Category Archives: State of the Sewing Room

WIP Whoopsday – Introducing the Soft Pant Studio!

I’ve been doing more work on my as-yet-not-revealed quilt project but I took some time out this weekend to set up a new video recording space.  At my house, it’s upstairs in what used to be a small bedroom next to the master bedroom.

This room served as a nursery for my daughter, who is now 11, and since she moved out into a regular bedroom 9 years ago, it’s been the Christmas wrapping paper room and place where the cats hide all of their ping pong balls (I discovered that last bit when re-arranging furniture this weekend).

The only furniture in here (besides the wrapping paper bin!) was the vanity in the picture and a cedar chest.  The nook where all the quilts are hanging used to be a closet with a door, but we re-jiggered it to act as a nook for the vanity long before The Stitch TV Show even existed.  Our plan for this room was to serve as a giant walk-in closet, and we can still do that on the empty wall to the right of this set-up, but for now, it’s my new studio space!

Normally I would keep the vanity in the nook from a room arrangement flow, but just to the right of the current position is a window, which can give daylight during daytime recording.  The mirror on the vanity is not so I can gaze adoringly at myself while stitching, but rather to reflect more light onto me during filming; ditto for why there’s a lamp right there on the vanity.

You’ll note there’s no sewing machine.  That’s because we learned, to no one’s surprise, that sewing machines can be loud, so Lynn and I focus on doing handwork as we’re doing the virtual stitch-ins (next one on May 12!).

So, exciting times ahead. With this set-up, I’ve considered publishing my podcast recording as a video hosted on our YouTube channel for those that prefer video. Fear not, the podcast is not going away! There will still be audio files in iTunes and Google Play for listening while commuting, and it’s a matter of me figuring out how to pull the audio feed from a video (probably easy) and also how to add the front music bumper to the video stream (also probably easy, knowing YouTube).

If you want another sneak peek of what else will be happening at Soft Pants Studio starting in June, go see this post in Facebook!

I’m Not Dead (Yet)

Just a quick note to let everyone know that I’m fine, but traveling for work and not focused on quilty things this week. I did not record the podcast last week as I had hoped, but am hopeful to feel up to it Friday afternoon. I may not, though, and would end up missing a week – time will tell!

Until then, quilt long and prosper!

WIP Wednesday – Appearances

Well, this week has been a bit crazy.  As foretold on the podcast last week, Bonnie Hunter mentioned our little ol’ show.  Our YouTube views have more than doubled in a day, which is pretty neat. I’ve been busy behind the scenes with business and accounting type stuff (and have decided I’m already calling Allison soon, if she’s got room on her dance card) plus writing up a near-last minute 4th pattern that also needs to be ready at the end of July (special release at Tiny Stitches Christmas in July event!).

Since I can’t show pictures of that yet, I can show the amazing progress I made on clearing off my cutting table!

Please note the bottom half of the photo, which shows all those projects I cleared off the table got migrated over to the fabric storage shelves in some 1 Hour Baskets I made (minus the handles) to hold WIPs.  With the launch of the pattern business, I’m finding I have way more WIPs than my usual operating style, so I’m getting used to this new normal.

I do find that clutter drives me bonkers, so having the clean cutting surface is really rescuing my sanity and allowing me to focus on what I need to actively be working on, not shoveling around a bunch of stuff on the cutting mats. And it’s easier to keep the cats off the projects if they are put neatly up.

The trick will be remembering what I’m actually supposed to be working on.  JUST KIDDING! There’s totally a spreadsheet for that.

WIP Wednesday: State of the Cutting Table

You guys, I feel like I’m an organized person, and yet here is the current state of my cutting table, filled with current projects.

Lest you think I suffer fully from The Smug with UFOs based on the last episode of The Stitch, here’s what i have from top right (all of which are WIPs, not UFOs!):

  • Scraps from Sparkling Gems (the orange & blue fabric and the purple box)
  • Random leftover units (teal HSTs parts)
  • Upholstery fabric scraps to turn into a bag
  • A surprise quilt for a friend (in the big purple bin with the white paper on top)
  • Parts for a second Carry All Caddy to donate to ECQG for the auction next year.
  • The Cat Lady fabric for a quilt for Good Mews (the pile falling over)
  • 2 charm packs and coordinating fabrics for a tabletopper pattern

In the second row are various bins with other projects in the works, including some pants to shorten for my kids. Time to get sewing!

Sunday Stash – The #SBSI Reckoning

Well, the reckoning has been reckoned, and at final #SBSI tally I’m actually not in the red for usage for the year!  Although I did do some damage in intake at the Super Bolt Sale, my finishes for this week kept me in the green.  I finished the two commission quilts, and another 5 pillowcases and 3 placemats for donation.

I also did my Saturday Sampler blocks, although I really borked up one with some miscuts. Oh well – I won’t be able to tell in the final quilt so it’ll be okay.

 

  • Used this Week: 16.25 yard
    • 4.25 yd for E’s quilt
    • 5.5 yd for C’s quilt
    • 5 yd for pillowcases
    • 1.5 yd for 3 placemats
  • Used Year to Date: 50.75 yards
  • Added this Week: 30.5 yards
    • Various yardage from Super Bolt Sale.
  • Net Used YTD: 5.25 yards
  • YTD Used for Charity: 21.25 yards (42% of total used)

See more Stash Reports at Patchwork Times!

Allietare In the Midst of Mayhem

I’ve had a number of challenges in the past week that go beyond the basic “super busy at holiday time” stuff.  My left wrist (and I’m left-handed) started hosting a familiar sharp pain on Wednesday or so last week.  I gave it a few days to see if it would heal itself, but alas, the tendinitis meant that I need to put my brace on.  Although it’s feeling better after 3 days in the brace now, it’s difficult to rotary cut and press at the proper angle.

On top of that, my regular sewing machine has developed a horrendous squeak.  It’s not in the bobbin area so there’s no real oiling I can do that would fix it.  Time to send her off to the spa during the exact two weeks I wanted to really finish up some projects since I have off from work. Sigh.

I do have my back-up Featherweight, though, so she’s on my table and working to finish up Step 4 of the Allietare Mystery from Bonnie Hunter.  I’m about half done given all the speed bumps I’ve had, and hope to finish them up later on Monday.

Go see other colorways on Bonnie’s blog!

Happy Podcastiversary!

Three years. THREE years today. Holy crap.  Here it is by the numbers:

  • Number of podcasts: 150. This over a three-day weekend’s worth if you listened to them all the way through.
  • Number of quilts and sewing projects: Over 150. Based on my Pinterest boards, it’s 149, but I know there were things in 2010 I finished that didn’t make it on Pinterest.
  • Number of hours of me crying on the podcast: Probably an hour if you string those moments together. Sorry about that.
  • Yards of fabric used since Jan 2012: 897. Holy moly.
  • Pounds of me lost: 37.
  • Number of times I’ve said “So there’s that.”: No idea. How drunk are you by now?

Typical quilt of mine from 2010 versus 2013:

 

Thanks for sticking with me, guys. The next 150 are going to be epic.

Q3 Finish Along Wrap Up

Well, I made all my original goals, but fell short a bit on the one project I added on right at the end. I’m pretty sure I won’t finish it by the end of day today it’s just going to have to wait until Q4 to be done. Oh well – I’m still happy with my progress!

  • Dresden Plates Quilt – Plan developed, plates assembled, background being pieced. An excellent candidate for my Q4 FAL goals.

WIP Wednesday: Quilting Sand Is For the Birds

Beachwalk - Quilting in ProgressWell, I’m sort of stuck with Beachwalk quilting.  I’ve “finished” quilting 4 out of 9 blocks, but reserve the right to go back and quilt in some areas if it looks uneven when the center is done.  I’d love to take a break and piece something, but I have the superstition that if I move my machine back into piecing mode from quilting- with- monofilament- mode (change the bobbin case, adjust stitch length, change the needle, etc.), catastrophe will happen. So I suppose I’ll power through, and maybe set up my Featherweight if I really need to piece something?

Star Surround - Week 2Here’s what I need to be piecing to stay on top of the Star Surround quilt along.  I think I’ll get a chance to mark my HSTs today, but at least I have all my pairs set up.

In pairing my fabrics I was a little leery of some of my fabric choices but ultimately decided to go with my gut and keep my fabrics in there. Also, if I changed my mind that meant I had to do more cutting and NUH-UH. Not doing it. So I go with the feeling that “well, it’s only a Christmas quilt, so if it’s truly hideous we only have to look at it for a month!” I suppose I could also give it a real kick-ass back if we want to turn it over instead. 🙂

State of the StashAnd side note, if you follow my Stash Reports, you know I’ve been steadily using up my stash. Lest you think I’ll run out of fabric, let me show you this.

It used to be that all three shelves were full and I couldn’t fit those green boxes on there.  I’m excited to have it at this level because it means that those green project boxes are off the corner of my cutting table, and onto the shelves so I have more room to spread out on the cutting table.  This picture does not include my novelty drawer, holiday fabric, or batiks.  Each of those live in a plastic drawer unit next to this shelf.  On the whole, I’m glad I’ve reduced my hunter greens down to half a stack, but feel like I need a little more aqua and “regular” browns (which I’ll need for my parents’ quilt next year anyway), and some more yellows and regular reds. However, I don’t know if I don’t use those colors because I don’t have them, or if I don’t have those colors because I don’t use them.  It’s a real chicken and egg question!

WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced

Star Surround Progress

Star Surround CuttingsOnce the magical package delivery man arrived with the remainder of my background fabric (Kona Sand) (which I accidentally over-ordered and now have 3 1/2 yards to spare) (oh well!), I was able to finish cutting all my bits and pieces for the Star Surround quilt.

To recap, I’m doing a 4×5 block layout of 16″ blocks.

I have around 3 different variations of this photo; Nina’s was the least obtrusive, Morelli’s has him draped over the cut colored squares, and Jett’s has him knocking over the stacks of the background fabrics.  They have since been safely tucked away into a project box to avoid further cat hair contamination. Honestly, that’s sort of a losing battle since all three cats go in the for wake-up call when it’s time to wake up my daughter, on whose bed this quilt will ultimately reside.

Easy Street ReduxIn other sneaky peek news, I finished the top for Easy Street Redux.  Here’s a preview to see how I did borders on it to make it king sized. The extra HST border is on the two sides to give it a little more drop on the sides of the quilt, to protect our precious piddies when they hang over the sides from certain aforementioned cats.