Archive for the ‘Home Sewing Front’ Category

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42.1 Fabric Refolding During Watching Dr Who and Sewing Room Organization

November 17, 2017

I started watching Doctor Who when it was on BBC America during the episode “The Time of Angels” and “Flesh and Stone.” What was this that the woman in the series kept counting down, and she couldn’t open her eyes, and these scary creatures who only moved when you weren’t looking?

Anyway, since then, I have been pretty hooked! We watched the episodes of Eccleston and Tennant, and I even said, “hey, isn’t that the guy from Harry Potter? as the bad guy from one of the middle books.” These were watched haphazardly, back and forth, and one at a time. I was loving the energy of Smith, and catching up as I was getting along.

After this last series with Peter Capaldi leaving us fairly soon, and a very long, dry year (<9 months, I hope) before regular, steady episodes to be coming out, I decided this was the fall to rewatch the television series in order from when they came out in 2005.

Why talk about this with a quilting blog? Well, it was a constant background this late summer/early fall to my fabric refolding project.

Earlier this year, I took a picture of my cutting station. You can see on the right side a lot of fabric on the wire shelves where I used to store ALL my fabric. And under my cutting station, I have stacked two shoe racks found at either the container store or home depot that I had purchased over the years. The top is just an ikea tabletop and the whole thing just sits there, behind which is my batting that is not designated into various projects yet.

On the left side of my picture, you may be able to see, or not, that I have scraps of various sizes cut up and ready to use.

Right now my 5 inch squares of cool colors are bulging and ready to use. I can usually pull out easily a 5″ square for anything I wish. I think I may decide to do a quick scrap quilt with 5 ” squares and white borders.

I was looking at the other parts of this setup and figuring out how likely it could be to refold my fabric so it wasn’t so tight and narrow and slide it into the various sections of my shoe dividers.

So I took my fabric out, section by section, put on Doctor Who in the background, mainly going from the beginning of “new Who” – starting in 2005 episodes, and background binge watch 134 episodes once I figured out some of the timing of some of the specials. Thank goodness to Amazon Prime that has this available to watch!

I unfolded fabrics and refolded fabrics. Ironing most, straightening up edges that needed straightened up, cutting up and creating more 5″ squares. Here’s my neutrals side that I have built up over the years.

And here is my fabric color side. Bottom so purples and multicolors, and ombre colors, and black and whites, and blues and blue-greens.

I still have a place to stash my fabric scissors, my blue tape (magic), my extra 1 gallon and 2 gallon baggies. Also reds and pinks and yellows.

Surprisingly this is most of my fabrics. Now my wires can house my finished tops and basted tops & bottoms.

I am thinking of relocating my fat quarters into a different area, but that would require removing them from the sections. OF COURSE, I decided this AFTER I got about everything put back into place.

I do have some repurposed DVD shelves that we weren’t using, so they found their way into the sewing room as well. I am thinking as I get out fabrics to use, as I put them away, I will sort them into fat quarter size or less, and half yards and higher. The half yards work well here in the shoe racks, and the fat quarters should work on the DVD rack once they are folded again to the right size.

Back a year ago, I decided not to move my thread rack. I had bought several of these tubs with the locking tops and they work well in my closet, and so for my large thread spools I have kept them in place.

Maybe I will pull them back out later, but if so, they will go somewhere else other than a thread rack.

My little spools I keep getting extra gifts from my aunt and a few times it has been small spools of thread.

I found a littler version of my other bins for the small spool storage.

Here are the bins that have now replaced what I used to use gallon bags for.

My UFO’s live here on the side of my closet and I even found some larger ones at Menards that fit perfectly with the other bins. There is plenty of fabric found here on the side as well. The other side of my closet is almost the same. I was going to try to get the larger sized boxes that fit a 12×12 block and perhaps I still will, but I keep missing the sale on these boxes that I saw one time.

Also this year, I lost the zipper pull on my main small vinyl bag that housed my most used supplies for traveling. This would be things like my glue stick, seam ripper, hand sewing needle, and so on and so forth.

So I purchased this in a set of makeup bags on amazon, and I am liking it so far, seems to be a good substitute that hopefully will be able to survive some abuse.

I haven’t still felt after a year of getting everything exactly the way I want it in my sewing room. I still use a rickety laptop table for my machine proper, which the benefit of is that it can wheel up next to my computer desk to make sewing more accessible from my computer.

This will eventually either be replaced with a handmade sewing table or a Sew-Ezi table. This works and works well until I start sewing fast and then if the machine isn’t sitting exactly right, it wobbles.

I have been thinking of reorganizing my sewing room. My cutting table is just a half an inch too narrow for my full cutting mat. If I can give up the large amount of space in the middle of the room that is (mostly) untouched, then I could upsize my cutting table, switch my current cutting table to my sewing machine.

But I am not ready for this as of yet. So a nice start is Doctor Who  and folding fabric that I have already done. I am not a quick one to make quick decisions. Quick decisions don’t normally work very well for me, but eventually I may reorganize more and differently. I don’t currently find I use my portable mini design wall. And when I do put something there, I look right past it for a couple of weeks trying to find it.

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41.9 Medallion Dreams in the Summer

November 3, 2017

As you might have seen I have a few other things on the design wall I stared at this summer. Some of these are inspired by the round robins I was part of a few years ago, and yes, I still love my round robin quilt and it’s my most cherished quilt ever, even though it’s taking a break currently waiting to be sure that no more water is coming down the ceiling from it’s normal place.

Here’s an old picture of my round robin quilt before it was quilted. But this will give you an idea what we are talking about with round robin and medallion quilts.

I made a post about How Round Robins work, with that post being the center of a trading round robin & medallion quilt parts and pieces, and here was the final picture of all the other round robins that we did that year. Some of the pictures below I was part of early, some was part of at the end. Very high levels of creativity!

For this year, I decided to make at least 3 medallion quilts from the starts I have here. These will sorta follow the round robin rules, but I don’t have any other quilters to trade with for these. So whatever I turn out will be my own round robin creativity. Which is the fun part.

First medallion

I had a left over block from my blue and red and purple cathedral windows type quilt. I decided to make it into a medallion quilt. Here’s an old picture of the quilt. I use it all the time, nice lap sized quilt!

I have the block bordered and was originally thinking pillow, but why not just make it the center of a new quilt?

I am thinking something like this would be a nice finish for my first medallion quilt of the summer. Some of the design is inspired by the wrought iron fences from one of the quilt vendors I saw. And yes I also want to make some form of wrought iron fence applique quilt. This is just the design from the base blocks in EQ7 from the block library.

I still haven’t yet completely committed on this first medallion quilt, This might be the last round, but I am currently stuck on the “second round”. I do like what I have here, but in thinking of fabrics that will go with this, I am not exceedingly sure. Which might be telling me to make some sort of change to this second round. I think I like the 3rd round good, even though it’s a combo of the applique pieces provided by electric quilt designers.

The first medallion quilt I have not decided any fabrics beyond what has already been done.

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Second medallion

The second block I want to also medallion / round robin quilt, I have all the fabrics for it, but haven’t settled on a design yet for the second round, but I have some basics started. This center I got from the guild show last year 2016 as either someone else’s unfinished top/block/medallion.

I wasn’t the only one who saw it and liked it, I am intrigued by the fact that someone didn’t just finish this little joy as is, but for me, I am thinking, we need to do something nice to this and make it the center of attention. The nice coral and yellow blocs are pretty small.

I have been collecting fabrics to match this medallion already.

Some of the fabrics I have also include some bonus pieces from my Arkansas Crossroads Quilt.

I keep bringing the half square triangles (the things in the lumps on the right) to various sewing days and other things to trim them down but every time I get them out to sew with, I decide to work on something else. I am thinking these pieces will either have to be an outer round, or I will have to double and triple them up in an earlier round. Here’s the start of playing in electric quilt 7 with this quilt. I am not totally sold on the design yet, but it’s a start. I found these blocks interesting to work with. Probably too much yellow, but don’t worry, I will adjust or switch.

Third medallion

A third block I also have had for a while is this dark blue with red flower block.

This block I had purchased at the fabric recycles place and I thought it would be fun to challenge myself to making something new with it.

I actually was the one who put the orange border on the quilt block already. This quilt I was going to try to “medallion up” at home at the same time as working on the other medallions of the round robin quilts. Little did I know how much I was putting into their designs and how much that would take.

At that time, I picked out most of these fabrics, but not yet designs.

I haven’t worked a lot with the red orange yellow pallet and I am liking the start of this one too. I need to recreate this one in electric quilt and see if I can spark something already. Maybe this one needs to be multiple medallions on point settings since I haven’t done too many of those yet. I think I may start with that idea and see where it goes.

An update to Electric Quilt 7 just came out – EQ8 – and I purchased it! Looking forward to using it instead to push these designs forward!

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41.8 Sewing in Spurts in Summer 2017

October 27, 2017

This past summer, I have not been exactly away from my sewing machine. I’ve not exactly been glued to it either.

The last post of personal sewing was in May, when I was working on Grandma’s Footstool quilt, which you saw in full as a quilt in the Kansas City Regional Quilt Show.

The quilt now rests in the sun of these shorter fall days while I contemplate where it is going to permanently reside.

This next piece isn’t a quilt, but a metal “barn quilt” that I had to purchase at the show. I promised myself it would make it outside in my yard, but this wall still had an empty space, and I think I still like it here. For now. Maybe this is where Grandma’s Footstool will reside more permanently if I do move this block outside.

In June, I attended a mini quilting retreat, a weekend away with my sewing machine and several “mostly new-to-me” friends, although I am starting to get to know some of the ladies better the last year or two they are in my guild. The group of ladies I joined for the retreat have been sewing together for years and years and go to retreats every month. I got lucky last year in hitching a space at the retreat last year, and attended this year, and am going to try to plan to attend next year.

On that retreat, I used some leftover pieces to make a nice scrappy small quilt. This was actually made the last thing at the retreat.

I had the aqua and maroon four patch squares from so long ago in addition to the one in the middle with gold, I had brought with me the gold pieces and decided just a nice scrappy quilt (my size) with it. I am improving the borders as I rarely do a “plain border”.

The color in this quilt isn’t near as wonderful as what it could be in actuality. Something about the photograph tones down the colors here to ‘real life’.

During the retreat, I worked on quilting the small quilts I have had here ready to baste since earlier this year during March A Long.

This one was mostly “fish-scale” aka clamshell quilting. As I put these random pieces together last fall, I saw the main piece as a fish head and tail. One block got away from the design so it was going to be its own miniquilt I might as well put them together. Currently it’s just a pin holding the piece on the bottom together, but I like the flow of both pieces visually. The quilt above was leftover blocks from someone’s other quilt that I took the scraps. I can call this quilt something like Fish Scraps. Or Fish scraps and heads. If I ever get the gumption to put a quilt in my bathroom, I think this might relocate to there. Right now it’s got a great small space next to my design wall.

This mini quilt is super mini, like 1.5 feet by 2 feet. The half square triangles used were 1.5 inch bonus blocks. Isn’t this a nice setting for these tiny blocks? I couldn’t decide on a flange color so I went with three, blue sides, pink top and bottom, and purple corners. This is currently in the entrance to my quilting room. Simple. I was originally thinking of donating it to my guild show, and I still can, but I think I will have a hard time doing that.

The other quilt that was from the same leftover pieces from the same quilt. These were a little larger 1.75″ each half square triangle. I like the setting on these, and yes, the oranges/yellows cut through the diagnonal here. No name on this one yet. Again couldn’t decide on binding, went with a highly contrasted choice since that’s what this quilt told me it wanted. This quilt is a little larger overall, about 2.5 feet by 3.5 feet or so.

This quilt I have had pieced for several years but never had the edges pieced. I originally intended this quilt to have wonky borders and binding, and then maybe it was a year ago, I decided to add the black triangle border. Now on retrospect, I could have added another black border to the quilt before quilting and binding this.

The binding is a gold and black inner flange, set quite wide to get the effect of the pattern better, I had drawn out a year ago what I originally wanted the quilting to look like, but I never until this year decided to do the actual quilting in such a high contrast color.

This optical illusions quilt started off its life as a single ombre fabric that graduated from green to black. I was specific in how I cut the fabric up to piece back together, and most of that was done in 2012 – according to my notes and pictures. I am glad I went simple and bold on the center of the quilting, I like what the gold brought into this quilt, even though it was scary to quilt. Most of the quilting was done still at the retreat, but in the wee hours of the morning when there were no eyes on me at the time. Then I just got to sit and stare at this quilt for the rest of the retreat.

Speaking of sitting and staring, I finally got my applique hot air balloon sewn down to a white piece of paper. For a while this summer, I had the balloon floating over this scenery piece I picked up from a guild member at one of our guild quilt shows. I do like the affect, and I kept searching for tree fabrics until I realized that we are supposed to be looking at tree tops here. I am thinking I may not match these two pieces up this way anyway, and go with a different background even yet from what I here for the hot air balloon. I have stalled out on the basket, something I didn’t draw already, and I have sorta one made, but not really liking it yet so far.

 

The piece on the right on the top, was from way way back with a tilted four patch swap with Quilt Cabana Corner Sandi that I made for myself as inspiration. I was making a quilt top the way I always do, and I decided to cut it and I am wanting to quilt it and somehow attach the three pieces together. Possibly. I had this out to remind myself to quilt it, but this didn’t happen.

Also, this might seem less impressive, but I expanded a scrap quilt this summer to be bigger than it already was!

I believe this scrap quilt that you already saw pictures of last fall was on my design wall like this until I realized that if I turned it, I would get to use the whole design wall more efficiently and get a better chance at not duplicating too much.

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I did have other sewing adventures this summer, but I am going to break them up into other posts. It worked well for me last month to write several posts all within the span of a few days, and I am currently on the same kind of roll here.

Several of these quilts were finished, but none of them are really large in size. It helps me to stay motivated to get small things done. And then they can be moved around my house and displayed there!

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41.2 Some stitching at home

May 24, 2017

So it seems like lately I have been wanting to be under the radar in about all areas of my life, so, naturally, no blog posts. Whoops.

The weather being nice, and the prompting of Tabletop day, and the various activities for others have kinda kept me from sewing. That is, unless I employ the “March a long” strategy of sewing after work and sewing daily. Which doesn’t /didn’t happen after March this year.

Anyway, I have a few sewing objectives in the last month. My small quilt was picked to be part of the guild group for the upcoming Kansas City Regional Quilt Festival (KCRQF) in less than a month. And it wasn’t finished quilting.

I did get a start on this right away beginning of april. I did the long figure 8’s and the long thin lines, as what I had decided a year ago on my quilting diagram.

But then I went to change it up on the alternate blocks from my original plan.

And this is not my best work here, but I really liked the way it brought a different dimension to the quilt with a different type of design. And I froze on it. For a while.

Finally decided to press on and complete this quilt. I took one long weekend day to get all the rest of the blocks done, and then put the binding on while sewing at my friend’s house.

I forgot to take a picture of this with the binding sewn all the way back.

I have since turned it into my guild so they will have it by the time they need it for the show. Next picture I will have will be of it in the show itself. Here’s hoping it still looks ok after not seeing it for a month. I did a large rush job to get it finished by the end of the guild meeting in May, and I’m not proud of that, but it is what it is.

Here’s an up close version of the quilting/quilt.

It’s a fun and cute little quilt made with alternating blocks, one of which is called footstool, and one is Grandma’s Choice (modified). So naturally the quilt name is: Grandma’s Footstool.

I didn’t make a fancy label for it – usually my quilt labels are printed on from electric quilt onto that printable fabric, but for this one, I just used a pigma micron pen for marking the label.

And finally, I got some good quilt fabric for my ladders and bubbles quilt for the border blocks.

I went to a quilt shop to help a friend design a quilt for her church, bought a plain blue (with green tint). Later I went to a small quilt show which then prompted me to go to another quilt shop in the area, and actually I found fabric that I liked even better for the borders.

This is still in the planning and cutting stage, but mainly I spent time ironing the fabric down to be manageable after getting it prewashed.

So now, instead, I’ve been wanting to piece, and wanting to work on older stuff. The blocks that I have been staring at for a while now found their way into my sewing machine.

I did massacre the points on this quilt, and if it’s for me, I don’t care. I am considering this as our guild auction quilt for next year’s show for our charity work. It’s small and bright and cheery. And now will need quilted. Or I may not donate it if I think the cut off points show way too little care. The unfinished size of the block was 1.5 inches each.

Trying to get other things off my design wall, I decided to next work in stages on the single patch quilt that is the other quilt with these same batik/black leftover quilt bit blocks.

I have batched them to help me sew these up better. I don’t really care too very much about colors except for orange. I have an orange stripe (3 of them) that I am trying to keep in diagonal ripples in this quilt. I am actually not batching them in the end, just for the temporary time before all the seams are sewn.

I find it cathartic to sew one line of new patches, one line of double patches, and then one line of 4 patches, then I go back to the single new patches, and I am rippling my way through the quilt. I do this so I can keep each line of patchwork straight. I can easily tell what I am sewing and where the next line of patches I need to sew are, and where the newly sewn patches can go.

I am curious to know exactly how much fabric I will lose to the seam allowance. This will also be a nice wall hanging but not super big in the very end. But that’s ok with me, easier to swap out in the rest of the house that way!

Well there is more to share, but this is enough! Thanks for letting me share my quilting progress. The past few days are more “march a long” and doing sewing during the work-week as a heads up for the nice long memorial day weekend coming up!

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41.1 End of March 2017, Did you March A Long soldier?

April 2, 2017

Hey, I am going to keep this short. I did just accidentally erase another blog post just a moment ago.

It’s the end of March 2017, did you find yourself doing March A Long this year? #marchalong

This past week I worked on bobbins and getting these pieces cut down to 1.5 inches.

I am going to put plain black in between the double rows. I think it will look nice.

I ran out of pieces for it, so even though I want to make it bigger, I really can’t with what I already have cut.

Then one day I wrote up the entry form for my quilt going into the guild portion of the show. Quilt on the left below. 40 X 40. Grandma’s Footstool. It’s kind of a Grandma’s Choice block next to a Foot Stool block (from Quilter’s Cache).

Next to it is the 1.75 unfinished block quilt that will shrink to probably half the size when sewn together. Looks like I have 2 great leader and ender quilt projects.

But next, probably needs to be the quilting on the show quilt. Right now it’s only ditch quilted and I would like to do more. I found my drawing from a year ago.

Using this fancy thing called paper and pen. 😉

Anyway, I look forward to hearing about your month? Isn’t March Awesome? March-A-Long rocks!

 

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40.8 End of Second Week March A Long 2017

March 12, 2017

I got this little 15 minutes of talking about our 15 minutes of quilting today, earlier than projected. Longer audio than originally planned.

Thanks to everyone who has posted already!

Yay, I got the paper removed from the ladders and bubbles quilt!

Boo, I wasn’t actually prepared to do that before the week was over!

I am waiting on more fabric to arrive by mail to figure out borders for it. Here’s some of what I already have. Most of the border will be darker, with hints of lighter, but I am still not sure on it yet.

My first inclination is to do this with it at this time.

I also might modify the spool block in here too since that would be a good compliment.

I was talking about donation quilts. Quilts for Cure posted a lot by String & Story. More info on the donation at the Quilts for Cure site. I am not participating, but several other people I know are and have been. These are the navy and yellow hearts.

I also wanted to share some beautiful henna and Moroccan style designs that reminded me of quilting designs. I wish I could do something this good. I put up a picture from an Etsy Store of an example of what I am talking about. Excellent work by LITDecor on Etsy.

 

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40.7 End of First half week of March A Long 2017

March 5, 2017

Hey guys, I put together audio for the end of the first half week of March A Long 2017.

We are sewing/quilting/prepping/organizing/shopping …. sewing & quilting tasks for 15 minutes a day for the month of March.

Personally I have been ripping out papers off of this guy.

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I am pretty haphazard with how the papers are being ripped. Some of today I was actually methodical in working on rows instead of just bouncing around everywhere.

Please feel free to report back in comment here, on any day. Next post will hopefully be up Monday afternoon or Tuesday early early morning the 14th due to previous engagements on this upcoming weekend.

I find it easier for me to wait until Sunday, but I know that’s not always convenient for all of you. Comment on this post or any other on March A Long, or link back to me. I will get links approved as fast as I am able, but I don’t always reply. But if I know you’ve posted somewhere, I will do a shout out in Audio Form.

Hope you enjoy!

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