Wherein we have moved sewing operations…

In the time honored tradition of Sewists the world over…I have taken over the dining room. I’m sure many of you can sympathize. The move was initially born out of the purchase of an oversized scanner for my photo organizing business …which meant that the task of digitizing images could not co-exist with a hobby that produces lint, lots of lint.

Add to this the pandemic necessity of making several hundred masks and my compact sewing space upstairs was no longer up to the task. It is nice to be in the main part of the house within shouting distance of the hubs who is WFH in the living room and really nice light during the day. There is also far more room to spread out.

This past season has not seen a great deal of sewing happening but there has been pattern prep and toiles constructed and looking forward to more sewing now that the weather has turned here in New England.

But first…the mending pile…

Hoping to share more soon! What are your fall crafty plans?

2020 1st Q Creative Wins !

May 3 – I am finding one way to grab any kind of positivity out there is to look back and acknowledge things that I have completed (Complete – my 2020 word) and celebrating that…since 1/3 of the 2nd qtr of 2020 is done (how did that happen…because we are all just working and/or sitting in our houses) I figured it’s high time to note what I managed to complete in the first quarter of 2020 for my own tracking…

January

Memorykeeping: Finished my December Daily album (38 layouts) and made 10 other pages. Worked on Stacy Julian’s 20in20 class setting up project ideas and completed 1 project for that, finding photos of myself for an project about me.

Fiber: Started a Cables and Colorwork Class taught by my friend at Cambridge Center for Adult Ed. Worked on broken rib cowl, worked on Briochealicious shawl. Finished mini quilt and quilt blocks.

Went to FLA with the Fam ! (Album or photo book forthcoming this year)

February

Memorykeeping: finished my OneLittleWord album for 2019 (27 layouts), and made 8 other pages.

Fiber: Continued C & C class, broken rib cowl & Briochealicious shawl. Finished a cable knit hat, with fun faux fur pom pom. Started the Hinterland dress in yummmmyyyyyy red buffalo check flannel. Took old binding off of circus quilt…

Other stuff: Designed a poster of Gun Digest covers painted by my Uncle, James Triggs.

March:

Memorykeeping: Made a photo book of Shadows “stick of the day” and sent copies to the girls at school. Completed my March One Little Word work. I think I only did one digi-layout … I know I have other scrappy layouts but quite frankly, March was when the world fell apart so I am amazed I did anything at all…

Fiber: Finished! Hinterland dress in yummmmyyyyyy red buffalo check flannel (photo before I put the black buttons on… I actually don’t think I took a photo of it completely done… at any rate, it qualifies as secret pajamas.

Re-bound the vintage circus quilt (Pretty sure it was my sisters quilt when she was little so it’s going back to her so she can use it with her grands!) Binding is still one of my bugaboo’s in quilting, v tricky for me to get right on both sides with the machine stitching… but I keep plugging away at it.

And March was when mask making and scrub cap making started… I only made two caps for my Dr friend but began what would end up as over 200 masks for family, friends, church family and donation to a nursing home.

Alright then. Things are so weird right now, no other way to say it… I find that if I don’t jot down or take photos of what’s going on… it all becomes one big blur of mush overlaid with nothing but bad news from the outside world, especially from the middle of March onwards… But that is why we make things right? To keep our hands busy, our minds calm and to spread some cheer in the world.

What are you making this spring? Stay safe and wash your hands everybody…

2019 Makes

I don’t know about you but did it seem like January was concurrently extremely long and extremely fast moving?? I had meant to post a recap of my making adventures last month but since it feels like February is the new January … here goes!

Last year was super busy with two graduating HS Seniors, College selection / College visits / Buying all the things for College, a business and a household I was not sure that I actually had managed to make anything… but the photo evidence tells the tale (as I may have mentioned in a previous post, I am not super good at tracking things). Photos below in no particular order (and I’m experimenting with photo display style so bear with me…

Knitting makes included: My second pair of socks in Regia Perfect yarn : Lace Cowl (can’t remember the pattern now) : Cable hat out of Madeline Tosh Home (just needs the faux fur pom pom I bought last weekend) : Cable scarf out of Madeline Tosh ASAP (needs to be re-blocked!) : Baby sweater for our contractors first baby ! There was also a lot of filler knitting on the scrap blanket that is always nearby and also STILL working on the brioche shaw…which I should finish before I am eligible for Social Security!

Sewing makes included: Hemming and altering 3 Prom Gowns (!) : Drawstring shorts : Cashmerette Springfield Top in floral rayon : Sew Liberated Metamorphic reversible dress in sanded rayon (it’s like wearing secret pajamas!) : Butterick 2925 grey knit top (no idea where I got the fabric!) : 2 underwire bras in an Orange Lingerie weekend bra workshop : Helen’s Closet Patterns Elliot tee shirt in black jersey and Elliot Sweater in grey sweater knit : Helen’s Closet Patterns Blackwood Cardigan in denim blue herringbone french terry ( LOVE this pattern and have a cream sweatshirt material on deck for another sweater) and some more organizational pouches for Charlie out of my cotton fabric stash!

As I mentioned in my post about quilting, I am making modest sewing goals for 2020… one wardrobe piece a month. January will be the Sew Liberated Hinterland dress in red/black buffalo check flannel (yes, I am aware that as of this writing it’s February 4th). February will be some kind of shirt/tunic out of a butternut herringbone flannel and March will be pants in a olive green heavy twill. I am determined to winnow down the wardrobe fabric stash this year and all three of these fabrics were purchased in 2019 or earlier !

Wish me luck! What are you sewing in 2020??? Do you plan or do you sew on a whim??

2020 Mini Quilt project – January

I have been thinking about crafting goals since last December. I have the habit of making lists of things to do that are so huge that there are literally not enough hours in the day to get it all done. Then I get frustrated that I can’t get 40 hours of work done in a 16 hour day (assuming 8 hrs for sleep … but not accounting for anything else like work, or dog walking or laundry… you get the idea). SO This year I decided to set ATTAINABLE goals for my creative endeavors. I am still working through the details on knitting and memory keeping (but enough to say that my goal is to use up both stashes of supplies) but I have narrowed down quilting and garment making.

Today…I present to you completed project #1 on the quilting list for 2020! My quilting goal this year is to complete at least one quilt block and a mini quilt each month following Alyce Blyths “Mini Master Pieces” book of 12 essential blocks and techniques. I love Alyce and several years participated in a Half Square Triangle quilt along with the result being a beautiful quilt for our home!

The first lesson is a basic 9-patch block, super simple so I wanted to play with dark backgrounds and using some fabrics from my stash that have been aging like fine wine under the piles ;-). I’m very happy with the result!

The block finished size will be 6″ square and I made up 7 to set aside and see what percolates after working on more blocks from the book.

I don’t have a design wall but fortunately, the mini quilt is about 24″ square so laying out the squares on the craft table totally works! Some blocks were fussy cut around motifs and I will admit to liberal use of the seam ripper when I sewed blocks together in the wrong order and upside down.

No photos of quilting, I used two layers of scrap cotton batting… I think by the end of this project I will have used up my bin of batting scraps in the attic – huzzah! I set my machine to it’s slowest setting and used my walking foot, remembering I had quilting gloves after about 1/3 of the way done. Definitely room for improvement as far as machine quilting. But that is the beauty in smaller projects, room for experimenting on a small scale.

I am very pleased with the finished product! This series will also be a good exercise in binding. My corners need a bit of work and there was a bit of hand stitching involved but still a success!!

Looking forward to Februarys block…I’ve got my fabric all pulled and set aside!

What projects are you working on in 2020?

(Also…am not a huge fan of this new “block” arrangement on WordPress, I feel like it’s getting in the way right now more than it’s helping…anyone else out there have feelings on this???)

In the Studio:: On tossing out and starting fresh

This past week I did an extensive studio clean-up and scrapbooking supply organization (don’t get too excited, still not quite done with that part but it’s coming along nicely).  I have a pile of sewing projects to start/finish and a list of layouts and albums both digi and paper to work on, oh and hello…December Daily will be upon us before we know it – ahem!

I have been vexed by a dress that I sewed in April, and it has been in the pile and on the list since then.

Enter McCalls M5890

mccall-s-patterns-m5890-misses-jackets-top-dresses-and-pants-in-2-lengths-size-ff-16-18-20-22_7353165

I had a lot of trouble with my sewing machine which resulted in not a great sewing outcome for this garment… the fit was OK and I wasn’t as wild about the fabric as a long dress, and the topstitching was horrible due to said machine problem (since having machine thoroughly cleaned this fall, the problems have all resolved themselves…magic!)  and I just wasn’t feeling it.  at.  all.   For months I’ve been going back and forth… can I fix the topstitching?  Should I just make a skirt out of it (I have about a yard extra to make waistbands etc…) and try and salvage something?  Do I even like the pattern anymore?  Do I like the fabric anymore?

Answers to above ?’s ??  No fixing the topstitching… No to the skirt, it’s just too contrived…No to salvage….No to the pattern, at least the top of the dress, don’t like how the neck/arm/capsleeve came together weirdly…No to the fabric, maybe for a t-shirt or shorts but not a dress, plus, it’s winter now ugh.

So here is my answer to the above conundrum:

freedomfromtiedye

Yep…86’d the whole thing… including the extra fabric…and I crossed it off my list.  I have to say, it was really hard to just toss it in the trash.  The save-every-scrap part of me was screaming but for the good of my sewing karma, it had to go.

I feel so much better now.

On to the next project!

Have you ever totally trashed a project?  Was it freeing or guilt inducing?