Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Clamshell Club Update – 8/31/2010

This was my first month of the Clamshell Club.  I got off to a slow start, but I never claimed this would be a fast project.  I decided to use Christmas fabrics from my stash – this will bust over half of them.  I'll have to get some new Christmas fabrics to finish the quilt, but at least I did use from stash first (a big deal for me).
I spent most of my time cutting as my supplies started trickling in (mylar for the template, a book for the pattern, appliqué pins and straw needles, etc.).  So far I have this stack of cut clamshells . . .
This stack of glue-basted clamshells (some of them are coming unbasted, Yikes!) . . .
These sets of sewn clamshells . . .
And this set of pinned clamshells . . .

I like it so far.  I guess I am most worried about having the colors balance, since I am going for a super scrappy look.  I like order and planned and pretty, so random scrappy is a challenge for me. 
I was a little sad that I was only able to piece two sets of clamshells on our trip the other day, but I think it will go more quickly if I pin a bunch before we leave (pinning in the car is difficult).  We will be doing a lot of traveling this fall . . .
I wonder how long it will take me to accumulate fabric for, cut, baste, and piece and throw-sized top? 

Friday, August 27, 2010


I was getting worried that my applique pins and straw needles wouldn't show up in time for our trip this weekend, but guess what came in the mail today! 
So I spent a little time glue-basting some clamshells and pinning the first couple together so I could sew tomorrow in the car. 
I am way too excited for this project - I'm such a nerd.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Christmas Clams

My clamshell project has begun.  I got my book in the mail (and it was fabulous!  Definitely going to use it for more quilts than just the clamshell one!), made my template, and started cutting into my stash of Christmas fabric.  Here are pics of the first fabric . . .
That was last week.  Since then, I've cut up several more fabrics, but I haven't glue-basted any more.  I hope my pins and needles get here in time for our trip Saturday! 

I have also decided to start another project, but - it's a secret!  I will tell you it's my first attempt at foundation piecing.  I'm very excited at the possibilities. 

Other than that, not much sewing going on here; been busy with life.  We've been trying to can the tomatoes that we have running out the yin-yan and attempting to keep up with cleaning and those sorts of things.  The little one continues to get into trouble - this is his attempt to help me weed the flower beds (the things that happen when my back is turned . . .). 

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Gray Floral Dress - Simplicity 2703

It's finally finished!  And I actually wore it to work!  (That's a big deal for me.)

Dress alone (after a full day of work):
The alterations I made to the pattern were good - the hips ended up being a little big, so I took them in a hair from the zipper down, and I made the front darts deeper, but the length was good, and neckline was fine.  The armscyes were a little tight, but that was more an issue when I was slouching, and I can fix that for next time.  My zipper went in on the first try. *gasp*  That never happens.  The pattern was easy to follow, and went together quickly.  The material is 55/45 linen/cotton, and it's the same collection as the green skirt.  I didn't line the dress, so I had to get a half slip for underneath (facings cover the top half), but that's okay.  I just didn't have the patience or time to figure out how to add a lining.  As I get the alterations down pat, this could become something I make several times over in the future.

Dress with cardigan (work look):
Eventually I am going to make a gray jacket to go with it, but I haven't quilted in some time, and my little hands miss straight seams and flying geese.  And not having two machines, *hint, hint dear husband* I can't move from quilting to sewing and back easily, so if I start a garment project, that's all I get to do until it's done.  For a flitter like me, that's torture.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

New Project - Clamshells

I have decided on a new quilting project (because I don’t already have like 26 on the list).  I want to make a clamshell quilt.  It will be all hand-pieced, which will be good for trips.  I was really inspired by Brown Dirt Cottage’s blog, and she had a picture and the name of the book she was inspired by, so I found it on Amazon for $0.48 plus shipping (used, but in very good condition).  I needed to get the replacement charger for our camera anyways, so I added the book, and then found a mini cutting mat and ruler set for $8.55 that would be great for working in the car, at work, etc.  So we have three little packages coming our way.  

After some serious internal debate, I have decided to dig into my Christmas fabrics and work from stash.  I can always add some new if I need to, but we'll start with these and see how many clamshells we get.  It looks like any new fabric will need to be green . . .
Obviously, it’s going to take some time to make a throw-sized quilt, but it’ll be a good hand project, just grab-n-go (something I am always struggling to find right before we leave for a trip). 
I got a sheet of Mylar template plastic, so when my book gets here, I can copy the clamshell template and get started.  I looked at appliqué pins and straw needles, but I didn’t like the ones at JoAnn’s, so I’ll have to head online or go to Sew Biz again.  I should have everything in time to start on our trip back home the end of the month. 
I guess I need to check my smaller rotary cutter to see if it is small enough (I think it is) and get a new blade or get a mini cutter.  I am so excited to get my little kit and get started.  Although the clamshell quilt will be slow progress mainly for trips or hand sewing while watching TV, the mini cutting kit can be used for many projects, including marking FGF squares at lunch or while watching TV.

So dear readers, wish me luck as I join the Clamshell Club!

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Giant Pincushion!

I saw the giant pincushion that Vicki at Spun Sugar Quilts made, and that she did a sew-along, and since I had to use a stack of patchwork squares for a pincushion the other night, I decided I needed one.
I used freezer paper for my templates and hand quilting thread.  The fabric is Legacy Studio from JoAnns.  I got 1/6th yard of each, and ended up accidentally cutting too many rectangles for the diamonds.  I think I'll do some kind of mini quilt with the extra.

Progress shots:
The hand-stitching was very easy and actually fun.  :)  I forgot to keep taking pictures once I started assembling.  I happened to have some polyfill in my big tub, and used it right up to stuff.
And . . . here it is!  I used coconut buttons and put one on each side in case I get bored and want to switch it up.
Love it, absolutely love it.
It really is huge.  Flip side.
If you have the chance, you should make one!

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Stash Addition

What:   Lizzy Dish fat quarters (Kitchennaire colorway) 
Who:    Lizzy House for Andover Fabrics 
Where: JoAnn Fabrics 
Why:    Saw these yesterday and thought they were cute.  With my recent Sturbridge Harvest find, I did some background research, found out they were designer, and had to go back. 
When: At lunch.  The ladies tried to offer me a job, since I’m there so much.  
Cost:   $6.29 including tax (priced at $9.99 less my 40% off coupon)
What will I make with these?  Who knows?  I have a potholder pattern and an apron pattern that need making, but these pretties might have to sit awhile.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Blah, Blah, Blah

I've been procrastinating. I've been busy with other things, but I haven't taken the time to squeeze in sewing. Why? I'm almost done with the green skirt . . . so I procrastinate. I hate putting zippers in; I tried last night and had to do it 3 TIMES before it came out right. Ugh. I have to hem the skirt and lining, and I'm just not up to it right now. But I need to finish it so I can move on. I miss chain piecing my geese. I've done a lot of cutting, you've seen the pictures. I need to count them. Hopefully this weekend I'll get to catch up a bit.

To do this week:
- finish skirt
- begin sewing gray dress
- go to Sew Biz and look or FGF fabric
- count FGF squares and rectangles; update spreadsheet

Luckily, it's only Monday.


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