Monday, September 30, 2013

Weekly Progress - Selfish Sewing Week

This past week was "Selfish Sewing Week" hosted by Imagine Gnats and Made with Moxie. I didn't really have time for true selfishness, but I used it as an excuse to put aside St. Paul's Cross for a week and just sew on whatever other project I felt like.

And after plodding through eight-blocks-a-week, it feels good to post all this.

Applique finished, borders on, backing purchased, quilting time scheduled.

{How Charming - Quilt in a Day}
More like Quilt in an Hour. Easy peasy pattern. I made it in girl prints first to test my math skills - I have three charm packs and three quilts to make, so I'm not quite following any of the given sizes of the pattern. And a good thing I tested - I miscounted the needed charms, so the twin boy versions will be smaller, but with added borders.

The twin boy versions are an order from my mother-in-law. The girl version will go to Project Linus, squeaking in just under the wire for 100 Quilts for Kids. It'll be first up in the quilting time scheduled for later this week.

Speaking of quilting time - so the Fifteen Minute Challenge this month was learn something new. {I know I've mentioned it once or twice.} Paper piecing and applique weren't quite new, but required a bit of relearning since I don't do them often.

This was my brand new skill for the month. Long arming! There's a place in town that rents time on their machines, and my husband is a big fan of "try before you buy a $10k machine."

{Just kidding. There's no way he's buying me one.}

I loved it. I mean, it's terrifying. Those machines are huge and they can whip across a quilt fast. But as someone who was tried and tried and tried at free-motion on my home machine, it was wonderful. I'm not at all anywhere near perfect, but my first attempts with a panto were huge strides beyond my attempts at home.

{Mine are the middle flowers. The perfect ones on the left and right are my instructor's.}
My freehand is still a little shaky - and I hate chalk; it disappears in seconds with all that vibration. I'll definitely be marking my quilts at home with a marker in advance once I get the confidence to go free hand.

And in unfinished projects, another pile of my sister's wedding quilt blocks, taped to cardstock and ready to go.

Another couple of blocks added to rows.

All that piecing led to lots of leaders/enders becoming blocks.

And in my most selfish sewing, I started piecing the back of Swoon. And it's a top-super-secret until the Blogger's Quilt Festival, so this is all you get.

Whew. Nice week, huh? I decided I'm going to try to piece four St. Paul blocks each week, freeing up time for other things so it doesn't get paper-piecing-tedious as fast. It'll take five weeks to finish, but I'm still on track for a Christmas finish. {Since I've missed her birthday and dissertation submission.}


  1. I have a question about renting time at a machine. I checked into it last month here in Dallas, TX. It is $150 to take the long arm class (may be other places but I just checked this one place) and the hourly rent is in the neighborhood of $40 per hour and she said it takes 2.5 - 3 hours to work a larger-than-lap quilt. This is what I would pay someone to do it so I am trying to figure out why I would learn. Is it cheaper there or do you just like the process of long-armming? (I'm not being critical, I'm honestly curious.)

  2. It looks like you had a wonderful week! I am thinking about asking around to see if there are rental long arm opportunities locally so really enjoyed reading about your experience.

  3. I like your How Charming, I've made a quilt with that pattern with Christmas fabric. It's fast, fun and easy! You had a great week on the sewing front.

    Have you gotten all your boxes unpacked or at least the ones you are going to unpack finished?

  4. Hey, that How Charming pattern looks great. Very neat way to highlight some of the charms while using the others. I need to look it up!

  5. Wow, you've been busy! I really enjoyed the pictures from your long-arming class. Thank you for sharing!

  6. Lots of great projects! Love the How Charming quilt top!

  7. What a great week! You are brave to start long arming! And I love all of your soft calm color choices.

  8. I love long arms--how fun! Thanks for linking up to 100 Quilts for Kids, and happy sewing.