Sunday, November 9, 2014

Work Space

Our apartment is not big enough for a legitimate dining table. After doing some research I discovered the world of expandable tables! New tables cost several thousand dollars so I needed a vintage solution.  I was trying to obtain a table that had at least 3 hardwood leaves for $400 or less.  I was so pleased to purchase this beauty from Craigslist for $95! This table was owned by a one L.A. family for generations.  This piece has some ornamental damage but I was able to find replacement pieces online.  

When I'm working on a big quilt I can expand the table and put in all my leaves for a great work space. When I'm just repairing clothes or working on tiny pieces the desk fits well against a wall in our living room. 

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Blue Quilt

I love my first Jelly Roll quilt! I had to know if the results I found with the first quilt were a fluke or if quilting really was this easy. I ordered the Moda Persimmon jelly roll from Amazon and backed this quilt with a blue cotton sheet flat sheet from a sheet set we no longer used. While I quilted my first quilt in tight waves, I did a very simple diagonal tight zigzag stitch here. This quilt came together in just a weekend!
Basting Buddies

Chiquita approved.

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Let Me See Your Jelly Roll

When I bought my sewing machine my intention was to tackle sewing projects. Skirts. Bags. Miscellaneous Pinterest projects. Then I saw my first Jelly Roll quilt online... and I had to try it. After pouring over tutorials I was hooked.  How easy! How fabulous and fun!

I returned from a work event in Dallas and I needed a project to relax myself. I ordered the Moda Catalina Batiks jelly roll and some batting from Amazon and got to work.  In a week of evenings I had a beautiful lap quilt backed with orange fleece.

I expected basting to be the most difficult part of making a quilt. Instead, I found that the physical strength it took me to move my quilt through my standard sewing machine was the most challenging part. The second most challenging task was making mitered corners with my binding. Thank goodness for bloggers who love to teach and for Pinterest! I must have read more than 20 different tutorials to learn all the steps for this first quilt.  

Murphy can't resist the streaming action of a Jelly Roll

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Diving In.

Now that my machine is running I’ve spent some time randomly stitching things together.  For my first actual sewing project I created a travel pillow for my brother-in-law. Some time ago he gave me a pants leg from his favorite blue jeans that he had worn to pieces. I turned that pants leg into a simple travel pillow for camping.  It is not a masterpiece but it is a start!

The next project I tackled was incredibly simple. I have found that despite my best intentions I don’t wear straight lightweight scarves. It doesn’t matter how many I buy or how many are gifted to me, they sit my closet. If it’s not a circular scarf, it’s not going to see the light of day.  So I sat down on a Shonda Rhimes Thursday and slowly stitched my straight scarves into circles using an overcast stitch for a great seam.  Success! 

Sunday, September 14, 2014

A Decision Is Made.

In September I hit a wall. My career had become quite challenging and I sometimes felt like all my mental energy was spent by the time I got home in the evening.  My work was satisfying, stimulating, and fast paced. Unfortunately, most of my projects were long-game systems with payoffs that took months to achieve.  I desperately wanted to put work into something purely creative and see the positive results with near immediacy.

I'm a crafter but for some reason my normal projects weren't getting me out of my funk. I felt stuck. Stuck and stagnant. Stuck, stagnant, and hungry for something creatively satisfying.  Beyond that, the challenges of my husband's career meant I was spending countless hours alone. I needed something to revive my creative spark.

Maybe it was Pinterest, maybe it was the never-ending Project Runway episodes on repeat I was absorbing, but I decided to start sewing.

Earlier in the summer, my husband purchased a vintage mint green Singer sewing machine for me.

I pulled it out and quickly realized I had no idea what I was doing. I'm not even sure I had all the right parts.  I immediately put the vintage machine away and tried to sign up for a class at my local Jo-Ann Fabrics. However, they were booked solid for weeks! I decided to just dive in on my own and started my sewing education on the internet.

After reading reviews and visiting stores I decided to purchase the Brother XR9500PRW Limited Edition Project Runway Sewing Machine.

I did not buy this machine for the Project Runway branding. I chose this machine because it had glowing reviews and I felt a computerized machine was the "new" path in sewing.  That being said, don't let the branding full you because this is a powerful machine!  I ordered mine from Amazon and I was sewing seams within the hour.  

Five months later and I find myself donating my yarn stash and making room for a fabric stash. The vintage sewing machine is still in the house but I think it's heading for Craigslist. California living allows little room for sentimental living.  This hobby is so satisfying!