Friday, November 30, 2012

Dirty Little Secret

Yes we all have them don't we?  
I told you that I had "bins" of fabric and I loved all your suggestions 
but I don't think you understand the scale I am talking about.  
This is my dirty little secret.  

I actually went to the basement and took photos. 
 Some are a little blurry but you get the idea.  
(It was dark and I was mortified that I was going to actually confess to this to anyone 
except my family!!

Here you go:  

In this photo you can see 6 bins, two smaller bins with books and patterns, and a laundry basket

 Tight quarters so you can barely see that there are 4 bins down under the "pile"

 These two are one continuous line of bins,
 I think there are 11 or 12 in here, along with some fabric piled on top.

This is a close up on two of the bins

Here are 6 more.  
They make a great place to put my laundry baskets when I am doing the wash!

Ok so this is no a bin photo, it is all the magazines and some books and
some odds and ends of sewing/crafting stuff.

Now you know my dirty little secret!  

I have been thinking about this and figure that I have close to 35 bins!! 
 I think I will have to sell it in batches or 
I will never get through it and live long enough to use what I keep!  
I will put some up here and some on Ebay I think.  
My friend, Cori, suggested that and said she will help and encourage me.

Now you can see what I am facing. 
 A little overwhelming, and embarassing. 
 I used to make dolls with my SIL and 
probably about 10 of the bins are stuff from back in that day and 
they are most likely things I won't use now so that's good.  

That stuff might just get straight out donated somewhere.

Please don't judge.
I am trying to reform and others will benefit, right?

Next post I will show you my new space as I took photos of that too.

Is this hopeless??
Please tell me it's not!
Am I destined for Hoarders???


Do you have a dirty little secret you would like to share?

Leave your DLS and you may win some fabric.

I think I can spare it!

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Some Finishes

I went to quilting tonight with a goal of getting 2 sets of pillowcases done for Christmas gifts. 
 My friend Pauline was there to help me remember how and also to do some pressing to me, 
which made the first set go together very quickly.  

First though I wanted to share this with you.

I think she liked it!  

I made 2 sets of pillow cases. 

 The first set is for my neighbor. 
 She loves Polar bears.

The second set is for my daughter, the peacock owner.  
She now lives at Long Feather Lane Farm.
I used a peacock batik and a Pat Bravo fabric for the cuff part.

I am really happy with how they came out. 
 I hope they will be well received for Christmas.

After all your amazing comments on my sewing room I have some surprises for you tomorrow! 
 I took some photos of my stash bins in the basement.  
No one but my family has seen these! 

 I took some photos of the new, almost empty sewing space, 
so I can explain what I am thinking about doing in there.

 I counted the bins and I must say it was shocking! 
 Oh baby do I have some work to do!


PS Don't forget to leave a comment on yesterday's post for a chance to win the giveaway!

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

My Current Sewing Space

Thanks to everyone that stopped by on the Holiday Lane Blog Hop and left me such nice comments!  
I love reading what you have to say and it is the best form of encouragement!

I am in the process of moving my current sewing space from the middle of my living room 
to the recently vacated upstairs bedroom. 
 It has been an uphill battle with my hubby as he wanted to make it into a "guest" room. 
 We have not had overnight guests in the entire time we have been married, almost 30 years! 
 So I told him I didn't think that was a good plan. 
 Then there is a twin bed and 2 dressers in there.  
He wanted to keep the bed and use the dressers and the closet for rotating his clothes by season.  

Nope, not going to happen. 
 It will just become a crap hole.  
You know it will. 
 I know it will and now he knows it will. 
 So, DD1, who just recently moved out, took the bed, but left the trundle portion.  

 I am going to let him keep that until after Christmas 
so that when DD2 comes home she will have a bed.  
After that it's a blow up mattress baby!  

I decided to keep the dressers, but I need to empty them out so I can use them for storage. 
 I also cleared out the closet. 
 I have steam cleaned most of the carpet
 just have one small spot to do now that one of the dressers is moved to it's new place in the room.  

I know you are dying to see my current messy room so here you go.
My sewing space in all it's messy glory!

This weekend I need to move all this stuff to it's new home and reclaim my living room!
I have sooooo much more fabric and stuff in bins in the basement too.  

 I am going to let you in on my plan for that stuff. 
 I am going to have my big, strong son carry some of the bins to the new sewing room.
 He will have to do this several times!
There are a LOT of bins.

 I will go through said bins and sort out stuff I want to keep.  
The stuff I don't want/need anymore will go through a process.  

First I will be listing it for sale here on my blog every week 
(and this will probably go on for many months).  

It's true, I am a fabric horder! 
You probably already suspected but now I am out of the basement!
 I think I will choose a day of the week and 
do it on the same day every week until I finish going through the bins.  

What doesn't sell in a week will go over to my ETSY shop for a few months. 
 Whatever doesn't sell there will get listed as destash/swap or donated.  
This way I will have what I want to work with and clear out the clutter. 
 Will you guys hold me to this plan please?  

 I have been carrying the bolts of fabric I have upstairs first.

This is the first stack to go to the new room!
(yes there are more)

I plan to get several tall book cases to put my fabric into so I can see it. 
 I am hoping that will be a huge inspiration to my sewing too. 

 How have you organized your sewing space? 
 Any tips on things to do or probably more importantly not to do?
  I would be eternally greatful!

I have put the following (in yardage) up for sale in my ETSY shop if anyone is interested.

Oh rest assured I am keeping some too!  

I just thought I would share the wealth!!

Last but not least I want to let you know that I have joined Pinterest.   
If you are there too, stop by, follow me and let me know what you think of my "pins". 

 It is taking me a long time to learn new things but I am getting there. 
 I learned how to use Google Drive the other day and was pretty proud of myself!
Now I know how to host a PDF using it.

All this moving makes me want to take a nap.
No rest for the wicked!!! 
tee hee

OK, send me those suggestions and I will have a giveaway to the person's suggestion I like the best!

Now, aren't you glad you read all the way to the end?

Please make sure I can contact you in case you are the lucky winner.
If there are more than one suggestions I love there may be a second winner.

That one will be a surprise!


I'll let you know next Friday (December 7th)

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Holiday Lane Blog Hop

I don't usually join in these things but my BFF Pauline (Quiltin' Queen) is hosting 
so I wanted to support her and join in the hopping mania. 

 Any of you who know me know that I am sometimes a bit of a rebel. 
 I did ask if we could make something other than a pillow and she told me yes. 
 I don't really like making pillows, so this will be a tutorial for something a little different!

OK so here goes!
  I decided that first of all "Holiday Lane" could be any holiday right? 
 You all know my favorite holiday is Halloween so my project is Halloween themed. 
 I want to thank Jill over at Jillily Studios for her pattern it was easy to follow and 
easy to adapt to my finished project too.

I decided instead of a pillow I would be making a sewing machine cover!! 
 I hope you would like to join me and make one along with me!!  

The first thing you need to know are the dimensions of your sewing machine. 
 You will need the:

Height, Length and Width.  I used the dimensions as follows and will show you how to make your calculations to make your cover fit your machine too.

My height was 13"   Length  18.5" and width 9"

To calculate your dimensions:

Width 18.5" + 3"= 21.5"
your length here

Length 13" x 2 = 26" + 9" = 39"
            ^                     ^
Your height here      Your width here

I hope this makes sense to you!  It is a little confusing!

You will also need
 ~48" of ribbon cut into eight  12" lengths, color and width of your choice.
Batting and fabric for center of cover and the back (based on your measurements)
small bits of fabric for embellishments.

I added up the width of each separate house section until I had a width that worked for me and
 made the panels accordingly. 
 For one side I made house sections 1, 2, 5, and 3. 
 For the other side I made house sections 4, 5, 2, 1, and 6.  

I sewed my panels together and then the fun began! 
 The embellishments! 
 I decided it needed some cool roofs. 
 So rick rack it was! 
 I used Steam a Seam in a roll to apply the rick rack to the roofs.

Then I fused it into place and began to put on the other fused things.  
A moon, some ghosts, a witch's hat etc.
You can find my patterns for them over here
 Just get creative with your embellishments!!

I was having fun with this step!

I stitched everything down too.  
Sometimes I did a blanket stitch,

Most of the time I did a straight line stitch. 
(You can see it here on the back)
Don't forget to stitch your rick rack down too. 
 I just followed the line of the rick rack and zig zagged the ends. 
 I also used Fray Check on the ends as added assurance!

After you have all your embellishments done and sewn in place measure from the base of the house to the top of the piece and add the measurements together.  
Subtract that from the final number you got for your "Length" above, mine was 39 total and
 I had to subtract the measurements of both panels.  
This is the amount you need to add in between both panels to make the cover complete.
 Pin then sew each panel to opposite sides.

Now comes making the actual cover part. 
 I cut a piece of the black the same size as the entire cover. 
 You have to cut a piece of batting the same size too.  
At this point you need to put your ribbon ties on the front of the cover. 
 Measure 6" from the bottom on each side and 6" from the top on each side. 
 Pin your ribbons there.

Time to layer your cover. First the batting, then the backing and then the top (RST with the backing).  Pin in place,
Your ties will be in between the top and the backing.

Sew all the way round leaving an opening for turning. 
 Trim corners before turning.

Turn press and pin opening closed

Press all the way around and top stitch all the way around. 
 I did it twice so I didn't have to stitch the opening closed by hand (yes I'm THAT lazy!)

I put a piece of tape down the center and suing my walking foot I stitched down one side.  
Then I stitched organic lines all the way to the sewn panels.  

I also quilted around the houses, and all of the fused elements. 
 I added stitched on windows and doors to quilt that part down too.

Here is the finished sewing machine cover, both sides!

**Note the bling on the bottom of this one!**

It fits my BFF's machine perfectly!  
I hope you like it Pauline.
 I made it so you would have something to remember hosting your first blog hop! 
 I am so proud of you and how far you have come!

Now it is time to go and visit everyone else that is posting on this day!

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Christmas Fence QAL Top Finished

I have been a busy beaver getting this top finished.
  I learned a few things along the way too that I thought I would share with you. 
 I wasn't thinking about the fact that the lines needed to line up across from the sashing! 
 I would not be happy if they didn't at least mostly match up! 
 So here goes. 
 First I sewed the sashing on each of the blocks like this.

I sewed it to each right side except for the last block. then it was time to sew the blocks together, remember you have to match the side sashing lines so they will look like they hook together. 
 First I tried lining them up, pinning and flipping to check then sewing.

Not too bad.  Then I tried by lining them up by holding it up to the light and lining them up like this.

It also worked ok.

I got all the blocks sewn into rows next was to sew on the horizontal sashing.  I sewed it to the top of each row and one on the bottom row.

Now came the tricky part. 
 I needed to line up those little segments again. 
 I was not happy with the results from the other two methods above. 
 They were all right but not as consistent as I would have liked so I tried another way
 (sheesh, how may ways are there to do this anyway??)

First I lined the little strips up like this.

I held my finder on the spot on the top fabric and 
stuck a pin on each side from one seam through to the seam on the other side. 
 I did this on BOTH sides.

You can see where the pins go through to the other side. 
 If they didn't line up then I moved them until all was lined up.

Then I put a center pin in. 
 Then it was time to pin all the intersections and sew them! 

 I found that this gave me the best,most consistent results.


Obviously, you can use whatever method works best for you! 
 If anyone has other suggestions for making these things line up 
feel free to share them in the comments! 
 I am always open to better ideas.

After I sewed the rows together, I sewed strips to the sides too. 
 I'm not sure how many I ended up using in total. 
This would also vary depending on the size quilt you are making too.
If you can't use 1 1/2 strips to make your sashing for one row you will also need more strips.
 I was able to cautiously cut the selveges off so I could use one and a half strips together 
 and that worked for each row. 
 That means I cut 14 strips to sew to the horizontal rows. 
 There were 4 additional strips, 2 for each side. 
 You will also need to cut enough strips to cut the 10 1/2" segments 
for the sashing in between the blocks. 
 All the strips are 1 1/2" wide.  

Now I bet you want to see the finished top right? 
 Here is it!

Top half

Bottom holf

Whole quilt top

So there you go.  This top is finished.  Now it's off to the quilter with it. 
How are you progressing with your Christmas Fence??