Saturday, December 29, 2012

Fresh Press Saturday

I'm still struggling to post. Mostly I don't understand how to get pictures on here and that seems like it shouldn't be so hard. I'm using my iPad. I'm writing this on the blogger app. I take pictures with my iPhone and iPad and they're all saved in camera, or photostream, actually ON this device. Well, anyway it drives me a bit wacko and keeps me from even trying most days.

It was a very intense week of work from the real job perspective and I didn't get much done in the sewing cave.  But there was some good mail this week so I started the day today with pressing and folding the latest batches of new fabric.

I just love seeing it all freshly pressed!  But there is no more room in my FQ/half yard shelves. I need to sew more! And perhaps buy less (but don't tell the captain, he already thinks that!).

I've enjoyed reading about others finishes and lists of makes for the year and discussions of what will be on the list for next year.  I haven't gotten to that yet, but I am going to Sew South in March, and joined the Lucky Stars BOM hosted by Elizabeth at Don't Call Me Betsy.  I'm participating in my first ever swap, the Low Volume Charm Swap hosted by Lori at Lori H. Designs, and I even have my fabric, though I'm kind of nervous to cut it - what if I biff it?  I'll do it tomorrow anyway.  I think I joined something else, but I can't remember what it was.  I do have at least twelve lifetimes worth of projects on my "I want to make THIS" list.  I intend to make a real list and will strive to participate in linkys.

Happy Saturday!


Monday, December 24, 2012

Merry Christmas, and thank you

It has been a very fun year of sewing and fabric and following bloggers, all you good and generous people all over the world.

While the captain and I mostly don't celebrate Christmas out here on the water, its impossible not to feel the kinship and connection with loved ones and fellow travelers at this time of year. My heart is joyful. Thank you for all you share. What a wonderful world we live in. Despite the hurtful bits, we're mostly good, us humans.  God bless us, every one.

This latest make courtesy of Katy at imagingermonkey, quick piecing a granny. My first granny. In remembrance of Myrtle, the best Gram ever.

Merry Christmas.


(I should apologize for the quality of the iPad photo, but if you saw where I sew, you'd be amazed I can take a picture at all -- let alone sew!)  

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Fresh Press

I should have been sewing Christmas presents, or a quilt, or a pillow top, or anything. But I spent the day cleaning up the cave. By around 2:30 everything was put away and cleaned up but for a pile of fabric that had been laundered (I prewash all my fabric, but then I have to press it). So I pressed it. Not too much - I used to iron it all super smooth but realized that was a waste of my time and energy. Just enough so it will lay pretty flat and tidy. One+ yards are folded onto those comic boards and kept in the (relatively) big closet. Half yards and fat quarters are folded the same and kept together. The stack of orange is from the November shipment of Stash Builders from Pink Castle Fabrics. I have a lot of orange in my stash already but I think its my favorite color. The Decembers should be here Monday or Tuesday so I at least have to be caught up with ironing if not actually using them! December is browns - really? Brown? Ick. I was going to cancel for the month but I thought I'd go ahead and see what comes in. I don't have a lot of brown (do you?) and maybe it'll inspire something. Or not.

I love to prewash my fabric. It gives me a chance to get to know it. I have to unfold it so its free to agitate in the washer and dryer. When it comes out of the dryer - often way too dry, but that's usually ok because I rarely have time to press it at that moment - I get to fold it the first time, and it all looks different from when I bought or ordered it. (And how about fabric lint? Its the best! All soft and colorful!) Then I take it back to the boat (my laundry is done at the marina facility) and usually take it down to the cave. Where it sits until I have a chunk of time to iron and fold it. That's the special time with my fabric. Laying it out on my big (relatively) cutting/pressing table, spreading it flat and feeling the fibers, and noticing the print and how it was applied and where it repeats. Then the iron itself (which is a total pain in the **! - this latest is an expensiveish supposedly nice iron that the captain bought me for Christmas last year and it has been frustrating from day one what with its not getting hot enough and spitting all the time and turning off when it should still be on, but I do like the little feet that take it up off the surface when I let go, though that is a bit of a danger as other irons I have used in friends' homes and hotels while traveling DON'T do that!) (where was I?) going over the fabric and I get to spend more time looking at it and imagining how it can be used (apparently, primarily to sit prettily on my shelves, but I'm working on it).

Here's where the FQs and Halfs hang out. I like them alot.

This was written 12/18/12 but I couldn't figure out how to get the pictures to post properly until just now. I'm sure it was worth waiting for - haha. Merry Christmas again!

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Trimming, non tree version

All those wee little bits sure add up to a big pile here in the dark Sewing Cave . . .

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Some Sewing

A successful day of sewing.  And now a blog post.  These were my goals for this two weeks the Captain is off riding his bicycle with friends: sewing; and trying to better figure out how to blog.  

I made this pincushion/threadcatcher, pocket thing (it is actually called a Weighted Pincushion Organizer) based on Elizabeth Hartman's tutorial at Sew Mama Sew.  In the photo above it is in the salon (boatspeak for living room) because my sewing room is too dark.  I really like the way it looks, but it isn't heavy enough.  Maybe I used the wrong rice.  It falls off my sewing table and I've only put one thread into the threadcatcher.  I think I'll open it back up and maybe put in crushed walnut shells (I have a bag of them) to replace the fiberfill (I'll keep the rice also).  Maybe I'll also put some nonskid on the bottom of it so it holds.  And maybe I'll put the threadcatcher off to the side, because I also kind of run into it when I'm sewing.  I had thought about it when I made it - keep in mind, I have a teensy weensy sewing space - but I always like to (try to) make things they way they are described before trying to insert my own opinions (don't hold me to it, though).

When I was finished with that, I tackled a WIP.  I'll try to post properly by linking up with Lee on WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced.  For now, here's a little look.

And yesterday I finished two hospice bears.  (They're posing here in my car, a last minute snapshot before sending them off.)  The fabric, typically an article of clothing, is supplied by family members - in this case a San Diego Padres' shirt worn and undoubtedly beloved by the person who used to wear it - and, with the prescribed pattern (and strict instructions to add no embellishments that were not part of the clothing provided), volunteers make up the bears, giving family members a sweet, and cuddly, reminder of someone they love.  

We'll call this a successful post.  Pictures, links, actual work having been done.  Let's see if I can manage tomorrow as well.

. . . one more thing . . . someone told me that I have the "prove you're human" hurdle on my comments, but I can't see it to change it - if you see that I'm not allowing comments, please also let me know where I can turn that off - thanks! (and any other suggestions are welcome also - I have so much to learn!)

All the best, 


Sunday, November 18, 2012

The Weekender - Done!

I finished!  

And I love it!

I blogged about this earlier (and I know there is some way to link that here, but really, I've only written four other posts, two of which relate to my making The Weekender, so it wouldn't be difficult for any readers to find . . . ).

I chose this fabric, a canvas weight from Ikea (and which I still own at least 10 more yards) because it looks nautical to me and I like how crisp it looks.  I have so enjoyed seeing the quilted versions, and think I might try that for my third (I have already decided on the fabric for the second, now that I know I can cheat and use something else behind the outer pockets - thanks to Leanne at She Can Quilt!).

Here are the other pictures I have:

Double inside pocket.

Inside zipper pocket.  My first ever! 

I am so happy with this bag.  In addition to being a fabulous bag that I'm very proud of, it was also my gateway drug to blogging!  

Thank you to all of The Weekender makers - it was a lot of fun, and you were all so helpful!!

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Cuzco Hexies at 27,000 Feet

We took a short flight earlier this week, so I loaded up my new wide mouth zip pouch with a stack of 1" hexie papers and the two mini charm packs of Cuzco that had just arrived in the Happy Mail (I didn't mean to get the mini charms; I meant to get the entire stack of fat quarters regular charms) along with my little snips, enough needles so I could drop a few without worrying that it would mean the end of my project, and some random bobbin threads and made my very first hexie things.

I really like this fabric, and spending time with each bit was special because I was able to look at it more closely and appreciate it.  And to then decide I wanted a couple of yards of some of the prints.  

The hexies?  I think they're kind of pretty, primarily the fabric aspect of them.  And it was enjoyable making them (sort of hard with the mini charms to get them wrapped all the way around the paper piece sometimes - probably if i cut them myself I'd use slightly bigger pieces of fabric). But they seem old fashioned to me, not that there's anything wrong with old fashioned.  I'm just not naturally drawn to them.  I don't know what I'll do with these.  I used all but three of the charms from one pack flying up and back.  We landed so I didn't get the last three done.  I guess they'll be a W.I.P. for awhile!

If I could figure out how, i'd link up with Lee at Freshly Pieced

Have a great Wednesday!


Monday, November 5, 2012

Learning, Catching Up

The pressure.  To post frequently.  To not give up before I've even really begun.

I am learning, slowly.  Mostly because I would rather be sewing.  But I did label my previous posts, so there's an improvement!  I've received some great tips and help from my commenters and followers - thanks so much!

We are heading to San Francisco this morning for a business event and I probably won't post while I'm away and just didn't want so much time to go by.  I wish I had some pictures of my work over the weekend.  I need to figure out a way to do that easily, without having to onerously upload pictures, but maybe it's just an onerous process that everyone goes through.

I didn't finish my Weekender, but I've been showing it off.  I am debating taking it with me, but I'm afraid it will get dirty or smooshed under my airplane seat or the overhead.  Kind of ridiculous, I suppose, but I do rather enjoy it sitting on the desk bar in the salon!

I also started and finished a quilt top for a new baby that I get to meet right after Thanksgiving!  I used the Little Sprouts pattern by Vanessa Christenson, and I just love how it turned out.  I will take pics.

And I'm going to make my hurricane Sandy blocks before I leave.

Be well, and don't forget to vote tomorrow (not for a quilt, but for a president!)

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

More Weekender

I LOVE my Weekender!!! 

I'm not quite done with it; putting that lining in is a bit of a bitch.  I got the bottom of the lining tacked down (ugly work, but its covered anyway) and am still doing the hand sewing around the zippered opening.  I think it needs to be tacked at the seams where the main panels meet the side/top panels, just to keep it tidier inside.  I'll blog more about it all when I'm completely done, and put in my two cents on what changes I made and what I think would make the next one go more smoothly. Here is a picture of it in its not quite done state (oooh! my first picture!)

So, I'm writing because of what is wrong with the picture. Not the picture so much (I'm sure there's much wrong with it, but I'm not striving to be a photographer) as what is in it. You can see my Weekender and the little pouch in front of it (made using this tutorial at Noodlehead) (ooh! my first link!) 

First, the little pouch.  It was kind of weird to make, what with pushing the zipper out of the way, and I wonked it a bit.  You can see the little wee bit of the red lining peeking out a the end of the zipper. I didn't want to remove the stitching to do it over, but I'm going to because otherwise it will bother me forever.   The next three that I've cut out I'm certain I will do better.  Just need some more zippers (anyone know a good source?).

Second, The Weekender.  There are a couple of things I see that are issues. First, fusing the Peltex to the exterior fabric has left some wrinkles. Of course, some of them could be from turning the bag inside out and back again through a couple of the steps. The pattern doesn't say to fuse the Peltex directly because we aren't asked to use fusible Peltex.  I spent more on the fusible and perhaps saved the step of using the prescribed separate fusible to attach it to the main fabric.  I do like the fusible Peltex, but maybe when the instructions said to hold the iron on it for 10 full seconds I skipped seven a few. 

Also, see near the top where the handles used to be stitched to the bag? Might be hard to see in the picture; its just below the first navy strip at the top.  When I was turning it right side out, the stitching just ripped right out! Well, that won't do on a bag of this otherwise robustness.  I'm going to use my secret weapon to fix them. 

Ok, that's enough for now.  I'll have more pictures later (today or this week) that show the lining and maybe even another thing or two. 

When I'm done, should I put the picture of the finished bag on Flickr?  Should I link up to something?  Where does one find the etiquette on these things?  Research, research, research, sew, sew, sew . . .


Saturday, October 27, 2012


I am making The Weekender. I should link to the good people who are hosting the blog hop about this. Forgive me for not yet knowing how. I'll get there. I picked some home dec fabric and cut it out earlier this week. Then I realized I needed more Peltex (and didn't pay attention to the kind I have - 72F, double sided fusible) as well as the fusible interfacing, so I took a quick-ish trip to the biggest JoAnn's around these parts, a much longer drive than the closest JoAnn's, but it's always a bummer to go the easy route only to learn that they don't have what I want, right? I also wanted to try to find a lining that would go with the home dec I had cut (NOTE: figure out how to add pictures to posts!). I am/was thinking I'd make two Weekenders so decided to get a whole bolt of the Peltex since one Weekender takes 3+ yards. I couldn't find the 70, so I bought the 71. The 71 is fusible on one side . . . And $3 per yard more. I didn't realize this until checking out, but thought $8.99/yard for 20" wide material was a bit steep. Thankfully I had a 50% off coupon. I went back to the interfacings section(because I really couldn't believe it was $8.99/yard even though that was printed on the label) and that's when I learned about the important differences. I was in a rush so I didn't exchange it (helped by the thought of the 50% off) and just hoped that as I worked on the bag(s) I'd really appreciate the benefit of the fusibleness. This morning after kayaking around the bay with the Captain and Elvis (he should have a title, I think), I got back to work and cut out the Peltex. Well, first I made templates of the pattern pieces. Figured if I was going to make more than one bag, I should have something more substantial than the paper pattern. Also, because I read all (ok, just some) of the instructions, I noticed that we are to lay out the cut exterior fabric pieces onto the Peltex, cut them out, and THEN measure 1/2" all around and cut that OFF - thereby wasting full inches of very expensive material. Instead, I made a second template for the main pieces, these templates already reduced by 1/2" all around. Then I cut out the Peltex and am unsure if I actually saved any in the process, but it felt like a frugal thing to try. I made the straps longer, and then remembered I'd read that others made them wider, so I recut the Peltex to 1-1/4" vs the 7/8" the pattern calls for. Later, I had to figure out how wide to cut the lining (which becomes the handles) and after much mathiness determined it was 3-3/4" (vs 3" in the pattern). I'm trying to keep track so I'm writing these things on the pattern instructions. Well, after all that work (it wasn't that much but kind of it was) I decided I didn't like the fabric I chose, so I chose something else and cut it all out. It's a wide stripe, navy and white (rather nautical I think) and then worked to match the stripes up on all the pieces. We'll not know until actual sewing takes place whether I was successful. Pictures would help this post immeasurably. Who would wade through all of this? Yikes, I'm bored just looking at it! It's a gorgeous day here. We're all up on the fly bridge. Time for a little nap, and then back to Weekender. Good thoughts being sent to people on the East Coast. Stay safe. **snazzy signature here!**

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

First Post

I follow lots of blogs, all quilty-crafty ones. I am amazed at the time and generosity of all of you in sharing how and what you create. I have learned so much. Thank you. I live on a boat a good chunk of time. And here is where I sew. I made my first quilt aboard this boat last year, for my best friend's first grandchild. I used a pattern, and then did it differently from what the pattern called for. That seems to be more common than not. Then when I was done, I bought a bunch of fabric scraps and remnants at a garage sale here in town, to start building my stash. We converted the guest quarters into my permanent sewing cave about six months ago. It's small but I love it! I would like to add to the conversation, and share what I've made using the ideas and patterns and fabric and notions you have told me about or have made yourselves. Working and creating in a small space has its challenges and maybe that's an area where I could have something useful to share. That's probably enough for my first post. I'm uncertain whether I really want to do this - it's such a commitment that you all have taken on. But what a great way to stay on top of projects, give and receive encouragement, and just enjoy the absolutely terrific people out here who share themselves and their love of all things fabric! Setting sail, here I go! Holli