Tuesday, May 28, 2013

My Quiet Play Block : Pressing on

Kristi's block for the month was Keep Calm and Press On.  Love her little ironing board and iron she designed for this month's block.  She recently put her blocks together and made a very unique quilt out of them.  She was totally brave and cut her blocks up and reversed appliqued them...setting the bar high for us! You can check out how brave she was here.  It really looks great!!!  Love being inspired by what I see others doing but not sure I could be that brave.


Love how this little block turned out. I was nervous using such a busy background but it works for me. When I am making a block I forget to take a look at the previous blocks and thinking about my colors choices as how they will look together in the finished quilt.  Instead I seem to have tunnel vision with the task at hand and pray they will look good together when the time comes to unite them.  Keeping my fingers crossed and pressing on seems to be my motto.

Each month Kristi has us link up our blocks in her linky party and a couple people win some goodies each month.  My scissors block WON in the month of April.  I was the lucky winner of a scrap bag from Fabric Worm.  I can not say enough good things about the scrap bag I got.  I don't know about your definition of scraps but for me they are not WOF cuts.  Each piece I received was a WOF cut.  Some 1/3yds, some 1/4yds, and a 1/2 yd or two cuts. Plus they all coordinated together very nicely.  Here is the pretty fabrics that were in my scrap bag I won.

So I set off to find a quick little quilt that I could throw together for my daughter's sister-in-law who just adopted a newborn baby boy about the same time I won this. I found this little pattern called 'Baby Birds' for free on the fat quarter shop website.  The original pattern had some baby birds---thus the name---appliqued onto the row that I put and elephant and a giraffe and paper pieced the baby's name on.

Here is the result:

I had the elephant and giraffe appliques just hanging around my house for the last 5 years since I didn't use them in a quilt I made for my first grand-daughter so I was glad to see they fit the theme of the fabrics so perfectly.  I put minkee on the back and wrapped it around the the front to use it as the binding.  When I went to quilt the layers together the quilt wasn't moving to freely on the table top. I figured the extra drag was from the minkee fabric itself so I thought I had the ideal fix.  I would put my supreme glider on the sewing machine and surely there would be less drag.  Next thing I knew when I finished that row this is what I found.

My supreme slider must have slide alright and somehow got sewn right into the blanket without me being aware of it.  ACCCCCCCCK!!!  I hate finishing a quilt top.  I dawned a pair of gloves and skipped the supreme slider after that.  I think that possibly all the lint from the minkee was just too much for the supreme slider. For sure I think I was suppose to wash the supreme slider between uses and skipped that step. 

I have a very nice darning foot for my juki that I usually use to FMQ with and for all the straight down lines that I just went top to bottom with I used my regular sewing foot.  But once I went around the whole perimeter I noticed that the fabric would push the quilt top into the edge that was now locked in place and I wanted to quilt the chevron so I switched to this foot.  It was a cheap (like $6.95 foot) that I bought at Christmas but hadn't used yet.  I liked the open toe. My juki quilting foot is a closed circle and it really does block the line of vision of your stitches.  I really liked how this foot performed. I always lower my feed dogs with my juki foot it just seems to FMQ better with the feed dogs down.  So many times I see Angela Waters or someone else saying you can FMQ with the feed dogs up and with this foot that was very true.  I also liked how the edge of the "C" opening could be used to track my path on the quilt to help me get a straight line.  This foot hops much better that my other foot and I think that might be the biggest difference.  I think I may need to try and do some skillbuilder FMQing with this foot and see if I can get more comfortable with the whole process.

I recently read someones post about using the backing as the binding on the front and then they machine sew the binding onto the quilt.  I always do the opposite and put and extra border on the front of my quilt and then use it for the binding which I then wrap around to the back of the quilt and then hand sew the binding in place on the back.  I was intrigued with the idea of doing it the opposite because I loved the idea of being able to sew the binding in place and wham being DONE.  I must say I was a little unsure of trying it with the minkee but it worked like a charm.  Not only that but I LOVE the soft edge that it brought to the front of the quilt.  Feels so luxurious and soft.  I just cut my backing and batting to measure 2 1/2 inches larger than my quilt top.  Once I had them trimmed I peeled the minkee away from the layers and cut the batting back to measure 1 inch.  Then I just turned the minkee in about a quarter inch to get rid of the raw edge and then pinned it to the blanket.  Mitered the corners pinning throughly and sewed it into place near the edge.

I just want to say a huge thanks to Kristy from Quiet Play and to her sponsor Fabric Worm for the fabulous win that made this quilt possible and I know Ryan and his family will be thrilled to be the lucky recipient's of this blankee. 

Now I had better go link up my May block :)

Keep Stitchin'

Monday, May 27, 2013

Forest QAL Progress

I have been falling behind on the Forest QAL as I have been pushing to get my May BOMs done and I snuck in a baby quilt for my daughter's sister-in-law that recently adopted a newborn baby boy.  I have lots to share this week but first up is my progress on my Forest QAL blocks.  I love how all of these are turning out and want to share the three I made in the last week.  

I fell in love with the red panda that Amy from Badskirt added to the Forest QAL

Love, Love, Love him...He is too cute for words.

Then I started the liverwort block with the snail that Julianna from Sewing Under Rainbow added a few weeks ago calling it Slow Spring Coming.  I got this far:

At this point I ran out of background fabric. Acccccckkk!!!
I bought it at Boardwalk Quilts about 120 miles from my house.  I tried to find it at Fabric Depot but no luck so I came home and got to work on making the latest pattern, a cute little squirrel. This little squirrel was provided to the Forest QAL by Amy from During Quiet Time. She is the same person I sent my Shoe flag to for the Boston With Love project so I got a kick out of creating her little friend.  Here is how this little fellow turned out:

After cleaning up after making this one, I decided I should tidy up my area and guess what...I found another fat quarter of the background I was missing for my liverwort block.  Cleaning really does pay off. Woot, Woot!!!  Happy Dance for sure!!!

So I was able to finish it up also.  Yeah!!!  I love how it turned out but on retrospect wish the snail's body had been a darker fabric to stand out more.

So far this is how the group looks of all the blocks together

Just three more blocks to finish the series.  Can't wait to see what the last two will be and choosing fabrics for my fern and flower block this week.

Keep Stitchin'

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

SKillbuilder Progress

I have to tell you the April blocks for the Skillbuilder have been kicking my bootie.  I finally got the chev hexie block done and it feels great that I can check it off my list!!!  I have done a few hexies before but never more than putting 7 of them together into a flower.  Putting these together in rows and then sewing the rows together was never on my bucket list for a reason.  It really bites.  I have even more appreciation for all the huge hexie projects that people create.  How do you ever do it???  

Alyssa of Pile 'O Fabric taught a new method and since this is a skillbuilder I was up for trying it her way.  She uses a special applique product for the foundation and had us glue the fabric to it.  The applique foundation will stay in the block permanently and will wash nicely according to Alyssa.  I found that sewing the hexies together was more difficult for me.  She told us not to glue too close to the edge but I found working with a glue stick it was impossible not to get close to the edges.  It made it harder to stitch and the edge of the hexie and my project ended up looking like a bunch of craters sewn together for some reason. All the sides were higher than the centers of the hexies and I thought my God this thing will never lay flat before it is FMQ'd.  I should have taken a pic to show how weird it looked but didn't.  I was so frustrated with the whole thing...but relieved it was DONE.

I took it to the iron and remembered Alyssa like starch and I figured more was better in this case and let it rip.  Guess what it laid flat like it was suppose to and hasn't moved since!!!

What a sight to behold

And it finished off into a block very sweetly

Now I have to get started on the Carat block and hope it goes smoother.  I hope I can it done in a month.  That is how long it took me to complete the Chev Hexie. 
Here are the colors I have chosen to use for the diamond carat.

Luckily the blocks for May are right up my alley since paper piecing is my niche and I have made quick work of the first block called the Geo Swirl.  Below is my completed Geo Swirl.


If you are interested in learning more about Alyssa's methods or the Skillbuilder lessons you can click on the button on my sidebar to check out the Pile 'O Fabric Skillbuilder for 2013.

Keep Stitchin'

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

To Boston With Love

When I first heard of this project to get quilters to make a 6x8 flag to fly in Boston to comfort and heal those in Boston and share our love I knew I had to participate.  What a wonderful sight it is going to be to see all those flags flying at he Museum of Fine Arts in Boston May 23rd thru June 16th.  I just wish I could see it in person.  I was planning on making two of these but am just sending the one.  From the looks of it lots of flags are coming in from all over the world so I am sure it will be in great company.  If you want to put one together you have until May 21st to get your flags to Boston.  You can find all the info you need one how to construct one so that it is the correct size by following the instructions found HERE .  

They have color suggestions on the Vancouver Modern Quilt Guild site I have linked above and here is what I choose to do with the suggested colors:

I found the shoe pattern over at Paper Panache for free.  I thought the sneaker would be ideal and the size of the pattern was perfect for this project too.  If you are interested this is the shoe pattern I used from Paper Panache.  I really wanted to make a blue shoe also but just never found the time but when I was looking thru the flickr group for these flags Rebecca Lynne had made this shoe in blue.  Yeah!!! I love that my shoe will have another one there !!!

To see all the beautiful and inspirational flags be sure to check out the flickr group for these flags. All I need to do now is get this out in the mail. If you do not belong to a Quilt Guild that is collecting these you can mail it to Amy Friend from During Quiet Time. Her address is on her blog and can be found here.

Keep Stitchin'
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