Tuesday, May 29, 2018

Dusting off my Dress-Making Skills

I don't ever remember a time in life when I wasn't crafting.  I know I was crocheting before I could read, knitting before I entered school, and made my first piece of clothing for myself when I was in the first grade.  I kept myself busy knitting, crocheting, and making garments until I was pregnant with my first child.  That's when I discovered quilting and I have pretty much neglected all other crafts in favor of quilting ever since.

Every year, I see more and more garment patterns released in quilt shops and I think to myself, "I used to know how to do this!"  And I collect the patterns.  I have several years of recently released patterns in my collection and each was purchased with the intent of making my own clothes.

Well, the time has come.

I purchased this pattern from the Sew Inspired booth when I taught at Stitches United in Hartford, CT in March.  This is my most recent pattern purchase, so it was on top of the pile.

If you are wondering why the orange owl fabric spoke so loudly to me, I need to tell you a secret:

I have a thing for shoes.

I am in many ways a minimalist, but minimalism doesn't apply to shoes, Hello Kitty handbags, or quilting fabric.  That's where I draw the line.

It finally stopped snowing and turned directly to summer.  On a hot, hot day last week, I remembered that I had an amazing pair of orange sandals.  Remembering this wonderful fact inspired me to finally be brave and make a garment.


Defending my photo, I am currently recovering from medical treatment and not feeling very well.  Also, it was hot and I have no air conditioning.  

I graded myself an A- on this project.  My skills are a little rusty, but I will soon make another (and another!) blouse to remind myself that I know how to sew clothing!

Last Saturday was the last day that my local quilt shop was open in Pawling, NY.  My machine quilting club closed down the store:

If you are sad that my local quilt shop closed, please don't be because it is re-opening in Wappingers Falls, NY this weekend!  Congratulations Quilt Basket!  I can't wait to teach in your new shop!

Saturday, May 26, 2018

Scrap Quilting Saturday

Several weeks ago I attempted to clean out my sewing room when I fell into my bucket of 1 1/2" strips.

I pulled out strips until I had enough to make a Sweet Tooth Cutie Quilt.

Since I found some floor (who knew?) in my sewing room, I decided to make use of it.

Even with a good-sized quilt on the floor, there's still more floor!

Here's my plan:  continue to stitch up my scraps until they no longer overflow their bins and become manageable.

Are you all laughing with me?  Good.  Because we all know that this is NEVER going to happen!

I will keep plugging away, though.

Are you working on your scraps?  What is your current scrap project?

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Friendship Quilt Along

I am so excited to be a part of Amanda Herring's Friendship Quilt Along!

When I first found out about it, I immediately wanted to show how I would machine quilt these blocks.  Prepare for more block animations coming from me this summer!

Once I saw the ridiculously cute templates, I knew I had to make these blocks.  I stopped being able to hand sew over a year ago, so I thought I'd machine applique these blocks, but as I was prepping the shapes, I wanted to try to hand applique just one block.  I'm not going to show it to you yet, but it's actually working!!!  I'm not sure I'll be able to hand applique the entire quilt, but what I've done so far has brought me endless joy!

I'm making my blocks in solids so the machine quilting will show on camera, but I love Amanda's fabric kit.  Do I have time to make two of these this summer?  Oh the temptation!!!

Friday, May 11, 2018

Spring Clean Your Studio

Today is my day on the Spring Clean Your Studio Blog Hop hosted by Muppin.Com.  I'm so excited!

I sew in the family room of my house.  My house is under the trees on the side of a mountain on the Appalachian Trail in the Hudson Valley of New York so I don't get a lot of sunshine.  My family room has walnut floors and paneling so it's like quilting in a cave.  I promised myself to brighten up my sewing space once I got things cleaned and organized.  Maybe this year will be the year?

I have been traveling non-stop, teaching quilting in Ohio, New Hampshire, Pennsylvania, Ohio, and New Hampshire for the last five weeks.  Yes, my booking agent hates me.  (I am my own booking agent.)  I was in my house for exactly five days in the month of April and apparently the only thing I did on the days I was home was make quite a mess!  I'm not strong enough to show the full disaster, but I took a few photos as I was tidying up.  Note:  it was even worse before I started!

Cutting table?  What cutting table?

Does it get any more real than this?

These photos show approximate 25% of my sewing space.  The rest is just as bad, trust me.

I put on my headphones and got to work.  I made some great progress until:


I accidentally tripped and fell into my 1 1/2" scrap bucket:

I've apparently fallen and can't get up.

My goal is to clean out the sewing room, and we all know that the quickest way to do that is to start working on the smallest cut of fabric in the room instead of doing any actual cleaning.

I think I'm going to be here for a while.

All is not lost, though.

I found my cutting table:

And did you know that there was a DOOR in my sewing room?

That door has been a window for the last 3 years!  I walked onto my deck every day JUST BECAUSE I COULD!

More from my sewing room --

My Dream Big quilt 

is on my new Handi Quilter Forte.  I love that machine and named him Jason Momoa because they are both big and strong and... oh my!

Another one of my longarms is showcasing my favorite ribbon candy quilting:

I teach different versions of ribbon candy in each of my Craftsy classes.  I haven't taught it yet on Annie's Creative Studios, but I have some other fun classes there!  I also have well over 100 YouTube videos about machine quilting.

I'm filming some new machine quilting classes now that will release shortly.  To stay in the know and get quilty goodness delivered directly to your inbox, subscribe to my newsletter.

Thanks for visiting with me today.  I hope you'll stop by here more often!
*This photo is of the door to my sewing room when the darn squirrel scared me to death!

Follow along the blog hop here:
April 23 – Lori Crawley Kennedy –http://theinboxjaunt.com
April 24 – Jennifer Thomas – http://curlicuecreations.blogspot.com
April 25 – Robin Koehler –http://nestlingsbyrobin.blogspot.com 
April 26 – Andi Barney-https://www.andibarney.com/
April 27 – Misty Cole –http://www.mistycole.com/blog
April 28 – Carolina Moore-http://alwaysexpectmoore.com/
April 29 – Heather Pregger –https://heatherquilts.blogspot.com/
April 30 – Linda Bratten –https://lindabcreative.blogspot.com/
May 1 – Lisa Reber – https://www.dippydye.blogspot.com/
May 2 – Teresa Coates –http://crinkledreams.com
May 3 – Lisa Chin – http://www.lisachinartist.com/
May 4 – Jamie Fingal –http://www.jamiefingaldesigns.com/
May 5 – Sam Hunter – www.huntersdesignstudio.com 
May 6 – Jessee Maloney –www.artschooldropout.net/blog
May 7 – Randa Parrish –http://www.sewartsyfartsy.com/
May 8 – Sarah Vedeler-https://meaningoflifedesigns.com/
May 9 – Jessica Darling – https://jessicakdarling.com/
May 10 – Melody Crust –http://www.melodycrust.com/
May 11 – Debby Brown –http://higheredhands.blogspot.com
May 12 – Cheryl Sleboda – http://blog.muppin.com

Thursday, May 10, 2018

Quilting is the Best Medicine

Due to some regularly scheduled medical treatments, I am on sick leave this week.  My body is fighting against my infusion so I'm tired, but I'm also on super-high doses of steroids so I'm high-strung and wired.  Let's just say it's interesting being me this week.   I'm not my smartest, so I'm trying to avoid actual work where making a mistake would be a bad thing.  What does sick leave look like when you are self-employed?  It looks like giving yourself permission to sleep until noon, nap frequently, and play in the sewing room when able.

Playing in the sewing room looked like this:

I dove head-first into my box of 1 1/2" scrap squares.  I sewed them together with some white sashing until I ran out of squares.   My 70"x70" quilt is currently 70"x20".  I need to keep quilting and making scraps so I can finish this quilt!

Keeping me company while quilting was Palace of Treason, book two in the Red Sparrow trilogy.  As soon as I see a trailer for a new movie, I check to see if it is based on a book and then read the book while waiting for the movie to come out on disc at the library.  This book gave me three books to occupy my time while waiting to see Jennifer Lawrence play a Russian/American/double? agent.

I'm taking another sick day today.  I need to find a new quilt project and a new book since I am at a waiting spot on each.  Any suggestions?

Thursday, May 03, 2018

Not An Artist

I'm not an artist and yet I am a comptent free-motion quilter.  I am able to quilt things that are nearly impossible for me to draw.  How weird is that?

I teach my "non-artist" way of quilting on Craftsy.

Anyone who has ever taken a class with me knows that ribbon candy is one of my favorite machine quilting designs.

I teach ribbon candy and a few variations in this Craftsy class!

If ribbon candy isn't your favorite machine quilting pattern, why not? what is?