UPDATE: Voting has ended. Thank you SO much to those who voted and esp to those who nominated me in the first place. It was an honor to be included in that kind of company!
Another thing I love about retreats is I always love seeing what people are working on. Lots of pretty star blocks from the paper-piecing class. (Look at those perfect points!)
I love being inspired by the gorgeous things people create. This was a little swap gift made by April. The details were amazing!
I was asked to teach a class about organizing and using your scraps. (I love that topic. I finally started a Pin Board to keep track of my favorite Scraps projects.) I then demo’ed a strings-foundation-pieced quilt block (similar to this one). You can see mine in the picture at the top of this post. It’s not finished. I’m trying to decide whether to just add borders, or make more blocks. We’ll see… But loved seeing what the students in the class did with their scraps!
This past fall I had one of those clever “a-hah” moments – which tend to be rare, so it was especially exciting. Our house happens to have a dining room open off the front room, which is the one room I try to keep tidy. A dining room was nice in theory, but we rarely use it for dining – even when we have people over. The only thing I consistently used that room for was photography, since it has two windows that face south and west with the best light in our house.
So my “a-hah” moment came when I finally realized that we could hang doors between the front room and the dining room (creating the ability to close-off the back room and thereby, hide my messes) and I could move my sewing machine in there. It has been fantastic! I’m right off the kitchen so I’m still where the action is, but it’s so nice to have a place to keep the machine set up, and to not have to re-clear the kitchen table every night. (I know what some of you are thinking, “Duh! What took you so long?!”)
So, three cheers for a fresh paint job and a simple fix like hanging some doors so that I could shut off this room and make it a usable space. We kept the refurbished china hutch in the room as it provides good storage and the table in the room so that things can be easily cleared and the room could be used for actual dining, if needed. But it’s sure getting a lot more use now and not just with my sewing. I put the kids craft supplies in another corner in the room opposite the china cabinet (not pretty at the moment, therefore, not photographed) and I love it when they come in and sit at the table while I sew and work on Perler beads or homework and doing things like sing songs from the Frozen soundtrack. I also LOVE having my design wall right next to my machine! It’s so handy.
To increase storage, I added an Ikea Hemnes Dresser which looks pretty and can hold projects while I’m working on them, helping to decrease the clutter. I love it! (And I’m proud to say, I even assembled it myself one weekend while my husband was out of town. Thank you.) Finishing the modern colorwheel dresden wall hanging was the perfect finish for this room. I’m so excited about how things turned out! Plus, it’s fun to have a pretty place to set up Big Bertha (the Bernina 710) and give her the space she needs.
I’d like to make a few more mini’s to hang on the walls. Right now I just have this little scrap-bag mini. Here’s a close up. (This scrappy little mini-quilt project is in the latest issue of Fat Quarterly online magazine – issue 16.)
I may take forever to finally get there, but it sure feels good to get this far. Now on to the rest of the house…could someone please come hold my hand and help me make decisions? Hopefully without a leaky upstairs bathroom to finally get me to take action.
These saturated collections are so versatile and great for stash building. Starting next week, watch for a bunch of inspiration using these True Color collections.
Free Spirit recently sent me a bundle of Jenean Morrison’s True Colors bundle and I’m having a fun time planning something with these colors. Hint: You know I’m a sucker for classic primary colors in color spectrum order. (They also sent me a bunch to share, so be sure to come back!)
Free Spirit, in connection with Coats and Clark, will be hosting a blog tour. You can visit these blogs to see lots of color inspiration as well as chances to win a lot of pretty fabric!
|1/21||Stitchery Dickory Dock|
|1/22||I’m A Ginger Monkey|
|1/23||The Sewing Loft|
|1/27||Dairy of A Quilter|
|1/30||Stitched in Color|
|2/3||Jay Bird Quilts|
Things are settling into a little more of rhythm here and I am full-steam-ahead working on my preparations for Riley Blake’s upcoming Fabric Fest and then the Sewing Summit the week after that! It’s going to be a crazy month. A lot of work to get there, but a lot of fun once I arrive. I hope!
Fortunately the preparations are pretty fun too. (Other than preparing what I’m actually going to say. That part = stressful. Eek.)
But the sewing and cutting-up-fabric part is super fun! Especially after not doing a lot of sewing the past few weeks/months. It feels fun to be spending more quality time with my machine and even my rotary cutter again.
I’m also trying to catch up on my final outstanding (as in over-due) bee block for Calli. It’s a paper-pieced Double Wedding Ring quilt. This one is going to stretch me a little, but if I can conquer it, I may have found a new project I want to try! That is what I love about Bees. I still need to make my Block #7 from the Virtual Quilting Bee!
As I’m working on these rotary-cutter heavy projects, I am loving using the new Splash rotary cutter by Olfa. This is their brand new model of the mid-size (45mm) rotary cutter. I am a die-hard Olfa rotary cutter user. I have been using them as long as I’ve been quilting and I think they are the most sturdy and stable. Any time I’ve tried a different brand of rotary cutters I’ve been disappointed or frustrated or just plain irritated.
So when the nice people at Olfa contacted me about sending one of these new Splash cutters to try out my answer was a “yes please!” I am hooked. This cutter is more ergonomic (easier on your hands), lighter-weight (but just as sturdy) and the clincher is the much-improved mechanism for changing the blade. You just slid the yellow doohickey on the back down and the blade is ready to pop off, change and put back in place. So much slicker than that knob and washer-thingy that have to be put back just-so. And, it’s turquoise so points for color too. And on top of all that: it’s cheaper than the old 45mm version. Kind of a no-brainer.
Other than sending me the rotary cutter, Olfa did not compensate me in any way for this review (though I wouldn’t turn down a life-time supply of blades if they offered it) – all the thoughts and opinions are my own. But they did send a second rotary cutter to share with a friend. So if you’d like a new Splash rotary cutter of your own, leave a comment on this post.
Open until Sunday, June 9 at midnight MST. GIVEAWAY CLOSED.
Now back to my sewing in random, snatched moments between slip-n-slides and handing out popsicles.