Thursday, May 31, 2012

A quick update

Hi Everyone,
Just wanted  to put out a quick blog post to let you all know  that I'm still here!
We got an invitation from my friend (whom I haven't seen for at  least 3 years!) a week ago to go visit them and see  their 4 months old baby girl for the first time. Exciting! But you all know what that means! I have to make a quilt! And make it quick!
I had a hard time deciding what should I make because I didn't want to do the usual pinwheel pattern that I love to make for kids. After a long consideration I decided on the Dresden plate pattern.  It will be pink and white, of course :)) I can't share any pictures yet, because I have a commitment  to do a tutorial on July 17th for  the Let's get Acquainted! blog hop and if I share the pictures now I'll have to come up with something else... which at this moment I'm not really capable of :)
I will also have to work on my  log cabin quilt  which I wanted to finish by Sunday. It's our 12th anniversary and would have been nice to finish it by then, but the baby quilt just took it's place. Now I'll have to think about something else to get for Fiance... UGH!
I'll keep working on the Craftsy  BOM blocks after I'm done  with the baby quilt, now at least I figured  out how to applique the letter "D" on the background.  The Dresden plates made me practice :)
I also signed up to Wendy Butler Berns' machine quilting class on I never in a million years thought that the videos are so thorough! I'm really happy with the class so far and will use her basting method with my log cabin quilt when I get to it. I even walked to Staples the other day in 90F  to get some binder clips, only to realize that their thickest is 1 inch. I decided not to buy it because I had a feeling that our table is thicker than that. After coming home and measuring I gladly noted that  the top is only 7/8 inch thick so I'll go back and get the clips!
That's all for the updates for now, I only have my helper Szundi's picture to  share. He likes to climb into plastic boxes, but lately I realized that He prefers the ones that have fabrics in them. Smart cat!

Friday, May 18, 2012

Blogger's Quilt Festival

Amy's Creative Side

After reading some wonderful blogs I got to the point that I decided to participate in the Blogger's Quilt Festival at Amy's blog this year. I'd like to participate with my quilt that I made not so long ago and it was clearly a very favorite. I was inspired by Sandi Colwell's Leahbelle's Garden Quilt.


My friend was expecting a baby girl and I was thumbing through the magazines and found this quilt which I really liked. I took the idea and pieced the background, then drew some flowers then fused them down. I decided to put chenille strips to outline the flower petals. It  was my first time making chenille strips and I got so many questions about it that I wrote my first tutorial. It ended up on craft gossip and I got a lot of viewing on my blog. At that time  I started to follow Leah Day's Free Motion Quilting Project where she demonstrated a different quilting technique every week. I started to practice free motion quilting and decided to stipple the quilt. It came out really nice and I'm proud of this one. My friend was stunned when they received it.

My interpretation came out like this:

Some close-up pictures:

And the pieced back:

I'm linking up to Amy's Creative Side. If you feel like it, please join the fun!

Til' we blog again! :)

How about this one?

All right. Yesterday's post brought me a suggestion which I took seriously. Nancy from Four dogs and One Quilter suggested a link which has the alphabet made of hexagons. She suggested to check out this link. What can I say? I was in heaven! I started to take my D-wanna-be apart and stitched the first few hexagons, but then it got too late and went to bed. Also the movie we were watching ended and didn't want to stay up just to finish the block. I knew I'll have to drive a lot Today  and I was kind of tired already.
Today after I got home I started stitching again and finished a better looking "D". What do you think?

I actually edited  the colors so this pictures show the true colors of the fabrics. I kind of like this one!

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Hexies progress

I keep on working on the Craftsy BOM blocks and I'm in the month of April which is English paper piecing month. In my last post I stated my own  method for that, the result will be pretty much the same anyway.  Except! The original block was supposed to be the way the hexagons were arranged in a column on a plain white background. 
Below is a picture:

I thought it's really pretty. But to me a bit boring... So I thought I'd try to find another way to arrange the hexies I made. I came up with an idea of shaping them into a letter. I'm making this quilt for my friend's grand baby who's name is Dominik so I tried to arrange them into a "D" shape.

Does this look like a "D"? That's the question!

I'd sew it on a white background as it was supposed to be originally, but first I'd like some feedback, what do you think? Is it OK for a letter D or should I figure out something else? My other idea was to form a triangle if I made 2 more. Thoughts anyone? Your opinion is very much appreciated! Did I mention I'm a terrible decision maker? Yeah! That! :)  Please help meeeee! :)

'Til we blog again! :)

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Making hexies tutorial

After finishing my Spider Web block last night I started my hexies for the April blocks. The video has suggestions for the English paper piecing method, but I kind of don't want to take the extra step to remove all the basting so decided to make them my way. Surprised? :)
I've collected round plastic things (e.g. sour cream and cream cheese tops, Chinese takeout tops, etc.)  and traced the template on them. After cutting them out I punched a hole in each with my hole punch. I took the fabrics I wanted to use (needed 13 of them) and pinned the templates on the wrong side, trimming the fabric down leaving about a 1/4 inch seam allowance.

They looked like this when I was done:
How to make quilted hexagons

Next step was to tuck 2 sides in and pinch it with my thumb getting ready to baste.

I took a threaded needle  and stitched 2-3 stitches to secure it.

I was going around the whole shape  doing the same thing.

And finally back to where I started, it's all done.

All 13 of them together:

My helpers for the day were:

Kormi helped me keeping me on my toes, making sure I can't sit down to baste.

He even volunteered to find my thimble in my sewing box. 

Szundi made sure I'm burning extra calories with standing. His favorite place is wherever I need to be sitting/sewing/or whatever.

'Til we blog again! :)

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Broken Spider Web Block done

Yaay, another block done for March, so happy! This time I've cut the   foundation square 1/8 inch bigger than instructed and trimmed it at the end about the same :) I incorporated some more fabrics in this one to make it look more scrappy. No frustrations this time! I assembled the block after I got home this evening (Fiance went fishing, hurrah for fishing season!) while watching Step Up 3. Love that movie, love the dancing and the music, can't watch it enough times.

Finally a picture of my finished Broken Spider Web block:

I had another finish Today. I finished reading the Hunger Games books! Great story line, if you haven't read it yet, you must! Someone told me that it will end sadly so I  expected something totally different, and I have to say I kind of liked the end of it. I was not crazy about the movie, it looked kind of slow in the beginning and if I haven't read the book before I would've even been bored... I'll watch it again when it comes out on DVD and maybe it'll grow on me, who knows? I heard excellent ravings about it  and a lot of people liked it, I'm thinking did I miss something? Anyways... back to the sewing room and start the blocks for April!

'Til we blog again! :)

Monday, May 14, 2012

Learning my lessons

It  was a very nice weekend with sunshine and higher temperature, nothing was too bad. Now I woke up to a humid, grey, rainy morning which isn't bad either hence that I forgot to water the petunias.
I went to a machine quilting class with Debby Brown Saturday afternoon and now I'm totally re-charged quilting wise. It was a great class, She was teaching a longarm class which I would like to do eventually. We learned how to pin the quilt back on the leaders, how to center the quilt back, why you need to baste the batting and then the 3 layers together before quilting and all that jazz. This was my second machine quilting class with her and I just can't get enough! We did some quilting which was the best part, we were going to take home the fabric piece we made, but didn't want to bother with it at the end. I just wish I took some pictures of my practice pieces they came out pretty nice. 2 of the ladies I was sharing a machine with have a machine at home so they were pretty good. It was nice to see how other people approach longarm quilting and that I wasn't the least skilled :) I came out of class with lots of design ideas and things to practice, it was a wealth of  information.
I am not allowed to sleep 7 hours anymore. Starving Szundi (translated Sleepy, yes, from the seven dwarfs) is waking me up around 4-5 AM depending on his mood. He needs to be fed immediately and if I don't get up he starts to rub his face against mine, walking up and down on me and if I'm still not getting out of bed he finds my feet and starts rubbing then just simply  biting on my toes. That does the trick and he knows it! :) I spoiled him too much with the bottle feedings and after a year he still remembers. Because of all  this I just had to take a 45 minute nap yesterday afternoon because I felt like I just can not function anymore. I woke up like I was re-born :) And to celebrate that I just dove into my sewing room. 
Still working on my Craftsy BOM and March is next in line with the foundation pieced string blocks. My first time, again. I wish Amy would've said on the video (which I watched 2x before I started) to cut the foundation a 1/4 inch bigger because my square shrunk about an 1/16 inch by the time I was finished. I had to fudge the cutting and sew the squares together accordingly which I managed just fine. I just like to make things a little bigger  and then cut them down to the right  size. Guess it's part of the getting more experience thing. Now I just have to go and take a picture of my masterpiece :)

Here it is, my String Block in all it's glory:

I know it's a little sad that this is all I could come up all weekend, but I'm happy I even had time to make this one block. It might be easy, but it is surely time consuming. You have to cut the strips first, then make the marks, position the fabrics, press every strip one-by-one  as you go, and then finally sew the whole block together. I'm not sure if I wanted to make an easy quilt this would be my block of choice. Just sayin'!

'Til we blog again! :)

Friday, May 11, 2012

One more block done

I had a looooong day!  I've been up since 4 AM because a "staaaarving"  kitty woke me up. After that I just couldn't go back to sleep. I was out all day and only got home around 6:30.
After 8 I went to my sewing room, watched Game of Thrones and The Recruit and I was cutting out the pieces needed for the next block for my Craftsy BOM February block. It  came out pretty nice, I only had to rip one seam that I wasn't satisfied with, but had to do that one 3x :) My obsessive points just HAVE to match. Period. :)

Chunky Chevron block:

I am going to a longarm quilting class with Debby Brown tomorrow to one of the quilt shops that are still in business in our area. My favorite one closed down unfortunately :( BUT! This shop (called the Quilt Basket) just started to rent their long arm machine for quilting. I would love to try one of my big quilts out on a longarm to see how they turn out. Now with the opportunity maybe I will :) I've been hunting places to rent a longarm for years and when I found a place where they did it by the time I had my quilt top together  they closed down. My luck! Unfortunately we don't have room for a huge machine in our apartment so purchasing is out of the question.
I also signed up to Stitched in Color Rachel's hand stitching class which I'm pretty excited about. She has a $10 off discount if you register through May 16. I chose the premium class. I love hand stitching and used to embroider when I was a teenager, my Grandma still has my works  with bleeding threads and all :) If you're interested in handwork I recommend to check it out!
That's it for now, I'm gonna go to have a rest and hope to not be  woken at 4AM again... Seriously!!
Till we quilt again :)

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Baby bib and Craftsy BOM progress

The other day I was cleaning out the sewing room closet and found some clothes that has been there for a while. There was a pair of Fiance's old jeans with a hole on the backside. In the mean time I was trying to catch up with my blogs and podcasts and Katie talked about and posted some cute pictures of the baby bibs She recently made. I checked them out and they looked really cute. Here is the link to her blog post, hop on over! That gave me an idea to use up those jeans. My friend has a baby girl so I made the first one  with a girly insert using up some of the leftover strips from the spring bag I posted earlier in April. It came out pretty nice, I'm satisfied with the result. I can't remember where I printed the pattern  from, but I had to add 2 inches to the height to make it the right size. After turning it inside out I thought that the neck opening was too small for an 11 months old so turned it right side in again and cut the opening a little bigger and stitched  together the neck part. I don't have any snaps on hand  so I ended up sewing velcro on for the closing.

Denim baby bib

Here's what the back  looks like:

I got the news from my Mom that my friend became a Grandma for the first time a few weeks ago. Her daughter had a cute baby boy so I decided to make a quilt for him. I knew  they would be happy  to receive one. Since I wanted to try the Craftsy  Block of the Month project this was a good opportunity to get working. I chose to use white and light blue fabrics and thinking to throw in some light green and yellow ones for fun later. We shall see :)

BOM-s for January:

Asterisk block:

Wonky pound sign block:

 Blocks for February:

 Balkan Puzzle Block:

I was going to make the second block this afternoon, but after not seeing the sun since the weekend Today turned out to be pretty nice so we decided to go to the beach instead. It was extremely windy and the sand was blowing all over, I still have it stuck to my face and scalp :) I had to empty my purse before we came upstairs and shake it inside out to get  rid of all the  sand. I just  cleaned the whole apartment before we left and did not wish to bring any unwanted sand inside :)
I'm linking up to Minutes for me by Marcia
Now I'm off to bed because can't hardly think anymore!
Till we blog again! :)

Friday, May 4, 2012

Good news!

I am really, truly honored and touched to announce that the wonderful Farah Lin nominated me for the Liebster Award. I was speechless when I read her email this morning. I never in my wildest dreams would've thought to get  awarded, so I just want to say a HUGE thank You Farah Lin! :)

She kindly explains:  "The Liebster award (German for favourite/dearest) is to showcase bloggers with fewer than 200 followers.  Upon accepting the award the recipient must then pass it on to five more blogs of note. A way of introducing other bloggers to the blogs they enjoy."

I had to search wild and hard in my favorite blogs to find some of them who didn't have 200 followers already AND have not got the Liebster Award from someone else. Most of you have been in the blogging world for a while and have many people follow your blogs. I finally came up  with 5 of the following people, who's blogs I absolutely adore! 

Drumroll please..... and the Liebster Blog Award goes to these 5 stunning blogs, please go and check them out, they're awesome!

Marion @My Quilt Diet

Dresden  Quilter (just  can't find Your name anywhere!) @Dresden Quilter

The acceptance conditions are :

1. Thank your award presenter on your blog and link back to him/her
2. Copy and paste the award to your blog
3. Present the Liebster Award to 5 blogs that you think deserve to be recognised.
4. Let them know by leaving a comment on their blog.
5. Have faith that your followers will spread the love too!

Congratulations to my dear nominees! May your blogs  get looked at lots of people! :)

I will probably be back tomorrow with some pictures from the local quilt show I'm going to in the morning.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Craftsy BOM and still double wedding ring

Yesterday I had a weird day, I only had to go out for a few hours and had most of the afternoon and evening for sewing, yeeehaaaw! I kept working on the double wedding ring blocks to see what it would look like when I had the blocks sewn together. I was watching The  Italian Job, How to Lose a Guy in 10 days, Lincoln Lawyer (love Matthew McConaughey!) and then Seven, but had to turn that  off at 11:30 so I would be able to get up this morning. 
Back to the blocks! I've found a way to trick my seams and I wasn't afraid of using my seam ripper when  the patches didn't line up exactly. I even went the extra mile to adjust the seam allowance in cases to make better seam intersections by moving my needle left and right. I took a photo what it looks like now, I don't think I'll keep going in this direction. There's no point of making more blocks, I can see   now how  it'll turn out if  I make the quilt this way. I also changed my cutting technique and instead of 6 strips, I've only stripped 5 and cut the arks from that in an angle.

The 4 blocks together look like this:

My helper for editing was lap cat, Szundi!

I could only take a picture of him with my phone since my regular camera needs 2 hands and I had to hold the laptop with 1 hand and take the pic with the other.
It's raining here... again! I feel like we moved to the UK! :) We had no rain for over a month and now it's been raining since Saturday night. At least we won't have to water the flowers outside and the grass is green! :)

I  also got an email from Craftsy that they have the new BOM video up for May. I didn't know they have a BOM so I went to check it out. Sign up is for free! Amy Gibson is making the blocks and I watched the January video and decided that I will start to make the quilt. I might even use up one of the precious collections I wanted to use in the My Precious QAL. I think I have something in mind, will have to scan the fabrics and post a picture later! If you want to do something fun, check out the Craftsy BOM website!

Blog for you later! :)