Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Over and Out.

Since posting a week-ish ago about my complete lack of inspiration to sew, (and by the way, thanks so much to the small handful of you that actually read the post and took a moment to respond to me, it helps to know that I'm not the only one that sometimes has creative blocks) I've been very busy with my personal life and my family.

Some stuff has been good - like Fidget's 6th birthday party last weekend! I cant' believe what a big girl she is! Some of it not so great - like an emergency root canal last Friday to help fix an extremely painful cracked tooth, feeling much better now. And some of it really bad - like my stepdad being in the hospital for over a week in ICU with severe pneumonia.

We definitely have our differences, but my stepdad has always been there when I really needed him. Like walking me down the isle at my wedding.

It's difficult for all of us to see him in the ICU, he is very weak, and his recovery has been very, very slow and tenuous.

And so, with so much going on, I'm going to bow out of blogging for awhile. Again, thanks a million to the handful of you who have been my loyal blogging friends and offered up the support of a few kind words - I do so much appreciate it.

Hope to blog again soon, and I hope it's good news.

Over and out.

Friday, November 7, 2014

Coming Like A Ghost Town

My sewing room has been empty for weeks, it's looking like a ghost town down here!

I was working on a project I've been super excited about all year, the one I blogged about back in September. So yeah, I finished the top like 6 weeks ago, came up with the plan for the back and got started on it, then completely lost my motivation. I thought I'd be finished with this project by now, and even hoped to submit it to the 2015 QuiltCon show. But it's been weeks and weeks since I've been down here working.

I guess when I schedule my days on paper, it looks like I should have time each day - or at least a few times a week - to sew. But it hasn't been that easy to fit all that I have to do into each day. And to be honest with you, friends, after Fidget goes to bed at night, I've just been too damned tired to come down here and sew.

It also doesn't help that this seemingly brightly lit space (these photos were shot at about 1:30 in the afternoon when the sun shines right into the room) is like a dark dreary dungeon after the sun goes down - and it can feel pretty darned lonely being down here all by my lonesome after dark.

In addition to my other project, there's a group charity quilt on my chair waiting for me to add some quilting before we finish it up, hopefully with the goal of also submitting to the 2015 QuiltCon show.

Friends, help me out! Have you ever been stuck finishing up a project or felt like you needed a little push to get working? What do you do to get motivated to sew or finish a project? I need some help kicking my butt into gear!

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

The End of a Season

We had our first snow of the season Halloween eve here in Chicago, which brings our beautiful fall weather to a close.

We did a bit of fall yard cleanup over the weekend, including cutting the very last of the flowers from our garden. A bright and cheery bit of the summer in the kitchen - at least for a few days.

Oh, and yes, there were also lots of leaves!

Monday, September 15, 2014

Kicking Ass On The New Project!

Last time I posted about my new project, it was totally kicking my ass, remember that? I had to do a lot of trial-and-error to find a piecing method that works for this quilt. Happy to report that I've found a method that, however tedious and slow it is, works awesome. Yes! And as I'm adding another row this afternoon I wanted to throw a few pictures up to share.

Here's the plan for this quilt as recorded in my sketch book back in February. I've actually had the idea for this quilt in my head longer than that, but it took me a few months to work it out on paper. The idea for the colors comes from a very basic color theory assignment; rearrange the colors in the RYB 12-step color wheel in a new way based on personal preference. Since red is my favorite color, it takes the center spot in the design with the other colors from the color wheel radiating out from there. (Remember my color theory assignments? This is assignment #2.)

There's lots of points in this quilt, and thankfully they are looking nice and, well, pointy!

I'm just over half-way finished with the piecing, here it is draped on the ironing board.

I'm pretty pleased, as I wasn't sure I could get my drawing translated to fabric. Yes! It will probably take me the rest of the week to find time to finish the top. Then I have to stew over the quilting for awhile before diving in. Still trying to think of what to call this quilt when it's finished, but I've been referring to it as the "triangle" quilt. What do you think of my triangles so far?

Monday, September 8, 2014

Hello September!

The entire month of August was awful, it was like the month of standing still - nothing seemed to move forward. I was stuck on my latest project, we still couldn't get the Meteor to run right, and we spent most of the month fixing up my husband's house after renting it for the past three years to get it ready to sell.

But all that seemed to change once September rolled in. Remember the new project I'm working on - the one that was kicking my ass? I finally found a piecing method that is working for me, and my points and seams are finally lining up - so now I can move forward to finish this quilt top. Which I'm really excited about, because it is already looking fanfreakingtastic!

And, the Meteor is back up and running after what seemed like an eternity! Turns out she needed an entirely new distributor, and we had only replaced the cap. So, I was finally able to take the Meteor to a car show over the weekend, and it was freaking awesome! She still needs work, but she's ship-shape for short drives around town. This fall we'll work on rebuilding the motor, replacing the scratched-up windshield, and taking care of the ripping upholstery. I hope to keep driving her for years to come, I love this Meteor!

After weeks in August of pulling weeds, trimming bushes and trees, scrubbing, painting, and re-carpeting, my husband's old house is finally on the market. This was his bachelor pad when we met, and although it was where we lived when we were married, it's never really been our family home. More like his house that we lived for a few years. But, I digress...because as soon as this puppy sells, we get to start planning for our REAL family home!

AND! There's another "new" vintage sewing machine project in the works, too! This Sews-it-all machine was something that came through a friend. It was pretty trashed out, but I got it working and gave it a custom paint job.

The Sews-it-all machine
The Sews-it-all is an antique 1901 Singer model 15, and it's so old that there's no motor mount on it. I had customized this machine to sew as a hand-crank, but it doesn't work that well, as we just attached a crank to a spare clutch nut instead of using the classic hand-crank attachment made to fit on a motor mount. So, I had planned on starting to look for a treadle base for this machine later this fall.

Can you believe that I stumbled into the perfect treadle base at Goodwill a few weeks ago?

Sweet score! My plan is to modify this treadle base to be more portable; to remove the drawers, cut down the top, and make it easy to attach/remove the wooden top from the base. Then I can disassemble the whole thing, take it on the road, and treadle away at retreats. Or just set up to sew outside for a weekend. The cast iron is in GREAT shape on this base, but the wood is really scratched up and has some surface damage to the finish.

And, not like I needed it, but the treadle had an old Singer 66 in it. Missing pieces, of course. It's a 1924 Red Eye, and I already have one Red Eye in a funky heavy-as-shit treadle in storage, and a custom painted Red Eye hand crank. Not sure what will become of this little 66, but for now it will be safe and sound on my sewing machine storage shelves.


And what kind of projects do YOU have in process this fine September?