Monday, December 8, 2008

Miss My Sewing Buddies

I went to the sewing room tonight after supper and put a binding on a Christmas gift. sigh....it was a bit dull after all the excitement of the weekend sewing with my family. Or maybe I am just tired. At least I got the binding on the quilt. Now I can sit back and hand-stitch it down.

People ask me all the time WHY I hand-stitch bindings. I think it is why I still read books rather than listen to all of them. It is also why I love to hand-wash dishes rather than put them in a dishwasher. I just don't think everything has to be done fast. I think there is real purpose in doing some things methodically and with meditation.

With this table topper, I also took the time to take a YLI variagated machine quilting thread and do an intricate feather stitch with the machine quilting. I loved using my #10 (which I think might be my favorite presser foot on a Bernina machine) to line it up in those seams and fit this 9mm stitch perfectly. This piece is my recycled piece that I was telling you about. I made it using the Baby Charms pattern that we give away at the store with two charm packs. However when I made it from this recycled project, I first had to cut up the former project. This table topper started off as four Christmas stockings two years ago. I had Johanna (my youngest daughter) machine embroidery some figures on the stockings. She did a great job. I neglected to color check her threads, and I got bright read and green on these classic red and green fabrics. It was not inspiring....I never finished the stockings. Everytime I opened the drawer where they took up residence, they taunted me with "should have checked the colors."

So, when I made my first Baby Charms out of Flirtations charm packs, I absolutely fell in love with this project. Took me an hour to piece what will be a table topper for one of my kids for Valentine's Day. It wasn't the time that was so cool but rather the fact that these toppers started off in what looked like over-sized table runners. Then you run a little magic over them and you get them set on point in less than an hour. I also love that they make a good use of the mixture of fabrics in a charm pack while respecting balance of the fabrics. So much fun which brought me to then buy another two packs from Wee Play. I love, love, love these things. Wee Play has a fabulous print that reminds me of aprons and children's books from my childhood. They are fast and easy and so much fun to watch the cool trick with them. In fact, they are so much fun for me to play with the fabric in these that I am personally taking over kitting these in the store. (Oh, there is another one of my favorite things to do methodically...select and cut kits.) I love putting together fabrics and working things out in the store like I work in my own sewing room.

Back to my recycled project....I took the stockings apart and technically cut them up into charm packs. I knew I wouldn't have enough to do the table topper; so, I cut up some four patches to be fitted into charm packs. I found a backing that was a leftover in my stash drawers for the back of this quilt. I even took the strips of batting from some of my larger quilts and pieced it together with my #10 foot and a #4 stitch on my sewing machine. Lapping the seams means I can use up lots of my batting bits. Most of my table toppers and runners are the remnants from my bigger projects. Conversely, I often purchase a king sized batting, cut it into fourths so that I have that perfect size (60x60") for most of my lap quilts and wall quilts. This table topper is supposed to be part of an exchange that we do with Henry's family. We aren't supposed to spend more than $5 on the item. So, technically....since this is a recycled project, I consider that I only spent the money on the thread.



If you understand this next concept...we really are a kindred spirit! I wouldn't feel right tossing out the embroidery designs from my recycled stockings (even though I am not real fond of the coloration). So, I am making coasters out of those using my Table Trio technique that I love to use for table runners and placemats. It will give me a chance to frame them up without the flip and sew method I traditionally do with coasters. Gives me a chance to work on mitered corners....just another chance to hand wash the dishes .

Just another day inside my Sewing Brain....I am just relieved that I am sewing again. Too much time away from the sewing machine just is NOT healthy! I don't necessarily think we sew because we have to finish a project but rather that we are happier people when we work on our brains through our creative soul. When I sew more, my whole being is happier.

All the Best to You, jill

1 comment:

TheCynicalOptimist said...

Looks likeyou make some beautiful things and I am jealous of your gift recipients!