Saturday, September 18, 2021

Sew busy!

 I wish I was 'Sew' Busy rather than 'So' Busy. The beginning of the school year is always busy but this year it has been extremely busy! The District I work for is short on subs, so I'm working everyday that I'm available with few exceptions. I also babysit my grandson 2 days a week so it leaves me with little time to sew, write blog posts, or even read them. 

I did manage to sew my monthly blocks for the Rainbow Scrap Challenge. The color for September is ORANGE!

Wonky Shoo Fly blocks in orange!
All the blocks so far!
Joy Luck blocks in orange!
All the Joy Luck blocks so far!
I'm linking up to ScrapHappySaturday@So Scrappy.
I also managed to do the September step for the Macaron Mystery QAL 
with Cheryl Burkley @MeadowMistDesigns.
Living in Chicagoland, I was able to take advantage of seeing the Bisa Butler exhibit at the Chicago Art Institute. If you are not aware of the work of Bisa Butler, I encourage you to look it up as she is an amazing quilt artist! The quilts on display are her portrait quilts! They tell stories of her life and of the lives of others African Americans.

Her use of colors and fabrics from Africa add to the beauty of these quilts! The details in her quilts are truly amazing!
She layers fabrics like a painter layers paint.
I also love the way she places her figures on her choice of background fabrics. 
Here are just a few of the many pictures I took as I couldn't get enough of seeing these wonderful pieces of art and the emotion they evoke. 
If you get a chance to see her work, don't hesitate! It is sew worth it!

Saturday, September 4, 2021

Reopened for business

 Yay! My sewing room remake is finished at least enough to move back in and use. I still need to organize some things in the new space and buy some bins. It feels so good and I really love my new cutting table!

Most of the room is the same; just rearranged except for the new cutting table and new flooring. For years I was using a cabinet from my mom which was raised up to the correct height by resting on cinder blocks for my cutting table. It worked fine but it was a bit wobbly. The floor was carpet and most difficult to keep clean of threads, fabric trimmings, and pins. 
We started with removing the carpet and laying vinyl floor planks. To replace the cutting table I found an IKEA hack using 3 Kallax 4x4 units. We bought a butcher block plank from Home Depot. My DH and I worked to put it together. My cutting mat fits perfectly on one end of the cutting table. 

(A little proof that I used power tools to help however, my DH did most of the work)
Throughout August, I participated in the #30daysofimprovqal on IG. For my final composition, I decided to add large borders of negative space to increase the size. 
Here is the final composition.
And today, I found a bit of time to pin baste it.
The start of September means August calendar journal is complete! I have been journaling a thing or two about each of my days since the beginning of the year! 
My calendar journaling actually goes back quite a few years ~in 2013 and 2014 I made monthly calendar pages out of fabric. When my mom got sick I could no longer keep up. During the following years I would see Annie's journals and how cool and creative they were. She inspired me to pick up calendar journaling once again ~ this time using a calendar download, printed on cardstock. 
I also finished the new charity blocks for the September/October block drive for Covered in Love. 
September brings a new color ~ ORANGE 
Stay tuned for projects in orange and the next step in the Macaron Mystery QAL.

Saturday, August 21, 2021

A Finish!

As I have mentioned, I have been working on a commissioned art quilt. A teacher friend ask me to make a wall hanging of the Chicago skyline for her new renovated basement. She sent me this link to give me an idea of what she wanted. This quilt's finished size was much bigger than the wall hanging my friend wanted so I needed to do a bunch of resizing. I also wanted to do it a bit different but was thankful for the starting point. 

Warning: This is a photo heavy post!

           Out came my graph paper, colored pencils and a lot of math!                        Yes, I design the old method as I don't have a design program. 

After drawing the major buildings and the fountain, I divided into sections so it could be stitched together. There were 5 vertical sections and one horizontal section that was divided into 5 sections. 
I figured out each section's cutting information and which sections would need freezer paper piecing. I shopped for specific fabrics for many of the buildings, but also found a few perfect pieces in my stash. 
              I didn't take pictures of each section as I was piecing it but here is the front and back of the section of the Hancock building. 
This is one of the buildings that needed to be pieced using freezer paper. 

You can see the first 4 sections below.
Below are the 5 vertical sections sewn together.
I didn't take any more progress pictures but here is the finished quilt.
Details of the buildings and quilting.

The backing is a Chicago print from JoAnn's. It is perfect!
On the label, I named the major buildings and the fountain.
Finished size 24" x 34"
It was finally ready to be delivered. My friend was very excited and overjoyed with the outcome. She loved everything about it! 
It will soon be hanging in her newly renovated Chicago themed basement!
I'm linking to Can I Get a Whoop, Whoop? @Confessions of a fabric addict. Linking to favorite finish at Meadow Mist Design. 

A Much Needed Update!

 It has been almost a month since I have posted. I have been doing a bunch of sewing but since my sewing room has been under construction, it has been difficult. 

August's color for the RSC is aqua blues. Here are my blocks!

Wonky Shoo Fly

Joy Luck
I also cut pieces for my EPP tumblers but haven't stitched them yet.
I'll link up to Scrap Happy Saturday @ So Scrappy.

Here is my July calendar journal. Only 1 week before August is over and I'm just getting this posted. That's how it goes sometimes!

I joined the #30daysofimprovqal on IG in the beginning of August. This QAL is hosted by @ShannonFraiserdesigns and Amanda @Broadclothstudio. Each week is dedicated to a theme and each day is a prompt. We are already finished with 3 of the 4 weeks. 
The 1st week was all about squares. Here are my blocks.

Week 2 was about stripes.

Week 3 was about triangles.

Only 1 week left!
Linking to Finished or Not Friday @Ayycia Quilts.

School has started and I am back to work. I'm still babysitting by grandson 2 days each week. My sewing room isn't quite finished but it is close. Here are a few pictures.
My sewing table, cutting station and ironing board are still not in. 
The top to my new cutting station isn't on yet.

I'll leave you with some cute pictures of my grandson!

Friday, July 23, 2021

A small finish and a big makeover

 A while back, between working on the Costa Rica quilt, I got this book out of my library.

I have always been intrigued by these amazing quilts when I have seen them at quilt shows. Susan @QuiltFabrication showed this design on her blog. It was simple enough to do as a table runner and the size was preferable to the one in the book. 
I choose to do small before making a large quilt as they looked complicated.
I choose 3 Kona blues from my stash and Kona silver for the background. 
This method of 3D quilts is made with triangles. You sew each column of triangles together rather than rows. 
Using 3" triangles, this table runner finishes at 15 1/2" x 47 1/2". I straight line quilted 1/4" around each color area ~ simple but effective. 
I used a backing from my stash. 
I think I may make some placemats to go with this table runner. I'm not sure how much of the backing I have left but I'm sure I can find something. 😆
Linking to Finished or Not Friday @Alycia Quilts, Beauty Pageant @Bolttobeauty, and Friday Foto Fun @Poweredbyquilting

But that will happen after this is done!
My sewing room makeover!
This is where I sew.
It is a small room in our basement. It is carpeted with a berber, the same as the family room part of our basement. 
It is chock full of sewing and crafting supplies, fabric, books etc. besides my sewing, cutting and ironing stations.
Amazingly, I usually can locate anything in my room pretty quickly. 
However, carpeting is not the best flooring for a sewing room. I am pretty diligent about picking up dropped pins and needles and I have a rule to always wear shoes in my sewing room but there is an occasional pin that drops without my knowledge. Also, threads and fabric cuttings are difficult to keep cleaned off the floor. 
...this is the current status of my sewing room. We will be laying a laminate flooring down that can easily be swept and washed. 
So where did all the stuff go?
Yikes! That's a lot of stuff but it did give me the opportunity to weed through some things that I no longer want or need (much of it donated to me.)
My sewing machine and ironing station was moved up to a spare bedroom, and my cutting station is the dining room table. I do have a commissioned project that I'm working on. More on that later and an update on our progress.