We have had some lovely weather this week in Michigan. I've been taking advantage of the cooler drier air by spending time outside reading and even doing a little hand stitching. It's been like a vacation without the hassle of packing and driving.
Paloma, of Three Kitchen Fairies, sent me some of her hexie papers to try and I finally got around to making a project with them. These are one inch on each side. The paper is thinner than the papers I had been using and I love that you can get a thin crisp turned edge with these papers. They are also easier to pop out after stitching. The papers in the photo have been used and are in great condition for using again. If you want to try them yourself you can get the papers here in Paloma's etsy shop. She also has some sweet instant download embroidery patterns. I especially like this one.
A few scraps, aurifil 50 wt thread, and hexie papers are the perfect ingredients for relaxing afternoon and a pretty transformation for a tea towel.
Now, I think I need to get some more of these bright tea towels to decorate.
My little sewing business seems to be taking off with a few patterns for sale, quilts getting published in magazines and books, custom quilts, and now, the new longarm quilting adventure. I thought it was time for a more "official" look.
My logo was designed by Sophia Pappas, a freelance designer and illustrator, and a graduate from the College for Creative Studies in Detroit. She was a joy to work with and knew just what I wanted when I didn't! If you are in need of any freelance artwork, I highly recommend her.
This is a reposting of a guest post I did on Pink Castle Fabrics as part of their "Oceans of Notions" series back in February. I thought it might be good to post it over here too.
Oceans of Notions
When Megan first asked me to share some of my studio for her Oceans of Notions feature here I was a little nervous. My sewing room is far from what I would expect to see in an inspirational storage and studio feature. Megan assured me they are looking for inspirational ideas that anyone can use so I agreed to share.
First, I need to tell you that I don't have a finished sewing room. We have been renovating our house for the last 25 years. Yes, you read that right twenty five YEARS. I no longer even notice that half of my sewing room doesn't have a ceiling. A few years ago, we removed the wood wall surface from one corner of my sewing room. In doing so, we discovered a hidden space under the stairs.
Yesterday, I quilted a small baby quilt on the Gammill. It was good to get some practice loading, basting the sides, keeping it square, etc.
Today, I pinned the practice muslin back on the frame and switched to a darker thread for visibility over all my other practice.
I'm having fun switching back and forth between freeform sewing like these plants and feathers on one side of the practice piece
and skill building drills on the other half. I think of it like the compulsory figures and and free skating sections in figure skating competitions. (Yes, I know that they no longer judge compulsory figures but I do remember watching them and was impressed by the figures left on the ice - you didn't want to see a double line after skating the figure with both feet.) I hope the quilting drills will help build muscle memory for better freehand quilting. I'm currently making rows and rows of circles working both horizontally and vertically and I'm getting better at making them the same on each row.
Look! I have a new friend in the sewing room. It's a Gammill!!!!
The lovely Tammy from TK Quilting and Designs brought it to my house yesterday. After putting it together she taught me the basics on loading, oiling, threading and getting started with the quilting. She even stitched out a few feathers for me to stitch over, and over, and over. I'm stitching it without thread for practice. It really does help build the muscle memory for making smooth curves and flowing feathers.
We filled up our practice quilt but didn't want to stop to load more fabric so we just kept stitching.
The pie was delicous.
We worked a 1000 piece puzzle, played badminton, ate watermelon, dinner on the grill, more badminton, a few other games and crafts, blueberry pie, more badminton, a few songs on the player piano, and smores over a "camp" fire - overall it was a pretty stellar day.
Also, have any of you locals noticed that we seem to have almost NO mosquitoes this summer??? This is quite a pleasant change from the past few summers when the mosquitoes have kept us prisoners in the house.
Miss P and I journeyed around the property this afternoon and found that we have home grown fruit in our future. I love the fruit trees because we don't really have to do anything for them. Did you hear that? NO WEEDING for all this fruit! We won't mention the state of the garden. No, let's not go there.
We look forward to a busy August of harvest, food preservation, and fire wood cutting. Yeehaw.
Do you have any exciting weekend plans? The kids will all be here for the Fourth and we've planned a cookout with smores!