Friday, July 15, 2011

Daffy Drafting

So the other day I was back in my sewing room working on a new project (I can't work on just one project at a time.), my first attempt at designing my own quilt. I design the old fashion way, with graph paper, so it takes awhile. I'd love to own some drafting software. There's one on the market that is so cool. Not only can you do all the drafting of the blocks, but it also has fabric swatches direct from the manufacturers. This is great. Think of it - when you color your blocks in you can use  actual fabric designs to color with. You can really see what your quilt might look like, not just it's colorway. Fantastic! However, I do not own such marvelous software, or any drafting software, so paper and pencils it is. I do have fantastic colored pencils though and my ever present Crayolas. I feel like a kid again when I sit down to draft. All those colored pencils and my 64 colors. Which color do I chose? Burnt Sienna? I've always loved that name. I don't know why. I don't particularly love the color burnt sienna, but oh it sounds so sweet. Or maybe Pine Tree?  Brings you right back to your childhood doesn't it? I hope little kids today get to play with crayons. I just can't wrap my head around a small child running to his mom holding up his iPad (I'm sure there should be a trademark there or something. Imagine it. I can't find that on my word processor program.) and saying, "Mommy, look what I drew!" I'm shaking my head as I type. It's just not the same thing.

I digress. I was in my sewing room preparing a project. Got it all down on paper. This took a few days, people. The idea doesn't always come out on paper the way I think it should look. It has to be tweaked. That means redrawing and then recoloring. If I'm lucky it's just a small portion and I used pencil that could be erased. Along with drawing out the design to scale, I had to figure out how much fabric I needed to make the quilt. Luckily I do have a handy-dandy fabric-calculator that helps me figure that out or I might still be sitting there. After all of that, I get to the really fun part, shopping in my stash. All fabric shopping has to start there. Found most of what I wanted, but then I discovered I really needed a different batik that I didn't have. Oh darn - off to the fabric store!

The fabrics are selected and ironed. This is going to be a wall hanging so I didn't prewash the fabrics. This being my own design, I had to figure out the best way to cut the fabrics. This doesn't sound that hard and I could cut each individual square, but that would really take forever. I prefer to use my rotary cutter and use strips when I can. This design is conducive to that, it's all 2" squares and 2" half-square triangles. I was using a special way of cutting squares to get the triangles. So off I go, cut 2 1/2" strips, cut 2" squares, for the triangles, stack squares, sew across diagonally, then cut in half and viola! you have 2 triangles. BUT, they weren't 2" square, they were smaller.

It took me a whole stack of doing this, before I figured out that I needed those squares to be larger. The ones that would become triangles needed to be 2 7/8" squares. I just know this. NOT! I looked it up, that's why I own a whole library of quilting books. You'd think I would look at them before I cut into the fabric but, no, I don't apparently work that way. I am lucky in that I never buy just the amount of fabric I need for a project, I get a little bit more, so I had enough to redo all the triangles.

Time was lost, sigh, but the project is still going to be able to get done. I'll show you pictures when I get there. I'm still working on the wedding quilt. A lot is getting done because I'm watching the Tour de France (big fan!), so I sit and sew while I watch. Even watching TV can SA(y) Quilts!

Saturday, July 2, 2011

What a wonderful life!

What a wonderful life. Went away to the beach for week. Relaxed, met with family, recharged. And came home completely unwilling to plug up to computer again except to look briefly at emails. After all, that's how I communicate with most of the rest of the world! That means that this poor blog has been neglected for too long. My greatest apologies.

But . . . this is not completely bad. I did come back recharged and excited about creating. Of course, real life intervened, keeping me from just diving completely into my fabric stash. That, too, is probably a good thing. (I sound like I'm trying too hard, huh?)

Anyway, I FINISHED the christening gown!

It sort of made it through the cleaners. I had to go back and repair one of the sleeves. That sheer fabric is just so darned old - why do things keep reminding me of that? - it was shredding away from the seam. I thought about it and after some careful hand repair with a needle and thread, I pulled out a trusty 21st century solution - glue! Yep, they make glue for everything and some fine ones for fabric that remain nice and soft after they dry, which is important in a baby item. This one is also supposed to be able to survive dry cleaning later!

I'm proud and pleased that I was able to make this gown, but I really wanted to get back to quilting. I did a quick little project for a young friend of mine with a new Kindle.

I used my Nook for the picture. What really made me happy is that I followed, with a little tweaking, written instructions that I had made up when I made the cover for my nook. At the time, I was thinking that I might try to sell the pattern. I did make some changes to the original design, but those are based on what I don't like about the first one. So you could say this is the new and improved pattern! I might still try to get this published. That's a big step though, and kind of scary.

I'm heading back to my sewing room. There's more to do, because so many things SA(y) Quilts!