Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Granny Squares and Gardening

I finished my granny squares last week but am now just getting to posting about it.  Here they are, but un-cut.  I still need to cut them into squares before measuring for the sashing.

Sometimes it feels like an eternity, the start to finish of a quilt.  When I am almost done with one quilt, I always have another one I want to make.  I would absolutely love to participate with the APQ Quilt-a-long and am having such a hard time resisting! And with all the gorgeous spring fabric lines coming out, it's hard to hold back.  As much as I would love to start yet another quilt project, springtime is looming, gardening season is here, and seed starting has already begun.  I need to play in my garden like I need to sew.  Yes, it's a need.  I will find a balance between the two.

You started your onions, leeks, and celery, too, right?  And basil to grow in little pots in the window? My basil popped up yesterday, and let me tell you something, I squealed with delight at the sight of the first seedlings of the year.

I will, finally, be posting more about gardening in the days and weeks to come.  Each weekend will see a mass of seed-starting and more and more of my time will be spent outdoors and in the greenhouse.

I'll start another quilt anyway!

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Pretty Little Tote Bag

As promised, here is my latest creation from my sewing room mischief.

I wanted to make a small bag to carry to my Tuesday night class, something with pockets.  When I head out to class, I seem to scramble to collect my books, so I wanted a dedicated place I could simply store those books when not in use.  Oh, and it had to be cute.  I like cute.

I loosely used the instructions in Helen Phillip's book Pretty Patchwork Gifts. I did alter things a bit, but it is a simple and forgiving design, making customization a breeze. I incorporated more interfacing throughout to give the bag more body and hopefully a bit of longevity, as well as changing the base of the bag, squaring it up to give it more structure. 

I utilized leftover strips from the design roll I used for the granny squares quilt, adding decorative stitching in red thread.  I love the way it turned out!

After strip piecing the body of the bag, there is plenty left over to make an inside pocket. I stitched an off-center line to separate the pocket, a nice tight spot for the mobile phone. 

Off to my class I go tonight, cute bag by my side.

Have a beautiful day!

Monday, February 16, 2015

Sewing Room Mischief

While the ridiculously warm weather has me outside most days, busy with pre-season gardening chores, I still vow to spend at least an hour a day in my sewing room.  It's incredibly easy to tell myself there are other things to do and that sewing can wait, but I've come to realize that I need this time for me.  Even if all I do is a bit of tidying up, it's still blissful for me to be somewhere and doing something for myself.

BUT . . . this so-called tidying can lead to some serious mischief!  

I start looking at books and discover projects I absolutely need to make.  I'll be sharing these projects as I sew them up.  

I've also started to clean up the shelving in the sewing room.  My stash is starting to grow and I needed a better system besides the higgledy-piggledy fold-and-shelve method. 

The "old" method is on the left, the new is in the center.  I do love the look of the little "bolts" of fabric.  I'm using the comic book cardboard method, which is a fancy term for winding fabric around specially cut cardboard.  I'm trying to decide if I want all fabric together or if I should keep quilting cottons in one section and fashion fabrics in another.  Decisions, decisions . . . 

The phrase "keeping it real" comes to mind!  While folding fabric I discovered this green dress, which I have no memory of ever starting.  It's not like me to fold up a project and put it on the shelf, and so near completion.  The neckline is hideous, so maybe that's why I never finished it?  It needs waistline definition (aka elastic) and some hem work, too.  I have no clue if I made it up (which is likely) or if I used a pattern (also likely).  This should be a challenge!  And see that banana box on the floor?  It's full of vintage patterns!  How on earth do I organize all of those?  

I've also got this going on in the hallway, which is just outside the sewing room door.  This is my crafting desk.  My dad bought this old Bernina 801 at an estate sale and I've been cleaning it up and giving it a test drive.  The machine is fantastic, but the foot pedal is beyond repair.  

My craft desk has gotten some attention, too.  I'm in the process of organizing the peg board and I'll share that as soon as it's done. 

Much ado, much to do!  Have a gorgeous day!

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Portable Ironing Board

Well, I finally jumped on the proverbial bandwagon and made up a little ironing board from an old TV tray. Here it is, modeling with my severely abused Rowenta:

We have six of these silly trays laying about the house, all but two of them are unused.  So, I picked the least wobbly of the bunch and got to work.

Our weather has been unseasonably warm so I've was able to go outside with the spray paint and spiff up the legs. I chose a cute fat quarter from my stash, layered it with some heat-resistant batting, and simply stapled it to the underside.

And, in case anyone is harboring any doubt that my dog follows me everywhere . . .

I have this little beauty placed next to my sewing table.  I have a swivel chair on wheels (fun for so many reasons), so I can spin to the iron then spin back to the machine.

This has been a such a great addition to my space, especially with all those granny square seams to press open. Sew much fun!

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Granny Squares on the Design Wall

Here is the state of my design board as of Sunday, I've since sewn up two more blocks for my Granny Square quilt.  The other blocks off to the right are a few I've tried out.  The Dresden actually just moves around here and there, it just makes me happy to see it. 

The apple block is another story all together, a future quilt. Isn't there always a future quilt in the works? 

It is difficult to take a decent photo of my design wall.  While my sewing room is extremely well lit, bright and happy, there is an overhang portion of the ceiling which runs the length of the room (it's in a basement, so think heating ducts).

Here is a photo so you can see what I mean:

The overhang casts a shadow over half my design board, which honestly doesn't bother me.  It's barely noticeable until I try to photograph it.  Also, I have to stand right in front of the window to take the picture, which doesn't help.  More often than not, there are chickens looking down through the window from the patio above.  It's kinda funny.  

A shadow on the design wall - small beans though, right?  I'm completely spoiled to have this glorious space to call my own.  No shadows on my soul! 

Anyway . . . I should be done with the Granny Squares tomorrow and ready for the sashing, which I have yet to decide on. Woot!