If you’re blogging, you’re not sewing!

My hands have been busy with hand quilting and sewing and I finally used Gracie Queen quilt frame and Juki TL-2000 Qi but sadly no updated photos yet. It’s been snowing here for a number of days, grey and wet so I have nowhere to take pictures.

What I’ve been up to:

  • Modern Mable  hand quilting complete, I just started putting the binding on today.
  • Parcheesie has finally been bound and ready for it’s new home with my Mom!
  • Chicopee Log Cabin is quilted and waiting for binding. I had some tension problems so there’s loops on the back, it’ll be living on our bed.
  • Les Fleurs Bleu is partially quilted and needs binding.
  • Birds & Berries was quilted on the Gracie Queen frame and I screwed it up so I need to rip out all the quilting!!
  • Star Blossoms is one of my favorite quilts, I don’t have backing fabric for it yet.
  • Oh Deer! doesn’t have a backing yet either.

What’s New?

  • I purchased my first wool batting and I’m so excited to try it out! It’s Hobb’s Tuscany Wool and oh so soft and spongy.
  • I joined my first Flickr Bee, Simply Solids: A Modern {Bee}, looking forward to sending out blocks and choosing one myself!
  • Signed up for “Lucky Stars” paper piecing block of the month.

On the back burner is “Constellation” from Quilter’s Academy Vol.4.

I guess I’ve been busier than I thought!! Happy 2013!

Parcheesie

 

 

Fabric, Thread & Quilting

I’ve started quilting my Parcheesie quilt by stitching in the ditch. The new generation thinks this is old fashioned and I thought so too until I took a course on free motion quilting. When you free motion quilt, wash and dry your work, your piecing  becomes distorted, the FMQ is more prominent and the piecing can get lost. Stitching in the ditch prevents your hard work from becoming skewed. In fact, it’s also recommend that you stitch around the perimeter of your quilt prior to FMQ so the edges of your quilt don’t become wavy. If you’ve never tried these methods, give them a whirl and witness for yourself, the difference these techniques make. This has really solved some common problems for me, especially the wavy edges.

In the case of my Parcheesie quilt, I want the piecing to be dominant, not the quilting, because it was a lot of work and I really love it!  In summary, stitching in the ditch isn’t a style choice but rather a practical choice, IMO.

Superior Threads’ Kimono Silk

On another note, everyone has been raving about Aurifil for the past year or so and I have to admit that I love it too but it’s just not available at my local quilt shops. Aurifil has done an excellent job of using social media to boost their profile and increase sales. Superior Threads, however, are available at the quilt shops around me. I recently purchased three spools of Kimono Silk; beige, white and light grey, the basics. It’s very fine and extraordinarily strong — more so than cotton, and great for stitching in the ditch because you don’t notice the stitches, it’s like a filament thread but a natural fibre, a great alternative to nylon (ew).

Lastly, I FINALLY received the backing fabric for my “Les Fleurs Bleu” quilt, I can’t believe it! I can’t wait to start quilting it — very simply, outlining the flowers I think, still undecided. Sadly I had to pay an additional $25.00 for customs on top of the shipping charges. I hate customs, it’s so random and unfair! On the other hand, The Fat Quarter Shop reduced my shipping fees from $26.00 to $13.00, YAY and thank you FQS!!!

See you next time I come up for air or when I have something to show you! ;D

Spa White Rose Vines and Flowers by Deb Strain

Free Motion Quilting practice

I sewed a number of things last week including bibs for a friend’s baby and a little lavender sachet but nothing big.

This past weekend I singed up for the Craftsy class, Design It, Quilt It: Free Form Techniques with instructor, Cindy Needham. This is an excellent class and Cindy is a great teacher if you want to learn detailed and heirloom free motion quilting.

I used my Easy jellyroll star orphan block since the corners were pieced in Kona snow in error, as practice. I used glass bowls to create the arc designs and drew 1/2″ grids in the corners. Deciding which pattern goes where is a hard decision, you never know what it’s really going to look like until it’s complete and if you don’t like it, too bad. I used Aurifil 50wt thread for the piecing and quilting, it’s the finest I have. Gutermann 50wt is just too thick.

Click any image to enlarge.

Cathedral Windows

Echoed Daisy

Echoed Daisy

Feathers and Pebbles

It is tedious but rewarding but I managed to quilt all of this by noon, walked the dog and got on the treadmill.

Scattered Flowers Coffee Table Topper

Click to enlarge.

This is another project inspired by Elizabeth Hartman‘s Craftsy class, Inspired Modern Quilts: 7 Small Projects with Big Style. I had purchased Thimble Blossoms’ June Bug quilt pattern moons ago but hadn’t started it because I thought it too time consuming but after watching the tutorial, dove in and made a bunch of pedals.

Because I positioned the pedals close to one corner of each block, I had to make sure that they were clustered toward the center, a mistake I made in a previous iteration which will no doubt become mug rugs for gifting and giveaways. 😀 I quilted all the linen parts of this piece with a rambling vine motif which I doodled on paper first, there are a few random flowers tossed in for good measure.

My sewing space is rather chaotic after so much sewing so I’m going to take the day off to clean and organize. Not sure what I’m going to do for my next project. If you have any great tutorials, please pass them along!

Cheers, Tabatha

Quilted: Orange Scattered Squares

Click images to enlarge.

Aneela Hoey quilts loops and I like it and that’s what I thought I’d do with this quilt especially since loops are incorporated in one of the fabric patterns. I followed the horizontal seams to keep me sewing straight. After I’d followed all the rows, I flipped the quilt around and followed the seams again but on the opposite side. I love the effect, it makes the design look like a vine.

Quilt backs are always a bit of a struggle for me. I don’t always like throwing left overs on the back because I feel that you need keep them in line with the front. I also don’t have a ton of yardage — who does? I know some do but I don’t think it’s common, I could be wrong. I did have a yard or so of Joel Dewberry’s Sparrows in Aqua but not quite enough to cover the entire back seamlessly so I cut it in half and inserted a 6″ strip of natural linen.

I love the quilting in the linen. Now I have to find a binding.

I also managed to squeeze in a mini zippy pouch today, so fun!

Now I’m thinking I should try an even smaller pouch, just for fun. 😀

Review: Quilted Hexie Pouch

Quilted Hexie Pouch

When I initially viewed this pattern on Sew Tara’s Friday CreateAlong, I thought it was really cute and I have a drawer of hexies I made last summer that needed using.

To be honest, I sew by the seat of my pants. I feel I’ve made so many patterns, both craft and garment, that I’m able to anticipate the next steps and NEVER read a pattern from beginning to end prior to starting. In fact, I pretty much cut fabric as I go. Despite my loose methods of construction, let me just defend myself by stating that I found several errors in Microsoft’s  tutorials which were confirmed by teachers who had never noticed them before.

My confusion with this pattern started when I was installing the zipper, I worked it out but not before ripping out stitches and calling Tara to discuss. If I were to make this pouch again I would jazz up the back by insetting more hexies or using a different fabric. I would also shorten the strap as I find it a tad too long.

This zippy pouch is a great size, I don’t typically make my pouches with straps but I think I’ll be adding them in the future.

If you’d like to give this pattern a try, you can find the free tutorial on OCD’s blog by the Plaid Scottie.

Next on Sew Tara‘s Friday CreateAlong is the Melinda Zipper Pouch from I Think Sew.

Friday round-up #2

Les Fleurs Bleu

For TGIFF I present my Vintage Modern Marmalade Chevron quilt, formerly known as In Reverse. After free motion quilting the entire quilt, it really gave me the courage and confidence to work on larger projects.

My second semi finish is Les Fleurs Bleu” quilt top. I used a Spa by Deb Strain and Kona white, I’m waiting for Spa yardage to hit the shops so I can create the back.

Ongoing are my loving triangles, which may eventually become a full size quilt, scraptastic madness and fabric manipulation. My biggest problem with notched tucks is that I don’t want them to look like Navajo designs, that’s just not my thing and something I know nothing about.

Today I’m going to work on zippy pouches, after that, who knows!

I’m linking up with Mama Love Quilts who is hosting TGIFF this week.