Saturday, January 11, 2014

2014: Picking up the Pieces and Getting Things Made

We are finally thawing out from our big freeze and the huge mounds of snow are finally shrinking. But being snowed in last week had a lot of positives as well. For one, I was able to take some time to really set some goals/resolutions for 2014. If I were to make a list of everything I wanted to do this year it would need to be written out on a scroll! And I also know I would find myself either stressed or extremely disappointed as the year comes to an end. So instead, I opted for choosing some words to motivate me for the year!

ORGANIZATION: Plain and simple. I think this is just about everyone's goal, every year! Somehow life gets crazy every year and things just kind of end up all over the place. I think I will always be striving to find a proper place for everything and to keep my work areas (and the whole house) as organized as one possibly can. 

PROGRESS: I want to finally catch up on all those half finished projects that have been laying around. Especially my Addicted to Vintage quilt that I started for my birthday and never got around to finishing. 

LEARNING: I hope to continue learning new techniques and skills with sewing and quilting. This year I would really love to learn how to free motion quilt and paper piece. 

FAMILY: I also want to be sure that I am super involved as a mom and wife. My goal is to spend less time online and more time being in tune to my family's needs. I also want to take more time to create for them this year!

So during my week inside I began to tackle some of these goals. I pulled out projects that were in pieces and worked on a few new ones that would help organize some things as well. One of these was a quilted sewing machine cover that I had started back when I got my treadle sewing machine. Somehow it got pushed aside and forgotten about. 

I had sketched my own pattern based on the shape of the machine and it turned out pretty well! It fits the machine like a glove. 

You might notice in the picture, I also quilted a giant pin cushion with pockets for organizing. Instructions for creating this "Mega Pinnie" had been shared on Facebook and it was so much fun to make and is now so helpful to carry from work-station to work-station.

I used all scrap pieces from my Addicted to Vintage quilt and got to try out some free-motion quilting on my treadle machine! I was scared to try meandering but it wasn't as scary as I thought it would be. Once I finally relaxed and just went for it, I found it was actually rather enjoyable. My curves aren't perfect but I am sure with practice they will get better.

And the best part is that it has pockets for all the tools that I use most often!

I did adjust the pattern a bit for the pockets though. I did all square patchwork instead of alternating between the square patchwork and rectangle patchwork pockets (so I cut 24 2.5 inch squares instead of 12 2.5 inch squares and 12 rectangles). 

I also decided to finally organize the mess of plastic bags that we keep on hand in our house. 

Yuck! It looked so trashy hanging on our wall. I found a great tutorial online to create a bag dispenser out of some of my wonderful scraps (yes, I save every extra inch of fabric from my projects . . . and it pays off in the long run). 

So I selected and cut my fabric and laid it out to be sure I liked the order of the pieces. 

And I began piecing all the strips together. Which meant I got to play with a new tool that I had read about online too!

When I work with my little one close by, or even right on my lap (as I was in this instance), I don't like to keep the iron on as it just begs for bad accidents with a toddler that loves to touch! But then I read about using a wooden seam roller when working on small piecing or curved piecing. I didn't really think it would work but I found one for wall papering on Amazon for 6 bucks and figured it couldn't hurt to try. 

My toddler loved it because even he could help use it! That's his pudgy little hand blurred in the corner as he rolled it back and forth. 

And I loved it because it actually worked!

It takes some elbow grease but if you started with crisp fabric it works like a charm. It is a great alternative if you cannot keep your iron out all the time. The rest of the project finished up quickly (less than an hour and that is with a toddler on my lap the whole time "helping" mommy). 

So much better than looking at a bag full of bags! Now let's just hope I can keep making progress on all of my 2014 goals. Happy Quilting!


  1. I'm working on 2 sewing machine covers now (1 for me, 1 for a friend). That pin cushion is cute. I love my seam rollers. I have several now.

    1. I think the seam roller is going to be my new best friend! :)