Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Slow day = Sew day

Despite the fact that the calendar read March 24 yesterday, it snowed ALL DAY LONG.  My kids had no school.  Many people chose to stay inside.  It was a slow day at the shop.

That didn't hurt my feelings one bit!  I used the slow time to chat with the knitters who showed up to stitch together (it would take more than a snowstorm to keep them away from a Knit Together Tuesday!), and I made a quilted wine tote for my brother for his birthday.  These things are seriously addicting to make!

Tomorrow, my mom is going with me to the wine shop to find a wine to go inside.  This might be my go-to gift for my wine-drinking friends this year!  I made one for my sister, too, using the same fabric I used for her double potholders that I made her for Christmas.

When I came home, dinner was ready (I love my crockpot!), so after eating, I settled down to watch a few episodes of Parenthood (I'm on Season 2), while I worked on my latest toothbrush rug.  That class continues to be one of the most popular at the shop.

Today, I'll be working on my knitting needle case, and then teaching the kiddos how to make their tote bags during the after school program.  It should be a good day!

Monday, March 24, 2014

Erin's got a brand new bag!

While my mom is visiting, she is making her first quilt - a denim and flannel rag quilt.

While she was monopolizing the sewing machine today, I hung some sheets out to dry for the first time this year - beautiful day!

Apparently, the winter was rough on my clothespins and their bag.  Time for a new bag.

I picked out some fabric that I felt certain would never make it into a quilt, and came up with a quick and easy lined bag.

I think I'll modify this a bit and make some more - I have plenty of friends who hang their clothes on the line who might like a nifty new bag.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

A day of sewing at The Stitchin' Post!

Not every day at the shop** brings in lots of money, but every day is fun!  Yesterday, one of my new friends came over to sew with me at the shop.  We both have sets of interchangeable knitting needles that came in awful plastic cases, and we are making fabric cases for them, mostly following the guidance of this tutorial.  However, those of you who know me know that I never work on just one project at a time!  While my friend was meticulously cutting her fabric (she's new to rotary cutters), I worked on making a class sample for the SEW Cool After School Program.

I'm so thrilled with the way my tote bag turned out!  Doesn't it just scream, "SPRING!"  We just finished a project with boxed corners, so I boxed these corners, too, so they'd get more practice.  The appliqued "e" (for Erin!) is so we can cover buttonhole/blanket stitch on the machine.  We've used the technique for making the straps and the loop closure many times before, so that's just more practice.  And by golly, before they leave me, they're going to know how to sew on a button by hand!

This bag is reinforced with fusible fleece to give it body.  I LOVE using fusible fleece!
Inside, we go over how to make a lined pocket.  They were pretty excited when they saw the sample yesterday, and set to work selecting their fabrics.  The only drawback to starting a new project with 7 kids is the way the shop looks when they are done selecting fabrics...

Here they are with the Dopp Kits they finished yesterday (one girl was out sick).  This project featured inserting zippers, as well as an introduction to boxing corners.  Let's just say that the seam rippers got LOTS of use!  But they all finished and were tickled with the result, so what more can I ask for?
The Dopp Kits are lined, have structure from the fusible fleece we used, and include a zipper and a tab at each end of the zipper

My other sewing project yesterday was for my Guild challenge quilt.  We got the assignment months ago, but I just started this week because I wasn't inspired until now.  Even now, I'm not sure my vision is going to pan out.  We have to make a quilt using Ohio Star, and it can't be more than 144" in circumference. 
 I've been wanting to work more with selvages, so that was my starting place.  In my head, it would be cool if I spelled out Ohio Star with selvage blocks, using two Ohio Stars for the "O"s.  Like I said, I'm not sure if my vision will work, though; not sure if the stars will actually read as Os.  If I have to explain the quilt to people, what's the point.  We'll see.  And we'll see, soon, too, because the challenge quilt is due at the next meeting the second week of April!

Now, I must be off to visit the quilt shop in town.  She just moved locations and re-opened this week, and I've been dying to see the changes.  Plus, I have a Sip & Stitch Wine Tote Workshop this Friday night at the shop, and while I have lots of wine themed fabrics to make the totes, I don't have many coordinating fabrics for the participants to use for the linings and bindings.  Should be fun, though!  I'm providing the materials and hors d'oeurves, and the students are bringing their own wine.  Have I mentioned yet that I LOVE my new job???
This wine tote is for my sister.  I used this chicken fabric to make double potholders for her for Christmas - I love this fabric!  She's coming down from NH at the end of the month, and I plan to give it to her with a FULL bottle of wine in it! I modified this tutorial for my workshop.
This is my class sample.  Again, the fabrics scream SPRING to me.  The idea behind the Wine Tote is that you can safely and stylishly carry your wine to your next dinner party, picnic or BYOB restaurant.  I doubt you'll be surprised to learn that I used Fusible Fleece in the construction of these totes.  :)  I've gone through an entire bolt in the last few months!
**The Shop refers to The Stitchin' Post, LLC, the business I started in August 2013 when I quit my job in college admissions (which I loved) to pursue my passion for quilting.  I've since discovered a love for knitting and crochet - I learned how to knit and crochet at classes at my own shop - so my quilting time has been curtailed a bit.  If you are ever driving through SW Virginia, I do hope you'll stop in to say hello. (like Doreen and Becky did - so cool!!!)  And if you use Facebook, my shop page is where most of my online presence is these days.  I don't find as much time to blog, but I do find time to post on the shop FB page every day.