Travel Sewing

We’re finally getting down to our last weeks before our big move back to the States.  This has meant lots of errands, paperwork and closet cleaning.   In addition to move business, it’s almost the end of the school year, and we have Bink’s high school graduation around the corner.  Other than fixing some loose draping on a prom gown, I haven’t had much chance to sew or knit anything.  If Handsome sees me working on a project this close to the move, he just gets wiggy, so it’s not worth it.  This our 10th move in 20 years and yet I still can’t seem to convince him that we could do this in our sleep.

Today I snuck in one teeny bit of crafting.  You see, any time we are traveling anywhere I am always thinking about what I am going to bring to DO.  I can’t stand sitting on a plane or in a car for hours just watching movies or reading.  This summer will be all about traveling by car and plane, so I need to plan for that, right?

I will pack some small knitting projects, probably socks, but I hate the idea of not getting to play with fabric until all of our household goods and the sewing machine show up again in August or September.  Thankfully, I’ve got lots of work to do on this English Paper Piecing project:


I just needed a way to keep it organized and portable for a car or plane seat.  I probably should have stuffed it all into a ziplock freezer bag and gotten back to cleaning out the junk drawer, but that’s no fun!  So after a little internet searching and a few hours of sewing I have this:

PicMonkey Collage


This little kit holds just what I’ll need to work on the journey.  I plan to stuff some more uncut fabric and work already done in my suitcase to replenish as needed.  This project came from a great tutorial by lots of pink here!  It was quick and easy to follow – thanks loph!  I used three fat quarters from the Waterfront Park fabric collection by Violet Craft.  Thankfully, I have plenty of scraps leftover to use in another project – I love that fabric!

Wonder what that dark  background is in the pictures?  Handsome finally finished (maybe with some help from the wood shop guy) my sewing table just in time for Mother’s Day.


It was worth the two-year wait!  This is a work of art.  It has drawers for all my sewing stuff and a cupboard that holds my smaller Brother sewing machine.  My Janome sits on a hydraulic lift, and when it sinks down under the table and the whole thing folds up into a cabinet.  I just love it.  Pretty cool, eh?



When life gives you a month of lemons…

Remember March, when I cranked through THREE quilt finishes?  I was sure that was the start of something big.  I was becoming a finishing machine, right?  WRONG!

Apparently March needed to be epic because April was going to be a total fail!  What a rotten month.  It was full of stress and frustration and no time for sewing to make it bearable.  Let’s hope I don’t see another month like that for a long time!  I have a feeling with the move coming up and my sewing machines getting packed into a shipping crate to sail across the world, my whole summer might be craft-deprived.  I’d better sit down and plan some hand sewing and knitting to take with me.

I realized late last week that, not only was I missing out on the fun, but I was also letting down my Believe sewing circle from do. Good Stitches.  I’d completely forgotten to make my April blocks, so this weekend was time to catch up and get those in the mail, even if they are a little late.  Maybe the best way to get over an awful month is to try to do something that will brighten someone else’s life.

photo 2

Viola – the April blocks – Scottie dogs!  I have to admit that when I first saw the block that had been chosen for us to make I wasn’t all that excited.  “Picture” blocks aren’t really my thing.  They’re too primitive and traditional for my taste, but of course, this quilt isn’t for me.  That’s what I love about belonging to a charity quilt circle.  It forces me to stretch out of my comfort zone a bit, all while spreading some joy to someone else.  I might not make a scottie quilt for myself, but I can just imagine the joy it will give some little girl to snuggle up and name all the dogs or pick which bow she likes best.  I know I’m going to love seeing this finished quilt.

Since I had taken so long to make those April blocks, the May block assignment had also been posted, so I got to work on those, too.  These were more my thing: wonky improv-pieced fun.

photo 1

These are intended for a boy’s quilt, based on this design.  I just love this block.  I do think its a challenge to piece in the strips and then match up the background fabric.  I’m really not good at angled piecing.  There must be a trick, but I haven’t learned it yet.  I just started with a 15″ square so I had plenty of wiggle room to cut it down to the 12.5 finished block.  Looking at these pictures, my finished blocks look crazy and way out of square.  It kind of freaked me out and I just went back and checked.  Nope:  optical illusion, they’re really square.  Whew!

Well, these will go off in the mail tomorrow and I will feel a little less guilty!

One of our great quilters from the group, allisonsews,  just posted the finished pictures of our February quilt:
Shades of Blue
Isn’t this gorgeous?  I love the way she laid it all out!  It’s such a thrill to see our little blocks come together into something amazing like this, and so much more interesting than what I could make on my own.  Normally, our Believe Circle quilts go to foster children, but this one is going to victims of the Oso, WA landslide disaster.  Maybe it will bring some beauty and comfort to someone who has lost nearly everything.