One Step = Progress

“One project step at a time.” That is what I keep saying to myself. Each step I take, each project I make any progress on, is the right step in the direction and one step closer. One of these days, I will have all of my WIPs down to only a few. I will always have tons of ideas… but starting them before finishing so many other prior ones has needed to change. Now that I ranted a little, I do have a few pretty pictures to share and for what I have been working on. There is progress being made in the back end of this blog, I promise!

I’ve been working on a baby quilt for awhile now, off and on. The picture above is actually not part of the quilt, but a little extra something I am making that will go along with the quilt. I have finished quilting it though, just have to finish putting the binding on. It will soon be in its forever home. I am quite excited about this one, as I wasn’t initially as it isn’t what I would really go for on my own.

I really just quilted a lot of loop-de-loops on this one, with the occasional spelling of the baby’s first, middle and last name. It really blends in so you don’t really see it which is nice, but it is also nice knowing it is there and it gives it a bit more of a personalized feel to it.

I have finally began my block piecing for my 30’s Quilt, and let me tell you how. good. it. felt. It felt so good to finally have begun the processes of making blocks for the FOUR (Yes 4) Supernova Block Quilts. Since there will be 9 of these total, I have 8 more to go for just my personal quilt and 27 more for the other 3. Do you think I can have these done by the end of this summer? Lets just see!

Even more exciting, and this is more of a finish but I am sharing it anyway as it has a WIP on it; I finally got around to re-doing my design wall and I now have a whole new design wall that is slightly larger and MUCH more sturdy. I did the same method as I did before, but went in to it with a little more knowledge of how to put it together a bit more securely and which type of batting to use. I have officially learned that the quality of batting being able to adhere to the batting enough to stay on the board makes a huge difference. First I used cheap polyester batting which works great, but it has more “fluff” to it and doesn’t allow for the fabric to stick very well to it. This time I got quilters dream batting while on a major year end sale at Joanns and it is a HUGE difference. So much so that I did little video clips to show the drag that each batting allows. I will be sharing more of that later.

Now it’s time I get back to it so I have more to share and hopefully a FINISH for this Friday!

I am linking up today with WIP Wednesday w/ Freshly Pieced and Lets Bee Social w/Sew Fresh Quilts. Join in on the party and show your stuff off!

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Quilting/Sewing Room Complete: Alternate Oasis

***PHOTO HEAVY***
***LONG POST***

The quilting/sewing room that I spoke about a bit ago after my family left and have failed to stay out of this room that I haven’t focused on anything else. So here it is! The ocean is my natural Oasis; however it’s been 2 years since I have seen it. All I can say, is this is my new found Oasis away from my home base Oasis… and it isn’t so bad.

We shopped at Ikea like it was the only place to go! And really… for a one stop shop place; it was! (insert smiley face here) I can’t really show enough gratitude towards my Dad, Mom and little sister for making this all happen, too! They really have gone above and beyond! My sister has most credit towards the design or decorating, she loves doing it and she is pretty good at it. Her and I differ on simplicity but I 90% of the time I love her ideas.

First view from the door

We purchased four (4) kitchen cabinets from Ikea that sit back-to-back to one another. We had originally not purchased the feet and ended up going back and they had varying sizes from 4”, 6” and 8”. I went with the 4” and was a little scared it still wouldn’t be high enough, but it really added just the right enough height for the cutting table. My dad… he hand screwed each and every one of these 16 legs which required 4 screws each = 64 hand screws. The only bad part about the legs is that there are no pre-drilled holes since they are cabinets and more times than not, are used for upper cabinetry and you wouldn’t want to see those. My dad said it was too terrible, but being that I live alone… I didn’t have all the tools that he could have utilized to at least make his marking points and put a small hole in to help with the pre-drilling end. He did great anyway! Thanks dad!

*Key Note: When purchasing the cabinets, they do NOT come with shelves. You must purchase separately. When we went back for the legs we also purchased the shelves as we were not aware of that nor were we made aware of it.

The “front side” (a.k.a. the shelves you see when you first walk in) I am using with bins for all sorts of scraps and/or finished tops that need to be quilted, etc. The other side, I have a few more bins but also utilizing it for current projects that I am working on as I will work on various ones at one time and this helps allow me to quickly put them underneath and off of the cutting table to allow for the space.

We purchased 2 of these Ikea Bookshelves to go beside one of the windows so that the desk can sit in the middle. My desk isn’t anything special, a simple one from WalMart I got about a year ago that was originally made into my “vanity” in my bedroom. It ended up being the perfect size for in front of the window. All credit for decorating the bookshelves goes to my sister Melissa. I gave her the items, she went at it.

Using the bottom shelves for any large bolts I have (which isn’t many) but it allows for growth. Shopping anyone?

I had several of those boxes that I had purchased at Michaels years ago as they were on sale for $2.00 a piece. One of my favorites is the Octopus. I had also purchased this green trunk when visiting during the Holidays last year with my in-laws at a local store of theirs. It is almost like their local Wal-Mart. (Beloit, KS… look it up, it is in the middle of NOWHERE)

I love both of these pieces. (Left) Last year my sister got me the coffee mug (I don’t drink coffee) merely for the pleasure of what it states, “I’m sorry you’re old. That’s all.” It is all about the on-going tease of calling me “Grandma Megan” and my ultimate closing date of welcoming my life into the 30’s in December. I have only been talking about it for 4 years! ha! None the less, I love it and it makes me smile and giggle every time I see it. (Right) While at Ikea for the second time, my sister grabbed the green frame ($0.99) and while I loved it (green, hello!) I didn’t know what she intended it for and she says, “Put fabric in the center… duh!!!” (All I could do was smile and acknowledge her great idea without words – insert DOH face here) I decided to go with one of my TOP favorite Liberty of London fabric pieces and my oh my I LOVE it!

Again, a favorite. My oldest niece (we are only 8 years apart… see, told you, older siblings!) Ashlee got me this for my Birthday a few years back and every time I look at it, it makes me feel TOADALLY AWESOME. I tend to use the word “totally” a lot when I speak in excitement. I find it funny. It is what my husband calls, “Megan Lingo”.

Here they both are, along with lots of other pretties.

In one back corner of the room sits my basket of extra batting along with extra storage for all of those random odds and ends you use… and my wall hanging that I can easily switch out as we used a curtain rod with the clips

Directly to the left when coming into the room is my board that is normally filled with all of the current projects and their deadlines date; however my sister decorated it otherwise for the current time. I have some shelves underneath for random items as well such as my business cards, coffee cup filled with kisses for the dry erase markers. Below I have another little set up that is intended for shoes; however I use it for project kits that I have not yet gotten to and the drawers contain product directions/warranty’s and things of that sort. I also have my iron and ironing board that hang on the closet door. Simple and quick to remove when in need!

 

The left corner  is my sewing desk which was purchased at Target YEARS ago (when I still lived back in California… I would say 10 years) and my sister and I have the same one actually. I love it and it is perfect for sewing. Because it is a computer desk naturally, I use the drawer for all of my sewing feet, empty bobbins, hand thread and all that good stuff for the sewing machine. It is also the place for the peg board and all random items used for cutting, bonding, snipping, measuring and then some! To the right is my thread so that it is always, “right beside me”. I will be getting a new sewing chair from Ikea, as it is just perfect and fits me. My sister keeps telling me it is a must. I’ll show that off once I get it!

Small storage underneath the desk as there is no other place for it at the time being. That is ok though, it kind of works. It holds my scrap pieces that have been cut to size and are in bags or containers. 

I love that I can walk around my entire cutting table. It has become sew much easier to cut, and the space that is allowed with the size of the table top is just dreamy! We purchased the table top from Ikea as well and used Industrial Strength Velcro, so not only can I remove it if need be, it is sturdy as can be as if you nailed it down! In the bottom left corner where the trash hangs on the side was my sisters random idea again at the end of the 2nd Ikea trip. We all (My mom, dad and me) looked at her weirdly as to how this would suffice for a great trash in this room and she said just trust her… so we did. I am glad we did. It’s perfectly hung on the side so that I can easily sweep my trimmings and any trash right into it from the table. She even lined it with some fabric that was used for her pillow and dog bed I made for her.

 

One of my favorite spots in the room… the Project Center. The place where I keep the directions and/or fabric for each project I am currently working on or has a deadline within 60 days. I love it, it even has it’s own sign! My sister tied it so neatly with a pretty little picture hanging wire bow!

I inherited the old wooden magazine rack from my father-in-law’s mother. I love it as it is in great shape and I now utilize it for all my quilt and sewing magazines.

 

Last, but certainly not least is the design wall. I want to re-do the design wall since it has been taken down and re-done so many times that it has lost the firmness. It isn’t that expensive to do so I am sure I will make that a weekend project soon. It needs to be reshaped also due to the new space.

Now, I have spoken plenty of my sister and her last minute items on the 2nd trip to Ikea; however I have one that I couldn’t pass up. I had to run back while my parents were in line and grab something we had forgotten. Well, while doing so, something caught my eye. I had to snatch them up immediately. These two beauties were calling out to me for decoration in the room and inspiration. They now hang above the other window in the room.

So there you have it and there we are! In all of it’s glory! I have been so busy sewing in here it has been unreal. It was completely what I needed to re-jump me and allow the creative mind to just run with it. I don’t feel like I am stopping myself sew much anymore as I am and I feel more and more coming. I will be the first to say, that I officially say that this room is Sew Stitching Cute!!!

Linking up with Crazy Mom Quilts Finish it Friday!

Welcome August. Happy Friday!

WoW! July has been… what. a. month. I don’t know if I could sum the month of July up in just one word. What has everyone else been up to?

Have you ever had one of those moments or a time when you finally had enough with yourself? You almost got so sick of listening to yourself in your head telling you of all the things you complain about or knit pick at yourself about; that sometimes you almost start thinking you are really talking to another person? If not, then call me crazy, but then I am calling you a liar (liar liar pants on fire).

My Space prior to re-organizing. I loved the area, but it did not give me (literally) enough space. I was split between two rooms. 

In the beginning of July I finally had enough with my ”crazy” self. I am a person who loves an organized-mess, if you will. What I don’t like is multiple organized-messes. My whole mojo is thrown off. I found myself so unhappy with my sewing space (literally, the space I had) and did not feel like I was able to really put myself to good creative use. It also did not force me to zone out from the rest of the world and narrow in only on my sewing. Since when was I having to force myself to sew?

This is the room that the remainder of any of the sewing/quilting supplies went into (the official guest bedroom)… Well, as you can tell, it was over run by my sewing/quilting.

I took a time-out. I took a time-out because it was needed. It was needed in order for me to regain control of my space. I thought… and I thought long and hard. I thought long and hard at what I want to do, how I want to do it and where I want to be at in certain stages. I thought of goals. I thought of all the goals I wish to accomplish by the end of this year and within the next full year, and slipped in a few for long-term future goals.

First things first, I had to clean up my sewing act. This lead to me re-organizing every room in my house (which is not that big, but still). Three bedrooms, bathroom, living room, dining room and kitchen… all reorganized. While my sewing room is not 100% complete, it will be this weekend (YAY!).

This was the “other” guest bedroom, almost all cleaned out. This is now my new dedicated sewing room.
I’ll show finished pictures next week. 

Once my space was more open and I no longer had multiple organized-messes on my brain, I was able to start gathering together my work order for what needed to be completed. I ended up gathering together all of my WIPs and for what is more important for me to finish and/or if something had a deadline.

With that, came making some big decisions and big moves in hopes of furthering my quilting… so stay tuned everyone! August and all future months have some awesome big things coming its way…

Sew Stitching Cute

Baby Blanket Crib Set – Layout Playaround

I literally just got done ordering the remainder of the fabric I need (hopefully) for my first full order of a baby crib set. The set includes:

  • 2 crib sheets (we all know sheets are always changing; spills, overflowing diapers, the niagra falls of a baby’s spit up and so on)
  • 1 quilt 
  • 1 set of breathable baby bumpers
  • *A little something extra that is different each time

I have made baby quilts; however a full set I have not done for one specific person. I am lucky enough that a dear ex co-worker/friend from back home in CA is having her second precious baby girl in September and she has asked that I make a crib set.

This was the final decision

No sugar-coating anything here, I am scared sh*tless about her loving it the way I want her to. It is one thing to create something and then someone falls in love with it who then decides to purchase, because well, they already love it; however it is scary to create something out of commission when you aren’t sure the other person can really see your vision and yet still have this confidence you’ll do great. One thing that I have found that has helped me was this UH-MAZING app that I found months back for a small price called Quiltography (it is on sale for $9.99, original is $14.99) for my iPad that I use obsessively. While there are some things I wish you could do further with it and some things that could be updated, it does its job and gives you a good visual measure. It really has saved me tons of cutting up fabric for no reason because in the end, well… it just didn’t end up looking that great. I don’t use it for everything, but when I am trying to create something in my head of a look/design, I use it as it saves pulling fabric out left and right and sometimes the fabric uh-oh’s. My favorite thing is it has helped me not purchase fabric that while I may love it, didn’t end up going with my design afterall… because I can place the fabric picture in my design and save myself some money!

Above is the picture directly from the App that I was able to send, along with several others (another plus of the app). The vintage floral print was hand selected from my friend as that is the theme of her new daughter Emma’s room will be. As I said, there are a few things I wish you could alter or do more with the app, such as the border will not be as thick as it appears it would be in the picture/design; however they only have one standard size for a ‘border’ – it gives the overall feel though. You still have to use your creative juices people! :o)   Here are a few other layouts I had sent/played around with.

How does everyone else deal with their creative overflow? Do you have tons of pieces of paper around your home or sewing area, with all of the ideas that you have in your mind… do you keep it all on Pinterest for future ideas… or do you have multiple ways of saving ideas/designs so that you don’t lose it for later? I’d love to hear what others do and how they manage it all, as I sometimes swear I can’t fall asleep at times until I calm my brain down enough and assure myself enough that ”all will be fine”. Another great thing about the App that I just thought of, is that while one blanket may lead to tons of different designs, you can still always create the other designs as well! 
Now… I hope you stick around and be sure to follow me (links on top right) on Pinterest, Instagram, Facebook, Blogger and see how it all turns out along the journey and hope that the end result is Sew Stitching Cute!
P.S. I lost count of how many WIP’s this makes me have in progress. Oh my!

Design Wall

I don’t want to start this post off on the wrong note… but I just want to say that sometimes losing your work as you just complete it, really stinks! I had just about finished my entire blog for my design wall and the explanation, etc. Unfortunately, when adding the pictures, everything was lost. So, here we go… again.

I had recently moved my entire sewing/quilting space and when doing so, I ended up with a large blank wall with an electrical panel on it. Who wants to stare at that while trying to be creative?

Every creative mind or artist has some type of canvas, some way of displaying their work in progress or even for visual effect. Photographers show their canvas through their computer and camera screens, displaying them with photos; artists on an actual canvas or any other surface that allows for them to express their creativeness and allow the remainder of the world to be in awe; quilters… we have design floors, or walls. I started out with a design floor… which was any floor I could make enough space in.You should know what happens next… I set out to explore the option of a design wall. Mainly because at my young age, my knees can’t take my hardwood floors and I personally don’t like using carpet as it sticks and makes it lumpy looking. I don’t get the full visual effect.

I researched several ways of making a design wall and the differences each provides for the space that an individual has. You could use a flannel sheet, hang batting from practically anything, all the way to the more advanced design walls which include frames, stands and more, oh my! There were so many that I wish I remembered all of the ones that I had looked at and admired (I will need to be better at saving sites for future reference now that I intend to continue this blog). The one that ended up being the one to catch my attention for the actual making of the design wall is from Suchity Such Blog, found here: http://suchitysuch.blogspot.com/2011/05/quilting-wall.html

And so… my journey began.

Materials:
Insulfoam board
Duct Tape
Staple Gun/Permanent Fabric Glue (Depends on your liking or what works best for you)
Batting (Whichever you prefer)
Picture Hanging Command Strips

I went to my local Lowe’s and purchased two – 4x8ft insulfoam boards. I asked the assistance of Lowe’s and they cut the insulfoam boards into 1/3rds. It was not straight or neat, I just needed this for the purpose of getting into my car. I am unfortunately not one of those women with the luxury of a truck that is decked out to the max to show that an actual female does own and drive that truck. I then had the boards cut into other sizes to fit the space that I needed/had. I was not concerned of having a few pieces and actually loved the thought of it for transportation, simplicity and how much more useful it would be. I ended up with extra, which was ok in my book. Somewhere down the line I will have to remake them or make more for more space. A girl can dream!

Now, with all my materials in front of me, I began the process per the blog I was following. I am sorry that I personally do not have “in-the-process” pictures; again, I will continue to keep this in mind now that I am doing the blog. I did this about a month back, prior to the blog. I started with laying a piece of foam board down on the batting, cut it about 2 inches longer than the batting (to allow it to fold over and be stapled/glued. While folding the batting over, I began stapling it down, a staple about every 1 in. (*Hind-site: I would use fabric glue and staple gun. The insulfoam board does not give a lot of grip and can cause the batting to stretch… nothing that is a big thing… but that is my mind thinking for the next time and making it last even longer)

Once I completed this for each insulfoam board piece, one long strip of duct tape went across the back of the board, on the top. Therefore, whichever side will be “up” and where it will hang from, place a piece of duct tape across the top (half the duct tape on the batting that is stapled down and the other half on the board). Then I took two Picture Hanging Command Strips, which I really questioned; however they really do hold and are easy to remove and put on. You really do hear the CLICK too! (just in case you all wondered like I did from the commercials) I placed one side on the insulfoam board and then lightly attached the other side for the wall onto it (not too much or it will pull on the next step when it has not been secure yet). I peeled the back off that would attach to the wall and very lightly pushed against it so that it would grab to the wall. I then carefully pulled it away and detached the foam board and firmly pressed against the pieces on the wall. I then CLICKED the board onto the other command strips and after each one… Wa-LA!!!! Stand back… and bask in your glory and be proud of your canvas!

Here a picture of the end result and a few pictures of my space.

   

Yes, I share my space with my dogs. It makes it feel more homey to me. The only thing no longer in this picture is the teal peg board. I still have it, but it has been re-purposed now as my mind was going wild with the ideas of what I had planned. The washer/dryer is begin the bi-fold doors to the left in this picture… empty space that can be utilized.

Next week, I will share what I did to utilize space and create more organization with the pegboards.