Wednesday, September 17, 2008

The Secrete Is Out: part III

Sorry to have left you all in secrete sewing project suspense but our internet was out. What a pain! and a bit scary to realize how dependent I have become on having it around.

So I guess this is the big finish to the secrete sewing project saga.

After much debate I picked a really lovely green fabric for the border, it has nice gold lines waving through it and somehow pulled everything together. But of course there was a problem. You might not be able to tell in this photo but it is really far from being square, in fact, the border took on a ruffle effect. I think it was because of those gee’s bend squares not being so square. But I am getting a bit ahead of myself because I forgot to tell you all that I hand quilted it! Yup that is me crazy craft-o-holic that I am. I got it all sandwiched up and stitch-in-ditch hand quilted it over a long weekend. I am happy to report that I seem to be getting feeling back in my fingers tips!

So I put a lot of energy into this darn thing and was ready for the home stretch, binding the edge, only to discover that the quilt had more ruffles then a costume in Westside Story. I think one of the best crafting lessons I have learned over the years is when to walk away and take some very deep breaths. After consulting anyone that would listen my sister gave me some great advice. I had left a panicked voicemail message which consisted of me on the verge of hyperventilation saying “I know that your not really a sewer but do I do. I could suck it up and let it be really wonky or I could go back and square it up” She pointed out that I am always happier to ripe out and start again rather then stare at an imperfection for years to come. And so we her blessing I pulled off the binding I had started to sew and squared up the whole thing with my trusty rotary cutter. I then sewed the binding on by hand which allowed me to adjust for wonkiness. This was my first binding edge. I usually just roll the back over and sew it down, there was quite a bit of a learning curve. But I managed.

And Ta Da! I seem to have a problem with taking good photos of projects I am proud of, I am not sure what psychological factor is at work here but it seems to be the case.

I am happy to report that mom and baby love the quilt. And I am heading out to visit the three of them (mom, baby and quilt) next week so I will try to take some better photos then.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Green Bag Lady Extravaganza

This past Sunday I had the good fortune of running a small sweatshop for the Green Bag Lady project hosted by Church of Craft at Etsy labs. City Quilter in NYC was kind enough to send out a mass e-mail to all their friends asking for fabric donations to this noble deed. With the wonderful help of Abbie, Elisa, Sarah and Kristy we cut out over 40 bags and sewed 18. It was so much fun we are going to try to have a few more bag making days soon.

Friday, September 5, 2008

The Secrete Is Out: part II

On the last installment of secrete sewing project reveled I had picked out fabric, a pattern and discovered it was a pain to cut. I fully admit I walked away for quite awhile. But the thing about making something for an expectant mother is she keeps growing whether or not your project does. I was starting to feel some pressure as her due date came closer.
I finally buckled down and forced myself to work on it. One of the biggest problems was cutting out the squares because the plexi cutting square would skid mid cut. I consulted with my friend Mary and we brain-stormed a bunch of solutions'; the best trick I found was to put a small piece of double sided tape on the corners of the square between the square and the fabric. They offer just enough hold to keep things from skidding but don’t leave marks on the fabric.
This is also when I realized that some projects need other people around. I was having a lot of trouble working on it when I was alone. I even agreed to “watching” sports one day so my guy was hanging out with me while I sewed and cut squares. Fortunately, this is when my friend Amber started bringing her son by for crafting afternoons saving me from hours of baseball banter. This is also when I discovered that I had a fabric shortage and she suggested to Gee’s bend it. With much work I finished the top.
Choosing a border color and backing proved difficult. To the surprise of Kristy the magnificent sales clerk at city quilter I walked out with an arm full of potential borders and backs. I just couldn’t figure it out in the store.

Don’t my toes look cute? Boy I sure do miss looking down at two cute feet rather than a Darth Vader foot.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

The Secrete Is Out: part I

Now that mommy and baby have received secrete sewing project #1 I can finally tell you all about it. A long time ago I realized that there were different levels of crafting for different folks in my life. After spending hours wrapping x-mass gifts for my ex’s family and doing a job that Martha would have published, only to have them not even notice and rip it all apart I decided to only put my all into crafting for folks that would truly appreciate it. Now this doesn’t mean that I only craft for crafters. I make the special people in my life things to let them know they are special to me. But when there is someone special who I also know will really appreciate it I go all out, and this is truly the case with Sara and Milo’s baby quilt.
Sara is one of my all time favorite people in the world and an amazing crocheter. We have spent many an hour clutching fiber to us as we made our way through the yarn stores of Vermont. So when Sara told me she was pregnant I knew I had to give it my all. Unfortunately my color consultant, otherwise known as my older sister was not in the New York area to help so I was left to wander to aisles of the fabric store on my own. My goal was to find one fabric that spoke to me and go from there. Somehow that fabric didn’t make it in but here is the finial round up.

I wish I could send all my readers swatches because these photos don’t really do any of it justice.
As part of my all out crafting I decided to make a design I had previously sworn off. It is one of those supper persnickety patterns that requires really accurate cutting and as it turns out nerves of steel while cutting.

To be honest this is the part were I got frustrated and walked away for a long time, I mean a long time...