Wednesday, October 19, 2011

A start....and a STOP...

So I started on Link to the '30s. And let me show you the colors I have chosen to work with. The white will be the "background" color I will call it. The yellow is the rings of the Wedding Rings, and of course you can pretty much guess which ones are the dots.. yep..good guess!! Now the big fabric that is all dots.. I chose that fabric for all of it's colors and dots.. and I'm still debating it in my head. But that fabric may be my ..?are they called orange peel shapes ?? someone help me with this one.. My newbieness is showing on this. And where does the STOP come in on this?? Well my thumb joint on my sewing hand does NOT like the motion of basting those circles I think. It is quite painful in a sharp sort of way that I have not experienced before. I figured it was best to stop and let it rest until it felt better. Well I keep sneaking back to stitch a few more circles. I just can not stay away.

I have a question perhaps you blog readers can help me with. A bit of education for a fellow quilter. I used the no melt mylar for my templates of the circles. I set my iron to cotton. I then put liqud starch on the back, and while the starch was still wet, I ironed them so that they would hold their shape. The no melt template material ended up warping after a few, and finally on one melting. What did I do wrong?? I switched to tagboard, but I won't be able to use the tagboard for more than one or two with starch without it being useless either.. as I want the shapes to be just right. I thought perhaps I was supposed to let the starch dry more before ironing it.. or reduce the iron temperature.. but it is cotton.. I do need it to get completely dry.. SO CONFUSING!!

Oh, Wanna see SOME of the circles that I have to make??
This doesn't include the yellow circles..

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Review of my book.. it arrived!!


This book finally arrived in the mail today from Amazon.com it couldn't get here fast enough as far as I was concerned. That cover quilt is just amazing. Okay, there are several amazing quilts inside this book! I was just thrilled to get it. I have to say there is a down side to the quil as far as I am conderned. The template pictures are printed too close to the binding inside the book. I will have a hard time making a copy of the templates to use them. BOO! I am going to take the book to FedEx Kinkos and see if they can cut off the binding and re-bind the book with a spiral binding so that I can turn the book inside out etc. and make copies of the templates so that I can USE them and make the quilts. I have so many of them in here that I want to make. Now, if only I can master that curve.. with the help of that new presser foot that is on it's way.. we can hope my future in quilting is bright!! Oh and to master that machine quilting too. Nothing too fancy, I just ask that the bobbin thread doesn't wad up on the back side on me.. PLEEEZ!!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

A Quilty Finish

I finished another quilt!! Yay!! The best part is that I learned in the process. I made a quilt for my youngest son. Here is a picture of the whole quilt. This was a kit that I bought for $11.00 on clearance at Walmart. I figured, hey why not. I could practice a few skills, and learn some things along the way. I decided it was time to try that quilting foot on my sewing machine. I was delighted with the results, and learned to quilt from the center OUT. The one time that I went from the outside towards the center because it was "easier" I got a bit of a wrinkle in the fabric (boo). Lesson learned. I did my machine binding for the second time, and feel like I did better on the corners. I'm learning!!! It feels GREAT! I know that it isn't perfect, but then I feel like no quilting IS perfect... it is art. So I won't be too shy, and I will show you some of the quilting.
Also, if you remember in my last post. The Link to the 30's quilt. Well, the book still hasn't arrived. Due to some well listened to advice, I have ordered a new foot for my machine it is called the Curve Master Presser Foot. Curve Master can be seen in action here. Goodness knows curves scare the wits out of me.. and I really wits about me.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Link to the 30s

I'm SO in love with the quilt on the cover of this book. I purchased the book. It should be here Saturday. Not that I'm hovering at the door too much. I already have three quilts in the works, but I can certainly see how quilting can be an addiction. Can I show you a closer look. I know you wanna see it. I also ordered the Omnigrid rulers to help me do a good job of cutting the pieces nicely. Now I've never EVER cut anything on a curve, so heaven help me. I hope there are some tips out there, or perhaps included in the package. It will take weeks (WUT? WEEKS, yep WEEKS) for the templates to come, but I guess that is okay since I still havn't decided what fabulous fabric I want to do this quilt in, and I have other quilts that I really need to move my bootie on. My hexagon quilt being hand quilted is taking FOREVER, as my hand quilting skills are the stab and stitch method. I'm slowly piecing my other hexagon quilt for my DD as I watch television in the evening, and I am working on my first machine quilted piece for my son. Now trust me they are just straight lines (or semi straight) because free motion quilting is out of my league. I just spend lots of time right now dreaming about some beautiful fabrid to make this lovely in, but I had to share that photo of the quilt and the book, cuz it is yummy to be sure!

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Stitching finish


I finally finished stitching my Santa. It is the first part of a stich along you can find here Sew Happy Christmas SAL It looks like something I can actually finish. My first attempt at a work along project. I'm not the fastest worker with everything else that I have going on. Three days of migraines certainly has not helped me complete anything. I have so much that I want to do, and I couldn't even create a complete thought. I'm so proud that I did actually finish this on time to be ready for the next one!! YAY ME!

Friday, July 29, 2011

First Finish


I have showed the top of this quilt before, but I finally FINISHED it. I have been afraid for so long to do the binding of the quilt, that it just sat around waiting. I had to finish this quilt before my daughters wedding in August, and I knew it, but I was afraid I couldn't manage a binding. I found the directions I saw online very confusing. Even when I thought that I could understand them, I just couldn't muster up the nerve to jump in there and DO it.
Thank goodness for reading the wonderful posts by bloggers in quilty blogland! I had this looming pressure sitting on my shoulders, when a wonderful post was done by I Candy Handmade she had such clear pictures, and step by step pictures and directions. And the part that I completely dreaded... the joining of the two ends of the binding was made SO simple.. I just knew that I could do it. I was up my stairs in minutes, and cutting my bias binding. It was stitched on in minutes, and I had a complete quilt in just days. I am so beholden to her! And my daughter will now have her wedding gift one less stress for momma!!

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Hexie Progress


Here is a look at the quilting I am doing on my Hexagon quilt. Hand quilting is taking a while, and lately I havn't been in the mood. The heat is really getting to me I think. What I really want to be doing is getting a quilt ON the bed.. So I will be looking into what kind of pattern I can make with the fabric that I purchased at Walmart, along with what kind of hand quilting I can take along with me on a road trip. I have a nice long lovely road trip coming up, and I do so need to keep my hands busy!! No snacking in the car.
I made my templates for the quilting like this. I figured it was a whole lot easier to trace on the inside of a shape.. than it was to trace around the outside of a shape. So far, it is working nicely.. except. I don't like the pencils that I have.. they don't hold a nice crisp point. These are the pencils that I got. I need both light and dark colors as I am tracing on yellow, and red and green. I would have so much liked a pencil that would wash out completely, but draw me a nice crisp clean line. I'll have to do some searching, but if anyone has suggestions, I would love to hear.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Edging the Quilt

Well, I tried.. I guess it is important to even show our failures. I had intended to attach the tan border to my quilt. First I cut my border strip at 2" then I folded it in half and ironed it to mark the center point. I matched up the points to the ironed line.. (here is where I made my mistake.. I didn't pin it all the way. I just figured I could eyeball it.
I chose the blanket stitch to stitch it on, but because I didn't pin it all on with all of the back and forth on the machine to do the stitch, it ended up with a LOT of puckering after I ironed it and I really did NOT like how it looked If you look at the third picture I am sure you can see the puckering.. I was very disappointed. All of the hand stitching I had done was delightful.. and then the machine stitching looked terrible. I couldn't leave it looking like this. I knew that I had a date.. a date with my seam ripper. A whole day!! SEW.. I slept on it and formulated a new plan.
These are the side points that I did not want on my quilt.. the problem points.
I decided to fold the hexagon in half, matching the points all the way down the side, and press it with the iron. I basted it with just UNDER a 1/4" seam so that when I add the binding, it will not show. Now I need to trim off the excess hexagon portion on the back.. and the front now looks like THIS.. on the sides.. much improved!!

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Hexagons COMPLETE...

I am thrilled to report and show that I stitched my last hexagon (well.. on this quilt).
Note my little helper.
Now you are looking at it sideways.. but I am still not finished. I have to add something to the sides (what you see as the top and bottom). I am adding a light brown portion so it will look like a wooden flower bed edge. Those two sides are not straight edges. I will use the same fabric as a binding on the quilt. I have white to use as the backing however I cannot just use white.. boring!! I am also going to do some red and green (and perhaps some yellow) blocking in a 1 foot section across a portion on the bottom. Then I will quilt the whole thing. When it is bound and almost done.. I will take what will be the turn down portion of the back. (You know the part you see of the back when you turn it down on your bed). I am going to applique a little design on that as well. So that is the plan for my quilt in the future.. wish me luck!!

Oh, one more note... I bought some spray on basting and a tarp to spray baste the quilt. I am going to pin baste it as well since I am hand quilting it and I don't know how long that spray baste will stay put. I have never used it before and I don't want this sucker to move an inch! I am just spray basting it to make SURE it stays put!

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

A New Finish


Doesn't this look like a doilie or is that doily? You know the thing you put on your table befor you put down a plant or platter. It does to me, but that isn't what it is.. It is a baby blanket!! Isn't it so cute. I just fell in love with this idea. I know my kiddos loved to get their fingers into holes and things and get a grip and hold on. It makes them feel safe and secure to hold on. The holds aren't so big that whole body parts can get through there and get stuck.. so I think any doily pattern would work great as long as the spaces aren't too big.. but with the use of the baby yarn, it leaves it SOO SOOOOO soft and ever so snuggly. This is in my "Someday I'll be a Grandma Box". Who knows what will be next!! I'm having fun though making things.

Friday, April 1, 2011

SOOOOOOOOOO Big!!


I have this much of my hexagon quilt all stitched together.. However.. (insert big smile).. if I lay out all of the blocks together........... and I did..

It looks like this!!!!!!!!! Whoooo hooo and I managed to lay them out.. without the help of my doggies.
I measured it.. and I still have MORE blocks to make.. HOOOO HUMMMM.. it sure LOOKS big.. I also have to make the partial blocks that fill in on the edges.. Gosh I hope I counted correctly, and have enough reds!! I'd hate to be off at this point in the game! I guess I can always go buy some more, and take out some duplicates.. and make some side table mats for the bed stands... there is the happy thoughts that I need to get me thru!!

Monday, March 28, 2011

Spring Cleaning!

Quilting is ADDICTING!! I'm gonna go out on a limb here and admit it.. am I the only one?? I didn't think so.. LOL.
I've been spending a LOT of time doing my quilting.. to the point that my beautiful home is feeling a bit neglected. I think that by blogging about my dedication to cleaning up the joint.. I am forced to do so. Anyone with me??
I think I am a take it slow and don't kill yourself in doing so type of person.. I THINK! I have my occasions of mean clean.. that is the day where no one better get in my way, because I'm on a roll. Today however is not one of those days. My next post should show you why.. however. Let's take this a task at at time.
My way of cleaning is a card system. I have index cards on which I write all of the chores that need to be done for keeping my house in order. I keep them in an index box in my kitchen.

Some chores are done daily.. like sweeping the kitchen floor. I pull out all the cards that need to be done today.. I assign some of the cards like feed the dog to the kids.. hey it is only fair, we all live here..
This is the inside of the box.. I have numbered tabs for the days of the month.. these are where I keep my chore cards. Some cards are for weekly chores. I will divide those chores up at the beginning of the week. I skip days that I know I will not be home. Once the daily cards are done, they are put into the next day's tab.. Once the weekly chores are done, they are put into the next weeks tab.. (whatever day is easiest for you to divide up your chores I like Sunday). Also Monthly and Yearly, and Seasonal chores..things like holiday decorations, washing outdoor windows.. This is what I'm working on now. The monthly tabs are for reminding me to get birthday cards for people who have birthdays that month.. only I look at the NEXT month.. and have them ready!! Then the ABC part is where I keep everyone's address and phone number, and child's name (I can never remember).. keeps down on the clutter.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Hexagon Progress

I'm going to apologize ahead of time for a no picture post.. but Hubby has the camera on a business trip.. (SORRY!)
I wanted to take a moment to update my progress on my hexagon quilt. I'm moving along each day.. and it seems like I'm nearing the end.. (yeah right!)
I laid the whole of my blocks that I have completed out on the floor with intentions of taking a photo, and seeing how it looked, along with seeing how big it was.. well it was then I realized that DH had taken the camera on his trip with him.
I spent the entire day yesterday on my bottom stitching hexagons, trying SO hard to get some sense of accomplishment. Well, they aren't a quickie project. The blocks are sitting next to me. I basted two paper plates full of hexies, and then finished four blocks (of 12 hexies).
The reds in these are two reds that I had a lot of fabric in, so I of course have many more hexies in this red.. more flowers. I need to finish these flowers so that I can spread them throughout the quilt top, and not end up with a big section of them all clumped together. I also don't want all of this fabric stuck around the edges where I have to fill in partial blocks. That will be next... piecing together the top, and then filling in the partial blocks. Hopefully some pictures of a top coming together very soon..

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Introducing my new Baby

Bubble Gum Cigars all around?? Haa Haa.. Oh I am just so thrilled everyone.. I cannot express myself. I am still just stammering on my own words. I hinted to hubby that I was picking out my Valentines gift. He looked at my computer screen to see
and he said. Well, if you want that, then just buy it. I think I stopped breathing..and when I started again, I went and got my credit card!! Whooo hooo! And the funniest part of all.. It is supposed to arrive... are you ready for this..
ON VALENTINE'S DAY. I'm SO in love with my Hubby!! He is waaaay too good to me! I could just cry I'm so thrilled. I will have to find me something to practice on.. without wasting fabric.. how do you do that?? YIKES!!
But isn't she a beauty!! And she comes with a purchased guarantee!! I am not gonna go without THAT!

Monday, February 7, 2011

The Applique Pressing Sheet Review

I recently purchased "The Applique Pressing Sheet" to use for doing my hand applique. I am not using it to do fusible applique. I purchased it because doing starching method of applique with heat resistant templates was doing this to my ironing board.
You see those nasty brown looking stains? Well they weren't there before I began. It was nice and clean and muslin colored. Not so much anymore. It looks singed. I stopped almost as soon as I noticed it.. I was having too much fun working on my Floribunda. So I shopped at I Have A Notion which I mentioned in a previous post, and was delighted with the speed at which my pressing sheet arrived in the mailbox. I had a slight delay in resuming my work on Floribunda due to a surgery, and now I am back to work.
I tried out my pressing sheet today, and have to say I LOVE it. It can really take the heat. I put my iron on a really hot setting, and pressed it on my cloth, and it didn't even wrinkle under the pressure. I know I certainly would.
Things certainly look a lot better in my eyes now, and this sheet is 13" x 17" so I have a lot of room to work. Now, I just need to get to work. But before I go, I want to show you two of my favorite tools I have found in my newbie quilting adventure.

The stick is one I use to hold the applique pieces while I am pressing them with the hot iron. It keeps my fingers away from that heat. I bought a whole package of them..at the grocery store. They are caramel apple sticks. It is nice and round, and easy to hold onto. And whooohoo they were cheap! I love that part best..
The second tool is those scissors. They are Fiskars softgrips (made in the USA) and those babies are SHARP! They come down to the finest point for snipping the tiniest threads. I have had them for years and years, and never had to sharpen them yet. They have been sitting in my sewing box, and now it is time to put them to good use.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Portable Hexies


This is a paper plate of hexagons. I pin them all up in order and set them on a paper plate on the table next to me. I have twelve hexagons in a pattern block, and so I will pick up the next twelve hexies and baste them and then stitch them down. However, if company comes over, and I need to move them to another location, I can just pick up the paper plate, and sneak it off to the other room in a jiffy and hide it. So I have this set all lined up and ready to go but I laid out my quilt blocks, and whoo hoooo it is coming along nicely. They are not sewn together for the most part.. just the very top portion so I could see how it worked.. but here is a picture of how many I have finished so far.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Applique Stem makers..


So, I ordered a brand of stem makers that make stems Perfectly, and I have been using them. They are working wonderfully. Funny story follows. I was making them last night when DH asked me what I was doing. My reply.. I am making stems.. he looks at my work and says..
Those are zip ties.. I said NO.. Those are $%#& Stems .. He says No.. Those are zip ties.. at which point he proceeds out in the garage, and returns with.. Zip ties. I look at the zip ties.. Umm well they look a lot alike.. (I'm feeling a little stupid at this point). So I have to proove the MAN wrong.

I clipped off the end of the zip tie. So that it looks like the other brand. They look like the Stem makers now
I put them in the fold of some scrap fabric, and set the hot iron on them, and they didn't melt.. they got warm, like the other ones do.. but I'm thinking they are the same dang thing. Now DH doesn't have all of the thicknesses that I purchased. But then, I got one of each, and so he said, you just let me know what you need, and I will go to the hardware store and pick you up a bunch of them for cheap. I'm thinking wow, I could stitch up a whole bunch before I have to iron them. Since I am hand stitching, I have to stitch.. stop. clip. Iron.. remove.. start over. If I have a whole bunch, I could do a bunch up and then press them all at the same time.
I'm not too picky on perfection in the width of my stems, but I am certain you can find LOTS of sizes at the hardware store. And perhaps you could share with your whole quilt guild for like a couple of dollars out of pocket. Now is this cool or what?? Just try to get you some nice long ones if you can ;)

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Perfect Circles

I have to say first of all I DID IT! Okay this may be old hack to some of you.. but as a newbie, I can not be more thrilled right now! I made perfect circles.. and this just makes me SO excited. I ordered these thru Karen Kay Buckley, and they WORK! Just as they are supposed to.. If I can do this, anyone can.

First word of warning. I thought I would be super duper smart and label my circles with a permanent marker according to their size. Yeah! Not as smart as I thought. Live and learn.. this is what I got. You see that black blob in my perfect pink circle? Well that is NOT supposed to be there.. That would be the "permanent" marker that transferred to the fabric when I starched and ironed my Perfect Circle..
I took all of my circles, and used Lens Cleaning pads for my glasses, and it all came right off. Wheeeeeeeeeew!! Nervous moments..
So, I was right back to making more of my Perfect Circles.
Now the directions are Wonderful.. afterall, even I was able to follow them. But I did make a little change to them. I'm not too keen on putting my fingers anywhere NEAR a hot iron. I followed the directions up to gathering the basting stitches..and spraying with starch. I'm not going to hold that while I iron it. I decided to place my needle (or a pin) in the spot where I finished.. and with my thread that I have left wind it over and under the needle (in a figure eight) to hold the thread tight while I iron. Once it is done, and cooled.. I then take out the Perfect circle.. and tadaaaa.. I still have a perfect circle!

Now, I started with the biggest size.. 2" and I have worked my way down to a few smaller sizes.. These are SUPER COOL! I've made some yellow ones :) and some Orange ones (giggles!) I think maybe I should have gotten the larger set of circles as well because last night I had some ideas for making textured petals with the perfect circles, but oooh not with the tiny ones that I have. I'll think on it.

If you havn't tried these.. ooh it is worth the small amount of money you put into them I think.. goodness knows I would not want to cut out 1/2 inch circles and make them as perfect as these come.. already done and ever so perfect.

I want to use these to make Erin Russeks Block of the Month, and I figured.. I better practice first :)

Now.. for the Perfect Stems.. wish me luck!

Friday, January 7, 2011

Oh What a Beautiful Morning...

Oh What a Beautiful Blog!!

I thought about sleeping in this morning, and wheeew, I'm ever so glad that I didn't! I got an e-mail this morning from Madame Samm. There looking at me was a screen shot of my blog. Wait, that isn't my blog...that looks WAAAY better. My heart began to race.. You know the feeling. Was it even possible??

I had seen the blogovers that Madame Samm had done on other blogs previously you can see all about them over at Sew I Quilt, and was super impressed with how well she had done. They all looked so beautiful. What a kind, sweet lady. I thought, well there is just NO WAY she could do that for my blog. I don't even know myself!

Guess What!! She surely CAN... and she did.. Just look at how beautiful it is now! All of the lovely pink.. I'm a pink girl, and she knew it all without even talking to me. Is she psychic, LOL. I am all about my kids, and have dedicated my life to them and their needs.. and they always come running to Momma for advice.

Madame Samm called me to make sure I liked the blogover. Oh my goodness yes, yes, YES! I can never say thank you enough! (See the little cutie up on top?) Samm drew that. I mean she didn't just go get some clip art somewhere.. she DREW it.. simply an amazing woman. Thank you for taking time out of your busy day, to beautify my blog..and my day.

THANK YOU MADAME SAMM!!

Thursday, January 6, 2011

My New Purchase..

I finally made a purchase with the Gift Card that Dear Hubby gave me for Christmas, and arent these wonderful!
I couldn't stop there however I had to include the
perfect stems. I am REALLY wanting to make Erin Russeks new BOM coming up soon which she recently gave a little preview of. Oooh it looks like a beauty! I havn't tried applique before, but I just had to take the leap. I had to! Now I'm thinking this will be SOOO much fun, and of course a big challenge for me. Wanna see a peek? Head on over to One Piece at a Time and check it out. I see sets of birds, and I think that they will make a lovely family tree type quilt. It would be nice for me if I stitch in the main part my Daughter and her Husband's name, and the date of their wedding. Then they can stitch in the name of a child on a bird as they are born, and when they get married etc..I think I want to make the birds in pink and blue (boy and girl).. see what I am getting at?? You might when you see her quilt!