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.  You can read about the transitions we made here.  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

Ivette, Gotham Quilts 

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

Why I Rallied

Yesterday was simply amazing.  I was moved by words, people, and yes signs.  The Women’s Rally in Indianapolis turned out to have 4,500 – 5,000 people attend.  One of the highest attended rallies at the Statehouse.

I had felt compelled to attend the event for a couple of weeks.  The fear of large crowds made me really uneasy.  My friend sent me a text and noted she would pick me up.  Accountability got me there.  That text was a game changer.

I’ve never rallied before for something political.  However, this wasn’t political for me.  The election may have started these rallies, but for me it’s about access.  Access to health care, clinics, and equality.  Human rights shouldn’t be political.  It has become political over the years.

As a white mid 30’s year old woman I have it pretty good.  My husband and I have decent health insurance.  That hasn’t always been in the case.  Planned Parenthood provided me affordable birth control in college.  My parent’s insurance did cover birth control, but the copay was too high for my college budget.  I have paid the copay on my birth control since I started it.  It was for my body and I felt the responsibility to pay for it.

The clinic in my college town did provide abortions.  Every Thursday morning the protesters would be outside with their large signs and yelling hate.  I had the unfortunate luck to have to go in one Thursday morning for my pills, not realizing it was Thursday.  Terrible decision.  I was yelled at and slurs aimed my way.  No protester I’m not a baby killer.  Just trying to get my birth control so I can be a functional human next month.  Give me the hormones!

What if that access had been stripped away?  Some months would have come down to my birth control or groceries.  If I was going to attend class regularly and keep my part time job, birth control was essential for me.  Without it I would be a mess for 2-3 days and very unlikely to do anything.

How stable would I be now if I couldn’t have attended classes?  Had to go between part time jobs because I was missing too many days?  Stripping away access to people takes away more than the control over their bodies.  They could be like me and need birth control to keep their hormones in check.  Better yet, could turn the whole country into Texas.  Not sure what I’m talking about, read here and here.

The rally yesterday was about more than Planned Parenthood.  It was about rights for my brother in laws.  What if this legally married couple is visiting us and something happens.  We have to go to the hospital, but one of the spouse’s doesn’t have access or rights.  That’s stupid and I won’t stand for it.

I’m scared for my friends that are currently undergoing treatment for cancer or other conditions.  Are you really going to look at my friend and say, “Hey, for the next year you have to pay all year medical costs with your cancer treatment.  It’s a pre-existing condition.  We don’t care that a treatment could be $5,000 each time.  You pay.  Oh well, actually sir you’ve met you’re lifetime cap.”  That is an amazing benefit of the ACA.  My friend is alive because of it.

Access to health care is a human right.  Other countries have it figured out.  America, we can do better!  We have to do better!

One speaker reminded us of the history of movements during the 60’s.  Fighting for women’s and civil rights.  We chanted along,

“We will not go back!”

In order to make America the greatest country it should be, we can not go back.

I sat last night looking at Facebook and Instagram.  Wow!  I know some amazing women that are not standing by and waiting to see what happens.  We are going to be proactive and make our voices heard.  Thank you to the men supporting these amazing women as well.  I saw a number of men at the rally too.

My prediction is that we will see a variety of political quilts made this year.  Using our voice through fabric to create.

In order to not just sit on social media and make no impact.  I’m resolving to do something.  Each month I will pick up some menstrual products and donate to Support the Girls Indianapolis.  They take gently used bras and menstrual products.  They are able to get them right into the hands of those that need them the most.  Homeless shelters, women’s shelters, food pantries, schools in low income areas, and anywhere that can make a difference.  I’m sure I will do more over the next few months and years.  But today, that is something I can do with my renewed energy.

My Charming Plus Finished Quilts

If you’re having a bad day or need to see some amazing colors, take a look at the #charmingplusquilt and #charmingplusqal tags.  Those that participated created delightful versions of the quilt.  Go check it out when you have a chance.

Scrappy Version

Can I be bias for a minute?  This is one of my favorite versions of this quilt so far.  These are my colors.  Go look in my closet, most of my clothes are in range of this palette.  Best part is that I had forgotten about this scrap stash I found hiding in a box.  It’s the perfect baby size and is available for a new home.  It’s available on Etsy.

I pondered what to back this quilt in and remembered there was an Amy Butler gray print in my destash box.  It was the perfect size and really compliments the front.

Kona Navy makes for a binding that coordinates well with all the colors.  Quick and easy straight line quilting and machine binding.

Bundle Version

At first I was scared to dig into this bundle and put it to use.  However, it feels good to have finished something with the bundle and know it’s waiting for a new home.  This quilt is currently available on Etsy as well.

The backing on this version was a bit tougher to select.  I almost went with the golden yellow, but couldn’t find the right shade.   Crimson Tate had this Follie print in stock and enough to piece a back.

In my stash was less than a fat quarter of the black and gray dots.  Seriously, when I was adding the binding the last bit had just enough to make a seam.  Cut that one close :).

Overall

Having made this quilt a number of times I’m digging the 3″ square size for blocks.  I have some 1.5″ squares in my scraps.  Wonder what they would look like in this quilt?  Or mixed together with larger squares?  Guess that means I will be making more in the future.

Flying Geese Baby Quilt

This was one of my last projects in 2016.  The binding was finished on New Year’s Eve.  Since then I have been working on some items around the house and projects.  Plus, I really wanted to wait to show off this quilt after it had been gifted.

More geese made from stash and scrap fabrics.  Ahhh….except

There are a couple of OOPS .  Can you find them?

It could have been the burn out from working on a bagillion geese blocks between the two quilts.  See the previous quilt here.  Maybe it was the fabrics that were “straightened up” on a random day.  I think it’s important to be honest note not every project is “perfect.”  I’m okay with that as a maker.  Honestly, you probably wouldn’t notice unless I mentioned it and you did zoom in on the above photo.

The last 5-7 sets of geese on this quilt were just a creative roadblock.  In the end I love how it turned out.  For the backing I dug into my vintage sheet collection.    It’s a great selection especially if you knew the parents, they may be into sports.

Orange solid binding was a great way to wrap up this quilt.  That is hand sewn binding on the back.  No machine binding this time.

It’s now gone to our friends that are expecting a boy very soon.  I hope they use it and enjoy the quilt.


Another Flying Geese quilt click here

2017…Year Of Growth

2017 is going to be very different for my family.  Over the last few months I have been quietly looking for a new job.  Before Christmas break I accepted an offer for a new role within a new company.  No longer will be I be working from home in the comfort of my yoga pants.

With that change I’m not sure how much time I will have to sew and create.  My goal is to stay within the leftover 2016 fabric budget.

As I mentioned in my prior post, I’m hoping it encourages me to focus on using what I have.  I was aghast at my collection of fabrics, unfinished projects, and scraps.  In the post Christmas sales, there were many temptations and shopping carts filled.  However, pushing place order made me nervous, adding more fabric isn’t necessary.

When it comes to creating there have been many ideas thrown around.  My phone is full of inspirational places and random things that sparked some creative ideas.  Hopefully, I’m able to create my own version of them in 2017.  Maybe some minis or or wall art options.

Rather than setting a yearly fitness goal, I want to focus on something monthly.  For January I want to get 25 days with 10,000+ steps.  Not sure what each month will look like yet, but with each month I will update a fitness goal and fabric budget.

I’m elated to focus on a fresh start, growth, and moving forward.