This month's theme for the Sketchbook Challenge was Moons and Stars. This was nice actually, since I already have a project sketched out that involves moons and stars. Here's my sketch from my idea book:
These images were inspired my the beautiful illustrations of Sally Matthews in several vintage Arch books that we read to our kids. Her style is very fun and it speaks to me on some level. So I decided to incorporate some ideas from her into a quilt. Actually, this may turn into a mixed media project. I can see this with metallic threads and beads around the moon and stars. It will be great once it comes into realization, but that will be a while. This one is just sitting in my idea book for a later day.
With some major changes happening to me lately, (like pregnancy!) my garment of the month plans have changed dramatically. I did have planned a fitted long sleeve shirt and lined jacket for my last two garments. However, my measurements have already changed. Rather than making garments that I won't fit into and possibly could never fit into again, I decided to scrap the fitted garment plans and come up with something else that I needed to wear.
This is a Folkwear pattern #269, the Metropolitan Hat. This hat design comes from my very favorite fashion time period, the Edwardian era. Just after the Victorian age, and right before the Roaring Twenties, this was, I think, some of the best fashion silhouettes. Making this hat in floppy velveteen was great too. It forced me to work with velveteen, which was new for me. I lined the hat in polka dot cotton too, which just upped the cute factor. It is warm and comfy. I've already worn it lots and it's perfect for this early and very cold winter we're having here in Vermont.
It was also a small and transportable project that I actually hand sewed. As I transition from my sewing room to a temporary set up in the house, I was still able to sew this in a few nights. I was really pleased with how the whole thing turned out.
Have you ever made your own hat?
Happy Birthday to Me!
I got a new cutting mat and scissors from Havel's for my birthday this year. This iss the first new cutting mat I've had since I started quilting 15 years ago! And my first new scissors in about 10 years. Yikes! I guess it was time for a change.
This will definitely liven up my sewing room a bit. This cutting mat also is nice and cushioned, so it should be easy on the wrists for long term cutting. I'm so looking forward to using them. I just hope the cold chill of my craft room won't ruin the plastic!
The time between fall and winter is always a hard one for my business. My personal life gets extremely busy around the holidays and sewing and blogging tend to take a back seat. Also, my craft room is only three season friendly, and when winter sets in (which it seems to have a done a tad early this year) it's almost impossible for me to sew out there. Then I have to figure out where I want to set up my temporary sewing area. Although I loved having my gear in the trunk last year, I'm not so sure that will work again this year. My kids are now big enough to get into the trunk!
Any suggestions from other sewing mamas? How do you keep your gear handy but safe from little fingers?
If you haven't heard of chain piecing, then you probably aren't a quilter. But perhaps you are new to the quilting world and haven't heard of this wonderful time and thread saving technique.
Chain piecing is a method of sewing your cut pieces together by putting the same pieces through your machine one after another with only having to stop your needle (or no stopping, depending on your comfort level). When you stop sewing in between every block you pull out thread to cut off your piece, and then starting a new piece with a big lead of thread that just gets cut off again.
With chain piecing all your pieces come out looking like banner flags all connected together, and then you get to have the fun of snipping them all apart. It's my #1 go to method for speeding up sewing. It saves so much time and thread. I took this picture when I was all done sewing square pairs for the first patchwork quilt. Next post, you'll get to see the four square patches put together.
Rest in peace dear Marion Camilla Aumer Redder.
This is the woman who first taught me to quilt when I was 16 when I stayed with her a couple of weeks one summer. She has been an inspiration to me in so many ways beyond sewing though. She raised twelve kids on a farm, all before internet, dishwashers and disposable diapers. Such a strong lady, and now she finally has her long peace and has rejoined her husband in heaven. Good-bye Grandma! I will miss you.
As I have simplified and streamlined my sewing projects for the busyness of the holidays, it's been very interesting to note my own reactions. Sometimes, it seems boring to be working on just the patchwork quilts. Other times, I love how fast it's getting put together, and how much accomplishment I get out of my steady progress on just one project. I'm not sure if I want to adopt this as a full-time work ethic, one quilt at a time. I don't think I know any quilter who works like that, unless they are under a deadline (like me). Still though, seeing my stack of 4 square patches growing daily to a respectable amount has been very satisfying.
Do you guys work on one project at a time?
Patchwork Quilt Check-In
Almost there! 138 more to go!
I'm having some friends donate some squares too, so that is helping a lot. What do you guys think?
I finally got my skirt done, just a few days past last month. I'm convinced that people who have more time to focus on this skirt could easily finish it in a weekend. It was so easy to piece and assemble.
As to new skills learned with this skirt, I figured out how to use my button hole foot! I'll admit that getting over my own mental blocks was hardest of all. Getting the foot on and using it were so easy, I was a little ashamed that I had hemmed and hawed as long as I did before I did it. You need button holes for the string to pull through at the waist, to finish them off nicely. Here's to learning that new thing and getting out of our comfort zone!