Friday, March 29, 2013

Finish It Friday - Vine

My little vine mini is all finished. 

I have been finishing small projects and have been just staring at my stash lately, waiting for inspiration.  Whats a girl to do when she's got a new machine and lacks inspiration?  Keep on working by sewing for a good cause. 
Have you seen that its time for the 2013 Hands 2 Help Challenge at Confessions of a Fabric Addict.  I hope that you will join in with me and make a quilt.  Tonight I started a jelly roll race quilt and I am glad I am really not racing.  I'm kinda slow, or maybe its somewhat boring sewing all these strips together.

Linking today to Finish it Fridays and to Whoop Whoop Fridays.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Meet My Machine Blog Hop

Have you been following along with the Meet My Machine Blog hop at The Tilted Quilt?

The Tilted Quilt
It has been fun to read about other machines and what people like and don't like about their machine.  It is so interesting to me because many of the machines are some that I considered before making my purchase.  As I have discussed, I have been machine-less recently and just got a new machine less than a week ago.
But, lets start at the beginning.  This is my first sewing machine that I got as a kid.  It is a Singer purchased from Walmart for $99.  There was nothing fancy here, but it is a solid machine that has pieced a lot of quilts.
As I started getting more into quilting, I upgraded to another Singer from Walmart about 10 years ago.
This machine was a bit more fancier, but those features gave out years ago.  I cant remember the last time I was able to get any other stitch to work besides a straight stitch.  Around Christmas, I noticed that the feed dogs didn't seem to work well and that I really felt like I was ready to upgrade.
After going to classes at Quiltcon, especially a free motion quilting class, I realized that I needed a new machine to go with me to new places with my quilting.  I tried to FMQ on this machine and it totally gave out and kept freezing up.  Finally, small chunks of metal were falling out when I stitched.  I think that some sort of bracket wore out and broke.  I wanted to go back to my first Singer, but that no longer worked at all. Now, I was machine-less.
I did some research and after testing some machines, I went with the Janome MC8900 from Sew Vac Direct. 
I know that some people name their machines, and I never did before.  But I think this is a she, and I am still thinking of a name for her.  It cant be some cutesy name because I think she has a bad streak in her.  It was obvious when I had all these machines out together for the photos.  She kinda has an attitude of  "I'm bad and I know it".
I have had this machine less than a week, and I have been overwhelmed and intimidated by her.  So far the pros are:  the speed (wild fun!), the automatic thread cutter, and I especially love the needle threader!
The cons are nothing yet.  But I am having a hard time trying to figure out the foot to use for a 1/4 inch.  There is a 1/4 inch foot, but I need to try to find the correct needle position.  The default position does not give me a 1/4 inch seam!  I need to do more testing.
On my previous post, I showed my first attempt at FMQ.  So far, so good.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

WIP - First FMQ Project

I had been staring at my new Janome all weekend, kinda feeling overwhelmed.  I finally decided that it was time to just do it.  I pulled out my notes from my Free Motion Quilting class with Elizabeth Hartman of Oh Franson and pulled out my class sample to practice a bit. 
Then I found this vine mini that I recently made for a Craftsy class.  Making pebbles has been my favorite design and I thought it appropriate to use on this mini.

This is my first project doing free motion quilting and I think that I did rather well.  I worked on trying to vary the size of the pebbles.  I am surprised at the texture and how the quilting made the applique pop out.
I have a stack of tops that need quilting, but I am not sure if I should practice small or just jump in and go large.  I am the type of person to just jump in, so I have a feeling that I will be working on those tops next.
Linking today to WIP Wednesday.

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Help for Hexys Link Up

Its the 17th of the month, so its time for the monthly hexy link-up at Sarah Did It.  This month, I am going to show my hexy pillow made from Amy Butler Cameo fabric.  This was the first pillow that I had ever made and only my second hexy project.

I entered this into the Cameo QAL hosted by Amy Butler and I won one of three goody bags.  I received a large package of several yards of Cameo fabric, a couple of patterns, and a journal. 

I really want to use that pattern and make a large pillow. I am also thinking about making a lap quilt using larger hexys to go with my pillow.

Saturday, March 16, 2013

National Quilting Day - 2 Year Blogiversery

I cant believe it, but 2 years ago on National Quilting Day I started this blog.  I have been thinking lately about how I started quilting.  My mom sewed a lot when I grew up, everything from Army patches on uniforms, to clothing, and curtains.  She had scraps that I would play with, but she did not quilt.
I had always been crafty and was wandering through a craft store when I bought my first ever craft book, the "Quilter's Complete Guide" by Marianne Fons & Liz Porter.

I believe that I have made every quilt in this book, several times over.  This book has fallen apart, but it is still my favorite instruction book.
My first quilts were log cabin quilts.  I loved strip piecing the blocks and was quite a speed demon, making a lot of these quilts.  I gave my first log cabin to my mom and it is still used daily.
This is one log cabin that I still have and the label says that it was made in 1998.
There is a free ebook from Fons and Porter with instructions on how to create log cabins and the different looks that you can achieve by changing up the layouts.
I think that my favorite quilt in this ebook is the Chevron Log Cabin.  This layout looks modern to me and is on my to-do list.
I hope that everyone was able to get some quilting done on Worldwide Quilting Day!
Worldwide Quilting Day

Friday, March 15, 2013

Finish it Friday - Jazzy Hands

I finished the Jazzy Hands quilt top from Material Obsession 2.  Before my machine died, I was able to finish sewing on the borders.  I tried to get a picture of the whole top, but its quite large. 

I think that this is the first time that I have battled so much with a quilt.  Originally, I sewed the stars together, but half way through decided I wanted another layout.  After ripping this apart, I added the orange fabric stripes.  There may be other ways to do it, but I ended up hand appliqueing them together. 
As much as I want to finish this quilt, I know its not going to see any progress this weekend.  Because I just received my new best friend!!

Now, I just need a new project so I can get started.
Linking today to Finish it Fridays.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

WIP Wedensday - Tula Hexies

Since I got back from Quiltcon, I have kinda been overloaded with new ideas and techniques I want to try out. It seems that every night I have tried something new, but wasn't getting anywhere. 

I wanted to practice some of my new free motion quilting (FMQ) skills learned in class, but my old machine just doesn't like FMQ.  In fact, it down right hates it.  Hates it so much that it kept freezing up.  I took the machine apart and cleaned it, but nothing worked.  More freezing up, then small chunks of metal started falling out when I sewed.  Finally, last night I just couldn't get it working (and I swore I heard "Taps" playing in the background).

So, being machine-less means I have time to work on my Tula Pink hexies.  I have been participating in a charm swap on Flickr hosted by Mama Spark.  These are just a few of the charms I have received and I cant wait to get the next round hopefully this week.  I started cutting out hexies with this new ruler and it works well.

And, I do have some huge news!  Since my machine was acting up for several weeks, I had some time to do research and test several machines.  I was able to purchase a Janome MC8900 just like the one used at Quiltcon from the show sponsor.  It should be here in several days and I CAN NOT wait.  My old Singer sewing machine was bought in 1991 from Walmart when I was a kid.  Nothing fancy, it only did a straight stitch, a real work horse.

I have a feeling there is going to be a learning curve!

Linking up today with WIP Wednesday at Freshley Pieced.