quilting · sewing

Quarantine and me: Week 4

What a week! It started off with me registering for Grad school. I am attending Washington University in St. Louis, Masters in Law program. All classes are online which meant that I needed to get logged into their system and store all my IDs and passwords – which I did. The next day, my computer crashed! It won’t even turn on!

I can’t say I am surprised. The computer is about 12 – 15 years old, and I have been waiting for it to crash… but a week before school starts?? Needless to say timing is not ideal and with the “Stay home, stay safe” order in effect it’s not like I can go out and pick up another computer! So I took a deep breath and ordered one from Apple.com and I’m keeping my fingers crossed that it arrives before classes start on Monday.

On the sewing front I finished a total of 100 masks; 50 were donated to the Seattle Indian Health Board, and 50 were given to my brother and his co-workers. When my brother came over to pick them up it was sad not to be able to give him a hug. But I had to laugh that we exchanged homemade chocolate chip cookies – unplanned! Yep, we’re related!

Once I was done with the masks I finished this beauty! Which was mostly long arm quilting and binding it.

Quilt, pillow shams, throw pillow front, and smaller panel (pillow).

I saw this at the Quilting and Sewing Expo at the end of February… before shit hit the fan on this pandemic! I saw it hanging there and stood for about 5 minutes just admiring it! It was so pretty and unlike any quilt I’ve seen before…… so of course I bought the kit!

Image of full quilt! Love at first sight

It was designed by Sarah Watts for Ruby Star Society, and the kit includes a queen sized panel, two pillow shams, 18” throw pillow, an small panel to make a baby quilt (or wall hanging), and a extra panel which I made into a small pillow! The fabric is a beautiful sateen that is super soft and makes all the colors bright and beautiful

Wall hanging or baby quilt

I bought enough backing fabric to complete all the projects, including the binding, but after I finished quilting it I decided that the pink binding looked better, and added an extra pop of color.

Back of wall hanging

If I were 13 I would put this on my bed and never take it off….. but as it is, now that I have admired it, pet it, and added my ‘artistic’ touch to it, I will list it on my Etsy site. My hope is that someone who admires unicorns, owls, flowers, full moons and pretty birds will find it and claim it as their own.

Stay safe my friends,

Adventures · Projects · sewing

Quarantine and Me: Week 3

It’s now been three weeks of quarantine, and honestly, I’m scared and sad – mostly sad. I’m sad that this pandemic has affected SO many lives. If I think about it too long it becomes too overwhelming and too sad for me to process. I feel a constant lump in my throat and the littlest things, like seeing all the army trucks lined up outside of the hospitals in Italy, will start the tears flowing. There are parts of me that thinks that this is just a bad dream and that I’ll wake up and things will be normal again. But I know it’s real, and so this week I decided that the best way to combat this sadness was to take action:

Step 1: I mentioned last week that sewing was my therapy, and that I was working on this Blooming 9-patch quilt – I’m happy to report that this week I finished it!

I freaking love this quilt! I have wanted to make this quilt (for the 3rd time) for a long time. The pattern is from “Tradition with a Twist” – by Blanche Young – it’s seriously one of my favorite quilting books.

I used fabrics from my stash (#stashbuster) and realized that the pattern is similar to this virus in that it starts in the center and each color ‘spreads’ into the next with a 9-patch. Look close you’ll see what I mean.

Step 2: I joined my sewing sisters and brothers to make masks for those on the front-line of this pandemic. Actually, my first 50 are going to my brother and his co-workers who work in an assisted living facility. The next 50 will go to Crafters Against Covid-19 – Seattle who donates them to local hospitals. (check to see if there is a local chapter in your area) So far 4500 masks have been donated to area hospitals and clinics and that makes my heart feel better.

Pinned and ready to be sewn.
Sewn, and just needing side tucks.
finished and ready to be sent out.

Step 3: I hosted a virtual Happy Hour (thank you Zoom) and told the story of my worst date ever! It’s a pretty funny story, and it felt good to laugh with my friends, to see their faces, and to just check in to see how everyone is doing.

Step 4: Finally, I delivered cookies and an offer to help to some of my neighbors.

When I was done with that I felt a little better.

Stay safe my friends!

Exercise · Projects · sewing

Quarantine and Me: Week 2

As of 5:00 p.m. Tuesday the Governor of Washington declared a “Stay Home, Stay Healthy” order that requires every Washingtonian to stay home unless they have essential activities. So here we are, week two of staying home and staying safe from the COVID-19. We are truly living in unprecedented times – well, not counting the Spanish Flu of 1918.

I am a home body to begin with so staying home hasn’t really disrupted my daily life too much. However that doesn’t mean I’m not worried… I am. If I think about how bad this virus will get/can get I will head down a rabbit hole of anxiety really quick. Instead of doing that I’m doing my best to educate myself, yoga, running, and a whole LOT of sewing. Sewing has always been a form of therapy for me. – it relaxes me, it’s something I can control, and provides me with a huge sense of accomplishment when I finish something. win/win/win.

Virtual ParkRun
#virtualParkRun #RentonParkRun

This week I’ve been working on a Blooming 9-patch quilt, I’m not quite done, so I won’t talk about it too much. But suffice it to say that I love this pattern so much that this is the 3rd quilt that I’ve made using the pattern.

I’ve also been working on my Spring/Summer wardrobe. It’s coming along nicely. I don’t have too many pictures as I’m waiting on some photography equipment that should step up my game in that department – including a tri-pod! So stay tuned, and above all – stay safe.

Projects · sewing

Quarantine and Me: Week 1

I hope everyone is surviving the quarantine … I know I am loving the excuse to stay in and sew! Though, I did walk to the post office to drop off a letter and found these reminders to vote along the way. Love that there are people in the world who do this.

Back to sewing: I’m trying something new – instead of sewing the next shiny thing that catches my attention, I’m trying to plan my wardrobe!

I started out on Pinterest and pinned outfits that I thought would be nice to have for the summer. I pinned a ton of maxi skirts, t-shirts, and loose fitting pants. I then went through my patterns and pulled ones that matched (or were close enough) to the items I pinned.

All this was done prior to the Sewing Expo a couple of weeks ago, so I had a good idea of the types of fabric I was looking for which was really nice going in with a plan! I’ve been using Trello to keep all my outfits (patterns/fabrics) organized as I go along.

First item up:

This pattern is the Clarke from Seamworks, and the fabric is from JoAnns. I lengthened the top a couple of inches and cut it on the bias to get more drape. It’s still a little shorter than I’d like, and looks this side of a maternity top – but I don’t completely hate it. I may make another one before the summer is out.

In the meantime, stay safe my friends!

Projects · sewing

High-Lo Sheath Dress

It’s been a weird weekend here in the Seattle area- otherwise known as the U.S.’s Ground Zero for the Corvid-19.  People raided the Costco, Target and Fred Meyer’s last week, stocking up on toilet paper, bread, and water..??  Now everyone is holed up in their homes and events with 10+ people are canceled. The streets here are pretty empty – which means I bought gas, washed my car, and met a friend without waiting in line or getting stuck in traffic!

I also spent a LOT of time sewing, starting with this sheath dress from Butterick.

I used this knit fabric that I purchased last weekend, I believe it’s a poly-blend and a little on the heavy side.  I thought that if the dress was too heavy I could shorten the length to take off some of the weight.

Turns out – it’s not too heavy.  I made the view with the tie …

But the tie felt like it was too large/thick, and I knew it would bug me, so I took it off.

I can’t decide if I like it better or not… I’m not much of a tie person to begin with, AND, I can reach the pockets better without the tie….

I might see how I like it for now.   I’ll most likely wear this with a jean jacket or cardigan which will break-up the lines and give it some shape.

When the weather gets really warm I can always buy a belt or make another tie using lighter fabric. That’s the joy of sewing, I can always change my mind.

Adventures · sewing

Please Excuse Me While I Geek Out!

The Sewing Expo was in town this weekend and for the first time ever I decided to go!  I’ve been sewing most of my life so you would think that I would have gone to a sewing Expo at least once in 30+ years… but nope!  …. but I’ll be going again as often as I can for now on!

Vogue Fabrics – so many choices!

I took Friday off from work and drove down to Puyallup to attend my first class – which was a lesson on how to Brioche knit.  I’m glad I took a class because I would have never been able to figure it out on my own.

After class I visited the vendors and gave myself permission to stock up on fabric – AND DID I EVER!!!!  I’m working on some summer outfits and bought enough fabric to make all my outfits – and then some!

Polyester/Lycra for a pair of leggings

Cotton/Spandex border fabric for a t-shirt dress.

 

This is a poly blend, I think I will make a dress with it, at $5.99 a yard it was hard to pass up.

The next day I had an afternoon class (wax canvas tote bag), so I planned to get there in plenty of time to do more shopping.  I bought the new Oliso iron –  both the full-size and the mini since they were on sale (Expo special)  My old iron was on it’s last leg so I feel like it was past time to get a new one!



I looked at sewing machines – this Tula Pink Special Edition Bernina is high on my wish list.

I would love to host another retreat, so I picked up retreat brochures to review for when that time comes.

Finally, I fell in love with this quilt and could not leave the Expo without purchasing the kit!  It was the only quilting related item I bought and I can’t wait to get started on it!

I throughly enjoyed myself this weekend!  I was completely in my element, being around and talking with people who love knitting, sewing and quilting as much as I do. It seemed everyone was happy to be there, and I met some very nice ladies in both of my classes … I’m SO glad I decided to go and am looking forward to going again next year.

 

Projects · sewing

A Scrap Quilt with Memories

Last year I was determined to finish up some UFO (UnFinished Objects) in my sewing room – including this scrap quilt made with scraps from quilts I’ve made in the past!

IMG_3002Quality quilting fabric is expensive so when I have any scraps left over from make a quilt I tuck them away.  I save extra blocks, fabric strips and scraps that are at least 2.5″ x 2.5″.

When I was ready to sew this quilt, I had enough scraps to make 64, 10″ x 10″ blocks.  After sewing all the blocks together I had a full sized quilt that holds a LOT of memories.

There are blocks from the (Storm at Sea) quilt I made my dad, one block from the tea cup quilt I started and quickly decided I didn’t have the patience for, blocks from my Tula Pink Butterfly quilt, and plenty of Sewtropolis shop samples!

I don’t know what I’ll do with this quilt yet.  I believe quilts are made to be used, but I love all the memories this one holds, so for now it’s sitting safely on a shelf in my sewing room.  

 

Projects · sewing

T-shirt Quilt: Part 2

I made another t-shirt quilt this week for a friend of mine’s daughter!

I love how this one turned out!  Once I had the t-shirts we scheduled a call to go over what her daughter wanted.  She pretty much left the design up to me, but knew that she wanted the borders to be a gray… and that she wanted the backing and binding to match.

Some of the shirts were smaller (child size) so I had to ‘build up’ some blocks to make them large enough.

When laying it out I thought it would be cute to have Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse looking out across the quilt to each other.

I quilting it using a longarm, and super fine thread that blends in so nicely with all the blocks.

Like I said, I’m really happy with the way this turned out.  this quilt is about 55″ x 55″ and I used about 15 t-shirts (a few front and back) to make it.  I have my listing up on Etsy if you’d like to your own t-shirt quilt.

Projects · sewing

Sample Seahawk T-Shirt Quilt

I posted earlier that I am taking custom orders for t-shirt quilts.  I’ve done a few in the past, but unfortunately didn’t have pictures of them to post on my Etsy site to ‘advertise’ my work.  Unfortunately, I don’t own a lot of graphic t-shirts … so I took a trip to Goodwill and picked up a few Seahawk t-shirts to make this Seahawk themed lap quilt.

IMG_7254

img_7255.jpeg

I think it turned out okay considering some of the t-shirts were “V” neck and I didn’t think of how hard it would be to ‘center’ in a block.  I also included some kid-sized t-shirts that needed some ‘building up’ to make the block larger.  The quilt measures 45″w x 50.5″ L … so not quite square, but plenty big for a lap quilt.

img_7256.jpeg

I had the green fabric used in the sashing and the binding in my stash, and the Seattle/Seahawk themed blue fabric was purchased from JoAnns.

I’ve taken pictures and listed it on my Etsy store as an example of my work AND listed it for sale here.  As much as I like it, I have a house full of quilts and like I said – I’m determined to get out of debt.

Happy Sewing

 

Projects · sewing

Darning Socks, and a Saved Sweater

Even though I really like to knit socks – I don’t wear my handmade socks when I workout.  Instead, I buy store-bought socks which seem to last about a season, and as soon as they get a hole in them I toss them out.  A few months back I decided instead of wasting money (and creating waste) I was going to try darning (mending) my socks.

Darning a sock is not that hard… all you need is yarn (I used sock weight), a needle and a darning egg – or something to stretch the sock over while you mend it.

Before I bought a darning egg I used a tennis ball or one of the dogs Kong.  Both did the job, but they were not ideal.  I thought I would have a hard time finding a darning egg, but I found this one on Amazon for about $10. 

To mend the hole in my socks I stitched an outline around the hole in my sock, then created vertical/parallel stitches across the hole, and then ‘wove’ in the horizontal stitches.

This sock had a small hole – but I decided to darn a larger area because I felt that the smaller patch might bug me.  I’m glad I did because these are my most comfortable pair of socks now – there’s so much cushion in the foot bed!

I love that I extended the life of my socks (and made them even better).  Having one success, I decided to use the same technique to save a sweatshirt that I accidentally marked with a red ink pen.

I used two different colors of embroidery floss and created a hatched circle over the mark.  The sweater looked a little odd with just one circle so I added a few more.  Again, I think I made my sweater better (more fun) by ‘fixing’ it.  What do you think?

Happy Darning!