Monday, November 25, 2019

Design Wall Monday, HST play

See more design walls on Judy's Small Quilts and Doll Quilts blog.

On my design floor is a class project.  Just before leaving on our Sewtopia trip, I learned my name came off the waiting list for a fellow guild member's class the weekend following our trip.  I had no time to prep for the class prior to Sewtopia--had not even picked out fabric--but we were instructed to come to class with half-square triangles already made.  I rummaged around in the sewing room and came across a package of precut Kona Snow triangles, and a pack of Moda Slices in solids of mostly blues/greens.  I added the copper toned solid length I bought in Seattle at Dry Goods Design.  


Since the triangles were of different sizes and makers, I chose to save the precut 90 degree corner, and trim 2.5" off the larger triangle, so that it could be used for something else--possibly binding.

Such pretty colors.  


We sliced and inserted--our tablemate had nearly the same insert color that I had, though my blocks were a lot smaller, about 6".  She had brought a vinyl tablecloth for a design board, it worked great tucked around a picture hung on the wall.


My sister's blocks were the largest of anyone's at 15"! She used a fat quarter stack of Guicy Guice prints she had hoarded for awhile and didn't want to cut small.  Most people used blocks about 9.5" We had a grand time sewing and I finished 12 blocks. 

I think this would make a nice tablerunner.  I have 13 more HSTs to  play with, with a purple print to insert.  

Now I really must finish the Newlywed's Dreamcatcher quilt before I start anything else new...though the fat quarter stack of Christmas fabrics I got as a door prize from Sewtopia is going to look great made up in the Meadowland pattern I bought...it sure is a lot of fun to start new quilts!

Sunday, November 24, 2019

Weekend Doings

I spent more time on the Mt. Hood Abstractions Quilt by Violet Craft.  Once I got more of a rhythm with figuring out the coverage for the sections, folding the paper back and lining up everything just so, things moved along. 

I completed three small sections and sewed them together.  The new moon section will not get to join its companion until later.  Violet's pattern is very clear in what order in which to join sections.  I'm eager to complete the mountaintop so may jump ahead to that section before finishing the sky pieces.  So far, so good, but lots more opportunities to mess up!  If I keep at it, perhaps I won't dread it so much :)

Barb's Oh My Stars Swap for 2020 is due on January 11th.  I had not yet finalized my selection for the stars, wanting to find the muslin first, and then do all the figuring as to exactly how much yardage will be required to cut out all the pieces needed.  I scored a two yard remnant of muslin today for $4.98 at Kmart, of all places, that has a nice tight weave and hand without too many specks.  I'm in the Repro group, so pulled out all my larger pieces from stash and, with help from my hubby, chose the fabrics for two-color stars. 


The Judie Rothermel red print I have hoarded for a long time.  The mustard print is a more recent buy, I think I found it on the Central Coast Shop Hop this year; it will be the center square since it is directional.  I'm going to use my GO Cutter for the muslin 2.5" corner squares, and plan to make the flying geese star points the No Waste 4-at-a-time way, as Barb demonstrated in her tutorial for swappers.  The count is 40 stars and that doesn't seem too bad for a month's sewing time.  I aim to have all the pieces cut during the Thanksgiving holiday weekend. 

Meanwhile, as the next door neighbor was putting up his Christmas lights, I decorated my house for Thanksgiving. Fall is my favorite season to decorate for, though I'll only get to enjoy it for a short time.  We will host a small group of 10-12 this year, which luckily will include two of our kids!  Three of my siblings and their families will not be here, and our married-with-children daughter is going to her in-laws but will stop by afterward, hopefully.  


My folks are bringing a ham, there will be Turkey and stuffing and all our usual favorite accompaniments.  I am going to make a couple of pumpkin pies this year, and my special cream cheese pie everyone loves.  Clearing out the sewing room will be the hardest chore to make room for guests, lol!  I may just shove it all into the garage instead of traipsing up and down the stairs endlessly--heck, I could fill up my car in the garage--though that seems pretty hoarder-like:)

Friday, November 22, 2019

Sewtopia Wrap Up

Final post of the fun we had in Seattle.

Sewtopia Seattle had two swaps this year, a general blind swap, and a super secret swap with a named attendee.  I participated in both.  For the blind swap I made a zippered selvage bag and put a bunch of sewing goodies, mini charms and thread, a selvage coaster, and some treats.  I was the very lucky recipient of an amazing bag.

Isn't it gorgeous?  It is quite large, with leather straps and an inner pocket with a zipper.  I love it.  My bad memory of names leads me to guess this was by a Kathy...so terrible I can't be sure, but I recognized her from previous events.  Many thanks!!

For the secret swap, we left each other little things for the first two days, then the reveal was on the third day.  I was again the recipient of a very generous swapper.  

There was tea, treats, a teacup, tea towel, quilted tote with handles, ruler, thread, notepad, ruler, and the beautiful pillow with sewing machine.  Kathryn from Calgary is a talented maker herself and I appreciate all her time and care in the swap, just awed at the effort!

As I mentioned before, for the blind swap I made a Snap Bag and filled it with sewing goods, a pattern, fabric, and other treats.  Somehow, at stupid o'clock when I was packing, I never got a photo of it.  My partner, Jill, was very sweet in her appreciation of my gift.

Shop Hop finds were fun too.  I bought a bunch of fat quarters for our game night, which were all lost, haha, but I did make it home with plenty of fabric, including the swag bag from Sewtopia. 




Missing from this photo is another length of a Christmas print from Quilting Mayhem, and a length of solid fabric from Dry Goods.  

Our last day in Seattle, my sister and I were glad to have the afternoon to sightsee before our 7 pm flight.  We luckily were able to check out but leave our luggage with another attendee who was staying another night.  We took another Uber to the Space Needle area, first exploring the grounds and perusing all the eating places at The Armory.  



Kathy posing with another enourmous totem pole. The people watching was great while we enjoyed a stone fired pizza. The Children's Museum is below the Armory and it was fun to see all the kids.  We bought our passes and rode up the Space Needle with the crowd. 


The sky was gray and dramatic and I liked the contrast with the fall leaves on the trees lining the streets far below the tall buildings.


Lots of folks were posing on the revolving glass floor.  It was entertaining to watch :)  The Seattle Eye is there in middle at the edge of the water. 


I caught a seaplane flying low as the sun hid behind the clouds.  Too soon, we took the elevator down, perused the gift shop but did not buy anything, and made our way to the Chihuly exhibit and gardens.  Dale Chihuly is a famous Seattle glass artist who works in a team approach to making all his glassworks, which are displayed all over the world.  I'll  share just a few favorites of the many I photos I took!  I really loved the garden the most, with the dramatic plantings chosen to go along with the glass art. 
 Sort of a forest with all different shapes of glass.  The spires were about 8-10 feet tall.


This boat he found washed up on shore was filled with huge glass spheres.  The reflective black manganese floor is very unique.
As you exited the gallery, this large spray of glass shapes greeted you. 

Different glass shapes among plantings at the base of the Space Needle.

I loved this enormous bouquet of glass shapes wiggling atop the mound of Black Mondo Grass contrasting with the striking bright green tips of the bushes at the base.  Very dramatic!  Before we headed back to the hotel, we watched a live demo of glass blowing taking place alongside the gallery.  Three women were creating a vessel.  So many steps are involved, all of which can result in a collapse of the hot glass.  We had a terrific time in Seattle and with all the Sewtopia ladies.  Next November's Sewtopia will be in Orlando, Florida!  I've never been there, either!

Monday, November 18, 2019

Design Wall Monday: Seattle Sewtopia--What I Worked On

On my design wall is what I worked on at Sewtopia. See more design walls on Judy's Small Quilts and Doll Quilts blog. 

It was hard to make my choices for Sewtopia this year--the two previous events I worked solely on one project at a time.   I finally settled on three different options for Seattle: blocks to assemble, a child's dress, and a paper piecing project. 


Having recently finished all the individual blocks for Beach Cottage (Kim Brackett design), I brought them along to assemble into sets of four and play rearrange.  Having a design wall is a luxury for me--no space in my converted family room!  I stacked up the rows to assemble at home, and got to cutting out the dress for my daughter's best friend's little girl, who turns two this week.  It had been a long time since I sewed for a little girl.


New Look pattern, size 2.  I chose View A with the darling ruffle on the straps and hem. Of course, it was the view with the most pieces and pages of instruction :)  Cutting out went fairly smooth, but the bodice was pretty fussy, the ruffle being extended beyond the yoke and requiring a lot of stay stitching, clipping and pivoting, and lots and lots of pinning! I resorted to hand basting at one point. Laying the bodice aside,  I assembled the skirt including the pockets and bottom ruffle before stopping for the night.   


It wasn't hard, only time consuming, to gather the skirt and stitch to the bodice.  Having sewn many clothes for my girls growing up, I used my favorite method of stitching the gathering rows at 4/8" and 6/8", leaving the 5/8" seam allowance to be easily sewn between the gathering lines.  This makes pulling out the basting easy too.


I stopped at this point, with the zipper and lining finish left to complete at home.

My final project was the Mt. Hood  pattern by Violet Craft, who was actually sitting at the table next to us working on a new pattern!  She came to our guild last year and I got a small portion of the wallhanging done.  I didn't bother her, but had my seatmate help me when I got stuck--every five minutes!  I find paper piecing very difficult with its inside out and backwards fabric placement.  I had to rip out several sections more than once, especially after I sewed two sections together on the trimming line NOT the stitching line, making the moon wonky. 


My sister had bought me a set of Add A Quarter rulers.  The rulers are so helpful with trimming.  Hopefully I will not wait another six months before touching this again. I sure hope I have enough of the sky fabrics since I wasted some with my mistakes, yikes.  

Many others were working on making bags, Christmas quilts, lots and lots of blocks were being stitched, and there were plenty of design walls, cutting tables, and ironing stations in use.  So many repeat attendees were  present, a whole contingent from Canada, and from all over the US.  Next November's location was announced as Orlando, Florida.  The events sell out almost instantly, I think the Las Vegas one next spring took 4 minutes! 

Saturday, November 16, 2019

Seattle Sewtopia

Wow, sorry for the lengthy unexpected break!  I was very busy these last few weeks--prepping to go to Sewtopia kept me busy for many hours leading up to the trip, and returning to work just as busy afterward.  My sister and I left on 11/6 and finally made it home in the wee hours of 11/11.  Prior to leaving, I stayed up until stupid o'clock doing final packing and searching for missing items.  I did not find the extra blades for my Olfa cutter until today!  I also now noticed that I have no photos of the gifts I made for my swap partners--though I was sure I took some..

I joined the Michael Miller Challenge again this year for Sewtopia.  I showed the unfinished basket quilt I made on my previous post, Fall Picnic Quilt from APQ magazine.  There were many hours spent quilting this approximately 25" quilt, the first pic is before quilting.  

  After ditch stitching, I marked the Xs through the outer border squares, then worked on the basket. 


 I was happy with the texture the quilting stitch gave the basket.  The handles and orange stripes got extra details too.

 This was a preset specialty stitch I elongated and widened to max.  I think it gave a nice touch. 
There was plenty of material left to make a nice pieced back.  I really liked this year's fabrics better than last year's (which I altered by stripping color).  Though my quilt did not win any of the prizes (very stiff and uber talented competition!), people did like it.  Next year we will have a different sponsor for the challenge.  

Our first day in Seattle was spent on a bus tour to two quilt shops.  The first was in Snohomish, Washington.  I was so glad the weather had not washed away all the fall color.  Our hotel was downtown and there were lots of great views from the bus. 
 Loved this colorful tall building.  The green electric bikes were available for rent all over the area.



Lots of construction going on downtown--including a new convention center right next to our hotel--but this Cell tower with branches was huge and interesting. 


 I had to really zoom in to get these window washers, many floors above ground level. Loved all the details on the old buildings still in use. 


On the slow crawl out to Snohomish, there was time to capture the famous houseboats on the lake, which I'm told are multi-million dollar homes. 

Our destination was Quilting Mayhem.
This is a very large shop with classrooms, sewing machine and longarm sales, and lots and lots of fabric.  The staff were well-prepared for us and moved as quickly as they could at cutting tables and registers.  There was time for lunch after fondling fabric and we strolled through this 150 year old town.  

This 1800s home was being eaten by ivy and brambles, but many others were in beautiful shape. the shingles on teh eaves matched the quilting on my picnic basket :)  The drive back to Seattle passed again through many acres of large farms, including Christmas Trees and cows, and harvested pumpkin fields. We headed to the Pioneer Square area of Seattle to shop at  very modern maker's shop, Dry Goods Design, near the Ferry terminal.  After a bit of shopping, Kathy and I wandered through public areas, enjoying the day. 

Such a pretty area to sit and read or rest.
Pioneer Square had lots of shops and restaurants, and large public areas for strolling, sitting, and playing.

 There were ping pong tables and playground equipment near these huge totem poles.


Skyscraper views, too...


Upon return to our hotel, it was time to check-in and get our sewing stations set up.  Let the sewing begin, in Jammies!

We had the whole second floor to ourselves, which was very nice.  We didn't last until the 12:00 midnight closing time, though, too tired!  I'll show projects I worked on in the next post.