Wednesday, April 28, 2010

EQ7 is coming!

I am so excited! I think the Electric Quilt was the first program I bought when I got my first computer. That was EQ4! Every upgrade was more and better! I can hardly wait for all the details on May 3rd! So make sure you check it out at the Electric Quilt website. Much more fun and more designs! And my favourite actually comes with a manual!

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Taking Time for Strawberry Fields Quiltalong!

I could not resist this quiltalong from Lori at Humble Quilts It is so cute and a perfect size for just a little fun.

After looking at the cutting instructions I realized I could use a couple of small charm packs. After sorting I needed a few extra charm squares and some light scraps but it worked out.

Here is everything all cut up and ready to go. I see that Lori has started sewing already so I will get going tomorrow on that.       
Happy Stitching !                      

Friday, April 23, 2010

Quilt out of my box with 'The Quilt Show' Challenge - Episode #105

Creativity- that can be really tough sometimes and that is what I have been facing with this challenge. While getting myself ready for this I thought really hard about what I wanted out of this challenge. The most important thing was to just try something that would be a challenge and out of my comfort zone. Barbara Olson  on 'The Quilt Show' Episode 105 was very inspiring. Her flowers are vibrant and alive! Big prints and big color and not things I even have in my stash! So I went hunting in my fabrics and found this bright, striped 1-1/2 yard piece that I have no idea why I even must of been a crazy moment. So I thought maybe I could do a flower just from this... it is full of color. 

The next step was to draw my own flower. After many sketches I settled on this one and enlarged it a bit.

So far so good! Then I started looking at that fabric and wondered what I was even thinking! But this is a next was grain lines and then I decided to fuse everything and use thread to enhance it all a bit. 

Before I show the finished flower I  must say that this was challenging. I really, really like my comfortable box! And my life is quite stressful right now so it is hard to let that go to create and I am not sure I managed that at all but I tried. Most importantly during this process I was not liking this at all but I kept going and kept an open mind and in the end I am mostly happy. So I learned to keep going and maybe something great will be there in the end or maybe not. Or maybe it won't be great in your eyes but wonderful in someone else's. And I also learned that there are many ways to be creative. There is no right way- you just need to dive in and keep an open  mind. Not easy sometimes.

So here is the finished piece- not quilted and I am not planning to.


And I know what I am doing with all the leftovers... a pineapple quilt!

The next episode (#106 with Denise Labadie) I will be skipping because there is no where local and easy to pick up the supplies I would need but someday I will probably come back to this one because it looks like fun.

So the next challenge is 'The Quilt Show' Episode 107. 

Happy Stitching everyone!

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Testing the Iron

I'm home! So after cleaning up my sewing room I thought I'd better test my new iron that I had picked up at the hobby shop.

I tested to see if it would iron out the wrinkles, press open a seam, press seams to one side and iron on freezer paper.

I tried a medium heat setting first but wasn't happy with that so I turned up the heat to almost maximum. Then it was hot!

It did ok on the wrinkle test. I pulled out a scrunched scrap from my scrapbox and it did not too bad. It didn't get rid of every wrinkle but I spritzed it with water and it was wrinkle free in no time. So far so good!

Then I took some 2"square scraps to sew together. Here is my seam pressed open...I loved how the irons' pointy tip zipped right through that seam. It was a nice clean press.  Even better! I sometimes like to press seams open especially on little quilts so I can already see that the iron will be useful.

Next was the test to press seams to one was ok...but I'll use my regular iron for this task. The larger the area to press the less well it worked. When I started pressing seams that were overlapping it didn't have the heat to get a really flat seam.

Here is a closeup and it's fine...but...

Finally I ironed on some freezer paper and it worked well for that. It would be really great when doing small pieces. With a big iron they sometimes get caught and get turned upside down. I don't think this would happen with this little iron.

Now what about the product itself? It is definately a man tool. There is nothing pretty about it. And it has some things I really don't like. It's handle stays nice and cool but...if you touch ANY other part of it while it's hot then you'll be hot too. That includes the dial to regulate the heat setting. Ouch! And it includes the metal section of the handle. If your hand slips down or if you reach out your finger for more leverage (without thinking about it!) then you'll have a hot little finger. And one more thing..the little stand is HOT too!

I also learned that I missed my steam..I know many people don't use steam when pressing seams for a quilt but I am a careful presser and I LOVE steam. For me it makes a difference.

So will I keep using it? Sometimes...when I am working on a small quilt where I am pressing seams open I will and when I want a little iron next to me at my sewing machine I will. And it might be useful for paperpiecing as well.  But for general use I won't use it too often. I am a little disappointed.

So now I will be starting the next challenge...`The Quilt Show` Espisode 105

Happy Stitching!