Well, at the end of July I went to Madagascar.
I spent a lot time prepping hand sewing pieces to bring on the trip. Here's my little kit:
Just a nice zipper pouch, keeps everything neat and tidy.
Is it organized? No. Does it pack flat? Yes. This thing zips up nice and tiny, just how I like it. What I am working on? Easter eggs!
Here's a batch I just finished this past weekend, while on a road trip:
I've tried EPP, and it's not for me. But this wool embroidery is a blast, and it's a frivolous little project that I am just doing for the joy of it.
Here's the only egg I've finished so far:
Well anyways, after all that prep work I didn't do any embroidery in Madagascar. My scissors, while safe by American standards, were confiscated by security at Tana airport. Oh well.
I did bring some cool souvenirs home. These are hand embroidered tablecloths. They were clearly designed just for tourists, but I really liked them!
Once I returned from Mada, I got the very exciting news that I will be TEACHING my first quilting class EVER!! It will be on applique techniques, and will be taught at our guild retreat. I am SUPER excited but also SUPER nervous. So much of August has been me reading up on applique methods, checking out every applique book the library has, writing up a lesson plan, and then re-writing it, and so on.
Here's the class sample:
Ok, I admit I machine appliqued the whole thing because I was in a rush, but in the class we are going to learn both machine and hand applique techniques.
I was originally going to provide 20 cactus patterns and let everybody pick their own, but after a lot of internal debate I decided it would be a lot less confusing for everyone if we were all working on the same design. So, by executive decision, we are all making the one on the right with the pink flower on top.
Here are a bunch of sample blocks. A lot are from a past applique class I took, but I made some new ones too. I wrote on the back either the hand applique method or the brand of fusible web. I still need to go sew down the edges of the fusible web ones; I'm going to do a different edge finishing technique on each.
Oh AND I want to write up handouts with all of these tips and tricks because I know it will be too much to absorb and remember on the spot. And I want a handout comparing fusible webs but it's proving hard because I only use one brand and am not too familiar with others (although I found a surprising number of samples of different brands tucked into my drawers).
Well anyways, that's been a lot of excitement. But let's check in on all of those other sewing projects.
This lump is a quilt. It's been waiting for me to finish the binding for months now. It sits patiently by the tv.
But it's competing with this:
My first 2000 piece puzzle! And man, do I love puzzles. So whenever I sit in front of the tv, it's like "hmm, I could sew on a binding, OR...I could PUZZLE!" So the puzzle always wins.
Upstairs, we've got lots more mostly finished quilts.
This is my Bonnie Hunter mystery, Grand Illusion. Top is all done, I have purchased the backing and batting, just need to sit down and quilt it.
But wait! there's another quilt on the machine right now! Remember this Christmas quilt?
I finished a looong time ago (ok, like Feb or March), but I waited patiently for Joann's to get their Christmas fabric in stock before I finished it. And was it worth the wait! Check out this backing:
Nice soft fleece, adorable Christmas mugs, and the blue is the exact same shade of blue that's on the front! It really is perfect.
I was supposed to hand embroider on some steam, but I couched it. It was tough, came out a little lumpy. But still, a cool effect.
And here's Miss Pepper getting in the way right when I was about to start basting.
Ok but what other projects are currently in progress?
Remember Mr. Swan? He's hidden behind a stack of stuff. Not a good sign. It might be awhile before he's finished.
Oooh what's this pile? On the left we have a giant stack of lambas, fabric worn by ladies in Madagascar. I bought a ton because they were about a buck each, but I haven't sorted them and don't really know what to do with them. And on the right, sweatshirt fabric for a Craftsy class I'm taking on sewing with knits. Yes, I'm using Craftsy! I think it's funny because I resisted for a looooong time but I suddenly became obsessed and bought four classes in the past week. I'll definitely share reviews as I finish each of them!
Ugh here's another to-do rack. That top stack is for a bee block from May (eek), in the middle is a tote bag that I've cut the pieces for, and on the bottom are some size XL jerseys that I inherited and need to take in to a size M. Oh and change the name...
And here's the fun stack! This weekend I am taking TWO(!) workshops from Elizabeth Hartman! I already have all of my fabrics picked out and ready to go. Woohoo!
Ok I think the puzzle is calling my name...