Monday, July 23, 2012

Just for Fun! Hexie bag!

 Lately I've not had a lot of time to sew just for fun. But one of the things I decided I did want to do was Katy's MF Hexie quilt in the fabulous Bari J's Lilly Belle. (check out her blog to see 14 days of Lilly Belle, where she's doing a new project EACH day!)

I've been plugging away at basting and sewing hexies, in the end we need 666 (no I'm not making that up) petals and 74 centers. That's a whole lotta hexies. To keep myself a tiny bit organized I've been using a big ziploc bag to keep all my stuff together.

 But ziplocs while handy, aren't very pretty. And they don't have a handle.
So I decided to make a bag for my hexies.
And then decided it should be made out of hexies. I think I was insane at the time. Maybe from the crazy heat or the super bad sunburn I got last week.

Well whatever the reason I decided to make the hexie bag. I use the AccuQuilt 1.5" die, the 2.5" I thought was too big and the 1" way to small. I really wish there was a 2" on the die, I think it would have been better but whatever.

I had some left over Fandango by Kate Spain from when I made the filing cabinet cover for Moda Bake Shop and I found it when cleaning my sewing room to get it ready for painting so I decided to use it.

So here is my hexie bag for hexies!

 You can see how I've even tried to organize the inside! A pocket for my thread, of course using some Aurifil!, scissors, needle jar, and a pocket for the hexies waiting to be basted. I use a dab of glue to hold the papers to the hexies so they're in the pocket to keep the papers from being torn off. I use the bright pink thread to baste, so much easier to see when it's time to pull it out, and the grey and taupe to stitch the hexagons together.

 I even put a zipper on it! Just for you Bari! I hadn't originally planned on the zipper so I made the strap go through to make the bag draw up when hung. I'll fix that later when I find something to put on the ends of the strap because I used 1" grommets.
Have you ever made a bag just to hold a project? What do you think? Smart or crazy?

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

FNSI results, some more QAL blocks and news

hehehe I flaked on posting my sewing from the Friday Night Sew In. Mostly I had a Friday Night Cut Up. I used the Big Shot to cut a whole lot of 1.5" hexagons from Bari J's Lilly Belle fabrics. This stuff makes me so happy. As I was playing with it I noticed the feel is different then most quilt fabrics. It's closer to a batik feel and I asked Bari about it and she said that Art Gallery fabrics are a higher thread count then most of the industry, which you can very much feel.
The Big Shot makes cutting super fast. I can cut 24 hexies at a time! The die has 4 and I can do up to 6 layers at a time accurately. 

     I also made two more blocks for my Fig Tree Farmer's Mistress Quilt, but only one of them is actually from the books. I made a granny square block, which seems to be all the rage right now around blog world, and a a lightening bolt block.

 I love making these smaller blocks, I normally make 12" blocks but these are only 6 so they seem so cute. For those who are wondering you need 1.5" (unfinished) squares to get a 6" (finished) granny square block.

And for the news! Starting July 31st  there will be a daytime Talkin Tuesday! Now there are TWO chats! One starts at 1pm ET and the other at 9pm ET. I've had a lot of requests from the Europeans and some others who can't join in the evening chat so I'm adding a daytime one. The earlier chat will be #talknt2 and the evening the original #talknt.
I'm going to run the daytime chat on a trial basis for about 4 or 6 weeks to see how it takes before committing to making it permanent.

Friday, July 13, 2012

Friday Night Sew In!

It's been a long time since I've done a Friday Night Sew in, hosted by Heidi. and Bobbi . Every month they host a link party and encourage everyone to sew on Friday and either update during the night or do a post in the morning showing what you accomplished. I miss doing it so tonight I'm sewing!

Handmade by Heidi
Tonight I'm going to work on hexies since Bari J's super gorgeous Lilly Belle arrived today!! Check out her blog, there's a picture of a really nice quilt using Lilly Belle and link to a shop that has some kits, AND Lilly Belle cut into a jelly roll!

Fig Tree Farmer's Mistress Quilt

I knew from the start there was no way I'd keep up with the Farmer's Wife QAL so along with a few others I termed us the Farmer's Mistress, around when I want it, but no commitment. Which is exactly how it has turned out.
There is a flickr group devoted to those doing the quilt, and most are doing 3 a week I think.
I'd decided from the start I was going to use only Fig Tree Quilts fabric since Joanna's fabric has played a huge part in my quilting journey.
She was the first designer I was drawn to and learned about the whole idea of lines, designer fabric etc.
My first attempt at sewing without a pattern, and quilting and binding was with Urban Indigo.

My first Moda Bake Shop project used Whimsy.

   So as you can see a lot of firsts with Fig Tree.

 Since I knew this quilt was going to be a long term project, taken out and put away many times, using lots of different techniques, I figured an all Fig Tree quilt would be representative of my journey.
My plan was, and still is, to have at least one fabric from each of Joanna's line in the quilt. That is 22 lines at present. And some of the lines are impossible to find, especially her first two, which came out before I got hooked. Thankfully Joanna has a few scraps left and has agreed to send me some, and a few others I've recently found because of destash sales, or shop that weren't online now being online. So I'm pretty sure eventually ever line will be represented in at least two fabrics.

Since my first introduction into the world of fabric a lot has changed, and my tastes have grown and altered as well. I still love Fig Tree, the sweet nostalgic feel, soft colours, and romantic prints, but I've also fallen in love with more modern designers, and some which don't really fit any description except "I like!".
But this quilt will be only Fig Tree.

So why am I telling you all this now? or again I think.

Because the other day I was feeling kind of blah and wanted to sew but didn't think I had the right mind set to work on anything important, like new pattern projects etc, so I pulled out the box of Fig Tree and my Farmer's Wife book and made 5 new blocks.
 One of them isn't in the book, I just made it for the heck of it. And you can see I was definitely feeling blues. Oddly I didn't use my favorite blues, which are from Urban Indigo, Folklorique and California Girl.

I now have 10 of the 111 blocks. Yeah so not getting this done anytime soon. Especially since I'm doing the math to figure these all out without templates because that STILL blows my mind, how any editor in this day and age of quilting thought a quilt book using only templates was a good idea, especially when sooooo many of the blocks are simple and we all use rotary cutters now.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Book Review - Free Motion Quilting with Angela Walters

   Since I started quilting my own quilts a few years ago I've been on the look out for interesting ideas and articles on how to choose quilting designs and inspiration for free motion quilting (FMQ). While looking around online one of the names I kept seeing attached to some of these amazing quilts was Angela Walters.
I've since been lucky enough to talk with Angela in person, emails and on twitter and she even sponsored a chat on Talkin' Tuesday. She is one of the nicest and most genuine people I've met in this industry, which is saying something as the quilting community is full of amazing people.

Stash Books recently released Angela's new book, Free Motion Quilting with Angela Walters: Choose and Use Quilting Designs for Modern Quilts. That is a long title but it says exactly what the book is all about.

Angela goes through the entire process of how she decides how, where and what to quilt on modern/contemporary quilts, which tend to have a lot of negative space, irregular shapes and really bold bright fabrics.

The act of quilting is the same on both traditional, modern and hybrid quilts but the designs and placement tend to be different as quilting is about complementing and enhancing the design of the quilt top.
Free-Motion Quilting with Angela Walters
There are 22 designs in the book that Angela shows step by step how to create, and you can do these on your domestic sewing machine just as well as on a mid or long arm machine.

   She explains in both words and photos/diagrams how to not only form the design but how to connect it so you're not starting and stopping constantly.

   There are tips through out the book to make quilting easier and more fun. A lot of them are things learned over time by quilting so many quilts and they are so helpful in getting the results you want.

 The book has no judgement of style. Angela is able to share her love of modern quilting without in anyway taking away from more traditional styles. Many of the quilting designs, and all of the helpful tips and tricks, can be applied to traditional quilting as well.

If after going through all the designs and sections of the book you're still stuck there is another section for that! Angela goes through all the questions to ask to help you get unstuck and quilting.

This is a book I recommend anyone who is even thinking of quilting their own quilts pick up. You'll return to it again and again, even if you're a traditional quilter.

  Number one tip from Angela? "Relax and Practice drawing first" 

 From my experience this is the best way to get comfortable with the design. Do it until you can reproduce the design without stopping or thinking and it will be easy to quilt!

Monday, July 2, 2012

Talkin Tuesday

For those new to my blog and me I wanted to let you know more about Talkin Tuesday, the weekly quilting/sewing chat I host over on twitter!
 Every Tuesday at 9pm Eastern I host a 2 hour chat with quilters/sewists and fabric lovers from all over the world!
I ask questions, conversations pop up and a good time is had by all!
I even have prizes!

This week Fat Quarter Shop is giving away two fat quarter bundles of Patty Young's newest line, Heaven & Helsinki. We're giving away 1 each of the Metro and Retro colour ways.

All you have to do is sign in on the Talkin' Tuesday blog and join in the chatting on twitter. You can find tutorials here and here. If you're new to chats on twitter I suggest using TweetChat. It will add the hashtag for you.
I use TweetDeck now because I can have multiple columns open. There is something out there you'll like, sometimes it just takes a few tries.

We're super friendly and LOVE having new people come out and chat. Just say "Hi I'm new #talknt" during the chat and you'll have several people willing to help you along and welcome you.

You have nothing to lose and so much to gain from trying out Talkin Tuesdays, friends, new blogs to visit and not to mention a chance at hose gorgeous fabric bundles!!

Winners! Blogger Choice Bundles and GenQ Mag

 We have winners! I'm so excited to be able to share these things that have made me so happy.

 The Debut copy of Generation Q Magazine is going home to...hueisei

The first Blogger's Choice bundle is going to..... Barb!

And the second bundle is going to.... Beth

Congrats! And thank you everyone who entered! I was so touched by your comments about my bundle, and I am so glad it make so many of you happy and smile just like it does me. And don't worry we all pet, fondle and play with out fabric before it speaks to us about what it wants to be made into.

Winner I need you to send me your address to caraquilts at gmailcom

Thank you to Fat Quarter Shop for agreeing to give away two of the bundles when we hit 200 entries, we had 219! And if you didn't win you can always buy the bundle here! ;)