To be a bit cliché, this shoemaker is a professional Web Developer and her child is this blog, but it was past time to launch what I have of a new design. All the content is still here, everything else is a work in progress (kind of like most of my sewing projects)!
When Carl and I first discussed buying a house two years ago, one of our major needs was a separate sewing space for me. The reason was half because I really wanted it, and half because he really wanted to be able to hide my mess creative endeavors behind a door when company came. Now, the problem with moving from a city where housing is some of the cheapest in the nation to a major college-inflated housing market is that finding (and affording) that extra space was hard—especially when we had to factor in an official office space for Carl, since he’s going to be working from home.
So, in a 900 square foot apartment, with just one official bedroom and one den that now serves as a guest room and office, where does the the sewing space fit?
In the walk-in closet!
Lucky for us, we both have mainly foldable clothes, and the remainder will fit in the hall closet. The closet is decently sized, so I don’t feel too cramped, and there’s enough storage that I only have one storage bin elsewhere.
The only thing missing is my sewing machine. It’s a long story, but in summary, I sent my machine to get cleaned and tuned up, but four weeks later, I’m still waiting for its return (and terribly unamused about the whole thing). I hope it is back by next week, so that Carl can pick it up when he goes back to Utica on business.
When I posted about “Disappearing Seven Wonders”, I mentioned that it had a new label and that I’d say more about them later that week. Three months later, now I am!
All quilters people who make quilts should label their quilts. When I say that, I don’t mean every quilt needs a label added to the quilt. Quilts should have the maker(s) name and date somewhere, even if it is just a signature and date in indelible ink on the fabric itself, tucked in a back corner. Many quilters say that they don’t label certain quilts, because this one is going to stay on their couch, but I think that is a cop out for when they are ready to move on to the next project. Some day, frankly, you die, and someone else will have the quilt. Why not claim your work and let them know you made it?
I like collections, meta data, and history, so labels are my way of attaching that information to my quilts in a way simply writing my name and location can’t do. For a while, I was using print-at-home fabric and making custom labels, but now I’ve had a chance to see how those hold up. The labels on the quilts I gave my mom and sister in 2011 have faded drastically. Carl’s quilt has only been washed once, yet the label looks like this:
The grey didn’t bleed onto any of the other fabrics or even the color catchers, just the label.
So, I’ve decided to start ordering labels from Spoonflower on the Linen/Cotton canvas, a few at a time—however many will fit onto their 8″ swatch. In my obsession with the color scheme from Shakespearian Bars, I also designed a new brand identity. Eventually, I’ll redo the site, too. These labels use that new logo and design scheme. Some are small, for bags and crafts:
Each larger quilt one has a unique QR code. The whole label is about the same size as a business card. I know there are a lot of jokes about their usefulness (see Pictures of People Scanning QR Codes, for example), but they are a quick way to link to more information about something.
The code points to a page on this site showing photos, details, and links to posts about the quilt. They are a little tricky to scan once washed, which I anticipated, so they also include the link in text. The one for my recent Amish Sampler points to raevenfea.com/q013ac. You’ll see that same code listed as a tag for all blog posts about a specific quilt (although sometimes they won’t be coded until the quilt is finished and I know which label it will get).
I was originally planning on ordering a full FQ batch after the initial test order (since it’s cheaper per label), but I’m glad I didn’t. This latest order required a bit of a change from the first few:
Did you spot it? Yes, big news! We’re moving to (South) Burlington, VT! I got the job offer over a month ago, but I’m still in shock. Things have been super busy trying to sell our house, find an apartment, pack, and work out employment for Carl. Sewing has been a great brain vacation (and a way to pare down my sewing room packing), thus the spate of recent posts, but things will probably be quiet around here for the next few weeks until we’re settled in.
I better get back to packing! What is your take on labels for quilts and QR codes?
It’s February. Wow! January flew by and I accomplished less than half of what I hoped.
I hope to get back to posting more often now, but I still have a to-do list a mile long from January. Not to mention that my studio is in disarray thanks to an electrical problem that leaves me one (non-grounded) outlet. For reference, today’s photo is a Christmas present for 2012 that I finished this morning before work.
Having made six of these bags now, I think I have all the kinks worked out. Now I just have to figure out how to condense the time frame (it takes me about 3 hours to cut, quilt, and construct) into a two hour class. Good thing I have until May to figure it all out!
At least from this angle (although I still need to build my new sewing machine desk, but don’t know what to do with the old one until I can get rid of it)…
One of the major problems with the old setup was that I didn’t have any good organization for my works in progress—they’d get tucked away into boxes and what was out of sight was out of mind. Also, while I liked the idea of beautifully organized fabric in little cubbies, in practice, the shape of those cubbies just doesn’t work for me. So now, the old fabric shelves are going to be used for WIPs so they are in sight and easy to access (you can see my sticky note labels on them in the foreground). Meanwhile the old bookcase that had bins for some WIPs, supplies, books, and some fabric is now going to be all fabric, books, and supplies, as will the second one once I build it.
Just don’t look at the other half of the room…
All of that needs to be sorted, filtered, and put in a new home on the bookshelves (or in the trash, as is the case of the giant box on the right). I plan on tackling all that organization after I finish up this time-sensitive project this week (since at least I have a nice workspace again):
Also, is this a good time to mention that since I’ve only gotten as far as partially finishing the divided skirt and that half of a corset pinned to the dress form that I may not complete the Steampunk costume in time for my sister to model it at Christmas? Well, that’s what it looks like. But, maybe some organization will get me interested in working on it again.
I’ve been unproductive and messy and it has all culminated in my sewing room looking like this last night:
To be fair, it’s because I’m trying to reorganize everything and had just removed the desk that served as my cutting table to make way for a new cutting table with storage (also known as a dresser), a new bookshelf, and a new desk for my sewing machine (anyone want a Singer Touch and Sew c. 1976? It needs service, but it comes built into a desk and has all its parts to the best of my knowledge. Free to anyone willing to cart it away from my house in Utica, NY. Ferris? Bueller?).
But, it was quite a mess to begin with and really has been for about 9 months since I originally set it all up. In that time, I’ve found some things that work, and some that don’t, so this week seems like a good time to start over, particularly because I’m sort of in-between projects and bouts of creativity (I do have projects that my brain wants me to be working on, but artistic me just isn’t feeling them).
In the past few weeks of non-posting, I’ve only made a couple of things. One was a present for my friend’s son, which in now late and still not mailed. I decided to pull the embroidery unit out for it.
I downloaded this free (at the time) Pirate Octopus from Daily Embroidery a while back, and thought it was perfect. Because I don’t entirely trust designs I find on the internet, I stitched out a sample on a scrap.
Awesome (ignoring the jump stitches I didn’t snip cleanly). The final one is in different colors (but same thread types). It is stitched directly onto the bag. It isn’t nearly as awesome, because when my bobbin ran out halfway through, I grabbed a normal-weight white bobbin, not the spare bobbin-weight one I thought I had. Using bobbin thread really does make a difference—with normal-weight thread, the bobbin threads pulled up in certain areas.
Bummer. But, it is ok. I just need to remember to mail it.
The last thing I finished is a bag that will be filled with craft supplies for my quilt club’s service project. I made a pattern for them, which I hope to turn into a blog post later this week (I finished the pattern for the club about 30 min. before the meeting yesterday).
Now, I need to get everything back in order post haste, because I promised my sister a “Rachael Arnold” zippered bag in lieu of the “Vera Bradley” one she keeps asking our other sister for. Her birthday is tomorrow… I’m a bit behind these days.
Have you ever done needle felting? The Mohawk Valley Quilt Club had a women give us a lesson on it at this month’s meeting. From my 45 min. introduction to it, it seems the basic premise is to take wool rovings and poke them with a very sharp, burred needle while shaping the fibers (sometimes against a block of sturdy foam) to eventually give you the shape you want (you can also poke them into fabric, like to decorate a sweater). The poking causes the wool to felt—that is, to stick the fibers to each other. Certain ladies at my table used some very colorful words to describe their opinion of it, but it was an interesting event, I think.
I have a new sewing space! My hobby is no longer relegated to a corner of the living room in our small one-bedroom apartment; I now have an entire room to myself—in our new house! We finally closed on Friday, and were moving in/starting to unpack for most of the weekend, but I managed to get myself set up a bit, so that I could work on our nephews’ presents—Christmas is coming too soon! Here’s a horribly grainy cell-phone photo of my space, since the good camera is still in a box somewhere (with my laptop charger 🙁 )!
One nephew present finished, four to go. Not to mention much more unpacking, and needing to haul my bookcase upstairs to the room so that I can organize.
That is the smallest of our three bedrooms, but it should be more than sufficient (for now, mwahaha). We keep going back and forth about which room I should use—that one or the other spare bedroom—and which should be the guest room.