Friday, November 30, 2012

A Throw Quilt?!

That's right, it's not a bed quilt or a baby quilt.  This is my first official couch snuggling sized quilt.  Technically, I made an old lady lap quilt for my Mom and I made a biggish lap quilt for my Grandma Birdie, but this is my first quilt intended for the couch or the floor.  While I was hand quilting it, I took a few opportunities to test it out...and now I need to make more.
It's pretty much 60 x 65 inches.  It seems small to me, but I'm also working on a twin sized quilt so I tell myself it's just a matter of comparison.  It's plenty big to do it's job.  
 I backed it in a purple polka dot.  I needed to have a bit of me in there.  The fabric was a collection (gasp!) of precuts (double gasp!).  Not my usual, but certainly fast. 
I hand quilted it in a bit of a zig zag pattern.  It actually took me three false starts before I decided how to quilt it.  I'm happy with this decision, this quilt is really about the fabric rather than any pattern so this was a nice way not to detract.  
 And of course if I was taking a quilt outside I had to hang it off something.  I think it's a rule.  Maybe my compliance will keep the quilt police off my back about the binding; it's a machine stitched roll over with square corners.  But it took a total of about thirty minutes.  If even that.
 And since we're looking at cuteness in the backyard, here's last Spring's robin nest.  We've had a nest of robins each year we've been in our house.  Did you know Mama and Dad Robin bring the little ones food after they've left the nest?  Did you also know they can't fly when they leave the nest?   Yeah.  Consequently, until they fly away, my own kids aren't allowed out of our nest.  I really don't want a baby robin loved too much. 

linking up: tgiff and whoop whoop

Friday, November 23, 2012

Don't Tell

mirror image shot, don't worry it's a lefty bandolier
Oh my goodness.  This is what I've been secretly working on lately.  And I am now so in love with the idea of a bandolier.  Seriously, if Martha can bring back ponchos, I can so rock a bandolier.  I mean it, next time I'm hitting Disneyland, I'm so wearing a bandolier.  Can't you just picture it?  No more trying to figure out what to do with your bag on the rides that don't allow them.  Problem solved!  Bandolier. 
This one though, isn't a Mom bandolier.  It's part of my oldest guy's Christmas; he's six.  And a lefty, which caused me more stop and think moments than just about any other project.  No one wants a backwards bandolier.  It holds darts for his nerf gun.  Now he has a mobile stash for battles with Dad.  This is why I sew; what kid doesn't need a nerf bandolier.

Friday, November 16, 2012

Death By Polyester

For starters you need a little Mormon culture lesson.  We have tablecloths.  By that I mean our congregations have a stash of maybe 20 or so tablecloths that we all have access to.  We use them for church dinners or the annual Christmas party, stuff like that.  We also borrow them for wedding receptions and the like. 
Today a friend is getting married and having a reception.  Cue the tablecloths.  Yesterday, his sister-in-law called me with a problem.  The tablecloths were a mess.  They hadn't been folded last time they were used and it was the biggest wrinkly nightmare ever.  She had tried rewashing them and every other trick in the book; but to no avail.  It was down to ironing. 
I took a share of them and spent the whole day ironing.  No really.  I took a break for lunch and to get my oldest from school.  I ate the frozen pizza my husband cooked and I kissed the kids at bedtime, but other than that I was ironing.  It took about an hour per tablecloth.  It was nuts.
At one point I thought I should have been doing squats or something while I was ironing, ya know, two birds with one stone.  But alas, instead I ate miniature tootsie rolls and turned my sewing room into a steamy little sauna.  But I now have major confidence in my ironing skillz, it's like my xmen power.  And I'm really familiar with the steam function on my iron.  And you can bet I will iron and fold those tablecloths when I'm done, if ever I use them.

Friday, November 9, 2012


Yeah, not so much.  More like walking a bit faster than usual...ish. 
So my Hustle goals were:
  • organizing my sewing room to be ready for and accommodate the big table
  • finish my youngest's quilt top
  • and make a quilt for the in-laws Christmas

Well, I nixed the in-law quilt.  Their style is not mine so a stash quilt will never work for them.  So I suppose that's one goal down.  In a lame retroactive way.

Youngest's quilt top stalled while I was anticipating the gloriousness of assembling it on the big table, so it's still doable but not done.  The biggest hurdle will be block placement, I'd wager.

And the organization?  Done.  Score.  The big table is in and is way rockin' the sewing room.  Really, it's the stuff of awesome.  I am in the market for a thread rack, but I imagine between my bday and Christmas I'll be able to make that happen.

So I suppose I'm hustling of a sort.  I have one out of three two done.  Here we go, 50 days left.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

My Sewing Table: or why my husband is the coolest

My sewing room was really the guest room; when we moved in, this room was where we put stray furniture that wasn't bound for the nether regions of the basement.  Aside from my little desk, there was a night stand, a hideabed couch, a little table, that kind of stuff.  Mostly it all hugged the walls and with the addition of my little fabric shelf and my treadle machine it was pretty full.
When we decided to go big on the new table (4x8 feet) we knew we had to move the couch, thus cementing the not a guest room status.  How unwelcoming of us.  We pretty much figured the room would be eaten alive by the table, but our only real visitor is my mom and she can handle sleeping on the floor in the girl's room.  And it officially would became my sewing room.

 For my birthday later this month, my husband made me a sewing table.  A gorgeous sewing table.  And he let me paint it purpley; he even kept his stain the wood opinions to himself for the most part.
 The first step was finding an acrylic insert that fit my machine.  Now as you can see, my machine did not cost more than my first car.  Heck, my machine hardly costs more than a couple months of diapers!  I half expected the company to laugh and send a "honey, call us when you have a real machine" kind of email.  But they didn't!  They made me one!  And sent it pretty quickly all things considered.  I got it from Dream World Northwest and it is a beautiful fit for my machine.

 The whole sewing surface is flush thanks to my husband and his figure things out skills.  This was his first wood working project and he figured it all out.  He routed out a lip in the table top and the insert fits in just right.  My machine sits on a shelf that we adjusted until it was just right.  By saying "we adjusted," I of course mean my husband was under the table with a wrench and I was up top running my hand over the sewing section calling out instructions.  Here's a shot of the shelf underneath and the bolts that raise and lower the shelf and my machine.
 The table even wins points for cuteness.  We got the legs and supplies from Lowe's for the most part I think. 
 One of the fun parts of having it made just for me is I could specify everything about it.  I put my machine far enough back that I could have some room for pinning in front and plenty of room for stashing scissors and pins to the right.  My turtle lamp even got a nice home.  His shell lights up when he's on.  I super love my turtle lamp.
 One of the bonuses of the giant table is a place for the girl.  She tends to wander when I'm sewing and will sometimes be coloring, sometimes getting into everything.  Mostly getting into everything.  But no more!  She now has a real coloring spot!  And it's big enough to really color!  And (!!) it's six feet away from where Mom's sewing.
why yes, she is an astronaut, we're very proud
Once we had the couch and desk out and the table in, we both just kinda looked at it for a minute and then confirmed to each other that yes, somehow even with the giant table the room seemed bigger.  Grandma is not sentenced to the floor of a kid room!  She gets the floor of the sewing room! (The queen sized air mattress fits even if the couch bed is syonora.)

Also with the shuffle, I decided that it was time for this to be visible.  My great-grandmother made this doll quilt for my mom when she was about four.  Those squares finish at about an inch.  I only just noticed the section in the bottom center that's in upside down.  There's some points of the quilting that don't match up either.  I like that I found them.  This is an heirloom, absolutely none of us care if it has quirks.  For all I know Josephine Wilson hated those upside down squares.  But I like them.  It's a good reminder to me that my husband is right when he says I'm the only one who will ever care about the quirks in my quilts.  Just more proof my husband is the coolest.
linking up tgiff and crazymom

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Just A Sneak Peek

 The table is finished and in the room.  I've even sewn on it; pretty sure I had a dorky grin the whole time.  The room around the table is...well, a sty right now.  So once I get the shelf up and it's camera ready I'll post the rest.  Until then, just a couple glances.

Thursday, November 1, 2012


My table is built.  Here I am pretending to sew in the basement.  Ignore the fact that it's resting on sawhorses, the next step is painting so it's just hanging out until then.  (okay, am I the only one who loves a good pun?)
 And in non pretend sewing, I picked up a layer cake of good fortune by Kate Spain and am bricking it out for fun.  I'm still swapping blocks around, but it's mostly starting to settle, don't worry, the bottom left will get some darker blocks soon.