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.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Falling Leaves

The colorful maple leaf embroidery is an Anita Goodesign embroidery design.I thought I would spend some time this weekend working on my Autumn Leaf quilt, but alas . . . I did not. The time just seems to fly by. The last time I worked on these was Thursday night. As I recall, I counted the number of leaf blocks I had already completed. They added up to 21 blocks. That means I need 35 more for 56 total. I spent quite a bit of time cutting up fabric strips to the appropriate lengths. Then I spent the rest of the evening and night sewing up some of the blocks. At first I worked on one, or just a few, blocks at a time. Then I decided it would be more efficient to sew them up assembly style. Right now the 21 leaf blocks are all partially sewn into blocks. I've got a few more strips to sew onto each of those blocks to have them finished. I'm contemplating going downstairs to my Sewing Studio and do a little bit of sewing before I head off to bed.

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

Autumn Leaf Quilt Progress

Close up view of one of these leaf blocksI went to a friend's house for our weekly sewing session. Since it was a holiday on Monday we postponed our regular Monday sewing time for today. I brought the makings for this Autumn Harvest Quilt and cut strips to size for most of the afternoon while we chatted. Then decided I had enough cut and sorted in their little piles to try sewing a few blocks together. I'm anxious to get this quilt completed in time to actually make use of it this fall. Hopefully it will be completed before the snow hits for winter.

Starting to equip the assembly line.I need 56- 9 1/2" blocks for this quilt. The pattern is in the American Patchwork & Quilting October 2009 issue. It's easy basic sewing, but of course I changed it and decided I wanted to make use of some embroidery designs rather than piecing the leaves as shown in the magazine. I have 17 leaves embroidered already - need 39 more so will try to keep the machine running tomorrow while I get caught up on some laundry and tidy up my sewing studio again. Last night I stayed up to get more leaves embroidered and was looking for some gray fabric for a project my friend will be working on. That lead me to digging through all my scattered stashes of fabrics, not just what was on the shelves in view. I have a bunch more fabric tucked away in a few places - like under my cutting table, inside plastic bins, etc. I'd like to someday get that all out and organized on my shelves so I can see it at a glance to find a particular color right away when needed. If I can eliminate the time to search for stuff by being more organized I can get projects finished easier.

Everything laid out on the cutting table for leaf quilt.Here's a shot of everything laid out on my cutting table after I got back from sewing today. I still need a lot more strips cut to size to make all 56 blocks for this quilt, so will continue to work on that between loads of laundry tomorrow. I need to do a bit of tidying up since we decided to sew again tomorrow and my friend is coming here to my house this time. I've got to clean up and make room for us both to work.

Another view of my materials laid out on table.And here's another view of the cutting table. Yep, I'm back to cutting out fabric, post accident, and feeling confident about my safety. I have to say I am really glad to have purchased those safety shields for my ruler. I already had my rotary cutter slip and jump atop the ruler to hit the ruler guard today. Honestly, I'm not being careless, but have to say I was a bit jumpy when that happened. It takes you by surprise. Again it happened so fast and had I not had the guards I may have had another accident.

I'll stress it again . . . go out today and get those ruler guards. Put them on your rulers. The fingers you save will be your own, or a loved one's. Yikes, it gives me the willies just thinking about it. Don't put it off - this is good advice from one who knows! By the way, the finger has healed up nicely. I cannot say enough about being thankful God made us with bodies that heal. There's only a tiny bit of numbness and funny feeling right at the tip, under the nail. I have full confidence that will eventually dissipate over time so that I have normal feeling in my fingertip again.

A large pile of fabric scraps to cut to size for strips in the background.In the background of this photo you can see that huge pile of fabric scraps waiting to be cut to size. These are mostly skinny pieces and oddball sized strips. I'll cut them to the two inch size for this leaf quilt if they are an appropriate color. If not, they will just be cut to 2 1/2" strips and later used for more jelly roll quilts. I've got a couple quilt books with patterns to make use of jelly rolls so I'm collecting assorted strips from my scraps. I've also got quite an assortment of oddball sized strips to make up some string quilts, too.

After looking through, and unpacking, more of my fabric stash last night I have to say I am looking forward to doing a quilt in the future that's planned from a pattern and not just scraps and scrappy strips. I've got so much beautiful fabric collected over the years that I've never cut into. It will be fun to make up some quilts from new fabric even though some of it isn't quite so new any more. What with working in the sewing and quilting field for the past 9 years or so - I've been to lots of quilt shows and purchased lots of fabric. Always seemed so busy with working and life in general that I didn't get to start using much of it yet. Guess I kind of went crazy buying up fabrics, books and patterns. There's so much now to chose from. That's a good thing, and yet I don't want to let too much more time pass while trying to catch up with making use of it. Times change, patterns change, colors change, etc. I'm loving the colors of it all now, but when too much time passes this will all seem old, passe or vintage.