Already failed the Finish-Along!

I failed to get my list posted in time, so I’m already a failure. Sorry, Ella, I tried.

But for my own accountability, here’s a list of what I’m working on and want to finish by the end of the Finish-Along (April 1, 2017)

Aviatrix Medallion (remake/finish)
I started this a couple of years ago, and then got discouraged when I realized that the center medallion had some errors and I wasn’t maintaining even seam allowances so my borders were all different sizes. I have purchased a new kit and am remaking the center and the borders that are the wrong size.


Moda Modern Building Blocks (Kit)
Also started a couple of years back, it was above my skill level at the time. Now it’s totally something that I can complete. (And I will definitely have to fix the square shown since it’s the wrong size, but I have TONS of Kona, so that won’t be a problem.)


Tula Pink Log Cabin Beads (Kit)
Another kit, this one purchased from a destash post on Instagram. I’ve gotten all of the white fabrics cut, all of the green logs cut, and all of the purple blocks made. I still have to cut the aqua and coral logs. (As of this time, there’s one of these kits available on Etsy.)


Allison Glass Cobblestone II  (link is to the free PDF pattern)
Purchased this at a quilt show in 2015, sat on it for way too long, and then cut out the pieces and sat on it some more. Finally got it pieced on Monday night, and I’ve started hand quilting it.


Layer Cake Sampler QAL Quilt for the Atlanta Modern Quilters Guild
This one is quilted, thanks to Nikki’s generosity in allowing me to use her longarm machine! It needs to be squared up, the ends buried, and a bound.


Miss Kate Double Wedding Ring
A kit that I purchased from craftsy, this one came with a different (non-traditional) double wedding ring pattern (Kate’s Big Day), but I have a set of Marti Michell’s double wedding ring templates that I want to use, so I’ve gotten all of the scrappy ring pieces cut out. Hopefully, I can get it pieced without pulling out my hair. We shall see.


Tula Pink 100 Modern Quilt Blocks
This one uses scraps from a bunch of Tula projects I’ve done along with my failed Tokyo Subway Map Quilt project (turns out, that’s not a great first quilting project, what with needing precise cutting and precise seam allowances.)

My Christmas present was late, but totally worth waiting for!

I’ve been madly working on the Layer Cake Sampler from Material Girl Quilts, and I have made some progress:

Trimmed all of the blocks (672 of them!) while waiting for my Christmas present to be installed. (More on that in a second.)

Then I made all these beautiful stacks of perfectly trimmed half square triangles.

 

I matched them into pairs for the blocks.

I found that I kept getting the position of the individual half-square triangles mixed up as I made the blocks, so I got out my Sewline Trio mechanical pencil and numbered the backs of each HST to keep them straight.

 

 

Only thing left is to finish putting the top together, I have the blocks sewn into rows and a few of the rows assembled. I should have the top completed later today.

Now, about that Christmas present…

There’s been a lighting issue in my sewing room since I moved rooms around last fall and turned my previous sewing room into the guest room, the previous guest room into my office, and my previous office into the sewing room. (That was super fun, involved moving things between floors and also required movers to carry my heavy-ass desk upstairs.)

Anyhow, for my gift, my guy had new lights installed in my sewing room for me, here is a before/after comparison of the difference:

 

 

Next up: I’ve joined the 2017 Finish Along, so I will have a list of links for that posted within the next day or two.

Custom Ironing Table

After suffering from what appears to be muscle strain in my right shoulder and neck for a couple of days after an extremely minor fender-bender, I decided that ergonomics in my sewing room should be more important to me.

The first thing that I realized needed attention was the ironing table I was using. It was too tall, but otherwise worked well. (It was a 2’x4′ board covered with Insulbright and silver ironing board cover fabric, placed atop wire shelving from Target.) I created the original one from this tutorial.

The height of the shelving was right, if I hadn’t then needed to raise my hand higher to grab and move the iron. As it was, my hand was above my elbow when ironing, which was causing me to hike up my right shoulder.

So I set out to locate similar shelving or some other sturdy item to place under the existing board.

My requirements were:

  • At least 28″ tall
  • Less than 4′ wide
  • Less than 2′ deep
  • No taller than 31″ (because I needed to add my existing top).
  • Must not decrease storage
  • Not ugly

I considered looking for some kind of cabinet (recycled cabinets from a kitchen remodel would have worked well). But found that I would encounter a transportation and portability issue. (I REALLY like to rearrange the furniture!)

Then I looked through pinterest boards to see what other people were doing. I didn’t find anything of particular interest that didn’t require me to have access to, or purchase, many power tools.

Also, who has a garage full of “scrap” lumber?!? I don’t. I don’t know anyone who does. And yet! And yet I see posts and articles all over the internet from women who “found” lumber to build their dream project in their garage or barn. I don’t know about you, but I have cars in my garage and we don’t have a barn…. ANY way… 

Then I drove past The Container Store near my house. (Who am I kidding? I was going there for fun, and then remembered that I could actually justify purchasing something there because it was “for my health.”) 

When I went inside, I saw that their Elfa sale was on. 30% off?!? Yes, please! I have an unholy love of all things Elfa. I dream of someday redoing all the closets in my house with Elfa.

I found that they have a number of drawer units that would work for my purposes, if I added wheels to them. Without wheels they were 29″ tall, and with wheels? 31″ PERFECT!

I bought 2 medium width units and one narrow width unit in platinum mesh. Each has 4 drawers, one shallow at the top and three 2-rail deep drawers.

To be honest, it didn’t go that smoothly at first. To begin with, I only got the two medium units and I bought the translucent drawers. They were CRAPPY, just say no. They wouldn’t stay on the rails like I knew the mesh drawers would. (I use 6 of the wide 3-runner drawers in my cutting table to store my stash, I will post about that soon.)

So I placed an online order for the replacement drawers and the narrow unit and took the offending ones back.

Once I put together the units according to the included instructions (super easy, but noisy and requires a mallet), I popped the existing ironing board on top. It slid around a bit. And then I remembered that I had an old IKEA desktop upstairs in the closet (I take back what I said before about people with a stash of lumber in their houses, a little). 

The desktop is like this one, and was super cheap. ($10-$15, if I remember correctly, though it predates this house, it moved here from the old house and then when it wasn’t in use any longer, I got lazy and shoved it into the closet in what was then the guest room, it’s now my office.)

So I took some sticky-backed velcro and used strips of that to attach the desktop to the top of the elfa units (which are held to each other through the use of cable ties (aka zip-ties). I then repeated the process with the ironing table (which has a frame of 1x2s underneath it to keep it from sliding around on top of the old shelving).

The only other thing that I have on my ironing table that you might want to consider is this delightful thing. It is shown on the right hand edge of the table and holds the cord for the iron so that I don’t get as tangled in it. Totally worth $12 if you ask me, since I would get tangled and want to throw the iron. (This seems like a bad idea, but what do I know? I don’t even have a lumber stash.)