Archive for the ‘Quilting’ Category

A Huge Difference

I think I’ve proven that I’m more than a bit serious about my hobbies.   And while I’m always looking for new techniques, patterns, fabric, yarn none can be put to proper use without the proper tools.  One tool I didn’t even know I needed was a new ironing board.  Correction, a pressing board.

For weeks I asked my husband to please pick up  a piece of plywood (2′ x 2′ x 1/2″) from Home Depot (where he spends more time than at home).  And upon every return I would ask did you get it?   Response: Well there are a bunch of different kinds, they are not finished and smooth, are you sure that is what you need…blah, blah, blah…Oh and my favorite question, what are you going to use it for?  A pressing board.  His face instantly glazed over and I know I’d lost him.

Ok, I was done, I put Kira in the car and we went shopping.  I followed Elizabeth Hartman’s directions (which can be found in her Craftsy class)exactly and VOILA!

You have no idea how proud I am of myself for making this.  I’m not good with things like staple guns (to loud and undainty) but this time I showed no fear!  Hubby was impressed too!!

The corners are tight and neat but a bit bulky…do I care? NO….

Not bad… I extended the fabric a bit further than she recommended so I just taped it more, which covered more of the unfinished wood.  I do plan to add felt to the back to really protect the surface of the little tv dinner table its on.

Elizabeth Hartman (her blog is awesome, Oh Fransson!) also suggested just covering the table itself but I felt that was too small a surface to press on.

I’m so in love with my creative space.  The height of the table is also perfect.  No more sore shoulders from having to lift my arms too high.

I had my old ironing board on the edge of the guest bed but it has a very high foot board…

Not comfortable and I couldn’t  apply as much pressure when pressing.

It’s really amazing the difference the surface makes to pressing those seams nice and flat and OPEN (that has also made a world of difference).

My next needed tool is an iron.  My current Proctor Silex from Target just aint getting the job done well enough.  My mentor suggested a Rowenta and I’ve only heard good things about the Oliso.  Time to hit Consumer Reports.

Oh and yes that is new quilt project!  It’s for my friend May’s new niece, Maggie!!!  I was so disappointed that May had to postpone her trip this past weekend that I sat in from of the machine and finished the entire quilt top in a day and a half.    Lemons…lemonade!!

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Yesterday was my dear friend Carolyn’s birthday.  We met today in a beautiful park in Hastings to chat and catch up and gossip and share our love of creating.  It is so restorative to one’s soul to spend time with people who love and accept you for all that you are.   Thank you my friend.

Here’s her birthday gift…A Mug Rug (aka a quilted coaster, but mug rug sounds so much more hip or 1950s depending on your perspective)

Of course I found the idea on Pinterest and had to make one.  People have whole Mug Rug boards!  It is also an amazing little canvas on which to practice and sharpen my quilting skills.

I choose the easy way on this one and used one solid piece of fabric but again imagine all the piecing and quilt block possibilities.

The size of the project also lends itself to fitting the bill for instant gratification.  I made this last night in 2 hours.  I probably shouldn’t have even taken that long but I did the binding by hand.  I still haven’t perfected machine binding yet.  But HEY…I can practice on these.  Can you guess what everyone is getting for Christmas?   All those teacher gifts, hostess gifts…etc.   All those people on your list that you want to recognize at the holidays but can’t/ don’t want to spend a fortune on.

Here’s my Everest addition.  A little applique, again more practice.

I call it an Everest addition because at 11:30 last night you might ask why I even bothered, because I could.  Why climb Everest, because it’s there.

Someone said you have to log 1,000 hours of free motion quilting to really feel comfortable and be good at doing it.  Yes, my Bernina has the BSR feature but I want to be good at this on my own.  Finally a use for all those free motion tutorials I’ve pinned.

In case you’re wondering, I only gifted the rug, not the mug.  I wanted to include one using this idea.  However,  I’m making her a second one and will have it ready by our next get together.

This mug is mine and was a stand in for the photo shoot this morning.  I bought it at Home Goods for $3!!  Gotta love it!!

I went to bed at 1am but who cares.  The look of happiness on Carolyn face made it more than worth it!!  Who doesn’t love something made just for them?

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The Real Henry

Here’s the little one whom this quilt was made for. 

All the time spent selecting fabric, cutting, sewing, piecing, sandwiching, quilting, binding…It’s all worth it when you receive pictures like these.

Isn’t he the sweetest little man?

A big thank you to his momma for allowing me to share him with you all.  

Daria it was my pleasure!

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Welcome Back

After what has felt like the longest and hottest summer ever, I’m returning to calm and to myself.  If you’ve been reading this blog for a while or if you know me personally you know that my heart starts beating a bit faster as September approaches.  Well, HOO RA!! It’s here and so is a return to normalcy, to rhythm, to a turning inward that unlike most people I revel in.

This summer was so full and busy it left very little time for me to “play”.  I posted about my Dad’s book, an ironing board cover and Marin, my Olympics project…that’s it.  My last BLT was July 15th!  You have no idea how frustrated I’ve been.

But in the last couple of weeks as the temperature has cooled a bit (although the heat from yesterday made me feel like I lost brain cells) and my summer house guest has returned to school I’ve begun to play again and I can’t wait to share it all with you.

My amazing aunt Dianne, who lives much to far away in CA. posted this beautiful comment yesterday and I’d made me feel so great.  She posted it to the Marin post.

This shawl is Absolutely Magical. ABLOODYMAZING!!!!!!! How do you do it?? I would love to know that I could make one of these someday. Your blog is so inspiring. You are loved and appreciated.  -DF

My blog stats are very humble and I don’t have tons of readers/followers but the few I have I adore and love to share things with.  So please join me in kicking off September and this fall season with the presentation of a gift.

I started this quilt about 4 months ago when one of my readers mentioned in a comment that she was having a baby.  So we started chatting over email, she said the baby was a boy, mentioned his nursery colors and that she loved quilts but had no patience to make them.  Well that was all I needed to hear.  Here’s Henry’s quilt!!

I made this up as I went along.  Yes, there are a bunch of things I would do different next time but I will listen to the wise words of my mentor and not point out the flaws but show off the successes.

The quilting was done in an echo pattern around the H.

and subsequently over the patchwork on the back…

I alternated the binding between a light and dark fabric just to experiment and I really like how it came out.

The pieces of the H were appliqued to the cream fabric in a soft green.  I wanted it to stand out but not be too bold.

When I saw this fabric I thought PERFECT, it has all the colors from the nursery and is so darn cute!!

It’s the Forest Friends Fat Quarter Bundle  from The Fat Quarter Shop.

The funny part was when I ordered the fabric I was so caught up with finding the right colors that I totally missed that the fabric was flannel…oops!

I have to admit that flannel is not my favorite medium but it makes for one super snuggly quilt.  I really worried too about putting it in the washing machine, fearing it would get fuzzy but nope.  It’s now washed and being packaged.  I don’t think I can get it in the mail today but my little friend will have it next week for sure.

Happy 4 month birthday little man.  And a  great big HI!!  That was a fun surprise! It was not really my intention to put in the “I” but when I turned the quilt there it was…

Not a bad way to start my favorite month and time of the year!!!

Hope you are all having a wonderful holiday weekend.  Enjoy!!!

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Just A Peak…

I’ve been a bit quiet on the blog because I’ve been busy on the sewing machine, knitting needles and of course life….

Here’s  my latest project.  I’m just finishing up the binding and it’s going in the mail.  My list is growing as all these wonderful babies keep arriving!!!

This one’s for you Henry…..

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The last thing I remember was walking over to my laptop to write up a new post and something hard hit me in the head.  As I was coming to, several warm and love filled faces were hovering above me asking me where the triple A batteries were, “mummy can I have more ice”,  Can you help me hem a pair of pants, did you pick up my uniform from the cleaners?

As I tried to sit up, the dull ache of awareness told me it was my old buddy that hit me…”old buddy?” Yeah, LIFE, you idiot!!!

I can’t even tell you how swamped I’ve been lately and honestly just not feeling like myself.  I won’t bore you with all the details but I will say that you HAVE to make time for the things you love to do no matter how much life’s responsibilities try to pull you away from it.  I feel so lost without my online world.  It’s awful!!!! But no matter what I’m going to try to my best to “be back” even if it’s one post a week.  I missed it here.

So when last we met I’d talked about the bookcase doll house I was working on Kira and wanted to have done by her birthday (May 6).  Well, it was not finished on time…for a number of reasons.

My cousin is now living with us.  We knew that was to be part of the plan for this summer but we didn’t know the summer was to start on May 5th.  So all of a sudden Chris and I were chickens without heads trying to get the down stairs in our house turned into an apartment of sorts for a 20-year-old to be comfortable as she traveled to and from the Manhattan each day working her first internship.  It has been wonderful having her but needless to say there is just more to do with another person under your roof.

That said, the brakes were put on the doll house.  I also realized that while I was super excited about the doll house I suddenly wasn’t sure that a three-year old was going to enjoy it as much or in the way I wanted her to.  Kira is a very busy girl and loves to take things about to figure out how they work and I suddenly saw all my time and energy spent making miniature curtains going awry in a matter of minutes.  So I decided to wait.    Maybe getting ready for my cousin’s arrival was the universe’s way to saying wait another 6 months or a year. 

But I couldn’t leave her with nothing.  So I found a substitute “doll house” that for the time being will be so much more fun, portable and far less breakable.

Here’s a little peek…

Aside from working on that project I’ve also started a new quilt for one of my readers? How’d she get so lucky? Actually I now have 2 quilts going for readers who have become friends and have brand new babies (one to arrive any minute).  What sewist/quilter/knitter can resist making a gift for a new babe? Not me!!!

I’m only showing a peak of this one since she “visits” here and I don’t want to ruin the surprise completely…

You’ve seen this one already but I love it so much it’s worth an updated peak.  Most of the blocks are completed..Now it’s time to “sandwich”, quilt and bind…

I also have a quilt planned for this lovely bundle….It’s for my sister for her 40th birthday and 10 year wedding anniversary…..

I am busy just haven’t been making the time to tell you about….well guess what…..

Blogoversay post tomorrow.

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More Puppies

It’s so motivating to complete projects so you can finally gift them and (best part) move onto others waiting on the list.  I can’t complain I do get alot done, but I feel like things take so long from start to finish.  But I can’t decide if it’s project  ADD or life getting in the way…probably both.

Here’s my Puppy Dog Tails Quilt Complete!!  (I just realized I gave two projects the same name…oh well).  Maybe because I started it so long ago.

I did a basic stipple/meander quilt design.  It’s fast and I love the effect!! Every time I try to branch out with another pattern I always come back to this one.  I’ve learned the fancier patterns and am not to bad but there is something about a stippled quilt that just makes me want to snuggle under it.  In this case I wish I had a new babe of my own to wrap up in this one…One can dream…

My favorite part is the binding fabric.  Polka dots, so perfect and classic for this quilt.  (Thank you Teri!)

I applied the binding using Pat Sloan’s tutorial.  Again, fast and easy!!!  Have to save my hands whenever I can.

This Little Rascals fabric is beyond adorable…

Here’s the required “rolled quilt” shot.  On almost every quilting blog I visit, if there is a completed quilt, there is also a picture of it rolled up.

Can’t decide which end I like better…

Baby stuff….I love it!!!!

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