Archive for the ‘Home Sewing Front’ Category

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39.7 March-A-Long 2016 end of second week

March 13, 2016

20160309_183917.jpgSo, it’s the end of week 2 and I personally have been successful at sewing / quilting for at least 15 minutes a day each day this week except for one when I was a little sick.

I have been quilting on a small quilt project, preparing the next quilt, taking apart even another quilt, and getting a lot of projects lined up with batting and/or backing.

20160313_134943.jpg

You all seem to have been busy as well!

Good job guys sewing for 15 minutes a day in March. If you haven’t done so, you can start NOW. Keep on keeping on!

 

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39.5 Quilt Pile Up Post 2

March 1, 2016

I am writing up blog posts about my Quilty Goals in March. The first one is here.

I am working through specific goals for March to motivate me for the March-A-Long a 15 minute per day sewing promise to quilt daily.

On my goals, I have decided to focus (though you can’t hold me to this) on free motion quilting.

I have here some of the smaller quilts without backing that need to be matched up with scrap batting and backing before quilting.

small tops to back and quilt

So the quilts specifically, some of these have more deep stories, a few do not.

The first you may recognize from the post from yesterday. There are 2 quilts that are essentially just panels of some quilty rainbow pastel fabric. I have had all but the one edging (sticking up) done for months. I ran out of the same fabric, so finally decided to put a different white on white and call it good. These quilts are (will be) similar, but not identical twins.

pastel rainbow quilt no backing

The others have some significance (more) to me. This crazy looking quilt was inspired by my guild. We had nametags one day for a meeting where we were going to learn paper piecing (for people who didn’t already know). I had two blocks completed with wild colors and they kept staring at me undone. I decided to take the blocks, photocopy the back, that still had the paper piecing on them, and make a few more wild blocks for a mini quilt.

small bright scrappy nametag.jpg

The next quilt is a winding ways swap quilt. I went to my first or second retreat with the ladies who used to be known as so many swaps, and one lady was bringing her accuquilt with her, in addition to dies for the winding ways quilt block. We were instructed to bring batiks, and then we had cut them all the same with the accuquilt, and one day after supper, we swapped around the tables in a circle the same # of blocks as we donated.

I actually swapped 9 blocks, but I got tired of the quilt while piecing it this summer, so I decided to stop at 4. I don’t know right now if I kept the extra 5 blocks or not.

winding ways scrappy swap quilt.jpg

The next quilt is a leftover block from my Teal Cathedral Windows style quilt. A retreat 2 years ago I was considering doing red and teal prairie points around the edge to learn prairie points, but I got slightly mixed up along the way. I just like this little block how it is, I think I will quilt it and bind again in a red. Or maybe do striped binding.small cathedral teal.jpg

And lastly, I have the practice block from the disappearing shoo fly block.This mini quilt is 4 shoo fly blocks cut up down the middle horizontally and vertically, all with the same color of center block, twisted and then sewn back together. I picked “controlled scrappy” out of the colors I had already made (about 65 blocks).

small lightning block topWhat are your March-A-Long goals? Tell me in the comments here or on the March-A-Long page. This may be the end of the “premade blog posts for the week.” I think some of that depends on how interesting this week actually becomes!

Keep Marching A Long and keep experimenting!

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38.1 New Beginnings And Cycles

August 2, 2015

Hey! Last time I wrote I was a month ago about my diary of the KCRQF. A month and a half ago. The end of my day 2 was looking at the quilts of the Beatles, and my quick lecture class. Day 3 was my volunteering day where I gave out wristbands to fathers for Father’s Day, and then helping in the booth with 3 other people, which really meant talking to guild members, going to get food, a conversation with my Dad (for who knows how long) and then getting straight on shots of guild quilts.

Later, I may share my pictures & description of the Beatles quilts. Today, as I write, I want to start new, fresh.

Quilt Cycle Cathedral Teal with labels

I am really enjoying this stage of my quilting cycle. At the beginning.

I have noticed that yes, deadlines get quilts done, gets quilts finished, provides me with a much needed focus. I do so much better with a focus. Even if it is a temporary focus. If I want to get things complete, I have a deadline, made up or real, and stick to it. Yes, I like the focus of finishing!

But at the beginning of a quilt cycle, there are so many possibilities. So much potential.

  • What fabrics do I use?
  • What pattern do I use?
  • How will I offset the blocks from each other?
  • Do I want to design something new? Traditional?
  • Who is it for?
  • What size quilt do I want to make?

My questioning mind loves to go back to the beginning sometimes, but I am not alone.

Quilters have many UFO’s, we like to restart, to re-cycle to the beginning of the process.

I have been considering going back to the beginning again with several quilts, or starting new.

Why? Well for one, I completed my deadline. The huge quilt show we had a month and a half ago was a great deadline. Great AND stressful both!

For two, I am wondering, what quilt will be the next best quilt to create for the next huge quilt show?

For three, I reorganized my sewing room. And it’s like halfway done.

For four, I have LOTS of scraps that I would like to use up, cut down, make clean.

For right now, that’s the main motivation for new beginnings.

My wall of fabric (one large ‘bookcase’) I changed from my left to my right.

fabric wall

 

This frees up my cutting area so much. I have had a limited amount of cutting space that I could use. Actually, I am using the same space as before, but now don’t have a large area nearby to butt up against.

new cutting area

I also have a large enough desk I can watch streaming video and press or cut on the table if I desire!

computer desk and small ironing pad

Which will be something nice. I may even bring my sewing machine back into my sewing room, as currently it’s at the kitchen table. Will be hard to do computer & sewing both, but may be possible.

Possibilities are opening!

Speaking of possibilities and scraps and new/old things, I have gotten out a few fabric pieces the last month.

First was my “watermelon dresden”, inspired by Jenny Doan’s visit to our guild several years ago, when we were all doing the jelly roll race quilts, I did jelly roll dresden pieces.

watermelon dresden

And I even came up with a pattern for it, that I don’t believe I have shared with you all.

water melon dresden version 2

How pretty.

And then for a few things more scrappy, I had a couple very small paper pieced blocks we did with the guild that I thought would be perfect for small strings.

string quilt small

I worked on this last weekend at my friend’s house at our last sunday sewing day for a while – her schedule is changing.

The finished piece is pretty small. about a 12″ block or so. May need to make more of these.

And I have been wanting to do an Arkansas Crossing quilt with scrappy cool tones for quite a while now.

16 patches for scrap quilt arkansas crossroads

So I finally have some mindless sewing to work on. Which for me, right now, is fantastic!

And oh yeah, I have some pinwheels against white that I don’t know what to do with. So I am making more and going to eventually donate for a kids quilt for the memorial hospital in Lawrence.

extra squares for pinwheels

For these I have been putting 2 charms (5 inch squares) right sides together & sewing around the edges to cut in quarters and press open later.

I also have been using my new phone for pictures exclusively and haven’t gotten my normal camera out for the last month. So new beginnings there. I wish I was better able to focus that more quickly. The better thing is that this phone with camera has the same megapixels as my point & shoot camera did, AND this one doesn’t take 30 seconds to reset after one picture, it is able to move much more quickly between pictures!

Anyway, thanks for joining me on the beginning of a cycle again! What a great feeling to find lost projects and to work on new things!

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37.6 How Round Robins Work

May 23, 2015

This is a post describing how round robins work, or rather, how our round robin worked, complete with pictures.

If you missed a while on the blog or were redirected here from elsewhere, I was included in a multi-group internet friends (twilter-twitter quilter friend) round robin quilt exchange.

One fantastic lady, Daisy of Lazy Daisy Quilts decided to put together a round robin quilt exchange and asked for signups from interested people back at the beginning of 2014.

There were enough ladies who wanted to participate that we had 3 groups: Twilter Round Robin Group A, Twilter Round Robin Group B, Twilter Round Robin Group C. Our group was Group A

Basic Definition of a Round Robin quilt exchange:

Round Robin quilts are long-term projects in which each person works on other peoples’ projects during the time of the round robin, passing along a quilt idea, fabric, and a rapidly growing partial quilt top to each participant until the quilt ends back in the original quilter’s possession.

For me, it all started off with a pattern from electric quilt, a fabric choice & then a block.

center for round robin quilt darla

Here’s the first question I am asked when talking about the round robin: How does it work?

Generally, a round robin quilt (as our group did it) is an agreement between friends or strangers and friends to work on a quilt of someone else’s with the understanding that they will work on yours in return.

My role in the round robin:

  1. I made the center of the quilt. I decided what colors to be used & original quilt direction.
  2. I selected fabrics for the quilt to use in the quilt.
  3. I provide some kind of guidelines or suggestions to the others in the group for working on the quilt.
  4. I send the quilt onto the next person in the list (in the mail or in person). I am always sending to the same next person.
  5. I receive someone else’s quilt in the mail, with their center (or more), their fabrics, their instructions. I am always receiving a quilt from the same previous person.
  6. I work through an appropriate design to add a border to the outside of the quilt. Using math, graph paper, books or websites for inspiration, sometimes electronic quilt blocks or suggestion from Electric Quilt 7 (EQ7).
  7. I follow general guidelines by the round robin coordinator for each round to help spur imagination or direct the appropriate design. Not to be used religiously with all quilts in all situations, but to help stretch each quilter, and attempt to provide harmony with the finished project.
  8. I finish my section of the new border, sometimes making changes due to size restrictions, or fabric shortages which happens because we’re not always great at figuring out in advance what fabrics others would be appealing to the general design or just underestimation. Sometimes this step also requires purchasing fabric of our own.
  9. I write down something interesting in the process in the quilt journal. (optional) I write my name on a label provided by the original quilter (optional, but fantastically helpful in the end).
  10. I send the quilt top with my new border to the same next person in line.
  11. Receive the new quilt, repeat steps 5-10 until the original quilt comes back. I have a full quilt top and a full label and journal.

Twilter Round Robin Group A final collage

 

The coordinator has a lot of decisions to make before getting the round robin started.

The round robin coordinator’s role:

  1. They decide the groups (if more than 6 want to be part of the round robin) 5-6 people seem to be a good match for this round robin.
  2. They create a deadline for each border swap.
  3. The estimate the approximate amount of each type of fabric needed to make the quilt work, suggest the amount of background fabric, focus fabric, and other fabric to be used in making of a quilt top.
  4. The estimate the sizes of each of the borders to be proportional to the space on the quilt.
  5. They create general guidelines to help direct the future quiltmakers down a path to help create a good quilt and/or to ask people to work out of their own comfort zones.
  6. They coordinate the addresses and order of each person to do the round robin.
  7. They answer general questions, help figure out if deadlines need adjusted.
  8. They type up all the info and get it to the participants. Follow up if needed in some areas. Perhaps some handholding or drama-gathering if needed in some groups.
  9. Remind us it’s all fun.

Round Robin Twilter Group A

As you can see above, we had 6 different quilts with 6 different personalities and styles.

How does the passing of the quilts work?

Because we had a round that we passed quilts on to each other, and each person was in a different order, we were able to affect each quilt at a different stage of its development.

  • The first two quilts each of us received, we were only beginning to shape the look and feel of the quilt to follow.
  • The next round brought the middle into focus, the meat of the quilt,
  • The last two rounds were on the finishing side of the round, these were larger & took up more time & fabric.

Our round went like this:

Daisy passes to me, I pass to Diane, Diane pass to Laura, Laura pass to Tami, Tami pass to Tina, Tina pass to Daisy.

twilter round robin how the quilts got passed in a round

And each of us had our own version of that. The drawing above shows how the quilts were passed around.

My role in the round robin Group A, and the quilts as I saw them in the order I worked on them

Round 1 – Daisy

Since Daisy’s was the first round robin quilt I saw, it was the first one I worked on, and thus the smallest round to do.

This is a collage of the completed quilt of Daisy’s (on the left), the block as I received it, and the block as I finished it.

daisys finished quilt center and my portion

Once completed, I wrote in the journal, and on the label, then sent it in the mail to Diane.

Once Daisy was finished with the next quilt – Tina’s quilt, she sent it in the mail to me. As you will see I was always receiving from Daisy and sending to Diane. So I really only had to have 1 address.

Round 2 – Tina

Tina’s quilt only had her center and Daisy’s first border. The sky was the limit here.

tinas finished quilt center and my portion

The picture above is Tina’s finished quilt on the left. Top right is the original block, middle right is the quilt top as I received it, bottom right is the quilt top I sent out.

Round 3 – Tami

At the “halfway point” everyone was working on the opposite person’s quilt. I was working on Tami’s quilt when she was working on mine.

tamis finished quilt center and my portion

 

The picture above is Tami’s finished quilt on the left. Top right is the original block, middle right is the quilt top as I received it, bottom right is the quilt top I sent out.

Round 4 – Laura

Laura’s quilt was based on neutral fabrics. Greys and browns dominated the landscape of this quilt top with dramatic golds and blue hues thrown in for a smidge of color

lauras finished quilt center and my portion

 

The picture above is Laura’s finished quilt on the left. Top right is the original block, middle right is the quilt top as I received it, bottom right is the quilt top I sent out.

Round 5 – Diane

Diane’s quilt was mostly done. I was trying to figure out an appropriate finish for her quilt.

dianes finished quilt center and my portion

 

The picture above is Diane’s finished quilt on the left. Which is also the portion that I worked on and sent out to her. Top right is the original block, bottom right is the quilt top as I received it.

More notes about Round Robin Quilts & observations

Since it was a center-focused round robin where we added further borders to the outside of an already ‘finished’ project, so the projects usually take on a medallion feeling.

Each quilter has to essentially be a “border designer”, and has to be willing to either ‘do the math’ or make a program (like EQ7) do the math for them.

I used inspiration from either drawing graph paper, or Electric Quilt 7, or a book on borders, or pinterest pictures, or various books on techniques. Sometimes I tried several different versions of the quilt, but once I kept seeing one version in my mind more than 1 day, that is the variation I went with.

There is an option to do rows instead of medallion rounds, which would be the same amount of work on the last one as on the first one. This would work in a similar way, but are usually called “Row Robin” quilts instead.

The first round we received, we had a shortened timeframe, but we had less size to finish before sending it off. This was stressful for me, but I did get the quilt done by or close to the deadline most of the time.

Each swap we had different goals, different color pallets, different visions to try to work into the quilts. It is truly a good way to sew out of the comfort zone.

And since the twilters who were interested in this swap were all over the US, the boxes got some post office traveling time around the country.

Some of the early quilts I worked on, I was completely surprised with at the end.

We got to learn about each person as reading through the journal entries of the original quiltmaker, in addition to things other people said in the journal. I was inspired by things in the journal in addition to other blocks and items I saw elsewhere. Many times the journal dictated the “tone” of the quilt more than anything!

Math was very helpful in the round robin. Having the original dimensions of each quilt, then trying to figure out how to put blocks together with appropriate spacers was challenging, but a heck of a lot of fun.

It helped me to use a program like EQ7 to help with the math and to visually see if the blocks I were doing were too big or not big enough or if I needed to add spacers.

Often times, I used my moleskin graph paper the most as it was the perfect thing to visually count other parts of the quilt.

Another note was to not try to overshadow the other people’s work. Since I try to do “big bold complicated” this was a constant worry for me, and something that at times reigned me in, and other times I probably ignored. Looking back, I ended up adding a darker border many times to the quilts I received. I don’t know if/what that says about me.

The most important part is to leave a part of yourself in the quilt that you’re working on. Being true to who I am is very important to me, even if I don’t always know what that looks like. So even during the “potential overshadows” I may/maynot have done, I still made quilts that were pleasing to me, that were something that I could do as well as I could.

That’s what matters & that is what’s special about these quilts.

In summary (visual)

The quilts as I worked on them, the center block, what I did to them, and their final product.

Round Robin Progress

Yay for round robins with friends!

 

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37.2 Silent March-A-Long almost finished

March 30, 2015

So, how did you do in the 15 minute a day sewing challenge for the month of March?

Did you let the stress of every day get to you, or did you challenge yourself to do a little bit of sewing each day?

It is hard to “see” the results of my sewing, a lot of my 15 minutes were closer to 5 or 10 minutes hand stitching applique that has been glued for a while.

hot air balloon glued down stitch line

So I have gotten past about half of the hand stitching on this section of the quilt.

This applique will migrate to another project from my original plans I think.

Geesh, I noticing that I have a lot of projects I started back in 2011 (the date for this quilt’s start).

Anyway, I did the weave quilt early in the month.

Circular ends

I have made appointments with two long arm quilters during the month. For the first time ever.

I have been trolling around Quilter’s Cache lately. I made the cutest Galaxy Star from that site.

galaxy star pattern via quilters cache

I hand stitched some batting that wasn’t quite big enough for a smaller project, I basted with spray baste, and am now starting to ditch quilt the borders on my domestic machine.

I also made a few small items for the guild’s boutique for the quilt show.

5pointedpincushiontwo

A few pincushions. This uses 5 squares of each fabric type. I found the tutorial online. I skipped the adding the paper step, but I had to hand stitch the middle closed on the pieces because there are several seams that stop at the quarter inch corner.

And I made 60 degree coasters from another pintrest link. These were easy, but I added batting just below the piece at the bottom of the coaster.

60degreecoasterafterflip

That is the finished project. Without top stitching anyway.

Here’s how they start. Pretty easy.

60degreecoasterstart

I bought my 3 day ticket for the quilt festival in June, and I signed up with a class/lecture by a quilter I was impressed with that is in a nearby guild, with one of the twilters, Carole!

Since changing my computer around, I never reinstalled photoshop (over 10 years old), so I have been using PicMonkey website to edit my photos. Very similar to Picnic that I reviewed a long time ago. Not bad, gives you plenty of free editing options.

Anyway, that’s me checking in with you! How have you been? March-A-Long! Good work getting those projects done!

 

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33.9 New Project Limbo

January 21, 2014

I just spent a bunch of time testing something and I am going back to my original methods of posting here.

I am going to see if the pictures from the test work out ok or not. We will see after this posts (a little wary of that right now).

I am in ‘project limbo’. I have a LOT of UFO’s, my new projects aren’t grabbing my attention, but neither are my old projects either.  Here are some samples & some explanations of some things that – yeah, someday I should finish, but currently haven’t ran to get stitching on.

2014-01-21_11-07-07_581

I was cleaning out my basket of UFO’s over the new year, going through & sorting things out. This little quilt-let I found the center with the hearts, birds and flowers all dolled up with my fancy embroidery stitches that I found over on NeedleNThread.  I also saw some of the pre-made pieces that didn’t’ make the original design – the red birds, the center red flower.

Well some weekend in the past 3 I added the green and then outer dark grey border, and elmers glued the extra applique pieces. Last Saturday, I glued & prepared the violet tulip pieces and everything is currently ready to stitch down. But, I have little desire to complete this beyond this. Right now. Perhaps I’ll take this with me & work on it outside of home.

Another thing I worked on during the long week I was sick (finally feeling closer to normal) was the idea of a jeans quilt.

2014-01-18_04-26-21_230

I have a lot of the dark blue, I bought that denim off the bolt, and I have a lot of the medium denim too. I really like the idea of this design, but I don’t think I am as in love with the design for my jeans quilt.

The stained glass feeling from the dark strips are supposed to break up the stiffness of the denim & keep the seams lighter. I have such a narrow stained glass strip that I have decided to paper piece these blocks to get them to look right, and that method is a mistake when it comes to denim – too many seams, too hard to cut down in between the narrow stained glass pieces.

Not that a basic stained glass quilt won’t work with the denim, but not in “this design”. Not now anyway. Or not without modifications.

The last thing I have looked at & found / re-found was a 4 block set I purchased at the local quilt show.

2014-01-21_10-52-42_404

Ok, so I did add the bright orange border on the blocks just today, but I am looking at this, I didn’t make the center block, but I could see this being an interesting base for a round robin quilt.

I’ve never done a round robin quilt. I wonder if I am unstructured enough to be able to enjoy joining a round robin. I think this would be easy for me to “let go” since I didn’t make the center block, but I would love a quilt built around this block.

Coincidentally, there is a round robin that is starting up with our #twilter group on twitter (of which I am a sometimes participant, but sometimes lurk & see all the fun the twitter quilters are having). Maybe that’s a good time to start a project, something I didn’t make myself, I have Judy Laquardia’s book on borders, have created a pinterest board with round robin quilts.

What do you think? Talk me into it? Daisy is hosting and has been chatting w/ me on twitter about joining up.

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33.5 More custom Free Motion Quilting on Fans And Bows

December 10, 2013

I have been working towards quilting this red and white quilt top of mine for over the past week.  I have done a little each day, worked on a little every day, trying to figure out what to do on each section each day, getting a little further in trying to make the designs symmetrical.

I have not finished, but I have been doing an okay job at the FMQ on this red and white quilt.

DSC05757

I have these antennae guys in the corners between some of the red white 9 patches.

You already saw the corner arches, but I decided to go over the tops in red.

DSC05768

and I have some more red quilting in some of the other sections. Like on my fans. Here was the first day. Red on red if you can see.

DSC05764

The design on the fans becomes more evident when I quilted the red on the black.

DSC05767

And there is some overstitch of red on the quilting next to the fans. So I have a few more plans to cover over with red in places, and probably have some more white areas to do once I figure those out.

The back taken at some point really shows the quilting since the back is more black in nature.

DSC05765

And I haven’t yet made up the stitching in the brown sections of the border.

And I have a black lace that I have been wanting to add to this quilt for almost 2 years now.  But that will be added after the main base has been quilted.

I always wanted this quilt to have a lot of quilting. Glad that I waited until I could be “good enough” to quilt this, but not perfect.

I have used a lot of inspirations (no feathers as of yet), I have used a few techniques that I liked, double outlining things, doing rows of beads / a.k.a. pebbles (stone bridges). And swoops.  Now that I’ve started this, I need to keep inspiring myself to finish so I can knock off one inspiring quilt that has been on my list for a really really long while.

I have to start & stop sometimes due to the heat of my plug-in. Which also works out good for my shoulders too. This thing is one of my larger ‘wall quilts’ so it is probably considered lap size. I could consider quilting something bigger on Aquata, and maybe after this, I will do just that.