Monday, October 22, 2012

Christmas QAYG progress

Hello, and Welcome back!
I have a few pictures to share with you guys. Friday night and Saturday afternoon I had time to  sit down and start the Free Motion Quilting I wanted to do on some of the Christmas blocks. I even got out my walking foot and put it to use in a real quilt for the first time. If you're following my blog you read my post about my problems with the walking foot. Thankfully I don't have that problem anymore! It included to order a brand new walking foot through  When that arrived I could compare it to my original Singer walking foot and noticed that the plate itself that pushes the fabric down was missing from mine. No wonder why I couldn't get the stitches working. DUH! So now I have and extra walking foot :)
I got all excited and decided to quilt one of my blocks on my Christmas Quilt with straight lines. I can't remember if I mentioned it at the FAL blog post, but this quilt is partially made with block swap blocks from back in 2007. It mostly includes my blocks, but there were a few that were close to the size I needed (and we agreed on) so I decided to use those. Someone made a very pretty star block in which the fabrics I love and left the background just blank white which called for the straight line quilting I longed for. I think it looks really pretty now! I had to put a frame around the blocks to be able to size them up to be uniform.

Let me just say it while I was working on this block I was in loooooove! With my walking foot of course! Now I can't wait to make a quilt with just straight line quilting.

The next block I pieced myself because I love pine trees. A lot! :)

On this block I was going to practice the swirls I really like from Angela Walters' Craftsy class. Well, I still need a LOT of practice for sure! It's a lot more easier to just draw it on paper.

Close-up of the background quilting:

And the final one that was also pieced by  me:

With this block I was practicing pebbles for the first time. Not-so-perfect, but I can live with it :) It's kind of stiff right now, but I'm hoping it will get softer once the quilt is together and I can wash the whole thing. I love this look because it reminds me of snow falling. If you know me well, you know how much I LOVE snow! :)

Here's a close-up of the pebble quilting:

That's all I have for today, I'm hoping my Amy  Butler Weekender bag pattern will arrive shortly so I could start that project too! Like I need more projects to work on, LOL!

'Til we blog again! :)

Friday, October 19, 2012

The Long Weekend project

Hello Dear Readers,
I'm glad you joined me again!
Today's post will be a short one, I just wanted to put the word out that I'll be doing The Long Weekend sew along hosted by Heidi and Lori H..

We'll be making Amy Butler's Weekender Bag. I bought all my supplies last night at Jo-Ann, they had the home decorating fabrics for 50% off. Actually all the supplies were on sale except the cording, which was a pretty good  deal a 100ft for about $5. I got extra from everything and managed to spend  heaps amount of money. I was joking with someone that this will be the most expansive bag I've yet to have :) If you feel like it, come and join the fun! The kick off post was on the 15th with the schedule of the guest bloggers and sponsors so it's not too late. I joined this sew along because I want to see if I could rise up to the challenge. I'm not a bag maker, only made a few Easter baskets and a tote bag so far, so it will be a big bite for sure! :) If it turns out OK, I'll be making another one for someone.

These are the fabrics I'm going to use:

The bottom fabric I'll use for the exterior and the blue one will be the lining.

In the mean time I started to work on quilting the Christmas blocks and  have cut up some scraps from my scrap drawer. Pictures will be posted later.

Now I have to run to make lunch.

'Til we blog again! :)

Monday, October 15, 2012

4th quarter Finish Along goals

Hello everybody,
It's so nice to be here again! I can't believe how fast time flies and it's time to make new goals again.

Here are the projects I'm working on and wishing to finish this quarter:

Christmas Quilt-as-you-go quilt (have no idea what size, still have to decide. I have lots of extra blocks from a Christmas star block swap)

Chocolate pink monkey quilt (need to check if I have enough fabrics left to add another column to make it a little wider, then piece backing and go from there)

Plain squares (which I may just cut up and use it as backing, but not sure. Started out  as a duvet cover about 10 years ago...)

Double wedding ring top (which I'd like to make as a cat mat and practice free motion quilting on it)

Tote bag (needs handles and lining)

Craftsy Block Of the Month quilt (I'm planning to make 2 baby quilts out of the 20 blocks)

And the bonus project I haven't even started yet so it  will not count are 4-5 shopping bags and another tote bag (from the pretty flower fabric)

I'm realistic and if I don't finish everything it won't be a big deal.
I'm linking up to Rhonda @Quilter in The Gap for the 4th Quarter FAL linky party.
That's all for today, now I'll have to get working! :)

'Til we blog again! :)

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Friendship Circle block

Hi dear Readers,
Welcome back, I'm glad you're here again!
This time I'm presenting my newest Craftsy BOM creation, the Friendship Circle block.

Friendship Circle block

I had a few glitches with this block in the making and was kind of grumpy last night. So the pattern that you're supposed to print out from the website (course materials) is sized wrong. Instead of 12.5 inches the block I made yesterday measures 13 inches. I was so proud when I assembled it and all the points came together as they're supposed to. After oooohing and aaaaahing over it I measured it and it was a 1/2 inch too big. I went to the talk section on  the Craftsy website just to find out that yes, the block was put on the site in the wrong size (even though the test square measured exactly 1 inch when I printed the pattern) and you're supposed to shrink it down to 96%. That  broke my heart right  there. After a little debate on Twitter I figured I'll selvage the block I can't use and will make a pillow case out of it that goes with one of the quilts. Did I mention I'm planning to make 2 quilts out of the 20 blocks? Yes. I think it would be a huge quilt for a baby so I decided to divide the blocks and make 10 blocks in each quilt and that's plenty for a baby.
So after the big  disappointment  yesterday I printed out  the pattern and reduced it down to 96% on the copy machine. I also had cut out the fabric patches that were needed for making the new block. Needless to say I messed up the cutting again and cut the white background fabric patches flipped. I tried to make it work when I was sewing everything together this afternoon, but it didn't work so I decided to use the wrong side of the fabric. And so I did. It's not noticeable at all so I'm not going to sweat over it.

I still have some new things I learned from this block:
  • before you start making a paper pieced pattern make sure you measure the print to be the right size
  • glue in the seam allowance only, otherwise the glue will turn yellow when you press the piece (ask me how I know! :)
  • I really like the new method I was using by trimming the already sewn fabric to include a 1/4 inch seam allowance into which I'll pin the next fabric (is that clear enough to  understand? I need English lessons. Badly!)
  • when your iron starts to beep because you think it overheated for being  on stand-by too long, just turn it off and give it some time. It'll work again. At least mine did :)
  • when your sewing machine starts skipping stitches on the very last seam you're sewing un-thread the machine and re-thread it again, it solved my problem
  • helper cats will help no matter what!
Here he is helping to hold the pin cushion:

Helping to paper piece:

The #quiltphoto theme of the day is: Blue. Here's my picture:

That's all for now, I'm gonna have to think what to work on next, might just assemble the 2 quilts and finish them, I haven't decided yet. Note to self: still have to take photos for the 4th quarter FAL.
Thanks for stopping by!

'Til we blog again! :)

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Circle of geese block DONE!

Hi again,
I'm glad You're back! If it's your first time here, welcome!
It's the last month in the Craftsy BOM block making progress and to celebrate that we're doing paper piecing.
I like paper piecing for the precision, but I don't use it very often, for that reason I was pretty excited about these blocks. Not even mentioning that the Circle of Geese block was on my to-do list.

Circle of Geese paper pieced block

My experience this time was:
  • Never used glue before for paper piecing, but I found that it holds the fabric in place on the  edges while sewing the sub-blocks together
  • I realized that in my previous paper pieced projects I didn't set the stitch length short enough
  • I learned that piercing the paper in advance is a VERY tedious process
  • I remembered to cover my ironing surface in order to not to have printer ink on it while pressing the pieces (ink side down)
  • When I un-thread my machine I have to un-thread the take-up lever, otherwise I'll have to take my sewing machine apart to be able to get rid  off the wound up thread (YEAH, ask me how I know!)
  • I only had to rip once!
All in all, I loved the process of making this block, even though when I started to perforate the papers I thought I'll never get this done, it'll take FOREVER! I'm pretty pleased the way it came out with the points matching. I can say it's my most precise block in my paper piecing career.
For tomorrow I'm gonna be working on the  Friendship Circle block. I have the paper foundation already perforated so it should be easy-peasy :)

I wrote a blog  post yesterday from my phone and saved it, just to figure out later that I can't edit it from my computer, bummer! Rhonda @Quilter in The Gap is  hosting a photo-a-day  for 30 days which is really fun, come and join us! There's a button on the right sidebar (quiet  a big one) so you can see the themes for the days. It only started yesterday, so it's never too late to catch up!

My photo of the day was:

Super small stitches while paper piecing

I'll also have to write a blog post  for the 4th quarter finish along. You can link up your UFO-s/VIP-s by clicking here. Hope to see you there!

'Til we blog again! :)

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Fishing getaway weekend pictures

Probably some of you  know that after a long debate I signed up for twitter. I'm not gonna say it's a big mistake, but I knew this will happen.  I'm finding myself spending more and more in front of the computer instead of in my sewing room.  I haven't done much sewing since I last posted, except some commission pants hemming and button sewing, etc. You can follow me if you'd like, my twitter name is @katisquilting.
To take me even further away from my sewing room the weather seemed to be perfect to go up to the Cape for a fishing trip. No, I'm not the one to fish :) I packed up my The Quilt Life magazines and some books on Applique and off we went. We left very early on Friday morning and got there by 9 o'clock which  was pretty awesome comparing to some people who were just rolling out of bed :)
The weather was supposed to be rainy, but to our surprise it was pretty nice. It was overcast, but  no rain and later in the morning the sun came out. I took a long walk on the beach, being low tide taking photos of the rocks and sand textures that  the ocean created. Speaking of which I just realized I haven't even uploaded the photos on my computer. DUH!

A huge horseshoe crab  shell on the  beach:

The birds were looking for food after the waves recieded:

I love the texture of the sand ripples:

Saw some seal swimming:

This one was posing for me to take a picture:

Lots of horseshoe crab shells:

Seagull's got something:

I got to relax a lot, our hotel was one of the nicest I've ever been. Right on the beach with a view from our room. I finished reading my magazines which was awesome because  I hardly get to them anymore (see blaming twitter above).

I am also in the process of cleaning up/re-organizing my sewing room. I took "before" photos, but only will post them when the "after" shots are done.
The 4th quarter Finish Along is coming up soon, so I'll dig up some of the things I have laying on the side. I have some old swapped blocks with fall leaves, and also some blue and white blocks. I'll post a picture of everything in my next post.
I have so many ideas in my head, I'm afraid I'll start a gazillion projects as soon as I'm able to sit down to sew. Still have to convince myself to  make the second curved pieced block for September for the Craftsy BOM.

'Til we blog again! :)