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.
I need a new free motion quilting 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.
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
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.
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!

Sunday, August 24, 2014

A few days of quilting time!

It is wonderful what you can accomplish in just a couple of days of 'me' time!
My churn dash kit that I had barely started got a lot more done on it! Here are all the blocks done.
Many of the blocks are low contrast... 
A few are higher contrast...
It makes an interesting mix and certainly gives it an 'old fashioned' feel that I love.
Here it is all put together. I can't wait to quilt it (but first I have a few other quilts in the queue).
It was a generous quilt kit. These are the fabrics I have left.
It is definitely enough to make a small wall hanging.
Sometimes I wonder how many other people do things like I do. I thought I would share one of these things. When I am sewing on my borders I always pin them down loosely along the other edge to keep them from flopping about while sewing. I used to not pin that edge and they would flop around and get all askew on me...and just generally be a nuisance. Plus I often will pin the opposite borders on at the same time so the one you are not sewing would always flip over and I would have to straighten it. Now that I pin the loose side I always have well behaved borders!
And now that I have so many quilts in my machine quilting queue, I thought I had better get at them. It has been a while and I am out of practice so it is going to take me a bit of time to get my stitches nice and even again.
Happy Stitching!

Monday, August 18, 2014

Wrestling the Kitchener Stitch

I have always avoided the Kitchener Stitch when finishing off my knitted socks. I just don't like doing it. So I have tried EVERY finishing technique there is. They all have something wrong with them...too sloppy... too bulky... too complicated.
Well no more! I just finished knitting a pair of socks so it was time to suck it up and learn how to do it! This morning I tackled the dreaded Kitchener stitch! So I hunted on Google and it did not take me long to find 'Silver's Sock Class' and step by step instructions with great pictures!
So after my first Kitchener Stitch socks have I changed my mind? Almost! I will continue to do it and I am sure in another pair or two I will be not wanting to do any other technique to finish my socks. If you have been avoiding it like me go check out Silver's Sock Class! If it can convert me it can convert anyone!
It is so much more tidy and flat. I really like the end result. The question is then...why did it take me so long to just do it?
Happy Stitching

Thursday, August 7, 2014


It feels FABULOUS to be getting back to a normal routine. It has been a year and a half of not getting the time with my sewing machine that I am used to. Today I spent my morning sorting out some quilting stuff and actually sewing...first I finished my tumbler quilt top.
It is very masculine and I love it. It was fast and easy. I am not sure whether this will be a gift or if it will be for us to curl up under in the winter. It measure 61"x78"...the perfect size for a lap quilt. I will eventually machine quilt it and decide then!
As I was sorting my quilting supplies, I found these projects all cut out and just waiting for me to get sewing. Two of them are projects I cut out from all my scraps and one is a kit (a churn dash) I bought some time ago.
I also I found all the fabrics and the prep work for my next applique quilt.
Time to get that started.
And finally I managed a bit more sewing time and got started on my churn dash blocks!
I still have a bit more sorting but it is coming. I found my knitting needles today...I've been looking for them...
Happy Stitching! 

Monday, August 4, 2014

I'm Back!!!!

I'm back, I'm married, I've moved and now I have to adjust to a new sewing space!

But wagon wheel quilt is finished! I put the last binding stitches and got out about half the basting stitches on the night before my move. It will be on our bed in the fall when it gets a little cooler out. I LOVE it! It makes me so happy I almost wish fall was here (almost!).

Here are a couple of photos of the quilting...
And now for the challenge of adjusting to a much smaller space and one that I can't just sprawl in...I have to clean up. I'll take pictures once I have completely unpacked and gotten a little more organized. Here is a preview though...
I started working on a kit that I bought a few months ago. No cutting needed. The tumblers were all die cut. A friend just finished the same quilt and had leftover pieces so I am able to make it a bit larger. It will be a generous lap quilt when I am done! my design wall...aka our bed!

It is actually working out not too badly so far. I also have a small Cheryl Ann's Design Wall that I can use...when I find it. I know I unpacked it.... 
And I have finished another pair of socks....these are for my Dad for his birthday.
I'll be knitting quite a bit the next few months. I have 5 pairs of socks to make for Christmas. A few easy and a couple not so easy.
And yes, it is time to start thinking about Christmas! I have started my list and I am checking it twice...I am hoping my new family is not naughty but nice!
Happy Stitching!