Spoolin' Around

Spoolin' Around

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Beatrix is Complete

On Sunday, I was able to finish my Beatrix top. I don't know why I sometimes dread finishing on garments. All that was left was to hem the sleeves and make button holes and attach the buttons. I think it is the fear of button holes that got me. As it turned out, they worked out quite well.
 This is the front of the blouse. I used Anna Maria Horner's Loominous for this top after seeing Rae's version of a Boho dress in the same fabric. This is some of the most interesting fabric I have ever used and I love the way it turned out. I used the pattern piece for short sleeves, but cut them a bit longer which is how I prefer them.
 Here is the back of the blouse with its six buttons. I really love the look of this back. I think that was what attracted me to the pattern in the first place.
I have plans to make at least two more of these. They are not difficult and the instructions are wonderfully written and illustrated. I have already bought the fabric! I am truly enjoying sewing again!
On last shot, an out take due to the shadows of the late afternoon. This is proof that the camera sees things the eye does not. I kind of like it though. See you soon with more sewing adventures.

Saturday, May 20, 2017

Starting to Find My Groove

I am finally starting to find my sewing groove here. It has been tough to find sewing time, which sounds ridiculous for someone who is now retired, but it's true. Still working to find the new normal. I have made some time to get some things going and to keep some things going, but the to do pile is growing at an alarming rate. I need to buckle down and sew more to keep on top of it. Too many ideas are coming at me too fast.

But here is what I have gotten done so far:

 This is Made by Rae's Beatrix top. She made a Boho dress in this fabric and I loved it so much, but I am not a dress person. I love jeans and slacks so I needed a top. I still need to hem the sleeves and put the buttons and button holes up the back, but I LOVE this! I have already bought fabric for two more. I knew if I found the right top pattern, I would make several. This one has everything I want in a top!
Then, I finally was able to do the April Lesson from the Penny Sampler quilt by Rachel Hauser. I loved how it turned out!

And...I was able to do the May lesson as well!! I decided to do all my little blocks the same to add a bit of continuity to the project. I have a lot going on in my version of this quilt. I am going to get a design wall up soon so that I can see how it is all looking. I need to do that before I go much further.

 And finally, a picture of the new sewing room. I am sharing the room with my sister. The other side is her home office, but the space seems to be working well for us both. I got the crates at IKEA to store some of my stuff. I had book shelves back in NC. I did bring my cutting table that has a gate leg and attaches to the wall. I still love that thing! I haven't figured out a goo spot for the scrap boxes yet, though.
 All my fabric that lived on shelves is now in these pull out drawers. I bought a second one at IKEA. Everything is still sorted by color. That is how I work best. The short sweater hangers above were bought at Bed Bath and Beyond. They are holding larger scraps, sorted by color. I stll have more sorting to do on those.
And this is the view above my machine. Lots of bright light and right now, beautiful bougainvillea. I hope you have a lovely weekend and I will talk to you very soon.

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

First Finished Project in California!

After lots of unpacking and rearranging and errand running to get things, I finally spent some time working on a project in my new sewing space here. I am finding it hard to make myself go in and dive into a project like I used to, but I think it's just because I am still settling in and trying to get a routine of sorts. Any way, here it is:

 I made a tuffet! Now, this is not my first tuffet, but my second. I have been wanting to make another one since I made that first one about 10 years ago. I wanted this one to be really different though.
 My original idea for this was to make it look like a California poppy. I though that would be fitting in my new home state. I had just a rough idea of how it would look. Then, one day my husband took me to my new local quilt shop to look at fabric. And I found this beauty: Poppy Mae by Robin Pickens for Moda! It couldn't be any more perfect!
 So I studied it and tried to figure out how to use it for my tuffet. I decided to make it mostly the poppy fabric and ad a thin stripe of green between the panels. Then I fussy cut the center of a poppy to cover the button. I am very happy with how this turned out. And I thought you might like to see the first tuffet, very well loved and used.
 I made this one in a class with Sheryn Cole about 10 years ago in North Carolina. I had so much fun with this one, choosing the colors and I even painted the feet blue to go with it.
 Here is a better picture of the feet. This little sweetie has been sat on countless times by grand children and has propped up many a tired foot over the years.
 You can see in this picture how dingy the fabrics have become. I have thought about recovering it, but I still love all these fabrics so very much. I am thinking I may just try to clean it. The Kaffe Fasset print on the button was the inspiration for the color pallet that I chose.
 Here are the two tuffets side by side. You can also see that in the last 10 years the button on the first tuffet has loosened and pulled up from the center a bit.
New and old...
I know that they will both get lots of use here in the Garden House. We love our tuffets. If you want to make a tuffet, I bought my kit from Tuffet Source. You may have seen them on Facebook, but you can google them. They have the parts you will need, to make a tuffet. You need to provide the fabrics and thread. I do recommend a class if you are unfamiliar with the process. They are offered all over the place. Just google it. Talk to you soon.

Thursday, May 4, 2017

My First Sewing in California

I am happy to report that I have, at last put needle to fabric here in California. My husband reminded me yesterday that it has only been 2 weeks since all our stuff arrived and it has taken that long to unpack and organize well enough to begin to feel normal. Normal means sewing.

So, the machine is set up, the fabric unpacked and most of the sewing tools have been located. Still looking for one or two things. I made a couple of trips to IKEA to get some new storage things for the fabrics and my books and tools.

I have decided that the best way to make a design wall, which I still need to do because I use one a lot, is to follow the directions of Erin at Sew at Home Mummy. She made a design wall on a roller shade fixture and it is the perfect solution for me. I share the space with my sister. Her part is her home office and my part is the sewing room, even though we are calling it the sewing room.

This room actually will have 3 uses as it will also be where we put guests to sleep when they come to visit. For now we will use an aerobed in the space, but later we are thinking of a pull out sofa maybe. So the design wall needs to be easily hidden.

Now, I will show pictures of the space next time, but here is the wee bit of sewing I did:
I had a piece of batik fabric for years that I loved but couldn't figure out how to use. So I made us 4 napkins. I love the print and the deep color. My sister did the napkin folds for this picture. See, we work so well together!

Since I can't blog with just one picture, here are a couple more that have nothing to do with sewing:

 This girl, with her back to us, is Trouble. Her name is perfect for her personality. She is pure trouble.
                Strawberries from the local farmer's market. Yum!
And my sister's neighbor gave us a big bag with a dozen or so juicing oranges off her tree in her yard!

Soo we squeezed them and got a half gallon of orange juice! It tastes just like eating an orange! Well, that's all I have for today. See you soon.

Saturday, April 29, 2017

Greetings From the Left Coast

Well, needless to say, a lot has happened since I was last in this space. I was all packed up, got on a plane and flew all the way across the country. My new home is in San Diego. This is a beautiful place, but couldn't be more different from North Carolina if it tried. I haven't sewn anything yet. I was here for almost 2 weeks before I finally saw my stuff and it has been quite busy unpacking and setting things to rights. I hope to be able to start sewing this week. My new space is almost ready and I will take pictures of it soon. For now, let me show you around.

 Welcome to the Garden House. My sister has referred to the house by this name for a very long time.
This is the front of the house. There are many beautiful rose bushes in the front that my sister is so talented in growing.
 There are many other plants and flowers growing all around the house. She truly has a green thumb.
                                              More roses on the patio.

 This one and the one below are bougainvillea that are growing over the back fence. They are all over the place here and right now every one of them is in bloom and make the neighborhood look so pretty.

 The rest of these are pictures I took on a walk around the neighborhood. I don't know what many of them are, but there are so many different plants, flowers and succulents in the yards around here.

          Some yards have no grass and are all plants and river stones.

                This is a type of Jasmine and it smells wonderful.
                  I'm pretty sure these are Ginkgo leaves on this tree.
These are birds of paradise.
And to finish this up for now, a picture of a California sunset from my front porch. Ahhhhhh...
Talk to you soon.

Thursday, March 30, 2017

Almost April

So a few things from here, as I prepare for the big move. This is my 493rd blog post. So close to 500! I think, even though it has been a long time since I have done a giveaway, I think I might need to have one for that 500th post. So as I finish moving, I will be thinking on what the prize should be.

Grey here this morning, but at least the weather has moderated into spring temps. That roller coaster the last few weeks was rough! No rain today, but plenty tomorrow. Which will be great to wash all that yucky yellow pollen out of the air. The only bad thing about spring in NC is the pine tree pollen.

Packing is almost all done. Address changes have almost all been filed. Just a few details remain and in less than one week, all my worldly goods will be headed west. Wow!

So, since this is a quilty blog, I feel the need for some quilty pictures. Back into the archives we go:

Some old, some newer, all loved and used. I sometimes feel amazed at the quilts I have made. Well, I will sign off for now. I am not sure if this is the last post from here. I still have my computer until Tuesday morning. It will be one of the last things packed. Have a great weekend.

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Two Weeks Left

I have two weeks left, living in my home of 23+ years. I alternate between excitement at this new adventure in my life, and sadness at leaving what I have come to know and love in this place. The sewing room is all packed up now, even the machines.

Amanda Jean has been working on reducing the number of WIPs in her studio, so I thought I would see what I have that needs a finish. I plan to work on these things as soon as I am set up on the left coast. And just so we're clear, I will also start a few new projects too. The ideas are coming on fast and strong. Change of venue might be the best thing my creativity has had in years.
 First of course, my Penny Sampler. I will be in transit without my supplies for the first half of April, but am excited to see what the month's assignment will be.
 A small quilt to play with circles. This one just needs quilting. I am thinking of some very dense quilting for this, just to play and practice.
 This sweet plus quilt is so cute. It also is a finished top that needs quilting. I will need to figure out how to quilt it once I pull it out again.
 This small quilt is for my middle daughter. She had requested some small wall hanging quilts for her home. I have a whole box of fabrics that she picked out to make them with and a Pinterest board full of ideas. I need to decide how to quilt this one.
 This is my clambake quilt. I started this when I was home fighting cancer. I had cut out all the clams in one week, and began sewing. As fatigue set in, I lost the energy and the desire to work on it. I have since added many rows, but still more to go. My youngest daughter has asked for this one when it is done. It is a quilt as you go project, done with Rachel of Stitched In Color. Clearly some of my clam shells are not as smoothly rounded as others, but...practice, practice, practice.
 This is one I made to use up a jelly roll I had won a few years back. I love how it turned out. It is also for my youngest. It just needs quilting and binding. I think maybe a curved quilting design.
 This big thing is one I started about 15 years ago. I picked out all the hand quilting and need to add the last rows and machine quilt it. My skills have improved since I started this, so finishing it may be a challenge since the seams are not all flat on the stars. I really want to finish this, my oldest WIP.
 This is the small wall quilt made from Amy Gibson's Quilt Block Cookbook. It also just needs quilting. I haven't quite figured out the quilting yet. Maybe some stitch in the ditch and a bit of fancy work in the white space.
 And here is the very last quilt block sewn in my North Carolina sewing room home. The last of the ittty bitty blocks. This one was pretty tough. You can tell I put the top together wrong and had to rip it and re-sew it. These tiny blocks are truly skill builders. Patience and precision.
And here they are, all together. Some I love, and might make a few more of those. Some, not so much. Thanks for being here and hanging out. The sewing room will open up on the left coast as soon as all my stuff gets there. I hope to see you there.