Sunday, March 6, 2016

More Progress

It was just so much fun working on the red and white mini, I couldn't stop. I'm hoping I can finish it off this week. Right now, I'm hand quilting the border. For the pieced center, I machine stitched in the ditch.

Here's a few process shots just because.

The patches all added and starting Fold and Sew on the rows:

Once the paper is off, I like to press the seams open so they lay flatter:

At this stage, it is really easy to distort all that tiny piecing. I try my best not to do that, but I almost always need to do a little pressing to get the quilt back into square. I press freezer paper onto an ironing surface and draw a square that allows me to size the block exactly.

I aim to be really careful as I add borders. Still square. Yes!

Yup, that makes me happy.

And here I am:

Not the kind of stitching that's going to win any awards, but it's making me surprisingly happy to hand quilt again. Something I haven't done in ages.

Meanwhile, the sewing room continues to come together bit by bit. My shelf for the wee decorative things.

Oh, some of that goes way back. The little red top was given to me by a beau when I was in second grade. The vintage rick rack and thread bits go back to my grandmother's sewing basket, as does the pincushion on the top shelf. I made the red needle book for my mother back when I was in third or fourth grade, I think -- perhaps my first sewing project. There's a wee ancient Alice in Wonderland that was given to me by a dear friend in college. Add in sewing gifts from quilting friends and a couple Dalmatians in honor of the first dogs my husband and I shared our lives with.

It's what makes a room really special, isn't it? All those bits of history, all the love, and all the connections -- past and present. Every time I look at the bits and pieces on this shelf, I smile.

More practically, there's the cutting table. So clean, too!

It's hard to tell from the photos but the walls are a cream color, a very soft yellow. I'm loving it. In fact, I'm loving my sewing room so much at the moment, I just want to move in food stuffs and a sleeping bag and live there. Of course, I do have other demands on my time. My husband, for one. That's fine -- a nice quiet evening at home with wine and chocolate ahead. I'm not complaining.

Not to mention there are classes to teach, students to meet, and papers to grade. It's nice to know the sewing room is there all pretty and new when I've got the time though.

One last thing: Emmy asked how I hang my quilts on the wall. So, nothing fancy.

In the past, I sewed hanging sleeves onto the backs of my minis. Now I sew triangles (just a square folded on the diagonal) into the binding. There's a lot to like about this method: it's easy and there's no hand sewing. It also makes it really simple to switch between little quilts of different sizes.

I stab two push pins into the wall a little less than a couple inches apart. (I use a level to make sure they are even). Then a narrow little dowel slips into the triangles and balances on the pins. Easy peasy.

For my older little quilts with hanging sleeves I just cut out a rectangle from the center top of the sleeve -- that allows me to still use the dowel and pins. Not a particularly elegant solution, I grant, but hey, it works.

Oh, wait. One last last thing. The latest Westering Women block from Barbara Brackman.  All blues and browns for me with this sampler.



  1. Your first red and white mini is awesome. Your technique makes it perfect. Love your past and present shelf. Sweet memories. The studio is sew inviting and functional. I enjoy seeing where quilty buddies hang out. I noticed the window was free of encroaching evergreens!

    1. The trick will be to keep the evergreens at bay!

      I'm really happy with the little red and white as well!