Thursday, March 27, 2014

A quilting explosion

Well it is called the Exploding Block.  Anna from the hearts2hands group sent us the link for a quilting how to video.  And now I'm hooked.  From reading all the posts in several quilting groups, I'm not the only one.

With 40 blocks made I am finally getting it right.  I keep forgetting to use a scant 1/4" seam.  When I do remember, everything works great.  Here's how to make an Exploding Block:

Using two 4" squares (right sides together) sew a scant 1/4" seam on all 4 edges:

Mark an X on the diagonals as shown.  Then cut only through one fabric on the X up to the 1/4" seam.  Press open:

With right sides together, sew the block just made to a 5" square (using a scant 1/4" seam) around all four edges:

Mark an X on the 5" square, cut only the 5" square on the X and press open:

Here's a very scrappy version.  It's made with no planning at all.  Just grab what ever fabric is next:

Loads of quilting videos can be found at:

Missouri Star Quilt Co.

Off to watch more quilting videos (way more fun than doing house work or cooking).

Friday, March 21, 2014

Sewing Room is cleaned up

I can see floor in my sewing room!  It was a lot of work getting it cleaned up.  And wouldn't you know, more half finished projects were found.  I don't even remember starting them! 

And kits....loads of kits.  Some I purchased, but a lot were gifts from family and friends that I really wanted to do but forgot about.

Am I happy with how the room is organized at the moment.  No.  But it will have to do.  It's a sad tale of taking on way too much and decisions creating more work.

First my cousin is downsizing and donated 5 boxes of fabric for making bags for women shelters.  This is a project that volunteers at my local quilt shop work on one day a month.  The fabric was in all shapes and sizes so I spent a lot of hours sorting and cutting down into usable sizes.  Then I just had to try stitching one up and ended up with over 30 made minus the draw strings.

In the optimism of spring arriving, I brought out my summer clothes.  Well it snowed, but the job was started and had to be finished.  That's when I stupidly made a suggested to my husband.  Each of us had half of our clothes in my son's old room and half in our room.  Maybe put all of mine in one closet and all of his in the other.  DH agreed so the moving of clothes was done.  Unfortunately there are shelves at each end of the closet DH chose.  This prevents us using the full length of the closet rod.  So the shelves were emptied so he can use the entire closet.

On those shelve were about 40 photo albums and boxes of photos that never made it into an album.  See where this is going?  Yep, all the photos and albums had to be reorganized.  Some were from both sets of parents as they downsize, some were from relatives that have passed away.  Many of these photos are of people my son would not know.  Do I throw them away, or label them.  Decisions were difficult.  And it's ongoing.

Then where do I put these pictures?  In the shelves by my computer is the answer.  But that's where my quilting books and magazines are.  But wait...wouldn't it be better if they were in my sewing room?  But the shelves in there hold fabric.  Plus there are those 5 boxes of donated fabric (minus the 30 bags).  So the fabric from the shelves are now in plastic bins, not really visible but the boxes are labelled.  The quilt books and magazines are on the sewing room shelves.  The sorted donated fabric is now at the quilt shop awaiting volunteer sewing day.  And I can see the floor of my sewing room.

As for the's an on going process.  I am happy to report that I did get all of my Mom's slides scanned and onto a DVD.  (Two DVDs actually.  It was a big job.) They are now on her computer and she really enjoys seeing photos that she hasn't been able to access for a lot of years.  Talk about memories!  (Now to finish scanning ours.....after I finish with current project.)

Who knows...I just may be able to get some quilting done this month.  Oh, and the 3 Welcome to the North Pole blocks for this month are sewn but still need embellishment. 

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Making Draw String Bags for Women's Shelters

Yep, it looks like a tornado hit my sewing room.  My cousin is downsizing and called to say she has fabric to get rid of.  She kindly donated five boxes of fabric.  Imagine the fun of diving into all that fabric!

It took a while but it's all sorted and in the process of being cut.  This fabric is destined to be made up into draw string bags.   After cutting is finished the fabric will be passed on to my local quilt shop.  Volunteers there will sew them up to make draw string bags. 

Next another group will fill the bags with toiletries etc. and they will in turn send them on to the women's shelters in the area.  But in the mean time....can you imagine the amount of fabric that can be crammed into 5 boxes!  I can't move in there.

A few of us have been playing around, trying to find more efficient ways of making these bags.  At the quilt shop one volunteer uses a serger to finish the edges.  Several others sew the bags up, then another inserts the draw strings.  But what is the best way to make the bags at home when you don't have a serger.  Well we are trying to figure that out.  So far almost 30 bags have been made.  And that was within the past two days.

Besides the mess this project created I realized that the "neat" - okay - "cheap"  boxes that I was storing my patterns and sorted fabric in are collapsing under the weight of the cheap boxes stacked on top.  I had to bite the bullet and purchase some proper storage boxes that have lids I can remove without difficulty (as in breaking nails, bones, butter knives or what ever is handy for prying lids off....)

I really want to get the room cleared up so I can get back to my own sewing but it's going to be a few days yet.  Wonder what colour the floor in the room is...haven't seen it in a while.