Sunday, May 31, 2009

Where Has May Gone?

I'm just getting in under the wire with my blog post for May. Where has the time gone? What have I accomplished in the sewing line?
At the beginning of the month I made a list of all the sewing projects that were waiting to be done; some already underway, others just in the fabric stage, some only ideas. There were ten on the list.
Three major projects have taken most of my time.
To begin with, on our trip to Malaysia, I succumbed to temptation and, lured by the beautiful, colourful silks, I bought some, with the intention of sewing them into an outfit for myself. This was a real learning experience for me in many ways. First of all, I had never sewn with silk before, with the exception of a few silk ties I used in a crazy quilt. But with helpful suggestions found on the internet, I was able to avoid some of the worst problems, such as the movement of silk when cutting it -put some paper under the silk, lay out the silk, pin the pattern to silk and paper and cut through all layers including the paper underneath. I also learned the proper size needles, stitch length and the best thread to use. The biggest problem came with the adjustment of the pattern to fit me, no small task when parts of the body are three different sizes. But, it is finally done, and if not totally to my satisfaction, it doesn't look too bad to wear.
However, I also know why I stopped sewing for myself a long time ago and it will probably be much longer, if ever, before I try something like that again.
Project number two was the completion of a queen-sized quilt that I began last fall. I chose a pattern called Paperweights, because it used lots of different fabrics, and it was my intention to use up as many of the older fabrics that had been in my stash for years and years. Like most of my quilts, the finished article bore only a passing resemblance to the orginal. Once the top was finished, I was faced with the daunting task of basting and quilting it. With the help of my friend Linda and her long-arm sewing machine, that too was finished.
Third project: a bedspread from some lovely cotton fabric purchased in Singapore. This was by far the simplest project of the three, as I just seamed lengths of the fabric together, quilted in straight lines and added a binding. It now adorns our bed and its matching valance is installed over the window.
It's a great relief to have all these projects completed and I'm looking forward to working on some smaller "fun" projects. Two more fish have been swimming around in my UFO stack for far too long. They need to find a suitable habitat.
Let's see what June brings.