Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Retreat Preparation Project

A couple retreats ago I decided that I needed an iron cozy for my iron. Something I could put a warm iron in and not worry about scorching it or setting it on fire. The night before the retreat I whipped together this sad looking item.

It's just a rectangle of pre-quilted ironing board cover I had left over from something. I took a rectangle that was a little wider than the height of the iron when it is sitting on it soleplate and twice as long as it is tall when sitting upright. Then I folded it in half and sewed one long seam and the short seam. I then slapped my iron inside and called it good. I intended to make a nicer version when I got back from the retreat. That didn't happen until this past weekend.

Essentially I just made an outer cover for the cozy I had been using and added some ties. It's not perfect. It would have been much easier to start over from scratch, but I couldn't find any more of the pre-quilted ironing board cover fabric. I'm pretty sure I have more, I just couldn't find it. This will do for now and looks much better than it did.

Previously, I never took my iron cozy out of my bag. I didn't want anyone to see it because it was so ugly - functional, but ugly. Now I can take it out of my bag.

Friday, October 17, 2014

A Quick Project

Yesterday morning I made a few Halloween napkins for some friends.

They are a family of 5 so I found five Halloween fabrics in my stash and made a set of eight napkins for them. The five fabrics I used are shown below.

I did it this way so that each family member could easily identify which napkin is theirs. I only had enough fabric to make one napkin out of the two fabrics on the right in the photo above. I like to make sets of six or eight napkins so I made two from each of the three fabrics on the left.

I plan to make napkins for my family using the fabric on the far left in the photo above. I have them cut out but that is as far as I could get yesterday. I'm still working a lot at my LQS during the closing sale. The end is in sight though. My last day will be next Thursday although the store will remain open for another week, through the end of October.

Monday, October 13, 2014

Art Group Homework - Photo Extension

I have struggled with this assignment for a while. Last week I just got frustrated with it and started over. I pulled out a few fabrics, pinned them to my design wall with the photo and went to do something else.

When I came back I realized that I had been trying too hard. After weeks of arranging and rearranging fabrics for this I finished it in an hour. Sheesh!

I only used three fabrics plus the photograph printed onto photo fabric. You should have seen the large pile of fabrics I had pulled for this! I wish I took a photo but didn't think about it until after I had already put all the fabrics away.

For the first time in a couple of months I will have something to show tomorrow when we meet!

Friday, October 10, 2014

Unexpected Sewing Time

Yesterday morning I had a meeting. Usually we have lunch after and I don't get home until about 2pm. However, yesterday was not a normal meeting. Only the officers were having lunch because they needed to meet in the afternoon too. I'm not currently an officer so I took my little self home and quilted up one of the quilts I basted on Tuesday.

Nothing fancy quilting. Just trying to get it done.

I hope I wasn't rude as I left the meeting yesterday! I was so surprised to be done earlier than expected that I think I may have bolted out the door. It sure was nice to work all afternoon in my "happy room."

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Sewing Circle Tote

I made myself a new bag.

It is called the Sewing Circle Tote. The pattern is by Elizabeth Hartman and can be purchased by following the link in the previous sentence, just click on the pattern name to go to Elizabeth's online store.

This is a sturdy, roomy bag. It has four exterior pockets.

It has three zippered pockets inside plus five gathered pockets.

The finished bag is large, about 13" tall by 19.5" wide by 9" deep. I made it for carrying supplies to retreats and classes.

My next guild retreat is coming up toward the end of this month. I made it in anticipation that it will hold everything I need for all of the projects I plan to work on. I'm doing something different this time - not taking a machine. I will only be working on hand sewing projects which means I don't need to take as much stuff. I did a test, as pictured above. Yay! I believe this one bag will hold everything I need to take for all of the hand projects I plan to work on.

Brief pattern review: The pattern is very well written and quite thorough. At no point did I have to try to figure out what to do next. The pattern is so clear with tons of pictures. It is really more like a tutorial (in that there are very clear photographs of each step) than a regular pattern. There are also no templates. Everything is cut with a ruler and rotary cutter.

I purchased the pattern as a PDF and put it on my iPad. I like to use my iPad for patterns for two reasons: (1) I'm less likely to lose my iPad and thus will not lose the pattern; and (2) I can enlarge the print and photos as necessary to really see what I need to do for each step.

This is not a fast bag to make. It took me two full days last weekend to make it. My husband was impressed with the finished bag but did comment, "Now I know why I didn't see much of you this weekend." A couple parts of this were a bit tricky. The bag is big so once you start putting the parts together it gets more difficult to wrangle it through the sewing machine. You just have to understand that and go slowly. There are also a lot of layers to sew through in places. The pattern does suggest that you use a 90/14 needle and I recommend it as well. I also used a walking foot for most of the bag construction.

I did leave out one element that the pattern calls for. The pattern calls for short handles in addition to the long handles. I decided that I would not use the short handles enough to warrant adding them. Other than that, I followed the pattern exactly. I highly recommend this pattern if you need to make a large, sturdy bag!

Disclaimer: I purchased this pattern with my own money. I was not asked to write a review nor am I being compensated for doing so. I simply like the pattern and wanted to share that with my readers.

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Backs and Basting

Yesterday morning I made backs for three tops that I have waiting to be quilted.



I was able to baste two of them yesterday in between doing other stuff. The third one will have to wait for another day to be basted which is why there is no picture of it. There is no hurry since I don't know when I will have time to quilt either of the two that are basted. I'm hoping for some time this weekend to get at least one done, but no promises.

Sewing time is slim around here right now and will remain so for at least a few more weeks. As I told you previously, my LQS, where I work part-time, is closing. Until it closes we are all working more days/hours than we normally do. Usually I work at most two week days and one Saturday per month. This week I'm working three days, next week I'm on the schedule for four days and the week after that I'm working three days but only because I will be leaving for the weekend to attend my guild's Fall Retreat. I haven't looked any further than that. This has been the norm for the past month which is why I haven't been posting very much.

I do get a little bit of time to sew when I am home but mostly I have been doing hand applique which takes a long time. I hate to keep showing you the same block day after day. All I could say is, "Oh look, I sewed another star down." I've also been working on my Sue Spargo 2014 BOM, but I'm not allowed to show photos of that on my blog yet.

This won't last forever. The owner is also ready to be done. I doubt we will be open for very much of November, if at all. Then I hope to have more time to sew and more time to blog!!!

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Christmas Quilt - Block 9

The angel block is done, for now.

Most of these blocks need some embellishments - embroidery, beads, or buttons, mainly. I am waiting to add these elements until I have finished the applique and piecing of all the blocks. Three more blocks to go before I start embellishing! The next one is a nutcracker.