On the road

This is one of my favorite quilts that I’ve made.  I like so much about it – the combination of four patch and half square triangles.  The fabric.  The colors.  The size, which is perfect for couch napping.

The top was made with a layer cake and a charm pack of the fabric line Road 15 by Sweetwater for Moda.  I bought Kona solids in matching colors and started to slice.  I used almost every scrap of the fabric, cutting the final square blocks to 8 1/2 inches.

The backing fabric was a great green and white houses design.  I didn’t have quite enough, so I added some additional Road 15 yardage, and bought some crosshatched deep red fabric for the binding.

This is the third project I’ve made with Road 15.  I sewed a Go Anywhere bag from a Noodlehead pattern and a matching ipad cover from the red houses print, which is my favorite of the favorites.  Something about those little houses just really appeals to me.  I have additional yardage of it to play with in the future.

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Black and white

I was going to say that it has been a productive day, but that would imply actually completing tasks from the to-do list, or even packing for the weekend away that starts in a about an hour. So instead I’ll say it was an activity filled day.

Started off right with two 60% off coupons that let me buy a new cutting mat and a smaller square ruler to make things go more smoothly with planned projects. Such a deal with the discounts!

Then I went online and bought this pattern for a lover’s knot block (though the designer calls it a carpenter’s square) to make into a mini quilt for our bedroom wall. Our room is black and white overall, with a little yellow and tan thrown in, and I want to make a few minis to cover a blank wall by the closet.

This block requires a lot of precision, in both cutting and sewing.

Neither of those are my strongest skills, but working on this should help.

I’m adding extra rows to make it a little bigger. The dramatic contrast is great, but if I do it again (and I plan to) I will put a color square in the very center. Yellow, perhaps.

This is also giving me practice with my new Juki sewing machine. I’m crazy about the auto cut feature, but I keep forgetting I can use the foot pedal to use it. And the leg lever to lift the foot makes things so much faster. I can’t imagine I’ll ever get to use the rabbit speed though. Medium seems like I’m racing beyond my fingers as it is.

Improved ironing – a fast DIY

I don’t use an ironing board when I do my quilting – at least not the traditional long, narrow, collapsible type. There just isn’t enough surface space. So I made my own. The first one was a 2 x 2 square, which was just the right she for my sewing table top, and very portable, but too short for sewing long seams. And if I put my little cutting board on it, there wasn’t much ironing room left.

Cutting board on ironing surface

So today I made a new, larger board.

Cutting board

This one is 2 x 4 – a lot less portable, but definitely a lot more ironing surface.

These are really easy to make if you have a staple gun. I got my board at Home Depot. They sell both the 2 x 2 and 2 x 4 sizes precut. The only other materials I needed were all cotton batting and a heavy cotton fabric. I used a printed canvas floral.

Then it is just layering, folding, and stapling. The board is the smallest element, then the batting, and the outer fabric the largest to wrap around all the rest.

Iron board in progress - layers

I cut off the fabric and batting in triangles at the corners to make it less bulky and folded it like wrapping a present. Making the batting smaller than the outer fabric meant I could fold the edges of the fabric over the batting and staple it under, so there were no raw edges to worry about.

My plan is to get a cart for the sewing room and place this on top so I can move it around to where I need it, depending on the type of project. For now, it works really well on the dining room table. I can iron longer pieces or iron and cut smaller pieces without having to move everything.

Design wall

I have a fairly small room in our house for a sewing room. It works, but there is a definite need for some serious time spent figuring out just what sorts of furniture would make it more workable and more organized.

Today’s addition-in-progress is a design wall for quilts in progress. Before today, I’ve had to spread blocks for quilts out on the floor in the living room. Besides creating quite an obstacle course for anyone else hoping to walk from the couch to the kitchen, it also meant either moving my sewing and cutting to the dining room or running back and forth from my sewing room to the living room. Not far, but a pain.

Design wall
A JoAnn’s coupon helped purchase some very inexpensive white flannel. Today I’m testing it with the help of some painter’s tape and a baby quilt I started. If it all stays up, I’ll sew the pieces of flannel together and attach it more sturdily.