• Blog
  • My Sewing Space

     

    It’s cleaned up and more organized.

    Welcome everyone to my sewing space.  This has been my space for the last four years.  The tiny human kicked me out of the second bedroom that I was using when he arrived.  We have a lovely enclosed front porch with HUGE windows.  Loads of natural light flood the room when sewing during the day.  We recently added a larger light to make night time sewing easier on my eyes.

    Ignore all those neglected scraps just sitting there in tubs.  It’s better than the trash bag they were in.

    Add tackling these tubs to the to-do list.

    Knowing that I was going to share this room publicly was a great motivator to clean and organize it a bit.  Most of the time my ironing board is up and off to the side.  My stash of yardage is tucked away in our back room in drawer system.  It’s not a perfect system.  However, it lets me focus on projects that I’m working on.

    The extra side table isn’t really for cutting, rather it makes it easy to watch Netflix while I sew.  I can devour a whole series if I’m working on a big project.  #netflixandsew

    That table looks a little bare.  I should grab some wine and start a project.  Thanks for joining me on the Sew Much Fun Blog Hop.  Be sure to visit everyone on the blog hop below.

     

    Jen Frost, Faith and Fabric
    Raylee Bielenberg, Sunflower Stitcheries & Quilting
    Emily Carroll, toothpaste and orange cat
    Sherry Smedley, adventures in life
    Emma Wengier, Emkie Designs
    Anne Beier, Hudson Valley Quilts
    Cindy Pieters, Stichin At Home
    Amanda Hilldore, Fabric Engineer

  • Blog
  • My First Attempt at Free Motion Quilting

    Free motion quilting (FMQ) has been a goal for years.  Much like zippers, it scares me.  Maybe it’s the idea of learning something new?  Could it be that I’m concerned it will look like my free hand drawings…awful.
    With wonderful support of my IMQG friends I successfully quilted a small quilt with FMQ.
    At the retreat I came prepared with my darning foot and an ancient WIP, it’s been around since 2011.  What I didn’t expect was how nervous I would feel.  With sweaty palms and a racing heart I pushed the pedal and started guiding my fabric.  Loops, I can do loops, yeah, let’s do that was my thought process.
    Okay we’ve made a few, they look decent.  Even better the back looks good, the tension is correct.
    Then I started to question myself and I slowed down.  Stitches started skipping and the frustration mounted.  UGH!  “I knew I couldn’t do this” began to creep into my mindset.  After stopping, breathing, and adjusting the fabric, I tried again.  I kept the seam ripper nearby for the number of errors that occurred.
     
    Here is what I learned:
    • My machine likes to go fast.
    • Trust my gut and just keep moving the fabric.
    • If needed, stop and adjust everything.
    The back may be my favorite part of this quilt.
    I have a project in the works to try FMQ again.  This time will be at home.  I’m sure I will be texting my friends before for moral support and possibly having some wine to help me relax.
    Love that drape
    Quilt details:
    Fabric:  Botanica and coordinating Kona Solids from Fabric.com
    Pieced by various members of IMQG ~2011
    Style:  Improv log cabins
  • sewing
  • Quilt by Committee – V&Co HST Quilt

    V&Co HST offset quilt by quiltytherapy, #modernquilt, #V&co, #HSTquilt #halfsquaretriangles, #babyquilt
    You either love or hate half square triangles.  I happen to fall into the love category.  They are versatile and a quick way to make a block.  Last summer I dug into my V&Co stash and decided I needed to make a quilt.  There were a number of charm packs I was hoarding that blended together perfectly.
    First step was to separate out the high and low volume prints.  Also any fabrics that I felt didn’t jam with everything else.  Randomly combine high and low volume prints and bust out a ton of half square triangles.  After pressing them and admiring the colors I quickly threw them back into a basket.  That basket just sat until my recent IMQG retreat.
    It was on the to do list.  Bust through this older WIP, get it done.  I had considered doing a traditional layout, but that seemed boring.
    This is where quilt by committee took over.  I started laying out the blocks and the comments started flying.  A few versions were tried and no one was really feeling them.
    Holly spoke up and said, “Hey, can I try something?”  Absolutely.  Rachael chimed in and these two were off.  They started a layout and I quickly started sorting the blocks by color.  Within 15-30 minutes we had a gorgeous top ready to be pieced.
    Discussions on the quilting went on longer than the layout process.  Should it be free motion quilted?  Straight lines?  What will look the best?  It was decided that this strong geometric quilt should have straight lines to avoid the quilting distracting from the layout.  Simple straight lines, I can do that.
    For the backing I chose a zig zag print from a coordinating line that is perfection on the back.  I had just enough in the width to make it work.  The binding in turn was 2.5 inch double fold to help cover more on the back.
    This quilt turned out fabulously.  Do you like it?  Love it?  You can find it here in my Etsy shop.
    V&Co HST offset quilt by quiltytherapy, #modernquilt, #V&co, #HSTquilt #halfsquaretriangles, #babyquilt

    Link up with Crazy Mom Quilts 

  • scraps
  • Scrappy Solids String Quilt

     Solids Scrappy String Quilt by quiltytherapy #stringquilt #solidsquilt #scrapquilt #babyquilt
    Last winter I had the wonderful idea to make 100 8 inch string blocks with my solid scraps.  Totally feasible and a great way to use up my cloth grocery bag bursting at the seams of scraps.  In reality I made 42 and am happy with that.  That large bag stuffed with solid scraps.  Still overflowing, but slightly more manageable.
    That bag of scraps has so many colors and shades hiding in it.  By block 35 I was getting worried the blocks started to look too much alike.  I was gravitating towards certain colors.  This is supposed to be random and scrappy.  42 was the right number to stop at and make a baby quilt to have on hand.
    With a string quilt, turn your stitch length way down.  No, a little lower.  When you rip the paper off it can loosen stitches and even pull some.  UGH, it did happen with this quilt.  My hope after washing and drying the quilt is that everything will shrink a bit and those stitches will tighten.
    For quilting, I wanted something a bit dense to help adjust for some errors.  Straight lines criss cross over the quilt gives texture and hides most flaws in the crinkles.  At the retreat I machine bound this quilt but wasn’t happy with the overall look.  Last week I ripped out the stitches and hand sewed the binding to the back.  Now I’m much more pleased with the finished quilt.
    I tend to wash quilts by themselves to help avoid colors running onto other items.  With this quilt I tossed it in with some towels and fleece blankets.  I really wanted this to tumble in the dryer.  Look at that crinkle?
    The backing was pulled from my box of destash fabrics.  There was just enough to make the back between the two.  This older WIP used up scraps and some fabrics on the back I was ready to part with.
    After trimming the quilt of all the little strings, I like this quilt more.  During the retreat there were some not so nice words while quilting.  What do you think?

    Link ups!

    Quilting is more fun than Housework

    Scraptastic Tuesday
  • Everyday life
  • Winter 2017 Sewing Retreat

    It was an amazing weekend full of laughs and of course some sewing thrown in.  These are my people, they get me. Many of us had been commenting how much we were looking forward to the weekend.  It did not disappoint.
    In addition to our own projects, we played games and shared laughs.  So many laughs.  We played two tense rounds of Left, Right, Center for fat quarters.  Quilters are ruthless despite what some may think.  Game one was intense and Lisa walked away the winner.  Game two things got serious.  Fat quarters were quickly getting throw into center.  One of my rolls included a C going directly into my wine glass on the floor.  Of course it did.
    I was out of fat quarters but some were still floating around me.   Within a couple of rolls I was back in and suddenly I won.  I won!  So many lovely fat quarters for me to enjoy.  I almost cried I was so happy and surprised.
    This weekend was really a chance for me to get through some WIPs that have been lingering.  I wanted to cross some stuff off my self-inflicted to do list.
    Solids String Quilt
    Good thing no one took video or recorded our conversations this weekend.  Lots of cursing and general dislike for the process with this quilt.  I will dig more into it later this week.  It was the first project I tackled and felt good to get this scrappy quilt done and bound on the first night.  Scrappy string quilts are on trend right now.
    Botanica Bee Quilt
    Talk about an old WIP.  Back in 2011 the guild held a bee.  I picked large log cabins using this lovely Botanica fabric.  Most of the fabric I had left was destashed last year, but I kept a couple of pieces in case I ever finished this.
    My big goal for the weekend was to try free motion quilting for the first time.  Without Darcie and Rachael pushing me out of comfort zone, I wouldn’t have tried it.  Being true to my word from our goals meeting in January, I decided this was the quilt.  It’s smaller and not on the bias like the string quilt.  I wanted to tackle this first thing Saturday morning.
    Holy camoly.  I was a sweaty nervous mess to take my first few stitches.  After a few hiccups I got the hang of moving the quilt around and the speed of my machine that worked the best.   More practice is necessary but the overall process went well.  I have another WIP almost ready to keep up my practice.
    Note:  my arms, shoulders and back were SORE from it.  Something I didn’t expect.
    V&Co HST Quilt
    Quilt by committee is a wonderful benefit of retreat weekend.  I had all of these HSTs but really unsure the layout I wanted.  As I started to lay it out, others jumped in with suggestions.  This wonderful layout was the winning choice.
    Blush Charm Quilt
    Let’s go back in time again to another overnight sewing adventure from 2011.  IMQG traveled to one a member’s house for a night of sewing and games.  I started a charm quilt with lots of white from the Moda Blush line.  It’s been a bag ever since in my WIP cabinet.  No more.  The top and back are both done.  It’s ready to be basted and quilted.
    A couple of people brought their scrap bins for everyone to dig around in.  We were like vultures if I’m being honest.  It was fun to pull out scraps from their projects and envision them in your stash.  Lisa even ironed and color sorted her scraps.  Too much work for me but her scraps were to enticing like that.  I snagged a few to help round out upcoming projects.
    There are about 3-4 more projects I wanted to tackle this weekend.  They are newer ideas and I chose instead to focus on older items.  Look for upcoming series…Busting through old WIPs.
    So many wonderful projects were worked on by everyone.  It’s invigorating to be around other like minded people for a weekend and accomplishing so much.  We sprawled our projects across the banister to get a better look at what we had done.  I am lucky to know many wonderful and talented sewists.
    Does your guild host a retreat?  Have you ever gone away to just sew and hang out with friends?  I definitely recommend it.
  • scraps
  • Winter 2017 Sewing Retreat Prep

    You guys, I’m going to be sewing all weekend with my IMQG girls.  AHHH!  One of my friends noted, “It’s like Christmas Eve. But better because I don’t have to deal with making anyone else happy!!!!!”  Exactly.  

    Sorry that I have been a little more quiet on here this month.  There is secret sewing going on that I can’t reveal.  It’s a big project that is taking more than I anticipated.
    This weekend is going to be glorious because I’m only taking scrap or personal projects.  No commissions, just fun time to sew.  Well chat, drink, and then sew.  Best part is spotty wifi, so we all get a chance to disconnect.  I have lots of tutorials and inspiration stored to Pocket.
    Here are some projects I’m thinking about taking for the weekend.
    Shabby Chic Granny Squares
    Scrappy Irish Chain
    Yes another one.  I loved the one I made last year and want to work on another.
    Solid Diagonal Strip Quilt
    This has been a project in the works for a while.  I just need to sew the back and quilt it.
    Diagonal Strip Quilt
    I have a V&Co jelly roll that I have been hoarding.  This would be a great project following this tutorial from Cluck Cluck Sew.
    HST V&Co quilt
    HSTs are cut, pressed, and ready.  Now I just need to decide a layout idea.  I’m thinking something like this.  Maybe a bit scrappier.  Thoughts?
    Scrappy Love
    I have been pulling out pink, red and purple scraps lately to create something.  I’m toying with the idea of a big LOVE project.  Maybe baby sized, but using some scraps and stash.
    Older WIPS
    In all transparency there are some OLD works in progress that I should take and finish this weekend.  They are stuffed away in baskets and cabinets so they don’t sit there reminding me.  “Hey, we aren’t finished yet.”  Maybe it’s time to finish the one from our overnight sew in from five years ago.
    Whatever I bring it all needs to fit into my giant IKEA bag.