Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Sewing Room Occupancy: 2

I haven't really had much new to write lately.  I finished Jacob's Ladder and labeled it (and washed it twice).  I finished the Spanish Treasure top and it is ready to go to Laura at Star City Stitchery.  I'll post photos after it comes back and is all quilted and bound.  I've picked up Dragonfly Summer, the hand appliqué project, in slow times. 

This past weekend, my Honey's daughters came for the Easter holiday.  On Friday night, sleepover plans for my 9 (almost 10)-year-old stepdaughter fell through so I said she could hang out with me.  I wondered if she wanted to revisit this:
Some time ago - maybe last summer - my stepdaughter had a playmate over when I wasn't home and my Honey called to ask me if they could play with some of my fabric to pick it out and "make" something with.  I thought that sounded harmless and directed him to my scraps drawer.  (Rule #1 - don't ever put anyone else in charge of what things kids can take from your stash.  There were project bags on top of the scraps drawer that I thought were pretty clear from the labeling and sealed nature were NOT scraps, but they had no supervision!  It was not pretty when I got home and all the scraps had to come back and be sorted through to rescue my project pieces!)  But my stepdaughter doesn't know how to sew and so this bag of scraps just sat there.

So we had an entire Friday evening and SD said she wanted to make a quilt.  A quilt?  Hm.  What kind of quilt?  She didn't know.  Did she want to hand sew or use a machine?  Didn't know.  I was worried, given her age, that if something wasn't fun or rewarding enough early in the process, she would give up on the entire concept ... not just the quilt project, but sewing altogether.  So I pulled out a cheapo purple kids' sewing machine my late MIL bought for her granddaughters years ago and got it all set up for SD.  I wasn't going to mess with the idea of seam allowances and so I thought foundation piecing might be the way to go.  I grabbed a nearby edition of Quiltmaker's 100 Blocks and flipped to a foundation pieced pattern that could be broken into simple segments.  I made four copies of a diamond-in-a-square pattern and taught her how to lay out fabrics on top to see if they'd be big enough.  She had fun doing this while we put "The Princess Bride" on the TV.

My stepdaughter is notoriously camera shy so I didn't take any photos during the process, but she said I could post pictures of her work to the blog.  I got the fabrics lined up on the paper, put them under the needle, she sewed on the line, I pressed and trimmed and placed the next piece.  The cheapo kids' machine was too troublesome to work with so I put it away and put Baron von Quilthausen, the Bernina, in action.  Even at half speed she liked pressing the pedal to the metal so the Baron was still kind to her work.

These are the four blocks she finished with the pattern that served as inspiration on the left - we used only the finished portion.  She has "themes" for each of her blocks and fabrics picked for several more, but we ran out of time before bedtime.  I suppose we'll have to resume in the summer when she is at our house again.

As for my own work, this is what I have stacked up right now:
It's the pieces for the border to the Civil War Chronicles quilt top.  I need to make 66 of these 6" Hovering Hawks suckers:
Once that is completed I'll take it to Laura for longarm basting at the same time I drop off Spanish Treasure.  It's a ginormous quilt and my Honey's eyes go wide as saucers when I talk about hand-quilting it, but it deserves it.

After that I need to take some time to do some non-quilting and even non-sewing work for a while.  I might still post some pictures if they relate to sewing or craftiness in general from time to time.

Monday, April 2, 2012

Jacob's Ladder Finished

Here it is, all washed and dried.

In hanging it I notice that a) there are still some chalky markings on it, and b) there is a bit of bleeding, despite my having thrown in four dye catcher sheets with it.  It will probably have to go through again.  But all in all, I'm happy with it.  More than anything, it's nice to have a 10-year-old UFO finished.  In looking at it this way, I'm also glad I chose a solid white binding ... I had puzzled on that one for a while but wanted the sawteeth to really pop.

I also chalked up 22 days of sewing on Michele's Crafting by the Numbers challenge, out of a possible 31 in March. 

Obviously, I'm still having a bit of trouble with weekends.  Starting in April, I am going to also note on the calendar the project(s) I'm working on during a specific day/evening.

Last night I made my first test block for Quiltmaker's 100 blocks volume 6.  Although it wasn't a block I would normally choose, I enjoyed the process.  I emailed them my photo and evaluation today, and there is a new block in the dropbox today.  I will probably get to it later this week since it's a busy week, starting with quilt guild tonight.  I need to wrap up here at work and get going soon.