Monday, May 20, 2019

Sweet Lavender panel with Butterflies

This weekend I worked on a sample using two of these Sweet Lavender panels:

Using a single panel is pretty easy, just add borders.  It's a little harder to figure out how to use two panels in one quilt!  After looking at the panel for a while, trying to figure out what kind of pieced block I could pair it with I decided that a butterfly block would look really good with this.  I played with some different ideas in EQ8 and finally came up with a block that I thought would be easy enough to make and look good with the quilt.
This block uses two half square triangles and two diamond in a square units with a missing corner.  Easy to piece - check!
I chose a light and dark purple, plus a light green that went well with the colors in the panel and got to work making my blocks.  I decided to do 8 inch blocks and set four of them together, adding a narrow sashing of the black sprigs to frame them.  Look good with the panel - check!
Then I added a coping border of the light print with text to make two block units the same size as the panels.

Then I added a final border of the black.  I think it's perfect!  I'm going to do a quick overall quilting in loops and butterflies, and call it done.  This will be a lovely sample to sell the butterfly panels at Threads That Bind.  We will get the kits made up this week, as soon as I've written up the instructions for the piecing.  I enjoyed working on this fast and easy project this weekend - it's really fun to be able to go from idea to finished project in such a short time!  Now I can clear my design wall for the next project - what shall it be?  Shams for the Brothers and Sisters quilt I worked on last month.  And a modern quilt for this month's Island Batik Ambassador project.  Can't wait to get stitching!

Linking up with:
Monday Making
Main Crush Monday
Monday Design Wall

Friday, May 17, 2019

Working on Plan B

I got all my "work" done yesterday morning and was able to spend some time in the afternoon working on shop samples.  Last month I made this pretty quilt using a panel, ombre strips and a pack of 5 inch squares:

Happily we sold all the 5 inch squares, but still have about 20 panels left!  That means that another sample is in order.  (And I get to add this one to my Etsy shop!)

Unfortunately we don't have any other coordinating fabrics, so that meant looking for a different fabric to go with the panel.  After trying several, I came up with the idea that we could cut our own squares in coordinating fabrics.  I started pulling fabrics in the red and green colors, then came up with this great fabric that would make a perfect border after all!  So I brought them home with me for a new quilt.

Luckily this quilt only has three borders, so it went together super fast!  I just love the "glow" that the ombre strips give to the borders, don't you?

I'll do some simple quilting, and it will be ready to go the quilt shop next week.  Now to work on sample number two - I don't think this one will take too long either, and I get to make some cute butterfly blocks for it!

Linking up with Myra for Finished or Not Friday!  Join in and show what you are working on this week, too!
Finished or Not Friday at Busy Hands Quilts

Thursday, May 16, 2019

Sewing all day

Today's my first all sewing day for a while, and I am super excited!  Especially since my sewing studio is nice and clean now - let's see how long I can keep it that way...
My first task of the day is to tack all these little sewing jobs that have accumulated this week!  There are pants to be hemmed, tops that need taken in, and a couple of bags to repair.  Getting those done and scheduled for pick up should take me the rest of the morning.
Then I have a shop sample to work on - Sweet Lavender by Clothworks.  This is one of those half panels that drive us crazy - 45 panels is a lot to sell!  We decided to sell these in pairs and I am working up a project that uses two of the panels.
And since we sold out of the charm packs for Poppy Poetry and can't get any more in, I'm doing another sample to help sell the remaining panels.  We went through several fabrics, and I was thinking about trying to cut a set of coordinating charms when we found the perfect fabric to go with the panel!  I love putting together these quick panel projects.  They are really perfect for a super fast quilt because you don't have to do a lot of piecing.

So, it looks like I've got my work cut out for me today!  I'm looking forward to working in my newly cleaned studio - it makes me smile.  Thanks for the encouragement, it's still jam packed with stuff, but at least I have flat surfaces and the floor looking much better now.  And I am super glad that I could encourage you to work on your own spaces! 

Time to go stitch!

Tuesday, May 14, 2019

Spring Clean Your Studio Blog Hop

Welcome!  This year I can't believe I was actually brave enough to sign up for the 5th annual Spring Clean Your Studio blog hop hosted by Cheryl Sleboda of  I think this is just about the worst my room has been in the almost 12 years I have been using it!

My room is in the back of a 1909 two story house.  I am lucky in that my room has two closets - which are very handy for hiding storing supplies.  My room is about 11 ft by 10 feet, so not very big.  It also doesn't have much wall space - but I am working at making the best use of the space.  I do have a nice big south facing window which is lovely for light, and the garage blocks me from the late afternoon sun, which is nice in the summer because it stays nice and comfortable in here.

So...on with the before situation.  Piles.  Heaps.  Mounds.  Definitely to many projects, but besides that, very little clean up between projects.  Where to start?  Something easy, I think, like the little spot beside by sewing machine.  Much better now.
Next, I tackled the top of the small dresser.  I hardened my heart and decided it was time to get rid of some stuff - organization is wonderful, but when you are dealing with too much stuff, it's just clutter.  I put several things in the donation bin, including a jewelry stand that was pretty, but just not that useful.  Then I decided to tackle the mound of batting filling the corner.
I pulled out the entire pile, then brought out the bin that's supposed to hold batting scraps and got to work.
I decided that only what would fit in the bin, plus anything cut into 2.25 inch strips or 6.5 inch squares could stay.  All the larger pieces were folded and labeled.  The rest was cut into squares or strips and the leftovers went into a bag for donation.  (My guild makes and donates dog beds to the local shelter)  Here is the after - the bin is back under the table and I was able to put my green file box here as well as a couple of small boxes that I moved from the small plastic bins under the window.  Everything looks much neater and less cluttered now!
Yes, the scrap bin is still threatening to fall over, but I will get to that soon - I have enough to work on for this post, and I think that's a project for another time.  I don't want to get distracted and not complete my task.

What is this junk under the cutting table?  Leftover pajama fabric from making Christmas PJ's four months ago!  Wedding dress remnants.  Cotton denim for pillows, and a quilt that someone gave me to finish up.  The flannel was cut up into squares for rag quilts, wedding dress remnants bagged for storage, Denim and quilt were placed into a more appropriate storage area as well.  Now that looks better!
I'm starting to see a trend here.  I move from one project to the next with lightning speed, not bothering to put things away.  I know that I've been busy, but as much as the clutter drives me nuts I really need to start taking the time to at least put things away as I go!

Moving onto the other side of the room, here is the latest pile.  This includes backing fabric for a top I finished last week, plus additional fabric to add borders to another project.  I got it all folded and put away.
Now that's much better! Still a lot of piles, but they are sorted and the projects are ready to work on in their turn.  The shelves on the right were gifted to me - they originally held flower bulbs!  The little cubbies are great to hold project boxes and are short enough not to block my design wall.
My favorite part of my project?  The new shelf I added to the center of the wall.  I was able to get some stuff off the sewing table and feel more organized.  I also hung pictures properly and moved my thread racks so they fit better.  I love having more space on the sewing table so I don't feel so closed in!

Woohoo, look at all that space!  Now I am really ready to do some quilting!  I still have lots of stuff, and probably always will, but at least it's cleaner now and a lot less cluttered.  I do still need to vacuum up the rest of those dust bunnies, but I am happy to have spent the time to do a good cleaning.
I definitely want to continue to finish the projects I have started, but I vow that I will be better about cleaning up after each work session so I won't end up with so many random piles.  I will also continue to purge items (and fabric) that I am not using and that I don't need.  I really want to move away from the clutter and piles so that I can have a more peaceful and relaxed feeling in here.  I also plan on repainting that ceiling white soon!

At least now you know that you are not alone in being messy - I think a lot of quilters deal with this same kind of disorder and overabundance of fabric.  It's part of the process! The most important thing is to deal with it so that you enjoy your space and be creative.

My best tips for cleaning up your sewing studio?
  1. Start small.  Don't overwhelm yourself trying to do too much at the start.
  2. Don't be afraid to get rid of some stuff.  You can't organize clutter.
  3. Clean up as you go.  Don't let tasks pile up on top of each other.
  4. Be creative with storage - you don't need to spend a lot of money to organize!
  5. Don't get distracted and start a new project - keep your eye on the goal!

I hope you've been enjoying reading everyone's posts for the hop - I've been super encouraged and have had fun getting to know some new-to-me bloggers!  Thanks so much to Cheryl for organizing us and letting us have fun showing you how messy we really are behind the scenes, because you know - it's not all pretty pictures and perfect staging.  At least not around here!  Once again - here is the line-up, we're almost at the end!

April 29 – Linda Bratten –
April 30 – Sandra Johnson –
May 1 – Jennifer Schifano Thomas –
May 2 – Becca Fenstermaker –
May 3 – Sue Griffiths –
May 4 – Kate Starcher –
May 5 – Jo Westfoot –
May 6 – Sam Hunter –
May 7 – Simone Fisher –
May 8 – Elisabeth DeMoo-
May 9 – Sarah Myers –
May 10 – Amy Bradley –
May 11 – Kathy Nutley –
May 12 – Carla Henton –
May 13 – Sherry Shish – 
May 14 – Kate Colleran –
May 15 – Pamela Boatright – This is me :)
May 16 – Cathy McKillip –
May 17 – Cheryl Sleboda –

Friday, May 10, 2019

Seashore Splendor Block 7

I am back on track now, and am excited to present two blocks for this week!  They are very similar blocks, so it makes sense to do them together - I call them Sole and Flounder.  They are both set on point and go together quickly.  You'll be using your medium Sea blue fabric for both - if you are using the same background for both blocks, save your extra triangle from Sole and use them for the Flounder block.  Pick a green for Sole and red for Flounder.

First is Sole.  The measurements are a little tricky because you have to use 1/8 inch increments, but most rulers do have these, so you'll be ok!  If not, just remember that 1/8 is half of a fourth - so not really that hard to deal with.

I just had to use the fun green fabric for the fish - isn't it fun when the fabric just grabs you and says, "pick me"?

Finger press the center of the side of your block and the setting triangle to get them matched up perfectly.
Press the two opposite sides out, then add the remaining triangles to complete your block.
Flounder is just a little different, we are adding some triangle fins and squares instead of the side rectangles.

Pay attention when sewing those units together, and this block goes together exactly the same way.

Here are my two blocks finished:

Hope you have fun making these blocks, too!  Click the link below to pick up your free pattern:

Fish on Point
Here's the progress we've made on the quilt so far - I think it's fun to see the empty spaces starting to fill in - I'm enjoying seeing your pictures on Instagram and Facebook!  Keep up the good work!  As always, no rush - and the blocks are still available to download in my Payhip store - look in the Seashore Splendor Collection to find any you missed.  Thanks for sewing along with me!

Have a wonderful day!

Thursday, May 09, 2019

May Flowers - New Shop Sample

I managed to finish up a quick shop sample this week for Threads That Bind - it uses the Poppy Poetry Panel and charm square pack from Clothworks.

Don't those Ombre borders make the quilt?

I had a hard time deciding how to quilt the squares, and what color thread to use?  I decided to use Aurifil Black throughout the quilt (50 wt) and it was perfect.  I love this little loop design more and more every time I use it.  Even if it's a little uneven it still looks great.  And it's quick to quilt as well - this sample was needed for a show this weekend (Grants Pass, OR if you are nearby).

I love sneaking a quick finish in, especially when I am in the midst of pattern writing and sample making for future catalogs!  Plus it gives me something to blog about :)

Island Batik published this funny saying on facebook - it sums up yesterday's sewing for sure:

I started out by sewing one triangle wrong.  Corrected it to match the other three, then realized I had a pair at the end that were wrong.  Corrected those, and when I counted blocks realized that all four were wrong.  Finally got the final block headed the right direction.  Grrr.  Working with directional prints can really be a pain, but I have to say my efforts were worth it in the end!  Now my question is, should I write an explanation of working with directional prints into the pattern?  I am thinking, yes.  Should be interesting to explain! 

Tomorrow Block 7 comes out for Seashore Splendor....I am back on track finally!  And don't worry, no directional fabrics to worry about for this block - that project came together with no problems at all. 

Hope your seam ripper stays put away and that you have a great sewing day! 

Monday, May 06, 2019

Kentucky Derby and End Game

We spent the weekend in Portland having fun with family!  We saw the new Avengers movie, and had a really great time hanging out with our grandkids.  Here is the little one, showing me her Ninja moves at a nearby park:
The weather was amazing!  I even got a little sunburned on my arms because I wasn't wearing long sleeves for a change.  It's always colder here on the coast, so I sure appreciate the nice weather when we go up for a visit.
They were having a great time on this rope swing!  It was fun hearing about what they do with the neighborhood kids in this park - it's nice to know kids still have fun building stick forts and climbing on trees and stumps.

Such a lovely day - I'm glad I remembered to take some pictures so I can remember it! 

Today I was back to work - lots of projects getting worked on over the next few weeks.  I can't show you this one yet, but aren't the colors gorgeous?  It's always hard to throw away the trimmings, they are so pretty!  I'm trying to discipline myself to keep reducing the amount of stuff, though - so out they went.

 I've been very inspired by the posts for the Spring Clean Your Studio blog hop - today Sam Hunter had some great ideas for organizing and cutting down your book stash.  If you have a lot of books, you'll get some great tips from her post - I know I did!

Hope your Monday was productive and joyful!