Tuesday, July 31, 2012

More FMQ

It dawned on me that I have been neglecting my Star Sampler Quilt. It's made up of 12 star blocks around a center medallion star. This is block #5 that I machine quilted the other day. It's so difficult to see in the picture but I sewed little flowers in each corner. I quilted 5 loops in the triangles as well as an 8 loop flower in the center. The other blocks seemed to take me forever but this one took under an hour. I hope this is a sign of improvement!!


This next photo is still difficult to see. I quilted 8 scrolls in this center square. I marked it a little just so the scrolls were evenly spaced. This is the entire block. It's so hard to see quilting on a dark print.

I quilted scrolled hearts that were all connected so I could sew one continuous line. That didn't take long at all! I also outlined the 2 center squares as well as the entire block. I have 6 more blocks to quilt but it's not taking as long as when I started. I'm hoping to get the blocks done very soon. Then I will have to decide how to quilt the two remaining borders.

I'm still watching the Olympics every night while I knit my socks! I'm almost done the first sock. I started them before the Olympics even began. I'm not that fast! I think the Olympics are just so exciting to watch. I'm trying to ignore Twitter so I don't know who won but it's so hard! I wish the games were shown live during the day instead of having to wait for prime time.

Friday, July 27, 2012

Blogger's BOM for July

This is the July block for Blogger's Block of the Month. It's a Split Ohio Star brought to us this month by Victoria from Bumble Bean Inc. It sewed up quite nicely since the directions were easy to follow. It's a traditional block but I think the split background makes the tone more modern. Victoria is using plaids in her version of these patterns. The look is so different!

Here are my blocks so far! I really like how they look together! Of course, the setting is still unknown so I have no idea what this top will end up looking like. However, so far, so good!!

I plan on doing some machine quilting today. I've neglected my Summer Sampler and have finally decided how to quilt the next block. Custom quilting takes too long! I like allover patterns much better. I hope to pin the layers for my Christmas Wreath soon. I'm trying to choose the backing from my stash.


I plan on watching Opening Ceremonies for the Olympics tonight! I can't wait! I have a hexagon to finish stitching as well as a pair of socks to knit. I won't feel quite so guilty as I watch the Olympics for the next couple of weeks! Go Team USA!!


Have a lovely weekend!








Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Christmas in July

I did say I wasn't going to start any new projects but I did anyways! I thought this was such a small project that it didn't really count! I finished this over the weekend. Of course, it still has to be quilted but the top is done. It's quite small. It measures about 23 inches square. I couldn't find a pattern for this but found many tutorials on the Twister Christmas Wreath at various websites and blogs. I used fabric I had at home for the actual wreath.

This is step one in making the wreath. I used 5 inch squares and then added a 1 1/2 inch border of the white background fabric. Using my Lil Twister ruler, I cut the squares and then reassembled them to make this:

I then added a 3 inch border of a lovely Hoffman fabric that had beautiful gold swirls. I must confess the border fabric was not in my stash. I didn't have any fabric that would add the punch I was looking for. I happened to hear of a sale at a local quilt shop on Saturday. I decided to check it out and found the perfect fabric for the border! I couldn't wait to get home and sew that border on! I had planned on making a mitered border but I cut for a regular straight border. The fabric was sort of expensive and I didn't want to waste it so I settled for a straight border. I still like it!

I still have a few quilts to machine quilt. I'm going to get this one sandwiched and pinned as well as the mystery quilt. That will keep me busy for awhile. I'm thinking of making a Swoon quilt next. I know I'm late to join the Swoon Along but I think I can mange fine on my own.

I've been trying to organize my fabric. I discovered the Scrap Therapy method. Your scraps are cut down into 2, 3 1/2 or 5 inch squares. If a scrap is too small, it's okay to throw away! There are actually many patterns to use these squares and you can actually use up that stash! Cutting the scraps is quite time consuming. I have a bag of scraps to cut in my "spare" time. If only I could find some!

Friday, July 20, 2012

Vacation

We've been on vacation all week but today was probably the most fun! We went to Oqunquit, Maine. This photo was taken while we were eating lunch at Jackie's Too, a restaurant in Perkins Cove. The air was crisp and cool. It was wonderful to eat outdoors and actually be comfortable! That heat and humidity is finally gone!

We went shopping and bought the usual gift items but I had to make a trip to Knight's Quilt Shop. It's not a huge quilt shop but it is fun to poke around. I never have a problem finding something to buy! Scott sat on the porch with the other husbands while I shopped. I didn't buy too much.

I love Modern Vintage by Bonnie and Camille and finally found some! They only had a few bolts so I got a fat quarter of each. I noticed they had more pre-cut fat quarters than previous years. It's always fun to look through them.

I went up stairs and found quite a bit of Christmas related fabrics and kits. I love this package of fat quarters. It's hard to see in the photo but there's a lot of gold in these fabrics. I love the whole shiny aspect when it comes to Christmas projects.

I noticed this hanging on the wall and had to buy the panel!

I'm going to make myself a real nice and goofy Christmas apron! I'm sure the kids will love laughing at it! I thought it was adorable and know it will only make the holidays that much more festive!!

My week went by so fast! I go back to work Monday but I get to look forward to another week off in August. There's always a bright side!  I'm so glad I'm off tomorrow! I love having a Saturday off! Enjoy your weekend!!

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Hot!!

I'm on vacation this week and it is hot!! We're just taking day trips. We spent the day in Boston yesterday. We did some shopping and ate out. I managed to finish this hexagon last night. I feel it's a cute little reminder of the baby quilt I made a few months ago. I love those little dresses! Doubt I'll get too much sewing done this week. We're going back to Boston tonight to see the Red Sox! Hope it isn't quite as oppressive by then. I'm hoping to hit a couple of quilt stores this week. My husband never minds driving as long as there's some nice place to eat.

Here's the last look at my Lil Twister quilt. My mom has it now and she loves it! She thinks the air conditioning makes her legs achy so she can use this to warm them up! I'm happy she likes it so much. She spent years helping my dad make alterations on clothing and has never enjoyed sewing after that. She likes what I make but has no interest in taking up sewing as a hobby. I can't blame her.

Enjoy the week! Stay cool and I hope to be able to post something by the end of the week!!

Friday, July 13, 2012

FMQ Challenge July/Friday Night Sew In

It's still a bit early but I've taken part in the Friday Night Sew In by getting the Free Motion Quilt Challenge done for this month. Unfortunately, I worked today and have to work tomorrow morning starting at 7. I'm already running out of steam! I chose my fabric and read this month's challenge which was taught to us by Angela Walters. She calls this pattern Tiles. You machine quilt your piece in segments. I thought it would be a great opportunity to practice some of the free motion quilt patterns I've been using since this challenge started way back in January. I tried some meandering, pebbles, loops, swirls and curls. One segment was supposed to be triangles but it came out a bit funky so we'll disregard that one tile!

I kept aware where each tile started and where it was supposed to end. I found some of the spaces rather small to free motion and was backed into corners at times. But I just traveled by sewing over an existing tile frame and kept moving. I thought this was fun and I really like the look. It's my first attempt so I hope I would only improve! I think this would be great if I had to quilt a large background. I like the idea of making that large space into a more manageable area.

I also started to think that you can make all sorts of designs. You could make circles instead of squares/rectangles. I've seen some squares where the sides are angles. This idea is so versatile and the possibilities are endless.

Angela Walters has a book out called Free-Motion Quilting with Angela Walters. I might just go buy it. The last thing I need is another book but I just love her approach. You can find her book here.

Time for me to take a nice shower and relax for a bit. I always go to bed early when I have to work so early in the morning. Have a nice weekend!!

Monday, July 9, 2012

FMQ Leaves

I decided to take the plunge and try to free motion leaves in the border of this quilt. I chose the pattern from Leah Day's book, 365 Free Motion Quilting Designs. The name of this pattern is Mario Vines. It's considered to be a beginner design. I thought it was a nice step toward quilting feathers in the future. 

My first few leaves looked okay but my machine was not cooperating. I broke two needles until I figured out that my thread was looping around the thread stand incorrectly. So aggravating! I re-thread the machine and it worked fine. I tried to keep my leaves about the same size and also tried to keep the spacing consistent between the leaves. I know I could have made little marks but I really wanted to try this free hand. I also had to keep in mind that the outer border was going to have a binding attached to it and I was going to lose 1/4 inch of the space.

I feel that I learned a lot. I have a Supreme Slider but never really liked it before. I used it today and thought it was wonderful! My first few leaves felt as though it was tough to move the quilt but the Supreme Slider was great. It really helped my quilt to move so easily. I also used Magic Bobbin Washers. It's supposed to make the bobbin move very easily. I had no problems with the bobbin at all.

I learned that if I stop, I have to stop the machine also or else you get this nice little build up of thread.  It's not noticeable to the non-quilter, but I can see it! That stopped about 1/3 of the way around. Quilting is easier if your hands move with your quilt. Not sure if I paid attention to that in the past. I did today and I felt more in control if my hands were closer to the area I was quilting. No leaves are identical but I think that's also true in nature so I didn't get too worried about it! Free motion quilting is fast! I think it took a little over an hour to get all four borders completed. I felt like I really accomplished a lot today.

My binding has been sewn on. Time to hand sew the binding down. I may try that by machine next time. I didn't want to press my luck after having such a good day sewing today!

Friday, July 6, 2012

Sashay scarf and FMQ

I finished my sashay scarf yesterday. It was quick and fun. This yarn is more like a mesh. You knit into the top row of the mesh. You don't knit into each chamber. I tried that and it didn't work out very well. That's when I decided to watch the video which clearly shows you knit into every other opening of the net. Then, everything got very easy! I hear Joann's carries this yarn and I just might go buy some more. They make great gifts and they're really pretty. There are a ton of colors to choose from but I'm not sure what kind of variety I'll find at the store. I think I have a coupon that expires soon so I really should go make a quick trip!

I also machine quilted my Lil Twister quilt. I have the borders left. I just used my trusty old meandering! I used variegated thread by Robison-Anton, 50 weight, 100% cotton. The thread has a nice sheen to it. I also used the same thread in the bobbin. My bobbin didn't want to cooperate today. The thread kept breaking for some reason. It seemed to wrap around the middle of the bobbin case. It's never done that before but I still managed to finish most of the top in one afternoon. It was a great day to stay in and quilt since it was so darn hot outside. I was nice and comfy sewing! Who cares what the temperature is!!

I'm thinking of doing something different for the borders. I'm looking through Leah Day's book trying to find some inspiration! I'll let you know what I decide!

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Ribbons and Hexies

I finished the ribbon scarf! I bought the yarn last week at the Knitting and Crochet Show. It was easy once I got the hang of it. The yarn is made up of a ribbon attached to yarn that is divided into boxes. You have to knit into the next box. You just have to make sure you're inserting the needle into the proper box. Once that's conquered, it's mindless. It was fun to be able to watch the Olympic trials and make my scarf!
My cat, Ricky, loved playing with the shiny scarf! I decided to let him wear it for a bit! He didn't really enjoy it but I thought he looked lovely!

I'm also making some progress on my hexagon project. These are one inch hexagons. I love having handwork that I can just pick up and work on whenever I feel like it. I'm just using scraps and leftover fabric from various projects. These hexagons may take me years before I actually finish a quilt top but I'm fine with that. I'm enjoying it too much to rush through it. I have to remind myself to enjoy the process!

Hope everyone has a wonderful Fourth of July!

Arcadia Avenue DONE!!!

I still can't really believe! Arcadia Avenue is finally done! It was a long haul but such a nice feeling to know that's it'...