weekly update

Is it Spring yet?

I hope everyone had a great holiday and spent it well with friends and family.  It’s this time of year right after the holidays where I am over the snow and wish it were Spring.  The only thing that is nice this year is being off of work the week between Christmas and New Year.  Lots of quilting going on in my house with lots of progress to getting things finished!  The completed quilts page is now updated with the Treehouse Quilt!

The Steampunk quilt top is finally finished after months of on and off working on it.  The dilemma now is what design to have quilted on it. The quilt is not as scrappy as I’ve seen others in this pattern; it’s made up of entirely “Volume II” by Sweetwater Fabrics.  The red, black, and gray color scheme was the goal, and this fabric collection was perfect.  The interesting thing is with the color choices, I actually see 3 different designs in the blocks.  I see a steering wheel, an “X” with the steering wheel, or the other side “X.”  It really just goes to show how color and placement of color can really change the look of a quilt.

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The PBQ102 quilt top is also finished!  The big reveal will happen in January 2017 when I have the pattern written for it and ready.  If you caught the sneak peak on Instagram, it’s made out of Spectrum fabric by V&Co.  Pretty much V&Co. is an obsession of mine. The colors are so bright and pretty so the quilt looks pretty wicked and I love it!

I had almost forgot about catching up with the Modern Heritage BOM Month 5 blocks.  I was able to finish Month 5 just before Month 6 came in the mail.  These were paper pieced blocks.  I like how paper piecing makes more complex blocks easier to create.

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I learned that the wash-away stablizer that I used to sew with for the Technicolor Galaxy is my preferred method because that way I don’t need to rip the paper out when I’m done stitching.  I also found out the hard way why Laser Jet printed paper is not the best with irons.  The ink transferred to my iron and I had to quickly clean my iron before touching any of the fabric.  I need an Ink Jet printer for future quilting needs.

I am participating in a mini quilt swap for Modern Quilting Guild and we are swapping in person at QuiltCon2017.  I finished my mini this week too.  I was busy this past week and got so much stuff done.   The quilt is made up for modern hexies.  The modern hexies technique was created by Nicole from Modern Handcraft.  I’ve been wanting to make a modern hexies quilt and just never got the time to do it.  But it showed up on my partner’s mosaic of something that she’d like, so ta da! You know it’s a good quilt when I want to keep it for myself!

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One of the best “discoveries” this past week was Insul-bright!  I got a sample from Pam (Serendipity Woods) in the Modern Heritage BOM a few months ago, but never got a chance to use it until the holiday present this past month (also from Pam).  It was this cute little Christmas Tree coaster.  I loved making it so much, I ordered some Insul-bright and made some holiday coasters as Christmas gifts!

I also think making pot holders with Insul-bright will be in my future.

As I look back and reflect on this past year for quilting, I realize that I have never loved a crafting hobby as much as I do quilting.  My sewing room has remnants of scrapbooking papers, yarn for crocheting and knitting, wool balls for needle felting, and other miscellaneous craft supplies.  The fabric stash is getting to be the large majority of the room, but as long as I keep making quilts and using it up the anxiety level of my stash is pretty low.  I’ve grown so much this year from the techniques I’ve learned and the consistency of my quilting.  I can’t wait to see what next year will bring! Next week I’ll give the final count of quilts completed for the year just in case I finish another one this week.  I’ve been on this “finish all the works in progress” mood lately!  My project buckets are getting emptied one by one, just to be filled with new projects for the new year!

12/27-1/3/17 Weekly Goal:
Available time for quilting:
Wednesday, Friday, Saturday AM, Sunday, and Monday

Projects I want to work on:
Modern Heritage BOM
2016 Craftsy BOM
Frivols 9
America’s Garden Quilt

Goals for the Projects:
Modern Heritage BOM: Month 6 Blocks
2016 Craftsy BOM: finish April applique on blocks and border
Frivols 9:  Cut out pieces and start sewing this quilt using the pieces as “end-ers” and “lead-ers”
America’s Garden Quilt: Cut the squares for this quilt.  (Ultimate goal to use this quilt as the “end-ers” and “lead-ers” for the year)

Tutorial

A Partial Seam Tutorial

 

What is a Y-seam? A Y-seam is when there are 3 fabrics that come together and form a shape of a “Y.”  Typically you’ll see these with diamonds, hexagons, and other shapes that are not square!  In addition, there is a special Y seam that is created with the block below.  Notice the corner of the center square meets with two other fabrics at each corner.  You can create this block using a traditional Y-seam method or using a method called the Partial Seams.

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Here’s how you do it:

The block is made up of 4 rectangles that are 2 1/2″ x 4 1/2″ and a center 2 1/2″ square.

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Step 1:  With the center square and one of the side pieces, stitch from the center of the square to the end of the piece.  This allows the second rectangle to be added smoothly to the original block.  Press the seam outward or to the direction called out in the pattern.

Step 2:  Add the next rectangle to the block.  Press the seam outward or to the direction called out in the pattern.

Step 3:  Add the third rectangle to the block.  Press the seam outward or to the direction called out in the pattern.

Step 4:  Add the last rectangle to the block.  Press the seam outward or to the direction called out in the pattern. Notice how you have a partially open seam from when you started.

Step 5:  Stitch the final seam shut! Press the seam outward or to the direction called out in the pattern.

Ta Da! Easy Peasy!

This method can also be used to make borders that are the same size around a piece rather than top/bottom and side borders being different lengths.

You can use this method of partial seams or Y-seams in my pattern of Spinning Vectors.  All the blocks have this as its center block.  I’m so happy to be able to share a technique on how to make this block!

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This past week I’ve finished off my 14th quilt of the year, the Treehouse Quilt.  However, with the freezing temperatures this last weekend and the sun setting so quickly these days, I haven’t been able to get a good photograph just yet.  I realized that I’m not a fan of quilting and I was doing almost anything to procrastinate. I’m glad however that it was a goal to push me to complete the quilt.  The reason why I dislike quilting is that I fight my quilts when quilting, and my free motion quilting skills aren’t great.  I’m taking several free motion quilting classes during Quilt Con, so hopefully I will become more confident in my skills!

One of the lessons learned this week: nothing causes me more anxiety than having things on my to do list that I don’t feel like doing.  I am going to try to have a more balanced to do list in the future because not only did I drag my feet to quilt the Treehouse Quilt, I was also ornament-ed out.  I only completed one of the four ornaments this past week on my goals list.   My goals list needs to be a balance of things I want to do and things I need to do. Quilting, after all is still a hobby and not my day job (yet).

When I refer to what I want to do, this past week my passion for getting stuff done led me to pick up the Steampunk quilt again and start cutting fabric to applique the centers.  Hopefully I will be able to make some great progress on this quilt this week.  I reached out on Instagram on how other quilters cut circles because I was so inefficient!   Using a rotary cutter with the circle template seemed like a good idea, but it was awful.  I resorted to tracing the circle with a Frixion pen and cutting each one out by hand.  Thankfully, there are only 41.

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12/20-12/27 Weekly Goal:
Available time for quilting:
Thursday, Friday, Monday

Projects I want to work on:
PBQ102 – free pattern!
Steampunk Quilt

Goals for the Projects:
PBQ102:  Start sewing the second jelly roll and cut the blocks
Steampunk Quilt: Finish all the blocks with appliqued centers and start sewing the sashing on the quilt

Last but not least, I hope everyone has a happy holidays and a very Merry Christmas!

weekly update

Let it snow!

It’s definitely winter in Minnesota now.  The snow is really pretty…but only for about the next 12 days.  On the 13th day, it’ll be annoying and I’ll wish it away for spring and some warm weather. But alas, this is only the beginning of snowy days and below freezing temperatures.  The only good thing about the winter is a break for quilting and sewing.  I saved up enough vacation to have a week and a half off for the holidays, and I’m going to be putting it to good use!

This past week I have been busy in Santa’s workshop making No-Sew Christmas Ornaments!  They are so beautiful and are going to be given away as presents this year for Christmas.  My In-Laws have given ornaments every year to my husband growing up, and this year we inherited them all from year’s past.  It’s time to fill their tree back up!  (Or is this the “easy” way out on figuring out what to give them for Christmas?!)

There were a few tips I’d like to share about making these cute little things!  First, make sure you have a thimble or a thumb pad like you would use for English Paper Piecing.  Do not do any assembly of the ornament if you do not have something to protect your thumbs; your thumbs will hate you about half way through if you don’t have a thimble or any other way to protect your fingers.  You have been warned!  Second, on the first set of 4 triangles you make, I couldn’t get the corners to line up at all!  The YouTube video tutorial looked perfect, but it just wasn’t working for me.  Here’s the tip, don’t worry about that.  Just make sure that the points are perpendicular to each other and if the corners don’t align, they get covered up by the next layer!  Last piece of advice and most crafters know this, glitter is not your friend.  I very stupidly got glitter ribbon to match the metallic fabric, forgetting that glitter gets everywhere!  I have glitter in most of the common living spaces in my house, and it’s nearly impossible to clean up.  So the glitter ribbon looks lovely, but it’s up to you to decide if the self-induced glitter bomb is worth it.

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I’ve made 6 of the gold colored ones and 2 of the silver ones so far.  I have more pins coming to my from Amazon and still at least 4 more Styrofoam balls at home.  I need to decide if I want to make another set of 6.  I used Jingle Pop fabric from Hoffman Fabrics for my ornaments.  The metallic in the prints are so beautiful, and it makes them sparkle so much!

The Cozy Christmas quilt that I got back from Rhonda was AMAZING! I wish I could get all my quilts custom quilted!  I was able to finish it Sunday night right before leaving on my LAST business trip this year! (woohoo!)  Isn’t it just amazing?!  I’ve update the completed quilts page too!

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I keep getting distracted lately on what I want to work on.  It seems that I change my mind so often, but I think I’m still making progress on the goal.  One of the bigger announcements is that the next pattern I’m making is a free pattern!  The quilt is beginner friendly and will be jelly roll friendly as well.  I can’t wait to show it off and write the pattern!  Because of this, I think I can get the pattern launch faster than the original timeline, but I don’t want to commit just yet!

I hope everyone is getting all their Christmas shopping completed, only 12 more days left!!!

12/13-12/20 Weekly Goal:

Available time for quilting:
Thursday and Friday Night, Saturday and Sunday afternoon

Projects I want to work on:
Christmas Ornaments
Treehouse Quilt
Goals for the Projects:
Christmas Ornaments:  Finish the last 4… maybe go buy more Styrofoam
Treehouse Quilt: Quilt and Bind (I’m going to do it! I said so on the internet!)
 

weekly update

Massdrop is my new love

Since it’s the holiday season and I’ve been purchasing a lot of items online, I have been keeping a running list on my Google Keep of items I’ve ordered but haven’t received yet.  Lately I’ve noticed that the items that take over the list are from Massdrop.  Massdrop is a website that utilizes group purchasing to get a cheaper price on items by buying in bulk.  They organize “drops” with vendors then offer them up to the people that are subscribed to the website for discounted prices.  The more people that join a particular drop, the cheaper the price gets!  Once the drop ends, Massdrop orders from the vendor.  The items get shipped to Massdrop and then repackaged and sent out to the individuals who joined the drop.  The normal delivery to customer is typically a month out, but the deals are worth it!

I first learned about Massdrop from an Instagram comment and I went to investigate.  Since then I’ve purchased quite a few items from the site.  I’ve gotten a large range of items from scissors to patterns to a lightbox to a sew steady for my machine!  There was an article on the Craft Industry Alliance a few months ago about if Massdrop was hurting other quilt shops (local and online).  I personally feel like I gain more value seeing all these different tools that I wouldn’t normally have been introduced to on the website.  There are a few things that have been drops that haven’t been the best deal on the internet either so that’s something to be aware of.  There are other categories of items that get sold on Massdrop, but quilting is the only one I believe specifically targets women.  I think it is pretty cool that they recognize quilting is a thing and there are definitely people out there enjoying this hobby!

Also I should mention that you need to become a member of Massdrop to see the prices; you can’t do a direct comparison of prices without being signed in.  I should also mention I am no way affiliated with Massdrop and received no compensation for writing this on my blog.  I am just really excited that I’m started to get some of the items that I ordered!  If you want to sign up, if you could use my referral link that’d be awesome! https://www.massdrop.com/r/WY5ZFX

Anyway, this past week I definitely suffered from anxiety working on Pattern #102.  There is always this anxiety that what I create is not going to look good or the fabrics I’ve chosen are terrible and don’t work.  I dragged my feet all week to work on it.  What I can say is that I’m very happy with how my sample turned out.  That’s right, when I started working on it I went all in and finished the sample quilt top!  It’s going to be a strip quilt, so it will take a honey bun (mini size) or two jelly rolls for the full quilt.  The sample I made was from a honey bun just to test and make sure everything worked out well.  I’ve ordered some fabric from sample spree so the full-size finished quilt will be from new fabric coming out in January.  I decided to use my extra bits and pieces from my small sample to make some hexies.  Here’s a little sneak peak!  Do you recognize the fabric? It’s Sundrops by Corey Yoder!

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I must have been in a mad dash finishing mood this week too.  I finished 14 of the steampunk blocks, 4 more than my goal!  Now I just have one more to finish all 41 blocks! (and then of course, I need to applique the centers on)  This quilt is going to be so wicked…I can’t wait till it’s completely finished!

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One thing I was very aggressive about this week was finishing the Treehouse quilt.  I got the basting down, but haven’t started machine quilting.  Oops. As I was pin basting, I realized I am not a fan of basting whatsoever.  I think I need to figure out how to glue baste, maybe I’ll like that technique better.  I wonder how much space I will need or if I need a hardwood floor (those are rare in my house).  Hopefully I can get time to finish quilting it this next week.  Maybe I’m not a machine quilting fan either, I feel like I fight my quilt so maybe a good goal will be to finish quilting this calendar year!  (way to set achievable goals!)

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I was super bummed I didn’t get my Christmas fabric I ordered from Fat Quarter Shop this weekend.  The post office messed up because it criss-crossed the Twin Cities before it finally got to me on Monday.  I really wanted to make some Christmas Ornaments as gifts this year.  So this is going to heavily influence my goals this week…

12/6-12/13 Weekly Goal:
Available time for quilting:
Thursday and Friday Night, and Sunday afternoon

Projects I want to work on:
Christmas Ornaments
Treehouse Quilt
Cozy Christmas  (Since I’ll be getting it back this week from Rhonda!!!)

Goals for the Projects:
Christmas Ornaments:  Make at least 5 (I think I only have enough straight pins for 5 right now)
Treehouse Quilt: Quilt and bind (who am I kidding, I most likely will be making ornaments!)
Cozy Christmas:  Bind