Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Modern Blocks Quilt Along - A Twist of Lemon

My last Modern Block is A Twist of Lemon by Ellen Luckett Baker 

I don't have much of a garment sewing background, so I don't think I've ever made pleats.  This block intimidated me at first, but the directions are great and it went together so simply.  I'm really proud of how it turned out.  I think this would be a gorgeous pillow to add texture and a pop of color to a room.

And that's that!  I'm so happy that I did this quilt along 100% from my stash and didn't buy a single scrap of fabric.  Even if each block was one 12 1/2" square (believe me, they weren't) I used up about four yards of fabric.  I would love to know how much I really used!

I hope you've enjoyed the quilt along posts.  It has been fun for me and prompted me to step outside my comfort zone.  I also sewed more often over the last few months.  Have you participated in a quilt along?  Does it help keep you inspired or bore you?

Monday, February 27, 2012

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Modern Blocks Quilt Along - Botanical

Today's Modern Block is Botanical by Louise Papas.  

I love this block.  It truly feels like a very modern block to me.  I love the design choices, how you can show off different fabrics, and that it would give you some beautiful options for quilting.  I had not heard of Louise before this quilt along, but have fast become a fan!

Friday, February 24, 2012

Modern Blocks Quilt Along - Three Wishes

Today's Modern Block is Three Wishes by Jamie Moilanen.  

I really like this block, but it taught me an important lesson about "wonky" quilting.  I like the look of wonky and I like the freedom it gives to design your own blocks, but following someone else's pattern for a wonky quilt is just as - if not more - difficult than following a traditional pattern.  I really struggled with the angles and cutting pieces big enough for the space, much like I do with paper piecing.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Modern Blocks Quilt Along - Winner's Circle

Today's Modern Block is Winner's Circle by Elizabeth Scott

Another great block for photo transfer.  The only tricky part was fusing the black piece around the photo without getting that hot iron on the picture itself.  Also, I think I have it angled a little too much!  This would be such a fun block for any sports snaps.  

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Modern Blocks Quilt Along - Slice of Heaven

Today's Modern Block is Slice of Heaven by Pat Sloan 

This was not my favorite block. It just doesn't seem to go with the rest of the book.  It was easy, though, and a good way to practice machine applique.  You'd never know I ironed that sucker!

Monday, February 20, 2012

Pinterest Hate

What is up with the Pinterest hate?
Lately it seems like I've come across so many blog posts and articles about how much people hate Pinterest, and I just don't get it. 

From the deepest desires also come the deadliest hate.

I guess it's all the same stuff we used to get about Facebook, but Pinterest is just the new hot thing.  I'm going to share an actual, personal conversation I was privy to on Valentine's Day.  It was about Facebook, but really could apply to any method of communication (including the much-bemoaned lost art of face-to-face conversation, a telephone, or TV as well as all sorts of online social media).
"I feel like such a failure.  This morning one of my friends posted pictures of red velvet cupcakes she made for Valentine's Day, and I still have to run to Target to get some candy for my kid."

"That's what I hate about Facebook."

"Me too!  I mean, why do people have to go bragging about all the awesome stuff they do?  It just makes me feel like crap."

Okay, a) baking cupcakes is fun for a lot of people and is a far cry from The Eiffel Tower out of pastry dough.  They might have even been a mix or...gasp...store bought!  They might have been the one thing that woman did all week/month/year that made her feel like a success.  b) since when did we get so insecure that, instead of reacting by saying "cool!" or "pretty!" or "what the heck?", we now say, "That witch!  She's just trying to make me look bad." 

Hello!  Copernicus called to say the world does not revolve around you.

Let's get it together, people.  Your friends are not posting pictures of their kids' messy rooms or the stack of dishes in the sink, but that doesn't mean those things aren't there.  They are posting pictures of things they find pretty or cool or weird or inspiring.  Things that make them happy and ideas they want to remember. 

Let's take my "studio" space, for example, and the Pinterest board I have for it.  Some of the pictures I've pinned are for storage ideas.  Some are for colors I like.  And some are merely for if I ever hit the lottery and can create the space of my dreams.  Do you know what my studio really looks like?  It's a corner of my bedroom that could qualify me for a spot on Hoarders, according to The Pit Boss.  It's nothing to get your panties all wadded up in a bunch about, and it's certainly nothing to make you or anyone else feel insecure. 

It seems that this is what women do.  I don't know if it's from the lack of team sports growing up or the estrogen, but we need to learn to cheer each other on.  We need to learn to stop comparing ourselves to one another.  We need to stop tearing one another down to make ourselves look better.  We are powerful and creative and amazing.  We are artists and mothers and leaders and all kinds of other incredible things.  Let's celebrate the beauty and wonder in the world instead of plotting our own downfall.

P.S.  Thanks to BrainyQuote!

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Modern Blocks Quilt Along - Pixel Peaks

Today's Modern Block is Pixel Peaks by Amy Ellis

I was surprised at how easily this block went together.  It looked like it had the potential to get really wonky.  I pinned a lot and was very happy with my points.

Friday, February 17, 2012

Modern Blocks Quilt Along - In the Hoop

Today's Modern Block is In the Hoop by Susanne Woods.

I am really enjoying the embroidered projects in this book, and have found a renewed interest in embroidery.  I have to confess that I cheated and used fusible bias tape instead of making my own bias strips.   

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Help Spread the Word - Stolen Quilt!

Please share this image and story as many places as you can. Let's show the world that a stolen quilt will never be enjoyed or sold because we quilters and crafters have big mouths and a LOT of friends!

If you find this quilt, please contact Sally immediately at sally@sallyschneider.com.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Modern Blocks Quilt Along - Line Up

Today's Modern Block is Line Up by Angela Yosten.

What a sweet, simple block.  This is a great one to show off antique buttons.  I used some from my grandmother's button box.  I wonder about the blouse they were cut from.  She wasted nothing! 

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

I Hope You Know Somebody Loves You!

Happy Valentine's Day, Peeps!  Hope you are having a day where you feel very loved.

Just a quick little project I made to demonstrate how easy it is to incorporate photos into quilts. 

Also, my favorite song for my kids...and for all of you!

Monday, February 13, 2012

Modern Blocks Quilt Along - Maybe...

Today's Modern Block is Maybe... by Susanne Woods

This is a fun block to experiment with color.  I thought it was fun for Valentine's Day, so I leaned more toward the pinks.  

If you made this block, what would you write on that line?  


"It's a girl."  

"I love you." 

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Modern Blocks Quilt Along - In the Window

Today's Modern Block is In the Window by Viv Wride.

I took another shot at curved piecing. This was a little more tricky because it was smaller, but I loved using this print and the wintry looking fabric around it. I'm so happy with the effect created.

I know the kids with the kite are really supposed to be from spring or fall, but I couldn't resist the effect of the kite crossing into the diagonal frame.

Friday, February 10, 2012

Modern Blocks Quilt Along - Juicy

Today's Modern Block is Juicy by Mo Beldell.  I thought this one was appropriate for the Georgia girl to make. 

This is another block/technique I've always admired but was afraid to try, curved piecing.  Some day, I say, I'm going to make a whole Drunkard's Path quilt.  The instructions on this block were great and my curves came out pretty well! My only suggestion is to square up the block before adding the borders; if you look closely, you can see that my edges got a little wonky. I didn't realize it until I was squaring up the block.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Going to Guild - Nancy Sapin of Sulky

Monday was guild night, and this month's program was by Nancy Sapin of Sulky.   She started the evening off with a mini-Oprah moment by giving everyone a spool of their new PolyLite 60 thread!

This meeting was jam-packed with so much information that I took four pages of notes!  It wasn't really necessary, because she also provided us with folders with several excellent references.  One was about needle size, one was about free motion quilting, and so much more.

Just a couple of highlights:
  • Sliver or Holoshimmer are flat threads, not round.  They need your spool pin to be in a vertical position and as little twisting or turning possible while you are threading your machine to find the "flat path."  You may also need to reduce your tension.
  • Sulky has four basic kinds of stabilizer with color coded labels:  permanent/cut away (purple), tear away (green), wash away (blue), and heat away (red).  This last one was new to me, and sounds awesome!  No need to leave your studio to get water; just run a dry iron over it.
  • Sulky's spray adhesive, KK2000, air dissipates in 3-5 days or heat dissipates (with an iron) immediately.  According to one guild member friend who uses this, it's the only one that doesn't bother her asthma and works great.  
  • When you use Fabri-Solvy, don't throw away your scraps.  You can add water to them and create "Liquid Solvy".  You can paint this on fabric that is normally slippery or too fuzzy to easily sew on to create a more stable base, and then just wash it out.  The example she showed was on a sweater, but I'm dying to try it on Minkee

 There was so much more, but you can find it all here.  At the end, they drew names for a whole slew of prizes.  I didn't win, but there was some good stuff in there!

This was just one example of the many, many quilts Nancy showed us.

Check out the gorgeous quilting:

 The back:

Later, they showed the raffle quilt top.  It is incredible!  I'll do a separate post on that later.

I thought I was going to have to use my Lamaze breathing to get through the budget discussion, but luckily they saved it for the end and the people who normally like to go into detail about how line items are listed in the reserve expense column...blah blah blah...accounting terms...blah blah blah...kill me now...must have been getting tired because it didn't drag on for too long.  Thankfully.

*For information about having a licensed Sulky educator speak at your guild meeting, simply contact Sulky directly.  I was not compensated in any way for this post or even asked to write it.  I just had a lot of fun, thanks to our awesome program committee!

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Modern Blocks Quilt Along - Stacked Squares

Today's Modern Block is Stacked Squares by Amanda Sasikirana

This block is super easy, especially if you do what I did and don't follow the directions. Maybe because Valentine's Day is coming up, but I adore the pink and brown together!

Monday, February 6, 2012

Clean Your Machine!

This is a public service announcement:  Clean Your Machine!

While I was sewing my next Modern Block, my bobbin finally ran out (yay, Aurifil!) so I decided it was as good a time as any to vacuum out my machine and change my needle.

I wish I had taken a picture of the dust in there! UGH! Even though I do this fairly regularly and haven't been sewing anything particularly fuzzy, I did skip the last bobbin refill because the vacuum cleaner was downstairs and I'm lazy.
Also, I'm sure the work going on in my house doesn't help.

P.S.  This is what I use to clean out my machine.  I have been told that the compressed air is not a good thing (nor is just blowing on it!) because that can actually force the dust further into the machine.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Modern Blocks Quilt Along - Missing Your Kiss

Today's Modern Block is Missing Your Kiss by Penny Michelle Layman.

This block looked so intimidating to me at first, I almost didn't try it. I'm so glad I did! It went together beautifully and would be a great way to use up strings in your stash. It could also be a terrific leader/ender project to keep next to your machine. I think this would make a fun pillow with just one block or a fun whole quilt.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Modern Blocks Quilt Along - To a T

Today's Modern Block is To a T by Cheryl Arkison 

This is possibly the easiest block ever.  It's a fun one to play around with big graphic fabrics and contrast.  There are so many ways to arrange groups of this block!

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