Friday, September 16, 2016

La pas progress...

I'd been doing my hand sewing project, La Passacaglia designed by Willyne Hammerstein, in the manner described in the book and favored by most other internet sewsters. Doing each rosette separately, intending to stitch them all together in the end. 

I soon realized that with my limited color scheme I'd have to get a lot more organized, if I didn't want pink to but up against pink. I decided to stitch what I had together and work outward from there. It's very satisfying to see it come together but it could get unwieldy towards the end. We shall see...

Escaper sewing setup

During our stay on the Columbia River outside of Roosevelt, WA I took a little time for machine sewing. 
Here's my setup on the tiny table. Perfect for the Featherweight! 
I finished a pillowcase for Thurman, did some mending, and made a Rambler block.
Thurman helped by handing me triangles for the flying geese. He has a lot to learn about bias edge stretch but he is such a cute assistant that I don't mind.
This was strictly solar-powered so I didn't dare plug in the iron and use up all the juice. I've been 'pressing' seams with a half of a wooden clothespin so it's not very precise.
The Virgo part of me hates that wonkiness but since I got to sew at all, I can't complain too much. I'm thinking I'll try to make six total blocks and make a doll quilt for an elephant. 

Sunday, May 29, 2016

On the road again.

Presenting our new home! It's a 21' 1987 Toyota Escaper 4 cylinder putt-putter. It pretty much tops out at 60 mph giving a whole new meaning to slow sewing. Slow life is more like it. After the complete chaos and stress of dealing with our house renovations due to our son's lead poisoning issues, and having multiple nightmare contractors, we decided we needed a break. So...into the unknown for now. Our house in Mpls is still our permanent residence if anybody feels the need to send me mail, but more than likely, I'll be coming to your town sometime soon! 

The inside has a tiny kitchen and bathroom across the back and a dinette that folds into a bench/bed, seen here modeled by Maxell (photo by Graham). Across from that is a couch that flips down to make our bed and the over-cab area we remodeled to be storage (read more room for my crazy fabric). It's pretty comfortable but we've learned that it's very important to promptly put stuff back where it goes. With a toddler in there, it gets cluttered up very fast. 

A small solar array on the roof and battery bank is enough to keep our fridge running and lights on when we aren't rolling down the road. We got a pure sine inverter to handle the variable motor on my Singer Featherweight but things have been so busy I haven't had a chance to try it out yet. For now it's hand piecing only, which is just fine with me. 

I've been working on my La Passacglia and enjoying the feeling of each stitch. It reminds me so much of a design I made up for my prom dress I made in 1994 (didn't actually go to prom tho). It just really feels full circle and complete to be stitching tiny stars together and traveling the country 20 years later, with a completely different head on my shoulders.

I can even sew while we are rolling down the road. So for now, look for me visiting your fabric stores and guild meetings. I'll be the redhaired weirdo with the poor social skills. 

P.s. Please comment with any fabric shop recommendations for Kansas City area. 

Friday, March 25, 2016

...for tomorrow we may be gone.

All week I've been trying to deal with the loss of one of my very few best friends. Evan and I spent the past 16 years as friends, dates, roommates, traveling companions, pen pals, coworkers, partners in crime, and everything in between. We've been through hell together and now he's gone, and I'm trying to figure out how  to understand that. 

G and I decided having a memorial for him at our house seems the right thing to do. He lived here whenever he was in Minneapolis and it was the center of our life together for years. If you knew Evan I'd like to invite you to please come over and tell stories and share food and togetherness. 

April 9th, 2pm onward.  2208 16th ave south, MPLS. Bring food or non-alcoholic drinks to share! Dogs welcome! Also if anybody has any Smiths tapes or records I suppose that would be appropriate. ❤️

Rest in peace, friend.

Thursday, March 3, 2016

Ray of Sun mini

I've recently started an email relationship with an aunt of mine I had never gotten to know. She has filled in a lot of gaps of family history on my maternal side and is generally a funny and environmentally conscious human. A pretty good letter-writer too. One of the things she brings up a lot is the lack of sunshine where she chooses to live( it's a morain, and apparently, a meteorological fluke). They have a solar bank for electricity and chart peak sun throughout the year. Resulting in snippets of emails that say things like "14 days of sun in 4 MONTHS!". This dear aunt also suffers from S.A.D., so this is a dangerous combination. While I know it's wrong to try to 'cheer up' a depressed person, I thought I'd try to sew a spot of sunshine for her.

I have recently treated myself to the Hex-n-more ruler to work out a design for another quilt and I thought I'd  have a quick sample of it's powers. I don't usually go in for gadget rulers, preferring free things like cereal box templates, but this one is quite well designed and all my pieces were hella accurate. This was my first layout:
Not very sunny! The blue would have to go. Much better:
Without a pattern I figured construction would be best in wedges to avoid y-seams. It sewed up really quickly. 
I put some cats and sunflowers in the back and machine quilted it echoing a set of seams to bisect the larger key shapes.
And, ta-da, my first mini quilt or possibly table mat. Really it's up to Aunt B. I hope it brightens her day and home.

Friday, February 5, 2016

La Passacaglia Rosettes 6:2 and 6:3

A few more of the partial rosettes done...
I cut into some pretty hard to find fabric for this one. Use it or lose it, right? I keep thinking of the 'spongeworthy' Seinfeld episode when I'm picking fabrics for this quilt. I'm so excited about this design that even my oldest fabrics are worthy at this point. 

A Finished Sew Together Bag

I just finished up my pink and green and linen Sew Together Bag (pattern by @sewdemented from craftsy).
I made the inside out of a pile of Liberty of London lawn fabrics and sewed up 6 tiny (3") quilt blocks for the exterior from them plus scraps of quilting cotton.
I used Essex Linen in flax for the rest of the exterior and embroidered it with pink variegated perle cotton. 

The construction of this bag is very unique but the result is so worth it.
It's not very hard and I actually stitched the whole shebang on my Singer 221 featherweight. I plan to use it for my sewing tools when I'm on the go.  

Linking up with Amanda Jean's finish it up Friday at crazymomquilts