Sunday, July 27, 2014

Ahh...Spiral Quilting

I have had a lot of inside sewing time this weekend. Too hot and rainy to do anything else. I cannot wait until it cools down.

I have had time to baste and start quilting my giant batik quilt top from Bali.
Saturday afternoon, a time for a pale ale and some basting.

 I wasn't sure what to do with this top. It's made of a variety of synthetic fabrics. Some feel like rayon, others are polyester knits, some have metallic bits on them. Basically, I don't really know what it's made of, and I was really nervous to start quilting it.

Most of the points don't match up, so I really didn't want to make those stand out with straight line quilting. Also, there are a lot of areas where the fabric bunches up, and isn't cut evenly, so I was also worried about getting a lot of puckers on the top. I don't know how to FMQ, so I decided to quilt an off-center spiral on it with my walking foot.

This quilt is 80 x 100, so doing an off-center spiral may not have been the best idea. There were times early on when I wasn't sure I would be able to push the whole quilt through the tiny throat space on my machine. The nice thing about quilting in a spiral is that it gets much easier as the spiral gets bigger. I also like the look of it. I used Aurifil 40 wt blue variegated thread, and it seems to blend in very well. I haven't had many issues with puckers, so I'm happy.

The bad thing about it is that it takes forever. I have used 4 bobbins already and I don't think I'm halfway there yet.

I'm hoping I'll reach one of the edges today.

Also, my walking foot seems to be malfunctioning. The lever that brings the top feed dogs up and down keeps getting stuck in the up position, and it isn't pulling the top layer through.  I haven't found anything about this online. Has this happened to anyone? I haven't had it for very long, but maybe there is some walking foot maintenance that I'm not aware of.

Hoping for some sunshine and time outdoors today so I can get some decent pictures of a finished quilt, fingers crossed!

Happy Sunday!

Linking with Nini and the Sea Weekly Inspiration Linky Party.

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Stitchcraft Challenge

Happy Sunday!

Today I am mostly looking on pinterest, trying to find an awesome idea for the Stitchcraft Challenge.

Stitchcraft, my local quilt shop, hosts a yearly challenge based around a challenging fabric.

This year they chose this coffee cup print from Collage by Windham Fabrics. 

Everyone gets a 1/2 yard for free. I can make anything I want, doesn't have to be quilted, as long as it's finished by 5pm on September 2nd. I can add anything I want, and I can cut up the fabric as much as I want (as long as they can see I used the challenge fabric in my design.)

I have been trying to decide what to do, it actually seems like a lot of fabric, but I feel like I must make something kitchen or coffee related. I need a new tea cozy, and I want to make mug rugs, but those wouldn't use up much fabric. Maybe a wall hanging? Apron? Cut up the coffee cups so I don't even recognize them? I don't know.

I need an awesome coffee cup quilt idea.

Off to waste my entire Sunday looking at pinterest....


Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Open Wide Pouch + Last Day of Blog Hop

I finally made Noodlehead's open wide pouch last weekend. This was my first time making a bag or pouch, and using a zipper. Her tutorial is great, and now I'm ready to make loads of these for everyone I know.
I got to use my new favorite fabric, Hapi by Amy Butler. For the front I used Celestial. I like this print, but it's too big for my EPP project, so I'm trying to use it for bags. I also used Essex yarn-died linen in black.
For the 'back' I used tapestry, which is another larger scaled print. This may be my favorite in the whole bunch.
This turned out much better than I planned, and is perfect for carrying around my EPP project. I made the large size from the tutorial, but think I'll make more pouches in different sizes. They're so useful. I also really love this fabric and want more of it. I've already got two quilts planned and started. I'd love to make more bags, or clothes with it, maybe next month.
I'm thinking about trying to make a larger bag now. I'd really like a larger beach bag, or travel bag. Any recommendations?
Also, don't forget that tomorrow is the final day of Plum and June's 2014 New Blogger Blog Hop. If you're like me, you may be catching up from last week, but here's the final group of new quilt bloggers. Everyone will be showing highlights of their favorite projects as well as their favorite blogging and quilting tips:
Happy Tuesday!

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

I'm Ready. New Quilt Bloggers Blog Hop!

Hello everyone, my name is Kate, welcome to my blog!

Today it's my turn to introduce myself as part Plum and June's New Quilt Blogger Blog Hop. There are so many talented quilters and bloggers participating this year, and it has been a lot of fun getting to know everyone over the last month or so since the hop started.   
I started quilting earlier this year (April) and finished my first quilt soon after. I just started blogging in May, so I'm new to all of this. Luckily, there's a lot of information (and helpful fellow quilter/bloggers) to help.
My first quilt was hand quilted, and that's still my favorite way to quilt. I'm getting more practice with machine quilting, and trying to get more creative with my walking foot. I keep telling myself I'll try FMQ, and I'm sure I will, someday soon.
Since I started quilting, I've become a weekend warrior (when it comes to quilting and sewing) and have amassed large piles of fabric and WIPs.
My Favorite WIP--EPP Hapi Hexie Project. I think I have 12 of them sewn together as of today, eek! I also made an open wide pouch and needle book, you know, because I needed them to be able to do EPP.
Right now, I'm participating in the Supernova Friendship Swap, hosted by Late Night Quilter and One Million Stitches. I'm also participating in a bee with some other members of this blog hop. We're just getting started, but I'm excited about my month (November) and I'm currently trying to decide which block to do. Any suggestions?? I can't wait to see Pam's quilt--she's the first queen bee. We're doing a swap with scrappy blocks, if you have any fun block suggestions, I'll take them!
I've really enjoyed getting more involved in the quilting and blogging community. I recently joined the local MQG, and made my first Project Linus quilt.
When I'm not working, I'm quilting, and if I'm not quilting, I'm doing yoga, reading, or taking nice walks on the beach with my husband (ha!). We're very lucky to live so close to Hollywood Beach, the only problem is, it's way too hot! I have lived in the tropics before (Indonesia), but forgot how hot and humid it is. I'm ready to head west again.
My blogging tip: get in the habit of pictures of your work. This is my crafting tip in general. I used to crochet and never took pictures of anything I made (including 5 afghans!). I'm trying to learn to be better at this, if not for my blog, then for my parents (they still love seeing pictures of things I make :) ).
I also find it's helpful to have an excellent partner in crime to help model, photograph or hold up your quilts. Other than that, I haven't got much advice, I'm rubbish at the technical stuff. I haven't had the time or patience to figure it out yet. Someday... maybe. I am definitely going to make a header with a picture. For now, I think I have the essentials (I hope! If not, please don't be shy)
My quilting tip: get the tools you need to make life easier. For me, this has been a large rotary cutting mat, a nicer seam ripper, clover wonder clips, and several bottles of starch.
I also find a nice cup of tea (or glass of wine) helps, depending on the time of day, or level of frustration.

Here's me and my husband in front of the Florida state sign, we're collecting these photos. I think we still have 37 or so to go.

A little more about me--
Dream vacation spot: Galapagos Islands or The Azores, I also want to go hiking in North Sumatra or Komodo again (used to live in Indonesia, which is a stunningly beautiful country)
Favorite book: 100 Years of Solitude (I got my degree in Spanish, and love Gabriel Garcia Marquez.)
Currently reading: Life, The Universe and Everything. I'm also taking recommendations, any suggestions? 
Favorite movie: must be Fargo or The Big Lebowski, I love the Coen brothers and think John Goodman is hilarious.
Favorite TV Show: Gavin and Stacy (at least this week)
Other favorites: Amy Butler's Hapi fabric, salt and vinegar potato chips, Elvis, milk in my tea, Rubik's cubes, pale ale, refrigerator magnets, key lime pie, Ikea, cheeseburgers and Crocs.
My question for my readers:
Do you also find that there is thread everywhere? If not, please tell me your secret :).  I'm off to find a new lint roller to take with me to work tomorrow, so I can stop looking such a mess. 
Thanks for sticking around to get to know a little more about me. I've reached the end of my longest post ever, woohoo! Now go check out these other blogs in the blog hop:
Janet @ Simply Pieced
Kristyn @ Melon Patch Quilts
Rachel @ Quiltineering

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Friday Finish, Just Two Days Late

I hope everyone has had a wonderful holiday weekend!

Mr. Thread Everywhere has a terrible weekend, he's been in bed with an ear infection for the past few days. I finished this quilt on Friday, but he is my quilt photographer, so I wasn't able to get pictures until today. I used an ironing board to hold the quilt, while I took photos.

It worked out pretty well, as this is just 36 X 36. I made the quilt for  Project Linus, our local chapter needs small baby quilts for the NICU.

I've been wanting to do a spiral on one of my larger quilt tops, but wanted to try it on something small. It's easier than I thought, but the beginning was tricky. This was my third attempt, and I figured this was as good as it was going to get. The Quilting Edge had a great tutorial, and it was easy to understand.

This was also a great opportunity to use up some scraps. I did by a couple of blue fat quarters, and the animals from Joann's (on sale last week). The batting only cost $5 (also on sale at Joann's). So this quilt cost me less than $10 in new materials.

 These blocks were fun and simple to make. I just cut different sized squares out of the animal prints, and framed them with blue and green scraps until I had 12.5 x 12.5 blocks.

This was also my first time making a scrappy binding, and doing the binding by machine only.

I think I'll stick to hand binding in the future. There were a few spots where I missed the fabric (and a few where I caught the binding on the back, too). I much prefer the look of hand binding on the back of the quilt, and for me it's worth the extra time.

Overall, I'm very pleased with this, and I love the animals and polka-dots. I'm looking forward to making more of these this summer.

Happy Sunday!

Linking with Crazy Mom Quilts.