Checking In – Project Report

Hello everyone! After taking a nice little break last week, I’m back with an update and project report on what’s currently on my sewing table. The main thing I’ve been making for the past few weeks is handmde fabric masks for family and friends. It felt good to get a lot of those done and distributed.

I’ve got fabric washed and prepped for more and will definitely be making more of them over the weeks ahead, but decided it was time to put them aside and catch up on other sewing projects including a couple of upcoming project tutorials.

First of all, I’ve finally figured out the layout of my Riley Blake Quilt Block Challenge blocks. It took me a little longer than I originally thought it would to figure out what I wanted to do with these blocks. (Partly because I’ve been in a bit of a quilting-funk lately.)

Here is a sneak peek of the layout I’m planning. It’s mostly sewn together now and I’m in the process of getting it put together and will plan to share the instructions and pattern this weekend! Thanks to all who have been patiently waiting. I’m excited to get this one off my design wall!

Making a Personal Portable Pressing Table

As I mentioned, I haven’t worked on any quilting for a few weeks. Which I know isn’t that abnormal of a statement for most people. But since my chosen profession is quilting, and I’ve got a bunch of commitments to other people, it felt a little indulgent and sometimes irresponsible to set that aside. But I’m lucky I can do that. And breaks from jobs are good. 

I did get some small projects off my ‘to-do’ list and that felt motivating. (Sometimes it’s those little project wins that help get motivated while you’re feeling a creative-block.)

One of those little projects was recovering my portable pressing table. 

Fabric I used: Lori Holt fabric – it’s Home Decorator weight (heavier than quilting cotton – closer to canvas) from her My Happy Place collection available on Etsy or from the Fat Quarter Shop (affiliate links).

Here’s how my table was looking after 5 years of heavy duty use.

Definitely time for a re-cover.

If you’re interested in making a handy pressing table for yourself, I have the list of supplies needed plus the steps of how to make a portable pressing table in this post.

It’s one of my favorite supplies in my sewing room – I love that it doesn’t take up a lot of space and it’s right at the same level of my sewing machine so that I can swivel and press easily from my chair. (Just be careful when you’re wearing shorts not to accidentally burn your knee with your iron. Doh. Who does that?? Well, hopefully nobody besides me. 😆)

Also checked-off my recent to-do list: two of the pillow coverings for our outside patio furniture. (I still have two more to go, but I’m definitely calling these an accomplishment. Even more so because zippers were involved!) The stripe fabric is an outdoor fabric from Joann’s.

We’ve lived in our house for almost 11 years and this is the first year that I finally bought real patio furniture. We are definitely part of the trend of people turning to their own backyard/garden during this year of travel restrictions! This spot has now become one of my favorite places. It’s a nice quiet place that I can escape to when the house feels full of non-stop people and noise.

I can honestly say that I’ve spent more time on this back deck in the past month than I have during the past 11 years combined! It’s been an interesting time to appreciate more simple things in life, hasn’t it?

Another recent finish – my Pretty Little London cross-stitch project from Satsuma Street. I started this project 5 years ago and then ran out of enthusiasm because I didn’t love the colors I’d picked.

For some reason cross-stitching has sounded so soothing to me over the past few months, I think I like the portability of it and we’ve done a lot more just sitting around together as a family. So it’s been a good opportunity to pull this out and finish. I’m still doubting my color choices but they felt like the colors of the London I know and love.

I have some more London projects in the works at the moment that I’m excited to share. 🙂

New Sewing Projects

My renewed interest in crossstitch coincided nicely with Camille Roskelly’s new Stitchville pattern release. So this one is up next on my docket. (Pattern available here.)

For some reason I have to be a rebel and choose my own colors. Which doesn’t always turn out how I’d hoped (see project above). So I’m taking my time trying to find just the right thing before I start…    

A couple of other projects up next on my cutting table: a simple patchwork baby quilt with Sandy Gervais’ latest Riley Blake ollection Ready, Set, Splash! .

I’m also playing with this cheerful bundle of prints from Lori Holt’s Prim collection + the raindrops from Shawn Wallace’s Noah’s Ark collection. I’ll have this project ready to share with you next week!

So there’s the latest update. It’s nice to see a clean work surface at the moment, but I’m actually excited to make some new messes with these fun new piles of fabric! It feels good to have my quilty-mojo back.

PS Whenever I share my sewing space, I frequently get questions. Here are more details:

Sewing machineBaby Lock Cresendo. I love using this machine so much. Available at Baby Lock Retailers.

Reversible Cutting Mat: from Riley Blake Designs, designed by the Tattooed Quilter. I love the giant size. I’ve seen it still available online in the 18″ x 24″ size, but haven’t been able to find the larger 24″ x 36″ version online. May still be available in shops or you can find other 24″ x 36″ cutting mats here.

Design Wall: I bought mine years ago from my local quilt shop. You can find a similar ready-to-hang Design Wall by Fons and Porter here or from Amazon (sorry I had the wrong link on a previous post). Or there are lots of tutorials to make your own: Here’s a tutorial to make a permanent design wall to hang in a studio, as well as a list of make-you-own portable versions.

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  • Reply
    July 23, 2020 at 12:27 am

    Lovely to hear from you Amy! Well done for following your instincts. The London crossstitch is lovely. Before I started quilting I would never have thought of choosing colours for a crossstitch, but now it seems perfectly acceptable!

  • Reply
    July 23, 2020 at 1:46 am

    Nice to see what your up too! Looking forward to seeing what’s next:) Take Care

  • Reply
    July 23, 2020 at 4:39 am

    A creative mess is better than tidy idleness. The pandemic is terrible, but maybe it is teaching us a lesson to appreciate the simpler things in life. I have read so many stories about the wonderful things people are accomplishing during the lockdown. It’s ironic that good can come from bad. Only in America can this happen.

  • Reply
    July 23, 2020 at 6:11 am

    I love the fabric on your renewed portable ironing station. It’s adorable; what is.it? Your sewing room looks very cheerful. I too have a renewed interest in counted cross stitch!

  • Reply
    Kaye Hlavaty
    July 23, 2020 at 6:22 am

    So glad to read your blog this morning. The colors of your posts are wonderful. I, too, have made a lot of small things such as pillows, table runners, and of course, masks! Finishes feel great!

    • Reply
      July 23, 2020 at 6:38 pm

      Small finishes for the win right now!

  • Reply
    Jan Parker
    July 23, 2020 at 7:06 am

    I’m absolutely in love with the embroidery floss for your new cross stitch project! Awesome!

    • Reply
      July 23, 2020 at 6:54 pm

      Thank you!!

  • Reply
    July 23, 2020 at 8:06 am

    Awww, the London I know and love – followed your link and bought a pair of the Union Jack shoes – so cute! I’m a huge Anglophile – lived/worked there for 4 years and would move back there in a second!

    • Reply
      July 23, 2020 at 6:37 pm

      Aren’t those shoes the greatest?! It’s fun to hear from another Anglophile. I would move there in a second too!

  • Reply
    July 23, 2020 at 9:30 am

    Hi Amy, I’m sure that everyone who has received a mask from you appreciates it. So much nicer than the plain ones.

    With everything going on in our world, plus the other things that we all have going on, I understand where you needed a bit of time away from working on your quilt projects. It helps to clear your mind, and make your fresh again once you get back to it. It has been so very long since I’ve worked on a quilt project, and I miss it so much. As a caregiver, and as things are right now, it will be a while longer. I have never gone this long before without working on a quilt. But my loved one, and getting things in life more normal take priority right now.

    Your little ironing board is so cute. Thank you for your tutorial, I’ve pinned it. I used to have one of those little ironing boards, and kept it right next to my machine and it served the same kind of purpose as your ironing board, except it was flat on the table. But I like that need be yours can be folded up and tucked away if needed. But it’s cute enough to leave out and look pretty.

    Like you, I enjoy selecting my own fabrics. I am not against getting a line of fabric, I just enjoy choosing my fabric so much that I do that instead. But there are some gorgeous lines out there. Maybe when I get back to making my quilts again I’ll get some of these pretty lines. Who knows.

    • Reply
      July 23, 2020 at 6:53 pm

      It has been fun to give people fun masks – I’m always a little surprised at how excited they are. 🙂 Good for you focusing on the most important priorities right now. Sending love and best wishes to both of you! xo

  • Reply
    Lucy | Charm About You
    July 23, 2020 at 10:30 am

    This resonates so much with me! The cover is very pretty and I hope your knee has healed well! I’ve been doing a lot of cross stitch do, the mindful stitching is so peaceful. Xx

    • Reply
      July 23, 2020 at 6:52 pm

      Haha – my knee is healed up, but it do have a funny burn scar. A silly reminder to be more careful with irons. (You’d think I’d know that by now!) And I fully agree – thankful for mindful stitching. Hope you are well! xx

  • Reply
    July 23, 2020 at 2:39 pm

    I’m sorry you are in sewing funk. It happens to me when my sewing room gets wayyyyy too messy, which is like a hurricane or tornado went through it. It’s extra messy when I get in that mood. So I start by straightening up which only goes so far because of all my sewing stuff! I don’t have wall space for any decor so my planning wall (which is the entire wall behind me when I am sitting at my machine is my only decor along with ribbon along the ceiling where I hang current block or not so current blocks from quilts I am making. Currently I have Vintage Farm Girl in Mary Engeilbrict fabric (sp?) and the practice blocks for Pretty Playtime Quilt book in Little Ruby that I just adore…..I made a practice block because I purchased kits and was afraid of making a mistake so I made a block first out of the Little Ruby. Who knew how generous the kits were. I made two quilts out of 1 kit except for the Riley Blake Riley White fabric, which I now buy by the bolt because of love the softness and brightness of it. Hang in there, find something to be grateful for and start your day thinking about that. For me it’s a new and probably last grandchild arriving in October, a just paid off home and my loving husband of 42 years.

    • Reply
      July 23, 2020 at 6:50 pm

      It sounds like you are on a quilting-roll! And congratulations on an upcoming grandchild. Such a good reminder to focus on things we are grateful for!

  • Reply
    July 27, 2020 at 6:11 pm

    Haha — I’ll BET you have some more London projects coming and I can’t wait!!! I LOVE LOVE it and February can’t get here soon enough!!!

  • Reply
    Maxine Turner
    July 30, 2020 at 2:42 pm

    New to your website.thanks to Pat Sloan for sharing the site to get the mini baby quilt. Was checking out your site, very nice things you have made. Is there a way I can print the pattern for the baby quilt? I find it annoying to have to come into the site and get instructions as I sew.

    • Reply
      July 30, 2020 at 3:14 pm

      Hi Maxine! Thank you so much for stopping by! I’m planning to make a print out for the pattern – I just haven’t had time to do it. My goal is to have it ready by next Wednesday! I’ll keep you posted

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