Sunday, October 25, 2015

Doing Double Duty - Two Full Days at the Quilt Shop

While the boss is having fun and spending way too much money at Fall Quilt Market, I am manning the shop.  After two full days there, I am ready for a day at home sewing, let me tell you (yes, we know quilting is addictive because of the withdrawal symptoms when you don't get to!!!).

Not too much exciting things to note from working.  No new fabric arrived, but I did get some pictures of some of the new fabrics from earlier in the month.  One of my favorites is this line from Jason Yenter - Celestial!


We also got in some gorgeous roses on black:

We buy a lot of nice border strips like this to make the Easy Striped Table Runner pattern, which is definitely the number one selling pattern in the shop!

I worked on the shop newsletter, cut a bunch of fat quarters, waited on customers and tended to business in general.  I did spend some time on George and finished quilting a shop sample that another employee pieced.  I forget how nice of a machine it is and how easy it is to quilt with all that space.  We do rent George out in the shop for 15.00 an hour.  If you can quilt on your home machine, you can quilt on George easily!

I also used the shop machine (a Janome Gem gold) to sew the binding and realized how much I love my Juki!  The 1/4 inch foot makes it a breeze to sew bindings by machine, and there was a bit of struggling to get that 1/4 inch seam on the Gem.  It's a nice little machine, but I sure do prefer sewing on my Juki!

I didn't come home with any new projects, whew!  I have plenty pending, so need to get busy and sew up those samples and write some patterns - I'm a bit behind in that area for sure.  So, I will keep it short and sweet now and get busy - we are going to have a walk this morning, then it's off to the sewing room to do some piecing and quilting!

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Working Wednesday

Worked my usual half day at Threads That Bind today - with a twist!  I worked in the afternoon instead of the morning.  There was a wool embroidery class that my boss wanted to participate in, so she had me change up from my regular hours.  So this morning, I did some sewing at home, hemmed a pair of pants, and repaired two swimming suits.  I cut out batting for the 6 cat quilts I am working on, and got the prizes for my giveaway ready to mail (congrats to Barbara and Judy, by the way!)  I also sold my red and black music quilt this week, so had to get that ready to mail as well.

When I got to work today, I had a pile of fabric to put away - then we talked about what needs to be done while Sharan is away at Quilt Market.  I have kits to cut, and a newsletter to work on, so I think I have enough to do for the weekend!  I checked in some new fabric - Hoffman Dream Blossom:

I am going to make a sample with the free pattern download.  The quilt is so pretty, and it looks really fast and easy to make!
I did a little computer research looking for a special needle case the teacher of today's workshop showed us.  They are Better Buddy bags by Namaste Inc.  We hope we will soon be able to carry these in the shop.  What a beautiful little luxery for taking your tools with you!  They also have a larger version, as well as other beautiful bags and cases! I think these would make wonderful gifts.

I got a call from the interior designer I work with and scheduled two sets of curtain panels for December.  I think I am pretty much booked up for the rest of the year at this point, so will probably not be taking on any more custom sewing until January.  I will fit in some alterations as I have time, but need to focus on finishing up the work I am already committed to.  I am getting better at prioritizing and protecting my schedule!  Plus I realize that I want to have some down time in December to send with my family.

After I got home, I hemmed a pair of jeans and wrapped it up for the night.  I plan on doing some quilting tomorrow since I work all day Friday and Saturday.  The next couple of evenings are booked, so I am enjoying a little computer time this evening while I can!

Thanks for reading along - I do enjoy sharing what I am doing, and am so glad you take the time to read my blog :)

Sunday, October 18, 2015

Why I prefer sewing over gluing - Mini Design Boards.

One of the projects I decided to work on was these cute Mini Design Boards:






You can find the tutorial about how to make them here.  And if you want to spare yourself some burned fingers, messy hot glue all over the place and the trouble of going to the store to get the foam core board you can buy them at the Fat Quarter shop!  It took me about half an hour of my time to make one on average.  I got hot glue all over my table (my bad, should have put down some paper), burned my fingers and knuckles, and actually glued the trim on one inside out.  I remembered why I hate gluing...it's so darn permanent.  If I sew a patch inside out, I can rip it out and fix it.  Once it's glued, you're done.  No re-do's allowed.  You can barely tell because of the zig-zag stitching, but I will always know I messed it up :(

If I figure out the cost of my time and supplies, I come out ahead just buying them, even with postage.  Before I started this project I thought I might make some for sale at the shop, but I know I am not going to do that now - I might make a few as gifts, but you know they would have to be very good friends!  I do love them though, and I know they will be very useful.



I also got started on some blocks for the first of 6 kitty quilts!  I love it!  I'll be working on this more today, and working out plans for different blocks for the other quilts as well.  Hope you are having a good weekend!  I am glad I took this weekend as a sew-in, even though I haven't been quite as productive as I had hoped.  I feel like I need to do this more often to tell you the truth, It's given me a fresh perspective on my projects and left me refreshed and ready to do more creating!


Friday, October 16, 2015

Quilt-In Giveaway!

I had a good day of quilting today - organized my sewing room a bit and actually got my CityScape lap quilt totally quilted and bound!  Woohoo!  That's one off the list.  Will try to get some pictures tomorrow.  The weather may not cooperate, but I will try.

Today did have a couple interuptions, had to make a run to the store (but I picked up supplies for one of the projects on my list!) and had an activity this evening I had to go to.  But now I should be all set for the rest of the weekend.  I am excited to work on some new things - will have to charge up the kindle for some movie watching as well, love that Amazon Prime subscription!

Tomorrow I am going to start out with making some quilt blocks.  I have been thinking Puss In The Corner, but when I went to find the block pattern, it wasn't what I had in my mind.  I did an internet search and came up with a version of the block that I like better, and plan to use it for my blocks:


I am planning to try it on point and see what it looks like!  I think it will be a fun block to make.

I also came up with a couple of doorprizes for a giveaway.  One giveaway will be for my Mini Selvage Bin pattern plus a bundle of selvages.  You'll be hooked once you make this!

The other will be a Mystery bundle of scraps from my sewing room - I'll give you a hint later tomorrow :)  To enter, leave a comment on my blog telling me what you are working on, and go take a visit to my facebook page.  I hope you will like my page while you are there - I am almost at 1000 likes!  Wow - I never thought I would have that many!

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Don't forget to go visit Maryellen's blog for the You Can Quilt Blog Hop!  

Quilt-In 2016

Have you ever gone to a quilting retreat?  I haven't yet, but it is definitely something on my bucket list!  I decided that this weekend I would hold my own personal "Quilt-In".  For the next three days I am going to have a good time quilting and enjoying myself right here in my own home, and I invite you to join me!  Gather up a project (or 2 or 3) and make your own fun sewing event.  I'll be sharing progress reports on my facebook page and instagram as well as here on my blog!  Since I am so close to 1000 likes on my Facebook page, there will be a prize for reaching that mark, as well as some other door prizes - you can check here tomorrow for those!

Since I am doing this on the fly, I'm not sure what else will happen, but there will definitely be lots of quilting going on!

I am getting organized this morning using these great quilt project tracking sheets:

You can download them free on Craftsy!  Quilt & Craft Project Tracker


I've started my list already!
Yes, I'm a crazy woman who likes to make her lists in ink!  That way I can't cheat and erase things :)

What are you working on this weekend?

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Barn Quilt for Oktoberfest 101

I thought it might be fun to start keeping a record of what I do on Wednesdays when I work at the local quilt shop.  My duties are varied, and I keep busy with all kinds of projects there. One of the things I do at Threads That Bind is create blocks for the quilt runs we participate in.  This year the coastal shops are doing a promotion they are calling Oktoberfest 101.  If you stop by any of the shops on the Oregon Coast you can enter to win a $50.00 visa gift card and pick up a free Quilt Barn pattern.  Here is the sample for the block I designed:


I like how it turned out, and it was fun to quilt it!  We used the pieces of leftover sky fabric from our row by row kits for the kits...nothing goes to waste if we can help it.

Today I started cutting for some kits for this quilt:

We are out of solid white fabric right now, so I have to wait to assemble the kits until we get that in.  I just realized that I haven't written a post on the finish for this yet, so I guess that will go on my list as well!

I also did inventory on the remaining row by row kits and counted the orders we have right now.  Looks like I need to cut about 100 of those for when we are able to send them out in November, that should keep me busy while the boss goes to quilt market next week! 

I also helped pull fabrics for a shop sample of a really cute quilt with gold fish - we had to choose 6 orange and gold batiks and 7 blue ones.  I enjoy doing that!  It's always fun to start a new project, and sometimes it's even more fun when you don't have to do the sewing - choosing fabric is always one of my favorite jobs.  

Other than that, I put fabric away, waited on a few customers and helped with some computer tasks.  That's a lot of work for just four hours, so it went by very quickly!  I'll be working extra days next week while the boss is gone, so I'll have more quilt shop posts - I think it will be fun to take you behind the scenes in my work there.

I also wanted to share about the Blog Hop I am currently a part of!  This is for a great new book co-written by one of my Island Batik Ambassador group  - You Can Quilt!  This is a terrific book, ideal for the beginner quilter.  Make sure you check out the various posts and enter to win some terrific prizes, including several copies of the book and fabric!




Here is the line-up:
Bloggers are by Date, Chapter, Name, Blog

Oct. 9 – Ch. 1. Basics - Leila Gardunia - co-author -  http://sewnbyleila.blogspot.com

Oct. 12 – Ch. 2. HST - Tammy Silvers  http://www.tamarinis.typepad.com/

Oct 14 – Ch 3. QST - Connie Kresin Campbell http://www.conniekresin.com

Oct. 16 – Ch 4. Flying Geese - Maryellen McAuliffe http://teachpany.blogspot.com

Oct 19 -- Ch. 5. Wonky - Christine McCrann Martinez http://madeinscraps.blogspot.com

Oct. 21 – Ch. 6. Improvisation - Connie Kauffman http://kauffmandesigns.blogspot.com

Oct. 23 -- Ch. 7. Foundation Paper Piecing - Joan Kawano http://moosestashquilting.blogspot.com

Oct. 26 – Ch. 8. Curves - me! - Marlene Oddie  http://kissedquilts.blogspot.com

Oct. 28 -  Ch 9. One-Patch Blocks - Bea Lee http://www.beaquilter.com

Oct. 30 – Ch. 10. Applique - Barbara Gaddy http://bejeweledquilts.blogspot.com 

Nov. 2 – Ch. 11. Inset Seams - Pamela Boatright  http://pamelaquilts.blogspot.com/

Nov. 4 – Ch. 12. Challenge Blocks - Linda Stewart Pearl http:// www.onequiltingcircle.com

Nov. 6 – Ch. 13.  Finishing – Marlene of Kissed Quilts will share a variety of ways to finish off your blocks that aren't covered in the book.   http://kissedquilts.blogspot.com

It's a ways until my post, thank goodness because I need to work on my blocks!  Today is Connie's turn and she made her blocks into a lovely table runner.  I'm not sure what I am going to do yet, but I know it's going to be lovely in the pretty Island Batik fabrics I have!  

Monday, October 05, 2015

Sea of Quilts 2015

The third weekend of September is my guild (Coos Sand 'N Sea Quilters) quilt show.  This year I entered four quilts and received a blue ribbon and a red ribbon!  The blue ribbon was for my Blue and White Stars Quilt in the Large Quilt, Professionally quilted category.  You can read about this quilt here.
I was really thrilled to win a ribbon on this because I put a lot of time and effort into quilting this one.  The ribbon was lovely, a handmade flower with ribbon streamers.


The red ribbon was for the Pink Heart quilt I hand quilted.  I don't think I have blogged about this one yet, so I will have to make sure I do that!


This was was in the Group Quilt - hand quilted category.

I thought that the categories were a litle baffling this year.  I didn't really consider this quilt to be a group quilt just because I didn't do the embroidered blocks, but I suppose that one could classify it that way.  At any rate, I was pleased by the ribbons, and by the goodie bag I received.  The best part of it was the Aurifil Thread pack I received - four big spools of neutrals!  I will definitely put that to good use!

Good news for the day is that I think I have conquered those crazy valances.  I plan to press them and make sure all the stray threads are clipped and deliver them tomorrow.  Hurrah!  And another project has had the fabric approved, so I can start getting that one out of the way.  I'm excited to be moving forward on these so that I can get to more quilting - there has definitely been too little of that lately!
I can't wait to show you some of the quilt plans that I have in the works :)



Saturday, October 03, 2015

Persistence:

noun
  1. firm or obstinate continuance in a course of action in spite of difficulty or opposition.

My latest project has required a great deal of perisitence.  I have been working on this project for over two weeks at this point and am finally seeing the light at the end of the tunnel!  If it would have been a quilt, at least the progress pictures would have been great for blogging, unfortunately miles of ruffled kiwi colored fabric, or miles of ruffled blue fabric just were not inspiring to me (although I suppose my readers might have been interested...)  To tell you the truth I was so sick of this project that I didn't even want to talk about it!

 The green-yellow fabric is a lightweight velvet that is actually more green than this picture shows. It is so soft and is actually quite nice to work with.  The blue is a heavier woven cottton, almost like canvas.  I cut about 20 2 inch strips of the velvet, which were folded in half and then ruffled.  It took a lot of time, but made a lovely accent.
This is the picture from the fabric.com website.

 Then I had to do a lot of math work because I needed to make a total of 12 pleats for the bottom of the valances.  Each pleat was lined in the kiwi and the pleats were angled to show off the pretty accent.  The windows and trim were not exactly consistent in their measurements so a lot of math was done to figure out how far apart each pleat needed to be.
 Of course, I realized that I accidently reversed the order of the pleats on the piece with 7 of them.  I ended up taking out each of the pleats, and exchanging the backing fabric with the kiwi to get them in the right order.  The measurements of the windows are just enough different that each pleat is a slightly different measurement from the next!
 I then had to gather the blue cloth (sorry for the washed out pictures - it's a gorgeous sunny day out and it comes right in my window!) to the flap, then stitch 1 3/4 inches away for a casing.  Not easy, because there is a lining underneath to reinforce the casing.  This took a couple hours by itself.  For each of the two valances!
 Here is a better look at that pleat with the ruffled trim.  Pretty!
 For the finishing touch, I had to make a dozen 1 inch covered buttons to accent the pleats.  These are actually pretty fun to make, but made my fingers sore as the velvet is thick enough to make it a bit difficult to push the backs on.
 Velcro is added to the back of the top, which requires gathering at the top and 3/4 of an inch below that.  This was another several hours of painstaking stitch, then re-stitching because the backing got tucked in.  Or the lining.  Or both.  Lots of seam ripper usage on this project!
 This is how the casing looks.
 And where the velcro is attached.  The velcro attaches to a mounting board at the top of the wall.  The Valance then swings out about 9 inches at the bottom and is mounted with hardware to hold it out from the wall.  You can see the triangular end piece below.
The back of the finished Valance.  One Valance is about 100 inches across and the other is about 150.  A this point I have about 29 hours in on this project, (not counting the hours spent re-doing the error of reversing the pleats!) and probably another 2 or 3 left to do.  I sure don't know if I would want to make this again - but at least I know what to charge if I were to do so!

Persistence does pay off and is a good character trait - I am glad I am persistent, but wish I was quilting, instead!  I have several long term projects that need more work and I would love to be able to dedicate some of my sewing time to them soon.  I love the obstinant part of the definition - because it certainly describes me :)  Never give up - if you persevere you can finish whatever project you are working on!  Have a lovely weekend!