Friday, February 20, 2015

Back in the studio

I need a good day to get back in the studio. My houseguest left a bit of a mess and I need to clean up some "picky" things. So that's a full day task.

I ordered a free motion quilting table from the Sew Steady folks while I was on foot rest, and it came in. It looks awesome and is just what I want! I purchased my Juki for quilting and wanted a quilting table/platform that uses the machine head-on. Couldn't ask for anything better! Yay! I can't wait to use it. 

This weekend or next week will find me taking the big machine in for some routine maintenance. I'm sure it got some rough handling away from my view. Plus I know it'll need some good cleaning. 

I'm back on two feet now. Well, somewhat. I'm still shaky on two legs, but that will pass with time. This is my third day and it gets better each day. 

This weekend is a sew day with my guild ladies. I'll be toting my hand project. I'll be honest, I'm really finding my mojo with English paper piecing. Who knows? Maybe I found my groove. 

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Two Good Days

This week I had two really good days so far... Yesterday and today. Yesterday I made my final payment on Tim Gunn Quattro, my big fancy machine, and  now he's all mine.

Today I ordered a Sew Steady table for Trixie Belden Juki. It's one in which the head of the machine faces you head-on versus the usual side configuration for the machine. I can't wait until that comes in! Yay!

I went to the doc for follow-up. He said two more weeks of being good on one foot, then I can wear the long walking cast and start back on two feet. I also got Ok"d for being able to take a shower. That got a triple yay from me. I'll be taking a long one tonight. LOL!

I also finally got my special parking placard, so I can now get out much easier with my live in helper. She has been such a blessing! She needed a job, and I needed help. Hubby and I have officially adopted her. We celebrated with Teriyaki and a Target visit today. Needed a few things.

I'll hit the studio when I'm more ambulatory. Lots of fall hazards in there (grin). So for now I'll stick to my handwork. Then I can get some backings made and projects off to quilters to finish.

Life is looking up!

Monday, February 2, 2015


I've been going through my scrap bin and cutting my leftovers into usable pieces. I have to admit, I've got a lot of scraps. Three days worth of work and I finally see a dent in my big blue IKEA bag of scraps. How's that for tons of 5" squares, 4.5" squares, 2.5" and more strips, and 2.5" squares.

Everything but the 2.5" squares will be bagged up and donated to the guild to raise money for the activities committee. The 2.5" squares I'm keeping for hexies. My plan is to make a hexie scrap quilt out of 1" hexies.

I still have a long way to go in getting to the bottom of my bag, but I can do it. I have some incentives I can work for... Yes, I scrap for cupcakes!

Rumor has it that a friend is coming over today to sew with me. I'm excited. If it doesn't happen, that's okay too. I have more than enough to keep me busy. Have a great day and an awesome week, y'all!

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Behind the Scenes Update -- You heard it here:)

A lot of stuff is going on behind the scenes right now. Not a lot of sewing is going on. I had my foot surgery almost a week ago. By mid-day three I was off the pain pills. I'm now able to get around with the help of my knee scooter (for downstairs and getting out) and a rolling walker (for upstairs).

Most of my time has been spent on the sofa. While I love my relaxation moments, there are certain moments I go absolutely nuts. That's temporary and normal. But I do know for sure that I'll never take my mobility for granted. I've got three weeks to go for non-weight bearing (I hope) and can get the go-ahead for the boot (I lovingly call my "telephone pole").

I got my bandages changed yesterday at the doc's office and it all looks fine. Just some bruising at the heel and a 1.5 inch incision on the side of my foot where he inserted the screw. Swelling isn't too bad. I know that will take a few months to go away.

I have been working on my Diamonds in the Sky english paper piecing (EPP) kit. I'm in the middle of row #9. Getting into the homestretch on this project. It has 13 rows of stars and hexies, and two rows of just diamonds. So I've got 9-13 rows to complete, along with the one row of diamonds. Not too shabby!

I'm really finding a zen in this piecing method. I'm going to go out on a limb here and say that if/when we decide to retire and move, I may just keep a small machine for general use and concentrate on EPP. I am really digging the portability of it.

Yes, you heard it here.

For this row I started using a fabric glue stick to secure the fabric to the papers. I'm really liking that. it's much quicker than sewing. It's really helping me assemble things much faster. I'll be using this going forward and adding the stapler on my next project (for the yarn dyed/homespun stuff).

Speaking of next...

Actually hubby and I have been talking a lot about what's next in our lives. Nothing earth shattering is happening, but it is something that came up when we explored the "what ifs" about my broken foot/losing mobility, and all. Plus, every now and then you need to revisit that discussion as a couple to make sure you both are on the same page.

We absolutely love it here in Washington. If I had my druthers I'd move my entire family up here and live on a huge farm compound in the Skagit Valley. But alas, the land is expensive, my savings aren't that great, and I don't play the lottery. So it's just a dream.

I miss my silver baby!

Isn't this just peaceful? 

We've been exploring hubby's "retirement".  To know my hubby is to know that retirement is just working on a much lighter level. I think we've both decided that as of now, we will head back to TN.  And if the kids still want us, we will live on the farm in our RV. Yes, that involves selling stuff here -- lock, stock, and barrel and living the minimal life.

(If my fiends that knew me during the 1980s-90s heard me say this out loud, they'd think I flipped my noodle).

You heard it here.

I'll check in again when I finish the row. That will give me some accountability. In the meantime enjoy the week and the blessings it brings.

Monday, January 26, 2015

Feedsack Dreams

This morning had me dreaming about feedsack prints from the 1930s-50s. I had a quilt made from them. It was made by a relative from a kit she received over fifty years ago. Funny part was that most of the dream was true. I do own two quilts likely made by my great aunts. Both from either old feedsack prints, or an old feedsack kit from long ago.

In the dream one of my cousins was looking at this quilt and pulling out the quilting on it much to my chagrin. Evidently in the dream, the quilting was done with a clear thread (not like my old quilts) and the backing was some sort of foam. The muslin and the fabrics were deteriorating ahd she was slashing the top in various places (yes, somewhat of a nightmare)

I was explaining to my cousin, who was obviously not aware of the treasure she was destroying, about the history and value of vintage feedsack quilts. I was explaining to her that flour, sugar, other staples came in printed cotton sacks, and that these sacks were used for dresses, quilts, and other home-sewn items.

I explained to her that I'd be restoring this vintage quilt carefully by using the correct batting/backing, and redoing the quilting with cotton thread to keep the fabric and the whole sandwich stable. I explained to her how much it costs to have this done professionally and how much I could save by doing it myself.

When I dream about quilting, I have piles and piles of finished projects ready to be gifted (versus the same amount in UFOs). I also dream about owning several unique sewing machines, this one fancy  sewing machine being inoperable from the moment I got it. I also dream about that elusive quilt shop I cannot visit because I can't get across town.

Does quilting invade your sleep world?

Monday, January 19, 2015

Learning to Love Your Stash, a year later

One of my guildmates, Linda,  posted a short fabric stash survery to everyone via email. This was her survey: 

So, which of these styles, or combination of styles, of fabric do you use most often? Which ones are your favorites? Why? (to both questions):
  • solid neutrals (gray, black, white, cream)
  • solid colors
  • tone on tone (example: blue print on blue background) -- prints, batiks, handdyes, 
  • multicolored batiks -- 
  • analogous colors, 
  • complementary colors, monochromatic colors
  • multicolored prints with a lot of blank background -- analogous colors (nearby on the color wheel), complementary colors (opposite on color wheel)
  • multicolored high density prints with no discernible background -- analogous colors, complementary colors
  • multicolored handdyes -- analogous colors, complementary colors
  • fabrics with metallics or ssparkle
  • nontraditional fabrics - velvet, silk, tulle, flannel, fleece, ultrasuede
It's ironic she mentioned this. I've been looking at my stash as well! You remember last year that I visited my stash in the series Learning to Love Your Stash

I need to do a better job at "curating" my stash. Last year I did a stash analysis and discovered several things. This year I took another look and discovered the following: 

  • I have lots of FQs. I need to change that to larger cuts -- 1/2 yd for scrappy fun (versus FQs),  1 yd if I like it  and would like to have it for a project, 2 yds if I really-really like it, 4 yds if it works for multiple projects or for part of a pieced backing. I have made better strides this year in buying more mindfully and and buying larger pieces. 
  • I tend to buy mediums and darks in terms of value. (I'm a color girl versus more neutral tones). I'm a more modern girl, so I buy monochrome/near monbochrome prints to use as blocks of color. In my traditional fabrics, I'm a color girl. My civil war collection is bright compared to traditional muted palettes. Cheddar and poison green draw me, along with the brighter reds, blues and purples. 
  • The funny part? I'm not a blue color person. Guess what color I have the most of in my stash? Blue! I know that is because I love orange so much and I prefer complementary and split-complementary schemes. 
  • My buying pattern is to pick up bundles, whether they are one-liners or random. I'm a huge sucker for bundles. Those are impulse items for me... The fabric version of candy bars at the checkout lane. Yup, I'm still doing that. 
To add to Linda's question, how do you store your stash? I break up my bundles and store by color. I do keep several stashes -- my usual, more modern fabric is stored by color and I store my traditional fabrics in another section of my shelf. It's funny, I just can't put my civil war stuff with my more modern stuff. I'm quite OCD about that. I also keep my Marcia Derse fabric in another section as well. Same with my solids.

What about you?

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Oh my gosh!

My book and piecing kit arrived lickety split on Monday. The folks at ship fast!!!!! Y'all, I ordered this on Friday or Saturday (can't remember through the fog of excitement)!

Here's what I got. That  book is simply lucious! Pure English paper piecing (EPP) Porn! I ****SO**** need to finish my current project so I can start this one. Thank goodness I made the trip in November to Daiso to get some zipper cases.

EEEP! I'm sew excited!!!!!!!