Friday, May 31, 2013

Cut it Out!

I have been busy in the sewing room! The best chance I have to sew all year is mid May- mid August, while DD#3 is off college for summer break. Once she goes back to school in August, I'll be back to only sewing on weekends or naptime, because I'll be watching the twins full-time again. For right now, she can watch the twins herself, and I hope to take advantage of that as much as possible. DD#3 is scheduled to graduate at Christmas, and hopefully she'll find a full-time job in January or February, so this is really my last big break for the foreseeable future.

DH and I have a trip planned for the end up June into July. He will be at AmeriVespa, a very large scooter rally for the first few days of our trip, and I plan to stay at the hotel and sew, read, and nap! No interruptions, just time to myself. I am trying to get a few projects ready to bring with me. I'd rather bring more than I can possibly get done, than run out of things to sew. I don't really know what I can get done when I'm not being interrupted all the time, by grandkids, kids, or household chores, so I am erring on the side of bringing too much.

^I got all of this cut up this week. I need to make four wedding quilts, and I decided two of them can be Pineapple Blossom quilts. I had straightened up my 2" strip drawers a while back, and I put all the shorter strips in a large salad bowl to be cut up for a log cabin quilt. Well, I wanted my bowl back, and since the Pineapple Blossom quilt uses 2" strips, I cut those short strips into the correct sizes for that instead. I knew I still didn't have enough pieces, so I grabbed some bigger strips, and cut those up too. I didn't count any of these pieces, the strips or the squares needed for the pattern. These are really scrappy quilts, so if I don't have enough pieces cut, I'll just cut some more. I plan on making as many blocks as I can, then I'll count and see where I'm at. I ended up cutting a bunch of 2" squares from the ends of the strips, so I'm bringing those along (plus some 2" squares that were already cut) and I'll make scrappy nine patches as my leaders/enders at the hotel. In case I get sick of making Pineapple Blossom blocks, I also brought a bag of neutral strings to make string blocks for Jamestown Landing. I'm sure I won't have time to get all of that done in the days I won't be traveling, but it does give me some options, without taking up a ton of space. 

We will be doing a lot of driving after the rally, so I likely won't use my sewing machine again on the trip after the scooter rally. I am bringing a couple things that I can do in the car, or at night in the hotel that take very little equipment to do. I am not good at being idle, and I need to feel like I'm getting something done, vacation or not. I am so looking forward to the vacation!

I finally got a chance to sew on my Singer 301, the machine I bought hoping it would become my travel machine. I am in LOVE! The stitches are perfect, and it is by far the quietest machine I have! When I bought the 301, it came with no accessories aside from the presser foot that was on the machine. It did come with the manual, which I appreciate. The Singer 301 is kind of a hybrid. It uses the same bobbins as a featherweight, so I had bobbins to fit it. It is a slant shank machine, so all the presser feet I have for my Singer 503 Rocketeer fit it. Since I am only planning on piecing on the trip, I am only bringing a 1/4" foot for the machine. I did bring a bunch of bobbins, wound and ready to go. I am already packing up the sewing trolley, and the projects. I know I still have almost a month before we leave, but I have a lot to get done in that month, so packing early is my best bet to not forget anything. 

I finished a quilt this week, so I got a fifth finish for the year. I'm up to one per month! I haven't taken a photo of the completed quilt yet, but I will. I finished quilting a different quilt today, and I hope to get the binding on it tomorrow, so I can start June with a sixth finish for the year! I have one more quilt I really need to get finished before our trip, and it's not even a completed top yet, so lots of work ahead! I also plan on getting as many quilts as I have pins for pin-basted before I leave. I had hoped to get all the quilt tops I had finished quilted this summer, and I'll feel more able to meet that goal if I have quilts ready to go when I get back from vacation.

Once DD#3 goes back to college in August, my priorities turn to the wedding quilts. I'd like to scratch several things off my to do list before that happens. I'll still work on other projects as leaders/enders, but my main projects will be the wedding quilts. I'm hoping to "clear the decks" a bit before I have to switch gears. 

DD#2 got me the things I had forgotten at Ikea when she went to Phoenix this past weekend. I now have my Trofast units filled with bins, with the exception of where my Go and Go dies are stored. I have the boards I need to put up the rest of the wall shelves I want. My heat resistant fabric got here today too, so now I can make the ironing station covers I need to make my ironing station fully functional. My sewing room is closer to being done! I really liked the height of my new cutting table, and the size is much better than my old set-up. Improvements are good things!

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