I was really hoping to finish up my silk tunic today but I am so exhausted. Even after a two hour nap I didn’t have much energy so I just finished sewing the quilt blocks together. I am planning on sewing again tomorrow but if I’m still feeling lousy I may just hang around the pool and try to get some rest – and not be too disappointed that I haven’t accomplished much.
I used my Consew 105 to finish the top and am so glad I got it! I have so much more room to work – the handwheel feels like it’s so far away! Now I’m anxious to try it out for freemotion work.
The last couple of weeks have been very busy so I just haven’t had the energy to write – or even do much to write about!
The green silk tunic is nearly done. I’m looking for some beads so that I can bead the edges to give the crinkled silk some weight.
I also finished the Layer Cake Quilt – photos of that later. Today I cut out all of the pieces for a large Drunkard’s Path quilt. It will be made entirely out of batik fabrics, 20 prints in all. Interestingly, the instructions (and every quilter and website out there) say to stitch with the convex piece on top. Hmm, as a garment sewer that makes no sense to me whatsoever! When I sew a Princess seam I always stitch with the concave section on top and curve it around the side panel. This is a real piece of cake when you’re working with a 1/4″ seam allowance! Am I missing something? There is even a foot marketed to quilters to help stitch these curved seams. I don’t get it so I will just sew the blocks my way – no pins, no marking.
My Honey says I make the best Tuna sandwich on the planet. Embarassingly, he tells everyone that and says I should market my recipe. He’s so silly because it’s really nothing special. I start with Bumble Bee Prime Fillet (solid Albacore) and add 1/2 Tbsn of real mayo (none of that reduced or low-fat stuff), 1 Tbsn of real sour cream and 2 tspns of Guldens or Publix brown mustard. That’s it – as I said, no big deal but he raves about it. Bryan likes it melted with cheese, I prefer mine with tomato wedges instead of bread. I like the fact that it’s lighter and more tangy than the traditional all-mayo version.
The Oncidiums are blooming! OMG, I am so excited about this! My friend Mary’s husband Chris (Orchid Grower Extraordinaire!) gave me a few Oncidium plants about 10 years ago. While his spoil him with literally thousands of little Dancing Ladies, mine never bloomed. Ever. Not one single flower! Well, I had a really tough day on Thursday and it did my heart good to come home to this:
And this is just one of two flower stalks!
I also have more Phals blooming!
I’ve been kind of hacking away at my two current projects – a little bit every day!
I am LOVING my quilting setup! Until my Consew 105 is ready to bring home I decided to use my Singer 20U for the quilt. It has a table behind it making it perfect for large projects. I like the fact that I can work on the quilt for a few minutes and then just put the needle down, turn it off and leave everything until next time. It’s great because I don’t feel the need to hurry up and finish and it doesn’t interfere with my garment sewing.
I’m happy with the way it’s turning out. Nothing earthshattering but I thought it would be a great way to practice my freemotion work and I’ll end up with something perfect for curling up on the couch.
The tunic has been cut out as well. Because the fabric is very wispy and slithery I taped it to my cutting board so that everything would stay on grain while I was cutting.
I also pulled out the box of extra-fine Clover pins that I bought several years ago. They are really nice for chiffons but you do need to “weave” them in because they will otherwise fall out. I’m not really a big pinner but I wanted to use a few on the darts to keep everything straight.
The Phals are blooming! Most of you don’t know this but years ago (before I became a mother) I was very heavily into orchids. They are, without a doubt, my very favorite flower. These days, I stick mainly to the easy ones that don’t require much attention. My phaelonopsis always spoil me with flowers and I love having them around the house!
I didn’t get a lot done this weekend, unfortunately. The Boyfriend had a softball tournament this past week so I spent all day yesterday at the park. To be fair, he did tell me to stay home and sew but there I was.
Today, I finally pressed the crinkled silk for another WOF tunic. That seemed to take *forever* but now that it’s done I can cut it out tomorrow.
I also put together my quilt sandwich. After kneeling on my tile floor for 45 minutes, I decided that I should stick with smaller quilts in the future -something that will fit on my cutting table.
Renee asked how I planned to quilt this project. I really enjoy free-motion quilting and find it very relaxing. It’s very easy once you get the hang of it but does take practice. I am not particularly *good* at it in the traditional sense. I do not meander as I am really horrible at it. I am better at loops and swirls (which I happen to really like better anyway) so that’s what I usually stick with.
The first step is dropping or covering the feed dogs (check your manual on how to do this) on your sewing machine. I’m working on a commercial machine so I remove my feeder completely.
Next, attach a freemotion or darning foot to the machine. Before beginning bring the bobbin thread up to the top so that you don’t get any snarls or knots on the underside. Then take a few stitches to secure the thread and clip the tails (don’t forget to lower the presser foot). Then it’s time to start the fun! The key is to run the machine fast and move the work slowly. I work with my hands on either side of the foot and concentrate on a 6″ square area at a time. You can wear rubber gloves or gardening gloves with rubber palms to help you guide the fabric more easily. Then just play around until you get the hang of it. I always practice on scraps before I get started to warm up and check the tension.
ETA: When I am working with a larger item to be quilted I spray the sewing machine table with silicone to make it easier to slide around as I’m quilting. Please take care and do not spray the floor – I do not want you to slip and break a leg!
I had this afternoon off so I thought it would be a good time to pop in a DVD and piece the top of my Moda Layer Cake quilt. It’s a one-patch, forty 10″ pieces. I don’t have a design wall so I decided to use my just-vacuumed-and-mopped living room floor for the layout. I discovered that my digital camera is very handy as a “third eye”. I played with it and played with it until I said “good enough”!
So, all the pieces have been put together. The inner and outer borders are next. Then comes the fun part! My friend Sharon calls the piecing “foreplay”, lol. We both like the free-motion quilting – it’s very relaxing – and I am anxious to move onto that. I plan on quilting this with hot pink thread. Piecing? Eh, it’s okay, I guess.
I always swore I’d never quilt. Then I made this quilt for my DMIL’s birthday a few years ago (she collects turtles). I double-swore at that time that I’d never do it again. The fact that I made this start to finish in about two days may have had something to do with that.
Well, lately I’ve been feeling the urge to have some sort of non-garment project to work on when I’m feeling too tired for cutting and fitting clothing. A couple of months ago, I made some silly chicken placemats (I LOVE chickens), which was fun but over too quickly. I needed a long-term project and decided on a quilt.
I attended the Broward County Quilt Expo yesterday and picked up a Moda Layer Cake kit, a really cool pattern/template (yes, I forgot to buy the 3.5″ matching template so I had to order it online today!) and the Cabo Halter. I was too overwhelmed to get anything else!
What can I say? Never say never! But, you can still expect my sewing to be 95% (or more) garments – that will never change. And don’t expect either of these quilts to be done anytime soon. I will work on them whenever I feel like it with no plan to finish them anytime soon.
And, finally, congratulations to my good friend, Sharon Beyer, for winning Best of Show! I had planned to post a photo of her with her award-winner but I forgot to charge my camera battery before leaving the house. 😦