Christmas of 2014 brought a flurry of activity. Our oldest daughter came home with her partner, her partner’s Mum, her partner and his son. It meant wonderful holiday meals at the dinner table, and THAT meant that my quilting was going to have to move out of the dining room and into a new room. Fortunately, we had an underused upstairs room that I was able to transform into my sewing studio.
My sewing room gets nice light all day, and has a closet for quilting books and fabrics. In addition to allowing me an excuse to assemble a dedicated sewing room, the holidays offered excellent quilting opportunities!
My husband helped me to make a design wall. I used packets of small insulation panels (as they fit in my car much better than the larger ones which were 4X8ft). We used duct tape to hold them together, which serves the additional purpose of adding evenly spaced straight lines showing through the batting to help with organizing projects on the wall. The ultimate size was 4X7 ft with two side by side panels. They take up one whole wall and are permanently affixed with small nails through the panels. Here they are:
We forgot to leave a space for the outlet as we made/designed them, so I lost the use of that outlet unless I remove the design wall and find where the outlet is. When reviewing design wall designs, that was an important tidbit of information that I forgot to put into action as we made them!
For a cutting table, I used an old dining table that had years of marks from children pressing too hard while doing homework. There are letters and numbers and words all over the place! The veneer was too thin to allow sanding to redo the table and it had long since been replaced. I was so excited to find this table stored in the attic and bring it down for the sewing room! I am so happy to have a way to repurpose it! It measures 34X60 inches, very close to my large self healing cutting mat size of 35X58 inches. It is such a joy to cut out fabric now. I even use it for putting many of my quilt sandwiches together. I wish the table were a few inches higher as that would save my back, but it is the exact height as my sewing machine table so it works well to hold the bulk of the quilt as I am quilting.
Our house guests were getting my first tries at free motion quilting. I chose a tote bag using a quilt as you go strip design. In the rush to get things assembled, wrapped, and ready for Christmas, I never got a picture of the finished bag, but here is the work in progress. This was done with quilt as you go technique, then lined with black fabric. I made a nearly identical one for a dear friend with an off white lining. On one, I made quilted straps, on the other I used webbing from JoAnn fabrics.
One of our guests is a notorious tea drinker, and cat lover. Our daughter’s partner suggested a tea cozy. I found some lovely blue fabric, and opted for a whole range of kitchen accessories. My husband made a free hand cat silhouette drawing as a template for my appliqués, and I practiced some free motion technique.
Here you see the center of the first pot holder. Underneath it, you can see the batting for the oven mitt. I used insul-bright batting, so the mitt and pot holders were useable, as well as pretty. I really liked the stars and swirls, and wanted to try to echo that in the quilting. I used the template drawn by my husband of the cat appliqué for the tea cozy, and free motion quilted the stars and swirls. Below is the undecorated tea cozy, prior to placement of the appliqué. There were a few wobbles in my first effort, but overall I was pleased.
Here are the finished products!
Along with some earlier mentioned quilts, I completed my Christmas gift list with some simple table runners for my mother and siblings. I had to unwrap one to photograph it, though different central fabrics were used for them. Here are some photos from the design process.
The finished runner, right, the back is shown folded up. Next time, you get to judge whether or not you think I’m a crazy dog lady!