Sunday, July 22, 2012

Making Up Lost Time

I feel like I've made more progress in my quilting in the last three days that in the last six months. Today I went to Jodie's house to spend the afternoon quilting.

Whenever I go to a free-quilt event where I get to do what I want to, I always take more projects than I can possibly complete in the time so that I have options. Some days I like to work on my hand projects and other days I like to use my machine. Today I decided that I just had too many quilt tops that weren't finished, so I packed them up with my box of batting, along with three other projects to work on and headed out.

I spent the afternoon sorting through my batting scraps, piecing some of the bigger pieces together, and sandwiching four projects: two table runners, a small wall hanging, and a possibly baby quilt. I was very excited that I was able to piece my batting from my scraps. So much gets wasted from bigger projects and I didn't want to go buy batting from the store,

After I prepped those pieces, I worked on my tie Zakka projects. It didn't look the way I wanted so I've definitely decided on how I'm going to "present" the piece and a change to the structure. Although it's not working out exactly to plan, I'm making it work.

Tonight I continued my sewing rampage by starting to bind on my signature quilt while watching The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo. I intend to spend the rest of the week working on this so it can actually go back to the quilter for a quilt show in September.

Saturday, July 21, 2012

The Queen of Binding!

Well, that's how I feel about myself right now. In the last two days I've prepped 3 projects for binding, and now there are 4 items ready for turning binding. I started hitting roadblocks tonight when I realized that my backing to one of my table runners was too short, and I'll need to add some fabric to the ends of it.

Tomorrow I have quilt day at Jodie's house (YEA!). I picked up the components of my pot-luck side dish today so all I really need to do tonight is get my stuff ready for tomorrow and choose what I should work on.

I've got three projects that are ready for quilting that I can do on my machine and tomorrow I'd like to get them sandwiched and pinned together. I also have two Zakka projects to complete, one is a table runner and one a Christmas gift. Plus I have two other bigger projects that I'll take with me. I like to take advantage of time at Jodie's where there are long stretches of working time, large layout areas and no pets to distract me.

As I was working today I was thinking that I'm finishing all my UFOs! Why is this a problem, you ask? Because the quilt retreat theme this year is UFOs. But I then realized that I should never worry about not having enough projects to work on, because there are tons of patterns in my room and on pinterest and in my head, and I have lots of fabric for them. Plus I have my Cinco quilt, which is a fun but time-intensive quilt that I'm sure I will be working on for a long time.

Tomorrow after the quilt day I intend to spend the evening working on binding.

Friday, July 20, 2012


I feel like I've made up so much time in the past week! Really it's not much but I'm getting stuff done. This week I made a baby quilt for a shower tomorrow. I need to get a picture and post it here. I really liked the pattern, but I experimented with the binding and shouldn't have. Good thing babies don't care.

Then also tonight, I finished quilting a fall table runner that I started last fall and picked out fabric for it's binding. And then I took my 30th birthday quilt and prepped it for binding.

Next up I think I have three more things to quilt and prep for binding: my Christmas table runner, my old Fons and Porter quilt top, and my twister quilt. Then I will have 6 different items to bind, plus my hand quilting and hand piecing. I will have PLENTY of TV time sewing!

Tomorrow I think I'm going to focus on getting my space clean and my scraps and fabric sorted into the color bin. Part of my trouble is that sometimes my space is so dirty it,s not fun to sew in.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Back in the Swing

Today I took my CSQA exam and I can now get back to normal life. I have really not done much sewing, scrapbooking or pleasure reading since the beginning of the year. The only exception is sewing classes or socials. So tonight, even though it was 10pm, I decided to spend my 15 minutes doing something. Because I've not been sewing so much my sewing room was a mess. But I also have a shower on Saturday that I needed to whip up a gift for, so I was torn. My ultimate plan (I should learn not to make plans) was to finish the exam this afternoon and start the project, but I needed to run a couple of errands and decompress so that didn't happen.  

So I decided that I can still stay on schedule if I cut the fabric tonight, put the top together on Tuesday and sandwich, quilt it on Wednesday, prepare and sew on binding on Thursday, and then do binding during a very long movie marathon on Friday. Of course getting ahead would be nice. I've already decided that the quilting will be large stipple. My big concern is hand-turning the binding, since I'm not known for my speed.  

Tonight I cut out all the fabric (I LOVE precuts!) and then spent 10 minutes straightening up my quilt area. I'm realizing the number of UFOs that I have. Good thing that's the theme of the quilt retreat this year! I will certainly have many projects to choose from, including the Zakka class projects, which I have gained quite a few that I've yet to complete.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

What a fun, sewing-filled weekend!

Friday night started out at the Zakka class at Jo-Ann's. It was the second of the series for charm square table runner. I finished the top last Friday and didn't get the back ordered, so I worked on finishing a Zakka project from two months back - pot holders for a Christmas gift.

Saturday I spent the afternoon with some friends and then make a stop at Jo-Ann's for fabric. At home I made a needle pouch for all my different needles and supplies for hand quilting or sewing, it's almost done.

Sunday I joined Aimee and Tina for a hand-piecing sampler class. It was fun and I will need to add new pictures to this post.


Thursday, May 3, 2012

May Zakka Project

You're probably wondering where January - April are...I know some of them have been published but I need to get caught up.

First, what is Zakka? It is the Japanese style of something useful that is also beautiful to look at. We are doing these classes once a month at our local Jo-Ann's and I'm finding it lots of fun. Also, I'm getting tons of Christmas gifts out of the process.

Anyways, back to May's project. Tomorrow night we will have the first session on using up ties in quilts. I have a ton of my dad's old ties that I've been wanting to do something with. So tonight I did the first step to getting there by washing them all. My plan for the piece doesn't really intend to ever have these washed again, but they've been in storage for a long time and needed a good wash. Here they are drying, and should be ready for me to pack up in the morning.

Tomorrow night I'll have an update on the project.

Jean Pencil Skirt

For the last two days I've been working on creating a Jean Pencil Skirt that is refashioned from a worn-out pair of jeans. I have previously made a jean skirt out of old jeans from a tutorial I found on Pinterest but that one had panels put into it from the lower part of the legs, and I wanted a more structured skirt this time. I looked on Pinterest for tutorials and only found a couple. I ended up going my own way and have outlined the steps below.


  • Old pair of jeans (mine had holes on the inner thigh from wear, and they worked great)
  • Basic sewing supplies (machine, thread, pins, etc)

Step 1: Cut out the inseam of the jeans

A lot of tutorials have you rip this seam instead of just cutting it, but that takes too long for me. So I just cut along each side of the flat-felled seam and removed it. You can use those for creating coasters if you don't want to throw them out.

Step 2: Create new front and back seams.

This can be tricky. I could do the front myself but had to have my hubby help with the back. The front seam I was able to take right up to the zipper seams so it looked ok from the start. I turned the skirt inside-out and put it on. Then I took pins and brought the front seams together and pinned it so that the skirt was fitted against my body. There is very little spare fabric in the front so the basic idea was to make the two sides meet and sew. Since the front had less wiggle room that the back, I sewed it first and worried about the back second. The picture shows pins in both sides but I re-pinned the back after sewing the front.

The back seam was tricky. It's hard to give accurate measurements with so many different styles of bodies and jeans so I will tell you what I did to get it right. After the front seam was done, I turned the skirt inside out and put it on again, then I stood up straight while my hubby brought the fabric together at the back and pinned. I really wanted a nice form fit around the rear. Then I took it off and sewed up the back seam following the pins. This meant that the fabrics joined to the back flat-felled seam about half-way up my rear. When I put the skirt on right side out, I found that there was a bump there that I wasn't happy with. I had my man mark where the bump was and intended to bring that part of the seam further into the body of the skirt, but that didn't quite fix it. I realized then that the bump was happening wherever the new seam was meeting the existing flat-felled seam.

At this point, I decided to gamble on a hunch; I cut on both sides of the flat-felled seam almost up to the yoke of the jeans, but didn't cut it off. I then sewed up the opening all the way to where the seam was still attached and pulled the cut part of the seam into the inside of the pants. Once I tried them on and saw that the bump was gone, I did a satin stitch across the point where the new seam met the old seam and then cut off the excess seam on the inside of the skirt. You should now have a jean skirt that is as long as the original pair of jeans you started with. You can stop here if you want a long skirt.

Steo 3: Cutting to Length

Next I decided how long I wanted the skirt to be. I put the skirt back on and then had hubby measure from the floor to about where I wanted it to fall on me. This was about 15 inches for the skirt to fall below my knees. Then I measured 15 inches from the bottom of the skirt all the way around and marked it with chalk. Next I cut on the dotted line around the skirt with scissors. Sometimes skirts aren't exactly flat on the bottom when you hold them up, so I didn't want to use us rotary cutter to get the exact straight line. I have heard of ripping the denim to get the frayed look that you don't hem so that could be an option. I wanted a cleaner look with a hem.

Step 4: Creating the back slit

This is a pencil skirt so I highly recommend this step to create a slit in the back to help with movement. Even today as I was wearing thIs at work, I found it difficult to go up stairs in the skirt since it is a tighter-fit pencil skirt. Rip open the back seam to the length of the slit you want (about 3 inches on mine). Then turn the skirt inside out and fold back the seams on the vertical part of the slit and pin back. Sew the "hem" of the vertical part of each side of the slit.

Step 5: Hem it up

If you did not rip the skirt to create the length, then give the skirt a hem to create the finished look. I turned under 1/2 inch on my skirt and did a straight stitch.

Voila! You have a jean pencil skirt in just a couple of hours! I did wear it to work today and it was very comfortable.


Saturday, April 28, 2012

I got my machine back!

Today I finally got my machine back from being serviced. It had it's handled replaced and a once-over cleaning. I picked it up on the way into block party and brought six different projects to work on. I was able to get to two of them tonight.

The first project was to make a back for my signature quilt that my friends made for my 30th birthday. I finished that and sent it off to my quilter via her daughter-in-law.

My second project was a set of jeans that I have which recently got a rip right next to one of the back pockets. Now I have a lot of jeans that this has happened to, but none have been just a few months old and fit as nice as these. I decided to take them tonight to see if I could mend them. At the very least I was going to buy a denim patch and do the iron-on thing. So tonight I brought them out and was asking the other quilters for opinions on how to fix them when the Viking lady (who happened to be back there at the time) was telling me that I should darn them. I have never darned anything in my life so we had to pull out the book and she showed me how, this is the result:


I think this will work very well for other jeans where I have this problem. I just probably need to find closer thread colors. But most times I'm wearing shirts that go beyond this point. I'm just super excited that I learned how to do this!


Saturday, April 7, 2012

Harper Handy Work

Saturdays are always strange because usually one of us is gone for most of the day. Today though that was not the case so we were able to complete a few projects that have been on the list for awhile. While these aren't traditional crafty things, it's something of an art form so I'm including them.

We bought some plants earlier in the week but hadn't had a chance to plant them. Today I did just that. Although I have farming roots in my family I was just not blessed with the green thumb. Half of what I plant dies. But I was re-insipid to try again after a wellness class at work talking about planting a nutritious garden. So I'm starting small with a container garden on the deck and two Topsy-Turveys hanging from my deck. We'll see how it goes this summer.


The other thing that I've been putting off for years is making weave poles for the boys. James and Henry are both learning weave poles with the 2x2 method, so it was imperative that we make/buy some. While I was planting, Kyle was engineering and made these.

Tonight I will resume my normal crafty endeavors. My machine is at the shop getting multiple repairs and a service, so I'm left with hand-quilting or scrapbooking to do. I've not been in a scrapbooking mode lately and I'm going to be ok with that. My normal scrapbooking buddies have moved away or gotten busy with life.


Friday, March 30, 2012

Kansas City Shop Hop 2012

We had a great day today going around Kansas and Missouri to all the shops that participated in the KC Shop Hop. I am so super-tired though and bed is calling. But I did have to take a picture of all the spoils from the day:

I bought:

  • A mystery bag that was filled with some nice coordinated fabrics.
  • Backing, binding and sashing for my Stars Around the Garden quilt.
  • Backing and borders for my Civil War Stars quilt.
  • Two scrap bags
  • Two kits for a sewing table caddy and three pocket purse.
  • A pattern.
  • All the quilt blocks for the shop hop quilt, which is a 30's theme.

The one setting kit I liked the store did not even have a pattern for. They did let me take a picture of it though so I will be working on creating a pattern in EQ7 for myself to use as a guide for buying yardage. Of course tonight I went to start on that and I was informed that my netbook hasn't been set up properly for the home network and I can't get the software installed on it until it is setup correctly. FOILED!


Tomorrow is quilt block party and I think I will attempt to finish the top for my Christmas table runner. Also, I will need to send my machine in to be serviced because last night as I was lifting it to my table to work on my bag the carrying handle broke. Have you ever tried to carry a sewing machine without the handle? Near to impossible. So now I have no excuse but to work on my appliqué for my Stars Around my Garden quilt.


Thursday, March 29, 2012

Tote Bag!

Tonight I finally finished my Triangle Charms Shopping Tote, Just in time for the shop hop tomorrow. That's James in the background. It was a class at Jo-Ann's using pre-cut triangles. I didn't like the fabric quality so very much because it kept fraying, but I eventually got it together. If I make a tote bag again I would probably use pre-quilted fabric instead of quilting my own.


Now I need to generate my list of items to shop for tomorrow. I've qot my snacks, cash and map ready to go, just need to make my list so I can surgical shop.


Friday, February 10, 2012


I have been crafting! Not a ton but a little bit. Most recently I've been fixing a friend's quilt (more on that to come) but now that's complete I'm wanting to work on my hand-work and complete some projects. Tonight I spent some time hand-quilting. I'm getting better and faster! The big hurdle now will be doing it every night.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Still working on fixing that quilt...

Tonight (last night technically, I guess) I worked on my friend's quilt. I quilted half of it before I needed to go do some other work. I should be able to finish it tomorrow night and then send it back to her later this week with some scrapbooking goodies that I just won't use.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

New Year! Same Projects!

I'm not big on New Year's resolutions. It's not that I don't think making goals or looking back at life is bad, I just think there's a stigma around New Year's and pressure to make resolutions and then it's ok to forget about them around mid-March.

I actually have a job and team structure where we do look back at what we've accomplished in the past two weeks and where we could improve. I think we (society) should do this more than once a year.

Be that as it may, I'm at a turning point in my personal life and at a hurdle that I just can't seem to get over by myself. I've realized that part of that hurdle may be my weight and the amount that I work. I had lost over 30 pounds at one point, but I've put back on about 20 of that. My weight had never really affected me previously but now I'm sure it's part of my current problem. So it's time to change something. With work, I know that I've been working hard, but this week was the cherry on the top. I'd been better about working closer to the 40 hour mark instead of the 50 but this last week I logged 56 hours. And I can feel it! The thing that's crazy is that I really like my job. It's had its twists and turns this year, but I like what I'm doing and I believe in it.

So my New Year's resolutions are:
1. Work the Weight Watchers plan, do more Jazzercise and be accountable.
2. Work less, leave my laptop at work (when weather will not affect me getting to work).
3. Quilt more (thus the reason I'm writing about it here) and write about it.

My project list hasn't changed much. Not because I've not been quilting this year, but because I'm still working on large projects and I added a few without completing any. I even started a hand-quilting project!

So off the top of my head, here are the projects I have, in the order I'd like to complete them:
1. Finish repairing my friend's quilt. (partly quilted)
2. Finish hand-applique project. (mostly finished)
3. Finish Christmas table runner. (partially pieced)
4. Finish Fall table runner. (Pinned)
5. Finish twister project. (Pieced)
6. Finish Star project. (Pieced)

Not to mention the hand projects that will sustain me through TV, movies, the super bowl, roadtrips and snowy weekend days:
1. Turning Twenty Binding.
2. 30's Quilt Hand Quilting
3. BOM Hand Applique

I have tons other projects I want to do, but this is what is started and not yet completed. So there it is; some very aggressive quilting goals. But I'm going to be working less right???