Wednesday, 30 January 2013

Not this week


I've had an email or two asking me when I was going to make my next post; (super exciting that someone wants to read my jibber jabber, right?! :D) However due to extreme cold weather, multiple kids and just general all around business, I have gotten a nasty head cold and feel like I've been hit by a bus that decided to also back up and hit me again for kick and giggles.

I should be doing a post next week, see you then.

Monday, 21 January 2013

Skill Building

Practice makes better! (And more scraps 0.o)

Perfection? I doubt I will ever consider myself perfect or even advanced in my skills, there is just simply so many things to learn and to continuously practice. I have been feeling that my piecing & cutting work needs to become more precise and to that end I started doing skill building tutorials & BOM's (Block of the Month, for those not in the know ;D). 
Log cabin
Various 9 patch
For example I have not even attempted a half square triangle yet, or any curved piecing, my attempts at the different styles of paper piecing are at best laughable and I've not really done any of the traditional template piecing; enter Sewn by Leila' s "We can do it" sampler.  So far I have managed to accomplish 4 of each of the log cabins and 9 patch, the churn dash block is up next and I am very excited to give it a try, some of the quilt tops I've drawn up will require HST's to create the pattern so while I like my ideas I do not have the skill yet to tackle them.

I am also doing the craftsy 2013 BOM, I don't know if I will have the patience for this!!!!!!  I want all the blocks on a weekly basis!!! Gosh darn it all.. 
No you do not need to adjust your monitor color display, nor your eyes, that is BRIGHT vibrant orange :)! I got sent some of the inner square vintage fabric, a beautiful 70's floral in citrus orange/yellow and green. This sampler will be strictly those colors and the fab vintage cream sheeting I am using with it.  It should be simply eye blinding when I am done, so exciting!! Oh before I forget, do sign up for this BOM if you are a beginning or even need a few pointers the instructor Laura Nownes pointed out many things that I completely did not know or had missed, she also walks you through on how to properly cut your fabric as well as how to get perfectly square blocks. Well worth the time!

I also whipped up the first of 2 quilts for a particular pair of special young ladies. Since I was practicing my patch work, I thought I might as well carry on and knock one of these off the start list.  There is a bit more work yet to be done, I am very pleased with the starting base, it has set the proper tone for the rest of the work. (I am not telling.. you have to wait :D)

Last on my list is my Dad's quilt, which I had planned on having completed this week. Instead I kept getting this:
This Quilt has been Sphinx approved!

My damn cat thinks it's his personal bed. He hasn't left it except for pressing cat business in a week. I'd be worried but our other cat chases him around so he gets exercise :D

Every time I think I can finish it, I just don't have the heart to boot him out of his comfy place lol.

That's it for this week... sooo... how you doin'?

Passionately waiting and working,


Monday, 14 January 2013

My organizational brain cell.. has gone mad....

Organization and Lists.... What?

The mighty pile....
Some how my stash has exploded onto my extra table and no matter how it looks, there is an organizational system here.
Recently I've gotten piles and I mean PILES of scraps & yardage from various sources. (I <3 it!!!) 

I have 5 different projects I want to get started on so I've been busily pulling stuff out so I know what I am going to do with what and how, possibly with a whom and know why and where. Problem: I forgot to put it all back again and proceeded on my merry way, then... kablooie!!! I didn't realize fabric had the command to be fruitful and multiply too . 0.o .

When it comes to space... I seem to be a little lacking in that department, so project #1 will be: Reorganizing and making a list of what I am doing with what, I am not a list maker.. I make a list and promptly forget where I put it. Perhaps I should make a list of where I make a list so I'll have some general direction of where I should look for the list I just have lost and then make a note of where I made my list of lists... 

I am just going to have to find a better organizational system.  
You can't hear it but I am laughing my arse off.

UFO No More

This is the completed "Broken Diamonds" quilt that I am making for my Dad.

I just have to bind it this week and deliver it.

The whole premise of this quilt was the idea of masculinity, the colors and shapes needed to scream "masculine". Therefore the quilting had to as well, around the centre foundation blocks I did Greek Keys, typically found prominent in Greek architecture or art and in my opinion very masculine.  Outside of that, I echoed the idea of the squares in "squippling". There's stippling and zippling why not squippling? Say it out loud too... it makes you want to giggle :D

I thought more squippling would be too much (I am going to find every excuse I can to use the word "squippling" now lol)  for the outside border, so out came the walking foot and guide and I just did a 2" wide line all the way around, except on the corner squares. I either ditch stitched or just followed the direction of the fabric rather than trying to figure out how to make it perfectly square. I really rather like the faux border effect it has, one of those little extra things that are always a bonus when you aren't expecting them.

 I am very glad I did not try to quilt anything over the centre squares, the ditch stitching made a fantastic pattern on the back side.
The back is made out of one flannel twin sized duvet cover that looked God awful as a duvet. It was like looking at sheets over your blankets, I am not complaining though, pulled apart and made into a backing it looks great and who am I to quibble over the $5.00 sale cost? 

Treading New Waters

 I wanted to step into the world of fabric dyeing, I decided to start very small and simple without outlaying a bunch of money for dyes I may not ever use again. With a bunch of white scraps I had left over from other various projects I bought a packet of pink dye and went to town with it. Most I just dyed plainly to get a feel for what I was doing, this piece in the pics I had a bit of fun with. By the time I got to this piece most of the dye strength was gone which didn't matter one whit to me as there are a few techniques I wanted to try, like over dyeing (haven't got there yet still looking for the yellow dye..), pattern dyeing using some tie dye t-shirt skills, saturation's and gradiation.

A list in pictures :)

 Scrappy Trip-a-Long... I just had too! I love the look of those quilts.
This will be for a quilt that I designed, hence my reason for choosing pink dye :D

Can you guess what this will be?

.... Nope no hints here ;)

Oh I nearly forgot!!! This was one of my prize finds out of the stuff that was given to me.  It's an old bedspread in perfect condition, I can't wait to show you what I have planned for this!

Monday, 7 January 2013

A little weight on my shoulders.

Broken Diamonds

Ditch stitching... who knew?

Hello! Hello! How did your year start off? I am pretty pleased personally, I am not a big celebrator of the New Year but I do love when the new year starts off in a positive fashion.
No new projects started except on paper, I really want to get my Dad's quilt, quilted. It's sitting on my machine right now which is why there aren't any fresh pictures, I refuse to move it because I don't want to lose my place on the strip that is currently being ditch stitched. I chose to ditch stitch each strip rather than quilt a pattern over the whole quilt for a few reasons, the main one being all the seams on the foundation blocks, which turned out to be a smart thing for me to do. 
I'll be honest, I had wondered a bit about the pain that a few quilters had mentioned in their blogs, you know through the back, shoulders and neck? I had never experienced that with any of the quilts I had done up and just assumed that they must be quilting much larger and heavier quilts than I was.  Heh! Yep, a larger quilt definitely takes some major acrobatics and contorsionism to quilt and let me tell you, this guy is heavy and rather large measuring at 80 x 80 without allowing for the extra inches of back and batting.
Usually I quilt for hours without a whole lot of breaks and don't have a problem, this particular quilt requires a break every half-hour or hour so I can stretch out my back and shoulders, I got into the habit of stretching out before I start as well, hurting myself is not on my list of things to do this year ;)

Did I tell you I fell in love? Oh truly I did! With bamboo batting of all things, what a dream to use in this quilt.  I tried wool batting and hated it, while the warmth factor was high, it was much too fussy for me and I felt it made the quilt really rough feeling. The poly batting I was using was okay, nothing stood out to set it apart from anything else I have ever used. Cotton batting was about the same as the poly, alright to use but nothing stood out to make me want to keep using it exclusively.
Oh but bamboo batting... I am in love, super soft, fantastic to touch, it doesn't slip as a matter of fact when I put the batt on my backing and smoothed it, it didn't move. When I put the quilt top on the batting "grabbed" it and held it in place while I pinned. 
The quilt top felt extremely soft and smooth after I had it all pinned, don't think I have ever had fabric get softer and smoother after it's been sandwiched.  My husband thought I was crazy I am sure, there I was in the kitchen, talking to myself while fondling the quilt top on the table... if you didn't know what context that was in I am sure you'd be calling the happy jacket people too :D

Have any of you tried Inspira brand needles? I usually use the singer quilting needles or schmetz 80/12's and those brands have worked until I started quilting this quilt. With the 6-8 layers of cloth on the seams and joins the singer needles bounced or didn't go through and pick up the bobbin thread, the schmetz needles also skipped and bounced quite a bit so I switched to the Inspira needles that my Mom had picked up for me, I was leery of using them because they were cheap (10 for 5 or 6 bucks), they were marked universal, and they are size 80. At this point I was thinking I'd have to change to a denim sized needle to get through all the cloth but I thought I'd give them a shot. 
I am now an absolute convert to Inspira, not only did they go through all the layers but the needle did so easily, no funky noises or jams and my stitches look so much better. If you haven't tried them, I do recommend that you do give those needles a whirl, at that price you can switch out without cringing too ;)

That's all for this week!
Stretching out my passions...