Monday, July 30, 2012

Cellphone & Earphone Cases

During this years quilt retreat Anki was making adorable cellphone cases, my mother made one too and soon everyone was making them, they're so cute and I of course had join the club =)

I made mine in Ruby by Bonnie & Camille. I'm glad it has a lid as I tend to drop my phone now and then and in this case it won't get hurt at all. =) The hanger on the earphone case is giant rick rack and the little chameleon on the zipper was a gift from a dear friend.


It's a super handy little case thanks to the little pocket on the front, perfect to stuff a little cash and a credit card in so one doesn't have to bring ones entire purse for a quick shopping run. My earphones exactly fits in the little case so it doesn't take up any more room then absolutely necessary and the clips at the tops makes them super easy to attach to one another and then hang in a belt loop.

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Sunday Stash = Stash Stack Club!

Today my first shipment of Stash builders arrived from Pink Castle Fabrics and I couldn't be happier! Such lovely fabrics and such a wide range! My favourites are the one at the top and the criss cross one second from the right, so pretty!

I'm a huge fan of Jeni from In Color Order,  I love her work and her amazingly inspiring blog. I've been following her Art of Choosing series rigorously and I've really been trying to learn how to stash smartly as nearly all the fabric in my teeny tiny stash are impossible to use - as I had no clue what I was doing back when I bought them. =)

So when she announced the Stash Stack Club which she and Pink Castle Fabrics where organizing I immediately knew I wanted to take part, oh so badly! However, the issue was Malta and their darn customs, it's a whole issue that can takes days and numerous visits to the post parcel office (which is located in a desolate spot on the island so I have to take a taxi there making it very costly too) to get the things one has ordered and paid for. Luckily the awesome people at Pink Castle allowed me to do a test month which went splendidly as they'd packed the shipment flat enough to go directly in my mailbox and I didn't have to go to the customs office at all! Thanks a lot and I can't wait for the next months shipment! =)


Castle Fabrics

Friday, July 27, 2012

I love Panduro Hobby!

Especially when they're selling gorgeous Tilda Fabrics at 50% discount! When I was in Sweden for the quilt retreat they had summer sales and lucky me managed to score some beautiful Tilda fabric and various tools and notions at 50% off. Made for a very happy Maria, especially when you look at the adorable color matching pom poms! Seriously, how cute are they? Bought ½ yard of each fabric except for the greens where they only had one of each FQ left.

I also found some adorable cotton lace, intended for scrapbooking but I'm sure it will work lovely in sewing projects too. ^^

And this is such an adorable little eyelet puncher and the most teeny tiny eyelets in such adorable colors! Can't wait to try to include these in some projects!

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Back from this years quilting retreat!

So I've been to Sweden for 10 days for my yearly "computer free week and quilt retreat for sanity" =) And it was lovely as always, the ladies  there (some new and others I now met for the 6th year in a row) are some of the most amazing ones I know and I couldn't be prouder to call them my friends. <3<3<3

We've had a wonderful week with lot's of laughs, good food, good wine and lot's and lots of sewing time. I think one of the the best things is that you can open up a discussion about fabric selection and suddenly have >5 people helping you, and all of them actually being equally interested as you are in the selections for your quilt.

I'll be showing you my own creations and acquisitions when I have some spare time to photograph them properly but as it is I'm lucky enough to have my sister visiting for a week and I want to spend all my non working time with her (sneaking in this post while she's in the shower ^^).

Here's some of the photos and this years beautiful creations, sadly many of my photos where very poor quality due to them being taken with my compact and didn't make the cut. 

Adorable Emma was cutting from a sitting position this year due to her being pregnant. But you'd never know that with the speed she was producing beautiful things! I wish you the best of luck with everything sweet!

 Emmas creations, just look at the adorable little baby booties!

Awesome Fia and her simply gorgeous jeans bag!  I want one so badly!

My hands down favorite creation this year,  Maggans absolutely stunning applique quilt! I love everything about it, from the amazingly selected colors, to the pretty choice of applique flower to the insane piecing accuracy. Wow!

 Closeup of one of the  gorgeous applique flowers. Maggans attention to detail is just beyond me, fantastic!

My fantastic mothers adorable phone and earphones cases. I got so inspired I had to make my own right away! ^^  I don't want to blog about the other pretty things she created as I'm hoping she will will do that herself. You can read her blog here: Evas Syrum, it's in Swedish but Google translate works quite well and you can always just look at the pretty pictures she's always sharing if not =)

One of the amazing Anki's many, many gorgeous creations, she's just as sweet as the colors of this quilt top. Thanks for everything Anki, from teachings, to laughs, to endless patience and gifts! <3 In her case you can also see more of her creations on her Swedish blog here: Kinnas Sy

 Ursula making adorable little mug rugs! Also here I got so inspired I had to buy fabric to make my own =)

Some of Ursulas simply beautiful creations, the interesting thing is that "she really doesn't like to sew" ^^ This was her first year at the quilt retreat but it really felt like she'd been there every year as she fit right in with the rest of us crazies. ^^

 Fia's adorable little vanity case for her daughter.

And a blurry pic of "our corner", it's because there was always so much activity there ^^

I miss everyone already! Thanks for a fantastic week everyone!

Friday, July 6, 2012

2012 Free Motion Quilting Challenge - June

I had to quilt some more feathers, they're truly addicting! I love how fun they are to do! Diane Gaudynski really changed my quilting life with her tutorial just as Sewcalgal is doing with this challenge, thanks again! <3

So I went in and dove head first into the June challenge. It was by Cindy Needham and contained a LOT of information. She does amazing quilting and I think I will come back to some of the stuff she talked about. However, for me personally, it was too much text and to many areas covered in the same tutorial for me to feel 100% about it. Please don't get me wrong, I LOVE to read and I love to learn new things, it's just that when I read a tutorial, I want it to explain what I need to know fairly straight to the point, and this felt a bit too open ended.

It was also quite hard for me to do as I'm no fan of the Zentangle thing that's so popular right now, to much crazy going on, no organization and no order... But I really want to embrace each and every challenge so I tried to go at it with an open mind.

I really don't like the outcome (too much stuff going on) but I do like the idea of solving the issue of to much blank space by sub dividing it. Plus it was really fun to do so much tiny quilting and so many different things at once. And it was also really good for me I think to have to do something that was completely out of my comfort zone when it came to design. =)

I'll be honest with you and admit that I skipped the sketching part again. I have too precious little time in front of the machine as it is and I didn't want to waste any of it that could be spent with thread and needle on pen and paper. I've spent a lot of my time growing up doodling so I thought I had most of the element's she mentioned pretty much embedded in my muscle memory anyway.

It was also fun to learn that I was already doing with microstitches to the stop and going when quilting was the longarm quilter way. I had no idea ^^

I'm really enjoying this challenge, I just wish I had a lot more time to practice!


On the topic of quilting, I thought I'd also show you some of my quilting test blocks for my Periodic Table Quilt. Please excuse the sloppy look of the quilting, it's just test blocks and I just wanted to see the effects. Here you can also see a few of all the incorrect elements I had to replace. In a way it was good as I did about 6 of these test blocks of 4 until I had decided on what I wanted to do.

My original idea was to outline the letters to get them to pop, a good idea in theory, not so much in reality. And then I tried a ton of different versions before I decided on the outlined block instead of letters and then a simple all over stipple to not distract from the lettering and be sure I got the same density of quilting all over.

The end result as you've seen ^^

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

2012 Free Motion Quilting Challenge - February

February in July you ask? Better late then never right?

I've wanted to be able to quilt feathers freehand since I first saw them on a quilt. It was the dream, the ultimate FMQ goal. Well, I may not be there yet but I am a whole lot closer then I was before this tutorial. I've been looking forward to trying it since I saw it, Diane Gaudynski sure made it look easy enough ^^ I really LOVED her tutorial! Super easy to follow thanks to very clear pictures and just the right amount of text that you would actually read it all (otherwise I always skim, I'm a bad girl), but still feel you've gone in depth on the subject

Luckily, it wasn't as difficult as I had feared! It's not easy and I do have a lot of practice to go before I'll be happy with my feathers, but at least, it's one of those "terrified to even try" things I can cross of my list!

 My brain is not made for echo quilting! I was really bored after the first round back from the feathers... And it shows. But it does give a pretty cool effect.

I really like making feathers though and there's a lot of fun stuff I'm dying to try, like the branched feathers, more swirls and twirls, leafs and tendrils. But unfortunately, work doesn't permit much play at the sewing machine atm so I figured I'd settle with the above, my second attempt to show you. I really hope I'll have time to play some more with feathers soon though.

This was my first attempt, I actually prefer the more regular shape of the feathers like the ones here I think, then the more crazy ones I did for my second attempt above.

If you haven't taken the pledge yet, it's not to late, you can join up any time during the year to become a better free motion quilter and have the chance to win fabulous prizes!!