Sunday, March 31, 2013

Paper Piecing Joy

I get a kick out of making things in different ways. A few years ago, my mom taught me the paper piecing method. There's something so satisfying about seeing perfect points in your quilt! Can I get a witness?

While flipping through Carol Doak's book, Easy Stash Quilts, a paper pieced project really caught my eye. I had to try out a few blocks, laid them out a couple different ways, and this is what I got. What do you think?

Want to learn paper piecing? I can show you how!

Friday, March 29, 2013

Before and After!


Oh The Possibilities

Text to my honey: "I'm gonna stop at Hobby Lobby on the way home." 

That was the open door to the possibilities! Meaning to go there to "only pick up a marking pen" in mind, I wandered back to the remnant racks. There they were! REMNANTS!!!! Those wonderful end of bolt beauties. I pulled all the ones that I liked and put back the ones that were so-so. My bag was pretty heavy! Score!!!

The puppies think the remnants are great fun!

It IS a good Friday!

It's Good Friday. That alone makes today special. The end of Lent. The last day of the work week. A good day to eat fish! I eat it because I like it, not for religious purposes. Actually, I had a fish fry twice this week. Mmmm!

Sparkle likes fish too. And rawhide.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

New RITNYs Coming Soon

RITNY is one of my favorites! Maybe I'm biased (pun intended) since I wrote the pattern. I have some new ones to work on and can't wait to share them with you.

Here's a peek at the fabric for three of them-

Double Delight - Close Ups

The sun finally came out from behind the clouds today! And quilts look amazing in the sun! Take a peek.

The front, or at least most of the half of the front...

Monday, March 25, 2013

FMQ and Trapunto

Remember that part of the old jingle, "...two great tastes in one candy bar..."  Well, I was thinking about my Hawaiian quilting side project and thought I'd pair it with some free motion quilting. Two great techniques in one quilting piece!

The beginning of my experiment was something I was generally happy with. It was "put on the back burner" for a while but I had a night to play with it a little!

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Finally Diagnosed

My mom figured it out and gave me the sign for Thistlefire's doorway! Maybe this diagnosis will explain your symptoms and give you some answers too......

Glad it's not fatal! Since there is no known cure, I'll have to keep quilting.

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Ringing In The New Year -Close Ups

Here are some close ups of my RITNY pattern. I really hope you make one for your house!

The front -

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Ready For Binding

Here it is! Nice and big and so pretty with the quilting all in place.

I may do "mock" binding. Still getting my plan in place. What do you think?

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

A Fine Finish

Double Delight is quilted! How exciting! How exhilarating! What a great feeling!!! I'm very pleased with the results. It was a great project from start to finish, even with my tension problems.

Here it is coming off of the long arm.

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Tension terror

I am just zipping along on my Double Delight quilt and began to see something wrong developing.

See how the top stitches are loose? This is a clear indication that there is trouble!

Looking at the underside of the quilt shows this mess. Birdnesting. Noooo!!!!

Ok. Breathe. Tension issues has got to be the probably the biggest terror that we face as sewers. Is it the upper or lower tension? It is clear that this one is the lower thread is too tight, pulling the upper thread in too far. I spent a half an hour ripping all this out and went to do some set up research.

I found a really good video on you tube that was very helpful. It was made by a man who sets up long arm machines and teaches people how to use them. That's a reliable source!

First thing - the bobbin was set too tight. Set the loaded case in your hand and pull on the thread. It should not hang in air like this. Jamie explained that on long arm machines, the thread should pull the case up onto its side in your hand and release the thread freely. It should not lift it off the hand.

The large screw on the side of the case adjusts the tension. I turned it counter-clockwise to loosen the tension. Then did the thread pull test until it did what the video described. This adjustment gave the correction in my tension and the stitches began sewing correctly again.

Another problem that can destroy stitches is the way your machine is threaded. This is not correct. Can you see why? The thread is not going through the upper tension discs.
Fixing tension is not as much of factor when you are using tabletop machines. Most hobby machines hide the mechanisms, only showing a dial for tension adjustment, making it somewhat mysterious. Changing those settings is frightening! 
It does have to be addressed when using different threads and fabrics. Getting an understanding of tension is worth the effort. That way you do not have to feel the terror when your tension goes awry.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Long Arm Free Motion Quilting Marathon

A few months ago, I finished up the Double Delight quilt top (from Quiltville) and am finally getting around to doing the free motion quilting. So excited!!

The long arm machine is the workhorse for this queen sized quilt. As much as I enjoy quilting on my Brother sewing machine, the size of this blanket is a bit much to scrunch into the throat on that machine. I put in a brand new needle, oiled it, picked out and installed my first color of 50 weight Gutterman thread. The quilt frame fit everything with plenty of room to spare. I fussed over the sandwich and admired the set up. Now it's go time! Woo hoo!!!

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Mini Quilts = Mega Fun!

If the idea of making a bed sized blanket makes you shudder inside, then mini quilting is something to try out. You still make up blocks following a pattern, putting them together in strips, sandwiching the top to batting and a back, adding the free motion quilting, and sewing on the binding. These little masterpieces require all the steps of their big brother quilts but can be done in days instead of months and require very little fabric.

Aren't these bear paw blocks cuh-yute?!!! They'll be a petite 2" x 2" when trimmed.