Monday, August 24, 2020

Makers are going make

WOW -- I can't say enough for the inspiration I receive through the Virtual Retreats. Not only that, but I've made new friends, been able to stay connected to other friends, and keep in touch with friends that no longer live close by. While it would be great to see everyone in person, getting that group together would be impossible! I love Virtual Retreats.

I'm going to whisper this next sentence. I ALMOST like the virtual retreats to our in-person sewing days. Why? We get to visit with each other, but we don't have any of the "heavy-lifting" - you NEVER forget to bring anything, no tables to set up, no sewing machine or project to pack. I think we're getting spoiled!!

It's going to be a while before we can get back to our in-person Monday sewing. I think the church might be getting ready to receive us, but many members of the group aren't prepared to gather in person yet. Perhaps I might think about having a small sewing group at my house. Four people! I'll think about that.

The conversations we had over the last two days were extremely entertaining and informative. We got to see loads of show and tell, and I learned so much, it was insane. I kept sending myself e-mails so I could remember to do some more research on certain things.

I learned about gardening, knitting (are you a flicker or a wrapper??), dog grooming, harvesting honey from a beehive, Instapots, and well - a ton more. It was loads of fun!

But best of all, it was just fun to sew with like-minded people and have loads of fun. Yesterday we entertained ourselves, all the way from Germany to Saskatchewan, from North Bay to London! It was super fun, and you should seriously think about stopping by for the next one. It's scheduled for September 19 (starting at noon) and September 20. That's a Saturday and a Sunday.

Part of my problem is that I'm so darned inspired that I could literally sew all day and night or so it seems. Over 20 years ago, I took a year's leave of absence from my good paying day job so I could get sewing and quilting out of my system. Well, that hasn't happened yet, and I'd almost say that's it worse now than it was before.

I also got some inspiration. I dug out these cross stitch pieces that I made for M when she was a baby. I never did anything with them, and they've been tossed from bag to bag. Well, it's time to do something with them. They are now in the current projects bag. I'm going to sew some Winnie the Pooh fabric to them and make a wall hanging. Hey - I got loads of Winnie the Pooh fabric. It's a no brainer and would take a couple of hours.

Winnie the Pooh cross stitch

I mean - it's time to do something with these. The cross stitch pieces are adorable and would make an excellent wallhanging for someone.

I'm also inspired to make some candy pouches with zippers. Thanks, Susan! I've even got the fusible vinyl. I just need to find the candy bags!

Fusible vinyl

Now I have to make a trip to the grocery store to find interesting food bags. I don't care what's in them - I want the bag! I've got a couple of people who are going to save a few bags for me! This is totally crazy, but they are so cute! Don't know what they look like? Check out this link. There's a tutorial as well at that link.

Despite all the chatting, I got a lot accomplished yesterday. I sewed up two more rows on the disappearing nine-patch. I'm making good progress. I'm not sure that I'll get it finished for next Sunday. Once the rows are together, it should go much quicker, but I have to press those seams on the back, and that takes a LONG time, especially if I have to flip them and resew. And guess what? HALF of them have to be done that way. I know - it's crazy, but the end result will be so much better.

Disappearing nine-patch

I'm over halfway through the rows, and I even fixed that row that had the two fabrics side by side. I had to do that on another row as well.

We had a discussion on how dense you should quilt your projects—the denser the quilting, the denser, and stiffer the finished item. I'd be cautious about quilting a bed quilt too densely, but a wallhanging? I'd go crazy with the quilting. The thing to remember is that you should try to keep the density the same throughout the project.

Years ago, I made a series of samples of different kinds of batting. Some were prewashed, and some were not. All were washed after they were finished. I made a LOT of examples - fifty to be exact.

My batting samples

I pulled out one of the worst ones to show what happens if the density is not consistent. It's a bit hard to see in this photo, but that center of that feathered wreath is very puffy. Too puffy to look nice.

Inconsistent density for quilting

Here's a different view of the piece. That outer edge is UGLY and look at the center - PUFFY. Be consistent with the density, especially if the piece is going to be washed.

Sample of density for quilting

This particular sample was made with wool batting. I would strongly suggest that you make this kind of sample for the batting that you usually use. Test it, so you know how it will react. That's mostly how I learned everything I know. I could have Googled it and I still Google stuff today, but I spent hours, days, and weeks, experimenting. Besides, Google wasn't around when I was learning.

The information was written on the sample

This morning, because I was SO EXCITED to get back to sewing, I was up very early. I decided to take a peek in one of the bags of stuff to see what I could deal with. I found a PANEL! This is similar to the dream big panel and would be great as a background for some applique. It's now with the other panels.

A panel

 I found more batting samples. I'll remove the labels and the pins, and then they'll either go in the pet mat bag or the bag with the other batting pieces that I give away. I haven't used these samples in years, so it's time to let this go.

Batting samples
I found this stack of patterns. These patterns were damaged when we had the water issue. At that time, I dried them out and salvaged what I could. It's now time to deal with them. 

A stack of patterns

Oh boy - I found a brand new pattern for a Paris quilt. It's machine-embroidered. It's now in a pile with the other machine embroidery designs.

Machine embroidery pattern

I found the pattern for this cute little box that you could use for jewelry or notions or whatever.

The pattern for a small box

You cover these pieces of cut cardstock with fabric. The entire kit is up for grabs. It's doubtful that I'll ever get around to it. So if anyone wants it - it's yours for free.

The card stock pieces for the fabric box

I also found this pattern for the incredible sewing desk. I bought it years ago because I wanted someone to make it and that never happened. It's not likely to happen now. But if anyone has someone handy who could make the desk for them, the pattern is yours.

A quilting table pattern

I think I know what's going to happen as I continue to go through my stuff. There is going to be stuff that I coveted (like both of those items above), and now the realization has come that it's not going to be made or I don't have time or don't have the interest, and so that stuff is going to be up for grabs. And it's only going to speed up as time goes on.

Anyway, I'm trying to deal with my stuff while I still have my wits about me. It's a shame that I'm doing this or having to do this, but it's reality. It's like going to the buffet and filling your plate beyond what you know you can eat. But we do it anyway! The trick is to STOP now and eat only what we really, really want.

Later this week, I'll be posting the list of classes that I'll be teaching this fall. The classes will all be online via Zoom. There'll be classes for a tote bag and all the different kinds of interfacings, etc., that go into making a successful bag. There'll be a zippered pouch because there are so many ways of putting the zipper in, and we'll have one session just on different zipper treatments. There'll be several classes on EQ8 - one will focus only on panels - how do you get your panel into EQ8, and then what do you do with it. There'll be a beginner EQ8 class and maybe a more involved one as well. I know some people have asked for a double wedding ring, and I may throw that in. The problem with that is there are so many different ways of sewing that quilt. I may just say we'll take ANY double wedding ring pattern if you already have a set of templates or paper piecing.  I might find something else to throw in there, and that will likely fill the schedule for the fall. OH -- I'll throw in my free motion quilting class as well. Now that I have my cameras, I can actually demo the free motion stuff and talk about what needs to be done.

So watch for that this week.

OH - I can't share what else I worked on at the Virtual Retreat. I was prepping homework for my upcoming classes this weekend, and it's all a secret until we have the class. Let's just say that I'm ahead of the game for this weekend, and I'm very excited about that. I still have pictures to load and presentations to prep, so I'm not out of the woods yet!

Have a super day!!!!



    This is where you can get Jelly Bead Zipper tape. It is $4 Singapore dollars per yard. Conversion rate is about.96 Canadian per Singapore dollar.The zipper pulls are about 2.50 S$ I didn't check shipping. They have tons of colors.

    1. Thanks Mary -- nice to know we can buy the tape and not just zippers.