Tuesday, September 27, 2011

The New Sewing Room

The new sewing room is far from being done, but it is coming along. I have had a terrible cold and little motivation, so progress isn't being made as quickly as I'd like. I won't be working on it anymore until after our trip to Missouri. This is where it is at now.

This is looking into the room from the doorway. To the right is a wall I cannot use, since some of my daughter's bookshelves for her Amazon bookstore are there. Straight ahead is a cabinet in which I used to store my fabric for making scrubs. This cabinet never was in the last sewing room, but will be in this one. What will be stored in it is still to be determined. The space between my fabric shelves and the big white cabinet will soon be filled with more fabric shelves. After our trip DH and I will be driving to Phoenix and going to Ikea to get more shelves.

Looking farther right, you can see one of my sweet dogs, Bianca, who insisted on being in the photos, she is my sewing buddy :-) My other dog, Kate, could care less about staying with me when I sew, and only comes in when there is a thunderstorm. The cabinet with my Juki is now completely open, which I love, and I am using an old microwave cart to further increase the size of the cabinet so I can support large quilts when quilting. I am sticking storage pieces under the leaves of the open sewing cabinet. You can see my fabric shelves in this photo, and the multimedia shelves with my smaller minibolts on them. I plan on repurposing the black set of multimedia shelves, and buying another of the larger set. I tried to pick up a set this week, but the Big Lots I went to was out of them. They still carry them, though it is questionable if I can get them in the same color. Since not much matches in my sewing room, and I am unconcerned about color, and I will get a set when they come in.

Here is the final wall of the new sewing room. The large wardrobe in the corner will hopefully store much of what is in the old sewing room closet. It should easily hold my rolls of batting, and quite a bit of the other things from the closet. Those plastic drawers stacked high hold my scrap user system, which I really use. I go to my scrap drawers first when making most patterns. The workbench is not as messy as it was in the old room, but it is not quite settled either. I am hoping DH will mount a piece of pegboard on the end. so I can hang my rulers a bit more spread out than they are now. I didn't take a photo of it, but there is a very small hallway behind this room, and that is probably where I will iron. There is an outlet high in the wall on a wall just long enough for my ironing board. I have very little wall space in this new room, because I am going for storage. I have lots of tall storage pieces, and will have no open wall areas once the new shelves are purchased. I think this is a decent trade off. I did manage to get my three favorite thread racks up, but I can't hang up my other two thread racks on the wall. One of them is still being used, I put a hanger inside my Juki cabinet and it's hanging there. The other thread rack I am giving to a friend.

This is how much of my stuff is still in the little room that all my sewing stuff was crammed into. I think I'm doing pretty well getting things sorted out, especially considering I've been really busy and sick to boot! Some of these things are current projects that just need to be finished. I never finished making bibs for the twins, and these are there, plus my Christmas stocking project. If I can finish these up soon, I don't have to find a place to store them in the sewing room. Wouldn't that be great!

Tomorrow I pack, and write out the directions for the person who is housesitting/dogsitting for us. We leave Thursday, and I am going to be unplugged from the internet! I usually bring my laptop, but I don't want to bother with it. I won't post again until we are back from our whirlwind five day trip, which is pretty short to go to two weddings, see lots of family and friends, and try to see a few things, like drive by our old house.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Star Log Cabin Directions

I have had a lot of people ask me how I made the star log cabin quilt. I saw some similar quilt designs online, but not quite what I was looking for, so I dragged out the graph paper and figured out what I wanted. I wanted light squares in the dark sections, and dark squares in the light sections. I did not want stars in the areas where light and dark meet.

In the photo of my graph paper design, B stands for burgundy, L for light, D for dark and W for white. You can make this quilt with any sized strips, but my 2" strips drawer was filled to overflowing so I used those. I cut the burgundy and white from yardage, but the rest was from my strip drawers. The quilt I made was 104" square with borders. I made 64 blocks. If you'd like to make your quilt just this size, here are my notes.

64 blocks- set 8x8

256- 2"burgundy squares- 13 WOF strips
300- 2" white squares (192 for blocks, 108 for inner border)- 15 WOF strips

Lights- approximately 55 WOF strips

64- 2" squares
64- 2"x 3 1/2" rectangles
64- 2"x 5" rectangles
64- 2"x 6 1/2" rectangles
128- 2"x 8" rectangles -all of these will have a burgundy square sewn on the diagonal added to one end to make a star point, be careful, half are tilted in one direction, half in the other. A burgundy square will need to be added to the last light log added to each block, right next to the added burgundy triangle.

Darks- approximately 69 WOF strips

64- 2"x 3 1/2" rectangles
64- 2"x 5" rectangles
64- 2"x 6 1/2" rectangles
64- 2"x 8" rectangles
128- 2"x 9 1/2" rectangles - All of these will have a white square added to one end, sewn on the diagonal, again, half tilted in one direction, half the other. A white square will need to be added to the last dark log to be sewn on each block, right next to the added white triangle.

Inner border- I used green, could be any color

16- 2"x 18 1/2" strips, with white squares sewn on the diagonal added to BOTH ends. They should slope outward, making a long trapezoid.

16- 2"x 18 1/2" strips
20- 2"x 3 1/2" strips, made into flying geese units
4- 2" squares for corners.

This is the beginning of the layout, you will be making four full light diamonds across and down. Make sure to keep the half white stars to the outside.

I don't have a good photo showing the layout of the borders, but perhaps this photo will help.

I think if you look at it will the list of parts in mind, you can figure it out.

I added a 6" border as the final border.

If you have any questions, feel free to ask. I have EQ 7, but I can't figure out how to make complicated borders on it yet. I do have the layout and the block done on EQ 7, but I don't know how to put those pics on my blog. The funny thing is, I really did design this quilt on graph paper first, even though I have designed lots of quilts on EQ 7. Sometimes old school methods just appeal to me more.

By the way, in case you were wondering, I've not noticed any extra room in my 2" strip drawer ;-)

Friday, September 23, 2011

Back From the LAQ

Things have been so crazy around here, I haven't been able to get pics of the quilts back from the LAQ. DD#2&3 took the twins and the quilts to the park today, and took pics of all of them while I worked on my sewing room. They didn't know the colors would look better if the photos were taken in the shade, so know these quilts look a little washed out, since they are in full sun.

Here is the star log cabin quilt. It's been folded up squished into a suitcase, those wrinkles really will come out. It's a funny thing about perspective, this quilt is really square, and it looks rectangular in this photo.

Here is RRCB finished. I really struggled over what fabric to use for binding. I finally just opted for one of the many blues present in the string blocks.

Here are the twins in the grass for the first time. Our yard has no grass, and it is just now cooling off enough to venture outside.

Mr. L was not fond of grass at all, so they ended up sitting him on one of the quilts.

Miss S thought grass was interesting, but not as interesting as the stick she found and tried to eat.

I am finally making some serious progress on the new sewing room. I think I will be able to get to where I wanted it to be before our trip. I will still have lots to do when we get back, because I'll be getting more shelves from Ikea, and DH will be cutting more corrugated plastic to make more minibolts. I think with the new shelves, I will have enough room for all of my fabric to be on minibolts, which is great because it it so much easier to use what I have when I can see it. I'll take some new pics of the sewing room sometime this weekend and post them.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

In a Week's Time

It's been almost a week since my last post, and most of my house looks worse than it did then. The thing about doing a major rearrange, is things get put in piles to be donated, some things are deemed beyond repair and go in the trash, and some things get put aside to be sold or passed on to someone. I have piles and piles of stuff all over the house!

We are also repurposing several things. When DS the Elder moved to Texas, he left a few things here, some on purpose, some by accident. Some of the things he left on purpose are now going to be used in one room or another. DD#2 described a small set of drawers she wanted for her new room, and I pointed a nightstand I had been using as an end table in the living room. It was just what she wanted, so I need to try to empty that tomorrow so she can use it. We've done some switching of who has which bed, and only had to buy one new bed in the process. We are trying to buy as little as is reasonable, but when we need a key piece we will get it.

Here is the wall in the old sewing room/new nursery that used to have my wall of fabric and my workbench. The fabric stacked here should be moved tomorrow, and I think DH already moved that box downstairs for me, but if not, it will be moved tomorrow too. My pegboards are still up on the wall opposite this one, but I need to get all the furniture situated before I can see where to hang the pegboard in the new room. The closet is still full of sewing supplies. I doubt the closet will be cleaned out before our trip to Missouri next week.

Here is what will be the new sewing room. This room is much larger than the old one, if you look at the pics of the fabric shelves in the old room, you can see the size difference. when we get back from Missouri, DH and I will go up to Phoenix to visit my sisters, and go to the Ikea store and buy some more shelving with glass doors. I think this room will be my sewing room for a long while, so I would like to add some shelving now.

Most of the things in this photo will not be in my sewing room. We are still moving things out of this room.

This is a really lousy picture, (I took three different pics, but they all come out this weird yellow) but this is the wall opposite the one in the last photo. Since this room has no closet, DD#2 had purchased a wardrobe. She has a walk-in closet in her new room, so I am keeping the wardrobe in here, and I will store my rolls of batting and some other supplies in there. My workbench had to come apart a bit to get down the stairs, but hopefully it will be put back together tomorrow. I love the pegboard backing on the workbench, and the light bar and upper shelf are really handy. You can see the top to my workbench on top of the bed in the last photo.

So, that is pretty much where I am at in moving my sewing room. I am hoping to get a lot done in the next four days, after that I will have to wait almost two weeks before I will have any time to work on it. I had picked out a couple of paint possibilities for this room, one tan, one purple, and I was debating on which to choose. Right now the room is light gray, which we painted when we first moved here over 8 years ago. It could use a fresh coat of paint, but the walls would have taken 2 gallons and the ceiling one gallon, and I decided not enough of the walls are going to show to warrant paying for the paint. I am putting tall storage all around the room, and them putting the sewing machine cabinets in the center. There will really not be much wall showing at all, and the ceiling isn't that bad, but it would have looked worse next to fresh paint, and therefore would have needed to be painted. This saves us money and time, and once everything is set up in here, I doubt I'll ever look at the walls.

DD#3's room is almost done. She just needs to hang her new curtains and we are waiting for a wall decal. As soon as I get the pegboard out of the twins room, we can do some paint touch-up and get their room settled. DD#2 is still waiting for some bookshelves to be assembled, and is still working out the decorative items in her new room. Most of her room is functional now. I have the most work to do at this point, getting the sewing room set up, and then turning the former nursery into a small guest room. Did I mention I have a cold and can't breathe right now? It's all fun and games here, to be sure. It's going to work so much better when it's all done, I know that, I will just be glad when it is done.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

All in a Day's Work

Our five room re-arrange is underway! DD#3 is out of her old room, and into her new room. Her new room is painted, but the wall decal we ordered for it hasn't arrived yet, and I just ordered her curtains and comforter today. Eventually I will probably make her a quilt to go with that room, but for right now, I found a good deal on a set she liked.

DH and DD#2 were painting DD#2's new room today. They should be finished painting it tomorrow, and she picked a wallpaper border that needs to be hung before things get moved into that room.

Yesterday, DS the Younger and DH moved my sewing cabinets out of my sewing room, and moved the cribs upstairs. Since the twins don't stand up yet, they can't get into too much during the short time they will be sharing my old sewing room.

This is where the cribs were this morning. Notice all my fabrics still under the window, and sewing stuff on the hanging shelves.

My work bench is piled high with in progress projects and some scraps I haven't dealt with yet.

This is what was the twins nursery, and right now I am just piling my sewing stuff in here. This room is not where my sewing room will be.

I am trying to be careful which order I put things in this little room, since I will have to move it all again. I need to make sure I am loading in first what I need to move last into the new sewing room. The funny thing is, 4 1/2 years ago when I got my first ever sewing room, this room was it and everything fit. Back then I had one sewing machine, no sewing cabinets, and far less stash than I have now. I started quilting in earnest while I was in this room, but my collection of rulers, and such didn't accumulate until I was in the next sewing room.

This is how I left things this afternoon. You probably can't tell, but the pile on my workbench is a little smaller now. Everything of mine is out from under the window. That blue hamper has baby things in it.

I got all of my things off of the hanging shelves, and put some of the twins things on there. I am sure DD#3 will have it all looking cute later, but right now it is just a matter of getting it all moved. The basket and bag are baby items, and really, this is all the twins had in their old room. I have a set of plastic drawers with their clothes in the living room, which is where we usually change the babies.

The downstairs room is really filling up. I'm not sure I can move much more before the family room is empty. The built in cubbies still have the twins toys, and the twins curtains ares still up down here. We'll change all of that later.

I have a little more room on this side twins old room. I may move my plastic drawers and stack them in here, or try to get more stuff off of my workbench, so it is ready to move when the family room is empty.

Tomorrow I am babysitting, which I am happy about. It will give me a day I have no time to move anything, but I can consider what to do next. We will be going out of town in a couple of weeks, and I would really like to have things settled before we go. Some things I can only move once the new sewing room is empty and ready to move into. My Ikea shelves with glass doors, I don't want to risk moving twice. The shelves are sturdy, but I don't want to risk the glass breaking, so they will only get moved when the spot they are going to is empty.

I said I would try to show the progress of the changing of the sewing room, so now you can at least see what got done today. I can only work while the twins are awake, but even still, I think I got a day's work in.

Monday, September 12, 2011

The Very Beginning of my Quilting

Our house has three levels, and I haven't spent much time in the lowest level in quite a while. Today I went down there, and noticed these three things hanging on the wall.

I made these three plastic canvas quilts years ago, when my kids were very young. I have always loved quilts, and I so wanted to learn how to make one. When my kids were tiny I bought a couple of quilting books, and I would pore over them. The thing was, we were beyond broke in those days. I did buy fabric, and I did sew, but it was all the kids clothes, and some of mine. When you have five kids in six years like I did, the kids take most of your time, and any time the kids were napping I was usually doing housework, sewing their clothes, and later on homeschooling. I just didn't feel like I had the time to quilt.

Since I wanted to quilt so badly, but I couldn't afford the supplies, I made these plastic canvas quilts to remind me that that was my goal someday, to make real quilts. I almost tossed these several times, but somehow, they made it through all the purging, and they have hung in five different houses. I make real quilts now, and I've made a ribbon quilt like the center, and star quilts like the one on the right. I have never made one like the one on the left. Perhaps I should. Maybe I needed a reminder today, of how far I've come.

I managed to get the baby quilt I was quilting finished. I stayed up late last night to finish the quilting, and sewed on the binding today. I feel a bit better about moving the sewing room, now that this is done.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Sounds Like Life to Me

We've had some major changes around here since I last posted. Instead of eight people living here, there are now six. Now we are doing a major house rearranging to make things work better for our "new normal". We are completely moving five rooms in the house, and in some ways I think it might have been easier to move to a new house!

My sewing room will be moving again, and I'll be getting a larger room, but losing a closet. I am dreading moving my sewing room, I just rearranged it a couple of months ago. Oh well, I'm thinking this time it will be able to stay in one place for a while. I'll try to post pics of the sewing room redo as I go along. Hopefully this house arrangement will work better, and it should definitely work better for everyone else. Now everyone will be in a real bedroom with a door, and the twins will be right by us and their mommy.

The day DS the Younger was moving out, and I was frantically trying to find some kitchen items I could spare to help him get started, I decided to wash the star log cabin quilt. I've heard about this happening to other people, but this was the first time it happened to me, the thread ran. The burgundy quilting thread left pink trails all over the quilt, even though I had used several Color Catchers. I had DD#2 going all over town looking for Sythrapol, and everyone was out of it. One of the quilt shops was rude with my daughter, and reminded me why I hate shopping there. Another of the quilt shops, Bella Quiltworks, which I really like, went above and beyond and called the rest of the quilt shops in town to see if anyone had any Synthrapol. No one did so they suggested Oxyclean, and rubbing the areas where it ran with a paste made of Biz detergent and water. Those were easily gotten at the grocery store, and although the quilt is not perfect, I at least got all the pink trails off of the white stars. The quilt should be really clean now, since it's been washed four times, and I ended up using an entire box of Color Catchers by the time I was through.

The only sewing I've gotten done amongst the chaos, is adding a ruffle to a dress we picked up for DD#3 at a thrift store. She is 5' 10" so adding length to garments is something that comes up pretty frequently.

If I get a chance, I will try to quilt on the baby quilt that I started quilting two weeks ago. Things have been too crazy to get much done in the sewing room. At least I got the dress altered, because DD#3 needs it to go to a wedding. If I get no more time to work on the baby quilt, I can get to the end of a row, end the thread, and move everything unfinished. It's not my preference, but it is a likely thing to happen right now.