Saturday, October 25, 2014

My Tool Time


another quilt from the Mon Valley Quilt Club-crazy isn't it? (((smile)))
What would a quilter be without her tools? In prior generations a sharp pair of scissors, a number two lead pencil and a piece of cardboard to cut a template provided the quilter with everything she needed after gathering her fabric, needles and thread. Things are a little different now.

I am a fan of tools, particularly sewing tools. Let me introduce you to a new best friend. I have been sewing in the evenings lately and admittedly a little tired. That translates to a crooked seam now and then. In March I picked up this little razor at my local sewing machine dealer's shop but haven't gotten around to using it much. My usual seam ripper was at hand and I was totally comfortable using it. However, once you get the hand of this little puppy the ripping goes lickety-split! Just be aware, it can also chew up fabric with the slip of a hand. Yikes!

see that little chewed up piece? Chomp, chomp. I thought I had a photo of the business end of this little tool, it is essentially a trimming razor. I'll snap one when I get a chance.
I  should be embarrassed with the obvious clutter in this photo. Strangely, I am not.

The Ott light has been around for some time now. I have had this one for several years. Originally purchased for Mr. Sewtopia to use while working on his stamp collection it was laying idle in his office. Rats said I and took it back. That was at least two years ago and he has yet to notice. Enough said. While I use it for its intended purpose of clarifying colors in my fabric choices I have begun to use it for general purpose lighting when doing intricate work. Even though my machine has "stadium" lighting the general lighting in my Studio shows shadows here and there. As a result one chops into the fabric in the seam with the little razor do-hicky rather than the thread to be removed. Again, back to the original reason for this tool time post.

And last but not least, meet my new little pin box. A nice long pin with a head that is color coded and labeled as  L for left, R for right, U for up and D for down. I used them recently when laying out the Batik blocks. I pinned them to a background fabric and used the pins to remind me how to sew the blocks to properly nest the seams and keep the colors arranged as planned. These are a Fons and Porter product, available on their website and at Joann's with a 50% coupon. Don't get much better than that cuties! 

  • I have always had a passion for the tools of this trade. 
  • I have a few other newer tools to share soon. 
  • Organizing the tools tends to be a little problematic at times. 
  • Tomorrow afternoon, hopefully, if the stars align, I will get some bonding time with my studio. I am in severe withdrawal. 
  • I have been working on the EPP diamonds. Talk about that in an upcoming post.
A little quote......

Incidentally, in Seattle they say you haven't had enough coffee unless you can thread a sewing machine while it's running! -- Jeff Bezos

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Strength in the Face of Terror

Thoughts and Prayers to those injured and affected by the terror attacks in Ottawa today.  To all my dear friends to the North may you be strong.

Some Show Quilts

Stars and Pineapples, in the background the pine tress on a snow covered hill. From traditional to modified abstracts this quilt show had everything. I think this is the last of these photo's. I take so many pictures at times that I find them tucked in between other subjects. My little point and shoot gets a workout, I tell you!

Heart of my heart, who knew there were so many interpretations of the simple heart?

This collage of stars was much more beautiful in person. The colors so appropriate for the Fall season. 

  • I am 'beavering' away on my projects when time permits, there is not much time the last three weeks. Don't see any great windows of time opening up any time soon.
  • I am hoping to get outside with my camera today. My leaves have fallen in bursts, right now it looks like a leafy wonderland, on the ground, need to be moved, need to hire that job out.
  • Lucy is doing better, thank God. I was so worried about her. She still looks for Auggie but seems to be settling in. I have the urge to head to the shelter to find a companion for her but I just can't do it yet. 
  • A new Williams Sonoma catalog arrived yesterday, there are fall themed dishes that have been calling me for months now. Hold me down, I have no more room for more dishes, And yet, I could stack them in a bathroom.......................see what I mean?
Botanical Pumpkin Dinner Plates, Set of 4 Botanical Pumpkin Dinner Plates, Set of 4

Monday, October 20, 2014

Happy Monday Quilt Campers!

This is the 2015 Three Rivers Quilters Raffle Quilt, I plan on winning this just so you know. 

We are talking color here, rich, saturated, solid color. Visit Sew Fresh Quilts here.
Made by Kelly of My Quilt Infatuation, visit her blog here.

This morning the Fall sunshine is struggling a bit to break through the clouds. While our leaves are full of glorious color my thoughts advance to the bleak skies of Winter. What better way to lift the chill of Winter by planning your Spring and Summer sewing projects?  Purely by accident I came upon these three examples that could be potential candidates. Please link back to the blogs for more eye candy. The one above by Kelly may be offered as a pattern.

I know, I know, who is planning for Spring now? Well, I am. It takes me a long time to decide on a design, choose the fabric and sew it all up. I want to be more focused this next year and buy the fabric I plan to use, not just fabric I like and not just to accumulate more stash. The best way for me to do this is to have my sketches and outlines when I am out. Once I am in the shops I admit that I get a sort of fever and want everything I see! So I have decided to try to be a little more focused...and not so excited. Stay tuned for news updates on that score! It will certainly be a new track for me. Mr. Sewtopia frequently remarks that he knew it would be like this even before we married. Wise man, he just accepts the inevitable.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Bloom Where You Are

We have had an odd Summer/Non-Summer in Western Pa. Now this little beauty decides to bloom. I brought it in the house from the front porch two weeks ago. Expecting to cut it back and relegate it to a basement window that gets good southern light during the summer, I got busy. I watered it and when I came home from the hospital one day there were blooms! Glorious coral blooms. It just goes to prove that just when you think you have entered a state of dormancy the right light, the right inspiration and a little water changes the dynamic that feeds the soul.  

*wait till you see my Foxglove. All summer nothing, then about 2 weeks ago a stem or two pops through the mulch then a tall spire with purple flowers, now four more spires are forming. Then another plant is now bearing leaves. Hopefully, the weather will hold so that they can fully bloom. Like I said, a Non-Summer! 

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Oodles of Noodles

Always looking for a way to re-purpose the mundane I came upon these when unpacking a box. Some time ago I had read where some inventive sewists buy pool noodles to store their fabric. They simply wrap the fabric around the noodle and stack the noodles. Great idea, no wrinkles.

So here they are, they are much smaller than pool noodles, approximately 2 inches in diameter and about 10-12 inches long. You know I could not toss these!

My wide Ric-rac was lounging around in a pile on my desk, now it is neatly wrapped around the noodle and secured with a pin. I will be wrapping noodles all day now. They will store nicely in a basket or plastic tub from IKEA or even just stacked like cord wood on a shelf. (Like I have a free shelf.)

I am planning my first Spring quilt as well. These little posies will be part of that. Ah, the Go cutter, what did I ever do without you?

*just remember that YOU pay for all that packing material in the post and in boxes. Some of it is good enough to find another purpose, some is not. Just put on your thinking cap and see what you can invent!