Sunday, December 16, 2012

My favorite assistant!

Well Little Man was over this weekend for a sleepover at Nana's and Grandpa's. Trying to get him to work on a project for his Momma was a NO GO! He was quite happy to be my assistant though! Here he is holding up my latest project! Pretty good assisting for a 3-year old!
This is the baby quit for my cousin in Hungary. By the time Canada Post will get it there, I am sure the baby will be a year old! will still be cuddled! This is the first project that I really practiced my free motion quilting on. Here's a closeup of some of the stiches. The only one that I actually drew on was the "A" outline. It sure gave me more confidence with each triangle that I did. A good wash gave it the super-soft cuddle to it and Little Man gave it an extra cuddle since it was going to one of his cousins!
I used 100% Egyption cotton in the bobbin and the top. One thing I did notice was a whole lot of lint build-up. I had to clean out the machine twice and re-thread the machine twice. The way it stitched was great. Some of the designs were super easy and yet some of the others not so great. I think that practice will improve my stitching somewhat. It was worth taking the free-motion class with Lorraine Stangness. It sure took the fear out of free-motion. Now I get to experiment with different threads and needles. Not too crazy though! One step at a time. The pattern is Chop Sticks by Jaybird quilts.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Back to Winter...goodbye Nevada!

Well Chef Murphy and I took a break to go to Phoenix, Nevada on a FART (Fabric Acquisition Road Trip!). Of course anything to do with fabric is a blessing and Chef Murphy found a place for cheese making supplies! Both of us were thrilled! This is what we left:
After arriving in beautiful Phoenix we went here:
We went to Flagstaff this time (WTF = Welcome to Flagstaff!)
At the stroke of midnight in Flagstaff, the giant acorn drops to bring in the New Year! Wonder if they have insurance on that thing in case it bonks someone on the head? ha ha! Then we continued our trip to Sedona for sunset:
The pictures are never as nice as they are in person! We tried to get to the top of the airport vortex area to feel the "spirits" but there was no parking at all! Maybe the next visit we will make it! We continued our trip to Jerome -- now you gotta see this place! It's an old mining town that's built on the side of the mountain top. We stayed at The Connor Hotel -- the original one that is true to it's roots. I'll give you a peek at the room. This is an amazing little town to visit if you are in the area. Very touristy, thus the prices of everything is reflected the same. The food was fantastic and we were very happy with our stay. Take a look at the great tin ceiling and the remnants of one of the older buildings.
When we left Jerome, we headed toward Prescott and on our drive found an interesting area that was advertised for home sales. We decided to take a little drive in and see what it was all about. Take a look at this house! How would you like to live here?
Our final stop was Prescott and then off to Phoenix where we would shop some more! In the middle of no where look what we found!
so on to some fabrics! Take a look at the new additions that I found to add to my stash!
Some of the larger pieces of Christmas fabric is for some tree skirts that I have planned. I hope to get to those in the next week. I also picked up a new book on Free Motion Quilting! What a wonderful resource! Hope I can become as great as all of you out there!
Now I don't pay much attention to buying all coordinating fabrics when I am adding to my stash. If I love the fabric, I buy it! I don't stick to any one designer as I believe they all have their gifts and choices of colours. I love batiks and I've found some great "cheapo" fabrics that were 100% cotton that fit in quite nicely. I "feel" the fabric. You can tell some grades of fabrics are not as "sturdy" as others. I don't wash my fabrics and have not had trouble with it. I do use a colour catch when I wash and I personally love the puckering that takes place once it's washed. In my early quilting days I was told that you HAD to wash, and you HAD to press and you HAD to use templates! Well first of all I hate being told what I HAVE to do and secondly, the easier, the better. Personally I can't see the difference between quilts that had pre-washed fabric to quilts that did not have pre-washed fabric. It's all a choice. If you have reds in your quilt, watch how you wash it. You wouldn't put a red blouse in with your white blouse now would you? If you like pink, then take the risk. So again -- it's choices!
My favorite shop of course in Arizona is 3 Dude's Quilting. Ray has a new pattern out (like my Arizona quilt that I did earlier this year). He is in the process of writing the pattern now and it will be available on line for purchase. Well worth every penny I am sure. He was kind to offer his first pattern for free, and it's still free if you visit their website. Check it out! Here's one of Ray's patterns that I picked up this past week:
One of the classes that you can find in the shop is this one: (of course I had to bring the pattern home!)
I hope that I've inspired you to dig out those fabrics and get sewing! I've been busy with my free-motion quilting of a baby blanket. I'm hand-stitching the binding and it will be photo-ready before it hits the post office! I'm not so afraid anymore and hope that this opens up the doors to more free-motion! Though, Karen, my long arm quilter is NOT off the hook! haha! I'll be still bringing her my bigger projects to do! I have some that are being worked on now but won't be posted as they are surprises for some people! Happy Quilting everyone!