Tuesday, May 5, 2020

Get out the seam ripper

The weather is just as out of sorts with the world as everything else. One day, we're sweltering in the heat (well, not quite - but it was warm), and this morning, I turned the heat back on in the house. I won't be sitting outside any time soon which is probably a good thing since I have so much that I want to do and there just aren't enough hours in the day.

I don't think I posted the two blocks that I worked on last week for our Christmas Fig sew-along.

There were a lot of flying geese in these two blocks. But I'm very happy with the result. I didn't pres any of those seams open and they are FLAT.

Block one for Christmas Fig sew along

This was the second block and while I'm happy with it, I was listening to my audiobook while I was making it and NOT paying attention to the way the seams got pressed. I wasn't happy with myself for that. I decided that I couldn't let it go and so this morning, I ripped out the block - well I ripped part of it apart so I could repress some of the seams and thus allowing me to twirl a few more seams and reduce bulk where those points met.

The second block for Christmas Fig sew-along

So I ripped off the outer parts and repressed four small seams. Then I resewed those sections together. I was taking the picture and then realized - OH CRAP - look what I did!!!  Yep - that section on the right got sewn on UPSIDE down. I guess I'll be having another session with the ripper later this morning. But I'm much happier with the block and I'm glad that I took it apart.

Oops - an error to fix

While I like to be a speed demon when I sew and get things done, I'm perfectly OK with the slow sewing movement. Slow and steady - focus on one thing. Don't worry about the ton of things that need to be done, just be in the moment. How the heck did that happen? But you know what? I'm loving it. I don't feel overwhelmed, I don't feel pressure, I'm just enjoying sewing. And this part of what I'm doing is my hobby and I should be enjoying it. Otherwise, I should find a new hobby!!!

Those two blocks produced a bunch of little triangles. I know - I can't help myself. I CANNOT throw them away. I'm perfectly OK with that. It all fits in with the slow sewing movement. I love making things from nothing. I'm happy to report that I'm keeping up to date with the trimming. Once I have about four on the ironing board (they are used as enders/leaders), then I press them. Then I trim them.

Little half square triangles

These are larger than the ones I made with the Thangles. By the way - NO ONE rushed me an e-mail to say they wanted those teeny tiny Thangles. Now, why is that??

Speaking of the tiny Thangles, I got my two mini-blocks done. They are just the cutest things. They are 2" finished!!!

Two orphan mini blocks

I also finished a block for an exchange and it has to go in the mail today. I need a US stamp so I have to walk to the post office to get one. I have been 100% self-isolated for seven weeks or whatever the time frame has been that I haven't been face-to-face with anyone in a retail environment since that time. I'm not a shy person, but what if I don't follow the protocol in the stores? How will I know what's expected of me?

I might come back traumatized! That's not to make fun - it's just that it's been so long! I'm sure that I'll be OK, but it's going to be weird.

Speaking of trimming - I also have these items that need to be trimmed. I've found them over the last couple of weeks and they ended up in the laundry basket upstairs. Lots more enders/leaders that need to be trimmed and YES some of them are small. Going forward, I'm no longer going to save the teeny tiny ones. If I can't get a 1 ½" half-square triangle from it - then it's history!

Things to square up

I have a couple of audiobooks that are coming due and it would be the perfect exercise to do while listening to the audiobook. Mindless trimming. I can handle that without making a mistake.

I do have a giveaway box in the office. As I find things (from the office or anywhere in the house including the studios, it goes in the give-away box). Now we can't do any drop-offs at this time, but I hope to have a couple of boxes for when we can get out.

I found four placemats and four napkins that I had purchased a while ago. A LONG while ago. The intention was to do some embroidery or applique on them. I don't think that's going to happen so they go in the box. If someone wants them, you are welcome. I'd be happy to dig them out of the donation box for you.

Napkins and placemats to be donated

I could still embroider on the napkins, or do some cute little applique, but the placemats are thick and whatever I do, I know I won't be happy on the underside and I can't hide it unless I take them apart. So they are gone!

I also found a bag filled with hardware to make a roman shade. It's going in the donation box as well unless there is someone out there who would like it.

Hardware for a roman shade
I"m not making quick progress on clearing up the worktables in Studio B, but that's OK. I grab a few things every day and try to find a home for it. WAIT - I decide if I want to keep it and then I find a home for it. If I don't and I think someone else might want it - it gets posted here or I send messages to the people I think might like the item.

I'm thrilled with the progress. Every time I look at the table, I think - what if there was a sewing day today and I had to move everything. While there's still a lot of stuff to move, it wouldn't take long and the nice thing is knowing that there isn't anything else junky around. This is it!!!

The work tables

Oh - I found one other thing on the table. This pack of Shrinky Dinks. Yep - I bought it because someone had done something cool with it. What??? Now, what do I do with the pack??? I could keep it, but really? Will I do something with it? Not likely. It would be a good project for shut-in kids at this point in time. I guess what I'm saying is that it's up for grabs as well. What a total waste of money - but I'm over that. Just get this stuff out of the house. I'm torn - maybe I'll have a look online to see what I could do, but seriously if someone wants it, I could probably be easily persuaded to give it up.

A brand new pack of Shrinky Dinks

I got a NO from the first person I offered the fun fur to. I'll try the second person today. If not, it's going in the donation box. Or I might take that to the school board when they are open later and accepting donations.

But what a mess it makes - all that loose fur. I'm still finding bits of it. It looks like Big Bird was dancing in Studio B.

Bits of yellow fun fur
I did a bit more tidying in the office as well. When fabric companies started producing Lookbooks, I thought I had died and gone to heaven. I loved looking at the new collections. These are from 2018. The collections are LONG GONE. And the books are now in the recycling bin, which I emptied yesterday.

Lookbooks from 2018

I'm learning that it's OK to look at the fabric collections online. And all the Lookbooks from most companies are online. I'm weaning myself off the Lookbooks. I won't request any going forward. I found these ones as well. They are also gone.

More Lookbooks
What's really sad is that when we go to Quilt Market or wherever we COVET those books. Yet, they are heavy to carry, they are expensive to produce, they have a VERY LIMITED lifespan and it's a TOTAL waste of resources. We NEED to get more in tune with technology and look at this stuff online. That's what I've been doing. Recently, I've been working with several fabric companies and I don't have their Lookbooks and I've survived. I think I'm cured!!!!

I've kept a few of the more recent Lookbooks that I acquired and of course, I've kept all the swatch cards - those are very handy to have.

Back to Studio B where I got some quilting done. I have to FINISH this one audiobook (did he or did he not kidnap the child? or was it the wife?) and quilting is a good exercise to do while listening.

This is a VERY scrappy quilt. It's good for a young person. It's made with novelty fabrics so will make a great I Spy quilt.

Community project quilt - DONE

I was on a roll and looking for another small quilt to do. I found this one made with FLEECE squares. So it got done as well. The serged seams were a bit bumpy, but it turned out OK. I think I prefer the fleece sewn together with a flatlock seam. It's much flatter.  My learning for yesterday.

Community project quilt - DONE

The top is made of fleece and I had fleece for the backing. I didn't put any batting in it - I think it's going to be warm enough without batting.

The backing of the quilt is fleece

I trimmed all four of the quilts that I had quilted this week. Now to find some binding for them.

Four quilts that are trimmed and ready for binding

I have this stuff. What the heck is it called? It's the satin that goes on the edge of blankets. I wonder if it would work for the fleece quilts. If so - how the heck does one sew it on???

Satin for binding??

I'm trying to get the next set of quilts together for Quilts of Valour. I found a nice one that was a wee bit too small, but I found, in my stash of Kansas Troubles fabric, something that works for a border to make it larger. Yes - it's sad that there's a WHOLE basket filled with this kind of fabric. And LOADS of pieces that are large enough for backings. We won't go there!!!! 

Borders, binding and backing ready to be sewn

Later today, I'm going to try and get that top ready for the long arm.

I also found a small quilt top that had been given to me. The person who made it didn't like the way it turned out. I had looked at it several times to try and see if I could fix it. Well, I was in that kind of a mood yesterday and I ripped it out. The fabrics in the top are cuddle, cotton, and flannel. I can live with the cotton and flannel together (but who the heck would mix those three??). With a note to NOT wash the fabrics on the pattern.

Anyway, it turns out the pieces were not cut properly and thus forced to fit. No wonder it looked wonky. I've decided to substitute some cotton for the cuddle and I'll leave the flannel in it. While listening to my audiobook, I got it entirely ripped out. It was just one of those days!!!!  I hate to admit it, but I find it very soothing to pick things apart. BUT - my hourly rate to do it for someone else is very high!!!

A quilt ripped apart and ready to resew back together

I JUST GOT A TEXT from someone who wants the Thangles. SOLD (well - sold for free!)

Lots more on the slate to get done today. It's going to take years before I could say - hmm - what should I start new today!  WAIT -- I have TWO new things that I hope to make today. Just wait until you see what they are.

On that note, I hope that everyone is surviving the self-isolation. I know that at our house, we are in a good place as we don't have young children at home, we're used to working from home and we have our two girls to keep us entertained. I'm just using it as a time to sort out my life that I never seemed to have time to do before. Trust me, I hope things are going to change as we go forward as I'm liking this new, more relaxed environment!!!

Oh, shoot  - I keep forgetting to mention the ZOOM presentation on needles. That's Wednesday, May 6 at 7 PM EST. The link will be posted tomorrow.

Have a super day!!!!


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