Tuesday, January 31, 2023

A Slow Start In The Sewing Room

I've been busy since the start of the year, working on the computer, visiting family in Adelaide, bringing Isla home for a 5 day visit, and another stint in Adelaide, babysitting and catching up with everyone. Even if I had time to sew, I didn't really feel like it. I guess I just needed some recovery time.

I had no idea what I should do first, so I just sewed together the pieces for the red and cream Jacob's Ladder.  

Then they were pressed, and sat on my cutting table for days, waiting for me to cut the pieced strips into units for 4-patches

And now I've done that, so I suppose I should get busy and sew them together.  Soon....

I went through some boxes and sorted out things that had been untouched for more than 10 years. Actually, these boxes fell off a shelf, which was a drastic way to get my attention, but it worked. I threw out some ancient pieces that I didn't want to finish, tidied up a lot of papers, and made a few decisions about some old samples. I used this book to teach classes after the beginners had completed their basic class. It has some lovely patterns, and introduces new techniques in easy steps. But I never finished this demo block.

The quilt is one I still like, I should put it on my Someday list.

The block was fun to sew, but for now it's going in the orphan pile. I'm thinking it might be fun to do it completely scrappy.

Then I found this pile of blocks leftover from my Scrap Chain quilt. I'm going to sew then into blocks of 4, I bagged them up and they're next to my machine, waiting till I feel like tackling them. I need a few more, so I should cut pieces for that as well. Soon...

And then I saw these blocks.

I have a bad habit of not sewing the corner triangles on blocks, it just slows me down, so I leave it. Then I have dozens of blocks to catch up with, and I don't like that either. I cut a heap of the little triangles, and I've matched them up with each block. and I'll get them sewn on in between other tasks.  Then I have to trim them all.  I'll get to that, soon.

With all this other stuff to do, why did I pull out the 2" modern strips that I was working with in 2021? It's not as if I don't have enough to do anyway. But I wanted to work on reducing this section of my stash, and starting with the strips seems logical. I'm going to make little 9-patches, and decide on a pattern later.

When Isla was here she graduated to using the machine entirely by herself. Previously I've sat with her, controlling the foot pedal and giving her advice on what she's doing. This time, after some more pointers, I let her do it all. She was so good, keeping the machine at a steady pace, adjusting the fabric to sew a straight line, keeping her hands in the correct spot to control the fabric. This machine, that belonged to her great-grandmother, doesn't have a needle up/down button, and she was very careful to always turn the flywheel to position the needle in the up position. She never once unthreaded the needle by mistake; I've taught plenty of grown women who never mastered that little skill. 

I was so impressed with her; she can be headstrong and impulsive, but she can also concentrate  and work really hard at doing a good job. She made a laundry bag for her clothes when she visits, and several small bags for her pens and pencils. I think a pillowcase will be our next project, and maybe a patchwork cushion. I taught her mother to sew, but Seonaid was never really interested in doing much with it. I'm loving teaching Isla, she's so eager to learn, and I hope I can pass on my love of fabric and quilting. She's the only one that would be interested in my stash!


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