This week has been very productive! My husband had a business trip which was within a three hour driving distance. He was leading a class for 5 days and would be spending a week in a hotel.
He invited me to come along with him and since I can load a mini-sewing studio in the car, I said sure! The entire household had been sick, so I wasn’t as organized as I usually am. I walked around my sewing room and grabbed this and that.
I threw in a folding table, a TV tray, my cutting mat & rotary cutter, two bags of fabric/projects – you never know how much you’ll need, and of course my sewing machine.
You should have seen us unloading the car at the hotel. I really should have taken pictures! It took two of those luggage dollies to take everything into the room, and there were only three suitcases!
We stayed at the Springhill Suites in Ewing, NJ. and the room was beautiful! Perfect for a mini sewing retreat!!
I set up my sewing studio for the week. I used a tip I recently read about creating a U-Shape working space.
I had the TV tray with my rulers and sewing notions. Then the folding table with my sewing machine. The room had two ‘coffee tables’ which I lined up with a small cutting mat and ironing pad. The final segment of the U-Shape was the hotel’s ironing board lowered to use while sitting. Very efficient!
I actually had three cutting areas. The small cutting mat next to the sewing machine was handy for small cutting, but there were times I needed a bit more space. When my husband wasn’t using the desk to prepare for his class I set up a large cutting mat there. But it was low and really didn’t give me enough space.
Later in the week when I needed to cut strips for two more tops, I waited until after the breakfast was cleared and used the raised table in the lobby. Nice height, great lighting & lots of space. Perfect!! See my new Sew EZ ruler-cutter? I love it. I got mine from Hancock’s of Paducah, but check your local quilt shop, they might have it. It really makes cutting strips easy and fast!
I also had to make the room homey for the week, so I added a quilt that I had made plus matching pillows. My husband brought along his travel pillow and quillow.
Whenever I set up my ‘mobile quilting studio’ I like to start with sewing something simple to get comfortable in the space. So my first project was a travel-size pillowcase to match the quilt I had brought. I had made one before, but someone I know has confiscated it, so I needed one for me.
My next three projects were quilt tops for Fabric Café. These tops will be quilted and displayed at their booth in Quilt Shows this year.
Quilt Top #1 – Pattern: Pinwheel Plus One in Christmas Fabrics. Size: 45” x 59”
The white & red fabric pinwheels remind me of peppermint candies and make a nice companion to the green fabric.
First came the Half Square Triangles – 72 of them.
Followed by Pinwheels – and a lot of ironing! I love my clapper to help create flat points in the middle of a pinwheel.
Unfortunately, not all the Pinwheels cooperated. So I exercised my seam ripper some.
Finally, added three borders and I had a finished top! This pattern is one of eight in Fabric Café’s book, Quick ‘n Easy 3 Yard Quilts.
Quilt Top #2 – Pattern: Sew Quick with Rescue Vehicles in Orange with Green & Yellow. Size: 48” x 58”
Many of the Fabric Café patterns can actually be made into a complete quilt in one weekend. This top was cut & pieced in one day.
Quilt Top #3 – Pattern: Pretty Simple with Pomegranates, Purple & White leaves and Purple sashing. Size: 47” x 59”
As it’s name implies, this is a simple top that can be done in one day. It is a great pattern to highlight large print fabric that you may not want to cut into small pieces. I started piecing about 11 AM and put the final border on before 5 PM.
So, I feel like I was fairly productive – Three tops and one Travel Pillowcase.
Commercial Message: I make these tops for a fabulous shop, Fabric Café. They will be quilted and then displayed at their vendor booth at a number of quilt shows. You can order these and other 3-Yard Bundle Quilt kits from their online store. If the kit doesn’t show online, you can call them toll-free at 866-855-0998 and order it.
Come see us at the Mid-Atlantic Quilt Festival in Hampton, VA, February 26 – March 1. If that isn’t close by, you can check out where else they will be on their website.
Now what will I do this week?