Aug 24

Welcome to My New Quilting Studio

IMG_4901Yep, this feels like it has been a long time coming, but it is finally mostly organized and everything is put away. Come on in.

IMG_4902We have walked into the room and made a left. The design wall was really the only thing I could put here, because the French doors open in. (Of course, the cutting table will be in the way for pictures, but it is a small room.) I also have a lamp here to light the cutting table (and the rest of the room because the overhead light isn’t very bright). IMG_4891I forgot to take a picture of the cutting table this afternoon, so here is one from right after I wheeled it over to its spot. You can’t see the back storage for mats in this picture, but here is one from when I put it together.

IMG_4418Yes, I was not holding the camera very straight when I took this picture. But you can see the slot that holds my mats. What you can’t see, is the pegboard on the back. I have my largest rulers hanging on a couple of pegs. Here’s a look at some of the other storage in this cutting table.

IMG_4921This is the top of the four drawers in the cutting table. It has cutters and blades and needles and pins, including safety pins for basting.

IMG_4922Drawer number two. Marking utensils, glue sticks and glue. Oh, and bias makers.

IMG_4923Drawer Three. Templates and rulers.

IMG_4924And here is the bottom drawer. All the handy bags and papers that you might need.

IMG_4925I didn’t get a shot of both of the shelves in the cutting table, but the top one has rolls of various stabilizers and the bottom shelf has my Go! cutter and other adhesives like Steam a Seam.

IMG_4903Moving around the room, we have the window. The shade is down because it was late afternoon and the window faces west. Then we come to the bookshelf. It will soon have many fewer magazines because I’m weeding them out. The shelves also have books, DVDs, and my smaller Go! dies. There are a couple of storage cubes, one with fabrics and one with orphan blocks.

IMG_4904We have moved to the north wall and my huge (74″ by 40″) sewing table. It’s huge and the storage is amazing. Want to see?

IMG_4910This is the narrow cabinet to the right of my machine space. It holds my embroidery attachment and hoops.

IMG_4912This is the left side. The bottom shelf behind that door rolls out. IMG_4913The wood pieces on the top shelf are dividers that I didn’t use in all the drawers of the sewing or cutting tables.

IMG_4914Isn’t this the most amazing drawer ever?! To make it even more perfect, it has a cover that slides out over it and has a cutting mat. I love this drawer. But there are three more!

IMG_4915Drawer two with sewing machine accessories and needles and big feet.

IMG_4916Feet and other necessities like seam rippers in drawer three.

IMG_4917Scissors and clippers in drawer four.

IMG_4918And drawer five is kind of the catch all drawer. Lots of thimbles in there.

IMG_4911And here is the super duper hydraulic lift.

The sewing and cutting tables come from Eddycrest Furniture, a Canadian company. If you look on their website, you may notice that none of the sewing tables there look quite like mine. That’s because I’m special. Well, it’s because my machine is a sewing and embroidery machine with a wide harp space and doesn’t really fit the originally designed tables. So they made mine a little different. Apparently they are coming out with a line of embroidery machine tables in the near future.

I first saw these this furniture in Grand Rapids two years ago. Adam Eddy was there with samples of the furniture, I looked at it for quite a while, aided by his mother who he originally designed it for. It is wonderful furniture. I put the cutting table together the day before I headed to this year’s AQS show, planning to do the sewing table after I got home. John from Eddycrest had emailed me the instructions for putting it together because he wanted to make sure I had the correct directions. (There had been some changes, and, as we know, my table is a little different anyway.) I didn’t mention that to my husband because I know he is not mechanically inclined (think musician). What I didn’t know is that he had arranged for our friends to put it together to surprise me when I got home. So poor Gregg, Michele, and Alex put it together without the correct directions and did an amazing job! As you can see.

Back to the tour.

IMG_4906Handquilting thread and Aurifloss. (What? You thought all my thread was in that drawer?)

IMG_4905Machine embroidery thread, most provided by Katie of Katie’s Quilting Corner.

IMG_4292This is the closet where my fabric yardage is stored. The hanging fabric is wide backing fabric. There is batting on the shelf above the hanging rod.

IMG_4920This is the batik shelf. The container on top holds various fabric panels.

IMG_4296And, once again, here is the overflow of precuts and fat quarters in the foyer.

There you have it. Now I get to use it. But before that I’ll get some quilt show posts done.

Quilt on!

Aug 22

Books on Monday – Quilted Living

Today we are looking at Quilted Living: Casual Style for a Comfortable Home by Gerry Robinson of Planted Seeds Designs. Yes, I know that I still owe you all a look (through my eyes and my iPhone) at the AQS Grand Rapids show and that is coming later this week. Plus a look at my new sewing room, but it is the fourth Monday and…  What follow is indeed an Amazon Affiliate link which will, as usual, help support this blog.

This is one of the books published by The Fat Quarter Shop. I have several of their publications, this being my most recent acquisition. This one contains quilts inspired by a particular line of fabric designed by the author. In the Introduction she explains that she created all of the block designs using four basic elements. She also describes each quilt a bit. This is followed by a page with pictures of the fabric swatches from her fabric line. Next comes a two-page spread about her favorite tools. Then, it’s on to the quilts.

Most of the patterns are for various sizes of throw-sized quilts. Three have table runner options using the blocks. One is for a 26″ boxed pillow. And I like them all, although I doubt that I would make many of the red, white, and blue ones in those colors. (I guess I’m a bad American for not being a huge red, white, and blue fan.) As I read them, the patterns seem to be well-written and are certainly well-illustrated. They have a very modern feel to them.

If you are looking for quilts with a modern feel, this might be the book for you. (Good grief, I sound like a commercial!)

Quilt on!

Aug 08

GAAAQG Show Part 3

Yep, you did already get a Books on Monday post because it is the second Monday of the month, but I thought I’d throw part 3 in here because I wanted to keep the consecutive days of this quilt show going. So here is part 3!

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In this next quilt, the 3 dimensional butterflies are sooooo cute!IMG_4353 IMG_4354

Awesome appliqué here!IMG_4355 IMG_4356

I’m pretty fond of this one also, although I cannot imagine myself  making one like it.IMG_4357 IMG_4358

I absolutely love this next one. The colors. The animals. All of it.IMG_4359 IMG_4360

This elephant is so cute. I might have quilted it differently, but he is adorable as he is!IMG_4361 IMG_4362

I don’t think you can really see the shape of this quilt in this picture and that is a shame. IMG_4363 IMG_4364

Amy & Carolyn could not believe I liked this one with all the extra embellishments on it.IMG_4365 IMG_4366

Yes, I do see a tiny shoo fly block quilt in my future. My scraps are brighter though.IMG_4373 IMG_4374

Here’s a bit of quilty clothing. I am afraid I didn’t actually get a close up of the information for this.IMG_4375

I adore this red and white quilt!IMG_4376 IMG_4377

And we all know that teal and lots of pieces are two of my favorite things.IMG_4378 IMG_4379

This table runner really caught my eye.IMG_4382 IMG_4383

And this quilt really does spark joy for me!IMG_4384 IMG_4385

The next three are a series and are adorable.IMG_4386 IMG_4387 IMG_4388 IMG_4389

The next two are a day and night challenge.IMG_4392 IMG_4393 IMG_4394 IMG_4395

I have several more pictures which I will not share because I’m just getting carried away with this.

I will show you what I bought though. It’s just a couple of Judy Niemeyer patterns for placemats. I didn’t want to spend too much because 1. I’m headed to the AQS show this week and 2. I have spent a lot of money on furniture for the sewing room recently.

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Quilt on!

Aug 08

Books on Monday – Learn to Paper Piece

Happy Second Monday in August! This week we are looking at a book I wish I’d had when I was first trying to learn to paper piece. I had such a hard time figuring it out, even watching videos and reading countless tutorials had me flustered. I managed to complete that first paper pieced project, but it would be a lot better if I’d had this book.

And what exactly is this book? Nancy Mahoney’s Learn to Paper Piece: A Visual Guide to Piecing with Precision. It is available in both paperback and Kindle versions so the first link below is my Amazon Affiliate link for the paperback version and the second is for the Kindle version.

This book makes paper piecing so straightforward. I especially like that the in the illustrations she uses the pieces for a quilt pattern from the book. A new paper piecer could easily follow along. Everything is clearly explained and well illustrated. And the projects are pretty good looking also!

Here’s the Table of Contents:

  • Introduction
  • Getting Ready to Paper Piece
  • Paper-Foundation Piecing Step-by-Step
  • The Quilts (There are 5.)
  • Acknowledgments
  • About the Author

Quilt on!

Aug 07

GAAAQG show part 2

As promised, here are some more pictures from that show! I hope you enjoy them!

IMG_4332 IMG_4333

Sorry there was no story with that one.

I have seen this next one around, maybe even in a magazine, definitely in Debbie’s blog. Although I love to look at this one, I don’t think it is one I would ever enjoy making. But it does look awesome!IMG_4334 IMG_4335

This is not the same quilt that I saw at Shipshewanna, but it is definitely made from the same pattern.IMG_4336 IMG_4337

Another one of Debbie’s quilts that I love looking at but would not want to make. Can you see how awesomely she quilted it?IMG_4338 IMG_4339

This was from my most LQS block of the month one year. It makes me wish that I had made one.IMG_4340 IMG_4341

I love this medallion elongated by rows idea.IMG_4342 IMG_4343

This is seriously the most awesome bargello quilt I have ever seen. IMG_4346 IMG_4347

IMG_4349 IMG_4350Okay, enough for today!

Quilt on!

Aug 06

Craftsy New Class Sale

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This is a very short post just to let you know that Craftsy is having a sale on new classes from now (well, yesterday really) until 11:59 PM MDT tomorrow (August 7). The chocolate cake class almost got me – it may still. Not that I do cooking classes normally, but…

And, yes, if you use the link in the above paragraph, it will help to support this blog. Thank you in advance.

Quilt on! (Or chocolate cake on, but if you do that, I want a piece!)

Aug 06

Let’s See Some Pictures of Quilts!

Last weekend was the Greater Ann Arbor Area Quilt Guild’s Biannual Quilt Show. This is the quilt guild I would join if I were a joining person, but that really is a post for another day. I promise. Someday. Really.

Let’s look at some of the quilts!

First, here are pictures of the three Gypsy Wife quilts from the show. After each is a picture of the information card that went with it. Yes, they challenged each other. Feel free to guess which one I like best. (Sorry about the blurriness. I don’t know what happened.)

IMG_4315 IMG_4316  IMG_4328 IMG_4329 IMG_4330 IMG_4331

I’m including the official cards for those of you who like to read the quilters’ statements. I really enjoy that part of quilt shows.

Let’s look at some more!

This next quilt is not done in my favorite colors, but I am quite fond of the design.

IMG_4307 IMG_4308

Now we get to a few with the brighter colors that I love so much!IMG_4309 IMG_4310

IMG_4317 IMG_4318 IMG_4319 IMG_4320    IMG_4324 IMG_4325 IMG_4326 IMG_4327I’ll get some more pictures posted before I head to my third quilt show of the summer where I get to meet up with some of my favorite people!

Quilt on!

Aug 05

Mover Beware – A Cautionary Tale

There will be no pictures here. I will name no company names. I just want everyone who is considering moving to know I few things.

Not all moving companies actually move your stuff. Some of the entities listed as moving companies are merely brokers for the people who actually do the move. Why is this bad? Because you can research the company you think you are dealing with and think you have gotten a good company (at least until their online reviews catch up to them) when it is really the case that the people who are actually touching your stuff have lousy reviews and live up to them. Make sure you know who you are really dealing with.

DD arranged her move with a company that had good reviews online. She had a guaranteed pick up date for her stuff. The night before said date, she got a phone call saying they weren’t going to be able to pick up her stuff on the agreed upon date. The next day, she called the company she thought she was dealing with and reminded them that she had a guaranteed date. Later she got a call saying the movers would arrive between 3 and 6 PM. They arrived at 5.

As they loaded her stuff onto the truck, they complained repeatedly about how much stuff she had. They smoked in her garage (and left butts all over the floor) without asking her permission. They left empty Gatorade bottles strewn about the floor also. They were kind of rude to her. At the end of the loading process, they handed her a bill for over a thousand dollars more than the estimate and told her that she would have to pay that in cash or in a postal money order made out to a company different than the company she thought she was dealing with. They also didn’t know how long it would be until her stuff was delivered. (This was a Monday night. She was moving 4 hours away.)

We were all more than a little suspicious about the change in names, so the next day she called the original company and was told that the name was appropriate, something about a parent company relationship. Still no estimate on when her stuff would actually get here.

DD looked up the new name and found absolutely horrible reviews. Things not delivered in a timely manner. Broken items. Boxes opened and gone through and things missing from said boxes. Not a good review in the bunch. She really started worrying then.

On Thursday, she was told that her stuff might come Saturday or Sunday. Friday she heard it would come on Saturday. At 10 PM Friday, she got a call asking if they could deliver at 2 AM. (Wouldn’t our neighbors have loved us?) A 7 AM arrival time was scheduled. We all were up by 6:30. At 9 she called to see where they were. They had overslept.

The delivery guys were not the same guys who packed her up and were much nicer and more polite. Of course, they picked the one 5 hour period in the last couple weeks that we got much rain so the delivery was punctuated by downpours that stopped everything. But the men were nice and polite and everything got moved in. It was a little strange that their truck did not have the name of either of the moving companies – it was a Budget truck – but things happen and trucks break down.

Then DD started unpacking. There were broken things, including a waffle iron that was packed inside of a box. Not sure how that happened. Her TV has some scratches around the outside which don’t affect the picture at all, but which shouldn’t have happened. I believe she has a broken glass table top and a broken bookshelf.

The clincher however was the definite evidence that someone had been through at least one of her boxes. She had two plastic boxes with lids that look like the same size but are actually slightly different in size so the lids are not interchangeable. The lids had been switched and one had been taped on. Seriously!!!!! So far, although several things are broken, nothing is missing that she can think of.

I’m hoping she writes a scathing review of the company she thought she was dealing with as well as the actual company who moved her. And I hope this helps some of you avoid a situation such as this.

Quilt on!

Jul 25

Minor Life Update

Remember this picture?

IMG_4197Well, this area now looks like this (for a day or two, at least):

IMG_4299

Here’s the rest of the room:

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Of course, the living room currently looks pretty bad:

IMG_4301But that is temporary. Of course, I’m still waiting for the sewing machine table and cutting table that should be shipping soon. I can’t do much more than I’ve already done until they get here.

Last week, I put together one set of Closetmaid closet shelves. (DD put together the other for me.)

Then I put together two sets of bookshelves. (I really missed DD for that one. I’m older than I used to be and my hands were pretty sore by the time that job was done.)

All of those were for fabric storage. Here’s the yardage storage:

IMG_4292That’s all my yardage except for panels and batiks. Note the bottom shelf on each side is full of Fairy Frost of various colors. And the stack of solids on the top right is quite a bit taller than I would have expected it to be. I don’t make quilts of all solid fabrics. Hanging from the hangers are un-ironed wide backing fabrics.

Here is the batiks bookshelf with fat quarters on the top shelf:

IMG_4290I was surprised at how many neutralish batiks I have. I think I need to buy some brighter ones!

Below in the cube on the left are my precuts and some patterns and some other stuff. On the right are all my fat quarters that are not batiks. The containers on the top have some fat quarter collections that I want to keep together and not mix in with the others. The bottom shelf has a container of yardages from collections that I want to keep together.

This area is actually the foyer. I overflowed! My original plan was that the bookcase on the right would be my larger bookcase for books and magazines. Unfortunately, I measured poorly and that case didn’t really fit there. So it has moved into the room itself. Pictures of that will have to come later.

IMG_4296I also got my design wall hung and immediately put up my Birds in the Air blocks from the Twilter swap. The first shot is just me putting them up on point. The second picture comes after I did a little fiddling with it. It’s still a work in progress.

IMG_4287 IMG_4295And that is what I’ve been up to over the last several days (well, weeks really). I hope you’ve been getting more sewing done.

Quilt on!

Jul 25

Books on Monday – Organizing Solutions for Every Quilter

Today we are looking at a book I’ve had since January of 2012 but have never really carefully gone through until recently. We are looking at Organizing Solutions for Every Quilter: An Illustrated Guide to the Space of Your Dreams by Carolyn Woods. The two links below are for the book and Kindle versions, in that order.

If you’ve been following the blog at all, you may realize why this book appeals to me at this time in my life. I was/am desperately looking for storage solutions for all this fabric so I can keep as much as possible and still occasionally buy new. This book has been very helpful, so I thought I’d share.

Carolyn Woods is a professional organizer. She spent considerable time talking to various quilters. Several of the studio pictures in this book are from quilters whose names I recognize. She doesn’t recommend any specific arrangement or products, but she does feature many many great ideas and possibilities. And there are plenty of inspirational pictures!

Here is what is in the book:

  • Forward
  • Section 1: Get Organized (The Overview)
    • Chapter 1: The Process of Getting Organized: A Step-By-Step Guide
    • Chapter 2: Room Design
  • Section 2: Storage Options (The Nitty-Gritty)
    • Chapter 3: Fabric Storage
    • Chapter 4: Thread, Notions, Tools, and More
    • Chapter 5: Project and UFO Storage
    • Chapter 6: Quilting on the Go
    • Chapter 7: Longterm Storage and Display
  • Resources
  • About the Author

Quilt on!

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