Monday, August 26, 2013

Irish Chain Top - Complete!

I made a pact with myself this past weekend.

I would sew as much as I wanted, and in exchange, I would feel no guilt over not vacuuming my carpets and only doing 1 load of laundry. A win-win for me! ;)

I really wanted to finish piecing my king-size Irish Chain top....

...and I did!

I sewed during a great afternoon Florida thunderstorm with my favorite fluffy companions.

I actually laid all the blocks out first on my bed. I figured a king-size bed was a convenient place to lay out blocks for a king-size quilt. I had a great layout that I loved, so I collected and numbered the rows, and set them aside to take a Project Runway break.

And then as I was sitting there I had an epiphany. Typical quilt layouts have the shorter side as the width, and the length is the longer side. But king-size beds are wider than they are long. So my original layout of 6x7 would not work. I know, I know, most of you are thinking "oh, but you could just turn it sideways and be golden."

But folks, I had one directional print. ONE. Darn you adorable Sarah Jane anchors! So I laid the quilt out again, and had juuuuust enough space in my living room.

The overwhelming majority of the square corners line up beautifully, and I only got one block turned around when sewing. I haven't decided if I wanted to unpick that bit and flip the block or if I'll leave it as a reminder that I created this quilt in all its imperfections.

I needed some help taking pictures of this monstrosity. Each block finishes at 17", so it's no small feat to get it laid out flat and looking pretty.

I hope to have this quilt on my bed by October, so I have a whole month to get it quilted and bound! Fingers crossed!

**Linked with Fabric Tuesday and WIP Wednesday!

Friday, August 23, 2013

How should I quilt this?

How should I quilt this? by Sew Festive
How should I quilt this?, a photo by Sew Festive on Flickr.

When you're stumped...ask the Internet!

And so, quilty peeps who are much wiser than do you think I should quilt my Irish Chain? I have all the blocks sewn together and all the white squares cut out. I'm going to be dedicating my Saturday to sewing the top together.

But I have ZERO ideas on how to quilt this monstrosity. It's king size - each block finishes at 17". So those white spaces are pretty big. Because of the size I can't just do the diagonal quilting through the blue squares that I was considering. Plus I want the quilting to be kind of special, as this quilt is going on my bed. However, I'm quilting it on my home machine...


Friday, August 16, 2013

Fabric Friday!

It's been months since I've bought quilting fabric. I've been buying some cool fabric pieces here and there for clothing, but I hadn't stocked up on quilting cottons in a while.

So last week when everyone in my company got a surprise bonus I said, "Well by golly, I'm gonna go real crazy with some of this extra money. I'm gonna buy new bedsheets, a new toaster, and some fabric."

I know, have you ever met a wilder 20-something? I thought not.

I love to support indie shops and small businesses, but my wallet can't always afford that. I do about half and half, and I feel ok with that right now. So since I needed 6 yards of Cotton Couture Soft White to fill in the blank squares in my Irish Chain quilt, I stocked up on basics that were on sale.

I definitely prefer basics when quilting. I totally appreciate quilts that have amazing focal fabrics [I'm thinking AMH in particular] but I just can't figure out what to do with a large-scale multi-colored print. And I guess because large focal fabrics tend to be florals of some sort or another, and I'm more of a geometric gal myself. It's pretty interesting what you find out about your taste and style just buying fabrics. Well, my boyfriend doesn't think it's interesting, but then again, what does he know ;)

Fabrics pictured: La Creme Dots in Swiss in Red and Black, Jenean Morrison Grand Hotel, Michael Miller Ta Dot, Lizzy House Jewels, Violet Craft Waterfront Park Domino Dot, Denyse Schmidt Chicopee, AMH Field Study, Robert Kaufman Metro Living, those two bias stripes are Riley Blake, and the yellow polkadot is also I believe.

And then I took myself off to Knotted Thread to buy some Lush Uptown!

I think I need more of the Paint by Number print on the left because it would make an awesome autumn pillow. Or napkins. Or anything. The colors are so rich.

I hope we all get in some sewing time this weekend! TGIF :)

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Keeping the magic alive

Keeping the magic alive by Sew Festive
Keeping the magic alive, a photo by Sew Festive on Flickr.

I finished this custom embroidery earlier this week. A day after hemming 8 pairs of pants for my sister. Guys, hemming pants is not magical AT ALL. Luckily I'm the best sister ever and want my sister to look great when she gets back to shaping the minds of those 8th graders.

This hoop is winging its way to its new owner, but I'll be putting this design up as a made-to-order hoop in my Etsy shop if you decide you need one too! :)

Friday, August 9, 2013

This week

For those of you who don't know, I started a new job about 2.5 months ago. I'm now a case manager for a child welfare agency. My day-to-day now involves working with children who are abused, abandoned, and neglected, and as you might imagine, I'm trying to find what works best to relieve stress within my hectic schedule.
It's become more apparent over the last few weeks how important sewing is to me and my relaxation. I've loved sewing for an hour after a draining day. I wish I had more time to sew, but cleaning and cooking and spending time with friends and family must also fit into my evenings and weekends. I admit, the go, go, go lifestyle is tiring, but it makes me appreciate the evenings I can sit next to my boyfriend and sew while he plays games on his computer.
And if I only get my king-size Irish Chain quilt and a handful of clothes made for the rest of the year then I'll be happy with it. Because these spare sewing moments are reminding me that it's not the quantity of items I produce but its the impact that they have on me, my family, my life.
Ps, these are all snippets of my week :)