Friday, August 30, 2013

BOM Madness, Part 2

These blocks were supposed to be finished a couple of days ago, but things got kind of insane! I started training at a tutoring center (which I am LOVING), and I had in-service as school (can't wait to meet the kids on Tuesday, and see the ones from last year!). To finish them, I went on a bit of a cutting and chain-piecing spree.

1. July Sisters' Ten Block, 2. August Sisters' Ten BOM, 3. August Sisters' Ten Block, 4. July Sisters' Ten Block
Anyway, I can't believe there are only 2 months left in the Sisters' Ten BOM. If my calculations are correct, I'll have to make two of each of the next blocks, plus two extras from previous ones. That's okay though - I'll be talking about this more when the quilt is done, but the blocks have really improved my precision in terms of piecing, cutting, and even fabric selection (if you can have precision in that!)

All Sisters' Ten - as of August

You can see more blocks in my Flickr photostream, if you are interested!

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Oiling your free motion foot... have you done it?

Now, this is a strange post. I was FMQing Sedona, and over time, I found my quilting getting increasingly squeaky. I actually wish that I had taken an audio or video of it  - it was REALLY loud. I tried everything - the usual changing the needle, rethreading, changing out the thread, removing the bobbin, cleaning out the machine a couple of times, and oiling it in the well underneath my bobbin case, which I try to do every week or so.

Then... I figured out that the squeaking happened when the spring on my free motion foot moved down. So... I figured, why not? I used a couple of drops of sewing machine oil on it. And it's fine now... =P

Does anyone know if this is normal? Lol. Even if it wasn't, I wouldn't hesitate to do it again if I needed to. I couldn't find anything online about oiling actual sewing machine feet!

Monday, August 26, 2013

"Sedona" - A Finished Quilt

As in, the Sedona Hills of Arizona. See? Blue sky, red and orange hills, and green grass. Most pieces are from my scrap bin (yippee!  - though has anyone else had the problem that using scraps makes more scraps?).

 Gratuitous quilt-rolled-up photo, with coordinating binding!:

I quilted the sky in clouds (one of my favorite FMQ designs to date)...

the hills in random squares and rectangles...

...And the grass in swirls. I couldn't make a grass motion with my free motion quilting foot - believe me, I've tried.

I backed the whole thing in Marby in Jade, which is from Glimma by Lotta Jansdotter. I like the whimsical feel this backing gives to the whole quilt. Almost like flowers being released into the sky :)

I still have to make/attach the label, but this is a finish for the Layers of Hope - Quilting 911 project. Thanks for organizing this, Jean! The quilt will shortly be off to Amanda, who is the wife of Eric, one of the 19 Prescott, Arizona firemen.  I hope she loves it as much as I do. I swear I have one of the worst cases of QSA (Quilt Separation Anxiety). Join us. We have cookies and seam rippers. But really, in all seriousness, I'm glad I took some time during a busy summer to sew something special and personalized for someone I don't know personally. It was worth it and I hope you are inspired to do the same.

You can read more about this quilt here and here.

 This is my 6th large quilt finish for the year. This is a rare and special moment. Let's see if I can double that number by the end of the year... that's the plan, at least... :)

Linking up to: A Lovely Year of Finishes @ Fiber of All Sorts, Fabric Tuesday @ Quilt Story, Sew Cute Tuesday @ Better Off Thread, Needle and Thread Thursday @ My Quilt Infatuation, Crazy Mom Quilts, TGIFF

Sunday, August 25, 2013

BOM Madness, Part 1

I've decided there is NO WAY I'm getting 3 months behind in the Sisters' Ten BOM at Gen X Quilters. Absolutely not. So, as of last night, I went on a block-making spree. It's suggested that we make at least 2 of each pattern, and I realize that I only have 8 blocks so far for the year... lol. Whoops.

 While I wait for one or more of my three rulers to reveal themselves, I thought I'd give you a "real" glimpse of my Sunday. This is my permanent temporary set-up , with the iron right next to my machine. Remind me why I haven't done this before?

I love sewing in the same room as Mike, while he's playing video games or chatting on the computer. Even though our apartment is small, it's really nice to be able to do that :) Plus, I can show him blocks as I finish them, and he obediently compliments them. Lol :) And if he finds a funny video or something, I can see it, or come right over.

I took this picture last night and didn't realize it was so blurry until now... oh well. Light isn't so great in here at night, which is why I'm doing so much cutting and piecing right now. Main point: fabric selection is definitely my favorite part of this BOM!

We plan to visit our families and take a walk in a bit :) Though I haven't worked with Sunnyside yet... I'm still deciding what to do. Stay tuned for part two of BOM madness!

Friday, August 23, 2013

The Queen of Binding

 First, thank you so much for all the wonderful comments about my wedding quilt - you have no idea how great it feels to celebrate this huge finish with more than my immediate family =P Lol. That's what's so fun about the online blogosphere, right? The quilt has been exchanged with Flying Purple People Eater for our bed and it's perfect!

 So.... binding... love it? Hate it? I'm in the middle. While I always enjoy catching up on TV shows which hand-sewing to the back, I'm all caught up right now with Orange is the New Black, Sherlock, Doctor Who, and Whose Line is it Anyway?... which means I have to watch repeats of Friends :) Not the end of the world! By the way, I've tried machine binding a couple of times, and I just don't have the patience for it - haha - maybe with more practice?

I've been doing a ton of sewing this week, but now I'm at the binding stage for two quilts. Two nights ago I sat down and made the binding for both. This one is for my Arizona quilt - I've been hand-sewing for a bit of the last two nights. I'm excited for this one to be done and off to its rightful owner! I'm matching the binding colors to the quilt in sections again, just like I did for the wedding quilt.

 Then, I finally finished FMQing chrysanthemums on a commission t-shirt quilt and started attaching this teal binding. I hope to share both of these quilts at the beginning of next week. In case you are wondering, the t-shirt quilt looks fluffy because I don't use interfacing. I personally find it expensive and an extra step I don't want to take, so I've learned to cope with the t-shirt material. To each his/her own, though! If you have any questions, I'd be happy to answer them.

Also, I forgot to mention that I bought a (very inexpensive - thanks, Kohls!) white hat for the beach, the same day we went to photograph the wedding quilt. I burn like crazy and I wanted to read on the beach without getting a headache (can I get a "hear, hear?"). It was too plain for my liking, so I tied a strip of Marby in Jade from Glimma around it. I just folded it over and pressed it, so some of the edges are rough, but it does the trick!

Thanks for the photobomb, Ris! You're a peach. :)

  I found this husband person on my couch the night before the beach. Modeling. And yes, those are Plants vs. Zombies PJ pants!

I hope to do some fun sewing tomorrow... with a pack of Sunnyside hexagons :D More on that soon...  what are you working on this weekend?

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Dresden Rainbow: My Finished Wedding Quilt

This post is three years in the making! No joke. I've been wondering how it would come out since I started blogging - I had just gotten engaged at the time! Ever since about 2011, I've only showed little bits and pieces of this quilt's progress. Seriously, I can't even explain how happy I am to share it all today! It's a big milestone for me as a quilter and a blogger. This is a long post with lots of pictures - fair warning ;).

Mike and I have been together 7 years as of this November. As many of you know, we got married last October, and we are finally living together! It really is the best feeling in the world to have such a person in my life who believes in me like I never could believe, who pours me Mountain Dew when I'm down, who will watch any episode of Doctor Who with me (even if he wants to watch a different one), who knows how to read my face before I even know what I'm feeling, and who loves me through it all. We support each other even when the going is tough job-wise, and we know it will all turn out okay in the end, as long as we are together. I truly believe that, and I know he does, too. 

This quilt is the story of our relationship - through the silly times, the sad ones, and the beautiful ones. Dresdens were one of the very first quilty patterns I became obsessed with. In addition, I didn't intend for the quilt to randomly alternate between low and high saturation, in the dresden plates and borders, but boy, do I love the look it creates now that it's all done!! 

You can read all about my dresden-making here, here, here, and here - when they were all finished. These are just some of the posts. Please don't smirk too much at my humble bloggy beginnings ;).

The dresdens took a loooong time; I did one a month or so with the help and encouragement of bloggy friends (some of you are still out there - thanks for sticking with me so long!). I also had to stop and start constantly because I was visiting home from college only every so often. Thus, the wedding quilt lingered in a pile, because there were other things to make (as usual), and I knew I would be able to finish it before/after the wedding/at least when it was closer (we were engaged for two years beforehand).

The middle block is my favorite, and include many of my all-time favorite fabrics for each color. I embroidered the middle within the last year.

The front of this quilt means the most to me, as a quilter. It included scraps of many fabrics I no longer have, or have very little left of. The dresdens are more traditional fabrics overall, but the coordinating borders around them, the middle block, and the coordinating binding that lines up against each block all feature some of my current favorite fabrics. It is such a joy to look it over and see how far I've come with fabric selection, piecing, and quilting. You might remember that at our guild retreat in July, I finished ALL of the quilting and was super ecstatic about it!

Here are the block closeups, and I've included the FMQ design I chose for each individual block (it was very difficult to get the quilting to show up - I tried in all different kinds of light!). There is one "silly" fabric in each plate just for Mike :) (see if you can find them all!). You'll also notice that I left the colored borders unquilted - in person, they pop out from the quilt, and it is too cool! (quilt nerd - out).

1 of 2 blue dresdens - the color I had/have the most of. Free-motion quilted with clouds to mimic the sky. Mike's favorite color.

Purple - my favorite color and some of my favorite fabrics ever, ever, ever. FMQed in rainbows - definitely my favorite FMQ design :)

Red - many traditional fabrics (P.S. did you catch the traveling gnome?). FMQed with swirls and pearls (they kind of look like seashells :) ).

Orange - quilted with square flowers, as inspired by Angela Walters.

Yellow - FMQed in pebbles. I very nearly took this block out and remade it, because at the time, some of the only yellows I had were Amy Butler's Soul Blossoms, which, as you can see, contain a healthy amount of bright teal. I decided to leave it because it doesn't make a difference in the overall quilt, and I want to embrace my early quilt-making.

 Green - FMQed in a woodgrain design (trees... get it?)

Pink - FMQed with chrysanthemums, thanks to Rachel at Stitched in Color. I love how this one turned out, even though I'm not a huge fan of pink! You'll also notice several repeats in this block, like others, because I did not yet have a "stash" (which of course is fine!). The middle fabric here is a special one handed down from my mother.

The second blue block - FMQed in an all-over random square pattern.

A close up of the quilting - you can see the FMQ designs I used for the white sashings (loops and the wavy lines). They were easy and necessary fillers.

Pinterest inspired the backing, though I've only seen quilt fronts in this fashion. I set up a table at the wedding for our guests to write messages and their names (and little did I know, drawings) - our guestbook! I backed each 6" square with freezer paper (I was doing that two nights before the wedding, lol) to make them easier to write on. I used special fabric markers - when I find them and the brand I used, I will post it here. Note to self: draw out or tape up the seam allowances next time!

Either way, I absolutely love how it came out. I chose the purple, blue, yellow, and green solids to contrast the bright front of the quilt. I love how calming it is... much like the beach, come to think of it. The white strips were meant to break up the color a bit.

Also, I didn't want it to be centered, and I placed random squares in the negative space to add something more than just the signatures. I love to look at the back of this quilt just as much as the front - it is just so special to me. Quilters - don't use a regular guestbook! ;)

I had to wait to take pictures of the quilt until my family went for our annual beach day in honor of my dad's birthday (he hates the beach :) ). Ironically, today, 8/20, is the day 3 years ago when Mike proposed to me on the same beach... I guess it's meant to be that I'm posting this today (I really didn't realize that until now!).

 2010 - see the ring? :D




The normal photography shenanigans commenced.

 By the way, if you haven't met her before - this is my sister Ris, and she helps me with all of my quilty photoshoots! She's a ham, isn't she?

 If you've read this far, thank you! Thanks for letting me tell the (lengthy) story of my quilt. And thanks for all of the support through making this quilt, and through every quilt. :)

PHEW. Now... what am I going to sew tomorrow? Guess I need another long term project...

All wedding posts:


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