Search This Blog

December 20, 2015

New quilts and a Featherwieght

A few months ago, my mother in law requested a baby quilt for a friend of hers, who is due in January. 0 input, just make something nice. So, I dug through my stash and made a trip (or 2 to my LQS). This is the current result.

I have 4 finished blocks, 20" square. Now I just have to decide which order the blocks go in and find a place big enough to sandwich the quilt.
The best part of this project is the seams.

Normally I have a horrible time with 1/4" seams and getting the corners to come out perfectly. As you can see, not this time.
My little secret?

My GMIL let me borrow her Singer Featherwieght! I had not realized how much trouble using a sewing machine designed for sewing clothes was causing. (I have a Singer Fashionmate) The Featherwieght has a 1/4" foot and the proper markings. Amazing how much easier the seams are now. (excuse the mess, my dining room table doubles as my sewing table. Yet another reason I wanted to borrow the Featherwieght. Moving mine all the time gives one a backache.)

November 21, 2015

Weights and Bag

I finished the Stitchmap course! The last step was making a drawstring bag to hold all the weights. I learned a lot from this course. I usually buy kits and use the stitches chosen by the designer. To make them beginner friendly (I assume), they typically only include back stitch, outline, and variations of satin stitch. Blanket I was familiar with, as I use it for applique. The rest were quite fun to learn (open and closed chain, stem, and split to name a few) and it was great seeing the different uses for the stitches, past what I normally work with.

For the new baby quilt, I have made a bit of progress and am now on ironing this pile.
Fat quarters do not divide up into squares. To offset the rectangle, I used a blue and white blender that nicely matches with everything. The pile are all HSTs, going in 2 directions, to create a cross pattern around the zoo centerpiece.

This one is an almost finished.
There is just a little bit of brown in the lower right and a little back stitching for edging on a few areas and then a frame. Intended for my MILs birthday.

October 18, 2015

Sunday Stash

Thought I would have a little fun this week and join up with Molli Sparkles Sunday Stash Link up.

Molli Sparkles

I don't often have new purchases to post, as I typically buy when I am starting a new project. A few weeks ago my MIL asked me to make a baby quilt for a friend of hers, that is due in January. After going through my stash, I just needed a contrasting fabric. So, I bought a yard of these cute little guys at my LQS.
They are perfect for this quilt. 
To the owls, I am adding some cute Zoo fabric and some dragonflies. I had bought the dragonflies for another project, but being a destash I got 3 yards, when I only needed 1, so I have plenty.
My lazy sunday project is organizing my fabric into Quiltology.
To give you an idea what I am working with. I have managed to pick up quite a bit of fabric and am inputting it into Quiltology. Quiltology is a quilt creation app for the iPad. So each piece is entered with a photo, a size, name, manufacturer, and colors. Later I can create quilts and blocks and insert the photos to see what the finished item will look like. While I am enjoying the app, I see a large time investment inputting my stash to get started properly. If anyone has an easier/faster way, let me know. =)

October 7, 2015

Onward and Forward

So, busy little bee that I am, I rarely find time to post. I am still working on the Stitchmap course. My mentor has graciously allowed my to overshoot the deadline, since my life priorities have eaten up so much of my 'me' time.

These were all created during lessons in the class. Each is destined to turn into a pattern weight or pincushion.
This piece will become a small drawstring bag to hold the pattern weights. (please excuse the extra shadows, not sure how they appeared)

August 6, 2015

Sweet Pea Inspiration Quilt Update?

It is really hard to call this an update. What is the opposite of an update?

I learned the hard way that you cannot sandwich a quilt top with polyester batting and then hand quilt it over 3 years. I handled the fabric too much and the edge on the batting started pulling out and stretching. A quick fix was to flip the backing over and pin it down to prevent anymore stretching.
But 4-5" all the way around were stretched out and it ended up shelved. I do this when I need time to think.  I had been wanting to rip it apart, but was 1/2 way through the quilting. I had to decide if I was ever going to be happy with the current version and the answer was no. I hated to rip all the quilting out, but I doubted I could get the stretching polyester batting to look good and 2 of the blocks had points going in the wrong direction. At this point too many things were wrong and I was hating the results.

(borrowed the pic from The Warm Company)

While I was deciding, The Warm Company had a giveaway for some Warm and Plush on their Facebook page, and I won! I really love this batting, it is thick and plush and looks very warm. Although in a quilt this size, it is quite a bit heavier than the polyester, and is proving a bit on the heavy side for hand quilting.

There are no pictures, right now, of the sweet pea inspiration quilt because I have just gotten it resandwiched. I did finish the dolphin wall hanging.

This is hanging at work. It makes a beautiful light shade, as I had a window blinding me when the sun went down. We have cubicles with glass panels near the top, so I got some of the suction cup hooks. They work perfectly for this.

I started another of the StitchMap courses. This one is Redwork and teaches the stitches commonly used for redwork.
So far, I am up to Lesson 3 and this butterfly is my favorite piece. The filling in the body is split stitch. I had not used this stitch before, but I really love the effect it creates.

I adore Christmas in July. I always start planning Christmas presents months in advance. I usually start planning in May or June, so I have plenty of time to choose. This year I have gotten a few pleasant surprises, which I hope to turn into Christmas presents. Besides the batting (which arrived a month or 2 ago), I have also won this lovely FQ bundle from Timeless Treasures, Charleston, from the Blog Tour they held a few weeks ago.

Charleston Fat Quarter BundleRevive for Timeless Treasures Fabrics
(borrowed from the FQS)

Pictures are terrible for this fabric, since it has a beautiful gold lame design. This does not pick up in the pictures and has a very nice glint to it. I had no idea, having not seen this collection in person and was very nicely surprised when it arrived.

I have plans for these, but I need to design the pattern, so I am not sure when I will have time. Sadly, I do not have much extra time, as I am working hard at work and at my lessons from StitchMap.

May 22, 2015

Traveling Stash Update

Congratulations to Laura for having her name pulled to receive the Traveling Stash! She blogs at Annals of Creation.

I have been rather lazy lately. My sewing projects have not progressed much farther. Part of the delay is I started a counted cross stitch and forgot how long they take. I had surgery a few weeks ago and that took about a week off of projects. The other delay is this lovely.
I picked this kit up from an Etsy shop called Bama Luna Supplies. Her pricing is a little inconsistent, but she has some nice items (great shop, but both orders I got smelled like cigarette smoke. Not sure if it her or the source, since she resells). I picked up several items, including another kit. Finished, this kit is about 17" x 20". Unfortunately, the instructions are bordering on worthless and I have had to research several new techniques and make several changes. For Example, the cute leaf shaped loop on the bias does not work out in assembly, since making them 4" will put them up next to the binding. Making them smaller is not possible due to the size of the bias (and I already shrunk that down from 5/8" to 1/2"). 
The 2 grey pieces that came with the kit were not to my taste, neither was the sky fabric, which looked more like cotton candy tie dye than sky. I am also adding some accent beadwork and hope to get to the actual quilting by the end of next week. 
For a quick rundown on construction: the stained glass dolphin is a pattern, drawn on freezer paper, then cut out and then assembled atop iron-on stabilizer. Once the dolphin is attached to the stabilizer, the bias tape is measured and ironed on one piece at a time to create the stained glass look. After I squared up the background fabric, I centered the dolphin and added the purple bias. Since the original placement did not work out, I removed the loops and created mitered corners, although then I had to decide how to finish the corners. In the end, I trimmed the bottom piece of bias to be even with the outer side of the top piece of bias tape and gave the other end a tail to tuck into the bottom piece, flipping it under the mitered corner. This resulted in a small bump, but much better than having the end show. 

April 9, 2015

Traveling Stash + an Update

Good Morning!

A great many changes since my last post. I have switched jobs and have been keeping very busy working on an online craft course. Currently progressing through the color theory course, which is just about finished.

I made my own color wheel (for reference when picking colors).
Made a few examples of different color combinations and am currently working on more difficult colors, like Achromatic.
So that is where my spare time has been going.

A few months ago, I received a traveling stash. Unfortunately, it has paused in its travels and is still hanging out here. If anyone would like to have the Traveling Stash move on to their house, just observe the rules. 
  • Boxes should move on at a reasonable pace, please have an active blog. 
  • This is a large priority mailing box and you can save some money by prepaying online and printing the mail label.
  • Only include items that you would be proud to own.
  • Please do not include items that are from a smoker house.
  • Do not trade out items to get rid of yardage that is below quilter quality. The box is intended to trade goods that you do not use for items that you would use, not as a dumping ground for older, worn or low quality items.
Sewingly Along has an excellent post listing the rules for the stash. She was once the organizer. The current organizer is Tricia at Ramblings of a Quilter

Leave a comment, if you are interested in the Traveling Stash. The deadline is April 24th. I will draw that weekend and let you know before Monday.

February 26, 2015

Mini Update

This quilt is finally starting to get close to the halfway point. Most of the actual blocks are completed, but the long stretches of brown sashing are very intimidating. I know that I will be working with acres of green variegated thread and that brown sashing for months. Hand quilting is fun, but wow, it takes up a lot of time.
Hopefully you can see the motif in this picture. It blends in more than I intended. The motif is a leaf with a few swirls.
These blocks are just edged with complimentary thread. My stitches are not always uniform or as small as I would like them, so I am blending them into the fabric.

This is the part that is annoying about hand quilting. I have handled the quilt so much that the batting on the edges is stretching out and tearing away from the quilt where it is pinned. I will have to figure out a better fix, but for right now I have flipped the back of the quilt up over the batting and pinned it down to prevent the batting from moving.

January 2, 2015

Happy New Year!

Happy new year everyone!
New Year's Eve in Paris #The Eiffel Tower #Paris #Photography
Nothing quite like fireworks to brighten your night!