Tag Archives: Sewing

Pressing Matters

Big Board (Medium)

“Quilters don’t iron, they press.” How many times have you heard that?  And, I press a lot.  A good pressing surface is so important to me.  For several years I had a standard size ironing board and then upgraded to a larger ironing board.  Not good enough!  My hubby had a large piece of plywood in his stash that I commandeered. He willingly and quickly made a “big board” to fit my ironing board.  I made the cover and LOVE it!  It is not the standard size you usually see patterns advertised for, but using what was on hand was the economical choice.  And on the very, very rare occasion I iron clothing, the big board easily lifts off.

Wall Iron Board up (Medium)

Wall iron board down (Medium)

Down and out of the way. See the tile at the end? That’s for the hot iron!

 

For little pieces – ironing open seams when sewing small pieces together, I use my travel iron.  I had a travel ironing board that I kept at the end of my cutting table.  However, after rearranging my studio, that no longer worked because the cord was in tripping position – and if anyone is going trip over the cord, I am!  I told hubby that I would love a wall mounted board that would fold down when not in use, but they cost more than I was willing to pop for – need that $ for fabric. Mr. Handy Hubby found that to be an easy fix – he mounted my existing travel board on the wall near an outlet.  All quilt pressing issues solved. I’ll admit, it’s great to have a willing handyman at my disposal and I try hard not to take that for granted!

Irons (Medium)What do I press with? Oh…I have a few irons. Different weights and sizes. There are several more that travel to retreats for all to use. No one big favorite –  I change them out every so often, usually when the one I’ve been using needs a cleaning. And yes, I use steam, starch and a water spray bottle.

Wish I had all Pressing Matters that well under control!

NOTE: There is still room in the Fall II Retreat – check it out today!

Linking up today with Em’s Scrapbag and Let’s Bee Social.

A Southern Quilt Shop

 

 

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The “Reading Room”

 

Two weeks ago a friend and I visited Charleston, SC with a side trip to Summerville, SC which is just outside Charleston. It is a charming little town with shops and restaurants and best of all, a great quilt shop. People, Places and Quilts is in a fine old building. It is such a treasure hunt as you go from room to room, each filled with fabrics, tools, threads and so much more.

Diane, the owner is a delight as was the other staff members there. They are all friendly, helpful and knowledgeable. Above is Diane the worker bee, Diane the Owner and Diane my traveling companion. Then there is me and my cousin who lives in Summerville.

There are quilts on display everywhere – such inspiration! Some on display were also class samples.

Lots and lots of fabrics. Prints, batiks, solids and many scrumptious flannels.

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This antique cash register was not only a joy to look at – it works and is used for all the shop sales! Do you embroider? Applique? Work with wool felt? There was a whole section devoted to all of those!

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I strongly suggest you stop by to see this wonderful shop if you are ever any where near Summerville. I’ve checked out their class list and might just have to “visit” my cousin soon!!

Colorful 16 Patch

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Daffodils and so much more are in bloom, temps have been very moderate for spring, all of which makes staying in the studio a little tough. I also was gone for a week to Florida in January and last week four days to Charleston, SC. I did, however, manage to complete a 16 patch that was started two years ago! I love the brightness of this quilt. All shot cottons were used. These fabrics were a bit challenging to use especially when quilting. I found a secret to using shot cottons is to starch, starch, starch!

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It was an appropriate finish for this early Spring – I couldn’t resist a pic with the daffodils. When it was complete, I looked at all the finished quilts in my home (no, I won’t try to give a number!) and decided this quilt was better designated as a Hospice quilt. It should bring some brightness to a patient or family member.

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Today’s link-ups:  WIPS on Wednesdays, Em’s Scrapbag, Let’s Bee Social

A Little Bit Retro

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Know what this is?! For a little more than 40 years I have had an outdoor clothesline. All our laundry is no longer hung outside on a regular basis due to allergies from pollen, but I do manage to hang some things out, especially in the winter. Recently, when I grabbed the clothespin bag I’ve had since day one, I couldn’t help but notice how shabby and threadbare it was. How the clothespins were staying inside was amazing.

So…off to the home dec fabric bin to pic out something light and spring like. The home dec fabric is a heavier weight than quilting fabric and was the most practical choice.

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I simply copied the original bag making just a couple of tweaks. The original bag had a paper cord that I replaced with a cable from my hubby’s electrical supply stash. I used button holes instead of grommets and used the original sturdy hanging frame.

And Ta Daa!! A new clothespin bag sure to hold up for the next 40 years!

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Great First Month in 2017

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Paper piecing – I enjoy it but at times can wear me out. I just completed a paper pieced border for a wall quilt and wanted to sit and mindlessly sew. The first of the year I cut out several charity quilts so I pulled one out and sewed away! It was all pieced in just a few hours – how fun! It really needed something else, though. The fabric is a bit wild – all generously donated. There is one print among the batiks that is a lizard fabric. Ta Da! I’ll applique a few large lizards! Even better, I used my Scan n’ Cut – what a treat to have precise cutting done in just moments.

All in all, January was a very good sewing month, especially considering I was on vacation for a whole week. I revamped my Work in Progress listing. Yes, I do have more projects, but have not touched some in such a long time I eliminated them from the list for now. I have promised myself to only add charity quilts and gift quilts – there is a wedding gift quilt added to the list. Oh how I want to stay on task and shorten the list. Can I do it? Yes! Will I do it?  We’ll see!! Do you have so many projects started it seems overwhelming? Do you have an action plan? I’d love to know how other quilters deal with this.

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Today I’m linking up with Esther Aliu’s Blog, Let’s Bee Social, My Quilt Infatuation.

A New Toy & a Gadget!

scan-n-cut-largeAfter over a year of questioning and procrastinating, I bought a Brother Scan N’ Cut! What a cool machine. No, I haven’t used it very much yet, but did play a little before Christmas. I made some sewing related Christmas ornaments and Yoga related ornaments using sticky back vinyl. I also made Christmas gift tags. There is a learning curve, and I have a way to go, but I don’t think it will be difficult.

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Sorry for the camera reflection. Couldn’t take another pic – I no longer have the ornament!

There are a couple of fabric/quilting projects I plan to cut out on this nifty machine. I will use it for both fusible applique and hand applique cut-outs. I can see this saving me a LOT of time! I had to rearrange a few things in the studio to make the Scan N’ Cut easily accessible – it just wouldn’t get used if it were put away in a closet. “No more toys” – if I say that over and over again every day will I stick to it? Probably, at least until the next nifty gadget or tool comes along!

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Santa brought me a great gadget that I’m keeping on my coffee table for when I do hand stitching in the evening. The “Sew Darn Handy” holds a spool of thread, a pair of scissors, a thimble and has a side pin cushion.  Best yet is that I really use it! I’ve linked to their website contact page if you’re interested. No, this is not any kind of affiliate link, I just like to give other crafters a helping hand.

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Hmmm. Wonder what other nifty inventions other crafters are coming up with for the quilters and sewers of this world?!

A Last, A First & A Favorite

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The very last finish of 2016 was fun!. This colorful and creative pillow was a mix of piecing, applique and decorative stitching. I think the basket background really pops with the polka dots surrounding it. The leaves are felted wool and the flowers are fussy cut cotton prints appliqued onto felted wool. The real joy came when I began doing decorative stitching on the leaves and flowers. There was no plan – I just went with whatever seemed like a good choice at the time. Whoa – I did have to make myself stop because I could have stitched and stitched! This pillow looks really good on my living room sofa. However, kitty likes to paw on it so it is now resting on a guest room bed. It looks pretty there too, I just don’t get to see it very often.

I think my all time favorite finish of 2016 was Prism Arabesque. It continues to bring me joy as it sets on display in the living room.

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The first finish of 2017 – and on the first day (!!) is also my first charity quilt of the year. It is a baby quilt that will go to a child in the hospital. It is made up of blocks from a storybook panel cut apart and sewn together with blocks and strips. It’s a fun and colorful little quilt and I love the crayon fabric on the back. As I make these little quilts for children and babies, I always think of the warmth and comfort it will bring them, but more so of the comfort and joy it will bring to their parents.

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Yesterday the Hospice quilt makers gathered at the local Hospice office and donated all the quilts we made in 2016. The upper pic is of the quilters and two Hospice employees. It is just so joyful to see how excited they are to receive these quilts and how they look forward to passing them on to patients. The children quilts usually go to a child of a patient that has passed away. It was good to hear that they have very few child patients. We are all looking forward to sewing more quilts for 2017 and will even be welcoming a new member to our group!

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Linking up with: Super Mom No Cape, Esther’s Blog, Sew Fresh Quilts and My Quilt Infatuation

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