Saturday, September 29, 2012

Eye Candy, thread, fabric & Talkin Tuesdays

  I am very lucky in the quilting world. I have my chat Talkin Tuesdays (on twitter, 1-3pmET #talknt2, and 9-11pmET #talknt) and through that I have met some incredibly wonderful and talented people. Many have become good friends, many others have been great contacts for furthering my involvement in the quilt industry, and I've managed to get some different quilt related goodies I wouldn't be able to afford otherwise. And I get to giveaway all sorts of goodies! Like this week, during #talknt2 I will be giving away THREE of the thread collections from Aurifil.
I HIGHLY recommend you join in if you can! Each one of the collections retails for at least $99.

These are 2 of the 3 thread collections Aurifil has put together with Pat Bravo of Art Gallery Fabrics. And just and FYI they work perfectly with both Indie and her newest line Rock 'n Romance.
I have some Indie and I have to say again how amazing the feel of these fabrics is, very tight weave, they feel almost like batiks because of it. From what I hear they are the highest quality cotton in the quilt industry.

 These colours are so deep and gorgeous and they actually go with an immense amount of things. I was playing with them against all different fabric lines and at least one went with every line I tried. Also Shane wanted to steal some to tie flies. That obviously did not happen and I threatened him with a rotary cutter if he tried it.

They are in the 50 and 40 weight, which is my preference for both piecing and quilting. The 28 weight really stands out when used for quilting, and is nice for handwork. The 28 & 12 can both be used for embroidery, well any of them can if you use enough strands, and with all the colours available it's actually lots of fun.

 Something else I've been lucky enough to do is buy a quilt frame and machine. I'm LOVING it. LOVE. Quilting has become so much more fun. And I'm actually pretty good at it which is nice. It'd be fun no matter what but being good at it makes me feel accomplished.
 I'm taking in quilts for other people now. I'm really excited to offer machine quilting to see more of those tops and UFO's get finished! And since so many of you have been so supportive of me if you're a follower anywhere online- twitter, here, facebook- you get 5% off quilting, anytime, all the time. Just let  me know when you contact me about it so I can make a note.

Remember the "Talknt" 20% off code for Fat Quarter Shop, it expires Sept 30th at 11:59pm.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Bar Hop Quilt Along!

 Once again Scott over at Blue Nickel Studios has come up with another fun quilt along. Last time it was Uberfest (you can still check out those great blocks here and here), this time it's Bar Hop! 

We're all including some kind of rectangle in our blocks so that is where the bar part comes from, promise you don't have to do any drinking, but if you want to just make sure you're done with the rotary cutter first lol.

The blurb from Scott!

The fabric we are featuring has been generously supplied by Clothworks from their European Taupe VIII collection by Kinkame.  Soft, subtle, and maybe just a little more “traditional” in tone.  We have fourteen bloggers with styles ranging from very modern to the somewhat more traditional side of the quilting street. We believe the “wall” that sometimes comes up between quilters on those lines should be torn down, so that is part of why the collection has been chosen. If you choose to make your blocks out totally modern or totally traditional, they will work just fine.  We love to see the variety of blocks that emerge from these quiltalongs!
Each designer was given four fat quarters from the collection and told they could add one solid and one print of their choice OR two solids and that was it. The other requirement was that they had to use at least one rectangle (bar) in the block  somewhere.  The blocks will all finish to a useful 12” x 12” size.  Feel free to post your blocks here as you hop along with us!

Here’s the line up!
October 1 Amy Ellis
October 2 Lynn Harris   
October 3   Heather Jones    
October 4   Jacquie Kunkel    
October 5 Ashley Jones
October 6  Emily Cier 
October 7 Scott Hansen
October 8 Jan Peoples
October 9 April Rosenthal
October 10 Amy Lobsiger
October 11  Cara Quilts <<< moi
October 12   Konda Luckau
October 13  Alethea Ballard
October 14 Charlie Scott
Hope to see you on the Hop!

If you need supplies, don't forget the 20% off code for Fat Quarter Shop "Talknt", good until 9/30!

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Hexie Bag tutorial

Ok I know it says tutorial but it's more of a quick run down. I'm going to assume you know the basics of making a bag so not explain every step in great detail. I will try to come back and add more later but wanted to get this up for those who had been asking.

  Make a section sewing hexies (I used hexies that were 1.75" across one side) together. 9 rows across, 10/11 down. I used a y-seam to attach the hexies. If you like you can do it english paper piecing and either hand stitch the hexies together or lay then next to each other and just zigzag them together, then pull out the papers. Square it up and measure the final size. Mine was 14 x 18 I think.
The shorter side is the width of the bag.

Cut 2 strips 1.5" x width of the bag. Fold in half lengthwise wrong sides together and press. This the flange, or flippy bit as I call them.

Cut 2 3" x width of bag strips for the top piece.

Lay 1 of the 3" strips right sides together with the hexie section with the flippy bit in between with the raw edge lined up with the top section. Stitch together. Repeat on the other end of the bag. Press.

Measure the entire piece. You need to cut or piece a section the same size for the lining.  I added 3 pockets by sewing a piece of fabric to the lining. Just make sure you put the opening up to the closet edge, otherwise your pocket will be upside down.

Fold each section in half lengthwise and stitch along the sides. On the folded end measure in and up 1-2" and mark both spots. Stitch a line connecting the two spots and cut off the excess triangle. This is to create a bottom for the bag.
Do this to both corners on both the liner and the outer shell sections.

Place the outer shell into the lining so the right sides are facing. Stitch all around the top leaving 2" gap for turning the bag. Turn the bag right side out and push the lining into the outer shell. Press as well as you can. You can add a zipper at this point or just stay stitch 1/8" from the top of the bag.

For straps I used a 3" x 20" piece, sewed it right sides together and turned it right sides out. Press and stitch 1/8" on either side. You can finish the ends either with a French seam or tuck them into the strap itself and stitch across.

Add 1" grommets to either side of the bag about 1-2" from the top. Lace the straps through. You can tie them together, or add something to the ends to keep them from coming out.

All done! Like I said this is more general instructions and I will try to clean it up more later for those not as familiar with bags.

Announcing the batting series!

  During one of the Talkin Tuesday chats the topic of batting came up and what really shocked me was how little any of us knew about batting. So many had only used one or two kinds, and those just because they were what the shop had or their longarm quilter suggested it.
Because batting is really a very important part of the final look and performance of a quilt I thought it was really important to find out more about it. To do that I read a lot and looked around but as with most things the best way to test something is to actually use it.

I contacted several companies that make batting and asked about getting some samples to test out and do a review of them on the blog. Thankfully several were game, and the people at Pellon where incredibly supportive and excited!

So in the next few weeks I'm going to be doing posts about batting from Pellon, Fairfield, the Warm Co., and Quilters Dream. I'll be testing out 100% cotton, 80/20 blends, polyester, wool, bamboo and some eco battings.

I plan on doing them in group according to the content of the batt,  so all the 100% cottons will be done together etc

I'll be looking at how they feel, how they quilt - on the frame, domestic machine, & a small amount of hand quilting- how they wash, the final appearance, and how heavy they are. I'm looking at how much they lint, how they drape, if there are any quirks to using it, and generally how they behave and what type projects or looks each one is best suited too.

Let me know if there is anything specific you want to know about the battings!

To control the variables of fabric content and thread I'm going to be using only one kind for all of the testing, and will try to quilt them all to about the same density.

Since this is obviously a fairly large undertaking I will be spreading it out over the next few months, and when all is done the quilts will be donated to a children's charity, with maybe one or two given away online. Just saying. maybe. ;)

Any other batting companies that would like to be in on the series can email me!

Don't forget the 20% off code for Fat Quarter Shop, "Talknt" good until 9/30, excludes clubs/boms but does include sales!

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Fat Quarter Shop & #talknt discount code!



   If you participate in Talkin Tuesdays, either #talknt2 from 1-3pm Eastern (6pm UK) or #talknt from 9-11pm Eastern, you know that Fat Quarter Shop is a big sponsor for us.
Kimberly and the gang sponsor 3-4 chats a month and are always giving out awesome prizes.

This week, and really for the next TWO weeks, everyone is getting a prize! Use the discount code Talknt  for a 20% off your order!!(excludes clubs and purchase of gift certificates)
The code expires 9/30/12 at midnight.

How awesome is that??? Feel free to share the code with your friends! This is a Talkin Tuesday exclusive!!

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Granny Square Quilt Along!

I got it finished! This quilt didn't want to get made! The blocks ended up being wonky, off +/- up to .25", which is a reason I rarely use squares and trim, setting triangles are more accurate. So from the start the sashing had to be off here and there, and the borders ended up wavy.

But I kept at it and was able to quilt it up so it looks good! Glad to know I can quilt down borders etc since I'm sure every once in a while someone will send me a quilt to be quilted with them.

All in all I think it turned out great, Shane wanted to keep it instead of giving to the baby next door, but we took it over on the weekend and the parents liked it so hopefully the baby will too!

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Glorious Autumn Block Party has started!

The party has started!!
 Quilting Gallery is hosting another Block Party, this time called Glorious Autumn! As I adore the fall I was quick to jump at the chance to design a block for it!

 My date isn't until November but today is the first day and who better to kick it off then the everywhere and in everything Pat Sloan!
You can get the directions for her block here. She also has a giveaway going on her blog.
Each day there will be Daily Deals, which you can check out on the Quilting Gallery site. Blocks and bargains, two of my favorite "B" words!

Pat Sloan Pop-a-liciousHow does this work? Over the next 15 weeks, 45 fabulously talented designers will be making 12" blocks and tutorials for you to make. You can pick and choose which blocks you want to make. In addition to the blocks, there will be Super Deals for Quilters from our favourite online retailers. Be sure to check each designer’s post, as many will also be offering give-aways on their own site that everyone can enter. 

There is also a flickr group to share your finished blocks and get some ideas on colour combo's and other inspiration.

Little Bit's first day of grade four!

As always I'm so proud of her! She is looking forward to the new year. Mommy had to come and help her find out who her teacher was and where to line up, and then she told me to leave! I did get a big hug and an I love you, so not too grown up yet.
It will be nice to do #talknt2 without her home but other then that I know it's going to be a too quiet day!