Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Paper piecing madness

What am I working on this week you ask? Lots and lots of paper piecing! I was lucky enough to take a class from Sue Daley on paper piecing while in Las Vegas. She was such a great teacher! Originally from Australia, Sue is the queen of paper piecing. She does beautiful work and provided us with many tips on how to create beautiful quilts quicker. Yeah for me because I have to admit, I do love instant gratification projects!                                                                                                                                              

These are made with Riley Blake polka dots and gingham. The bright colors are so vibrant and placed together really do make you think of rainbows and sunshine!

This pattern can be found on Sue's website Busy Fingers.  The best thing that I learned from her class was how to cut multiple shapes at once with acrylic templates. What a time saver!  

 I really like paper piecing because of it's portability. I can take a small amount with me in a bag and work on these everywhere. But, my favorite place to sew is sitting on the couch in the evening with my family and I got a lot done there with some help from my friend!

Monday, September 16, 2013

Fabric Fest 2013

          I just got home from attending the first annual Fabric Fest. This was such a great event put on by Riley Blake with over 300 sewers in attendance. The first night started out with opening ceremonies in the vendor hall. There were lots of vendors, food stations and of course fabric galore! I know this sounds a bit silly but I was a bit starstruck throughout this event! 

                                                               Eleanor Burns and I

           I am fairly new to sewing and found myself walking among designers and bloggers that I have been following for the entire time! I got to meet and talk to a few of my favorites and was so happy to find everyone so nice and friendly!
          I learned a lot at this event as well!! The classes I attended were: Big Stitch Quilting by Andrea Goddard, Retro Travel Bag by Melissa Mortenson and Sunshine Lollipops and Rainbows by Sue Daley. These instructors were great at walking you through the steps of their projects and taught us lots of tricks! I came home with the starts to 3 projects and lots of ideas and inspiration.

          I was also fortunate to meet some really nice sewers in the classes who helped me with even more tips and tricks, thanks so much! What a wonderful group of women! 

A little side note: check out our new residents!  

They are living in the trees on the back of our property. There are 4 adults and 5 babies. Every morning they fly (more like flop!) out of the trees to our well house and then start scavenging throughout the neighborhood. Then every evening I watch them fly back to their nest.  

That's all for now, 

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Ode to Frida quilt completed!

This took some time but I am happy to say that I finally finished the "Ode to Frida" quilt and am very happy with how it turned out!
 This quilt is lap-sized and completely hand quilted with a small meandering flower pattern. I am super happy with the look and feel of this quilt.  I took a machine quilting class at my local shop and yes, I am still hand quilting! I guess you could say I need a lot more practice on the sewing machine!

I have a Huge pile of un-finished projects and need to get to work!  But I always feel good as I complete them so hopefully more completed projects to come soon....

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Annual Fundraising Quilt

      For 33 years the women in my town have gotten together and created a quilt to raffle off to raise funds for our local fire department. I have been lucky enough to participate in this event for the last 4 years.        This is how I got the quilting bug! Prior to joining these woman, I new just the basics of sewing and did very little. Over the years I made costumes for my kids, sewed set designs for their school plays, not much more than that. 
     This year, I am organizing the fundraiser and have been very busy with this! We started in February, with several meetings to decide what this year's theme would be, what style and layout of the quilt and to get an idea how many women would be participating. Then it was off to our local quilt store to pick the materials! Our next step was to organize a cutting party and get the packets ready for pick up. This year, we have 25 women quilting 25 squares!

We then meet as a group and sew our individual squares. This is always so much fun! We try to share materials, stories and help each other with technique. 
I have learned so much from these ladies! I learned how to needle-turn applique, baste and hand quilt from these lovely ladies and then I was hooked!

This year, we chose "roots" as our theme, and each woman interpreted that in their own way. I chose a turbulent ocean scene with lots of kelp to represent what roots my family and I to our coastal community. 

     The next stage, is deciding on a final layout and sewing all the squares together. This is my favorite part. We get to see every one's finished square and how beautiful they have all turned out.


      Then, the quilt is taken to local festivals, events and farmer's market and we sell raffle tickets for a chance to win our quilt. I am so impressed with the amount of time and effort that everyone puts forth. As I mentioned there are 25 women who sew squares for this quilt and even more volunteers that help out with selling raffle tickets. 
I have made some truly wonderful friendships with some incredible women! Here is one of them at our first fundraising event of this year. 
 I have finally reached a "lull" with all the work associated with organizing this event am looking forward to getting back to my unfinished projects pile! 

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Ode to Frida Kahalo

I was meandering around one of my favorite quilt shops in mid January and came across this fabric from  Alexander Henry. It features Frida Kahalo who is a favored painter of mine. This is one painter that my daughters love as well, so I decided to make a Frida throw for the family room.

In the making of this quilt I realized why I don't strip more quilts, my sewing machine. Don't get me wrong, I love my old Kenmore but that is the problem, it's old and doesn't have any fancy bells and whistles. This was a present from my parents when I first started sewing years ago making costumes for the plays that my children were in. And being a self-taught seamstress, my Kenmore and I have been through many trials  and tribulations, suffering together through defeats and celebrating many feats!
But all relationships simmer out and like any true blooded woman, I traded up!
I am so impressed and a bit overwhelmed with my new love!  We are off to a wonderful start and the Frida throw was my first completed project with my new sewing machine.

I always learn something on every project and wanted to share what I learned this project.  I learned that ironing is very important in every project and it really matters which way you press your seams. Such a simple concept but something I had to learn the hard way!

 If you look closely at these edges you can see that in the first picture(left) I ironed towards the darker fabric and on the second picture (right) I ironed the seam away from the darker fabric. Again, my seam ripper and I became one!!

I hope to post soon with a picture of this completed project. I am hand quilting at the moment, hopefully to finish soon!