Thursday, December 29, 2011

Seam ripping

Hope everyone had a lovely Christmas! =)
Myself I pretty much slept for 2 days straight when Christmas was over and all releases on our games had been done and all had gone well. Can't tell you the relief I feel each year when the 25h is finally over. Not much Christmas spirit I know, but we did celebrate Christmas with our dear friends and had a lovely day with very good food and good fun. 

I got a package from Quilt Direct with some much needed supplies a day or so before Christmas, such as a brand new cutting mat (mine turned all bubbly from the heat this summer and I've been meaning to get a new one for 4 or so months...), some batting, new needles etc and the must urgent thing,  a brand new seam ripper.

So while others are thinking about the holidays, I've been thinking about the happiness that I feel when I rip the first seams with a brand new seam ripper. You know,  before it goes all dull from use?

While it's my most trusty tool (I'm embarrassed to admit it but I go through a couple in a year...), there are few things I generally  hate to do more then unpick seams. So when I learned a handier way of doing it last summer, my life became much easier! Maybe I'm the only one who didn't know this but before, I'd try and separate the fabric and rip the seams between the two layers, a really bad method which often resulted in holes in the fabric and much frustration.

Now I simply cut up every 4th or so stitch on one side of the seam like so, it's a bit hard to tell in the photo but you just cut up every forth seam.

And then you can just pull on the thread on the other side like so and you have a reasonably quickly and neatly ripped seam with minimal risk for fabric damage.=)

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Christmas Wreath Pillow

So Pink Chalk Studio is hosting a Countdown to Christmas which consists of a set of tutorials, one for each day and there's just so much there I would have loved to do. However, my tight schedule didn't exactly allow me to try all. So I decided to try my favourite for a pillow I wanted to do to match my new table topper and quilt. I went with day five Made by Marci Girl Designs which was a take on Lily's quilts tutorial.

This is my premature start of my new years resolution for this year (tackle my sewing fears, more on that later) in that it was my very first attempt at curved piecing, and to be honest, at this point in the process I was more then a little panicked: 

However, I have to say it turned out really great! I just love it! The bow is attached with Velcro and can be taken off for naps ^^ And I have to say thank you for those of you who offered encouraging words on my custom quilting attempt on the Flurry Presents quilt, as that's what made me dare to do it again on the pillow and I couldn't be happier. Loving the pebbling (that was so much fun!) and the wreath.


Fancy Folded Star

And I'm also honoured to be featured on Pink Chalk Studios countdown to Christmas yesterday myself with my Fancy Folded Star tutorial. 

Merry Christmas Everyone!

Friday, December 16, 2011

Snowflake table topper

Since I needed something a bit less summery then my Summer Squares Table Topper for the table, I decided to whip up a quick one from some of my Flurry scraps. Ended up playing a lot with my decorative stitches when quilting it since I now can use them perfectly again after my beloved Horizon was given some TLC by the service guy =)


Please vote in the Quilting Gallery Christmas Contest

I've participated with my Flurry quilt in the weekly contest over at the Quilting Gallery, and it would  be great if you hopped over and voted: Vote for your favorite Christmas quilts.

There are a ton of stunning entries so go over there and take a look =)

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Gifts for a friends birthday

 A dear friend of mine is getting a year older in a few days and she said when we where out last time that'd she'd love to have a cover for her cellphone. So I traced it on the back of some paper I had in my pocket and then saved it for this very occasion =)

She's a super sweet girl and loves pink just like me, so here's what I came up with. The cellphone cover has a matching little purse to keep make-up and stuff you don't want rolling around in your purse. I made the bottom flat so it wouldn't take up too much room. Fabric is mostly Sunkissed scraps (yes, still from the same jelly roll as I made my Sunkissed Squares quilt, table topper, table runner and pillow with, there's so much fabric in a jelly roll!) and a little Kona coal. Isn't the little music not adorable?

 Back of the little purse, added a few studs. Please keep your fingers crossed for me that she'll like it and that her phone will fit.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Free Motion Quilting on your home machine - a tip for less friction!

Tried and true, this is just the best!

I've read a lot about ways to make FMQ on ones home machine easier and the use of silicone on the sewing machine bed, or tools like the Supreme Slider. Despite really wanting to try the Supreme Slider, I didn't feel I could justify the purchase of something so expensive right now that I didn't know if it'd actually make a big difference for me or not. So I decided to try and find silicone spray that was safe for use on fabric instead. Just to see if it would make a difference - no luck. This is Malta and no one had heard of such a thing and looked at me like I was crazy when I asked around XD

So while ironing down some appliqué shapes, I realized I had a Teflon sheet in my hand and yes, it was super slippery of course! The light went on and I decided to try and use it to make my own Teflon slider! I just made a small hole for the needle with my paper scissors and taped it down with some painters tape (leaves no residue, really easy to lift to change bobbin and cheap) and I gave it a go. Really wish I'd known what a difference it would make from day one! It sooo much easier to FMQ when the quilt doesn't drag or snag! I've used this sheet for my last two quilts and I'll never FMQ without it again that's for sure!

So I really recommend trying this if you FMQ on your home machine, it really made a world of difference, not just in result, but also in how tired my arms, neck and back got. When I get a chance I'll probably buy a supreme slider but for now, this sheet is my best friend! =D

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Flurry Finish!

My Flurry Presents Quilt is finally finished! It was my first attempt at anything but an all over quilt design, and while it's far from perfect, I'm really glad I tried. However I think I'm not really "there" yet as my skill is much to low for it to looks really good. Which is why I've decided that this year will be my FMQ year! I really want to get better at it so I've decided to participate in SewCalGal's Freemotion Quilting Challenge. I can't wait to get started! Why not join you too? The more the merrier! =)

I also thought I'd show you what excellent help I have always when sewing and working on my quilts, Diana is here making use of her skills as "professional" quilt tester, and yes it works nicely as a bed.

And she also tested that it works as a quilt when I was attaching the binding, she wanted me to let you know - it's very cosy! =) She's so silly, she thinks it's cold inside at night now so she's always burrowing under stuff, it's adorable! She also sleeps under the covers at night again now, that's what I love most about the winter season apart from getting to cuddle up under my favorite quilts, she sleeps on my arm all night. <3

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Winner of My Memories Software!

The winner is Susan!

She said: " I blogged about your giveaway in between my advent posts"
Susan, I'll email you with the code to claim your copy of the my memories software shortly =)

 Thanks to those who participated! <3

Just use this promo code at checkout: STMMMS12916

Friday, December 9, 2011

Quilting all the way!

So to keep my sanity in this HD crash disaster I decided to start quilting my Flurry Quilt. Since I can't work for real anyway, apart from when I can borrow Andreas computer and that gives me quite a lot of time to quilt. So every downside have an upside right? After having seen this gorgeous version that Natalia over at Piece N Quilt quilted for one of her clients I got so inspired that I decided to try something that wasn't a fail safe all over design this time =)

So while I'm far away from her amazing result, I'm quite happy with my swirls despite them being anything but perfect (this is a major step for perfectionist me! Am I growing up? ^^) and I'm having a ton of fun planning how to quilt the presents and the border!

So I went off in search for inspiration over at my favourite quilters and after reading this tutorial for a Diamond Sashing over at Green Fairy Quilts I think I might dare to try something with straight lines in it but FMQ, cool right? I was stunned with happiness when I read it! I thought I'd never be able to FMQ straight lines, but the secret was so simple and right in front of me on my cutting table the whole time... Yes I'm a bit embarrassed that I hadn't thought of using a ruler for it it on my own - but now that I know: Wohoo! Here I come straight lines! =D


If you're looking for the My Memories Suite give away, it can be found here, still 1 day left to enter! =)

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Harddrive crash and Ruby

So yesterday was very much a good day turned into a very bad day kind of deal...

My pretty much brand new SSD disk died yesterday. And since Andreas identical disk died a week ago and he just shipped his off for replacement two days ago - we're now officially out of disks to run Windows from as Andreas took my extra disk when his crashed... And mine died hard, I mean completely died, not even recognized by BIOS, darn crappy SSD's from OCZ! They where not even 4 months old!

So I'm currently running Ubuntu from a CD, not ideal at all when you work from your computer, quite a lot of panic in our house today... But at least I can take care of most things until I get a replacement sent (if they ever bother to reply to our request about a new RMA).


But before that and on a happier  note, I found out that River Fabrics carries Ruby and even have FQ bundles! I was so happy as it's a pain to order from the US here in Malta (you can read about my struggles with customs here). And the owner Janette being the great person she is, gave me a fantastic deal on shipping <3

Soon I'll be touching her, Ruby - the woman of my dreams ;)

Like some of you know I've been dreaming of Ruby since she  was announced and the very day I manage to get my hands on some, Camille announces their next, if possible even more fabulous line - Vintage Modern!

Images borrowed from Simplify - Camilles Blog.


If you're looking for the My Memories Suite give away, it can be found here, still 2 more days left to enter! =)

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Why you should go to bed and not sit down in front of the sewing machine when you've worked for nearly 24 hours...

So, let's just say that this morning when I looked at the photo I took of my finished work from last night, I thought it looked a little weird....

Let's say it looked much more "compact" then I thought it would look...

As it turns out I had forgotten something, namely some white background strips! So I had some serious seam ripping to do today. But tonight I finished and I now have a top looking a bit closer to what I intended =)

Sorry about the crappy photos but they where taken in the middle of the night and my "real" lens is at Sigma being exchanged/fixed as it gave up. I'm by no means a good photographer, but I realize how luxurious I have it with our normal lens (usually at a half automatic setting) when I try to take photos at night with the kit lens =)


If you're looking for the My Memories Suite give away, it can be found here:

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Giveaway! Win the My Memories Suite software!

I'm super happy to be hosting my very first giveaway thanks to the lovely people over at My Memories!

Those of you who know me know I need a new hobby like I need a hole in the head but like you also know, I dabbled a little in digital scrapbooking a while back to make my new header and it was so much fun! But a bit of a hassle doing it in Photoshop... So when I was contacted by My Memories I just jumped at the chance at trying their digital scrapbooking software and also getting the chance to let one of you dear readers, have a chance of winning your very own full version of the My Memories Suite!

After having played a round with it for a little while now I can tell you, there's much fun you can do with this software, especially when it comes to fun gifts. And don't' only think printing  as that's what put me off at first, I'm not the paper photo kind of gal - think digital photo frames! Just save your album as .jpg images and you can make super fun gifts by simply buying a digital picture frame (if the recipient doesn't have one) and a cheap memory card that suits the frame with your album pages in .jpg format and you have a super fun gift (tutorial for this and a ton of other things are available on their webpage)! It's quite easy and logical to use, which is a big bonus if you like me have very limited time and don't want to spend it reading manuals.

If you're a blogger, there's a ton of fun things you can create, like fancy new blog headers:

Or just give your photos adorable frames and designs, like this one of my finances adorable niece Matilda (Or "Tilla" to use her own pronunciation) from when they where visiting us earlier last month, she'd eaten ice cream and was happily playing in the park:

And when we're on the topic of visit from the family, I just have to show you (despite how terrible I look in the photo, had been more or less ill for a month) my favourite part of the day with the kids, and it's when I get to curl up with them all in bed, one in my lap (or at times all three, but it gets a little difficult to read then) and the rest around me reading a storybook. I have such lovely memories of my mother doing that for me and my sister when we where young and storybook time was the best time of the day back then. 

Anyhow, there's a lot of fun stuff you can do with this software.  All of the above is done with what comes included with the My Memories Suite, however,  they have a number of free kits for download and unlimited ones you can buy to increace the possibilities. Ok, so yes - I do realize I sound super silly in all the above commentary but it really is fun to play with this and I'm excited about the opportunity to share it with your all. =)

Finally, we're at the good part! =D

You can do any of the below to get one or more chances to win, please make one comment for each of your entries and make sure you're not a a no reply blogger (hop over to Sew Many Ways  if you're unsure if you are) or include your email if you're a no-reply blogger so I have a way to contact you if you win, otherwise, I'll draw a new name. The giveaway closes in one weeks time so on the 10th of December, the winner will be announced! =)

1. Comment on this post and tell me what you would want to try and make first with the My Memories Suite.
2. Become a follower of my blog, or if you already are, just state that you're a follower.
3. Blog about the giveaway and comment with a link to your post.
4. Twitter/Facebook about the giveaway comment with a link to your post

And to make sure no one feels left out, My Memories are giving all of you readers a $10 discount off the purchase of the My Memories Suite Scrapbook software for those of you who don't win and a $10 coupon for the store after purchasing the software - $20 value!

Just use this promo code at checkout: STMMMS12916 

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Flurry on the way!

I've finished all the blocks for my Flurry with Flurry quilt and here's what I've got.

I've such a major crush on this quilt before it's even done and an even bigger one on this fabric line!

I also had to share with you my silly Diana who had "taken down" my Summer Squares quilt from the edge of the couch cuddled up so cutely for a grooming and napping session which I interrupted with my picture taking, hence the accusatory stare =)