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Archive for February, 2010

Spring Sewing Party?

Spring Sewing Party

Update: 3/1/10 – see the new blog post Quilting Progress and an Update for a progress report.

Update: 2/27/10 – 7:30pm EDT

Just a quick update and then back to quilting.  Here is my quilt all basted and ready to go.

Basted and Ready to Go!

Do you think I used enough pins?  If you click on the image to biggefy it you will be able to see just how many. 😉

Some of you have been asking for chocolate so I put together some chocolate and chocolate flavored goodies to share.  Enjoy!

Chocolate to Share

I haven’t been able to visit all the blogs…been busy basting and my computer is behaving real slow lately.  I will visit them tomorrow and see how we all have done.

— Cindy

Update: 2/27/10 – 2pm EDT

I hope you don’t mind, but I had to change the logo for this event.  As I mentioned yesterday we received about 20 inches of snow and when we woke up this morning we had an additional 6 inches!  I am wishing for Spring, but as you can see it is a long way off from here!

Nina in the snow

Our dog Nina, a 60 pound rottweiler/hound mix,  is standing on our patio.  We have only shoveled a path to get to the back yard, but even our snow loving hound doesn’t want to go much further than where she is in this picture.  As I am writing this our plow service is finally getting our driveway cleared.  He had to get his Bobcat to finish the job.  The snow is so wet and heavy that his pickup truck with the plow kept getting stuck!

Here is the quilt top I plan on basting and hopefully start quilting today.

Quilt Top

I haven’t done much sewing yet, just pieced together the backing fabric for my quilt.  It is taped to the basting table and I am ready to start basting.

Backing Ready for Basting

Time to start the basting. I will report back later on my progress.

— Cindy

Spring Sewing Party

We just had over 20 inches of snow today and spring seems very far off from where I sit so I decided to sign up to join in the Spring Sewing Party being organized by the Charming Chatter blog. I figured it can’t hurt to at least “think Spring” for a day.

I plan on working on the comfort quilt I am making as a community service project that I picked up at the February Genesee Valley Quilt Club meeting.  I hope to have it done to submit at the next GVQC meeting.  The top is all pieced so I need to put together a backing, baste it and start quilting.  I decided today on the quilting I plan on doing on it and can’t wait to get started.  I wish the quilts would baste themselves!

Stay tuned so you can see my progress.

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My sister, Colleen, turns another year older today.  I won’t divulge the year of her birth, but she is older than I am.  I am very anxious for her to open her gift I sent as I have been wanting to share it with all of you too.  The post office reported to me that she received it on Saturday, but as of yet I don’t think she has ripped it open!  I’m pretty sure she won’t be peeking here before she finally opens her gift so I will go ahead and post about it now.

Colleen is a prolific knitter and has this as her tag line on Facebook, “I would like to be nominated for the Detroit Red Wings next knitting lady position.”  For those that don’t know, the Detroit Red Wings (DRW) are a National Hockey League (NHL) team.  I wanted to help her realize that goal so I decided to make her a tote bag for her knitting and I wanted to use fabric that would reflect her desire to represent the Red Wings.  Unfortunately I discovered that the NHL is the only professional league that doesn’t license their logos for anyone else to use so there was no way I could get fabric with the DRW logo on it. My quilting and applique skills aren’t that great yet so creating my own logo was out of the question too.

Big Red Tote with Knitters Accessories

Big Red Tote with Knitters Accessories

As an alternative I found a beautiful deep red fabric and used that as the body of the bag. I had a great set of fat quarters I picked up at Joann’s that coordinated well with the red and decided to use them as the accent pieces on the bag. It is a large bag with two big pockets on the outside and 3 pockets on the inside. When I finished the bag I thought it needed a bit more so I searched the web to see what knitters used to carry their stuff. The first thing I found was a pattern for a knitting needle roll.

Needle Roll - Opened (top) - Rolled up (bottom)

Needle Roll - Opened (top) - Rolled up (bottom)

The picture shows the same needle roll. The top is what it looks like opened with some items that might be stored in it (I didn’t have any knitting needles so I had to substitute a couple of pencils to simulate the needles – ha!) and the bottom picture shows what it looks like all rolled up.

Yarn bags

Yarn bags

The next item I discovered that knitters like to use are yarn bags. They are just a simple lined bag that is 12 inches high with a drawstring at the top. She can put her skein of yarn in the bag and pull the yarn out from the top. It keeps the yarn all neat and tidy while she is working with it (and might keep the cats from unraveling them too!). Luckily I found another pack of the same fat quarters so I was able to use the same fabric for these too.

Zippered Clutch

Zippered Clutch

The last item was a late addition that Colleen requested. I made similar clutches for Colleen and her girls as Christmas gifts. For Colleen’s I used Christmas fabric so she felt she couldn’t/shouldn’t keep using it until next holiday season. When we chatted recently she remarked about how much she and the girls love this small bag because you can put just what you need in them for a quick trip to the store and you don’t have to lug around your big purse. She also let me know that her birthday was approaching (as if I didn’t already know) and wouldn’t that make a nice gift. Little did she know what I already had completed (see all of the items above!). Adding this nice clutch to the stash was no problem and as always a pleasure to do.

I am really enjoying making bags and doing other crafty things like that. It was fun to learn what accessories a knitter might need for their hobby. If Colleen passes on any pictures of her knitting creations I will see if I can share them here, too.

Happy Crafting!

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Sewing room you ask?  It used to be what we called the office, but since both Charlie and I have had laptops and no desktop computer in the house that room hasn’t been used for much.  Since I have had so much free time I have been filling my time with sewing projects.   As you may have read in my previous post I purchased a new sewing machine and needed someplace to put it.

View of sewing station from door

View of sewing station from door

We decided to position the sewing machine in the corner of the desk. This allows for a cutting station to my left and a quick pressing station to my right. The window allows for a great view of the back yard and beautiful natural light to work with during the day.  There is also plenty of room for a large project on the desktop.  This is a great set up that allows for an easy work flow.

In addition to the desk I have turned a glass bookcase into my fabric storage cabinet.  I have acquired quite a lot of fabric in just a short time.  I like it arranged by color although I have separated the batiks into their own color piles. The doors help keep the fabric dust free and I love looking at all the colors.

Sewing Room Facing Towards Door

Sewing Room Facing Towards Door

Charlie has been busy improving my room for me.  The only ironing board that I have is the one that is hanging on the door.  It is very flimsy and it’s difficult to get the door wedged so it doesn’t swing while you are ironing.  It is also a small ironing board that is okay when you are just pressing some small pieces, but when you get to a larger quilt top it is really limiting.  Charlie re-purposed a table top that he was going to make into a work bench for himself into a cabinet that I could use as a cutting table and ironing table.  He built and finished the cabinet and shelves so now in addition to having a nice large surface to iron on I also have more storage space.  It is great for things like batting and boxes for usable scraps.

Ironing Storage Cabinet

Ironing Storage Cabinet

I made the fabric cover with two layers of cotton batting in between two layers of fabric. There is a half inch thick piece of high density foam underneath and an elastic draw string secures it to the top.  The cabinet is also on casters so it can be rolled around the room if I need it to support a large project that I am working on.  Above the ironing table is my project board that Charlie made for me too.  It is just a few foam insulation boards glued together and held up with a simple cleat. This allows me to take it off the wall easily if necessary.

Big Leaf Quilt Top

Big Leaf Quilt Top

Right now I have my completed “Big Leaf” quilt top pinned to the design wall for display and so I don’t have to fold it up for storage.  I am so happy with how it turned out and I just love the colors in it.  The next step is to baste it with the batting and backing and quilt it.  Since I haven’t done any free-motion quilting before and that is what I want to do for this project I am practicing first.  The Big Leaf quilt is too beautiful to mess up with bad quilting.

Free Motion Quilting Sampler in Progress

Free Motion Quilting Sampler in Progress

Last weekend I took a class in free motion quilting at Sew Creative in Fairport where I purchased my sewing machine. The most important thing the instructor, Diane told us to improve our work was to practice, practice, practice and that is just what I am doing.  The above piece I am working on is just a simple fabric sandwich that I divided into squares and rectangles.  In some of the blocks I traced some continuous line designs and other blocks are blank to fill in later with more improvisational type of quilting.

My plan is to fill the blank blocks with designs from the Day Style Designs blog – 365 Days of Free Motion Quilting Filler Designs Project.  This site has great tutorials on how to do over 100 designs so far and her goal is to do a total of 365!  She has them labeled by level of difficulty so I will start with the beginner level first and work my way up.  If you click on the image above it will biggify and you can see some of the designs I have done so far. My plan is to fill all the blocks so I better stop writing and continue quilting.

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