I often claim to have a Quilting "Hobby" in attempts to hide my obsession with fabric and color.

Thursday, December 17, 2015

2015 Is almost over, but my quilting has just begun!

Holy cow! Almost a whole year has passed without me posting. I guess it's true. I prefer to sew over typing. I know blogging, and maintaining a website are crucial for a business, but it's my least favorite part. I just want to create!

So, on to the fun part; time to recap some of my work this year. As usual, many quilt TOPS were made and hung for "quilt it later" status. And when I finally decided in November it was time to stop making, and start finishing, my faithful Janome MC6600 said NO! I took my work horse to be serviced, and much to the technicians frustration, even he couldn't get the FMQ setting (feed dogs down) to form a nice stitch. Different threads, new needles, tons of tension adjustments....it just wasn't happening. And this is a machine that I am very good about servicing and keeping clean. Prettiest piecing work you could ever wish for, and simple FMQ with the accu feed system in place, but any real attempt to do stipples or pebbles, and the thread breaks, eye lashing appears, or the dreaded bobbin thread loops start. A long talk with the Janome rep, and it was determined that my machine was just not behaving. So the question became to upgrade and sell it, or move into Mid/Long arm machines. Since the Janome is an incredible work horse, and my mother was so willing and wanting to help me out, I became the proud new owner of my first Long Arm Sit Down machine the week of Thanksgiving. And of course, it's Lily approved.

And now, the quilting frenzy has begun.

I am naming my series of little quilts (36 -64 inch square quilts) "Lil Bits" Quilts, for the little bits of fabrics they are made from. Some are scrappy, some are from Jelly Rolls, but they are are all basic patterns where I can experiment with layout and color, and learn how to do more than Stitch in the Ditch Quilting. A girls could spend days learning about thread weights, needle sizes, and tension combinations, oh my! And I haven't even really begun to learn the stitch regulator that came with my new girl....

So, some of these I have posted before as just tops, and now here they are with their quilting, backing fabrics, and fun bindings. The quilting will get more detailed as I get more comfortable on my new machine, but what fun I am already having.

 I plan to post these for sale as Lap/Chair throws. They are all made of 100% Cotton Fabrics, Batting, and Threads (unless otherwise marked) and make great throws on recliners, the floor for kids, or just to warm a lap.
 This is a shot of the work space before Brian made me a built in cutting station and all my tools got moved.

 I have also made a few gorgeous quilt tops and plan to save them for quilting once I am more skilled. This one so far is by far my favorite:

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Well, where did a year go? Here it is 2015, and the coldest day yet, and I realized I haven't updated my blog in 9 months. Yikes!  Then, I discovered not only haven't I updated my blog, but that I cannot find my pictures. I got a new iPhone, and I LOVE the camera. But I don't love the iCloud, sharing, or any of that silly business. So, I have to take some time, take lots of pictures, and figure out how to post them where I can then use them. But here's a few, to prove I wasn't a lazy bum the whole year. 

This little gem was an exercise in patience and justification of fabric hoarding. I had all these little square (2 inch) drops, so I made them into a little eclectic lap quilt. 

This is a paper pieced quilt, that my mother sent me the kit for, to convince me how fun paper work it. I can say she's right. And the accuracy is a major bonus. All purple batiks, even the light blocks.
This was my first go at an applique quilt, where the entire focus was the applique work. Fun, but very frustrating. The background fabric is very white and sheer, but once quilted, it will be a very nice  piece.
Omg, what was I thinking? Well, lets see. I had gotten this amazing Go! Cutter for Christmas last year, and thought, well of course Hexies are hard to cut out, so a cutter will make them super easy. To cut. NOT to sew. But again, a great use of my hoarded stash of Batiks that my Mom sends my way. Again, light background won't be so sheer once quilted.

And this is Ginger's surprise Birthday Quilt. Had to tell, but the border is this lush, rich royal purple batik.  She likes Southwestern patterns, and I put my own twist on the colors. 

But I am still missing pictures for several other quilts I made. Off to find them or retake them!

Monday, April 7, 2014

Projects and questions.

As usual, I have dropped off from blogging, because truth be told, I'm just not a writer. I sew. I create, I cook, and I am a mom. But I didn't realize how much I dislike writing, especially about myself. But my mom reminded me that it is her way of seeing my work, my progress. 

So, I am keeping "Kayla's Wedding Quilt" a secret a little longer ( I want her to be he one to show it off at the wedding, and send pictures I can include I'm my post). But I have been busy with other projects. Bonnie Hunter of Quiltville put out a very fun mystery quilt back over Thanksgiving. Loving her work, and knowing I need to challenge myself to get better at my craft, I decided to play along. But, I wasn't thrilled with the suggested colors. So I tweaked the colors slightly, and started into the mystery. And the final project was very nice. So nice, that my husband was smitten with it. So I dedicated it to him, and decided to add it to our personal collection. Seems I often keep more than I sell. Oh well.

The overall size is perfect for naps. And I decided rather than buying fabric just for backing, I would use what I had on hand. It was funny because I had two pieces but neither was enough. So I sewed them side by side, then cut it in half and rotated on half, to create a giant four patch.  I decided to do a FMQ of a wave/scallop. It's neat how it disappears on the print, and shows on the solid. Bobbin thread was purple, and top thread a neutral cream. I'm still learning how to keep my tension even so I don't get eyelashes on the back, but thankfully, Brian isn't a quilt show judge, and he knows it's the front that matters....

Another project I tackled was the daunting hexagon. I got an AccuQuilt Go! for Christmas and a Hexie die. These are so pretty, but not a ton of fun to sew. I used equilateral triangles to turn the blocks into diamonds so I could strip piece them. But even the act of sewing the rows together caused some cussing and tears. Not for OCD prown quilters.

New (untitled) project. Batik hexies w eq. Triangles.
Having a hard time figuring out how to quilt it. Some thoughts that come to mind are a geometric or floral pattern in each Hexie w a simple outline in each triangle. Of course my oldest has already declared this "her" quilt.  Would love some suggestions from fellow crafters. I am inclined towards geometric themes since the quilt itself is very angular. 

And as usual, I'm already moving on. Another Bonnie Hunter quilt! I am doing one of her classics, a called " My Blue Heaven" because I have always wanted to do a two color quilt.  
More to come later...... Happy Spring everyone!

Monday, January 6, 2014

Ice Storm of December 2013

Well, here it is a new year, and I have found myself again sadly lacking in the blogging department.  But, what a better way to kick off a new year than to share the pictures from a phenomenal end to 2013?
The weekend of December 20th, we were hit by some crazy weather that delivered snow, rain, freezing rain, and crazy temps. The result was almost an inch of ice on everything. Our trees took a major beating, and we ended up loosing multiple branches from our pine, the honeysuckle, and the birches. But all said, we were only out of power for an hour at lunchtime on Monday. Not too bad considering many spent the majority of the break (and Christmas) in the dark!

One nice thing about the ice? It gave me a great excuse to stay home and sew sew sew. I finished up two Christmas wall hangings, got started on Bonnie Hunters latest mystery quilt, and prepped for my first client project for 2014!

Friday, August 9, 2013

One quilt turned into two

Back in February, our family went on a much needed Disney trip. Part of the trip was also to see my momma in Tallahassee. She had a quilt that she had started and decided she didn't want to finish....her kitties thought the quilt laid out on the floor was an invitation to play on. So, she sent it home with me, pre-cut, basic units sewn, with the layout directions. I didn't care much for the pattern, but loved the colors. (Will post pictures once it's quilted)

And in my fabric hording ways, I decided to take all the little drops (flying geese corners) and make then into another little table/wall quilt.
 The final project is about 40 inches square.

This was my first attempt at both Feathers and a "bubble" border which I think turned out very nicely.

Friday, July 19, 2013

Our New Floor!!!!

Ok, I am SUPER long over due for Quilt Blogging, but this is a big deal.....
We finally took the leap and had our entire linoleum flooring replaced on the first level. This area included the mudroom, first floor bath, closet, kitchen, and dining area. The flooring was 20+ years old, builder cheapy from the previous owners. It was cracking, stained, moldy in places, and just worn out.

For some time now Brian and I have been going back and forth over tile, wood, or laminate. With kids, dogs, cats, and the use of the areas (water, cooking, high traffic, eating) we knew it had to take a LOT of abuse. We had almost settled on laminate when I saw the coolest post on tile that "looks like wood". Instantly, we were pretty hooked. My in-laws had just had their flooring repaired, so they could recommend a good installer. 

* Here is where I have to plug Mark Robert of Bolton Vermont. If anyone in the greater Burlington area needs a good tile/flooring guy, contact me for his info!*

Once we secured Mark, and our tile, we set a date and Voila!!!! NEW FLOOR!  Now it was a pain in the rear to be without a stove, microwave, garage access, access to the porch for the dogs, dining in the living room on paper plates, etc, but man is the final floor worth it!!!

So, here's the tour starting with the BEFORE floor:

 Dining and Kitchen areas before.

Mudroom and Bathroom Before (the wall paper is next to go....)


 Dining and Kitchen after.

Mudroom and Bathroom after.

Friday, May 17, 2013

Crochet and Quilts

As I wrote in my last post, I have been working on multiple projects. Typical me.  And after that last post, I decided to make a detour and add a project.

All the rage right now is with embellishing crafts with crochet trim. I have been an avid crocheter for about a year now, having made 5 bed size blankets, and gobbling up all the books I can find. I love my Addi hooks, and thought it was time to challenge myself to the lace/trim aspect of the craft.  Pulling out of my donated stash some floral fabric, I decided to try my hand at the pillowcase with crochet trim. I decided on a standard queen size pillowcase (22x34) and then embellished it. It was so much fun, and so easy (a single night project) that I am thinking of making more....can someone say Christmas gifts????

 On another note, I have discovered that I LOVE working with small pieces of fabric to make lap size quilts. I mean, who doesn't like to reach up and pull a cuddly quilt down for a nap on the couch? This one was made with leftovers from 4+ previous projects. I started with 2 inch squares and, using Bonnie Hunter's Leaders and Enders method, had enough color/cream combos to run away with this impromptu 4 square quilt. To make it just a bit larger, I added a border of all colored squares.  The final project is made up of 1156 squares!

What a blast!