Saturday, December 17, 2011

Saturday Update

Sewing down the BindingThe quilt has been trimmed and the binding sewn on and now I'm enjoying the process of stitching it down by hand ... all 10 yards of it. I decided on a red/green/gold poinsettia print from my stash for the binding because I liked how it looked with both the front and the back of my quilt–although there's no way anyone will see poinsettias in that skinny binding ;-)

I think another night of movies and stitching and my quilt will be done, done, done ... in time for Christmas.

I also decided to use two of the leftover star blocks to make big square pillow shams.

Inspired by the leftover triangle squares, I added a pieced border around the star blocks:

pieced border added 

And then a plain border to make them the size I need–24 inches

I am looking forward to quilting these smaller pieces--it will be so much easier and quicker.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

I need another Friday Night Sew In ...

... and fortunately for me, I'm not alone.  I'm joining this Friday night's Sew In, in hopes of finishing In the (holiday) Mood, my quilt made from swap blocks. 

The quilting is essentially* done.  I plan to trim it, bind it, cross my fingers and send it through the washer and dryer ... and put it on my bed.

I'd also like to make a couple of pillow shams using the leftover star blocks (still on my design wall.

* I still need to figure out what to quilt inside the plain 6" print square centers of some of the blocks (like the one at the top of this photo). Most have interesting prints, so I'd like to keep the quilting to a minimum, which I fear may be at odds with the wonky, bendy, sometimes pretty dense feathers which cover all the white areas of the quilt. I had a little brainstorm about it yesterday, but if you have a good idea, please suggest away ...

If you have a project in mind to complete before the holiday, why not join me for the Friday Night Sew in? 

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Update from the Occupation

This in-progress photo of my Occupation project will tell you a few things.

After my Singer 301 completely balked at sewing with the feed dogs lowered; after trying everything I could think of, talking to a couple of knowledgeable friends;  asking some locals for a recommendation for a good sewing machine mechanic ... I decided to see if I could quilt this large quilt (90" square) on my little Bernina 153.   After muscling through the center blocks, it got easier and seemed possible and so I decided to put diagnosing my 301 on hold and to continue quilting on my purple Bernina.

I am filling all the white areas with unmarked, bendy, wonky, feather shapes–have I used enough adjectives to let you know they are imperfect?  Whether they look like feathers or not, they are adding great texture to the quilt. 

The quilting may not be finished before Occupy your Sewing Room ends, but I am still hopeful that I will be done for Christmas.

After a big Friday Night Sew-in (FNSI) Push, I am now quilting the last round of blocks.  The end is in sight.
Grace insists it's time for a breakI was becoming quite obsessed with getting this done last night.  Good thing for me, someone insisted–and she really did dig in and INSIST–that it was time to take a break . . .  or my shoulders would have really been hurting this morning. 

Monday, December 05, 2011

The Occupation has Begun

I "occupied my sewing room" for a few hours over the weekend and am happy to share that my Christmas quilt, In the Mood, is now off the wall, the back has been pieced, and everything is layered and pin-basted and ready to be quilted.

I realized when I was opening up the Singer 301 that I plan to use for this project and rearranging the furniture, that it's been a long time since I've:
  • sewn on the 301
  • machine quilted anything this large
 The virtual table supporting my quilt is actually three pieces of furniture: the art deco vintage sewing cabinet, a modern sewing machine table and a table from IKEA.

 I'm itching to play some more with unmarked, free motion, 'liberated" feathers ... and may pass on the Austin Guild's panel of Long Armers that are presenting tonight.  Decisions, decisions.

Leftover blocks from "In the Mood"With this work-in-progress OFF the design wall and onto the table, here's what's on the wall now: the leftover blocks and units and the quilt that inspired the 16-patches and on-point setting in my quilt.

Friday, December 02, 2011

Tasty (Veggie) Treats

There is finally enough of a chill in the air that I feel in the mood for making soups and roasting vegetables.

A couple weeks ago, when I read Julie's post about making baked kale chips, they sounded so good, I dropped what I was doing and headed to the kitchen to make some.

Today, I followed a link to Make Your Own Veggie Chips on and . . . decided to make an afternoon snack of  Carrot Chips.

(The photo is from the site–I confess that my carrot slices were not as uniform as these and a few looked more like curly fries . . . but they were tasty.)

I'm off to the farmer's market tomorrow to stock up on more veggies: for chips, for roasting and to make stock for soups.  Yum. 

Thursday, December 01, 2011

I'm going to Occupy my Sewing Room

 Barbara has created an interesting event for quilters in blogland and beyond this month: Occupy Your Sewing Room.

I don't think there's any political comment . . . just a reason to spend some quality time with your quilt projects ;-)

The timing is pretty perfect for me--I have been rolled off my contract gig and I'm back in job-hunting more ... and without a reason to take a break, for me, job-hunting can become a 24/7 obsession. 

I plan to get that Christmas-y quilt top OFF the design wall, quilted and bound and onto my bed.  Since I pulled out the blocks and started working on, that project has been taunting me . . .  it even has it's own theme song now, Will I be done for Christmas (sung to the tune of I'll be Home for Christmas)

Will you be "occupying" your sewing room or just finding a few moments to finish some quilt projects for gifts or . . . too busy with the holiday social whirl to quilt at all this month?
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