Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Dressed for Success

In addition to the quilty madness around here lately, I have had some fun making dresses for Abby.  Her mama, as you may know, owns a fabric shop, and so while I was there in July, she handed me some fabric and told me to get to work.  Abby was really excited to know that Grandma was working on something just for her, and must have asked me a hundred times if I was done.  It was fun making little girl dresses - easy peasy and so fresh and fun.  I had forgotten how much I enjoyed sewing for little people.

I finished two dresses while I was there (you can read all about it here)...

And brought a third one home to finish.  Apparently, the flower and ribbons have now become a fairy wand and can work magic....

And although I didn't take a picture of dress #4, Her mama sent me a photo of her wearing the dress...

And she's playing with the dress in the video above.  Is she not just the cutest???!!  (Ok, I'm maybe a bit prejudiced...)

But then I decided that her little brother shouldn't be left out, so I made him a pair of shorts and added matching trim to a purchased onesie in his size, but it seemed a little...  plain.

So I went to Google Images and found a line drawing of a fire truck...

Got out the wonder under and did a little applique, added some buttons for the tires...

And a super cool button for the "flashing lights"...

And Britton had a new outfit too.

That was fun!  I think I need to do more sewing like that!

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

WIP Wednesday - Or, How the Heck Did it Get to Be Wednesday Again??

WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced

It's another Wednesday, and as usual, I find myself wondering, "How did that happen?"  The weeks just whirl by, don't they?  School started this week and so did early morning Seminary, meaning I have 8 high school students that show up at my door at 6:25 a.m. ready to do a little gospel study.  Needless to say, aside from lesson preparation, my sleep cycle is a little disturbed this week.  But I have to say, it's a great way to start the day.  My little den is full-to-bursting every morning, as my class doubled again this year, for the third year in a row.  If it doubles again next year, I'll have to find a new classroom, I think.

So here's my big finish for the week...  This cute little stitchery is winging its way to it's new home.  It was my offering in the Super Swaps swap on Flickr.  The assignment was to create something for your partner with "embellishments"....  If the embroidery didn't qualify, the buttons should.  I thought about rick rack and ribbon, but decided to let this little piece speak for itself.  This little cutie is part of my friend Ellyn's Stitchalong.  Too cute.  She has done one a month in 2013, and I had a difficult time deciding between August and February.  Maybe I'll get to February soon.  I haven't done a lot of embroidery lately, but it's so relaxing just to sit and stitch.

I FINISHED FINISHED the bookshelf quilt top the other day.  After giving it serious thought, I decided did want to add borders to the bottom and the top of my Bookshelf quilt (it's hanging sideways on the fence so it won't drag in the dirt).  It really bugged me that it was wider than it was long.  It was such an easy fix - especially because Leona gave me a couple yards of the fabric last week when we met for lunch.  I added a 3 -1/2 inch white border and a 5-1/2 inch pink border to each end.  I am so much happier with this quilt now!  As it happens, I am out of batting after my marathon sandwiching session at the ECMQG meeting, so quilting this will have to wait awhile, but I am happy with it now, and will put it away for a bit.

The ECMQG is doing a Modern Maples QAL, and of course, I need to be a part of that.  I cut out the focus fabric before I left on vacation last month, but hadn't done the background fabrics because I didn't know what I wanted to do.  My friend Krista suggested doing some low volume fabrics as the background, and as soon as she said it, I knew it was perfect.  Not only that, she shipped me the fabrics to use, since I'm more of a brights kind of gal and haven't really invested in low volume fabrics (aside from one "Inside Voices" bundle from my favorite fabric shop).  I really have wonderful friends, don't I?

I mis-read the instructions in the pattern, and cut 72 4-1/2" squares for the blocks.  Not sure why I thought that was such a good idea that I didn't say "huh?" and go back and re-read it, but apparently I was in a cutting mood, and cut I did.  Needless to say, I had a BUNCH of low volume squares left over after I finished the leaves.  BUT, making lemonade out of lemons, I decided to piece some of the background-only blocks, and I'm really glad I did.

I really like that ghost of a leaf right in the center - can  you see it?
So here's another top finished, and in to the to-be-quilted pile, right behind the other 5 6 waiting to be quilted...

In other news, I've been playing along with Amanda's Starflower QAL, and I'm so excited.  I'm actually keeping up!  I usually stink at QALs, but with this one, I was determined not. to. get. behind.  Amanda's instructions are superb and almost every block came out with perfect points.  I teased her about using the word "obtuse" to describe the angle, and she said, "That's what it's called, isn't it?"  Yes, of course, dear, but I honestly haven't used that word to actually describe angles since I graduated 9th grade I think.  I had to really stretch to remember what it meant. 

I now have a lovely pile of beautiful stars, just waiting for the next step in our QAL.  (See, perfect points!)  The fabric, by the way, is Beechwood Park, by Jeanean Morrison.  I am really loving it in these star blocks.  Of course, you can buy it here

As I said, I must have been in the cutting zone that night, because I kind of over-did the diamonds for the stars as well.  There is surely enough here to make another quilt. Oops!

And I finally got to work on the fourth (and last) "commissioned" quilt for Leona in repayment of my Accu-Quilt debt.  This one is a Scrappy Trip Around the World, all done in dots and solids.  I really LOVE these blocks.  They are so bright and happy. 

And I'm actually getting to play with my new design wall, which is really fun!  Maybe it will be useful after all.  (I really love how bright and happy these blocks are!)

So here's where I am on this project...  Again, sorry about the lighting - an electrician is on the list when the budget allows. 

So, that's what's been happening here.  What are you working on?

Saturday, August 17, 2013

{Another} Sewing Room Update

I am happy to report that the sewing room is finally making progress!  I am really starting to get excited.  It is beginning to be a place I really enjoy.  And before I go any further, let me apologize in advance for the poor photo quality.  The lighting in most of the room is really bad, and it shows. 

As you can see, I got most of my books moved from their random locations {all over the house} and consolidated in the bookshelf.  (And honestly, if this bookshelf still looks messy, I should have taken a "before" picture so you can see just how far it has come!)

I also got all my downloaded and hand drawn patterns organized into the two binders you see on the bottom shelf.  I had them in plastic folders and manilla envelopes, but they were just too hard to find.  This way, I just open the binder and flip through the plastic page protectors to find the patterns I want.  I think this is really going to work well for me.

I got all my scraps sorted by color and into their respective drawers in the plastic carts.

All three of my scrap bins are E.M.P.T.Y.  Can I just say how good that feels???  I see a really scrappy quilt (or two...  or three...) in my future.

I finally moved my thread rack from the old sewing room to the new one and got the spools hung.  They are sorted by color now...  Wonder how long that will last?  I had hoped that the thread would disguise the ugly cords hanging down from the wall monitor but they seem to have a mind of their own, don't they?  I may have to put some tape or brackets at the baseboard to keep them in line.

And best of all, I was able to hang a bunch of my mini quilts, mug rugs, and even one of the pennants!  It makes the room look so festive now.  I doubt the arrangement will stay like this, but since I only put them up with push pins, it won't be much trouble to move them around.  Once I get the shelves up on the other wall, I can arrange them again.  But for now, they are on display and they make me happy, so I'm excited!

Sadly, the weather here has been rainy and wet the last couple of days, and that doesn't look like it's going to change any time soon.  This is not the day to be playing with power tools outside, so I doubt WH will get the board cut for my cutting/ironing surface.  But for now, I'm really happy with the progress we've made.

Friday, August 16, 2013

Sewing Room Update

I am finally getting back to working on the sewing room.  It doesn't look like the above photo any more!  It seems like I got it to a minimally useful state, and then left it for a couple of months.  It is useful - or it was, before I tore it up again yesterday.  I have high hopes of being mostly organized by the end of the weekend.

Once I got it to a certain point, I couldn't decide what I wanted to do with it, so it sat...  and sat... and then I saw some blog posts here and here and a couple of pinterest postings and the ideas finally began to gel.  I guess it's like anything else and I just have to wait for inspiration to strike.

Here is my new design wall.  (Sorry about the terrible lighting, but lighting is on the list, when the budget allows it.)  I love that blocks actually stick to it!  I can't say that exactly surprises me, but I was glad.  It only covers the top half of the wall, as the room isn't big enough to waste the floor space underneath it.  But honestly, I think I can fit the blocks for a twin size quilt on it, so that should be big enough for most of the things I do.

I bought foam insulation board at Home Depot (the same product Craft Buds used in her blog post) but I had a terrible time getting it up on the wall.  That whole "poke a hole in the back with scissors and hang it on a nail" thing just didn't work for me.  I finally found a blog that suggested using finishing nails, and decided to try that, and it worked fine.  Unfortunately, I have small nail holes both in the design board and in the wall, but I decided that I could live with it.

As you can see, this project isn't finished yet, but I decided to modify the idea on pinterest.  There is no way I could stick my cutting/ironing table in the middle of the floor.  The room just isn't that big.  And one end is going to have to go against a wall, which makes it decidedly inconvenient in some respects, but sometimes we just have to accept things as they are.

The cubbies will become my cutting/ironing space, just as soon as WH cuts the board for the top.  I plan to cover it the same way Lori did to make it a multi-purpose table.  I'm hoping not to have to permanently affix it to the cubbies, as being able to remove it will make the cubbies much more accessible.  Hopefully, it will work, but if not, I am adaptable.

I spent yesterday afternoon sorting scraps into the drawers of the plastic carts, a job I really hate (which could explain why there are so many to sort).  I obviously need to do a scrappy quilt soon, as they are getting really stuffed.

Next up, shelves on the wall and then decorating with all of my cool swappy stuff.  I've got mug rugs and pennants and mini quilts just itching to be displayed.  After that, I need to make some fabric baskets for the cubbbies, and wrap my fabric around comic book boards so I can get the fabric out of the plastic bins and actually see what I have (maybe that will mean I won't go re-buy fabric I already have?)  Maybe?

So, some questions for you, dear readers:  when you buy fabric bundles, do you keep them all together in their pretty little bundles?  Do you remove the plastic?  How do you store them so they look pretty, but don't get all dusty if they're not behind glass doors?

I could really use your help! 

Inquiring minds want to know...

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

WIP Wednesday - Again

WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced

Time seems to be flying by here at prsd4tim2.  I thought retirement might be boring, but no, I seem to fill every day and wonder where the day went when it gets dark.  What's up with that?  I honestly can't believe it's been a whole week since I blogged.  And I don't think I have any finishes to report, at least not any that can be shared until they are received by the recipients, but rest assured I've been stitching away!

I finished all the blocks for the Fat Quarter Shop 2012 Mystery Block of the Month quilt.  Next up - the 90 Flying Geese that make up the sashing for this quilt.  

Can I just say I'm overwhelmed by the sheer number of them?  Flying geese are no problem, but 90 of them?  Whew!  I'm tired just thinking about it.  

But I finally got the pieces cut out, so I will get to this soon.  I hope to have it finished to give to my friend in September.

And I don't know if  you follow the fabulous Sarah on Instagram, but she finished quilting the Hip Holiday Spin Cycle quilt I made for Amanda while I was on vacation.  It turned out wonderfully...  I offered to bind it, but Amanda may decide to bind it herself.  Either way, the quilt is on it's way, and officially out of my WIP's.

I worked on these blocks last week.  These are the last of the citrus blocks, but these were all different sizes, from 9" to 12-1/2", so I had to somehow get them to all-one-size.  And now that they are all the same size, I can't decide whether to sash these, or make 5 more blocks so the quilt is the right proportion....  What do you think?

I ended up with 51 blocks, and made a total of 4 quilts, 3 of which I managed to get sandwiched last week at the ECMQG meeting Sew Day.

Sandwiching is my least favorite part of the quilting process, but I have to say it is much better in the nice big space we have for our guild meetings.  I could lay the whole quilt out on the floor - several quilts in fact - and not have to try to scrunch up the queen size batting or push furniture out of the way.

In fact, I ended up sandwiching 5 quilts...  The 3 completed citrus quilts, and...

Woodland by the Lake 2, and ...

My faux string quilt.  The pattern, you may remember, is  Heximetry by my friend Ali of a_2_w and the fabric is from Westwood Acres' Stripes That Bind bundle.  By the way, I learned yesterday that Ali's book is available for pre-order on Amazon!  Woot! Woot!

I did a little embroidery for my partner in the Super Swaps swap.  I need to get to the store and buy a couple of little things and get this in the mail by tomorrow.  (I can't seem to find things in the sewing room yet.  Hopefully that will change soon as I begin to get more organization in there!  We have plans for some {more} shelves and a cutting table to give me more storage!  How in the world did I cram so. much. stuff. into my tiny previous space???)  By the way, this adorable stitchery pattern is available free on my friend Ellyn's blog.

I got all the pieces cut for Amanda's Starflower Quilt Along.  Want to join us?  It's really a beautiful quilt.  The fabric is Beechwood Park by Jeanene Morrison and a selection of solids from my stash.  I have a confession to make - I only had a FE bundle, and she calls for fat quarters in her instructions, so I grabbed the solids and started cutting...  and totally lost count.  It will be interesting to see if I have enough or way too many diamonds, won't it?  In any event, I can't wait.  The quilt is amazing!

And I got all the pieces cut and started making the blocks for the ECMQG Modern Maples quilt along.  So far, I have 15 of 18 blocks completed, so this may just become a quilt soon!

So, there you have it!  I'm pretty sure that's ALL the WIPs I worked on this week.  I hope to have at least one completed project by next week!  Wish me luck!  What are you working on?

I'm linking up with Lee at Freshly Pieced again today...

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

WIP Wednesday

WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced

There's plenty goin' on in the sewing room lately, so I thought I would play along with WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced this week.  I actually thought about making it a Wordless WIP Wednesday, but we all know that for me, that would be impossible!

My goal for August was to finish my citrus quilt.  I knew I had a few blocks tucked away from when I moved my sewing room, but boy was I surprised!  I had no idea!!  I had some original blocks...  And I had some from the Bees Helping Bees group...  And I had a bunch from the 2Q round of 3x6 Bee, which frankly, I didn't plan to mix with the original blocks at all, but they just looked so wonderful...  And apparently there was a round of the 3x6 bee from a year or two ago that I had forgotten, because...

There are enough blocks for...

More than one quilt.  I had planned to make a 4x5 quilt, but these blocks just went together so well, I just went with it.  So I'm wondering, should I add borders to make them bigger, or just leave them the way they are?  There's something just so inviting about sampler quilts, don't you think?

There is one more quilt to put together, but it's going to need some serious work.  Size-wise, those blocks are all over the place - some at 9" square and some at 12-1/2 and everything in the middle.  So I plan to work on those this week.

I'm not sure I've ever shared this quilt on the blog.  I did this quilt when the sewing room was in total upheaval and I needed a quick sewing fix.  I really like the way it turned out.  It's just so fresh, I think.  The fabric is mostly from a Lila Tueller Bohemian Festival jelly roll my friend gave me.  It went together in a flash - and then it went in the WIP pile, where it has been sitting, nearly untouched for more than a month.  Poor thing.

And I need to get Woodland by the Lake 2 finished before my friend/photography teacher gets back from North Carolina.

I finished up this block for the Block Lottery at the next ECMQG meeting on Saturday.  (Aren't you proud of my big finish?!)

So that's what I've been doing this week.

What are you working on?