Saturday, 30 March 2019

Squared Away finished!

Finally I've finished my Rainbow Scrap Challenge quilt from 2018. This is my third finish for my 2019 FAL Q1 list.

I expected to have it finished months ago, but with one thing and another it got passed by. Now however it's finished: labelled, quilted and bound, and as I write, in the washing machine.

The blocks were chosen by Mari (the academic quilter) and the monthly colours chosen by Angela (Soscrappy) and posted each month from January to October last year. I made two ten-inch blocks each month. I'm not making the RSC sampler this year, but am making bow tie blocks in the monthly colours, although I haven't posted about them yet.

I quilted most with free motion swirls, and added a single line of scallop stitch with my walking foot in the border. I recently bought Wendy Sheppard's book, "Stitching Pathways"  (click to read about the book - I'm not endorsing this supplier!) and found it very helpful. I'd stitched swirls before, but Wendy's breakdown of the process really helped me to stay ahead and relaxed.

Here are two more photos after washing:

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Happy sewing


Friday, 29 March 2019

Sewing Room relocation: complete and RSC 2018 progress

To move my handwork (principally sewing) tools and fabric stash to another room was my goal for March.

At the beginning of the month I showed a photo of my "sewing room/spare bedroom", although by then the bed had been given away and the quilting frame had taken its place.

My sewing space was here confined to about 3.5 square metres: too small to open the cabinet completely, and with my stash in various cupboards around the flat.

This room now looks like this:
with my husband's desk in the place previously occupied by my sewing cabinet. (Notice the tiny window facing NE!)

Here's my new room, facing SW,
BIG window!
which used to be our study, and where the shelves were largely filled on the right hand side by computer related stuff, and on the left by books and files related to my work. Having worked from home for most of the last 44 years I had accumulated a lot! Sorting through it all and throwing away took most of March.

I now have most of my fabric stash here behind me when I'm at the sewing machine, along with my Bernina tool box and my scrap buckets made from scrap fabric a few years ago:

from the right of the window, next to the quilting hoop in the previous picture.
I have a good position for my cutting mat to the right of the machine, and can extend the left hand side with an extra leaf which is collapsed at present as I am not quilting at the moment. That gives me a working surface of 1.81 x 1m: luxury!

From the other side of the window (from the left in the first photo) with two shelves of handwork books - mainly patchwork and quilting, but also knitting, dressmaking and lace-making - more fabric stash, WIP boxes next to the printer, and an old metal cabinet (far left above) salvaged about five years ago from the office I was then working in, and is perfect for storing strips by size. There are still boxes and books that don't belong here, so I haven't finished sorting (and throwing away!) but it's a great improvement.

Never before has my sewing gear been so close together and visually present. I'm so happy here!

Sewing has been restricted to the last week, but I have finally made progress on quilting my RSC 2018 quilt, which was my goal for February:

and am approaching the last corner of the binding.

I'm now going to take it outside to finish the sewing on the balcony in the beautiful sunshine (back to winter tomorrow is the forecast!)

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Happy sewing


Monday, 4 March 2019

One Monthly Goal March: organising my studio

I've been busy in February, but not working on the quilting project I had anticipated. I failed to reach my goal last month.

I was to have followed a long-arm workshop at my LQS at their new location, but that didn't happen. Once the ladies had installed themselves and their now online shop, they found they didn't have room for their small long-arm machine. In the middle of February I heard the bad news! Too late to do much, so this is all I've done.

Squared Away: the 2019 Rainbow Scrap Challenge lap quilt
Pinned ready to quilt on my domestic machine, which is was to be my goal for this month. I'm not planning on hand quilting it, but I use the frame for layering; it's easier on the back!

Unfortunately my sewing space looks like this:

because we are changing the rooms of our flat around, and my sewing room is changing places with the study (which is also a mess!). You can hardly see my sewing machine which has just a very small working space around it. Not enough for a quilt! While I've thrown out books and papers that were the remains of my teaching career, and so made space for my stash, the last few miscellaneous handwork items are stacked on the cabinet ready for the big change round. The cabinet has to change places with my husband's desk and all his computer paraphernalia.

I would like to make quilting my RSC 2018 quilt, Squared Away, my goal for March, but I think my goal will have to be organising my sewing room, as one is dependant on the other being finished. With a bit of luck both will be finished, but I'm not banking on it!

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Happy sewing