Sunday, 30 December 2012

Back in the Sewing Chair, new house, work pile

It has been a busy few weeks. I moved - and pulled my back out in the process. The move carried on and my back is healing. It might have been for the best cause that forced me to slow down a bit. I'll reveal my new sewing room in another post.

Before Christmas I made these hand and feet printed tea-towels with my nieces (aged 3 and 4) to give as gifts. We had a blast and they turned out okay.
Rudolph - his red nose is a bit hard to see

Christmas trees

and angels, which also look like ghosts
I'd like to start a tradition of making something with them each year, specifically at Christmas time.

My marking pile is 10" tall on the fat side - so I need to get working on it too.

And I tried out my  new sewing room with a Dear Jane block last night - now only 23 behind.

Friday, 14 December 2012

Off the couch and Dear Jane

I think I've finally (almost) recovered from my cold. I finished one more Dear Jane block:

November was super busy and December has been too - I'm 24 blocks behind for my class! Yikes!
I'll get some sewing done over the break I hope.

I'll be away from my machine for at least a week - I have to pack up the sewing room (aka my parent's dining room) cause my mom wants her dining room back and I'm moving into my new house. Hopefully I can have things set up enough to get back to the sewing next weekend.

Sunday, 2 December 2012

Liebster Winner and the Couch

Hi Everyone - it seems my time is flying these days - but not at the sewing machine. Work has been crazy busy, I bought a house which just closed, and I've caught a nasty cold.

My friend Lynn won a Liebster award - you can read about hers here. Then, she nominated me - I am thrilled and honoured! Thank you Lynn.
I heard about the Liebster awards a while back - maybe in the summer, but didn't pay too much attention to it; I'm paying attention now.

This comes from Lynn's blog, who got it from the reader who nominated her:
"The Liebster award (German for favorite or dearest) is to showcase bloggers with fewer than 200 followers. Upon accepting the award the recipient must then pass it on to five more blogs of note. A way of introducing other bloggers to the blogs they enjoy."

Of course, there is responsibility with such an honour -

The acceptance conditions are :
1. Thank your award presenter on your blog and link back to him/her. Done
2. Copy and paste the award to your blog. Will do as soon as I remember how
3. Present the Liebster Award to 5 blogs that you think deserve to be recognised. See below
4. Let them know by leaving a comment on their blog. This might have to wait a day or two - see below re the couch
5. Have faith that your followers will spread the love too!
I have faith
The five blogs I nominate are:
1. Helen-Mary of; she makes me laugh on a regular basis.
2. Pippa of; lets me tap into my Welsh heritage a little more, via quilts.
3. now I have to think since some of the ones I'd recommend have too many followers, hmm...I'll get back to you on this one.
On to the couch...I've been hit with a nasty bug of some kind. I left work early on Friday cause I ached everywhere, including the bottom of my feet! I haven't felt that awful in quite some time. Last year about this time I missed 7 days of school when I pulled my inter-costal muscles from coughing with the 100 day cough. I'm not eager to repeat that experience. So, I slept on the couch, off and on, from 3:00 Friday afternoon until 8 when I went to bed and most of the day Sat. Today I laid around a lot but didn't sleep as much so hopefully I'm on the mend. Just to be sure, I'm back to the couch for the evening and will contemplate who else to recommend for the Liebster Award.

Sunday, 18 November 2012

Dear Jane and More Knitting

It's been another hectic week - I think I spent most of this week recovering from last week. My well was a running on empty by the end of this past week but feels recharged now.
I got two Dear Jane blocks finished:


And I did a little knitting. A friend at school is having a baby boy - instead of buying an outfit I decided to knit two little hats. This is the first one:

The second will be in green tones and will be a different style - the other is called a "tea bag helmet" - I'll leave that up to your imagination!

Sunday, 11 November 2012

Dear Jane and some knitting

I bought a house this week - after over a year of searching. I'm very pleased with it and it closes in three weeks so I have a lot to do.
So, I didn't sew much this week.

My Dear Jane progress is one block:

And I finished a scarf for a friend. It's knit on huge needles with huge yarn so it didn't take too long. She picked out the yarn at the Creative Festival and says it feels like teddy bear skin - which grosses me out a little to be honest. It's shades of black and grey, which didn't show up so well in the photo.

Tuesday, 6 November 2012

Dear Jane

A mostly wordless post...


C12, 49 pieces

C12 back with nicely twirled seams

Sunday, 4 November 2012

Long Arm Quilting Class

Today I went to the house of my teacher for the Dear Jane class for a chance to learn how to try her long arm machine (and learn how to use it). After today, I have a whole new appreciation for the beautiful work done on those machines.

The class was 3 hours. First we learned how to load the machine, then practiced pantographs and then free motion/front of the machine work. It looks a lot harder than it is! The machine is not too heavy, but requires a certain kind of momentum to get the curves looking good. It's kind of awkward in terms of where to stand. And I found it really hard to use both hands evenly on the machine - I can see one shoulder getting more sore than the other for sure.

Here's my pantograph work:

It's a little squared when it should be more rounded - it's like learning to machine quilt all over again!
The free motion went a little smoother and looks more rounded.  I kept reminding myself that this was also a plain muslin top with high contrast thread, so everything showed (good and not so good).

All in all, I enjoyed the class. Now, I can rent the machine for a day and do my own quilting on it.  I need to start with something small and easy - and not the red and white hunter's star.  I think I'll pay to have that one done.

Wednesday, 31 October 2012

Happy Hallowe'en

On the back of the t-shirt it says: If the broom fits, ride it.

Happy Hallowe'en!

Sunday, 28 October 2012

Hallowe'en Sewing

Hallowe'en is just around the corner and I needed to get my costume ready. I've had this in mind since I saw this picture on pinterest:


So, today I got busy. I started with this:

which is some black broadcloth, and 5 different colours of tulle (yellow, purple, black, orange, lime green). The light is horrible in this photo so the purple looks more like pink.

And 2 packages of elastic - 1 package 2" non-roll elastic and 1 package of 3/4" regular elastic.

Then I sewed. I'll reveal on Wednesday.

Wednesday, 24 October 2012

Dear Jane

I finished my Dear Jane homework for this round. I can't go to the class on Saturday - I'm convening a volleyball tournament instead. Total pieces to date, sewing the blocks my way: 1585



Tuesday, 23 October 2012

TTT - Twirling Seams

I've had a busy week and weekend and didn't think I'd have anything to post this week (much like last week). Then I decided I'd sew a little tonight to finish my Dear Jane homework and realized I could TTT about twirling seams. Here goes...

Twirling seams flattens out some of your seams and so reduces bulk in a four square patch. Here's what I did on a Dear Jane triangle block.

1. Press your seams all toward the dark - in this case, the green.

right side of fabric (please excuse the bad lighting)

wrong side of fabric with seams pressed towards the dark (green)
2. Then, sew another piece to the first one. If you always press the fabric the same way (in this case, towards the dark), then your seams will nest together nicely and you get better points.

3. You need to pick out the 2-3 stitches on your vertical seam that are in the seam allowance of your horizontal seam (blue arrow). The pink arrow is the vertical seam. You will pick out stitches directly above (north) of the intersection of the arrows. Pick them out on both sides of the fabric.

4. This is where I used to get messed up. Open up your fabric. The seams will fall open in the way they will want to lay (sometimes you have to help them a little).

Starting to fall open

I helped them fall open

You can fingernail press along the seam to help
If you look where they fall open, they  make a sort of square out of the two colours of the fabric - in a checkerboard pattern.

5. Press. I press this seam from both sides because I think it lays flatter.
Here's my finished Dear Jane triangle
back side of the triangle

back side of another twirled seam square
When I first learned this technique it took me a while to figure it out. Practice on some scraps. Once you get it, you'll love it!

Sunday, 14 October 2012

Creative Festival

Today I went to the Creative Festival in Toronto with one of my young quilty/sewy friends. She bought a lot - I bought nothing, except lunch.

I saw some neat things...
Giant cake

cake detail

cake detail

I liked this drunkards path layout. Can't remember the shop name.

made from sugar! check out

sugar art

more sugar

The following are corsages made from sugar. They are orchids. They are stunning.

From the Markham Quilt Guild. This quilt has 30,000 squares in it! Each square finished at about 1/2"
Honestly, I'm a little disappointed in the show - again. It's neat that it's a creative mixture of crafts - sewing, quilting, scrapbooking, knitting, etc, but then it's also about a lot of things and so I didn't think there was a lot of specialty items. None of the fabric vendors had yardage - everything was fat quarters.  Nobody had what I was looking for. I like the spring show much better - and it's cheaper. I had an enjoyable day so it wasn't a lost day.

Tuesday, 9 October 2012

TTT - Padded Hangers

I have a little extra padding - I wish it was as easy to move around as this hanger padding.

I think I got this idea from pinterest - maybe not - I do know it's not an original idea. I love it though!

1. Go to your local home supply store - I went to Home Depot.

2. Find the foam insulation in tubes that goes around pipes. It's probably in the plumbing section. It's the insulation you put around the pipes of your hot water heater. It's dirt cheap - maybe $2 a piece.

3. Buy some.

4. Cut with scissors to the length of your hanger. This insulation has a sticky piece to close the tube - I left the plastic on there so it didn't get "sticky goop" all over my fabric.

These are great if you have heavy projects to hang or ones that will hand a long time. You don't get a bad crease in them from regular hangers.

Happy Quilting!

Monday, 8 October 2012

Happy Thanksgiving Dear Jane

Happy Thanksgiving to my Canadian friends! I hope you had a wonderful day - we did here.

I got some more Dear Jane pieced today...