Thursday, February 26, 2015

The Mystery Begins!

Have you ever done a Mystery Quilt?

This is my first.  It's a struggle for me to start a project without knowing what I'm making, but since it's a project that my local quilt guild is organizing, I decided to give it a try.

The fabric requirements include a light, medium, medium/dark, dark, and background.  I couldn't decide on just five fabrics, so I'm making mine scrappy.

I trimmed my half-square triangles to size today.


Friday, February 6, 2015

Assembly Line Sewing

Why is it that I can never make just one of something?  Whenever I find a cute tutorial for something I like, I automatically go into Assembly Line mode and crank out dozens.  Of course, then I get bored and have to find another project, but that's another story...

Anyway, when I saw this tutorial from Sew4Home, I was smitten... again...
They are the cutest little Lip Balm sleeves ever!

Using some left-over 2 1/2" strips from my bundle of Color Collection fabric, I dove into production mode and quickly cranked out a dozen of these.  They really are easy to make!

The instructions have you just use a D-ring at the top, but I opted for lobster-claw clasps so you can easily clip it to your purse, belt-loop, key ring, etc...

I've already managed to give all these away, so now I'm on to my second batch.  Time to start up the assembly line again!


Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Tasting Table Tuesday - 2 New Quilt Tops

I spent the "best-est" long weekend quilting with the "best-est" of friends at our annual quilting retreat.  Amongst the singing, laughing, eating, etc...  I managed to get some sewing done too.
Last week I showed you the shott cottons that I had cut, and here is the finished quilt top.

A Modern Churn Dash.

I absolutely love these shott cottons.  The colors change, depending on the angle you view them from.  It's hard to illustrate in a photo, but take a look at this block from straight on...

See how the background color changes when you view it from an angle?

It's all one fabric, but the warp threads and weft threads are two different colors - burgundy and turquoise.  It's really quite magical to see it change as you move around the quilt.  I'm so excited to quilt this one and see how the texture of the quilting stitches add to the effect!  Can't wait!
Now I just have to decide on a quilting design...

The other project I finished assembling was this circle quilt.

The blocks are made from this huge pack of Dimples Charm Squares that I won in an Andover contest a couple of years ago.

I'm not sure whether to do some free-motion quilting on this one, or maybe just lots of straight lines to offset all the curves in the piecing...

At least I've got a couple of projects to think about when I can't sleep at night.


Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Tasting Table Tuesday - Shott Cottons

I've been cutting up fabric...  Aren't these colors gorgeous?

Last spring at MQX, I treated myself to this fat-quarter bundle of Shott Cottons.

I've been saving (hoarding) them ever since, just waiting for inspiration to strike.  Now I have a plan, so I took the plunge and cut them all up.

I have a modern quilt in mind.  I'll post progress pictures soon.


Monday, January 19, 2015

Foul Weather Quilts

I have finished two quilts recently, but have been waiting for a break in the weather to go outside and take pictures of them.  I have come to the conclusion that it's just not going to happen here in Pennsylvania.  It has been freezing cold, windy, rainy, snowy, you name it...  Spring can't get here soon enough!
So I apologize for the poor pictures, but I took advantage of a brief bit of sunshine on a cold day, and laid the quilts out on the floor near a window.  Not great, but the best I could do.

I pieced this one at retreat last fall and finally got around to quilting it.  I've wanted to try quilting a large spiral for a long time now, and this seemed like a good quilt to try it on.  I love how it turned out, and it was easier than I thought!  The very center was a little tricky and I had to go very slowly, but the further out I went, the easier it got.

This next one is a baby quilt that I will probably list in my Etsy shop shortly.  It's just a nice simple arrangement of aqua and coral rectangles.  Straight line quilting again, but in an interesting geometric design.


Wednesday, January 7, 2015

A Christmas Baby

That's right!  Little Miss Sydney decided to make her appearance early Christmas morning, five days earlier than expected.  Another granddaughter - the best Christmas gift ever!

I spent a week with them, and had lots of fun with her big sister, Rory, while Sydney and her mom tried to catch up on their sleep.  Of course, I had to squeeze in a little sewing time while I was there, and made this car seat cover to keep the wind and snow off while carrying her to and from the car.

I raided my daughter's fabric stash and came up with a piece of gray minky for the underside and a polka dot print for the top.  Great match for the red and gray carseat.

I used this tutorial, and it worked great.  Easy to follow, and fit the car seat just right.  I love the little peek-a-boo window in the front...  and so did Rory...  She had to squeeze herself into the car seat and try it out for herself.  A tight fit for an almost four-year-old, but she made it!!

And of course, Sydney got to try it out for size too...

Now I'm home, and it's back to reality again...  Hope to update you with some quilting progress soon.

Cheers!  And Happy New Year!

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Squeaky Feet

As the holidays approach and we wait patiently for our new granddaughter to make her arrival any day now, I've been keeping myself busy by working on my ever-growing stack of quilt tops waiting to be quilted.

A few months ago, I purchased this special foot for my Juki that enables me to do ruler work on this sit-down machine.  It is a hopping foot just like the ones you see on a long-arm machine and it is a full 1/4" high so it rides safely along the edge of the 1/4" high quilting rulers (I use these rulers).

I am slowly gaining confidence as I get used to doing ruler work, and I just love the control that I have with these rulers.  But, as always, there was one thing that was bugging me...

The noise!

As this foot hops up and down, it rubs against the side of the ruler, producing a chirping/squeaking noise not unlike fingernails on a chalkboard.  Now, I admit, I am probably much tenser than I should be, and am holding the ruler way too tight against the foot...  but I'm afraid if I lighten up my grip too much the foot will lose contact with the ruler.  I've tried relaxing, but the squeak keeps coming back every few seconds.

But wait - there's a solution!!!

That's right!  Good old car wax!  I just rubbed a light coating on the outside surface of the foot, where it contacts the ruler, let it dry to a haze, then buffed it out with a soft cloth.  The squeak is gone!!!

Plus, there's an added bonus!  The foot glides along the ruler much more smoothly now.  I didn't realize how much drag and resistance was created when it squeaked.  The car wax reduced all that friction and my quilting is much smoother, and QUIET!

I'm sure I'll have to re-wax it from time to time, but it only takes a couple of minutes, and is really worth the extra effort.  So if you have a squeaky foot, try the wax!