Saturday, December 29, 2012

Moved to Texas

Well, I got a job here in East central Texas and we moved 2100+ miles away from Northern Idaho.  My sewing room is non-existent right now and I miss having easy access to my machine!

Moving truck and our car on a trailer - this is in NE Wyoming

Duffy wearing his seatbelt harness - he got as tired of the endless days of driving as we did!

I am happy to have the move behind us and it has been quite a challenge to adjust to a different climate, new job, and new culture.  The countryside here is surprisingly pretty!

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Sharing my newest sewing space

We almost never have anyone over for dinner, nor do we sit at a dinner table regularly in our house.  So, I re-purposed our dining space to be a sewing space for me.  I also have two desks and switched back to the smaller desk for keyboard room which leaves the larger desk to act as a cutting table.  It is just the right size!  The pantry to the right of the cleaning closet (bi-fold door) is huge and contains much of my fabric, patterns, and other sewing stuff.  Not much food is in my pantry!  Hope you enjoy this little tour...

Sewing area.  When sewing, I set up the ironing board on the brown rug so that I can swivel in my rolling desk chair to press while sewing.

Sewing machine on the table Mom gave me.  It's got a handy raised section to the left so that fabric is better supported.
Supply cart and bulletin board.  This blocks a cleaning closet and since the cart is on wheels, it is easy enough to roll it out of the way should I want to vacuum or mop.

Desk to the right of my sewing machine.  Duffy's kennel is easy to move when I am cutting out a project.  The half shelf under the desk is currently home to my pressing ham.  The green toolbox on the floor to the left contains all my immediate-need sewing tools - such as scissors, pins, needles, etc.
Desk drawers - left contains tools and rotary cutters and the center drawer (keyboard tray) has my rulers and seam roll.  All but one huge ruler fit into the drawer.
Desk surface - left is a small (yellow) rotary mat that swivels for quick cuts while at my sewing machine.  The top of the desk is a good size for my large rotary mat.  Shown are three projects - sleeves on the left for a blouse in progress, a wallet, and a blouse to make.

Closeup of next two projects - a zipping wallet and a blouse with a faux cowl out of a soft, rosy rayon from Walmart.

Updated the blog page

I got tired of using cookie-cutter headers and backgrounds on my page so I uploaded some images of my own.  The background is a beautiful vintage dress from  about 1910 with tatted and crocheted lace overlay from the Leila Old Historic Costume Collection at the University of Idaho. 

I made the page header up of (left to right) a fun quilt block from the Craftsy Block of the Month Club class, a quick knitted shawl from koolaid dyed Crystal Palace wool yarn, and a picture of my sewing machine and cutting mat as I was making the quilt block on the left.

I'm not a graphic designer or web designer, but I'm still pretty happy with how the page looks!

Friday, July 6, 2012

Blog tours and moonrises

I just completed a fun blog tour on Indygo Junction's site (  Great idea and cute projects. 

I really liked the bucket bag on Mama Said Sew's blog (  I've needed to come up with a good bag for the DC conference and I think this is it.  I like the pockets and the fact that the bag stands up by itself.  I can't stand a purse that flops all over the floor when I set it down.

This week we had several pretty moonrises.  This was Monday's - sorry about the power lines:

Still have to get my sewing table cleaned off and moved to a better spot in the apartment.  I'm behind on my Craftsy Block of the Month quilt, but I have to set that aside until I get my DC wardrobe planned and sewn. 

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Travel/conference wardrobe planning

Just started to plan out a travel wardrobe for the Textile Society of America symposium in September - in Washington, DC!  I need my clothes to be professional and have a rather neutral color palette.  I am drawn to bright colors, but the academics I admire don't wear a lot of color in a professional setting.  Maybe a jazzy scarf...

So, I am basing the wardrobe around the color pale taupe.  And my base jackets will be with pockets from Saf-T-Pockets patterns.  I like the look of #2009 Flounce About Jacket.  It reminds me a lot of the jacket I bought to wear to the Costume Society of America conference in May, with a peplum look to the bottom of the jacket.  Here's a link to the pattern: 

There is also a nice Travel Tips section on the website, with wardrobe planning and travel planning worksheets.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Cut out and sewn up in one day!

It's been ages since I have made a garment so quickly.  Of course, it helps that this tunic is a Kwik Sew pattern (3203 tunic and pull on pants).  I have had this rayon blend in my stash for awhile.  The print is by Robert Kaufman and it might be from in about 2003.  Don't exactly remember.

I tried to plan out where the motifs would fall to avoid highlighting my bust area, but I'm not sure how well I succeeded.  I'll try it on tomorrow and take photos again.

Finished tunic

Slit opening at CF neckline

Pretty bird motif

Here's the dart and bust point.  Oops, not sure how this will look.

I also cut out a little seersucker summer top, using pattern McCall's 6035.  I will get sewing on it tomorrow.

Happy sewing!

Update:  photo taken

Giving my husband camera instructions while having one's photo taken - not such a good idea.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Practice dress

For the last two days, I have been making a wearable muslin to try out a new pattern.  I need a cool dress & jacket to wear in Atlanta in June and it needs to look academic professional.  I bought some 100% linen in gray and beige for the dress and beige linen/rayon blend to make a jacket.

So, I am using Material Thing's Fearless Dress #107 for my pattern.  I am making view A and I chopped off the sleeves.  After getting the muslin done I decided it is just too tight across my hip region, even though by finished measurements on the pattern envelope it should be big enough.  I am guessing it's because I really have hips almost all the way up to my waist!

This red linen look "dress" will be worn as a long jacket.  I am going to modify the sleeves as they are too tight and uncomfortable at the above the elbow length.  They will be shorted and angled up.

Once I enlarge the hip area, and get it cut out of another practice linen look, I will take a photo with it on me.

Update:  Photo

I've decided to sew in the waist tucks as the pattern originally indicated because, right now, it's looking a bit like a sack.  It goes really well with a little poly knit dress I picked up at Walmart.  The solid jacket tones down the multi color red-orange-black-white dress.  Easy outfit!

Wednesday, May 2, 2012


Two more blocks completed for the Craftsy Block of the Month Club.  The blocks were originally done via English Paper Piecing, but I just couldn't stomach the idea of handsewing.

So, I found a tutorial online ( that showed me how to use fusible web to skip the handsewing.  I really like how the blocks turned out.

Both blocks together

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Mistakes are fun

More quilt blocks finished:

Two strip blocks side by side.  
I misunderstood the directions for March's blocks this time and they have backing fabric all the way out to the edges.  This makes the blocks too bulky to put into the quilt.  So, I intend to make those into pillows.

March Block 1
March Block 2
 Last night, I wanted to sew but didn't have any particular blocks to make.  I just cut up some squares and strips that I already had to make a non-Wonky Pound Sign Block.

Not a Wonky Pound Sign block
and another Wonky Pound Sign block, this time using scrap fabrics so it is not a 12.5" block.  I will either sash it to size or use it for a pillow.

Wonky Pound Sign
They were a lot of fun to make.  Made for several relaxing evenings.

Monday, April 23, 2012

More quilt bocks

Last night, I completed two more blocks.  I'm finding the blocks make a good break from working on my thesis.  It's definitely reducing my stress & anxiety levels.

Chunky Chevron Block

Balkan Puzzle Block
The Balkan Puzzle Block was constructed using the technique where 2 layers of fabric are sewn together in a square, all around the outside, and then the blocks are cut into 4 pieces on the diagonal.  The Chunky Chevron used the technique that is more traditional - 2 layers of fabric, one marked on the diagonal, have 2 seams sewn onto each - each one sewn 1/4" from the line.  Then they are cut into 2 pieces along the drawn line.  I actually liked the traditional way better.  Either way, however, I am happy with how they came out.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Cute summer top

We finally had a warm and sunny day!  I started going through my summer clothes.  I realized that I had never updated my review on so I took some photos of the back and front views.  I plan to make a few more of these blouses for the summer to use up some lightweight fabric in my stash.

The first try with this blouse

Needs to be a bit larger around the hips and a bit longer

This is the version in which I lowered the CF neckline and enlarged the hip area and lengthened it.

Back view - still not quite big enough

I want to increase the size at the hip just a bit more, and add side vents.  This blouse was made in inexpensive cotton from Walmart - lighter than a quilting cotton.  It has green dots and red ladybugs and is very cute.

Lady bug print

Ivory and red print with trim

Asterisk & Wonky Pound Sign

My next project - the Craftsy Block of the Month Club

My completed January blocks

Asterisk Block

Wonky Pound Sign Block
I liked making the Wonky Pound Sign block better than Asterisk - it wasn't as fussy and came out better looking.  I wish I could have gotten better colors but I took the photos at night.  The pale solid is a buff / off white Kona cotton.

Completed quilt top - love these colors!!!

Quilt top done!  I won't be working with jelly rolls that have pinked edges again.  The width was more than 2.5" so I just kind of had to eyeball halfway between the points and valleys of the pinked edge to make a good seam.  So many seams ended up smaller or larger than needed.  Anyway, next time I will just buy yardage and cut my own strips.

I set up my sewing machine with the cutting board behind it and the ironing board to the right.  Easy to keep working.

Blocks completed
After the blocks were done, I chose the squares to put into each corner.

Completed quilt top

I love the color combination and the prints.  After I buy a quilt batting, I will try my hand at quilting with my machine.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Starting two quilts

I haven't been much of a quilter and wondered why people would find it satisfying to cut up yardage just to sew it back together in shapes.  But, now I am starting two quilts!  The last quilt I made was a tied Quilt in a Day for my daybed in high school.  Long time ago and a very simple quilt.

Quilt one will be the Double Nine Patch:

 from the "More Layer Cake, Jelly Roll & Charm Quilts" book.

I really like the designs in this book and hope to make several others.  It's a nice blend of modern and traditional.

 I'm using all Moda Fabrics in this quilt.  The first three pics are of the Reunion jelly roll.

Here are the sashing, Bella Solids in gray, and the backing fabric, Reunion Dates (in Vanilla).  I love the grays and the modern feel of the fabrics.  Hopefully, this will be a lovely quilt when finished.

My second quilt is from the Craftsy Block of the Month series.  My mom is working on one and it caught my interest.  I signed up for the free series today.  I can't wait to figure out what fabrics I want to use and get going on it.

Craftsy Block of the Month