Friday, April 27, 2012

Blogger's BOM #8

Here is April's block for Blogger's Block of the Month. I changed it up just a little so I could have some of my background fabric in there. Amy of Mrs. Schmenkman Quilts sponsored our block this month.
It wasn't a difficult block but the seams were rather bulky in some areas. My sewing machine didn't really like them but it worked out pretty good. Once I was nice to the machine, things got better.
Here are all the blocks so far. I have no idea how the blocks will be set. It should be interesting! I like them all so far.

The mystery quilt at my guild is almost over. I have made 8 rows of blocks. Since next month is the last month of clues, I think we'll be sewing the rows together and actually making a quilt top.



These are the blocks I made following the clues for the mystery quilt. They're very similar except one block has medium prints in the corners and dark squares while the other is reversed.


 The blocks are all in rows but I'm not sure what the final layout will be. I have a feeling that every other row will be flipped around. The last clue will tell us! It's a fun way to make a quilt and I used only fabric I had in my stash. At our June meeting, we usually display all the mystery tops and it's amazing to see how different they all are.


Tuesday, April 24, 2012

More Machine Quilting and a New Project


I started machine quilting the blocks surrounding the center panel. Actually, I should say I started quilting one block! This is the block but it's so hard to see any of the quilting. There are lines radiating in the 4 corner squares as well as outer triangles. I've decided that lines are easy. I have no problem following a line. The problem begins with loops and swirls. I'm not talking about free motion but actually following a curved line. My machine never seems to want to go where it's supposed to!


 You can see some lines radiating out here and one of my loops on the red fabric. I'm just using my camera phone so it's difficult to see. It's a little wobbly and not exactly where I wanted it but it's all right for now. I truly believe we all need to just practice. The finished quilt will not be perfect but it's a great way to gain some experience. Just moving this quilt around is an experience!

These are just close ups of the same block. I tried swirls in the pink border. They were fun and fast! I liked sewing them the best!

I also started a new project. I have a lot of quilting to do but I like piecing and finishing smaller items also. So I started a tote bag for my friend's daughter who is graduating from high school in June. I was told her favorite colors are purple. I'm using a pattern from Atkinson Designs. I've made it many times before. It's called Lynn's Tote from the Let's Do Lunch book. Here are the fabrics.

I've already cut them and pinned them to batting and backing. The straps and body of the tote bag are all ready to be machine quilted and then sewn together. That square piece is from the fabric lining and will be a pocket on the front of the bag.
I'm done for the day. I have to work the next 2 days and will be busy. I'll probably knit after work.  I'm half done the second sock for my son so the pair is almost done!! Knitting is so relaxing after a crazy day at work. I received the new Vogue Knitting today. They have some amazing lace shawl patterns. So pretty. Something to make in the future maybe!!



Friday, April 20, 2012

Liebster Blog Award!!




                           


Pauline from The Little House on the Hill was kind enough to present me with the Liebster Blog Award!!

Also, Marelize of New Beginnings was also kind enough to present me with another Liebster Blog Award! I am just thrilled!!

The Liebster Award (German for favorite) is for bloggers with 200 followers or less. As a recipient
of the award, you have the chance to thank and link back to the blogger who gave it to you as well as
pass it along to five other deserving blogs.

I started blogging this past September as a way of documenting what I have been working on in my quilting and knitting projects. I was hoping to make friends and learn new techniques as well. I work part time and really look forward to being home and checking out my blog and whatever is going on in the blogworld. I really cherish my days off so I can work on my projects. I get a great sense of accomplishment when I actually finish something. I'll have to admit I don't get the same satisfaction from my job.


The Liebster Conventions says that:
 
1.  Thank your award presenter on your blog and link back to him/her.
    2. Copy and paste the award to your blog.
   3.  Present the Liebster Award to 5 blogs that you think deserve to be recognized.
    4.  Let them know by leaving a comment on their blog.
    5. Have faith that your follower will spread the love too.
 
Isn't this great fun??!!


Five blogs I follow and would like to award:

Auntie Em at Quilt Crossing http://quiltcrossing.blogspot.com/


Sharon at A Few of My Favorite Things
http://sharonsfavorites.blogspot.com/


Sandra Kaye
http://sandrakayedesigns.blogspot.com/


Dora
http://doraquilts.blogspot.com/


Danielle at Fresh Off the Spool
http://freshoffthespool-danih03.blogspot.com/


Thank you, Pauline! I'm so surprised but so happy you gave me this award!!
Hope everyone gets a chance to check out these lovely blogs! Enjoy!!

I'm working tomorrow but wish you all a nice weekend!

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Exercising with my Quilt aka Machine Quilting

As many of you know, I have been machine quilting this quilt. The center panel has been completely stitched in the ditch. However, since I have been keeping up with the Free Motion Quilt Challenge and checking in on Leah Day, I decided I should do more. Also, after going to MQX this past weekend, I thought I should push myself.

The hard part is deciding just what to do since each block is different. The center panel is quite large and rather hard to access. I have a Babylock Quest which is really just a domestic sewing machine. It's supposed to have a wider area under the arm to make it easier for machine quilting. It certainly didn't feel that way today!

I had bought this book years ago at a quilt show. It came with a panel that you could use to practice some of the motifs and designs found inside the book. This book is great! It has blocks inside with various ways of quilting. It also shows you how to divide your block and the different types of quilting you could try. Since my center is a pinwheel, I looked at the examples they had. I really loved one but since I had already stitched in the ditch, I didn't think it would look good. I decided on some patterns using straight lines.
This is rather difficult to see but I drew some lines using a yellow pastel chalk. I have some parallel lines drawn in the triangle and a design in the kite shaped piece. It was very easy to see while I was sewing. The hard part was maneuvering my quilt. I had to turn it so many times! If something was around my sewing table, the quilt would pick it up and fling it. I really felt like I was working out! My cheeks got all red and my heart was racing. I'm hoping I lost a few pounds but I tend to doubt it!

Anyways, this is how it turned out! I like it! Not sure it was worth the sweat but it's a learning experience and I like how it looks.


Here's the back. No puckers which is always nice. It feels nice to touch it. I love the way a quilt feels once it's been quilted! I know, weird, oh well!

I'm trying to decide how to quilt the triangles in the center panel. That's the next step. I'll be consulting my trusty Skillbuilder book!! Even though this isn't easy, I really do love doing this. It's nice to see your hard work paying off. I'm also working on my quilt guild's mystery quilt. I'll show you when I'm done this month's installment. I have 5 more rows left to sew.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Giveaway!!







Hey, Kelie over at Craft Nurse Quilt is having a giveaway! As soon as she got 10 followers, she was going to celebrate by giving away some nice, quilty stuff! So, go check out her blog and follow her!
She also plans on having 2 winners! That doubles all of our chances!

She has some great stuff on her blog but I think the cutest are her kids!

Enjoy!!

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Machine Quilter's Exposition



My friends and I finally made it to MQX this year! We had planned on going last year since the guild was sponsoring a trip but it got cancelled due to lack of interest. This year, three of my friends and I decided to go ourselves. Providence, RI is over an hour from our area. We all got together around 9am and got there a little before 10:30am. I'll have to admit that we were a little surprised. We were expecting crowds and chaos but it was relatively quiet. We got in right away. There were no lines to pay admission. The show was set up very nicely. The quilts were interspersed with the vendors. You could shop and see the quilts at the same time! I've taken pictures of the ones that appealed to me the most. However, they were all spectacular! It's amazing what longarms and sewing machines are capable when being used by some truly talented quilters. I did not take note as to who made the quilt. I just took pictures from my phone.

I loved the trapunto on this quilt. The dresden flowers were so well done! I had to keep myself from touching them!

I loved this floral scene. It was quilted very nicely and embellished.

I really loved the applique on these two quilts. The quilting was just amazing!


This cat was made from thread! I would have no idea how to even attempt this!


This was quilting on a whole cloth quilt. Just beautiful!

This was a scene made with thread, applique and much embellishing.



This quilt was just breath taking! A couple of us thought the back was the front of the quilt. The back looked heavily quilted. Imagine how surprised we were when we found all this applique on the actual front!!

Both of these photos are close ups of the above quilt. The quilting was just exquisite! So beautiful!



I thought this was a very cool scene being depicted! Wonderful applique and quilting as well!

I will end this post with Best of Show! This quilt sparkled. Just gorgeous and it has the ribbons to prove it!!

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Linky for New Quilt Blogs for 2012

                         http://marciascraftysewing.blogspot.com/
                           


I just found this great new Linky Party! For those of us with fairly new blogs and less than 50 followers, we can now join this Linky Party and hopefully increase our visibility. I thought this was a great idea! I love the followers I have but it would be great to have more! The more, the merrier!

Thanks for Marcia from Marcia's Crafty Sewing & Quilt Blog! This is so nice of you! And, also, thank you, Raelene of Raelene's Ramblings, for letting me know about this. It's wonderful to follow all these different blogs and get inspired by everyone. I am sometimes overwhelmed at all the talent and projects out there. However, I love seeing it and want more!

Hope you check out all of us smaller blogs out there! So fun to visit with everyone!

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

April Free Motion Quilting Challenge

Don Linn presented the Free Motion Quilting Challenge this month. I'm used to finishing my quilts by meandering and not following any sort of line. I was a bit nervous! I watched his tutorial which was mainly geared towards marking the pattern. I made this design twice. I encountered problems with my thread and needle the first time. The thread kept breaking and I noticed my needle looked sort of crooked. I changed the needle and everything became so much easier!

I used Fons and Porter fabric pencil to mark the design. It's just dark enough to see and very easy to remove. It practically removes itself while you sew it. I also used Aurifil Mako 50 weight and Bottom Line in the bobbin. I had no problems with tension at all. I would definitely use this method again. I was thinking of using this on the quilt I am machine quilting. I have the center all quilted but I now have 12 blocks left to quilt. It would be great if I could use this idea to finish up that quilt. I'll have to look through my book collection and internet for some patterns I would be able to use. It's so nice to add some variety to my machine quilting. This is exactly why I wanted to try this challenge. So grateful for SewCal Gal for making this available.

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Pincushion House

I should be baking or putting together Easter baskets but after 3 busy days at work, I just didn't feel like doing anything related to Easter. So, I decided to finish up my pincushion! I've seen some really adorable pincushions lately. I thought it would be fun to try. I remembered a good friend of mine had bought me a little kit for Christmas. I thought it was just the perfect thing to make. It looks like spring and will be useful. The little roof opens up and sewing supplies can be stored. The roof is the actual pincushion!

My friend, Sarah, send me this kit. I've known Sarah for about 17 years. We met in a sort of odd way. I had just started to get interested in quilting and loved to read Quilter's Newsletter Magazine. They had a little section for "pin pals" that I used to like to browse through. One month, I saw Sarah's name and address. She was from England and was a pharmacist and liked to use the computer. It sort of caught my eye and I decided to write. We've been "pin pals" ever since! Sarah and her family actually came to the US for a visit back in August, 2001. Our families have met and I tried to have a little quilt night at my house while she was here. We had a great time. I wish she lived closer. She's an avid knitter who puts me to shame. I always look at her completed projects on Ravelry. Yes, all her projects are completed. I don't know how she gets so much done!

I suppose I should go do something related to Easter. I'm tired but I'll try.

Isn't this kitty adorable?! I love that bonnet!

Happy Easter!!

Monday, April 2, 2012

Georgiana Shawlette

This shawl is named after Mr. Darcy's younger sister, Georgiana, from Pride and Prejudice. This is one of the many gorgeous projects found in Jane Austen Knits 2011. I just love this publication. The projects are feminine and frilly. This shawl was not very difficult. You can see that a good portion is made from just knitting and purling. The lace pattern is only a small part of the shawlette.

I'll have to say it didn't look very good while I was knitting it. It just sort of hangs and the lace pattern is hard to really see. However, the blocking is what transforms it. The directions were very explicit as to how wide each section should be. I washed it by hand and then wrapped it in a towel to absorb the excess water. I used a tape measure and pins to make the dimensions found in the pattern.
Not sure how well you can see this, but the shawl was pinned to my family room carpeting. I let it stay overnight. It dries rather quickly since the yarn is lace weight and very thin. It's made of 100% Merino wool. The directions actually called for 100% Merino wool sock yarn but I heard that lace weight yarn actually drapes better. I'm happy with the results!

I'm now knitting a pair of socks for my son. I had made him a pair years ago but he lost them in his apartment fire this past December. I bought the exact same yarn so they should look just like his old ones.

Green Tea and Sweet Beans

So excited to show you Green Tea and Sweet Beans! It's done except for the borders. I'm too tired to try and conquer them. This...