Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Sewing Room

Here are some pictures of my almost finished sewing room. I say almost because is it ever finished? I will always be moving and improving the flow and function as time goes by. I still am waiting for some closets to be cleaned out  by my daughter to get those UFOs under that table hidden away.

The table is in the middle of the room to be able to walk around the table when cutting or ironing. It is raining here to day so the pictures are a little weird.
The wall space above that lamp is getting a peg board to hang all of my rulers.

The antique thread storage unit was given to me by my husband for my 40th birthday. It was used for floss but is perfect for button, charms, needles and all kinds of small things that have a tendency to get lost. It looks weird in that  corner but it was the only logical place for it and I didn't like the amount of room it took up on an angle. The walls also look a little barren but I will be making some small quilts.

This is my design wall. I opted not to have flannel on it and use pins mostly because I don't like the way flannel looks with a million threads all over it and if the blocks are pinned I know they won't fall down. As you can see I had a little artist working on a quilt.

I love having another table to lay things out, draw, or just move something to another spot. I always have more than one thing going at a time. Of course a TV {yes it still has a VCR in it!} to keep me company.

I re-purposed {I feel so cool saying that} furniture from the bedrooms I deconstructed. This little table is near my machine and has all the things I need to grab often. Not shown on here is my bobbin holder. The drawers are also great for more storage.

I also got to use some things that don't go anywhere in the house. I love this little antique lamp, it is small so it is up on a pedestal! Lighting was a problem as it is a bedroom. I didn't want to make major changes so there are lamps all around. Mismatched of course!

It also gives me a chance to put some of my little collectibles. I got these in Sante Fe and did not have a spot for them until now.

The other room holds my fabric. This shelving is the best thing in the whole world. It is industrial metal shelving that does not bend or warp like wood, it doesn't even really get dusty.

This quilt was hanging in the room before and will most likely stay. In the corner where the basket is I am going to have my husband make me a big ironing table that rolls and can be pulled out as needed.

This is the other side of the room. That dresser holds all my UFOs that I am promising to get out and work on.

Another little shelf to use mostly for decorations.

The cleaned out shelves makes it so much easier to find things.

Hand dyes are separated from.....

regular solids that are separated from......

my vintage fabrics. I can see them all!

If you are thinking of making a move here are some tips I will give to you:

The one thing I did do was to draw out my rooms on graph paper. I then measured everything I was planning to put in there. It really made it simple to figure out how to lay things out. I made very little changes.

Also......sometimes when you want to do a project like this it feels overwhelming. It was worse thinking about it than actually doing it......well except for the millions of trips up the stairs carrying all that fabric, it was a workout. I set aside an entire week to work on this, I pretty much got it done along with all the other things that go on in life.

Clear out the new room entirely of everything and move things you are saving to another room, get rid of the stuff you don't want BEFORE you start adding in your machine etc. If you save that for last you won't get rid of it, trust me I know this......Clean the room thoroughly.

The room does not have to be perfect, functional is way better. Mine does not look like a magazine but so far it is "working" very good. I think I will be changing a few things as I go along and also what makes sense to the way I sew. Really think about how you want to use your space. For example if you only make small art type quilts you may not need so many big tables.

Try making things as nice as you can. Storage can be cute and useful, not everything has to be in a plastic bin. I am making use of a lot of antique/vintage things I have collected over the years.

The most important thing is to have a space that you are happy in no  matter what the size. I am so lucky to have these 2 rooms and enjoy every minute I am in there. I think I am even a little more productive, it must be all that sunshine!


Sunday, November 24, 2013

Sad Week

Are you sick of mug rugs yet? I made this one for a workshop I will be teaching at the local quilt shop, The Quilt Block in Exton. I think it is kind of cute.
I needed some cute. We are attending tomorrow, the second funeral within a week. While I know it is a part of life it stills knocked me down, unexpectedly. The viewing we went to today was for a 69 year old woman who died of Alzheimer's. That is too young to die. The most touching part to me was on her holy card, the part where it has their birth and death date, it had her husband's wedding vow to her. You know the first part that includes "in sickness and in health". For some reason it just really got to me. He is an over the top husband and was truly with her through thick and thin to the end. I love that vows still matter in this world.

Here is some detail if you are still reading this.....

This is the book and it has lots of Christmas ideas. It's by Nancy Halvorsen. For those of you who are local you can contact the Quilt Block {610-363-0404}and they can give you more details.


Friday, November 22, 2013

The Dinner

Last night we had our very first book club meeting to discuss our book The Dinner. It was a lively discussion and posed more questions than it answered.

Leslie, Colleen, Carol, Angie and Ellen

We enjoyed the book and I think is was great for a discussion. There were a lot of moral issues that definitely made you think.

Angie, Ellen, Suzanne and Shannon

In my opinion it is worth reading and is a pretty quick read. If you have read it I would love to know what you thought about it.
Our next book is The Elegance of the Hedgehogs by Muriel Barbery. I have no idea what it is about!


Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Busy Sewing

These are so much fun to make.....this one is my favorite so far.

I know a certain granddaughter who will claim this as her own and probably take it home with her...

This one feels kind of chic to me...

Love all that fresh green.

I have really come to like yellow, very sunny and happy.

I am really glad I threw in some gray to keep it from looking too sweet.

This is one of my favorite color combinations.

My least favorite but hey, I am not throwing it out.

So I was going to make these with some turkey fabric leftover from a runner I made last year. In the midst of all my cleaning and purging and organizing I lost the fabric. I am not sure what I did with it, so the boxes of scraps came out and saved the day.

9 down 5 to go.


Monday, November 18, 2013

Another Way To Make a Mug Rug

Now that I am on a mission to make 14 mug rugs before Thanksgiving I need to figure out a way to make them a little faster. The first thought was to not do a stitched down binding. My friend Cheryl did a fused binding, but I wanted to be able to wash mine if needed. I decided to try the pillowcase style finish.

First I dump out a bunch of half made fabric. These are leftovers from other things that I have made that I save.

Leftover triangles...

Leftover blocks....

Leftover of my favorite quilts came from trimmed edges.

This one was already stitched together like this, a good place to start. Make it as easy on yourself as possible. Starch will also tame those crazy wrinkled edges.

Straighten up one edge.

Find some more scraps that work.


Add to that to make it fit.

Keep going in the same manner to your desired size. I over size mine, do the quilting and then cut it to size.

For the no binding method, layer your top on 2 pieces of batting with no backing. The 2 layers give it a little more heft to stand up to a cup, my preference.

Quilt as desired. I like dense quilting, again I think it gives it a little more body.

Trim it to the 6 x 9 {this seems to be a standard size}. It will finish at 5 1/2 x 8 1/2. Cut a backing the same size and layer rights sides together. This one was a little smaller, I was paying more attention to taking pictures and less attention to details!

Stitch all the way around, leaving a large size opening, at least 5". Clips the corners off and turn.

Push out the corners as best you can. There will be bulk and they will not be totally square.

For this one I stitched 1/4" around the edge and did not like it. See the little bobble on the right hand side? Be sure to press well after, even a little starch is good.

The second one I made was much better.

I am not sure of the measurement but it was the inside edge of my walking foot. Probably around 1/8". I will make the rest of them using this envelope style as it is a lot faster and I like how it looks.

I got so many comments on my husband sewing I just thought you should know he vacuums too! We went to a funeral Saturday and then had a party to go to. It was a bit much to switch gears for the party. He went for the vacuum, I went for the chocolate!

What started out as going after some lady bugs ended up doing the whole kitchen. He even got those dust balls that collect around the legs of the chairs. He just can't help himself! I wish I had such ambitions...