Shopping in the stash..

I’ve decided that I want to send a few things to my niece when I send the graduation card this week.  Now she is old enough that she probably doesn’t expect anything but I think she will be surprised and pleased.  The challenge is always what to send.  I think it should have some practical use as well as being fun and something I think she might like.  So off to the stash I went and made my selection.  I didn’t really plan things to be color coordinated but it looks like that’s what is going to happen and that is a plus.  When I try to color coordinate fabrics it always seems to be a challenge.  I grew up in an era where you matched and not just coordinated colors and patterns.  It really stretches my thinking when I go for coordinating so there is some interest and it’s not just monotone and ok.  I always want that WOW factor.  Sometimes I succeed in a spectacular fashion but usually it’s at least nice and I’m pleased.  Todays project is for some travel accessories as she and her fiance will be traveling to Italy to get married in about 6 weeks.  I’m going to make some shoe bags and I think a couple of zippered pouches.  I do have a couple other things in mind so we’ll see how fast it comes together this evening and tomorrow.  I cleaned and organized my sewing space, put away some fabric and now I’m ready to make dinner and then cut and sew. More to report soon.

Poulsbo

Yesterday I took the ferry across the water to meet a dear friend.  We met on our first day of college and our friendship has endured through all the years and all sorts of good times and hard times.  Nice to have a friend like that. We can always pick up where the last conversation ended even if it’s been months or sometimes it has been a year or two.  She lives about an hour and a half from me so although we share regular email we only get a real visit every few months.  Yesterday was the day!  She has a niece getting married next summer and that child has asked for a king sized quilt.  Now my DF is an accomplished seamstress but in recent years has found knitting to be more her calling.  It was with great pleasure that we met at Heirloom Quilts and Fabrics in Poulsbo.  With the a bit of time and some help from the sewing experts in the store we picked out some gorgeous batik fabric for the quilt.  She has a year to craft this lovely gift and is anxious to get it started.  She is going to piece the top and have it professionally quilted.  I’m excited to see the end result.

What would a trip to a quilt shop be however if I didn’t make a purchase as well.  I certainly need to support the local economy.  Actually, I was very restrained and only came home with three pieces of fabric.  I was a very good girl!  Now I’m anxious to get back to some sewing however.  I did manage to get a few blocks sewn yesterday but there will be no more time for several days.  For now I will just have to be content to stare at the new additions and dream the dream of projects yet to come.

Almost

Well, I finished pouch number 1.  Now I’m on to number 2.  A little bit wider and a little bit longer.  Apparently I miscalculated a bit in the depth and the width when I added the zipper and it’s just a bit too small.  It did turn out very cute however and I have a new home waiting for this little cutie.  Stay tuned for round 2.

Quilt blocks

I’ve spent some time this weekend sewing quilt blocks together.  It’s been an interesting experience.  I consider myself a fairly accomplished seamstress but this is another learning curve.  Precision is so much more important here.  Precision in cutting, sewing and 1/4 inch seams.  If any of those are out of alignment, you’re blocks might not line up squarely and I’ve learned that does matter to me.  I didn’t realize that I’m fussy about that and I want it perfect! There are someblocks  that I tried to unstitch and resew and it hasn’t turned out much better so I’ve decided just to leave some of that and each one is getting better.  At least as far as the seaming goes.  The cutting is also fairly accurate because of the rotary cutter but I think when I cut multiples of some of the blocks, I was not as accurate lining the strips up and therein lies the problem.  Lesson learned for next time and I will do this in a slightly different manner.  To many this would not be a big deal but for me it’s a good challenge.  They are cute though and I think I’m going to like the end result.

And the fun continues

I’ve not spent as much time sewing today as I thought I might but I have pulled a few weeds, been to the fabric store for more white sashing fabric, washed and dried the fabric and started sewing the strips together.  I hope to have them all sewn and start cutting before I have to quit for dinner.  For now, here is a pictorial update.

New project

Oh it’s been a fun day.  I’ve decided I was going to start a quilt for me.  I’m still thinking about the layer cake I bought but haven’t found a pattern yet that I want to use so that’s sitting.  I do have a set of the new Denyse Schmidt fabric that Joann’s is carrying however and I’m cutting into that.  I’ve never bought so many pieces from all one line before so it’s been interesting. Thank goodness it’s been on sale and I don’t need much from each bolt. I’m using a Moda Bakeshop pattern called Hugs and Kisses from the Park.  I am going to make it bigger however and I’m not using a jelly roll which is pre-cut fabric for those of you that don’t know what that is. I think I’ve figured out how much I need but it will be  interesting to see if my calculations are correct. I do believe that I’m going to run out of white sashing fabric which will require another run to the store but I should have enough here to start.  I always wash my fabric too before I start.  I know that many quilters today don’t wash the fabric but I’m always a bit leery of colors running and uneven shrinkage so I just feel better if I have pre-washed.  That however does require some touch up with the iron and I decided as long as I was pressing I should also add a bit of starch.  Whew… that took some time. Now I’m almost done cutting the strips. I know a jelly roll would have been faster but this way I will have some extra fabric left to play with also.  I didn’t think to take a picture when it was daylight so for now I’m just going to post this with a picture of the gray and yellow quilt top I started a few weeks ago.  I think I  might finish that one soon too. More tomorrow with the work in progress.