Saturday, October 14, 2017

Fabric Collecting and Classes

Good Morning Sewists. It has been a busy week in Sewtopia. I spent a little time unpacking the fabrics gathered during the Gettysburg trip and like them even more. I am gathering blues and neutrals right now. Not just because the "stash" is lacking in those colors but I am considering a string-type quilt in those colors. For me. 
I traveled to a couple shops and was pleasantly surprised to see a few fabric selections that were new to me. Though not my original intent, florals and paisleys caught my eye. I know, the plan was tiny print Civil War reproductions...what can I say?
This little bundle is more along that line. Darker background colors, tiny overall prints. They will blend well.

Some of these fabrics have a bit of a gray tint as well. Not much, just a bit. 
Last but not least is this cute little theme fabric. Not for a quilt but for a smock-like apron to use in the Studio. My aprons are getting pretty ratty again and need to be replaced. This is going to be the first one. 
  • The last two weeks have been doosies! Busy, traveling, classes, and more. I have a plan to redo some storage issues in the Studio. Friends were showing me photo's of their work spaces. I have lots of work to do. My space is much smaller so I need to be really creative. Thanks Cheryl and Ruth Ann for giving me the push I need to address this long nagging issue. (like I need more to do)
  • I have just completed a Baby Lock sponsored event with Missy Billingsly. Missy is known industry wide as a "sparkly" girl. That she is. Her focus for this event was bag making. I am not a bag maker so this afforded me a structured opportunity to explore the process. Day one focused on a small bag, zippered, made entirely "in-the-hoop" of the Baby Lock Destiny II sewing/embroidery machine. It was much like the projects presented by the Anita Good Design group. We were a bit crowded at the machine and the ladies who wanted to try out the machine were given the opportunity to do that. I can finish mine at home. The second day our little bag was made on the new Baby Lock Triumph serger. That one seemed more like my style of work. Using the cover stitch function and the wave stitch embellishment made a cute little bag. I will show it on a later post. 
  • The Triumph is rather an Ovation with a boost. The primary change is the needle threading upgrade. It is accomplished with air, like the loopers. It was interesting but I have no problem threading my needles so a new machine,  for that single function is not reasonable. Now If I could set the cones in front of the machine and it would do it all, THEN we would have a winner!
  • Moving the presser foot lift from the throat area to the right side made little difference to me. 
But this is a great machine. The Baby Lock Sergers are the best in the industry as far as I am concerned. I have had 4 other brands, this one is my favorite. If you request specifics based on my use and opinion please let me know. 

  •  A blurry photo of a little wool place mat. I am not sure what happened except I moved my phone when I snapped the picture. I hope you get the idea. The backing is a piece of quilting fabric. Two pieces, sewn in a circle, right side together, turned right side out and pressed. The little wool ring has been blanket stitched to that after the embroidery and little stars were appliqued on to it. Cute.  About 10 inches in diameter.
  • until next time.......................     

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Bits and Pieces = Quilt!!!

Karen, from The Ladies of the Cloth Group, shared her newest project with us on Tuesday. Using left over bits from many projects, she put together this happy and colorful little quilt. Karen has a really good sense of color. Her quilts are always so well balanced in value and tone.
I hope you can see the little white on white dots in the sashing fabric. How cute is that?
In her exquisite style, Terri, is knitting some glorious fingerless gloves. My oh my, they are beautiful.
And the last share for this post was made by Rose. Her hand embroidery kisses each little division of this pincushion. The base fabric is duck, Rose says she needs a sturdy pincushion, they get a work out!

  • As always, the "Ladies"  always share their lovely projects. They inspire and bring a smile to our faces every week. 
  • Many of the group are in gift-making-mode and we can't share those right now😇 
  • I really, really, really planned to clean and organize the studio today. I didn't. What will I do on Saturday if I did it today? Well, that is what I told myself. Instead, I took a nap. It was good.
  • Off for sewing, quilting and embroidery inspiration for the next two days. Always looking for ideas and projects.  

My Sweet old girl, Lucy. Here she is 15.

Sunday, October 8, 2017

The Week That Was and The Week That Will Be!

If you wondered what happened with The Sewist  last week the photo mostly tells it all. I was in the trees, in the clouds, out of town and in my mind. Sometimes you just have to step back and re-center. I did, a bit. We visited Gettysburg, again. I am drawn to the area, the battle fields, the stories. How did this area of our country manage to preserve the history? Every field and knoll is dotted with memorials and standards. There are cannons everywhere and many dedicated people who work every day to preserve and maintain the artifacts.

  I swear Mondo knows the way to our favorite campground. Right now there is a large detour nearby because a culvert bridge is being rebuilt. It was old, very narrow and a bit scary. Not so convenient for a large motor home. Hopefully, the replacement will be wider!

The campground is decorated for the season with pumpkins and mums. It is lovely.

The leaves were just barely starting to turn when we traveled. Just barely.

The first times traveling Rt 30 in Eastern Pa, in the motor home, these steep inclines and declines, the curves and twists in these mountains gave me pause. I must say. One big yellow arrow means slow down Nellie, two means you should have back-up underwear handy. Just so you know.

That said, I did manage to stop at two favorite quilt shops. Right now I am collecting blues and neutrals. I have a project in mind but I am not married to it. I will share the fabrics soon. It is hard to narrow choices when confronted with fabrics that are not common to my area quilt shops. While each shop has its personality, we all have favorites, don't we?

I cannot believe our RV season is over almost before it started. I swear that next year will be different. Many stars need to align for that to happen but I am firm in this.

  • It has been very warm here, 80's, unusual for October. It is supposed to change to cooler this week. I am confused.
  • I still have some garden work to get to this week, the deer have been busy. 
  • The studio is a mess. I need to put things back in their places, I didn't have time before we left.
  • MIL needed new sleepwear. She insisted on getting ones that I knew, knew, knew were too big. When she was standing in the kitchen and it all fell off we all had a little chuckle. I will still be grinning this week as I spend hours taking them apart, cutting them to size and putting them back together. Just saying... I'm glad I didn't place a cash bet a finishing date for the Christmas Quilt!
  • This week I have a sewing event scheduled. Sew, serge, embroider and quilt. The Meadows Racetrack and Casino is an amazing venue. Happy Dance!

Saturday, September 30, 2017

The September This and That!

September is wrapping up, hard to believe. I have a few things in progress, not much to show right now but the quilting information web sites are always jumping at this time of year. We have a colorful season ahead of us that mimics the colors of nature. The Christmas Holidays are approaching as well. The Disappearing Nine Patch is such a great quilt. I am seeing it on several pages again, re-born if you will!No automatic alt text available.
The ever popular disappearing nine patch done in warm and cozy colors. From Quilters Digest. Have your ever made one?
Image may contain: one or more people
From Quilters Digest-fabric samples to carry with you! A few safety pins, a key ring and there you go!

  • Do you starch your fabric before you cut? Kimmy Brunner of Handiquilter has a great tip. She starches the back of her fabric, Lets it absorb for a couple minutes,  turns it over and presses from the right side. She has lots of great tips in this you tube video check it out here!
 Via Facebook, by Debbie Narum! Do you save selvage cut edges? I do, not this many but I have a few. What a cool idea!!

Image may contain: people sitting and indoorPine Valley Quilts video....making circle applique!  A nice neat method demonstrating freezer paper and a stylus.

Friday, September 29, 2017

Meet My New Buddy

I am trimming Cake Mix blocks, again. While I like the outcome of the pieced paper blocks I have to tell you I am weary of the trimming and cutting. However, I have a little helper. Dressed in exquisite Liberty fabric, she is resting on my portable cutting table. I work here, usually after dinner, to finish up all kinds of little projects.

In the middle of Hurricane prep my dear friend sent me this little Liberty Doll with scissors to be a new sewing buddy after my Lucy passed. 

How thoughtful is that? I have named her Lucy, she will always remind me of her official position in Sewtopia.

Thank You Dear Lourdes, I am truly touched. 

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

The Free Motion Quilter!

FYI-this post is out of order. It was one of those lost in the files from a couple weeks ago. So, here we go.....pretend it is early September instead of the end of September  💥
A Happy Light near my sewing chair.

As I am writing this post it is 9 PM and I am drinking a scalding cup of hot coffee. Probably not  the best decision of the has been a long one. I wanted to finish a book I was reading last night and wrapped that up at 3 AM. Up at 7:30 AM because I have an internal alarm that always works between 7 and 7:30, sometimes earlier.

I had many things to do today and I wanted to get a start before I reach my I can't believe I am so tired slump that normally occurs around 3 PM on a good day!👵

We picked up some wonderful peaches, 12 of them, and they needed a purpose right away. They were beautifully ripe. So, a peach tart was in order. I also needed to cook/pre-cook dinner for today and tomorrow to free up some time tomorrow to clean Mondo for the next trip. I just have to wipe the floors and put in fresh towels, no big deal but I don't like to let that go until the last minute.

It has been a free motion quilting day! I have been practicing my favorite designs on the Coronet to try to get a sense of the machine. I have to be careful because sometimes my eyes and the design I want to do gets ahead of the machine then I stitch too fast and make boo-boo's. Since this is a practice quilt I am not worried about crossing a design line now and then or making a wonky shape. And there are a few, just so you know. 😀I am not one to pretend that my work is grand, quite the contrary, it is maudlin. I am not a show quilter, never will be, I just like to do it. Ta-Da!
I made this little mini-quilt some time ago. My bias binding was really not bad considering how long ago I did this. It was in the early 2000's, during my Victorian infatuation decorating phase. Now I place it under the primitive bowl and berries. a professional decorator would cringe, I tell you, cringe.

I spent about 3 1/2 hours today, just practicing. Not intricate designs mind you, just feather practice, lots of doodling and learning to fill spaces and travel on seam lines without looking like I was asleep while working. The arthritis is pretty bad the last two days, not sure what that is all about but it did not worsen with the quilting work and that is a really good thing.
Coronet 16" Long Arm Machine and Frame
I need to take a picture of my machine one of these days.
 The machine is super easy to move on the tracks. It actually glides. Therefore, no stress on my fussy joints.
  • I hate piecing backs...there I said it....drives me sort of nuts. So husband took me to my regular shopping haunt and I bought what was left of a bolt of extra-wide backing. See, I'm not difficult to please!
  • I did what I said I was not going to do, I pre-ordered the new upgrade for Destiny II. I was going to let it go and put it on my "someday" list but decided (after much conversation with other DII people) that maintaining all the updates and upgrades can only be good for my work and for the value of the machine if I decide to trade it in and buy a car or refurnish the house.. A slight exaggeration but not too much. The machine has a large amount of computer space, even after the updates and upgrades, and this was intentional. Baby Lock designed the machine so that it could be enhanced regularly to expand its function.     
  • I really miss my dog. Lucy always helped me work. It is just not the same. 
  • OK, now I'm going to trim some more of those layer cake blocks. Since I have cut myself twice in two days doing this I might have another cup of coffee before I start. 
  • Hope you are having a wonderful day!
Just had to share this, it hangs on the wall near my serger. It is a picture of my Mother, age 96, when she lived in an Assisted Living Home that decorated for all the holidays to keep the place cheerful for the residents. She is standing with one of those life size Santa dolls. The best part is she wrote "Mother" and pointed an arrow to herself so that I would know who was who. Isn't that a riot? She had just been featured in an article about miniature horses visiting residences like this to cheer the residents. She made the front page, her and the horses. What a hoot. If there was a camera around she was photo bombing!

Paisley Feathers See the video, I plan to work on this tomorrow.

Country Road Take Me Home, to the Place I Belong.......................... Please

John Denver, the song, Country Roads (I have some moonshine in the dining room!)