Jan 31, 2012

Quilting inspiration

I finally got back to quilting the borders of my quilt this past weekend. I bought some green variegated YLI machine quilting thread to encourage me.
I did some warm up quilting with this thread, pulled it out and got ready to put my quilt under the needle when I saw this:
I have never gotten a spool of thread with a tie in it. I'm sure it happens but if I had found this on the top of my quilt I think I would have been upset. The thing was, I hadn't done much quilting before the tie so why include it in the spool. I guess it's because it's machines doing the work and people are not even watching them anymore. This knot wouldn't even go through my needle. I could have had a major thread break if I hadn't noticed this.

I finally sat down and free motion quilted some swirly loops in a density to match the rest of the quilting. I gave up after 2 of the 4 borders were quilted because it was boring, really, really boring. I started another project instead. I'll post about that later.

While taking a break on the new project, I checked my Google Reader and saw this post by Sandi at Piecemeal Quilts blog. She just finished a beautiful quilt that had been sitting on her frame for 6 months! Within the quilting, she wrote words. When I saw that, I knew that was what I needed to excite me about finishing the quilting! I commented on her post and she wrote a nice email back to me.

Jan 30, 2012

New craft - Kumihimo

The other week I was browsing Quilter Blogs.com when I came across a post with a picture of a beautiful bracelet like I'd never seen before. It was made from yarn in a Japanese braiding style called Kumihimo. I immediately searched the web to find out more. I found supplies, patterns and videos. It's so simple that you can start with what you have on hand if you want but I knew I wanted the disk made from thick fun foam. I searched around for it and found it at Jo Ann's in the kids' craft section as a lanyard  maker. It was very reasonable priced with a 50% off coupon so it came home with me. 

Jan 29, 2012

Apron ver. 1.2

I felt like I needed to add more to the pirate apron I made for the guys the other day. I came across this tutorial for some simple potholders that I wanted to try and decided this is what it needed, attached potholders! It's not my original idea. I know I've seen something about them on the web before but it was ages ago so I can't tell you where.

I will admit, I bought 2 cheap $1 FQs because my potholders see heavy use and I won't feel too bad taking these off to replace one day. I made 2, 9-patch blocks with the second method on this page.

I read the directions on the potholder instructions wrong so I made my blocks 12.5 inches square instead of using 4 inch squares and making it 11 inches square. I just kept on making them, measured the un-batted finished square and cut 2 pieces of Warm & Natural batting 8 3/8 inches square to fit. It'll work out fine since my husband has large hands anyway.

Jan 28, 2012

Homemade laundry creme

...actually I think someone called it laundry mousse. I think that sounds more fun. 

I stumbled upon this post last week about it. I've been using the dry homemade laundry detergent, made from 1 bar grated soap ( I use Ivory but there's also Fels-Naptha and Zote), 1 cup washing soda (not baking soda) and 1 cup Borax, for over half a year now. It works like a charm and is the best money saver. I almost feel guilty making it. The biggest problem I have with it is that you have to use a dust mask, which I keep forgetting to buy, to mix and use it because the dust isn't good for you. There's also a liquid detergent made from the same ingredients but it literally makes a 5 gallon bucket! That's too big for me to store, especially since it lasts forever. 

So I followed the trail of links back to the source at the White Silk Purse blog. I like to know where things originate from online if I can find it. This recipe makes a bit over 1 gallon that you store in quart canning jars and has no dust. It's exactly what I want so I made a half batch this weekend. I used a whisk to stir it up, followed a commenter's advice on how to add the powders and it came out nice and foamy so I didn't need to blend it. I didn't even wait for it to sit the 8 hours it recommends and used it right away since I was running out of powder. It looks like it worked as good as it always does. I use 2 tbsp in a large load, I don't have an HE washer, so I should get over 60 loads from what I made. I can't recommend this enough. It's the best and cheapest laundry soap ever. 

If you want pictures, check out the links. I couldn't do as good of a job as they did so I didn't take any.

Jan 25, 2012

WIP Wednesday #2

I was happily quilting along when this happened!
If you click on the picture you'll see long threads on the back. They snapped and I couldn't see them on top so I kept quilting. When I finished this block I found them. I tied the ones I could find both ends to off and threaded them into the quilt. I re-threaded my machine and still had snapped threads. So I took out the bobbin to check it and that's when I found that I accidentally knocked the feed dog lever up a bit and they were catching the thread and breaking it. This might not happen on a modern machine but I love how it quilts & now I know to check that lever when I put in a new bobbin! Since this quilt is for me and a wall quilt, I'm not too fussed about it. I'm going to leave the over-stitched threads on the back and pretend they're not there.

Jan 24, 2012

Taking a step back...

 I finished quilting the center part of my quilt this past weekend. I started quilting the border but after the first one, I knew the design I picked for it was not going to work. I'll post more about that tomorrow. I needed to take a break from it so I made an apron instead.

Jan 22, 2012

Jo Ann's haul #2

So I couldn't help myself & went back to Jo Ann's yesterday. I was supposed to buy some Kona solid white there but I couldn't resist the sale and I could get it with a 50% off coupon this week. I went to a different store & they had the patterns on my list that I still wanted and the 1 inch bias tape maker I couldn't find at the other store

Jan 18, 2012

WIP Wednesday #1

This is my first WIP Wednesday in a long while at least. I haven't looked back to see if I've done one before.

Currently I'm working on a kit from Connecting Threads that I got last Mother's day and is no longer available :o( It's a wall-hanging for my sewing space. I finished the top last week.

I've layered and basted it. I've done the SITD quilting around the sashing and I've started to do the individual blocks. Here's a picture of the back and a close up:

Jan 14, 2012

Back again...

Well I took a long unintended hiatus. If anyone is still following this blog, thank you. I'm glad to see the back of 2011. It was a long, hard, stressful year for me that I'm glad to see finished, though there were some highlights. I've made a new commitment to sewing this year and I've already started!

So far this year I've made two pincushion thread catchers from the Abby Bag pattern. I bought the kit for these from Connecting Threads last Mother's day. The kits are no longer available and most of the fabrics are sold out also :o(