Monday, 31 March 2008

Its a Funny Thing

I think I'm allergic to my sewing room. For the last few weeks whenever I've spent an afternoon sewing I've got an itchy throat, sinus pain and shortness of breath. I wasn't sure until I took a week long break, lost the symptoms and then got them all back after another sewing session. So then I wondered if it was dust (I've tested positive to dust mite allergy) or the fumes from the unwashed fabric. It is hard to properly dust the sewing room with all the piles of fabric that I have in open wire mesh drawers and open baskets so I invested in some closed bins and put most of the fabric away. I still haven't dusted but the symptoms were much less severe after this afternoon's work on the Spring Swap Quilt so it may be that the fumes from all the unwashed fabric have been contained in the bins and you know what that means? I'm going to have to wash all my fabric. And that's not the hard part - its the Ironing Of It that will cost me so much lost Sewing Time that I resent!

So that is one reason why I haven't sewn much lately - but here is the result of today's hard work. I've vliesofixed the flowers on the Spring mini and have quilted around all the leaves and most of the flowers. There is still a lot more quilting to do but I'm happy with the arrangement.


Fiona said...

That is such a gorgeous quilt, I love floral fabrics.

Anonymous said...

It looks gorgeous, love all the flowers especially the few added at the base of the vase!
I have problems I'f i've cut alot of fabric and use alot of starch.(puts alot of fine dust in air. I'm not sure if this will help you but it helps me. Wipe that table and plastic surfaces down with damp cloth. Crack window open when working in your sewing room, and if symptoms get worse invest in a hepa filter (room sized one at Walmart/Target is under $150.00)

Nellie's Needles said...

Is it really necessary to iron all those fabrics before storing them. I've found that I need to iron any fabric before it's used .... soooo, why bother to do it twice?

Janice said...

what an excellent thought! no it isn't necessary and I jolly well won't! I like lisa's idea of a filter too, i'll look into that, it will deal with both dust and fumes.

emmad said...

Oh the flowers make all the differance. Looks heaps prettier :)
I agree with the filter idea.

Marit said...

The Spring quilt is beautiful. Please send it my way..... Hope you find a good solution so you can spend a lot of time in your sewing room, and create a lot of beauties.

MammyT said...

Janice This quilt is spectacular. I am wondering if it is an original design. I can't think how you got these flowers to look so much like real ones.
You know, when men work in their wood shops, they make a horrible lot of dust. Exhaust fans are always installed, sometimes directly over their machine tool tables. Even a fan that fits into the window might help. I have a small one that slips in between the sill and the raised sash which you can position to either pull air in or take it out. It's an inexpensive way to go.

Janice said...

Hi Nancy - thanks for taking the time to comment :-) The flowers look so good because they are broderie perse - I just put vlisofix (wonderunder) on some floral fabric and cut around the flowers. Its cheating really but it has an honourable history (and a fancy name). And yes, it is an original design, all my quilts are.

I have used a fan all summer but it wasn't coping with whatever caused me grief and I won't want to do that in the winter when I'm spending money heating the room. And it is a very large room. We bought a Mountain Breeze Air Purifier today - on special because they had had them in the store for 4 months and not sold them! So I'm hoping to get some relief. And I will wash and fold all my fabric in batches over the next few weeks. I also get the same symptoms when I'm putting seed into packets (which I have to do twice a week to fill orders) and can't have the windows open so it will very useful on winter seed counting days and therefore can be put down as a business expense.

Catherine said...

Your quilt is absolutely stunning! What a fabulous design!

As to the fabric chemicals -- I don't dare work with fabric until I've washed it. I sneeze and sneeze and have had the odd rash on my hands from some fabrics. Makes you wonder what the manufacturers are using!

I don't iron right after washing. I fold them as neatly as possible and then iron before using.