Monday, October 10, 2011

New Sewing Room Furniture!

After having to go and return some parts because they were damaged, we finally got the new furniture for my sewing room assembled.


These ones are going to double as a bench--I will need to get a nice piece of foam and make a cushion for my new window seat!

These wire baskets are going to hold my fabric collection! I hope.

It looks a bit empty at the moment, but once my stuff comes from my place, I'm sure it won't!

I'm hoping to get back to sewing soon--I managed to chip bones on two of my fingers so have been out of commission, but I'm out of the splint and ready to see how it goes!

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Sunday Stash Report

Still not much inspiration, but I got a drunkard's path template recently and started cutting up some batik scraps. It will take a lot more scraps before this is anywhere close to a quilt, though!

Also coming soon, pictures of the furniture that is now in my craft room (well, just as soon as we finish assembling it...)!

Used This Week: 0
Used Year To Date: 30.75
Added This Week: 0
Added Year To Date: 89.25
Net Used For 2011: -58.5

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Sunday Stash Report

Fat quarter bundles were on sale last week at Joann's, and I couldn't help myself.

These two are so pretty together!

And these bird prints were just too cute to resist.
Out went 2 1/4 yards for my new purse; other than that I've been unsuccessfully attempting to test out my new hot fix crystal applicator on tulle and working on some other non-fabric related wedding stuff. I'm not feeling terribly fabric-inspired at the moment, so I might have to spend some time flipping through my books!

Used This Week: 2.25
Used Year To Date: 30.75
Added This Week: 3.25
Added Year To Date: 89.25
Net Used For 2011: -58.5

See how everyone else is doing.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

A tale of orange thread and a new handbag

Back when I learned to sew at the age of 11 or so, my mom taught me that basting is best done with orange thread. Not only is it pretty easy to see in most instances, it--along with the spool of seafoam green thread which I still have--"is an ugly color"* that would never be used otherwise, so you might as well waste it when basting.

So, when I got a fancy new box of 24 Gütermann threads some time ago, I noted the orange thread with a sigh and hoped I'd have some major basting to do one of these days so that I could use the thread up and have some room for a prettier color. I used some here and there, then I found some lovely reddish-orange batik fabric that matched this spool quite well and made a skirt out of it--but unfortunately ran out of thread halfway through. So off to the store I went, thinking to myself, "I can't believe I'm buying orange thread!" I finished the skirt with about half a spool of orange thread left.

This week, I started work on a new handbag with the fabrics I bought for the purpose a few weeks ago:

Look at that nice orangish red for the outside! And I had the perfect spool of thread for it without having to go out to the store! So I started sewing.

You can probably guess how the story ends. I ran out of thread three-quarters of the way through, and so today I went back out and bought... another spool of orange thread. I guess I should just resign myself to the fact that I'm never going to get rid of all my orange thread.

But my new handbag looks great!

I used the "Blossom Bag" pattern from the Amy Butler Style Stitches book. It was definitely a challenge, mainly because the extra-heavy stabilizer used to help the bag keep its shape makes it very hard to manipulate under the sewing machine. I'm pleased with the way it turned out, but I'm definitely ready for something easy for my next project!

*No offense intended to anyone whose favorite color is orange! I don't actually think it's ugly--I just don't have many orange things!

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Sunday Stash Report

Although I haven't been lazy this week, I can't really count any fabric out, since I never counted it in in the first place!

I finished two shirts for my fiancé this week:

Fishy batik!

And dinosaur batik!
The latter still needs buttons--although we found some that look like rock strata that would fit nicely with this fabric, we're still holding out for coconut buttons (a joke between us involving alternative hypotheses of what T. Rex ate).

Used This Week: 0
Used Year To Date: 28.5
Added This Week: 0
Added Year To Date: 86
Net Used For 2011: -57.5

See how everyone else is doing!

Wednesday, August 31, 2011


Here it is, the completed octopus quilt!

The quilting, which I'm quite happy with, shows up really well on the back.

The backing matches the narrow outer border on the front.

Here are a couple more closeups. Hooray for another quilt completed!

Did you know that the largest octopus on record weighed over 150 pounds? Octopi are very intelligent too, so this would probably be a good quilt to study under.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

I'm back/Stash Report

Sorry for my silence; for various reasons I haven't been doing much sewing the last few weeks--but the last few days have been productive!

I've made a pillowcase for my fiance, who loves blueberries...

This pillowcase was super easy and used exactly a yard of fabric with only some selvedges left over--I think I might have to make some for myself, too!

I got a new, big, acrylic table that fits the free arm on my sewing machine perfectly, and as a result quilted an entire quilt yesterday. I'd really recommend getting one of these--I think they're available for many if not most machines--as I thought my quilting turned out unusually well! Here's a sneak peek.

Fabrics newly acquired include these Kaffe Fassett fabrics intended for a purse (I'm just waiting for next week's interfacing sale at Joann's!):

And these pretty batiks, which are mostly from Stonemountain and Daughter, an amazing fabric shop in Berkeley, CA.

I'll leave you with a picture of another piece of artwork I made this week--it's worked in metal, and I'm calling it "Thank God I Didn't Break My Sewing Machine."

Used This Week: 1.25
Used Year To Date: 28.5
Added This Week: 10
Added Year To Date: 86
Net Used For 2011: -57.5

See how everyone else is doing.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Monday Paint Report

Also out this weekend: 2 1/2 gallons of interior latex paint. Here is my future craft room, all taped up for the first color:

And here it is with "Glazed Pears" on the upper walls, and taped up for the next color...

... and with "Mexican Moonlight" on the bottom walls!

... and after drop cloth and painting supply cleanup!

We chose to paint the small wall with the closet door in it the darker color, and it really makes the door pop in a fun way!

I'm pleased with my paint choices! Next up--a trip to IKEA for some fabric storage solutions!

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Sunday Stash Report

I finally got backing for my octopus quilt, and have put it together and pinned it--so I've counted it both in and out this week. Now I just have to figure out how to quilt it. I had a great idea involving little octopi, but am not yet convinced that I'll be able to pull it off! I also unfortunately succumbed to some half-price batiks. Doesn't the top one look like space rocks?

Used This Week: 1.75
Used Year To Date: 27.25
Added This Week: 3.5
Added Year To Date: 76
Net Used For 2011: -48.75

See how everyone else is doing!

Friday, July 29, 2011

Thread Painting Closeups

I have made a little more progress on my thread painting:

I promised some close-ups, so here they are!

This is one of the mountains. I don't think my thread color choice was great in this, but at least it shows up well in the picture! The top is done with a straight stitch, moving the fabric relatively quickly. The curvy contours are done using a zigzag stitch and moving the fabric quite slowly. The piece is held at an angle while doing that:

Here is a tree line. The top is done the same way as the top of the mountain. The inside detail is also a zigzag stitch, but this time I moved the fabric faster, and it was at a 90-degree angle to give that up-and-down look. At the bottom, there are some reeds, which are done on a straight stitch again.

Here is the bottom of the tree and the water. Ignore the texture on the tree trunk--it's water-soluble stabilizer that was used to draw the tree branches. The swirl on the tree was a zigzag stitch, as was the stitching on the water, but again with the fabric held at different angles. I covered the water with some blue shimmery tulle before stitching.

Here is some more detail on the tree, and the foliage added. The foliage is also a straight stitch, but this time moving the fabric very quickly and somewhat haphazardly.

There is still more stitching to be done!

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Sunday Stash Report

I took my first quilt class this weekend, so I used up a bit of fabric! I'll post more details soon, but here's what I've created so far for my first thread painted landscape:

Those little butterflies are pins, not a design element!

Also, I've been pondering this pile of color in my future craft room:

Those are paint chips--after painting a few samples...

I've settled on "Mexican Moonlight" for the bottom and "Glazed Pears" (on the left) for the sloped walls. Most of the bottom will be covered by furniture, so hopefully it won't interfere with my ability to think about colors in there. I do wonder if paint companies employ someone to come up with names for paint colors. I wish that was my job!

Used This Week: 0.25
Used Year To Date: 25.5
Added This Week: 0
Added Year To Date: 72.5
Net Used For 2011: -47

See all the other reports!

Thursday, July 21, 2011


I like the skirt I made a couple of weeks ago so much I decided to order more fabric and make a bunch more.

And a friend of mine wanted a skirt like that too, so I made her one as well:

Since I had the machine up set up for embroidery, I figured I might as well get my octopi embroidered on the quilt top that's been sitting around waiting for embroidered octopi.

They're subtle!

Now to find backing and quilt it!

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Sunday Stash Report

It's not been a good week so I haven't gotten any sewing done this week--but I did finally get the binding done on that rainbow pinwheel quilt last week, so I can show you a finish so that this post is less boring:

And here are a couple of closeups.

I ordered some cotton knit the week before to make some more skirts, and my order arrived this week. Somehow, a half yard of quilting fabric found its way in.

Used This Week: 0
Used Year To Date: 25.25
Added This Week: 0.5
Added Year To Date: 72.5
Net Used For 2011: -47.25

See how everyone else is doing.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Sunday Stash Report

In this week: 3 1/8 yards, basic black and white-on-white that wouldn't make for very interesting pictures!

My "out," unfortunately, doesn't add up to any meaningful yardage, but I am pleased with this little mug rug that I whipped up last night for a dear friend who is far away and sick. Hopefully she is resting and not reading my blog! :)

Used This Week: 0
Used Year To Date: 25.25
Added This Week: 3.125
Added Year To Date: 72
Net Used For 2011: -46.75

See how everyone else is doing.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

I'm being productive!

I've had a relatively productive week. Here is the pattern I made with our little randomization program last week...

...and here is the finished quilt top! I only had to make one small change because I ended up with one too few pieces of the blue tweed.

Since it's a simple pattern, I'd like to do some reasonably fancy quilting--we'll see how that goes, since I'm really not that good at the actual quilting bit.

I also finally got my dad's birthday pajama pants (purchased, I'm afraid) embroidered:

And then I liked the design so much I put it on a jersey skirt I made for myself:

I'm having a skirt-wearing sort of summer, and this skirt is so comfortable I think I'm going to make myself a bunch more!