Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Another Fun Finsh

It seems that sometimes fabric sells better if there is a sample quilt made from it.  Are you more attracted to fabric or a finished product?  I guess we all need some inspiration.

I work at one of the LQS here.  That means occasionally I get to make a store sample.  This is the latest one.

It uses some bright, fun fabric, and just over 12 yards of ric-rac.

Since I love pink anyway, I am loving this quilt.  It will hang for a while at the store, then come home with me, eventually.

Keep on Sewing!

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

A Finish from Earlier

I finished quilting and binding a quilt earlier this year.  I first participated in a Challenge approximately 2 years ago.  We put our fabric in a bag, then switched it with another person's bag, and brought back a completed top, supposed to be finished around 24 inches square.  I got back a fabulous feathered star.  So, of course it needed fabulous quilting.

 I have the finished quilt hanging on my blue wall in the dining area.  The blue makes the red pop.

I did intense echo quilting within the star.  I wanted the star points to be the focus, so I only quilted around them, not on them.

I really like the lines echoing around the center.

Then, I had to put feathered wreaths in the big spaces.  These helped me on my journey to master feathers.  I'm still on the journey, but much further ahead.

I am enjoying this, especially because I never planned on making a feathered star, but thought they were cool looking.  Now I have one, without making one.  And I still think they are cool looking.

It isn't every day I can work on my own quilts, as I try to keep up with customer work.  But, when I do, I am so excited!

Keep on Sewing!

Friday, October 25, 2013

I've Become a Finisher Again

The last year was a little rough for me.  I wasn't able to post here much.  I was able to sew some.  I helped my mom during her last few months of life.  I helped my sisters clean out her home.  I trained a few people with their new Handi Quilter Longarm quilting machines.  I continued to work, serve in my church, and care for my family.

Mom's work to be done is dwindling down a bit.  She is still on my mind, and I miss her, but I don't have as much to do for her.

Life is getting back to a "normal roar".  So I have become a Finisher again.

Last week, I finished quilting 3 customer quilts in 3 days.  I put binding on 2 of them during the next 2 days.  I am working on a store sample, and I finished a small store sample last month.  So, I consider myself a Finisher again.

This summer, I quilted and finished this fun Jelly Roll Quilt.  I pieced it back in February.  It is supposed to have something fun on it (like ric rac or applique), but I don't speak embellishment.  I thought it was fine without the extra.  It's a nice lap quilt.

Then, this last month, I made this grocery bag dispenser, using charms.  I found the instructions on Moda Bakeshop.  I actually made two, with charms left over.  I will probably hang one at the store for a sample.

In May, we had a class in guild to make an art quilt - Poppies.  It uses raw-edge applique.  I've used the technique before, but sometimes I have to be reminded I know something.  The poppies stand out well for me, but I don't think I particularly like my background choice.  I've even thought of doing this in a miniature.  As I don't speak embellishment, my friend Pam sewed lots and lots of beads on this.  Hard to pick up in the picture, but it adds sparkle in real life.

I am also participating in a guild Mystery Quilt.  I started a month late with my cutting, and after I square these blocks up, I will have the first sewing step done.  There are supposed to be 88 of these blocks.  I'll count them as I square them up.

I'm using Civil War reproductions, which I haven't used too much before.  Mysteries can be a little scary, because you don't know what you'll end up with.  However, the Mystery Leader does good stuff, so I'm giving it a try.  2/3 of my fabric came from my friend and co-worker, Judy.  She was very generous to give me so many fat quarters!

I'll keep working and I think I'll be able to keep up on posting, too!  It's nice to be back at it again.

Keep on Sewing!

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

I'm Taking a Sewing Class

I have been taking a 10-week sewing class.  I have about 3 weeks left.  We are learning basic techniques, then using them in a project.  The first project was a pillow sham with a flange.  I made two to go on my couch.

I loved the Michael Miller fabric.  I have navy blue curtains, so these go well with the curtains.  It is the couch that doesn't fit my living room.  I inherited the couch, and haven't decided what to do with it yet.

The next project was a maxi skirt.  They are all the rage around here right now, and the knits I am seeing around are fun.  The first skirt, I made for me.

Then, my daughter needed a new skirt, so I made one for her.  I love the purple!

In another week, I will be making a skirt with a fitted waistband and a zipper, YIKES!  The teacher says zippers are easy.  We shall see!

The best things about this class are:
  1.  I learned that I did learn quite a bit from Mom as I was growing up.  I sewed a lot more before I was married, and I did pretty good.
  2.  I am making samples of the techniques so I will have a reference book for sewing later.
  3.  I like sewing in all it's forms.  Not just quilts.  Not just bags.  Not just clothes.  All of it.

My hope is to sew for grandchildren as they arrive.  Not that I'm in a hurry for grandchildren.  I just love to sew!

Keep on Sewing!

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Cupboard Disorganized to Organized

Hi All,

I just recently celebrated living in our current home for 7 years.  Amazing how time flies!  For seven years, I have been frustrated by one of my kitchen cupboards.

The picture is a little out of focus, but you get the idea.  All of these long and sometimes bulky items all shoved in together.  Getting a cookie sheet out, or muffin tin, or even a cooling rack was NOISY and frustrating.

Then, I looked at, and they showed a cupboard organizer.  So I went on a hunt on the internet to find such a creature.  I ordered them, and had my dearest installer go to work.

It is a fairly small space, only 12 inches wide.  But, he persevered, and installed the cupboard organizers.  (I ordered 3).

Here are the organizers installed, with a few items returned to their spots.

And now a cupboard fully loaded.  Everything slides in and out easily and very quietly, too.  It is a joy to work in this space now.  I guess that means I'll have to cook more????

Keep on Sewing!

Saturday, August 10, 2013

I love aprons!

I love wearing aprons, and I love making aprons.  I especially love when I can use what I have.  I have the book, "A is for Apron", and I love reading through it.  I was inspired by one apron, made with linen and patchwork.  Then there was also a suggestion of upcycling an old skirt to make an apron.  Well, I had bought a secondhand linen wrap-around skirt (for the fabric), and hadn't used it all up, yet.  So, I cut the basic part of the apron from it, then added fabric from my stash for the ties, and pockets.  Then, I added the rick rack for decoration.  I only had to buy 2 yards of pink rick rack.  The rest I had in my sewing room. And here is the finished project...

Another success story of working one project into something else!  I also have a new art quilt finished, except for the binding.  It will get finished on Tuesday, while I work the Primary elections.  Don't forget to vote, if it's time to do so where you live!

I'm starting to feel like I'm getting into the finishing mode again.  It feels good to get going, and work through things.  I have a few customer things I'll be doing over the next while as well, and finishing something for me helps me want to do things for others.

Keep on Sewing!

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

What Are You Afraid of?

Are you afraid to try a new technique?  How about "messing up" on a quilt, bag, or accessory?  What if the recipe doesn't work out?  Do any of these sound familiar?

My sister and I had an interesting conversation the other day.  She would like to try some scone recipes, but is afraid to try.  I asked, "What's the worst thing that could happen?"  If it doesn't work out, you are out just a few ingredients and some time.  She also didn't know what to do if she made the whole recipe, how would she get rid of them without eating them all.  I suggested she share with close friends and neighbors.

I'm that way, too.  I have many things I want to try, but I'm not sure they'll work out, and sometimes I'm not sure of a technique.  Am I afraid I'll fail, or am I afraid I might succeed?

I've wanted to try dyeing fabric.  For a very long time, I've wanted to try this.  There are classes at a nearby quilt show each year.  There are books, (I bought one), videos, and tutorials, I'm sure.  I've not had time to go to the classes, and they are a little bit expensive. Excuses, excuses, excuses.

So, last month, I called my friend and said, "I want to try to dye fabric".  She wanted to as well.  So did the other gals in my sewing group.  So, we set a date for today, ordered a starting kit for dyeing, and made a plan.  I read the book.  I dreamed about dyeing all that night.  Then, a new gal joined our group.  She invited us to her house to do the dye experimenting, and so today, we went.

I typed a summary of the instructions, and we followed them.  But, I also gave everyone permission, and almost the assignment, to play.  We played with the dye.  We looked at what each other was doing, and we changed it up a bit to try it another way.  We learned from one another.  We shared stories, and asked and answered the same questions over and over.  We had fun.  We became a little better at being fearless.  We decided that nothing could be wrong when we were finished, because it was all a little different.

When all our fabric was finished in the dye, we rinsed and washed all of them by color, then pressed them just before they were all the way dry.

These are Pam's pieces.  She didn't like how three of them turned out, so she took the supplies home to over-dye them.  We'll see how they turn out.

This one shows the mottled effect we got from scrunching the fabric up, and using a low-immersion dyeing technique.

This one, too shows that mottled effect.  I really like the light green in the background with the darker on top of it.  

These are my six pieces.  The color isn't exactly true to life.  I'm really loving their colors.

After washing the pieces, we cut the unraveling strings off, and piled them on the counter.  Aren't the colors just gorgeous?!  I like to see color, and especially in a grouping like this.  We each ended up with unique fabric colors and textures, and our challenge, now, is to use the fabrics in a quilt.

Kristi took pictures of the process, so I will share those in my next post.  Yeah!  More pictures!

So, I'm not afraid of fabric dyeing anymore.  I'm going to face my fears of different techniques, and just give them a try.  There is so much information here on the internet, that I really have no more excuses.  How about you?  Do you have the courage to try something new?

Keep on Sewing!

Friday, April 26, 2013

It's Been a Long Time

Now 6 months since my last post.  My mother started declining at that time, and I was spending a bit of time helping her, and helping my sister help her.  She passed away in January, followed by her dear sister 7 weeks later.  I also had my daughter get married earlier this month, so life has been a journey.  There is still much to do to finish up taking care of Mom's home and belongings, but it will come together.

So, have I been sewing?  Yes!  It is my sanity and passion to sew, quilt and create.  So, I have found a few things to share with you.

I made this small lap quilt out of scraps.

I put minky on the back.  I use it in church to keep my legs warm (since I wear a skirt, and my legs get cold).

I also made this Baby Star quilt.  I saw the design probably 8 years ago, and finally got to make it.  It's a baby quilt...even though I don't have one to wrap in it, I'm sure I will someday.

I'm pretty sure I've made other things, I just don't know if I took a picture, and where the picture might be.  I'll try before my next update to get something fun.

I hope you are still sewing, too!