Fall Sewing

Fall is the time of year when I want to sew all the things! It has finally cooled off here in Texas. We’ve got rain and clouds all week long – the perfect weather to stay indoors sipping coffee and cutting out quilts (and watching Netflix, etc.!). The list of Christmas gifts, decorations, and quilts I want to make seems to grow each year and includes several projects lingering from last Christmas.

A few of the new additions this year are Christmas gifts for my children, including some sweet little Alicia Paulson softies.  I’m torn between the rabbit and the fox, though, so perhaps both! I’ve recently acquired a small stash of Liberty prints that will work perfectly for inside little ears, as dresses, and lining fox coats.

Liberty of London

My birthday was earlier this month and I treated myself to a couple of lovely vintage finds, including this strawberry crewel to decorate my sewing space:

Strawberry CrewelStrawberry CrewelThe berries are three dimensional and they may have even been crocheted and added to the crewel. It’s a darling and really well made piece.

Before I’m get too deep into Christmas sewing, I have a Halloween quilt I want to finish up. I have just a few more blocks to go before I can get the top pieced.

What are you sewing this week?

crewel love

The snowmaggedon has pretty much turned out to be a bust with very little snow…but I still enjoyed a day of sewing and puppy snuggling. (And chocolate chip cookie baking. The recipe from the Better Homes and Gardens cookbook is my all-time favorite. Cookie making ingredients are starting to become a staple in this household. Along with pico de gallo ingredients for my hubs.)

Here is the puppy snuggling:

puppy snuggling

That dog is my constant shadow. He will even sit in my lap while I sew. He hangs off my lap so it can’t be comfortable but he insists. He occasionally will grab fabric off the floor of my sewing room, make sure I’m looking at him, and then run off with it. His brother Will actually stole an entire charm pack just last week. So adorably rotten!

Last night I made a needle case using this tutorial. My plan is to make a couple of these for different sewing projects because you need different needles and slightly different supplies for all of them. This version is for my crewel projects:

needle case - cover

needle case - inside

This should make it a lot easier for me to grab some hand sewing projects for Saturday Sew or sewing circles with friends.

I used the stitch regular on my new Bernina for the free motion quilting. It’s a completely different experience from free motion quilting on any other machine. It will take me a few more projects to get used to it, but the results are undeniably good even with my awkward newbie technique. I have new machine infatuation big time.

create! challenge

My blog and bee friend Kelly is having a February challenge to do something creative every day this month. I kind of already do that since I do sew every day, but I’m going to push myself a bit further and try to do something creative that is NOT quilting. Today I was lucky enough to get in a bit of crewel and some quilting.

This crewel kit is going to be a pillow for my sofa someday. I’ve been working at it on and off for nearly a year now. I’m kind of ashamed to not be further along because the most difficult part about it is threading the needle. (Note – when using wool threads for embroidery, don’t lick the end of the thread to make it easier to get in the needle eye. You will get a wool hairball. I swear.)  Maybe this challenge will inspire me to finish it! There are also a few projects from the Martha Stewart sewing book that I’d love to work on.

I’m also finally quilting one of the projects from my end of the year WIP challenge.

gridlock: summer palette (pattern coming soon)

The colors in this quilt combined with the 19 degree weather we’re having today make me so ready for spring.

Binding + Bonding

In addition to some pre-Thanksgiving cooking, I’m going to spend the next few days getting a couple of quilts ready to bind. A lot of the Thanksgiving holiday is spent sitting around chatting so I figured my hands might as well be busy while my bum is resting. I have three quilts and a table runner that I’d like to bind over the holiday weekend. Overly ambitious? Maybe. But I do love to set the bar high.

binding.

I used to put off binding my quilts because making the binding seemed like such a process. Over my short time quilting (closing in on two years), I’ve learned a few tricks that make it simpler and faster….sssooo much faster. I whipped up that pile ‘o binding in around 30 or 45 minutes last night. My friend Michelle is a master at the art of quilt binding. Hers are always lovely and perfect. Custom bindings are actually something that we plan to offer in our shop soon, and I have a feeling they’ll be very popular.

Speaking of Michelle, she is such a bad influence on me. Our tastes are so similar that trouble ensues when we go shopping together.

Michelle:  “That is such great thread. Look at the gorgeous colors.”

Me:  “Oooh, it really is. I would love some more Pearl for hand quilting.”

Michelle: “You could use it for so many different projects. I would love to have some for embroidery.”

Me: “I am imagining it with Parisville! Wouldn’t those colors be just perfect for hand quilting?!…Do you want to split some?”

Michelle: “YES!”

That’s how you end up with 36 skeins of hand-dyed, top-of-the-line (read: pricey!) Pearl cotton. We split the purple set:

valdani pearl

[purple frenzy by Valdani]

It really is gorgeous.

dresden plates.

I unpacked my retreat stuff tonight and realized that I forgot some of my quilt blocks on the design wall.  Looks like I’ll be trying to sweet talk the 1890s House into mailing them to me or making a 30-minute drive to get them. BOO.

dresden plates.

Tonight was the first time I felt like sewing again since I’ve been home from the quilt retreat so I did a bit of paper piecing. These little Dresden plates are addictive! And they’re the perfect way to use up scraps. The finished plate measures about six inches across so it’s going to take quite a few of these to make a quilt. When I bought the paper piecing templates, I saw an even smaller version that seemed ridiculous but now I’m tempted to go back and get a few. I can think of lots of uses for tiny Dresden plates.

In other news…if you’re in Dallas/Ft. Worth, don’t forget that the Dallas Modern Quilt Guild is having a monthly Saturday Sew this weekend. It’s a lot of fun! You can find details and RSVP here.