More of the Workroom Refresh

View west
View west

I spent last Saturday doing the final clear out of my workroom. It is kind of horrifying to do something like this. It shows how much stuff I have. I don’t feel bad about it, but I need to use it. I produce a lot, but I need to produce more. Now that I have a better idea of what I have, I can use more of it. I am also going to be more careful about what comes into my workroom going forward.

View south
View south

The other thing is the dust. There are places that are inaccessible so the dust bunnies are large.

The view in the photo, right, doesn’t look like much, but I moved a lot of random stuff out of that corner. I had organized everything I could, but it was still kind of a jumble of projects and other random stuff. There is still some project boxes and my thread box there, but the corner next to my design wall is a lot more clear.

View east
View east

I am getting rid of some ugly pieces of furniture. That brown bookcase in the corner is out of the room as I write this and will be leaving my house soon. It is too short and too ugly for the future. I hope to bring in some fresh white bookcases. I haven’t picked them out yet, but I will.

Boxes of fabric
Boxes of fabric

Clearing out the last bits from my workroom is a big drag. It has to be done, but is a big drag. It’s like moving. Stuff that has always been in a  spot has to be moved. A lot of it has to be wrapped up, you need boxes. Bleah. It’s just a lot of work. I keep thinking of the end result.

I had a pile of just pressed fabric and a pile of fabric waiting to be pressed. I decided to put them all in boxes. It was a good opportunity to check out some fabrics I hadn’t seen in awhile. I picked out another group of fabrics for a different quilt. Stay tuned for that post.

The removal of everything gives me two opportunities to go through my stuff. I am donating a lot of books. I also threw out a bunch of stuff I didn’t need to keep around. I hope to go for another round when I put everything back.

 

Refreshed Inspiration Board

Some time ago I made an inspiration board. At the time I liked it, but for the last several months it has been getting on my nerves. I need a cleaner look throughout my workroom.

The other day I got out some tools and the fabric I bought on the trip and went to work. I redid my inspiration board as one piece of the effort of redecorating my workroom.

Refreshed Inspiration Board
Refreshed Inspiration Board

It has a much cleaner look and is much less exuberant. I’d like to get a frame, paint it white and hang the inspiration board in that. I’ll have to go look at thrift stores and that is one of my least favorite activities.

Inspiration Board with Buttons
Inspiration Board with Buttons

My old inspiration board was blue with dots.

Inspiration Board tools
Inspiration Board tools

I reused some of the ribbon, because it was nice. I saved all the buttons as there was nothing wrong with them. Also, some of them are special.

Table Leaf Covers

Bookshelf fabric
Bookshelf fabric

Last Autumn we finally had MIL’s dining room table and china cabinet moved over to our house. Along with the table came 3 leaves and the associated pads. We didn’t want them to get any more scratched than they are so they have been sitting carefully in the dining room since last Thanksgiving. DH and I have been tinkering with measurements around making bags. A few weeks ago, after going through my backing fabric stash, I pulled out 6 yards of fabric that I don’t think I will use for a back. I took it to Tim and he quilted it for me.

Laying out fabric for table leaf bags
Laying out fabric for table leaf bags

Over the weekend, I put the first table leaf bag together. Getting that done required some visual pattern making.

I needed to see what the relationship was between the leaves and the fabric I had. One issue I knew I had was the width of the fabric. The fabric was standard 45ish inch wide quiltmaking fabric. 45ish was only just wide enough for making a bag if the leaves were arranged horizontally, but we wanted them vertical so the design of the fabric would be oriented the same way the leaves would be stored. This orientation brought up our second issue, we wouldn’t have enough fabric for 3 bags and the pads. I figured out how to make a bag for two leaves that would take up only one section of the fabric. Of course I could have used more fabric, but I really wanted the bags to match, if at all possible.

Single table leaf cover- finished
Single table leaf cover- finished

Eventually, we decided that the only way the project would work was to make the bags with the leaves horizontal across the fabric. Making the bags that way would ensure I had enough fabric and used it all most effectively.

I finished one of the covers over the weekend and moved on to the second one, which will hold 2 leaves. I am part way through it. It is going much faster than the first one, but that is to be expected. Of course, I haven’t gotten to putting it together yet.

Single table leaf cover- finished, showing one leaf
Single table leaf cover- finished, showing one leaf

I have some leeway in different areas because these will mostly be in a closet 11.75 months of the year. Still, I don’t want them to look crappy. They will most likely move on with the table so I want them to last.

Finished: Mermaid Doll

Mermaid Warrior
Mermaid Warrior

I saw a photo of this doll when I was looking at my previous anniversary post as I was writing my recent 15 year blogiversary post. I didn’t remember the doll until I saw the photo. I had no idea where the doll was. Then, like magic, I found her.

She was started in a doll workshop at CQFA in 2013. From the post, it sounds like I made her pretty quickly. Then, apparently, she languished and was forgotten.

When I found her, I decided that I didn’t have much to do to finish her. I decided to just get her finished. I could see any additional embellishment that was needed. I am marveling at the job I did with the sequins and the bikini top. It is really good!

Mermaid with Artist Warrior and Mother Warrior
Mermaid with Artist Warrior and Mother Warrior

She is part of a series of dolls.

New Paper Wreath

Marquee Love Paper Wreath
Marquee Love Paper Wreath

While I was waiting for pages to load ‘at work’ (e.g. one part of my workroom) I folded the legs for a new paper wreath. I find that keeping my hands busy keeps me from fretting.

This wreath has not been glued together yet, nor does it have a home. I may give it to my friend who will be NSGW First Lady starting….soon (it should be May, but Grand Parlor is postponed). She’ll need some prizes for various events and the paper wreaths are popular.

The combination of paper designs are kind of crazy! I don’t know if people will like them.

Marquee Love Paper
Marquee Love Paper

Since the S-i-P started, I have been getting rid of one thing per day. Often this means I clear out a drawer and get rid of several things. I have also been finding things, such as the paper I used for this wreath.

The sheets are 8.5 in by 8.5 in, which means the wreath is smaller than the other wreaths I have made.

This paper is also slightly thinner than the cardstock I have used. I have used copier paper and it works fine. I have never tried tissue paper, but every other paper I have used works. Fabric also works, but you need to augment it. Try making your own using the tutorial.

Creativity. Not Sewing

Lemon Tumeric Tea Cake
Lemon Tumeric Tea Cake

Some food items are hard to get. This is has made me more aware of what is in my fridge and not letting it go to waste. I had some lemons in my fridge and decided to make Lemon Tumeric Tea Cake**. I had been thinking about it for awhile and on Sunday, I finally did it.

I last made this at Christmas for my work colleagues. The batch was really small and I didn’t get a loaf to try. My boss has been asking about it, so I decided to make some for my work colleagues again. This time I doubled the batch and added a bit more tumeric, so I got to try it. It is delicious and I am thrilled. I also had enough to make a loaf for my mom. The three loaves we are not keeping are going in the mail this week.

 

 

**N.B.: If you don’t have a subscription to the NYT, check your local public library or your library at work.

Paper Wreath for the Fair

Paper Wreath for Beth
Paper Wreath for Beth

I made another paper wreath to enter into the fair. I actually made two, one for the Fair and one for Grand Parlor, but the one for Grand Parlor had some issues and I am going to throw it out. The lady in charge of the Ladies events at Grand Parlor did not want the wreath anyway.

I really like the one that came out well.

I folded the legs for both wreaths at Craft Night – yes we are resuming Craft Night. I hadn’t made the time and took the opportunity to cross this task off my list.  I wasn’t sure what I was going to do with the wreath after the Fair so I offered it to SIL#3. She helped me pick out the papers and I am pleased it will go to a good home.

Paper selection
Paper selection

I am entering a wreath, because I can certainly win in that category with it.

Merit Hexie Pillow

Merit Hexie Pillow Layout
Merit Hexie Pillow Layout

As you know we have been earning merit hexies in the guild. I had a few minutes before I had to get ready to go out, so I designed a layout for my 2017 merit hexies.

I used the leftover basted sandwich from the Walking Foot WOW class. I laid out my hexies in a couple of pleasing ways and finally decided on this layout.

I pinned everything in place and will begin appliqueing the hexies down soon. I might have another chance to install a zipper!

Walking Foot WOW Pillow Cover

Walking Foot WOW pillowcover
Walking Foot WOW pillowcover

Over a year ago, I took a Walking Foot WOW! workshop with Mel Beach. I finished a walking foot sampler in the class that has been hanging around. After finishing a pillow cover on Friday, I was looking for a way to practice the zipper installation method I discovered on Spoonflower. The first installation took me much longer than the video, so I knew I needed practice.

The sampler was on my list and I decided it was a good day to make it into a pillow. The pillowcovers I made 5 years ago are starting to fray at the edges. I am surprised they have lasted this long.

WFW Pillow zipper Installation
WFW Pillow zipper Installation

The zipper installation went a lot better. I used the regular zipper foot and not the flat snap-on version I used on Friday. The regular zipper foot is a pain to get on and off, but is a lot easier to line up with the zipper itself and the stitching.

Everything wasn’t all peaches and roses. I still need practice. The zipper isn’t centered between the stitching, but I was able to catch the seam allowance on the first try, which was a problem last time. I like this method. It looks much more professional than the flap method.

Anyway, I am pleased with the way this pillow came out and am planning on working on another pillow with my 2017 Merit Hexies.

Finished: Hansel and Gretel Set

ColorPlay and the Creative Spark will return soon!

Finished set of Hansel & Gretel
Finished set of Hansel & Gretel

Yay! This set is finished! A little more than a year after I got it, it is finished, signed, sealed and sent off.

The quilt in this set was probably the easiest part. I did a pillowcase binding and then sunk the threads. It is a pretty basic quilt, but the small amount of quilting I did on it looks nice, I think.

Finished quilt of Hansel & Gretel
Finished quilt of Hansel & Gretel

I don’t think I will make this brand of panel dolls again. The good thing is that everything is all on one panel. The bad is that the seam allowances are really small and the seams tend to blow out after play. My little niece plays with these dolls, a purpose for which they are intended, and I don’t want her to be disappointed. I have another pattern – not a panel – with lots of zippers and buttons so she can learn to dress herself (we had a doll when I was a kid with the same concept called Dressy Bessy). I hope to get started on that doll soon-ish.

 

More Hansel & Gretel Progress

Hansel & Gretel in Progress
Hansel & Gretel in Progress

As I said the other day, I got the kids partially stuffed. They are going to be able to sit and bend their arms. I actually understood the directions and how to get that done. Both of the previous dolls, Coral the Mermaid and Little Red Riding Hood. had stiff legs.

To me, this means I am progressing in my skills. It also means more work. I couldn’t just stuff and finish the dolls. I had to stuff, then sew, then stuff some more before finishing. It worked fine, though it took more time.

The skirt for Gretel is the last piece of this set. It is mostly made, but I needed Gretel to be done, so I could finish the skirt to fit Gretel’s waist. I plan to finish this last bit and send the set off to my niece soon.

Hansel and Gretel Progress

Hansel & Gretel Finished Elements
Hansel & Gretel Finished Elements

I am making progress on Hansel and Gretel. The pillow, bunny and bear are done, as is the quilt.

The kids are stuffed partially, but since I am making them sit down this time, I have to do some intermediate sewing before I can stuff them some more. I also had to buy more stuffing.

Hansel & Gretel Quilt Back
Hansel & Gretel Quilt Back

Yes, I did quilt the quilt myself. I used the pillowcase method of binding. I didn’t have much trouble with bubbles, which was a relief.

These are part of my effort to clear things off the to do list.

Knight Scarf Begins

My knitting needles were barely cold before I cast on a scarf for the YM. I want him to have one as well. Almost as soon as I finished the Cosmic Wonder Dust scarf, I started his.

He thought the Madeleine Tosh yarn was a little rough (he is very kinesthetic and also very tuned into the way things feel). At PIQF, I bought some wool and silk yarn from Thread and Ewe. It is Avalon yarn by Round Table Yarns – 50% superwash merino and 50% silk, DK weight. Even though I was annoyed at the “DK weight” – clearly designed for experienced knitters – I was eager to try it out.

Starting the Knight Scarf
Starting the Knight Scarf

The fibers are not as tightly wound (spun???) together, so I have to be careful not to knit only part of the strand as I progress along the row.

Like the Monarch scarf, this yarn is slippy, so the stitches tend to slide off the needles if I am not careful. While I cast on to straight needles, I am knitting with some circular needles and the line between them is a bit short, so I have to be careful.

I really hope this yarn is soft enough for the YM.