Thursday, February 28, 2013

Wouldn't Quilt Without...

There is one item I use so often when I am quilting that I thought I would share.  They are these Designs with Lines stencils by Home Stitches.  I was introduced to them when I took a class from Pam Clarke years ago and I have loved them ever since.






I tend to do a lot of geometric line work in my quilting and who wants to measure out and mark.  These stencils make it so easy...They come in 3 widths (1", 1.5" and 2") so there is always one that is the perfect fit.









I use the white miracle chalk and apply it lightly with a cheap foam brush.  I don't use a pounce pad as it tends to get too messy.

You can still see it even when quilting on white.  It usually helps to turn your machine light off.






I can then just quilt away and wipe the chalk off with a slightly damp cotton cloth as I go.

If you are a little heavy handed with the chalk, any chalk residue will disappear with a warm iron or steam.
 There are a number of other configurations available.  These two I use occasionally but I reach for my line stencils every week.

Thanks for stopping in.  This posting I will be linking up with Really Random Thursday, Free Motion Quilting Friday and Thanks Goodness it's Finished Friday.  Be sure and check them out and all the other bloggers who link up.




Saturday, February 23, 2013

Then and Now




Remember my sewing room?


Yeesh....How did I get anything done in there!








Well, it is finally painted, cleaned out and slowly getting put back together. 
Here's what I have done so far. 





Two pretty shades of purple with white trim.

An original artwork on the wall.

...and if it wasn't in process, it was removed from the room!







Look there...I have a cutting table I can actually use!  (I do need a bigger mat however...)



I also got my white boards and cork boards put up.  You never know when inspiration is going to strike and you need to write something down.

 And once the room was put back together, the ironing board needed a new cover.

I also painted the legs of the board a pretty shade of purple - No more avocado green!








I was originally going to use this old wine display cabinet I had to store bins on.  In a matter of days it was looking cluttered....

I had just spent quite a bit of energy fixing up the room and I felt this was just wrong...




And then a friend turned me on to some old lockers that were for sale.  Add a few wood shelves inside and a little more purple paint and it fits right in.


Boy, do I love those closed doors!  Plus all of my spare sewing machines are now stowed away.











And now that I have a metal surface, I can bring these cute things into my sewing room.

 These little stainless steel cans hold my buttons.
 


 





Shhh....Don't tell my sisters, but I have all of my grandmother's buttons.

I have far more than I can fit in these containers but I do have a nice selection of each color.

 




And when they are mounted to the cabinet with their magnetic bottoms, the clear glass top allows me to see the color.


Cute, right?!?




And finally, if you don't have one many of these, you should look into getting some.  I keep them under my cutting table to collect all those leftover scraps of fabrics.

This one has 'strings' that are already cut and just waiting to be made into a scrappy quilt top.






I still have a few more things I want to incorporate into the room.  I will share them as I get them done.  It is so nice to have an organized workspace.  Since it has been put back together, I have finished two quilt tops and am halfway done with a third.  I am going to work through those thirty somethings UFOs in no time......

If you want to see a few more sewing room fix ups, Sewing By Moonlight is having a Big Clean link up. I can't wait to see what others have done!



Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Playing...

Every once in a while, I am inspired by something I see and I kind of drop everything and play with the idea.  That was the case when I saw the quilting Diane had done in a quilt border on her blog at Pine Point Designs.  As I am always on the lookout for fun allover patterns that create interesting texture, I thought this would be fun to try. Diane credits Leah Day for her inspiration and she has used it in a more whimsical manner but I wanted something a little more repetitive.



Not having a top to work with, I had to pull some fabrics and put together a quick top.

Loaded it onto the machine lengthwise and started by quilting a soft curve across the quilt.  I then came back with a "ribbon candy".
 


I just continued to do row after row....echoing the curve on the row above.

You can really see the pattern from the back.








The quilting took no time at all and I love the overall effect.  This will definitely be a pattern I repeat in the future.

(To see more quilting designs, check out my FB page.)




...and the real test.  After a quick wash, I really like the resulting texture.




Thanks Diane and Leah!






There are lots of blogs out there to get inspiration from.  I'll be linking up this week with Leah, Quiltsy, WIP Weds at Freshly Pieced, TGIFF and Esther's Blog.  Go take a look at others who have linked up to see who will inspire you!



Thursday, February 14, 2013

More Bits

As I was trying to squeeze in some various scraps into a drawer, all of these vivid primary pieces just seemed like they could be made into a quick quilt and be gone.
With an impending class on curves coming up, I thought I would take this opportunity to make a class sample and nail down some cut sizes.






In a few short hours I had a quilt top cut, pieced and ready for quilting.

And most importantly....all those bits of fabric were gone!


To accentuate the curved piecing and the bright primary colors, I simply free motion quilted some soft curvy lines the length of the quilt in a bright red thread.
So bright, so easy, so done!





Monday, February 11, 2013

Hearts


Just in time for Valentine's Day...

A quilting group I am involved with (Project:Quilt) wanted to make a donation quilt for Volunteers in Medicine. This organization provides uninsured adults with free medical services here in the Eugene/Springfield area.  Every spring they hold a big fundraising event with a silent auction and this year we wanted to participate.

 


It was decided to use the techniques found in Annette Ornelas' book, Peeled Back Patchwork Curves without Piecing. We thought the quilt with hearts was perfect for this event.







As the pattern in the book only made 6" blocks, we modified the cut sizes to increase the size of the project and the block layout so that everyone in the group could participate. 



Each quilter chose a single, double or triple heart block. As each block was finished, we started laying them out on a design wall.



A final layout was determined and it was quilted with a simple loop and heart pattern   All that is left on this quilt is to finish the binding and deliver it so that it can be prepared for the auction.

We hope it brings some much needed funds to a great organization.





The event, One Fine Day,  takes place April 17, 2013.  At this writing, tickets are still available but it is an event that sells out every year...

(I'll also be sharing the love this week by linking up with Freshly Pieced, Quiltsy and  Esther's Blog.)


Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Paint - Done!


Recently I posted that I was going to do something about the condition of my sewing room.  Remember this mess?

Even with only a few hours a day to work on it, I am glad to say I finally have the walls painted and the room somewhat cleaned out.

I painted the walls two shades of lavender and trimmed with a bright white.  I find the color very calming and I now smile when I enter the room.

Check it out - there is finally room on my cutting table for my mat!  No more cutting fabric in the livingroom....



And there is actually space around my sewing machine.  If it wasn't a project up on a design wall, it was boxed up or moved out of the room.

No more clutter on the table....




Started projects are now stored in plastic tubs and waiting to be worked on.  

Once I get some time, I hope to paint this shelf - Maybe if the sun ever comes out....


I did "hide" a few projects in a convenient cupboard under the stairs.....but I am hopeful that I will pull them out soon as I finish some of the works in progress.

As you can see, I spent some time last night working on the quilt on this design wall...Fingers crossed - it will be a finish soon.







And the christmas quilt is filling up the other design wall quite nicely.






My sewing room is such a wonderful place to work, I actually got quite a few more blocks completed on this quilt as well.







Now that the room is painted, I can start making some other improvements.  The first item on the list is to recover the ironing board - so stay tuned to see pictures of that process.  There are also some other fun projects I want to share with you - you might even want to incorporate them in your own sewing room or studio....