Monday, January 19, 2015

Checking In

I've been sewing my little heart out, working on a stealth project.  No peeking just yet, but soon my pretty, very soon.

I've got to get my quilts ready for the GLHQ Quilt Show, just 6 weeks away!  I want to enter four quilts but I've got to get them photographed to enter them.  I might have to haul them into the office to get a tall guy to hold them up for me.

And speaking of the office, big drama last week.  Things had gotten so bad between my co-worker Debbie and our boss in North Carolina that she had been offered a new job and accepted.  She told the VP in our office who knew if she left I'd be right behind her.  They'd be left with no quality assurance analysts and that would put them in a really bad spot.  So he went to bat for us, convincing all the powers that be that the management of the QA team should be done here in Michigan and miracle of miracles it worked.  

Debbie had to turn down the offer at the new company and today was our first day with no micromanaging, no relentless banter, no angst.  It felt really good.  Late in the day I heard from a recruiter about a position I had posted for last week.  It sounds like a great opportunity but I feel like I have to give the new changes at my current employer a chance to succeed.  I told the recruiter I'd be in touch if it doesn't!

Sunday, January 4, 2015

Off to a Good Start

Welcome to the New Year!  I know I'm a few days late but time has been getting away from me, even this early in the new year.  Christmas was a whirlwind, full of last minute sewing, gathering with family, and traveling up north and back again.

Before I headed up north I made three pillows for my sister to go with the quilt I made her for her last milestone birthday.  She's placed the quilt on the bed in her daughter's recently redecorated room -- decorated around the colors of the quilt.

Even though I thought of the animal print side to be the back side of the quilt my sister likes that side best in this room.  I made her a 40" bolster, a 22" bolster, and a 14" square pillow, so far.

Here's a larger view of the room, including the crib for the baby when they all visit.

I'm always saying I need to start sewing for Christmas gifts much earlier than I always do.  Seems like I get into a fever pitch sometime after December 15th each year.

This past Christmas I made simple circle skirts for my two great-nieces.  They're made from a layer of knit fabric and a layer of sequin fabric, with a simple knit elastic band.  

I used my serger to sew the two layers together and then my sewing machine to attach the elastic band.  This close up picture of the serged edge is a bit too bright.  Serging the two fabrics together before attaching the elastic was a definite help.

I think they turned out so well -- I'll be making more of these.

I'm really enjoying my sewing time.  Being creative really helps me balance my life.  When I sit down to the machine I can feel my soul smiling.  You can't get much better than that.  Unless my grandchildren were here to spoil a bit.

Monday, December 15, 2014

Bags, Bags, Bags

Bags are some of the fastest gifts to whip up, especially for an instant Christmas present.  If you need some ideas check out these great free patterns gathered by Heather of The Sewing Loft.  I dare you to make just one!

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Red and White Quilt Challenge Reveal

I have been so darn busy this past week -- maybe that should be sew darn busy.  I made a super cute sock monkey pillow for the guild's Holiday Bazaar silent auction:

Altogether I had 6 items I contributed to the auction.  I bought several things that other members had made so I did my share to support the guild.

I sewed the binding on my Red & White Challenge quilt yesterday.  I used the stitch in the ditch foot, foot R for my Juki F600, to sew the binding to the backside of the quilt.  I love this method because it's so much quicker and saves wear and tear on my hands over hand sewing the binding to the back.  Since I think it will be a table cloth for my kitchen table it just didn't warrant the hand sewing method.  I washed the quilt using TWO Color Catcher sheets and there was no bleeding whatsoever.  The Color Catchers were pink when they came out of the washer but the quilt remained white where it should have and none of the reds bled -- phew!

The pattern is called Syncopated Rhythm by Karen Montgomery.  It's a fun pattern that works up quickly.

Now on to more Christmas sewing.

Monday, December 8, 2014

Serged Edges

My Red & White Challenge Quilt is nearly done.  I just need to cut the binding strips and sew them on.  I used my serger tonight to finish the edges of the quilt.  I had heard other quilters do this in the past but I never had a serger - now I do.

Can't reveal too much of it right now.  I liked serging the edges as I think it will make sewing the binding on much neater since all three edges are cleaned up and stable.  Can't wait to finish it!

Friday, December 5, 2014


Have you ever been to a great pottery show? Today I took a co-worker to her first Potters' Market.  I finally found the batter bowl I've been searching for ever since I gave my niece a batter bowl that I had originally purchased for me! Yeah!  I can't wait to make some scrambled eggs for breakfast. I also bought a berry bowl and a pin for a coworker who is a huge Santa fan.

This weekend I will have to baste and quilt my Red and White quilt.  Stay tuned!

Monday, December 1, 2014

Getting My Sewing Groove Back

After all of my down days lately I think I've finally got my sewing groove back.  I worked on my Red & White Challenge Quilt, which is due on December 14th and I think I will actually finish quilting and binding it in time.  I used the cutting mat from my new Martelli Round-About to square up my blocks.  Here are the scraps:

Tonight I worked on a orange clutch for my quilt guild's Holiday Bazaar, which is December 11th.  I like how it turned out and I think I'll be making a larger version, maybe a tote bag.  The idea came from but I made this one a bit different.  I used a great orange melton wool and faux leather for the hexagons, and an invisible zipper (because that's all Haberman Fabrics had tonight when I needed it at 8:30 pm).  I pressed it using the ironing pad from my new my Round-About.  

And now that I've looked at it here I could see where I forgot to stitch a row on the right side so I've since correct that.

When I sew I just feel so much happier.  Being creative is the perfect balance to my day job where I'm so left-brained sometimes my head hurts!  I've got lots of sewing projects to make for Christmas so it's a good thing that my mojo has returned.

Oh, and that Red & White challenge quilt -- stay tuned for the reveal, once the 14th has come and gone.