Wednesday, March 27, 2013

This week's News!

I'm linking again with my Quiltsy team's Works In Progress blog. 

Here's the latest! 

This is Summer Festival, my second Quilt In A Day Zig A Zag quilt.  The colors are so much prettier in person.  It's all done and listed in my Etsy shop. I played with the quilting on this, a scroll and hook design, plus feathers in the outer borders. 

This is a better picture of the colors.  The fabric collection is called Pretty Sweet, by Island Batiks.  The borders are from Timeless Treasures. 

The newest Quilt In A Day pattern arrived last week, and the Webinar on Tuesday was fun to watch.  This is called Piece Of Cake, and it's made with 10" squares, which are also called Layer Cakes (the designer groups and collections of precuts have food names.)  I picked 9 fabrics out of my collection, and made my own Layer Cake.  I just think it's beautiful.  The top is ready, and I'll get it layered Thursday, and quilting will begin soon.  Look for this in my store, as well! 

I think I need to do some table runners and toppers next.  I'm in the mood for some smaller items, and maybe an apron or 3. 

I also did some alterations for the Lehigh Valley School for the Performing arts, and will be making bolero jackets for their show in May.  Picutres of them to come!  Thanks for visiting! 

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Fun in the Mail

I have been winning quite a few blog and Facebook contests lately, and every few days I get something fun in the mail. 

Today's prize was from Benartex, a fun collection of prints from their Tree Frog by Kanvas line.  This Fat Quarter bundle contains the main print, and a number of really great blenders and prints in fun, bright colors.  Inside the box was also a ring pincushion.  I've seen the tutorial for these.  Basically, it's a soda bottle cap with holes punched to string some thin elastic.  That's the ring base (elastic goes around your finger).  Take a circle of fabric, gather the edge, stuff it, and hot glue it inside the cap.  Add ribbon to decorate the cap, and you have what I jokingly referred to as an "emerald engagement ring" so when I'm engaged in sewing, I have a good place for my pins, lol. 

This next picture shows the fabric bundle from Windham for the First Lady's Block of the Month contest on Facebook.  The red batik FQs and the white yardage under it are from Hoffman, for sharing a red and white quilt on their Facebook Wall on GO Red for Women's Heart Health in February, and the ruler and pattern are from the Facebook and Blog contest for World Wide Quilting Day. 
Lots of fun things to play with! 
For World Wide Quilting Day, I finished this quilt.  It was a special order for a customer in England.  She now owns 2 of my quilts, both the same design, but different sizes.  I'm honored to be able to sell my quilts around the world, because of my Etsy store. 
I'm working on finishing up another Zig A Zag quilt which will be named Summer Festival, and making a table topper with my Accuquilt Go! Winding Ways die and blue and white fabrics.  I tried to upload pictures from my camera, but the blog isn't finding them.  You will have to wait and be surprised, just like I am when I get my mail! 
Also, I'm in a few treasuries with my items on Etsy.  Here's the latest. 
I'm also linking up with Team Quiltsy's Work In Progress blog.  Too bad the pictures of what I'm doing won't upload!  Thanks for reading! 

Saturday, March 16, 2013

International Quilting Day

Did you know I love to quilt?  I think it may be obvious to many by now, lol.  And today is National Quilting Day, hopefully soon to be International or World Wide Quilting Day. 
There have been some great surprises leading to this day.  World Wide Quilting Day has been giving out prizes.  I won on Day 3.  I got a new ruler and pattern, which I'm looking forward to trying.
Benartex Fabric's blog, has just started another contest, which promises to be fun.  It's my kind of March Madness.  I recently discovered I won a bundle of fabrics from them, too. 
And most online stores are having sales, too.  I'm so tempted to order!!  It's such fun to see the latest fabrics and notions, and find a bargain or try something new. 
My Etsy team, Quiltsy, is also celebrating, by creating treasuries of inspiring quilts.  This is my treasury, a collection of quilted items perfect for Spring.  Go look and comment, please!  It would be wonderful to see it on the front page. 
I've baked cupcakes, too.  What's a Sew-cial without chocolate??  I'll be frosting them soon. 
So, here's my quilting so far this evening.  I had a customer ask for a smaller version of the Jelly Roll Race quilt she recently purchased, in the same fabrics.  I cut the strips from my fabrics and pieced it last week.  I will finish this tonight, hopefully with the binding, and start on Quilt In A Day's newest pattern, Piece Of Cake, which is March's Party quilt pattern.  It came in the mail yesterday, and I can't wait until Tuesday's webinar to make it!  I have some of the fabrics picked already. 
I love Free Motion Quilting.  On this quilt (and it's larger sister) I used a clear nylon thread in the top, to add texture without adding too much more to the design.  The quilt has 14 different fabrics, so I wanted the quilting to just add texture, not compete with the fabrics.  I'm doing a loopy meander, kind of like a bumble bee visiting all the flowers in a garden.  This will be called Mary's Contrary Garden II.  (I was called Mary growing up, lol)
I do have a hint or suggestion, though.  When I quilt near the edge, I remove the safety pins and use large straight pins, the Quilters pins with flower heads.  I prefer the flat head, vs. a ball, because the quilting foot can pass over the pin.  Normally I choose pins that contrast with the fabric, so I can easily see them as I stitch.   See the yellow and white pins??  I space them about 4 inches apart, so I'm sure my border lays flat as I get close to the edge. 
Last week I was sewing at Christine's and forgot to grab my pins.  I borrowed a few from her.  I was stitching a meander in the border of this quilt.  She handed me a few blue pins.  I didn't realize at the time that they matched so well.  After I got the binding machine stitched on, I handed back the pins.  Then I went back to my apartment, and used my rotary cutter and ruler to cut the extra fabric and batting.  One cut was extremely difficult, but again, I didn't think about it.  I then brought it over to the ironing board and proceeded to press the binding away from the top, and over the edge to the back.  The binding is easier to turn and stitch if it's pressed (but only if your batting will tolerate heat).  I saw something shiny as I was turning the binding.  I had SEWED OVER A PIN!!!  The flower head was stitched into the binding, and the pin was still in the quilt.  That could have been painful if I hadn't noticed it.  It would also have damaged the machine when sewing the binding.  I had to remove some of the stitching to get the pin out of the fabric, and realized I had also cut the pin head with the rotary cutter when trimming the fabric.  So, if you choose to use flat head pins to hold the border so you can sew close to the edge, make sure you pick heads that CLASH with the quilt, and keep track of them!  You don't want to cut a pin with your rotary cutter (it damages the blade and pieces can become airborn) and you don't want to leave one in the quilt!  Getting pricked while snuggling is NOT fun.  I usually just use 2 pins to hold the border edge, and keep moving them, so I can keep track of where they are, and make sure they are out of the quilt when adding binding. 
So, count your pins!  Make sure you know where they are, and use contrasting colors so you can easily see them.
And DO enjoy World Wide Quilting Day.