Update

I had good intentions of trying to keep this blog updated, but that clearly isn’t happening and I don’t see it changing in the near future. Blogs had their day. Just like books, newspapers, the telegraph, MySpace, Flickr, and a hundred other things did. Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat, etc. have taken the place of blogs. And something will take the place of those platforms, too.

If this makes you sad, I recommend you do  a few things.

  1. See me in person and we’ll talk about what we’ve been sewing. Or text me if we can’t meet up.
  2. Follow my Instagram.
  3. If you want something to read every day, subscribe to the New York Times. I did. Or read a book; I’ve been doing that, too.

I will continue to keep my class list updated.

Thank you for reading this blog over the years.

Fall Cleaning

By now, you probably know that the reason this blog is called The Closet Quilter is because my sewing space is located in half (at least half…haha) of our master closet. It’s a very large closet and has a wall of windows, so it’s pretty legit. But at the same time, it is still pretty small. Since I’ve expanded my sewing repertoire to include clothing, it has started to feel really small since I have at least three machines (my sewing machine, serger, and new (to me) coverstitch!) sitting out at all times. My fabric collection has also gotten pretty overwhelming for me and the space. I made an effort to not purchase any more knits and I’ve done a fairly good job. I can’t say that about quilting cottons, though. They have overrun the closet.

Anyway, we’re planning to move in the near future (hopefully) once our condo sells to a town home that has a dedicated sewing room. That’s not the only reason we’re leaving our wonderful condo, but it’s definitely a part of it. Until that happens, though, I needed to make the space more functional.

I cleaned. I purged. I pared down. For sure.

Why do I need six packages of 1/4″ elastic? Beats me. I kept one and the rest went into storage.

Knit scraps; what the hell do you do with those? I know, you make headbands. But I would have to produce 1,000 headbands to make a dent in my knit scraps. What the hell would I do with 1,000 headbands. And don’t even talked to me about an Etsy shop. So the knit scraps went into storage.

Basically, anything I didn’t need on a regular basis went into storage. It felt really good. Our storage unit came with our condo, so it’s just in the basement of our garage and easy to get to if I absolutely need anything.

So here’s the organized space. I’m motivated again to sew in it and did quite a bit of that this weekend!

 

Closet

 

I take the profanity quilt down whenever I know we are going to have a showing. I think it’s funny next to the innocent spools. The small light will probably go into the other closet since I never use it. That will clear off the table even more.

 

Closet

 

Here’s most of the fabric that remains in the closet. I put knits in a tub that fits under our bed. There are a few pieces of yardage that are hanging next to our clothes, but it’s significantly less than what I had hanging before. I previous had all of the knits, quilting cotton yardage, and finished quilt tops that needed to be quilted. All of that went into storage. Andrew has a closet to hang clothes in again. He hasn’t complained at all, though, but I know he’s happy to have some space back. The other upper side of the closet has other storage bins for small finished projects, more quilting yardage, a quilt or two, and some stuff for upcoming classes. It’s not in clear containers, though, so I didn’t take a picture. I didn’t want to put my quilting scraps into storage, so I organized them in clear containers and I think they look very pretty up there. Batting and interfacing is in the polka dot container.

 

Closet

 

This is SOOOO much better than before. I put a bunch of funny thread and serger thread colors in storage. One of the one hour baskets holds “notions” like the 1/4″ elastic. It’s pretty full, so I need to be diligent about not piling a lot into it. I do have a “cord” box in a basket above the drawers that hold some of our clothing.

 

Closet

 

Finally, the shelving, which includes some fabric bundles and all of my WIPs. I’m making an effort to make my way through the WIPs. I make a good dent this weekend.

Like I said, I’m happy with the space now, but I am really excited to have a dedicated entire room someday soon!

 

 

Patterns

I like to follow patterns. I also like to change patterns. And I also like to not follow patterns.

I like math. I like challenges. I like problem solving. I like order. I like lists. I like steps. I like technical writing.

I’m not a graphic designer nor a photographer.

I’ve done some pattern testing, editing, and writing.

With all of that said, I’ve added a Patterns page to my blog. There have been some things my mom and I have figured out how to make without using a pattern. We’ve had people ask us for the pattern and were able to write down our steps. I figured it would be easiest to make them available to anyone who wanted them. They’re by no means professional, but they should get you a finished product. They’re all free and you can download them on Craftsy. The links are on the Patterns page.

Since I’ve been sewing more and more apparel, I’ve discovered a need for a few things. Pattern weights are one of those.

I started looking at different options to buy, but that turned out to be a bit expensive, especially for anything attractive. And I like everything to be attractive.

Then I took to Pinterest to determine how to make my own. The most popular option was washers wrapped in ribbon, so that’s what I started with.

I make it into a hardware store maybe once per year. They’re not really my thing, which I’m sure is not a surprise to anyone who knows me. For the first sets of weights, I actually got my sister and brother-in-law to pick up the washers because they go to hardware stores all of the time. For the second sets, I went myself.

 

Pattern Weights

 

The ribbon was purchased from Joann Fabrics. They have end caps with the cutest little ribbon spools that all seem to go together very well. The spool will wrap one weight with just a little left over. I debated buying larger spools and I did buy a few for some generic colors, but the larger spools that were available were not very fun patterns. The little ones on the end caps had a much cuter selection. The satin-y ribbon works the best, I think, but the grosgrain works well, too. I used a bit of both. My sister helped. Then I modified the School of Sewing drawstring bag to be 3/4 of the size and am using that to hold them.

 

Bag

 

Then I saw an Instagram post by Jemellia in prep for a SewOK swap. The had the cutest little triangle pattern weights made using Carolyn Friedlander’s Crew pincushion pattern. I bought the pattern, picked out some fabric, and whipped them up in no time. I filled them with black beans we had hanging out for a while. I purposely used fabric to match a Noodlehead Open Wide Zippered Pouch that I had finished shortly before so they had their own bag.

 

Pattern Weights

 

I’m pretty set with pattern weights now. A pressing ham is on the list next.

I’ve been wanting a Silhouette Cameo for a while. I went to a Crafty Weekender retreat and a friend there had one and let us play with it a bit. My mind immediately thought of all of the awesome things I could make if I had one.

Then it just kept popping up EVERYWHERE. You know how that works, right? Once you know about something, you see it everywhere. My friend had one and we talked about it. Facebook groups I belonged to mentioned it. I started seeing things made with it on Pinterest. I was bombarded!

But I held out. Then I found a bundle sale and I caved. While I waited for it to ship, I read tutorials, ordered materials, and spent a lot of time pinning and planning ideas.

I LOVE IT! I can’t wait to do even more with it. Here are some of my first projects and I am so please with how they’ve turned out.

 

Hashtag and Emoji Shirts

 

Obviously, my first projects was for the kitties. I ordered most of the vinyl from Expressions Vinyl. This is HTV – heat transfer vinyl.

 

Kitties

 

This is also HTV (GLITTER!!!) even though it’s not on fabric. The tutorial I read said this would help it stay on in the dishwasher. I’m skeptical. I’ve also learned that outdoor vinyl is good for projects like this because it’s “weather resistant.”

 

Selvage

 

This is regular vinyl. It’s a bad pic, but I used white glitter vinyl to write SELVAGE on the vase where I keep my selvages.

 

Halloween

 

I was most excited about these. I think HTV is going to be my favorite.

 

Skull

 

You can also use it to cut fabric for applique. I was pretty excited about this. I used some awesome voile I had laying around.

I have a lot of projects in my mind and on a Pinterest board. I need to keep practicing and spend some more quality time with the software. I upgraded and I think it’s going to be totally worth it. If you’ve been on the fence about one of these, I’d say go for it!

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