Feb 29, 2012

Heartbroken and a bit sad...


I'm shocked and my heart aches. I'm not so old that I saw the shows when they were originally on.That was before I was even a possibility in my parent's thoughts!  I watched them when they had a comeback in the late 80's and I was a teenager. I was instantly in love with Davy and his sweet British accent. I even went with my best friend to see him, Mickey Dolenz and Peter Tork on tour and we were screaming "WE LOVE YOU!" right next to the older women! It's like a part of some of the best times of my life is now gone. I don't even know why it's hit me so hard. Maybe it's because it's been a long week and I'm tired. 

Rest in Peace Davy. You'll always be a white knight in my daydreams.

Feb 28, 2012

I WON!!!

Sorry for the yelling but I'm doing the happy dance right now! I won the Connecting Threads giveaway over at It's Sew Kiki's blog. I won the grand prize of a new set of threads. I love their threads and I can't wait to get it! I might have to make one of those quilts where the thread is quilted in a design to look like piecing. 

I've never won a giveaway before and still can't believe I've won now! I know I'm just gonna squeal when they come in :oD

Feb 24, 2012

I want to get back to quilting!

Sorry for whining but I've been hemming jeans. It's a necessary bother. I've hemmed one pair for myself that I've had for literally years. They were a pair I bought on clearance for $4 about 4 years ago. They were regular and I'm a petite and they were very flared at the bottom. I totally messed up the hem on them when I took out most of the flare so they sat for a long time. Then last year I finally pinned up a hem, last  month I basted it in, and yesterday I let out the one side that looked too high and finally hemmed them. So $4 and 4 years later I've got a nice pair of jeans. Sometimes I don't know if it's worth saving the money if you have to do so much work on them or they sit around forever, unable to be worn.

I've got another pair of pants for myself I have to hem. Regular pants are always about 4 inches too long on me. At least they are pants and not jeans so it should be easier (knock on wood). And I've got a pair of jorts (jean shorts) to hem for a friend. He said I could take my time but now my machine is set up for the thicker thread just about right so I'm going to wait to get back to piecing after I reset my tension instead of going back and forth. 

I almost regret giving the machine I usually did clothes on to my daughter. It's a lot easier to keep going with three machines to use. I think it's the ideal set up, one for piecing, one for quilting and one for clothing. I have a couple of extra vintage machines hanging around, they just need to be checked over and moved into my space first. I just might have to do that this weekend.

Feb 20, 2012

Kid's projects #1

My kids finished up a project each right before I caught a cold so I haven't been able to post them until now. 
My son (11) made a collar for his cat Amy. We set up the Kumihimo disk with a simple blue and black yarn setup and he worked on it for quite a while until it was done. Here's Amy modeling it for us.
We left the ends untrimmed so she could play with them, which she did until they came off. 

My daughter (19) took Simplicity pattern #1953 and made it her own. The only animal hat she liked a little was the panda except he looks sad so she decided to make a llama instead. 
She had a vintage machine that was too powerful for her to control so I gave her my easy to use Singer. She likes it a lot better and had no problem sewing this together. She designed the ears, face applique and snout. It's so cute. It was made to fit my son so he's modeling it for us. She wants to make a whole menagerie of hats now.

Feb 19, 2012

Quilt show visit #1

Yesterday I went to the Bear Creek Quilt Guild show. The theme was "Quilts Across America." It was held at a very nice conference center. This is the first show I got to go to without my kids. I got to read every sign and take my time. The quilts were beautiful but I don't know if I should share the pictures, they said personal use only. My pictures were also fairly blurry because of the low lighting. I'll just share my thoughts instead.

This year I found myself looking closely at the quilting itself and how it related to the quilt top. I felt very humbled about how far I thought I've come on my free motion skills, but I noticed that most quilting looked too perfect. They looked stitched on the long arm machines with extremely even stitches. I did read that most quilts had credited a different quilter then piecer. Though, there was a pretty modern 1st place winner that credited Lea Day's Free Motion Quilting site for the filler patterns. I saw a lot of wonderful curved quilting in simple squares that really made the quilt pop. I also saw a lot of pantographs that didn't do anything for a quilt and it might as well have been done in a large stipple. My tastes have definitely changed over the last year that I've been watching Leah Day's site and practicing my own free motion quilting. I just don't find the stenciled patterns as nice on a quilt. I love the more free-form, irregular, organic lines and the stitching that shows off skill rather than just binding the layers together.

I'm also in awe of the skill of the hand applique-ist. There were many amazing and cute pieces that obviously were a labor of love. The best of show was a large applique quilt.

The pieced quilts are generally my favorite. I love looking at the minis and getting inspired at what can be done on such a small scale. The paper pieced New York Beauty type blocks were also great in so many variations. I saw a lot of Bonnie Hunter quilts that were amazing. I want to make one so bad but I don't feel I have the scraps to do it with. I love the curved pieced quilts and saw a really funky one with irregular edges that I want to try. It was made with these templates, check out her gallery. I should have looked into them at the show but didn't because I have enough templates. All the modern quilts got my attention. There weren't very many of them but they got me excited about tackling my own projects. That's what I love about quilt shows the most, all the inspiration on display for you to just soak up. I'm looking forward to going again next year.

I don't know how much I like the shopping at a quilt show. I rarely ever buy anything but this time I did find something on sale at the Cabbage Rose booth I was willing to splurge on. 
I got this Tend the Earth jelly roll and charm pack. I'm not thrilled about the bird print, but the others are divine! I wanted the Good Fortune one but she was all out. I don't know if it's because this line is new but I couldn't find much about it on the web and there are no free patterns. I did search everywhere for a jelly roll pattern and I think I'll make a bento box quilt after I get a nice background fabric which gives me plenty of time to change my mind.. I also bought my first show pin at the raffle table. It's really cute and I might start collecting them.

Feb 17, 2012

First quilt finish of 2012!


I was sick last weekend when I wanted to finish this quilt so it had to wait until yesterday. It's about 33 inches square and made from a kit by Connecting Threads that I got for Mother's Day last year. It's made exactly as pictured in the directions but I pieced the blocks the way I preferred. I thought about changing it up some. I wanted to put something in the light print squares other than the letters but I couldn't decide what to do. However, once I traced out the letters and put the fusible on the fabric, I noticed the fabric went perfectly with them. In the end, I'm happy I didn't do something off the wall. 

Since this is a wall quilt, I free motion quilted it very tightly. I had so much fun doing it and picking out what I wanted to do in each square. I think my favorite are the pinwheel and the spool blocks. Quilting it around Valentines' Day also influenced my design. In the blue corner squares, I used a red variegated thread and did a stippling with hearts scattered in it. 


It may sound like an ad but, the great quality of the fabrics made this quit the easiest to square up of any that I'd made before.  Connecting Threads did a great job with the instructions and illustrations. I liked how easy and fun it went together since the pattern and fabrics were already chosen and the price was awesome. This is the first kit that I've done that's been really fun and just for me. It's going on the wall in my sewing space this weekend. I loved it so much that I bought another kit from CT that came in the mail this week but it has to wait in queue for it's turn. I also want to buy so much more from them. I had bought their thread before but now I want to get lots of fabric, particularly the ones I'm going to use to make a king size quilt for my bed.

sew many ways

Feb 12, 2012

Blech...

I've been sick since Tuesday! I have gotten some sewing stuff done but I don't feel like sharing yet. Getting the pictures ready seems like too much work. My kids have also finished projects I want to share. I'm so proud of what they've done but I'm tired. Even though I feel sick and don't feel like fixing pictures, I did design a quilt for my bed today. 
Oops, I forgot to get rid of those lines! But that's the way I feel, a bit absent minded.

I want to make a quilt for my king size bed but the size is daunting. It seems like such a large blank canvas. On top of that, I've seen sizes ranging from 96" x 96" to 120" x 120".  After looking at endless pictures on Google, I finally decided to see what I could find in big blocks at one of my favorite sites. I used the Drunkard's Chain pattern from Quilter's Cache. This is one of the variations she suggested. I'm still not sure of it because it looks like an awful lot of half square triangles. I still need to calculate yardage and maybe I'll make the blocks even bigger to make less but I still feel quite a bit of reluctance to make something I don't absolutely feel excited about. I'm also playing around with Carpenter's Wheel from her site also. I love the look of this one and it would make a great medallion quilt or in a setting of 3x3.
I ordered from Connecting Threads the other day and it's already in! I love how fast their shipping is! I'll have to post pictures and get better soon now!

Feb 10, 2012

Fabric postcard #1

I have a Live Journal account where I'm a member of a community that has a fabric postcard swap. I missed out on the first two rounds, because I didn't really sew last year. They recently announced the third round and I'm ready to participate. 

This is a no stress swap which means it's been announced that the postcards will be mailed at the end of February. Near the end of February, a post will be made and you sign up and say how many you already have finished. So if I have 3 finished by then, then I can sign up for 3. The host will gather all the snail mail addresses then divide them out, you get the addresses where to send your postcard and mail them by the due date. If you don't have any ready to go, you just don't sign up, therefore no stress. 

Fabric postcards are a great way to make small samples of new techniques that are useful. I made this one after they first announced it.

Feb 7, 2012

Jo Ann's haul #3

Thread, thread, thread. It was on sale last weekend for 50% off so I decided to pick up some.


I've never used Sulky thread so I picked up this lovely variegated red, on the left, to maybe quilt something for Valentine's day & try it. Next, I needed denim thread to hem some jeans but I didn't like the color very much so I also picked up some heavy duty in a couple other colors to choose from. The spools look much smaller than they used to, the jeans thread only has 60 yds, but the price was right. This is actually the results of 2 shopping trips. After I bought the first spools, I decided I wanted the Sulky in another color but I went to a different store & they didn't have the quilting threads so I instead picked up a Coats & Clark in a 30 wt. cream color and a spool of invisible smokey polyester. 

I haven't used any of these threads yet but I did pull on the C&C machine quilting cotton one to test it's strength. I was impressed it didn't break. They've recently, within the last year I think, changed their thread. I bought a spool of quilting thread before and I've since relegated it to basting. When compared to the Connecting Threads cotton, it was very weak and broke easily. I'm pleasantly surprised with this one, so far & I'll update how I like it after I've used it. 

The last thing that I bought on sale was a set of 2.5" strips. I've wanted to make the Super Fast Jelly Roll Quilt forever and decided to buy this one. It's only 20 strips with 2 of each color so it's nothing fancy, this is from Jo Ann's. I plan on cutting the other 20 strips from my stash and probably adding some squares of black between strips.

Feb 2, 2012

The last pincushion threadcatcher?

After making my first two pincushion thread catchers, I knew I had to make one for my daughter and that she wouldn't like the same design for the pincushion part. She absolutely loves jasmine tea so I thought a teacup pincushion would be great for her. I looked on the web for a teacup pattern to sew but I didn't really like any of them or how they looked. We went thrift shopping for some buttons for her and I found this teacup without a saucer. It was even on sale!