Home Sewing

I learned to sew around age ten, and I started with clothing. My mom sewed all of my Dad’s shirts, most of my sister and my clothes, and many of my three brother’s shirts. She also re-upholstered furniture, made curtains, made doll clothing, did mending and alterations for friends and neighbors, made I-don’t-know-how-many plaid uniform skirts for girls from our grade school and our high school… and I picked up her love of all things textile early on.  I begged to go along to the fabric shop with her, and picked out patterns and fabric before I ever learned to make things myself.

Funny, though, my sister never had any interest; still doesn’t. As my sister says, “why do I need to know how to sew, if I need something done, I can just ask you or Mom.” She has a good point. It’s not like we’ve ever said no to her.

This week I made a valance for her youngest, my sweetie pie niece, Zoe Grace. She’s the doll I made the owl pillow for, and there is a quilt in the works to match the valance and pillow.

Valance Detail on Instagram

Click on the photo above to see a clearer larger version on Instagram, I added the hugs and kisses fussy cut detail to set it off!  The walls are a very pretty turquoise color, and I had a tough time getting a good pic with my iPhone, but you sort of get the idea…

Valance on Wall ruffled girly valance

She has a butterfly garland on order for the walls, and other butterfly decor plans.  And these curtain rod finials are just too cute!

Valance Detail Hugs and Kisses

 I can’t talk her momma into it, but maybe I’ll get lucky and Zoe Grace will want to learn how to sew one day!

June has been a bust month for our chapter of the Modern Quilt Guild… my house was one of the drop off points for entries to go into our first local Modern Quilt show!  On the 15th, my husband and I drove to Ames with the entries and met up with Jill of Modern Quilt Relish, and Greta, the curator at the gallery.  Two hours later, we had the show hung!

Quilt Show installation

Quilt Show Installation 2

This last Sunday evening we had an artist’s reception, and several of us collaborated to give an impromptu Gallery Talk with Q&A.  We were incredibly pleased to have such a good turn out to our gallery opening!

MQG Quilt Show Reception

One of my two entries is the blue and yellow Row House Creations Fox in a Box quilt shown here, next to a “clothesline” display of mug rugs and my friend Emma’s fun “piece, love, quilt” quilt:

MQG Show and mug rug display

The show is on display through July 25th.  For more pics, check out our guild’s Flickr pool.   Our guild has also been busy making a charity quilt to benefit a local hospice center; the fundraiser is sponsored by our local Harley Davidson dealer, and so our colors for the quilt are “Harley” colors (orange, grey, black)…  here’s my block:

HarleyBlock

It’s looking really good so far, a friend of mine is quilting it for us on her long arm.  I’ll be sure to show you the finished quilt!

Happy Sewing!

Doris

Advertisements

Studio Dreams… or Dream Studio:

I’ve been looking forward to writing this post for a while… with a move to a new home comes a new sewing space (!!), and my sweetie can attest that with every house we looked at, one of the primary considerations for both of us was what space would become my studio space and how functional would it be?  (He’s well conditioned to being the spouse of a quilter and an artist) 😉

Coming from a small, third-floor walk-up, north-facing, condo apartment with very few windows, natural light was a major plus in the house we ended up buying!  The home is 97 years old, not always cared for in the way it should have been, but it was built. like. a. rock.  I kid you not, barring fire or Mother Nature intervening, this place will be standing long after the “constructed in 2003 condo” we moved out of.  Here are a few “before” pics of the room I chose for my studio (a solarium off the entry foyer and across from our living room) with two french doors to close it off:

Before Pics for Studio Redo Quilt Studio

  1. The prior, ill-fitting curtains didn’t really cover the six windows that face the street side of our home
  2. Some of the peeling paint in the ceiling, thankfully not a sign of water infiltration, but of recent neglect
  3. One corner of the ceiling, after my back-breaking weekend of scraping, patching and sanding the ENTIRE surface of the 9′ x 13′ ceiling to cover numerous hairline cracks before priming for painting.
  4. The ceiling finally painted, and moving on to covering up the deep burgundy color with Benjamin Moore’s Fountain Spout.

Move-in day came almost three weeks after our date of possession; we did a lot of cleaning, fixing, painting, etc. on the evenings and weekends leading up to it.  But all that has paid off.  So… on to the “after” photos!

This is what you see as you enter through the french doors (photographed before my new curtains were hung!):

Quilting Sewing Studio Full Shot

And the rest of that wall of windows…

Quilting Sewing Studio North Wall

And on the other side of the cutting table:

Quilting Sewing Studio Front Corner

This corner is a favorite spot of my two furry sewing buddies — they take turns as sentry, keeping an eye on the whole neighborhood from here:

Sewing Quilting Studio Windowseat for cat

Maggy on sewing Quilting Studio windowseat for cats

And in the opposite corner, behind my sewing chair, is the bulk of “my fabric collection” (still organized by the same system I explained in this post) stored in basket-drawers and a bathroom shelf unit:

Sewing Quilting Studio Stash Fabric Storage

  • Shorter set of shelves are the (sadly, now-hard-to-find) Ikea Antonius storage baskets (one of these frames broke in the move and were replaced with the two white frames on the right).  I was told they are being phased out in favor of the Ikea Algot system. Bummer.
  • Wall unit was a freebie from a friend, OLD Eddie Bauer Home bathroom storage unit (it fits FQs and Charm Packs perfectly!)
  • Pillow by Jill, that makes me smile every time I look at it!
  • Sewing Quilting Studio Paper Pieced House Pillow Detail

This tool cart, a very recent purchase, is fabulous, I can take my supplies with me to the living room, the dining room table, across the sewing room…

Ikea Raskog Sewing Quilting Studio Cart

  • Ikea Raskog cart holds my scissors, rotary cutters, pens, pencils, notions, needles, spray starch, pins, pre-cuts, binding clips, hand-sewing tools, etc.

Above my drop-in sewing table, that holds my Janome Horizon is book and magazine storage, a DVD player used primarily for listening to books on CD while I sew, jars of buttons, wooden spools, leftover binding strips… and all my “happy” decorations up on top!

Studio1

StudioDetail3

Mini sewing machine from my childhood dollhouse, Jim Shore sewing machine box from a friend

StudioDetail2

A favorite artist’s print, two teacups from my childhood, my mom’s old oil paint box, a fabric postcard from Annie and some vintage goodies

StudioDetail4

The accessories for my Singer 221 Featherweight, my Grandma’s spool collection, a Charles Rennie Mackintosh mug from a trip to Scotland

StudioDetail1

My “Quilt” metal cutout, purchased from here, a giant button from Hobby Lobby, Amy Butler thread, a laser-cut box made by my sister-in-law, and my most recent sewing machine acquisition…

And a finally — the curtains.  There is a LOT of glass in this room, six LARGE windows translates to a LOT of fabric yardage or a “king’s ransom’s worth” of shades or blinds to cover them!  My solution?  Once again, Ikea came to the rescue… several pairs of Vivian curtains from Ikea, with 9″ wide bands of Laurie Wisbrun‘s Perfectly Perched Stacked Chairs (in Celebration color-way) added as an accent provides just the right amount of privacy when drawn closed.  I used the existing metal curtain rods, but spray-painted them red to match my floor lamp.

Laurie Wisbrun Tufted Tweets Chairs Sewing Room Curtains

One of my first loves has always been architecture and interior design, so this fabric is perfect for me!

So, there you are… the grand tour of my sewing/quilting studio!  I hope you enjoyed it.

Happy Sewing,

Doris