Saturday, June 21, 2014

EPP Travel Kit

I guess I should start with "What the heck is EPP?" - It is short for English Paper Piecing - a method of putting together little hexagons for quilting/crafting projects. 

I found this little tutorial for making a travel kit for taking your EPP projects along with you when you travel.  (Okay, it's actually a kinda long tutorial, but with very detailed instructions and good photos to illustrate every step). 

I made my own EPP travel kit.  It only took a couple of days, which is pretty good for me, because I rarely do handwork, and this was pretty handwork intensive - only a little machine sewing.   I made two EPP flowers over the course of a day and a half, then started the tote kit last night, which I finished today. 

This is the kit - all closed up, and ready to travel

Here it is, standing open, showing off the second 'flower' on the front of the kit.

Here is how I loaded it up with supplies for my handwork hexies.
Now, I did all this, knowing I don't even do EPP.  (Well, I had to teach myself how to do it a little to make the hexagon 'flowers' for the front of the kit).  But I DO sew hand bound prequilted hexagons as one of my 'take along' hand projects.  (To get my hexagon tutorial for this fun activity, click on the link to 'tutorials' at the top of my blog, then click on the hexagon tutorial).  So I loaded up my new travel kit to hold my hexagon project, and everything just fits fine... hooray!  A win for me!  And you, if you decide to make it... I'm thrilled.  I was a little afraid the big hexes (the blue ones in the back compartment of my kit) weren't going to fit, but they just fit in quite snugly.

Even though the EPP travel kit isn't MY tutorial, I think I'm going to put the link to it on my tutorials page. 

Enjoy and happy quilting to you.

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Home Alone

My son moved home (temporarily) to finish school for a few months only.  My dear daughter-in-law moved in with her parents for the duration because she's allergic to our cats.  Poor dears are separated for the first time since their marriage and they are both unhappy about it, as are we.   My husband had to move his computer desk and files into my quilting studio for the duration.  This leaves me with limited space to sew in, so I am rethinking my concept of what makes a studio.

I thought I needed more room to sew in, but I'm learning to take up and work with less space around me.  I still have my design wall, but having my cutting table and ironing board in the same room with me will have to wait.  Besides, getting up and walking about is good for me.  I keep trying to tell myself that, haha.

Still, I am getting things done, a little at a time.  I got my Saturday Sampler block from one shop last Saturday and got it done on Sunday. 

Saturday Sampler block from Cotton & Chocolate Quilt Co.
Then I got another Saturday Sampler block from yet another shop today and got it cut and pieced.

Saturday Sampler block from Quilty Pleasures
Done and done.  Somehow I am not suffering greatly from the cramped space in my studio.  I, of course, will never reveal this fact to my husband.  When he asks how I'm handling it, I just roll my eyes and let out a long suffering sigh.  "I'm dealing with it, dear," I say with a slight lingering note of quiet despair.  He doesn't need to know it's not that bad.

Of course, none of that applies right now.  DH is traveling for business and my son is at his school, so for the day, I've had the house to myself.  Which is why I got some cutting and sewing done today.  It's nice to be home alone, but I miss them.  Good thing I have the tv for some company while I work.  I don't like utter silence.  Then again, nothing is UTTERLY silent when you own a St. Bernard... they snore, they snort, they breathe heavily... it's doggie nirvana here 24/7.  

On the de-stashing side, I sold 6 empty plastic bins today!  And still have 3 left, just in case I need to reposition some things.   Which means I've gotten rid of a LOT of fabric!  There are more bins left in the garage yet to go through, but most of them are specialty fabrics (like Minkee for backs) or cat fabrics or WIPs, none of which I can cull much.  Still, it's going down!

I also figured out how to make additional pages in the blog, so my tutorials now have their own page, so I don't have to search through all the dates to find them when I need to direct someone to one of them.  That was a kind of special discovery, but when I set it up, my slide show of quilts stopped working on the main page... still working to recover it.  Win some, lose some, I guess.  Whatever happened to Win-Win???

How's your stash doing and what are YOU working on (WAYWO)?

Monday, June 9, 2014

WIP and a finish

It's such a good feeling to finish something.  I started a quilt in a class taught by Jan Krentz.  The pattern is a traditional Carpenter's Wheel, but Jan has simple piecing instructions for assembling the quilt that makes it a snap.  I added a few details to make it my own.  The class was conducted at sea on a Caribbean cruise about 3 years ago, and it took me this long to finalize a border, quilt and bind it. 
Floating in Space
I call it 'Floating in Space' and I loved making it.   I've made other LeMoyne stars before, but this was my first full Carpenter's Wheel.  Not sure I'd make another but you never know.  It's about 60x60.

I've also been working on my Bertie BOM.  Here are the blocks I've made so far:
Bertie's year, Jan-May
I still need to do a little embroidery on May, but these are the one's I've made so far.  I love how Bertie is doing a different thing each month and wearing a different 'hat'... so cute.  Also - love all the little border variations possible with just 1/2 square triangles.  Although now, knowing the BOM is available prefused and laser cut, I might have taken that option from the beginning.  I didn't... so more work for me, but in truth, it's not hard work, so I'm not complaining.

In two weeks I will be doing the Southern California quilt run, and the week after that, I'll be headed to Midway, Utah for the quilt show there.  Busy month for me, but I like being busy!  Keeps me focused.

On the homefront, my son moved home temporarily while he finishes school, which should be done by September.   His wife went north to Washington to live with her parents until Luke and she can get a place together when school is out.  Between lost jobs (reason for losing their apartment) and her cat allergies (reason she can't also stay with us), they have to be separated for a while, but we are all hoping this is only temporary.

The only really bad thing is that my husband had to move his home office (computer and household files) into my sewing room, so that my son could have the guestroom to himself.  My sewing room has only half the space for sewing that it did before.  I think I'm handling it quite well... I haven't killed anyone yet, lol.


A Mysterious start to the year

Well, I finished one of last year's mystery tops... The Meadow Mist Mosaic Mystery.  I have to say I really like how this one came out.....