Thursday, June 21, 2012

Here, mojo! Come on, boy! and Tag, I'm it!

I've lost my mojo. Has anyone seen it? It's been weeks since it's shown its face in my sewing room. I haven't done any creating in about a month and I have so much to finish. Maybe that's the problem... I find when I feel obligated to work on something, I'm not inspired at all.

Lately, I've just been cutting EPP shapes to take with me on vacation. Unfortunately, even that isn't inspiring. Ugh.

On another note, Hollie from The Undercover Crafter tagged me a couple of months ago and I'm FINALLY getting around to responding to her series of questions.

1) What is your favorite sewing tool?

Does my design wall count? It makes it so much easier to decide on a layout and get a real idea of how things are shaping up.

Scarf 5
You can see part of it here behind my kiddo.

A close second is my camera. I see all sorts of design tweaks through the lens. Some people use a peep-hole (like in your front door) for the same effect, but by taking pictures, I also populate my blog and flickr photostream.

2) What is your least favorite thing about quilting / sewing?

Basting. Ugh. I would pay someone else money to come to my house, use my floor and pins, and baste every single one of my quilts for me.

Batting Bubble Tutorial after
I tape the back to my hardwood floor, lay out the batting and top, then crawl all over the floor while I pin.
It's murder on my knees and back.

3) What is your dream project?

I don't really have one. I guess whatever fire has been lit under me, whichever quilt I am currently designing is usually my dream project. 

4) Which project has been the most challenging for you and did you complete it?

Mondrian Dream has been very challenging for me, interestingly enough. It isn't about construction or technique, since that's all very straight-forward. I've mentioned before that it took me a long time to wrap my head around the design so that I felt I wasn't doing Piet Mondrian's art a dis-service.

Mondrian Dream WIP front
I think I did a-okay!

Now that I have the top pieced and basted to the back, I'm taking my time quilting it as I would if it were staying with me, instead of going to my friend who commissioned the piece.

I'm a little nervous about washing it, since the last quilt I washed had bleeding issues and this is all white, red, blue, and yellow. Did I mention red and white?! I'm scared! But I think I'll pin some color catchers to the reds I'm not sure of and load the washer with the rest of the box. They're cheap, especially in comparison to the hours I've spent on this darling.

5) What skill would you most like to improve / learn?

I would really like to improve my garment sewing skills. More and more, I lament the ready-made clothes available to me (I'm a tall, busty Raphaelite girl that doesn't conform to the standard shape). If I were better at making clothes, I would sew more for myself to wear, but then that would also get into the conundrum of not having as much time to quilt...

6) It's your last day on Earth. What's your final meal?

The food depends on the day, but usually, if you include the hoppiest beer you can find, I'll die a happy woman. Seriously, I want the hops to reach up out of the bottle or glass and slap me in the face.

7) Where is your favorite place that you've ever visited?

Hawaii. Maybe it's just because it's on my mind, lately. We have gone there approximately twice a year for the last 5 years, but the house we got to stay in (for free!) was recently sold. That makes the trip infinitely more expensive. It will likely be a long time before I get to sit under the Mommy Tree again.

8) Who (or what) is your greatest inspiration?

I'm sure you mean my design or quilty inspiration, but I'm going to go with my greatest inspiration overall, my mom

3 generations

She's an amazing lady and I wish I could be with her more often. I can just imagine all the fun things we would design together, all the empty wine bottles, and the sore stomach muscles from the laughter. I miss her every day. She keeps hinting, not so subtly, that I should move back home. Maybe some day. Then I could fulfill my dream of becoming a Sweet Hot Yam!

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Hand Work

I'm taking two full weeks of vacation in July - back to back! Since my sweetie and I have been discussing various road trips, I will not be at my beloved sewing machine. *sob*

Oh, $carlett, how I will miss you.

I'm a machine-only kind of girl and have been since I took my first FMQ class. Yes, I even do my binding by machine. Some people find it absolutely anathema, but I want to be done with a quilt and get on to the next one, and the machine is infinitely quicker than my hands.

So, I'm going to say something I never say; I need hand work!

There's a hexie pillow I've been sewing off and on (mostly off) for a year, now, but I'm afraid it won't last the entire two weeks.

hex in progress
Okay, looking at this pic, Imay be at the 2 year mark...

I've done cross stitch forever, but don't have anything that inspires me right now.

Subversive Cross Stitch for my honey

My friend Hollie is doing a really great double wedding ring by hand, but I don't want to go quite that big.

Aren't her fabric choices gorgeous???
copy right Hollie Lobosky of The Undercover Crafter

So, any suggestions? Do you have a favorite hand project? Please, send me ALL your suggestions and feel free to send me links or pictures of your own - ipleadquilty (at) gmail (dot) com.

I'll go mad if I don't have some fabric or thread in my hands... (I've tried knitting once, but I wasn't very good at it and STILL don't know how to purl.)

Help me, bloggy, quilty friends, you're my only hope!

Friday, June 1, 2012


While I impatiently wait for the results to the Bloggers' Quilt Festival vote, let's talk about batting!

Kitty wants to know WTH it is

Not that I run out of batting ever (since I purchase it by the 40-yard roll), but I hate to waste the trimmings. Maybe it's due the teachings of my frugal grandmother. (That's why scrap bin is full to overflowing!)

When I have a number of trimmings saved up, I make Frankenbatting. It's quite simple, really. First, set your machine to a nice wide, not too tight zig-zag.


Then, butt two pieces of batting up against each other and straddle the line where they meet.

I've pulled them apart a bit here so you can see what I mean.
You won't want to see any space between as you're sewing.

Keep adding until you have a piece large enough for, say, a baby quilt.

See the wrinkly lines? Those are my seams!

Easy, peasy, right? It's perfectly usable and stable, doubly so once you've quilted your sandwich. The seams will not affect the look of your quilt.

And, just to keep it real, here's the view juuuuust to the right of the batting.

What a mess!

Happy Friday and have a lovely weekend!

I didn't win in any of my three categories, but feel very proud to have been nominated. Thanks to all of you who voted!