Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Moose, please….I just want to sew

Since Moose has come into our lives last summer, I really haven’t done a lot of sewing.  I’ve been reno/working on the sewing room.  Now that it’s done, is it proper to call it a Studio now?  I’ve heard other quilters call their areas “Studios” and often wondered…. “what’s the difference?”  Per Webster’s Dictionary – not much.  Studio sounds a bit hipster whereas Sewing Room sounds very traditional.  I suppose it doesn’t make a difference as long as my son and his cat keep all their “stuff” out of my area. 

Which leads me to the topic of the day.  Moose. This big ol’ monster is part Maine Coon and is about as needy as an adult male with a cold!  Not generalizing, just comparing to the men in my life.  If I’m parked on the couch watching TV, I can’t beg this feline to lay next to me. I mean who doesn’t want to stick their feet under a huge warm fur ball.  But let me pick up my English paper piecing and he’s right across my lap, kneading his paws into the cellulite for ultimate comfort.  And, as you can see in the pic, I can forget laying blocks out on the floor.  I’m trying to pick a sashing fabric, but after trying a couple of fabrics I gave up.  I try to be stern, but he looks at me with those big doe eyes, turns the motor on and I give in.  I’m such a sucker!
The blocks I’m trying to sash is our Quilt Guilds 2016 block of the month, Ladies in the White House – each block signifies one of the previous First Ladies for 9 months. The original pattern is a 12” block, but I wanted a table topper, so I reduced to 8” blocks.

The big guy on his favorite Christmas gift.

Monday, January 30, 2017

Spiffed up and ready to sew!

I’ve hammered my last nail, I’ve put the Dewalt back on the charger and I’m returning the borrowed chop-saw.  This DIY’er is done with home renovations for a while.  My cheapo fabric storage units have a new face and are ready for my stash. 

I’m still debating what kind of finished top I want to put on the 3-drawer dresser unit/book shelves – but I can jam those cabinets full of stuff in the meantime.  Not sure if I want to have an ironing type surface, cutting surface or a decorative surface.  I would love to put a variety of old yards across the top, but I’ll never find enough of those.

So until some grand idea comes to me, I’ll leave as is.  Whatever I decide, it’s a great space to hold up the weight of whatever I’m sewing on my machine. 
Quilt Books on these 2 shelves

Open area for extra cutting mats and large rulers

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

The Stitchworms!

I am a card carrying member of The Stitchworms!

I’m so fortunate to be acquainted with several very clever Quilty women.  Within the Quilt Guild I belong to, we have several “small groups”.  These are guild members who also meet once a month on a set evening different from the guild meeting.  Each small group specializes in something different.  Like a Round Robin group, Hand stitching group, Embroidery group, etc.  I belong to the English Paper Piecing group.   Our group is about 10 ladies strong, so for sewing room and lighting – we chose to meet at the library (conference room) each month (so nice….no one has to run home from work and pick up their house for company!).  After the first couple of meetings, we decided we needed a group name….something original.  No Nightime Needler’s, no Stitch-n-bitch…..something new and catchy!  By the very next meeting Susan (not to be confused with Boutique Sue) came up with The Stitchworms.  It makes total sense!  Get it?  Like Bookworm? Since meet in the Library?  Ok, we’re geeks too, but what a spiffy name! 
Now we needed a logo…..notice we’re spending a lot of time thinking about and doing things other than sewing…..  but we needed a platform, right?  So, I start digging for clipart.  Since I work up the newsletter articles for the Boutique, I went back to clipart I’d saved.  Now why I saved a worm in an apple, I’ll never know.  But he fit perfectly in a button/needle clipart I’d been wanting to use.  Great balls of fire, we have us a cutesy logo!
Hold on to your hats….my Boutique buddy Sue (not Susan) took it one step further and made ALL the ladies in the group a pin cushion (with said logo) for Christmas.  Scrappy pin-cushions no less, with coloring and embroidery. This woman never ceases to amaze me.  I absolutely love them!
Whoop-whoop, these things are so dang cute!  


Tuesday, January 3, 2017

To goal, or not to goal?

Today’s million dollar question…..   Seems like every mid-December people start talking about their “new year’s resolution” or what their “goals” are for the upcoming year.  But how many are attainable?  I try, I really do, but each year I struggle to hit the target.  Maybe I set my goals to high?  Maybe other projects get in the way?  Whatever it is, most years I’m just happy to have completed something on the list!

I suppose something is better than nothing, so I’m working on my 2017 list.  There’s one thing I know for sure….Learning how to say “no” will be top dog on the list!  Its existence is barely represented in my vocabulary – that has to change!  Once I throw a few of those “no’s” around, I think I should have more time to work on my projects.

Speaking of projects, I’m trying to complete the sewing room reno.  I’ve hauled up the rest of the cheap-o cubbies/book cases and the baby set of drawers from the basement.  Now that they’re in the same room as the snazzy double stack cubbie cabinet, it was clear more updates needed to be done.  Make It Stop!  I just couldn’t help myself, over my holiday break from work, I started cutting more bead board (wainscoting) for the smaller cabinets.  Instead of having all 4 cabinets lining the walls, I decided to extend my sewing area out behind my machine with dresser and book shelf.  Fingers crossed it doesn’t look tacky! 


These are the cabinets I’m working with…..after this project – I AM DONE! I’m tossing the chop saw for needle and thread.  Sven (my Husqvarna Viking) and I are going to get reacquainted.

Cheers to a New Year and a new beginning to completing projects!


Monday, December 12, 2016

Sewing Room Shenanigans

With the Boutique behind me, I can get back to working on my newly remodeled sewing room. Wootwoot!  Seeing the newly installed sheet rock instead of knotty pine, and hard wood instead of the ratty carpet made the fabric cubes looked cheap.  I’ll admit they are cheap, but I didn’t want them to “look” cheap.  Purchasing a snazzy new fabric storage system isn’t going to happen, especially when my budget spreadsheet literally laughed at me.  So, I had to improvise.  Where do you go when you’re unsure about what to do?  Pinterest.  Yep, once again, it didn’t let me down.  Searched billy (ikea brand – although I had the Walmart brand) shelving and viola, lots of redos, remakes and renovations.

Lately, I’m not allowed to say the “P” word (Pinterest) around my sons.  They know this means some kind of project is in the works and I’ll be calling them for assistance.  But being budget minded, I have to work with what I have, right?  So, I decided to give them a break and work this one on my own. 
This is what I started with – 2 sets of cubbies.  Since I have limited space, I wanted to stack them.  The only purchases I made: 1 4x8 sheet of beadboard (wainscoting) and trim board.  Bolts to connect the two cubbies together.  The rest I had leftover in the garage – 2x4’s for the base, base trim and crown molding (from the remodel).   
In no way will I pretend this was easy, after building the base and attaching one cubbie, I did have to ask my younger son to assist with stacking the 2nd cubbie on top.  Plus I screwed up the crown molding and had to cut twice.  Filled the nail holes and painted.  I love it!  I’m done and accomplished this project on my own!!

**Since I have an outlet behind the unit, I left the bottom 3 cubbies open.  I ran a power strip over to the left and tacked to the side of the cabinet.  Plus ran an extension cord to the top for a small lamp. I’ll either fill the bottom with fabric cubbie containers or baskets to hide the wall. 


Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Talkin' Turkey

From one who enjoys a wonderful fall “comfort food” meal, Thanksgiving rates right at the top.  Is it all about the food?  No, I’ve got a great family and a handful of close friends I would never want to be without, but I hope I let them know how special they are to me all year long.  So, to have one day when all my favorite comfort foods are set upon one table is flippin’ awesome!   My mom doesn’t cook, never liked to cook, so my sister-n-law and I divvy up the menu and each bring half of dinner.  I think my mom lives under the principle “if you want a traditional style meal, you’ll need to bring it”.  So we do. 

Is it wrong to bring a pie to a family gathering with a piece missing?  Now before you judge, I was able to purchase a pecan pie cheaper than it was to make.  But once I got home with my favorite nut pie, it occurred to me, what if it’s not as good as my ho’made pie?  What if it’s not up to par to take as a dessert offering?  Was I about to start the comfort food eating early?  Um, yes.  I couldn’t stand it, I dug in.  It wasn’t a total disappointment, the filling is good, but the crust lacked.  So once I arrive tomorrow, I’ll let everyone know I “took one for the team” and to stay away from the top edge of the crust. 
Since we’re on the subject of “birds”…..this little guy didn’t sell at the Quilt Boutique.  All of his other coop buddies “flew” off the boutique tables.  Not my colors, so this little chicky will go to my granddaughter Amber, she’s enrolled in several sewing classes this year. 
Have a Wonderful Thanksgiving!!

Monday, November 14, 2016

Boutique Baby is put to Bed!

Elvis has left the building….the Quilt Show is over and the Boutique has closed its’ doors on another successful year.  At least I think it was successful…..we took home about a third of the items we brought in.  Not gonna lie, Sue and I were a bit nervous.  You never know if you have enough items to display.  Will the attendees be interested in these types of hand-made quilty goodies?  Priced too high or too low?  In the end, we did a fine job displaying, and hopefully the donations sold covered most of the expenses of the quilt show. 
 In all the craziness, I was able to “finish” a quilt for the Show.  Now mind you, I started this quilt in 2013 – I’d applique a handful of Dresdens, then toss aside (hide in the closet) for a while.  Pull it out of the closet, applique a few more Dresdens and toss it back in, well out of sight.  There comes a time when enough is enough and I sucked it up, and finished it. 

My finished Edyta Sitar basket framed wall hanging.  Did they have to put it right next to Sue's (quilt buddy, co-director of the Boutique) kick-butt zillion paper pieced star?  Can a girl get a break?
By the way – Sue received 3rd place in the small quilt category for this lovely!!