Thursday, August 22, 2013

Pyramid Star WIP

I haven't posted in several days because I've been too busy sewing! I've made a skirt and marching appliqué shirt and nightgown for a young birthday girl but will wait for her to model them for pictures... But I have figured I'm no tailor. Clothes are tricky things for me.

My mom gave me a stack of scraps left over from the baby quilt she made my oldest. Some of the fabrics are special like some from her grandmother and some from my grandma on my dad's side. What to do with equilateral triangles sewn together in pairs?
I've had them for a while and figured I'd dump them into some big scrappy orphan quilt one day. 

Then inspiration struck. And I had just enough.
My mom is going to love it.

I'm about half way done quilting it at this point. 

Friday, August 16, 2013

Have You Cleaned Your Machine Lately?

My machine was starting to have a few hiccups... and I had an itching voice reminding me it was time to clean my machine, oh, about six quilts ago.

I've done this once before about eight months ago. It was definitely time. It didn't take me too long to clean out, but there was a LOT of lint down in there.

This is after taking the black bobbin casing out (note first picture). I'm pretty sure all that lint under the bobbin casing was the source of my issues. My machine was much happier after all this.

This is your friendly public service reminder to clean your machine. Have a great Friday!

Thursday, August 8, 2013

TGIFF is here!

Welcome to all those visiting from TGIFF Link-Up!
I'm excited to see everyone's hard work and be engaged in this quilty community. 
Since I did finish a top earlier this week for a QAL and just started a new quilt this week as well, I'll share a finish I hadn't shared before.

It's not a quilt, but a pot holder. 

But wait! Not just any pot holder...a folded star pot holder! That's right folks, this fabric was folded to make this star. 
Joking aside, I was eager to try this out and I even had some foody fabrics I had just picked up from a scrap sale that I got for nearly nothing.

You see that potato and carrot and lettuce and onion and red pepper fabrics? By the way, it's garlic on the binding. Yeah, it hurts my eyes a little too. Don't get me wrong, the fabrics are pretty cool. But it's too bad I didn't follow this tutorial here a little better. I had my own ideas. 

You see, I wanted to SEE that cool fabric, so I lengthened the width between the layers to say about a half inch, instead of the 1/4 inch in the instructions. Which wasn't BAD, but I get why the instructions say 1/4 inch. And since I can't see the fabrics too well anyway, it wouldn't have mattered and it would have looked cooler had I put them closer together and included more fabrics. 

That said, this is the most awesome pot holder/hot pad EVER. After I finished it, I was disappointed and thought to myself, "Why, this is quite a large pot awkward." It's about ten inches square, by the way. I LOVE it...but probably because I didn't realize how small my other store pot holders were!  This one folds perfectly in half (because of my quilting) either way for my hand around it and my fingers don't go off the edge.

I put the thick "top" with one layer of cotton batting and one layer of the thermal batting stuff called Insul-Bright with the fabric on the back. It's perfect and NO heat comes through. My other ones eventually get warm. I've tested it and stood holding hot things for a long time admiring the practicality of this dandy pot holder. I can't be the only one that loves it when you can make something better than you could have bought at the store.
 Also, I didn't find the pattern that hard, but I did have to take some time to figure stuff out and it took me just under two hours. But now that I've done it it would be much faster to repeat.

I'll definitely be making more of these....lots more of these. And pretty ones, too.

When that happens, this will be my "spaghetti" hot pad. You know, the one you use because you know it's going to get stained, again. Don't you have one of those?

Alright, on to the good stuff: Link up, follow, and comment away! :) 

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

WIP Husband's Knots Quilt

After my first attempt at a manly quilt didn't go so well and my husband said he loves anything I make didn't like it anyway, I decided to try again. I wanted to make him a quilt for his birthday and to take with him on all his rotations. So I had him pick it all out. After all, I want him to use it and love it. I'm so over the surprise thing, it's too stressful. :)

 This is the "Knots" pattern by Natalia Bonner. He really loves it. He wanted it identical to hers. But we ventured out to turquoise and orange shot cottons instead.

Also, I am excited to be hosting the TGIFF Link-Up here on Friday! Come join in!

Linking up with WIP Wednesday.

Monday, August 5, 2013

Lucky Star QAL Top Finished

So, it was super windy outside, and the only day I had my husband here to help me take a picture. This is the best full picture I was able to get outside. 

I am participating in the Lucky Stars Quilt-Along by Quilt Story. I picked the fabric based on a layer cake that I had laying around that I had bought half-off and just wanted to use it up. It wasn't my favorite, but it was inexpensive and I try to use what I buy. The collection is Love Letters by Moda. It was so dark and non-interesting, so I added the red, pink, light green and the light blue prints, along with some different blues. 
I'm glad I did. It softened it dramatically.

 Here's an indoor shot, although it distorts the colors a little bit, you can see the full quilt top. The first picture is more true to the colors.

Hopefully once I quilt it, I can get a better picture. This may take me a while, because I still am not sure how I want to quilt it. Originally, I was going to custom quilt each block, star, and patchwork square. However, I really don't think you'd be able to see the quilting very well and I'm unsure I want to spend all that time quilting it and it won't be that noticeable. I don't know. All over design? Or custom designs? Straight line? Ideas?

 And this is an exclusive behind the scenes capture of what my life really looks like. Lots of helpers. :) 
My husband likes this one because it looks like a stained glass window. And we'll ignore my husband's non-matching attire. :) He is a 4th year medical student and is generally not known for his color-coordination skills. Surgery skills? Awesome. Does this shirt match with these pants? Not so much.
 However, stay tuned in the next few days to see the fabric I let him choose from he picked out for his own quilt. 

*sigh* I sure do love that man. I'm pretty sure he'll get a good laugh when he sees this picture/post. I hope everyone has a great Monday!

Friday, August 2, 2013

FMQ Designs on the Pink and Yellow Lap Quilt

Here is the quilt that I've been playing with. This will be for our Relief Society Service project.

My kids were good sports holding it up for me.

Someone had donated this center patch orphan block as well as a smallish scrap of strip-pieced flowers which is the second inner border. I just kept adding borders and created this quilt very quickly while at the church a couple of weeks ago.

 I was pretty excited to try out some fun and different designs around all of the borders, sort of medallion style.

The most frustrating design was the figure eights and I'm not sure it was because they were so small or just hard for me.

You can see in the swirly wave design, it took me a while to figure out the path. Half way through, I decided that they didn't look right and figured out what I was doing wrong. Your can see it better in the bottom picture on the left.

The feathers were challenging, but I was just feeling like I was just making progress when I finished them. Definitely need lots more practice on those.

 My biggest success was that I didn't break any needles!

Linking with:
Finish-it-Up Friday
Free Motion Friday
Link A Finish