Sunday, January 27, 2008

Crazy Quilt

When I first got my Pfaff 7510 sewing machine I decided to make a crazy quilt. It gave me a chance to try out the many fancy stitches on the 7510. Since I'm the type person who likes to have things planned out and symmetrical this was also an excercise in going with the flow.

I had scraps that had collected over a few years of attempting to sew. I used many types of fabrics in this quilt. Some were left over from home-decorating projects, some from garment sewing, and some from quilts. I used 12 inch squares of muslin as a base for the squares.

My son was about 8 years old at the time. He and his best friend choose many of the speciality stitches for me to sew. I also used the machine to add the date and our names. The quilt does have a batting. The backing and binding is flannel purchased at Hancock's. It is a heavy quilt! Over the years, I just patch it as needed. To me, that adds to the charm of this quilt.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Quilt basting

I pulled out a quilt top that I made a few years ago and tried to baste it this weekend. I thought this should be easy with quilt basting spray. I recently tried quilt basting spray and did not have good results. Then I found out I tried spray that was meant for cotton batting when I had polyester batting. This time I tried a different type of spray that said it would work on any type of batting.


I carefully laid out the layers of the queen size quilt and basted according to instructions. I am doing in-the-ditch-stitching on this quilt, so this shouldn't be very difficult. WRONG! The layers started shifting! I've sewed, ripped, sewed, and ripped. I spent most of today ripping out and smoothing out half of the quilt. Along with the spray basting, I used some safety pins.

I think I may have it relatively okay at this point. Of course, I had 2 cats "helping" me along the way by sleeping on the quilt as I basted.

Weather update
We had more snow this weekend! It snowed most of Saturday but instead of snow accumulation, we ended up with about an inch of ice. Thank goodness I didn't have to go anywhere.

The dog enjoyed sitting on the front porch and watching the snow.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Winter has arrived

It is mid-January and we are finally getting a bit of winter here in Georgia. Yesterday we had sleet and snow. Really there was snow, big white fluffy flakes. Enough to cover the yards and rooftops then it turned to rain. Kids all over the state went to bed dreaming of a day off from school. Only the ones in the northern most counties saw that dream come true. DS was one of the ones that was disappointed this morning as I woke him to get ready for school.

Thanks to the cold weather I can now wear my latest sewing adventure -- a reversible fleece coat. This was made from McCall's pattern 9576. The pattern instructions were easy to follow, quick to make and I love the way it feels. I did not use interfacing like the pattern recommended, I just don't see the need for it in fleece.

It's hard to tell from this picture but that is a navy blue and off-white (think antique white). It comes down about to my knees and has side pockets. I went through my quilting stash to find some fun fabrics for the pockets instead of using "lining fabric" as instructed by McCall's. Here are a couple of close ups, you can see the fleece colors better in these also.

Lat night at the bookstore I picked up the January/February issue of Mark Lipinski's Quilter's Home magazine. I've only one other issue of Quilter's Home. It's a "different" quilting magazine. It's not a lot of patterns. It is like a conversation with a good quilting friend. I went looking online and found Mark has a blog that he apparently updates regularly. WARNING: there are a few pictures that are not for the easily offended. For example, he has pictures of the much-whispered-about fabric with drawings of a certain male body part on it. If that offends you, oh well, you've been warned.

Mark, love your blog and magazine!

I hope to do some major quilting and sewing this weekend since my son will be at his father's house. When I'm alone then I can leave thread and fabric throughout the house and have a sewing frenzy without anyone commenting. The cats like sewing frenzies because it means piles of fabrics and quilts for them to inspect as sleeping pads.
Here is one of those cats....His name is Cosmo, he weighs about 15 pounds, he's a bit "fluffy". He's a funny cat.

Friday, January 11, 2008

Things other than sewing

As if I don't have enough to do in life, I am working on my Master's degree in Computer Science. The classes are all online which is great because there is some flexibility about when I "do class". The semester started this week and I'm taking 2 classes this time. A class on Programming Languages and a class about Project Management. The Project Management class will also meet the continuing education requirements for my Project Management Certification.

Project Management Certification is through an organization call PMI. The certification makes me a "PMP" - Project Management Professional. If you are interested in Project Management, go to PMI is not just about computer project management but any type of project management. You become a PMP after taking a difficult test and meeting other experience requirements. Then to keep certification, you have to do a certain number of continuing ed hours every 3 years. Since I suffered through the testing, I figure it is worthwhile to keep up the certification.

Taking college classes online is interesting. The big downside is I miss the interaction with other students that happen around classes. I miss that chance to chat with other students about the current class, what to expect from other classes, and what to expect from instructors. The up side is the flexibility of "going to class" when it is convenient to me, at least the type classes I'm taking are set up that way. The instructor posts the lecture, sometimes just text, sometimes audio as well. Depending on the instructor, the tests may have to be completed in one day or there may be a week to complete them.

I do hope to do some sewing this weekend in the midst of work, housework, and studying.

Sunday, January 6, 2008

Cardigan Sweater

I enjoy wearing sweater cardigans during the winter. They are nice to have at work when I'm never sure what the building temperature will be. I decided to be brave and try to sew a cardigan from a sweater knit. The pattern I used is Loes Hinse Sweater Set No. 5201

This was the first time I had used a Loes Hinse pattern. I was very impressed with the simple pieces and how quickly the sweater went together. For the cardigan there are only 3 pattern pieces - front, back and sleeve. I had to keep telling myself to NOT stretch the material as I sewed. There is a little problem with the right facing not hanging correctly. The thread is such a perfect match to the material, I am having a horrible time trying to take out the sewing.

Here is the cardigan before buttons and buttonholes...