Friday, August 31, 2012

One More Ready to Quilt

Wow!  I never would have thought my last post would get so many comments in favor of Mr. Fugly.  I guess he might not be so fugly after all!  By the way, my new favorite word is forgeous {forever gorgeous} thanks to Crickets Corner!  That's a superb word and I plan on using it, a lot.  Thanks to all of you for your words of support concerning Mr. Fugly.  At least I now know he's not totally repulsive.  I'm a little behind in responding to the comments but I have read each and every one. 

I loaded another quilt today.  I'm really trying to get these tops quilted so I don't feel so behind.  I decided to load a baby quilt mostly because it's little and I should be able to quilt it fast.  This is the closest thing to instant gratification for a quilter.  The pattern was designed by myself and my mother a couple years ago.
I haven't completely decided how it should be quilted.  Does anyone have any suggestions for quilting a star?  I tried to google it but I came up empty.  The search returned answers regarding piecing a star.  Any ideas would be greatly appreciated.  

The wonderful UPS man brought me a package today.  It's a yummy bundle of Over the Rainbow batiks from Moda!  This is my first bundle of fat eighths so I have no idea what I will do with them.  But who cares.  They are forgeous! 
And finally a little teaser of a project I've been working on that uses Cuzco, Kate Spain's newest fabrics.  I love this line because it's packed with all of my favorite colors ~ pink, purple & turquoise.  I have about 9 blocks to finish then I can take pics to share.  I really like how it's coming along.
I hope you all have a great Labor Day weekend!  I'll be spending the next couple of days with the family but I'll be back on Monday.  And don't forget to enter our current giveaway...there's still time!

Happy Labor Day!

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Oh Boy...What Was I Thinking?

Have you ever made a quilt and then thought to yourself "Oh boy...what was I thinking???"  Welcome to my world.  Today I decided to quilt a top that's been laying around for 2 or 3 years {don't judge}.  But...I'm not really sure why I ever made it.  I affectionately nick named this beauty Mr. Fugly {pardon the expression but some things in life are just fugly}. And here he is in all his glory.
Box Step Quilt Pattern by Cozy Quilt Designs

I decided to use this top as practice more than anything.  Nothing could make it look worse than it already did.  I changed up my normal routine with Roscoe {my Gammill} just to see what I thought.  

First, I decided to use polyester batting.  I never ever use polyester batting.  I'm a warm and natural cotton batting girl.  I just couldn't bring myself to use a warm and natural batting since I didn't like the top.  It seemed like a waste.  The polyester didn't cause any real problems but I prefer cotton batting.  I'm not sure I'll use polyester again unless it's all I have.

I wanted to try floating my quilt top.  For those of you not familiar with floating a quilt top, that simply means not rolling it on the frame.  I put the backing and the batting on the frame then I laid the quilt top on top of the batting.  I had to baste the top down as I quilted but I really enjoyed quilting this way.
Each time I rolled the quilt, I basted the sides and across the length of the quilt.  This held the top in place as I quilted.  
 
I was able to lift the top and smooth the batting if I needed.  I could also remove any pesky threads that stuck to the batting.  
This would be very handy when quilting with white fabric.  I always get stray threads stuck to my batting and they show through the white fabric.  I usually can't get to them if I've rolled the top onto the frame.  Sometimes I can squeeze my hand in there. However, if the thread is in the middle of a large quilt, there's no way.  I just don't have super stretchy arms but that sure would be cool.

Floating the top also seemed to help me keep the top straight.  You can see in the next picture that Mr. Fugly was pretty even when I got to the bottom.
I also wanted to try a new all over stitch.  I usually default to stippling because I'm good at it but I really need to broaden my horizons.  What better time to practice?
I had a few blurps in the design but overall it turned out ok.  I'm not sure why but I only went brain dead when I was on the black and white fabric.  Most likely because that's the only time you can actually see the thread.  This thing was hard to quilt because I kept losing where I was.  The thread just disappeared in the prints.
The thread really pops on the black.  I need more practice.... 

Finally, I tried to get Roscoe on board with King Tut thread by Superior Threads.  I just love King Tut but I've yet to figure out the tension settings when I use it.  I just don't get it but Roscoe seems to love the cheaper thread.  I guess that's good for my pocket book but King Tut sure produces a LOT less lint.  Most of Mr. Fugly's stitches turned out okay but they're still not perfect.  I know my top tension is too loose but when I tighten it my top thread starts breaking.  Big sigh....not sure I'll ever be able to successfully quilt with King Tut.

The best part of today...I showed Mr. Fugly to my hubby when he got home today.  He said "That doesn't look like something you would make."  Bahahahaha....I just smiled and said, "I KNOW!"  

What was I thinking with all the same colored tiny mixed up prints?  I should've at least put more black & white in the quilt.  That would've helped break up all the prints.  I think it all runs together the way it is now.  I don't even like brown!  I'm a full color kind of girl.  Although, I really love using a white background with lots of bright color.  I have to say that I think this would be a wonderful pattern {Box Step by Cozy Quilt Designs} with different fabric choices! 

Mr. Fugly just isn't my cup of tea.  Can you tell???  Let's take one last look at Mr. Fugly.   
Yep, he's still fugly.  It's interesting to look back at the projects we've made in the past.  Now I spend a lot more time thinking through my fabric choices.  I've learned that I don't have to incorporate every fabric from a fabric line into one quilt.  I'm not sure what I'm going to do with Mr. Fugly.  I guess he'll be hanging out here with us until I find him a home.  Let's hope Mrs. Fugly doesn't show up!   

Monday, August 27, 2012

Back to School Equals Back to Sewing!

Today my kiddos finally went back to school!  Woot!  Woot!  I mean, I missed them so much.  I actually did miss having them around but it's amazing how much one can get done when one doesn't have to answer a question every 5 seconds.  My 8 year is very inquisitive.  And he has a knack for asking me things that I know nothing about.

I just have to share a picture that I took this morning.  Sorry, it's the proud mommy in me.   
I thought I would get tons of sewing done today, but not so much.  Instead, I was lucky enough to have one of those days where everything seemed to give me issues.  But, I powered through and finally finished piecing a top at 8:00 tonight.  I was determined to get it done today so I can have a fresh start tomorrow.  

Here's my finished {obviously not quilted} Sew Intertwined QAL quilt.
I had to take more indoor pictures since it was dark by the time I finished.  Soooo, these aren't the best pictures.  I'm going to take it outside tomorrow for better pictures.  Looking at it now, I wish I would have added some turquoise in the outside blocks.  Oh well, I am NOT redoing any of it.  

Close up of the center
And one more picture
This quilt was a bit of a challenge for me.  It did not want to fit together right.  The woven blocks were a tad too big and very stretchy.  I guess I wasn't very accurate with my piecing on this one.  But after several million pins and A LOT of patience, it's together.  

I guess it will get added to my stack of quilts that need to be quilted.  I should probably get busy quilting.  

Don't forget we're participating in the Quilter's Blog Hop Party with tons of giveaways.  You can check out our giveaway here.     

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Quilter's Blog Hop Party Giveaway!

It's time for another Quilter's Blog Hop Giveaway sponsored by Michele at Quilting Gallery!  Make sure to check out this link on Sunday for a list of participating blogs and their giveaways!  If you are new to our blog, Welcome!  I hope you will take a look around and visit us again.

Boy oh boy, I had big plans to create an awesome tutorial to go with this giveaway but life got in the way.  I spent most of this week getting my kiddos ready to head back to school on Monday.  So that meant last minute shopping trips for school supplies and meet the teacher events.  I finally found a few minutes to sit down and compose a post for the giveaway.  Unfortunately, I couldn't find the time to put together an awesome tutorial.  

Our giveaway will include 2 Moda charm packs.  One lucky winner will receive a Marmalade and a Simply Color charm pack.  

Are you asking yourself, "What can I possibly make with these tiny 5" squares?"  Let me tell you...you can make a lot with these little charm packs.  

Not too long ago I posted a tutorial for a pillowcase using a charm pack.  Here's a look at the finished pillowcase {I used a Simply Color charm pack}.
The best part is you can get two pillowcase cuffs out of one charm pack.

Charm packs are also great for quilts.  I made this quilt with a Moda Salt Air charm pack.  This is my original pattern.
Please excuse the terrible pictures.  It was too dark outside to take better pictures.  I had to settle on poor inside lighting.
These are just a few fun projects that work great for charm packs.  I hope you all enjoyed a little show and tell in place of a new tutorial!  

And now it's time for you all to enter the giveaway.

You must be a follower of our blog to be eligible to win. 
 
~Here's how to enter~
{You do not have to do each of these...as long as you follow our blog and leave one comment you are eligible to win.  We simply like to give you ways to earn extra entries} 

Leave us a comment
(one entry)

Tweet or blog about our giveaway...make sure you leave us a 
comment so we know that you did
(one entry)
 
Find us on facebook and friend us or like us...make sure you leave us a 
comment so we know that you did
(one entry) 

The giveaway ends on Monday, September 3rd at 11:59 PM (CST).
The winner will be randomly selected and announced on 
Tuesday, September 4th.  The winner will be contacted by email.

Please make sure you leave a comment for each entry.  For example, if you friend us on facebook and tweet the giveaway you should leave 2 separate comments. 
If you already follow us on facebook...just comment that you currently follow.  Also, it is important that we know who you are.  If you leave an anonymous comment we won't have a way to notify you.   

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Not Much Sewing Today

Ok, so I'll probably get hurt for sharing these pictures but I just can't help myself.  But before I share, I need to wish my awesome husband a wonderful 40th birthday!  I made a delicious carrot cake for him {his favorite}.  If you are looking for a carrot cake recipe check out this recipe by Paula Deen.  It is super yummy and fat free of course...not!  

Now for a little show and tell that will surely get me in big bad trouble!  My husband is an avid hunter {sorry Bambi} and he needed to modify his hunting blind.  He wanted more windows for more visibility.  I'm very proud that he wanted to do the sewing himself instead of having me do it.  

He's so cute...  

So, he bought some camo net and added velcro to the edges.  Next he has to cut holes in the blind and add velcro so that the windows can be attached.  Check out his finished window below... 
I hope you all are NOT looking in the background of these pictures!  My sewing area has exploded over the last 2 weeks.  I've been working on a design that's in my head and I tend to be very messy when I'm having issues.

And I just noticed you can see Hannah's toes in the above picture.  Too funny!  She decided to break out my old keyboard and add it to my messy area.  Just what every quilter needs...a keyboard on the end of the table.  She's serenading her daddy while he sews.

In other good news, I only have 4 blocks left and then I'll have all my blocks finished for the Sew Intertwined QAL.  Then I can get ready to put it all together.

I hope everyone enjoys the rest of tonight.  Hopefully, my hubby won't read the blog tonight {insert nervous laughter}.       

Monday, August 20, 2012

Woven Blocks ~ Sew Intertwined QAL

A few days ago I shared pictures of my progress on the Sew Intertwined QAL.  You can check it out here if you missed it.  Today I have a picture of the next set of blocks that I have to make.  
This block involved Y seams and I was freaking out because I've never done Y seams.  I'm so proud that I figured it out.  I only had to read the Y seam directions about a million times.  

One block down, 11 to go!  Then this quilt will be ready to put together.  

I must say sewing today was a challenge.  My silly Pfaff kept skipping stitches.  It's been skipping quite a bit lately and I've changed the needle and cleaned it out several times.  I think it must be time for a tune up.  I just hope she isn't in the shop for weeks.  I think this means I should take a break from piecing and start quilting.

This week is very special because on Wednesday I get to celebrate a very special birthday with my husband...he's going to be 40!  Boy oh boy, where does the time go?  Hard to believe we're getting this old {at least he'll always be older than me}!   

Thursday, August 16, 2012

To Moda or Not To Moda?

Good evening all my quilting buddies.  I'm so conflicted tonight.  I can't decide if I want to drive to Dallas tomorrow.  

On one hand, I could go to Dallas and wander around the Moda warehouse for hours looking at all the marvelous fabric and goodies.  On the other hand, my back finally feels better and I'm not sure I should ride in the car for a total of 5 hours.   

I think it might be best if I stay home and not risk the long drive.  But I really really want to go!  Oh the curse of a bad back.  It really messes up everything good.  

I've been working on a project lately that really has my brain in a knot.  Here's a little peek...
This project has been making me crazy.  It's one of those ideas that seems like it should be easy. However, I'm having trouble translating it from my brain into an actual block. And every time I think I have it worked out I think of something else to change.  I'm just over thinking it.  It's time to walk away for a day and come back to it later.

By the way, I made that little hexagon in the center by using the English paper piecing method.  I used my machine to stitch it in place on the block.  That was a first for me and I think it turned out pretty good.    

I think I might do some quilting tomorrow...I know I'll be wishing I was in Dallas shopping.  

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Sew Intertwined QAL Progress

I decided awhile back to join my first QAL {Quilt Along} and I thought I would share my progress.  If you haven't checked out the Sew Intertwined QAL that's being hosted by Melissa of SewBitterSweet Designs and Jenna of SewHappyGeek, you should!

Let me start by saying it took me longer to decide on fabric than it did for me to make all these blocks.  I just couldn't decide if I wanted to use prints or batiks.  As you can see, the batiks won.  I ended up using one of my all time favorite batiks from Hoffman fabrics.  It's the one in the center of the Dresden Fan.  I just love it!

Dresden Fan Block
This Dresden Fan block will be the center of the quilt.
Close Up of Dresden Fan Blades
I used a straight stitch around the outside edge of each of the Dresden Fan blades.
Close Up of the Center of the Dresden Fan
I decided to kick it up a notch and use a fancy stitch around the center of my Dresden Fan.  I almost used this stitch around the outside too but I just couldn't commit to it.  I wasn't sure I could pull it off with all the points.  So, I chickened out and just did the straight stitch.  

The outside blocks were very quick and easy to put together.
Sew Intertwined QAL Quilt Blocks
I really like how they turned out.  I also used my favorite fabric {center of the Dresden Fan} for the HSTs and the four patches.  Maybe I used it too much but I don't think so.  The beauty of this particular fabric is the variation in color.  Sometimes it's pink.  Sometimes it's blue.  Sometimes it's green.  It just depends on where it's cut.  You get the idea.   

I think I have 10 more blocks to make then I can put it all together.  Then I will have another quilt top that needs to be quilted.  I'm going to have to cut myself off from making anything new until I get busy quilting.  Does anyone else have that problem???

Make sure to check out the Sew Intertwined QAL...you will have lots of fun!

Friday, August 10, 2012

I Haven't Fallen off the Face of the Earth...

I guess I should start by saying hello!  I've been a very bad blogger lately.  This summer has been very busy with traveling from to Texas to Missouri and back to Texas.  Then I loaded up the car and went back to Missouri.  

As if that wasn't enough driving, my hubby decided that I should meet him in Florida for a couple days.  So, off we went to Florida.  We had a great time but that meant a 15 hour trip back to Texas.  I don't care to get back in my car for a very long time.  In total, we went over 2800 miles in 3 weeks...that's way too much driving!

But now I'm back home and I've had a little break from sewing and blogging so I'm ready to get busy again.  Well almost ready.  I've been having a little trouble with my back again which stinks but I'm working through it.  I have to get another MRI Monday so I'm praying nothing major is wrong again.  

Unfortunately, I do have a bit of sad news.  Today was a terrible day for mom and Gene.  They had to take their beautiful little toy poodle Murphy to the vet.  She was very sick and she didn't make it.  My heart goes out to them during this terrible time. 

Ok maybe now I can share some projects.  I was a month behind on my Stash Bee blocks but I finally got caught up.

Here's my July block
Star String Block
   
And my August block...we weren't supposed to sew the quadrants together so here's a couple different options for putting it together.

I think that's it for tonight.  I'm anxiously awaiting my hubby and 8 year old to get home from Florida.  They should be here any minute!


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