Saturday, January 28, 2012

I love Saturdays!

This one in particular is going very well for me! Whilst the husband took the truck to be inspected this morning, I made breakfast and a treat. And made a good start on laundry - didn't think you'd be interested in photos of that though...

Whole wheat buttermilk scones

Apple pie

I strayed from my usual pie recipe by using lime juice rather than lemon and sweetened it with honey instead of sugar. After lunch we tested it. I probably should have used just a bit more honey, but served with whipped cream or ice cream I'm sure it would be fine.

Next we took a walk around the neighborhood (40 degrees does not feel like January!) and stopped by the thrift store. There were no interesting pieces of furniture, but I did spot a solid blue sheet that seemed brighter than the one I already have. I mean to go back tomorrow with a swatch of my quilt along fabric to see if it matches.

The fact that I have not found satisfactory solids yet is one reason I am so far behind on this project. Mostly, I've just had a hard time finding time to sew over the past couple months. If I was caught up with the set schedule, I'd be about half done right now...

My work space - ie dining table.
Oh well. I'm just working slower than most, if not everyone else. Eventually I'll finish and I really like how it is coming together so far. I've noticed an improvement in my seam accuracy today which is nice. I fudged it a bit more in the big blocks which I made first.

2 large, 2 medium and 3 small
Can you tell? I think they all look good as blocks, but I expect imperfections will make piecing to adjacent blocks a bit more difficult. Maybe I'll decide a couple missed points don't bother me or maybe I'll use the worst on their own as pillows to avoid such frustrations.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Eye Candy

Since I began reading other blogs about sewing and quilting in particular, I've noticed the following attitude: If you see fabric you like, get some, even if you don't know what you'll use it for or when. Because, if you don't, it will be gone. Forever. Even tiny scraps will be horrendously expensive.

This makes sense when fabric lines come and go so quickly, but until this past weekend I bought fabric for specific projects (economy of money and space) rather than simply because it was pretty. My project minded purchases and the fact that I'm pretty new at this quilting thing means I don't really have a lot of scraps... Thus, I need to produce some before I can send off my Mouthy Stitches swap! I certainly don't want my first swap partner to wish I hadn't been their partner...

Self explanatory
Etchings and Terrain
Reindeer, Yuletide Magic, Countdown to Christmas
Scrap bag including some Moda and others without selvages
1001 Peeps

What do you think? Will I have a disappointed partner if I'm sharing bits of these?

Thursday, January 12, 2012

All grown up!

I haven't related this story to you yet, though I have hinted at it.

Upon their arrival I gave my sister-in-law and her husband a little tour of our apartment. He had never seen it before; she had.

"It looks so much more grown up now!" She said when we got to the bathroom (a mere 15 ft from the front door).

(I wish the walls weren't painted dingy yellow...)

That is not actually what she saw, but it is what she was supposed to see! Instead, she saw the liner minus my old rubber ducky plastic shower curtain that I had kept from my college apartment... Clear was a step up, I guess.

Confession: I still kind of liked the duckies even if they were a bit juvenile. I've actually stuffed the old hooks in a plastic bag with the thought that I could remove the rusty metal from the ducks and perhaps turn them into magnets... Not sure I will ever follow through, but I hated to throw them out. And I am using the matching washcloths to this day.

So, that is the tale of my new grown up bathroom. I'm really quite pleased with the results. I tore strips from sheets, then laid them out in a pseudo-random order (pseudo because they are not particularly random, but they are also without a repeating pattern). I sewed all the strips together and then decided that while time consuming, I would finish the seams that would be seen from in the shower. It surprised me how long the ironing took to achieve this... but nevermind. It is done now.

And it is my first finish (of hopefully 2 this quarter) for the FAL!

As explained in my FAL post, in my haste to make progress, I hemed it too short. I thought about trying to take a short cut and not rip out both top and bottom hems, but it didn't take as long as I'd expected. (I did take out both.)

Step 2

I wound up with a 3/8" bottom hem and a 1 3/4" top hem. Originally, at the top I had 3 layers of fabric to be sure the buttonholes would be secure, but the edit down to just two seems to have worked perfectly well.

Since my shower curtain is a bit wider than a standard one so I couldn't transfer the hole placement from the liner; instead I did some quick calculations and marked each with a pin.

Step 3

Then I tested out the buttonhole feature on my machine for the first time. It worked like a charm! I used small pencil marks to keep my starting points evenly distanced from the hemline which were easily covered up by the stitches.

Step 4

And finally I cut the buttonholes and hung it up! Can you see the stitch detailing?

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Better late than never

I'm joining the Finish-A-Long hosted by Rhonda over at Quilter in the Gap!

Here are the things I am carrying over from 2011. Of course I meant to finish them sooner, but better late than never.

1. My grown up shower curtain. (Replacing the rubber ducky one I had in college, mostly because the grommets got rusty.)

I worked a bit on it last night, but when I held it up to the rod I decided I actually would prefer it longer... So what I need to do is pick out what was to be the top hem and redo it much skinnier. It will then become the bottom hem to limit my time with the seamripper. Finally, I'll get to play with the buttonhole function on my sewing machine. I'm actually quite excited about this since I've never used it before. And once I have 12 buttonholes along the top it will be ready to hang.

2. The Purple Haze Quilt.

At this point, I have 70 blocks of 4 charm squares each, plus 10 pairs of charms that make up the odd number of columns in my layout. Since one of my fabrics is flannel, I've been fighting against it stretching as I go and need to trim all 70 blocks back into squares before proceeding to sew them into rows.

I have the batting and backing fabric on hand, but I'm still debating how to quilt it. It's probably easiest to do straight lines since my machine is fairly compact and this will be a twin size quilt. After I figure that out, I'll piece together binding from my scraps and a bit of extra gray I bought. Ignoring time efficiency, I'll probably opt to sew the binding to the back of the quilt by hand.