Wednesday, May 20, 2020

Catching up ...again!

I can't believe so much time has gone by since my last post! It's been busy yet not busy. I suppose I have been a little cocooned at home. I have also been back in the office and yesterday we opened back up to the public. What a day!  

I took my two sewing machines in for a cleaning and just got them back. I was without them for just over two weeks so I was busy doing handwork projects for a couple of weeks.

I finished another pair of socks for my dad. These will be a fathers day gift! I make him a couple pairs each year.

I have been wanting to learn to do back basting applique. This seemed like the perfect time. I am not sure I am completely sold on it but it is very accurate. I enjoyed appliqueing the long minimally curved lines but not so much the flower. I think I really preferred my usual method  using freezer paper. That may be a case of teaching an old dog! I will keep going though to finish this project. It will be about 35" square when finished so it is a good size to learn. 

Here is part of the front so far!

Another technique I wanted to try was hand piecing. It still surprises me that I have never tried it. I do all sorts of handwork and really enjoy it. 

This is as far as I got- hand piecing is NOT for me! I found the entire process tedious.  I'll stick with English paper piecing. 

I finished hand quilting and binding this little quilt. I love how it turned out. This is the second one. The first one was made for a quilt exchange. The colors of the strips and borders were different. 

I have also started a new long term project that I will work on when I feel like it. It is blue and white 2" sawtooth stars. They are so cute! I can't stop petting them. 

I am just using up small pieces of blue and white/cream from my stash. I can get quite a few stars from a small piece. I have no idea how many I will make or what the setting will be. I am just going to keep sewing them until I am tired of them.

Now that I have my machines back, I always like to give them a test run before declaring they are working OK after coming back home. My small machine ( my backup) was tested on this little project. The bottom pouch will be my coin purse. ( My old one finally was completely worn out after 20 years!)

I declared the backup machine was working really good! 
This week on my day off I will test my regular machine. 

I have noticed that many of the other bloggers I read on a regular basis are blogging a lot or not at all right now. I have been wondering about that...and many many blogs I have enjoyed are posting less and less or not at all in the past few years. I too am guilty of this. But I am still reading and enjoying what postings there are.  I suppose I just wanted to say...I miss all the bloggers whose lives have taken them in different directions!

Happy Stitching! 

Saturday, April 11, 2020

Still cleaning up!

I've been spending so much time in my sewing room just like many others who are at home. I feel very creatively inspired right now. As I have been cleaning up, I keep finding little projects buried under things. But first...a couple things I finished...

The stitched ornaments are for my Christmas tree. 

These two stitchery hangings were a lesson in making due with what I have on hand.  
One will probably be for me and one a gift. 

 I laid out the blocks for this quilt just as it was shown in the magazine. I was going to start playing with the layout until I realized that with 6 different blocks I could change the layout a hundred times and I would probably like them all. I like this layout- many of the blocks are put together in a chunk.  

I haven't started sewing the rows together yet. I'll do that one day when I feel like doing something mindless. It won't be quilted for a while so I am in no hurry. 

Here is a little applique that I had buried on my cutting table. At least I know it is not that old- just a year! I finished the applique and sewed on the border. Luckily I was able to find some of the dark pink fabric still in my stash because I was missing 2 half square triangle squares. I still have more to clean off my table so I won't be surprised to find them later. 

I have this quilt and 2 other little quilts ready to baste. I can't show the other 2 because one is for a small quilt exchange I am doing and the other is the same quilt I am making for myself! 
I plan to hand quilt all three quilts. 

And after 20 years my cutting mat is dead. I have turned that mat in every direction I could to get as much life out of it as I can. I have smaller ones I can use for now until I am able to get a new one. I bet there are a lot more choices now than 20 years ago!

Happy Stitching! 

Wednesday, April 1, 2020

Catching Up....

I've been thinking about this post for two weeks but I didn't know how to much is happening in the world...

I have been cleaning my sewing room and have found lots of little projects to finish. Here are two I did finish this past week. My little hexagons above ( they are 3/8" - about the size of a fingernail!), and below's quilt is about 24" square.Both will be coffee table quilts.

What started me on the cleaning up journey? 

I was one of those people who was away on a cruise. I went before the warning to not go on cruises from my government and before the cruise ship off  the coast of California was having issues. We came home just after the warning had been issued. And at the time we came home it was still just recommended to self monitor. By the end of the first week back it was self isolation for anyone traveling so into self isolation we went for the last week. 
We were both fine at the end of our 14 days. 

This is where the cleaning started. For the first 2 days in self isolation I sat in my sewing room and just looked around. Then I picked at things piled on my cutting table. Then I cleaned a bit. I couldn't concentrate. I did not feel inspired to create. I knew I would have to force myself so I picked out a pattern from a magazine that was scrappy enough to make from my stash and easy enough I didn't have to concentrate too much. The quilt is from issue #29 of Simply Vintage. The name is Padstow. 

Here are the blocks...they are all made and this week I will lay them out and start arranging them.

Problem two was that I couldn't decide on fabric. I was unusually indecisive. Finally I realized I had a bin full of blue and gold that was for a Dear Jane quilt that I had abandoned ( again!) and that would work for this quilt. So I dived in and started cutting. It got me back to my happy place and I used up almost every single scrap of fabric in the bin. I even had to dig through my stash a bit to pull out a bit more to get the blocks done. I will probably big stitch this quilt once it is pieced. I am quite liking it! 

What did I find and what did I finish? These socks I had finished some time ago. They are soft and warm and are perfect for lounging at home. Look how fluffy they are!

I finished the stitching for a few projects. I still have to assemble the projects but that will go fast.

These two will be tree ornaments when done,

And these will be magnetic needle holders. These two won't be finished for a while because I need two strong magnets that my dad is donating to me. With Covid 19, I will not be seeing him for what could be a long time. I want to keep him healthy and alive so we are not taking any chances. I talk to him every day though- most days twice a day. He is going to get tired of talking to me soon!  

And finally I had bought some cotton to knit some dishcloths. Mine are worn out and needed replacing. This big ball will give me enough to last several years. 

Now that I'm in back in the creative groove it feels good. I have even more to show but that will be for anther day. 

I hope everyone is staying safe and healthy and I hope that your quilting and creative endeavors are helping you cope with all that is going on.

Happy Stitching !

Tuesday, February 4, 2020

Mission Accomplished!

I had 2 goals this weekend- get the borders on my tumbler and baste two little quilts. I am very happy to say I got it done! That does not happen often as usually my quilty goals take longer than I think they will.

Here is the tumbler with borders. It will finish about 58" by 66". I may just have enough of the border fabric left to do binding but if not I'll make it a scrappy binding. 

Here are the hexagons- it is 26" from flat side to flat side.

I did a double row of hexagons on the border- some of that last row will get cut off when I add binding.

I think I have it figured out how to quilt it. It is just deciding on color(s) now.

When I basted the little nine patch I used the wool batting I had pressed to get out the wrinkles. It had fluffed right up! 

You can't really see it that well but as I basted the stitches really compressed the batting back down so I am hoping when I hand quilt it, it will not look too 'fluffy'!

Here it is 14"x 18".

I'll enjoy quilting this one! 

Happy Stitching!

Saturday, February 1, 2020

Two Glorious Days

This week I had a wonderful treat- 2 days at home to do what ever I wanted! 

I sewed and napped and sewed and napped.... I have been working on my tumblers- getting them all sewn together.

  I am so glad I decided to lay them out so no seams had to match. Here and there there was a tumbler cut on the bias and I had to be very careful with the stretch. It was so much fun though because every tumbler came from someone else's stash . I don't even remember seeing a fabric that I actually have in my stash so it is fun - all the colors, textures and a few surprises (like fish) but they all just blend together!

Once the strips were all together it measures about 66" long but only 43" wide. I want this to be a good napping quilt so it really needs more width. I am trying to use what I have so I found a green polka dot in my stash that I thought would work. I stared at that for a few days. I think it will work. I got it ironed today so I will get the borders on this week. 

While I was ironing I got two backs and two battings ready to baste 2 small quilts. Here is one of them! 

Have you ever ironed batting? I did today. I am using up some scraps for the small quilts and they were really wrinkled. I spritzed some water and ironed them on low using a pressing cloth. The wool batting had a 'wet wooly' smell but once it was dry it was fine. The other batting was cotton and it pressed out really well. 

Hopefully tomorrow I will baste and maybe get a couple borders on too!  

Happy Stitching!