Monday, November 26, 2012

Manic Mondays

12Nov26sample1 This will be a quickie post – otherwise, it’ll probably be Wednesday or later before I’ll have time. Hmmmm, and Wednesday is a Full Moon, I just noticed. Full at 6 Gemini. Jupiter, at 11 Gemini, is close by, and many of the other planets are sitting in the early stages of their houses, meaning there is a lot of interaction this week.In other words, BUSY! Mars and Uranus are squared, and have been for the past week, so the Cardinal signs (Aries, Cancer, Libra and Capricorn) should be careful: arguments, accidents, frustrations are common right now, and will be until the end of the month. Today Mercury is going Direct. It’s been Retrograde (backwards) since Nov. 6.

Well, I hadn’t intended an astrological post, but there you are. Stuff happens! Actually, I wanted to post my November Free Motion Challenge before the month is over and I’ve missed it. It’s been done for days.

12Nov26sample2 This month’s challenge was given to us by quilter Sarah Vedeler who had our heads and hands swirling. I love swirls, but I’m still having trouble keeping those curves even. Not as easy as it looks. I did several practice runs over two weeks, and I’m a little frustrated (see? Mars/Uranus!) that my last practice attempt looked pretty much like my first practice attempt. But sooner or later, the practice has to yield the final work. so here it is. Big swirls, little swirls and connecting “S” swirls.

As usual, even though they may look far from perfect, this month’s challenge has given me the start of a new and useful quilting design. Thank you Sarah, and thank you SewCal Gal for organizing this 12-month challenge. For Sarah’s tutorial, and to see everyone else’s examples of this challenge, go here and scroll down to the bottom of the page.

Until next time,

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Rainy days and Wednesdays

12Nov21pines I am accumulating a growing pile of sewing that needs to be picked out. It just hasn’t been a good week for sewing. Too bad I can’t postpone Christmas! Today was just plain dreary. It began with rain, changing to snow, changing back to rain. Plop. Plop. Plop. Actually, I don’t mind the rain. It’s the sunshine that I miss.

12Nov21spirals My neighbour will be away for two weeks and she asked me to take care of Frankie, the stray cat, while she’s away. He’s still an outdoor cat. She’s tried to entice him into her house, but he’s not quite there yet. I feel terrible that he’s outside in this wintery mess. I feed him in the morning when it’s dark, and it’s usually dark again when I get home 12Nov21roses from work and go looking for him. I think it’s bothering me more than it’s bothering him.

I thought I was going to be able to post my November project for the Free Motion Quilting Challenge today, but the spirals that I sewed this morning were worse than my previous practice runs. I decided to practice some more before posting. As I was talking the FMQ foot off of my machine a little while 12Nov21sunflower later, I realized that the setting was too low for what I was trying to do. I remember lowering it some time ago, but I can’t remember what for. The improper height may have something to do with why some of my stitches aren’t coming out looking right. As I was doing my spirals this morning, I was noticing how difficult it was to move the sample around under the needle. Next time, maybe I’ll think to check the height of the foot. And maybe tomorrow the sun will be back!

Until next time,

Thursday, November 15, 2012

It’s a snap!

12Nov15bag1 The last two weeks have been insane with work and work-related stuff and I’ve barely had time to sleep, let alone look at the sewing machine. Things seem to be getting back to normal now – or as normal as it will be until Christmas is over.

But last Saturday, I managed to put some time in sewing Christmas presents. This is one of them. A fairly simple bag, but I did a double pleat pocket on the front – with magnetic 12Nov15bag2 snaps! First time I’ve used snaps. And they worked! Too bad you can’t really see them here – black on black isn’t all that good for illustrating. But I’m pretty happy with how it looks.

I went for wide sides because I want wide tabs on either side of the zipper. No other outside pockets. I considered making some others, but I have more Christmas presents to make, and I can’t spend all my time on this one. I reinforced the bottom thickness of batting by using layers of Thermolam on both the outer fabric and the lining. Don’t know if it’ll make much of a difference, but there’s only one way to find out.

Inside the pockets are pretty simple as well – two large pockets on one side and 12Nov15bag3 three smaller pockets on the other. Not very fancy, but those snaps are pretty neat, and my stitching is much better than it has been with past bags. I still have the zipper to fit along the top (see – I barely flinched when I said the “z” word) and straps to put on. Oh, I also remembered to put an inside strap with a D-ring in there. Next one will be even better. That’s the way it’s supposed to work. And actually, all of the other bags I’ve made this year were just practice for these bags I’m making as Christmas presents. I’ll let you know how they turn out.

Karin tagged my last post and invited me to play a little Q and A game with her. Karin, I’m not ignoring you, I’m just trying to catch up first. Hopefully, I’ll have some time this weekend.

Until next time,

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Making the hard decisions

12Nov7practise I’m getting behind in my posts again, but it’s full steam ahead at Santa’s workshop – also known as my diningroom. I’ve been practicing November’s Free Motion Quilting Challenge as a prelude to quilting several projects that need to be done before Christmas. This month Sarah Vedeler has us doing basic spirals. I love the look of them – well, I love the look of hers – but mine are still looking pretty boxy. More practice.

12Nov7ginger I’m also working on not one, but two bags at the moment. Yeesh! What have I done? I started on one that I’ve been planning for months, and all of a sudden decided to put together another one right out of the blue! Here is Ginger modelling the second one behind her on the loveseat. It’s going to be a really basic file carrier, open at the top. I’m hoping that means it goes together quickly. I saw some music-themed remnants in the bin at Fabricland over the weekend and I knew exactly what I wanted to do with them.

12Nov7plana The “first” bag is finally coming together now that I’ve decided on a colour combination. The lady I’m making it for said she likes black and white. And blue. And who knows what else? So I decided to make her a black and white bag. I love the fabrics, but, bleh. I don’t know if she would have liked it, but as soon as I cut the pieces, I knew it wasn’t right. Since they’re already cut, I think I’ll use them for the lining. It actually didn’t take me long to 12Nov7planb come up with the blue polka dots and black paisley – more remnants that have been hanging around here for months. The blue ties in nicely with both of them. It’s surprising how well they look together. Tonight I was ironing on the fusible fleece; tomorrow morning I should be able to start stitching this one together. I’ll let you know how it turns out!

Until next time,