January 24, 2014

The Search--Perfect Sewing Desk

Everything is going as planned with the remodeling of the sewing room. The contractor came this past Tuesday, and he thought he could tear down the wall,  remove the framing around both closets and create empty alcoves there. Remove the one doorway and sheetrock and plaster that area and also around the header beam where the wall is now, plus move the electric baseboard heater that is on the wall all for very acceptable price. Keep the one doorway intact.  We are looking at March 6th for the tear down and sheetrock/plaster.

The paint bid was way too expensive though----and so we are either going to paint ourselves, or find someone much more reasonable.

The primary problem I am having now is scouting the  perfect sewing desk, preferably a corner unit with long desks on each side to hold both of my large heavy machines.  This unit would go under one of the corner windows and to the left and right down the walls.

At first I thought I wanted to be away from the windows, but I think the corner set up would give me much more space out in the room for the cutting table, and the ironing table and I still would have one wall as a design wall . Everything else will be in the cubbies I plan to put in the resulting closet alcoves.

Flooring and paint---are no problem. I'm not even concerned about packing up everything. Today I took many of the collectible nick-nacky dust collectors down and packed them up for donations.

Finding the ideal sewing station is more difficult than I thought.  I have looked at "real" sewing cabinets, and they are so pricey.  I have looked at L shaped desks at Office Depot and Staples. Some are a maybe. Now I'm considering having our kitchen cabinet builder come in and give us an estimate on custom building the L shape unit that would go in the corner. It could be much more reasonable than anything I've seen so far. This is sort of what I'm looking for….only longer going left and right, and with a corner unit that has drawers like in the second picture.

(yes, I've thought about Ikea) but it's a long trip, borrowing a pickup, hauling stuff home and building everything ourselves. The only thing appealing about Ikea is the good prices. It would be my last resort after I exhaust every thing here in our area.

January 19, 2014

Sewing Space Changing

See the Itsy-Bitsy sewing room--- look now,
because soon it will be completely dismantled. 
and a new remodeled will be happening in this space. 
The design wall that separates the rooms will be removed. 
Shelves will come down off walls.
Doorways will be minus one.
Shelves will come down. 
Closets will change or be removed. 
Carpet will be ripped out. 
Sheetrock dust will appear!
Paint will be mixed!
After 20 yrs. lots and lots of packing and decluttering will happen! 

Stay tuned---

To see the remodeled/finished New Sewing Space click Here

January 12, 2014

January 09, 2014

"Homestead" with Anita Goodesign

I have started a new "forever" project on the Ellisimo.  (Let me hope it's not a long forever!)-- I have a box full of Anita Goodesign discs from when I joined their club last year.  Honestly I have not done much with them except the Prayer Garden quilt and a round table topper.  I really like their quilt with embroidery type projects.

I've been wanting to do another embroidery quilt. Their "Homestead" quilt beckoned me. 

It's a mix of embroidery with machine appliqué.  Houses, animals and quilt in a country sampler style. I'm doing the larger "A" version.  I've hunted the internet for other quilters who may have made this quilt, but could only find a few.  After spending time testing one block, perhaps I understand the reason for that.  My first test block took 4 hours, and the first block today took 2 hours. An 8 x 8 block no less!

Picking fabrics, trimming appliqués, thread changes and stitching the actual embroidery. It is going to be a long process I fear----I plan to do a block each day. 25 to 30 blocks for the 43 x 58 quilt. I have a collection of civil war print fabrics for the appliqués. Sharp scissors on hand! Lots of thread!

This is the 1st block.  It reminds of the chapel at Bishops Ranch. Sweet!


January 05, 2014

Bookcase Cleaned!

It took most of the day, but the books are in the back of the car. Problem is they will be there most of the week and I may be tempted to bring a few back into the house!  I did keep some, but as you can see I bagged a lot of books!

I vacuumed, dusted, sorted and rearranged.

There is one shelf with books, and the one shelf below has my machine users manual and some embroidery software books.  I moved my antique thread case onto one shelf, and a vintage sewing basket on the next shelf.  There is still more book purging I could do, but I'll wait and see if I refer to any of the remaining books in the next few months. If not, they will be packed and gone as well.  How did I accumulate all this stuff! Geesh!

Books & Magazines-Purging!

I am finding I seldom, I mean almost never, use my sewing and quilting books. Just like my recipe books---I now rely more and more on the internet for finding a particular quilt pattern or technique at the computer. How many ways can you cook a chicken! Well, the internet will help you with that---and  also how to make just about any quilt block or quilt too!

So, today, my goal is to get rid of 95% of all my quilt books and magazines.  I've already cleaned the recipe books out----I kept just a few family favorites.  Same goes with the quilt books!

I'm going to fill the back of the suv, and on Tuesday I will take them to our monthly Remnants sew-in, if any of my friends there want any of the quilt books, they are welcome to them---what is left will be donated to the local Book box or our local craft and sewing thrift shop.

I am never going to do all the quilts in these books! I've read and re-read them many times. I have enjoyed them, but it's time for someone else to use them.

January 03, 2014

Finished- Double Slice Layer Cake

Except for the binding---Double Layer Cake is finished.  I'm pleased except for my thread color choice which was a light turquoise. On the layer cake fabric in the body of the quilt it looks fine, but on the white it reminds me of "blue wash out pen"!  It just does, and I want to wash it out!  Lesson learned about that particular thread color on white. You don't see the blue effect in the photo here---

Love this fabric for the backing!

In the scheme of things all that matters is that Sassy approves!

January 02, 2014

Quilting-Double Slice Layer Cake

Christmas is gone---a New Year has started. I love the new year.  I finally got this quilt top off the design wall this new day, new month, new year.  Once again I procrastinated over the backing fabric. Seaming the backing to be exact always gets me down.  That is my "quilting hang-up".  Making backings. I roll along until that final phase. Mental block!

I found some 45" fabric on the sale table at our local Beverly's Crafts and Fabric shop for the backing. I really wanted one of those wide 108" quilt backings, but their selection leaves a lot to be desired.   I bought the whole bolt of this, or what was left of it for the backing. I'm in love with this fabric! The search is on to find more. Look at all the colors and designs! It could go with a lot of tops! and I didn't even mind the measuring and seaming with this!

Here is my "cheap" quilt top!  I call it cheap because I bought the layer cake fabric when Missouri Star Quilt Company had it on their daily deal. It was $20.95 that day.  If you don't already subscribe to Missouri Star website, do sign up. Jenny Doan's tutorials are wonderful, and I used her Double Slice Layer Cake tutorial to make this quilt top one Saturday.  The white and colorful border fabric sashing is from my stash, but the quilt top was completed with the 42  pieces of 10" cake fabrics. The quilt measures approx. 68" x 72" with the addition of the borders.

This pattern is so easy and quick.

Another daily deal layer cake from Missouri Star for another quilt. 

I started quilting yesterday after a struggle with my tension. "Polly" never acts up like this, so I was totally at a loss on how to ease her pain, and mine!  Turns out it was a poorly wound bobbin. Not my doing. It was a Magna Glide pre wound.  My reliable brand. I pitched it when I found after an hour of cleaning, changing needles, pulling out more bobbin thread and test sewing that there was a big mess of thread right about in the middle of the pre wound. Criss-crossed, overlapping mess----I could have never made this poorly tensioned bobbin work. My apologies to "Polly" who heard a few bad words.

I didn't accomplish much actual quilting.  I'm using the Circle Lord "Cosmos" board. 

It's a start
Rolling on
Total cost for a quick quilt. Approx. $45.00 including backing and batting. If you do a lot of donation quilts, this is a good deal. Cutting the 10" layer cakes from you own stash---Save even more!

January 01, 2014

First Day of 2014

First page on the new calendar 

First sunrise from Timber Hill

New Years hangover!