Thursday, February 16, 2012

Fun Things

This past week has been a really fun one, although not terribly productive on the quilting front.

We had our Triad MQG meeting, which I missed last month, and I was so excited to be back with our fabulous group of ladies.  For this month we did a travel pillow swap.  My partner, Colleen, loves all things DS Quilts and the ever-popular red/aqua color combo.  So I picked a bunch of red/aqua prints from the various DS Quilts prints at Joann's, and did a simple flying geese pattern.

The front is quilted with a basic zig zag that follows the geese, and the back is a simple stipple.

And it even has a zipper!  They aren't nearly as hard as they seem.

My partner loved it - yay!!  And, I love the cute, bright pillow I got from my other partner (maker?), Angie! See, it's even already nice and wrinkled from getting use in my sewing chair.

Also, even though I didn't get a lot of quilty stuff done, I did finally make peace with my serger!  I've already made a somewhat bizarre-looking practice shirt for my son that was sewed almost entirely on the serger.  It really is great for knits.

And now for one of the best parts of my week - I won this awesome A Stitch in Color by Malka Dubrawsky layer cake from Marmalade Fabrics from a giveaway over at Film in the Fridge.  Wow, talk about luck!  This was a great giveaway that I never expected to win, so wahoo!!  Now I just have to figure out what to do with it, so many possibilities!

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Quilt Tops & Serger Struggles

These last few weeks have been pretty productive for me – which is rare but a nice surprise!  Of course, my share of the laundry and housework is another story altogether…

I just finished 2 quilt tops, and am completely in love with them both.  I also have another one just waiting to be cut, but I think I need to get a handle on these first.

First up is a fat quarter quilt from Anna Maria Horner’s Innocent Crush line (at least I think it’s all Innocent Crush).  This came from a kit that included a pattern, 16 fat quarters, backing, and binding that I got for a ridiculous deal last weekend.  I normally don’t like quilt kits, but due to the awesome price and the fact that my husband said he liked the fabrics, I jumped on this one.

The pattern is “Just ‘Tween Us Girls” by Carlene Westberg Designs.  I followed the cutting instructions and one of the layout options, but changed the block construction a little.  The pattern called for the different widths to be randomly sewn together.  Oops!  I have to say my Type A self likes the slightly more orderly look.

The backing will be the light purple print with the flowers.

The second is a longtime WIP.  I made the 6 inch bowtie blocks from Kona Coal and scraps a few months ago, and let the stack just sit.  I wasn’t sure how to lay it out until I saw this one that had a similar vibe.  I didn’t see hers before I picked my colors, but it was a happy coincidence.

The only problem I have now is that I’m wishing it was a little bit bigger to fit our king-sized bed.  The top measures 73 x 85 unfinished, so that’s a no go.  But, I’m out of most of the scraps I used for the top, and I can’t come up with a good way to make it bigger except maybe borders?  Times like this are when I wish we had a guest bedroom, just so I could display quilts!

In other much less interesting news, I’ve finally gotten my awesome Christmas present out of the box, a Brother serger.  It gets rave reviews online and I am really excited about it – except that I can’t get it to stitch correctly!  The right needle thread (1 of 4) makes giant loops like it has no tension, no matter what I do.  And that’s supposed to be the easy part to thread.  I should have known it was too good to be true when I had no trouble threading it the first time.  I’m probably doing something very obviously wrong.  My sweet hubby bought me a serger book to go with it, and I got some real serger thread today to use instead of the weird stuff that came preloaded.  Hopefully research and nice thread will give me the upper hand over my new nemesis!

Photobombers!! (Or, why I take my pics outside, alone!)

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Valentine's Day Mini Quilt

    I always say I'm not really into Valentine's Day, but really I think I like it as much as the next girl.  After all, if I never got anything, even something really little, I would be so disappointed!  So even though I can admit that I do like to celebrate it, even on a small scale, I really don't decorate for it.  Christmas, Halloween, Thanksgiving,  Easter, and even Fourth of July I get, but Valentine's Day?  I'm a little weirded out by the retailers trying to convince us that it's the next Christmas in terms of decorating.
    My crazy rambling aside, since I started sewing I am slowly starting to get the appeal of Valentine's Day crafts. I love pink and white together, that's really my excuse.  So this year, after waffling about maybe making a quilt with V-day colors, I lucked out and saw this easy tutorial at asquaredw and just had to make it.  I have plenty of red and pink scraps for this, and from cutting to binding it only took 2 evenings to do.

    For the quilting I did a single straight line to trace each heart, and then a small stipple in the white spaces.  I think it makes the hearts pop nicely.

   I really like it!  My only problem now is trying to figure out how to hang it.  I've never made a hanging sleeve so I'm hoping to come up with something...uh...creative (jerry-rigged). 

    So now I guess I can no longer say that I'm the equivalent of a Valentine's Day Ebenezer Scrooge!