My sewing machine is calling me…

I’m in the process of moving my sewing stuff into what used to be our spare bedroom/son’s room.  He moved his stuff out and I took my time cleaning & repainting the trim.  The room isn’t huge so I want to make the space as practical as I can.  The bad thing about moving from the basement is that now I don’t have space to lay the pieces on the floor and move things around.  I need to expand my design wall and use that space instead so everything is still a work in progress.

I keep walking past the room wishing I had some time to sew in my new space but things are busy this time of year.  I miss my sewing time.  I did have a few minutes to plan out the Flags of the World quilt and was running into some problems because I had originally planned to put white sashing around the blocks.  It just didn’t look right because a lot of flags are white or have white edges.  I couldn’t tell where the flags started and the sashing ended.

I found a flag quilt online where the maker made the flags the size of a standard sheet of computer paper which is 8 1/2 inches by 11 inches.  I think this is a brilliant idea because the flags will end up rectangle and I can always draw out & paper piece the more intricate flags – like the British flag.  The finished blocks will be 8 x 10 1/2 inches.  I like the idea of not adding sashing; to just put the flags together side by side.  If I do 5 flags wide by 7 flags long, the quilt would be 52 x 56 inches without borders.

I was able to test out a couple flags after school today and I really like this size:

flag blocks

Maybe I can use the old blocks on the back somehow if I ever get time to finish it!

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Some International Sewing

I had promised myself a whole day of sewing yesterday since there was no school but after I did all the things I was behind on, it got whittled down to 2 hours.  Big frown-y face!  Two hours was still nice.  I started a new t-shirt quilt a couple weeks ago and I’m still in the cutting & ironing phases so there was nothing to sew there.  And I didn’t feel like printing and cutting templates for the Farmer’s Wife quilt so I did what any normal person with a million other projects going on would do…. I started something new.

Last weekend I went to St. Louis to visit my daughter and we decided to check out the new IKEA store.  Since it had only been open for 3 days and the people here in the middle of the country have been deprived of their IKEA, it was a bad decision on our part.  But since we were there and I was able to find a parking spot only a mile away, we fought the crowds and vowed not to buy anything bigger than we could carry for a couple miles (I was assuming I would forget where I parked my car so I added a couple miles for the return journey).

Since I am an old IKEA shopper from my years overseas, I very much enjoyed watching the newbies try to find their way out of the maze that is the IKEA shopping experience.  So much fun.  However, by the time I got to the bottom floor, I remembered how they like to crank up the heat in the maze and it wasn’t as much fun.  I grabbed a few things that I don’t even remember picking up and definitely did not need.  Well, did you know that IKEA sells fabric?  I’ve never actually bought fabric there mainly because it’s very modern and didn’t fit with anything I’ve made.  This time, however, they were selling fabric scraps and I had a moment of weakness.

IKea scraps

I can always find a use for scraps.  So when I had time for sewing yesterday, I thought I would try to make something from this pile.  I’ve been thinking of making a flags of the world quilt for my daughter since she’s studying International Relations.  This is what I came up with:

swedish flag

It’s the Swedish flag made with fabric from IKEA!  I thought 6 1/2 inches would be a good block size.  The flag will actually be 4 1/2 x 6 inches finished and I think I’ll add white sashing between the blocks.

I actually got several flags done in 2 hours:

flag blocks

I think this will be a throw or wall sized quilt and I hope she’ll like it.