Sunday, January 27, 2013

Ironing Station

DH has been very busy working on my sewing room set up. He made this ironing station for me. I have been wanting a large, rectangular ironing space to replace my ironing board. Traditional ironing boards are shaped to iron shirts and blouses, not quilts or yardage of fabric. I think my new ironing station is perfect.
The shelf unit was under $16 at Target. We bought one sheet of 3/4" plywood for around $18 at Lowe's. They cut it for us. I decided to have it 30" deep by 72" wide. I can reach all the way to the back and it should be wide enough to hold any quilt top or yardage I need to iron. I bought the cover fabric a couple years ago when it was on sale with this project in mind. I don't remember how much I spent on the fabric. I put four layers of cotton batting on the board. The bottom-most layer was pieced from scraps, not sewn together, just laying side by side without overlapping. I bought a king size batting from Joann's for the other three layers.  We pulled the fabric and batting to the back, I trimmed the batting a bit and we stapled it to the plywood. The top is not attached to the shelves. It stays because of its weight. It is very sturdy. I have already put my containers of charm packs on the shelf. I am also going to be resorting my fabric and pulling my backing fabric yardage out of my color sorted containers. I think it will be more useful for me to see what backing pieces I have instead of having to sort through every container by color when I am looking for larger pieces.  All in all, this was a relatively inexpensive solution to replace the ironing board in my sewing room. The ironing board is now where it belongs. It is in the linen closet waiting until the next time I iron a shirt. Don't hold your breath.

He also came up with a nice set up for machine side pressing. I have seen many ideas online to make a TV tray into an ironing surface. I find that a bit small. When the iron sits on that surface, there isn't much pressing area. He came up with this solution:
He attached one of those small ironing boards to the TV tray. This gives me a bit more space so I can have room for my iron and a pressing space. He is very clever. I haven't shared with you yet about my favorite iron.

Here it is. It is a Continental brand and I bought it from Amazon for $15. I love it. Why do I love this iron so much? Look at this:
No holes on the sole plate. I know that quilters fall into two camps: steamers and non-steamers. I am a confirmed non-steamer. I never use steam when I am piecing. I always found the steam holes on the sole plate of my other iron (which is now retired to the linen closet with the ironing board) to be a nuisance. When pressing seams, corners of pieces often got pulled by one of those holes and I would have to repress. I am easily annoyed. The last straw was when I was trying to press the back of my 365 scrap houses quilt. I would straighten out one place, only to have another pulled in a way I didn't intend. That problem is now solved.

My sewing room now has a couple new smells that I hope will disappear soon. I got a new cutting mat for Christmas. It has that new plastic smell...dare I say it is a bit skunky smelling? OK, I said it. It smells skunky. Now I have added to that the smell of fresh wood. A lot of people might actually like that smell, but I don't. I never seem to run out of things to complain about. Sorry.

The smells haven't kept me away from my machine, though. I gave a peek at a couple of the first blocks in my last post. I have completed the blocks for the Twelve Trees wallhanging using Oakshott cottons. I got the fabric and instructions here. Here is the arrangement I have come up with.
Today I will be getting the rows put together. I keep thinking about how I will quilt this. I think the fabric is definitely the star here, so I want to be subtle with the quilting. I could just do stitch in the ditch, but for some reason, that doesn't seem to be settling the question for me. More thinking to do. Any suggestions?

I will be linking up with Let's Get Acquainted Blog here. Hope you join us.

Thanks for stopping by.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Another Finish!

I have finally finished the Blogger's BOM in the Christmas colorway.
I used a new swirl design to quilt the negative space. The center was quilted in the ditch, using my walking foot. I am pretty happy with the outcome on this one. Now I have to get back to the other colorway. I am still fussing about the cornerstones. No matter which fabric I choose from my stash, a cornerstone will end up next to a matching fabric in one or more of the blocks. I may just have to purchase something. I bought a gray for my setting triangles and a purple for the sashing. I guess it won't make any difference if I just buy something for the cornerstones too.

I have been working on a few other things too.
Here is Designer Mystery BOM #8. I had to recut a couple of the triangles because I was not careful enough about which way the fabric was turned. Have I said before that I love Vintage Modern? I'll repeat it again. I love Vintage Modern.

I have cut into my Oakshott to start working on these freeform trees. I won't trim the outer edges until they are all done. Ten more to go.

Thanks for stopping by.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Two More (small) Finishes

I have finished a couple small projects. First, I finished this Pretty in Leaves tabler runner kit that I got from Laundry Basket Quilts (here). I fell in love with the colors. The reflection on the glass table made it difficult to get good pictures.

I had a terrible time determining which fabrics were medium and which were dark. I'm sure my arrangement is not at all what was intended by the designer. Oh well. I really like it.

The other small item that I made is a scissor case as a thank you gift for a friend. I got the instructions from .Quiltscapes (here).

It was a quick little project and fun to make. It will soon be on its way to Michigan.

I am linking this post up with Plum and June's Let's Get Acquainted Monday Link Up found here. If you are visiting my blog from the Link Up, welcome. Please stop by again.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

First Finish of 2013

I have completely finished my granddaughter's quilt for her third birthday. I have posted about this before, so I won't repeat all of the details. It is quilted, bound, and labeled.
I had planned to use the backing fabric for the binding, but I didn't have enough. I bought some milk chocolate brown for the binding instead. I am actually happier than I would have been with the cupcake fabric.
I was afraid that I wouldn't have quite enough yardage for the backing, so I added a row of leftover fabrics in 5" blocks surrounded by white. That gave me enough breathing room to handle the quilt as I completed it on my machine. I used Lori Holt's tutorial for completely machine attaching the binding. I am really happy with it. I hate hand sewing the binding.

I also made a doll quilt for her dolly. I used Lori Holt's tutorial for the doll quilt. Such fun.
I am ready to get these projects into a box and mail them to granddaughter in Michigan. Wish I could be there for her birthday. Sigh. Classes begin again on Monday. Too soon.

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Big Girl Quilt top finished

I have been sewing. Feels great. I have finished piecing my granddaughter's big girl quilt for her third birthday. The pattern is Hexagon Park designed by Lynne Goldsworthy. You can find the pattern here. It was really fun putting this quilt together.
I used fabrics with themes of candy, ice cream, cupcakes, etc. I added some stripes, polka dots, and dollies too.
Today, I am going to be piecing a doll quilt from some of these fabrics to be sent along with the quilt.

By the way, the On the Go quilt was gifted to my newest grandson this Christmas. I'm sure he loves it.
Thanks for stopping by.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Happy New Year!

This is the ultimate Rabbit, Rabbit day. Not only the first day of the month, but also the first day of the year. I am such an old fuddy duddy that I went to bed at 9:30 last night.

I have yet to organize my sewing priorities for 2013 or look back at my accomplishments in 2012. I will get to that today, but first I need a cup of coffee.