Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Studio Update

I use our smallest bedroom as my sewing space.  This bedroom doubles as our guest room, although it it is used only infrequently for that purpose.  But with my mother arriving tomorrow, it was time for a clean-up, which is also a good time to take pictures.

The window looks out on our backyard.  I bought the table a long time ago, in my single gal days.  It is a gate leg table that I use fully extended for my sewing machine, then it folds down to a small size when not in use.  The bulletin board holds inspirational pictures and the white stacking bins under the table hold pieces of fabric that need another home.

This is the scene I look at while I sew.  Well, usually the bed is covered in "work in progress" - my current project in whatever state of unfinish it is in.  Keep Calm and Sew On, my downsized Spools quilt, hangs on the wall.

I made the balloon shades and pillow shams out of fabric I bought at a Laura Ashley store in London in the mid-80's, then toted home in my suitcase (this was before the 50 lb. limit).  They were originally part of my single gal condo decor.  Almost all the furniture in this room is what I call orphan furniture, originally acquired for another use in another home.
Hanging on the wall at the foot of the bed, between window #2 (view of next-door neighbor's house and driveway) and the closet door, is Say Yes To The Dress.  My husband hung the curtain rod in here on Sunday, so this is a new look.  I'm planning a revolving exhibition of quilts on this wall, and wanted to be able to accomodate bigger quilts, hence the length of the pole.

That's a small stool on the floor (the blue color), good for holding work in progress, but I have a folding suitcase stand that goes there for visitors. 
This shelving unit is on the back wall, behind the sewing table.  The shelves house all of my quilting books, my Japanese magazines, and most of my supplies.  My Christmas fabric stash is behind the cabinet doors.  What looks like three drawers are actually two, one shallow and one deep, that hold my patterns, rulers, and miscellaneous tools.  An antique baby dress on an old padded hanger provides a touch of whimsy.

Here's a close-up of my sewing area.  Scissors, pins, and a little basket of scraps for leaders and enders.  And of course, my trusty Bernina, which I heart, heart, heart.

The corner of shame - all the stuff I haven't found a home for yet, hiding there behind my basket and bag of Fig Tree Designs fabric.  I've been drawing from this stash for my Fig Tree Harvest quilts but have three quilts made and a fourth in the works and hardly a dent in the fabric supply!

I keep the rest of my fabric stash in the closet and in some large Rubbermaid bins in the attic (really an unfinished 3rd floor).  I must get serious about whittling the stash down one way or another; I saw pictures from Spring Quilt Market and there are new fabric collections calling my name!

I hope you enjoyed this little tour. 

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Scrap Basket Sunday - Week 6

34 Lemoyne star blocks finished! Only a few more to go.

I've been using the Rapid Fire Lemoyne Star ruler from Studio 180 Design to make my blocks.  It is bewildering looking at first but I've found it very easy to use once I gave it try.
Now the originator, Deb Tucker, has added instructions for using the ruler to make more complicated looking versions of the Lemoyne star block, including a banded version and a striped version she calls Liberty Star. See photos below. 

Instructions and video demonstrations for both versions, plus a couple of other variations are at the Studio 180 website.   I plan to try one of these variations sometime.

Kim has been hosting Scrap Basket Sundays.  Visit her blog for links to the other scrappers and see what they are up to.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Pure Entertainment

I've got nothing quilty today but this is my new favorite commercial and I had to share it.  Have you ever traveled with children?  Just need a laugh?

I just love this:  the funeral mass music, the people who look like zombies, been through hell, "his shoes," then they reach their hotel room and...heaven!

Tuesday, May 14, 2013


My remark in last week's post that I have a set of templates, purchased in 2000 and not used to date, drew a chuckle from at least several readers, judging by the comments.  I'm surmising at least some of you have done the same.

I have a weakness for quilting gadgetry.  When I go to quilt shows, I think a conversation bubble follows me around, visible only to the vendors, that says "Prime prospect for quilting gadgets.  Reel her in with a demo."

Here are a few things I've bought over the years and not used (yet):

Feathered Star template set

Lil' Twister template

Leaves Galore set of curved rulers

Wheel of Mystery template set - bought two times!

Sets of foundation papers for miniature courthouse steps blocks
And as I located each of these items, I had similar thoughts.  "Oh, I really want to use this soon."  "I really need to give this a try."  "What can I make with this?"
Anyway...I've settled on a design for my Paris Flea Market quilt. The center of the quilt will have some simple piecing, then there will be a wide border with a appliqued design of vine and leaves...and maybe some tiny hexagon flowers.  Now that I think about it, this could the opportunity I need to put the Leaves Galore ruler to use!

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Scrap Basket Sunday - Week 5

More LeMoyne star blocks made - 26 in total now.  I think I'm past the halfway point.  I've given my quilt setting more thought and my current plan calls for 45 stars.

But my progress is likely to slow over the next few weeks.  We're entering the final two weeks of school for Miss and Mr. Main Street.  And they are jam-packed weeks:  AP exams, prom, baccalaureate, graduation, plus out-of-town family visiting for the graduation event.  My sewing machine will be feeling neglected.
Hop over and visit the other scrappers found at Kim's blog.   


Friday, May 10, 2013

Paris Flea Market Worthy

Paris Flea Market by 3 Sisters for Moda is my all-time favorite fabric collection (so far).  I have yardage hoarded from the original run of 11 or 12 years ago.  Moda recently reprinted this fabric; if your local quilt shop doesn't have it, try the Fat Quarter Shop online.

With the flu, I spent a lot of time lounging in bed and on the couch.  (Thank you for your get-well wishes!).  I had a few magazines for entertainment and also browsed through some of my favorite quilting books, looking for inspiration on how to use my Paris Flea Market stash.

Looking at my stash (this isn't all of it), I think I have enough for two quilts, especially if one of them is scrappy.  Especially if I extend the PFM fabric with some other, like-minded prints from my stash.


Heading my list of ideas is a kaleidoscope quilt, or maybe something based on this Schnibbles Paganini pattern.  I want something that will leave the fabric in large enough pieces to show off the prints though.  I've had a couple of other thoughts too.  Then in Quilt Sampler, I saw this.

It's a classic block called Rob Peter to Pay Paul.  The center portion shows off the print.  And I like the challenge of curved seams, which I have only limited experience with.   Moreover, in my drawer of rulers and templates, I found an acrylic template set I bought in 2000 (!!!), never used, that can work for this block.  Does that mean it's meant to be?   And what fabric would make a good background?

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Scrap Basket Sunday - Week 4

I was hit with a nasty case of the flu this week.  No sewing at all, not much of anything actually.  So all I have is this quilt, Summer Romance, which I finished in 2010. 

String quilts use up tons of scraps so if you are looking for a scrap buster, consider the string quilt.  They are also good for snuggling under when you are too sick to do anything.

For more inspiration, go visit the other participants in Scrap Basket Sunday.