Monday, August 25, 2014

Trio Project Finished...

Finally finished the project from my class at the Vermont Quilt Festival. Trio by Sue Cleveland. I added button embellishments and decided on some more stitching and the beading. The beading was a part of the project example, and since I never did a stick of beading whatsoever in my life I decided to do it - many transferable skills in this project. It is a small wall hanging but has several techniques learned in it - one is piecing very small pieces, one is prairie points and one is the various threads used int he stitching. I used Kimono Silk, Gutermann Sew all, and Wonderfil Spagetti. Spagetti is a great 12 weight thread - beautiful. Size 16 Titanium needle from Superior Threads is best with this thread.  It was a lot of fun to do this, as I never have done anything just for a wall hanging. Not perfect that's for sure, but I am glad I finished this one.

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!