27 August 2015

Cotton+Steel Computer Case

Computer case
So patchworky!

Well, I've been really modernizing around the house. First a new sewing machine, and now a new computer. I got the new macbook, which is super cool, and it's nice and light. Only 2 lbs! I can carry it in my purse too, which is great. I just wanted to make sure that I don't scratch it all up, so I decided to make it an improv patchwork case.

Computer case
All the pieces. 

I will admit, I'm totally smitten with it. The majority of the patchwork is done using newer Cotton + Steel prints, and I love them so much. I got some from the Black and White collection, and then there's the Moon Cat from Spellbound, Horseback from Honeymoon, and Mystery Food from Tokyo Train Ride. I added in some dots that I can't find the provenance on, and my very favorite print (and carefully hoarded!) Hananonaka by Yuma. 

Computer case
Back. I love those little bunnies! And the drippy trees!

The back is some Trainride from Tokyo Train Ride in a cotton/linen blend. I like how the texture is a bit different. I quilted in a square grid pattern. I basically eyeballed it, aiming for a slightly imperfect grid, but one that isn't totally wonky. Quilting on the Juki is amazing, so much better than on my old machine, and really makes me feel good about purchasing it. 

I added in a label and a metal zipper. My first attempt was too small to fit the computer in, so I ended up finishing the zipper as though this was an 'open wide pouch' by Noodlehead. Now my computer fits in just like a glove. Of course I added a little leather for a zipper pull. Gotta make it as luxurious as possible!

Computer case
Zipper, ends with one of my favorites from Doe by Carolyn Friedlander. 

I might need to make a pouch for my power cord and adapter. So many things to make, not enough time!

Linking up with Crazy Mom Quilts for Finish It Up Friday!

19 August 2015

Morning Star

In addition to the bitty blocks, I'm jumping back into my feathered star project. It's my slow sewing project, although it feels like most of what I'm working on is slow sewing. I've actually got two rather tight deadlines I need to work on, but with all this learning to be a teacher skill building I don't have as much time to sew as I thought. It is nice when I can sneak a few minutes in here and there.

Slow Sewing Project: Morning Star
View from my machine. And a finished Star, of course!

So far, this is the third start I've completed. This one is called the Morning Star, and I've been enjoying playing with the color placements. Maybe for the next block I'll do a dark background and a lighter star.

Slow Sewing Project: Morning Star
Some details. Not as precise as I'd like, but not too shabby. 

Because these blocks are pretty difficult to get precise with using the freezer paper method (it's better for larger sections, I think), and being my first paper piecing in months, I can live with the imperfections in this block. Plus, I kind of like how it gets a little character. 

Slow Sewing Project: Morning Star
In all it's glory! Or at least as much as I can capture with an iPod. 

Still thinking about what kind of camera to get, so my pictures are fairly low tech. I did get myself a new toy to ease me into South Texas life: a brand new sewing machine!

New Juki TL 2010 Q

I'm so excited and wish I had more time to sew! My old machine was a workhorse, in fact in the 40ish years it's been in the family it's never been serviced, and it's never shown signs of needing to. The biggest complaint was a foot pedal that was starting to stick, and some other general wear and tear items. I'm super excited to get to know this machine. So far, so good. Super smooth sewing, and I love how easy it is when there's an automatic thread trimmer! So fancy!

Linking up with WiP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced!

12 August 2015

WiP Wednesday: Bitty Blocks are Back

So, as part of my commitment to blogging once a week, I figure I'll try and link up with WiP Wednesday or Finish it up Friday, depending of course on how productive I've been.

This week I started catching up on my bitty blocks. I made the houses from several months ago. Though not my favorite of the bitty blocks, I worked through them all. These are my favorites:

Bitty blocks houses. Catching up!
My favorite houses!
The bitty blocks are a fun project, and definitely got me motivated to sew again. I've got a few surprises coming up that I can't wait to share. For now though, here's a few more houses. They will finish at 3" square, and I made 16 of them. I left most of my scraps back in Massachusetts, so now I'm using my 'less loved' fabrics. I am a little apprehensive that I won't love the quilt in the end, but I have faith in the magic of scrap quilting. Also, I've got some ideas about alternative layouts, so I don't think I'll use the row method that Quiltmaker's Magazine suggests. 

Bitty blocks houses. Catching up!
Pile o' houses!

Bitty blocks houses. Catching up!
Love these fabrics!

Linking up to WiP Wednesday

07 August 2015

I'm back! Well, kind of...

So, I've returned to the United States after travelling for 2 months, and I've just about completed my move to South Texas. I now live in the Rio Grande Valley, a far cry from Brooklyn, NY, and a great new experience. I'm going to start teaching high school science in a few weeks, so the transition isn't quite complete, but I'm feeling far more settled.

Liberty of London, London, UK
Liberty of London Store

Prague, Czech Republic
Prague, Czech Republic

Pula, Croatia
Pula, Croatia
Bay of Kotor, Montenegro
Bay of Kotor, Montenegro

Travelling was an amazing experience. I wish I could go back to it. I went all through eastern/central europe and visited 13 countries, then went over to the UK and saw some of Scotland and England, and then I departed from France. Of course, when I stopped in London, I had to buy some liberty. Besides a carpet I bought in Sarajevo, it was my only souvenir!

My liberty souvenirs.
My souvenirs!

I got some scissors from the actual department store in London, and then I bought the fabric from Shaukat and Co., which was cheaper and offered a larger selection than the department store. The kitty paisley is just for me, and the alice in wonderland will be going into a baby quilt for my friend's soon to be born (if not already) baby boy!

I'm living on a citrus grove with grapefruit, avocado, banana, and key lime trees in the backyard. Can't wait for all those things to be in season, though there are enough new things to keep me distracted until they are. I've been slowly getting back into sewing, and I finished up a couple bee blocks this week (one was late, one's actually going to be on time!). I'm not sure what I want to work on yet, though I have some projects I need to work on. I think I'll start with some bitty blocks, and move on from there.

Hive 1, August block
August block - I'm finally going to be on time!
Hive 1, July block
July - better late than never? 

I've been keeping up with most of my old blogs, and I hope to hear from people on here too! Though I won't have as much time to blog as before, I am going to prioritize it, so that I can share my creativity with this great community. My goal is to have at least one post a week - fingers crossed that I can stick to it! 

p.s. my camera got stolen the first day of the trip (sigh), in Prague. All I've been working with for months is my iPod camera, and I'm ready for a new camera. If you've got any suggestions for Canon DSLRs and/or lenses feel free to share them with me!