Pictures at last En Provence

Well, you can now actually see for yourself that I am sewing and making progress on En Provence Mystery quilt.  The change in color I made for the secondary stars is perfect with the current vintage pillow cases on the bed (my bed also performs as my design wall).  It also accents the yellow on my walls nicely.  I have sewn the 16 blocks together with the sashing in between for 4 rows total.  Now I need to go back and piece some more QST’s to make the sashing in between the 4 rows.  Oh my goodness it won’t be long and it will be complete!

queenqueensideAnd spring is in the air here.  My poor daffodils that have only bloomed once in the last 18 years due to frost, snow, drought, and other bad weather conditions.  They have survived and managed to show their lovely blooming colors.


One post a week :(

Computer maintenance is periodically done around here.  And for the last three weeks, I have limited access to photo editing programs that help me with my blog.  So here is my post for the week.

I am still trudging along with En Provence.  I need to do better with my quilting allocated time, but it is what it is.  I have 15 purple blocks sewn and went to put together the last block and realized either two fell behind the buffet, or I counted wrong.  So I am short two purple qsts.  I will leave that block to sew last.  I know I am several short for the yellow qsts because I never counted those.  So I will sew as many things together as possible and wait until I know exactly how many of each I need to sew.  So like I said I am still trudging along with en provence.

I did finish the laptop sack.  The client wanted an addition late in the game.  I added a pocket for a spiral notebook and ink pen.  It got washed and chenilled wonderfully soft.  It was settled upon the strap to use was black (not my choice) and similar to a boy scout belt in texture and size.

Now I am dreaming of having en provence done and the piecing behind me, but what about the quilting….hmmmm.  I have been brainstorming for a while.  I have purchased the backing fabric which is more neutral.  So I will probably go with a neutral thread or a lavender thread.  And since this was based on photos of lavender fields in France, I will probably do something in rows with some heavy FMQ involving feathers perhaps.  I am rather daunted by the task of quilting this as the space I have makes it hard on me to do this on my DSM.  My throat space sucks.  Additionally, before I start quilting anything I really need to take my machine in for service.  It is about 4 years past due.  No telling how many hours are on this machine but is probably above 5000.  I suspect there is an adjustment that needs to be made or a replacement needs to happen in the bobbin case area as the feed of my thread through the top sometimes jerks and causes a tension problem on the bottom with one stitch.

For eye candy for you quilters and readers I will post random pictures of the past.  Enjoy!

Organization and Homemade Jelly Rolls

My stash is out of control due to no real estate left in my house.  @#$!

My boss knows that I quilt.  Each of his children have received one for their births.  His wife sews and sells on Etsy, and has quite a thing going.  Last weekend, his wife did some spring cleaning and decided to purge fabrics from the past.  Most of these fabrics were quilting cottons.  The oldest piece I found was dated 2007.  All 50 plus pounds were slated to go to goodwill.  He redirected and saved the three boxes for me.  So I had a major stash gain!   Beautiful new fabric to pet and admire.  But what to do with them????

Last year I had went through my existing stash and categorized by color and then folded all the smaller than a yard pieces and put them into ziplock bags, keeping them sorted as such.  It was so easy if I needed a small piece I could look through my clear tote and see if I might have something, or I could pop the lid off and skootch things around to see if I had a specific fabric that would work for that particular project.  I could take everything out of the tote entirely and put it all back in within minutes and nothing would become unfolded.  It worked.

Then I had my sheet swap and had about 35 fat quarters I had to make room for plus the left over sheets from cutting up my fat quarters.  So I commandeered a dresser and the bottom drawer became dedicated to nothing but vintage sheets.  But then my vintage sheet population out grew its home and now part was in the dresser and part was in a box.

So right now my storage is an issue.  I still have my smaller pieces in baggies but moved those to the dresser.  With the new fabric editions, they simply will not fit anywhere.  I am afraid if I go buy a tote and put them out in the shed, I will not dip into the tote and use up this part of my stash.  Then an idea happened.

I have all this fabric not being used, all scraps with no purpose.  All sorted already, I just whipped out my accuquilt cutter and started going to town.  I enjoyed the jelly roll race quilt so much that if another baby event happens to someone I know I can easily turn out a quilt in a weakened.  So I used the 2 1/2 strip cutter and went to town.  I cut up all the reds, oranges, pinks, yellows and blues with a hint of blacks and greens.  Pictured is my final result minus one which I gave to my mom.

I have been saving strings whether it is the selvages or just narrow scraps of fabric for a string quilt.  Some pieces are less than an inch wide, some are a tad bigger than 5 inches.  I took my ziplock baggie system and put all those pieces together in a large worn out pillow case to throw into the tote.

It looks like this will be a quilt in no time.  I am not sure how many years I have been saving, but the number is definitely plural.  I used to throw them away (gasp).  But those little scraps do add up.  Future quilt in a bag.

And I cannot forget my vintage sheets.  I accuquilted all these down to 2 inch squares or 3 1/2 inch squares.  I have never made a vintage sheet quilt but know by the thread bareness of some of the sheets, it is a good idea to back it with interfacing for extra strength.  So my stash also consists of gridded interfacing on point which will make these lovelies all the more lovelier.  For those of you who have cut vintage sheets, it cannot be done with a rotary cutter.  It is impossible to keep things square.  Interfacing is your friend.

And yes I am still sewing on the En Provence mystery quilt.  I have gotten a couple more purple blocks done. epmqblock

Due to all my organization, my sewing area became a huge mess for such a small space.  I still have a box of fabric that does not fit anywhere and due to an unforeseen incident my stash grew yet again this past week as I received a $50 gift certificate to my LAQS.  No more pretty fabric purchases for me for a long time!

Stash is non busted but workable.  More scraps have gravitated to the tote.  My sheet drawer is a little more empty.  Night night stash, sleep tight.


Insert post here

Hello readers, happy Sunday to ya!  I wish I had something to post with picture goodness, but don’t.  Perhaps within the week.

Sometimes I look at what is ahead of me and get overwhelmed.  This past week my boss thought kindly to redirect a fabric donation slated for goodwill.  I gladly accepted what was mostly deemed yardage.  Large pieces.  I segregated the pieces I didn’t like or would not use.  I then gave that box to a member of the local piece makers group.  She in turn, donated what was left to another member.  One fabric stash became a member of 4 people’s stashes in less than 4 days.  Now my cup runner has over.  There were 5 yard plus pieces which will make backing for quilts.  But because I have so much, it kinda messes with my head.  I need to figure out where I should put it.  My dresser and buffet (aka my sewing nook) is already filled.  I am starting to encroach on other areas of the house.  I have a box of vintage sheets, a box of wool, two totes of started projects, two projects I am working on in a shoebox, and a quilt top waiting to be quilted….what to do?  This is interrupting progress.  My work surface is about 13×13 for cutting and my machine sits beside that.  I have to be efficient with space.  I feel compelled to start cutting the pieces for the vintage sheet quilt so the box would deplete drastically, it will still be a box of fabric.  But, in the back of my mind I want to refrain from starting another project.  Sew many ideas are swarming.  I am afraid to proceed, I don’t want to let the swarm sting me.

Yesterday amongst the mess I did manage to sew 3 more en Provence mystery quilt blocks that are really not a mystery anymore.  Because of so much bad feng shui I sewed them together wrong….see what I mean it messes with my head, makes me scatterbrained like the scattered mess about me.

Jelly Roll Wrong!

Yesterday was the first workshop that I attended for the sewing group I joined.  Had a blast.  Helping those who had very little experience was most enjoyable.  To see someone who had never sat down at a sewing machine flower into a quilt top maker by the end of the day was impressive.  A great group of gals….informal sewing fun!

The sun has risen, but it is wet and not suitable for pictures.  However, snapping a few indoor photos for blogging is a good thing!  Pictured below is my fail of execution.

We pieced the jelly roll race quilt.  I had never done one.  I sought out 2 jelly rolls because one was too small.  I did the calculations on the net and I would have been an inch shy of making a 74 X 96 quilt.  So I found matching fabric and proceeded to add 4 strips for a total of 89 strips.  The size ended up being a very long long quilt top.  Long story short, I ended up running the strips the opposite way and wacking off about 20 inches.  I will move that to the back.

All of my strips were solids except the 4 I added.  I had a jelly roll of all white.  When I originally sewed them together following the directions gave I sewed the selvage ends together in the precut package as they were unrolled.  These were blues, purples, greens.  Then I sewed end to end the white set, and then the printed 4 strips.  When I started assembling the quilt, it ended up have two rows of colors together and then 2 rolls of whites together.  Not what I had envisioned, but a very modern look.  When I got home I ironed it ( love my iron, see that post here), and also added the sashing to make it just a tad wider and longer after wacking it to a smaller size.  I also saved all my dog ears, which will make lovely half square triangles that perhaps will make the back too.  I already am planing to feather the dickens out of this quilt.jrwjrw2jrw3

I do not consider myself a novice at sewing and crafting because I have done it for so long.  When the lady who taught the class came around, she took a picture of the long, long quilt top….it made me laugh out loud such that it made her really laugh.  It was good to laugh at my execution error.  Right now I am calling this Jelly Roll Wrong (which when you say it out loud sounds like you are speaking chinese), but will probably change that up a bit after I add the feathers in the quilting, kind of like I am flipping the bird to my execution error.

There were many lovely jelly roll race quilts made yesterday for charity.  My plan was to finish one of those as well, but because I took on double the work and helped those around me that needed help, I did not get to it.  I hope there will be a next time.

Take aways yesterday:

  • I need to get out more often and do these kind of social things
  • helping those with a lower skill set was very enjoyable (even lending out my extension cord brought me joy because I helped a complete stranger…something we American’s are too scared to do)
  • bad executions are still salvageable
  • there are still good people out there
  • The key people in our group who made this happen, they are magic makers
  • Laugh out loud at yourself makes others laugh and then you are not alone