weekly update

Happy First Day of Fall!

Autumn is my FAVORITE season of the year!  Too bad it’s almost 90 degrees today.  I’ve been so wiped out by my day job these last few weeks, I feel like all the quilting goals I’ve set for myself have been overly aggressive.  It seems like the only thing I’ve mentally be able to do is sew on binding.  I also apologize I’m behind on responding to comments too.  One of these days I’ll finally catch up with my life.  So here are some fun finishes that I’ve had this week since I only sewed binding.

This quilt is a hashtag quilt made up of Vintage Modern fabric by Bonnie and Camille.  It’s one of their older lines of fabric that I just adore and was lucky enough to get a cut up layer cake on Ebay a few months ago.  It took me a while to figure out what I could make with 2.5″ square and 2.5″x6.5″ rectangles.  This hashtag quilt was a great fit and uses a partial seam to create the block (read my partial seam tutorial here). Continue reading “Happy First Day of Fall!”

weekly update

Sew Pro: A Year Later

Last year about this time, hundreds of quilters descended upon Chicago for the Sew Pro Convention.  The convention was unique because it was about being a professional in the sewing industry.  You can read my initial recap here.

So what have I done with all I learned in the past year?

  • I have a logo and a brand: Powered by Quilting
  • I’m officially registered as a small business through the Minnesota State Department.
  • I have 3 patterns for sale on  EtsyCraftsy, and Payhip!  (most recent, Circular Illusion, has introductory pricing until the end of the month).
  • I have participated in several blog hops (See the buttons on the right side bar on PC or at the end of the page on mobile). The most recent is Making Connections Blog Hop – giveaway ends at the end of today!
  • I am a designer for the I Wish You A Merry QAL (my block was released this past Tuesday).
  • Last but not least, I’ve made lots of quilting friends!

Without Sew Pro, I would not have gotten the inspiration and the motivation to really push for publishing patterns and creating a brand for myself.  I have a long way to go, but I definitely feel like I’m off to a good start! Continue reading “Sew Pro: A Year Later”

weekly update

T.G.I.F.

Finally Friday!  For a short week (Labor Day holiday), it definitely felt like a really long one!  I didn’t have much time this week to work on projects since I was traveling for work.  I didn’t even get much hand sewing in, shocking!

So today, I’m going to share a little bit about how I test my designs without EQ7.  I do own EQ7 and use it for mocking up patterns that I end up making, but for quick tests of block designs I’m old-fashioned.  Using pencil and paper, I draw my block design and color it in.  I love using Prismacolor color pencils because they shade in evenly, a 24 color pack is plenty of different colors for mocking up designs.

Continue reading “T.G.I.F.”

weekly update

Happy 1 year Blogiversary to me!

Can you believe it’s already been a year?  For those of you who have been reading since the beginning, I very much so appreciate you, and thank you for reading! (I also appreciate those of you who may have found me during the last year as well!)  You may have noticed about 2 weeks ago, there were a few days that my blog wasn’t online or you were getting to a page that was under construction. I decided to migrate my blog from being hosted on WordPress.com to a self hosting WordPress.org site.  This post is dedicated to all my fellow newbie bloggers that may run into some of these same issues as they decide to go to a self hosted site.  If you are here for just my quilting adventures, skip to the end of the post for a quick weekly update and what I’ve been up to this past week.

Continue reading “Happy 1 year Blogiversary to me!”

weekly update

This Can of Spray Baste Changed My Life

So maybe that might be a little dramatic to say spray basting changed my life, but for my frustrations with domestic machine quilting, it’s helped immensely!  The last few weeks leading up to the Piece and Quilt with Precuts Blog Hop, I kept saying I needed to spray baste and quilt the top to finish it for the blog hop.  I kept pushing it off week after week because I typically hate basting. But this week I decided to spray basted for the first time! It was a little awkward, and I got a little on my hand and realized it was pretty sticky.  The jury was still out on this method. But fast forward to doing the spiral square quilting for the SWAK quilt, and I was absolutely sold!  The quilt sandwich did not shift when I was rotating and manhandling the quilt to finish quilting it! I am totally sold on being able to deal with the quilt with no shifting and no safety pins in the way!

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Just to be sure this wasn’t a fluke of loving how spray baste helps my quilting, I decided to work on some smaller quilt tops that have been completed for months. Seriously, it was amazing!  I even thought maybe it really wasn’t the quilting parts that I dreaded but the basting!  Spray basting removed that barrier.  This is a mini quilt from the Starkiss pattern by Maho Quilts. I made this during the 2017 Winter Quiltfest.

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I tried it next on a piece which was a little larger.  This is the Maui Quilting’s 2015 Row by Row design I picked up in April and never actually quilted until now!  I can’t wait to get this hung up in my sewing room!

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With spray basting helping alleviate my anxiety about quilting, I was even bold enough to try some free motion quilting (FMQ) on my Frivols 2 quilt.  I mean seriously, I avoid FMQ like the plague and now I’m volunteering to do it? Who am I?

I still need to get the binding on this quilt, but for the first time FMQ’ing in months, I think it looks pretty good!

I must mention that I machine bound the other quilts I finished this week too.  I tried multiple different techniques, and I’ll share my learnings a different day. Overall, I still think hand finishing the binding looks nice, but being able to call a quilt done quickly with machine binding is amazing.

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I am no expert on spray basting yet, but I do have tips for those that have yet to try it out:

  • Spray baste outside – the fumes are a little bit strong so being outside helps.
  • The can is very flammable so definitely be careful with storage.
  • The can says to spray the batting, but I definitely just spray the fabric.
  • Press the backing, quilt top, AND batting to ensure each piece is nice and flat.
  • Use a large ruler to help smooth the batting on the backing, and then the front onto the backing.
  • I used a small portable table to spray baste on. Make sure you cover the surface you are spraying to protect it from the potential overspray.
  • Since I was working with smaller quilts, I actually started from one edge rather than in the middle.  This was easier for me overall to make sure I wasn’t going to run out of backing or batting on any one side.  I know this is probably very different than how others do it.
  • Christa Watson had a great demonstration of spray basting, which I followed, in her Start-Up Quilting Craftsy Class.  (read my review of the class here)
  • A few basting pins are helpful along the outer edges so you don’t need to do quite so much overspray. (Tip from Kris!)

Anyway I’m off to hopefully reduce the number of quilt tops waiting to be basted and subsequently quilted now that I’ve fallen in love with spray basting!  Have a great weekend!

8/25-9/1 Weekly Goal:

Available time for quilting:
Saturday PM, Sunday PM, Monday PM, Tuesday PM

Projects I want to work on:
PBQ105
Baby Whale Quilt
PBQ103
Tabby Road

Goals for the Projects:
PBQ105: Make test blocks to confirm design idea
Baby Whale Quilt: Baste, quilt, and bind
PBQ103: Take the finished photos and get the final version complete
Tabby Road: Make half of the hour glass blocks

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weekly update

Friday Project Roundup!

I shipped off my PBQ104 sample quilt to the longarmer this week so pattern testers watch out for a new pattern coming your way in a few weeks!  I celebrate these wins with some fun piecing on personal projects.  I am starting a quilt with Tula Pink’s Tabby Road fabric line.  It has got to be the absolute LOUDEST quilt I’ve ever made.  The colors are so bright and vibrant I can’t help but smile when I look at it.

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I was in a UFO (unfinished object) busting mood and proceeded to  finished my second Show and Tell Tote (pattern by Crazy Mom Quilts).  I actually finished piecing the outside of this over a month ago but never finished the quilting and assembly of the bag until now.  I love this Sweet Marion fabric by April Rosenthal.  It’s just looks so classic!

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The lining of this bag inspired me to make some key fobs.  I actually bought hardware in bulk two years ago and still use the hardware now to make key fobs out of some of my favorite fabrics.  I think I still have enough hardware to make another 80.  Who wouldn’t want 80 key fobs?!  The market seems to be very saturated with sellers who make these to sell already so I’m not sure what to do with them.  What do you guys think?  Should I make and keep all 80 or start selling them or just give them out to friends?  “Hey, I like you, have a key fob!”

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On my work trip to LA this past week, I actually traveled with my PBQ103 quilt so I could hand bind it at night.  Only 18 more days until the pattern is released!  I’m so excited for this quilt and can’t wait to share it with you!  On the plane, I made a little bit more progress on the Peacock EPP.  I’m working my way slowing towards the middle on both sides.

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Also on the plane, I was designing a summer themed pattern which would work great for a quilt along in the spring.  It’d be fairly applique heavy and hopefully not a mystery!  Once I get some of the details ironed out, I’d love to share it with everyone to get some feedback.  Would you be interested in quilting along with me?

Last but not least, the Piece and Quilt Blog Hop started yesterday!  Be sure to check out Christa Quilts for the full schedule (and there are giveaways too!).  I can’t wait to see what everyone has made!  My S.W.A.K. quilt will be shared on Tuesday!

Have a great weekend!

8/18-8/25 Weekly Goal:
Available time for quilting:
Saturday PM, Sunday PM, Tuesday PM, Thursday PM

Projects I want to work on:
PBQ105
S.W.A.K.
PBQ103
Tabby Road

Goals for the Projects:
PBQ105: Make test blocks to confirm design idea
S.W.A.K.: Take the plunge and spray baste.  Then quilt and finish it off!  (Just in time!)
PBQ103: Edit pattern and get the final version complete
Tabby Road: Make half of the hour glass blocks

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weekly update

Buying Fabric and Sewing are Two Different Hobbies

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That was a quote photo on GoGoKim‘s Instagram earlier this week, and it could not speak the truth anymore clear.  I finally got a new cutting table that is the proper height rather than my plastic table set up.  I got a kitchen island from IKEA like the ones I had seen at the retreat center.

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Because the cutting table doesn’t fit in my current sewing room, I am now permanently taking over the spare room next to the craft room. I started resorting all my fabric since it’s gotten way out of hand.  Kayla, who I met at the retreat a few weeks ago, took inventory of her fabric over the Christmas holidays and is keeping track of her purchases and usage.  I feel as if that is something I should do to help manage my stash.  I am still a little gunshy at actually trying to inventory my stash. Maybe later right? (…Or maybe I should buy more pretty fabric)

The best package came earlier this week for me!  3 of my quilts came back from Rhonda: the Modern Building Blocks, the Modern Heritage BOM, and my Vintage Modern hashtag quilt.  I am busy getting binding on all 3 quilt tops (plus on PBQ103 sample).  Do you machine bind or finish the binding by hand?  Up until now, I have always finished the binding my hand, but I am questioning that decision with so many quilts to finish up at one time! Do you have any tips to share for machine binding?

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I also got a package for Month 2 of the Long Time Gone BOM I am participating in.  This block looks way harder than it actually is to make.  I also love using my design boards to help me lay out my block without losing track of how all the units are supposed to be laid out.

I also wanted to remind everyone that the Piece and Quilt with Precuts is coming up and starting on August 17, next Thursday!  There are going to be a several bloggers each day that showcase a different pattern in the book as well as giveaways along the way!  Make sure to check it out.  I’ll post a reminder next Friday to check out the other bloggers/quilters!

Piece and Quilt with Precuts Blog Hop

That’s all I have for now, have a spectacular weekend!  See you for the #IWishYouAMerryQAL Block 2 release on Tuesday!

8/11-8/18 Weekly Goal:
Available time for quilting:
Saturday AM, Sunday PM, travel week

Projects I want to work on:
I Wish You a Merry QAL
PBQ104
Peacock EPP
PBQ105

Goals for the Projects:
I Wish You a Merry QAL: Block blocks and more blocks!  Block 2 next week!
PBQ104: Get the Quilt Top sent out!
Peacock EPP: Get sections sewn together on the plane
PBQ105:  More design work, hopefully choose the next pattern!

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weekly update

Another week gone by!

Happy Friday everyone!  I hope you had a productive week.  Can you believe it’s already August?! I’m so ready for fall weather.  Last weekend at my last minute retreat at Stitch Supply Co., I met a great group of women from the Chicago Sewing Social Group. It was a blast of a weekend as well as super productive!  If you have ever had reservations of going on a retreat by yourself, go for it because quilters are some of the best people around!

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Kat, one of the girls that the group met at Sewtopia, also lived close by, and we visited her new house and farm named Angel Share.  It was amazing, and I wish I could take all my quilt photos there!  The group of us made her a mini quilt from different scraps we had brought and Angels from the Noel fabric line.  The block I made is the center block on the bottom row.

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The work space at Stitch Supply Co. is absolutely amazing.  I’m actually thinking I should go back every pay-per-person weekend!   The space itself is just so thoughtful for meeting the needs of quilters.  We joked about moving in and never going back home.  I sadly got straight to sewing and didn’t actually take photos. You can see them on their retreat website page.

I accomplished my goal of being incredibly productive during the weekend.  I finished the S.W.A.K. quilt top which I’m sad to say I can’t share any more without giving it away. Maybe I can share a close up when I’m machine quilting the top.  I finished a LOT of half square triangles for my next pattern.  I used a new HST trimming tool, and I think by the end I just got the hang of how to use it.

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Last but not least, PBQ103 has a name, and it’s out at the pattern testers at the moment.  Launch date for PBQ103 is scheduled for September 5.  As a special bonus, the pattern will be discounted for the first 3 weeks to coincide with my #Iwishyouamerryqal block that is releasing the following week.  So a lot of exciting things happening in my world right now!

Have a great weekend everyone, hope you get some amazing stitching in!

7/28-8/4 Weekly Goal:
Available time for quilting:
Sunday PM, Tuesday PM, Thursday PM

Projects I want to work on:
I Wish You a Merry QAL
PBQ104
S.W.A.K.
PBQ105

Goals for the Projects:
I Wish You a Merry QAL: Block blocks and more blocks!
PBQ104: Start sewing blocks together
S.W.A.K.: Get the quilt top glue basted and start machine quilting
PBQ105: Start designing for a new pattern

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weekly update

Off to a retreat… last minute!

So some time earlier this week I had a mini panic attack that I was not getting nearly enough stuff done.  Stitch Supply Co. is having one of their “per person” retreat weekends, which means anyone can sign up to claim one of their 16 beds at their retreat center without renting out the entire space!  So that’s where I’m headed today and can hopefully focus on getting stuff done!

If you follow me on social media, you’ve probably noticed a slow down in progress in general, and that’s partly due to secret sewing but really it’s the effect of my life getting super hectic. And if you don’t follow me yet, you should! Here are my Instagram and Facebook pages.

Here is a quick rundown of the projects that got some focus this week.  S.W.A.K, the quilt I’m making for a blog hop later in August has all the HST units trimmed, and I’d say it is 50% assembled into blocks for the quilt top.  Hopefully, I’ll be able to finish the quilt top this weekend, but now I’m not quite sure how to show a sneak peak without giving it away.  So maybe I’ll try to take photos if and when I decide to quilt the thing.

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I made a little bit more progress on my Peacock EPP project.  I had divided the papers into little baggies by strips and of course didn’t label them.  So by the time I figured out the baggie I opened on the very right hand side, I decided just to sew those together. I was trying to go left to right on the piece, but that plan is now out the window.  What are quilters, if not flexible?

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Last but not least, can you guys believe it?  The I Wish You a Merry QAL starts in 4 days!!  It’s seriously time to get hyped!  So here’s a little bit more information about prizes, and I’ll repeat this on Tuesday just in case you forget.  Each block release, there will be a prize for people that share their block on Facebook, Instagram, or the Linky party on the designer’s tutorial site.  The giveaway time frame will be from the release date at midnight Eastern to 11:59 PM Eastern the night before the next block is released.  For example, Block 1’s giveaway timing is going to start at 12:00 AM Eastern on August 1 and run through 11:59 PM on August 14. Be sure to share your completed blocks! There are lots more prizes during this entire QAL so I hope you will join us!
If you haven’t checked out the QAL Facebook page, what are you waiting for?!

Anyway, I gotta run to the retreat, have a great weekend everyone!

7/28-8/4 Weekly Goal:
Available time for quilting:
Weekend Retreat!, Monday PM, Wednesday PM

Projects I want to work on:
I Wish You a Merry QAL
PBQ104
S.W.A.K.
PBQ103

Goals for the Projects:
I Wish You a Merry QAL: Block blocks and more blocks, the QAL starts Aug 1!
PBQ104: Start sewing the pieces together to make the top
S.W.A.K.: Finish the quilt top!
PBQ103: Finish the pattern for the testers.  (I’m behind, eeekk!)

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weekly update

Hello from Dallas!

Well ladies and gents, I’m in Dallas this weekend to visit my family and oh em gee it’s hot hot hot!  I know I grew up here, but I’ve definitely grown accustomed to the weather up north!  The best part about visiting is looking for fun new Quilt Shops in the area or returning to some great new ones!  One of the shops close to my parents house is Sew Let’s Quilt It, and they carry yardage of Moda Grunge. I plan on making the #IWishYouAMerryQAL quilt with mainly Moda Grunge with some accent Christmas fabrics. If you don’t know what this quilt is about, check out my previous post!  I’ll be working up a storm to get ready to host this quilt along that starts in a week and a half!

This past week I picked out the pattern and fabrics for my PBQ104 sample quilt.  I’m so excited to get my designing mojo back after this cold spell these last few months!  If you missed my sneak peak on Instagram, here it is!  I’m using Sugar Pie by Lella Boutique for the sample quilt!

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Which brings me to the update on my PBQ103 pattern progress.  I got the sample back from my longarmer and it looks completely rad!  I am making the finishing touches on the pattern and should have it ready for testers soon!  If you would like to pattern test for me, please send me an email from my contact page.  I will contact everyone on my list with the requirements and time frame to complete the block or blocks once I have the pattern ready.

As for a different sneak peak, here is the stack of HSTs from my S.W.A.K. quilt I’m making for the Piece and Quilt Blog Hop coming up next month! I don’t normally press seams open and was feeling the heat on my fingers a lot using my big iron.  I ended up using my travel iron, the baby one, and yay for no more burns!

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I feel like this week got away from me, but I got most of my to-dos complete.  Have a great weekend everyone!

7/21-7/27 Weekly Goal:
Available time for quilting:
Monday, Tuesday, Thursday PM

Projects I want to work on:
EPP Peacock
I Wish You a Merry QAL
PBQ104
S.W.A.K.

Goals for the Projects:
EPP Peacock:  Get another section or two done.  (To do in Dallas!)
I Wish You a Merry QAL: Block blocks and more blocks, the QAL starts Aug 1!
PBQ104: Finish cutting all the fabric needed for the sample; start sewing as ender and leader
S.W.A.K.: Lay out the quilt and start sewing the HSTs into blocks

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