Sampler Shenanigans and Other Sewing

20 04 2014

Piracy Warning

In a bout of ‘darn it, I want to do this!’, I finally broke down and bought twenty yards of gray solid fabric from Connecting Threads.

Yes, you read that right. TWENTY YARDS.

It arrived on Thursday, and I managed to ignore it for most of the evening after work. I couldn’t take it, though, and at about 11:00 PM, I decided that I would sew instead of sleep. Three hours later, I had two complete Dear Jane blocks.

A-1 Pinwheel Gone Awry

A-2 One, Two, Buckle My Shoe

They’re not perfect, but pretty good for 5″ finished blocks. Regardless, I’m thrilled with the way the orange and purple glow off the grey.

Continuing the mood to be making something other than scrap blocks, I then decided that I wanted to make another sampler. So, I started going through my quilting books, pretty sure I’d purchased a Jennifer Chiaverini sampler book at some point. I had, but as I was looking through it, I was distinctly not thrilled with it. (I keep looking at the Gypsy Wife Sampler by Jennifer Kingwell, though.)

So, I decided to just make 6″ blocks until I’m happy with the number, and then figure out a setting when I get there. I have enough quilt block reference books that choosing blocks shouldn’t be a problem. I started with Jinny Beyer’s The Quilter’s Album of Patchwork Patterns and made the following three blocks through Saturday. I’m just picking fabrics from my stash. The only consistency that I want is that each block have a grey or black neutral fabric in it.

Sampler Shenanigans 01 - Arrowhead Puzzle

Sampler Shenanigans 02 - Cheyenne

Sampler Shenanigans 03 - Windmill

I also completed another 12″ X 18″ scrappy panel, for a future place mat. These go quickly when they’re my leader/ender sewing.

Placemat 02

My big project for Saturday was the reorganization of my sewing area. I’d added a wireless printer to my setup with the new year, and due to the way my cutting/iron/stuff table was situated, I lost half the table to wasted space. The ‘stuff’ was also taking over.

So, I got tired of it, and when I woke up on Saturday morning, I started reorganizing my space. It took a good part of the day, especially when it came time to put all of my fabric back in the cabinet it had come out of (there was no way I was moving the cabinet while it was full – fabric’s HEAVY!)

Sewing Space Redone

When all was said and done, my sewing space feels a lot more open, and is a lot more useful. I can just swivel on my stool to access cutting station, ironing station and sewing machine. My printer is in arm’s reach, but isn’t wasting space. I added a thread rack to the wall, on which I’m only storing my Connecting Threads spools. I don’t use anything else for piecing, and it’s rare that I use something else for quilting. The bottom row of the spool rack is reserved for bobbins at the moment, though I might add a smaller rack for that purpose.

Regardless, I’m very pleased with my progress for the weekend. I plan to do more sewing today, though. It feels good to just being sewing.

Three More Down

23 02 2013

Farmer's Wife Linky Button

I meant to be done with the do-overs by now, but I keep falling asleep around 10:00 PM lately. Thus, no sewing time. Not a big deal, though. I got three more done on Friday, which leaves me with four more blocks. I’m hoping I can crank those out this afternoon.

#100 Weathervane Before and After

I was actually very happy with the first iteration of Weathervane. Unfortunately, when I ironed this block, the white print picked up some black residue, delineating the seams. So, into the re-do pile it went. Very happy with the second version. I decided to use some AMH, paired with a couple of Joann’s fabrics. At this point, I’m not going to use white in any of the remaining blocks – I have enough ‘white and bright’ blocks for the rest of the top.

#104 Wild Geese Before and After

This is another block with which I was very happy. Unfortunately, I failed to print the paper piecing templates out at the correct size, meaning I forgot to turn scaling for paper size off. Regardless, I’m actually much happier with the new block. The colors are richer and the grey balances them well.

#110 Wood Lily Before and After

Separately, I love all three prints that I used in the first version of Wood Lily. Too bad for me that the scale and shading of the purple print is far to close to that of the black background print, and it disappears a bit. Enter another do-over, lol. I’d somehow forgotten that I had that black print in my stash – I think because it wasn’t stored with the bulk of my stash. It was in a pile of washed fabrics that I’d never gotten around to ironing and folding once they were out of the dryer.

I cannot truly express how excited I am to be so close to being done with the Farmer’s Wife Sampler blocks! According to Flickr, I posted my first blocks on June 20, 2011. It’s been approximately 21 months in the making so far, though there was a six month or so hiatus from the project because I am occasionally really, really stupid, and ‘lost’ eleven blocks when I really hadn’t.

I’m so very ready to move on, and am eagerly awaiting fabric to finish the settings. After that, I can begin the adventure of quilting the thing. I’m sure I’ll be ready to hang myself for being silly enough to want to do the quilting myself, but ah, well.

Part of the reason that I’m so ready to move on, is that I’m ready to start another sampler:

Dear Jane Plan

That’s right! It’s the Dear Jane Sampler. And, yes, I know I’m completely insane. I bought the fabrics a couple of years ago, and finally picked up the the Electric Quilt Company software, so I’m ready to go! I have a feeling I’ll end up re-drafting a couple of blocks, as I noticed that the software’s drafting seemed counter-intuitive to easier piecing or simplified applique.

No matter though! I’m excited to get too work on Jane, and will be starting this weekend, if all goes well.