How did this happen so quickly? I can’t believe it’s 2019! I’m sure there’s an explanation but it’s confusing how time can pass so quickly.
In the spring of 2018 I walked into a sewing machine store to look at longarm machines. I was almost finished with a quilt and was thinking about how I was going to finish it off. I really didn’t want to go to the expense of sending it out but it was difficult on my machine. I’ve been thinking about this for awhile now so one day I decided to investigate. As I was looking around the store one of the clerks asked me what I was looking for and I mentioned a longarm. She asked if I was going interested in a quilting business and when I said no, she suggested that I probably didn’t really want a longarm. In reality, no, I don’t think I really wanted a longarm but really was looking for a better way to quilt. We started talking machines and by the time I left, I had decided to buy a combination sewing/embroidery machine. I’ve had my old machine for 30 years and at that time I don’t think they even made embroidery machines for the home sewer/hobbyist.
I’ve always like to embroider and when first got my old machine I had taken all kinds of classes including machine embroidery. Although the outcome is the same, the method is entirely different now when it’s controlled by machine and not by hand. I have been smitten by the embroidery bug! Now I’m conflicted even more but it’s because I don’t have enough time for quilting nor do I have enough time for machine embroidery so how do I choose. I’ll admit, the quilt top that was almost completed, is still almost completed. One of my goals for this year is to finish that quilt because it’s actually for me! In the meantime, I’ve been experimenting and learning about machine embroidery. I think I’ll start adding to this blog for a bit and document some of that learning. For now, my latest interest is cards. So many choices and certainly not enough time!
There’s always more sewing and more planning. I wake up in every morning thinking about the projects that I’m working on and the projects that I want to work on and all the future projects. I wish there were more hours in the days to do all the things my head imagines. 🙂
Until then however I continue to sew what I have time for. Right now I’m working on finishing one of the first quilts that I started working on in 2012. This was before life got in the way with health issues for my daughters, and my husband and my mother’s passing. Of course there is work, home and friends as well. Some days I spend more time on the computer thinking about what I want to do instead of doing the things that I should, could and must. A tale for many of us I think.
For now however, there was Christmas sewing and some baby gifts as well as a new quilt along. The one from last year will be finished soon along with the one from 2012 and I’ll continue to work on these this year.
I’m trying some new and different baby gits. I’ve made baby hats, teething toys and bibs. I love the baby gifts because they’re fast, colorful and usually appreciated. I can also try out new things, gift them and use some of my fabric stash as well. All good things in my book.
I had fun making this quilted banner for a friend who owns a property management company. Several years ago she had a new logo designed for her rapidly growing company. Ever since I saw it I kept thinking how much fun it would be to make a banner that combined the maple leaf theme with the new logo. This year she celebrated a significant birthday and I knew this would be the perfect occasion.
I had the logo printed at Spoonflower which is a company that will do custom printing. It did take longer than I thought to get it back. Nearly three weeks so if I do this again I’ll plan better for that. I had some Accuquilt dies in different sizes to cut the maple leaves. Again, I’ve planned this for a couple of years so had already purchased the dies.
I really didn’t know until I started what I was going to do. I was not certain what size the logo would end up and knew that I needed to see it before I could plan the rest. I ended up starting and then letting it sit for a few days until I knew how and I was going to proceed. I used a big 161/2 inch ruler to cut the logo, added the borders and then had an assortment of leaves cut and kept moving things around until I got what I liked. I’m glad that I didn’t rush and took pictures along the way because I did change my mind about what I was going to do. The biggest change was in the colored border. Originally I had planned to use a rust/orange but when I took a picture and put in on my computer I realized I didn’t like it and the yellow looked much better.
In the end, I was pleased with the result and even put a pocket hanging corners on the back as well as a label with birthday wishes and my name. I rarely label my quilts so this was a first.
One of the fun projects that I did last year was a Cube Quilt Along. I own an AccuQuilt cutting system and one of the products that they sell is a Cube. This is actually how the dies are packaged, in a cube. Each cube set has dies that create a specific size finished quilting block. The block size that I chose to use last year was the 8″ cube and the classic companion set which is an extra set of dies that coordinates to make a lager variety of blocks in each size. Although I’ve owned the AccuQuilt cutter for several years, and I’ve sewed for many many years, I’ve never done much quilting. This cube quilt along was a wonderful way for me to learn and practice more quilting. I worked on a consistent seam allowance and learned how the shapes worked together to form blocks. The other thing that I got to practice was learning more about color placement and color values.
Each week for 48 weeks Bea of Beaquilter provided instructions for a new block. It was fun to look forward to and nice to only have one block to do. Here is a picture of the entire set of 48 blocks. I guess I only have a picture of 42 of the blocks. I’ve got the rest pinned together and this weekend hope to get the rest done and sandwiched for quilting. I may decide to send it out however because it will be difficult for me to quilt on my machine and makes my shoulder hurt. I’m looking forward to the finish and am now working on the 2018 Cube quilt along. This year I’m using two entirely different color schemes and doing one with 9″ blocks and one with 12″ blocks. So far, I’ve enjoyed this as well.
Well, it’s a new year and I’m on to new projects. I know it’s been a long time since I’ve posted updates and although the intention is good, somehow I don’t seem to update as often as I would like. I’m just going to start small with one of the fun projects that I did for the holidays. These paper pieced Santa’s were my holiday ornaments this year. I had so much fun doing them that I was sad to think I can’t do them and give them again next year. So I’m on the hunt. I still have a couple of months to think about it.
Well, it’s no secret that I like to make all kinds of bags.
The other thing I like to do is to experiment with different techniques and fabrics.
The most recent experiment has been with cork leather. This is a leather type fabric made out of cork. Cork leather is vegan and eco-friendly. It it made from cork that has been left to dry for 6 months after harvest and then boiled, steamed and pressed into blocks for slicing. It’s very lightweight and water resistant. There are a number of suppliers on the web as well as Etsy and Ebay. I found an offer on Massdrop and decided this was the time to try it out. It comes in a sheet and was shipped in a tube. I have the remaining piece rolled up and stored on a shelf.
it was fun to sew with. It’s very much like other fabrics. I did use a walking foot but I’m not sure that would really be necessary. One thing that I didn’t think about was if I used it at the bottom of a bag, it is bulkier and not as easy to turn the bag right side out of to push the corners out. The little glasses case was more difficult that the zipper pouch due to the smaller design.
This is the first experiment that I made for myself. A glasses case with a pinch type opening.
This was my second try. A graduation gift for a my cousins daughter. Their last name is Campbell so that’s why I used Campbell soup fabric for the inside.
The last was for the son’s fiance. I think she was surprised and pleased. It’s too bad I forgot to take a picture of the inside because she really loved that. It was fabric with little lobsters on it.
Well, in the life of sewing and crafts there’s always a project that doesn’t turn out quite the way you would expect. That’s what happened with this potholder. Now potholders are pretty forgiving which is good. I always can use another potholder and this one is destined to live in my kitchen rather than be given away. I loved the fabric. It was cute with a vintage feel. And I love the text fabric as well. Putting them together in this block was not so good. The print was too busy for this block pattern and the text print was too busy to go with this fabric as well. Both prints are the same scale so there is not enough contrast. The colors were fine but ugh..
The positives however were that I can always use another potholder and I got to practice making a new to me block. I also got to practice finishing the potholder. I struggle with the hand sewing to close the side where I turned it so every time I practice it gets better. There will be better choices next time and I did use up some more fabric.
I keep thinking I’m going to do an update or two but time seems to pass and then I think, where did the time go?
So this will be several short updates so I can get caught up. I hope all the hubby surgery illness is done for a while and then I will have a bit more time.
One of the things that I have worked on is a weekly block quilt along with Beaquilter. Each Monday morning for 48 weeks she is posting the instructions for one block that will be finished as a sampler quilt.
Here are the first 29 blocks that I’ve done.
The fabric is from the first fat quarter bundle that I have ever purchased. For those of you that don’t know what a fat quarter bundle is, it’s a group of fabrics usually from one designer or collection that all goes together. I didn’t end up using this bundle for what I thought I was going to but wanted to use it up so here it is. I’m not sure this would have been my first choice for color or pattern but I don’t mind it and I know it will be fine when I’m all done.
It’s been a fun experience for me. Although I’ve done a lot of sewing over many years, I’ve never really quilted much. I’m enjoying the challenge and learning new things including accuracy and trying to put all those pieces together in the right order without getting confused and then ending up with the correct size block.
One of the things this has led to of course is fabric acquisition. Hmm like someone said, I can buy fabric faster than I can quilt. Oh well, it’s really nice to have options when I’m home sewing in the evening, need a quick gift, or just want to sew to “make” something. There seems to be always someone to give things to.
I guess I’ll stop here for now. I think if I plan just several short posts for a while, I’ll get caught up with all the things that I’ve made. Not so many quilts but lots of little things.
I made some thank you gifts for a Girl Scout event. I do love to make handmade gifts. I’m not sure they are always appreciated but I’ve made peace with the fact that not every gift is a hit whether it’s handmade or store purchased.
This event was a volunteer retreat and most of the people attending and volunteering to help have been Girl Scout members for many years. I’ve had some vintage Girl Scout fabric in my stash for several years and I decided it was time to use it to thank these special people. I made little flex frame pouches and fussy cut the fabric to frame the parts of the fabric that I wanted to use. Due to the printing on the fabric they all turned out a bit differently. I thought they turned out very well and were cute. I hope the recipients find them useful. It seems like I can always use a pouch or container for the little things like chapstick, change or even a charging cable.
This was a flex frame Christmas. Or what I mean to say is I made lots of flex frame pouches this year for Christmas gifts. It’s really kind of addicting. Once I figured out a pattern it was hard for me to leave them alone.
When I was trying to decide what to make that would be fast, easy and fun I always start with zip pouches. The friends who have known me for a long time however have zip pouches. I do like to make them. I find them useful and it helps me feel organized.
This year I remembered seeing some flex frame tutorials and thought this might be fast and easy. I read a few tutorials that I found on the internet and then searched for flex frames. My friend Amazon of course had many sources for flex frames. My confusion was that they were all given in metric measurements. I used a converter tool to see what size they really were in inches and bought a package of 30. I knew that I would make several for Christmas and I had an event in January that I could use them for and then would still have a few left for future projects.
When I got the frames the first step was to create a pattern. The first one I decided was too deep. By the time I opened the pouch, it was hard to reach the bottom. The second time the channels for the frame were a little bit too long and wide. Once I had a pattern I cut and sewed several at one time. They were so cute it was hard to stop. I have about 6 more to make this week and then I think I’m done for a bit and ready to get back to finishing several more baby quilts that I’ve started and put aside.