Thursday, May 31, 2012

May 2012 Free Motion Quilting Challenge

SewCalGal is hosting the 2012 Free Motion Quilting Challenge and I have taken the pledge!  Every month, there is a new tutorial and a chance to learn something new, improve free motion quilting skills, complete that month's challenge and enter to win awesome prizes.  This month's tutorial is written by Leah Day!

Leah Day was actually one of the first people I found online when I decided I wanted to learn more about free motion quilting.  I immediately fell in love with her 365 project, quilting 365 designs in 365 days!  Amazing!!  Much of my free motion practice and learning has been through watching and following Leah Day and her tuturials.  If you haven't seen them before, you should definately take the time to go check them out! 

This month for the 2012 Free Motion Quilting Challenge, Leah talked a lot about the basics of free motion quilting, from setting up your machine to using the right tools, and practice, practice, practice!  The challenge was to complete two foundational designs in free motion. 

The first design is a double stippling, which is were you create a large wavy line of stippling and then go back along that line with a smaller wavy line of stippling. The first line becomes the "foundational" line.

Here is my double stippling sample:

It's not perfect, but I have to admit that I probably rushed through it more than I should of.  When I'm working on a quilting an actual quilt, I really have to tell myself..."slow and steady, slow and steady...take your time".  But on a smaller 6"x6" square it's harder not to just whip through it.

Also, I realize now that I'm looking at this picture, that my second line of stippling could have been bigger to fill the space more evenly.  Good lesson for next time!

The second design is another foundational design where we created the same large wavy line of stippling but this time went back along that line with a smaller straight edged line of stippling to create a railroad track look.

Here is my railroad track sample:

I felt that this one went much smoother that the first one.  I'm not sure if it's because I find it easier to stitch a straight line or if it's just because I worked out all the rush in the first sample and was able to slow down more in this one.

Either way, I guess the reminders for me in doing this challenge are to practice more, slow down, and probably do some practice stitching to get myself into the motions before starting on the actual quilt.

Thanks Leah for the great tutorials this month!!!

 I'm linking up with SewCalGal!

Last Chance to Enter to Win!

If you haven't already entered, today is your last chance!!!

I'm giving away a Turtle Trails Quilt pattern and 4 batik fat quarters to one lucky person.

Entries will close at Midnight, Thursday May 31st, 2012 PDT! That's TODAY!

To enter, please:
1. Be a follower of my blog.  You must be a follower to win!
2. Leave a comment on the original giveaway post --->Here

On Friday, I will use a random generator to choose a winner and send them an email to let them know that they have won!

(Please make sure that you leave your email address in your comment or that I can access it on your profile!  No-Reply Bloggers will not win, because I have no way to contact them!)

Good Luck!!!

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

WIP Wednesday/End of the Month Stats

New Project Started This Week:

1. Black and Gray Shattered Quilt 
    Started 5/28/12 - Finished 3 large blocks - 4 blocks left to go, plus boarders and my first pieced quilt back!  Exciting! 

Current WIPs (works in progress):

1. Love Birds Whole Cloth Quilt
     Started 4/30/12 - still needs outside filler stitching in FMQ, blocking and binding.

2. 2012 Free Motion Quilting Challenge
    Started 3/25/12 - March - April Challenges Completed. Will be completing and posting the May Challenge tomorrow! (I know, I know...squeaking by!)

4. Queen Sized Mystery Quilt for a friend
    Started 4/9/12 - All 713 blocks completed, still piecing blocks together. (but have made progress piecing since last week)  Will then need boarders, quilting, and binding.

5. Rain Goddess Quilt
    Started 3/16/12 - All applique pieces fused to fuse-able web, ready to be appliqued, background "rain" half way finished...ran out of fabric and will have to wait until I get more to finish the background.

Recently Finished Projects:

1. Heart and Feather Whole Cloth Quilt (my first whole cloth!)
    Started 3/15/12 - Finished 4/28/12

2. Reunion Purse
    Started 5/20/12 - Finished 5/21/12 - This was my first purse project!

3. Craftsy Block of the Month Class
    Started 3/22/12 - January through May blocks completed!  Waiting for June tutorials...

April Blocks
May Blocks

Upcoming Projects:

1. Purse Palooza 2012 with amylouwho!
    I am looking forward to making and linking up some cute summer purses and bags during the Purse Palooza which will be running from June 4th - July11th!  Yea!  Can't wait!

Sew Sweetness

End of the Month Stats:
New Starts: 4
Finishes: 3
Current WIPs: 5

I'm linking up with WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced.

WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced

I Won Pat's Giveaway!

I was so excited to learn last week that I had won a giveaway on Pat's blog: Color me Quilty!

On the 15th of every month, Pat hosts a linky party for Quilty Embellishment Day!

I love participating in this linky party every month because their are so many talented people linking up all of their Quilty Embellishment goodness!  Embellishment meaning to add: "decoration, garnishing, ornament, gilding, enhancement, enrichment, adornment, ornamentation, trimming, beautification" to your quilting project. So much fun!!!

So, on the 15th of May, I linked up my progress on my Love Birds Whole Cloth Quilt. 

You can see both posts about this quilt here:
1. April 2012 Free Motion Quilting Challenge - Love Birds
2. Love Birds Whole Cloth: Part 2

Whole Cloth Quilts are made using a solid ("Whole") piece of fabric on the top and bottom, and then just embellishing with thread to create a design.

For this month, Pat was giving away two spools of high quality Yenmet metallic thread, one in Gold and one in Copper!  Anyone who linked up was entered to win!

I was so excited when I found out that I had won this giveaway and even more excited when I received a package from Pat in the mail!

She had wrapped the two spools of thread in a super cute yellow/orange fabric (Bonus Surprise!) and included a beautiful card.  (I need to get some awesome quilting stationary like this!)

 Once I got the thread in the mail, I instantly realized that this thread would be perfect for my Rain Goddess quilt, when I get ready to do some free motion quilting on all that long curly hair!

To see my latest post about the Rain Goddess Quilt: click here!
  Can't Wait! 

 Thank you so much Pat !!!!!!!  I couldn't be happier!

Please Vote! Blogger's Quilt Festival

It's so fun to see all of the wonderful quilts in the Bloggers Quilt Festival at Amy's Creative Side!  There are over 600 entries and 15 different categories to vote for!

So if you have some time, definitely go check them out and put in your votes! Click Here To Vote!

Here is the quilt that I entered... #620: Snips and Snails.

This quilt could fall into any of these 4 categories if you would like to vote for it:
Baby Quilt
Throw Quilt
Pieced Quilt
Home Machine Quilted Quilt

If you would like to see the original post for this quilt click here.

If you would like to see my Blogger's Quilt Festival post click here.

Voting will close at Midnight May 31st, 2012! Click Here To Vote!

I hope that you will vote for my quilt (#620) along with all of the other beautiful quilts that were entered into the festival!

Monday, May 28, 2012

Black and Gray Shattered Quilt

Of course the quilt shop that has the fabric I need to continue working on the Rain Goddess Quilt was closed today for Memorial day, but I still wanted to accomplish some quilting today and was not at home to work on some other works in progress, so I decided to go to JoAnn's instead and start a completely new project! Any excuse to buy more fabric, right?

I ended up getting all the fabric purchased and cut for a 62" x 77" Shattered Quilt from Quilting Modern, and then finished 3 of the 7 blocks for the center.

These blocks are so much fun!  Basically you're just slashing your block, sewing in a strip and then slashing it again, all in random wonky directions to give it that fractured/shattered look.

I choose to do the whole quilt top in solid grey and black and then choose some black and white prints for a pieced quilt back. Can't wait to finish this one and show you all the final quilt! 

And, on a side note, my younger brother recently finished Outdoor Camp where he learned how to make many crafts including friendship bracelets.  So my husband and I had some fun making friendship bracelets with him!  I know it's not quilting, but I just love doing fun and easy crafts with kids.  Too fun, not to share!

Hope you all had a great Memorial Day! 

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Rain Goddess Update

I'm sure you all have projects in your closets or sewing rooms that just always seem to get put on the back-burner right?  Well, this Rain Goddess quilt has been on the floor in our apartment for 2 months now, just waiting to be picked up and put together.  I think this was because the last time I worked on it, I definitely got a little overwhelmed (new technique, no pattern, lots of individual curly hair, etc).  And although it's nice to have the floor space to leave a project for that long, I decided it was high time to get this project off the floor and getting it moving in the right direction again!

All of the applique fabric (except the umbrella handle) is fused to the fusible web and cut, leaving just enough around the edges to fold under for a finished look.

I waited on the handle, because I am anticipating the need to make it longer or shorter once I have everything else together.  So this will most likely be the last thing I add on.

I then cut a white sheet to 5.5' by 4' so that I would have a guide for the background.

I wanted the background to be varied widths of different batik fabrics in a diagonal stripe for the "Rain".

Luckily in March, I learned how to sew string blocks for the Craftsy BOM project, because I realized that the background for this quilt is basically just a really large string block.

I really love batik fabrics, which is why this entire quilt will be made from batiks!
So to get the right angle I marked the white sheet diagonally, sewed my first strip to the sheet then folded the sheet back to sew the next strip and used the sheet only as a guide for each new strip.  Then when I am done, I will be able to trim everything up and cut away the sheet.

Unfortunately halfway though making the background, I ran out of fabric!!  Can you believe it?

So until I get more we go...

Can't wait to finish the background and start appliqueing all that hair!

Also, if you haven't already, please check out my giveaway that's going on through Thursday, March 31st, 2012 for a chance to win a Turtle Trails Quilt pattern and 4 fat quarters of batik fabric! Click here to check it out!

Happy Quilting Everyone!

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Giveaway Reminder!

Just a quick reminder that although all of the SewMamaSew giveaways ended yesterday (Friday), my giveaway of the Turtle Trails Quilt Pattern and 4 batik fat quarters is still open through Thursday 5/31/2012 at Midnight PDT. 

If you would like to enter to win this giveaway please:

1) be a follower of my blog
2) leave a comment (only one per person) on the original post - Click here to go the original post

(note: leaving a comment on this post will not get you must leave a comment on the original post to enter)

Good luck!

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Giveaway Day!!!!!!!

This whole week is Giveaway Day (really Giveaway Week) at SewMamaSew.  You will definitely want to make sure to go check out all the awesome giveaways over there!

 But first, take a look at what I am giving away right here!

I saw this pattern for Turtle Trails in my local quilt shop and just couldn't pass it up...

So I am giving away the pattern and 4 Batik fat quarters (total of 1 yard)  to get you started!

Now, all of the giveaways this week are supposed to end on Friday May 25th, 2012.  But since I am late in posting this giveaway, it will be open for entries until Thursday May 31st, 2012 at midnight PDT (one week from today).   - It's only fair!

To Enter, please do both of the following: 
  1. Follow my blog. You must be a follower to win.
    The link to become a follower can be found on the right side of this page.
  2. Leave a comment on this post. Maybe telling me who you would make this quilt for.
    Only leave one comment per person.
    (Please make sure that I have your email address!!  No email means no entry!  If you are a no-reply blogger, please include your email in your post!)
This giveaway is open to International entries as well.

I will select the winner using a random number generator and notify them by email on June 1st, 2012.
**Again please make sure I have your email address so that I can tell you if you've won!!

I hope that you all enjoy the chance to win this giveaway and I can't wait to ship it off to one lucky person!

Good luck to everyone who enters!!!!

New Purse!

This last weekend I was really just in the mood to start and finish something in one sitting....I had some ideas for some large scale patterned quilts which I will most likely be making down the line, but finally decided on making a purse/bag. My current purse was falling apart and I had never made a purse before so I figured that this was as good of a time as any! 

I used 2 fabrics from the Reunion Line by Sweetwater (love them!).

Reunion Graphite (in Canvas)
For the Outside
Reunion Baby's Bunting Grey
For the Inside

I didn't have a pattern for this purse, just my old purse as a general reference.  I did find that there are a few things I might do differently the next time and/or may have done differently if I would have been following a pattern to start with, but overall, I'm just super excited about this bag and had a ton of fun making it! :)

There is even a little pocket on the inside for all of my smaller items...

Here is a close up of the way the handle was sewn...

And of course the inside of the purse...

This purse was the perfect project for me to switch gears from quilting for a day and get my mind going in a different direction trying to figure out how to put everything together.

I'm so glad to have a new purse again....and be able to say "yes, I made that!" if people ask.

I look forward to making a least a few more of these bags in different fabrics and actually working out a solid pattern for it.

In fact, I already have one request from a good friend to make her one!  Can't wait!

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

WIP Wednesday

A little progress report...

Current WIPs (works in progress):

1. Love Birds Whole Cloth Quilt
     Started 4/30/12 - still needs outside filler stitching in FMQ, blocking and binding.

2. 2012 Free Motion Quilting Challenge
    Started 3/25/12 - March and April Challenges Completed. You can see the March challenge below.  I used Love Birds Whole Cloth for the April Challenge. May challenge - not started. (will be getting to this soon!)

March Challenge Project

3. Craftsy Block of the Month Class
    Started 3/22/12 - January through May blocks completed!  Waiting for June tutorials...

4. Queen Sized Mystery Quilt for a friend
    Started 4/9/12 - All 713 blocks completed, currently piecing blocks together.  Will then need boarders, quilting, and binding.

5. Rain Goddess Quilt
    Started 3/16/12 - this has been on the back burner a bit but I have made some progress on it that I will be posting in the next week or so.... can't wait to show you!

Recently Finished Projects:

1. Heart and Feather Whole Cloth Quilt (my first whole cloth!)
    Started 3/15/12 - Finished 4/28/12

2. Reunion Purse
    Started 5/20/12 - Finished 5/21/12 - This was my first purse project!  I don't have any pictures yet (I know...horrible!), but I did use fabrics from the Reunion line by Sweetwater (I have been wanting to use their line for quite a while the fabric!) I've been meaning to get a few pictures with it outside, but all of our sunny days turned to rain again.  I will definable post about it later this week.

Slightly Abandoned Projects:

1. Retro Flower Quilt Along
    I bought fabric for this project on 4/8/12 with all the intentions in the world to get right to work on it, but I just can't seem to get going.  So,  I do hope to return to this quilt later on, but for now it will have to sit in my cue.

Thanks for stopping by!

I'm linking up with WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced.

WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced

Happy Quilting!