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Saturday, October 25, 2014

Time for a Catch Up!

A month has gone by...already....I had not thought I had been doing much but looking back on the month I have gotten a bit done to show!
 
First I basted the next quilt to be machine quilted...
 
 
 I moved from a home with fabulous carpet and underlay to a home with hard floors. Basting is a killer on the knees on a hard floor. I bought myself a new tool...knee pads! I found these great knee pads with a hard plastic shell so you actually slide a bit and don't get stuck to your quilt! 
 
 
Not the best photo of my knees! But at least my knees are happy!
 
I set up my Mom's old feather weight sewing machine and started sewing a little quilt together using just the scraps from that churn dash I just finished. It is such a cute machine. I set it up on the kitchen counter so I could piece and keep my other machine set up for machine quilting. It is working out well so far.
 
 
Here is the finished quilt. It measures 15"x 24". I am smitten with it!
 
 
Then I started a new project...
 
I have had this spray starch and have always meant to try it to see if I like using it on my quilting fabric so I sprayed a bunch of scraps for my next little project.
 
 
 
I printed off a sheet of hexagons on cardstock...
 
 
I've been busy basting...and so far have not been minding the spray starch at all.
 
 
And I'm also going to get started on another new project...a giant apple core quilt! I had bought a fat quarter pack and had a thought that it would make a great apple core quilt. I should be able to get 3 apple cores from each fat quarter with careful arranging!
 
 
Hopefully I'll update my progress a little sooner...
 
Happy Stitching!
 
 
 
 
 
 

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Another quilt done!

I finished machine quilting another quilt! Straight grid lines...I LOVE them...I have always loved straight grid lines (preferring the hand quilted ones)!
 
  
Here is a closer look! I still have to throw it in the wash to get rid of those basting stitches.
This quilt is going to be a gift for a family member...got to keep that a secret for now!
 
 
I have to mention I am still not fond of machine quilting, but I can't imagine trying to hand quilt all the quilt tops I have done and I can't imagine hand quilting a quilt to give to someone where you just know they are going to use it lots and wash it lots!
 
And I counted up my quilt tops this week...I have four to machine quilt and one to hand quilt.
 
Here is another pair of socks- almost done. I just have to finish up the toes and weave in the ends. These will be a gift too!
 
 
Now with everything I have going on you would think that I would try to stay untempted by new projects, but that really isn't the case...
 
My temptations right now are...a couple of projects I have wanted to make for a long time, both of which I've started at least once and abandoned...Dear Jane or Farmer's Wife????
 
Or how about this temptation (I am VERY close to giving in)...a primitive sew a long from Jeni from the Willow
 
She is up to 6 blocks...
 
Happy Stitching!

Monday, September 8, 2014

I found OLD UFO's!

One thing about moving and getting re-organized is that you find things! This weekend I found old UFO's I had almost forgotten about.
 
Here are the UFO's I will actually do something with....
 
Two sashiko panels I originally thought I would frame, but now maybe they will be tote bags!
 
 
 
 
 
...And two stitcheries that will become part of  Christmas gift bags...
 
 
 
Here is a 'Promise Stitch' aka Double Stitch project. Many years ago my Mom and I each did one. She framed hers and I was going to do the same thing but never got around to it.
It's back on my list of things to do.
 
 
And here is one I may do something with...someday...
 
...Some very old Dear Jane blocks. I really am not sure If I will ever use them but you never know!
 
  
 
...And two samples I won't use but I will make these blocks again...for a quilt, not a sample. They are both quilts I have always wanted to make.
 
 
 
Happy Stitching!
 
 
 
 
 
 

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Christmas is coming...and other stuff too!

It is feeling a bit like fall already and it seems like a good time to start thinking about Christmas.
 
When I got married, I gained three young adult men...so what do I decide to do for them for Christmas...make quilts of course!
 
Son number one is a HUGE Saskatchewan Roughrider fan. It only seems right to make him a football themed quilt. I had bought a kit and added the football fabric to it. The pattern is "Crazy Eights" by Bits 'n Pieces. It is fast to cut and fast to sew. It's a fun quilt to make and perfect for a quick gift!  
 
 
So the important theme fabrics are the footballs and the watermelons (I am not sure why the fans wear watermelons on their heads, but they do!).
 
 
 
 
I finished piecing the quilt top yesterday. The kit included a pattern for an applique football but it just got lost on the quilt top with all the busy fabric.  It is a nice lap size...54"x62". Now I am going to see if I can find some football themed flannel for the backing to make it cozy.
And as a bonus...I have enough of the football fabric left that I can make a matching pillowcase.
 
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And now that I am living in a city I thought it was time to join a quilt guild. The first meeting was Tuesday night so I went and joined the Prairie Piecemakers Quilters Guild. They seem like an active guild...I am really looking forward to being a member! They are doing a mystery quilt in their newsletter this year so I may just start that and see where it goes!
 
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 I've been shopping for coasters and not finding anything I like. I wanted something different...after lots of wasted time Googling DIY coasters, I found this tutorial...I had some jute, found some round cork coasters at Michaels and got my glue gun out of hiding....
 
 
After the outside row is done, it gets much easier. My first coaster I had hot glue everywhere! I was really out of practice!
 
 
It was a fun and easy project and now I have coasters!!!
 
 
Now it is time to start thinking about a quilt for the next son...this one is going to be western themed. He loves cowboy boots...it's a place to start...
 
Happy Stitching!
 
 
 
 

Friday, August 29, 2014

A little machine quilting!

I finished the quilt!!! I looked back and found that I had basted it way back in October 2013...a long, long time ago.
 
 
It has been a while since I machine quilted and I am definitely out of practice! It didn't take me long to realize I had to pay attention...and here is what I figured out while quilting.
 
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I need a new free motion quilting foot...one with a closed toe. I use water soluble thread to baste and I love it but my open toe foot keeps catching the thread and that means not very consistent stitch sizes and even pulled stitches.
 
 
 
 
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I have to shift my quilt quite often (more often than I think I do) so it is not pulling and getting caught on the table extension corners and desk corners. All that gives me is inconsistent stitches
 
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Take frequent stretch breaks. I know I want to get it done but rushing it will not give consistent stitches! Getting fatigued means not paying attention.
 
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Pay attention to the density of the quilting. I found my stitching was further apart in the beginning and as time went on I was stippling a bit closer together.
 It's not too bad but it is worth paying attention too!
 
 
 
 
 
Most of all...don't just motor along.
 
Good machine quilting requires a person to pay attention to your speed and your stitch length.
 
It is all about consistent stitches!  
 
 
Over all, I am pleased with this effort and because I took the time to pay attention to the details I know my next quilt will be much better. I am on the road to improving my machine quilting!
 
Happy Stitching!