Wednesday 29 July 2015

WOW: LE Hand Sewing

WOW = WIPs On Wednesday

Today I'm going to spend the morning hand sewing my LE2 quilt. I just love this quilt and I've added a new border that I think really makes it come into its own, so I'm looking forward to finishing it and showing it off. But for now, it's good old fashioned hard work time..

What's Your WOW?

Monday 27 July 2015

LE2: Ring Time

The compass ring has been positioned, glued and ironed down. Now it's time to place the little circles at the compass points.
I prepared these a few weeks ago and tucked them in an envelope. On days when I don't feel like tacking anything 'big' I work at preperation - there's always so much to do. I'd forgotten about these fussy cut circles for LE2 but I found them during my room clean up last week, so I feel like I've made up on time!
 And now I just have to hand sew everything down

Saturday 25 July 2015

LE2: Putting Down The Ring

Accuracy is everything, so check and then double check the measurements of your ring, background fabric and inside ring measure. I'm cutting away the inside circle to leave a margin all the way around.
 Clip all the way around with sharp scissors, working in small neat snips
Avoid clipping all the way to the edge; when you turn the edge over, you don't want any snipped fabric to show or tear. So when you snip, always leave a millimetre un-clipped as a safety margin. My needle here shows how I don't snip all the way.
 Keep checking back to the pattern template for accuracy
I often snip my points or centre markings - these snips indicate points that make sense to me. I do this throughout all my patterns so if you ever see my fusible or progress work with snips, that's why. It's a kind of guide to help me keep position.
 These points are important so I've marked them
with this tool
The snip guides help me to position everything just so. When it comes to positioning the compass ring, you must take care to do so accurately. This will prevent warping when you stitch it down to the rest of the centre.
With the main points pinned down, I unpin each section at a time and dab basting glue in the area before carefully putting it down and positioning it into place.
Dabbing one section at a time makes placement easier. If you dab the whole ring and then try to guide it into position, it will be hard to accurately and flatly guide down.
 Section by section
 And finally I add the centre polka dot middle
Whenever you iron into position to set the glue for the time being, always cover the block with fabric. This keeps the fabric clean, prevents shine and I find it gets blocks flatter than when they are ironed directly. It works for me.
If you're making any of my patterns that require a 'ring' I have a video tutorial on how I do this relating to my Oma's Blues quilt and in particular the rings that are created for the charm plates. You can view this tutorial by clicking on my side bar under the tutorials tab.

Friday 24 July 2015

LE2: Prepping for the Compass Ring

 Today I'm prepping my work area to create the 'ring' that goes around the compass
There's nothing wrong with my first compass (above), I just don't love it anymore. I feel like LE2 wants a polka dotty compass with fewer fabrics and a simpler look - so I made a new one.
 I love it, it's just what I had in mind
Tomorrow I'll be putting down the compass ring

Wednesday 22 July 2015

WOW: A Tidy Room!

WOW = WIPs On Wednesdays
My sewing room is finally in order. I was very happy to realise that an entire shelf of fabric has now been emptied of fabrics. This front shelf here was loaded with fabric, but is now books and magazines only. Over the next few weeks, I will be going through this bookshelf and letting go of any titles that I don't need in my life. It's hard to release things as I like everything I have. But if I don't need it, it has to go. I released an entire shelf of fabric in this way and now only have the stash shelf behind it full of fabric. My stash busting is half accomplished. The rest of my shelving consists of plastic boxes that are each filled with a WIP. When I'm ready, I'll take on each box one at a time until all my WIPs are done. What a wonderful feeling that will be. I hope I live long enough to actually accomplish such a huge task!
My biggest quilting mistake was that, 14 years ago when I started out, it was a popular idea to 'stash build'. I don't know why stash building appealed to me so much, but it did. And it even made sense. I wasn't the only one - everyone was doing it. Which sounds so stupid now. I really don't know why I didn't stop and think of the future? I purchased heaps of fabric. And I pretty much regret 80% of it. I really didn't think so much of it could date so badly. But it has. Most of it hasn't been useful. In fact, it's been a burden and I'm happy to see it gone. I now try to buy what I need on a project basis only and I'm already making a habit of releasing the leftovers wherever I can and to whomever I can. It's liberating.

I want to be a woman with quilts, not a woman with fabrics.
What are your thoughts on fabric stashes?

What's Your WOW?

Monday 20 July 2015

Oma's Blues: Centre Plate Diamonds

Even though I machine stitched the plate edging (instead of appliqueing it as I had first planned) I am appliqueing the small diamonds that go all the way around. It's finicky work, but I enjoy it. It's cold down my way and I am rugged up, happy to be warm, inside and quilting. I'm watching the Quilt Show on my laptop as I work, it keeps me company as I press on.
I created each of these shapes with stitch and wash fusible, and am putting them into position with basting glue. Later, I'll stitch them into place - either by hand or machine, depending on the area I'm working on. These will be hand stitched. Fusible has become a part of my working process - so much so that I use it all the time, even on small items like this one. Actually I find it makes these smaller shapes easier to handle.

Saturday 18 July 2015

My Winter Sewing Nook

It's winter down my way so the days are short, the nights are long and it's mostly chilly. In winter my favourite sewing nook moves away from my actual sewing room to the lounge room where I have a comfy chair by a large window. It means I get as much light as possible whilst it lingers. And I like sewing in the open because it means I'm present when my DDs drop in to visit most evenings. When I'm in my sewing room, I'm a bit of a sewing hermit - I can spend all day in there. But winter brings new routines and this is my winter sewing spot.
At first I just had a carpet bag with my latest sewing project in there; but now I've settled in and have a side table, a bar stool that serves as a mini bench top, a daylight lamp, a footstool and some journals, threads, books and assorted sewing supplies. My family are not thrilled about this - they think its messy. I really don't think it's as bad as they say. You can hardly get up to creative pursuits without some supplies on hand. At least, I can't. And if you can't be creative in your own home - where can you be??
As you can see I'm working on the inner plate edge of Oma's Blues. I'm hand sewing in the evenings and working between LE, LE2, Oma's Blues and a few other little projects so it's always new.
These are a few of my sketch journals, some threads, thimble stickers. hand cream and baby wipes for keeping handwork clean.
What about you? Where do you sew? Do you move around through the seasons or do you keep all your work in one room all year long? I'd love to know..

Wednesday 15 July 2015

WOW: Another Pomegranate

WOW: WIPs On Wednesdays
I've uncovered another packed away treasure whilst tidying up my sewing room: it's my pattern Pomegranate. It's a popular pattern that was released in a magazine and I made two of the wall hangings. The red and white published version and this started and set aside black, white and red version. I've looked for this quite a few times as I would like to finish it sometime! That makes it a newly discovered WIP and I'm happy to add it to my list of quilts to get done.
What's Your WOW?

Tuesday 14 July 2015

Oma's Blues Part 7 is Launched

Oma's Blues is my current free BOM: you can download all the parts over in my Yahoo BOM Group and currently all the parts are available for free, so if you haven't started this quilt, you can still join in! I've just started Oma's Blues myself and I'm looking forward to showing my progress here very soon. If you'd like to see some other quilters working on this BOM, check out the galleries in my Yahoo BOm Group, there are some stunning Oma's Blues being created. 

Monday 13 July 2015

LE: Look What I Found!

Sometimes I think I do too much: there's really no other way to explain how I could have packed away an entire Love Entwined project box... and forgotten about it completely
In fact I found two LE project packets.
One full of shapes (that I knew about for returning to when I have time for hand sewing)
and another withe the original border fabric I had set aside for Love Entwined initially. I completely forgot about this fabric. All these months of hunting down LE border fabric and I didn't even know there was this stash put aside for consideration!
 It's beautiful and instantly familiar. Even though I had forgotten about its existence before now.
I still have my LE paper template up on my design wall, so I've just pinned the fabric into position over the template, where it will actually go.
I'll leave it pinned here until I get around to unpacking my LE. My room is too messy at the moment to unpack my precious heirloom, so I'll just look on and let it grow on me until I'm ready. I think it will work, tone wise. But I'll have to consider it properly later when I'm in the right mood.
Have you ever found anything unexpected when tidying your sewing room?

Friday 10 July 2015

The Mess

Creativity has a nasty doppelganger called Mess. It just creeps up on you. At first you don't notice and you just work around it...until that day comes when you can't find your scissors and think you must have last seen your around here somewhere. My DDs visit and have no sympathy for my predicament. They gather up the creative nests I've left around the house and bring them all into my sewing studio that there's really no room left for me to do anything. Except tidy.
It somehow looks worse when photographed in HD. If I saw this in anyone else's room, I'd think it was a disgraceful mess. In fact, it -is- a disgraceful mess. AND ITS ALL MINE!
I'm spending the day sitting here instead of out shopping with my DDs. They can't believe I get anything done in amongst all the stuff and looking at these pics, I can't believe it either. Honestly you wouldn't believe it to look at this room, but I am actually a very organised person.
I've got some clear plastic boxes for sorting things out. I'm packing things away in 'lots' of usefulness. Now that I'm volunteering in a school, I'm seeking out fabrics that appeal to children.
 Like this one, isn't it great?
 OK enough blogging for today, I have things to organise, pack, label and do...
How do you keep your creative space under control? My own theory about keeping space has been rather free range these last 10 years and as you can see, it's not working for me. I need a new system. 
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