Archive | June 2014

The Writing Process

She asked, I responded…..

I met Nancy a few months ago at a meeting of local bloggers. Being new to this world, I felt a wee bit intimidated, but she made me feel welcome from the moment we exchanged names. She invited me to join a group of women bloggers who meet monthly, a group she started and facilitates; one of her many adventures. (Learn more about the adventures of Nancy here.) She shared with us at the first meeting I attended that she was blogging about writing.  A friend of hers posed 4 questions and asked Nancy to not only write about writing, but to pass on the questions to other women.  I figured the exercise would be the perfect learning experience. I wasn’t wrong.  Lesson One: We are all different and that is exactly the way it should be. We all need to be OK with that.  Nancy’s response is eloquent; mine….not so much.

What am I working on?

“Too many things at once.” Is the first thing that pops into my mind and is what I started blogging about at the beginning of this year.  I have multiple sewing projects waiting to be finished. I am also working on a list of blogging topics. Both are ongoing.

How Does My Work Differ From Others in My Genre?

This is an interesting question.  What is my genre?  On the surface it is sewing and quilting.  Below that is a desire to chronicle and document the projects I make.  And yet further below is the desire to be a writer.  I didn’t really answer the question now did I?  There are numerous sewing/quilting bloggers on the web. I spend a lot of time analyzing the process in an attempt to come up with a way that is not only easy to do, but easy to learn. I also love sewing notions. My long-term plan is to review as many notions as possible as objectively as possible. Ideally, my blog will become a place for sewers to come to learn and be inspired.

 Why do I write/create what I do?

Let’s break this into two questions as they are mutually exclusive.

Why do I write?

I write to share my love of quilting.  I have been described as a natural teacher. I love to teach.  I love the look on someone’s face when they master a new technique.  I also see a lot of misguided instruction on the web. Anyone can blog (myself included) or post a video on the web for the entire world to consume. Just because it’s there, doesn’t mean it’s good. I know; shocker, right? So my goal is to provide a place of tried and useable techniques.  I’m honest about and share my mistakes; making mistakes is a huge part of learning. If you’re not willing to admit your errors, I think you are misleading your audience.   The thought that my errors could improve a fellow quilter’s work is most gratifying.

Why do I create what I do?

I love sewing. It is truly my happy time, even during the most frustrating of applications. I used to enjoy sewing clothes but lately have been working on quilts, small projects and home dec.  I didn’t start sewing until I was way into adulthood, so I have a lot of time to make up.

 

How does your writing/creating process work?

Again, a question in 2 parts.

 How does your writing process work?

Very very slowly. Literally, I use a laptop. I started writing research papers on the fly in highschool and college on a Corona Selectric typewriter. Editing was impossible, so I received a lot of comments from my instructors that the content was good, but lacked flow.  If only they knew!  Word Processing has allowed me the luxury of adding flow.  A list of future blog topics is an ongoing document that lives in the cloud. I do not consider myself a writer and if I had taken the time to realize that blogging is in fact writing, I might have never started.  Most of the writing I did in my previous life involved operational manuals, how to guides, and other mundane business documents. The actual writing is itself challenging. Sometimes you have to let it go.  My blog is not journalism, it is informational.  The more I can accept that, the more blogging I’ll be able to do.

 

How does your creating process work?

The first step is deciding what to make. This usually involves finding a pattern or coming up with one on my own.  Next is gathering the supplies needed and then heading to my sewing studio.  Depending on the project, many different sewing machine accessories and techniques may be used. Very often, well almost always, I will bring out scrap fabric and test sew out an idea.  Since I started blogging, I now take pictures throughout the process. When the project is completed, I begin the daunting task of cleaning up the chaos that has taken over my studio. Breathe and repeat.

 

 

 

 

 

 

May: Holiday Pot Holders

PotholdersBefore you start thinking that I really have it together because I’m making Christmas presents in May, know that these originally were supposed to be given out in 2012. Unfortunately, I sustained an injury with a sewing machine needle that required a trip to the ER while finishing a set of these and the project got put away until……..well now.

The pattern is called “Pot Handlers: Potholders & Oven Mitts with Personality” by Tiger Lily Press. Super simple to put together. The only change I made was to leave the hanging loop flat on the back. The holders themselves still hang nicely if one wants, but you can also use them as a mini trivet.

I came up with a nice little trick for the binding. I left just enough of a tail at the beginning to fold the binding at a 45⁰ angle. Then I put on a very light line of Liquid Stitch™ using a toothpick. I laid the ending strip of binding across and finger smushed it together. I let dry for 30+ minutes. At this time, I could trim the seam allowance and then sew the binding down. I think this is a great technique for joining the ends of binding on smaller items and will definitely keep this in my toolbox of tricks.

Place Liquid Stitch™ on the pink line.

binding one

Overlap the binding and smush down.

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When dry, trim and stitch down.

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Lesson Learned: I bought this holiday fabric thinking it would be great for this project.  Some of it was; like the little cups of cocoa. The Snowmen and Santas…not so much. You can’t tell what they are on most of my pot holders. The next time I make these, or anything this small, I will think differently when I purchase my material.

 

The rick rack was actually used to cover up a slit in the fabric.  I fixed the slit with Liquid Stitch™ and then covered it with the rick rack. No matter what the mistake, it can always be salvaged one way or another. I hope these pot holders inspire you to start thinking about your holiday sewing plans.