Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Blogger's Quilt Fest

Spring Blogger's Quilt Festival - AmysCreativeSide.com

A quilt fest?!  Hooray!!  How fun is this?  This is my first time entering and there are MANY beautiful quilts out there.  Take a peek and vote for your faves! And hey, if you just happen to vote for mine, added bonus! AND many thanks!!! ♥

Here is the scheduled of events:
May 17 – 24 – Linky Open
May 24 – 30 – Vote for favorites in each of the categories
May 31 – Winners announced

Slide on over to Amy's Creative Side and check out all the delicious quilts.

I decided to enter in the baby quilt category, since baby quilts are my favorite thing to make and give.
I'm entering in this baby...which is one of my favs.

Rainbow Hourglasses

30's reproduction fabric in a rainbow gradation...makes for a super sweet baby quilt.

 I chose a soft yellow binding and a yellow/orange flower print for the border on the front and the back.

A simple pattern, but each block was placed strategically to achieve the rainbow effect.

Quilt Stats:
Measures 35 x 40.
Hourglasses are made from "Once Upon A Storytime".
Apricot binding and warm yellow vintage-y flower print for the back.
Pieced and quilted by moi!
I should make another one of these....Hmmm.
On my to-do.


Little Red

I have 12 of these little hourglass blocks, or Ohio Star blocks as research proved.
I adore this fabric.  It's SO sweet and vintage.  It makes my teeth hurt.  In a good way. :) 

 I'm not sure if I should do sashing, or some mini blocks in between...or patchwork.  Sigh.
Suggestions, please!!

The funnest part was the fussy cutting I did on some of the center blocks.

I threw in some solids here and there too. These are just a few of my favorite blocks. 

Watch out Mr. Wolf.   Red is on to you... 

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Quilter's Favorites! Sharing is Caring ♥

I ran into this today from Greta's blog and absolutely love this idea.  Sometimes sharing what you know is hard to do if you don't know what people want to know, so this is a great idea to share away!  Sometimes I am trying to figure out how to do something, and Google doesn't want to cooperate with me.  As much as I ♥ Google, sometimes we are just better as frenimies. ;)

Here is my contribution and I hope it doesn't bore you to tears.  Be sure to check out the linky party too!
HeatNBond, Kwik Kip, Lip Edge Ruler

Tip*  Add some white-out to your 1/2 inch line.  It will draw your eye to exactly where you need to line it up.  I use this ruler to cut my binding and I marked it for my 2 1/2 inch bindings.

List a few of your favorite quilting notions. 
  • Spray Starch!  My #1 thing I must have when sewing. I love my fabric to be crisp and neat, and it makes it play nice. Mary Ellen's is my favorite.  Not only does it smell lovely, it's not TOO starchy...it's just the right amount.
  • HeatNBond -  You can 'glue' two pieces of batting together, when you run out or have an odd shape.  You just line them up together, side-by-side and place the strip of HeatNBond on the seam.  Place your iron on, let it cool down, pull the backing off and voila!  Your batting is now one piece and you didn't have to sew it together! 
  • Kwik Klip -  My daughter loves to help me and when I'm pinning my quilts together for basting, this is her favorite part.  It makes pinching those big safety pins a breeze, and less poking of your fingers!
  • A Lip-Edged Ruler - I can't even remember where I bought my O'Lipfa Lip Edged ruler...but I use it every time I am sewing.  I love how the lip edge hooks on the edge of my cutting mat and straightens out my line for me.  I'm a little wonky and tend to not cut straight, so this is a must for me!

Some thoughts about thread and needles, batting, fabrics ? 
I'm a firm believer in buying high quality fabric.  When I started sewing, I used sub-par fabric and you can definitely tell the difference.  If you are making a special quilt and you want that to hold up for years and years, spend a few extra bucks and make the trip to your local quilt shop.  It's WELL worth it.
Same goes for thread.  I have learned what thread my machine likes and what it doesn't like.  I use Gutterman for my piecing and then I use Sulky for my machine quilting.  The silkiness of Sulky threads glides so much smoother on my machine and causes a lot less headaches!  AND, it looks gorgeous.

Any advice for a successful color scheme of a quilt ?
I tend to pick stuff out from the same line of fabric.  I am trying to stray and be more creative, adding in different fabrics outside of my comfort zone, but that's a WIP.  I suggest whatever feels right to you, audition fabrics and take a picture of it to see how it looks from afar.  If you like it, go for it!

Machine quilting tips 
Get a pair of good gloves to help you hold your fabric. 
For straight-line quilting, make sure you have a walking foot.  It's your best friend! 
For free-motion, you'll need a free-motion or darning foot.  If you are just starting out with free-motion, watch some You-tube videos and get Angela Walters book.  Don't get stressed out, free-motion takes LOTS of practice!  When I first started I had this idea that I could try it out and in 5 minutes I'd be ready to quilt a big old quilt!  Haha!  Silly me. 
Get some leftover batting and fabric, make a little quilt sandwich and practice practice practice!  The biggest issue I had was finding my machines 'just-right-spot' if you will, for tension and how it wanted to be handled.  Some machines like the tension all the way up to the highest number (as does mine) and a steady speed.  Others are opposite.  It's all just finding your own groove and being patient with yourself.  
When you trim your quilt after quilting it, save those pieces of excess batting and practice on them!   I'm always wanting to try new shapes or doodles and these make a great 'drawing board'!      
Could you recommend a book to someone who just started quilting ? A quilting bible ?
When I first started quilting, I bought Elizabeth Hartman's book, the Practical Guide to Patchwork and that was my first quilting book purchase.  I love this book and the tips and instructions it gives. I still refer to it now and again.  I have several books now that I love and adore.  They are great for not only tips and how-to's but for inspiration as well.    

Must haves
Eye Candy

Would you like to share one of your favorite quilts, made by you ?
Of course!  I love to share quilts!  
Rainbow Hourglasses
I love the retro 30's feel of this quilt and the rainbow pattern.  Although that part took me forever to get just right, it was well worth the effort.  I straight-line quilted it which made it soft and clean-looking.
Charlie Brown Chevrons
Oh Chevrons, how I love thee.  This was my very first Chevron quilt, of many.  I LOVE making chevrons and how easy and fast they go together.  This is still, and will always be my favorite.

Puppies and babies.  Pretty much my two favorite things. ;)  This fabric was so cute, when I saw it I snatched up a bunch of it and made 3 of these same quilts.  We ended up gifting these to my husband's lead at work, who was having twins!  It ended up being a perfect gift as their twins were boy-girl!
Vintage Twisters
I loved making the twisters and loved it even more because it was in Vintage Modern fabric!   I keep saying I need to make another one and haven't yet.  It's charm pack friendly and SO much easier than it looks.  If you haven't made one, give it a try!  You'll love it!

Taffy Pull
This is the only quilt I dubbed as mine. It's simple patchwork, but it's in Ruby, probably my favorite line ever and I do think it was my first jelly roll purchase. Ha!  I love Bonnie & Camille and their fabrics are delicious.  Right now I am loving Happy Go Lucky big time.

Do you have a favorite online quilt shop ? What makes it special ? 
Since I sell my stuff on Etsy, I feel passionate about purchasing my fabric supplies from sellers on Etsy as well.  I have several favorite shops.  Here are a few of my faves:
These two specialize is carrying hard to find prints and novelty fabrics.

What would be the perfect gift for your best quilting friend ?
A gift card to their favorite fabric store!  It's the best gift ever in my eyes! :)  I know gift cards are sometimes a lame gift, but with fabric, it's a very personal decision...and if that is their passion, as it is mine, a gift card is WELL received!!  My husband bought me one for my birthday and honestly, it was the best gift ever.  He took the time and knew which store is my favorite and went in there as uncomfortable as ever!  That alone meant the world to me! :)  
Don't Do Like Me!

Don't throw in the towel!  I sometimes get an idea in my head, or think something looks SUPER easy and it turns out to be nothing but headache and heartache and I feel like I suck at quilting.  Queue the miniature violin here.
My advise is to keep plugging away, don't throw in the towel and waste all your precious fabric.  Endure to the end and you never know, it just may turn out to be beautiful and well worth the pain! 
Actually, I may be a hypocrite right now, because last night after unpicking a project for the 3rd time (yes, 3rd!), I finished the quilt top, folded it up and threw it in a drawer.  My oldest daughter asked me if I was done. I said, Yup cuz this quilt hates me!  And I do feel like that right now, but I will calm down, refuel and attempt it again.  With LOTS of chocolate by my side.

I've thoroughly enjoyed being part of the Quilting blogger community.  I love seeing what others can come up with and marvel at their talent.  I aspire to have talent like that one day. :)

Thanks for stopping by! 

Monday, May 13, 2013

Monday Musings

Vintage Quilt Top
I was lucky enough to receive a quilt top that had been started by my Great-Great Aunt.  I am so ecstatic to have gotten this and honored!  There are soooo many little squares lovingly pieced together.  The fabrics are so fun and retro - it's an I-Spy quilt for sure!  We've spent many hours looking at it and finding all sorts of fun things, little squirrels, cowboys, horses, bicycles, Japanese fans, all sorts of things.  There are some squares that need repairing.  I will have to go over this with a fine tooth comb for sure, and identify any areas that need fixing, then I will put this together.  I'm a little nervous tho.  Has anyone ever 'renovated' an old quilt?  Any tips?

In other randomness - I cannot follow patterns.  I've thrown the patterns out the window.  For some reason, I'm a sheer idiot when it comes to reading and/or following directions.  (My husband can attest to this. Ha!)  I can look at a quilt block and figure it out, but if I have to read, and follow measurements and then try to cut them AND put them together in the specific order said, and not in the order I want too ....Forget about it.  Does anyone else suffer from this?  :(  Please say yes. I don't want to battle this disease by myself.  Just kidding..it's not a disease...well, probably not anyway.  I have a quilt kit I purchased, a fairly easy pattern, I'm sure my 9 year old could put it together in no time, except I can't.  I messed up on the sizes and then forgot to square up my blocks.  It's tragic...VERY tragic.   Quilting 101 - hello.   For some reason I freak out if a pattern is involved.  So tonight, I will enlist the children to help me unpick.  I'm sure they will think it's a blast. ;) Haha.

Have a good week everyone!

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

I ♥ a good deal!

I love coupons and sales and all that good stuff.  I especially love it when JoAnn's sends out KILLER coupons, oh but everything is on sale anyway, so sorry - you can't use your coupon!  Haha!  The jokes on you!  (insert sarcasm here please)

No biggie, I only needed to replenish my stock of white Kona fabric, but then I noticed their books were 40% off.  Hello....excuse me...let me browse through here...okay YES!  I will take two please!  This was me yesterday, jumping up and down like a giddy 5 year old. Unfortunately, I didn't have my giddy 5 year old with me, so I looked pretty stupid.  Oh well.  I got two awesome books that I am going to snuggle up with tonight and enjoy.  I also got some super vibrant beautiful solids that I plan on using with some delightful fabric that may or may not have owls in it!  EEEK!  So exciting.

Sigh...I love shopping.  Even if I can't use my super awesome 50% off coupon..but I will try again this weekend. Mwahahaha.  There has to be something they've missed putting on sale. ;)

For my Q2 update, I have finished my Quilts Beyond Borders Quilt.  My fabric for Suck it Cancer should arrive tomorrow!  Big Top is finished so I just need to finish one and I'll have made it!! YAY!

Happy Wednesday everyone!