Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Love Your Sewing Space

Today I'm linking up with the Simple Simon and Company Love Your Sewing Space linky party.
How about a few peeks at some of my favorite parts of my sewing room? These little buckets and rods from Ikea are very handy for keeping dangerous items from little hands. I proudly display quilts made by some of my favorite people including my son, Renee, and Cath. Meanwhile, my ledge from Target is great for holding larger rulers.
For fabric that is at least a half yard, but not enough to justify keeping it on the bolt, I've been using comic book boards and rainbow order.
 A design wall has been very useful.
Between my excessive UFOs and children's toys strewn about, the rest of my sewing space isn't anything anyone would be saving to their Pinterest boards. Speaking of that, I have a Pinterest board of some of my favorite sewing room organizing ideas. Here's to getting some projects done so my space becomes tidy-able!Follow on Bloglovin

Monday, February 8, 2016

The Trees for the Forest

I've been eyeing the Quick Curve Ruler for a while now. Then, I discovered he Sew Kind of Wonderful company has recently released a mini version. It's a well-know fact that small things are irresistibly adorable, so I had to try it out.
The Sew Kind of Wonderful website has a free Mini Trees pattern. It might not have slipped your notice that the holidays have come and gone. However, I figured that these trees would be just fine out of season. Moreover, they'd be great with my stash of novelty camping prints.
Fabric aside, want to see how the QCR Mini works? It's pretty straight forward. First, cut 5" squares of two fabrics. Use the guideline to lay the ruler like so, and cut in the curve.
Do that as many times as you need. I only wanted green trees, so I put the inverse pieces aside for some other time and project.
Then you place the pieces right sides together with the pizza slice about 1/2" down the skateboarding ramp. Those are the proper terms, right? Sew together using a 1/4" seam. I hold the pizza slice in my left hand as I steer the skateboarding ramp with my right hand. The sewing process goes a bit like...stitch, lift presser foot, reposition the edges together, lower presser foot, stitch, repeat.
Then I pressed toward the darker fabric.
They bred. Actually, it's quick to make oodles of these because you don't have to be fussy about making sure everything looks perfect at this stage.
 A rotating mat would be awesome because, after the pressing, you simply cut 1/8" beyond the pizza slice.
Rotate. Then square it up to 4".
That's it! You have a beautiful, precise Drunkard's Path component ready for whatever curvaceous project suits you.
For me, it was a handful of trees.
Then, I set about making bears from Patchwork Zoo by Sara Nephew. I didn't have enough fabric to make two bears from the fabric I had pulled, so I used some Stonehenge to make two sitting bears.
Then I remembered that I wanted to use light brown to coordinate with my camping fabrics. I resolved myself to accept that one bear would do, so long as he was crawling.
I'm not sure what I'll do with my orphan bear twins.
Anyhow, the super sweet folks at Sew Kind of Wonderful have given me a Mini QCR and a pattern for me to pass along to one of you. Best of luck!

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Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Lessons Learned Linky #2

It's the moment you've been waiting for--the Lessons Learned Linky for February. As for January, our winner is Carole, who showed us how to fix a mistake in a finished quilt. To make it up to the rest of you, how about another chance? There will be a prize for this month too, so don't forget to share what you've been learning. 
As for me, I've been comparing methods of making Drunkard's Path blocks for my abecedary project.
I've learned that there are a couple forms of Drunkard's Path blocks: regular ones and corner ones (no promises on those being the official names).
Corner
Regular
Initially, I tried out the QCR Mini.
Important Things to Know:
  • The QCR Mini only makes 3 1/2" finished units. The QCR only makes 7" finished blocks.
  • The QCR makes the Corner type of Drunkard's Path block.
  • Cutting makes enough parts for a unit and its inverse, which can be wasteful unless that's what you are going for.
Next, I gave the Bloc_Loc Drunkard's Path Rulers a go. 
Important Things To Know:
  • Each set of three template rulers makes one size of block: 3", 4", 6", or 8".
  • You may want a 45mm rotary cutter to get around the curves of the templates easier.
  • You must initially press toward the larger piece for the lip of the ruler to work its magic.
  • No instructions are included, but there's a YouTube video.
  • Some of the rulers are perfectly clear; you might want to add some permanent marker to the top so they don't disappear on your cutting mat.
  • The template rulers are slippery, so you might want to add some Invisigrip or similar gripper to the back.
  • The Bloc_Loc Drunkard's Path Rulers make Regular Drunkard's Path blocks.
Unfortunately, the abecedary blocks I designed need 3" and 4" Corner Drunkard's Path blocks. EQ7 templates are my Plan C, and I'm thinking it just might work...
What realizations is February bringing for you? Do share! One lucky linker will win a set of thread-catching containers.

Do me a favor and do the following:
  • Spread the comment love.
  • Link back to this post.
  • Multiple posts are fine so long as they were posted this month.
    Quilting Mod

Monday, February 1, 2016

Bling It On Giveaway

Today I bring you a finish with a bit of sparkly pizazz. The pattern is Total Eclipse by Judy Niemeyer of QuiltWorx.
The pattern contains enough paper-piecing papers to make a 56" x 66" quilt, but I stopped when my stash-pulled fabrics ran out. This method resulted in a 20" x 29" table runner--the perfect size for my quilt-it-to-death-and-back free-motion styling.
To plan out my free-motion designs, I like to lay a flexible chopping mat over my top and draw out my ideas with a Vis-a-Vis wet erase marker.
I used dot-to-dot techniques for the orchid spike tips ad salmon wedges, stacked coins for the purple center stars, feathers for the pale green wedges, wave fill for the cream wedges and composite quilting for the background. There's been some discussion surrounding a term for quilting composed of an assortment of fillers; composite quilting is my favorite, so I'm going with that.
I used Aurifil 50 wt #2784, #2370, #2110, and # 2886.
You might have noticed a bit of sparkle accenting my pointy tips. Not only do crystals add an elegant touch, I found them to be a sneaky way to conceal trouble spots where some of the bobbin thread pulled up to the quilt top due to the rapid change of direction. You could pause at each spike point and take another stitch in place to secure the thread before moving on. Then again, why turn down an excuse to add glamor to a quilt?
I used hot fix (attached to fabric with heat activated glue) crystals and a Kandi Professional Touch HotFix Applicator to create the glimmering finishing touch.
 For the step by step crystal application process, see my previous crystal-applying post or this YouTube video.
How about adding a little twinkle to one of your projects? Thanks to the generous folks at Kandi Corp, I have an applicator to give away to one lucky follower and glitz admirer.


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Thursday, January 28, 2016

Quilt Festival: Hoffman Challenge

It's about time I showed you more gorgeousness from the Houston International Quilt Festival, isn't it? How about a special exhibit? Every year Hoffman Fabrics sponsors the Hoffman Challenge. Quilters, doll makers, and clothing designers are invited to create original work using a selected fabric. I'm going to tour you around some of my personal favorites.
The camels in the third place appliqué winner, Caravan by Nancy Dickey, have personality and fashion down pat.
Caravan by Nancy Dickey

The Best Incorporation of the Fabric-Pieced winner seems to have used the Stack-n-Whack technique. The hexagons appear to fade off into the distance as they near the upper right corner.
Sidetracked to Marrakesh byApril Wicker

Jars of Clay by Sharon L. Schlotzhauer received second place for appliqué.
Jars of Clay by Sharon L. Schlotzhauer
For your reference, this is what the challenge fabric looked like.
Check out the rest of the winners if you like, or even enter this year's challenge.
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