Friday, November 22, 2013

plodding along

Since Blogathon Canada is hopping through my part of the country today (uh, not quite today but better early than late) I thought that just maybe I should come up with a sewing post. Sound like a plan? Good. Next week I'll tell you about the book(s) that have sucked up most of the past two weeks of my life and taken all my sewing time. But now, sewing.
so many things to iron
I've been busy as a bee sewing away at these blocks. Thirty five blocks. If I'd been thinking I would have added in a lot more fabrics - sewing primarily the same five prints and patterns has gotten more than a little bit repetitive. But finally, finally I'm getting to the point of being able to see and end in sight.

they look a bit better after some pressing

The pile of blocks up there? I spent the better part of my Tuesday afternoon pressing seams on those babies. Then I moved on to the dining room and marked some seam lines on them (that is one extra step that hand-piecing requires that I could do without).

all ready for trimming and marking seams
At the moment these here are my favourites. Probably because they're my contrast blocks and thus they don't look exactly like the other thirty two things I've sewn. I'm looking forward to placing them in the actual layout and seeing that bit of pop. I'm also looking forward to figuring out what else I can make in the future with the black damask.

The most exciting part is that I've finished block #1. About thirty of them I just have one more seam to go, but there's about five with more significant work. Then sashing. Then backing. Basting. Quilting. This is kind of the forever project, or at least it feels that way.

finished block!!

Monday, November 11, 2013

hey look

Over on the right, do you see that?? I've never had a button on my blog before (though I've linked some posts with buttons). But this one is worth it. Because the Sew Sisters Quilt Shop is hosting Blogathon Canada showcasing tons of awesome Canadian quilt bloggers.

Tuesday, November 05, 2013

why I need a baby lock melody

Today's day three of the chicken soup diet (aka, I'm sick) and so in between long naps, bowls of soup and catching some of the craziness on the news today I've been clicking over the Bloggers Quilt Festival and looking at all the pretties.

This is the first year I've really been following enough (too many?) quilt bloggers that I've really had a chance to get into the whole Blogger's Quilt Festival that's been running around that corner of the intrawebs the past week and it's been so much fun to see everyone's post and to look through the link roundups.

While I'm not quite ready this time to actually enter the a quilt in the festival (maybe in spring? maybe next year?) there is a giveaway going on that's just too tempting not to enter. They're giving away a sewing machine. A Baby Lock Melody to be specific ... and this girl right here? Very much in need of a sewing machine. And to enter all I have to do is write about why I need this baby.

Cause I'm still doing everything by hand and it's driving me nutso at times. I mean, there's a certain portion of my sewing time that I would just never spend on a machine in general - hand piecing quilts for the house, or for very special gifts, stitching the binding in the back. But man are there parts that I would love-love-love to source to some time spent at a machine.

A machine would let me whip out some quicker projects - like for my coworker who is having a baby - without having to put in a four-to-six month time commitment. And there are people who will cause bodily harm to me if my coworker's baby gets a quilt before they will. (Maybe I exaggerate. But they'd be pretty disappointed.) I'd probably experiment more with patterns and blocks - sometimes knowing you'll be sewing the same thing for four to six months makes the choice of the next quilt to make very difficult.

My list of quilts that I want to make is getting crazy long, and even though I have my next two projects ready to go (once I finish this top, I start a log cabin and after that it's some crazy flying geese) I'd like to be able to think I'll realistically get around to making them while the ideas are still exciting.

I could also try paper piecing. The paper pieced blocks I've been seeing lately have me swooning, but it's not a realistic thing to do without a machine.

I'm thinking I'd love to join an online bee, as well, but that's just not realistic without a machine. I mean, it's doable, but I'd probably drive myself bonkers.

I could try out fancier quilting. I'm amazed at a lot of the quilting that so many people do on their home machine and I'd love to learn how to do that part of the process with a machine rather than by hand.

Stitching binding down by hand? On the front at least I would really love to do that on a machine. I've started to loath that part of the process by hand, but at the point where all I'm dealing with is binding I'm not willing to give up on a project. I'd just like it not to have to be a three-week affair, sometimes.

Of course, if I don't win I'll be just fine. The vast majority of my sewing I prefer by hand. And if I won, I'd have to do some very creative reorganizing. I think maybe there's a cupboard by the kitty litter box that could just sit a little table and a machine right now? I'm also not-so-secretly saving large chunks of my personal spending money with the intent that when we move, I get to buy a machine. And Bunny keeps saying he wants to get me one for Christmas - he hasn't realized yet that that's just not in the budget.