Still Sampling

2 05 2014

I’ve been trying to do at least one block a day. Either one block for Sampler Shenanigans (temporary name for the 6″ blocks I’m piecing right now) or one block for Dear Jane. Ideally, I’d do one for each, but that hasn’t happened yet. Sampler Shenanigans has been eating my brain, because 6″ blocks can be nice and quick (assuming you’re not as much of a stickler for details like I am).

I’m still working from Jinny Beyer’s The Quilter’s Album of Patchwork Patterns, and while I’ve taken the last few days off sewing, I figured I should share a bit of what I’ve been doing.

Sampler Shenanigans 04 - Mosaic No. 21

This block is Mosaic No. 21. And, yes, I am being particularly finicky about making sure text fabric all faces the directions I want it to. Paper-pieced for accuracy.

Sampler Shenanigans 05 - Sawtooth

Sawtooth. I always say I wouldn’t fussy cut for a whole quilt top. I should revise that to say, I wouldn’t buy yards upon yards of fabric to cut the same motif out over and over.

Sampler Shenanigans 06 - Scrap Zig Zag

Scrap Zig Zag. I love this particular black and white print. It’s just so busy, I find I have a hard time using it in anything but one-off blocks.

Sampler Shenanigans 07 - Wheel

Wheel. This block took entirely too much effort. It’s just flying geese units. For whatever reason, I couldn’t accurately piece a single flying geese unit to save my life, the night I was doing this. I ended up paper-piecing out of frustration.

I have a bit more sewing to share, but I have to take photographs. I keep putting that bit off – the downside to my new setup is that the primary lighting in my sewing area is behind. Photographs end up coming out horribly. I’ll do that this weekend…

In other news, I saw a dietitian. She was very nice, but couldn’t really give me much help beyond what I’ve been doing, which is to cut my caloric intake and make better decisions about the quality of the calories I do take in. I’m giving the hairy eyeball to gluten-bearing foods, and trying to cut my intake of them even further. The biggest thing will be to actually get myself to do an hour of physical activity each day, since I’m not sure that I want to try to get down to 1200 calories per day. I like food…

I’ve also ordered one of these:


I’ve been doing a lot of reading, and, while I’m not willing to give up rice entirely (hey, I’m half-Filipina!), I’m willing to try things like zucchini noodles, or carrot rice. I stumbled across this website: and decided that these recipes are definitely something I can try. I love vegetables, and I’m willing to play with my food. Time to start playing. Expect to hear back as I do this thing.


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.