Friday, June 27, 2014

My Sewing Space-Try One

Alternate title:     My Sewing Space-Or Lack There Of

I do not live in a palatial palace but my home is pretty spacious. Especially for a family of four with one out of the house. 

My home of the past two years is about 3400sf. It is the Salisbury plan by William Poole. I really need to whip up some Aunt Bea dresses so I can feel more at home. (See the description blurb on the W.E.P website to clarify)
The "Future Rec Room" is finished in my house.

My house is nestled among a collection of newer homes in a tiny sidewalk lined neighborhood with alleys and an abundance of rocking chair front porches. It is supposed to bring your mind back to gentler days before AC made us all shut-ins. We have little to no front yards to speak of. It works fairly, we do interact with our neighbors more than in any other place we have lived, but it is a bit like living in a fishbowl or maybe Disney Land. We are close, somewhat fake and there is a steady stream of tourists prowling the neighborhood taking in all the cuteness.

I love this house, it is adorable but it isn't really my style. I would prefer something more streamlined and industrial but lets face it, I live in the South and my style would not go over well. The flow of the house is pretty wonderful too.

Now to my dilemma:
(For more clarification see my Sew post for my sewing history.)

It's a curse and a blessing. We live in close proximity to the Augusta National, home of the famed Master's Tournament. Like many other large events, our area does not have the hotel accommodations to support its signature event and the there is a huge demand for locals to rent their homes. 

We rent ours. Queen to King beds are expected in all the bedrooms. All my rooms are set up with queens. Unfortunately, I have to keep mine set up year round because I do not have walk-out storage that would accommodate a queen mattress and it will not fit up my attic stairs ether.

My first attempt at a sewing space was in Bedroom 4, our designated Guest Room.

I wasn't crazy about all the sewing paraphernalia decorating my hutch in the guest room.
This is the only shot I took so you'll have to use your imagination. At the machine location you see above I would roll back to hit the closet and my foot pedal would often disappear under the bed. I moved to the window table which was great for FMQ since I put my second table in front of the closet and had an L-shape of wall to contain the quilt volume. My problem was the table blocked my closet storage area and my chair was even closer to the bed than it had been to the closet. Bump-bump-bump, it drove me bonkers. I lasted about nine months.

When I broke down for our first Master's rental I reset my sewing space up in the Rec Room, or as we call it, the Bonus Room. Was it a better location?

Trip home post 2:

See my first post here.

I had a great time on my trip to Kennewick, WA, with my Big Sis. The sun comes up about an hour earlier in the Tri-Cities and our bedroom window faced east so I had no problem maintaining a pretty eastern rise time. 

I was happy to see that the community gardens at the library down the street were thriving. They were in their infancy on my last visit. So many times efforts like this fizzle but not this time. It was beautiful and showed all the signs of being well cared for and utilized by the community.

Sis on our first morning walk

It was one big nostalgia fest driving around where we grew up in the 60's and 70's. So much has changed and there are some surprising things that made me feel 10 again.

David's Shoes on Kennewick Ave. was unchanged down to the strong smell of leather. It was surrounded by the expected collection of antique stores, bars, empty store fronts and offices you expect to see on a neglected main street. It was good to see that there has been a surge in urban renewal efforts directed downtown the past few years. It looked like its days of decline were over and it was on its way back to its former glory. 

Here is a section of photos from our day of getting reacquainted with our old community:

A cute little bird house I spotted in one of the Kennewick Ave. antique shops.

Classic sign from our high school
You can see forever here. In GA we can barely see across the street.
Crossing the cable bridge over the Columbia River

Mural painted in the refurbished Kennewick Library by some high school friends.
More trip updates to come... 

Thanks for visiting my blog!

Thursday, June 26, 2014

I haven't even left Georgia yet!

Note: The top portion of this post is devoted to my recent hometown trip. Skip down for a tiny quilty update.

I haven't even left Georgia yet!

I was to fly out of Atlanta to the west coast with my sister on the evening of June 10th. I was going to drive from Augusta the morning of the 10th but changed my mind and left around 3pm for Atlanta on the 9th. Can you believe I finished all my vacation prep early!

I am so glad I did because when I arrived at my nephew's home I was greeted with the news that his 2 1/2 year old son had shoved a kernel of popcorn up his nose. I'm talking way up his nose. He's one of those calm easy going kids so things were pretty chill even though his mom had followed on-line advice and blown sharply in his mouth several times. Enough to put some kids into the tizzy fit zone.

Mom and grandma, otherwise known as my Big Sis, were busy googling alternative remedies. Much cheaper than a $500+ visit to ER. We taped a pen tip to a vacuum, blew in the other nostril, tried saline and some serious nose blowing. The kernel was nicely nestled in a cozy little fold. It was happy where it lay and wouldn't budge.

They even broke the rule and used tweezers. First his mom's set which looked like something you could use to repair a car. Gram said hers were super fine and they went in second. This pair looked like it was meant for motorcycle repairs. Even though the lad lay strangely still for his age they never made contact. The tools were just too bulky and blocked the view of that gleaming yellow goal.

I kept offering my prized Tweezermans which were tucked in a sheath to satisfy the most recent carry on rules. I checked TSA's website and made sure I could take my tweezers and a set of embroidery scissors on the flight. A sharp object must be no more than 4" long and in a sheath to protect the other passengers.
They barely made the cut.
These things are so sharp they could find a hair on a fish.
Every time I mentioned my Tweezermans they assured me their sets were "really sharp" and mine couldn't be any better. But they were oh-so-wrong. I got mine out and showed them what a real set of tweezers look like. After laying eyes on my prized grooming accessory, they had to agree that I might have a point. 

The youngster was laid out flat on the kitchen island for the umpteenth time and a flashlight was pointed towards the yellow orb. In went the slender tool and that tiny tip grabbed the tip of the kernel (I'm giving God the credit for placing it pointing out) on the first try. It was free!

Note that this photo is a recreation. His mom has the real photo on her iPhone.
All was well in the house and my little grand-nephew and my slightly larger grand-niece were tucked snuggly in bed more than a tad bit later than usual by parents who were very happy to have an empty nosed boy and $500 still in their pocketbook.

Quilt update:

The gift pouches I shared on my last post were well received as were the Augusta National cups.

I realized the only photo I posted of the mid-size iPad pouch attempt had it sandwiched between the small and large versions. I only shared the zipper end. Oops.

Our return flight arrived around 11:00pm in Atlanta on the 18th so we spent the night at my sister's son's house again. Thanks again M&M!!! 

I was able to hit Ikea on the way home. I picked up five yards of the iconic number fabric that was out of stock on my last visit. I also added one of those cute blue carts to my sewing space.

Do I share photos now or later?

I'm going with next post will be about where I sewed, sewed and sew now.

Oh, and a little more about my trip.

This is a great time for me to catch up on my pre-blog quilting story. I have been in a real sewing slump since I got home. I think somebody shared their germs with me on the plane. It took a week for me to sit down and write this post. My unread Bloglovin tally went over 300!

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Are iPads really that big?

I spent some serious time at my sewing machine this weekend.  I was home alone. Well almost alone. I did have Cooper the JRT, my grand-fur-baby Evora the White GSD and Turbo the calico cat. The cat is on auto pilot but the dogs are very needy. 

I started off Saturday by finishing my Sale Table quilt top. 

I'm leaving for Washington State on Tuesday to visit family so I made a couple of NoodleHead's Open Wide Zipper Pouches for gifts. I added a tab to the embedded side of the zipper too. I can never get my zipper tape to lay nice and this detail worked great.

These pouches are for my Mom and Step-Mom. I hope they like them. For the guys I have some Augusta National plastic cups from this year's Master's Tournament. We rent our house out for the tournament and the guests left them behind for us. Used but clean. This might seem like a hokey gift but anything with the Master's logo has value. People sell them on ebay. The Augusta National aggressively guards their trademark.   

It took three attempts to make a sleeve for my iPad. I kept making it too small! This is my first try at making zipper pouches and I didn't realize how much loss I would have from the quilting. I planned to make myself two bags for the trip anyway but now I have three! The third one was a success. I used NoodleHeads Open Wide zipper pull to make sure the zipper would be wide enough.

For two of my iPad sleeve attempts I used Elezabeth Hartman's Patchwork Panel technique. I messed up on the first one when I put the long bicycle strip on first. I didn't realize this only works with a log cabin pattern.  I quilted everything horizontally on that panel.                                                                           


On the next one I forgot to quilt that Kaffe Fasset bit and had to get creative.

I didn't use a backing since I planed to do lined bags.

Zipper and Tab auditions.

Finished pouch.

 Here is the successful iPad Sleeve.

See, the iPad actually fits!

Here is the total fruit of my pouch making labor.

My embroidery will tuck nicely in the middle size pouch. I'm not sure what I will do with the smallest pouch yet.  Maybe I'll put cycling goodies in it since it has that great line of bikes on it.

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

My first WIP Link Up

This is my first time Linking up with Freshly Pieced WIP Wednesday.

My list is pretty short. I am not one to let WIPs pile up. I generally start and finish a project before I let too many things get in the way.

WIP #1:   We will start with my ancient embroidery project. When I started it I predicted a 15 year schedule. I think I am about up to 18 now so it had slipped into UFO status until I unearthed a little over a month ago. I have now started working on it again.

This kit is a table runner with an angel on each end and a vine running along each side. This is Angel #1. It looks like I have about 20 years to go for a finish. I don't plan to finish it as a table runner. 

WIP#2:   This is more recent. I started this project after I found WIP#1. These are from Heather Bailey's Birds and Branches.

This will be my Yellow Bird.

Here is my first panel.

This is my Red Bird.

The ultimate plan is to create a set of three wall hangings for my future sewing studio. This will not be a 20yr+ project as it is clipping along.  The studio may take a couple years as we have to build the house first. I still need to share my studio dilemma with my current home but that will have to wait until another post.

WIP#3:  My Sale Fabric Quilt. Haven't had much time to work on it for a couple of days but I have stolen a minute here and there to do some pinning.

Mystery WIP#4:   I was going through a basket of fabric and found some purses I started about 10 years ago. They went dormant when our home sold faster than expected and we dove into the process of building our new home. 

We have built five and are very hands-on. Designing, framing,'s a pretty epic do-it-yourself project. I never picked up the purses again. In fact, my sewing was at an all-time low the 7 years I lived in that house. We moved into a read-made house two years ago. It feels strange when you are used to living in something that reflects your hard work and imagination. 

I will have photos next month. Maybe finished. I need to mull over them for a bit to see if I want to finish them as is or change them up a bit.

So that is it for now. Next month I home to add a wedding quilt into the mix. I'm considering a Crafsty July Mystery Quilt with Valori Well's Quill Collection

Thanks for visiting.

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Lovely Finish for June

Linking up with Bitter Sweets A Lovely Year of Finishes.

You can read about the birth if the quilt here.

I was a little optimistic about my design plans for this quilt but I had to scale it back to a more simple design. I think it would be best if I attacked my first value quilt with a pattern. At least with more pre-planning. 

This quilt came about as the result of a successful retail ploy...the messy markdown table ploy. Don't get me wrong, it's a great ploy and I don't regret falling for it. I have really enjoyed working with these fabrics. It was so exciting to find a few lovely fabrics in my stash that were not my normal style but that blended and enhanced my sale-table fabric find. Two were winnings from quilt guild meetings. I am a new member as of 2014 and I can't wait to share this quilt with them. 

I am the the only quilter in the group who leans toward the modern aesthetic. It is great to be accepted by this lovely group of talented ladies. They share the most amazing pieces.  

The fabrics can be seen in the photo below. The traditional star on the top right and the hand dyed piece on the bottom left.

Here is the layout I am going with. Well just over half since it won't all fit on my dining table. I really need to get cracking on a design wall soon.

Blocks or rows? I chose to go rows. It seemed to be the best choice to keep the layout straight without a design wall.

I am pinning the rows together now for the first pass. There are fifteen rows. I will add a border with a little extra detail to be revealed at the finish. Don't get too excited, it won't be that special, remember I am a novice at this.

Now for my linky goal:

This quilt is to be finished by the end of June. 

Thanks for visiting. 

Sunday, June 1, 2014

My Fast First Quilt

Linking up with Lily's Quilts Small Bog Hop and Sew Mama Sews My Favorite Quilt Linky Party. 

It all started back at Highlands Middle School in Kennewick, WA, 1975. One day I heard an excited teacher telling a fellow teacher about her new car. I didn't think too much about it until I sat down in my comp class later that day and spied said car just outside the window. I was instantly smitten by the cute lines and especially that adorable little bunny gracing the rear hatch.  My "dream car" was set in stone.

Growing up on a car lot I would get to drive a lot of fun cars through high school but I was denied my dream ride since my dad never had a VW Rabbit on the lot. I sold a cute little orange Fiat to help pay for college and I was driving a red Renault when I met my hubby but I never forgot about that cute little Rabbit.

My heart was broken when hubby informed me that VW had rebadged the Rabbit as the Golf in 1983. My dream was crushed...until one day in 2006 I saw this...

iPad users touch here.

It was Back!!! My dream was rekindled and the timing was perfect. My youngest son was 15, just short of getting his license and I was so ready to ditch my last Mom-SUV, a giant Nissan Armada, white of course. The car hunt was on for a slightly used 2006 VW Rabbit.

Well, as some of you may know the Golf/Rabbit has an alter-ego called the GTI. The original Hot-Hatch. Hubby was pushing for the GTI while I was thinking of nothing but that cute little bunny clad hatch. He finally talked me into test driving a GTI. 

Wow, talk about fun. I had to have one and Hubby said he'd add an aftermarket bunny if I had to have it on my hatch. Well, I still do not have the bunny on my rear. (correction: I happen to have added one yesterday) but I do have a mischievous red smile.

We found my GTI in January of 2007. It only had 3,000 miles on it and still smelled like new. A guy had traded his BMW for it in October 2006 and then traded the GTI on another BMW in December of 2006. I guess the GTI was a fun temporary fun ride while he waited for his special order BMW.

And fun it is...The Mark V GTI was always a favorite of Jeremy Clarkson and the Top Gear crew in the Hot-Hatch and affordable sporty car segments.  And during the Mark V GTI run it seemed to grace the cover of at least on major car mag monthly. 

Now they are up to the Mark VII! I feel like I've only had the car a few months. Hubby wants me to move up to a larger car but I always tell him he will have to pry my cold stiff fingers off the wheel of this car. It is my Dream Car after all.

Now for the quilty part...

I rekindled my quilt-sewing hobby in December of 2012 by trying out a few mug rugs. Within a month I had started on my first lap quilt. My attempt at quilting in the 1990's was abandoned when I could not get the hang of using my walking foot so I was a bit nervous about attacking the quilting stage of this lap quilt. I came up with a great idea...practice on something smaller like a baby size quilt. My circle did not have any new or on the way babies at the time so I decided to make something for me. 

Where could I use a teeny tiny quilt? How about my teeny tiny car! A quilt to match my car that I could use while traveling so hubby can be comfy cool and I can be toasty warm. Brilliant!!!

The GTI has an adorable red grin and charcoal and black leather seats so my color palette was set. I chose a not-too-babyish tutorial with a downloadable PDF pattern by Elizabeth Hartman called Charm Squares Redux. I headed to the local quilt store and purchased my fabric. I wish I could tell you what each one is but I didn't pay attention at the time. I think the gray is a Bella Solid. The red and white print is my favorite.  I like the gray Christmas print because the tint is just a bit "off" from the other grays and it adds a fun pop. It does have two Riley Blake Chevrons. The large gray on gray in the piecing and the binding is a tiny gray chevron. For the quilting I relied on Elizabeth Hartman's Free-Motion Quilting Basics and tried my hand at an overlapping box pattern. 

This is possibly my favorite quilt to date. That is why I am linking up with the Sew Mama Sew "My Favorite Quilt" linky party Hosted by Jess of Quilty Habit.

And now some photos with my Car Quilt in its natural habitat...

White house, white car, guess what color dog lives in that house.

 The quilt makes my car smile.

Notice the red brake calipers peeking out from the potato cutter wheels.

A temporary Rabbit logo. Too much?

Yes, it is a 6-speed turbo-charged manual go-cart.

Charcoal leather seats coordinate nicely with the quilt. 

Vee-Dub in da haus...actually we have two. My son has a gray 2007.

VW is famous for their goofy ad campaigns and they did not disappoint with the Mark V GTI.  Click through if you are a fan of humorous ad campaigns.

They had the Un-Pimp Your Ride Series.

And, my personal favorite, the My Fast series. Here's my favorite:

They also released a Project Fast DVD Brochure which can be found in bits and pieces on YouTube.

Thanks for reading about my first quilt finish.

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