Thursday, August 29, 2013

It's finished!  I finished my Sew Lux Fabrics Holiday Hustle Quilt Along today.  I started this the beginning of August with the hopes of finishing it by the 31st, in time to be included in a random drawing for a great gift certificate from Sew Lux Fabrics.  Dangle a carrot in front of my nose if you want to get me moving!  And I managed to get it all finished, even with Oliver's sweet help.  I was trimming and squaring the quilt today when he pulled the scraps off to play with under the table. 
Here's the finished quilt.  It measures 51" x 59", a little smaller than the pattern says, but I must have taken up some fabric with my quilting.  And another use for Wonder Clips is to hold quilts up for pictures.  The photo doesn't show it, but the quilt is being held by wonder clips hooked to two hangers gripping the top of my entertainment center.  It worked well since I have no open space to place a quilt for photos.

This is my quilting pattern..... just simple, wavy lines running from top to bottom.

I tried the new (new to me, anyway) binding technique where you machine sew the binding on the back, fold it over to the front and machine sew it .... yes, machine sewn on the back and the front!  Here's how it looks on the front.  I used my stitch-in-the-ditch foot to sew between the two fabrics used in the binding.... kind of gives it a piping look.  It was very easy to do and I know that I'll be attaching most of my bindings this way in the future.  This technique is great for quilts that get a lot of use and washing.  The binding will really hold up!  Here's a link to the binding technique..... Susie's Magic Binding.  This tutorial has complete instructions so this won't be as confusing as my description.  Give it a try... you'll love it!
This is the back side of the quilt folded over onto the front.  By sewing the binding from the front side, you will have a narrow line of stitching below the binding on the backside.  I don't find this unattractive, but on an heirloom quilt, I would still hand sew my binding.
Here's the backside again, showing one of the corners.  It looks the same as any binding except for that narrow line of stitching below the binding. 

It only took me an hour and a half to sew the binding on this quilt!  That's the back and the top, both sides... completely finished.  It was really nice to finish a quilt binding so quickly.
Christmas in August!  One project done.... many more on my to do list! 

Thursday, August 22, 2013

I focused on my BOM's this week and finished all three.  The first two are the BOM's from Sew Lux Fabric..... same pattern, two color ways.  The corners were paper pieced so these blocks went together really quickly.  The background fabric is white, even though it seems to have a blue cast on my monitor. 

This block is from The Fat Quarter Shop.  This is the 3rd block in this series and now I'm sure that this is going to be a basket quilt.  So far, all three basket blocks also share that blue square in the center.  Edyta Sitar of Laundry Basket Quilts designed this block.  I just love these blocks!

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Sewing Room Link Up

I'm linking up today with several other sewists who are sharing their sewing/crafting/creating spaces with Jennifer of Ellison Lane.  Link up with Jennifer to see lots of great sewing areas.  It's so much fun to eavesdrop into the world of other crafty ladies.  If you link up and join us, you will be eligible to win some great gift certificates!
This is my sewing room..... it's all of 6' x 12'.  As you can see, I make use of every inch.  I'm not going to fill this post up with lots of words..... if you have any questions and want to know what something is, etc., just email me or make a comment.  The photos will enlarge if you click on them.  I took these photos this morning without any clean up or straightening..... what you see is my real world.
The bookshelf is covering up a window.  I live VERY close to my neighbors and this window is only 6' away from their widow.  By covering it up, I have complete privacy although I loose the natural light.  I can be a bit of a hermit and crave solitude and quiet.  I can get a taste of this in my cozy little sewing room.  The little mini wall hangings on the shelves ..... hung with Clover Wonder Clips...... cover up totes full of fabric and other goodies. 
This area is next to the shelving unit and holds my ironing station.  There is also a cutting mat under the ironing surface.  I have used bed risers to make this high enough to be easier on my back.  Of course, all floor space is utilized under the table for more totes of fabric.  (I have more fabric in another room and also out in my garage....... I've been sewing my whole life and quilting since the 60's, so I have LOTS of fabric!)
This is the other end of the room with more shelves.  Most of these books are quilting books with an assortment of craft books thrown in.  More totes on top of the shelves with..... yes, more fabric.
Full view of the sewing end of the room.  My sewing machine is on the left and there is another cutting mat right next to the machine.  I can sew and trim without leaving my chair.  I also have a folding TV  tray that I use for ironing if I don't want to get up and go to the other ironing surface.  Sounds lazy, but if you are sewing tons of little seams, it sure cuts down on the time if you can sew and quickly rotate to trim and iron. 

And here's a full view of the other end.  Kind of gives you a perspective of my little space.  It may be small, but it's very functional and efficient for my needs.

Hope you'll visit the other blogs to see more sewing rooms.... I love snooping.... don't you?!

Sunday, August 11, 2013

I finally finished my donation for the 2013 Mennonite Hunger Relief Auction.  The finished size is 16" x 16" and there are 200 pieces in the top.  I've called it "200 Pieces."  Pretty creative title....huh?  This is the auction that only allows hand quilting, thus, the quilting is sparse.  :)  There is no way that I could have done any quilting in the tiny blocks themselves.  I planned to bind the hanging with the turquoise fabric, but didn't have enough.  I ended up using a gray fabric from my stash.

Here's a close up of my clumsy quilting.  It came out OK, but if my hands didn't hurt so much, I could make smaller stitches.  This may be my last donation for this auction because of the hand quilting requirement.  I'll just have to see what my thoughts are after the first of the year when it's time to start planning the next quilt.
The auction isn't held until the latter part of September.  I usually attend and will let you know if my little hanging sells.  It's for a great cause, so I hope someone likes it!

Friday, August 9, 2013

Week two of the Sew Lux Quilt Along.  This week, I've added my sashing and my borders to the charm square sections.  Sorry about these pictures.  This quilt is only 53" x 60" but I don't have a large enough spot of floor space to lay it down for shots.  I had to put it on top of my bed for the pictures which leaves them distorted and not rectangular.  You get the idea, though.....
This is a nice pattern and a great use for charm packs.  Again.... go to the Sew Lux link above to get the free pattern and instructions.  I spent one afternoon sewing the charms together and another afternoon cutting and sewing the sashing.  Pretty fast for a nice sized lap throw.

Next week is the quilting and binding.  I struggle with the quilting part and will wait to see if they have some good tips for machine quilting instead of just jumping in and finishing my quilt right now. 

Saturday, August 3, 2013

I saw this "simple" child's craft on Pinterest and thought it was kind of cute.  I picked up a few supplies.... cheap melting beads and a special surface to align the beads.... and set forth.  Placing the beads was quite easy, although tedious.  (They had a tendency to roll away or stick to my fingers.)  The sewing machine on Pinterest didn't have a base but I wanted my machine to stand on its own.  Once you arrange your beads, you iron the beads to melt them.... first one turn it over and iron the other side.  The bottom of my iron must not be flat or heats unevenly, as I had a terrible time getting a consistent melt.  You can see that I really did a melt job on the right side.

I'll give it another try some other day with another iron.  It was fun to make and would make a cute ornament or gift tag if you left the stand off.  Consider the possibilities.... :)

Friday, August 2, 2013

 All of the "Christmas in July" and "Christmas in August" blog hops have inspired me to join a Christmas quilt along.  Sew Lux Fabrics has a quick, simple one that just started, so you have plenty of time to join in.  It starts with a basic charm pack and could be made with any charm pack and any theme, not just Christmas.  All the details can be found through the link above.

This is the fabric that I'm using.  I got the charms all sewn today and next week we will get instructions on the sashing and borders.  Oh... it's free, of course, and is a great pattern for a cozy lap throw.  Hope you'll join me!