Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Emma Quilt -- A finish!

Finally! I got one done! And I thought this would never get quilted. Thanks to the sun for coming out so I could capture this quilt in natural light.

This is the Emma pattern, designed by Anita Peluso of Bloomin Workshop. She's a local designer here in the Seattle area. And just by chance, she has a new pattern that is featured in the latest issue of Gen Q Magazine! It's really really cute!

I love the mix of old and new in her work. Anita blogs here. Her patterns  rock. Easy, clear, and fun! That's the way it should be. I've also taken a class with Anita, and she is such a joy in the quilting community!

For this pattern I chose a myriad of black and whites with a pop of color courtesy of Liberty of London. I loved this bright bold print, but wanted to use it in a way that it plays well with other patterns. This quilt was a print and color study for me. I wanted to explore how to create different values of black and white fabrics by the nature of their prints. I used the color for the binding to give the inner squares someone to play with.

I quilted this using straight lines. While the quilting is not obvious on this quilt, I created an "X" using an alternate grid from the actual block piecing and grid-quilted the other parts of the quilt. It's fairly heavily quilted, with the stars in the giant "X" area ditch and accent quilted so that they will stand out after washing. (I like my quilts all washed and crinkly).

Lessons learned:

  1. I'm better off as a one project at a time quilter. That enables me to put full focus on what I am doing. 
  2. When quilting on a home machine, get a massage. LOL!
  3. I need to practice my binding skills more. I still fall short on sewing the binding ends together. 
  4. The walking foot is my friend (I prefer an open-toed walking foot as I can see exactly where the needle drops)
  5. Have lots of audio books on hand
  6. Pin the living daylights out of the quilt sandwich and then pin some more!
  7. Fabric choice wise -- Something other than the wavy stripe would have been better. It was too directional for this application
  8. A punch of color with black and white is a good combo
  9. Yes, you can achieve different values of black and white based on the type of prints used

All I need to do is clip some loose threads and wash it. D for Done!

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

State of the Union

Still on the quilting thing... Dang, I wish I could finish it. Maybe today. I've got a late start, but I think I can do it.

Breakfast/lunch of champions? Egg salad sammie with a slice of  tilamook cheddar on toasted Dave's Killer Bread. Protein, fiber and seeds. Couple that with a heart Irish breakfast tea, and I feel like I can do it... Maybe! LOL! I may have to throw in an apple for mid-afternoon slump. ;)

Costco has these pre boiled eggs packaged in little bags of two. I can't boil an egg to save my life. These are perfect for a quick, healthy meal. Add northwest's favorite cheese and bread, and you have a killer sammie. The splurge is worth it.

Rumor has it I'm eyeing another UFO in my pile. We'll see...

Monday, October 27, 2014

Monday Update

I am still working on my Emma quilt. I'm getting the last few bits quilted, then I can move onto the binding and label. Yay! I hope to have this project D for Done by tonight. That is if I get my lazy butt out of bed. Lol. The covers are just way too comfy....

I've been attending quilt market virtually through Facebook and Instagram. If you don't have an Instagram account, sign up for one and use the #quiltmarket as your hashtag search. There you will see what's hot.

Trends I picked up on:

  1. Sawtooth borders on blocks are HOT
  2. Nature prints, be it a blender or focus fabric, are hot. Woodland theme --lots of background prints and focus fabrics of flora and fauna.
  3. Color is big -- bright earth tones, bold combinations, solids, etc.

I'm excited to see what places I shop with purchase this coming year. I'm totally loving this year's vibe. I have tons of photos saved to my iPad for inspiration.

Friday, October 24, 2014

Patsy Thompson Designs Blog Hop Announcement

Do you see a new button on my sidebar? It's a smaller version of this... I have been asked to participate in a blog hop featuring Patsy Thompson's line of Machine Embroidery and Pre-Cut Applique shapes.

Several years ago when I lived in Ohio I had the opportunity to take a machine quilting class from Patsy. I drove four hours to be there. So you know if I traveled that far, I'm a fan! She approaches her projects in a very logical way. (I'd love for her to head west to teach my friends... hint hint!)

When my friend Kelly over at IHAN asked me to join the Patsy Thompson Designs Blog Hop, you know I jumped on this opportunity lickety-split! Especially since I'm trying to build my skills in machine embroidery and want to be more comfortable with applique techniques.

So here's the skinny:

IHAN will be hosting a Patsy Thompson Designs Blog Hop starting November 10-14, 2014 and here is a schedule of the places you won't want to miss :

I Have A Notion Blog November 10th
Jean Creates November 13
SewCalGal November 14

I can't wait to see what my fellow hoppers are doing. I've got my machine embroidery design files and pre-cut applique shapes ready to roll and am planning something fun and easy for us beginners. But until then, it's a surprise... LOL!

Trust me. This is going to be fun!

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

On a Roll

This girl is on a roll! Yesiree, I'm on a roll these days (thanks B12 vitamins and my hot flash meds). I'm energized and in the mood to tackle some UFOs. I was looking at the floor of my sewing room and found this little lovely taking up space. I did a quick stitch in the ditch and bound it. Mark it D for Done!

I'm not thrilled with how the back looks on this one, but It's a table topper thingy for my sideboard in the dining room. I chose the hand quilting look stitch to stitch in the ditch and it shows up in a few places. Lesson learned. Just use a straight stitch next time. On the sideboard no one will notice.

I have one other project taking up valuable floor space and I'm toying with tackling that tomorrow. It's my black and white Emma quilt that has the bright Liberty of London accents. I never got to finish it in time for my late friend. I've got it partially quilted. Debating on whether to rip out the meander part of the quilting and finish with straight line work. We'll see. Depends on what kind of mood I'm in tomorrow.

I tried vinegar and hot water to get out the musty smell of that one Asian quilt, and it worked. Make note of that. Glad it worked.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014


Finally some real progress! The Modern Unrest top is done (except for some minor nitpicking). I need to give it a really good press, clip unruly threads, and pick out the foundation papers. I didn't think that was ever going to get done! If it's not too much of a hot mess I'm going to send this and the Civil Unrest top out to be quilted. But I will wait until after the holidays for that. I'm in no rush.

Someone forgot to turn off their 4am alarm this morning. GRRRR! I spent this morning sewing. The rest of my studio time will be re-homing my fabric leftovers from this project. I over cut some squares which will go into small bins and will be labeled. Then I have some scraps to go in my big ikea bag that I use for a scrap bin. There's a class coming up in November that will call for those luscious bits.

I used my time wisely yesterday. I got all my kits sorted out and the main yardage cut. They are all ready to roll.

I will start with the black and cream one first. Keep that one for home sewing, and then use my Cotton+Steel kit for my traveling project.

Oh, and remember the Asian quilt I purchased at the tag sale? I got the last of the decorative stitching done. This was purchased already pieced and quilted, I just added the bling. It just needs a good wine gar wash to get out the musty smell.

Monday, October 20, 2014

Monday Musings and Inspirations

I've taken to setting my alarm clock early. I need to put the petal to the metal and get some sewing done. My sleep habits have gotten quite lax and I need to correct that. The day started at 7am for me. But tomorrow it will start a bit earlier at 6am.

Last night I poured through my online magazines to see what projects inspired me.After some exploration on how to print magazine pages from my ipad ( take a screen shot of the page, mail it to my PC, save it as a PDF, and print it), I got several patterns printed up. Today I will start putting together kits for those projects. I'm sure there's an easier way to do that, but this work-around worked for me at the moment.

I'm going to take a page from my friend Denise and really try make time to sew each day. My time management skills have gone to heck in a scrap basket and I need to take control of that, too.

Speaking of scraps, I found the perfect patterns for this pile -- A lovely windmill pattern from Pinterest that I happen to have in one of my iPad magazines. I also saw this X-Plus tutorial which would work with that pile as well. Both are perfect for scrappy fun. Those have been printed as well.

(Just a snip from a photo at American Patchwork and quilting)

I've also been dying to take my cream and black solids and pair them with dusty colors using my Kona Dusty charm pack. I found the perfect quilt pattern to start with on that one too!. This one came from a magazine I get free through my library's Zinio app. Those larger solid squares on the diagonal sashing will be the pop of color for the quilt. I'll love it. I'm sure. My goal (lofty) is to make this one large enough for our queen size bed. Good thing is that I have bolts of the black and cream on hand, so I shouldn't run out!

(photo snipped from their website)

Then I found another Christmas quilt I actually like in the latest issue of Love Patchwork and Quilting. LOVE the big giant snowflake!!!! I adore this magazine and Quilt Now. Both are published in the UK. I purchased subscriptions to them on my iPad. I've grown tired of the US magazines. They have the same old recycled stuff. These modern UK magazines have really cute projects and they are on-trend.

So that's what's going on this little head of mine. Going to throw some bread dough in the oven for dinner tonight. Put my assembled casserole in the fridge for later, and start on mount laundry, studio cleanup and kitting quilts. I need to strike while the iron is hot.