Wednesday, March 7, 2012


Okay, so I was retreating, so now that I have returned from a fabulous sewing retreat, I guess I am again advancing! One can only hope, at least!

My friend Ella hosted a fabulous retreat this weekend "down south" (meaning out in God's country past the border's of Salt Lake County!!). It was a sleepover. I don't think I've had a sleepover for ages, and it was so much fun! It was a great group of quilters and scrapbookers. Great food, great laughs. We watched Footloose, which somehow I had missed when it first came through in the '80s (okay, the truth is out, I was glued fairly solidly to the books back in high school!). Very cool thing, Much of Footloose was filmed in Utah, and the church scenes were actually filmed at the Presbyterian Church where our retreat was held! Kind of surreal to see all those famous people sitting in the very hall where I was just sitting working on my sewing project! Thanks, Ella, for such a wonderful weekend! Can't wait for the next one!

Being the oh-so organized sort that I am (insert laugh-snort here), I didn't quite get my act together until the last minute, so I just threw all sorts of fabric and projects together into a large bin (or two), figuring that I'd have TONS of time to get ALL sorts of things done. While I'm so thrilled with all I got done, of course I brought WAY too much fabric. Funto be able to pull it out and admire it, however. Kind of like long lost friends! And, we did have a fabric swap, so it came in handy to have around!

So, what did I work on at the retreat? Patience, patience . . . ! I have been wanting the perfect sewing machine cover for a while, but I was waiting for divine inspiration to hit me. I was collecting my Heather Ross sewing notions fabric, putting together some ideas, and then it finally came together. I honestly didn't think I could pull it off. . . . and it's not quite finished yet, but it's almost there!

So, linking up with Lee's WIP Wednesday, here's my almost finished sewing machine cover-I just have to take in the end a bit to allow for a snugger fit, and then make a lining. Here's the paper pieced side with spools (using Heather Ross's Munki Munki sewing notions spools section on the left):

I pulled from my selvedge collection
for the "threads" on the spools. The top and bottom spools use my Echino Bicycle selvedges (which say "Bicycle" and then something in Japanese).

For the second side, I really wanted shears, but the thoughtof paper piecing them gave me the horrors (sort of--I was game for a challenge, but the people around me I think were afraid they would never see me emerge from my sewing room again, so they kept chanting "appliqué," "appliqué"). Here's that side:

I learned how to do appliqué at Pam's retreat last fall and I totally fell in love with it. I can't see myself doing more traditional, entire appliquéd quilts (am
azing as I think they are), but I love what can be done with appliqué!

As you can see, I fell in love with two different grey fabrics, so I used the Japanese polka dot on the spools side and this one on the shears side.

So, now I just know you're simply dying to know what I've done for the ends of the cover. I know, I know! Thanks for humoring me! Here's what they look like:

I used the Half Moon Moda scissors in grey/white and green/white using paper piecing, and then I framed it in grey--using the polka dots on one side and the other grey (how's that for giving the fabulous fabric designer his/her credit--sorry!) fabric on the other.

I am, if I can actually be so bold to say, quite pleased with myself. I have only been sewing since June, so this time last year I would have thought a "feed dog" was a reminder to feed the pups. For some insane reason, I was crazy enough to start with paper piecing as my first sewing lesson, and I totally fell in love withit. I've realized, however, that almost no one teaches how to make patterns! There are tons of generous people all over blogland who amazingly share their techniquesand patterns, but everyone seems to learn on their own how to make their own patterns. Sigh. I think I'm going to make that my next mission!

Only other thing to report is that I finished and mailed off my zippy pouch for the Mouthy Stitches swap. I had precious little info to go on, as my secret partner was really more of a silent partner. Fortunately, I had one little gem of info--she likes Union Jacks. So here's what I made:

The non-Union Jack side has pintucks running down the turquoise fabric (it's hard to see in the photo). I hope she likes it! It was my very first Union Jack, and I'm fairly amazed that the paper piecing (mostly) lined up!