Monday, September 27, 2010

American Sewing Expo

I have been attending the American Sewing Expo for more years than I can remember, and this year was no exception. My sewing and knitting buddy Karen and I arrived at the Expo on Sat afternoon around 12:30 pm. We browsed the vendors on the show floor, drooling over some lovely wools and silks at some of our favorites: Vogue Fabrics (Chicago), Haberman Fabrics (Royal Oak), and Fabric Gallery (Williamston). Then we took a seat for a bit and saw the fashion show put on by PatternReview. After a couple of purchases, Karen left for home and I stayed on to see the Passion for Fashion competition runway show. This time I was in full agreement with the judges re the winning look! 
Sunday morning found me back in Novi for an 8:30am start to my full-day class: Leather 101 with Kenneth King. I had taken classes with Kenneth last year, and I knew that I would get a wealth of information and some funny stories along the way :-) I now feel totally comfortable to approach sewing the leather skirt that I've been wanting for a long time!

It was a nice way to spend the weekend, tho 2 days may be overkill. In my plans to sew down my stash of fashion fabric, I was really discriminating  with my purchases. One pattern by Indygo Junction and the fabric (from Vogue) to make it, and the introductory snap kit from Snap Source were all that came home with me!

Next year I will plan for one day....although that will depend on who may be offering classes and what they might cover!

Friday, September 17, 2010

Project Runway winner

I l.o.v.e. that purple jumbo herringbone fabric....sigh.......
In the words of the designer of this look, Mondo: "Yeah, those bolts of fabric have voices, and they say 'come over and pick me up' and I usually do". 
I can so relate.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

September is National Sewing Month!

Since September is National Sewing Month, I think it would be a great idea for me to spend some time cleaning my sewing space and organizing my garment sewing projects. I'm taking the cue from Myrna's blog, and the Yarn Harlot too. Last night I purchased some large resealable bags, and plan to set up 12 projects with all that's needed to get started: pattern, fabric, notions, etc. Then I can pull one out at a time (one per month??) and be ready to go!
I feel that my sewing has stalled out a bit lately, and I'm sure some of that has to do with the fact that I feel overwhelmed when I think about sitting down to sew.
Wish me luck!

                                        (nice and neat after last cleaning session!!)

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Labor Day weekend sewing

Not having any plans for the Labor Day holiday weekend, I was looking forward to spending some time at my much-neglected sewing machine. First on the list, and the *only* sewing project I worked on, was this 'improvisational' quilt that I had started last month. Using the intuitive piecing style a la Gwen Marston, I had put together the above center medallion, and then added the right-hand strips and bordered it in the dark gray. So far, so good......but I wanted to take the idea further. This quilt project is inspired by some great July views on my favorite golf course in northern Michigan.
I used the color palate of the cobalt blue sky, green trees (from chartreuse to forest green), the grays of the birch tree trunks, and the orange and black of the monarch butterflies flitting across the fairways. I also chose to limit myself to use only solid fabrics. I did not sketch an idea, but rather just pieced my way along at will. Boy, do I enjoy this unstructured way of sewing for a change! Of course, I have Gwen Marston to thank for forging the way: no templates, little measuring.......very intuitive!
Using Gwen's instructions in her Liberated Quiltmaking II book, I then went forward with the modified blunt end sawtooth border:

Some close-ups of my little log-cabin blocks:

And the little 'niblets' that I love to place in the borders :

Working in this way without a 'map', it's hard to know when to stop. But I really think the quilt has a way of saying 'enough'!

Machine quilting will be the next step, and I really look forward to that. It's when I believe the quilt really begins to get some personality!