Thread Basket

Do you waste a lot of time picking pieces of thread and lint off of your fabric – only to somehow find it back on the fabric a few minutes later?  This was my story.   😦

Threadcatchers that hang near your machine are great, but I was gathering these threads at the sewing machine – and at the cutting board, the ironing board, and the design wall!  Last week I had a small epiphany and decided that a little bag, lined with batting, would do the trick, especially if I pinned it directly to me!  This way, it’s always handy – whether I’m at the sewing machine, the cutting board, or the ironing board.  The threads cling to the batting where they wait till I’m ready to empty the basket.  I can easily scoop out a thread ball and toss it into my garbage pail.  I don’t have to worry about cleaning out the basket thoroughly – those threads aren’t going anywhere.

Here is a photo of me wearing my thread basket. I'm using a 24 year old diaper pin, but I'm sure there are cuter pins out there.

Here is a photo of me wearing my thread basket. I’m using a 24 year old diaper pin, but I’m sure there are cuter pins out there.

One thing I will change if I make another will be to use flannel lining rather than batting.  The batting is a bit bulky and almost too ‘sticky’.

Also, I have a vague memory that I may have seen something like this at a quilt retreat a few years ago.  In which case, why didn’t I make one sooner!  😦  I’ve been using it for a week now, and it’s working great.  If I forget to pin it on when I enter my sewing room, I miss it right away.

Sewing Room redux

I might like being in my sewing room even more than I like sewing.   Sometimes I just sit in there, particularly after I’ve tidied up, and I gloat.   It’s tiny, but it is all mine.   Each new piece of equipment,  each rearrangement to facilitate a better sewing experience, and I’m so darn proud of myself!

This is my latest project.   I’m making an ironing table!  I’m mostly following Elizabeth Hartman’s tutorial, and it’s going to be great.  I’m going to attach those non-skid things that go under rugs to the bottom of my board so that I can lift it off and still use the table top for cutting if I want to.  it will keep me from hogging the dining table when I have something big to cut.

I’ve got a complete sewing experience nicely wedged into a 9 x 10 room.  With the plan to move my ironing surface into this corner, I’ve got a dedicated design wall behind me, and I don’t have to put my ironing board in front of it.  One thing I’ve already learned is that the ironing table must be pulled away from the wall so that big pieces of fabric can drape down the back.  I’ll probably also move the items away from the left side so that fabric can fall on that side as well.  I’ll have to move my daughters drawings.  😦

image

Here’s my favorite part of the room.  🙂

Notice to my children, I love you all dearly but I am not giving up or moving my sewing room again – no matter what.  It took me a long time to get this room, and I’m keeping it.  🙂  (Is that too mean?)

 

Around the World Blog Hop

I like the asymmetry of this design combined with the simplicity of the colors.

I was very kindly invited by my friend and fellow blogger, Claire at KnitnKwilt, to participate in a blog hop.  Claire has a great blog covering a variety of topics all of which are interesting to me – quilting, design, books, and Portland.  All good things so please check out her blog!  In turn, I’ve invited Debbie Scroggy, local long-arm genious to share her blog, AllQuiltedLLC.  Debbie is an amazing designer and has won awards for her long-arm quilting right out of the gate.  She also did the quilting of my quilt, Zen Umbrellas.

This is my first blog hop but apparently the key is a series of questions that everyone answers.  You can read back through the blogs and see a wealth of responses on how we feel about our art.  The following are my responses to the questions.

  1. What am I working on? Right now I’m working on a red & white baby quilt for my niece Taylor who is expecting in January 2015. I’ve wanted to design a quilt using half square triangles to make asymmetrical chevrons, and I’ve wanted to make a red & white quilt, so the two got merged in a baby quilt. Here is a photo of the layout I chose – along with some that I considered.
I like the asymmetry of this design combined with the simplicity of the colors.

I like the asymmetry of this design combined with the simplicity of the colors.

Red-White, center blocks

Red-White, pinwheels1
Pinwheels, or stars depending on your perspective. This one was definitely too ‘busy’ for me.

I’m also working on the Aviatrix Medallion quilt-a-long from Elizabeth Hartman. I’m on the final border, but I want to expand it to queen size so I’ll be working on it a while longer. Here is the last photo I took of that quilt showing border 5 (the next to last border) laid out.

Poor quality Instagram photo,#aviatrixmedallion, but you get the idea.

Poor quality Instagram photo,#aviatrixmedallion, but you get the idea.

2. How does my work differ from others of its genre? I don’t know that it does differ. What I do know is that I’ve got a lot to learn about color. I struggle with getting enough variation in my fabric selections. I take chances on color combinations that I later regret. But I like taking chances and failing more than going a safe route that doesn’t break any new ground for me.

3. Why do I create what I do? I’ve been quilting for over 25 years, but only sporadically. A few years ago, I knew I needed more creativity in my life and it didn’t take long to decide on quilting as my medium. Since then I’ve been working very hard at quilting. I now have what my husband calls my ‘woman cave’ and others might call a ‘sewing studio’. I spend a lot of time in there. The challenge is going to be fitting my husband into my quilting life! I also feel this sense of urgency to make quilts for each of my children and for my nieces and nephews. So much to do!

4. How does my creative process work? Hmmm. Mostly I look at photos of quilts and see things that I admire. I borrow magazines from the quilt guild and books from the library. This all gels in my brain till something bubbles to the surface that I just have to try. I haven’t historically followed a particular designer or pattern – I prefer to design something that I can call my own. The current Aviatrix Medallion quilt is an exception.  Folks following the quilt-a-long can post their work on Instagram, and it’s been fun to see the effect of the various color selections.

Here is an example of my creative technique: In June 2012, I had started to reconnect to quilting, and I had pieced a mostly traditional quilt for my son. I was seeing quilt patterns everywhere. My youngest daughter and I were in DC being tourists, and we went to the Hirschhorn, the Corcoran, and the Smithsonian Museum of Modern Art among many other wonderful places. I took lots of photos of things I found inspiring. The following painting in particular has stayed in my mind, and recently I knew that it would develop into a quilt in the very near future. I’ll have to look up the artist. Does anyone know who painted it?

I remember this painting to be a little different than this photo, so maybe my brain had already started to redesign it into a quilt!

I remember this painting to be a little different than this photo, so maybe my brain had already started to redesign it into a quilt! But isn’t it cool!

Thanks for reading my words, looking at my photos, and please visit Claire and Debby!

I told my daughter about my new blog – a place for constructive feedback rather than our standard ‘nice quilt’.  She said, “The internet is a dark and scary place.  You may want to leave the quilters alone.  A place for niceness is not a bad thing.”  🙂