Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Patience Gets Tattooz

My Voyager longarm sewing machine is named Patience because I realized early on I needed plenty of it as I was learning a new skill. Today she got her very own "tattooz". I saw these pretty decals called Tattoo Elementz at Urban Elementz where I buy alot of my pantographs. I couldn't resist putting my own touch on my machine. I like how they turned out.




Final Quilt of 2013

For Christmas this year, I made my son and daughter-in-law a quilt. It was my biggest one yet. Although the sizing said queen, it measured 105" x 105". A very generous queen size quilt. I wasn't sure if it would fit on my quilting frame but it did, with a couple inches to spare.

It just fits!

With some much appreciated help from my mom on finishing the binding, the quilt was delivered yesterday.

Gregg & Markey with their quilt

I need to find a way to photograph these big quilts should I ever do one again. Whew!

Saturday, November 30, 2013

Let There Be Light!

My sewing space occupies the former living/dining room in our home. With the exception of a butt-ugly chandelier in the dining area, there are no additional built-in light sources. None. Nada. Zilch. During the day it is not an issue - I have plenty of daylight available.

The lack of light has always been a challenge when I want to use the long-arm machine in the evenings after work. I have a couple of LED gooseneck lights over the machine itself and a old floor lamp to use, but it is never enough! This past week, I had three quilts to get done for family members plus I had to work during the day. I needed a better light source desperately!

I did a little thinking and came up with a way to suspend two shop lights over my quilting frame. $100 later, I have light and lots of it!


Needless to say, I got the quilts done and shipped off to my mother and sister so they can finish them up. Mission accomplished!

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Meow, Meow!

I just completed quilting a top my mom sent me to do. It's adorable and she put a lot of work into the appliques on this.

I did a random meander around the clouds to make them stand out and look more "cloud-like". In the green section, I did blades of grass, although it is hard to see in the picture. Then I added a swirly motif in the yellow border.

It is on it's way back to my mom for finishing. I can't wait to see it completed!

Meow, Meow!

Saturday, August 31, 2013

Turning Twenty - Skittles

I don't even remember turning twenty. Years of age, that is. But I recently completed a quilt for my other granddaughter, Courtney, that feels like it took twenty years to finish. I used one of the Turning Twenty patterns but instead of using twenty fat quarters, I did a smaller size with twelve. This is a quilt that made me want to pull out my hair from the get-go. At least it is finished and shipped off to Courtney to enjoy. I called this one Skittles because the colors in the fabric reminded me of the candy.


Skittles

Monday, July 15, 2013

Quilts Beyond Borders #3

I whipped up another Quilts Beyond Borders donation, this time using fleece as the backing and no padding. I like the pattern the quilting made, but I am not sure is the quilt is heavy enough. I am sure it can be put to good use though.
 
Quilts Beyond Borders #3

Stitch Detail on Fleece Back


Sunday, July 14, 2013

More Practice on the Voyager

My mom sent me a quilt top and all of the fixins' to quilt together on my Voyager machine. I had a few issues but still good practice. I found I prefer to use an 80/20 batting. It is less puffy and easier to work with than the poly I received. Good to keep learning these things! Plus I enjoy seeing the tops my mom makes! I believe she is calling this one "Boxes of Treats for Someone Sweet".

Loaded on the Frame

Close up view of a Block

Finished Quilt

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Sisters

My sister, Karen, came for a visit over the Fourth of July holiday. We got the biggest kick out of our similar purses we each had made. You'd would have thought we planned this but nope. Just genetics kicking in, I guess.

Sisters (mine on the left, Karen's on the right)

Monday, June 17, 2013

Quilts Beyond Borders

I volunteered to make and donate two quilts for Quilts Beyond Borders, a charity that provides quilts to children in underserved areas of the world. I found this group through my Yahoo! Hinterberg Quilters group. I thought this would be a perfect way to practice on my new Voyager longarm quilting machine.

My first two quilts are finished and ready to send. I found the Dr. Seuss themed fabric on the 50% off rack at the Bay Window Quilt Shop in Perham, MN. The inspiration was a panel that was supposed to be made into a soft quilted book, but instead I inset the "pages" into a quilt using Izzy's Quilt Pattern by Katie Hennagir. I made the border around the panels wider to get a bigger overall size suitable for the QBB quilts.

Are these perfect? No, but for the children who receives one, I'm sure they will think it's perfect. That is all that counts! Plus, the experience I gained using my "new" machine was well worth the effort involved.

Quilts Beyond Borders #1
Quilts Beyond Borders #2

This was so much fun to do that I've already found another panel and coordinating fabric to make another quilt to send. The warmth that a child will get from a quilt brings warmth to my heart and soul.

Saturday, June 1, 2013

Cowgirl Up!

Hot off the sewing machine is my latest project - the Barbados bag by Pink Sand Beach Designs. My local quilt shop in Twisp had some great western themed fabric that I chose to use.

This pattern, while it turned out a nice product, was a PITA to follow. Sorry PSBD, but it needs some work.  I had several instances where I pinned the seam to simulate sewing before doing the actual stitching because the directions did not make sense or seem to match the accompanying photos.

I do like the bag however. It has an outside zip pocket, another front pocket behind it, two pockets on the back, and two pockets inside the fully lined interior. It is a nice size, too. The finished size is 10" wide by 10-1/2" tall.

I still need to finish the zipper pulls. Think I'll hit up a craft shop back in MN for something decorative. Otherwise the fall back idea is to take a piece of leather lacing and make zipper pulls out it .

Front of Purse
Back of purse with two pockets
Interior of purse
Now that I know how it all is sewn together, I also bought some batik fabrics to make one up. A girl can never have too many purses, right?

Fabrics used: Round Up and Cowboy Gear I Spy by Blank Quilting, and Bunk House Bandana Real Red.

Friday, May 10, 2013

Always Bee Happy

Sometimes you come across a quilt kit or piece of fabric that you know will be perfect for someone. That happened to me not too long ago in my "home away from home" quilt shop in Perham, Minnesota. I went into Bay Window Quilt Shop looking for something else but no sooner had I walked in the door when I passed by a new display of fabrics from Shelly Comiskey for Henry Glass Fabrics called Bee Happy. They had a couple of quilt kits cut and ready to go with an accompanying free pattern. It caught my attention and I thought of Heather, my friend and owner of The Quilting Hive in Twisp, WA. She always has a bee-themed fabric in the shop but I hadn't seen this line on my last visit.

I bought the kit and enough fabric for backing and set to work on the quilt. It was going to be a gift for her. Using my inexpensive Brother machine in my hotel room, I was able to assemble the quilt top in no time. Then using the same machine (which was a bit more challenging), I quilted the top using stitch-in-the-ditch and straight stitch outlining.

I finished the binding this week and delivered the quilt today. Heather was very surprised. It wasn't her birthday or anything special like that. It was more like a friendship quilt.

Always Bee Happy


What fabric or kit have you bought on impulse for someone else? Share it in the comments.

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Gifts From a Guest

I have spent almost the last six months working out of state, far away from home, in wintery Minnesota. My living quarters have been an extended stay suite in a hotel. Over the past months, I have gotten to know the staff quite well at the hotel. As a gesture of thanks, I made up some pot holders to give to them. Just a small token of appreciation for all they have done for me, like helping me when I was too sick to fly home or leaving me little notes upon my arrival, or the Easter basket waiting for me when I arrived the evening of Easter Sunday. The ladies have become my family-away-from-home.

I found two great patterns online - one a round pot holder and the other a square version that I modified to make larger. These are self binding so no need to make binding and sew it on.

I am pleased with how they turned out. I really like the fabric from Moda's Keep it Sassy collection by Olive Sandwiches. The blue fabric is not from this line and I forgot to keep a selvedge with the info printed on it. Oh well!


Backside of Round Pot Holder with Pockets for Fingers & Thumb

Backside of Square Pot Holder

These are super fast and easy to make and make great gifts to give away.

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Ocean Currents

I finally finished my first batik quilt. It is a gift for my granddaughter, Amanda. I called this one "Ocean Currents" because of the colors in the quilt. I just love the blues, greens and purples. I hope she enjoys it!



Pattern Used

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

From Mom With Love

My mom made this for me. I hung it on the wall next to my sewing machine table. I just love it! Thanks, Mom!


Tuesday, January 15, 2013

More Pillowcases

Nasty winter weather kept me tethered to the hotel this past weekend so I made two more sets of pillowcases for the 1 Million Pillowcase Challenge.

Nothing special here...I used fabrics that were on sale at the local quilt ship. I did pink for girls and blue for boys. The quilt shop was supposed to take a shipment up to Sanford Children's Hospital in Fargo, North Dakota today.


Flannel Pillowcases


Cotton Pillowcases - Crossroads to Texas by Blue Hill Fabrics

It only takes me about 30 minutes to cut and sew a set of two pillowcases. Free patterns are on the Challenge website. What are you waiting for?


Sunday, January 13, 2013

Man's BBQ Apron

For Christmas, I gave my brother-in-law, Jim, his very own BBQ apron. I found a pattern posted on The Purl Bee blog. I liked this pattern because the neck strap is adjustable, plus the pattern was quick and easy to make.

My local quilt shop had some nice western style prints so I chose the dark blue back with bulls and a red bandana print.


BBQ Apron

Jim is a very good cook and I hope he gets some use out of this BBQ apron.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Oh, But You CAN Take It With You

Earlier last fall, my local quilt shop had a tote bag made up that I really liked. It is perfect for retreats. You can take your project (or two or three), your 6x24 ruler (fits in one of the side pockets), your cutting mat, and more! There are four outside pockets and another large pocket inside, plenty of room for STUFF!


I decided I needed to make one for me to carry supplies back and forth to our weekly open sew sessions at the shop. I followed the pattern pretty much to a tee on this one.

My First Tote Bag

I liked my new tote bag so much, I decided my mother and sister each needed one. Back to the quilt shop for fabric for theirs.

For my mom's, I saw this lovely group of cabbage rose type prints in pink. They really reminded me of her. I decided to modify the pattern and use the stripe in the one fabric print as the "border" on the outside pockets. I also decided to add a zippered pocket inside the tote bag to hold smaller items that might get lost in the bag. If you are a woman reading this, you know how things disappear in the bottom of our purses. I wanted to help corral those little thimbles and valuables.

Mom's Tote Bag
I saw a beautiful purple/white/blue flower abstract print at the shop. The colors just screamed "SISTER!". I bought that and the blue coordinates. After I started working on the bag, I wasn't happy with the blue I had bought so I went online and found the purple coordinates instead. I am much happier with the purples than the darker blue. I also found a great quilt label at the Portland Quilt Expo last fall that I sewed inside. Along with a zippered pocket of course!

For her fabric, I also opted for the no-border look. I liked the color progression in the fabric. A border would interrupt the "flow", at least in my opinion. I got really brave on the dark purple pieces and did free-motion quilting using the leaf patterns as guides. I did a random progression across each piece of the bag. I was happy with the results of my first FMQ attempt.

My Sister's Bag

Label and Zippered Pocket Inside
My mom travels frequently so I know she'll get good use out of her bag. And my sister goes on quilting retreats and her bag will come in handy, too. I just know it was fun making and putting my own touches on their bags and giving them as Christmas presents.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Pillowcase Party!

I know...it's been a while since I've posted anything here. I've been busy working out of town plus the things I have been working on were Christmas presents and I didn't want anyone to get a sneak peek!

One of the things I made as gifts this year were pillow cases. They are quick, easy and fun to make. Plus you can do a few extra for the 1 Million Pillowcase Challenge.

Just for Me - Main Fabric is Scaredy Cats by Timeless Treasures

Bright & Bold - These went to my niece and her boyfriend to go with a quilt my sister made

Go Camping - Main Fabric from the "Are We There Yet" collection by Maywood Studio

For my sister and her husband - Fabrics from the Fresh Fallen Snow Flannel Collection by Maywood Studio

For my nephew to go with a black & white quilt my mom made for him.

These are the ones I made for the 1 Million Pillowcase Challenge.

Flannel Fabric from JoAnn

Fabrics from JoAnn

Fabrics from Moda - Cuff Fabric is Magic Beans