Annie's Choice Door Hanging

It's true. I have been quilting.  My work year got a bit involved, but I'm still doing a few projects.  This was meant to be up six weeks ago, I just never had the time to finish it.

The block is Annie's Choice from the Fat Quarter Shop's Wishes Quilt Along.

Five Things you should know about this door hanging:

1.  It's a scrappy project, meaning I used fabric from my stash. That is a very good thing.  My fabric stash is important. Each piece of fabric has been hand selected by me.  I love them all and don't use them lightly.  I really loved that blue patterned fabric. I've been waiting to use it for at least two years.
2. I used a pattern for the block.  But I mentioned that already.  Also, I finished. This is another good thing.
3. I did the Square in a square all. by. myself.  I looked up online how to measure for this finishing feature, and I'm rather proud of myself.
4. I quilted it myself.  Both in the ditch quilting as well as free motion.  I've never free motioned quilted before, for real.  Scary.  It isn't pretty. But you have to start somewhere, right?  And I finished it.  Bam. I should have used thread that is the same color of the fabric...but I didn't.
5. From the street, you can't see the hideousness that is my free motion quilting.  You just see a nice looking door hanging. 


Sewing with My Sistahs

I have three sewing machines.  An embarrassment of riches.  They aren't all the fancy schmancy sort, but they all can sew 1/4" seams.  In quilting, that's really what matters, right?

I have three sisters and a momma.  One sister lives far away, has fancy schmancy sewing machine and could teach sewing (Really. She has a home ec ed degree).  But the other two sisters live close by as does the momma.  So, in July, we all came together at my house.  I gave them access to (most of) my fabric stash.  And we cut. And cut. and cut lots of fabric.  We're making table runners.  Soon, it was time to go.

We made plans to come back in September and keep on sewing.  It was decided that we weren't in a hurry.  We valued the sisterhood as much as the crafting.

Sistah #1 came by one day and learned the various blocks (four blocks total: 6" block, a four square block, and two log cabin-ish blocks.  She made one of each with me and then went home and got to work.

Well, last Saturday, the sistahs and momma came and we actually sewed!!

Fixing a cutting mistake

trying out combinations

The sisterhood

who's happier the girl or the dog?

We're actually sewing!  

"that's right mom, good job!"

it's so satisfying when the back side lays properly!

more trying combinations...

putting the whole together

loving her color choices

Loving her color choices

It was such a fun day!


Adding Frames to BOM: an Update

I took my sewing machine to get serviced.  It's been a year since I bought it and it still makes me happy.  I know that Janome has a new version of the Horizon, but I like mine, thank you very much.

So, my machine is back.  And I started piecing the frame to the blocks for Amish with a Twist.  It's very exciting and I'm glad to know how to do frames.  I will try to do one frame a day for twelve days and get this thing put together.

I think this will be a gift, so you might not see it for a bit, but I enjoyed doing this particular pattern very much.  Practice, practice, practice is good for this girl; and I really like doing samplers.  I might make one for us, but I think in cream.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone


Skittle Quilt and Green and Grey Pillow

Quilt fabric companies have a great marketing plan.  They have contests and have professional quilt bloggers make scrumptious quilts with pre-released fabric.  It gets a girl wanting more fabric.  Always wanting more fabric.  This scenario played out last fall when V & Co came out with the Simply Color line.  It's yummy isn't it? And speaks to my style completely.

So, I bought a fat quarter bundle and gave it to the hubba-hubba to wrap and give me for Christmas.  I didn't know what to do with it, but I knew I'd be inspired.

I was inspired by this Skittles Quilt and pinned it as soon as I read the blog post.  I ordered the fabric and let it sit on my TBQ pile until I had time to work on it.

In the meantime, I needed to learn how to applique.  Circles.  I recommend not learning how to applique with circles.  Not fun.  I took an Anything Goes class at our local quilt shop and the lovely Barb R departed her skills. And slowly I made circles using the Perfect Circles method. (Mine were less-than-perfect.)

In May, I had a week where I was allergic to the outside.  I took the opportunity to applique these circles on the grey panel.  It was scarier than it sounds. First, I had to take the ombre fabric and find the perfect spot and r-r-r-rip the fabric.  It's a scary process...and if it doesn't make any the instructions.  I will say the color match where I had to rip was pretty spot-on.  Whew!

After I finished ... and it took all week, I contacted the lovely Elvira and arranged for her to quilt it.  She did a great job.

While I was waiting for the quilt to come back, I continued to work on the bom Amish with a Twist.  After lesson 12, they had a beautiful pillow project and thought it would be a great accompaniment.  I quilted that myself and I think it looks spectacular.  The grey really makes the green fabric go POP!

I finished it in time for our trip to coastal California to give to my husband's brother and family.  Happily, they love it.  It looks great, doesn't it?

 My take away? Appliqueing isn't for me.


Stars with Stripes For Me.

I bought some fabulous navy blue fabric with white stars.  I I've been wanting to make a door hanging and thought these stars would make for something fun for Flag day and the Fourth of July.

I cut out 3.5 inch stripes from the navy fabric.  Then I made a nine patch block from two different kinds of red material.  I sewed the elements together and was quite pleased with the look.

To quilt this door hanging, I decided I would try my hand at free-motion quilting.  I've done it in a class, I've tried it on my new machine, but had never really done it before.  How can a girl learn to do something, if she doesn't try?  (You don't have to answer it, it was sort of rhetorical...)

This was my attempt. This looks pretty good.  Then I got a little cocky and kept at it.  There was no place to put the needle and I panicked.  You can't see that here...if you look at other pictures, you'll see what I mean.

I decided to sew in the ditch for the starry stripes.  I added a red border and machine stitched the binding.  What?  Yes, I did.  I consider this a learning experience...and I wanted to learn what a machine binding was like... It's just as bad as everyone says it is.  But all in all, I'm pretty pleased with the result.

I learned how to add tabs on the back for hanging.  So, the thing I learned with that exercise is the tab should go on before the binding.  That's okay, this is a learning experience.

I could count the number of things that are wrong with this finished project.  Instead I'm going to count the things I did right.  I love it.  I think it's a fun's my design.  If I were to show you the back, you'd be horrified.  But that's a lesson for another project.  Enjoy.  I am.


Amish with a Twist: Sawtooth Star

I guess I thought I was showing each block as I did them... turns out i haven't been. I'll work on it.  Today we worked on half-square triangle.  I think one can never practice half=square triangles enough.  This block is a four-patch constuction with two half square triangles.  Do you see it?

My First Color Wheel

I took a class at Acorn Quilts in Rockford.  Have you ever been there?  It is a beautiful store.  The class room is a little small, but this was mostly lecture so it was fine for the eight of us who took the Color Theory class.  We learned how to read the wheel, the subtle differences in the tertiary colors (red-orange vs. yellow orange). Then we looked at paint chips and made mini wheels.  Paint chips are hard.  The color variants are so slight, it takes a good eye.

The instructor talked to us about reading our stash of fabrics and building up in the areas we are lacking.  The most fun was letting us go out into the store and grab bolts of fabric and making our ideal color wheel.  We had homework: to find the colors in our stash and make a wheel.  I'm proud to say I had at least one of every color but yellow.  No true yellow.  Entirely too much pink and blue and brown.  But, can you have too much blue fabric?  Hmmm... let me think about that.

There's more to do for homework... I'll share that later.    But... here it is, my first color wheel.  I enjoyed the process very much and will be pursuing other color wheels in my future.
Also, I can't really sew in a circle.
I'll need to work on that...