Sunday, 6 April 2014

Before and After

When I started renovations on my main floor last summer, I took down the 1980s peach vertical blinds and put up this beauty:


It's a blue gingham sheet I bought in the late 90s. It served it's purpose to cover the window but isn't very nice to look at.

I finished sewing my new drapes yesterday - they were only 11 months in the making. I bought the fabric last May and then couldn't start them until the renovations were finished, then I was afraid to start in case I made a major error - at $20/m it could be costly. I finally got started in March break a few weeks ago, then my machine broke - when trying to go through multiple layers of drapes.

My parents came over today and helped hang the new drapes:


I am very pleased with how they turned out - I wish I would have started earlier.

It's ironic that I was so worried about measuring correctly - I made a measurement error when purchasing the fabric - I calculated the repeat wrong - so I have a ton left over. I'll make some into cushion covers for this room and I have a room upstairs that needs something on the window.

Saturday, 5 April 2014

The drapes are finished

I decided to spend today finishing off my drapes. I'm having some friends and family over next weekend and I want them hung - I am getting sick of my blue gingham sheet that's been there since last summer.

I've never made actual pleated drapes before. All my previous window covering projects were tab curtains, which really take little math to figure out. It took two youtube videos and a bunch of math to figure out the pleats. I found an online pleat calculator which made it so much easier.

a page of math
Measurements and pins to divide off pleats

finished pleats
Maybe the best thing - my sewing machine didn't break this time!
I'll have some help to hang them tomorrow and will post them hanging as well.

Friday, 28 March 2014

This is really bugging me

I thought it would go away - that feeling - when something is just not right.

See this


It's a Dear Jane block. I made it last weekend - took about 45 minutes and I did paper piecing. When I was finished and pressing it, I noticed it - the problem that's bugging me. See the upper left and bottom right corners - notice anything?

They are supposed to match - they don't. Immediately I thought - just leave it, there's no Dear Jane police. It'll be fine.

It's been on the design wall all week and every time I walk by it I cringe a little.

I'll have to do some un-sewing. Sigh.

Tuesday, 18 March 2014

Dear Jane...

...sometimes I wonder what you really did. Did you have a house servant to do all the work around the house so all you could do was sit and sew all day? How many people, if any, helped you with this quilt? Did you ever swear in frustration? Miscalculate measurements? Wonder what the heck you were thinking to start this project?

J7

K3

Thursday, 13 March 2014

That Second Noise...

I was happily sewing away on my drapes, when suddenly there was a noise, and not a good one. The needle came loose and went down into the bobbin case for at least two stitches until I realized what happened. I swore. Then I took apart everything, found the broken piece of the needle and put everything back together. That's when the second noise started. It's the one that's most worrisome because it sounds like two things are rubbing together in the bobbin case that shouldn't be rubbing. So I took it apart again - didn't solve the problem. Then I got a little worried because as much as I'd like a new machine, I don't want to have to pay for one right now. So, I decided to call Danny, my repair man. There was no answer. Damn. I'm hoping he was just busy so didn't answer the phone - and not that he's on vacation. (After all, I have drapes and Dear Jane blocks to get finished.)

The first panel of drapes is together and hemmed on all edges. I just need to put the pleats in. The second drape is here

with three sides finished.

I went on a shopping trip on Tuesday to Niagara with a friend. It was a beautiful day - 13C - sunny and warm. We stopped at the Bee Modern quilt shop and I picked these up for baby shoes

organic cotton

organic cotton

organic cotton

just cute
The place I wanted to go to for lunch was closed - a minor bummer in the day. All in all, it was a great day.

Here's hoping my machine is fixed quickly. Until then, I'll get some knitting done and do some hand applique for Dear Jane.




Monday, 10 March 2014

Spring Break

It's March break around here - a whole week of no school. I don't know who is more excited - teachers or kids!

For the last 6 years I have gone away on March break - to the southern US - which I've loved. The trip didn't work out for me this year (too many house repairs on the horizon). And I'm actually glad to be staying around because I have things I want to do around the house (and my bum is happy for not having a 20 hour car ride).

On Sat I tried a new knitting shop and picked up these yummies
this is a much better red than it looks in this picture - it will make red and white mitts for me

this will make these slippers for me
this will make light weight mittens for me

On the sewing front, I've been working on my drapes. I really don't like sewing drapes - they are so cumbersome. I'll do them for myself to save money though. The front and lining are together for each panel and one side has the front and back attached

here is one side; a blurry puddle on the sewing machine table

I also need to clean and tidy my sewing room. Here are my before picts




this one is in progress. I got a bunch of these green boxes from ikea, which fit perfectly lengthwise.

Tomorrow I'm going on a shop hop here, with a male friend who doesn't sew or knit or do anything very creative. And he's not always patient. We'll see how it goes.



Tuesday, 4 March 2014

Mini Sewing Retreat At My House

On Saturday I hosted a mini sewing retreat at my house for myself and three friends. At first I wasn't sure we'd all fit, but it worked out fine.

We were scheduled to start anytime after 10. By the time we all arrived and quit gossiping catching up, it was nearly noon until we got started. Lunch was roasted red pepper soup - great for a chilly day.

K is working on a pillow case.

L had several projects on the go - she got the most done I think - amazing what happens when there aren't two little ones around.
One of L's many projects

C was tracing and cutting a suit for a body building competition
I made these

the top pair go with the low volume quilt (for a baby girl) and the bottom go with the knitted hat below (for a gender unknown) baby
I finished this quilt last week and gifted it to the parents (I work with both the mom and dad to be) on the weekend. They loved it (and the shoes too)

Here's a few close up shots
the quilting looks best on this, but the colour is awful

my helper

the whole idea

some of the back side

I also finished up this little hat this week - it's going to be gifted to the baby getting the elephant shoes. I work with the soon-to-be-first-time-mommy. She and her husband do not know the gender of the baby.

100% merino
The stripes came in this cute colour package
sunset by the lake

It's been a busy time around here. Spring break starts on Friday - I've got to get those drapes finished!