Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Back to (Sewing) Business

The sounds gurgling out of my sewing machine(after its annual tune up) have improved a bit after much fidgeting with the bobbin case.  The stitches look fine so I carry on!

Back to the Scrappy Trip quilt...finished the final 10 blocks to make 30.  That should do the job!

I centered a low volume row in each block.  We'll see how that works!

Yesterday I gathered the nerve to cut into a large, lovely pile of fabric that I have been collecting for a queen size quilt for our master bedroom.  A big and important project!  I think it is a good sign when the pile of selvages are so pretty!

Phew!  Time to sew all this together!

And finally, my husband brought these back from a visit with his mother:
Just a few cute little dish washing clothes that she whipped up!

Wishing you a good week and linking up with Freshly Pieced WIP Wednesday...the source of much inspiration!  I highly recommend a visit!

WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced

PS  Thanks everyone for all the nice comments on my Sewing Room Progress post!  I will keep you posted as I keep working on it!

Friday, February 22, 2013

Sewing Room Progress

As I have been sans-sewing machine this week, I have not been able to finish any projects.  So, I thought this would be a good time to share with you the progress on my sewing room (WARNING:  lots of pictures).  First, the BEFORE pictures:

This is the OFFICE/guest room/sewing room before its conversion to my SEWING ROOM/office/guest room.  It is a small-ish room, about 10X12 foot, right off the kitchen, highly visible.  This room worked great for an office and the occasional guest room.  But now that having an office is less important and space for sewing is VERY important, it was time to update!  Say goodbye to the dark colors, knot of wires and cords, shaky folding table under the sewing machine and heavy oak furniture!

The AFTER picture!  This is the new view when you enter the room.  Fresh paint, new floors and light furniture make quite a difference!  The furniture is IKEA with the only remaining carryover piece being the surprisingly comfortable sleep sofa.  Given the leather colors of the sofa, I went with a grey/taupe for the walls and a gold/yellow accent color.  
I made these window treatments from home dec fabric on sale at Joann Fabrics.  I love the clean, modern look of these tab back curtains.
This little ironing table has been a great addition to the room.  Lots of tutorials on the web for this.
Simpler office.  Space to the left of the sewing machine for larger projects.  Large bulletin board.  Shelf for stuff.  I even think some of my Longaberger baskets work in the new room. 
 Below is the office part of the room, down sized but still effective.
Fortunately, we already had the IKEA bookcase and the two CD racks and just needed to purchase the table tops, legs and chairs.  

Don't you think the wall above this sofa is just screaming for a quilty wall hanging???  And,finally, a close up of where the action happens.  I love the little shelf with all my rulers.
I have just loved, loved having this little room to play in.  Linking up with Crazy Mom's Finish It Up Friday!

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Wednesday Frustration

I have no new projects to show you this week as my one year old Viking sewing machine has been in "the shop."  I picked it up tonight right before the store closed.  That's the good news.  The bad news:  Should my sewing machine sound significantly WORSE after its annual tune up?  I'm SO irritated.


Forget all that!  I had a fantastic weekend with all our kids celebrating my husbands birthday!
Snowshoeing across the lake.
What a lovely couple!

Sorry gang, that's all I got this week.

Friday, February 15, 2013

Another Charlie Brown Finish!

Cross another off the quilting Q!  One of my first quilt tops completed last year in Year One of the quilting adventure was from Charlie Brown fabric for my favorite Peanuts fan:
One of my local quilt shops, Bits N Pieces in Pelham NH had this quilt on display.  Well, I just knew I had to make one!  The pattern is Just Can't Cut It Up by All Washed Up.  Fast and easy to piece, even for a rookie! The tricky parts involved getting the Peanuts kids border the right length with the four square in the corner and machine appliqueing the inspirational quotes in the yellow squares.

The quilting is an overall meander with an occasional loop and heart Woodstock's flight path.

What fun!  So, that's two off the rack and five more to go!  Linking up with Amanda Jean's Finish It Up Friday!

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

WIP Wednesday - Valentine's Quilting

Some people give cards, some chocolates, some ice scrapers (long story) about a quilt?  You remember my husband's love for all things Charlie Brown?  Well, I've been quilting this:
This is a quilt top I finished last year, just waiting to be quilted.  No better time to finish this!
After a productive blizzard weekend, completing a three zipper pouch and more scrappy quilt-alongs blocks (I am such a joiner apparently!), I had to keep the sewing mojo going with this quilt...before I lost Helga for a week for her annual tune up.  Come back on Friday for the finish reveal!
Happy Valentines Day!  Linking up with Freshly Pieced WIP Wednesday!
WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced

Monday, February 11, 2013

Lessons Learned in Year One - Sewing Tips

As I mentioned in one of my first posts, I have been sewing since I was a youngster, but until recently just clothing and home dec. projects.  In my first year quilting I have learned some valuable sewing lessons that cause me to slap my forehead with the palm of my hand and exclaim "DUH."  For example:

1.  Never, ever complain about how narrow a 5/8" or 1/2" seam allowance is.
Right?  I used to fuss about the difficulty of sewing a precise "little" 5/8" seam.  Yikes!  I got over this on my first quilt where I pieced about 1,000 pieces while estimating a 1/4" seam allowance!

2.  Seam ripping in one-third the time
Somewhere in this wonderful quilting blog world, I found a tutorial on how to rip out a seam.  I thought: "Really, there is more than one way?"

Yes, there is!!  Instead of taking out each stitch one by one, I now cut every third or fourth stitch on one side and pull the thread off on the other side, easy peasy.

3.  Perpendicular Pinning
I have always been a "parallel to the seam" pinner.
No more!  This perpendicular pinning is so much easier for keeping the pins in until the last minute and quickly sliding them out.

And these are just a few of the little gems I have learned in Year One.

Blizzard Fun!

So, what do you do when the weather looks like this:
Why, of course, you sew!   Completed 17 more of these squares:
 Made my first (of many I am sure) three zipper pouch using this tutorial from A Quilter's Table:

Already filled with the lipstick, lip gloss, etc. that was previously floating around the bottom of my mega-purse.

And cut, cut, cut for another quilt project:
A productive couple of days stuck in the house!  Honestly, I love living in New England.  The snow is quite beautiful and the day after the storm looked like this:

 The tracks on the right are from my snowshoeing across the lake.  Awesome.
And just to test our mettle as hardy New Englanders, it is snowing again!   Conclusion:  very productive weekend with plenty of sewing and outside exercise (shoveling included!).

PS  Thankful to have gotten through Nemo's visit relatively let's hope the snow and ice on the roof melt quickly!

Friday, February 8, 2013

A Couple of Finishes

One of my short term goals is to eliminate the queue of quilts waiting to be quilted.  One done...six more to go!

This is the second quilt top I finished.  After the first quilt with almost 1,000 pieces, I decided to go with something a little easier!  The pattern is Yellow Brick Road and the fabric is mostly Kate Spain Terrain.  As I have discovered, quilting adds so much that I always end up liking the project more when quilted...this is a good example.  It sat on the quilting rack for months, not my favorite, but the quilting (even far from perfect!) makes me feel much better about it!

I also thought I would catch up sharing with you a finished quilt from my First Year.

Sorry, these are not great pictures...I am working on that.  But this quilt I just love!  It is an I Spy quilt following the tutorial from Kelsey Sews.  I had so much fun finding fabric for this project.  It was a gift for a special family to enjoy in their new second home on Cape Cod!

Linking up with Amanda Jean's Finish it Up Friday!

PS  I hope everyone here in the Boston area fares this blizzard well.   I am all set with food, fireplace, wine and fabric!

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

On My Sewing Table lots of lint and dust!  Man, that cotton does shed!  I have to apologize to the dog for all the derogatory shedding comments I have launched her way!

I've spent too much time this week researching just the perfect pattern for a quilt for our newly repainted master bedroom.  I think I have found it!  Something simple but hopefully effective using this (ignore the yellow and bright blue on the bottom):

Also on the table are various strips and squares for you-know-what:

So much fun!  Linking up with:

WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced
PS  I am about to lose my sewing machine for a week while it is tuned up.  Yikes!  How will I manage??  I know...I'll just have to plan more projects!! Not that I don't have enough....but you understand.
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