Wednesday, December 5, 2018

Well that was embarrasing, my last post was posted about two years ago...... I need to clean up my blog.

I guess I owe you more pics, of something not previously posted.  This was a built in, in the sewing room. 

The counter was particle board, and was warped and expanding.  Someone must have put a drink down somewhere.  The doors had gaps, the paint job was yellowing. It was pretty sad, so it was all taken out, sanded, filled, primed and painted, and finally reinstalled.  New shelves, doors and knobs.

I know, I know, you should never drink and sew.  I'm not condoning it, I just needed a place for my mismatched glasses.....

The countertop was just installed today, I'm really happy with it.

Sewing is next I promise....

I'll be back sewing and posting soon, but I've been busy....

I don't think many sewists give themselves credit for how what we do, the skills we acquire sewing transfer into other areas.  Do not limit yourselves, you know more than you think. 

I made a drastic decision four years ago to move from a city to the country.  Proper country, with a well and septic tank, wildlife (and I'm including the neighbors), and open sky, and stars at night.  I bought a fixer upper, with two homes on it, and I'm just about finished.  So briefly, this is what I've been working on, with a very patient brother. This was the smaller of the two properties.

kitchen, before.... honestly it doesn't look too bad, except for that ant pile around the front door.

Now you would think that I could live with these cabinets, but they were pretty nasty.  The tile was cracked in more than one place, missing in others, and just bleh.  In the end, I couldn't get a dishwasher in the space, without removing the entire bottom cabinet.

I really did try to sand and repaint the top doors, but they had ripped out hardware in the center of the doors, which had left an indentation, and some of the hinges were just barely holding onto material.

All doors were replaced, and bottom cabinets only, then a few coats of paint on everything with new knobs, and appliances, and here we are.

The bottom cabinets are Ikea, the counter top from Lumber Liquidators, and the doors for all of the cabinets are from Sherr, the knobs were from the Habitat store, at $1.00 a piece, the farmhouse sink was rescued from Craigslist and powder coated.

The kitty and I have been living here for almost the last 3 years.  The big house was the epic project.  No pics of that yet, but maybe in 2019.

In the meantime, I need two formal gowns, and have to get up to speed with my sewing.

More to come....

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Transferring pattern to fabric....

What's interesting to me as a sewist, is how we solve the problem of transferring patterns to fabric.  In quilting, we have a number of different techniques.  There are templates that you trace onto your pattern medium of choice, acrylic templates, die cut machines, plastic templates, and some as simple as strip construction, or instructions on how to cut fabric with rulers.  This will be the exploration of all of the types available, and how easy they are to use.


The project I'm working on now, is a brochure, with the templates drawn out on the last page.  It's a mini quilt 26" x 26", in civil war prints.  I loved it when I saw it, the prints are so tiny, and I've always loved miniatures.


You have the option here of making the template including or excluding seam allowances.  I did both.
When it came time to cut, I used the template with the seam allowances included, and used the template without to mark the back of the piece for my stitch lines.


This method I can tell you is very labor intensive, but if you get into a groove, over the course of a few nights while watching tv, you can get all 300+ pieces cut.  This project does not have a deadline, so it's all about the process.


Trying to be organized...


Almost there.....


Finally !!


I'm going to confess, I did not follow the method above for the 9 patch blocks, those puppies were cut into strips, and assembled in one evening, by using the methods explained by Eleanor Burns, I think she has spoiled me for all other methods, but what a sense of accomplishment.

Untitled        Untitled

We shall see how the assembly process goes.  These pieces are so tiny, I'm not sure I can run them through the machine, they may have to be assembled by hand.  I don't even like the thought of it, but it's only 13 stars.

Some of the benefits that I see here are that you go slowly, which allows you to really think about the grain lines and pattern placement.  It's a bit of a zen process, but not very fast.  If you want fast, this may not be the way to go.

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Memory Quilt - the Evolution

This was to be the plan from the start.... it was a good size here...

but once the blocks were joined, it shrunk 3" x 4", so more blocks would have to be added..

The corners were supposed to tie into a story about how she would be navigating her life going forward with the Mariner's compass print.

She selected the back fabric, from these options.

Modern hash

Digital print (my favorite)

Cheerful and feminine 

I like the pac man quality of the corners..

The corners were kept consistent, using the back fabric for the corner blocks.

There were a few things to be added yet, a monogram?  comedy, tragedy masks to represent acting, and what else?

Her initial in double to balance the masks in the opposite corner.

The masks

The heart, because we love her.

The world, before her....

Monday, August 8, 2016

The finale.... the graduate's quilt

It's a bit bigger than planned but I think that's a good thing.  This is just a collection of photos of the process, and the final result.  My fingers are enjoying the switch from needle and thread to the keyboard.  Enjoy...

Pressing the seam allowance

Picking the backing and binding fabric, truly, a better fit does not exist.

Making the sandwich.

Using the walking foot....

and the magnifying glass accessory

 Tying off and sinking the thread....

Checking for pleats... this pattern is fabulous for hiding sins :)

Adding the binding...

Hand stitching the binding, it looks phenomenal, even I am surprised.

The finished quilt
Modern and traditional

Some more personalization for the girl.


Saturday, July 16, 2016

Fabric Soduku

There is a wide variety of color and pattern in this quilt, so the only goal here is to make it look random.


I like it in miniature.


I almost want to change the layout and place the large blocks on one side, and the smaller on the other.


Since it doesn't remotely resemble the first quilt I made using the same pattern. Quite a difference. The one above is urban jungle, and the one below is country sweet.


 This is a good pattern for someone who is a beginning quilter.  The instructions are well written, the only drawback is that it creates a fair bit of waste.


You will trim each block twice, once to create the block, and once to true the block up to the final dimensions,  so make sure those rotary blades are sharp.


Thursday, July 14, 2016

The Graduate's Quilt....



It could have been completed 2 years ago, when she was learning how to drive and we set off to the streets to get lost and laugh.  There would be stops at consignment stores, a favorite dessert place for Gato Gordo (Affogato) and a quilt store.  There she picked out the fabrics she wanted added to the quilt.  Paris' Eiffel tower, city street scene,  picnic cloth with ants (to remind her of her "aunt"), safari print, Singer sewing machines, and the sushi scene, with a side of french fries (to remind her of meeting with friends). 


 Two years is such a long time in the life of a teenager, it's difficult to believe she's off to college.  I just hope that the themes will remind her of everyone who loves her, and the happy times that launch her towards her new future.  I need good thoughts from everyone as I forge ahead with my makeshift quilt wall to finish before she starts in the fall.