Blog Hop

Sew Pro All Stars Blog Hop

Hello from Shanghai!  I’m traveling for my day job this week, but I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to do a Blog Hop with the fabulous group I attended Sew Pro with!  And today’s the day!  I’m so happy to introduce to you my very first pattern inspired by my Sew Pro attendance this past September.  This pattern is called “Spinning Vectors” for the spinning nature of the flying geese and my STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) background.

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The pattern was designed with 3 main colors for the different flying geese for a more traditional looking block.

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The first sample that I created was using Ombre by V and Co. flying geese that were left over from my Moroccan Getaway quilt.  The rainbow pattern of color is one I just adore in any quilt, so I decided to do that as the first sample.  The edge to edge quilting was done by Rhonda Walker of Olie&Evie.

The second sample is more modern with a low volume mixture for the background color, but it stays with the main 3 color flying geese just alternating positions.  This quilt was made for my sister in a citrus colorway for some fun splashes of color with a modern look.  I quilted it with a simple crosshatch.  I decided to do my samples in two very different styles with the pattern written traditionally to show different possible looks of the quilt.

Look for a tutorial on how to do Y-seams and partial seams within the next month to help the beginner quilters with the blocks.

I’m now live on Craftsy and Etsy to purchase the pattern as a PDF download. (hip hip hooray!!!)

In short, Sew Pro Convention has changed my life.  I attended knowing hardly anything about the industry, only with the desire to be a part of it.  Even though I am working on consistently blogging each week, I don’t consider myself a “blogger” just yet.  My passion and motivation is to move towards pattern designing and my ultimate (long range) dream goal of fabric designing.  Sew Pro really lit the fire under me to start now rather than wait until later to begin.  I didn’t have a good answer when I asked myself, “What are you waiting for?”  So I designed Spinning Vectors and had some really awesome ladies proof read and test the pattern for me!

I gave a recap about my Sew Pro experience a few weeks ago right after the convention (you can read about it here).  But here’s my list of what I feel still resonates with me since then:

  • Quilting is a consistent asset in my life.  There is so much more structure in my creative life and that’s largely due to the accountability I have with blogging my weekly goals.  So thank you to all my readers for following and supporting me through this creative journey and doing your part in helping me stay accountable (even if you feel like you aren’t actively doing anything).
  • The one thing that sticks with me the most was something Tula Pink said in her keynote speech, about how not all your ideas are going to be great.  You just need to trash the not so great ideas and put more ideas down on paper.  I completely paraphrased but that was the gist of it.  Sometimes it’s frustrating that ideas don’t just magically rain down on me, but realizing that everyone goes through that is so normalizing and almost comforting knowing it’s not just me.
  • Keeping in touch with other participants from Sew Pro and supporting each other is going to be critical in staying in touch with the community.  I never considered myself much of an introvert, but too often I find myself that way with quilting.
  • Last but not least, I can do this!  Just see my first pattern above!

In addition to reading about everyone’s projects inspired by Sew Pro, there is an associated giveaway with the blog hop!  There are 3 bundles of fabric with patterns! Enter below.

Note – The giveaway will be live at 12am on 11/14 and end at 12am on 11/19.
Rafflecopter giveaway (Click on the link to get to the giveaway)

SewPro Stars Blog Hop Schedule

Monday Nov 14
Lisa Peterson – Lisa and Lorelai
Sherri Noel – Rebecca Mae Designs
Andi Stanfield – True Blue Quilts

Tuesday Nov 15
Vanessa Behymer – Vintage Barn Girl
Pam Cobb & Lynn Rinehart – The Stitch TV Show
Sherry Shish – www.poweredbyquilting.com  (YOU ARE HERE!)
Joanne Kerton – Canuck Quilter
Lisa Nielsen – Lisa Lisa and the Quilt Jam

Wednesday Nov 16
Carmen Ross – See Carmen Sew
Anne Beier – Hudson Valley Quilts
Jessica Caldwell – Desert Bloom Quilting
Pamela Morgan – My Sweet Little Stitches

Thursday Nov 17
Maryanna Powell – Marvelous Auntie M
Cathy Smith – A Quilting Chick
Lissa LaGreca – Lovingly Lissa 
Paula Mamuscia – Creations by Paula Mamuscia

Friday Nov 18
Becca Fenstermaker – prettypiney.com
Holly Stockley – www.lighthouselanedesigns.com
Teri Seal – daymoonquilts.blogspot.com
Trinia Braughton – www.penguinfeats.com
Deanna Wall – https://www.stitchesquilting.com/

For those of you that are new to my blog, I end each blog post with my accountability goals for the week.  I will be giving my Sewing Expo recap next week as this week was a special blog hop post.

11/15-11/22 Weekly Goal:
Available time for quilting:
All day Sunday and Monday Night.

Projects I want to work on:
Powered by Quilting Patterns
Modern Heritage BOM
Moroccan Getaway  (It’ll be back from the longarm this week!!!)

Goals for the Projects:
Powered by Quilting Patterns:  Layout schedule for Pattern #102 and tentative launch time frame
Modern Heritage BOM: Finish Month 4 Blocks
Moroccan Getaway: Finish binding the quilt.

I almost forgot!  My sister is going to be going to Saturday of Winter Quiltfest!  I conned… I mean convinced her to attend! I’m slowly enticing her to become a quilter, hehe.  But that still means if you are attending and would like to share a room with me and wouldn’t mind it being the two of us Friday/Saturday, let me know!

weekly update

Why Quilting?

There were a lot of firsts last week for me.  I completed my first original design quilt top and also finished the largest quilt I’ve made to date.  With both of these accomplishments in one week, it’s made me want to reflect on why I started quilting.  It’s a good reminder, as I transition into making more of the same original design quilt top and start this business.

Unlike most people that learned to sew during Home Ec class, I only learned hand sewing in my class.  I bought my first machine December of 2014 off of Craigslist.  It proceeded to collect dust in my house for 5 months until my mom came to visit and read the manual with me to learn how to thread the machine and wind the bobbin!  My entire family does not sew frequently.  Over the summer, I learned to make small items, some bags, and some baby items for friends.  It wasn’t until I decided to try a blanket that the quilting world crashed down on me.  My first quilt was a simple patchwork quilt.  The front actually looks pretty good, my seams match up and the sashing looks acceptable.  I did not however understand that you are supposed to baste a quilt. I thought that was only for Turkeys.  (Basting a quilt – pinning the top, the batting, and the backing together so it doesn’t move!)  Nor did I understand that even if you straight-line quilt, you need a walking foot (a presser foot that helps evenly feed the quilt through the machine) or else the back is going to pucker really badly!  And did you know there are instructions for the batting written in some cryptic language that tells you how far you can have stitches so you don’t have issues when you wash the quilt?  Well I didn’t know that. Binding, well I made some binding with the bias tape maker (2in finish width, the bigger the better right?!) and proceeded to machine stitch it to the quilt haphazardly aka as straight as I could at the time without a walking foot.  The photo does not show the disaster that is this first “quilt.”

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Then I attended the Sewing Expo in Minneapolis in November of 2015.  I took a free motion quilting class (oh yeah, jump right in, right?!) and a walking foot class.  It was like the biggest light bulb went off in my head; that was the answer to my problems on the baby quilt with all the nasty puckering on the back!  I took a lecture that talked about different shapes I could use in a quilt, but mainly precut squares, triangles, and rectangle templates.  I thought, hey this is cool, let’s try this easy way of quilting.  I have since neglected those shape templates and just cut them out myself!  The one thing I did purchase was a small little kit for a mini quilt.  I figured the baby quilt was not a great start, maybe I should start small.  Well by small, I mean this finished quilt top is about the size of a piece of paper.

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As you can see, I didn’t quite understand the concept of “trimming” down the half square triangles.  I didn’t know what it meant, so I just skipped that step.  I think I can see the reasoning now, the seams would line up if you trimmed the pieces properly.  For all my friends that don’t quilt, starting extra small is not the answer. Start with a baby quilt size, patchwork even… I had it right, but just didn’t have the techniques!

I am definitely hooked on quilting.  There are so many different unique steps to making a quilt so it doesn’t get boring.  For all the other different crafty things that I’ve done, this is definitely the one I’ve fallen the fastest and hardest for.

So knowing this history and looking at all the quilts I’ve been able to complete since then, I need to remember I’m still really new at all of this.  But I should be so proud that this Moroccan Getaway quilt is huge and it’s still beautiful regardless if all the seams are perfect or not. The quilt measures approximately 79″ x 91″.  My husband barely couldn’t hold the ends of the quilt for me to take this photo, and the only way I could get the whole thing was to have him hold it over the deck railing!  (FYI- don’t start with a large quilt either.  This took me 6 months working on and off to finish this quilt top!)

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I can’t show a photo of Pattern #101 just yet, but I can tell you that when I finished I was so utterly proud. I think looking at the quilt really represents my style and what I appreciate in designs.  I can’t wait until I can share it with everyone.  I am currently taking names for proofreaders and pattern testers.  You can sign up here!  Thanks so much in advance.

I almost forgot to share that my new sewing table came in.  My machine is not completely flush with the table top, but it’s close enough to work out well.  Sewing the Moroccan Getaway quilt top together was so much easier with it level!  Totally worth the $100 investment for a new table.

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I had a little bit of a change in plans for my travel schedule, and I did not end up bringing my Janome machine with me this week.  So my Modern Heritage BOM blocks are sitting at home in the sewing room just waiting for me to get back.  I think I might go through some sewing withdrawal this week for sure.

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10/11-10/18 Weekly Goal:
Available time for quilting:
Sunday all day and Monday night  (yikes, not a ton of time)

Projects I want to work on:
Modern Heritage BOM
Cozy Christmas
Powered by Quilting Patterns

Goals for the Projects:
Modern Heritage BOM:  Finish Month 3 blocks
Cozy Christmas: Finish Block 9 and sew together Row 3 to the rest of the quilt top
Powered by Quilting Patterns: Finish writing the pattern and email to proofreaders! (Good thing I can work on this without a machine!)

weekly update

Quilting has taken over 3 rooms. Yes, THREE.

So this quilting thing has expanded to 3 of the 4 bedrooms upstairs.  The only other bedroom is the master bedroom where we sleep. Therefore, I think I have to thank my husband for allowing me to temporarily take an additional 2 rooms outside of my sewing room.  I used the floor of one of the rooms to lay out the Moroccan Getaway quilt.  With all the B blocks completed now, I have all blocks done!  It’s time to lay out the quilt and figure out the layout of colors.

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The only issue I am having with this quilt is piecing it together; some of the blocks are wonky.  I started working on this quilt 6 months ago when I was a newbie quilter.  I just really want to finish this quilt and ignore the fact that some of my seams don’t line up. If you can’t see it driving by the quilt, it doesn’t really matter!  I wanted to get this quilt quilted with an orange peel design, but I think I might be too embarrassed to send it out to someone.  I may straight-line quilt it and call it a day.  I was listening to the Modern Sewciety podcast last week and Stephanie had mentioned the same thing.  Sending a quilt out to have someone else quilt it, I would want to seams to be perfect!  It feels like someone else would be judging your work while they are quilting regardless if that’s actually true.

The other spare bedroom floor now has my pattern #101 layout on it.  When I wrote the blog post last week, I had a pattern already picked out to make.  From then till now, I’ve changed my mind no less than 10 times.  I finally settled on this one particular pattern I really love.  I started making the blocks with the pieces I’ve made, and I realized I accidentally made Y-seams for this quilt.  First of all, this is a big whoops.  I have never sewn Y-seams before, and I have read that they are pretty tricky!  I figured out how I like to sew Y-seams, but I’ll be researching how other people do it before I decide how to write the instructions for the pattern.  I can write the pattern without Y-seams, but I wonder if I will be ruining the look.  I will need to remake the blocks without the Y-seams to really understand how that will work with print fabrics.  Proofreaders and pattern testers will be needed soon!  I’m on track to hopefully have something by the end of the month, how exciting!  (PS if you are interested, send me a note from the contact me page!)

The Technicolor Galaxy BOM quilt is going well.  This quilt really needed a fabric pull to plan the color layout of the stars before sewing any of the colors together.  I really love rainbow color quilts!  This quilt is a quilt-as-you-go type of quilt so each of the star blocks will get quilted now and then assembled at the end.  I am absolutely terrified to FMQ as I’ve mentioned before, but I think I am going to try using my Frixion pen to draw my lines prior to quilting (Frixion pen – erasable pens by friction or an iron aka my favorite marking tool).  Tracing lines is infinitely easier than freehand drawing/quilting!

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Overall completion: 2 out of 11 sections (still need to quilt each section)

For the Cozy Christmas blocks, I was able to finish the Gingerbread Man block and the Cocoa block.  After next week’s release, I should have the first 3 rows completed!  However due to traveling next week, I will be making Block 9 and Block 10 together the following week.  I can’t believe how quickly this sew along has come together!  On the Cocoa block, I made an edit to cut down the “marshmallows” that are peeking out of the cup since we didn’t need the full length of the piece.

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Overall completion: 8 out of 12 blocks

The new sewing table to lower my machine hasn’t arrived yet so no update on if I like the new setup yet.  My current table is a plastic table that is definitely bowing from the weight! My new table cannot get here quickly enough.

10/4-10/11 Weekly Goal:
Available time for quilting:
Every night this week and Saturday.
Road: Monday night

Projects I want to work on:
Moroccan Getaway
Modern Heritage BOM
Powered by Quilting Patterns

Goals for the Projects:
Moroccan Getaway:  Finish sewing the quilt top
Modern Heritage BOM: complete September blocks
Pattern #101: Finish sewing the block and create quilt top