The mysterious magnet

I am nearly finished my Mod Pop quilt, which has now been renamed More Wine Please.  I was looking at it the other day while polishing off the last glass of a bottle of wine, and it occurred to me that this quilt is the colour of many different kinds of wine: merlot; rose; white.

The sleeve, label, and binding are all on. The sleeve and label were simple and agony free.  Then I tried to use the walking foot to add the binding.  Simply put, my walking foot was not walking.  It would not feed the fabric properly, and the binding was getting puckers where it was not supposed to get puckers.  It would hang up on the corners where the fabric was a little thicker.  I was getting frustrated, but plowed on.

Finally the binding was on.  I took the walking foot off my machine, and then something on the bottom of it caught my eye.

magnet 1

I took a closer look, and realized there was a little coin-shaped magnet wedged into the bottom of the foot. Of course it wasn’t feeding properly! The magnet was preventing the feed dogs on the foot from grabbing the fabric.

magnet 2

The offending magnet was unceremoniously removed and put on the fridge where it will be useful and not troublesome. I have no idea how it got there, but it happened between making a pair of oven mitts the other day and putting the binding on this quilt. I probably will not know where it came from, but if my foot has trouble feeding again, I will look for stray magnets.

As it’s Wednesday, I’m linking up to the Needle and Thread Network.  Hopefully their progress has been happily magnet free.



WIP Wednesday

It’s been a long time since I linked up a WIP Wednesday post.  It’s not that I haven’t been sewing, it’s that Wednesdays seems to have become non-blogging days for some reason.  I am still working through the list of UFOs that I posted last year.  Two of them are finished: Deco Shimmer and the community quilt.  I’m nearly finished another one.

Mod Pop QAL 6

I basted the Mod Pop top that I finished last year. Leanne of She Can Quilt, who is hosting this QAL, has set a the final completion date: February 17. So I moved this quilt to the top of the list so that I would finish it next. I found some fabrics in my stash, quickly pieced a backing, and got it basted. Then I started quilting it. I’m stippling just in the plum-coloured areas and then doing something else (yet to be determined) in the white sections. It was going great, and then I turned it over.

Mod Pop QAL 7

Some of the excess batting around the edge had somehow gotten caught under the needle, so I had to do some picking and then re-quilt that area. It took less time than I thought, and I’m about halfway done the stippling now. I’ve had meetings and guests the last few nights, so hopefully I can finish it off tonight, since my schedule is clear.

I’m linking up to WIP Wednesday at the Needle and Thread Network.  It’s been awhile, so I have to go catch up on what everyone else has been up to.

My first bee block

So I’m in a bee now.  That seems odd to type since my first thought at the word bee is that little buzzing insect that makes honey, and I’m definitely not in one of those.  If that would be the case, giant bees would probably have taken over my city, and you would be reading about that on the news, hoping the giant, quilter-swallowing bees don’t come for your city.

Hey, look at that!  I got sidetracked!  Back to the point, I’ve joined a quilting bee, and have completed my first block.  Jaclyn asked us to make Converging Corners blocks using this tutorial.  She sent us the Kona Snow to use as the background, and we used our stash for the accents.  The blocks finish at 12.5″.  I mailed it last week, so hopefully she’ll get it soon.

SS Bee Jan

I also worked on my Urban Nine Patch blocks. I made three more, but only have pictures of two of them. They are coming along nicely, and are a good thing to work on when I’ve only got a little bit of time to sew, since all the pieces are pre-cut.

U9P 8

I’ve also started quilting Mod Pop (which will probably get renamed one of these days) and hope to have it finished by the weekend.  Yay for progress!

This is where I sew

Sometimes people come over to my house, and they see where I sew.  And they often say, almost incredulously, ‘This is where you sew?”  So I am little defensive about my sewing space.  I don’t have my own sewing room, so I have claimed little (yes, I literally mean little) spaces around the house to sew.

Sewing space 1

This is my sewing corner. It measures 41″ x 50″. Before I claimed it, it was an empty, useless space. Now it is creativity central! I found a nice narrow little desk, and there is just enough room for me to push the chair back and swing my legs out without hitting my head on the wall. My rulers are stored on the pegboard behind me. There are also some clothes to be mended on the pegboard. They’ve been there awhile, since mending’s not as much fun as quilting. On the other wall are some sketches of possible future quilts. There is a pile of fabric on the floor.

Sewing space 2

I do most of my in-progress pressing on this little ironing board that I made. It measures 22″ square, so it fits fat quarters and my finished block sizes perfectly! This sits on my kitchen counter. I have a larger ironing board downstairs in my basement, and I press there when I’m putting tops together or ironing larger pieces of fabric. I also cut my fabric on this counter.  The basket holds the scraps from cutting and squaring things up.  Please do not be jealous of my awesome, 70s inspired tiled counters and back splash.

Sewing space 4

This is my design wall, which I have posted before. The ironing is on the counter to the right. I have another design wall in the guest bedroom downstairs, but the light there is awful, so use this one much more. The sewing corner is behind this, past the kitchen table. I can see the bottom right corner from my sewing, but not the bottom left, which is why the blocks skew to the right. Please note how the wonderful tiles extend to the whole wall!

Sewing space 3

My fabric is stored in the boxes that my kids’ diapers came in. We moved four years ago, and these are the boxes the fabric moved in. They are sorted by colour and the boxes are labelled. This is downstairs in the basement.

My husband is in the process of renovating the basement and he is building me the most amazing closet ever where I can store all my sewing stuff in one place. After all, functional craft spaces are much more important than an up to date kitchen, right? 🙂

Plodding along on the UFOs

I’ve been trying very hard not to start any new projects.  So far, with the exception of the rainbow log cabins, I’ve succeeded.  For the past few evenings, I’ve been working on my Urban Nine Patch again.  I started this in the summer last year.  I put it away because my old, unreliable rotary cutter was doing a horrible job cutting the curves.  I got a new rotary cutter, but then had other, more pressing projects to work on first.  Now I’ve dusted it off and started on it again.

I made a block, the yellow one, and then put it up on the design wall with the ones that I’d made last year.  And, to my surprise, it was smaller!  I quickly measured it, and it was measuring 12.5″ like it was supposed to.  That meant that the 5 blocks that I’d made last year were all too big.  I realized that I had trimmed the long, curved, rectangular pieces along the sides of the block to be 3″ instead of 2.75″.  It meant that I had to take all five blocks apart, re-trim, and then re-assemble.  At least I didn’t have to completely remake them because I’d cut them too small!

U9P 7

So, now I have 8 blocks.  I have the pieces cut for at least 10 more, and it takes me about an hour to leisurely sew one together. I have no idea why the green in those two bottom blocks looks grey in these pictures. I took a whole bunch of pictures in different light, with and without flash, and it still looks grey. Weird.

U9P 6

I have not decided how to set them yet either. I thought I would definitely put them on point, but I like them straight too. Oh well. I’ve got lots of time to figure that out while I sew the rest of the blocks together.

Some catch-up stuff

I’ve come to realize that when the kids have a school holiday, I don’t sew or blog as much. I also don’t clear my Google Reader as frequently. But, school started again today, so in the near future I should get caught up again, and also have some uninterrupted sewing time. Woot!

While the holidays were on, the local museum was running some great kids’ programs. We have a membership with the museum, so we get free admission and went there a lot over the holidays. The kids made cards, topsy-turvy dolls, handmade paper, and felted their own ear warmers. All these programs are free with the price of admission, and they also often tie in to the rotating exhibits that the museum has.

felted ear warmers

They chose their own colours from the wool, and then gradually hand felted them using warm water and lots of (my) muscle power. Thing 1’s is the top, the blue for Thing 2, and dark grey for Thing 3. I still have to sew the buttons on the bottom two, but Thing 1 took hers to school today, and is very eager to show it off.

I did a little bit of sewing and made a few more rainbow log cabins. I have added 6 purple and 6 more red to the pile. I have 31 blocks total now.

rainbow log cabin 5

This picture is not great, but the kids had a whole bunch of toys set up in the living room where I typically take pictures because the light is much better there. They were playing nicely, so I didn’t want to tempt fate and ask them to move.

I also joined my first bee, the Simply Solids Bee run by Sew at Home Mummy. I am in one of the two Canadian groups. My month is May, so I have a bit of time yet to come up with the block that I want the group to make for me, and also to learn the ropes of how bees work and such. I added the button to my sidebar a while back, but kept forgetting to blog about it. The instructions for the first block have already been posted, so I hope to get started soon!

Sew at Home Mummy: Simply Solids a modern {bee}

I look forward to working with solids a little more, and I hope my first bee experience goes well.  I also want to finish off that UFO list that I posted a few months ago.  Lots of stuff to work on, and now with the kids back in school, I hope I have a little more time to do some sewing!