Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Retreat Prep

Twice a year, I get the joy of spending the weekend, with a group of other crazys  like-minded individuals, and sew. We stop for meals, and eventually for sleep, but the majority of our time is spent sewing. Some of the ladies make large beautiful quilts. Me, I make small things, usually things I can finish in a weekend, or less.

In my ongoing efforts to reduce my stash, so I can justify buying more fabric, I pulled out some lovelies to use this weekend.

First up, I cut up some of my beloved Laurel Burch.

I've been hoarding holding on to this piece for a long time. Now I can enjoy it more often, as it becomes a knitting project bag.

I found this lovely, just waiting to join the party.

See how well it goes with the Laurel Burch.

The pieces are cut and have had their interfacing and fleece fused to the back. They are currently cooling, because the fusibles stick much better if they are allowed to chill for awhile.

Next up will be a bag for my baby boy.

The black print is actually an IKEA home dec fabric from a few years ago, so I think I can skip the interfacing and just add fleece. I bought the polka dot fabric, because I didn't have much that I could use for a lining.

The other thing I realized that I have been hanging onto for too long, are blades for my rotary cutter. I have about 20 in my stash, and I don't remember when I changed my blade, last. So, today, I put a new blade in the cutter. It works so much better with a sharp blade.

Sunday, April 23, 2017


We have now been 2 weeks without snow. Today, I got a lovely surprise.

The forsythia bush is starting to flower.

Cilla, daffodils and hyacinth are starting to make an appearance.

Although the snowplow tried to get them, my Canada 150 tulips were tough enough to survive. I hope to see the flowers in a few more weeks.

And in celebration, I have sparkles on my nails!

Monday, April 17, 2017

The March of Technology or Spring Cleanup, Day 2

I have been working on trying to put things into homes. The toughest part of sorting stuff, is that it needs to go into a permanent home, not just a temporary away. Of course, this means, for some things, figuring out what that home needs to look like.

Today, I was emptying some "temporary aways", boxes or bins that contain a collection of unrelated items. The buttons are now in the bin labelled buttons, the patterns are filed. Fabric scraps are classified and sorted into the appropriate container. I'm on my second bag for the kindergarten.

However, I turned up a bag of good intentions. I bought this pattern, quite awhile ago. I loved it.

If you look carefully, you will see that it is a case for a flip phone. It is terribly cute, and I made one as a Christmas gift. I would toss that pattern now, since it isn't really useful any more. However, in the same bag I found this.

This is just the fronts. I have cut out all the pieces to make 3 more of the cases. The fabric is purple, with silver sparkles. I tucked the bag away, and found it today. I own a smart phone. I am sure it won't fit in this case. So, now the question is: Do I toss everything, or repurpose the cut pieces. In my mind, these become cute pockets for a tote bag. So, I think these pieces will stay in my stash, and the rest will become scraps.

Friday, April 14, 2017

Spring Cleaning

Two things caused me to start some spring cleaning.

At the end of the month, I am going on my spring quilt retreat. I have started thinking about the projects I might like to work on, and the things I need to take.

I splurged $1.99 the other day and bought a tablet stand to put beside my machine, both at retreat and at home. I try to put my pdf bag patterns on my tablet, to save paper. I looked around my sewing room today and there was no room for my tablet stand.

I have a confession to make. I don't always tidy up one project, before I start the next. This problem as grown, so it is getting increasingly difficult to find space. So I am going to see what I can do.

Today, I attacked the serger table. Since it is at right angles to my sewing machine, it is the perfect place to put my tablet stand. After 2, 45 minute sessions (no sense in exhausting myself), I ended up with this.

The serger table,  at the end next to the sewing machine, now has room for the tablet stand. It is the bright blue thing. I also found my needle book, that I was sure I had, but had no idea where it was. It is the item with the lovely purple embroidery at the lower left. It is headed for my quilting bag, for hand sewing. I also found a mug mat (under the needle book) that says "Put the chocolate in the bag, and nobody gets hurt."

At other end, I found a notebook I didn't even know was missing.

And for good measure, the ironing board is completely clear, as well.

It probably still looks untidy to some, but for me, it is a huge improvement.

I found some lovely fabric, including the ambulance fabric that I have been looking for. Also, look at that gorgeous Tula Pink, just crying out to become a bag!

I collected fabric scraps to small to use, and put them in a bag for a friend who teaches Kindergarten.

I know she will be happy to receive them for spring art projects.

Meanwhile, I decided to make some Easter Eggs for my grandson.

I am going to sew the pieces together, and stuff them with fiberfill and a cat ball, so they jingle. I find that if you just put a bell inside, the fiberfill damps out the bell.

I checked my bobbin as I started to sew.

I have no idea how I managed to finish my last project without running out of bobbin thread. I think I had about a foot left on the bobbin.

Sunday, April 9, 2017

Is it Spring, Yet?

I had great plans to post this last Wednesday. However, I had a fire I had to put out, so I postponed it, and didn't get back to blogging until today.

I finished a pair of fingerless mitts, gave them away, and completely forgot to take a picture of the finished pair. The best I have to show you is the first one, and I apologize for the very fuzzy cell phone picture.

The pattern is Sonja's Fingerless Mitts, and I added a thumb gusset, instead of an afterthought thumb.

My counter has been decorated with the hope of spring.

I love the colour, my signature purple!

I cut some Forsythia to force.

With luck, by Easter, I will have lovely yellow flowers.

I managed to get the income tax done this week. As a reward I made Hot Cross Muffins.

I didn't bother to put the crosses on them, we were just going to eat them anyway. You can find the recipe here, if you want to try them. 

I also cast on the same glove pattern, four times, before I decided that it wasn't working for me. I have changed both the yarn and the pattern and we will see if that goes better. Meanwhile, my sewing room has been lonely for me, since other things have kept me out of it.

Perhaps this week will have more sewing time.