Monday, November 30, 2015

Gift Sewing and AQC Update

I made a few gifts over the holiday. The first is this set of clothesline bowls.

The bases are 5" in diameter and they are about 2" tall.

I may fill them with something like cookies or candy if time allows, or not.

In new store news, the office/kitchen is framed and the classroom design wall is in place.

The line of two by fours on the floor represents the edge of the classroom (toward the windows). There will be low shelving along this line dividing the store and classroom.

The part of the wall that is just framed out will have slat board on it for displaying notions or patterns or something.

Friday, November 27, 2015

Judy's Quilt

One of our guild members is going through chemo, again. This is the second time in as many years. It is hard but she has such a great attitude. When she was diagnosed with cancer again she made a goal to complete (just the tops) 100 quilts for our oncology project before the end of this year. She brings the completed tops to our guild meetings and asks for someone else to quilt them and bring them back to her for binding and a tote bag.

Above is the one I brought home this month to quilt for her. I believe she said it was from one of the "Nickel Quilts" books. Judy has lots of Civil War fabrics and she is using those up in these quilts. I'm not sure where she is on her goal, but she has finished a lot of quilts since the beginning of her project.

I haven't posted a Spooky photo in a while. Here she is settling down for a nap in her tote earlier this week.

The radiator is right underneath the window which makes this a cozy spot.

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Needle Books and a Pin Cushion :: Finishes

I finished the dozen needle books I was asked to make as well as the pin cushion I was working on.

Here are the needle books standing on end.

I wish I could have lined them up straighter, but it was hard enough to get them to stand up like this at all!

The needle books will be off to their home next week. The pin cushion is for me.

Tomorrow is Thanksgiving here in the U.S. 

Happy Thanksgiving!

Monday, November 23, 2015

Intrepid Thread Challenge and a Store Update

A little while ago I signed up for The Intrepid Thread Challenge (#intrepidthreadchallenge on Instagram). The deal was that the first so many folks to sign up would receive a mini charm pack of Modern Backgrounds - Paper plus a fat eighth and a fat quarter of two other prints. Below is what I received.

We were to make anything we wanted using the above and post it to Instagram, tagged appropriately, before the deadline, which I think is December 31st. I decided that with my new venture I needed to have this done by Thanksgiving. I've already posted my finish to Instagram (I'm Alamosa Quilter there too if you'd like to follow me), but thought I should share it here too.

I made a notebook cover using my tutorial.

The Front

The Back
Inside Front Cover
I really like making these notebook covers. In this digital age I do a lot of things on a computer or tablet but there is something about the physical act of writing something down. I seem to remember things better if I write it down as opposed to typing it up.

I have a reminder app that works on my laptop and iPad. I have found it helpful to have a reminder pop up on my devices for certain things, but I also make old-fashioned, hand-written lists. I'm trying out a technique where you put three things on your to-do list for the day. My daily to-do list is hand-written. My plan for this notebook is to make it my daily to-do list book.

Store Update:

The floor is now all one color.

Click here to see what it looked like before.

I also have the start of a website. The address is I finally got it completed enough to be published, but there is still work to do on it. At this time I do not plan to have an online store. The website is mainly for information about store happenings - classes and sales and such.

Friday, November 20, 2015

Hand Work

It seems that most of my sewing time is in the evening in front of the TV at the moment. This is what I have been working on.

The top one will become a pin cushion once I get a chance to sit down at my machine. The rest are needle books. I was asked to make a dozen for a friend. I have two more that need the embroidery and the rest are cut out, plus a few extra I will keep in my handmade gift stash. Once I get the hand work done it only takes a few minutes per book to finish them by machine.

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Story Fabric Line Quilt Top

The top is completed and the pattern will soon be ready.

I was tasked with designing something to use the large print in the center. It is not a true panel in the traditional sense, but functions as one.

The finished quilt size will be 48" by 66", a good lap size quilt. You could easily add an additional border using one of the prints in the line to make it a twin size.

Monday, November 16, 2015

Alamosa Quilt Company Update

We now have a check-out counter.

My friend Peg is modeling. We even have a service dinger! 

We also got some of the shelving from the old store. It was quite an "adventure" to get them out of the old store and into the new space, but they are in. They will need a little TLC before they are ready for fabric.

Top of the list for next week is to get rid of the orange flooring. 

To see previous photos of the space click here.

Friday, November 13, 2015

Progress on a Few Projects

I've made some progress on my Story Quilt. This is the basic idea.

I've got most of the block pieces cut out and a few sewn together. It won't be a large quilt but will be a nice lap size. I'm trying to take careful notes as I cut so I can write the pattern and know exactly how much fabric I used of each print.

I'm also working on some more needle books. I've got the covers for two of them appliqued. 

I plan to add a little embroidery before finishing them up. These are a special order for a friend.

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Monday, November 9, 2015

I've Been Keeping Something From You

... but it is time for the "big reveal." I'm opening a quilt store in my home town. Our only fabric store closed in October 2014. You may remember since I worked there and posted some about it.

On Saturday I took some before photos of the space I have rented.

View from the future classroom area toward the front door

View from the front door looking right

View from the front door looking left

View from the far back corner toward the front door
The boy was helping me and had already started removing the wood trim surrounding the black floor mats. The mats were removed yesterday. They are heavy! And left little bits of black all over the place. 

This space was previously a fitness center. Before that it was used by a local church. Before that I don't really know what was here but now it will be a fabric store. There is a lot of work to do before I can open. If you want to keep up with store updates then look up "Alamosa Quilt Company" on Facebook. I'm trying to keep it simple and just post store updates in one place for now. I am working on a website but it isn't ready for public viewing yet. I haven't decided if I will do a blog for the store or not. I went ahead and claimed a blogger address for the store, but haven't posted anything yet.

My plan is the keep this blog for personal sewing although I don't know how much personal sewing I'll be doing once the store becomes a full-time job for me. For now, I still have lots of things to share here although my posting frequency may slow.

Friday, November 6, 2015

Ornaments and Designing

First, I'm finishing up my 2015 ornaments. So far I only have two completely finished, but the rest only need the embroidery part appliqued to the front. The base is made from maroon cotton velveteen. These started life as my living/dining room curtains. I got new curtains a few years ago but kept the old curtains because "surely I can use these for something else." I'm so glad I saved them.

I used my sewing machine to embroider my initials and the year on the backs.

Second, I'm trying to figure out how to use this adorable panel and write a pattern for whatever I come up with.

Actually, there are two panels shown in the photo above. I got two in case I need to start over or in case I want to make one for myself. Whatever I make will eventually end up at Kathy's Fabric Trunk as a sample and possibly a kit to support the fabric.

I have this whole stack of companion prints to play with.

This is the new Story line by Carrie Bloomston. I have a few ideas. I need to pick one and go for it!

Lastly, where is the best place to nap on a chilly morning?

Answer: On top of the radiator cover.

There are softer surfaces to lay on in this house but I bet this is the warmest.

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Two Cute Things

I didn't make either of these things but thought you might enjoy seeing them.

First thing: 

Last week I was given a fun pin.

All the ladies at Kathy's Fabric Trunk were wearing them and this one went so perfectly with my outfit that day. It was made by Char, one of the ladies who works at Kathy's. She does beautiful beadwork and jewelry. I wore it on Halloween too.

Second thing:

Even though I didn't get to attend my recent guild retreat, I still got a goodie. How cute is this?

The yo-yo on top is attached with a magnet so it can easily come off.

The jar is a spice jar. The maker left the hole part on the inside so that you could use this as a sewing tool. 

The idea is that you can put a couple spools of thread inside and feed an end of the thread through a hole. I suppose you could put five bobbins inside and feed one thread per hole. I haven't done anything with it yet except photograph it and give my son the candy. I'm using the yo-yo as a magnet on my magnet board in my sewing room.

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

More Hand-dyed Clothesline Projects

In exchange for making her a tote, my friend Vicki dyed 200 ft of clothesline for me. Click here to see Vicki's tote.

Below are the two items I made.

I cut the package into two 100 ft lengths to make a small tote and a large bowl.

I love the bits of purple sprinkled through out. Thanks Vicki!

Monday, November 2, 2015

Charming Tote Bag

I am in gift mode at the moment. Over the weekend I completed this tote bag for a niece who likes bright, rainbow colors.

I used the Charming Hand Bag tutorial but did not cut my charm squares down to 4.5". This meant I had to adjust the measurements a bit. I boxed the corners at 2.5" down from the corners and used half of the width of fabric for the handle lengths. My two bag halves were 18.5" square which I think is a better tote bag size. I didn't put a magnetic closure in the top, but I did put a pocket inside.

My next gift project is to finish up my ornaments for this year. I hope to have some of them done this week so I can get them in the mail soon. One of my nieces has a birthday in about two weeks. I like to send Christmas gifts and ornaments with her birthday gift so I don't have to send two boxes to her family before the end of the year.