Monday, November 29, 2010

Where magic happens or sewing workshop

sewing workshop
Since today I can't tell you what I have been working on this week,  I wanted to show you where it all happens. As some of you know and most of you don't, I use to have my sewing room in my cold cold not so welcoming basement, but recently, we decided to rearrange the rooms upstairs and that's when I got my sewing room. Ever since it has been  up there, I have been very productive, in fact, a couple of weeks after moving the room upstairs I decided to write this blog. In these pictures, you will notice how clean and ordered it all seems, well that's an optical illusion (really, isn't it well done). No really it doesn't look like that often and you should see it after I have worked on a project for a while (or even a couple of hours, sometimes less), but it does look like sometimes when I want to start a project, but it does not last long.

I have a big cutting table, where the left side does not stay uncluttered very long and a small table where I have my sewing machine (Husqvarna  Viking Platinum 735). The shelf are perfect for storing my cotton fabric, (I should specify prewashed, since as soon as I buy the fabric I  prewash it so I don't have to ask myself if they are prewashed, I just know) and the feature I love the most is the pegboard that we put on the side of the shelf. I never lose my scissor or my rotary blade with it. The hooks are not peg board hooks but curtain hooks I had at home, I just bend them a bit more with pliers and I have a hook. The cans, most of them generously donated (I don't eat enough canned food to have a lot laying around), so I was saying the cans  help me keep my notions in order. The big tomato cans  (those I ate) are used to sort some of my threads.
Since I am organised, I keep all my scraps in a ziplock and they are of course organized by color. I also have a couple of bags of unused  fabric strips that are oganized by width. I had not though of all these things to do by myself -like sorting the fabric strips, but I had read in several blogs people doing that, and to tell you the truth it's very practical.
I will tell you, maybe next week what kind of cotton fabric I have in my stash (since I can't talk about my projects just now, but you will only have to wait until Christmas, and then you will see), well I will probably not really talk about it, but show you pictures instead, it will rest some of you and others will be happy not to have any text to read at all and they won't need to fell as guilty for only looking at the pictures. :p

I have other ideas on things I would like to add to be able to put more stuff in my sewing room like this

and this for quilting with my sewing machine
I am also probably going to add some stuff like the way the threads are organized here

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

It's finished

I finished the quilt, there is nothing left to do, I just need to figure out what to do with it any ideas?

front of my finished wonky playing along quilt

back of wonky playing along quilt

Monday, November 22, 2010

Christmas is early for me this year

quilting kit for
 husqvarna platinium 735
As you know I had my second quilting class  last Saturday (I will talk all about it in another post), well when I came home I was so eager to see if I could do the basting myself that I did the sandwiching for my small quilt (we did not have time to do it in class).
 I did it with the help of my husband and then, well I of course wanted to quilt it, but my sewing machine did not come with either a walking foot or a free motion foot, and that's when santa comes into the whole scheme. He ( by he of course I mean I) went to buy all three, oops that should of been  both presser feet, oh well I didn't have a 1/4 inch foot either and it came with the quilting package. Yay...

front (top) and back (bottom) of machine quilted
 wonky log cabin quilt (it's  the first time I do any quilting
and it actually looks like something)
Of course I had to try it (the walking foot)  right  away and you can see the result on your left. I was happy since the other ones I tried to quilt before like the car play mat didn't look very nice in the back. So I was really happy.

The quilting motifs on each block is different (well they actually go by pair since I ran out of imagination to do anything with a straight line) and here are the details of each blocks (so no more words from me only pictures -I can see you guys smiling already). Before I forget some of the quilting was inspired by this blog, which I will probably use as a reference when I will use my free motion foot.

spider web quilting motif -inspired by  this
but with straight lines

Spiral illusion quilting seen here.
I think this looks good on a wonky log cabin motif 

log cabing quilting -looks also good on my wonky log cabin,
 not so sure on the circle block, but you can't know if you don't try

another motif for my wonky log cabing give it a name if you want. I would love to try it on a whole quilt.

random parrallele lines for my wonky log cabin blocks

two different motifs for the quilting one is lattice (left) and the other one triangles.
The latice is too much work on a single block,  but I would probably do it on a whole quilt

Monday, November 15, 2010

Hopscotch quilt

Hopscotch quilt
Yes, it's a Hopscotch quilt. But why did I do one? Well it's quite simple when I was doing the small wonky playing along quilt, Florian always wanted to jump on the circle so it gave me the idea of making a Hopscotch quilt. I tried to find a pattern for one, but non existed. What was I to do? I had an idea for a quilt but no pattern would that stop me? No the only thing I had to do was make a pattern my self... So that's what I did.

The number squares are 12x12 and that's why my quilt ended up so big. The challenging parts were the too end blocks, I came with the template easily, but when I started the blocks,  I had to make them a couple of times since there always seem to be something wrong, cutting vertically instead horizontally, putting the fabric upside down (that was the case for the bottom block)...

The background shouldn't have been stripped, but when I bought the fabric I got my measures wrong and when I wanted to get more of the same fabric I wasn't able to find the same. I am actually happy that I got my measures wrong since the quilt looks really nice with the blue-turquoise background.
My favorite Hopscotch blocks
My favorite blocks are the one with the rocket and the star (I found the template here but did not add all the details) and the tree, I might add something on the left, but I'm not sure yet (I made the template for that one myself). I took the letters from a tutorial of a quilt that can be found here

I really had fun making this quilt top and hope I won't mess up the quilting and sandwiching part (I should do that part at the class if it's possible).

Quilt class

Wonky playing along quilt
Left back Right top
Finally the moment came for my quilting class on Saturday. I tried to finish my quilt but was not able to do it by Saturday, but don't worry, I did finish it and it will be the subject of my next post, but you won't have to wait too long since I will write it after I finish this one.

The course is in two part, backing and then the fun part sandwiching. So the part we did last Saturday was not necessarily the one I was looking forward to the most.

I did learn a few tricks for the backing, how to do it the correct way, and of course, that's not what I did on the small quilt ( It was so small, I didn't event need to do anything if I had wanted to since it could find in the width of the fabric), calculating the yardage you need for the back, and how to choose your batting (cotton seemed to be the choice of preference for the instructor). I also discovered that you could  use flannel for the backing, I had never thought of that since my mom, always uses cotton fabric on the back.. The instructor also taught us a few tricks about binding the quilt, and to me she gave me a few tips on how to sew the strips more efficiently. I was hoping to have women my age for the course, but ended up with older women, so no quilting mama friend in the neighborhood yet, but since I started this new passion in September, I still have hope ;p

Monday, November 8, 2010

I really have to get my inches straight

I spent my weekend sewing, yet again, since I have two deadlines. The first one is next Saturday, you know my quilting class, and the second one is Christmas, well a bit before since I will be leaving in 4 weeks for a long holiday. So of course, the logical thing to do would be working on the first deadline, but I am not very logical, so I did work on a Christmas present this weekend and finished it, but you won't get to see the results since it's a surprise and I think that mom's someone looks at my blog, at least she better be.

I did work on my new quilt Friday, and Sunday, but I realized that I had miscalculated the quantity of fabric I needed for the quilt, so instead of taking 7 meters of background fabric, I only took 2m50... and of course when I went back to the store, they didn't have the fabric anymore, luckily for me I had not started putting on the background fabric yet. So now I have to find another way for my background fabric, but I think I have an idea.

Blocks for quilt #2
In the background fabric that
 I am missing a couple of meter of :-(
Here is a picture of my blocks (two are still missing), I will show you the final arrangement when I have decided on the background fabric, and I am sure you will like the result. The numbers are raw edge appliqué with a blanket stitch.  I already have a fabric for the back of the quilt which I bought at Ikea. Of course since I have no notion of inches this quilt, as opposed to the first quilt that was initially intended for the class is going to be huge, 80 x 108 inches ( 203 x 274 cm). I really have to get my inches straight.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

What's on my bookshelf? Creative ideas for kids again

jingle-bell bracelet and silly glasses.
Thanks Teddy for modelling
Yes, today, I am going to talk to you again about a book that I like for crafty children and moms (or caretakers :p, but in my case definitely mom).

After borowing the couple of books I talked to you last week on creative ideas for kids, I decided to borrow more books on chlidren craft. And this morning, I was going through the books I borrowed  and I found this idea, the one where Teddy accepted to model. I could do this with what I had at home, bells (that where 85% off because they where from last year (you know, they change a lot from year to year, no really)) and some pipe cleaner yarn.

 new jumbo book of easy crafts 
I really had fun with Florian, I made the a couple of silly glasses and he made the jingle bell bracelets (I  held the bells and he threaded them). He went around all morning with both of them. I also had to wear the glasses we made.
The book is called new jumbo book of easy crafts. It's not as nice as the one I talked to you about last week, visually I mean, but it has tones, well 150 to be exact, of projects ideas to do with children using from old socks, mayo jar lids, egg carton, pipe cleaner yarn and much more, but basically a lot of things from the house.

Monday, November 1, 2010

What's sewing? Quilt and dry heating pad

chain piecing for my new quilt
So I finally put the border on the wonky playing along quilt (don't have any pictures thought), and I am now working on a new idea for the class (like I told you before, I was a bit disappointed at the size of the quilt).

I made a pattern for another quilt (I won't show you just yet) and made the first blocks, and of course, I had to do them again since I got some of the measurements wrong. But now that I got them correct, after a little tweaking, I am chain piecing as you can see on the picture.

In between I also made a dry heating pad since mine of course leaked on the couch  (but didn't make that much of a mess even if it wasn't a dry heating pad, since I discovered it quickly). It was  really a coincidence since a tutorial was published in one of the blogs I follow (I think it's only in French thought), and I though I would be nice to make one too. I didn't follow the tutorial at all and made the heating pad with left over fabric I had in my stash. and here is the result.

dry heating pad
I didn't only put rice in it since I wanted to use the buckwheat I bought that neither I nor my husband liked and added some chamomile and lavender  herbal tea I had at home for the sent. It works well, and I have been using it a lot this week (mostly because I like the warmth not that I am injured of anything).

My class is in a little less than 2 weeks, so I have to go work in my sewing room if I want it finished by then (but I have to wait until my son falls asleep which apparently is not going to happen today).