Monthly Archives: July 2012

I’ve been a busy girl!!!

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I wish there was a way to get the paycheque without the work!!!  I can get so much done when not working LOL  I am on vacation this week and next.this week we are just around home doing a few odd jobs, a couple of day trips, coffee, lunch with friends before taking off for a week on sunday or monday. I still have managed to finish the following  2 pairs of jammies , the quilting on a baby quilt, and 2 blocks ! SWEET!!

  I got out the serger on monday and started with pj’s for my grandson Justin who will be 4 on the 12th of Aug . A pretty simple design these were done the same day! I think they will be a bit big for him even though they are a size 4, but hey he will grow!

  Ainsley, who will be 2 on the 17th of Aug is also getting a pair of fairly simple design jammies but the fabric is just so cute!  These would have been done monday but i couldnt find the white ribbing fabric i had for the neckband, so had to go and pick someup yesterday!  I like the pink better anyways!

I also finished quilting a flannel baby quilt, actually before i started on the jammies , as i had to dismantle my machine quilting setup so i could set up my serger!  

  this picture of the quilt is kinda wonky cause i took it on the horizontal and then flipped it to vertical , so it looks kinda weird but you get the idea of the design anyways.   i used an old flannel sheet as the batting, 2 layers, but i think one would have been enough, but next time i will know!

Each of the big square blocks is quilted with this moon and star motif. I got it out of Hari Walners book ( Continuous Line Quilting Designs )which i picked up at the library last week and i think i am going to buy a copy for myself. It has some really nice designs in it.  One of the things i like best is the enlargement and reduction chart.  If you want to go from a design in the book which is say 2 inches, it tells you what percentage to set the photocopier to get say a 4 inch, or 6 inch one.  that was very helpful for me as it saved multiple pages of unusable photocopies tryint to go from 2 ” to 8 ‘ for this quilt 🙂  I just love it and as soon as i saw it i knew it would be perfect. I cut out the photocopy and traced around it with my “Frixxion” pen, did the sewing , ironed the marks off!!  Love it!

I did free hand stars in the small square blocks, they turned out mostly okay, in the rectangular block i did kind of a meandering line, with little stars thrown in here and there. On the two narrow bands  i used a design from a book called Dot to Dot quilting ( also from the library) which apart from a few areas where i was less than steady  LOL  turned out fine. Overall i am pleased with this quilt. I had no issues with my machine, I used Aurifil thread and there was no skipping, shredding or anything and it was done very quickly. I think i would do 2 things differently though, one is only using one layer of flannel as a batting, and the other would be using a thicker thread for the quilting. The thread i used was a 50 weight and i think maybe a 40 or even 30 would show off the quilting more.

yesterday i set to work on the July blocks from the Craftsy block of the Month.  This month is Dresden plates, and uses the Easy Dresden ruler by Darlene Zimmerman. 

I looooooooooove this first block, I think it is my very favorite, even if i have said another is my favorite, I was lying!!  

  Here it is!!  I had no issues with this one, the Easy Dresden was a breeze to use and the sewing went without a hitch. I stitched the design onto my background fabric with a straight stitch very close to the edge.

                 The second block for the month, is called Modern Dresden fan and called for alternating backrgound fans with one other colour….. but i used two, just cause i could!  I dont like this one as much as the one above, i find it too thick. le t me try and explain. After sewing all the fans together and pressing, you take a background square and lay the circle of fans right sides together and sew around the circle using a quarter inch seam.  clip the curve and then turn it right side out through the hole in the middle of the pieced fans. press and then sew down on to another backround square and sew the middle circle onto that.  Basically 3 layers of fabric on the whole block. If I ever choose to another block of this design i would find a different way to sew it together.

so thats what i have been up to the last few days, I plan to get the binding sewn onto my jelly roll quilt and my spring sampler table topper today and who knows what after that!  we will see!

cheers for now

 

 

 

 

Quilting finished on my Jelly Roll quilt!

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Nearly finished this one!! but have to sew some jammies for 2 of my grandkids who have birthdays in Aug. so the binding is on hold for a day or so. I also just finished the machine quilting on my blue/brown flannel baby quilt, which i think  turned out pretty good!!  🙂 havn’t taken a snap of that yet though.

so here it is all quilted and ready to be squared up and have the binding sewn on!

and this is the backing!  pretty wild eh?

Closeup of the quilting, not too bad, still uneven stitch length and my stops and starts arnt great. but nothing like practice to get better at things.

It turns out all the difficulties i was having with quilting on this was due to the thread i was using, as soon as i switched i was done in a few hours. No skipped stitches no fraying thread.  So I will have to try the Guterman thread for piecing as it does not work well on my machine for free motion!

I have the binding for the jelly roll quilt and  spring sampler table runner all cut and ready to put on, hoping to get that done soon as we are going away next week and i would like some handwork to do.  I have finished , except for the elastic in the waistband, my oldest grandson Justins jammies, he will be four I chose some cars themed fabric for his. Also nearly done my youngest grandaughter Ainsleys jammies, she will be turning 2 a few days after justin turns 4! her fabric is tourquise with pink flowers.   I hope to get those finished tomorrow and then sew my Craftsy July blocks and then do the bindings on the two quilts that need it. I still have to find some fabric for the baby quilt binding will have to check my stash tomorrow i guess. And if i dont have anything i can always go shopping LOL

well even though it is only 9:30 i am beat and think i am going to hit the sack and catch up on some sleep. 

thanks for dropping in!

 

 

 

Jelly Roll Frustrations

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I have been trying to machine quilt the jelly roll quilt i made last january……. since monday of last week…….I have been having issues…… can you tell  LOL   I am quilting it with kind of a meandering swirl, loop thing!!   the strips run horizontal across the quilt and i decided to do each strip individually with overlaps on the strips on each side. Every thing went along pretty well the first few nights, but wasn’t getting much done. I am slow and at the time didnt have a good setup for machine quilting.  the usual stitch length issues that beginners have, the odd skipped stitch ( annoying)   and then thursday evening my needle seemed dull so i changed it. Yeah! nothing has worked since !!!!  If the bobbin thread got picked up by the top at all it would only be for a few stitches and then a giant skip would occur  Grrrrrrrr!!  I can handle a couple of longer stitches here and there but these were like an inch!!! so i tried many different sizes of needles, checked the internet machine quilting info for tips  , nothing seemed to work. i finally found a needle the same as the one i had changed out a Janome 11 blue tip.  Then it would sew along seemingly fine for a few inches and BAM! another giant miss!! the top thread would break at the needle too which is a giant PITA!  friday night same things going on, I had so many thread tails from my starts and stops it sure wasnt pretty!

saturday i cleaned up my sewing room and setup a larger table area for machine quilting YAAAY!  it still needs to be tweaked a bit but soooooo much better, the quilt moves so much easier.  i finally tried again yesterday afternoon and decided to change my thread. the tips i read on the internet suggest needles, thread and tension are the biggest culprits in the type of issues i was having.  I didnt want to change brand of thread in the middle but i wasnt getting very far. I had been using Gutermans 50 thread and switched to Aurofil 50 and BAM!! problem solved!!! Not one skipped stitch. I was off to the races and got more done in an hour or two than all the previous days combined. Its amazing what you can do when you are not stopping and starting, rethreading etc . I only have about 10 strips left to quilt ( this evening) all the thread tails have been hidden in the middle of the quilt and i cant wait to be done with this sucker LOL   I did find a quilting board where some people were having the same issues with the same thread so thats what made decide to try changing it. I dont know if it is the combination of fabric, batting , maybe machine etc that  caused problems . but clearly i am not the only one who has had issues with it.  I will try it again on a different project and see what happens before i give up , mainly cause i am somewhat stubborn  🙂 so looking forward to finishing the quilting on this one, and maybe doing a baby quilt before taking down my machine quilting setup ( more on that another day) and getting back to some piecing for a while.  

5 days and i am on holidays for2 weeks!!!!   yaaaaaaaaaay! i so need a break from work!

cheers for now, its gonna be another Blue Blazer here today!

 

 

a Quick Drive by ….

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Just a quick stop in  before heading for work. i finished quilting my spring table runner last night. I useda floral design where i had to “follow” the lines, yeah thats going to take some time to perfect!!  then there were these white triangle open areas that needed something. so i tried to use each of the 4 as a sort of doodle board and tried different free motion quilting techniques.

did some small flowers on vines in one, circles in another, stars and hearts, and swirls. They look horrible LOL  well the odd bit is fine i guess and i did feel like i was getting in the groove a few times and figuring out what i was doing.  but i consider it part of my learning curve and will bind it and use it!  and i will try not compare my circles to the ones i saw this morning, they were just perfect and sooooooo what i wanted but i just need to practise more!

cheers

A Finish! ……or 3

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I fnished my blue and yellow table runner finally ! washed it and took some snaps on the weekend …. so here it is!!

                    

This is going to fit perfectly on my dresser and will go well with the blue ( uggggh! ) carpet thats in our bedroom.

   I chose to do  simple straight line quilting in the border and in the center i did an echo stitch about a quarter inch away from each seam.  Well i call it straight line quilting,  Hmmmmm i thought i was sewing straight all these years, but apparantly not  LOL

  A close up with a bit of the backing showing.  

One thing i did notice when quilting this was the difference in my piecing, pressing skills. they have improved greatly since i sewed this up last fall.  a lot of the seams on this are not exactly flat, and some are a bit off as far as matching corners !  But i like it and will always be able to look back and see how far i have improved in my quilting skills ( I hope!! )

I also finished the 4th set of blocks in the Bloggers Block of the Month  , dont even ask how i managed this ,  but the third set should have been november but mine were Marchs and now i did December instead of November…..  

 This is Pat Sloans design, her blog is called ‘the voice of Quilting’

And in the mail when i got home from work was block one in the 2012 Designer Mystery from the Fat Quarter Shop, very pretty fabrics for this one.  I think i am gonna like it 🙂    I finally found someone fairly close , just west of Grande Prairie AB a quilt store has an Easy Dresden ruler and since dh is up in that area this week he will pick it up  for me , so no snow!

thats it for today sports fans, i need to go “rest my eyes'” for a few minutes before going downstairs to start quilting my Spring Colours table cloth.   that really means a short nap! 

cheers

Works in Progress – part 3

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Hi Everyone, this should be the last sort of bulk update on my WIP’s   because as well as learning from the Quilters Academy book and doing a couple of blocks of the month i also have been doing some other stuff just on my own, I know what a rebel eh LOL

At christmas my one Grandaughter Venessa wanted to get me some fabric for christmas, so her and her mom went to Walmart and got me a jelly roll, a pack of springy coloured fat quarters, and a pack of 5 matching 1/2 yd flannel cuts. I know what you’re thinking……. WAL – MART. a few years ago it was a not bad place to get sort of every day sewing fabric but ours only precut bundles now. they are 100% cotten but lets just say probably not the best quality in the world by the look of them. But MY GRANDDAUGHTER picked them out just for me!  so i have to make something out of them. I havnt done anything with the flannel yet though.

so i did one of those jelly roll quilts where you sew them into one long length , cut off a bit to stagger the seams, and then bring the two ends together and sew together down the entire length, and keep repeating . You can see it on Youtube if you do a search for Jelly Roll race , some people do theirs in like an hour. took me the whole evening.  I just have the quilt top finished and am thinking about how i would like to quilt it, either in a meandering stipply thing or maybe echo the seam lines, not quite sure yet!

Out of the fat quarters Venessa got me  i made a table topper,  i have started marking this one for quilting, i have a simple four petal flower outline that fits nicely inthe center of the five blocks , i might just sort of expand the flower out in ever expanding rows , well perhaps 4 or 5 would be enough to fill the whole block and then something for the corners, still not sure about that.

 Gonna go down and finish marking the  quilting design on it right after posting this and i might get the actual quilting started tonight. I found some perfect thread to quilt it with yesterday, it has all the colours of the blocks in it and should look great.

I did this flannel quilt top with a mix of browns, yellows and blues in November and it needs to be quilted.  Its a hard thing to decide how to quilt something i’m finding.

This is my biggest quilt top so far, it is from the booklet called  “Turning Twenty” . I had gotten a bundle of fat quarters in Edmonton last October, all leaves, in golds, browns, reds, greens and they are just gorgeous. I had no idea what i would do with them when i got them but had to have them!!  I had to get some blenders and other prints that would work with them to make this and picked up most of them on a trip out to Vanderhoof with 3 of my quilting buddies!  we had such a good time, its so much fun to shop with friends isnt it? so here is hubby ( well i guess you cant see him ) holding the quilt top up in the backyard so i can get a picture. I think it turned out great and cant wait to get it quilted.

This is another version of the same quilt as above , only its made with 9 fat quarters.  i had picked up a hockey themed fat quarter bundle at a quilt show down the highway in Quesnel, B.C. in May.  i had to get a few more , which i snitched out of another larger bundle that i also had picked up at the same show.  It seemed plain to me after finishing piecing it and i went out and bought some hockey prints and cut out and appliqued on to some of the squares.  Havn’t even started to think about how to quilt this yet.

     

Here is a couple of closeups of the appliques.

It is a gorgeous summer day today and dh and i are going out to do a little geocaching this afternoon with a side trip into Fabricland 🙂

Vicki

 

 

Works in Progress: part 2 – Blocks of the Month

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After a few days away to visit my MIL i am back at it , hard at work, at work that is … not my sewing room!  I did visit to beautiful quilt shops in Kamloops B.C.  Katje’s , where i got some fabric for a quilt that will be coming up soon in my Quilters Academy lessons. Also got some charm squares for some baby quilts that are on my radar screen recently. Some tiny packs of squares, about 2 inches square i think. I plan to do some paper piecing with those.  Got one pattern called Jelly Roll jive and a piece of flannel for another quilt in the lesson series as well.  the other shop was in north Kamloops and its called Heathers , very nice little shop,  got a hedgehog baby quilt kit, sooooo cute, some fat quarters, a piece of fabric for a quilt also on the radar.

Now onto my Block of the Month WIP’s …….  In Jan i stumbled across the Craftsy website and their free Block of the month with Amy Gibson.  So I signed up and hit the fabric shops for some fat quarters to flesh out the ones i had and get some background fabric.  Every month there are 2 blocks to sew complete with a video lesson and print outs of the directions.

January- Slashed Blocks: these were super fun to do and i enjoyed them quite a bit!

 

February- Half Square Triangles: these were  a bit above my skill level and i did have some issues with the points , so they are not perfect but okay and i learned from them too which i guess is the main thing.

 

March- Foundation Piecing: Really like making these blocks and immediatley started collecting “strings” for future use!

April- English Paper Piecing: Enjoyed doing these even though i dont generally like hand stitching. They were portable though and i worked on the basting and stitching together on a trip to Edmonton. I did change the layout of the one with the large circle of hexagons on it. In the lesson it was 2 rows sewn together and then appliqued to the background square in a row. I did mine in a circle to look more like a flower and i appliqued them on using a blanket stitch on my machine! very untraditional!

   

May- Wonky Log Cabin: I enjoyed these even though i messed up the second one bigtime, totally didnt follow directions well and it looked all wrong , so i took it back to a place i could start over and did so!!  But in the end they turned out decent enough, again with learning happening!

 

June: Modern Nine patch- no problems with these, the skills i am learning from my Quilting Academy lessons are paying off here!

 

July is Dresden plates, but i need to get a ruler or something first, probably on saturday.

so the other BOM i am doing , is called the Bloggers Block of the Month. It started in September and can be found over at Jackies blog Canton Village Quiltworks , sorry i dont know how to do the link thing yet! on purpose anyways, may have inadvertantly done it for the designer titles below !

 

Here are my two!  I am using two different background fabrics and a layer cake of Terrain by Kate Spain.

 
these two are my faves so far!
 
 
 
I am enjoying this series, the blocks finish at 8 1/2 now so will be 8 ” in the quilt.
Don’t even ask how i got to the March one, and it gets worse i went to do the November blocks this past week and after doing one i found i was actually working on Decembers blocks! go figure eh! so i have one done and the other will get done maybe this weekend.
so one more sort of catch on my wips then onto current things!!
 
take care
Vicki