Monday, January 23, 2012

How Time Flies!

It's Christmas again...not.
I just finished the Christmas quilt. Yes, the quilt that became my headache when I tried to finish it up quickly in time for Christmas by shortening the time of basting the dang thing. Instead of my usual method of hand basting, I used the spray basting. Yes, that nasty stuff that likes to wreak havoc on a perfectly wonderful project. It seems that the chemicals in the spray baste causes the machine needle to get gummed up which then makes for skipped stitches and loops...and headaches. I had to take the layers apart, wash all layers numerous times, reassemble, and hand baste before I could do any quilting. I wasn't liking this quilt...and here it was Christmas and all should be so joyous. At first, I thought I would hand quilt it. Possibly, my second in a lifetime hand quilted quilt. I even started a section, only to find that I really hate hand quilting. So, I decided to do what is best...I ignored it until after the holidays were over.

Time apart always helps! Amazing how time heals all problems...or some. And even though this isn't my best machine quilting, I'm liking this quilt now that it is finished and washed. It's cute and comfy. Peace at last!

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Way Cool!

...was the response from my teenage son. Yup, I have to agree that this bag looks so much better. It's me!

While killing some time yesterday, I went fabric shopping. It was my lucky day; not only did I find fabric, but a simple, cute pattern. Sew what did I do today?
Yes, I whipped this one up quickly...simply easy and frustrations for me this time.

Inside of bag.

Outside of bag, take note of the big, red button; it travels.

I do hope my BIG approves of this one. Already I'm planning on making a jean bag with this extremely easy pattern.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Just Hanging

Detours aren't always a good thing...or maybe they are.
I don't know what I was thinking when I started into this project.
I like the fabrics separately. I thought they would look good together.
Or maybe it's the pattern. The bag has a nice shape when hanging.

I embellished the handle with a cute, red, large button. And even added knotted pearl embroidery stitches to the sections were I had hand sewn the handles to the bag, since my hand sewing isn't the prettiest.

The inside fabric is cute.

I think some of my dislikes for this bag stems from the frustrations of working with poorly written pattern directions. I had to make modifications to the bag at the junctions were the handles attach to bag. I should have finish the mock-up bag, but I was too eager to get this project finished. If I had, I would have discovered this problem in the pattern and then compensated for the difference while cutting out the fabric. But I didn't. When I reach the point of attaching the handles to the bag, it was then that I realized I needed to make a correction. So, I pleated the outer sides and top of the zipper area for the adjustment.

Well, I now know what works and doesn't...what's me and what isn't. I also know that my future handbag project will be extremely simple in looks and construction. Nothing complicated for me this year. My mantra for the year is keep it all simple and sweet...otherwise trash the project.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Snow Flurries ...

and a cold, wintery day looking out a frosted cover window is a memory from my childhood when I look at this quilt block.

This is my very first paper piecing project. I'm participating in a BOM (block of the month) thread on the Quilting Board- which is another first for me. After admiring the lovely blocks on that thread, I decided to jump in. So, I watched the recommended you-tube video on PP, and went at it. Surprisingly, the fabrics all blend together well, and the pattern was easy to do.

The process:

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Test Runs

So what does one do with all the fabric sandwiches that were made from practicing free motion quilting?

Use them as pattern pieces.

I'm testing out a purse pattern. Yes, I know the zipper is too short, and the quilting doesn't match, but that is the fun of a test run. It doesn't have to look good.

This is the lining and inside pockets.

I'm liking the look of the long lines with the little open boxes as the quilting motif for the fabrics.

Fabrics and zipper that will be used to create the bottom left purse on this pattern.

The zipper is going to need a decorative bead or ring to dress it up and make it easier to pull the zipper open.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Shut Up and Quilt

I like Leah Day's title for her Quilt Along Wednesday series, Shut Up and Quilt, so much that I have decided to follow along. I need to improve my treadling and free motion quilting technique. So, what better way! My first Wednesday was spent rearranging the "command center", and dusting and vacuuming up dust bunnies in that area. My Singer 15-90 treadle had to be cleared of cutting mats and other paraphernalia; it had become the storage table. The Free No.5 treadle, in garage that needs treadle repair, was brought into the house to hold all the sewing notions and cutting mats. The Singer 15-90 treadle was moved to the front of the "command center" for easy access. I now have six treadles in a space of approximately 7 feet by 7 feet. I'm ready to treadle!

It's A Pair

Almost finished knitting a pair of socks. Directions say to knit loosely. That I did on the first knitted sock, but for my second I'm knitting a bit tighter with a much nicer result. I'm not the fastest knitter, but that doesn't really matter.


Sunday, January 1, 2012

Comfy Socks and a New Year

Attend a TOGA and pick up another machine...nope, that didn't happen at the mini TOGA that I attended last week. Instead, I was inspired to knit socks, something that I have never done. The test is to see IF I can knit a pair of comfy socks. I already told myself that 2012 would be the year that I would complete all those projects that I started but never got finished. So, what do I do but start with a pair of socks that were not on my To-Do list.

I started by reading tutorials, watching videos on how to knit a sock, and finding a easy pattern. My New Year's Eve was spent watching movies, knitting, turning a heal, and making a gusset. This sock making could become addictive and keep me from rescuing those free machines that nobody else wants. I may have found a way to save myself from becoming a vintage sewing machine hoarder...let's hope!

But for now, I will focus my enthusiasm into my New Year's To-Do list:

Christmas quilt that didn't get completed for 2011
Eldridge sewing machine and cabinet restoration project, now sitting in garage
Free No. 5 sewing machine restoration project, from last year in garage
Knitted sweater started four years ago, almost done
Jean jacket with lining, been waiting on shelf for two years
Purse, this year
Wallet, this year
Pillowcase dresses for my sister's two granddaughters, this year
Donation quilts, this year

And socks...lots of socks.

Wishing all a peaceful and healthy New Year!