Thursday, March 29, 2012

Little Things

I decided to make some small projects this past week. It's nice to start and actually finish something for a change! I found this pattern at work and thought it would be fun to make. Another friend at work is making it too. Just a fun little project. All the Easter fabric was on sale at Joann's. Such fun! I think I'm going to fill it with jelly beans!

I made this mug rug for my daughter. It's the same fabrics that I used to make her quilt. I thought it would look cute in her room. I'm planning on putting it in her Easter basket. I machine quilted little swirls over the large hydrangea. That free motion quilting sure comes in handy!

This mug rug was made from leftover fabric from the twister quilt. It looks adorable in my family room. I told my husband he could use it but not to get it dirty!! I just meandered all over this one.

I've also finished my shawl but I have to block it. There are very explicit directions for blocking. That may take me awhile! I can't wait to show you once I get it all done. I'm off to exercise and then grocery shopping. Enjoy your day!!

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Blogger's BOM #7

Here is my Block 7 for Blogger's Block of the Month. It was fun, quick and easy. The only hard time I had was when my machine decided to chew up some of my fabric. So annoying! I have a Babylock Quest. It's supposed to be a quilting machine but I wonder! It's quite smooth for free motion quilting but sometimes decides it would rather eat my fabric than sew. Once I got that fixed, it was smooth sailing!!
Here are all the blocks so far. I think they look pretty good together. I can't wait to see what the rest of the blocks look like. I'm also interested in the setting. I guess I just have to be patient and wait. I'm so glad my husband got me these Kaffe Fassett fat quarters. I've really enjoyed working with these gorgeous fabrics. Men do surprise us sometimes, don't they??

Hope everyone has a great weekend. It's cold and soggy outside. I feel it's a great day to stay in and get some sewing done!

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Free Motion Quilting Challenge - March

I have been practicing this month's free motion quilting challenge using Ann Fahl's tutorial. This was so much fun! Not sure how well you can see, but I tried flowers, hearts, stars and swirls. I had to get over making loops and actually crossing my thread. I'm used to meandering where you're not supposed to cross threads. It was such fun! I found it easier than meandering. It felt like anything goes and it still looked great. I would definitely use loops to background quilt. I'm happy I tried it and can actually add variation to my quilts now.





Has anyone tried Leah Day's wholecloth project? I started it but I can definitely see that it will take many attempts to master this technique. I'm not used to sewing on a line. I'm used to meandering quite freely. You have to have so much more control to follow a line. I have veered off so many times! I'm not sure I can even post it. It's a learning experience and really looks like I need to learn!

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Zippered Pouch!

I made this cute little pouch this morning. I have a zipper phobia but I tried it anyways! There is a wonderful tutorial on I have to say... blog. If anyone is interested, she will be adding 3 more variations to the pouch tutorial this week. I don't think it's my best work but I did sew in a zipper which is a major accomplishment for me. It's only my second time working with a zipper. I think this pouch would make a great gift. I think I'll use it at work when I go get my coffee. It was just fun to make.

I'm happy to say I have caught up on my mystery quilt. I just have to iron and trim the 25 blocks for this month's clue. I also practiced some free motion quilting using Ann Fahl's tutorial for the challenge this month. She has so many variations that I think I will post when I'm done all of them! I only did a couple last night. I hope to use some of these techniques on the quilt I'm machine quilting. I'm almost done the large middle block. I'm hoping to add a feather or some new loopy variation of free motion. I feel I just don't have enough time in the day to get everything done! However, this is a much quieter week for me. The weather is beautiful and summer like. I'm hoping to enjoy that too!

Friday, March 16, 2012

My Busy Week!

I had planned on getting so much done this past week. I knew both kids were on spring break but I didn't expect it to disrupt my life as much as it did. My daughter went to Tampa at the beginning of the week and came home early Tuesday morning. My son drove back and forth from his apartment. I didn't expect them to take up so much of my time! My daughter had jury duty. She had to buy her graduation dress. My son had the car so I drove her everywhere. My free time was gone!! I thought they were too old to do this! I guess I was wrong. I got no sewing done. I haven't touched my machine since last weekend. I have my next clue for the mystery quilt but I have done nothing!! I have worked on my shawl. It seems easy to pick up the knitting needles and work on a couple of rows.

This just gives you an idea of how it's coming along. I'm using markers for every repeat in the pattern. It helps so much when knitting a lace pattern. You know exactly where you dropped a stitch or forgot something. I even took a closeup picture of the lacy area.

Lace looks very different while you are knitting it as opposed to the finished product. Once it's blocked, the lace pattern becomes easier to see and much prettier. I tried to stretch out the lace and take a picture. I think it will look pretty when it's done. I could relax a little this past week while knitting. Between you and me, I felt I had to sit and knit. Sometimes, kids, even older ones, can drive you a little crazy.

I also worked on my hexagons. I got one done. I have a bunch to attach to the quilt top I'm working on.
I still have to machine quilt my scrappy floral sampler. I have to practice my free motion quilting for the challenge this month. I'm also keeping an eye on Leah Day's wholecloth quilting project. It looks so beautiful! I don't think I'm good enough but I may try different parts of it. I have the mystery quilt.
So much to do! I'll have to wait a few more days and then I'll be back at it again! I'll be busy sewing but at the same time, I'll probably miss the kids as well!

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Machine Quilting to Begin

I made this quilt two summers ago. It was a quilt along that Bradie Sparrow was sponsoring through Facebook. The overall size is about 60 inches square. My daughter was home for the summer so she helped me choose fabric from my stash. It was fun to have her work on a project with me. Over the last year, she has started to knit and feels knitting is more her style than quilting but I'm hoping that someday she will get into quilting too!

I'm going to start with quilting in the ditch. Since I have practiced quilting feathers, I just may try a few feathers in that center square. I thought that middle pinwheel block may be nice to try a few feathers. I just want to make sure it's not too small an area. I'll make some practice sandwiches first and see how that goes.

Due to the Free Motion Quilt Challenge, I may try a few other stitches in different areas of the quilt. I feel that when I start the actual quilting, I'll get ideas as to how to quilt each area. I'm hoping this quilt "speaks" to me! I'll try to listen!

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Twister complete!!

I finished my Twister Quilt today! I'm so excited to finish it. I started the quilt as part of the Twist Along with Sha over at Craizee Corners. I found it easy to do and am quite happy with a quilt top finish. It was started on Feb 12 and ran for 4 weeks. The quilt, after using the twister ruler, measured about 53 inches square. I added a 1 1/2 inch inner border and a 6 1/2 inch outer border. I used the fabric from Moda's Butterscotch and Rose collection. I really loved the prints and the shades that were used. They're a little different than what I usually use but it was such fun to work with these gorgeous fabrics! I'm not really sure how I will machine quilt it. I have a quilt all pinned and ready to be quilted. I'm hoping I'll come up with something when it's time for this quilt to be finished. I'm leaning towards meandering but may try something new. I guess it's time to practice this month's Free Motion Quilting Challenge. Ann Fahl has some great all over patterns she has shown us.
Here's a picture of the quilt with just one border. I think the second border really frames the quilt and makes it look truly finished. So glad I went with two borders. I really love it and hope you like it too!

Out for dinner with a friend. It's so nice to not have to cook. However, I have to take our cat back to the vet. He's been diagnosed with hyperthyroidism and seemed to be doing well on his medication. Lately, he's gone back to some of his odd behavior before he was treated. I hope his dose just has to be adjusted. I hate getting older and I think our cat would say the same thing if he could!

 Here's a picture of me and Ricky, our cat, a couple of years ago.

He looked better back then. I think I did too!!

Friday, March 2, 2012

Persuasion Scarf

I finished my second project from Jane Austen Knits 2011. This scarf was inspired by Jane Austen's Persuasion and the relationship between the main characters, Frederick and Anne. I loved that it was a rather easy lace pattern. I was able to use one of the hand dyed yarns I bought at SOAR this past fall. It was fun to make and I'm very happy with the results. I actually wore it today and received many compliments on it.

Here's a close up of the pattern.
The middle panel is leaves and the outer panel has a wave pattern. I love the hand dyed effect which I think just adds more dimension to the pattern. I had a small amount of yarn left even though the pattern was done. I decided to just make it extra long. I feel you just can't go wrong with a long scarf.

I've begun my third project from this same book. It's a lace shawl. It's rather difficult and think it will be a while before I post any pictures of it! I'm not sure why but I just love knitting lace patterns. Even if they're difficult, I just take my time. I've had many times where I've had to start over but that's okay. It's all part of the learning process.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Twist Along Step 3 and Snow!

Here is my twister quilt so far! I've cut out my blocks and put them back together. I am happy with the way it turned out and thought it was much easier than I expected. I was a little hesitant to cut out the blocks but but I think that was the hardest step for me. Once I got over cutting my quilt top, everything else just seemed to fall into place. My contrast could be a little better but I did choose the border after I put the blocks together. I didn't really know how it would turn out. The colors are actually more vibrant in person. I would definitely make another one. It was fun and it's a surprise as to how it actually turns out. I feel it's another nice method to make a quilt.

Like most of the country, we've had a very mild winter. We really hadn't had much snow, up until today! We got about 7 inches so far. This is my view from my front door. I'm lucky to have been off from work today. Snow is so much prettier to look at than to drive through! I'm hoping it stops soon. It's our first real snowstorm and I'm already sick of the snow! Guess I've been spoiled this year!

Old and New!

I made this quilt about 15 years ago. It's called Starry Night. I signed up for a Block of the Month. I would receive directions as...