And We Have a Winner Folks!

There were several projects that ended up making February’s UFO challenge (Un-Finished Object in ‘Quilt-Speak’). When are there not several projects at once?! Am I right?! I’m one of those crafty-types that enjoys having about 3-4 projects going at once – keeps things interesting.

“What was the final decision?,” you’re wondering?! When stopping by The Quilting Loft in Ballard to pick up my Block of the Month kit and some other essentials I received a quilt I had completed several months ago. All it needed was it’s binding! Which luckily I had already purchased when the top was quilted so there would be NO EXCUSES for this one. “Perfect,” I thought to myself, “The craft gods have spoken once again!” I have bound several quilts, but never by hand.  In my opinion, It’s a skill that every quilter needs to attempt at least once.

If you’re unfamiliar with the quilty terms and concepts let me jump back a step. The “binding” is a long sewn strip that will be ironed and folded a certain way so that it can be attached to the outside of the quilt in a continuous strip in order to encase the entire quilt. A quilt’s basic parts are the decorative top, the backing fabric, a layer of cotton batting in between, and binding around the edge. Via reading this blog you will learn much more about the quilting process – trust me!

Basically, in the quilt tradition, tacking down your quilt’s binding by hand is like frying your first egg.

For me, both experiences were messy, involved a lot of colorful language, and in essence are easily over thought. (Did I mention that over thinking something is one of my favorite past-times?!) With practice both are do-able and can become quite enjoyable. Many people prefer to prepare their eggs scrambled to avoid the hassles of running yolks, burnt brown edges or bits of shell to pick out. (….roll with me on this one!…..) In similar fashion, they may also choose to have their quilt bound for them by their quilt’s long-armer.

Basically I feel like a pioneer woman while I’m sewing! All I need is my candle, my bonnet and a strong fire going.

And now for some photos of my progress!…….This project all started with Tula Pink’s Fox Field Collection released in 2014.

March 2014

Tula Pink’s Fox Field fabric Collection. March 2014.

The quilt was created from Tula’s blog where she provided a free pattern to make the Moxie Quilt using her Fox Field fabrics. My quilt was created and then displayed in The Quilting Loft in Ballard, WA during the Western Washington Shop Hop of 2014.

Quilt assembled, quilted and on display during the Western Washington Quilt Shop Hop 2014 in Ballard,WA.

I will dedicate an entire post to this quilt once the binding is completed! Here are a few hand binding shots to complete the post for today.

Hand Binding is completed using a hidden little whip stitch with matching thread and a sharp needle!

You want to place your needle underneath the backing fabric directly across from where the previous stitch was started and then try to get the needle hooked just before the edge of the binding about 1/4″ away or less. This will complete your quilt sandwich with a hidden edge. Binding cab be done on the machine. The down side is that the stitches show through to the other side (a typical quilt-no-no!). The plus side is that it can save you time and some frustration.

It’s been three days of a few hours of work and I am starting to pick up the beginning and ending techniques and have found that I do enjoy getting into the zen-like flow of creating these tiny perfectly pink stitches!

Hand Binding for the first time! Almost done…..!

There’s only a few more days of February to go! I will see you again soon for a final posting about this adorable Moxie Quilt from Tula Pink. Happy Quilting!

2015: The Year of the UFO

2015: The Year of the UFO (Unfinished Object in Quilty Terms)

Have you ever reached that stash point of absolute over-saturation?! When I first started quilting this was my goal point! Any type of spending money I got was deposited directly into anywhere that sold fabric (…and let’s be honest! – basically ANY type of crafty goods or supplies! I have definitely dabbled in my share of hobbies over the years 😉 ).

I would pour over quilt books and magazines for hours. I began seeing quilt patterns everywhere! In buildings while driving, in house windows while walking the dog, or in the tiles on the public restroom floor. I would randomly proclaim, “Wouldn’t that make an AMAZING quilt?!”, while seemingly starring at a wall. My family and friends can, of course, entertain the idea of this concept – see a pattern in your immediate surroundings, then translate it into a quilt. They can see the patterns I’m talking about. They can understand the values of color at play or the simple pleasure found in design. But, as a quilter, sometimes it seems like I can FEEL it. I can see how the quilt would come to life, how the measurements would need to be calculated in order to place those “blocks” exactly the right way to make that quilt top come to life. You can visualize several color combinations all at once. Your brain quickly sorts through all the stacks, boxes, bins, baskets and shelves of cloth knowing instantly the perfect piece from your stash! It’s this warm and fuzzy creative buzz you can get when you’re in this deep ( I know I’m not crazy! I know there are other people out there just like me!).

This love of craft has lead to a MOUNTAIN of a stash! And, of course, a delightfully long list of project to start, projects to finish, projects to buy for and of course the ultimate projects to strive for! Don’t get me wrong, I make things, I can finish a project if so inspired, I made most of my Christmas gifts this year in fact! But the true problem is that I enjoy starting projects at a faster rate than I enjoy finishing them. This habit is beginning to become a problem! As you can probably guess from the lengthy (guilty*) explanation.

I have fabric coming out of EVERYWHERE and ANYWHERE. I have recently moved out and so now I have the ability to claim a stash in two different locations! This is too much! A dear friend pointed out, while helping me organize the sudden overflow, that instead of buying more bins, bags, boxes or shelving units (….trust me it’s bad!…) I need to EMPTY some of the original bins, boxes, bags and shelving units! What a concept!?!?!

The worst part is…… I know it’s true. I understand the definition of insanity! In fact, I think the dictionary may have started the sketch of my face to add next to the word for obsession! I understand that sinking feeling when you watch Hoarders and you tell yourself you’re not hoarding cause it’s all clean!……right….. ;).

It’s time for some crafty goals! I need to finish at least one bin project a month! Mandatory! No excuses this year! And what better way to track my progress than the blogosphere. (Fun Fact!: “blogosphere is a real word! My spell check hates it, but it’s in the dictionary!) Anyways, I haven’t chosen my project for this month yet, but I will return with more information in a few days. That is after I emerge from the pits of fabric heaven, grappling with my inner craft goddess over which lonely project is most deserving of completion! …..This decision could take a while….!

Sunday Stitches Part I :

I’m excited to get started today on the Quilt-A-Thon. My ironing board is packed with projects for the sewing storm that is about to ensue!  I have the pinned the “sets” from last night, as well as some 5.5″ x 5.5″ squares that I am using to make another quilt from Jane Broket‘s Book, The Gentle Art of Quilt Making, and a few more pieces of The Olivia Lee quilt that Allie C. and I are working on together.

The magazine featured is an issue of Simple Handmade. Sewing. It is a magazine I purchased last year. It has great projects for the home and gifts to give away. I plan to test out an apron pattern today in hopes that I will be able to make several as Christmas gifts ( I can almost hear the bells jingling already ! 🙂 ).

This is my gorgeous pile of apron fabrics that I can’t wait to iron and cut into. They were washing and drying last time and now it’s almost time to play!! They are prints from the DS Quilts Collection for Fabric Traditions as well as one print from the Cloud 9 Fabrics Collection – a line of 100% organic cotton. The top two are flannel prints that I want to start brain storming lap blankets for the winter season.

I’ll let you know how far I get in Sunday Stitches Part II……stay tuned! Happy Quilting.

Quilt-A-Thon All Weekend Long

I arrived home tonight after work and a few errands and decided to start quilting, several hours later I thought perhaps I should host a mini Quilt-A-Thon on my blog for the weekend, since that’s what I’m looking forward to this weekend! I figure I’ll post several time this weekend  to fill you in on what I’m working on while plugging away at the Madmen series on Netflix!

Currently I am working on several quilts all at once! This includes several quilts made from the scarp pieces of a previous project ( can you tell I LOVE to do that!)

As you can see I’m all set up for the night!

These pieces are 2.5″ x 5.5″. I am planning on sewing them together into strip sets of 5 rectangles each. Then perhaps either framing or seperating with a solid for a modern type vibe. I figured the easiest way to do this at random ( which I think adds some speed to the process) would be to take my stack of fabric rectangles and put them into 5 different piles. ( My original pile is on the far left.)

All lined up

I then take one of the piles and put it to the side so that I can use them as the “tails” of the strips of four that I plan on making while pinning two rectangles together as a “set” and then sewing two “Sets” together and adding the “Tail” piece to make a line of 5 rectangles.

5 piles to 3 piles…

The picture above shows the pile of “Tails” to the left, the large pile in the middle in the stack that I will create “sets” from, and the pile beginning on the right will be for sets that I have pinned together that will wait to take their turn going through the machine.

…And 3 piles turn into 2 piles…

Ladies and Gentlemen – start your engines!

And a “set” is sewn!

Sew-A-Thon!!

And then a pile of pieces to be ironed is created!! I was lucky that my bobbin didn’t run out on me. I have taken to trying to use up some of my bobbins with older threads on them if the color seems to fit. I don’t mind using a different color bobbin thread with white thread as my top thread, every once and a while you will see a bit of the colored threads peaking out while you are ironing!

Time to get things all cut apart and ready to be pressed.

I got a nice rhythm down for ironing these pieces and the task was done in a flash!

First place one set down…

Then another….

Lay the third set….

And finally a fourth… to complete the row!

Now I can iron 20 at a time!
I call the mess in the back my “creative comfort zone” 🙂 I’m sure we all have one of these in the house! 
Of course I am also working on a few other things at the same time….

A stack of blocks waiting to be arranged on the design board.

These blocks are from the “Beach Hut” pattern out of Jane Brocket’s book , The Gentle Art of Quilt Making. 

Laid out on the design wall…

This is a much smaller version of what Jane’s pattern suggests. I have made the “Beach Hut” pattern before and have a California inspired version that is currently in the “To-be-quilted-(please!)” pile. Its a great pattern for scraps and comes in handy if you want to flex your wings at being more flexible with randomness. I found that I was able make 4 different repeat points… I usually stray away form doing this but I think it helps the movement in this smaller quilt.

Here’s a close up!

2 extras….what to do?…what to do?!….

I’m not sure what to do with these two extra blocks…any suggestions?!?!

And there’s always something spinning in the dryer! A quilter must always be multi-tasking when ever possible 🙂

I dry mine with extra dryer sheets and on air dry to keep the fray of the string down a bit

Those are a bunch of new DS prints from the DS Collection.  I am hoping to make some aprons tomorrow…Christmas is calling!

Purple Pop

Just finished a few days ago!

This quilt has been given a new name, “Purple Pop”. Named after the Kaffe Fassett shot cotton used as a thin border to frame the quilt as well as a binding strip to make the mixture of different purple tones, values, and prints balance out and pop off of one another.  It was hard to choose a name for it since it has been rolling around in the “To-Be-Quilted” pile for a few years now.  It started as pattern that went all wrong, to a potential dog bed blanket, to being completely torn apart, re-cut and re-sewn! Now it is a sweet and cozy addition to add to the collection of quilts I have been finishing lately.  I purchased the back and binding fabrics at Center Diamond Quilt Shop in Cannon Beach, OR.

Mid- Quilt Monday

Stitch in the Ditch Technique

 

Fall is approaching and it seemed like a good afternoon to finally get some projects finished instead of cutting new projects to keep my mind busy with numbers, math, and patterns.  This is a quilt that I made up the block pattern for while trying to use scraps from a quilt my dad created for my older sister and brother-in-law. While shopping a little too much fabric was purchased… so far 1 king, 2 queens, and this lap size quilt have been made from the scraps!!

And there are more scraps to be cut as well as another quilt in the works – its amazing how much you can create from your scrap bins! I have been working on the stitch in the ditch method for quilting so far but am hoping to branch out more this fall season.

Needle Close UP!

Its been fun making this quilt because the color palette of these scraps is really different than what I would regularly buy for my own projects. When I was first trying to think of a way to use these scraps my mom and nephew were really into reading the “Little House On the Prairie” series.

Pulling the thread away to make a cut at the end of a long row.

For weeks I would get the updates on the story of the Ingels family from my nephew. The colors of these scraps reminded me of the fabrics I would imagine people creating quilts out of during the pioneer days. Therefore the “Brown Prairie” Quilt was born.

Brown Prairie Quilt draped over the sewing table.

The brown patch in the center reminds me of the small plots of land the families would build their cabins on. The matching brown patches would be the four corner stones of the houses while the surrounding color rings reminded me of the logs and beams they would stack to create their homes.  Its a Mid-Quilt Monday for me while its getting late and my bobbin thread just ran out – guess that means its time to call a quits for today! 🙂 How many quilts have you made from a stash you intended to use for just one project?! ?! I love when one project suddenly morphs into a brand new one! Happy Quilting Everyone.

 

New Additions

4th of July Quilt

There are new additions to my blog! Please check out some new photos of quilts I have made on my brand new page – “Sewn Together”. As these  summer nights stretch on I am trying to get myself caught up again with my blog postings. I will be posting some more photos of my vacation projects over this weekend. Check back in to see what I have been working on 🙂

Keep Up The Good Work!

I’m headed to the beach next week – Cannon Beach, OR specifically – and I can’t wait to breathe in some fresh ocean air, drink some local cups (coffee, beer, wine, take your pick 🙂 ), and of course do some fabric shopping! I have a lot of work ahead of me though. I have been cramming quilt sandwiches through the machine on a daily basis in hopes of getting a few done to sell outside the house.

“Gum Drop Quilt” One of 4 I made to sell! Any takers?! 🙂

I am getting excited to meet with people walking by and talk about the quilting process. People close to me know that I could literally talk about quilting all day – seriously!

I love planning out which projects will be the beach projects. Its so relaxing to brainstorm and sew when you are away from home – what a luxury. One quilt I hope to work on is an absolutely precious quilt I am helping my best friend to finish. She has named it the “Olivia Lee” and its too cute to go un-quilted.  We will be hand-dying some fabrics on Saturday so I may need to post more pictures since I’m sure the process will end up being a hilarious mess!

The “Olivia Lee” cant wait to see what Allie picks for the back fabric

Cannon Beach is also one of my favorite places to do some fabric shopping! They have two great local quilt shops in the area. There is the Center Diamond in Cannon Beach,OR and Creative Fabrics in Wheeler,OR. Both shops are cozy, cheerful and packed with great fabric choices and very friendly staff. If you are ever in the area you should definitely visit both!

Back to the sewing machine for me! Another quilt sandwich waiting to be finished is calling my name. Let me know if you have any tips or tricks on avoiding puckers when quilting on a smaller machine – I have been needing to pluck out entire rows of stitches to get puckers out! I have only quilted a hand full of quilts myself and its all been over the course of the past 3 months so I’m still on the learning curve. Any tricks would be greatly appreciated! Happy Quilting everyone.