Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Free Motion Chicken No More

I know I've been neglecting my blog lately, but that doesn't mean I haven't been sewing. I'm on a bit of a deadline with some custom orders that I can't show right now, so my AMH dress is halfway finished, as is a quilt I intended to enter into a couple quilt shows. I missed the entry deadline for one and am a couple days out on the deadline for the second, so I don't know if I'll finish in time. But before I got swamped I am happy to admit that I jumped a major hurdle in my quilting: I started to try free motion! DISCLAIMER: This post contains many pictures of my many mistakes. Nobody's perfect and we're always learning, right?



The first quilt I've EVER free motion quilted.

Yes, you heard me correctly. After taking Elizabeth's class at QuiltCon, I took the plunge at home and started trying to free motion a few quilts. They are FAR from perfect, but I think it's important to share the imperfections. I've been catching up on some charity quilts and decided these were the best projects to start honing my free motion skills. 




Not only am I finding free motion quilting to be fun, it's also fast. I can quilt an entire sandwich in much less time than straight lining it. That said, there is a definite learning curve and it's frustrating at times. But it's helping me get over my perfectionist attitude and I keep reminding myself that all my mistakes will come out in the wash. Quite literally. That's the great thing about quilting. So many of those little imperfections disappear when the quilt comes out of it's first wash all crinkly and cuddly. 




The second quilt I free motion quilted. See, it's slowly getting better.
So don't judge. And don't be afraid. You can see all of my many, many, many mistakes right here. I'm not embarrassed to show you. Free motion is a lesson in learning to let go. And with each quilt, I am getting in the to rhythm of free motion a little bit more. And I'm making mistakes a little bit less. I'm still backing myself into corners, and fumbling with uneven stitch length, but I'm learning and growing. I'm not going to give up on straight lining, oh no. That's still my favorite aesthetic, but I'm going to continue to hone my free motion skills. Expect to see a lot more around here in the near future.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Sewing ADD For Me

Last night's girl's night was awesome. Eight of us cozied up in my living room and shared our creativity. I just worked on some needlepoint but this morning I'm back at my machine. Actually, I've been having a little bit of sewing ADD lately. I have a few quilts brewing around in my head. I pulled a stack of fabric for one of them. I'm not sure if I'm going to add hand stitching or not but I pulled a roll of Pearle Cotton just in case. One thing is certain though, my broken triangles are making a comeback.


I also finally bit the bullet and bought three yards of the AMH "Field Study" voile that I've been drooling over lately. Since I'm not working I put myself on a fabric diet, but I finally caved at the last LAMQG meeting and bought it. Our meetings are held at my favorite fabric shop, Sew Modern, and it's always difficult to walk out of there empty handed. But my birthday is coming up and I have a wedding to attend in May so I thought that was the perfect excuse to wipe up the drool and buy it.


So I am working on some things for me. And I realize that lately I haven't been as good about posting about my process here. Frankly, I do a lot more process posting on Instagram. You can follow me over there as well, if you'd like. 

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Spontaneous Girl's Night

I am just loving having time off from work. I've been going to the gym, enjoying the amazing weather we've been having here in Southern California, spending quality time with my husband and sewing. It's such a luxury to be able to sew all day if I want to or NOT sew if I'm not feeling it. Usually there is so much pressure to sew in the limited amount of free time I have and now that weight is lifted and it feels so good. 


My husband left for a convention in Austin this morning, so I have the house to myself for the next few days. When I'm working I would relish the time alone and hole myself up and not answer the phone if I didn't feel like it. But now that I'm a woman of leisure it's giving me the perfect opportunity to invite some friends over for a spontaneous stitch 'n bitch. After dropping my husband and his partner off at the airport early this morning, I turned our living and dining room into our workspace for tonight. 


I moved my new machine and table into the living room with the iron and ironing board, leaving space by the purple wall for another sewing table and machine if one of my friends brings theirs over. 


I turned one of our kitchen counters into a cutting table. 


Then I put a couple more cutting mats down in a corner of the dining room floor for a larger cutting space in case anyone needs to square up a quilt or something. 


Finally, my old machine is set up on the dining room table for anyone who wants to use it. And there's enough space left for at least two, if not three more machines. 


And I have lots of comfy spaces for people to sit and hand sew if they fancy. I haven't decided yet, but I think I might focus on some hand work tonight. 

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Shameless Promotion


Wanna' see what I do as my day job? Wondering why I was traveling all over the place last year? Then check out the brand new season of "Tabatha Takes Over" premiering tonight on Bravo. 

Marathon Quilt: Month Eleven


Eleven months ago when I started on my Marathon Quilt I thought I would be a little further along than I am. But I'm not complaining. Well, maybe I was. I laid the project out this morning on top of our king sized bed to add some scope to the project and I was lamenting its current size in my head when my husband came in the room and commented that he couldn't believe how big it's grown since I started working on it last May. It's all about perspective. And I apologize for the crappy lighting. It's gloomy by the beach today.


I carry this project with me practically everywhere I go, just in case I find myself in a place with a little idle time on my hands. It's slow work. Methodical work. Most days I love the work. But I'll admit there are some days I would rather be working on something else. And I'm learning to listen to my instincts. This isn't a race. There is no deadline. It's just for me.

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Scrappy Trout Along

Recently I had quite a lot of amazing crafty girl time. My friend Liz hosted some sewing at her place. And so did my friend Liberty. Then I also hosted a little stitchy slumber party at my house. Only one person actually spent the night, but most of us were up and sewing away until 2:30 in the morning. I used that opportunity to jump on the Scrappy Trip Along train that's been snaking it's way across Instagram. I've never participated in one of these online sew alongs before, though I've wanted to, but now that I have free time it seemed perfect. I blame it all on Ramona and Liberty. They made me do it!


I decided to go monochromatic with this one. I wanted to make it for our living room and have it big enough for my husband and I to cuddle up under it together. I considered making it purple since we have a large purple wall in the room. Orange was another color I considered to accent the orange chair that's a favorite of ours. Ultimately, I settled on my favorite neutral, gray. I thought it would be the perfect blender in the room and it could allow for pops of color to shine through in the prints used.


I knew my husband would love the scrappy style and Ramona convinced me that it could come together quickly. Who knew that the secret to this quilt was that it's actually strip pieced! Okay, so it took a little longer than I anticipated but I had the top pieced in less than a week. And it even was nicknamed the "Trout Quilt thanks to my friend Melissa. She said it reminded her of fish scales, which I think is kinda' cool!


But now I think I need to make it bigger. At first my husband thought it was too big. Right now it's measuring about 96"x72", but now he wants it for our bed, which is king sized. So that means I need more gray. He also went crazy for the text fabrics so I'm on a mission to find a few more gray tonal text fabrics because I want to push the scrappiness even farther. If you want to take the trip too you can find the tutorial here. Just beware, it's addicting!

Monday, April 1, 2013

Wanna Buy a 6600?

So did you notice that machine and sewing table in my studio? Well they're both new too. At QuiltCon a local Texas sewing machine shop stocked all of the classrooms with brand new Janomes and the machines were available for sale at a tremendous discount. And when I say tremendous I mean way too good to pass up. Yep. I bought a Horizon. Eeek! And my 6600 is less than a year old. 


I justified the purchase because I got the machine and a sewing table for about the same price of my 6600. And I didn't have to pay for shipping or tax. It was a steal. I had been looking at the Horizon last year but I couldn't stomach the price tag. 


Now, I need to sell Hepburn. I love her so much. She's an amazing machine but it's the only way I can justify the upgrade to the Horizon. Anyone in the market for a gently used, one year old Janome 6600?