Sunday, September 14, 2014

Some progress made

Hey everyone,
Welcome back!

I had a very busy last few weeks, and hardly got to sit down to sew. I did some minor repairs, but not much quilting done.

The last few weeks I realized that I am in a desperate need to have my own quilt as I was spending a few nights on our office sofa. No, nothing is wrong between Fiance and I, and I'm not planning on breaking up with him or anything. But unfortunately we lost our baby kitty on July 25th due to a mysterious accident, and we were both devastated along with Smoky who lost his brother. In a few days we decided to adopt a kitten to have him some company in these very difficult times. We both miss Sleepy terribly as we were raising him since the day he was born.

The new kitty arrived in 4 days, we named him Paw as he has gigantic size paws. He just turned 6 months about a week ago, and was very scared, hissing and growling at Smoky. Fortunately he is such a calm grown-up kitty, and can make friends with strangers. So I spent the first 2 nights with Paw in the office, and Smoky was sleeping with Fiance in our bedroom. It took them a few days to get to know each other, and it's been six weeks since the adoption, after 2  weeks they started to play with each other. Things are going well, despite the circumstances.
Here they are, unfortunately I only have a phone picture to show.

I did finish putting the borders on Lucky Stars finally, and also pieced the backing together for my Celtic Solstice. I did a mitered corner on Lucky Stars, as I thought what the heck... 

For the backing of Celtic Solstice I used similar colors as are in the quilt top.

It's weird to be in my sewing room without my regular helper, sometimes Smoky comes to keep me company and guard my fabrics.

Now I have a lot of tops to be quilted, and was thinking I should start basting them, the smallest one first, but then realized I don't have a backing for that one, and need to make one for Lucky Stars, too. Always something :)

Chain of Stars top, waiting for basting:

I have so many things I have to get done that I had to write a list :) Some of it was crossed out already, but there's still plenty left...

That's all for now, I'll be back with some updates, hopefully soon!

'Til we blog again! :)

Friday, July 4, 2014

Never fear...

Yesterday while starting to work on my secret project, the first step was winding the bobbin. Everything went well until I heard a crack. Then I heard another one. At that point I stopped winding, and took the bobbin off the spindle.

What's wrong with this picture?!

What? You can't see it? Hint: look at the one in focus!

So when this happens never fear! I was stunned for a second because I hate to waste good thread. Not even when I got the whole spool for under $2. No. So I got the idea of putting the damaged spool on the vertical spindle on my machine, and wind it as it was regular thread. I'd set my machine to a lower speed (because it's great, and has that nice feature) and wound the bobbin like I normally would.

The result? A totally functional bobbin. There, you have it! :)

'Til we blog again! :)

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Checking in

I have been away for a while as I haven't touched my sewing machine in a month. Which is a big deal as I got a brand new one with all the features I wanted. It's "only" a Singer, but since I've had Singers since I started sewing, even back in Hungary, I stayed with the brand. I bought a lot of accessories over the years that I can still use with both my vintage and my computerized sewing machine. I didn't want to shell out a lot of money for a big brand machine as I don't do everyday quilting, and I'm not a big shot blogger, or a professional quilter. This is just my hobby, which I do as my mood changes. Speaking of which...

The reason why I was away is that I lost both my dear grandparents within 4 days in the beginning of June. It was a lot of pain, and lot of whys, and the thought to know I will not be able to see them again. The funeral was held last Friday and I feel like I'm getting better. I even managed not to cry the last few days which is a lot from me :)
They were really close and dear to me as I spent all my summer vacations with them as a kid, my Grandmother even took me to work with her before she retired. Now I accept the fact that they were old, Grandpa 91, Grandma 84, but you don't think about that when they are in such a good shape from all the hard physical work they've done their whole life. Besides a cold they were never sick, had to take no medication. After all that happened I just didn't feel like doing anything, my days were passing by. Now that we said our final good-bye-s I just have to move on and follow the land of living.

That involves a secret project which was delayed with all this going on, but I got on it and will post pictures soon. Promise :)

I am still working on the Lucky Stars top, as I didn't calculate the border right and I ran a side short, oops! I have to make a few more strips, and sew them together to be able to attach it to the top. I still haven't washed the backing fabrics I had ordered, so it's all good. It's not that they're crying to be used or anything... :)
Once that's done I'm planning to do an inventory with my UFO-s just to know how many tops I need to quilt, and how many backs to make/order. I did clean up my sewing room which involved taking everything out, and I found a few battings in the process that I forgot about. So I think I'm okay in that department.

I started running again, not as intensively as I used to, but slowly working my way up. The longest I did the other day was 3.5 miles, which is fine, since the weather is crazy hot here these days, and the humidity is just ridiculous... Today it's 85%. I'm okay with walking, thank you very much!

I have been cooking off my Pinterest board this week. So far all the recipes I tried were delicious, and really healthy. If you need some ideas, hop on over, and also check out the Eatingwell, and Healthy food ideas boards. There is also one with healthy snacks and juice recipes. I did a juice fast for 7 days back in February (After watching Fat, sick, and nearly dead on Netflix), and decided to avoid wheat, and dairy products in my eating. Dairy was bothering me anyways, even though I was never diagnosed with lactose intolerance, but it runs in my family, so I know it's a problem. Originally I cut back on sugar, too, but I eat fruits, and that counts, even though it's the good one. As a result I lost 26.5 pounds, which I needed desperately. I'm thinking about doing another juice fast one of these weeks, just to reboot my system.

That is all for now, and so we don't go without pictures, I will paste in the photo of the pretty petunias in front of our house:

'Til we blog again! :)

Monday, June 16, 2014

Putting borders on without a measuring tape

It's been a while again since I posted last time.  Life got in the way which I would not like to explain right now, maybe in a while after everything is settled. I promised to post a tutorial about how I'm measuring and attaching the border on my quilt top without using a measuring tape.I use this method every time I have to put a border on a large quilt.

First, press the top, and lay it out on a hard surface. Then measure the sides of your quilt to determine how long of the border strip you need to make. You take 2x the length, + 2x the width of your top. Add about 10 inches to be on the safe side. Take your continuous border strips to the top, and lay it down in the middle lining up the edges.

The next step is to fold the border strip back, and cut with scissors, matching up the fold with the edge of the quilt top.

Then holding up the strip that was just cut, line up the ends with the rest of the uncut border strips carefully.

Cut the end the same way, folding back the longer strips, matching the fold with the end of the border strip.

Pin the borders in place, and sew it on. After pressing, repeat all the steps with the other 2 sides.

Easy peasy :)

I'm working on my Lucky Star quilt top, putting the borders on, this time mitered. That'll be my next post.

'Til we blog again! :)

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Chain of Stars addition

As I said in my last post I made some modification to my Chain of Stars top. I decided to make it bigger, and also I didn't like it not having a border since the pattern went all the way out and it would've bothered my eyes after binding.
Remember the top when it looked like this?:

I love the design and wanted to make it float and stand out so I pieced some background fabrics together for a fairly wide border. I like it much better now. I was thinking to put squares in the middle of each of the borders so the square pattern can come together, but it would've been too much hassle, so I just decided against it.

It turned out this way:

It's a rainy day outside so I had to ask Fiance to hold the top up for me, pardon the fingers! 

I also made the binding @pantsfreesia-style! 

Now I'm just waiting for the backing to arrive which I ordered from Hancocks of Paducah since they had a sale going on, plus I got a 20% off coupon code in the email for Mother's day, so win-win for me! I have so many thing to do, and I really don't feel like piecing the backing for now.

I took pictures of how I did the borders without using a measuring tape, and will write up a tutorial on that in tomorrow's post.

'Til we blog again! :)

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Oven mitts, and hot pads

I can't believe it's been almost a month since I last posted. Time flies when you're having fun, I guess! I finally had my editing software re-installed after I got an SSD drive put into my laptop (by DF) for better speed.
I whipped up a few oven mitts as presents and since I was at it I also made some for myself. I used any strings I had on hand, they were all under 2". I made up the pattern using my own hand, and after I was done I just realized the insul bright I was using has a pattern on the packaging. Oh, well! I will use that next time.
I asked the design question on twitter of which quilting method people would prefer, and most of them voted for lines, so after I made the grid one, the second one stayed with line quilting.
The method I used making them was I cut out the shape of the mitten with a generous seam allowance from insul bright, and then started to sew my strings on top, and fold and press as I went. When I was done I trimmed it to size, and quilted it, putting the flannel as backing. I've sewn it right side facing, and also stuck a little hanging tag in between, facing the inside of the mitten. Finally I machine bound it, also with leftover binding from an earlier baby quilt.

So here's the one with the grids, front and back:

And the one people liked more, the line quilted:

I totally love the binding on this one! The inside is flannel, nice and soft.

Also made this square one after a pattern of my old hot pad because I liked the fact that it had a pocket and I could just stick my hand in there quickly and it didn't require 2 hands to put on. I forgot to round the corners a little bit, but I think it will just do like this:

This is the back:

I was rocking the machine binding on this one :)

And finally I made this one out of flannel, which feels super soft. The flannels were leftovers from 2 receiving blankets I made waaaay back when.

Here's the front:

The back (a little wrinkly since I've been using it for 2 weeks):

Before you ask what's with the stitches... First of all, since it was for me, I didn't bother with bias binding, so the binding is leftover I had from my blue and white quilts. Second of all, I made and oopsie and sewed the binding on the front first, then stitched it down on the back. Yeah. But no one else will see it, so I didn't bother correcting it. I remembered it on the second one I made, and that looks fine :)
That is all for now, I also made progress on my Chain of Stars quilt, but I will blog about that in a different post.

'Til we blog again! :)

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Guess what?...

...I'm home this week, and finally put the last borders on my Celtic Solstice top. Yeah. I know it's not like I finished the whole quilt, but I like to celebrate the baby steps and this was a big one. Some of you saw my tweet about my helper wanting to help out with the measuring. I get moments like that :)

Smoky helping with the measurements:

I decided to make a yellow binding for this one, just to contrast the dark green outer border, I'll have to get working on that.
Yesterday I ordered the batting for this baby and another one I want to finish. Now I only have to figure out what I'm gonna do about the backing. The local quilt show is coming up in 2 weeks, so I might just wait and get wide quilt backs locally instead of ordering online. Hope they'll have a good selection! If not, I was really contemplating the new-to-me Robert Kaufman quilt backings. I just haven't decided if I wanted blue or green. Decisions, decisions!

Meanwhile, here's the top:

Fiance is a tall guy with long arms, but even he couldn't reach as far as the edges go so the upper corners are kind of cut off, but you can get the picture without them. :)

I'm trying to decide on a layout for my Lucky Stars 2013 blocks. I'm contemplating putting them on point, which I've never done before. I just want to make the quilt a little larger, since it's 36"x 48" with the 12 blocks that measure 12". I even mocked up my theory in EQ7, in straight setting with flying geese in the sashing, and on point with the same flying geese. Again, I'll just have to make up my mind.

Here are the blocks:

Do you have any suggestions? Let me know in the comment section below! :)

And finally my dear Sleepy turned 3 last Friday!

'Til we blog again! :)