28 January, 2014

Star Quilting

I don't do much quilting.

The exactness required is really exacting (excruciating) on my 'just sew it already' personality.
I saw this pattern on the SewMamaSew website and it grabbed me enough to derail some other sewing plans.

I used my Road 15 'layer cake' - my first ever quilting fabric pre-cut. A layer cake is 10" squares.
2 1/2" strips (jelly rolls) or squares (charms) scare me in their tinyiness and perceived lack of usefulness.

Involved were numerous 2 1/2" blocks - squares and HST's (half-square triangles).
Almost  90 in all - for a 18" square. It was 9 blocks across and down but you need to fill in those edges - just so - requiring a few extra.

These Road 15 fabrics really appealed to me as well. The fabrics are made up of real street addresses. street maps, neighborhood views. Not to mention the color palette of turquoises and wine red.

The turquoise reign seems to be over in favor of the 2014 pantone color of the year - Radiant Orchid.
Not sure how that's gonna work for me - although it may curtail buying way too much fabric which is always a noble goal.

I was *so done* trimming my 2 1/2" squares around number 45.
I had to suck it up and keep going.

It's like making 45 hotpads - another thing I am not good at (quantity sewing).

I had to search my stash for wine red crochet thread. Thank heavens - the nearest fabric store that carries this thicker ply thread is half-an-hour away in a direction I don't need in my busy life. Another reason to keep too much stash.

Notice on the black star "Oregon trail".

Stuck for now. I'm not a fan of endless quilted wallhangings. Most of the quilting blogs seem to be making new wallhangings each week. What do they do with them all? Do they gift them, like me & my sewing projects?

I do like this finished make, a lot!
However it doesn't quite go with my couches so I am re-thinking the pillow idea.

I ran out of enough of  my grey to make it into a pillow (Ha! another excuse to go to the fabric store). Debating whether to make this an envelope back pillow case, utilizing the extra blocks as a small design feature on the back. . .
Or, backing and binding to hang on my sewing room wall. . .This is my top choice because then the back doesn't matter as much. I could use another grey in my stash.

Thinking. . .

I'm doing some training at work so my hours have temporarily increased. Just luv that 8 minute commute because even with working more hours, the free time is still mind boggling.

Here's one of my three orchids - Radiant orchid -haha - reblooming.

23 January, 2014

Airplane Quilt

My bestest estate sale find EVER.

I'm pretty sure this pattern is called Lucky Lindy.
Charles Lindbergh had soloed across the Atlantic and everyone was crazy about airplanes.
Many patterns came out, some distinctly airplane, some imitating the movement of flying.

This measures 82"+ x 64" wide.

All hand-sewn. All feedsack fabrics.
This firecracker airplane might be my favorite.

It may have been paper-pieced but whoever stitched it - did it by hand!

The blocks in-between the airplanes are hand-quilted in this flower medallion.
Diagonal stitching on the airplane blocks.

It's 1930's.
The wadding has dissolved and lurks in the seams.

This is the worst damage. This whole block in the middle is thread-bare.

There are only a couple other areas where a seam has come un-done. I'll have to look at my stash to see if this block can be repaired.

Beautifully square. Unbelievable small stitches.

I soaked this for three days in Retro Clean and it whitened up the quilt quite a bit and took most of the age-yellowing   - away.

---without bleaching or fading the colors.

21 January, 2014

My Kid

Incredibly proud of my son. He helped make this video.

2nd year pharmacy student, president of his class. He's going to support me in the way I could become accustomed to.

19 January, 2014

Marimekko Pattern

I've had this red & white striped Marimekko make-up bag forever.
I've only had the bicycle oilcloth for a few years.

I've been wanting to make this zipped bag with gussets for a while. My last bag gave me an idea to fuse the lining to the outer fabric.
With this small gusseted bag, you finish the raw edges with twill tape/bias tape/whatever tape.
I made a pattern off my marimekko - basically a large rectangle and a tiny rectangle x2 for the gussets.
I used adhesive spray to bond the lining to the outer fabric and I love that it stays put.

This was a fairly easy zipped pouch to make. It opens wide enough to dig around - I usually travel with my Marimekko filled with toiletries. It would be easier with two bags.

The narrow gussets created several moments of hand-sewing which involved a thimble to get my needle through the oilcloth easier.

A sneak peak at some HST (half-square-triangles) that I am sewing.
Have 45 out of 81 done. (What was I thinking?)

I'm using a layer cake of Road 15 by Sweetwater that I bought with last years Christmas gift card to Fabric Depot.  I usually buy yardage to make my little doodads - this is my first foray into quilty-type fabric buying. Maybe I'll get some charm squares next time....


I have exciting news - the Lucky Lindy quilt I found at an estate sale yesterday for $65 - which I didn't have?  My Creative Friend went back today and it was still there!!! She talked them down to $50!!!

She's the best friend ever.
Then she brought me some RetroClean and the whole quilt is soaking in my bathtub right now!



I am really liking my new work location. The eight minute commute  is incredible. It is freeing up time for my other life.

I've been dreaming on Pinterest. I think I have the hang of Pinterest now. It beats bookmarking things I would like to try and then trying to figure out why I bookmarked them years, ahem, months later. Pinterest bookmarks come with a photo and a linkback to how to make it. Unlike my bookmarks, where sometimes the link no longer works or is for the general website -not the specific page.
The boards help me and my OCD organizational bits. I still have to figure out how NOT to get notifications that someone is re-pinning my item --clutter in the email inbox, but otherwise, I am loving pinterest.
Lots of thinking and dreaming going on at home. Had some family 'emergencies', -- but since there were three of them, we have moved on.

My recent estate sale find - a Lucky Lindy airplane quilt with original feedsack fabrics. I didn't buy it as it was only $65. And I didn't have $65. The quilt was a small twin and thin but not holey. Very vintage '30's.

I do own the pattern and I probably need to make one or at least learn more about quilting.
One of  the red planes was made from a print fabric featuring tiny firecrackers.

12 January, 2014

Plastic Snaps

My package from China came yesterday.
Really fast - I ordered them less than two weeks ago.
I looked at Ebay and  my local fabric store.    I went for cheapest with free shipping.

And you get what you pay for...

For $15.98, I received the pliers with all sorts of extras.
10 colors of 10 15 colors of 10 snap sets each (total 100 sets 150 (!))

These work just like metal snaps.
 I used my seam ripper to make a pinhole through my fabric.

Sandwich the button and the male end with the fabric between.

And squeeze the pliers together.

The screw at the top of the pliers already fell out - it's just sitting there loose.
I've already broken some of the snaps by squeezing too hard? They still work - it's the base that cracked.

For the most part, they worked fine. I wonder if a different brand of snap might hold up better. These will do the trick for this project.

I even managed to take a video of squeezing.

And these might have fallen into my ebay cart from the  same seller. 

Metal (aluminum --  lightweight) studs for purses or other things that need to be decorated.
Each bag was $2.50 with free shipping.
Too good to be true?

08 January, 2014

Craftsy Bag Making

After Crafty Tokyo Mama made her boxy pouch, I thought I would whip one out too. This is a free class on craftsy called No Guts Boxy Pouch.
My son came home over the holiday and I was eyeing his ditty bag on the bathroom counter when I saw Janine's.

A couple of people had problems with the tab measurements and the ability for this bag to stand up on it's own.
I fixed the tab by making it longer (2"x 3" instead of 1" x 3") so you have something to grip when you sew it onto your bag.
The other problem that came up in the reviews lies in it's designed ability to be a bag that can be folded flat - for space saving. It probably never will stand up on it's own.

I picked a homedec weight fabric from Finlayson in finland and interfaced this. However, my lining is a quilting cotton from the Summerville line. Cute choices but they don't match in weight.
While I can get my bag to stand up, I had to tack in each corner so lining doesn't wallow around inside the bag.
In fact, when looking at my son's ditty bag (complete with zippered pockets), that one used bias tape to finish the inside seams. When you create the boxy corners, I can see why grabbing the lining too might be a great idea.
How they did it on my sons ditty bag was to create the zippered pockets (outside fabric and inside in the lining), then fuse the lining to the outer fabric. The gussets were sewn from the inside with tape covering the raw edges. Then You don't have a fiddly lining.

My home dec fabric was so stiff and the pouch not long enough, I had trouble sewing the gussets.

If I was to make this again, I would make this longer by two inches.
Or, I would sew the gussets at 1.5" instead of the 2" as directed. 

That would elongate the bag, which I would prefer.

It did turn out cute. This would be a fun giveaway item, filled with sewing and/or chocolate treasures.

It does open wide.

And closed up - quite square.
Struggling to sew gusset corners created a lot of wrinkles in my outer fabric. I took a wad of wool felt (still out from Christmasy makes) and ironed the outside by having the wad of felt inside pressing back.

Good directions for a free pattern.