
it didn’t look as good on the front as I’d hoped
I really like the flannel back - nice and soft for my wee nephew
I really like the flannel back – nice and soft for my wee nephew
finished!
finished!

I just mailed the quilt out to meet little Truman at his grandmother’s house (my mom) and hope to get some pictures of him enjoying it (puking on it) for Thanksgiving:)

Have a great Thanksgiving! and I will leave you with this:

wrong holiday, dog
wrong holiday, dog

Mom’s vist postscript

An addendum to my mom’s visit:
She’d been working on a quilt top for herself for some time and when she learned her son is into quilting what does she do?  She brings the unfinished top 2,500 miles to show me:)  It is pretty damn amazing!  IIRC it is a pattern called “bears in the woods”.
mutha fuckin bears in the mutha fuckin woods
mutha fuckin bears in the mutha fuckin woods
We also visited another quilt shop close to my house – Rosie’s Calico Cupboard.  It was literally overwhelming.  SO. MANY. FABRICS.  We wandered around in a color induced stupor for at least an hour.
i don't think i've ever seen that color before
i don’t think i’ve ever seen that color before
I picked up some fun fabrics for myself (no idea what I’ll do with them yet) and some fabric for a quilt I’m going to do for my nephew.
some for me
some for me
some for the nephew
some for the nephew
Also while my mom was here i damn near cut my pinky off doing dishes.  The doctor says I’m not allowed to do dishes anymore (the wife’s not buying it).
Tune in next week for another exciting quilting adventure!

San Diego Quilt Show 2014

My mom is a fantastic quilter…  She also happened to be visiting at the same time as the San Diego Quilt Show…    So off we went!
I had only a vague notion what to expect but this was not my mom’s first rodeo, nonetheless, both of us had a great time:)  I will say, I was one of only a very few men, and probably the only one under 50;)We saw some exceptionally nice quilts.  Anyone could enter a quilt, but the level of craftsmanship did not seem to suffer from the open policy.  Not every quilt was something I would want or do, but EVERY quilt was well done – my compliments to all participants!

SD Quilt Show-1230
SD Quilt Show-1199
SD Quilt Show-1115
SD Quilt Show-1114
The theme of the show was “It’s a Zoo Out There” and in fitting with that, the organizers had the San Diego Zoo bring some animal ambassadors out to visit with the quilters.  My mom and I pet an armadillo (caption – not carrying leprosy), and got to see a North American Porcupine:)
I was assured that this type of armadillo did NOT carry leprosy;)
I was assured that this type of armadillo did NOT carry leprosy;)
"let me sing you the song of my people!"
“let me sing you the song of my people!”
The special guest was Sue Rasmussen. Being new to quilting, I didn’t know who she was, but her quilts were amazing. AH. MAZE. ING.
Sue Rasmussen telling a story of hiding from her parents;)
Sue Rasmussen telling a story of hiding from her parents;)
My mom and friend Charlotte in front of Sue Rasmussen's quilt display
My mom and friend Charlotte in front of Sue Rasmussen’s quilt display
other quilters investigating Sue Rasmussen's work
other quilters investigating Sue Rasmussen’s work

Sue gave a short presentation of humorous quilting anecdotes that everyone (even me!) found entertaining.  But perhaps that was because there was also complementary wine being drunk by most of the attendees;)  My mom and I were not able to take any of the classes offered by Sue, but I can easily imagine she is a talented and engaging instructor.

Another highlight was watching my mom test-drive a $20,000 long arm quilter. This thing was bananas. Roughly 12′ long and 4′ wide and smarter than I am.  Particularly impressive to me was the speed control when free motion quilting.  The needle speed accelerated and decelerated depending on how fast you moved the arm!  Maybe I’m easily impressed, but I thought that was pretty damn sweet.
just like driving stick
just like driving stick
As we left the show, we were treated to a beautiful view of my wonderful city…
you stay classy, San Diego
you stay classy, San Diego

(I took more pictures – you can find them HERE)

heart warming

A little known fact about me is that I’m a large man (some might say “Viking” sized).  However, I’m often cold. Which is odd because you’d think my rage would keep me warm (it doesn’t).  I also have a dirty, rotten, blanket stealing wife…

I know I have to get moving on my third and final baby blanket, but I found myself thinking, “To hell with the little babies, I need something for myself!”

I’ve been setting aside older, ill-fitting t-shirts that I don’t wear, but can’t get rid of for a while now. And I don’t really need any more shirts (the ABC shirt just had too perfect of a logo for sewing).  Solution? T-shirt blanket. BOOM.

This was certainly no masterpiece.  I picked up a 10″x14″ (pre-cut) piece of acrylic at Home Depot and used it to cut all the designs out of my t-shirts.  I then stitched them (a double layer of the design and back of shirt for a blanket 2 layers of fabric thick) together with a stretch-stitch and called it a day (almost a day – I also cut strips out of the scraps to make the blanket longer – it’s about 80″Lx44″W).

progress
progress

Sewing-1873

I put this together pretty fast – basically as fast as my machine would go;)  It’s not perfect, but it is sturdy, and INCREDIBLY timely.  Not 8 hours after I finished this I found myself loosing a tug-of-war with my sleeping wife over the blankets.  No problem!  I busted out my new blanket. BOOM BABY.

airhead

I’m not much for motorcycle clubs, but I do love the Airhead Beemer Club.  It’s a club for vintage air-cooled beemers, and I’m fortunate that San Diego has a fantastic chapter with amazingly great members.  I owe these guys a lot for the help they’ve given me over the past few years…

ANYWAY, I shrunk my Airhead t-shirt. (or I got fatter, shut up.) But I couldn’t bring myself to get rid of the shirt.  Next best thing? Cut up the old shirt and sew the graphics onto a new shirt. BOOM BABY.

Got myself a $2 shirt from Joann’s, and carefully cut out the logos from the shrunk shirt and sewed them on the new one.

simple, beautiful, airhead
simple, beautiful, airhead

I took this opportunity to try a new stitch! a stretch zig zag.

never zig when you should zag
never zig when you should zag

This was a god dam fantastic idea.  the shirt/logo combo retains its t-shirt stretchiness and I don’t have to worry about ripping the seams out:)

This was a big hit at the most recent tech day!

hatred

I’ve been noticing that my “angry” persona doesn’t always come out in my quilting stories.  Give it time, I’m sure.  But some stuff I ordered from VNM arrived today.

i always knew it. now my t-shirt validates me.
i always knew it. now my t-shirt validates me.

i’m excited to sew my new patches to my motorcycle jacket;)

miles to go before i sleep.

Friday after work I got a call from a buddy having trouble with his bike.  Turns out he lives pretty close to SEW Hut and I needed some thread before starting my next project…

Off I went.

I don't think they get many motorcycles rolling up to the store.
I don’t think they get many motorcycles rolling up to the store.

Now, I’ve become pretty friendly with a few of the staff at SEW Hut, but upon walking in I didn’t recognize anyone, AND about 15 ladies all started giving me the hairy eyeball.  I had stepped off my bike and walked into the beginning of a quilt club session and I was definitely the one of these things that didn’t belong. Nonetheless, I nonchalantly walked over to the thread section and a friendly, but apprehensive, woman approached and asked “Can I help you?”.  I’m pretty positive she didn’t expect me to say, yes, that I’m looking for polyester thread in larger spools for a fleecy baby blanket project.  I think I got one set of blinks and after that Linda was all smiles and leading me over to a section of thread I had missed:)

all the pretty colors!
all the pretty colors!

Right about then Brian stepped out of the back and acknowledged me as someone who was not going to kill all the nice old ladies and everyone was very friendly after that.

The spools I got are 1000 meter spools of 100% poly #40 thread.  I was using a much thinner thread previously and I think this will work much better for what I have in mind so of course I bought 4 spools – that equals about 2.5 MILES of thread:)  Brian DID inform me however that I would need a different thread dispensing system, and when I turned down the offer to borrow their cone holder he told me a nice DIY way to rig up a cone holder with a cup, a pencil and a paperclip.

Quilts 2014-1694

Another pleasant trip to SEW Hut done, I was off to help fix a bmw – and I was FANTASTIC;)

it was just a timing problem
it was just a timing problem