Wednesday, January 30, 2013

"Getting Along"

Yeah, I'm so clever... ha. I am so not creative at these things, but I have named my quilt "Getting Along"... since this is one of my favorite photos of my kids and it was a rare day because they were actually getting along with each other. I am also a huge fan of photos of people taken from behind... I don't know why, but they are some of my favorite pictures to take.

Anyway.... several hours of piecing, 10 hours of quilting, a couple hours of hand stitching the binding and hanging pockets... and I have finally finished my art quilt. Even with the many mistakes {and there are quite a few, especially where the fmq is concerned} I am so proud of this quilt.

Here is my original photo...
And..... here is the finished quilt... I decided not to add a border and just went with some binding:
**squeal**

The quilt is 31 1/4" wide by 24 2/4" tall...      Here are a few closeups... I tried some pebbling:
I added some swirls to the hair and you can see some stippling there:
Hidden text which did not come out that great:
I'm already thinking about what to make next, although I'm thinking something smaller for now... so I can get a quick finish. I really loved this process and this came out better than the flower quilts {here and here}... getting better with each one I make.

I learned {and am still learning} FMQ with Leah Day's class and I learned this pictorial quilting technique from Wendy Butler Berns' class.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Update & minor problems with my art quilt

So I started free motion quilting my art quilt. I am a beginner so it's not perfect, but it's good enough to hang on my wall, so I'm happy with it.
I notice on my stippling and swirls that my machine is skipping stitches.... I can't quite figure out how to change my machine settings to prevent this from happening. When I stitch on my practice piece... which is a layer of batting between two pieces of cotton, my swirls and stippling looks great, but as soon as I try to swirl or stipple on my quilt I get those skipped stitches.

The only difference between my practice pieces and my quilt is that the quilt has a layer of decor bond added to it... I suppose if I was a smart woman I would add decor bond to my practice piece, huh? But I'm not really that smart so... LOL

So there is where I am. My lines aren't perfect or super smooth and now and again I get some skipped stitches, most I just go back over them, but there was one section that was so bad with skipped stitches that I ripped it out.

Today when Hannah is at school I don't have anything going on so I am going to sit and quilt some more. I soooo want to finish this quilt, but I don't want to rush it. I have already spent 6+ hours free motion quilting this. Not to mention the days I spent piecing it, so I definitely don't want it ruined by rushing....

Does that ever happen to you? You get so close to finishing something that you begin to rush it?

PS. I am not ashamed at all to say that I am a Craftsy affiliate and that when I share class links with you, they are affiliate links {meaning if you purchase a class from my link I get a small commission}. I would not ever recommend something to you if I did not honestly think it was awesome. And having said that... I am learning FMQ with Leah Day's class and I am learning this pictorial quilting technique from Wendy Butler Berns' class.

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Art Quilt Progress

I haven't worked on anything other than my photo art quilt lately. In the last three days I have gone from this:
to this:
WOAH right!? And that is where the quilt sits now. Pieced and stitched to decor bond with clear thread. Now I'm about to go work on the details, pant pockets, clothing folds and shadows, the corner flowers you see in the first photo.

I can already see two mistakes that I made but I am not too worried about it, I'm sure I can fix them with thread {see how I used the light green near the legs and my son's head...whoops, not a whole lot of contrast there}.

I am really excited about this quilt and my kids seem to  be equally excited, maybe more. They have never spent so much time watching me work on anything, and they just keep coming in and checking my progress and touching the fabric image of themselves. It's pretty funny, actually, and makes me smile :) Love my kids so fricken much...

I'm keeping the iPad close by for two reasons. One... catching up  on Grey's and TVD... haaah. And two! The original color photo is on there... which I don't want to share until I'm finished, but I check it now and then to see some details. If you know me in real life you can see the original photo is my profile cover photo on Facebook.

I hope you're all enjoying your weekend! I know I am!

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

WIP Wednesday

I haven't had much time to work on my new art quilt, but I did manage to get the line drawing done and blown up, then marked my background and all the little line-up marks.... it was QUITE the process.
And yesterday I bought some fabric and managed to get started on the piecing...
If you follow me on Instagram then you've already seen these. Or if you're on Facebook, I tend to share my Instagram photos there.

icouldbefake That's just about all I have gotten done in the last few days. I did update my Etsy shop with this cute little needlebook I made.

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Art quilt #2 FINISHED!

**sigh**

This is the BEST part... when it's finished and you can stand back and admire your work.

Here it is, my art quilt #2, you may notice I changed it from Wendy's original design.
I know, I know, bad lighting.
Annnd.... I know I said I'd show you my practice free motion quilting pieces, but there wasn't much for practice, I mean, stippling is random and pretty easy, so not much for practice but a BIG HUGE THANK YOU to Leah Day because without that class I don't think I could have made this quilt look so good. Seriously, this looks sooooo much better than the last one, which looked HORRIBLE on the back. I altered my foot as she instructed and I slowed down my hands, as instructed throughout the class discussion and voila! A million times better!

Anyway, here are the two art quilts side by side so you can get a better idea of what I changed.
The one on the left was made for my cousin to go in her kitchen and the one on the right was made for her mother-in-law's bedroom {as requested}. I hope they both like them!

Saturday, January 19, 2013

A work in progress.

I haven't gotten much of anything quilt related done this last week because we had family visiting and I felt like it would be rude for me to sit and sew instead of entertain them.

But I did squeeze an hour in here and there and managed to get this far on my second art quilt.
And there on my machine is where it now sits, partially stitched down. I will be working on it later today after I do some grocery shopping :)

Last night, I'm excited to say, I enrolled in Leah Day's Craftsy class: Free Motion Quilting a Sampler.
Yes, I already enrolled in Wendy Butler Berns Free Motion Quilting and More class but her class is more... well assumes you know what you're doing, (which I do not) whereas Leah's class is great for beginner's and up. I like both classes and will use techniques from both classes. I'll share my practice pieces with you after I've done them...

So there you go, just a short and sweet update! I'm still here,  haven't disappeared or anything like that. What did you all do this last week? Did you get any sewing or quilting done?

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Dolphin in the Ocean Mini Wall Quilt

I designed this mini wall quilt for my mother-in-law, who is a lover of dolphins. And since she's now here and has received her wall quilt, I can share it here on the blog with you.
The background is all pieced with scraps and the sun and dolphin are hand appliqued. I did some simple machine quilting too and added a hanging pocket to the back.

The finished size is about 12" wide by 13 1/2" tall.

This pattern and template are for sale both on Craftsy for an instant download. You will need a printer to print the templates.

The visit is going good, the kids haven't given their grandparents a moment's peace since they got here yesterday afternoon... haha I guess that is to be expected, other than a few Skype sessions, the kids haven't seen them in two years. They're at the park right now and you wouldn't believe how quiet it is in the house.

Saturday, January 12, 2013

No more sad machine.

Yesterday I wrote that sad sewing machine post, spent a couple more hours cleaning and organizing the house and decided you know what??? The house is clean enough!!!

So I sat down and got to work on my coneflower from the Art Quilt class I am enrolled in on Craftsy. This coneflower is the pattern that comes with the class and Wendy shows you the techniques during the class and even how to use your own photographs to make wall quilts.
I admit my free-motion quilting could use a lot of work. It looks okay from the front though...
Yesterday I choose the colors {with my cousin's approval, this will be in her kitchen afterall}, cut and glued the pieces, bonded and machine appliqued this together. Then I added the border, cut the batting and the back and pinned it.

I finished this today. So less than 24 hours to make this little quilt. Now I cannot wait to design my own based off my own photographs.

Also... feels good to be sewing again... and my machine isn't mad at me anymore.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Is anybody else having this problem?

I am trying to make a mini quilt from the December 2012 issue of Quilter's World called "1930s Flower Garden."

The templates do not seem to be the right size... is anybody else having this problem or what?

It says to cut four curved corners from one charm square, but that's just not possible... not with the template and definitely not if adding seam allowance to the template!!

I adjusted the curved size so that I could get four from one charm square, but did not test the flowers sizes and went ahead and cut those all out. But when it came time to sew... well they don't really fit. The magazine photo shows four flowers per 5 1/2" square with quite a bit of space in the middle of the square... but I have one flower on and I set a second flower on it to see and it touches the other flower!!
Sooooo... I have all these little pieces cut :( Uh oh.

I think I'm just going to go forward with it and have only one flower per square.

I checked the Quilter's World website and there are no pattern corrections listed, I went ahead and emailed them with the problem I'm having. Maybe I am the only one???

Monday, January 7, 2013

A drawstring bag and a W.I.P.

Yesterday I decided to make myself a drawstring bag for my applique works-in-progress. Usually my applique pieces get thrown in a little pencil box that sits on the couch or the end table. But since I have a doctor's appointment on Wednesday {where I will be complaining about this on and off chest pain which has nothing to do with my anxiety} and my doctor office is famous for making you sit and wait for an hour or two before the nurse even sees you, I thought I better make myself a bag so I can bring some applique to work on.
This is the same bag as the other four I made. Except I used a 1/4" seam allowance and boxed the corners 1 1/4" from the point. Also as you can see above... I added a slip pocket, for my scissors and glue stick and needles and what have you.
And here is the bag with my work in progress thrown in! The work in progress is supposed to be a wall quilt that is 20" x 25" buttttttt.... I have decided since it's all hand applique that I am going to just make it 15" square, so it'll be a small wall quilt or a table topper.

Saturday, January 5, 2013

A Bird on a Branch.

I spent Thursday and Friday working on this mini wall quilt. I am really happy with the way it came out.
I hand appliqued the bird {which I drew myself}. The tree trunk and branches are pieced by machine. They aren't appliqued though, they are part of the background.
I stitched in the ditch around the trunk, branches and bird to stabilize. I drew a cloud shape template on paper, cut it out and with my trusty blue fabric marking pen I traced some clouds on there and free-motion quilted them. I am pretty happy with my free-motion quilting. I am enrolled in "Machine Quilting: Free Motion & More" and I did follow the instructions of the teacher both on my practice piece and on my clouds.
The back is pieced and I added a hanging pocket to the top, hand stitched, of course. You know the more things I hand stitch the more I like it. The binding was also hand stitched to the back.
I have listed this for sale on Etsy. It's going to be hard to part with, but I can always make another one.

On a completely different note... I think from now on I will schedule my posts less and start posting as I write them. Maybe. We'll see.

Friday, January 4, 2013

WINNER! Traveling Stash Box!

I logged into Rafflecopter this morning to choose a winner for the traveling stash and boy was I surprised at the name that popped up! She is a bloggy friend of mine and has been for quite some time. We've yet to meet in person but I'm hoping someday we will.
No need to email your address Dawn! I already have it... haha.
and for those of you who don't know, Dawn blogs here.

I can't wait for my next giveaway.
Not sure what or when... but there WILL be another.
Stay tuned!

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

First Quilt of the New Year

Ha. I'm kidding. I actually finished it a few days ago.

I made this table runner following the instructions of Elizabeth Hartman in her Craftsy Class "Inspired Modern Quilts". I did make a couple changes.

First, because I wanted this to be a table runner instead of a wall hanging or maybe table topper {like the Christmas Scattered Squares, which I also used this pattern for}... I added four extra squares, one of each of the four darker/patterned fabrics.

Then I laid it out at 6 squares by 14 squares, instead of 8 x 10.
Some simple straight line quilting... but in a chevron pattern. I think it makes it interesting. You can see we had been using this on the table for a day before I took photos so ignore the salt spill from my children... haha
Here is the back. For this table runner I used a total of six fat quarters. It was enough for front, back and binding... almost. I did run out before completing the binding so I had to substitute a 30" piece of purple fabric from my stash to complete the binding. I'm glad that happened though.
Anyway, I hope that your New Year has started off on the right foot. Mine started off with an Etsy sale, which made me happy :) I found that I have added more things to my "things I want to make in 2013" list. I will share those another day though.

If you haven't yet, there is still time to enter the traveling stash GIVEAWAY. There is a lot of good stuff in that box.