Friday, February 26, 2010

I Want to Get Sewing Again . . . and Scrapbooking!

Sewing Studio still as I left it. I want to get to sewing again.Here's an image of my Sewing Studio in the basement just as I left it the last time I sewed downstairs. Yep, pretty much everything in the same posititon it was a week ago. Most of the sewing I've been doing this week has taken place at my friend's house and not here.

I have spent the last several days clearing out my Scrapbooking/Quilt Frame Room. I had allowed it to get piled up with 'stuff' over the past several months from non-use. Now that has all changed! It looks completely different than a did last week. I am so pleased to be able to start making use of it again.

Here a glimpse of the Yellow Scrapbooking/Quilt Frame Room in re-organization progress.I purchased the cloth leaders needed for my quilting frame last weekend. Now that I have those in hand I am anxious to get started on one of the many quilt tops that I have saved aside. I decided to empty the 'Yellow Room" (so named because of its color, I wrote about it here - and here.) I only want to bring back into it the things I know for certain I want to keep there. I rearranged the desks and storage units to better serve my purposes for scrapbooking. Now I'm ready to tackle the mess I have dragged out into the living room this past weekend.

Yes, every excess thing that had been stored, stashed or tucked away into the Yellow Room is now currently sitting on my living room couch or stacked along the north wall. It is a motley assortment of stuff saved as memorabilia, magazines, books, must-haves and hard-to-part-withs from the last many years. As I was hauling it out I could see right off there was some good stuff there that I will be keeping. There was also plenty of stuff I know I will be parting ways with. Now . . . how to go about doing that? At the moment I think I will be setting up several boxes. Trash will be going out into the trash bin or the shredder right off. Other things will be going into boxes: Possible Give-Aways, Definite Give-Aways, We'll See's. The final sorting began in a weak state of mind tonight. Alas I wasn't able to deal with it and therefore practiced some avoidance behavior. Turns out I'm good at that apparently. Tomorrow is a new day! So I begin again in earnest tomorrow morning!!!

I have decided to go through the stuff on hand to see what I want - and what will fit into my Yellow Scrapbooking/Quilt Frame Room (allowing plenty of room to move about). Then I will be announcing a "Come Pick From My Stuff Party" for all my friends. I've already announced this "Party" to a few people. They seem excited - they already know how much excess 'stuff' I have. I think I'll serve drinks and dessert for the party! Afterall, why not make it fun!?! Maybe some chocolate . . .

I am looking forward to tweaking this room more. I need valances on the windows; pictures, bulletin boards and decor hung; a shelf unit hung up, etc. I have a few things to bling it out a bit with personality. The overall look needs a few "WOW" pops of color - not just yellow, brown and black. I'm thinking some eye-popping bright pink, orange or red accents. Any suggestions? Can you tell enough from the photo? Perhaps I'll throw up some more photos tomorrow after I've worked on it a bit more. I cannot forget about my rattlesnake quilt I intend to hang on the wall in this room. Will that be a big enough pop of color? What do you think?

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Quilts Without Borders

There they are - the soon to be borders for the Leaf Quilt - in this gold and green fabric.Doesn't that title sound like it should be on a TV show as some investigative reporting or a place to donate your money to some tax-free organization? Okay, just kidding. I am trying to direct your attention to the fabric sitting along side of my sewing machine in the photo. I will be adding the gold strip of fabric as an inner border and cut a three and a half inch strip as an outer border from the green fabric for my Leaf Quilt. I thought I would be able to get to this today, but did not. I spent the bulk of my time pressing pre-washed fabric. I was getting it ready to use as the background for another quilt.

Things always seem to take more time than one thinks they will. That's often how it is for me anyway. I need to allow more time for things, to be more 'realistic' in accomplishing things. I should know this by now, but I hold out hopes of really accomplishing a lot on some days. Guess I allowed myself to get distracted. I didn't stay focused on this particular thing. That's okay.

I sewed with a friend this afternoon and really enjoyed my day. We went out for lunch and a bit of quilt shop fabric shopping. I engaged in a webinar on creating on-line shopping to further my business goals. I enjoyed a great visit with this friend while we sewed. All in all it was a good day. I will work to get those borders sewn onto my Leaf Quilt tomorrow. Being the one to set my own goals also means I can adjust and realign those goals to meet the situation. It's the perks of being 'my own boss'!!

New goal: Get the borders on that Leaf Quilt done tomorrow, on Friday!

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Still Enjoying Autumn Leaves This Winter

The borders for this leaf quilt will be gold and green.I am happy to report that I am ready to sew the borders onto this leaf quilt. It has been a long time coming. Lots of distractions, everyday life, bouts with illness, etc. that have kept me from getting it done. It's funny, but there is nothing hard about creating a quilt like this one. Expecially if you already know how to use your embroidery functions on your sewing machine. But it seems this quilt is taking quite some time to be completed. Most of the designs are from Anita Goodesign. They sew out beautifully. It was fun to pair different thread colors together. Sewing the same design using different colors added enough variety so that none of the leaves are exactly alike. Just as in nature, no two are alike. It reminds me of a cool autumn day in the country with leaves that have just fluttered down from an overhead tree branch. I can just imagine spreading a quilt out and laying back to enjoy the last of a warm autumn day. The warm sun, a cool breeze comes along, then the delight of a light covering of leaves as they rustle overhead and come fluttering down.

At this point I am considering quilting it together using the stitch-in-the-ditch method. I toyed with the idea of a simple stipple or meandering quilting method. Now I have made up my mind to keep it really simple, and plain, looking. Stitching in the ditch along the seams of the blocks and the between the logs should be a good way to go. This simple treatment for the actual quilting will allow the leaves to steal the show as the focal feature, not the quilting itself.

I am in love with this quilt - very pleased with it. My friends agree this one is special. Don't you just love all the lovely colors? It contains lots of scraps from my stash. Even that makes me happy . . . to use up a good chunk of those scraps. This quilt will look beautiful draped across the back of our couch as a seasonal quilt for late summer and fall. Even though I look forward to spring - cannot wait till life in the Dakotas warms up - I look at this reminder of fall with favor.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Leaf Block Pillow Give-Away

I laid all the leaf blocks out across the twin beds to check orientation. Now ready to sew together.I've been absent from this blog for awhile. Part of that time was spent lounging around with a bit of a cold or flu. Thought I'd check back in today and here it is already three weeks since my last post.

I have had these blocks laid out on the twin beds downstairs for some time now. I just have not taken the time to stitch them together yet. I'm hoping to fit it in still this week.

An extra leaf quilt block will be my first Give-Away for this blog.Perhaps you noticed an extra block in the upper left corner. It's at the head of the left twin bed by the magazine where I found the pattern for the quilt. Since I have an extra block I decided to use it as a Give-Away here at my blog. I will be sewing it up as a small pillow. If a pillow is something you could use to enhance your home decor, leave a comment below and you'll be in the drawing. Comments are open through November 14th. I'll conduct a random drawing of all entrants and pull a winner on November 15th. Good Luck - and thanks for visiting.

Monday, October 05, 2009

56 Leaf Blocks Completed

I have been busy emroidering and sewing away to get all 56 leaf blocks completed for my Autumn Leaf Quilt. Here they are laid out on my drawing table. Now I need to arrange them in the proper orientation so the blocks will be aligned correctly. I have a lot of different scrap fabrics working together to create the quilt. I want to lay the blocks out before I start sewing them together to be sure I don't have too many of the same leaves or colors of fabrics congregated in one area of the quilt. I'll lay them out on the beds in the guest bedroom downstairs to get the placement right. I want to start sewing them together tomorrow. There is supposed to be a border around the perimeter, but I haven't selected fabric color to do the border yet. Once the blocks are all sewn together I'll see what to chose for the border and the binding. I'm really looking forward to getting this quilt finished.

I've already started more cutting of fabric for the next couple quilts. I've got one quilt mostly sewn together right now. After talking it over with my sewing friend today at our Sew-In I'll be adding another 39 - 6 1/2" blocks to make the quilt larger. I can't say a whole lot more about this one since it's going to be a surprise for someone who might be reading my blog. It's that time of year to keep quiet about surprises for gift-giving later on.

My sewing friend and I were discussing ideas for projects we'll be making for Christmas gifts this year. I think I'll be doing a lot of sewing for gifts that I have in mind for this year. Hope all my dear readers won't feel slighted if I can't actually speak on specifics or show photos of all the things I'll be working on over the next couple months - have to keep some things to myself for awhile so there will be some surprises later. I'll update you all after the Christmas Holidays on projects that get completed.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

More Autumn Leaves

Embroidering more autumn leaves with Anita Goodesign embroidery designs.I was not feeling like my usual chipper self the last several days. I'm fending off some viral intestinal thing or something. Just feeling off from the norm, so I didn't participate in my usual Sew-In on Monday. I took it easy around the house by doing very little except for some time spent in my sewing studio. It's been nice and quiet around here. That's okay; I like to hole up at home when I don't feel so well.

I worked on embroidering more leaves for my Autumn Leaf quilt. I forget what the count is on that exactly, but I know I still need some more to get to 56 leaves. It's getting close. I did a bit more with cutting strips for the log cabin type blocks. I'm not keeping count on those since I've decided to do a second quilt with some other embroidered squares I have on hand. I'll take photos of those and post about them on another blog entry. Meanwhile, just know . . . even though I haven't posted for a short while, I'm still here . . . kind of just bumming around taking it easy as my body gets back to a more balanced state of being.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Leaf Quilt Half Done

I did a trial layout of my embroidered Autumn Leaves quilt blocks just to get a better idea how this quilt will look when it is completed. Love it!I went to sew with a friend today. This is what I worked on. I was busy sewing strips to these leaf blocks, then worked on cutting more strips for the rest of the blocks. Apparently I miss counted the other day. I re-counted this afternoon and there are 28 blocks finished now. Yea! That's half of the 56 blocks required for this quilt. I laid these out on the floor at my friend's house to see how this quilt will look when it is put together. If you're sharp, you probably noticed I have some blocks in the lower right corner positioned wrong. I can see this is something I'll have to be careful to watch for when it comes time to sew them together.

I love the look of the blocks. The colors seem to be just right with the scrap fabrics that were selected. I love how all these odd ball scraps turned out to work so well together. Now I need to work on embroidering 28 more leaves and continue cutting more scrappy strips. Once those two things are done, the actual sewing time to put the blocks together goes pretty fast.

I've been thinking that I need to have a name to refer to the time spent sewing as a social activity with my friend. It would be so much easier to refer to this time if it was named. It needs a name because it's important and would make it easier to talk about and write about. How does everyone else refer to their sewing time together with friends? It used to be called a Sewing Bee when sewers/sew-ers/sewists got together to sew and visit. Is that term too old-fashioned to use anymore? It doesn't quite seem to fit. After all, there are only two of us. What's the current term for social sewing? I'm open to suggestions.