Thursday, February 28, 2013

Maybe not...

I thought I had it all figured out and I began free motion quilting my Orange Twirl quilt with a design to mimic swirling breezes (fancy way to describe the free hand letter "S" I'm continuously stitching ;o).

FMQing with Aurifil 50wt - beautiful thread to work with and very little lint in my machine.  Love that!
 
I've completed a bobbin's worth of stitching and now I'm having second thoughts.  I thought I had the right idea for quilting, but maybe not.
 
 
 
I'm not completely in love with this design for this particular quilt.  I've used it with great effect before.  Solids really pop with this pattern, but the design gets lost in all the prints on this quilt (as you can see in the photos above and below).
 
The design "disappears" on the prints and is only visible on the solids - although it is adding lots of texture. Not sure I'm liking this enough to stick with it.  Time for quilting Plan B?
 
I have this sinking feeling that I will be spending some quality time with my seam ripper this evening. ;o) 

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Softer

Thought I'd share a glimpse at the pretty fabric that arrived in my mailbox the other day.  Definitely a  change up from the more usual brights that I gravitate towards. Sensing that we are on the way towards Spring seems to have my longing for softer, sweeter colours to sew with.  These definitely fit the bill!
 
Five of these fabrics - including the map print - are from the Paris Flea Market Collection (can be found at Shabby  Fabrics)
 
I can hardly wait to dive into creating with these.   I've been wanting to work with some low-volume fabrics for awhile now - especially those text prints.   Admittedly, my fascination with the whole idea of doing low-volume is due to online inspiration.
 
 
 

Monday, February 25, 2013

Again

You guessed it.  I just couldn't leave those Kaffe Fassett scraps alone.  They're so irresistible! ;o)
 I combined them with some rustic linen and  a few buttons, to make myself a new tissue holder/zippered pouch (using the pattern found in Suzoko Koseki's book, Patchwork Style).
 

For the back of the pouch, I went wild!  No scrap is too small when I'm looking to make "yardage".  All those pieces come together, like a puzzle, which is a fun way to piece.


Goodness, it's surprising just how satisfying sewing small  scrappy projects can be. 
 I know this won't be the end of my scrap forays, but I really do need to get back to finishing some of my larger projects.  I guess it's time I hid my scraps, to keep from being distracted. ;o)

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Love me some Kaffe fabrics!

A lovely new blog friend, Maria, has been showcasing a parade of wonderful projects made from Kaffe Fassett fabrics for the whole month of February on her blog.  The eye candy she is sharing will leave you drooling (and wanting to add more of Kaffe's fabrics to your stash, I'm betting ;o)
 
 
 Being a fan of Kaffe's fabrics, imagine my delight when Maria asked me if I'd like to participate by making something using some Kaffe fabric scraps that she would send me. She's called it a "Kaffe Fassett Scrap Challenge" - but sewing with his fabrics is far from being challenging as I see it. Add in the fact that I get to play with scraps... and I'm in sewing heaven. LOL

 
Maria has made beautiful quilts, wall hangings, pillows and so many good quilty things with his fabric, but I decided to go with a couple of favourite small projects to use those scraps she sent.  Two things I cannot seem to have enough of are pincushions and zippered pouches, and making them scrappy only makes me love them more. ;o)  The pincushion uses 8 different fabrics while the pouch uses 15.  Perfect for scrap busting and in Kaffe fabrics, they are so lively!

 
Thanks so much to Maria for sharing these lovely scraps and inviting me to join in a month of wonderful projects made using Kaffe's fabrics.  I had so much fun!
 
My two small finishes for the week are being added to the linky party over at
 

Ahhhhh...the possibilities...

 
I've been indulging in a little scrappy sewing this week (amidst tackling larger projects like basting 2 quilts :o).  And it feels so good to have a little playtime with small bits of pretty fabric that I have squirrelled away.  Joyful even, to randomly stitch them together and see what they will become.
 
 
I've cleared space in a scrap bin while giving my self the chance to wander creatively - no firm plan in mind (which is a relaxing way to offset  those projects that demand more of me).  This was strictly for the pleasure of it and now I get to decide whether this new piece shall become integrated into something larger... or not.
 
 
I love  when I take the time to go with where the scraps lead me.... it usually takes me somewhere inspiring and gives me a much needed breather while still being creatively fulfilling. Oh, how I love the possibilities scraps provide! ;o)

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Ready

The pins are in!
Let the quilting begin....
 
Orange Twirl basted and ready for some FMQing


Thursday, February 14, 2013

Wishing you...

 
a very,
 

*I'm spending the day installing a kitchen with my sweetie... more sewing to share soon. :o)

Saturday, February 9, 2013

My fingers were crossed.

 
You may recognize this assorted group of cut fabric as belonging to a quilt that is on my list for the first quarter of Finish-A-Long 2013, hosted by Leanne. 
 
 
 I'm one step closer to getting my quilt underway - with the recent arrival of the two fabrics shown on the far right, in the picture below.  I ordered them, sight unseen, during a recent online fabric sale. Admittedly, I had my fingers crossed, hoping they would coordinate with the other collected fabrics, to be used as background (teal) and backing (magenta). 
 
 
I couldn't be happier!  It's a bit trickier sometimes, choosing fabric online, but with sale prices beckoning, I find myself more inclined to take the chance.
 
Now before I get this quilt underway, I have two other quilts basted and waiting to be quilted (more on those two... soon).  Yes!  I feel like I'm making headway with my FAL list.  
 
 How's your list coming?
 
 

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

My Sewing Room...

has been a work in progress.  Although I've been sewing for decades (there's a scary word! ;o), I didn't have a room solely dedicated to my creative pursuit.  The house we're currently living in, happily has provided me with a space I could call my own.  It's been fun and exciting, looking back at how I've changed this room to suit my needs over the past 3+ years.
 
Let me welcome you on the tour to see my newest changes in my sewing room!
A place to show of a sweet Featherweight 221K... along side a huge jar of collected buttons .
This room is part of an open floor plan, so I only have two walls available to arrange storage along.  You may notice I have added two new (to me) white storage units and two white bookcases.  I loved the first two shelf units ( the ones with glass doors and solid lower doors) so much that I have been on the lookout for matching units to buy.  These are an older line from IKEA, so second hand is the only way to buy them.  I particularly appreciate the height and depth of these units.  Perfect for storing my fabric.
 
Quite a collection of shelving units!   The new units include shelving and drawers.  Yay!
One of the features that I'm loving about the newest additions, is the 6 drawers in the one shelving unit.  Originally I thought I would fill them with my designing paperwork - to keep ongoing ideas organized... but I discovered that only 2 drawers would be needed for that.
 
 
That meant I could use those other four drawers for some organizing of fabric.
Each drawer holds 3 containers that I use for corralling my scraps (grouped by colour... with separate bins for selvedges and strings).
 
 
The next new to me bit of organizing really makes my heart sing.  As an extra, the seller of the shelving units had this matching 3 drawer unit on castors.  Immediately I had an idea for where I would put it.  Yes!  It fits perfectly under the open sewing table of my Singer 15-91.  It is now located where I can access it whether I'm at my Janome (pictured below) or if I'm sewing on my vintage Singer.
 
 
You probably guessed what I would have tucked inside this handy little unit.  Now my bobbins and most used sewing gadgets are close by, without using up space on my sewing tables.  Plus the middle drawer is a perfect spot for keeping my quilting threads ready for use.   Love it!
 
 
You may also notice from the overall shot of the sewing room (second from top photo)... that I now have a couple of bookcases tucked in there.  These meant I could free up space on my metal shelving units and keep my sewing books and magazines within reach.
 
 
Part of my vintage spool collection sits on the top shelf where I can admire those colours.  As you can see, not a spare inch is wasted. ;o)
Not an empty shelf in sight! lol
Everything is easier to access than ever before.  I tend to be the type of person that wants "a place for everything and everything in its place" and I'm closer to having that. 
 
Yes, you can see I've been doing some stash enhancing.  Colour grouped and ready for action!  Maybe if I free up some shelf space I can move my buttons down from the top of those units?  As it is, I need to keep my step stool handy for reaching those lofty treasures.
Not shown in my tour, is the re-vamped design wall which is located exactly opposite the shelving units shown above.  My clever husband came up with a way to secure a design wall over the brick fireplace (that we've never used) that sits between two long windows on the third wall of this room.  Having my design wall makes the most of this otherwise unusable space and provides me exactly what I need to guide me in my quilting projects.
 
All in all, I couldn't be much happier.  I love an organized space to work in! No surprise this is my favourite room in the house. ;o)
Then (Summer 2010)....                                                                   Now (Winter 2013)...
What a difference!
 
If you're interested, check out the links I've listed to show you how my sewing room has progressed.  I've come a long way from storing my fabric in huge rubbermaid tubs... although I'm still using our  fancy vintage dining table (we have a kitchen table that is used for all our meals) as my sewing and cutting table.  One day, I may have an actual sewing/cutting table, but I'm not complaining.  Best yet is that all my storage solutions were second hand finds.  This is where patience pays off... and why I've been able to fatten my stash. ;o)




My creative space started out looking like this in the spring of 2010

Here's what my sewing space looked like  summer of 2010

My sewing room looked like this in the summer of 2011


Hope you enjoyed my little tour!

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

How it happens

Finishing blocks for my Orange Twirl quilt has been on my WIPs list and is one of my FAL projects. Happily, with new fabrics from some friends to help me on my way, I'm making progress.
 
A bit of white flannel taped onto a piece of posterboard works beautifully as a portable design board and is a handy tool for block layouts.
 
The growing quilt is on my large design board behind my vintage Singer, and my portable design board is right in front of me when I sew.  The combination makes block making go so much faster!
What tricks do you use to help get quilt blocks made?
 

Orange-Aid

You many remember the Orange Twirl quilt I'm working on?
 
  The last time I posted about it, I mentioned that I had decided it needed to be a bit bigger, but  knew this meant I needed to start gathering more orange fabrics. 
 
 Little did I know what would transpire from that post.  I had so many generous offers of fabric help from bloggy friends around the world. 
 
 Want to see why I feel so blessed ....
 
 
 
 Thank you to Carol, for these lovelies!
 
 
Thank you to Maria, for these beauties! 
 
 
 Thank you to Wendy, for these pretties!
 
 
(Wendy also spoiled me with some handmade goodness!  Even her card is handmade - check out that cute fabric birdie holding line of bunting!)
 
 
Thank you to Nicolette, for these treasures!
 
You can imagine that with all this orange-y good bounty, I've been forging ahead quite nicely with making more blocks for my quilt.  This quilt is taking on a special meaning as it now contains the global kindness of friends I have met in this generous world of blogging.
 
Personally, my heart is overflowing with gratefulness for all the help from these sweet friends and my throat tightens as I think about it.  This is just one  of many amazing example of the generosity from friends I have made in my blogging journey.   The world really is a smaller, friendlier place and I have YOU to thank for that.  Hugs to each of you ....

Friday, February 1, 2013

Emerald Challenge

I'm sure you're aware that Pantone's colour of 2013 is Emerald.
 
*Image from Pantone's Pinterest board
 
However, you may not have heard about  the Emerald Challenge, so I thought I'd hook you up. ;o)
 
  Ali over at a.squared.w  has put together a post that has links to the rules and the flickr group, along with the list of sponsors for the challenge, if you're interested in joining.
 
 
2013 Emerald Quilt Challenge

 
 I've already joined the flickr group and have been gathering ideas and some inspiration for my entry.

 Besides  Pinterest, I find looking at colour palettes on sites such as Design seeds will often spark ideas for me.   Below is one such palette.  
 
 
I have to say that I did not expect to find an Emerald green in my stash.  Then I remembered the FQ bundle I had from making my son's Blue Beginnings quilt.  Yes!  I had selected to use mainly blues in his quilt, so I still have half of the bundle (which fortuitously are greens).
 
Kona solids - Poseidon FQ bundle (click link to see all fabrics in this bundle - Emerald is among them!).
 
I've already worked out a design for the project I'll be making and have started auditioning fabrics for it.  I'm thinking of going for something more simple and modern.  
 
 You probably know how I love to play with print and scrappy ;o)... so I'm challenging myself to branch out this time around. 
 
 For the challenge, we are allowed one colour and one neutral to be used in our piece along with the feature colour (Emerald!).  Other greens are acceptable, so that's what I think I will do.  Blue will be my secondary colour (and possibly the only print fabric I will allow myself...) and I'm thinking of using linen as my neutral.  I'll have to get a test block together to see if my idea is going to work! lol 
 
Nothing like a challenge to get those creative juices flowing!
 
Even if you don't join in, I recommend visiting the flickr group.
  You're sure to be inspired!
 
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