28 January 2011

New logo in the works

Well, my week has been all over the place, actually. And today I have actually gotten NO sewing done at all. Nor cutting. And yet I will still let myself go out to dinner and a movie with a friend (though the plans were already made before I had such a stupendously UNproductive day. Granted, I have been taking care of a few things in the house that truly needed to be attended to, but I still feel like a bit of a slacker when I have nothing to show for my waking hours. EXCEPT... some of the activity around the house of late has inspired a possible logo to my slow-developing new business identity. As I sketch things out (or find someone else better suited to sketch) I'll update, but let's just say I might have a mascot (thanks J for the germ of the idea!)

I have, however, begun gathering fabrics for upcoming projects:

I have it in mind to try my hand again at a blooming 9-patch.

And now I've also begun pulling things together for my swap partner for The {Urban} Home Goods Swap on Flickr

Thinking in terms of accessories...

Next posting I'll try my hand at a tutorial! Stay tuned...

25 January 2011

back to business

I've finally gotten my Viking back from Montavilla, replaced the lightbulb (AFTER picking it up from being serviced, mind you) and have been putting the walking foot to use. Now I'm starting to replenish my stack of place mats, in the hopes of getting my etsy page back up and running before too much longer. The ones pictured above are an older set, because I still have bindings to hand stitch, but am looking forward to adding new photos soon.

20 January 2011

the only thing worse than not buying enough...

...is using a fabric you bought on CLEARANCE and realizing you don't have enough!

A lesson in only buying what you know you are going to use, and for what you are planning to use it. Generally, a yard and a half is more than enough to get me whatever I need for a quilt (backings notwithstanding). However, when I've decided to use a fabric as inspiration for a quilt, saving it for the border no less, I should establish how much fabric I have to start with, how it needs to run for the border and THEN make the body of the quilt to fit those limitations. Now I have the body of a quilt with the inner border attached, and a yard and a half of focus fabric that doesn't work as the border because it's DIRECTIONAL. Normally, that doesn't affect my decisions too much, but in this case... well... it just looks funny any way but upright. So, I'm on the search for more of this fabric. I found a source online, but want to give myself a chance to check out my local quilt shops first - just on principle.

Have I learned from this experience?? Probably not, but I've got plenty of other lessons to attend to, I'm sure.

19 January 2011

all about the trash

I've been indulging myself over the last few months. I try to take full advantage of the public library's collection of audio books (and *occasionally* non-audio books) to keep me entertained while working in the sewing room. A few months ago I decided to start working on the Charlaine Harris "Sookie Stackhouse" series, primarily because my mom had left me

book #3, "Club Dead" during one of her visits a few years ago. I was sucked in (no pun intended - really). Since then I have begun watching True Blood via Netflix, and am gradually making my way through the series of books. Some I continue to do by audio, but every once in a while I check out the actual bound versions, since it's nice to go through a trashy novel every once in a while. I am now on book #7 of the series, "All Together Dead"

Having the fluff to read DOES keep me away from the TV a bit more, but it has also cut into my sewing time (again, no pun intended - this must come naturally!). Actually, today I guess I could also blame the Benadryl I caved and took. Though it did help with the sneezing.

On other news, yesterday I had my first lesson on EQ7. The program was a gift for my birthday last fall, and the lessons a holiday gift. I'm excited!

18 January 2011

On Prewashing...

In the quilting world there is often the question of prewashing... to do it, or not. Myself, I have always been a prewasher. More than anything else, I just prefer to work with the softer fabrics, after taking out manufacturer sizing, other chemicals, dust, grime, and forcing the woven fabrics to forget how they might have been stretched and folded onto a bolt.

That said, I do usually try to wash with like colors. Ingrained instruction, I suppose. But every once in a while you not only need to get working on those new pieces you just picked up in order to fill in a project already in process, but it can be hard to justify running a whole wash cycle with the equivalent of 2 yards of fabric just because I don't have any dirty laundry to throw in and I want to keep those intense darks separate. So, this weekend I threw caution to the wind.

These days, with the finer quilting fabric manufacturers, dye transfer is hardly an issue. I was a BIT concerned about that deep teal Moda Marble and the light pinks coming into contact, but it would seem my fears were undue. Had there been a batik in the mix, I probably WOULD have run separate loads, but this was a good experiment for me, with thankfully good results. And allowed me to move forward on that teal quilt without much of a hiccup.

13 January 2011

It looks like teal is going to be the way I go for the newest Project Modern Challenge Though I certainly have a considerable list of projects to work on, it's good to have some more specific goals on the table. Literally. But I can't let this take me away from the ultimate goal, and so last night started selecting and cutting fabrics for new place mat sets.

And then, we also have to remember to take some time off, too. Monday my boyfriend and I took a day trip out to the Oregon coast, driving through some snow to get to warmer conditions.

I also FINALLY visited Cannon Beach's own quilt shop, Center Diamond for the first time. Glad to see someone still carries batiks. And you will see a couple pieces from my visit there among the stack of teals at the top of the page! Now, as Mr. Merle Haggard is singin' to me, must be "Movin' On"

09 January 2011

I've put a challenge before myself, which I began working on this week... Trying to replicate a quilt I made last year, but using a different inspiration fabric, different palette, and different scale. I am in love with this Philip Jacobs print, Daffodils and Dogwood, and have been hoarding it in several colorways. This bright, sunny yellow is least like my usual taste in colors (I'm generally an earth-tone or saturated brights person), and therefore screamed to me to try it first!

So, I spent about a day just gathering fabrics from my plentiful stash that might coordinate nicely (though I still have my doubts about a few), and cutting strips from them. When I did the original quilt, I used all 2" strips, and the blocks turned out to be a perfect size, but this time I've tried varying the width of the strips, and am getting much smaller blocks - not so happy with that choice, but it will work. Learning process, right? After putting together a good portion of the blocks, I still have a few strips left to work with, though think I need to fill in with more light yellows and pinks.

It's been nice to start something new just to be working on it. However, next week might need to be dedicated to more salable items.

06 January 2011

So the last few days have been dedicated to organizing my home, and setting up new work spaces. What was my dining room table (which I never actually used to dine on) will soon be a drafting table and 2nd computer station (the computer that has EQ7!)

And can I just say, finding the composition books with graph paper seemed like a boon! I was so excited, J even convinced me to buy two right off the bat.

I've also been giving a little time to the virtual bee I've just become involved with through Flickr, Seams Perfect - a Modern Scrap Bee, organized by Sunnyauh. She's getting us started off with a happy, bright string quilt design, using reds, oranges, pinks and yellows.

I can't wait to see what the others come up with as the year progresses!

02 January 2011

starting fresh

So, it's the second day of 2011, and my first official day as a free agent. Which of course means that I am doing very little while sitting on my couch, with cheesy movies on the TV. I guess you could say I am giving myself a day to decompress before beginning in earnest with the new "job." Trying to get some research done while sitting here, but it's slow going. And starting tomorrow will be thorough clean-out, also known as purging, in order to start organizing. Oh, and I need to learn about blogging. Desperately.

I've also joined a new bee on Flickr, my first bee ever, in fact. WIll post more info (and photos) later, once I've hooked up the computer with my external drive. So many things to get straight. Stay tuned...