Wednesday, August 27, 2014

10 Quilty Little Secrets

I think it all started out with 13 Spools , then it went to Mollie Sparkles ,  then  to Quilting Jet Girl and  Wombat Quilts and on and on! Somewhere along the line I wrote down my 10 Quilty Little Secrets -- but I have no idea where. Thank you to the author who started the 10 Quilty little Secrets (I think it was 13 Spools! please correct me if I am wrong)

I re-worked my list and here it is!

1. I NEVER wash my fabric, even if it's red! I wash it at the end with a color catcher and rinse wth vinegar. DONE!

2. I rarely use pins unless it's intricate. I like EASY....and yes I "accidentally" sew over pins.

3. Am I the only one that doesn't gravitate to those "new" lines and fabrics? If I like it, I buy it!

4. I am really bored with blogs that are full of advertisements. I want to SEE what everyone is making!

5. I really find it hard not to iron when they say PRESS.

6. I can bet if you can't tell by looking at a quilt, what machine that person used. You can't tell whether it was sewn on a Singer, Bernina, Babylock, Brother, Juki, or whatever.  If you take care of your machine and you know how to use it ( CAN adjust the tension, etc.) your work will show as great as if it was done on a mega-dollar machine!

7. I have never had a Bernina user not look down their nose at people who do not "own" a Bernina. I seriously hope that changes one day!

8. I think fabric shops should have a separate area for husbands or those who are not into "quilting". A nice place where they can enjoy a cup of coffee and browse through some "non-quilty" magazines and maybe have a home-made cookie! Can you imagine the sales??????

9. I love hand sewing my binding and feel it's the best finish for a quilt that you worked hard on.

10. I am not an expert and I don't personally know any "Quilt Police". Maybe they don't bother with me. I have seen them in action though, especially at shows where they comment on quilts that are not up to par. It makes me sad. Maybe the quilt they are tearing apart is the very FIRST quilt for the quilter. Maybe that quilter is learning a new technique. Remember, that to the recipint of the quilt, the only thing that matters is that quilt will wrap them like a hug those "not so perfect stitches" won't even be noticed. The whole quilt will remind them of how much love was put into each stitch. ("Quilty Police" maybe that person is standing behind you when you comment. Your words can destroy an up and coming quilter.)  Yes, I have seen some of those quilts and I thank God that they put it in the show! Bravo! I have heard those Quilty Police tear apart my quilt, but I just chalked it up to their own ignorance. Every quilt you put in will get better and better! I am sure you put as much love, sweat and tears into your quilting just as much as an expert quilter!

So? are you up to the challenge? Let me know what your little secrets are!

Giveaway! - Organizing - Fly Lady

Studio E Fabrics is having a Cotton Candy Giveaway ! Check out the beautiful fabric they are giving away!

I've never heard of them -- but seriously, there are so many sites out there, how can you possibly see them all? Check out this:
How adorable is this? I can imagine making some cute things out of this fabric! So pretty! It's great that we have a little girl in the family now! Now I have to hook her mommy into sewing! Don't worry! I'll teach her! 

Take a look at the yummy fabrics coming in December! 

  I love all these flowery fabrics. Chef probably would kill me if I made a quilt for the bed that was all "girly" lol -- maybe for the spare quilts when company comes?

 I think this one would make a great back!

So while I rehab with my hand -- I'll be browsing the sites -- maybe, just maybe I can show you some of my stuff soon!

Oh! Before I forget! I signed up for a Mystery Quilt day locally! I am so very excited! The day can't come soon enough! (it's in stay tuned!)

My BIG project is organizing my sewing room as I was gifted a whole batch of thread! I am truly blessed when my friends think of me and my sewing! It's in a big box, so I would like to organize it. That of course resulted in a trip to IKEA for a new drawer unit. Chef said it came with 800 pieces (truly he has exaggerated!) The unit was put together and he hauled it up to the sewing room today. I love it because it has casters on the bottom so I can move it around if I change the purpose.

I've been hooked on Fly Lady for the past 6 months. She's been helping me get organized somewhat. As a result I am getting rid of duplicates in my sewing room and getting rid of stuff I really don't need. I have a three (3) two-drawer file cabinets filled with stuff that I really don't need. The shredder will be put to good use and I hope that someone can use the sewing things (that is if my kids don't want it!)

I am minimizing and getting stuff OUT that I don't need. This includes things that I don't love, won't use again or have a bad memory to it. I don't want to have my kids have to deal with all the "stuff" if I am not able to. It's hard for someone else to take on the responsibility of making decisions for "your" stuff. It always feels better when you can find things in their place and that things HAVE a place to live!

Happy Quilting Everyone! I'll keep you posted on progress!

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Another Finish!

Another finish! Yeah! This one took a long time. Partly because I was afraid of the machine applique (still am....ask me what I think once I take the quilt out of the wash!), and partly because of my arthritis in my thumb -- which the latter, of the two, kept me away longer than I wanted!

It's not a big quilt. The little man is now 4 months old, but it's still a great size to cover him in the winter months and for him to drag around as a toddler. Mom told me the room was blue's and brown's and that they were focusing on an "airplane" theme. I found lots of patterns, but they were so much more grown up (outlines of large jetliners).

The pattern is called "Fly With Me" designed by Kristen Grassaway. I found it as a .PDF pattern at Connecting Threads. She has a lot of cute patterns. I found the cutting instructions a bit confusing and had to paste little fabrics to the pattern cutting directions. I'm one to "make it up as you go along", so patterns are not my forte. I usually look at it and work it out myself. Remember, I'm the girl that HATES math -- so that's probably more than half of the problem!

I have always thought you "HAD" to have one piece for the back! Well I still wanted to incorporate some of the blue in the background from the front. I ended up having a whole new quilt on the back with the whales and a couple of stripes of white through the back. Of course I had to use my "black and white text" binding. I think it gives the whole quilt a bit of a lift without taking away from the whole quilt. Have you ever seen quilts where everything is nice and then the binding just screams "I DON'T BELONG ON HERE!!!!"

My applique is a work in progress. I used minimal lite fusible web ...meaning the body of the plane on the insides does not have fusible. I only have about a quarter inch of fusible around each pattern piece to hold it down. The wings as well have only the fusible web along the outside edges as well, as I cut the middle out. The windows and front windshield have webbing for the whole piece. Another thing that I did was put fray stop on the ends of each part that my thread was cut. I don't want it to fall apart until it's "worn" apart, if you know what I mean! I used matching thread for each piece of the applique and a small zig zag. It's not perfect, but from farther away it looks just fine! I think this helped me overcome my fear of machine sewn applique! Those little windows are smaller than a dime. Best advice: GO SLOW, take your time around corners and watch where your needle goes up and down. I'm happy with the outcome and wouldn't hesitate tackling this again -- except maybe tackle it sooner rather than later!

TIP: as the applique pieces are on one piece of fabric -- I zig-zagged the edges before putting together the rest of the quilt. The blocks were much easier to maneuver  around all those curves!

Thanks to my long arm quilter, Karen! The simple quilting is just great and "enough". Sometimes people over-kill on the quilting and lose the simplicity. It's just "right" or this little one! I wanted this quilt nice and soft so he could cuddle it around him!

Now, on to the arthritis. I have been typing all my life (from when I was 12). I remember the typewriters where you had to pound on the keys and throw the carriage to the right (you know what I mean if you ever typed on a manual!). Put that with always using my hands for crafting! You name it, paining, ceramics, croheting, knitting, Bunka, etc., etc.Flash forward to now, the joints are now wearing thin. I have had my second injection of cortisone into the joint and it hasn't helped much this time.

Using your hands all the time and in particular "pinching" fabric between your pointer finger and thumb hurts! (bubye for now those hand-pieced hexagons).  Putting my hand onto my rulers to hold down and cut fabric is another challenge.

Wearing one of these is a pain in the butt, but it does help with the pain somewhat. It's pretty hard to hold stuff that needs "delicate" touch. Meantime, I do what I can to get these projects done! If any of you have experience with this, I would sure love to hear about your journey through this. I suspect as I age, I will be having more issues! I just want to be able to continue to quilt! (Not to mention I have some years before I can retire! -- the last 7 years or so, I have been typing way more! Heaven forbid with the newer generations and all their "texting!" Can't imagine what's going to happen to them!

I'm going to try and take a hiatus and send my Babylock Symphony in for a spa day or two, so I'll just be content with folding my fat quarters and organizing the rest of my sewing room! I've got more planned to sew, but I think it will be a bit before I show you all any finished projects!

Meantime, think of me when you are sewing and as always.....

Friday, August 22, 2014

All Free Sewing's giveaway!

How beautiful would this look in your sewing room? Check out their link and enter to win! I'm going to try, but I think that YOU might have a great chance at winning! "Allfreesewing" has been my go to site for ideas and heads up on new products! Check them out!

Happy Quilting Everyone!

Sunday, August 17, 2014

F.A.R.T. completed! (Fabric Acquisition Road Trip)

We are back from HOT HOT HOT Montana! It was like being in the desert! All that lovely dry heat! In Calgary we have been battling the hail storms. So much of the city in the north have houses pebbled with hail dents and much of the siding on the houses are littered with squares of duct tape covering the holes until the repairs can be done. The news is indicating the losses are in the billions! 

On to good news though......I've been reading much about Sharon Shamber using glue to baste and piece, etc. I have always used the solid glue for my hexagons and loved how it works. Not only does it work -- it's CHEAP! I've used the quilting glue sticks, but I go through them quickly and they cost a lot! Elmer's glue is WASHABLE! I've also picked up the liquid to see how that works on placing applique's. I have read (not tried yet) that once you piece your applique on your main fabric and dot it with the liquid glue -- press it with your iron -- it's STUCK until you wash it I'm going to research some more of Sharon Shamber's video's and see if I can find some more info! I also bought some more pens for my labels and maybe I'll try to make a new lanyard for work!

I've been browsing some tree skirts! I made one for my daughter that is on the UFO pile (to be finished for THIS Christmas). We've had a little felt tree skirt for the past 30 years that is U G L YYYYYYYYYY!!! So the wedge ruler will help me throw one together fast! I know you can do things FAST if you want without all these fancy rulers -- but hey! I was on a F.A.R.T.! I was thrilled to add to my ruler collection!

While researching Sharon Shamber, I found another of her video's showing her Quilt Halo . I have been having issues with my arthritis in my thumb (now onto the second injection of cortisone). It sure looks easy enough, and it looks like I can manage it with my hands. Though it will be a while before I try it out, thought I would mention it here so you all can check it out!

Of course the F.A.R.T. would never be complete without fabric! The 2.5" strips are perfect for the hexagon quilt I am working on! It's always nice to start working with new fabrics! I'll be using a lot of Elmer's glue sticks in the process! Check out my tutorial on how to prep hexagon flowers here . I couldn't resist the cute little bug material for backing a baby quilt!

Now the photo below isn't quite the way I wanted, but it gives you an idea of the stash I bought. Before we left, I took a critical look at what I was short on. I don't have a huge stash, but I have been working on building it up. I was short of purple -- so that is much of what I focused on.

The shops we visited this round were:

Great Falls, Montana:
Big Sky Quilts
- love it for their selection. They have expanded their store front to include a number of long arm machines and added to their fabric selections.
- did not like it for them suggesting to Chef that he leaves to get a coffee. I sure wish quilt shops would welcome men more! The reason why they hate coming in is because of the way they are treated.
**suggestion --- have a reading area for the men with a couple of comfy chairs and some "guy" magazines (ok, not Playboy....but you know, Time magazine, etc.) and offer them a beverage and perhaps a cookie! ********************************ok...getting off my soapbox

Carter, Montana
The Quilting Hen
- This shop is off the beaten path, but well marked on the highway. To get there you travel a gravel road for about a mile -- really not that far. The owner is VERY welcoming and also welcomed the Chef with open arms. We were able to browse on our own and I did pick up a few things from there. There seems to be a great area for classes and it's spotless! So nice to go into a shop that is so well organized. Although I would have loved to take home some decorative chickens, I don't believe they are for sale, but they sure are cute tucked in and around selections of fabrics and notions.

Havre, Montana
Bearly Square Quilting
- We've never been to Havre, so we thought we would check it out. It's a pretty quiet little town driving in. BUT it has a QUILT SHOP! So all is good with that! The welcome I got when I walked into the store was like I have been a long-time customer and friend. Gotta like that about a store that you walk into the first time! This shop does not have the selection available in Great Falls or Carter, but there was still plenty to browse! I found my ruler there! They are relocating in September to another shop a couple of blocks down from where they are. I would definitely visit again! Maybe the new shop will allow for them to have a larger selection of fabrics?

Ben Franklin Crafts
- SERIOUSLY? That's all I can say. Wow! What a huge amount of inventory! I have never been into one of these stores, but I have read all about them. I didn't buy anything here, but it's HUGE. So much to look at, I would have needed hours to go through everything.

Those were the only shops that I really wanted to mention. We did do some "school" clothes shopping for the little man and bought our favorite oatmeal that we can only buy in the U.S. It was a lovely little trip! I came home and petted the fabrics (lol) and of course got them folded and added to the stash pile.

I even managed to finish the plane quilt. You've seen it, but I'll post another few photo's when I have a chance!

Meantime ... to end off my vacation, Chef and I are going to see The Hundred Foot Journey. Sounds like a nice afternoon to me!

Happy Quilting All!

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Family? or Quilting?

Isn't she beautiful? I think I'd rather be holding her than fabric.... in time my friends, I will be back again with my little addition to blog land! Meantime I am reading you all when I can and holding this wee one! My grandson declared, "I AM the best-est big cousin ever!" I think he was a bit scared of how little she really was. He held her so tenderly! His serious face shows how especially important his task was! He was so serious he barely moved his eyes, never mind give us a smile! 

Happy quilting everyone! I'll show you next time what I found on my travels!


Saturday, August 2, 2014

Quilting? or something else?

I am starting two weeks of vacation...with hopes of travelling, but we have the fires in B.C. Then we thought about headed to Montana, but we have a son living with us who "forgets" to lock the doors or leaves the keys "in" the door. Then we have the little man above! How can you resist the glee on a child's face when he discovers his uncles superhero's tucked away?

So, the Chef and I will be doing the Porcha-back-yarda for this year and enjoying what we have right here at home. Maybe a day or two fishing nearby?  Perhaps we can sneak a trip for fabric?

Hope you all have a wonderful summer if I don't happen to post again for a bit!

Stay tuned.... before you know it, Fall will be here and the machines will be humming once again!

Happy Quilting!