Tuesday, June 18, 2013

This weeks Blogger Hop

Welcome to this week's New Blogger's Blog Hop!

You will find some fabulous tips and inspiration on these blogs.  Check out their posts on the blog hop!

I'm moving next week, so the blog may be a little neglected. :(  Sniff.  Hopefully its smooth sailing and I'll get back to our regularly scheduled programming!  Be sure to check the main list for all the upcoming weeks posts for the blog hop as well.

In non-quilty news, I had just enough time to finish some bare wood dressers we got from IKEA.  I painted them and they will be used as His and Hers nightstands!  I love them.  Turquoise is my favorite color this year and I'm redoing our bedroom to suite it.  Figured I might as well redo our bed and everything - new house, new bedroom stuff right?  It only makes sense. ;)   I'll get some better pictures once I have everything put together.

And, because I have nothing else to report, I leave you with a Pug face to brighten your day.   Or maybe she just brightens my day - that's ok, pug mugs aren't for everyone.  She's still adorable to me. ;)

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

How to Laminate Fabric

What you will need:
Iron-on Vinyl (see my other post here for where I get mine)
A protector of some sort for your ironing board.  I happen to use a flat rate box from the post office.  It's all I had laying around. ;)  You can buy a Teflon sheet to lay down if you desire.  But you definitely want something to protect your ironing board.  Flat rate boxes work great. ;)

**I really apologize for the phone pictures-I had to make this for a customer last night and in the mess of moving, I cannot find my camera.  So please forgive. :) **

Iron your fabric and starch it.  Make sure there are no threads that have found their way to the front because they will be vinyled on for eternity if they are there! 

Cut your piece of vinyl to size to match your fabric. 

Carefully peel the vinyl off the backing and lay it down on your fabric.  It's really not that sticky so if you need to move it, it's easy to do so.  Smooth it down and remove any air pockets.
**Keep the backing from the vinyl!!!!**

Lay your fabric face up and place the backing that you saved on top, smooth side down so the little grids are face up.
I keep a bunch of big pieces and lay them side by side to make sure the piece I am working on is covered entirely.  You do NOT want this stuff on your precious iron.
You will need to press your iron down in each spot for 8 seconds.  Count to 8.
K-now move to the next spot over.  Make sure you iron each spot on your fabric.  Use the grid on the backing as a guide.

When you are done with the front, take the backing off, flip the fabric face down and put the backing back on.  Now, you need to repeat the ironing process, but this time, you only need to count to 4 for each spot.

Don't burn yourself. If you want to see my burn, it's on Instagram...and it's nasty. So you might not want to. I understand.

How did they come up with these times?  As I am counting, and repeating this process over and over, I've thought about this.  I think it's a safe number because I'm fairly certain there are many spots I have not counted a full 8.  So perhaps it's really 5...but 8 is safe for people who are inpatient like myself. ;)

Now you have your pretty vinyled fabric!
When it's warm it kind of feels like a fruit roll-up.  A hot fruit roll-up left in the car.  Once it cools down, it stiffens up and no longer feels fruit roll-up-y.

Now for the sewing part.

Vinyl is slippery, yes.  Some websites I ran into state you need a fancy schmancy Teflon foot.
Really?  No.  That's my opinion.  I honestly can't see why you'd need one.  Your project slides through the sewing machine very easily and  I've used my regular old foot and have had no problems.
However, you do NOT want to pin this down to your other fabric. It will leave holes in your nice vinyl, so use clips.  I happen to have just purchased myself some Clover clips from here and I LOVE them.
Best invention ever.  They really grip my slippery vinyl and keep things in place whilst I am sewing.

You will probably want to replace your  needle too after sewing a few projects with vinyl.
Also, take it slow - if you are finishing your piece and sewing the edges, just go slow.  Especially around thick pieces like pockets.

Okay, if you are doing a project that requires you to turn it inside out like my crayon wallets, never fear.
When you turn it inside out your vinyl will be a crinkly hot mess.  Don't panic!  I promise it will be ok.

Flip it inside out and turn your project over to the regular fabric side.
Iron away (No STEAM!).  It will smooth out all the crinkles in the vinyl and it will look like new again.
If you make the mistake of using steam, it sort of fuses your vinyl to any other vinyl it is near - like my pockets...fused pockets are no bueno.  (yes, this did happen to me) :(

 See?  Pretty vinyl with no crinkles.  This stuff is pretty cool.
It just takes some time and patience (which I am working on as I am pretty much the most impatient robot on the planet).

I found the tutorial for the crayon wallets here.  It is a great tutorial. I changed it a bit, obviously adding vinyl and I made them a little bigger.
I would LOVE to see what you create if you use my tutorial.
Please leave a comment with your link if you make something!!

Hopefully this helps.  If you have any questions, let me know!

Happy sewing!

Monday, June 10, 2013

And then there were three

Well, I've made 4 actually - but Robot Child #1 took the first one I made. :)
Laminated Crayon Wallets

Elephants on Parade

Fish School

Soft Kitty, Warm Kitty

I figured out doing these in assembly line fashion, works best.  Laminating fabric is really not that hard...shocking I know.  Once I figured out how to do it,  I was surprised at how easy it is.  It's just time consuming is all.  So, I cut out all my pieces for the wallets I am going to make, then cut out my iron on vinyl.  For all the inner pieces, I start the laminating process for each one.  Then I set them aside until all the pieces are laminated.  Then I resume putting them together.  For me, this works and I get less frustrated by how long it is taking! 

You can find iron-on vinyl by Heat Bond at Walmart or Hobby Lobby.  JoAnn's says they have it online, but when I went to my local store, they didn't know what I was talking about, and didn't have any.  Must be an online thing only - or my JoAnn's is just lame. ;)  The Internet also says you can buy it in a package, wrapped up for 2 yards.  I haven't been able to find that either - just by the bolt.   I eventually got tired of searching for it, so I just bought the rest of the bolt my Walmart had and called it a day.  Hopefully they order more - cuz I'm sure I will need some more in the future. ;)

These are fun to make and I am loving all the cute fabric combinations I've been finding.  I bought another armful of fat quarters at my local quilt shop.  They need some shopping carts or baskets, cuz really, it's hard carrying around a ton of fabric.  Maybe I just need to enlist a strong man I know to carry all my fabric for me.  Yah-that will never happen. ;)

Edited to add:  I'll be doing a tutorial on how to make laminated fabric coming up shortly.  Stay tuned!!

Linking up to:
Quilt Story
Better off Thread

Blogger Blog Hop Full Schedule!

Do be sure to check out all these lovely blogs for the hop!  It's been so much fun checking out these new blogs and being a part of the quilting/sewing community!  We've had some wonderful discussions going on and lots of great tips and advice.  Being part of a blog hop is a-mazing!  But truly - we owe this all to Beth.  She is incredible for setting this up and hosting it!! ♥♥♥

Friday, June 7th
Nancy @ Owen's Olivia
Amy @ 13 Spools
Casey @ The Studiolo 
Nanette @ Yeah, I Made That

Friday, June 14th
Julie @ Jolie Maxtin
Melissa @ Melia Mae Quilting
Adrianne @ On The Windy Side
Molli @ Molli Sparkles
Laura @ Little And Lots
Valerie @ Between Quilts

Friday, June 21st
Leigh Anne @ Ella's Cottage
Stacey @ The Tilted Quilt
Sarah @ Quilt Candy
Jackie @ NW Patchwork
Erica @ Happy Fabric
Stephanie @ Simple Sewendipity
Lauren @ Seraphym

Friday, June 28th
Green @ So Sew Green
Gwendellyn @ The Rainbow Revolts
Jessica @ Stitched In Thyme
Kathy @ Kayak Quilting
Michelle @ Factotum Of Arts
Kris @ Sew Sunshine
Camilla @ Faffling

Friday, July 5th
Christa @ Christa Quilts!
Stephanie @ Quarter Incher
Kristy & Shayla @ Sassafras Lane Designs

Friday, July 12th
Anne @ PlayCrafts
Cath @ Wombat Quilts

Friday, July 19th
Alison @ Making Happyness
Kelsy and Amanda @ Everyday Fray
Ella and Nesta @ Ella & Nesta's Little Room
Nicole @ Modern Handcraft
Aylin @ AyliN-Nilya

Friday, July 26th
RobinSue @ RobinSue Quilts
Elisa @ Lovelea Designs
Elizabeth @ In The Boondocks
Emily @ Sew E.T.
Em @ Sewing by Midnight

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Blogger Blog Hop

Plum and June

Welcome to my blog!  I am so excited to be part of the Blogger Blog Hop hosted by Plum and June!!! 
I will post the weekly schedule each week here.  Be sure to stop by and check out all the fabulous blogs on the hop!  ♥

First up:

I started quilting about 5 years ago.  I had always wanted to learn how to make quilts and the only kind I knew how to do was to tie a quilt.  I wanted to learn how to make traditional quilts that would make people happy for years and years to come.  Unfortunately, I didn't have any aunts or grandma's that did this, to help teach me.  I learned by myself, with a LOT of You-tube and googling, and visiting all of your blogs for tips and tricks!  I have enjoyed this process immensely and this has grown to be more of just a hobby for me.

Funny thing, my husband taught me how to run a sewing machine!  Don't tell him I wrote this!  He's a very manly man to say the least, but he taught me how to sew and he helps me clean it.  What a guy.  Don't tell him that either. ;)

I started my blog because I wanted to share my passion for quilting/sewing and fabrics with anyone who cared!  I am inspired by so many blogs and quilters, I wanted to do the same, hopefully, for someone else.

I  ♥ to make baby quilts.  I make them for the pure satisfaction they bring as a quick project, but mainly for baby snuggling.  I give them away on one condition - the mom lets me hold the new baby!  :) 

I recently started making laminated crayon wallets.  WOW.  I learned how to laminate my own fabric and all I can say at this point is it takes a lot of time and patience!  I got it down to where I can make one a night - assuming the children are fine to eat sandwiches or cereal for dinner. ;)

I recently just finished two quilts last week.  I've got a few other quilts I am anxious to start.   I realized that most my quilts are girlie.  I don't have any boys so when I look at fabric, I am instantly drawn to pinks and girlie ones.  I just started a pirate boy quilt using Sarah Jane's Out to Sea!  I adore that line...it's my very very favorite.  Pirates, mermaids, narwhals...what's not to love?   I'll make this version similar to the girl version I made, improvising along the way, the panels being the main focus.

Pirate stash
I consider my style to be traditional modern.  I typically create traditional blocks and make them a little modern.  I'm not full blown modern.  I haven't gotten a feel for that yet.  I'm a little OCD so staying inside my box makes me comfy and cozy - branching out with all solids and wonky blocks makes me panic.  I do want to get myself to that point tho - I love the modern quilts and styles that are out there right now.  Any tips for branching out to a more modern type?  Please share!

Patterns - (Insert angry face here!)
Following patterns is my nemesis.  I can't follow a pattern to save my life.  I don't know why I have this disease but it's very painful sometimes!!  I guess I am like a pianist that can hear a tune and play it without reading a music sheet.  If I look at a quilt block, I can figure out how to whip it up.  If I look at a block, then buy the pattern and read it and start going, I get all jumbled up in the process and something ALWAYS goes wrong.  It can be very frustrating to say the least.  I have two quilts now that have turned into disasters.  One needs unpicking of MANY MANY rows and blocks.  The other one I just finished it and said be done with it.  It's fine.  It's not perfect.  That's my other challenge is getting past an imperfect quilt.  Work in progress!!

When I started quilting, bindings hated me and I hated bindings.  We were rivals, always gritting teeth and snarling at each other.  We have since become best friends.  My favorite part of the quilt process is grabbing my favorite drink and plopping on my bed and turning on my favorite shows while I quietly sew on my binding.  BEST part ever.  I'm pretty sure if anyone wanted to hand me over their quilts to bind, I'd be a happy mama.  Mimi the Pug joins me and naps while I sew..and snores. Loudly.  She's reminding me she's there.  Uh, your not hard to miss Mimi McMuffin. ;) 


Mimi the Pug

Tips, Tricks and Notions:
  • I always zigzag the edge of my bindings to keep those nasty stray threads in check.  It really does help.
  • Mark on your ruler the measurement you most frequently use.  For example, I have a 3 inch ruler.  I marked the 2 1/2 line because that is what I use to cut my bindings with.  White out doesn't really come off, so if you are sure you want it there, use that.  Otherwise, I just recently found fluorescent tape at Joann's that comes in bright orange, pink and yellow.  This works great too and you can remove it easily if you need to.
    See the White-Out?  It doesn't come off, but pretty pink neon tape makes it all better. :)
  • Get some clear plastic tubing from the hardware store.  Cut little bits off, then slice it down the center (Carefully!).  Use these to hug your bobbins and keep the threads tucked in nice and neat...if you don't have one of those nifty bobbin storage cases.

  • Having trouble with your 1/4 inch seam allowance?  Yah, same here.  My 1/4" foot is off a bit and it is infuriating...Why did they make a 1/4 foot if it's not going to actually be 1/4?  Anyway -  Get a little Post-it pad and line it up where your 1/4" should be.  Post it down and use it to line up your fabric.  The best part is, you can make it as thick or as thin as you need it to be and your fabric hugs the side edge as it goes through.  A-mazing.
  • Basting is boring.  BUT-if you get a Kwik Klip, it saves your fingers from all those pins.  I also use basting spray AND pin my quilts because, again, I am obsessive and want to make sure everything stays put!
More about me:
I love old black and white movies, Downton Abbey (who doesn't?) and the Walking Dead.  I love me some zombies...and English people.  Hmmm, English zombies?  Delightful.  Oh, and I'm ashamed to admit it, but yes, I'm a little addicted to the Real Housewives.  There.  I said it out loud.  Shameful, I know.

We have two girls - Robot Child #1 and Robot Child #2.  RC #1 is graduating the 3rd grade this week  and she is uber excited for that.  RC #2 starts kindergarten next year.  I'm sad about this.  I would like to invent a potion to keep my babies small forever. Selfish?  Yes. Maybe a smidge.

We are in the process of moving. :(  We've lived here 10 years, made some great friends and the school is great.  We will miss it, but we are excited for this new chapter in our lives.  Moving is painful!  I am NOT a mover and I'm very disorganized when it comes to moving.  Any tips on how to make moving bearable??  PLEASE share. :)

However, with all the Uhaul boxes everywhere and bubble wrap reminding us to pack, you can still find quilty goodness throughout the house.  This makes me happy...until I have to pack them up...but that will be shortlived!
Thank you so much for stopping by.  ♥  If you made it to the end, I applaud you!  Hopefully this wasn't too tremendously boring.  ;)

You can find me on Instagram and Flickr:  #RobotMomSews
Hugs ~ ♥
Kim (aka RobotMom)

Monday, June 3, 2013

May Finishes!

Little Red

Little Red is done!!!   At first I wasn't all that happy with how this quilt was turning out.  But once I got it all quilted, I love it.  I love the colors, the sweet fabric, all of it.

 This tree block is my favorite.
I did straight line quilting, cross hatching it.

 And the back is as lovely as the front, I think.  :)
I ♥ panels!

Suck it, Cancer

My Suck it, Cancer quilt is part of my Q2 finishes!  I have them all done, I will do a separate post on that later.

 I FMQ'd flowers in the corners to break up the white space on the side of the 'What Cancer Cannot do' panel.  I was really at a loss on how to quilt this.  I didn't want to take away from the message of this quilt, so I did straight lines across each row, then did FMQ flowers on the border only.  I don't know if I achieved my goal, hopefully I did! 

Gratuitous binding shots. You know they are my favorite. :)


Quilts Beyond Borders donation
 I found this cute apple soft flannel backing on sale.  It doesn't match TERRIBLY well, however it is soft and I really liked it and I thought it would be fun too.

Quilts Beyond Borders donation #2

 This quilt I had already made and it was just waiting for the perfect opportunity to be donated.  I like the backing fabric the best.  I called this quilt 'Post Script' originally because of that material.

 The tag on this one turned out better than the first one...oh well - you learn along the way and that's what I love best about quilting.  All the many things I pick up along the way. ;)

Sorry for the crappy pictures of these in my craptastic yard - I was in a hurry to snap up pictures of these quilts on my way to mail them off so they would make it in time to be donated!  If you've never heard of Quilts Beyond Borders, check out their website and prepare to be amazed and in awe of what these awesome ladies do. If you can donate a quilt or two, do it!! 

Yay for finishes!  I have several other projects coming up and waiting on my table.  I can't wait to share those with you! 

Also, I am super excited to be participating in the 2013 Blogger Blog Hop hosted by Plum and June!
Stay tuned for my post coming up!

Linking up to: