Sunday, April 22, 2012

I did some sewing, finally!!

The Wild Threads had a little sewing marathon yesterday.  As always, there was lots of fun.  In addition to sewing, we surprised Chris with gifts for her 60th birthday.
Each of us brought Chris 6 spools of thread.  She was surprised and thrilled.  In the end, she had more than 60 spools.   Check out the picture below, Jennilyn sewed each spool into a little pocket and kept them joined into a necklace. 

As you can see, my mojo is creeping back.  I made 4 oven mitts. 

One of them, the one with the brown print, is for the daughter of one of the Wild Threads who is getting married this summer.  Each of us is making a kitchen item for her using the same fabric. 

The other mitts I made are part of my 2012 resolutions.  Stockpile gifts.  Since I took these pictures, I got the binding around the cuffs of the mitts and added ribbon loops too.   
The pattern is quick and easy.  The quilting is done before cutting out the mitt shapes.  I got the pattern here.  It's free from Denise Schmidt.  

Speaking of Denise Schmidt, she is a featured guest at Quilters take Manhattan this September.  It is sponsored by the Alliance for American Quilts.  I went last year and had a blast so of course I'll be there this year.  My friend, Chris, is coming along again and we coaxed our pal, Janet, to come too.  We bought tickets for the After Dark party at Victoria's (Bumblebeans) loft too.  Maybe I'll get up enough nerve to talk to Denise.  I get all tongue-tied when faced with my quilting idols.  I have a few months to practice some witty and clever banter as well as think of some intelligent  'quilty type' questions. 
Now, I know my mojo is off to a slow start but that's ok.  Hanging with my friends always motivates me.  Have a great week everybody, I'm kicking it off with a 16 hour shift tomorrow.  Yeehaw!

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Eeeeeeesh! It's been a week.

This past week I worked two 16 hours shifts, got a root canal, and went to a viewing and a funeral.  The husband of a close friend at work died suddenly last weekend.  It hits close to home, my age group with kids the same age as my kids.  I'm so sad for my friend.  I got off to a slow start today but I have been moving more and more things into The Studio.
How about I share some pictures of the new space. 
I swiped this table from under our desktop computer.  My little family of four used to share one desk top computer, but when the oldest headed to college we got her a laptop.  Then one by one we all got laptops.  The community computer became outdated, and lonely, so we recently decided to send it to computer heaven at the recycling center.  What a great table this is, it's so much bigger than I realized.  My dream for a long time has been to have more than one machine set up at the same time.  I think it's a great way to work on more than one project at the same time without having to change feet and thread etc.  This table can accomodate a machine and a cutting mat and have  room left over for the clutter that seems to pile up around me. (I cleared it all away for my pictures)  

Here's another one of my top quality photos.....not.  Although this is dark, the room gets fantastic light.  I took this shot standing just inside the doorway.  I have my Big Board on top of two sets of shelves and it fit perfectly!  Who knew!  I also brought in the CD towers that are perfect for fat quarters.  I had trouble finding the right spot for them.  After moving them around a few times, I decided to leave them here for now.   

While contemplating this makeover, I did a little research with magazines and quilt books, looking for ideas.  One source talked about feng shui for studios.  Like many quilters, I am inspired by my passion for color and fabrics.  I love (need) to see my fabric all the time.  One source suggested seeing your stash as you enter the room.  Therefore, this shot is straight from the door.  I would kind of like to have ALL of my stash together instead of here and there in the room but at this time, I just don't want to buy new shelving.  I want to use what I have for now.  Except the new TV, hee hee.  This flat screen fits nicely on the shelves and I can hook it up to my computer too.  Video tutorials anyone?  I am so proud of myself.  There was no cable hook up in this room so I got a new, long drill bit, drilled a hole through the wall from the closet next door and passed the cable right through!  I rock!

Another shot from the doorway.  I really think I can have several friends over to sew and play. 

 This is standing in the corner by the CD towers and looking back towards the door.  More stash, more storage.

Another view of the ironing corner.

Okay, now you can see where I'm not finished yet.  This is the closet, minus the doors.  I have plans to install sliding doors AND turn them into my design wall.  I have called upon my awesome and handy big brother to help out here.  I made sure to mention to him (more than once) how I drilled a hole through the wall for the cable hook up.  I didn't want him to think I am helpless and need him to do everything.  I also mentioned scouring Lowe's for hardware etc to see if I could install the doors myself.  He measured here and there and suggested a few things that did not mesh with my design wall idea.  I know he's helping me but I stood firm and we ended up with an idea for 'barn door' hardware to allow the doors to pass each other easily.  Oooooo goody, I can't wait. 

Do you see the horribly pathetic light fixture over by the TV?  That's it for the room, unless you count the light that's inside the closet.  It's a good thing there is so much natural light during the day.  My brother also gave me some ideas that his electrician friend can do for me.  Good lighting is crucial and I will definitely be making a careful decision about it. 

Two sewing machines all set up and ready.  I dusted them out and added a little squirt of oil.  I have power strips and extension cords  hooked up.  I am surrounded  by purty fabrics and have several projects in the works.  Now........where the heck is my mojo?  I just can't decide what to do next.  Does that ever happen to you?
I believe it's time to break in this spectacularly fantabulous sewing room!!

Sunday, April 8, 2012

The Sisterhood of the Traveling Bedbug

Last weekend I went on my guild's retreat.  A few of us went up on Thursday evening to get set up.  After we were there and unpacked, we heard that there had been a bedbug scare (one bug seen on someone's purse the week before.  Obviously they cleaned, scoured, treated, replaced etc etc.  That didn't stop half of the quilters from staying home.  Eleven of us chose to live on the edge and stayed.  We even bought a boatload of megamillions tickets hoping to win (we didn't, but until 11pm we had fun designing some awesome quilting studios/retreats in our heads). 
Here is my friend, Diane, and I showing off the wrist pincushion favors that our retreat organizer, Pauline made for all of us.  I was trying to look strong, "We can do it!  We ain't a'scared of no stinkin bedbugs!"
 Diane and I got silly and decorated our machines.  Here is Bernie, the Bernina that my mom and I share.  I use the verb share very loosely since I can't remember the last time Mom used Bernie.  I hope she doesn't mind the decor.
 Purty stickers!
 Very purty!
 Here is Diane's machine.  She likes the ladybugs.
 Lots of ladybugs!
 Hmmm, what could Ethel be doing?  It seems that she is pressing some of Diane's piecing for her.  And what is Diane doing?  It looks like she is standing in the background, socializing and scratching her head.  Everybody needs an Ethel on retreat!
 Still working on my orbs.  Oy!  I really, really didn't want to use black as a background, but over and over again it seemed to be the best choice with the other fabrics.  I decided, however, to use some applique circles to tone down the large black spaces.  I spent almost an entire day working on a border idea for this quilt and it looked like crap.  That's right, I called it crap. Actually, it is quite lovely but totally wrong for this top.  I believe it will end up as a little quilt at some time.  I have another idea for this top, something simple.  Hopefully, I can work on it soon. 
 I haven't done any sewing at home in weeks.  But I will soon.  BECAUSE, I have started moving into my new space.  I will show pictures soon.  I got held up.  After buying the very expensive camera battery, my camera pooped out altogether, went belly up.  So luckily I could return the battery and buy a new camera.  Nothing fancy, I'm a point and shoot kinda gal.  Remember I can't seem to figure out how to rotate my pictures and keep them that way. 
Anyway, check out this shot.  Looking down the hallway from the doorway of my old sewing space, you can see a bookshelf of my quilting books ready to be pushing into the new space on the left.  The doorway straight ahead is my son's room and I barely have nerve to peek in that messy place.  I have been moving in a little every day and , OMG, this is going to be a great space for me.  It's not gigantic but I still think I can have two, maybe even three, friends over for some fun sewing days together.  Mini marathons at Casa 9patch!

I will give you all a tour soon.  I still have some moving, sorting and arranging to do.  I ordered some NextDay Blinds and they will be here in eighteen days.  Get it?  Next day/ 18 days?  Oh well, they will be pretty.  I also need to get some help from big brother, Dave, with some closet doors.  He doesn't know it yet.   Yesterday I had fun with my power drill, yeehaw! 
Stay tuned, peeps!  And Happy Easter.  I'm off to eat my Mary Sue easter egg!