Wednesday, October 14, 2009

getting ready

I've been working very hard getting ready for the quilt retreat. I've been having dreams about not being prepared, so I know it's getting close. :)

Here's a peek of the most recent sample I made for the retreat. I was excited to work on this piece because I actually worked out of my (neglected) stash. I've been working with almost exclusively scraps, so actually cutting into yardage excited me a little bit. It felt good to be back to working with solids, too. I love them.

While working on this quilt, I raised my machine up on two stacks of books so I could stand and sew. Otherwise I would sit and sew a seam or two, swivel to iron, then I would have to stand to trim up my blocks, then sit again to sew the next two seams. It got tiresome, so I just stood and sewed the entire time. It was so efficient! I had my ironing board to the left, my cutting mat to the right and the machine in the middle. It wouldn't work for quilting but once in awhile, for piecing, it's just the ticket.

83 comments:

Karen said...

I've actually done it (stand up sewing)for quilting.... and was thinking of doing it for quilting my latest quilt. I did it when I was quilting larger loops (actually more like cursive "L") in rows... and it was so easy!

Amy said...

I totally agree with the standing! Under time pressure at the Denyse Schmidt class I took, I started just standing to sew. Table wasn't the right height for it, but even so, it was much more convenient. What you need is an adjustable height table!

PunkiePie said...

What a great idea! I'm too cramped at the moment to set myself up like that but when I move to my new sewing room, I'll have to give it a try!

Suzan said...

The counter top in my laundry room in Seattle was the perfect height for standing and sewing. I always thought if I was standing instead of sitting I must be burning off more calories! :)

leigh said...

i think these are my favorite kinds of blocks ever. solid log cabiny. yours look lovely and i love the colors. i'm making one for my bed. (maybe you already saw it?) this is the only photo i have so far. http://leighleighlumpkin.blogspot.com/2009/03/quilt-progress.html (at the bottom of the post).

Goddess in Progress said...

Love that solution for the constant up-and-down that some blocks require. I bet it would make it a lot faster!

And I'll see you soon. I'm coming to the retreat! Hooray! Excited for the sewing, and excited for a whole weekend on my own. :-)

Liz @ teeny tiny quilts

Cindy said...

Hmmm! That's a great idea. I have a taller table in my sewing room that I could use for that.
I love the colors you have chosen for that quilt.

ale balanzario said...

Great idea, love your new quilt top, that quilt will be so great, love the colors.
I also find working with solids its great,

beautifulladybird said...

I think you are pretty awesome!

Wonderful quilt beginnings!

Ida13 said...

You are great and crazy.Don't you know, do you?

Blue Is Bleu said...

I've never tried the standing and sewing thing but it makes quite a lot of sense!

Allison said...

I've tried the standing sewing thing while i was doing those blocks, because if I don't its like a workout getting up to the iron every minute. I swear I was sore the next day. :)

Mrs Moen said...

I have never even thought of that; great idea!

Always Sewing said...

What a great idea. I am sure it was also time saving. Can't wait to see your quilt.

Heather said...

Great idea. I actually have a counter top/desk area in "my" room and I've never thought of doing this. May have to give it a try. The quilt looks great so far!

angela said...

Great problem solving! I tried the opposite - iron and cut while sitting. The cutting didn't work at all, so I went back to all that up/down.

Ashley said...

I love what I'm seeing of that quilt! You know how I love that design... and with all solids - just beautiful!

Peggi said...

Isn't your ironing board adjustable? I can't stand for long periods of time, so I lower my ironing board to the same level as my sewing machine. I then went out and purchased an office chair, the kind that spins and has no arms. Works great!

Marie' said...

I would love to see you pivoting around your sewing machine. I'd bet you are FAST!

Strlady said...

That is what I call - creative solutions! I would have never thought of stacking my machine up.

Chara Michele said...

Love that shot of your machine stacked on top of the books :)

Alissa said...

Right?? I love working that way! And I also tell myself that I'm burning calories doing all that standing! Ha!

carol said...

Well, duh...how come I never thought about standing while sewing??? I can't believe that I got this old and never thought of that! I must admit though that sitting and standing and trimming and ironing is a great workout. Especially if you're making LOTS of itty bitty blocks. (Good for the butt too. LOL)

Kate said...

Amanda Jean-
I love how you raised your machine. Sometimes a bring my machine upstairs to our kitchen, where we have a breakfast bar. I can stand and sew! The only downfall is that I have to bring the ironing baord upstairs...and my cutting mat...and ruler...and rotary cutter....and...
Good luck at the retreat and enjoy!

Jan said...

Love the raised machine idea, brilliant.

Anonymous said...

I lower my ironong board to the same height as my sewing table and just swivel back and forth.

beth said...

verrry interesting! I may have to give that standing up thing a try sometime!
now don't you go and have any more bad dreams about your retreat...I hope they'll all be happy ones!

Kigwit said...

Great idea!

Katie Alender said...

I love standing to sew... I use an Ikea table with adjustable legs, set at its highest setting.

Marielle said...

Love the sewing machine setup. I hadn't thought to stack up my machine but I do use the serger standing up. It's so fast that standing in front of it and zooming through a seam is much quicker than sliding my chair over from the sewing machine between seams.

Love the quilt too.

Kris said...

Aren't you clever! I usually lower my ironing board to the same level as my sewing machine and just sit to press seams.

Renee said...

I usually lower my ironing board too and stay sitting on a swivel office chair.

Heidi said...

All of my tables in my sewing room are those adjustable height ones (coffee table, standard table, counter). I recently placed my sewing machine table at the counter height and started to work all standing. It was good. Especially when improv piecing wonky cabins. Sam's Club used to have the white plastic topped adjustable height ones (2' x 4'). I would recommend them to everyone. It makes it easy to reconfigure my sewing space to suit the project I am currently working on. The tables are lightweight enough to quickly move about the room too :)

Stolen Moments said...

Having just redone my sewing room, I decided to use the wall brackets that allow me to adjust the sewing table top up or down as needed, I love to stand while I sew and find it is far more efficient for me!

MichelleB said...

So pretty! Love those solids.

Dena said...

I have tried to stand and sew at the same time... What a disaster! For me, it was like typing and standing at the same time. Another disaster... Must be in the genes. LOL

Jessica said...

Raising up the sewing machine like that is pure genius!

Laurel said...

I have bad knees and can't stand for too long, so I have my iron and my cutting at the same level as my sewing machine so I can stay seated while I work.

Kris said...

Great solution! I've lowered everything in my sewing room so I can swivel around in my chair and do all of it but that seems a little bit easier than moving the chair around.

Tara said...

You're going to be fine! I hope you're not stressing out too much over this! We have 6 paying guests and 6 more including me and you(and the owner, her daughter, her mom and the other innkeeper!)! I think the numbers are great! So looking forward to seeing you!

Simply, Sarah said...

Just wanted to tell ya--I love your quilting style. I haven't been able to quilt for a few years, but am motivated to fit it in our chaotic schedule and am almost done with a quilt for our foster baby!!! Every baby needs at least one quilt made just for them. Thank you.

Cheryl Arkison said...

Man, you are full of all sorts on ingenuity these days!

Thimbleanna said...

Very Clever Ms. Crazy! Thanks for the little peek into your massive productivity!

MelissaS said...

Love the sample! Turquoise, turquoise, turquoise....sigh.

And your inventiveness...smart girl!

RED PEPPER QUILTS said...

Neat! I have not ever stood up to sew, but I so know what you mean. I like to press and trim, which means constant up, down, sit, swivel, stand, and a "where are the scissors?"

Enjoy your quilt retreat - Wish I was there!

Rita

Julie said...

lol.....looks a little precarious to me. I lower the ironing board and use a swivel chair, works fairly well too.

Life of Joy said...

I just raise my ironing board to the height of the table my sewing machine is on.

I also get tired of the up and down. Awesome colors in your quilt.

Quilts on Bastings said...

I love the look of the sample you are making - beautiful colours. Enjoy your retreat.

Jackie said...

I get like that when getting ready for retreat too. Mind racing. Not sure I could sew standing up though. LOL!

jacquie said...

reminds me a bit of a quilt that lives in my house...you're going to be FABULOUS at the retreat. lucky students!!

Leslie said...

great solution...that quilt is so pretty

Erica G said...

I have those "not prepared" dreams, too. I call them Calculus dreams because they began when I was a high school student, dreading Calculus exams. Thankful that's over! Enjoyed your post as usual.

sulu-design said...

Wow - the retreat is quickly sneaking up. Only a few weeks now! Your students are going to love it.
Nice sewing machine stand - necessity is the mother of invention, huh?

alice said...

Great idea and a time saver. I have been doing quite a bit of paper piecing and it will come in very handy. Thanks. And once again you are creating a bright and cheery quilt. It looks wonderful. Enjoy the retreat!!! A-

Whosies said...

i haven't tried it, but it sounds like it would totally work.

Roxanne said...

Loving the solids too!

Janet said...

I've never thought of trying that but I'll store that info. Have fun at the retreat, the blocks look great.

Beth Karese said...

Standing? That's a new one on me! I may need to try it. It seems like I'm seeing more solids lately. The sample is cute sample.

Mary Jo said...

Looks like a great quilt. I with I could be at that retreat. I am making my second zigzag quilt following your tutortial. Love that quilt. thank you for all your inspiration. mary Jo

Cristin said...

HUH! Standing to sew?! Great idea... I'm sort of in the sew-iron-sew-iron phase too... may have to try that out! LOVELY little blue blocks!

pricklypearbloom said...

I'm surprised the vibration of the machine didn't make it go spilling off the magazines. :) Nice idea!

lana and drew said...

I'm guilty of doing the same thing with my sewing machine. Someone should make a sewing stand/table for this. It makes sewing/ironing much much easier!

Anonymous said...

I sent you an e-mail for this site

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g14govA4pIM&feature=related.

This gal is really good at making her table for sewing.
Hope you like it

Debbie in Wa.

Philigry said...

i love this idea. i am going to try it with my next quilt when I am piecing. i bet it goes so much faster!

Rebekah said...

what a great way to save your back!

Clair said...

You think of everything.

SuzyQSparkles said...

This is just too funny! Thanks for sharing. :D

marilyn said...

I frequently sew standing up....when we re-did our kitchen several years ago, I moved a couple cabinets and counter top to my sewing room. (it's the perfect height for cutting, too). If I want to do some quick serging, or short bursts of sewsing/ironing/triming, I find standing works.

lera said...

I have found myself standing up sewing a lot lately. My chair is too full of items to mend and I'd like to ignore then a bit longer.

peaknits said...

I love this idea - makes so much sense - thanks for sharing it!

Rene' said...

Good luck with the retreat. I clicked on the link a while back and entertained the idea of attending, but couldn't fit it in our family schedule.

Love the stand up sewing idea.

audreypawdrey said...

I so wanted to go to this retreat, but with a month old infant who I am breastfeeding and visiting in-laws that weekend it was impossible; I was so excited because it was close enough for me to drive! Oh well, maybe next time! Love the standing up idea!

audreypawdrey said...

I so wanted to go to this retreat, but with a month old infant who I am breastfeeding and visiting in-laws that weekend it was impossible; I was so excited because it was close enough for me to drive! Oh well, maybe next time! Love the standing up idea!

pratima said...

The blues and whites together look so calming. Great idea with the stack of books :)
Hope you have lots of fun at the retreat!

Liz said...

I love these blocks. I wish I had your eye for color...

Kim said...

Oh I hope you have taken your machine down from the stack of books.....I just know she was nervous up there.

Happy sewing

Melissa said...

Wow -- a quilt retreat!! Sounds fun, can't wait to hear how it goes. Is this the first one?

Amy - Park City Girl said...

You are so smart! I get a bit peevish when I have to get up after each seam - might have to try that sometime :)

Annalia Romero said...

Our kitchen table is bar-height, and it's perfect for sewing standing up! ....not so great for sitting down.

happy zombie said...

I'm packing for a retreat too (in early Nov.). I'm fretting over what to pack and bring. And I'm not even the main attraction like you. I can't imagine (and don't want to) what it must be like for you to pack up.

I'm envious of everyone attending the retreat... lucky them to have you!

And I love the peek of your sample. LOVE. IT.

Marla said...

I thought I was the only one that sews standing up but duh me...never thought to elevate my machine. You are just one smart cookie and that's why I obsessively stalk your blog lol. Thanks again for this tip and a million others I have gotten from you.

Nessa said...

I've never done a quilt before, but I'd really love to get into it so I can make something I loooove for my daughter's bedroom. I'm totally intimidated by the thought of the specialty items that may or may not be needed. Do I need a 'quilting arm'? Or does my machine need to have fancy options? How do you do the swirly stitching (technical term, I know) and the other fun stitching patterns? Will I need an official space for it, or can I just wing it? If you have time, I'd love some suggestions on how to get started, what I need and all that jazz. Love your site, btw! Thanks!!

fuzzywool said...

I started sewing this way due to tail-bone trouble. I have one of those very sturdy X-legged ironing boards, so I just put my machine up there at the square end, the iron stays ready at the small end, and I can adjust it to whatever height I need, and hey presto! I can quilt the day away...