Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Sandy Frankenstorm

I grew up just a couple blocks from the water in Virginia, so I'm used to hurricanes and flooding and big storms. So moving to Richmond a few years ago it was interesting to see how other people prepare. Luckily for us, the storm has moved on up the coast, and left us with little more than some heavy rain. Good sleeping/sewing weather!

I was a little worried that the creek behind my house would fatten up some, but it looks ok. I didn't even lose power! Thank goodness!

My thoughts and prayers are with those who live up north! I hope everyone is safe and dry!

Sunday, October 28, 2012


My kid is so cute I can't think straight.

Friday, October 26, 2012

"Studio" Take Two

So I actually put forth the effort of taking pictures of the sewing room with a real camera, and here are the results -

Here is the sewing table - the cabinet on the left holds fabric, patterns, etc.

I made the design wall with some batting, binder clips, and command strips! And I was too excited to hang it to take the time to press it...

The cutting table and some of the stash. Please ignore the junk under the table. One day I will go through that...

The pegboard!! My fave! :-)

Gratuitous stash shot :-)

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Binding Fail

I made a quilt for a friend of mine at work who is having a little girl. I made the quilt top in one evening and quilted it the next evening. Then I went to start binding it.

So I've bound a few quilts in my day, but I'll be honest, it's been a little while. Apparently I'd forgotten how wide I usually cut my binding strips. You can see where this is going.

My binding barely covered the edge of the quilt on the back side. and in some places the edge of the backing was peeking out of the binding.

To make matters worse, I somehow thought that machine stitching the binding, instead of the usual hand whip stitching, would help.

I was wrong.

You can see how the stitching on the binding left this little floppy edge. And this stretch wasn't even the worst. You can see another line of stitching below the binding where I had already attached another line of (correctly sized) binding. Which I turned and stitched by hand. Why do I always make things harder than necessary?

But in all, it turned out well. Lessons learned, etc. I'll never forget to check my binding width again!

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

The "Studio"

So I'm not really so pretentious as to seriously call my sewing room a studio, when I am in no way a real artist, but I find that it makes me feel marginally more creative, so lets go with it.

The sewing room is actually the most "moved into" room of my house, so I thought it might be nice to show the progress a little bit. It's the only place in the house where there is something hanging on the walls.


But please pardon the crappy phone photos.

Here is the machine table, with the new design wall on the right. I just cut some batting to fit the space and hung it up with binder clips hanging from command strips. So easy! The pile of fabric on the floor is Charlotte's improvised dog bed. Maybe one day I'll make her a real one...

This is one of my favorite parts - the pegboard! It's like my very own sewing store, right at home! I'm one of those people who will forget which size needles I already have, or where I put those scissors, so having everything out where I can see it, but it's still neat, is really great.
I just got a pegboard from Home Depot and spray painted it. Easy peasy. Also, I inherited that wall color. It won't stay that way forever... just sayin'.

The cutting table is an inexpensive folding banquet table that I put up on bed risers to make it counter height. The only thing I would want is for it to be a little deeper. Maybe I'll get another one and put them together?

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Old lady

My little old lady hard at work the other day -

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Machine quilting! Yeah, I did that!

So I'm traditionally a hand quilting kind of girl, but if course, at some point one realizes that I could get a whole lot more done if I let my machine do most of the work. So last week I started a long overdue project - a sewing machine cover - and let that act as my first foray into machine quilting.

Before I could do that, though, I had to get my machine ready. I work on a 1978 Singer Stylist 543. Her name is Marsha Sue and she belonged to my mother. This is the machine I learned to sew on, and the only one I've ever used.

Now, Marsha Sue is a workhorse, that's fo sho, but since I've only ever done piecing, I don't have any fancy feet, like a walking foot or a free motion foot. I didn't even know if I would be able to find feet that would be compatible. Long story short, after some research about shanks, I was able to find both of those feet very easily and for less than $30 for both. Win.

So thus begins the machine quilting. I started out doing some straight line quilting with the walking foot, which actually turned out pretty well.

After the straight line quilting (which Marsha Sue didn't appreciate), I just traced the flowers in the center panel design as my first free motion attempt. Not too shabby - I expected MUCH worse!

The finished product turned out better than I expected!

Friday, October 19, 2012

It's been a while...

So clearly, it's been a while since I've been here. It's a long story, but I'll give you the abridged version:

Four days after I closed on my house, my mom was diagnosed with stage 4 lung cancer. Needless to say, settling in and enjoying the house were the absolutely last priority for me. I even had some regrets about being "stuck" in Richmond. But I believe (or try to believe) that everything happens for a reason, and that the timing of my closing and my mom's diagnosis was meant to make sure that I stayed in RVA, instead of quitting my job and moving home as a gut reaction.

Less than three months later, my mom passed away rather suddenly. It's been a really hard year, needless to say. Some days are better than others, of course, but for a long time there it was a good day if I got out of bed.

I'm just now getting to that point where I am getting to be more functional. I've set up the sewing room, and I've started quilting again. I've actually finished several projects in the last week or so.

It's been the longest (and shortest) seven months of my life, and I know it will get easier one day, but I'll always feel like the biggest part of my life is missing.