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August 6, 2015

Sweet Pea Inspiration Quilt Update?

It is really hard to call this an update. What is the opposite of an update?

I learned the hard way that you cannot sandwich a quilt top with polyester batting and then hand quilt it over 3 years. I handled the fabric too much and the edge on the batting started pulling out and stretching. A quick fix was to flip the backing over and pin it down to prevent anymore stretching.
But 4-5" all the way around were stretched out and it ended up shelved. I do this when I need time to think.  I had been wanting to rip it apart, but was 1/2 way through the quilting. I had to decide if I was ever going to be happy with the current version and the answer was no. I hated to rip all the quilting out, but I doubted I could get the stretching polyester batting to look good and 2 of the blocks had points going in the wrong direction. At this point too many things were wrong and I was hating the results.

(borrowed the pic from The Warm Company)

While I was deciding, The Warm Company had a giveaway for some Warm and Plush on their Facebook page, and I won! I really love this batting, it is thick and plush and looks very warm. Although in a quilt this size, it is quite a bit heavier than the polyester, and is proving a bit on the heavy side for hand quilting.

There are no pictures, right now, of the sweet pea inspiration quilt because I have just gotten it resandwiched. I did finish the dolphin wall hanging.

This is hanging at work. It makes a beautiful light shade, as I had a window blinding me when the sun went down. We have cubicles with glass panels near the top, so I got some of the suction cup hooks. They work perfectly for this.

I started another of the StitchMap courses. This one is Redwork and teaches the stitches commonly used for redwork.
So far, I am up to Lesson 3 and this butterfly is my favorite piece. The filling in the body is split stitch. I had not used this stitch before, but I really love the effect it creates.



I adore Christmas in July. I always start planning Christmas presents months in advance. I usually start planning in May or June, so I have plenty of time to choose. This year I have gotten a few pleasant surprises, which I hope to turn into Christmas presents. Besides the batting (which arrived a month or 2 ago), I have also won this lovely FQ bundle from Timeless Treasures, Charleston, from the Blog Tour they held a few weeks ago.

Charleston Fat Quarter BundleRevive for Timeless Treasures Fabrics
(borrowed from the FQS)

Pictures are terrible for this fabric, since it has a beautiful gold lame design. This does not pick up in the pictures and has a very nice glint to it. I had no idea, having not seen this collection in person and was very nicely surprised when it arrived.

I have plans for these, but I need to design the pattern, so I am not sure when I will have time. Sadly, I do not have much extra time, as I am working hard at work and at my lessons from StitchMap.

May 22, 2015

Traveling Stash Update

Congratulations to Laura for having her name pulled to receive the Traveling Stash! She blogs at Annals of Creation.

I have been rather lazy lately. My sewing projects have not progressed much farther. Part of the delay is I started a counted cross stitch and forgot how long they take. I had surgery a few weeks ago and that took about a week off of projects. The other delay is this lovely.
I picked this kit up from an Etsy shop called Bama Luna Supplies. Her pricing is a little inconsistent, but she has some nice items (great shop, but both orders I got smelled like cigarette smoke. Not sure if it her or the source, since she resells). I picked up several items, including another kit. Finished, this kit is about 17" x 20". Unfortunately, the instructions are bordering on worthless and I have had to research several new techniques and make several changes. For Example, the cute leaf shaped loop on the bias does not work out in assembly, since making them 4" will put them up next to the binding. Making them smaller is not possible due to the size of the bias (and I already shrunk that down from 5/8" to 1/2"). 
The 2 grey pieces that came with the kit were not to my taste, neither was the sky fabric, which looked more like cotton candy tie dye than sky. I am also adding some accent beadwork and hope to get to the actual quilting by the end of next week. 
For a quick rundown on construction: the stained glass dolphin is a pattern, drawn on freezer paper, then cut out and then assembled atop iron-on stabilizer. Once the dolphin is attached to the stabilizer, the bias tape is measured and ironed on one piece at a time to create the stained glass look. After I squared up the background fabric, I centered the dolphin and added the purple bias. Since the original placement did not work out, I removed the loops and created mitered corners, although then I had to decide how to finish the corners. In the end, I trimmed the bottom piece of bias to be even with the outer side of the top piece of bias tape and gave the other end a tail to tuck into the bottom piece, flipping it under the mitered corner. This resulted in a small bump, but much better than having the end show. 


April 9, 2015

Traveling Stash + an Update

Good Morning!

A great many changes since my last post. I have switched jobs and have been keeping very busy working on an online craft course. Currently progressing through the color theory course, which is just about finished.

I made my own color wheel (for reference when picking colors).
Made a few examples of different color combinations and am currently working on more difficult colors, like Achromatic.
So that is where my spare time has been going.


A few months ago, I received a traveling stash. Unfortunately, it has paused in its travels and is still hanging out here. If anyone would like to have the Traveling Stash move on to their house, just observe the rules. 
  • Boxes should move on at a reasonable pace, please have an active blog. 
  • This is a large priority mailing box and you can save some money by prepaying online and printing the mail label.
  • Only include items that you would be proud to own.
  • Please do not include items that are from a smoker house.
  • Do not trade out items to get rid of yardage that is below quilter quality. The box is intended to trade goods that you do not use for items that you would use, not as a dumping ground for older, worn or low quality items.
Sewingly Along has an excellent post listing the rules for the stash. She was once the organizer. The current organizer is Tricia at Ramblings of a Quilter

Leave a comment, if you are interested in the Traveling Stash. The deadline is April 24th. I will draw that weekend and let you know before Monday.

February 26, 2015

Mini Update

This quilt is finally starting to get close to the halfway point. Most of the actual blocks are completed, but the long stretches of brown sashing are very intimidating. I know that I will be working with acres of green variegated thread and that brown sashing for months. Hand quilting is fun, but wow, it takes up a lot of time.
Hopefully you can see the motif in this picture. It blends in more than I intended. The motif is a leaf with a few swirls.
These blocks are just edged with complimentary thread. My stitches are not always uniform or as small as I would like them, so I am blending them into the fabric.

This is the part that is annoying about hand quilting. I have handled the quilt so much that the batting on the edges is stretching out and tearing away from the quilt where it is pinned. I will have to figure out a better fix, but for right now I have flipped the back of the quilt up over the batting and pinned it down to prevent the batting from moving.





January 2, 2015

Happy New Year!


Happy new year everyone!
New Year's Eve in Paris #The Eiffel Tower #Paris #Photography
Nothing quite like fireworks to brighten your night!

December 7, 2014

Amish Puzzle Ball

Obviously, I have been very busy lately. I did not realize exactly how busy being a temporary employee would make you. A few things have changed. We moved, I have switched temp assignments a few times and am currently at a long term assignment. I have been sewing. There is some progress on the Sweet Pea-like quilt, but not much else.

One of my coworkers had a baby shower, so I made her an Amish Puzzle Ball.

I found a tutorial at Sweater Doll, she does a very good job of explaining how to create the ball and how the puzzle works. If you are not familiar with the ball, please visit her site, I only took a few quick pictures before wrapping, as I had a tight deadline. This ball is made with scraps from the last baby quilt I made and the ellipses work really well with smaller scraps. The center of the ball is not as scrappy, as I needed 6 1/2" circles. You have to stuff these really tight, so I used a lot of scraps to fill the ball, all 100% cotton. Fiberfill, besides being polyester, just doesn't pack tight enough.


July 25, 2014

Doll Blanket Finish

A few months ago, I won some Hexie Templates from a giveaway at Jane's Quilting. I used some leftover scraps from a baby quilt and added some yellow swirl fabric, along with the monkeys, and the stars. They make such a cute combination. 
The back is a fat quarter of Barenstain Bears. The binding is more of the swirl fabric, amazing how different it looks with different applications.
I don't usually machine quilt, but with such a small project, I practiced a little straight line stitching. I crisscrossed straight lines to make a diamond pattern. I really like how the diamonds make honeycombs of some sections, while creating a frame for others. I used Gutterman Thread in a medium shade of cream, which worked really well. This will go to my niece for her birthday in September.