Thursday, August 30, 2012

I'm Going! Are you?

Wow! I'm sweating. Anyone else? Seriously, I slept on the couch last night as not to wake my husband this morning when I woke up early to register for QuiltCon. I'm going! Are you? I got into all of the workshops I wanted. I even debated adding one more to my agenda and after a little hemming and hawing I pulled the trigger and added a fourth workshop. I was lucky enough to get into AMH's Every Last Stitch. The timing wasn't right on that workshop for me, but ultimately taking this workshop was more important to me than missing a conflicting lecture. I had the opportunity to meet AMH this winter when she came to speak at our guild and she was gracious enough to sign Rachel's Quilt. But I missed out on taking her workshops when she was here and my friend said they were just magical. To quote my friend, Liberty, "I'm just lucky enough to occupy the same space with her." And it doesn't hurt that I'm on a huge hand sewing kick.

On Friday I'm going to be taking the morning Textile Printing class with Lotta Jansdotter. I decided on this class because I'm a huge fan of Lotta's aesthetic so I thought it could be fun to learn a little about fabric design from her. Then on Saturday I'm taking Machine Quilting with Elizabeth Hartman. She recently spoke at a LAMQG meeting and seemed really cool I had debated taking both her Free Motion class and Angela Walters Long Arm class but I finally had to draw the line somewhere and since I'm such a free motion chicken as it is I thought it better to start with free motion on my home machine before I graduate to the long arm. Finally, I went back and registered for one more class. This was the one I debated over but I added Yoshiko Jinzenji's Playing with Sheer Fabrics, just for fun.

So who's going to Quilt Con with me? Did you get all the workshops you wanted? Are you ready to dance the night away at the 80s Dance Party? Hope to see you there!

Monday, August 27, 2012

Sew Fun July Blocks

I've been neglecting my blog this summer and it makes me sad. It's not that I haven't been sewing at all. I have been sewing, though not as much as I would like. But it seems like when I do have a rare moment to sew I've been focusing on stuff I can't show yet or the been there done that kind of stuff that seems pointless to re-hash. Time is also an issue, and not just finding time to sew but also finding time to write. Work has been a different kind of crazy this time around. I sprained my wrist playing ice hockey and it's just now starting to feel almost back to normal, almost a month later. And I've also been traveling a lot lately. In the past month alone I've been on eight flights and one road trip. I've only had one weekend at home. I love all this traveling. I'm not complaining. I've been to San Francisco, Tucson, Mammoth, Kernville, Chicago and Denver, so I've been doing lots of hand sewing, but my machine is feeling a little neglected.


This weekend, on my trip to Denver, I was able to finish up some bee blocks for Wendi. Okay, they're almost finished. I have a couple small side seams to do in one of them before I send these off to her tomorrow. Wendi asked us to make her some blocks for her Grandmother's Flower Garden Quilt. Wendi asked us to help her replace a childhood memory by making these blocks for her, which makes them even more special. Her only request was that the centers were orange or yellow, otherwise go to town. She's going for scrappy.



I had Wendi as a partner in a swap a while back so I also know she loves bright, which is exactly what I was thinking when I made the pink and red block for her. But those blocks were for July, so as you see, I'm way behind on bee blocks. Sigh. I am in serious need of some alone time with my machine. I think we're past due for a sewing date.

Monday, August 13, 2012

do. Good Stitches Host Swap Sent


I can finally reveal what I made for my secret partner in the do. Good Stitches Host Swap. I was matched up with Erica, who hosts the Wish Circle. And you want to hear something funny? She practically lives down the street from me! I was halfway tempted to just show up on her doorstep with my package, but I thought that might be a little creepy, so I mailed it instead.


One of the things on Erica's wish list was a sewing machine cover for her Janome. And since we're both sewing on the same machine, I was able to use mine for reference. And after a little bi of stalking I settled on hand piecing a couple Joseph's Coat blocks and hand appliquéing them onto yarn-dyed linen (her favorite) for the design.


I've never made a sewing machine cover before, so I kind of winged the construction. I made the main panel from one long piece of the linen and quilted it with a neutral solid backing - sort of a quilt as you go method. Then I cut the two side pieces and quilted them in the same manner, also adding pockets to each side. I then attached each side with Y-seams, so the main body of the cover had a continuous look.


Finally, I made the inner lining in the same method from the linen (save for quilting) and tacked the corners together internally so the lining wouldn't fall. Then I finished the raw edges with binding, as you would a quilt. I think I might have to make one of these for myself.


Of course, I added in some extras for Erica, including fabric, thread, buttons and tools. I also sent her a little card encouraging her to come and meet me at a LAMQG meeting sometime. It's always nice having sewing buddies nearby! So, here's to another successful swap. I swear, one of these days I'll cut back. But they're hard to resist. They're just so much fun!

Monday, August 6, 2012

Quilt Marathon: Month Three

Saturday was officially the end of my third month (and the beginning of month four) working on my marathon quilt. I really don't every post on weekends so I saved my progress report for today. I am making more headway, I'm happy to say. But, honestly, I was really striving to get just one more block done this month to round it out to an even six blocks. Alas, that's not the case.


The quilt has moved into it's new home, though. It's happily encased in the awesome bag that Kay made for me. It's the perfect size to house all the random little bits and pieces, as well as the larger finished blocks and spare fabric. Although, I think soon that I'll have to start storing the actual quilt in a more flat manner. Perhaps it will take up residence on my design wall.


There is an order in my piecing, but seeing as how I'm working with uneven numbers, the pieces at one end or another don't match up exactly correct. This works, though, since the overall look is supposed to be somewhat scrappy. But going into each new block, I do follow an order, although on more than one occasion, I realized too late the I pieced something in the wrong order so I've ended up with some random bits, currently waiting for a home. I would say that this slowed up my process, but I realize that later it will speed up my process so it all balances out.


Most importantly, I'm still in love with it. I'm not working on it at home as much as I would like. I am trying to be respectful of the time my husband and I have to snuggle on the couch so I try not to work on it a lot while he's around. But living in the new bag makes it infinitely more portable than it was in the big blue box. And I do have a couple trips coming up this month, which means sewing time on the plane! Let's see how far I get this month.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Swap Perfection


Good things definitely come in small packages! I arrived home the other day to find this waiting on my doorstep. It traveled all the way from Australia to make it's way home to me. When I saw the return address I got very excited. I've been participating in a small little swap and when I saw pictures of this package on our group page I hoped above all hope that it was intended for me. And it was!


I had requested a travel bag I could use to keep my hand sewing organized. My Marathon Quilt is quickly out growing the pouch I was using, and the box I was keeping the bigger pieces in is just too cumbersome to transport from place to place, especially if I'm flying. And boy did Kay deliver the perfect tote! I have to admit, I'm a bit of a fan os Kay's work so I am through the moon that I actually own some of her amazing handiwork.


I have to admit that I moved my Marathon Quilt in, even before I could snap pictures. I was that excited! And it fits perfectly! I mean, with every single piece. And there's plenty of room to spare. The best part is, that I don't have to squish the larger pieces that are still pieced onto the templates, so the integrity of the quilt will be better maintained.


Kay did an absolutely amazing job. Her construction is perfection. Seriously, there is not one stitch out of place. And her fabric choices make me drool. I have been eyeing that Melody Miller print she used on the border for quite a while now. In fact, I love it so much that I just went out and bought the exact same print in the teal color way to use as panels for curtains I'm making for my studio. Everything about this bag is so me!


And then all the little goodies she threw in with it! Kay made this adorable little pouch that will be perfect to keep my embroidery scissors, needles and thread all in one place. And she embellished a gorgeous print with (*swoon*) impeccable hand stitching for a great piece of art that I can't wait to hang in my studio. Plus extra fabric, and a fabric bauble (I am so digging orange right now!) and cookies! Come on! How fabulous is that?!


I am so in love! Thank you Kay! You really made my day. I love this whole package more than words can describe! You rock!