Monday, August 25, 2014

Kaffe Fassett Nine Patch Beginnings + Charley Harper Fabric

Heart quilt pieced; not ready to quilt. So, I started a nine patch with some Kaffe Fassett fabrics that have been waiting for me to use them. My first block may be slightly insane, but I think I am going to like it once I can mix and match blocks. I've added in some other fabrics for variety - don't think Kaffe would like that, but I just couldn't resist. The white is just my design wall (the back of a cheap plastic tablecloth tacked to the wall.

I love, love, love my Charley Harper fabrics (Birch Fabrics Organic) from Fabricworm. I had a fabric meltdown and bought way too much of it. However, I've been looking at the fabrics for a year and finally decided to buy some before I can't find this line anymore. I may use this to make the Indian Blanket quilt from the ::Angled:: camp. There is also a wall hanging in the latest Modern Patchwork magazine (Summer 2014) that would look good with these fabrics. Hmmmm.

Heart Quilt Photo

So here is the front of the heart quilt finally pieced. I have to say that it was sort of a pain to make the seams match, but at least after all of this I am getting better at it. The last three long rows I had to glue AND pin. The blue squares are from a chain-pieced jelly roll. I was going to just make a random square quilt of the blues in 10-inch squares, but my husband said it was "not the best quilt you have ever made," so I changed to the heart, which I like much better. This is a gift for friends who recently got married. I'm late with my gift - per norm if it is a quilt.

I pieced it in squares and then sewed the squares together. The final seams were the long vertical ones - with pinning and glue basting. Took me awhile to match seams.

Here is Jaspyrr who watched the entire photo shoot with absolute distain! Love my Jaspyrr. Yes, we know the deck needs to be stained again. It is just too hot to do it right now.

Sunday, August 24, 2014

The Heart wants what the Heart wants!

Well, piecing off and on all day. Ripping out seams, re-gluing seams, having a good sewing day. The front of my Heart quilt is finally done. I will post a photo tomorrow when day comes again.

Now, the question becomes do I have enough time to quilt it before the ::Angled:: Camp begins. Answer: No! All of my sewing has to be finished by Wednesday evening. I am hoping (fingers crossed) to get the back done before then.

My husband and I are headed to Arkansas to consult with my dad on final choices on the house that is being rebuilt. If you go back far enough on the blog, you will see that we had a major tragedy in February and rebuilding the house in Arkansas for my dad has consumed a lot of my time and energy. I have even started meditating, which I really enjoy, to help with the stress of it all. The stress is now more bearable.

It also really helps that the house is coming along, so now decisions about color, bathroom fixtures, curtains, granite all come pouring in. I am overwhelmed by choice. Just looking at bathroom mirrors today threw me into a tizzy. It doesn't help that we are 7 hours away. My dad, who is 82, cannot make all the decisions alone.

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Quilting Road Trip!

I'm off, I'm off, I'm off on a quilting road trip that include Spool - the home of the Bad Ass Quilters Society! I've been wanting to go there for ages! My fabric budget is limited right now, but no doubt I will end up with some fabric from Spool.

If we feel up to it, my friend and I will continue on to Ikea in Atlanta (another 2 1/2 hours away). If we do that, we will be on the road for about 11 hours and I am not quite sure we are up for that. I don't mind driving, but at some point, you have to say enough is enough. Spool and a look around Chattanooga may suffice for this trip. It is only 2 hours away.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014


Well, these mug rugs count as finishes even though they are really small. This is the final installment of prizes for my summer class, so now back to my heart quilt. At least I have cut out the remaining 20 gray squares, so I plan to finish piecing it this week.

I used the mug rugs to practice blocks I had never made before and they aren't bad. I must be getting better. I still follow the ten paces rule though - if you don't see the mistake at ten paces, carry on without a seam ripper. I also got slightly more creative with my quilting, at least on the two teal rugs. Before all I would do is quilt straight lines that were quite far apart. Quilting has been difficult on larger quilts with my small harp space, but I have a Juki now, so I am hoping that quilting will soon be the icing on the cupcake instead of the burned bits on the bottom of the pan.

I am still having trouble cutting text fabrics so they don't look wonky. I swear the one I tried to be straight on, even cutting part off, looks worse than the one I just cut. Hmmm...maybe there is a trick I don't know yet.

Ah well, now to see if I can manage to stitch a few gray squares together before bedtime.

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Coffee Cup Sleeves

I wanted to make some prizes for my students for a Jeopardy game we were playing to practice culture and vocabulary, so after some searching on Pinterest and YouTube, I decided to make coffee cup sleeves. As law students within walking distance of a Starbucks, there will be lots and lots of caffeine in the year to come, so the sleeves seemed appropriate.

I still have trouble with written patterns - don't understand them at all and end up doing something slightly different every time, so this YouTube tutorial worked for me. Next time I want to try to make the sleeves using elastic and buttons, but velcro works really well also.

After a trial run during which I managed to sew text fabric upside down and discovered that I am useless with a rotary cutter when my template is also "cuttable," I finally managed to figure the sleeves out. Don't laugh...I am learning. So, I stuck to scissors and drew one pattern on the right side and the other and the wrong side of the fabric I had chosen. Worked well for me...I clearly need to practice my rotary cutting skills. Cutting the fabric took longer than sewing the coffee sleeves.

I think the sleeves are cute though and perfect for caffeine-addicted law students.

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Sewing Room/Office

Well, I haven't blogged in a very, very long time. Today, however, I have finally gotten my sewing room/office almost back in order, so I decided I would post some photos of my slightly moved around room.

I started off by moving EVERYTHING, but even though there was more open space in the small room so it looked bigger, it just wasn't convenient. So, this morning I moved it back to the original configuration, minus the Ikea Cube shelving and big leather office chair. I moved all my batting (I can't resist buying it when it is on sale) to the closet, the fabric to the bookshelf - wish it were closed (if wishes were horses)-- and ironing board to a permanent location in front of the closet door. I figured it would be easy to move if I need something from the closet. Having the ironing board set up makes ironing a lot easier.

My design wall is still plastic tablecloths tacked wrong side out on the walls, but the fabric stays and they are easy to put up and down.

On a non-organizational note, I want to eventually repaint the walls. When I originally painted them, I thought I was getting sage green. It was mint! So, I "ragged" it with a "sagier" color, but that didn't work either. By then, I was wiped out and 8 years later, I still have ragged minty walls. I am thinking pale lavender or a true sage green. Of course, I don't plan on doing that any time soon. Have quilts to make!

Here is the "new-old" sewing room. (And yes, I have still not finished the heart quilt. I am working on mug rugs as prizes for a contest for my class.)

The sewing place with a small ironing table beside the sewing machine. FYI, I now have a Juki for quilting. I was having no fun forcing big quilts through my Bernina 350. Love the Bernina still, but could not afford a Bernina with a bigger throat.

The ironing board's permanent location. When I repaint the room, I will finish repainting the door. :-)

My messy bookcase with fabric and Juki. Finished quilts/project are stored on top of the bookcase covered by old sarongs. Eventually, I will make a quilt out of the sarongs I collected during my travels. One shelf remains for academic books. However, most of those books are now in the guest bedroom/junk room. We are slowly eliminating/giving away/donating items we don't use anymore. I am trying to do a "bag" a week.