Monday, August 31, 2009

Walking Foot

I bought the walking foot for my sewing machine to help me do machine quilting, but it's useful for other things too.Like sewing bulky things together, or over zippers...
And boxing corners of bags.
Like this little cutie. It's about 5 inches long, by 3" wide by 2" high. This is my first attempt at this little style boxed bag. I found the tutorial here, at Indie House.

You all know I'm a closet Bag Lady, right?

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Doll Quilt Swap 7

This is the finished quilt for Doll Quilt Swap 7. It's a selvage quilt, and it's machine quilted. It's about 24" square.I really like the way the black and white fabric of the binding echoes the selvages themselves.I like to enclose a few goodies. Real Maple Syrup is always a good gift, as is a nice gridded moleskin notebook. I've also made a cute little selvage pincushion.

The quilt and goodies will get shipped out to my partner at the end of this week.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

You know you have a mellow cat when...

This is the Cat Who Came Before.This is Gizzy, and he went to the Rainbow Bridge two years ago. He was an awesome cat. He loved everybody and he always had to be nearby, preferably right in the middle of whatever I was working on, as you can see.

I was hand-stitching the binding on this chessboard, when I got up to his ear. He didn't move. I gently tapped his ear. He moved it slightly out of the way, and I stitched past it. Then he moved it back, and I kept going until I reached the corner. Then I rotated the chessboard, and he moved his body accordingly. I reached the next corner, I had to tap his ear again.

All the way around.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Sunshine Sneak Preview

My son may be a Third Degree Black Belt, but I'm still the Mom, and if I want to show off a little bit of the Sunshine Quilt, then I'm gonna do it. I have Mom Armor!The quilt is at Chris's house, being quilted on Iris. I should have it back next week, when I am on vacation. I will add the binding and then it will go live with my son.It's looking good, and I am excited!

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Happy Birthday Sis!

My sister loves to make quilts, but very often expresses a sense of inferiority. She isn't an artist, she doesn't make quilts the way I do, etc etc.

Yeah, so? She made me a beautiful quilt for my bed.She made the Pink-a-licious quilt for Cassie.

She's a Second Degree Black Belt, and I am totally impressed.

I love her to bits, and we have great fun together.

Happy Birthday Honey!

Monday, August 24, 2009

Sew Mama Sew IBOL

A couple of days ago I told you all about the Iraqi Bundles of Love Project. But if you don't have roomfuls of extra fabric, it was a bit hard to contribute.

Not anymore.

The IBOL Guy has made a deal with Sew, Mama, Sew, an online store, and they are offering a prepacked bundle for the insanely inexpensive price of....

Fifteen Dollars! (15USD)

For 15 US Dollars, the lovely folks at Sew, Mama, Sew will pack a bundle and send it to Mr IBOL. What's in this box, you ask?

  • Five yards of new fabric
  • 16 sewing needles in a case
  • 32 pearlized pins on a wheel
  • 1 Tomato pincushion
  • 1 pair folding scissors
  • 1 150 yard spool of white thread
  • ...AND the cost of shipping is included in the price!

They are offering 150 bundles. If you would like to contribute, click HERE to order. (You can even pay with Paypal.)

This is an insanely good deal. We all know that fabric is currently selling for close to $10 per yard, and SMS is offering FIVE yards. Shipping a Large Flat Rate Box to the IBOL Guy costs $12, so this is a terrific way to contribute.

It's exciting to be a part of such a positive project.


Sunday, August 23, 2009

It's a Selvage Bag

There's a big surprise. Actually, this bag is different from the others in that it is slightly shorter (about 13") and it's quilted.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

It's A...

It's a bird...No.

It's a plane...No.It's a Surprise.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Iraqi Bundles of Love Project

A fellow quilt blogger, Kristin, has a husband who's currently serving in Iraq and has got a little side project going.

It's called Iraqi Bundles of Love, and it we can all participate. He's coming home soon, and he wants to leave behind something of value. You can read about the idea here, at Kristin's blog:
So he's asking for fabric, yarns, pins, needles, thread, etc. You put all this neat stuff in a USPS Large Flat Rate Box and send it out. All the information is on his blogs. You have to leave a comment to get the shipping address, and you have to act fast. The deadline for shipping from the US is September 7.

If you live outside the US, you can participate too, leave a comment on the blog Iraqi Bundles of Love, and Mr IBOL will email you.

Here's the FAQ:

Here's information about what to send:

How to build a bundle:

I'm getting my box ready. Care to join me?

Selvage Something, Part Deux

Here's the second half of the Selvage Something. I love the egg beater fabric, and there are some cats up there, along with my current favorite op art boxes.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Half of Selvage Something

This is the first half of the Selvage Something.

Stay tuned.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Selvage Tuesday

Black and White Selvages... I have a plan, but I have a little bit more prep work to do before the "real work" begins.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Exit, Laughing

After I finish tying the quilt, I usually trim the excess fabric to 6" wide. In this case, I added the striped fabric to the quilt backing, so I didn't have to trim anything.
I fold the raw edge over to match the edge of the quilt top, then fold it over again until the edge covers the raw edge of the quilt top by about 1/2"; it's usually about 1-3/4" or so. In this case, it's 2". I miter the corners.

I machine stitch the edge down.
Then I iron the quilt, pressing the edges nicely.It's all finished.
Here is the back. You can see where I had to add a bit to the sides.When I have help, I'll photograph the quilt in natural light, so you can all see the entire thing. In the meantime, here is what it looks like on the bed.And under the crocheted bedspread.Yeah, I know all you "it's-not-a-quilt-until-it's-quilted" folks are rolling your eyes and shaking your heads... "she must be crazy, hiding this under that bedspread..." but, that's exactly why the quilt is called...

Laughing Out Loud.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

All Tied Up

Julie, this photo shows the easiest way to tie the quilts.(have somebody with a strong back and knees help you.)

Absent that, here's what helps me: a small pillow for my knees. And I do a little bit at a time. In between sessions, I cover the quilt with a sheet, so I can walk over it in stocking feet without worrying about getting the quilt dirty. You all know I tape the quilt backing to the floor to prevent everything from shifting.
When I'm done threading the ties (which is a lot like basting), I roll it up like a jelly roll,
and move it to my dining room table,
where it's much easier to cut the threads, tie the knots and trim the excess.The Laughing Out Loud Quilt is all tied now. I'll work on it later. I've got a birthday party to attend this afternoon (note to self: don't bake a cake when it's 90F if you don't have air-conditioning), so I am not sure I can finish it.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Laughing Out Back

Yesterday I moved the dining room table over and started getting the backing ready for my Laughing Out Loud quilt. I will not quilt this, and after I tie it, I plan fold the backing over to the front. If you look closely, you can see the backing is too small.
Here it is after I added fabric to all four sides and squared it all up.
Then I placed the top down on the backing. Now it is ready to tie and finish. I hope to have this on my bed very soon!

Friday, August 14, 2009

Hip to Be Square

One of the best ideas I ever got from a book about organization was to have a wastebasket in each room of the house. The idea was to encourage their use by simply having them where needed. I have followed this advice, and can tell you it really helps keep rooms clean.

In a book about home crafting, I found a suggestion to use an empty tissue box as a tabletop waste receptacle for bits of thread, fabric scraps and broken pins. It sounded like a good idea, so I started using one. But empty tissue boxes are flimsy, big and often kinda homely.

At one of the home goods stores I found some pretty boxes for a couple of dollars.I bought a couple, and placed one one the bookcase behind my ironing table. Very handy. I keep another one on my sewing table.Then I moved the bookcase to another wall. I didn't have a place to put the box, until I realized I could hang it from the magnetic knife holder with a metal clip.
Then I got a better idea. I hung it from a small picture hook attached to the wall behind the ironing table. This keeps it high and out of the way. It also leaves me more space on the magnetic rack.It's handy, it works, and it's pretty!

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Sewing Studio Video Tour

You asked for it. OK, maybe you didn't ask. Here's a quick tour of my sewing room. It's a small room, barely 8-1/2 feet by 10 feet (about 2.4 x 3.0 meters). It's clean, and as all you quilters know, the sewing room never stays this pristine, so take a good look.

Keep an eye out for these things:

1. Plastic bins with little scraps sorted by color.
2. The template for my hand I used in the Alphabet Sampler Quilt.
3. The disappearing nine patch quilt.
4. The sock kitty Monty and the two Millies.
5. The Laughing Out Loud Quilt, and the fabric for its backing and binding.
6. Gwen Marston & Freddy Moran's books.
7. Gina's gorgeous quilt from Doll Quilt Swap 5.
8. A great use for a magnetic knife rack.
9. My selvage tote bag.
10. Several photographs of my son, with one memorable acrobatic pose.
11. My plexiglas strips
12. My first attempt at sculpture.
13. A little perl.


Monday, August 10, 2009

Disappearing 9-Patch, Finished

It's quilted and bound. Looking at that top edge, I think it's a prime example of the liabilities of working past your bedtime.

I've gotta fix that.

Some doll will be very happy!

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Yellow House

The sewing studio was so clean, I just had the need to do some work in there, so I made this happy wonky house.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Disappearing 9-Patch Update

I added a border to the disappearing 9-patch I was working on earlier in the week.
Amazing transformation, isn't it?

**PS, the quilt shown in yesterday's post was first blogged about here. It's my Chessboard Quilt, and I made it from leftover bits of the 40 + quilted chessboards I made several years ago.

Friday, August 7, 2009

Sewing Studio Walls

For Sherry, who asked... The big white areas in my studio are 48" x 96" pieces of 1/2" Homasote. I painted them white, then attached them to the walls in that room. You can get it at the big box hardware stores. It is relatively lightweight, takes paint well, and is easy to cut. You can also cover it with fabric, as I did for the bulletin board on this closet door.It makes an excellent bulletin board, especially since you can cut it any size you want (use a sharp utility knife, score it once using a ruler, then make repeated cuts until you get all the way through.)
Since I originally set up that room as an oil painting studio, I painted the homasote panels white.

If I had originally intended the room to be a quilting studio, I would have covered them in flannel. Since the panels were already up, and I had a piece of flannel and an electric staple gun, I ironed my flannel, turned the ends under, and then stretched and stapled it to one of the homasote panels using 1/4" staples.

Yes, I could have bought more flannel, made it the "right size and then stapled it all around, but I didn't need a gigantic design board, and I wanted to GET IT DONE!

You can see the staples along the edges in this picture.As for the clips across the top of the panels.... They are simply small picture hooks nailed into the homasote (remember the homasote is 1/2" thick) to which I have hung metal binding clips like these.
They're handy to hang a quilt up on the wall if all you want to do is photograph it. And after photographing the first quilt, I just left them up there because it was easier.And I was a bit lazy.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Shuffle Along

For my birthday, I bought myself some more of the little bins I use to store my little scraps.

And last night I finally stapled some flannel to one of the walls in my sewing studio to use as a design wall.Of course, this necessitated a complete rearrangement of everything in there...I'm not done yet. You'll see.