Monday, August 18, 2014

Arrow Tables COTM! Surprise!

August 2014 - I am the Arrow Sewing Cabinet Customer of the Month. Yes, I KNOW! Well, I had said some good words about my tables on Facebook and on over time, and from the FB posts I was asked to be COTM. I was honored. My sewing space is not what you usually see - a lovely well appointed room with space to spare - no, I have a crowded area which I love because it incorporates my CDs, my books and my sewing machines and tables. AND the stashes of various sewing materials.  I will now say more good things about my Arrow tables! They are, most of all, easily repositionable. I move them at will. I also use them for several different machines, and can easily lift out one machine and place another in the well, as well as take out a machine when I need the table space for an extension while quilting a quilt. In addition, these tables are portable in a sense - you can easily fold them. The Gidget I holds most machines, but the Gidget II holds the larger machines, and I use it for my Janome MC6300P.  I do use the ruler feature along the edge of each table. I got my tables over the years from a couple of sources, and they are easily findable online.  Also just as a high note, Arrow sent me a cute little tote bag for the COTM honor. It is really a cute little bag!  I have my heaviest machine, my Pfaff 1222E, in a Gidget one right now, and it sews with almost no wobble. There is some vibration, but so is there in almost any cabinet. The one place I don't get ANY wobble is in my very large, really heavy oak public school teacher's desk that dates back to the 1950s and is NOT a sewing desk anyway.  I do have another sewing table - it is the Sullivan Portable Sewing Table, and is nice but too high! Most sewing furniture is 30" high and I really LOVE the 28" height of the Arrow tables I own. That height is just what I need. In addition, the Sullivan table is a nightmare to assemble - it really is. It's very non-intuitive. With Arrow you just unfold it and turn it upright! ;)

Sunday, August 10, 2014

My 15 Minutes of Play Fun....Pattern Free Quilting from Craftsy too!

The book 15 Minutes of Play is so inspirational. Terrifically freeing and fun. But there are quirks to this sort of thing which you learn while trying it out. Victoria Findlay Wolfe is a textile artist, quilter and innovator. I suppose her book is another way of crazy quilting, but approached in a different way, and Victoria's way is the best I've seen. Most quilting or sewing books, good though they are, are not the sort of thing you sit and read through in a couple of sittings. I did this book just like that! She makes you want to run to your scraps and hit the sewing machine to see if you can do it. The photo is my first attempt and I did 8 blocks. Now I think I need to chop up some fabric to keep the pace. It's also the sort of thing you can do between other projects, building a hoard of blocks that you can make into a quilt at some future date. That is what I plan on doing.

I reference the class from Craftsy by Joe Cunningham  in the title of this blog post. His work is amazing. The Craftsy class is Pattern Free Quilt Making and I highly recommend it. I finished it and will be watching again. I watch the classes, don't do projects usually but use the classes for tips and inspirations. The class really ties in with the 15 Minutes a Day as well in his very appealing delivery and techniques. Basically you make the quilt as you go along, pattern and all, and it is a truly innovative approach. Joe is a textile artist for sure, and his work is amazing. So after watching all of his class, and reading the book above, I had to try some of the techniques. They aren't as easy as they look, and it is truly fun to try.

The other project I have in the works is my long-in-the-planning and kind of different Asian fabrics quilt. I love the Oriental/Asian patterned fabrics, and have admired them all my life since my Dad sent both dolls and fabrics home from Japan way back in my early days. I have some Japanese dolls and love the colors and styles of the textiles. I completed the first block of the side panel for the quilt today. There will be a side panel of blocks and a panel design for the rest of the quilt which again - is my own idea and has perhaps the chance of being too different, but we'll see. I think it will work out all right...I do love working with these fabrics.  I did fussy cutting on the middle square, and the other blocks will have different fabric arrangements around but all will have the black fabric with gold flecks on the top of the block.

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Another Lutterloh Skirt...

Another Lutterloh Skirt! I actually made two of them from two lovely pieces of poly-rayon from the going-out-of-business sale back several years ago locally. Lovely fabric and I wanted to use it up finally. The other is a print as well, only lighter tan as a background and different print. This is all about using up my garment fabric! I have one 4 yard piece of Amy Butler fabric left. That is earmarked for a bag sometime when I need a bag. At present I need no bag of any size. Vera makes them so much nicer than I can!  But one of these days I will want to make one. These skirts are omni-seasonal, and that is handy.  The serger is the most valuable addition to any garment sewers repertoire. I was thankful to own one for this type of sewing - the hems are just serged and then sewn with a narrow hem on the machine.

There is more to say about quilting plans, but that doesn't belong in this particular segment!

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Fun Festival Time 2014...

This year's Vermont Quilt Festival was really lovely. In this bunch of pictures are just a few quilt pictures I wanted to share. No real detail, so that the good folks who made these will I hope know I loved their work, and I hope it can inspire others to quilt!

Nothing like a friend to enjoy the show with, and so this year was fine because two friends were able to make it. We did miss some regulars who could not make it this time.
 The colors and the designs were a feast for the eyes!
 Nifty idea - a pieced back with the scraps from the top! Lovely quilt with a lovely back! Thanks for showing it!
 Some design in the zigzag pattern of the displays added to my enjoyment....I love the zigzag black display sheets....with colorful quilts hanging from them. Like passing through a hall of fantastic tapestries on an adventure for a day or two.
 This quilt was my favorite out of all the quilts. Love the design, and the layout of the colors and just the whole thing. Perfectly lovely and very very Oriental in design aspect - clean and linear.
 Longshot of the hall, with people and booth showing - gives you an idea of the scale of the thing.
 A very cheery busy piece this one. :) Loved it!
 ZigZaging around the designs in and out of the corners and colors!
 Another favorite! Zingy sea blue and right next to triangles of a more sedate design....lovely juxtapositioning of the deigns and colors in this show.
One detail of the winning quilt - Best in Show - all silk and just an intricate feast of loveliness....
 Some reds!
 Plain and simple next to a juggernaut of color!
 Susan Cleveland is an excellent instructor and just so much fun to take a class from! A great time was had by all in the Trio class. Here is a detail section from her exhibited quilt in the instructors row. Her work is as vibrant and colorful as she is bouncy and fun!
Cough....last but not haul from the vendor booths. Somehow it all ended up sort of going together! And the good news is I refrained from purchasing a new machine! And that is not easy folks! they all looked so tempting!