Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Quilt as Desired!




I've reached that stage where my Downton Abbey quilt is all ready to be quilted but I'm not sure what to do! I doodled on paper for a little while until I found a few ideas I liked. I also wanted to try and make a secondary design within the block.

The above design is what I came up with. The Ladies of Downton Abbey is made up of the uneven 9 patch block. I stitched 2 blocks on fabric and marked the quilting I had decided on. It's always easier when quilting a small sample as opposed to a full sized quilt. I'll have to mark each block but I'm going to do that as I move around the quilt. I'm pretty sure that I'll end up with this design. I will quilt a little slower and be more careful when I'm doing the real thing! I think I like it! (Still trying to decide for sure!)

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Peacock Feathers


Here is Block #2 of Aracdia Avenue, Peacock Feathers! These blocks are so fun to make and very addictive. I can't wait to start the next block. Paper piecing each wedge is a breeze. However, putting the block together is a bit more difficult. I'm getting better at it but it's still a challenge for me.


Here are my 2 blocks together. Only 10 more to go!! I'm having a great time making these blocks. So fun!


This is just a repost of the cover of the book showing the quilt. The blocks are all gorgeous! I'm so glad I started this project. It's one of my favorites so far!

Friday, March 27, 2015

Ladies of Downton Abbey


I took a little break from machine quilting after working on that huge quilt for my mom. I'm ready to start up again! I spray basted this quilt top, Ladies of Downton Abbey. I think it came out nice and flat. It took me about 30 minutes to spray baste. So nice and quick! Molly, my kitten, grabbed the blue cap to the spray and ran all over the house with it. I looked quite silly chasing after her! She's fun in an exhausting way!!


The backing fabric didn't iron out very well. I just wanted to show the seam. Whenever I have a fabric that has a large pattern, I try to match it up as well as I can. I thought I did pretty good with this one. I tried to keep the castles equidistant. I would have felt awful if I sewed over Downton Abbey!

I spent a good part of my day getting ready for my classes at MQX. Two more weeks! I'm taking 2 classes with Leah Day. She gave us a list of items to have ready for our classes. Can't wait!!

Monday, March 23, 2015

Some Progress


Here's my kitty getting a little hand quilting.  I'm just going around the eyes and nose. I haven't hand quilted is such a long time. I ended up poking myself and bleeding on the wall hanging. My hand is sore today! I should practice hand quilting more often. Years ago, that was the only way I finished quilts.  Machine quilting has really taken over for me!


Here's Block #2, Peacock Feathers! I still have 2 wedges to piece. I'm trying to sew the wedges together as I go along. It's no fun putting these wedges together and lining everything up. It's nice to be able to sew a few together instead of all at once. It would probably drive me crazy!! I can take it better in a smaller time frame.

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Arcadia Avenue, Block 1


I did it! I finished Fly Away, Block 1, of Arcadia Avenue by Sassafras Lane Designs. I chose 12 different solid fabrics. I love that the block looks like a kaleidoscope! Each block in the series is made up of 12 wedges. It's obviously paper pieced. (Thank goodness!!) Each hexagonal block should measure 18 inches tall when finished.

 
I started by sewing each wedge into pairs.
 
 
  
I made sure I lined up all my colors properly. This pattern is actually a book that includes all the information and foundations needed to make the entire quilt. There are 12 blocks in this quilt.
 
 
Here's one half sewn together.
 

Here are the two halves just waiting to be sewn together!

 
Block is done!! It took a while to sew the block together. I tried following their directions to decrease the bulk in the center of the block. It's a bit thick there but not as bad as I thought. I'm hoping sewing the blocks together will get easier as I keep at it.
 
I've already started Block 2, Peacock Feathers. This quilt is addicting! So fun!!
 




Saturday, March 14, 2015

New FMQ


I haven't practiced any new Free Motion Quilt patterns lately. I thought it would be nice to try something new. I've been practicing this swirl with a hook on paper all week. I used one of Angela Walters' books to help me. I thought I would try it on the machine last night. This picture is a sample after I had practiced a little while. I got stuck a few times so my swirls sort of suffered! (Nice way of saying they look weird!) But, overall, I think they're okay.


Here's an earlier practice piece. The basic shape is there but it just isn't as good. Practice really does make the difference! I did like this pattern. It was fast and seemed to cover a large area very quickly. I love swirls but I feel my swirls are often lopsided. You don't have to worry about that when adding a hook. They all seem to balance out very nicely. Every so often, my hook was going in the wrong direction! I think I need more practice and then that should be better too!

It was such fun to try something new. It was very enjoyable and I hope to be able to use this on one of my quilts someday.

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Juniper


Juniper is the name of a small shawl pattern from Jen Lucas' book, Sock-Yarn Shawls II. I love how this shawl looks! I used sock yarn from Knitpicks. It only took a couple of weeks for me to make. What a fun project!


Here's a close up of the lace edge. The shawl is started by casting on 349 stitches. I was so sure I was going to miscount them! I had to keep checking myself. The lace pattern becomes a gorgeous scallop across the edge of the shawl. Once the lace knitting is complete, short rows are knit to create the crescent shape. It actually sounds more difficult than it sounds. This shawl was a pleasure to knit.


I can't wait to work on another shawl from this book. There are so many beautiful patterns to knit. I love Jen's patterns! I own both books she's written. They're wonderful!

Sunday, March 8, 2015

Machine Quilted Kitty Wallhanging






I finished machine quilting this wall hanging. It's not totally done. I still have some hand quilting to do. Some things are just too delicate to try on the machine. I want to outline the scroll work on the sewing machine. I also need to outline the cat's features. I'm going to try and color the eyes. I also want to embroider the whiskers as well as the sewing needle. However, it's close to being finished so I thought I'd show you!

 
 
I wasn't sure how I was going to machine quilt the border or the background. I decided to free motion quilt clamshells throughout the border. I like how it came out. I had a variegated blue thread on my machine which is the thread I wanted to use. It was an easy choice!
 

I wanted to use grid work in the background. I have a grid stencil as well as Pounce chalk. I tried marking the background but I couldn't see a thing! I only have white Pounce chalk. I'm going to buy another color for future use. I tried using my water soluble blue fabric marker but it didn't work well with the stencil. At this point, I just wanted to finish the background quilting. I decided to meander. I used Aurifil Mako 50 weight in light grey. I have never used this color before. I had read that it blends really well with many different colors. Since I was going to quilt on a batik, I thought I'd give it try. I feel the grey worked out great! It blended perfectly. So glad I tried it!

I'll be hand quilting soon! Next time you see this little wall hanging, it should be all quilted with a nice binding all sewed down.


Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Toddler Sweater


My son started going through some of his drawers in his bedroom. I know there's a lot of old clothes in there that we should donate. As we made our way through his bureau, I found this adorable sweater I knit for him when he was little. I had forgotten all about it! I used to knit a lot when the kids were little. It was easy to bring with me if the kids wanted to play outside. I had started to quilt but could never seem to find the time to sit at the sewing machine.


I even bought baseball buttons! I think Ben wore this when he 2-3 years old. He turned 23 years old this past Valentine's Day. I can't believe it! This sweater made me sad to think of all the years that have passed.

We're holding on to it. There's no way I could ever donate this sweater! I'm hoping maybe someday his little boy will get to wear it. Not for awhile though! Plenty of time for that!!

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...