March 2021
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Sewing and Sewing

I’ve been feeling really stressed out lately. The combination of pet and house problems, plus a travel schedule that’s kindof bananas, plus living with a toddler, plus never sleeping enough, plus I don’t know there’s probably some other stuff on that list… has done a real number on me. So, I’ve been sewing. A lot. I go upstairs to my craft room, crank up some tunes (or a podcast), and then just lose myself in the creative process. It’s done wonders for my mental health.

How do I find the time to sew? Well, the combination of listening to the Note to Self Infomagical series after reading this post from my friend Vicki got me thinking about how much time I spend randomly scrolling through Facebook and Twitter. And so I gave myself a new mantra. “There is probably something better I could be doing with my time.” I still spend far too much time staring blankly at my phone, but I am so much better about it these days. I cleared out a bunch of RSS feeds that I wasn’t really enjoying anymore, deleted all the podcast subscriptions that were piling up, and have been making more of a conscious effort to put my phone down somewhere when I get home and then just leave it there. And now, I remind myself (again and again), “there is probably something better that I could be doing with my time.”

Lately, that something better has been to sew. Lilian goes to bed and I wander upstairs to spend the evening. The only problem? Sometimes I get so immersed in what I’m doing that I stay up way too late. Which is somewhat counter-productive (see: never sleeping enough). But! I still feel better than if I was spending my evenings watching TV. Plus, I managed to make some pretty things.

I am doing not one, but two quilt-alongs. I like the Crossroads Quilt Along, but new blocks only come out once a month. So, I decided to do the Splendid Sampler as well. I am way behind on the Splendid Sampler, but I have been just loving the blocks. I splurged and bought myself a bunch of orange and pink fabrics. I’m making this one for myself and it’s all about the prints that bring me joy. Lilian has been bitten by the sewing bug as well, so she and I have been making some things together. I am working on a quilt for her that just needs to be quilted and bound, but the hand-basting is taking me forever. I have another project that I’m working on as well, but that one is a present, so no pictures until it’s done!

A photo posted by Hope Roth (@beerandpie) on

My first four blocks for the Crossroads Quilt Along. I am using these awesome Scandinavian-inspired prints in pink and grey for this one. I had to re-do one of the blocks, because Lilian got her hands on it and cut it with her little scissors. I was steaming mad about that one, but it didn’t end up being too bad a fix. And it was a great lesson that Lilian can reach a lot farther than I thought!

A photo posted by Hope Roth (@beerandpie) on

This is block one from the Splendid Sampler. I used a decorative stitch from my sewing machine, which is something that I’ve been bad about doing. I’m trying to push myself out of my comfort zone. The decorative stitches are so much easier to use than I thought! I just have to remember to switch to my walking foot. I think I must have tried one with a regular foot and then convinced myself that I couldn’t handle them.

A photo posted by Hope Roth (@beerandpie) on

Here is block two! I didn’t like the busyness of that grey pattern, but it’s growing on me. I will probably sew all of the blocks together with a solid sashing, and then it won’t be too busy at all. One of the things that I really like about the Splendid Sampler is they give you the block designs, but also some suggestions on how to improve your technique. The idea is to learn a bunch of new ways to sew as you’re putting all of the blocks together. The tutorials that went with this one were really helpful. I think the corners came out much better than similar blocks that I’ve made in the past.

A photo posted by Hope Roth (@beerandpie) on

Here is block three. This one was harder than it looks! Lots of little corners to line up. I whiffed on one or two of them, but I don’t think it’s worth ripping out to re-do. This is the first block I made with a bunch of the new fabrics that I bought. They make me so happy!

And, finally, Lilian and I have been making some applique projects together.

A photo posted by Hope Roth (@beerandpie) on

This is a pretty genius pattern design. You trace the design onto a piece of backing, both the front and the back of it. Then, you iron on fabric scraps to the front. You don’t have to worry about staying in the lines, because you have the pattern traced on the back as well. Once everything is ironed down, you flip it over and cut it out. Very easy, but the lines come out perfectly! Lilian loves cutting up little pieces of fabric for me to iron down. This is what we were working on when she took the scissors to one of my blocks. Note to self: nothing but scraps on the table when we’re working on these. It was a bit of a pain to sew everything down (I only had medium weight Heat N Bond on hand), but she is so pleased with her new pillow. The only problem is, now she wants a million more! We’ve made a kitty and a unicorn using the same pattern, but I haven’t sewed those down on anything yet. She asked for a new duvet cover, but that seems like an awful lot of work.

I feel like I never have time to blog these days, but then I reminded myself this AM that blogging could be that something better than scrolling through Facebook. So, maybe I will try to make a habit of posting a little more often. We’ll see. Usually I say I’m going to post more, and then disappear for a few months instead!

3 comments to Sewing and Sewing

  • These are just lovely, Hope.
    So are you.

  • Amanda

    I too have been avoiding the social media so that I can do more things that I actually enjoy. Which means I do not actually know what’s up with my facebook friends who I don’t see in real life, so I’m glad you blogged! I hope you’re doing well. The crafts look terrific.

  • Mary

    Id like to track down tbe pattern to the Double Wedding Star quilt you blogged about in 2009. Can you point me to it?

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