Sunday, September 29, 2013

Rearranging Everything!

Where did September go?  The non-profit organization that I work with had a big international event last week and it took over my life.  Right after that was over, I ended up completely rearranging my sewing studio.  Ack!

Sewing Studio 2.0

The reason for rearranging had nothing to do with sewing.  We were having trouble getting a good wi-fi signal in parts of the house, so we wanted relocate the router, which in turn required moving the furniture.  But BONUS! --  the layout is nicer for my sewing, too!

Now the table is right in front of the south-facing window -- lovely view, and the winter sun will be so nice!  When the table is folded up, it's centered under the window.  Got a new lamp, too, with five lights to point in any direction (nice, since the winter sun will be fleeting).

Of course, Stella loves that sunny window, too! 

Well, this isn't very scenic, but it is practical.  The glass jars hold selvedges and 1" strips of fabric that will some day be a pincushion.  Or something.   The plastic bins need some shelves to sit on.  But we are planning to move in a few months, so that can wait.  For now, the new floor plan finally allows space to put them on the floor and fill them with fabric that was bursting out of the cabinet -- smaller scraps, jelly rolls and charm packs in one bin; fat quarters in another; fabric bought for specific projects in the third.

Who knew that a 40-year old stereo cabinet would come in so handy!  Here are bins with larger scraps on the bottom and yardage on the top.  Plenty of space!  Time to buy more fabric!

And Rearranging Blocks, Too!

Fortunately, the wedding quilt I'm making for my niece is lap-size and has big, easy blocks, so progress over the last couple of days has been quick.  All the 9-1/2" blocks with the green-and-neutral HSTs are done, as are the blue-and-neutral 4-patches.  These just need to be sewn into 9-1/2" 16-patch blocks and then the quilt top can be finished.  But now I'm not sure how I want to arrange the blocks.

  This --> was my original plan.  I didn't want the 16-patches arranged in the usual alternating pattern.  I flipped them around and came up with an arrangement that creates one large and 4 small blue squares in each block.

Playing around with the patches today, though, I wondered if it would look better swapping out the positions of the light and the blue.  The blues are pretty dark.  But there are already the big white squares from the HSTs.

The photo below shows both arrangements.  I'm still leaning toward the blue squares, but I'd love to hear from you about what you think!  Please let me know.

I have some fun ideas in mind to personalize the quilt top, once it's together.  Hope it's soon!

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Happy Labor (of Love) Day!

Labor Day weekend has always been my favorite time to WORK!  I guess it's the mindset left over from school days, coupled with (sometimes) cooler weather and the 3-day weekend.

Yesterday I started cutting the fabric for my niece Molly's wedding quilt.  Cutting is not my favorite part of making a quilt.  Something always goes wrong.  Yesterday I was having trouble with my 6" x 24" ruler, just couldn't get it lined up right.  Then I realized that Stella was lying on the other end!  Wish I had a photo of that!  Then when I shooed her away, she started gnawing on the cut patches!  Argh!

Stella the Chipmunk Hunter

Still, I got a lot done -- more than planned, in fact!

Two, Two, Two Quilts in One!

Remember the Doublemint gum twins?  No?  Well, it was a long time ago.  Anyway, "Double your pleasure" works for quilts, too!

First I cut 200 dark blue 2-3/4" squares.  Some were scraps from other projects, some came from fat quarters that I bought.  I love dark blue, and I had lots of blue batiks, so this will be fun to sew!

Next up was the greens.  I remembered that I had never cut any of the green fabrics for the Easy Street Mystery Quilt, and the fabric colors were in the same family, kind of apple-y and lime-y. 

I challenged myself to minimize waste by combining the fabrics and figuring out the best way to get the most 5-1/2" squares and 3-1/2" squares out of each piece of fabric.  Usually this meant cutting the large squares first, then cutting the smaller ones from the remaining strips.



I mentioned the Scrap Savers System in my past post.  After each scrap or fat quarter had been cut so that there wasn't anything at least 3-1/2" wide, I trimmed the remains into strips and squares.  Now they'll be ready to use in another scrappy quilt!

Even 1" pieces got saved -- I can feel a postage-stamp quilt coming on!