Sunday, January 27, 2013

A Break from Organizing

I needed a break from looking at notions, threads, tools and figuring out where to put them, so I picked up one of my many UFO's and decided to actually finish something. If you recall my previous post, this was supposed to be a Christmas gift, but obviously it will have to wait. The thread was pretty easy to keep the colors straight. It comes in precut lengths, so I just started a new length on each row. This used  slightly less than half the length of thread, so I used some of the leftover pieces for the edging.

It's a kit that I bought when taking a class by Barbara Meger back in September during a ferocious heat wave.

It has a simple whipped edgestitch for trim. It looks easy, but it's a challenge to see. I had to use two Ott Lights and a magnifier to see the black thread on the black silk.

Finished pouch, which I'm not at all happy with. The smocking has mistakes and the sewing isn't perfectly symmetrical. But I have another kit and will be trying again. It's made from silk dupioni, which kept trying to unravel at the edges of the smocked piece. Next time I'll unpick the pleating threads from the seam allowances and stitch them down with a triple zigzag. Since I don't have a serger, it's my favorite stitch for neatening edges.

With jewelry!

I hope you all have a lovely week ahead. Not to garner sympathy, but I came down with a miserable cough and sore throat. I'm completely sick of drinking tea, the roof of my mouth is sore from all the cough drops, and my chest hurts from coughing. With any luck it will clear up in a day or two as I've been at it since Thursday. Time for a nice, hot bath.

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Almost There...

The sewing room is filling up quite nicely. As you can see, I've made great progress in putting away the fabric. I have it organized, sort of, and I'll share that with you when I've finished. The mini bolts are on the shelves, with fat quarters and scraps in the bins. See the little three drawer shelves? They hold mostly sewing notions, and I hope to empty the contents into small bins and use the drawers for embroidery threads. I'm saving those for last as I think it will be my biggest headache.

This is today's project, sorting out the laces. I've come down with a slight cold, so this is the perfect tasks, picking through all the lovely laces while sitting on the floor drinking ginger tea.  Some time ago I took all the laces, measured them, and wound them around the acid free cards for storage. As I took these out to put into smaller bins, I realized that I did all that winding six years ago, in 2007. I need to use this stuff up! For those of you who are horrified by the plastic containers, I don't seal them, just place the lid on to keep the dust out, and throw in a lavender sachet.

I'm not getting a bit of sewing or embroidery done, which is beginning to really annoy me. I may take some time out from organizing to sit and stitch. On my table, which you can't see in the photo, are at least three UFO's in danger of getting lost in the jumble. I just received a Needlework Nibble from Thistle Threads this past week, and have this kit from Needle in a Haystack on its way, so the pile isn't getting any smaller.

Friday, January 4, 2013

Happy New Year!

Or, how I spent my Christmas Vacation. Mr. California Stitching and I installed closet organizers from Home Depot in the closet in my sewing room (twelve feet nine inches wide!).

This is where I am at the moment. Only one of the large drawers on the right is filled, the rest are all empty. You should see all the fabric on the floor out of range of the camera. I'm trying to put only mini bolts on the shelves, fat quarters and scraps in bins on the floor, and really fine fabrics behind the closed doors. It's a fairly slow process to try to figure out where to put everything, as I don't have a good feel for how much of each category, that is, fabric mini bolts, fat quarters and scraps, laces, fine fabrics, etc., that I have.

I was very fortunate to receive these books for Christmas. I want to get into more garment sewing for me, and will tackle the Shirtmaking book first. In fact, the blue fabric hanging in the previous photo is for shirts. I took a class in Schwalm Embroidery at the 2011 SAGA Convention in Anaheim, California, and decided to explore it a little more on my own. And of course I couldn't resist the latest Country Bumpkin publication, Blissful Beginnings. This is a lovely book on embroidered blankets.

I received the box of threads on the right, all polyester, which I find is just great for most construction. The spools of cotton thread on the left are from me hitting the thread sale at Joann's.

One of my New Year's resolutions, from a few years ago, is to make a list of the projects I have ongoing and to start. Another is to be a better blogger as I've been quite a slacker lately. What are your stitching resolutions for 2013?