Thursday, July 26, 2012

100 Quilts for Kids QAL, Christmas Charm Swap, etc

Alright - today's post is going to be extremely picture heavy. But it's beautiful fabric- so I don't think anyone will complain.

My first stack of half-quarters from the Stash Builder club by PinkCastle. Gorgeous, huh? I love the pinks!!

Awesome fabric from FatQuarter Shop for my Christmas charm swap! Cutting into it this weekend. I got a yard and a half each - so I can have a little extra!

And here is my order of Christmas fabric with a fun charm pack - Momo Mushroom Animals - and my Cuzco Moda Jelly Roll (by Kate Spain). 

How cute is that?? Look at that bear! Look at it. And the apples have EYES!

...which would be creepy if they weren't so cute.

Also purchased from the same store, Cuzco by Kate Spain for my 100 Quilts for Kids QAL; so beautiful it hurts! My current favorite layout potential for these paper pieced string blocks is this:

but it only came with two strips of orange! What is a girl to do?

This is organized by the amount of fabric per color I have, with yellows, oranges and grays on the edges. Don't like it nearly as much (note the white strip in the middle represents a strip of white fabric).

And here it is in color order. So pretty... Le sigh. I guess I'll figure it out this weekend!

On a side note, I ordered the charm pack and Cuzco jelly roll from Quilt Taffy on Etsy. This is a completely unpaid endorsement: the prices are great, I was able to bundle packages to reduce shipping, and my fabric was shipped immediately! So few people had the Cuzco line, and they had it for a fair price. Great job, Quilt Taffy

Join Swim, Bike, Quilt's 100 Quilts for Kids QAL!


Monday, July 23, 2012

Finish: Paint Chip Quilt! She's a beaut!

It's done, and it's gorgeous if I do say so myself. Now, tons of glamour shots.

Pretty in the sun, huh? That is a completely unaltered photo! (except cropping).

The back - wrinkly but fun. I love the squares! It's subtle but I think it worked out.

Notice that I used the "cheater" binding - left an inch and a half all the way around the edge on the backing, then folded and top stitched. Despite some inconsistent width in some areas, I actually love the medium gray on the white - it makes a clear border, but doesn't distract from the colors!

A close up of some of the quilting- see the colored thread?

It is an awkward size - about 28" wide by 60" long. Not a hugely useful size (a little narrow for a lap quilt) but lovely to look at if I do say so myself. I'm so glad to have finished my first quilt, and more importantly that I'm happy with the end result!

This week is going to be great - my mail has been delivered with the jelly roll I'm using for the 100 quilts for kids QAL and my first half yard full bundle from the stash stack club (Pink Castle) has arrived!!! Pictures to come, buttons below.

I am also linking to several linky groups.

Swimbikequilt Pink Castle Fabrics
Fresh Poppy Design WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Paint Chips, Bobbin Busting, and Care Package 1

Another week, another post. It's been a bit stressful this week - work is exhausting. As a friendly reminder to everyone, please back up all your important documents on a regular basis! My heart goes out this week to a woman whose harddrive crashed...

Anyhow, my Paint Chip quilt is going rather well... mostly.

Okay so some days are better than others. The major problem at this point is that I find myself repeatedly and unintentionally sewing wrinkles into the back of the quilt. When they are bad, I rip it out and do it again. Lately, though, I am just letting it be. It's killing me, but it is going to happen. I'm realizing that choosing to back the quilt in a solid light color will point out every wrinkle, over sewn square, and crooked line. I am working on being okay with it- sewing as an outlet cannot be about perfection for me.

So here's how the back is looking so far:

I have 8 multicolored squares quilted, and four to go. I'm doing roughly one square per "paint chip" (set of three vertical colors).It does look pretty cool, although in this picture you can clearly see what I mean about sewing in the wrinkles. Here's a close up of the red square (top right of above pic).

Kind of cool, right? And it looks cool on the front too - little pillows of color. I'm starting to get really excited about finishing it and washing it.

So now that we've got the ugly (unfinished) stuff out of the way, lets talk about what else I've been working on! In the process of sewing all these different colored squares in my paint chip quilt, my lack of bobbins is becoming a problem. I now have a bad habit of "stacking" the thread on the same bobbin - anyone else do this?

This bobbin has 3 colors - black, salmon (eww) and blue - on it. Later, I used it again for green. So I started thinking about projects that would get rid of unwanted bobbin thread that I may not have a matching color (such as the salmon - this bobbin was one my mom had used and came "pre-filled" by her when I inherited it). Last week, when I made my first pouch, I realized that much of it was constructed without the obvious bobbin thread showing. Perfect! Now all I needed was a reason to make a pouch.

Enter my best friend Dana, who is moving to New York in two weeks and thought my pouch was super cute! She told me she wanted one, only bigger. I hope this delivers:

Dana is an avid knitter so I made sure it was big enough to hold a skein (or two) of yarn. On the outside is Stitch Organic by Betz White, and the interior is Apple of My Eye by The Quilted Fish. Some of those polka dots are white apples! It's adorable. Also attached is a selvage zipper pull; Apple of My Eye seems perfect, since Dana is my best friend and moving to the Big Apple!

I also made a pencil case/DPN (double pointed needle) holder to go with it (and to empty my bobbins). Made from some leftover Good Fortune by Kate Spain.

And then I got to thinking - I like making things for friends. Maybe this will be her going away present, but once she arrives in New York I will start sending her care packages of various fun stuff and crafts. She loved the idea, and I fully expect to receive knit goods and NYC souvenirs in return!

And the last update (which you may have noticed by the slight change in scenery in these pictures) is that I have moved my sewing machine to my sweety's place. So far, he is coping with me being over a little more often (I think he likes it - he keeps making me brownies! a good sign).

Linking to Fabric Tuesday and WIP Wednesday.

Have a great week!

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

WIP and a Finish (YAY!)

Happy Tuesday! Softball league has started at work, and we won our game last night! Yay! This weekend, and a little of last week, I got some sewing in. First, I tried sewing a pouch using The Plaid Scottie's box pouch tutorial. I tried it in the "pencil case" size and I completely failed at it. My supposedly fusable interfacing did not "fuse", so I was not really able to grab and smish the (very small) corners as per the directions. I will be trying this again in a larger size, and sewing the interfacing in (since it doesn't want to iron transfer). I'm so embarrassed of the result I'm not even going to show a picture of it.

So here's my first finish:
I did successfully sew this (I think) really cute zipper pouch out of some extra Reunion (by Sweetwater) charm squares I had lying around. I did this without a pattern, but learning the basic construction from the aforementioned tutorial by the Plaid Scottie.

The little hand stitched circle came later, out of boredom, and though the stitches are wobbly, it is secure so I think it's a good first try. The circle is a scrap of Good Fortune by Kate Spain.

The back...

and the interior! This is my favorite part. The bag is wide enough to carry my work cell, my home cell, and my work ID. Perfect for carrying around the office/campus without bringing a purse!

And now the epic WIP- my paint chip quilt. 

The main struggle with this quilt is my complete lack of work space. In this picture, you can see that the main body of the quilt is kind of stuck on my computer monitor/keyboard, making it really difficult to move through the machine. I am not only struggling with the typical machine neck problem, but my desk too!

Also check out my classy Viking Husqvarna 400 Computer. Clunky, huh? It works well, but if anyone knows where I can buy feet or bobbins (standard size bobbins don't fit this bad boy!) please let me know. I really want to buy a FMQ foot (see previous post, Singer Inspiration vs Reality, for details on my quest to get a machine to work at all so I can try FMQ). 

Another fun action shot of my cramped space: 

Should I move my machine to my boyfriends? He has an entire room he has designated as my craft room - but that would mean I couldn't sew in the middle of the night with my cats! It would be a ton more room- he has several tables set up for me already (what a sweety!).

And here is a sneak peak of how the back is looking with the color chips outlined:
Cute, right? I'm loving it!

Have a good day!

Linking with Quilt Story Fabric Tuesday and WIP Wednesday on Freshly Pieced

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Singer Inspiration vs Reality

Last night I felt  like this:

so rather than continue quilting, I did nothing. So I wanted to regale you all with the tale of my dreaded Singer Inpsiration.

Yes, it's cute. It's cheap. It is also the BANE OF MY SEWING EXISTENCE. 

I bought it 3 years ago at Jo-Anns to assist with costuming a play. It was cute, had little features like a self threading needle, buttonhole options, and came with several feet. Mostly, though, it was cheap! Every time I sewed with it though, I had this awful snarl on the back (reminiscent to an extreme tension issue). As it turns out, a piece of plastic that holds the bobbin holder (plastic) into the bobbin spinny motor thing (metal) had broken off. No sweat. I ordered a whole new bobbin holder. By the time the bobbin holder came, I had finished the costumes (by hand) and moved on. I didn't really struggle with it - I inherited my mother's Husqvarna Computer (circa 1990's) very soon there after.

And now I've picked up quilting. And what does this bad boy come with? A FMQ foot. 

I pulled him out this weekend (anything with "computer" in its name is automatically a "he" to me) and looked to see if I could make it work; I had high hopes of starting to give small FMQ projects a try. But first, I attempted a straight line.

Fabulous. Simply gorgeous. So...this is the back side of the fabric. In order to trouble shoot it, I had a different bobbin and top thread. Top thread was black. Do you see any purple in there at all? Because I didn't. 

After a few minutes of this, I opened up the bobbin case in the hopes I could beat the machine into submission. Guess what I found! I'll give you a hint-it looks like this - 

It's the shark fin shaped piece of plastic that broke of the the first time that I replaced! Broken off again. And that's it. I'm done. Despite the fact that I can't find a FMQ foot for my Husqvarna, I am giving up on this machine. It has never worked, even right out of the box!

Do you guys have any thoughts? Is it worth tryinig to fix? Has anyone had this type of problem before??

Or... does anyone know where I can get a pretty old Husqvarna computer FMQ foot?

Monday, July 2, 2012

The Past Week / To Do List

The past week was one of those which you come to the end of and have no idea what you did. So I've reviewed the past week in pictures:

The Bread Maker Cinnamon Bun recipe... not a complete success. Problem one: they never got brown like I wanted them to (the brown in the picture is the burnt sugar from the bottom of the pan). Problem two: the spirals didn't stick together, thus allowing raisins and buttery deliciousness to escape. Problem three: my sweety didn't have any cinnamon (WHAT??). Problem four: they tasted like sweet pretzels. No joke.

I spent WAY too much time playing Star Wars: The Old Republic (SWTOR) because of patch 1.3... augments anyone? If you reply, I will make you any purple synthweaving augment for free! (As if someone will). Here is a picture of a brief cat intervention - Sigmund is a little concerned that I'm playing rather than feeding her. 

And of course, the Color Swatch quilt. If you look really closely at the edges you can see the color gray I'm using as the backing. It is finally basted and in the painfully slow process of being quilted. After sewing the short rows last night (not pictured), I am seriously considering moving my entire sewing setup to the sweety's place... I simply don't have the room on my 3x5 table (which also has a monitor, keyboard, and cutting mat on it) to quilt a full size quilt! Tomorrow, a picture of the folding, bunching and otherwise completely fruitless attempts of organizing the straight-line quilting. 

I also promised myself I would list my To Do list so that I would force myself to be accountable for sewing/craft related projects.
    1. Finish the Color Swatch Quilt
    2. Finish the Ipad Case/Pattern Review (you may be surprised by my feedback)
      1. Purchase elastic
    3. Start a Box Pouch (from The Plaid Scotty's Tutorial)
    4. July 15th- My first QAL - 100 Quilts for Kids QAL (Click the link below for information about 100 Quilts for Kids from Swim, Bike, Quilt)
That's it for now!


Check it out - a great opportunity to help your community!

Swim, Bike, Quilt