Friday, October 12, 2012

Sewing Nights, Week Two & Three

The Giant Sewing Room is very slowly evolving, one week at a time.  This is what it looked like after the first week, and we've tweaked a couple things since then.
Corrin absolutely loves Sewing Nights.  The first week, she cut out her first bag.  The second week, she finished her first bag.  The third week, she cut out 3 more bags and started sewing them together!  What a go-getter!  
Rayona is one of our beginners.  Unfortunately, we're not terribly organized with pre-planned projects for the beginners, but as long as there are a couple of pros on hand, they're welcome to bring whatever they want, and we'll help them along.  I knew it might be a bit quiet for a while, so I brought my wedding photo book for her to look at.  There were 3 of us sewing around the same table, and Rayona was playing musical chairs and stealing the chair of whoever got up to iron, or cut.  But really, sewing nights are about spending time together first, and getting sewing done second.  We definitely get lots of visiting done!
I managed to mix up the squares for boy quilt #1, and I got all the squares sewn together.
Here is a sneak peek, with one strip of the border fabric.  The next 3 will go very fast.  Assembling and layering quilts is the easy part.  The time-consuming part is cutting and making the squares.  Especially when you think big like me and have to make 80 squares for 4 quilts!  But I'm having a blast, and I can't wait to finish these off and start on the girl quilts!
While I was picking out penguin quilt colours, and Rayona and Avril both got distracted helping me, Corrin kept working, head down, until she finished her first bag!  Look at the clock on the wall.  It's 10:15 pm.  Past my bedtime!  We have way too much fun.
This is the lining of the bag.  Totally reversible.  It looks awesome!  I love it, Corrin, and I am so proud of you!  Can you teach me your work ethic?  
On week three, I brought a new addition to the Giant Basement Sewing Room.  One of our upholstery customers is getting her sofa recovered, and she just happened to have this immaculate industrial Singer lying around, needing a good home.
We took it in, got it serviced, and are trading it with her towards the cost of her sofa upholstery.  In turn, I'm going to buy it from the upholstery shop, one little paycheque at a time.  Isn't it gorgeous?  Immaculate, I tell you.  Not a scratch.
I tried it out by sewing my borders to my quilt.  I love it!  I swear, once you go industrial, you can't go back.  The foot pedal has its own personality, as every industrial does, but they all sew so fast, so straight, so strong.  I am in love.  We have the best customers.  
Here is Corrin, making amazing progress on her bags.  Way to go, girl!  And Avril decided to have some pity on one of mom's old machines, which has probably never been serviced.  She cleaned out the fluff and tried to get her to shape up.  Remind me to pay you for your services!  You spent a good hour sweet-talking that poor thing, and I think she listened!
After a week off, I can't wait to do it again and see what we all can accomplish!  I am so thankful for my sewing buddies.  :)

My First Quilting Class!

You can probably tell I was excited to do this class.  I've only mentioned it in 3 previous blog posts!

I love penguins, so this was a no-brainer.

On our Sewing Night during the week before the class, I dug through mom's quilting stash and picked out some bright, funky fabrics to make my penguin quilt out of.  These are the winners.
I packed up mom's best quilting machine, some basic tools, and I happily set up my station.  I'm sharing my table with Alice, who was one of the founding members of our local quilt guild, along with my mom and 2 other ladies.  I was happy she was my table partner.
I believe they said there were 22 quilters at this class!  That sounds pretty big to me.
Shauna put on a trunk show the night before, and had everything out for us to peruse throughout the day.
She is a very hands-on instructor.  She set up her machine in the middle of the room and had us all gather around so she could show us her method of quilting.
This is the "test" quilt we got to practice on in the morning.  I absolutely love the way she quilts, and it totally changes the way I look at appliqué.  You fuse down only one layer at a time, then using the meandering method, you "draw" all over your quilt.  Then you fuse down the next layer, and so on.  Your backing, batting, and background are already together at this point, so you end up quilting it as you go.  So easy, so cute, and so much fun!!!  Look at that spiderweb!
She said any of us were welcome to use her machine, so I jumped on that like white on rice.  I've never set up a machine for meandering, and I knew mom's machine didn't have the right presser foot, so I didn't bother trying.  I just dove in!
This is my finished test quilt.  I did do some basic edgestitching on the tree branch, leaves, and the white stitching.  But boy, did I have fun with the meandering!  When I was drawing the lines on my pumpkin, I was squealing and laughing, and going woo hoo!  This opens up the whole world of appliqué quilting!  I LOVE IT!!!
I took some close-up shots of Shauna's quilts so you can see how she "draws" on her quilts.  And how cute are these critters?!
I absolutely love the cross-hatching on the snow shoes.
I don't have a lot of time to make decoration-related sewing projects, but learning this makes me want to make nothing but halloween quilts, just so I can put spider-webs all over them!
One thing my mom's machine is really good at is blanket-stitching.  I'm a big fan of this look.  And check out the detail on the scarf and cuffs.
This is one detail that I'm absolutely over the moon about.  The squiggly wire on the earmuffs!  XD
This is as far as I got that day.  I got my background all sewn together and layered with the batting and backing, and I sewed down the snow.  I was quite content to just work away one little layer at a time, but Shauna was so excited to see what all these colours looked like, that she made me lay them all out so we could have a look.  Then she called everyone over!  
They told me I was thinking outside the box.  I know I was, because when I was picking out these colours, I was breaking so many rules that my mom got frustrated and left!  Sorry!  I just know what I like, and I like bright colours!  Isn't he just too cute?
I can't wait to finish him!  I have no plans on tackling my penguin in the next couple weeks (boy quilts first!), but I think I should give myself a deadline of December 1, since that's when we decorate for Christmas, and I want to hang my penguin up on the door.

I had such a blast at my first quilt class!  Thank you, Shauna, for showing me an "outside-the-box" way of quilting.  This is the way it should be!  I can't tell you how much I love this method!

Creative Stitches Show - Sept 15 2012

I've been to a couple Creative Stitches Shows in the past, but I've never sat in on any of the classes.  They're all free, and they're basically lectures put on by the sewing "experts" in their respective fields.  I learned a few different tid-bits throughout the day.  Those seasoned pros really know their stuff!

The first class we went to was about free motion quilting.  She showed us how to use wash-away stabilizer to make your own lace.  Or seaweed, in this example!  Cool!
This is a great example of free-motion quilting.  It's really much simpler than it looks.  You start in the middle circle and do a basic design, then you work your way out, one ring at a time.  Pretty amazing.
We got to meet Shauna Case at her booth.  She's teaching my first quilt class!  I'm quite excited to learn some new techniques from a designer!  She's really easy-going and friendly.
This is the penguin quilt I'll be learning to do.  It's so cute!  I can't wait!
As we wandered around, we saw lots of creative things on display.  I love this.  I'm going to call it a Llama, but it could be any number of 4-footed, hooved animals.  I want socks like that!
There were a few scrapbooking booths surrounding this huge work area.  If I was a scrapbooker, I would have such a blast at an event like this!
This is a Dr. Seuss kit.  Most of these fabrics are not in my Dr. Seuss quilt (to-be-completed, hopefully in the next few months).  I really like the splash of lime green!
And how about a funky elephant?  There were so many creative things to see.
I bought 2 jelly rolls (both batiks), 10 fat quarters, a quilt pattern, and 3 half-yard batiks.  I keep forgetting to take pictures of my treasures!  I haven't cut into any of them yet.  I like to finish something before I start the next thing, and I'm still plugging away on boy quilt #1!