Friday, January 23, 2015

Dogwood Log Cabin

I saw this quilt a last week on pinterest and said to myself, "I have large scraps of that fabric.  I think I'll go make a quilt top!"  It didn't matter that I have 3 quilts in various stages and scraps out that I was in the process of cutting.  I had seen this pattern before in different fabrics, but it wasn't cute enough to make me stop what I was doing.  I changed the center on my quilt and added an extra row to make it a rectangle.  I used a 6.5 inch center and 4.5 inch strips of whatever length I had.

I added the dark pink and the solid looking pink because I didn't have enough different fabrics.  I know that dark pink kinda stands out, but I did try to spread it out evenly.  There wasn't anything else in my stash that went.  Sometimes you just gotta go with it.

I would like to ask you this - does this look like a baby quilt or a lap quilt for an adult?  My daughter and I are on opposite sides of this and we need another opinion.

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Come See My New Sewing Room

We moved some rooms around in our house. (To those of you who know me, that is nothing new!) The baby is finally out of the closet and in a room with her littlest big sister.  Yep, you read that right.  Her crib was in the extra closet in my bathroom.  We have 2 closets and not so many clothes. It was the quietest place in the house and closest to my bed for feeding at night.  We're done feeding and she sleeps all night.  It was time for a change!

We moved all the kids to new rooms.  Some were happier than others.  I got a different room to sew in and I am loving it.  Come have a look around if you like!  Here is the link to the new page or you can click on the tab up top.

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Stained Glass Quilt

Oh, I love this quilt!  It reminds me of stained glass with all it's beautiful batiks.  I also added a hand dyed navy that I had on hand too.  There are 2 blocks 5x4 and 6x3 which when you add a 1 inch black black to 2 sides makes them the same size.  

I used an invisible smoke thread to quilt this to keep the quilting from distracting from the fabrics. You can read more about that here.  I gave some tips on using monopoly thread.  It's not so bad as I thought!

For the back, I used the remaining pieces of fabrics from the front. It's like a puzzle trying to make it big enough to cover the quilt, but there is always a solution.  It looks so much more stunning in person, but then it always does!

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Using MonoPoly (Invisible) Thread

Monopoly thread is an almost invisible thread that comes in 2 colors - white and smoke.  I bought mine at Superior Threads.  In the photo above it has a net cover to keep the thread from falling of - it comes with this so you don't need to purchase any.

There are lots of times when you might want to use this kind of thread  If you have light and dark colored fabric in a quilt top and you don't want to see dark quilting on the light or light quilting on the dark then this thread would be perfect.  You might also use this thread to SID between a dark and light fabric if you have trouble staying in the ditch like I do.  

I have a blue and purple batik quilt top that I want to quilt. It also has black around the rectangles and I didn't want to cover up the batik fabric with black thread.  I also didn't want to see blue or purple thread on the black fabric. So I chose the smoke monopoly to quilt with.  

I was worried I would ruin my beloved quilt top so I got a little practice fabric out and loaded it on the machine.  

I quilted with smoke on top and bottom.  The top fabric is white and the bottom is navy.  The thread seems to take on the color of the fabric.  I would use the white monopoly if I was quilting on light colored fabric.  I used smoke just for practice.

Looks great on the navy fabric.  All you really see is the texture of the quilting.

Sneak peak of my next quilt!  I put this photo in so you can see that the thread has a bit of sparkle to it.  I think once the quilt gets washed and crinkly it will sink into the fabric and no be so noticeable.

Some tips to help you get started:

1.  If you are winding bobbins on a longarm and you have a separate bobbin winder - use the bobbin winder on your longarm.  I can wind without quilting.  Set the speed for the bobbin winder to 30 (it's medium slow).  Also make sure your tension on your winder is not too tight.

2.  Wind your bobbin half way.  This thread is so thin, there will still be lots of thread on the bobbin. (I don't know why, this was on a post somewhere when I was researching this thread).

3.  Use a #14 needle for longarmers or a 70/10 for domestic machines.  I used a #16 on my longarm because I didn't have a 14 and it seemed to work good.

4.  Quilt slowly!  This is hard for me - my brain gets excited and wants to go fast.  If your tension is too tight when you wind your bobbins, your thread will break when you quilt.

5.  Loosen the top thread tension.  I loosened 2 full circles CCW on my longarm.

6.  This thread is so thin, it is hard to see when you are threading the needle (or rethreading the machine).  I used a flashlight so I could see the sparkle or reflection on the thread. This helped a lot!

7.  Nap time is a good time to practice something new!  No interruptions when you are learning or you will get frustrated! :)

Pictures of the finished quilt will be coming soon!  Then we will be able to see what it looks like after washing.  Until then...linking with Free Motion by the River

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

A Review of 2014

I have been seeing everyone's 2014 review and I thought it would be fun to take a trip down my memory lane as well.  My goal for 2014 was to make 36 quilts.  I made it!  If we only count actual quilts, there are exactly 36.

I also made 1 tree skirt, 15 t-shirt pillows, a set of rag ABC letters, helped my boys make 2 quilts, and helped my daughter make 4 quilted fleece blankets!

It has been a very busy year with all this sewing, homeschooling, and watching a little premie grow into an entertaining little girl!  I started working more with HSTs this year.  They aren't so bad after all.  I also tried to get a handle on my scraps.  Haven't quite finished them yet, but that's on schedule for the first of the year. I also have 2 quilts in the works that aren't going to make it by tomorrow.  But that gets me 2 ahead for next year!

Thanks to all of you who have left comments on my blog this year, I really appreciate it!  Have a Happy New Year sewing, quilting, and creating!

Monday, December 29, 2014

A More Traditional Quilt

Here she is!  I don't usually make traditional quilts, but I had to.  I have some what I call "ugly to me fabric" that needs to get used up.  It's the cream fabric up there.  I just don't like it.  But I do like this quilt.  Not for me of course - not my style or colors!  But I make quilts all the time that are for other people.  Someone will enjoy it. 

I could only find 4 fabrics in my stash to go with this fabric.  You can't make too many modern quilts with only 4 fabrics.  I searched pinterest for weeks looking for patterns that only use 3 or 4 fabrics.  I was really surprised that when I cut up this fabric that it looked good in the blocks.

I used the rest of it on the back.  No leftovers!

Becca made another fleece quilt for Papa to give out.  

She is really improving on her quilting. On this quilt she learned how to start and end a row on the longarm.  Next will be rolling and basting the sides.  Pretty soon she won't need me at all!  It's so fun to have her in the sewing room with me.

Happy New Year everyone!  

Monday, December 15, 2014

Square in the Corner

I'm calling this one Square in the corner for lack of a better name.  The squares large square finishes at 6 inches.   I love the color combo of pink, gray and teal.  The black and gray print gives your eye a something to look at.  Very easy pattern.  I used 4 pink, 4 teal, and 3 gray fabrics.

I stitched in the ditch around the black square sets and meandered the rest.  I wanted to make the little squares stand out.  I couldn't quilt anything inside the little squares because of the print, but the outlining is enough.  The back is a minky with matching colors.  Not too happy with this one because the back was too small.  I had to stretch it to finish the quilting.  So you can see some rippling along the bottom.  Hoping that when I wash it, it will get better.  They can't all be perfect now can they!

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Christmas Tree Skirt

Oh the math I've forgotten since high school!  I didn't have a pattern for this tree skirt, but I didn't think it would be that hard.  I mean I do have an engineering degree, right?  Well, my brain wasn't thinking straight and that was a problem!

I only had so much red snowflake fabric and I really wanted to have 3 rows of that.  The width of the hexagon is 54 inches so the sides were all 27 in.  Except that I kept using 27 in for the height of the equilateral triangle!  No, no, no!  To determine the height you have to use the formula for a 30-60-90 triangle.  

So here it is.  If your sides are 27 in then your height is about 23.5 inches.  I did cut my triangles to this height, but it would be more helpful to start with this height.  I started with 27 inches for my height so I lost all of my red fabric on the top!  If you want to make one of these plan your row heights to equal 23.5 (24 unfinished) and you should be fine.  Once you get one piece cut use it to cut your other 5 pieces.

I quilted swirls in the white rows going the same direction all the way around.  Nope they are not perfect!  This was my first time with swirls.  I have lowered my expectations so I can actually try new things without freaking out!

Ran out of red snowflake fabric so my husband suggested putting white between the binding and the red snowflakes.  What?  I can't do that.  It's already quilted!  But then I remembered this flange binding technique and it worked great.

I didn't cut a seam and a center hole in it, but now I wish I had.  The cords from the tree lights are very visible under the tree. You could easily do that after quilting and add binding to the seam and the center as you go.  I'm thinking of just cutting a hole big enough for the tree pole to fit through.   It's a nice tree skit either way.  Merry Christmas!

Linking with Freemotion by the River and I Have to Say

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Plaid Fleece with Quilty Texture

I thought I would show you this quilt my daughter and I made for Papa to give away.  I know you've seen one before, but I really like the quilting on this one - it give is such great texture.  It's fast and easy and Becca got to practice quilting again without feeling like she was going to ruin one of my quilt tops.

I think this panto is called spiral squares.  You can read about how to bind it here.  Papa like to give this type away because they are soft and warm.  He usually gives them to older people he visits in the hospital and they need some extra warmth!

Anyway, I have been sewing, just not quilting.  I have 2 really cool tops sitting on my longarm waiting for me.  Thanksgiving and trips to the hospital have slowed me down.  So I hope you stick around to see them!  Stay warm!

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Christmas Quilt

Here is the Christmas quilt I made for this year.  It has the same red and blue fabrics as the one last year but they look very different.

Each block is made of 16 HSTs - 480 of them!  I made them with my Wonder Cut Ruler and didn't have any problems.  I spent several nights ironing and clipping corners.  There were so many pieces.

I didn't have to trim the HSTs, but I did trim the set of 4's and the blocks as I went to make sure everything would line up just so.

I quilted it with loops and snowflakes.  It was quick and easy and it goes with the snowflakes on the red fabric.  Backed with red minky, it's a big quilt 60 by 72 inches.  Perfect for snuggling with this cutie!

Linking with:

Needle and Thread Thursday

I Quilt @ Pretty Bobbins