Friday, August 30, 2019

Fabrics and boxes

Hi everyone! I'm so happy to see you all again! I bet you thought I fell off the planet, didn't you? Nope, things just got very, very busy around here.  We moved 2-1/2 weeks ago, I started my new job 2 weeks ago, and students started classes 4 days ago. Which all means that we are still surrounded by paper and boxes, but at least I get to leave it behind for a while every day. Why does unpacking take longer and make more mess than packing up does? And if I labeled all the boxes, why can't I find anything?

So, I haven't done any actual sewing, but I really missed blogging and I just wanted to say hi again. There are a few fabric-related things, though! I've been unpacking and putting my fabric away, so at least I've gotten to touch fabric.  Plus, check this out:

This small niche is in the wall of my sewing room, and the fabric bolts fit perfectly in it! It's like this area was built just for them.  And just so you know, those are only about 3 or 4 yards apiece, mostly for backings.  No full bolts here!

Other than that, I've bought these fun pieces to add to the fabrics on the shelves, mostly because they are bright and happy:

These yards are from Good Day by Me and My Sister and I got them from Fat Quarter Shop.  You know, sometimes I just can't resist those emails, especially when it's raining and gross outside.  And these are really pretty ones, so I couldn't think of a good reason to hold back.

And one other bit of new fabric:

Cute aqua fat quarters from Shabby Fabrics.  I know I shouldn't buy fat quarters, but they look so good together.  And can't you just see them in a lovely aqua and white quilt? Maybe baby-sized?  Okay, just me then!

So there we are-- some fabrics put away and some new fabrics soon to join them. We're loving our new home here in Baltimore and getting settled.  I actually hope to do some sewing this weekend, just as soon as I find the power cord for my machine.  They got separated somehow, but I'm sure the cord is down there in the sewing room, probably stuck in a random box.

Everybody have a good weekend! It's the end of August, so you know that cool weather can't be far behind, and then comes the season that shall not be named, so we need to enjoy the bright sunshine while we can!

Friday, August 16, 2019

Home sweet home

Hello from Baltimore, everyone! We managed to move and it was not quite painless, but it's done now and we're setting up our new home.  We spent last weekend cleaning (oh, baby, was it dirty) and then the truck brought our furniture on Monday.  So far Baltimore is great! It's very nice here (but quite warm) and it's been a pretty good experience. Bonus-- it only took me 17 minutes to get to work! This is a very big difference in the commute!

So, I guess you'll want to see my new sewing room, right?  First, a quilty picture, just so there's something quilty in this post:

This is a Tiny Tuesday block that I made with my pink scraps.  It's a variation on one of the blocks for last year's Squared Away project, and I'm calling it a Jumping Jack star.  You can make any of those Squared Away blocks into a Tiny Tuesday block if you cut the squares at 1-3/8. Yep, that's tiny! Now that I've made this one I think I'll make them all as tiny blocks.  In different colors, of course!

Okay, now to the sewing room. Here it is:

Yes, it's gray, but do you see how big it is?  This room is, unbelievably, about 12 by 29 feet.  And see that closet down at the end?  It's another 10 by 12 room, complete with shelves, hanging bars, and lights.  They tried to sell this as a fourth bedroom, but it definitely is not.  It's in the basement, but it has full size windows and a walkout door, but no wall to close it off from the rest of the basement.  This is okay, because the other finished rooms will be an exercise room and a storage room, so it doesn't have to be closed off for me. 

The room needs some warmer paint before I can even begin to work in there, along with some new lighting.  There is carpet on the floor, which is not ideal, but it's almost new and it's not in the budget right now to replace it, so it stays.  I really don't mind; I just want to get creating in there.  My fingers are itching to make some things.  And I'm thinking 12 foot design wall, what do you think?

As for the rest of the house, let me show you the whole reason we bought it:

A whole wall of windows looking out over the yard, which includes lots of trees and a small stream:

I saw three deer out there this morning, which almost makes up for the fact that most of the house is a dark gray, except the window room, which is kind of a mustard color, and the master bedroom, which is brown. Yeah, there's a lot of painting to do. And we won't even talk about the window treatments, which all need replacing.  I took down the really dirty ones with the dead bugs, but I had to leave some of them for privacy.  Those will be replaced even before the paint goes up, because I can live for a while with brown paint but not with dead bugs in the pleated shades.

So here we are and thrilled to be here! I think it's going to be a good place for us, and I hope to get the sewing room painted this weekend so I can unpack some fabrics.  Some bright pretty things should really brighten the place up, don't you think?

Everyone have a great weekend! I'll be unpacking and painting!

Sharing at Confessions of a Fabric Addict, Finished or Not Friday (the last one for Myra), and soscrappy for RSC19.

Thursday, August 8, 2019

Sweet Caroline

Happy Thursday everyone, and hello from somewhere on the road to Baltimore!  There's a good chance that right as you read this I am lifting and carrying boxes or something else that people my age really should be past by now. We'll be settling into our new home in no time, but in the meantime I took some beauty pictures of a pre-blogging quilt for this throwback post.  Please enjoy, and please think good and happy thoughts for us and the move.

Here is my throwback quilt, and I'm not throwing it back:

Gosh, I love this pretty quilt!  It's pink and green, which is one of my favorite combinations, it's cozy, and it's just the right size for cuddling with my granddaughter.  Plus it reminds me of a very nice time I had with friends at my favorite quilt shop, Patched Works.

I made this quilt in 2012, I think.  May have been before that.  It was a sew along with each block designed by individual designers.  I wish I had kept the patterns so I could tell you more about it, but I do remember that we got them at the quilt group meetings.  They were printed out in color, so that alone tells you it was a long time ago!

I think this may have been a Civil War themed project or something similar, because I recall the sample quilt (and the patterns) being in reds and browns.  Of course, I chose a much more cheerful color combination.  The fact that I had virtually no red or brown had nothing to do with it, really.

I'm pretty sure this is one of the first quilts I had longarmed, and it certainly was worth it.  It turned out to be a good investment that I have repeated many times.  This quilt has a lovely texture that I really like, with all the swoops and swirls.  Plus the quilting pattern almost matches the swirly pattern in the border fabric, which was nice but completely unintentional.

Striped binding!

The name of this quilt is Sweet Caroline.  At the time, I thought it was a perfect name for this happy, girly quilt (and it had nothing to do with the Red Sox, Boston fans).   Years later, when one of my granddaughters was born, I discovered that this quilt had indeed been perfectly named. I'll leave it to you to connect the dots and figure out why that is.  Needless to say, this beauty will be hanging around here for years!

So, there's another throwback quilt from my pre-blogging collection! There are quite a few others, but for now this one is my favorite.  (Guess why.) I'll save the others for another time, but it will definitely not be when we are moving, because I am not moving again.  I said that before, but this time I really mean it!

Pieced cornerstones!

Hope you're all having a good week and getting lots of stitching done.  I'll see you next week from our new home, hopefully with some pictures of my new (enormous) sewing room!

Sharing at Confessions of a Fabric Addict, Finished or Not Friday, Brag about your Beauties, and Sandra's next Throwback Thursday.

Friday, August 2, 2019

Soft signs of love

Hi everyone, and welcome to August! It feels like it's been August for weeks, at least temperature-wise, and certainly the grass looks like it's been as hot as August for a while.  Yep, brown and brittle. For anyone out there in the rest of the country who wonders why Congress goes on recess every August, I can now tell you in detail why that is!

We are very busy around here right now, and there's not a lot of stitching getting done.  I have just one small thing that I finished up this week, and I am super happy to show you this:

This is the cutest little fabric book that is nice and soft and squishy and just perfect for tiny humans.  My friend Bernie sent me this panel to make for my newest grandchild, and I know that she's going to love it and chew on it and maybe even learn a few baby signs from it. Many thanks, Bernie! The panel is still available in her shop, and you can find it HERE so you can make your own. (And hey-- free shipping! You could even look around at a few other things while you're there, too.)

If you haven't made one of these book panels before, I'm here to tell you that they are super easy.  Directions are printed right on the panel, but it's a fairly intuitive process.  You cut out the pages, layer them with some batting, and then stitch around them envelope-style. Turn, press, and stitch the opening closed, then stack the pages and sew through all the layers.  Presto, a soft fabric book!

For my book, I used two layers of batting for each set of pages, just because my batting (which was leftover scraps) was pretty thin.  This made the pages nice and beefy, easier for tiny hands to grab.  One tip I have is to pin the page numbers to your pages so that you can keep track of which page goes where.  This book has no plot, so a mixup wouldn't matter much, but you know how I like things to be where they're supposed to be.

One other thing I did with this little book is to use a narrow zigzag for the "spine" of the book.  Even the gentlest little person can be awfully rough on things and I didn't want it to come apart, especially if she has it in her mouth or something, so this was just a little insurance.  It was a pretty thick stack, so it didn't move very well through the machine, but I did manage to get the job done.

This was a fun little project and I can't wait to give it to my granddaughter and teach her a few signs.  (There is a hard cover version of this book that is very similar, also by Joy Allen, and several other books on teaching signs to your child. THIS one is very good.)  Since it's so easy and doesn't require a lot of precision, I think this would be a great project to make with a child who is learning to sew, or even a younger child who could help cut and stack the pages.  Then they could have a hand-made gift for a new baby, too.

This was a fun little project, and a great one to end on. At least in this house!  This was my last little project here, and right after I finished I packed up the remainder of the sewing notions and thread to get it ready to move. (I marked that box "sewing room box 1" so I know to unpack that one first!) We are moving this coming week, so I won't be sewing for a little while. I'm sad to leave, but I know that new adventures and much happiness await us in our new home in Baltimore.  I have a throwback post scheduled for next week while we move, and then I'll be playing it by ear while we get settled and I start working at the new school.

Best wishes to all of you in your quilty endeavors the next couple of weeks, and I'll see you on the other side of the moving van!

Sharing at Confessions of a Fabric Addict, Finished or Not Friday, and TGIFF