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Archive for the ‘Quilting’ Category

August Friday Night Sew In Results

Posted by supermom on August 20, 2011

I’m going to start off by saying I am ridiculously pleased with myself.

Last night during FNSI, I was having trouble figuring out how I wanted to quilt the hot pads I had prepped and ready (see previous post.)

I had toyed with the idea of free motion quilting them.   For a while now I’ve been watching videos on youtube to learn how it’s done, but felt I hadn’t learned enough to give it a try.

First I tried sewing ¼” on either side of the blocks but didn’t like how that looked.  So I unpicked those lines of quilting.

Then I tried stitching in the ditch.  I liked how that looked especially when the stitches actually stayed in the ditch.  I don’t know if it was the extra layer of batting or what but I ended up having to unpick those lines of quilting too.

As I sat there at the machine trying to decide how I was going to go about quilting those hot pads, I thought to myself… what did I have to lose by just dropping those feed dogs, installing the darning foot and giving FMQ a whirl.   So that’s what I did.  And I had a blast doing it!

I meandered.  I made loops.  I made points (some intentional and some not so intentional.)

I overheated the foot controller of my 15-91.  Dave made some adjustments to the speed control screw and after a half hour break to let it cool down; I was back to meandering and loop-de-looping.

Now my FMQ certainly isn’t the prettiest.  And there are places where the stitches are bigger than others.  I’m still learning how to control how I move the quilt so that it moves smoothly so I don’t get those unintended points and wobbles.   But I’m definitely on my way to learning how to free motion quilt.

The Jacob’s Ladder hot pad was the first one I FMQed:

Front of Jacob's Ladder hot pad.

Back of Jacob's Ladder hot pad.

For the second hot pad, I only FMQed the background fabric.  That made the pinwheel really stand out and created a pretty “butterfly” on the back.

Front of Pinwheel hot pad.

Back of Pinwheel hot pad.

The third hot pad will be quilted today and then I’m going to get the binding on them so that I can start using them.

I’ll say it again, I am ridiculously pleased with how the quilting on these turned out for my first attempt at free motion quilting.


Posted in Friday Night Sew In, Quilting | Tagged: , , , , , | 20 Comments »

I’m Ready for August’s Friday Night Sew In

Posted by supermom on August 19, 2011

On my Unfinished Projects list I have listed two table runners/toppers with a notation saying they needed to have borders added and then be basted, quilted and bound.  The blocks in these two items were made back when AmandaJean over at crazy mom quilts was hosting her first quilt-a-long.   Not only was it AmandaJean’s first quilt-a-long, it was my first ever attempt to piece those more intricate kind of blocks.  I hadn’t yet learned that a ¼” seam isn’t really a ¼” seam but an almost ¼’ seam so very few of my blocks came out the right size or even the same size.

At the time, rather than try to sew all those variously sized blocks into a quilt, I sewed them into two table runners and a table topper.  One of the table runners did get completed but the other two have been sitting in a drawer for well over 3 years now because I wasn’t satisfied with the way they looked but couldn’t really figure out why.

Then earlier this week, I had them out and was looking at them again and I had an ah-ha moment when I realized what it was that wasn’t quite right about them.  I had used the same fabric for the sashing as I had for the background of the blocks so that the blocks themselves lost some of their definition.

The effect of having the sashing and background the same isn’t as bad in the table topper with three fabrics (the yellow, green and background) but on the table runner where I’d used blocks with only two fabrics it was more noticeable.   It’s not that they looked terrible.   The blocks just weren’t being shown off to their best advantage.

I decided to unsew both the table topper and table runner.  I’m going to sew the table topper back together with different fabric for the sashing and also add borders.  I’m thinking about using that fabric you see draped over the chair in the photo above.  It’s hard to tell from the picture but the green fabric is actually green with gold swirls.

Or would another fabric choice perhaps work better?  What do you think?

Instead of remaking the table runner as well, I turning the blocks from it into hot pads to use on our dining room table.  Up until now, we’ve been using placemats folded in half when we needed to put something hot on the table.  These will look much prettier.

Here they are sandwiched, basted and ready to work on during tonight’s FNSI.

I've used one layer of Insul-Bright and one layer of cotton batting between the top and backing for the hotpads.

Are you joining us for FNSI?  There’s still time to sign up over at Handmade by Heidi.

Posted in Friday Night Sew In, Quilting, Sew easy projects, Sewing | Tagged: , , , , , | 2 Comments »

Getting Things Done – Two More Finishes

Posted by supermom on August 16, 2011

I’ve moved two more projects from the Unfinished Projects to the Completed Projects list on my 2011 – The Year of Getting Things Done page (click on link up top.)

First, is this crocheted beaded Christmas tree garland:

I had first tried to photograph the garland on the holly bushes in front of our house, but the shots weren't coming out like I wanted.

I made two of these garlands a couple of years ago and then one again last year, but that still wasn’t enough garland to go all the way around from the top of the tree down to the bottom.   I’m pretty sure with this additional garland we should have enough.

The pattern for the garland can be found in White Christmas in Thread Crochet by Kathryn A. Clark put out by Leisure Arts.   The pattern book is available here.

And the second finish is this child-sized Flying Zebra quilt.

It has the same backing as the Flying Zebra baby quilt I made for Bama Bound Quilts.

I tried something different for the quilt label this time.  For the baby quilt, I printed off an iron-on label that I ironed on to white fabric and then hand-sewed on, but for this one, I decided to embroider the label.

I’m not completely satisfied with the neatness of my printing, but this will probably be how I label future quilts.

Ten more projects on my Unfinished Projects list to finish before the end of 2011.  Not counting of course, the secret Christmas projects that still need to be completed.

And this Friday night might just be a good night to get another one checked off the list as it’s time for August’s Friday Night Sew-In.

Handmade by HeidiSign-ups are over at Handmade by Heidi.  Clicking on the logo will take you there.

Posted in Friday Night Sew In, Gift Ideas, Quilting, Sewing | Tagged: , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Winner of the Traveling Stash Giveaway

Posted by supermom on July 30, 2011

All the names went into a jar:

Dave drew one of the slips of paper:

And the winner is:

Congratulations Monica!   I’ve sent you an e-mail requesting your snail mail address.

Monica blogs over at Diary of a Quilt Maven.    So for any of you who want to continue to follow The Traveling Stash, be sure to watch her blog.

Posted in Quilting, Sewing | Tagged: , , , | 2 Comments »

The Traveling Stash Giveaway

Posted by supermom on July 22, 2011

The Traveling Stash Giveaway is Now Closed



On Wednesday, when I got back from swimming laps at the Y, I had a surprise waiting for me.   The Traveling Stash had arrived.   USPS was lightning fast this time as Natasha only mailed it on Monday.

This is what was in the box when it arrived:

Included in the box was a list of all the people who received the box before me.   The Traveling Stash got its start back in January of this year by the lovely lady Nan from Pots and Pins.  After making several stopovers for destashing and refilling the stash box had gotten so packed with goodies that Kelly from Charming Chatter split the stash into two boxes.   The Traveling Stash that I received is Box #2.

Here’s what I chose from the box:

I also cut enough fabric for three WoF strips at 2 1/2” and two at 5” from this fabric as I’ve started to collect white on black background/black on white background fabrics after being inspired by this D9P and this jelly roll 1600 that Corina from CW Quilts… Sometimes made.

The rest of that piece of fabric went back into the box.

Here’s what I added to the box:

A quilting ruler, two fat quarters, machine quilting thread, some Winnie the Pooh ornament fabric leftover from another project and a sewing companion that includes a small scissors and a matching needle book.

I also added these 6 1/2″ squares to the I-Spy kit that Natasha started.

And since I’m collecting bug fabric for a Bug Jar Quilt, I started a bug jar quilt kit.  There are only four squares in it but I thought that perhaps others might add to it as the box makes its travels and eventually someone will have enough squares to make a quilt.

After I took this photo, I added the word starter to the bag so that it now reads Bug Jar Starter Quilt Kit

You'll notice I also included one of each of these in with the squares I added to the I-Spy Kit.

Another thing I discovered after opening the box was that there were more goodies than just those related to quilting, so if there’s any room left to fit more in the box, I’m going to go through some of my craft supplies and see what little treasures I can find to add.

Now down to what you’ve been waiting for… the giveaway.

These are the rules:

  1. You must have a blog. (I will check)
  1. After you have taken what you want from the box and refilled it, you must be willing to send the stash on its way by hosting your own giveaway.
  1. This giveaway will be open until Friday, July 29th.   I will choose a winner on Saturday and mail the Traveling Stash out the following Monday.
  1. Because of the weight of this box, entries are open only to the US.  (I took the box to the post office this morning to check on international mailing prices.  The box weighs almost 12 lbs and anywhere outside the US the price starts at $35 and goes up from there.)
  1. Entering is simple… leave a comment on this post.  It can be anything (within the bounds of politeness) from how you’re surviving the heat wave to what projects you’re currently working on.

Good Luck to Everyone!

Posted in Quilting, Sewing | Tagged: , , , | 12 Comments »

I Won the Traveling Stash and FNSI Reminder

Posted by supermom on July 18, 2011

Saturday morning when I logged in, I found an e-mail from Natasha over at Scraps-A-Plenty saying that I’d won the traveling stash.  Yeah!!!

For anyone not familiar with the idea of the traveling stash; it’s a box of quilt fabrics that is mailed from person to person.  Due to mailing costs this particular one only travels around the US.

If you’re the lucky winner, when the box arrives at your place, you open it and pick out some fabrics that you’d like to add to your stash.   And then you fill the box back up with fabrics from your own stash; fabrics leftover from quilts you’ve made or perhaps fabric that you bought and never got around to using or fabric that you bought and loved at the time but now your tastes have changed.  You can also add quilt patterns or notions.

And then once you’ve made your choices and refilled the box, you hold a giveaway to determine who gets the box next.

Yes, that means I’ll be hosting a giveaway in the near future.  So if you’ve been following the traveling stash in the hopes of winning it or if you’re new to the idea (like I was) and would like a chance to win, be sure to check back in the next week or so for my giveaway post.

Natasha posted photos of some of the lovely things she added to the stash and let me tell you if that’s any indication of what I’ll find in the rest of the box,  I’m going to really enjoy just browsing through all that fabric goodness.

I’ve already started searching through some of my stash to see what things I can add to replace anything that I might take out.

This is going to be such fun!

Oh and speaking of fun… don’t forget that July 22nd is the monthly Friday Night Sew-In co-hosted by Heidi over at Handmade by Heidi and Bobbi from Crafty Vegas Mom.  They should have the sign-up post for FNSI up soon.

Handmade by Heidi

Posted in Friday Night Sew In, Quilting | Tagged: , , , | 1 Comment »

Getting Things Done – Flying Zebra Baby Quilt and Tote Bag

Posted by supermom on June 27, 2011

I’ve moved one more thing from the Unfinished Projects list to the Projects Completed So Far list on my “2011 – The Year of Getting Things Done” page.

Now that’s it’s quilted, you can hardly see where I pieced the fabric for the back.  I had been a little concerned because in order to line those circles up perfectly I would have had to waste a lot of fabric.    I had enough fabric for one perfectly matched quilt back or two not so perfectly matched quilt backs.   I decided to go with two.   It’s nice to know that quilting really can hide small imperfections.

I did however find the perfect stuffed toy to send with it:

Here they are all ready to be packaged up.

I mailed them off this afternoon and Michele at Bama Bound Quilts should have the package in a couple of days.

I’m going to work on some small projects for the next few days.  I feel like I need some quick, satisfying finishes.  And then it will be on to the next project on my list.

Posted in Quilting | Tagged: , , | 1 Comment »

FNSI – June Results

Posted by supermom on June 18, 2011

The binding is on the flying zebra baby quilt, but it didn’t get done last night.   I have a tendency to underestimate how long it will take to do things or to take into account pesky little details like having to stop to eat, etc.

I had miscalculated how much time it would take to sew in all the quilting threads and remove any of the basting threads that weren’t removed during quilting.  So I spent last evening doing that.

Putting the binding on took the better part of this afternoon, with a couple of breaks during which Dave and I made 20 breakfast burritos and two different kinds of English muffin breakfast sandwiches (6 bacon, egg and cheese and 6 sausage, egg and cheese.)  Those are now in the freezer; ready for breakfasts and lunches over the next couple of weeks.

Now I just need to hand sew the binding to the back.  Aren’t those just the prettiest little binder clips.  I picked them up at Staples a couple of months ago when I was putting the binding on the Green Teddy Baby Quilt.

Once the binding is finished, I just need to add a label to call this quilt done.

The lady at Bama Bound Quilts has requested that all quilts be sent in a co-ordinating tote bag with at least one pocket and a stuffed toy.   So that’s next on the list, though I’m not sure if I’m going to make the toy or buy one.

Posted in Friday Night Sew In, Quilting | 7 Comments »


Posted by supermom on June 17, 2011

Handmade by Heidi

I almost forget, this month’s Friday Night Sew In is tonight.  But there’s still time to join.  This month the sign up is over on Bobbi’s blog:  Crafty Vega Mom.

I hope to be to the point where I can spend the evening sewing the binding on the Flying Zebra Baby Quilt that I’ll be donating to Bama Bound Quilts.

It would sure be nice to add another finish to the Projects Completed list.

Posted in Friday Night Sew In, Quilting, Sewing | Tagged: , , | 1 Comment »

How I Sew Strips Together for Quilt Bindings

Posted by supermom on June 8, 2011

Most tutorials for sewing strips together to make quilt bindings tell you to line the end of the strips up perpendicular to one another like this:

Then you are instructed to draw a diagonal line from the top left corner of the top strip to the right corner of the bottom strip like this:

Then you are told to sew along the line.

I'm using white thread so that you can see the seam. You would, of course, use thread that matches your fabric.

But when I do that my joined strips almost always look like this:

I’ve tried sewing exactly on the line.  I’ve tried sewing a little to the right of the line.   But I still ended up with strips that didn’t line up properly.  It was soooooo frustrating.

After some more experimenting,  I’ve come up with another method for joining strips that works for me every single time.

First, instead of lining the strips up perfectly end to end, I overlap each strip about an eight of an inch like this:

Then I draw my diagonal line from the point of the 90 degree angle formed where the two strips overlap at the top to the point of the 90 degree angle formed where they overlap at the bottom.

Then instead of sewing exactly down the middle of that line, I sew along the right edge of the line.  Kind of like carpenters have to know which side of the line to saw on, I had to figure out which side of the line to sew on.

Next I trim my seam allowance and press the seams open.

It’s so satisfying now when I flip the strips open and see they are lined up perfectly.

That is one thing that I’m learning about quilting.  You can find all sorts of tutorials on-line that show the “correct” way to do something.  But if that way doesn’t work for you, experiment until you find something that does.

My method of joining strips may not be the “correct” or most widely used method of joining strips but it’s the method that works for me to get the results I want.


This post has been added to the Sew Darn Craft Party over at Sew Many Ways.

Posted in Quilting, Sewing | Tagged: , , , | 2 Comments »