Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Three Weeks and Counting

I leave for Quilt Market in Pittsburgh in 3 weeks. These next 3 weeks will be full of binding quilts and printing patterns. I thought you might be interested in this article on bias vs straight binding. Most of the time I use a straight binding. I have been contemplating the switch to bias bindings because they wear better. When done correctly, they also lie beautifully. The downside is always figuring out how much fabric I will need. Shelley Rodgers from has a great chart that makes calculating easy. Of course you can always purchase binging already cut. These are called lollipops. You can see why. This particular group is available from

I have big plans for this weekend. I would really like to finish the Palumbo quilt top. I have 40 blocks finished, granted all the easy ones are done. There are 24 paper pieced blocks to go. In a perfect world, I will have those finished Friday night. I already planning a little break for Saturday. I want to take a ride up into NY along Route 5. Route 5 runs along Lake Erie. There are a couple new shops I found in Jamestown I would like to visit and always the shop in Dunkirk. I guess I had better put the big bag on the back of the bike, or I'll have trouble bringing things home. I heard it might be 75!

Saturday, April 18, 2009

A Binding I am Going

I am deep in Quilt Market preparation mode. I looked at the calendar yesterday and realized there are only four weeks left. YIKES! I am not really in a time crunch yet, but those dates kind of sneak up behind me and shout BOO. I have most of my new designs made and quilted, but quite a bit of binding to do still. It looks like several nights in from of the television, hand sewing the binding. Hmmm, that does not sound so bad.

I was out at the North East Crazy Quilter's Quilt Show today and helped serve (and taste test) pie. There were some amazing quilts on display. I'm sorry I didn't bring my camera. I did a little shopping though and picked up the Sewline Fabric Pencil. Now this looks really cool. It is a mechanical pencil with a ceramic lead that is used to mark fabric. The lead comes in a a variety of colors, white, yellow and green. You can also buy the eraser refills. I have used white and yellow pencils for ever, but they always need sharpening and you have to compensate for the thickness of the lead when you are using them with a ruler. I know there are pens available also, but they always seem to dry our before I think they should. I think I'll need at least one more of these so I can have a white and a yellow available at all times.

What else have I been trying out? I have a small sample of Quilter's Dream ( )new Orient batting. It is a blend of silk, bamboo, botanic tencel and cotton that has a beautiful hand. It is machine wash and dry so I am thinking it will do wonderful in a new jacket. My plan is Simplicity 2858, using the Wilmington Essentials print. I know the pattern is not a quilted jacket, but I am going to quilt the outer shell anyway. I will have to quilt the fabric and then cut out the pieces to make sure the fit is correct. There is always some shrinkage when a fabric is quilted. I am only going to quilt the outer fabric to the batting. I will construct the lining as directed so I do not have to finish the seams. I will let you know how it all turns out. I have to finish my samples for market first.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

The Martha Washington Sewing Table

For those interested in my red sewing cabinet, here is a link that gives some of the history of that style of cabinet.

Friday, April 3, 2009

My New Sewing Room

It's been a month since the big move and I think my new sewing room is finally coming together. I have an odd shaped room to work with, but I am very happy with the results. As some of you know, I had my sewing all over the house. My cutting table, fabric and ironing board were on the second floor and my sewing machine was on the first. I would do the sewing aerobics every day. Upstairs to cut, downstairs to sew, upstairs to press, back downstairs to sew. It was getting a little crazy. I think Honey was getting a little tired of the sewing paraphernalia spread everywhere.Now, we have consolidated most everything into 1 room. My fabric is still in the attic, but at least it is all on the same floor.

I do not have any "real" sewing furniture. The tables made specifically for sewing are beautiful, but the do not fit well in my room. My room is only 8 feet wide in the largest section. I have 2 six foot tables in a corner to cut and sew on with shelves under both. I love having the extra space to spread out on when working on a large project. It also gives the "little boys" a place to sleep or watch the going's on out the window. I also love having a basket to collect all my scraps just under the table. I really should make more scrap quilts. Add them to the project list I guess.

I have added a few shelves and still need one more. Maybe this weekend. The shelves and drawers are next to my sewing machine. I can open the drawers without getting up. I keep my thread and needles in there, close at hand. My room is about 16ft. long. At the other end I have my ironing board, my serger and an old Martha Washington sewing cabinet. Some day I'll strip the red paint off and refinish it.

I love having this dedicated space. Honey teases about the invisible line at the doorway. The one that allows everything to go in and nothing to come out. I need a few things fort he walls, but I think I'm going to paint it first. Best of all, I love looking out the window while I'm working.