Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Merry Christmas!

For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.  Of the increase of his government and peace there will be no end. He will reign on David's throne and over his kingdom, establishing and upholding it with justice and righteousness from that time on and forever. The zeal of the LORD Almighty will accomplish this.

Isaiah 9:6-7

Wishing you a Blessed & Merry Christmas!

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Oh, that Rascally Binding!

I have been busy sewing for Christmas like so many of you and here's a sneak peek. 

But I wanted to take a break and share a Tuesday Tip with you all that might take some of the #&%?!!! out of that final step in so many of our projects....Binding....

I've seen a number of clever tricks for keeping a length of binding neat while one is in the process of sewing it to a quilt. Some are quite attractive, like a vintage empty thread spool or an antique industrial spool.

Well, I've tried the empty spool and found it lacking.

I do not own an antique industrial spool but I do live in a community that has a substantial history in the weaving and cut-and-sew trades. I could probably find a fair number being offered in the various antique shops around the area.

I borrowed this photo from Vintage Chalet who borrowed it from MiaLucci and the original link is broken.

I think it would be a good solution if it sat on your right and you let the the binding unspool as you sew, but it also looks a bit pricey.

Here's my solution on the cheap.

I use a velcro cable tie that came with my Modem/Router. 

It keeps it neat from start to finish.

I wrap it with the soft side toward the fabric and I unwind sections and re-tighten as I go. One thing that makes a cable tie better than your standard velcro is that it tends to have a less aggressive hook and loop which is very gentle on the fabric.

I used to use a velcro cable tie that didn't have a ribbon tab and it worked quite well but this one is near perfection. Best of all it was sorta Free!

I know, there are probably a fair number of you who do the same thing, I just haven't ever seen it shared.

Feel free to leave a comment with your opinion on this solution. I'd love to hear if I've inspired you to try this, you've already been using it or if you have an even better technique.

Thanks for visiting!

Linking with:

Sunday, December 14, 2014

I have a Winner!

Announcing the winner of my first Giveaway:

Sam from Virginia!
She's a sews and reads.

A big THANKS to everyone who visited my little blog and left a message, followed me or shared my Giveaway with others. I really enjoyed reading about all the hobbies out there. By observation, it seemed like reading was number one and baking was a close second.  I also had a fair number of fellow bicyclist and runners. Then there were a number of interesting one-offs like fly fishing, sailing and horseback riding, to name a few. My heart is with the Mom's of young ones who are just lucky to squeeze in one pastime while they enjoy those special years with their little ones. I've been there.

Thank you to Sew Mama Sew for hosting the event.

On to my Christmas gift progress:

I finished the one quilt on my Christmas Gift list today. Here are some teaser photos to hold you over until I can get good photos. 

I will debut my new-to-me quilt stand with this photo shoot. My traditional guild purchased new stands and offered some of the old ones at $5.00 for a set of legs and $3 for a bar. I was an early taker because I am tired of the grime that always seems to get on my quilts when I use walls, fences and such. I usually do a heavily pieced back and it takes a full shot to show the detail of the larger scale piecing. I'm so excited to try it out.

Well, now that my big piece is done I am ready to get back to making the smaller presents on my list. I just downloaded a Noodlehead pattern today. 

Ya wanna guess which one?

Thanks for visiting!

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

PedalSewLightly's SewMamaSew Giveaway Day

Giveaway is now closed.

I know I am a little late to the game but as a newbie on the blog circuit I didn't even know about the Sew Mama Sew Giveaway Day until yesterday.  I entered so many Giveaways yesterday that "I got blisters on my fingers!" Not really, but who can pass up the opportunity to use a good Beatles quote.

Well, I did some research on why there was so much bootie out there for grabs and found out that this was an open participation event. Even the little guys like me could join the fun!

So, here's my pile of goodies up for grabs:

1. A spool of Aurifil Mako 50wt in Light Beige.
2. A Charm Pack of RB Snapshots
3. A Charm Pack of RB La Creme Basics in Medium Creme Dots
4. A Fons & Porter 120" Quilter's Retractable Tape Measure
**Camera NOT included in Giveaway**

Entry Instructions:
1. Leave a comment telling me your favorite non sewing or crafting hobby. (You may have noticed that mine is bicycling)
2. Follow PedalSewLightly on my Blog, IG or Pinterest and leave a comment telling me how you follow.
3. Share a link to my Giveaway by blog, tweet, IG, or FB and leave a comment telling me how you chose to share.

That gives you up to three entries.
Sorry, but this is a US-Shipping only offer.

This Giveaway will be open through Friday 12/12. The winner will be emailed by Sunday 12/14, and the package will be shipped by Tuesday 12/16.

Thanks for visiting!

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Alternative Grunge

Last winter I purchased a mini charm pack of BasicGrey's Aspen Frost and a half yard of a coordinating cut while I was waiting for Hubs to finish the Southern Cross cross bike race in Dalohnega, GA. It's a 50+ mile cross country trek pedaling on a cross bike so I had time to visit some local fabric shops and check out the down town. My purchase was made at The Common Thread. Its a very nice little shop stuffed full of goodies.

Dahlonega is a North Georgia biking hot spot. This was taken in October while we were there for  the Six Gap Century.
My plan was to make a pillow but when I sat down a few days ago I shifted gear to a table runner. I've never made a table runner but I have a number of them because my MIL loves to make them for all the kids. I really enjoy using them so decided to add another one to the mix.

When I pulled out my little pack of Aspen Frost it dawned on me that it was a Basic Grey collection and it includes a selection of Grunge. Hmmm, I just won some Basic Grey Persimmon from Mad About Patchwork and while researching that collection I realized it included Grunge as well. Guess what, I have five pieces of Grunge!

So, this seems like a good time to share one of my early projects and the story of my Grunge collection.

It all started at an adorable shop called Wild Child Arts in Watkinsville, GA. I found it while visiting the local Ducati store with Hubs. What can I say, he has a thing for anything with two wheels.

I had just discovered that modern quilting existed and this was the first quilt store I had visited that fit the bill. I drove up there the next month for a meeting and they were finishing up a Weeks Ringle project that night. I hurried around the store for fabric and the grunge seemed to fit the project at first glance. Well, it was supposed to be a transparent quilt and I did not have the time to analyze the concept but I thought a patterned solid would look good even if I didn't get the right effect.

The shop only had five colors and I skipped the purple and went with the white, green, light blue and cranberry versions. Then I ironed, cut the pieces and sat down at my machine to try my hand at curved piecing. I finished three sections in class and did the other at home. It all went so fast that precision was thrown out the window.

So here is my creation.

It's a bit off and my first attempt at circular quilting is rough but I still like it and it hangs above a dresser in my bedroom.

I purchased an additional orange Grunge piece on line for binding as well as a piece of Juggling Summer because it was so perfect for the back. Looks like I planned it, but I didn't.

I really need to work on my photography skills.
Unfortunately, I never got a chance to go back and sew with that wonderful group of ladies again. My leisure time disappeared when I was suddenly plunged into officer manager duty at our business. Our office manager had been in the process of slowly transitioning herself out and me in while working part-time at her new job when she was unexpectedly called into full-time duty at the new place. I could no longer fit that two hour drive into my schedule just to sew. I am not even sure if Wild Child Arts is still open. I hope so but I can't find their we site any longer.

See all the blue sashing around the Aspen Frost squares, that is from my Grunge stash left over from my trip to Wild Child. The cranberry and green are also in the Aspen Frost collection and I have included them too. I think the whites are the same but I didn't use any on the front of the runner. I may include it on the back.

The orange and white Grunge work with my Persimmon collection so I am saving them to use in another project. It's crazy how all five colors have suddenly found a purpose.

Here is a stack of three upcoming projects that all should be started and at least one finished before Christmas. I am putting the table runner aside to work on my Persimmon Project now.

I have been busy making gifts so my I can't share most of my finishes but I will leave you with this little experimental block.

My local modern guild is requesting 6 1/2 inch blocks for a project and this is now in their hands. I was on my elliptical the other day spinning and watching the news when a commercial aired for a bank I was unfamiliar with. Their logo was superimposed over the picture at the end and it inspired this experimental block. I sketched out the basic design and would like to translate it into a larger piece. We will see if that ever happens.

Thanks for visiting!

Special Alert!!!
Maureen Cracknell is giving away a bundle of Carolyn Friedlander's Doe on her blog today!
This fabulous bundle is supplied by her sponsor, Fabric Spark.

Friday, November 14, 2014

Quilty "Thank You" Times Two

My first "Thank You" goes out to Pam at Mad About Patchwork for the Birthday Bundle of Basic Gray's Persimmon Giveaway. I was the big winner! Oh yeah!

It was pretty fitting since we share the same birth year, my sister's name is Pam, I used to live on Persimmon Street and I grew up in Washington State about 30 miles from Oregon. That last one is a bit of a stretch but as soon as I read the the word "MarionBerry" I thought of my home state. When I read the rest of what Pam wrote I realized why.

So here are all the pretties:

I know exactly what Im going to do with this bundle but it's a big secret for now. Shhhh...

My second Quilty "Thank You" goes out to my Mother-in-law who sent my still un-quilted First Quilt back home with my Hubs. He and Son #1 were up in PA for his Dad's birthday. I couldn't go because I was scheduled for jury duty. Which, by the way, I got out of because I am blessed to live in a low crime county and we were all excused! 

The quilt came home because my SIL is swamped with kid activities. She is in the thick of it with two teens and one preteen and she is an avid quilter who already has a collection of tops waiting for their ride on her long arm. Maybe I was a bit presumptuous when I sent it up for her to quilt even if my intension was for it to be donated. Guess I should have asked first.

Well, I am so glad it is back. I had regrets shortly after it left my hands since I immediately caught the quilting addiction and developed the skill to handle it myself. Plus, I didn't have any photos to share on my blog. Now I do, so, here she is along with the pillow sham I made for practice.

She's all pinned and marked from 1995. I do think I will add some more pins before I tackle her. Plus, I need to pick out the old stitches. The ones you see look good but there are some folds that didn't make the photo.

She is a Twin Nine Patch set On point in big box fabric but not as ugly as I remembered. She will still be donated and hopefully someone will fall in love and take her home to snuggle.

You might remember that our HVAC unit died while we still had hot weather. I decided not to plan any large projects for a bit because it is so hot wrestling with fabric. I have been working on smalls and have several under my belt. Here are a couple of recent projects:

First up, a name tag sample for my traditional guild. I am on the membership committee and we are to make tags for new members. I made it for myself to use for both my guilds so it wouldn't go to waste if it didn't make the traditional guild cut. I used this tutorial from Monkey Beans. I think it is adorable but it took three tries. The pattern faces to the right even if her sample doesn't. I had one of the pieces on backwards in my first try to make it face left. Didn't notice the mistake until I had added more pieces and trimmed. I started over and that's when I realized my mistake was the result of me trying to force flip the pattern. I traced the pieces on the other side of the paper and all went well the third time.

I used some scraps of Bluebird Park and even included a bit of birdie selvage since my Hubs favorite nicknames for me is Mommie Bird.

Here's the back humming bird. She's orange, my favorite.

Another secret project. 

We had our new furnace installed last week and I am itching to start tackling some Bigs again. That Persimmon bundle is victim number one!

Thanks for visiting!

Linking up with:

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Six Gap Century Valley Ride

I'm not a fanatic like my Hubs but I do enjoy a good bike ride. So, when it comes to organized and charity rides I tend to do the wimp version while he goes out for all the miles and vert he can pack in. I have done one century (100 miles) and several metric-centuries (62 miles) but I usually go for the 30ish mile ride. That's what I did for the Six Gap Century. They call it the valley ride but I still call it a climb.

Six Gap starts in the beautiful city of Dahlonega in the North Georgia Mountains. They make it a two day festival with a street fair and Criterium on Saturday and the ride is on Sunday. It was held the last weekend of September. (I'm a month behind recording this ride)

I'm a bit heavier and not as fit as last year but my STRAVA did give me personal bests on two sections. Overall I was a few minutes slower and the competition must have been stiffer this year because I finished further back in the official ride standings than I expected for those extra minutes.

It was an absolutely perfect day for a mountain ride. I didn't have to wear or pack any extra clothing because it was warm enough for short sleeves when I started.

I did get a few extra miles in because we had to park a mile and half away from the ride venue. So, after I went through the finish line I still had that mile and a half, uphill and in traffic to go before I was back at the truck.

This is what my computer read but STRAVA put me at 37.9 miles with 3,937ft vertical gain.

Here's my new T-shirt. I really need to make this one wearable, since it is so cute and I love the colors. I'd like to get in shape for Three Gap but there are just too many quilting and sewing projects calling my name.

Hubs had a great ride and met his goal! That was great because it meant I didn't have a long wait for my spaghetti dinner. Which was even nastier than what they served last year. I have decided to skip the meal next year because it is just so over the top bad.

My next post will be more fabric centric than this post. I guess you could say about this one...

"I visited Pedal Sew Lightly and all I got was this lousy T-shirt!"

Thanks for visiting.

Monday, November 3, 2014

October & November Finishes and a New Goal

It feels good to have this one finished and finally properly photographed. I have to say, it turned out much better than I expected. Giving up that fat quarter of Tula Pink was definitely worth it to give this quilt some life. The quilting gave it a nice cozy scrunch and I hope it brings comfort to its owner.

The Wedding quilt is also done and will be mailed to the young couple today. Here's the front...

The mesh bag I made for my son will have a different purpose than the one I originally intended. It will not be keeping his riding gloves safe from his other laundry but it will be protecting Nico's socks from the dorm laundry gremlins.  When I presented it to Son #1 he loved it but said his buddy, Nico, had been complaining about a rash of missing socks and he felt he needed it more so asked me to give it to Nico instead. I love Nico so how could I say no! Besides, it gives me an excuse to whip out another bag for my son. I love a good excuse to sew!

This is all you get of this one since it is a gift. Most of you will realize what it is. And yes, it is upside down in this photo. I shared the fabric selection in my last post. I deleted the floral back and just went with more purple. You know, more purple will always make a room more perfect, just ask my grand-niece.

Next up some completely new and never before shared finishes.

This one took days to finish when it should have been a one or two sitting project. I was fresh off a two-try-sewing-fail and my confidence was low for whipping out semi-self-designed projects. 

I have a collection of T-shirts from bike rides I have done and I never wear them because I despise wearing men's T-shirts. I have had grand plans to up-cycle some of the cuter designs but have been putting it off for years. Well, I got a particularly cute one from my last ride (which I will share later) and the motivation was high. I pulled out a couple of dud T-shrirts to try my hand and they were both failures. On try #1 I underestimated the stretch in the ride shirt versus my favorite Old Navy Perfect T. It came out too small even though it lays out larger than the inspiration piece. For try #2 I didn't cut down the shoulder area enough and I had a serger blade oopsie around the bust, but I did get the tummy right. Two fails and I was down on my skills. 

Next up was a much needed cover to protect my sewing machine. After searching I found great inspiration and made a list of some things to avoid and strive for in my cover construction but I did not find the right cover for me. That meant I would have to design my own without a pattern or tutorial. Was I up to the task? 

So, after popping out an adorable panel using Elizabeth Hartman's Mod Mosaic Tutorial, I must have measured my Juki hundreds of times from all angles. I drew up some sketches and pretty much only attempted a step in the process per day. I needed time to sit back, make sure it was still working and carefully plan out my next move.  It would have been so much easier if I could have found a tutorial that fit my mental picture.

So here it is. Its stands so nicely. Looks like I went with the proper interfacing.

The back.

To notch or not to notch. That was a question I asked for about 24 hours. Not just to myself, but to others. I'm glad I went with notch.

I used some orange commercial bias tape I had on hand. I like it. I finished the remainder of the binding in the same gray as the body so as not to compete with the mosaic. Another choice I'm happy with.

For the handle I added a piece of canvas tape from a fabric bundle. 

It is so nice to have my machine protected from all the dust and dog hair!

Since that went so well, I decided to wing it without a pattern for another little project.

This is a gift for a friend of #2 Son who just turned 21. He's in the Air Force and stationed here at Fort Gordon. I have been sharing our plastic grocery bags with him since the first day we met. He uses them in his dorm trash can. I made him this bag tube in patriotic colors to store his stash of bags. I used a quilt-as-you-go technique and it turned out smashing too!

I think I may be recovered from my T-shirt up-cycle disasters.

My goals for November: (Linked with A Fibre of All Sorts and A BitterSweet Design's A Lovely Year of Finishes)

1. Make 5 name tags for new guild members. Goal - ALYoF
2. Start on a Christmas Quilt using my new Quick Curve Ruler that I just received from Mass Drop.
3. Make another mesh bag for Son #1.
4. Make a Christmas pillow with the Mini Charm Pack I purchased while Hubs was riding in The Southern Cross.
5. Design and maybe make a cover for my HuskyLock 905.
6. Make a few Christmas presents. 

Linking up with:
Anything Goes Monday by Stitch by Stitch, Hosted by Till We Quilt Again.
Quilt Story's Fabric Tuesday

Thursday, October 16, 2014

He doesn't Even Know He Needs It

Hubs and I are going to Bham this weekend to visit Son #1. We are so excited because this is going to be a special visit. This will be our first time meeting a young lady he has been talking to. There will also be mountain biking, eating and ministry in action. It will be a busy weekend!

I had to have a little something to give him so I whipped him up something he doesn't even know he needs. A mesh laundry bag. 

This is the second one I have made using my original design. The first was inspired by our need for mesh bags to wash our bike gloves and ankle socks in. After years of losing gloves only to find them hanging off a random item of clothing in the closet, popping out of a fitted sheet or stuck to some random piece of laundry, hubs came up with the idea to wash them in a mesh laundry bag. 

I had two old mesh bags and the process worked perfectly until one of the bags failed.  So, I came up with this design. I have been using the prototype for weeks am loving it. 

I have plans to replace the other old drawstring bag with another for hubs soon. In the meantime, I whipped up my second bag for Son #1 because he is an avid mountain biker and a sometimes roadie too.  I am sure he will love it.

Hopefully it will keep him from having a mismatched set of gloves in rotation. Hubs is missing a left from one gray set and a right from another gray set and he wears them as his last resort pair. Who knows what their velcro has grabbed onto. I expect one or both to pop out someday.

WIP's update:

I have cleared my workroom of short term projects in September and October. All I have left are projects that I expect a long timeline on like my embroidered birds, the old Angel project and my UFO purses.

I finished my Wedding Quilt that had a November 1st deadline. Here is a sneak peek of the back.

This is the mystery Ikea fabric, Natiljus that I purchased in June. It has recently been added to their website.

I finished my Sale Table Quilt. Another sneak peek.

I made a pillow cover for Cooper on my Singer 15-90 using the Nested Churn Dash tutorial. Evora, Son #2's White GSD, chewed a corner off it the next day. It's small and I can fix it.

Other goals finished:
All four dish drying pads
Grace/Juki practice quilt on Heather Ross fabric.
Iron Man and Spiderman paper pieced minis.
A number of mending projects.

New Projects:
Having a number of WIPs going at the same time was not good for my psyche so now that I have things under control I am going back to my regular routine of not overlapping projects unless I have a deadline. So, here is what is on my table now. 

That's all you get until late December. It is a birthday present for a special little girl. 

I may not bust out another quilt for a bit. Our AC decided to die late last week and Hubs wants to do a bit of engineering so we get it done right this time. Since living in this home for two years we have found that the original install was substandard. The builder made some extremely bad decisions and it is going to take some time for Hubs to come up with a proper solution. He is busy engineering other builds at work and that puts ours on the back burner. The cooler weather makes daily living without air fine but it still gets a bit hot when I wrestle with volumes of fabric. I'm going to fill my time with a number of smalls for a while. 

Thanks for visiting


Friday, October 10, 2014

A View from My Foyer Now

In September I shared my in-progress dining room to quilt studio conversion. I have to confess, I walked by and noticed that the space was particularly messy and said this is the perfect time to shoot my before photos so that my after photos will look better in comparison. Today you get to see if my strategy worked.

A little background...Since we live in the Augusta, GA area we rent our home for lodging during the Master's Golf Tournament. This means that my studio must convert easily back into a dining room for the first full week of April each year. My sewing furniture must be light enough to cart to the garage and I have to keep a buffet/hutch in my sewing space year round.

View Comparison #1.
The mirror was removed and the hutch was moved to its new home.
The Grace Frame is in its new location and I can walk all the way around it with ease.
The dining table is no longer smooshed against the hutch. It is floating in the room and as you will see in other photos it extends into the foyer.  It is handy having a table available in this spot. Once the dining suite sells I will be on the lookout for a bar height square table. I have already seen several on the yard sale circuit. The tall table fad must be over and people seem to be keeping the bar stools and selling the tables. That is a good trend for my plan.
View #1   Left-Old     Right-New
View Comparison #2.
My main sewing table now sits where the hutch sat previously.
This is my largest open wall section. I am working on an idea for a small design wall above the wainscot that would be acceptable for Master's Week. Thinking gray flannel in a frame that I could hang a few minis and a golf theme banner on for the rental period.
You get a better sense of the dining table's new location in this photo.

View #2   Left-Old     Right-New
View comparison #3.
My ironing table is now under the first window on the left.
My main storage is now tucked into the corner behind the Grace Frame.
The walking flow is so much better in this layout. No dead end paths.

View #3   Left-Old     Right-New

View comparison #4.
This is my sewing table wall from the back corner. The Grace Frame blocks the view of the table but you can get a sense of the space I have for my future design wall.

View #4   Left-Old     Right-New

View comparison #5.
This shows my new ironing table location and my proximity to my front door. 
I'd like to replace my folding tables with some lightweight tables like the Ikea INGO or some inexpensive yard sale finds. The plastic flexes and the style just isn't up to task.

View #5   Left-Old     Right-New

View #6.
This is the best view of the dining table placement. Plenty of walk around room but it is just a bit on the formal side. I do not need a mahogany cutting table! Please, somebody buy this, the buffet and the chairs that are littered all over my home!

View 6

Some of my favorite things...

The Labofa chair that I bought for $1 at a yard sale more than 10 years ago. It was soooo dirty and the bolt holes in the seat top were stripped. I brought it home in two pieces. Hubs bought some stainless smooth top screws and drilled holes through the seat and put them in from the top instead of the bottom. It has held up through years of home school use. Now it is my sewing seat.

Night Stand.
The newest addition. I finally have a space to hide my freezer paper roll!

The Singer 15-90 and Cabinet 74.
This is so cool. I love this little cabinet to death. Look at the ergo tilt of the machine placement. It tilts the needle head towards the sewer and improves the view. Sweet!!!
At first I wasn't attracted to the machine. Too old school. But after research, I feel that it is hands down the best old Singer machine for my needs. I love the knee control that actuates a little lever that pushes on the bakelite foot control tucked up under the cabinet apron. 

I also have the required Ikea RASKOG cart, in blue of course. You can see it peeking out in several photos. 

That pretty much covers the big stuff. 

My first "View from My Foyer" is by far my most visited post to date. I'm not sure if it is due to interested crafters, people looking for home design ideas or if it hit a nerve for the voyeuristic crowd. Whatever.

Watch for updates on my quilting. My blog may have been neglected for a week and a half but my sewing equipment was not!