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Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Sewing Notes

I have today off, and since baking a pie does not a full day make, I've done a bit of stock-taking of my sewing projects. (The pie crust should be cooled by now, so should shortly be back in pie land.)

The first thing of note is my new baby. It was my ten-year anniversary with my company in October, and I got a plaque and a lovely catalog of gifts to choose from. I chose this:

Yep, it's a tool kit. And it makes the best sewing box ever.

The top has several small compartments that hold a whole bunch of things that I often need to randomly grab without wanting to riffle through the whole box.

That then opens to a top tray.

And this tray is wonderful. It fits everything I used to have in my old sewing kit, plus a few things I could never fit in there before (my new, larger sewing machine manual), plus some of the smaller projects I have in progress.

And the bottom compartment is a gigantic thing of beauty. It's allowed me to empty out a drawer and a half (and the top of that particular plastic set of drawers) that I had devoted to various bits of larger sewing ephemera. I've got my patterns in there, my larger cutting supplies (well, except for my mat - that's never going to fit in a box), and several larger storage containers for thread and other stuff. And, it's all on wheels, so I can easily drag it over to wherever I'm working.

It also helps that not long before I got the box, I'd broken down and gotten some dedicated notions storage. I got this great tackle-kit like box with a 40% off coupon at Joann's, and managed to combine a number of disparate boxes and bags of small things.

So, now, in my two plastic sets of drawers, I only have one drawer not devoted to fabric, and it's all about my unfinished projects.

Project #1 is my mountain side landscape quilt. I've managed to get together three of the quilt rows that are meant to be trees. They go quickly enough I should be able to get the third row done next time I have the machine out, and then I can sew the three together and get them attached to the muslin backing. I've still got a pile of fabric available to finish it off - I have the mountain top to create, and I may try some applique of something the fore-ground.

The above project is actually going away. It was an idea for some pieced Christmas tree ornaments that I could put in Christmas cards some year. I got all the foundations cut, and the pattern enlarged, but I've finally given in to the fact that I'm never going to get the pattern transferred to all those muslin pieces, let alone do that much fiddly, small pieces. So that fabric has been put back in the landscape drawer and the book returned to the bookcase.

I had completely forgotten about the above. I think I snagged this lesson book for machine quilting when one of the local craft stores closed (a while ago), and I'd even set up the first template for experimentation. But, this was with my old machine, that I was never able to get out-fitted with a walking foot. My new machine came with a walking foot, and with winter coming, I'm hoping to be able to work my way through these lessons on some of our inevitable quiet weekends.

This is fabric I bought to draft a skirt with. I've decided I need to finish at least one of my outstanding projects before I try this. (I also needed to by decent paper for the pattern making, which I've done to go along with the supplies I bought for my niece's Christmas gift. Those should be with me next week.)

This is the only project that doesn't fit in the drawer - the Celestial Postage Stamp quilt.

This thing is turning into a bit of a comedy of errors. I swear, every time I make progress on it, I then have to screw something up. It's all put together - at this point, I just need to make the binding, and sew that on. So, naturally, the binding has mucked me up. I was trying to make a continuous bias binding strip. Naturally, the piece of fabric I bought wasn't the right shape to do it in one go, so I cut in in half. The first half went great. The second half - I managed to somehow draw my guide lines in the wrong place (twice), so I can't get the dang thing to line up right. I may actually need to go out for new fabric for this, again (this would be the third time for the backing and binding fabric. At least they still seem to be carrying it at Joanns's.)

But, this my longest outstanding project, so I think I need to bite the bullet later this long weekend, and tackle it again.

And finally, I have this tree against sunset picture. I'm stalled out on the tree. I can't free form it (I have no artist ability in that direction), and I'm having trouble finding a template that's large enough. So far, my enlarging experiments have failed. What I really need to do is spend some quality time with a real photocopier and see what I can get from that.

So that's the state of my sewing basket. Winter, and the subsequent lack of travel, is coming, so let's see what kind of a dent I can put in these projects, now that I have a machine I really enjoy using.

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