Thursday, April 30, 2015

One Hour Basket

Last night I saw Debbie's One Hour Basket on her blog. She posted a link to the tutorial, as I just did, so I checked it out. It's a free pattern you can download from Craftsy.

It looked easy enough so I dug around for some fabric and my fusible fleece and cut one out. I sewed it up this morning.

I used a home dec fabric for the outside and I added a 9" strip of webbing inside the handles to make them a bit stiffer. I don't know exactly how long this took me since I didn't make it in one sitting. My guess is about 2 hours which includes hunting for my home dec fabrics and the fusible fleece. The tutorial is very clear and easy to follow. You could easily add some exterior pockets and I might do that on my next one, because I will definitely make more of these. It's a fun and functional project!

Time to go fill it with something!

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

New Bulb for Featherweight

I've had my Featherweight for a few years now and I still love it. I take it to classes and retreats. When I need to get my BERNINA serviced I pull out my Featherweight and sew with it while the BERNINA is serviced. Being without my main machine for a week or so doesn't bother me since I got my Featherweight.

The thing I don't like about my Featherweight is the light bulb. It's dim and gets dang hot. After burning myself for the umpteenth time at the last retreat I commented how I wished someone would come out with an brighter, cooler bulb for these machines. So I started looking around online. Some one has and I finally got around to ordering one last week. It came yesterday.

New bulb on left, old bulb on right

I popped that baby in my machine and voila - I can see and it doesn't get hot!

My Featherweight with the new bulb installed

Oh my! I love it! If you want to order one for yourself, click this link. The link will take you directly to the page on the Stitch All The Things website where you can order yourself a bulb. I have no affiliation with them. I'm just a satisfied customer. I think the price is reasonable for an LED bulb. The customer service was great and the shipping was fast. You do have to submit your order and then wait for him to send you an invoice via PayPal, but it didn't take very long for the invoice to arrive in my inbox.

Monday, April 27, 2015

Pattern Update In Progress

I've been working to turn these packets of 2.5" squares

Into these

which are the outside part for covered notebooks. The link will take you to a recent post in which I showed a couple completed ones.

I started with 12 packets. I've managed to get six of them pieced plus the bottom one which was made from scraps.

These will be gifts for friends but I am also working on updating my pattern. I hope to have it ready later this week thanks to some friends who pattern-tested for me. 

Friday, April 24, 2015

Telephone Quilt Progress

I just finished quilting my version of my guild's Telephone Quilt. The link will take you to the post where I shared the details of this project (scroll down underneath the photo in that post).

All I can show you of it at this point is the back. 

I tried a new-for-me quilting design. I think it turned out okay. Now I just need to pick a binding fabric (or maybe I'll just do a facing) and finish this up so I can pass it along early next week.

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Boxy Stars Top Done

Here is my completed Boxy Stars top.

This is such a fun pattern! I will probably make another one of these at some point. This one will be the next quilt on my list to be quilted after I finish my Telephone Quilt. The link will take you to the post in which I gave the details of the Telephone Quilt, scroll down towards the bottom of the post for the details.

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

A Finish :: Modern French General

It's done! I'm glad I had the presence of mind to purchase enough extra of the charcoal gray for the binding and kept it with the completed top for two years.

Here is a detail shot of the quilting.

The pattern is Urban Birthday by Jenny Pedigo of Sew Kind of Wonderful. The pattern uses her Quick Curve Ruler which is really fun to use.

The finished quilt size is 58" by 77". I used a layer cake of one of the French General fabric lines (I don't remember which one and didn't write it down) along with a charcoal gray fabric. I quilted it myself on my Handi Quilter Sweet 16. I used two different colors of Signature 40 wt. 100% cotton thread, Rail Grey and Persian Red. The quilting design is my own and isn't perfect because I didn't mark anything or use any rulers or stencils. It's all hand guided, no computer or stitch regulator.

I'm still working on getting the sleeve hand sewn to the back. Hopefully it will hang in my guild quilt show in June. After that I don't know what will become of it. I made it as a class sample and to sell patterns and Quick Curve Rulers. The fabric isn't even my style. I only used it because we had several of these layer cakes and my LQS owner asked me to use one of the layer cakes to "make something." However, I do really like the finished quilt even though the fabric isn't my style.

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Boxy Stars Progress

I have all the blocks made and the cornerstones cut.

I found a fabric in my stash that will work well for the sashing. Now I need to cut it up and assemble the top. I'd like to get this to the completed top stage soon so that I can start on another project that has a deadline of May 1st. It's a fairly small project so it won't take a lot of time. The hardest part will be deciding which of my ideas for this I want to use.

Unfortunately I won't be able to show it to you for some time because it needs to be kept secret until everyone has finished. The project is called a Telephone Quilt. Below are the directions we were given:

Remember the telephone game from childhood? One person said something, the next repeated it to another, and so on.  What came out at the end was usually very different than the original statement. 

We can do the same with quilts. One person makes a quilt from a photograph, then hands off the quilt to the next person WITHOUT the original photograph.  That person makes a quilt that is similar to what she sees, hands it off, etc. How different from the original photo would the last quilt in the queue be? This is both a design challenge and a reflection of your personality. 

Quilts should be 20” x 30”, any techniques you wish to use, completed within the 6 week time frame allowed.  See schedule for assigned order and due dates.

1.     Person 1 makes a small quilt to represent a selected photograph. She takes a photo of the quilt, and then passes the quilt only to person # 2. Person 1 documents how the photo guided her choices in making the quilt, but keeps that to herself.
2.     Person 2 work only off the quilt that Person 1 sent to her. She makes her own quilt representing what she sees in quilt 1, takes a photo, makes the same type of documentation.  Sends Quilt 1 back to owner, sends her quilt to person 3.
3.     And so on until the end. We have 10 people in the circle.
4.     At the end of the chain, all the quilts and photos are gathered so we can marvel over the way the “message” changed from beginning to end.

Everyone has about 6 weeks to make their quilt and pass it on. The last person won't finish up until January 2016. So I won't be able to show you mine quilt until then. Hopefully everyone else will allow me to post photos of their quilts too.

Monday, April 20, 2015

Guild Challenge Reveal

Saturday was the big reveal for my guild challenge so I can finally show you my entry. The theme this year was "Scavenger Hunt." This link will take you to the challenge rules page on my guild website.

My entry contains all 22 items from the list. Can you find them all? You can click on the image to enlarge it a bit. This quilt began it's life as my class project from my class with Sue Spargo last September.

To see all fifteen fabulous entries, click here to go to my guild website. You can also come to our guild show June 26, 27 and 28 to see them all in person at the Inn of the Rio Grande in Alamosa, CO.

Friday, April 17, 2015

Still At It

I was able to finish quilting the gray areas yesterday on my Modern French General top. Click here to see the completed top and the quilting design I'm doing on the gray.

I switched to a red thread and am now quilting the print fabrics.

This design doesn't take quite as long as the other but still isn't exactly quick. It will take me a few more days to finish this one up.

I didn't work much on this quilt on Wednesday because it was Scrap Group day. We had a great time making Boxy Stars. Here are the four I completed.

I don't know yet what I will use for the sashing. I'll get all the stars done before making that decision.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

This is Gonna Take a While

I pulled out this quilt as my next completed top to finish.

The top was completed in December 2012 as a class sample for my former LQS.

I took some time to play around with designs by sketching them in my sketch book. This is the one I chose to quilt on the charcoal gray parts.

This is how it looks stitched out.

It's gonna take me a while to finish up this one, but I'm loving the results. I'm doing this with my Handi Quilter Sweet 16. No rulers, no marking, no stencils, no templates, no stitch regulator, no computer - just little old me. I plan to do this same pattern on all the gray. I have a few other similar designs drawn out in my sketch book. I will probably use one of them for the print fabrics and switch thread color too.

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

More Covered Notebooks

I purchased a couple of mini charm packs recently and turned them into these.

I'm working on tweaking my free pattern for these. I need to make one more as a test before I will feel comfortable re-releasing the pattern.

Monday, April 13, 2015

A Finish :: Strip QAYG

My first attempt at a beginner friendly QAYG project didn't turn out as well as I imagined in my head.

Here is the front.

There is not enough contrast in the fabrics, even though they are all from the same fabric line (except for the solid green used for the joining strips).

And this is the back.

I like the back better than the front.

The idea has potential, but it needs some work. It ended up being a good size for a baby quilt. The finished size is 38" by 42." I'll try again soon.

Friday, April 10, 2015

Next Scrap Project :: Boxy Stars

My scrap group meets next week. I have the pieces cut out for eleven Boxy Stars blocks. (The link will take you to the free pattern)

I only have the pieces cut out for eleven blocks because I already made up four units for one block so I would have a sample made up for everyone.

I'm not going to sew them together until I get all the units made and have time to play with the layout. I plan to set them with sashing and cornerstones just like in the pattern. I haven't decided what I will use for the sashing yet though. I probably won't put on an outer border because that would make it too large for an oncology quilt.

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Two Things

First, my iron died.

I noticed last week that it wasn't getting as hot as it used to. Then, yesterday morning I turned it on and it never got hot. Luckily I have a couple older irons. I just pulled out one of those and will use it until I get a new one.

Second, I started a new project.

This is my first attempt at an idea for a QAYG pattern that I could use to teach the method. Currently my class is a "technique class" but I've had some interest in a "project class" version of my QAYG class. I'm trying to come up with something interesting that is beginner friendly. We'll see how it goes.

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Yellow Brick Road :: A Finish

I completed the binding and label over the weekend on my Yellow Brick Road quilt that got quilted last week.

The Front
I love how this turned out!

The Back

The quilting design is one that I learned in a Craftsy class, The Secrets of Free-Motion Quilting with Christina Cameli.

I've mentioned this class before but at that time I hadn't finished watching the whole thing. Now I have finished. It's a great class. She does not cover any of the basics of free-motion quilting. By this I mean there is no information on basting, batting, thread, or needles. The class only covers designs - how to stitch them and how to recognize them and figure out how it was done when you look at a finished quilt. She uses a domestic size Juki machine in the videos so these designs are doable on a domestic machine. Christina makes it look easy, but alsoI highly recommend this class if you are looking for free-motion quilting designs!

This is a now a completed UFO!! I'm counting this as my completion from the "completed top collection" for April.

Monday, April 6, 2015

Completed Pillow Cover

It didn't take long to finish up my pillow cover this weekend since it got quilted last week.

I don't do anything fancy. Just a simple flap style cover.

It's already in use on the sofa.

Friday, April 3, 2015

Yesterday was a Productive Sewing Day

As a warm up for free motion quilting my Yellow Brick Road top, I quilted up the pillow cover I started last month for my guild demo.

Turned out alright I think.

Rather than getting side tracked by finishing the pillow cover, I moved on to the Yellow Brick Road quilt. I showed you the unfinished top yesterday and mentioned that I found the perfect backing for it recently. So here is the quilted back.

The quilting design shows up best in the green stripe on the back. This green is the outer border on the front and will also be the binding. The width of fabric was just a little too narrow for the top but not narrow enough to cut another length of the backing fabric. A six inch strip of this green was all I needed. I've got the label made and partially attached. The binding is attached to the front and I hope to spend some time this weekend getting this finished up.

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Today's Project

I finished the top for my guild challenge quilt. I'm trying to figure out how to quilt it. While I think about that I decided to baste a UFO and get it quilted. 

I chose this Yellow Brick Road top because I picked up a perfect backing fabric for it yesterday on sale. 

Better not waste time on the computer today if I want to get this quilted. There is no school tomorrow which means my "sewing week" will be a short one.

P.S. I could not get Spooky to move! She knows I am trying to take a picture. I think she wants to be in it.