Saturday, March 23, 2013

I've Been Designing

I have always wanted to write patterns but have never been able to get up the balls to do so. Finally, after a lot of talk with a good sewing friend, I am going to take the plunge. This quilt (named Hemispheres courtesy of Rachel!) is going to be my first.

Everyone on Instagram has been so supportive so I am actually excited, but incredibly nervous. Anyone want to offer up some pattern writing tips? Or things that you love or hate to see in patterns? I will try to have other fun things to talk about while I venture through this, but if I am quiet, you'll know why.

News from my non-sewing world. I have recently signed up to start taking Pure Barre classes. My sister takes them and says that they are truly amazing. Unlike any other kind of workout. I feel like it will probably kick my ass. It is worth it though, as bathing suit season is right around the corner. I miss my muscle definition. Haha. It is going to rain here all weekend so it is time to do some sewing 'work'. :)

Monday, March 18, 2013


Ok, so you may have heard that Google Reader will be shutting down this summer. How will you follow your favorite blogs? Well, many people are jumping over to Bloglovin, myself included. It is incredibily fast to sign up, very easy to use, and has some pretty cool features. My absolute favorite part was that they linked right up with my Google Reader account and transferred over all of the blogs that I already follow. I did not have to spend any time typing them in or listing them so that I could 'follow' them again. Seriously simple.

So how does this make a difference here? I have a new button on my sidebar as well as right here

Follow on Bloglovin

that you can click to follow me. Once Google Reader shuts down, so will the button that displays my Google followers. But I really enjoy hearing from all of you, so please follow me on BlogLovin or by email (again, in my sidebar). I am pretty sure there will be some other ways that you can follow, but I still have to do a little research. If there are more ways, I will bring them to you just as soon as I understand how they work! Hopefully everyone will make the switch as smoothly as I did. Boo Google for making this a necessity.

The link below also directs you to follow me on BlogLovin, I just have to post in in order to 'claim my blog'. Please ignore if you like the fancier, prettier button above!

Follow my blog with Bloglovin

Thursday, March 14, 2013

I burned myself out....again

Haha. I was sewing too hard, and now I'm burned out. I didn't do many productive things this week. I sewed a couple Farmers Wife blocks and played with fabric for another quilt I have been dreaming up. I am sure everyone has seen lovely bundles like this go by, but it is my new favorite color combination.

And who doesn't like some low volume prints. They seem to be all the rage right now. My collection is very small and very sad, but I will be adding to it for sure. 

Then there are these. I can't wait to show you the finished product! I managed to burn myself out while sewing them like a madwoman. Now, I need to find the motivation to actually piece them all together. 

I am taking the weekend off from sewing as well to go see my boyfriend. (yay!) Hopefully all of this non-sewing time will reignite my need to sew on a daily basis!

Saturday, March 9, 2013

sew more, faster: HSTs

So while my mom was here last weekend, she showed me this awesome trick for making a bunch of half square triangles and fast. Using triangles to make HSTs can get messy due to the bias cut. I am sure most of you know how to make them using squares sewing 1/4" on each side of the diagonal. But this method was new to me. You start out with your squares like the other method.

I compiled a list of what size square to start with to achieve a certain finished HST size. Some of them may have been a little more accurate if measured to the nearest 1/16" in, but the nearest 1/8"in should get you pretty darn close.

For finished size:      Cut:
1.0"                          1 7/8"
1.5"                          2 5/8"
2.0"                          3 3/8"
2.5"                          4"
3.0"                          4 3/4"
3.5"                          5 1/2"
4.0"                          6 1/8"
4.5"                          6 7/8"
5.0"                          7 5/8"
5.5"                          8 1/4"
6.0"                          9"

So next, sew 1/4" seam around all four edges of the squares right sides together.

If you pivot at the corners, your open seam pressing later will be much easier. Finish the last side off by crossing over your initial seam.

Here is the finished square with all four sides sewn.

Cut on both diagonals using the 45 degree line on your ruler and your rotary cutter. 

And shazam! You have 4 HSTs that need zero to minimal trimming and require just a little zippy sewing. Hope this is helpful! I used this method while making my next Farmer's Wife block (number 7 in the book) and my 1.5" HSTs turned out perfect!

Happy sewing!

Friday, March 8, 2013

Finally Farming

Not real farming...I live in an apartment, unfortunately. I finally broke down and started a Farmer's Wife Quilt. My friend Lindsey on instagram decided to do an impromptu quilt along. Her husband is deploying overseas, and she figured that this would be just the quilt to keep her busy for 9 months. Other people have jumped on board as well for this awesome project. If you are interested, check out the hashtag #farmingwithlindsey.

Our goal is two blocks a week, but I have been doing a few extra. I feel that my quilting ADD will kick in soon, and it might not be the worst idea to get a head start while I am motivated. I plan to make each block individual of the others when it comes to color for a totally scrappy feel. These are blocks 1 - 6 in the book. I have noticed that I am fond of plum and blue. Haha. I am working numerically from 1 - 111 so that I can keep track of what I have done and what I haven't.

If you don't know, the Farmer's Wife is a sampler quilt offering 111 blocks to choose from for your quilt depending on how big you want it to finish. In 1922, the popular magazine "The Farmer's Wife" held a contest called 'Do you want your daughter to marry a farmer'. They were flooded with letters from women all over and 68 letters were chosen as winners. The author of the Farmer's Wife Quilt book chose traditional quilt blocks inspired by many of the 68 winning letters to create this quilt. She includes the letters that inspired each block in the book, and it is very interesting to read the perspectives on values from women in the 1920s. Check out the book. There is also a yahoo group that many people become members of for support , tips, and sharing.

Many people hand piece this quilt as that is how it was originally done, while others use the templates provided on the included CD. I am doing neither. I am choosing to back calculate recipes for each block that encompass many techniques that I have learned and believe will make the piecing easier (i.e. making HSTs from squares). I have already come across a couple blocks where this is tricky, but it is a fun challenge!

Feel free to join us on instagram! It is kind of a free for all, move at your own pace, share your pictures and support experience.

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Up for a Trade?

I recently came to own these beautiful Good Folks prints....some yardage in fact. Swoon. But there are still a couple prints out there that I have my heart set on acquiring.

So! I would be up to trade any of the pictured prints for any of the following or any combo of the following:

-Cathedral in dusk (blue)
-Cathedral in peony (pink)
-Fortune in Sea (blue)
-Filigree in Sun (yellow)
-Original FMF Barbells
-Original FMF seeds in blue

Please friends, spread the word! I am really dying to get my hands on those cathedral prints. Feel free to comment or email me if you are interested. Thanks so much!

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

At your request

I had a bunch of people ask about my cone thread holder that I showed in my last post. I got it for Christmas, so I didn't know the specifics. But after asking mom, I can now tell you what it is!

The actual name of the one I have is the Alphasew Cone Thread Holder. I know there are other varieties out there, but this one has a crazy heavy base so that it won't tip over and/or provides great tension. Plus, the pole part is metal. It is just very durable. I only looked briefly, but I didn't see it in too many major supply stores when I googled it. There were a couple shops that came up (here and here), but feel free to do some internet searching yourselves.

The purpose of this tool is to allow you to use spools of thread that are too large to fit in your machine. It sits behind the machine, feeds thread over the top, and then into your normal threading pathway. It is really hard to take a picture of thread, but I gave it my best shot. Haha. It is a very cost effective solution for any of us who go through A LOT of thread. I hope this was helpful!

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Mom came to visit!

I didn't get a ton of sewing done this weekend, but I knew I wouldn't. My mom came up to visit and accompany me on the 2.5 hour treck to IKEA. I've gotta say, I love that store. On the way up, we stopped at the outlets in Mebane. It never fails that I walk into the Loft outlet when they are having a big sale. Ugh. Naturally, I could not pass it up, but we had no men with us so we were not in a rush. After saving significantly more than I spent, we got back to our journey. We arrived around noon and had the luxury of just perusing. Perusing a store like that does take upwards to 3 or 4 hours. It is beyond huge, but you don't want to miss anything.

The purpose for going to IKEA was to find a new bed frame. Last weekend I made a very adult purchase and bought a new mattress. O yes, very exciting. But since I went up from a full to a queen, I needed new everything. Unfortunately, we did not buy what we went for, nothing made me swoon. But I still managed to spend some money.

I got these wonderful new end tables that match my dresser.

I have been using TV trays as night tables that I got in college. Yea, it was a sight. But these are great! All my room needs now is a mirror above the dresser and an actual bedframe. I love it in there!

I also got all sorts of plant accents to bring more green into my apartment. Having green living things in my apartment is very important to me. It adds a lot of warmth. I heart bamboo, so I got a couple more.  They get to live on the windowsill right now since they probably had not seen sun in quite some time during the stay at IKEA.

The best buy of the trip was this awesome little greenhouse. It is so beautiful, timeless, and elegant. I almost didn't buy it, but my mother insisted. She loves to spend money that isn't hers. I can say, I don't regret it.

Also, while she was here, she hooked up my cone spooler thing (I don't know its real name). I had been ignoring it.

I got it for Christmas, and it is so much more cost effective than spools of thread that fit the machine. Granted, I don't plan to buy a cone in every color, I will maintain spools for that. But with the amount of grey I go through, this is awesome. 

Now its time to go back to work and hopefully start in on some new projects.....aaaand, sigh, finish some WIPS. They do accumulate so fast.