Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Cut Up Wednesday

Immediately upon returning from Italy (take a peek at this post for just a few of the lovely pictures from that trip), Mr. KQ and I headed north to the lake for a little vacation.  The weather was predicted to be rainy today, so I took a break from relaxing ( I know, what a life!) and started cutting up fabric for a few projects that I have been noodling on while in my kayak.  The evidence:
First, the trimming of a pile of HST's:
Honestly, I have no idea where I am going with this other than (1) I need to improve my HST accuracy and (2) I wanted to play with Essex Linen in a quilt.  Hopefully, inspiration will strike me soon!  As an aside, the Tucker Trimmer has worked wonderfully for trimming up all these little HST's.

One of my favorite Christmas fabric collections from last year was Christmas Spirit by Holly Taylor.  With a few jelly roll strips remaining from an earlier project, I cut additional strips for a holiday quilt for a friend.

And then for something completely different:

All cut up and ready to sew!  I can't wait to play with these two projects!

Maybe tomorrow I will even plug in my sewing machine.   Must take this reentry to sewing slowly. Seriously, I miss chatting with you!  It has been a wonderful summer, but I am looking forward to more sewing, blogging and sharing!  Meanwhile, I am linking up with Lee at Freshly Pieced for her WIP Wednesday party!

WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced
Wishing you a wonderful Wednesday!

Monday, August 19, 2013

Italy Trip Report

Hi!  I'm back!  I don't even know where to begin!  Ten days in some of the world's most beautiful and interesting venues with three fun, wonderful ladies just cannot be quickly summarized!

Our trip began in Florence, Italy.
A day trip to the Tuscany region to visit two producers of Brunello from Montalcino.  
We did a little shopping (and hiking!) in the town of Montalcino.
Another day trip brought us to Cinque Terre.
Venice was our next stop.
A day trip to Murano.
And a visit to Burano.
This is the closest I got to a quilt.

A wonderful trip full of great food, wine, scenery but, most importantly, an abundance of laughter.

I am happy to be home and as soon as I do all the laundry, pay the bills, weed the garden, etc., etc. I will be back to sewing!


Friday, August 2, 2013

More Sewing Machine Love

Oops...I broke my promise to not buy anymore Christmas fabric.  I hope you understand.  But I just could not resist this bundle of Holiday in the Pines by Holly Taylor, particularly when tempted by a great deal from Green Fairy Quilts.

Dark colors don't normally catch my eye, but I am very sure the winter pine motifs will look terrific in the lake house.

Another wonderful addition to my fabric collection came thanks to my sister-in-law who picked up a bag of linens at a yard sale and found this lovely bundle of cotton fabric:
Now, that's a lot of fabric!  I can see low volume quilts, backings, donation of fabric to my friends, etc., etc. from this pile!  Yikes!

Did you see my announcement about the new baby in my sewing tool collection?  Well, not to be left out, my sewing machine received a MAJOR upgrade this week!

Shortly after I began my quilting addiction, I set up my sewing space using Ikea furniture that I had in the house and a few additional pieces (blog post here).    I love the room but the height of the sewing machine has been a problem.  Even though I purchased the extension table, the entire operation was too high resulting in a poor ergonomic solution...shoulders raised unnaturally and legs stretching to reach the pedal.   And (although it may not seem that way right  now due to my summer slow down), I spend a lot of time at this sewing machine.  A solution was needed.

 Enter my daughter-in-law's father!  David is a super talented guy, carpentry among his many skills.  I mentioned to him that I would appreciate his thoughts on this problem...and voila!
 Isn't that beautiful?  No more catching on the edge of the table and, most importantly, a table height that makes sense.  We found this tutorial by Frecklemama on customizing an Ikea table (nicely coincidental she has the same sewing machine!) but quickly realized that my Ikea table was just a hollow table top with screwed on legs, not the solid table that she modified.   The solution David came up with was to make a new table top with real wood and use her idea for sliding the sewing machine into the slot, thereby eliminating the gap behind the machine.  He matched the Ikea laminate color and attached the Ikea legs to the new top.

I am just thrilled!  Aren't I the lucky one to have such wonderful and talented in-laws?!

Finally, the Worldwide Quilt Store Tour is going to Italy next week!  Yes, it's true!  I am heading to Florence and Venice next week with three cousins!  I am looking forward to purchasing some Italian fabric!  Therefore, KayakQuilting is going quiet for a couple of weeks.  I look forward to chatting with you and sewing when I return!  It's Friday, so linking up with crazy mom amanda jean (did you see the amazing low volume quilt she just whipped up this week?!).


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