Monday, August 31, 2015

Weekend Stitching - Finishing Touches

It's a good thing Saturday was such an excellent day in terms of sewing room time, Sunday was almost a complete wash out.  I had a bad case of insomnia Saturday night, which got me off to a late start on Sunday. Add in making the frosting for the cake that was going to the church picnic and my Sunday morning really got away from me.  Sunday afternoon was spent napping.  But I got in a bit of stitching Sunday evening.  Though what got done isn't up on the design wall.  The binding strips for Grand Illusion are all stitched together, pressed and wound onto a tube to keep it from tangling.

Now it's all ready to stitch on.  Hopefully I will get to that this week.

In the background is my new cutting mat. Last week, I realized that I couldn't really see the lines on my old mat anymore. Plus it had developed lots of texture.  So it was definitely time to replace it.  It's so much easier to cut accurately when you don't have preexisting lines in the cutting mat.  The old mat is probably 3 or 4 years old.  Nothing lasts forever, especially things that see as much use as this one did.  

Nothing very exciting this week, though the new mat has made it easier to trim all the HSTs for the Back to Square One quilt.  And having the binding made means Grand Illusion is one step closer to completion.  

Check out all the other project progress over at Patchwork Times, Making Monday, and Main Crush Monday.  

Sunday, August 30, 2015

Stash Report - Week 35 of 2015

It's been a really strange August here in Oklahoma.  We've had rain and temps have been in the low 80s versus our typical 100 plus temps.  Lawns are still green and so are the fields.  Typically by the end of August everything is brown due to the lack of water and the high heat.  We are not complaining, but it's definitely one of the oddest summers we've had since living here.  

August has been a good month for stash busting.  I finished two quilt backs this month and that really helped bump up the stash numbers.  Now I'm back to making blocks to finish off projects, so there is not as much going out this week.  

Used last week:  0.33 yards
Used in August:  9.92 yards
Used year to date: 28.21 yards
Purchased year to date:  10.25 
Net used for 2015:  17.96 yards

Hopefully Back to Square One will need a back before the end of September and I'll get another nice bump in the used year to date numbers.  I picked up the now quilted Grand Illusion from the post office on Friday.  I started making the binding yesterday.  I've recently started sewing the labels on with the binding to make them harder to remove, so that also needed to be finalized yesterday. 

I decided to just keep the quilt name as The Grand Illusion.  Since Bonnie's inspiration was a hotel, the postcard seem to be an appropriate label format.  The label has been soaked, rinsed and left to dry overnight.  Hopefully I'll get the binding sewn on this evening so I can start the hand stitching tomorrow.  

That's it for my stash report.  You can find more stash tales over at Patchwork Times.  

Saturday, August 29, 2015

Rainbow Scrap Challenge - Starry Progress

So glad it's the weekend. I think the only thing on the calendar this weekend is a church picnic tomorrow.  It's been cool the last week, so my Saturday morning includes spending some much needed time in the flower beds.  But hopefully there will be some stitching time this afternoon.  

I've been spending more time in the sewing room the last few weeks.  Sometimes it's not much more than half an hour in the evenings, but even that little bit makes such a difference in what I get done each week.  Two more Twinkle Star blocks were finished up this week.  

Twinkle Stars, Tutorial by Andrea Feldbush of Soscrappy

The two on the left definitely have a Halloween vibe going on, but they will be well separated in the final quilt, so that shouldn't be a problem.  The star points on the polka dot star are actually a very dark purple, but they look black in the photo.  I've still got three more black ones to make.  Hopefully I'll get a couple more done this weekend.  

I'm wondering what color Angela is going to use for the Rainbow Scrap Challenge next month?  Maybe it will be violet or brown. We should find out soon.  But till then, you can find beautiful indigo, black and gray blocks posted over at Soscrappy.  

Friday, August 28, 2015

Creative Space Tag: My Controlled Chaos

Julie over at Pink Doxies started a creative space blog tag earlier this year, but due to everyone's crazy summer schedules, the blog tag has been on vacation since June.  I'm kicking off the heading into fall portion of the blog tag.  I'm tagging Thea at California Dreamn' to share her new sewing space next week.  

Here's the 180 degree panoramic view of the more active part of my sewing space.   

My sewing space is really more functional, than fashionable. Walking into the sewing room from the hallway, the first thing you see is the big design wall, it's pretty much the focal point for the whole room. It's one of those commercially available free standing design walls.  I love it.  

To the left of the big design wall is my cutting/pressing table with my smaller homemade design wall propped up on it.  

The smaller design wall is just a very large flattened box with an old table cloth taped to it.  It works great and it's nice to have more than one space to play in.  My rulers are on stored top of the plastic drawers on the left, which holds unsorted scraps and a few office supplies.  The tote bins hold fabric that hasn't made it into the fabric closet (more on that later).The stack of fabric under the cutting table is the fabric that's being used in my UFOs. 

Moving past the big design wall to the right, the other side of the room includes a wire rack with all my project boxes and another stack of fabrics associated with ongoing projects.  The TV is there too. I use a small secretary for my lap top.  Off to the far right is a small alcove that holds my only window and a couple of bookcases. If there's any one thing that I really wish I had, it would be more natural light.  But this is my first dedicated sewing space that I don't have to share with someone else, so I'm not going to complain too loudly about that.  

The file cabinet holds my color printer.  In the file cabinet are my half yard and fat quarter cuts. 

I use hanging folders cut in half, covered with acid free tissue paper to "hang" my smaller fabric cuts.  It makes it really easy to see what I have.

The fabric closet is next to the wire rack, you can just see the hinges of the door in the photo above.  

Fabric organization is an ongoing project.  My goal is to get all my fabrics folded and stored in these two wire racks.  I have to admit, I'd rather sew, so this project often goes months without any progress.  The plastic drawers in the far right hold stabilizers and the fat quarters/half yard cuts that haven't made it to the file cabinet yet. My batting is stored on either side of the wire rack at the back of the closet.  

The bookcase with all my quilting books stands on the last wall in my sewing room between the door to the hall and the door to the bathroom that Drama Teen graciously share's with me when I'm upstairs stitching.  The drawers to the left hold scraps sorted by size and roughly by color as well as used fat quarters that are too small to be hung in the file cabinet.  

The desk in the middle of the sewing room holds my 14 year old Bernina. Another thing I would change is the overhead lighting, I've had to supplement that with a floor lamp.  Sadly, my eyes don't see as well in the low light situations as they used to.  

That pretty much covers my sewing space.  It's not a glamorous space, but it's pretty functional.  I'd love to have a long arm, but it won't fit in this space.  The house has an unfinished attic.  Sometime before retirement, the plan is to refinish the attic and move my sewing room there.  I'd have more storage space and room for a long arm there.  But retirement is still a good 10 years away. So I'll just continue to enjoy the space I have till then.