Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Happy 2013......

Boy, what a year 2012 was -- I'm glad it's over and I survived.  I'm so looking forward to the start of a new year, and one of the things I hope to keep up with this year is my blog.  It was just not high on my priority list of things that needed to be attended to last year.

I now have two sewing studios, one at home and one at our condo.  I am working out of town during the week and return home most weekends, so I needed to have a sewing room in both places.  I think I now have everything organized and have what I need in both places.  I have a ton of projects that I want to do this year, so here's hoping I can get some of them done.  

These are a couple of shots of my sewing studio at my home away from home:

This is a Christmas table runner I started early December, but couldn't get it finished before Christmas.  I only have a little more quilting to do and then the binding, so that's my project this week. 

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Meet Isabella

Nothing much to report related to sewing right now.  Been a really hectic time for the last few months - first grandchild (who of course is the most beautiful baby in the world), finding out that my job is being relocated and having to make a decision to move with it or face unemployment, family concerns, death of a beloved pet - all in the span of 3 weeks.  I'm ready for things to be a little less stressed sometime soon, but who knows.  A lot to deal with coming up this year also, but all we can do is move forward and make the best of it - taking it one hour at a time sometimes!

This is Isabella (aka Issie), who will be coming to live with us the middle of next week.  It has been a long time since we've had a puppy in the house and we are so looking forward to having her.  She is a Shorkie and cute as a button. 

Monday, November 14, 2011

Some Cleaning and a Little Sewing

Had a nice, sort of relaxing 3-day weekend.  I needed it.  I took the opportunity to stay at home and do some things around here that I've been putting off for a while now, such as cleaning out the kitchen pantry.  It is amazing how many things got thrown out because of being out of date.  You can sure tell I don't cook as much now as I used to.  I'll be making up for that over Thanksgiving I'm sure, but it is nice to have my pantry organized so at least I can find things and know what I have.  
I did do a little sewing, I made a Christmas stocking for my soon to be born first grandchild.  I'm so excited and can't wait to welcome him into the world.  
Everything on this except the sewing together was done on the Bernina 830 in the Jumbo Hoop.  It turned out so darn cute.  A friend took a regular Christmas stocking pattern with hand redwork embroidery and using Designer Plus software turned it all into a machine embroidery design, including the quilting.  All I had to do was add the name where I wanted it. 

Monday, October 31, 2011

Quilt Retreat

I went to a small quilt retreat this past weekend put on by a local friend, Mariella.  She does a retreat in the fall and spring each year, and I usually try to go to the fall one but haven't been able to go for the last several years.  This year I made it a point to go so I could catch up with old friends and I needed a break.  Mariella creates a new quilt pattern for each of her retreats, and it is so cool to see what people do with them.  This is a picture of mine.  All the blocks and sashing strips are done, and the rows are all done, just need to sew the rows together.  By the time this is finished with borders, it will be queen-sized.  I put it up on my design wall yesterday afternoon when I got home just to make sure I had things turned the correct way and I noticed I have one sashing strip that needs to have a set turned.  Glad I saw it now instead of after I had the borders on.

There were a bazillion squares and half square triangles and star points in this quilt (or at least it felt like it).  This is the first quilt I have completely cut with my Accuquilt Go! cutter, and I must say I don't think I will ever cut fabrics again for a quilt using anything but my Go! cutter.  

Sunday, September 25, 2011

A Good Weekend

This has been a good weekend to stay inside, do little of anything, and just generally catch up on rest, TV shows, a little sewing, and generally relaxing.

This is the view out the window from my home office, and has been for most of the weekend.  Overcast, raining off and on, a perfect time to stay inside.  We really need the rain and I had absolutely nothing that I had to do this weekend.

I did do a bit of mindless sewing.  I am working on a strata quilt and I have a quarter of the blocks done.  I need to do the blue, green and purple sets, then can start putting together.  I'm looking forward to getting more of this done, but no hurry, just a pattern I saw and liked and decided to do.  I think this will end up being a quilt for me.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

I love purses and bags!

I am in love with making purses and bags. For the most part, they are pretty simple projects, don't take a ton of time, and I feel like I've accomplished something. Don't get me wrong, I love to sew anything and I love to piece and quilt, but with a limited amount of time, throwing in a simple or smaller project is just what I need to get that feeling of ACCOMPLISHMENT.

I participate in Bernina Software Sampler classes monthly at my Bernina dealer, Shiisa Quilts in Bloomington, Indiana.  There were a multitude of techniques discussed in August's class featuring some of the vast array of things you can do with Designer Plus V6 software.  The project was to do a raggy type bag using some of the designs we created.  I'm not a raggy type person, so I elected to do a hobo style bag pattern called Carol's Purse Pattern from Creative Needlecraft.  I purchased several of their patterns at various shows, but this was the first one I've made.  The directions were good and I had no problem constructing the bag.  I made several modifications to fit what I wanted to do, and I like the way it turned out.

I took an old pair of jeans to use for the fabric, in keeping with the techniques we were using.  One of the great features of the software is the ability to scan in a pocket or a flap or whatever and then use that to create placement lines for doing the embroidery placement.  It turned out perfectly.  In addition to the embroidery designs, I embellished them with an all-purpose ink from Tsukineko in Champaign Mist.  Love this and see many uses for it.  It was easy to apply, dried fast and was ready to go with a little heat set from the iron.

The photos are some of my in process shots and then a few close-ups of the designs, and finally the finished bag!

The embroidery and construction was done on my Bernina 830.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

More Sewing Studio Organization - Stabilizers

I'm still on the quest for better organization in my sewing studio.  The back leafs of my sewing tables are always in the up position and I have used several plastic drawer carts under them to store things.  I had one larger three drawer cart that I used for stabilizer rolls, and then some of the smaller drawers in other carts for some of the smaller rolls.  I've found that I tend not to be able to find what I am looking for easily, so I figured there had to be a better way to do this.  I wanted something that would fit in the space I had, and help me get better organized for my stabilizer storage.
I was flipping through the Sunday paper today and Target had some laminate shoe cubbies on sale this week, and after checking the dimensions, I figured two of them would fit perfectly in the space I had and give me plenty of storage.  I really wanted white, but all they had in stock was the wood color.  Not bad at all.  Below is a photo of the shoe cubbies with stabilizer in place.  It was amazing how many rolls I had, and how many duplicates of some I have.  Don't think I'll be needing to buy any stabilizer for a long time to come.  I'm very pleased with the way this turned out!