Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Gift for one of my dads

I'm lucky enough to have two you see ^^
I imagine that the topic is a bit confusing, it's just that the word "step dad" is so ugly that I don't want to use it. It's a bracelet he's wished for for some time. He's a large man, over 2 meters tall and well muscled so I needed something that wouldn't look delicate or too thin, but at the same time not so big it would become clumsy so he couldn't wear it when he worked. I think I managed quite well with that =)

He sent me these beautiful pictures of himself wearing it as I completely forgot to photograph it before I gave it away. It's a five strand braid with twisted skin thongs around and finished with the two folded three strand bracelets. It's black lambskin with a reindeer antler button.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

2 nights in Paris

I just got back from a short weekend in Paris with eleven of our friends, we had a lovely time! I must say we managed to squeeze in a lot in the short time we had: Went to the Louvre and got lost, saw Notre Dame by night, went to Place de la Concorde, saw the Eiffel Tower and attended a wine fair. It was a beautiful city but I have to say that I prefer Rome still.

This was one of many attempts at getting a romantic picture in front the Louvre, our jumping friend in the background made it very difficult ^^

Mona Lisa, the one and only:
The inverted pyramid in the Louvre (can you believe I had to crop the picture so I wouldn't have the terribly ugly mac apple store logo in it, since the store is situated right next to it?)

When in France do like the french right?  We drank wine and ate baguettes =) 
We attended a massive wine fair and tried hundreds of wines, champagnes, cognacs etc. and all this for the insanely cheap price of €6! We also had some lovely oysters there.  After trying all those wines I thought my opinion of French wines would have improved a lot, sadly it did not. We found some decent wines we brought back but I'm just not into french wines. However, the whites (and of course the champagne was lovely) where much better then the reds, I found quite a few I really liked, however as I nearly never drink white it was red that was our main focus.

Notre Dame by night

I of course had to try eating snails, it was not bad nor good, tasted like garden sort of, soil and grass? But I don't think I'll order it again though. 
Non optional romantic picture in front of the Eiffel Tower =)

And on a more related topic, I also found some very interesting quilt designs in the floor of the Louvre. There was everything from nine patches to stars =)

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

8 Bit Companion Cube Gaming Blanket WIP

I read over at that her husband calls her "The Slowest Dot Matrix Printer Ever" when she's making her awesome video game quilts and that's EXACTLY how I feel right now... I print at a speed of a little over 200 pixels/day if I work pretty constantly if anyone wondering ^^

This project is one I've longed to do for a long time, it's going to be a set of "His & Hers" gaming blankets for me and Andreas. I started out with his, it's about 600 "pixels" (each pixel being a 3x3 inch square) in each quilt so it is pretty slow work. It's an 8 bit rendition of the Companion Cube from the game Portal which is one of the most awesome simple games ever! =)

The "His" version has a blue heart instead of the original pink which will be in my quilt. I've chosen to not use any strips to piece this as I want to be able to see each "pixel" once it's finished. Let's just say I've pretty much perfected my quarter inch seam allowance during this project and I have over 900 pixels left to sew...

This is also my first use of Kona cottons and so far I'm really loving working with them. I ordered from River Fabrics on Ebay and they where fantastic, not only do they have an extensive Kona selection and are located in Europe, but their speed and costumer service was amazing. I highly recommend shopping from them and I will do so again very shortly.

I've also been attempting to clean out my sewing area which I had some excellent help with =)

Monday, March 21, 2011

Postage Stamp Quilt - Bliss by Bonnie and Camille

So here it is in all it's quilted glory! Sadly the weather wouldn't permit any outdoor photos so our bed would have to do, and it fits the bed and the room so much better then I thought when I made it. From the brown from the furniture and carpets to the red of the wardrobes, it's perfect =)

I didn't have the patience to wash it before I took the pictures though so it's not all crinkly and lovely yet. Might post some more pictures of it's full glory when I do because I love it so much and you can't really see how lovely the borders look in these pictures =D

And a closeup of some of the quilting, and no those aren't tucks, only wrinkles, luckily the few tucks I got was on the backside =)

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Finishing up my Postage Stamp Quilt

So today I've finished up my postage stamp quilt, with only an eight or so left to quilt I wreck my needle completely, somewhat annoying when you just changed the bobbin thread XD

Had I only been happy with the 505 basting my quilt would have become much nicer, now I ended up with a few tucks on the back where I had tacks... This was because they where long enough to allow the fabric to glide around a bit but then it was a dead stop in some places where the tack had come in a bit diagonally. And those darn tacks then! Very close to completely impossible to remove (took me over an hour and I'd not used many) without risking cutting up the quilt. Some had even nestled one end in between the backing and the batting and will remain in the quilt forever now. I'm really NOT happy with it as a basting tool.

And then I continued with the fun of making 7 or so yards of binding, which actually wasn't even half as time consuming as I thought it would be, it came together quite quickly. And since I recalled that the awesome Anki had thought me how to attach binding by machine in a really quick and handy way last summer the binding part was actually just fun! So with the 505 basting spray and machine attaching binding, quilting is now pure enjoyment! =D

If the weather is nice tomorrow I will go outside and get some nice pictures of it so you get to see it finished.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Basting with 505 and FMQ

So I've basted my very first quilt with the 505 Basting spray. And I dare say that in my humble opinion - This is one of the best products ever!

I was a bit nervous so I added a few Micro Stitch tacks but so far (and I've quilted half of it) I dare say I would not have needed to worry. The layers stick together perfectly and my needle has not been gummed up at all like feared after reading stuff online. It was so simple to baste this way, this quilt is just short of queen size and I did it alone and in less then 20 minutes I think. Tape the backing to the floor wrong side up, spray with the 505 (which didn't smell at all and I can honestly say I didn't even open a window, I'm so bad - I know), smooth out the batting from the center and outwards, carefully unrolling it as I went. I don't know if this is the "right" way of doing it, but it worked great for me. Then I sprayed the batting with the 505, and did the same thing with the quilt top, starting in one end with the middle, and the carefully unrolling it and smoothing it out as I went. I can honestly say that I will never, EVER pin baste again!

Picture taken by my fiance, I can tell you I was singing along quite obliviously and happily with the music in my headphones at this point in the process so let's be grateful it's not a movie =)

Now I'm free motion quilting my first full size quilt and it's sooo much fun! Gosh how I love it! But it's a real workout moving the big quilt around and since I'm still very new at this I tend to tense up a lot. So far it's going quite well, the quilting gloves are a MUST though, no grip otherwise and I imagine the whole process would be terribly frustrating then. So I have to buy "summer quilting gloves" next time I go to Sweden as I think my pair (while perfect now as it's quite cold indoors still) will be much to warm once spring kicks in here. Setting up a "support table" with my ironing board was another must as I would have gone insane from the quilt slipping off the table otherwise.

My Janome Horizon is fantastic!  I'm always using the open toe FMQ foot (tried the others but it was very difficult to see where you where going) and the process is so easy. How I've lived without this machine for so long I'll never know =D

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Baby Quilt - KittyCats Quilted

I found this tutorial on FMQ flowers over at Oh Fransson that I just had to try so I winged it and tried it out on the black squares of the KittyCat quilt. It came out great I think apart from my inability to center the flowers on the squares, that's what happens when you quilt instead of go to sleep! I however made mine a bit denser then hers. However now I'm contemplating adding some filler around them or adding another line around them because they ended up being a touch small... What do you think?


I made a small meander quilting around the applique on the pink squares which I'm quite happy with, sure some slip ups but I'm getting there =)

I also found an adorable fabric that my mother bought me on sale long ago and I thought it was perfect for the back, adorable silly little kittes =D

Monday, March 14, 2011

Cubes Revisited

So I can finally reveal my very first free motion quilted quilt! =D

Suitably enough it's my hollow cubes from this post which meant a lot to me to do to show myself how far I'd come in a quite short time so it felt like a very suitable project to test even newer skills on =)

Cubes Revisited

I included a piece of our door phone for size comparison. 
Here's a closeup of the FMQ (cat hairs and everything included ^^), it's getting better and better if I may say so myself, still do lot's of slip ups but I'm getting there:

Also, in the "One Block Wonders Cubed!" book I just got there's a chapter called "How to be Escher  without being Escher" which of course had me mesmerized being a huge Escher fan. So I of course had to utilize the information given there and and draw my very own impossible shape quilt design, it was so much fun! 

Here's my sketch as it is pinned on my design wall:

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Today I cried a little - but only happy tears!

When I left Sweden my mother told me she'd send me a package with a book we both we both wanted. She'd ordered one for herself but when I told her I was planning on buying it too she told me she'd order a new one for herself and that I could buy the one she'd already ordered. She told me when I left she'd send me it and a pair of quilting gloves as I hadn't time to buy any while still in Sweden as soon as the book arrived.  So I knew it was coming but I was still super excited about it. However, there was the most beautiful little surprise there too! It made me cry a little because I missed my mom very much and because she knows me so well and knew exactly how happy she'd make me with this beautiful gift. 

My mother makes the prettiest little crocheted bumblebees and flowers and I fell completely in love with them when I was visiting, so she made me an adorable little bumblebee to take home. My sister and I had a ton of fun with it though before I went home =)

Once I got home I threaded some invisible thread between his wings and he's been keeping me company by hanging on my monitor.

Now when I opened the package from her today there was a small flower garden in there too and yet another little bumblebee! This bumblebee is clearly a girlfriend for my other one as she's a touch more delicate =) So now I'll be making a flower garden around my monitor because I want to look at these every day! 

Thank you mom! I love you! 

I'm so excited, I can barely wait to improve my hollow cubes and expand my knowledge on the topic =)

Friday, March 11, 2011

Introducing: My Janome Horizon!

So the main reason for my trip to Sweden was to buy a new sewing machine, and the machine in question was nothing less then my very own Janome Horizon! I wanted to thoroughly test it before introducing it so I'd really know if it would be everything I'd dreamed about or not, and it is! It's the best thing I've ever bought besides my cats. It just brings me so much happiness, it's so fantastic to sew with, so easy to handle and just so much fun! If anyone out there is considering upgrading their old machines to something better, I can tell you it is SO worth it!

While I have loved my Husquarna Emerald dearly for the years it's been my faithful little friend and sewing companion, comparing it and the Horizon it almost feels wrong to call them both sewing machines, because the difference is so vast.

Here's how my baby traveled in the cargo hold with Ryanair, I was so nervous!

After I unpacked it and set it up, even the lads got curious and had to investigate "this new gadget" I had purchased and yapped about for so long. But when they found out it didn't have bluetooth nor USB and therefor could not communicate with the computer they lost interest fairly quickly =)

And then after so much wait (and some FMQ play during the night) the next morning I sewed my first real stitches on it, attaching the binding to my Postage Stamp Quilt =D I LOVE it!

On a side note I have also finished my very first project using FMQ!! And while I'm dying to show it off I've sworn to myself I shall put binding on it and take a picture in daylight so it'll have to wait a day or three depending on how much work I have to do...

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Pictures from Syfestivalen

So I had a fantastic day with my mother when we visited Syfestivalen in Stockholm. I didn't have my camera with me though so please excuse the quality of the pictures, they're taken with my phone. I just wish I'd hadn't been so mesmerized and remembered to take many more! =) We meet many old and new quilting friends and we had the best time.

My favorite booth there was without doubt Tyger och Tings booth. I'd never heard of them or see anything of theirs before but when we got there I got so excited my reptile brain kicked in and I nearly started to try and buy the entire booth. So my mother told me I had to step back, go get some food and then come back because she could see I just couldn't handle it! I'm not kidding, I was literally shaking! There was just so much in their booth that was exactly my style. So many unique and inspiring patterns and ideas! Sadly the only thing I managed to get a decent close up picture off was the table runner to the right. Very pretty don't you think?

Then there where many different things that inspired and excited me, I got to see my very first Moda Fat Quarter bundles, a demonstration of the Accu quilt go cutter (I thought I would want one so badly  but I felt it wasn't for me as it was WAY to expensive to buy and try it for fun like I wanted to, especially as one had to buy the cutter separate without any dices) and lots of other pretty things. The round quilts below look so much fun, I'm planning on trying to make my own version sometime soon =)

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Baby Quilt - KittyCats

So I got this adorable fabric pack from my mother a number of years back and I knew exactly what I wanted to do with it, but as my old machine couldn't do any applique stitches it's been packed away for a long time. Notice how many of my posts/quilts/projects starts with something I got from my mother? She's the best!

However as I know have my new machine I immediately started with this project, I got to try to use freezer paper as a stabilizer for the first time and I also got to try the 505 basting spray I brought for the appliques. I really like the 505 and I can't wait to use it for the actual basting, I mean seriously, if I can take away most of the boooring basting part of making a quilt, there'll soon only be the hand sewing binding left for me to detest, which would be fantastic! ;)

I've been playing with the thought of a border but as I have very little fabric left and I'm thinking of making another of these quilts for a friend I think I'll just quilt and bind it as is since it's really cute on it's own... We'll see. Here's a closeup of some of my favorites and also a closeup of the crazy zigzag my new machine can do =) 

Cry for help with finding fabric:
Since I have you, there's a fabric I would love to use for the binding but I just don't have enough of it and I can't seem to find it anywhere, I even tried without luck. I figured I'd show it here in case anyone knows the name of the fabric, where I can buy it or maybe even has a piece (10 inches on full length would be enough) they'd be willing to sell me. This is a scan of a 6x6 inches square:

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

More FMQ fun!

So I've made a few more attempts at FMQ and it's simply so much fun! I especially like the "loopy hearts" to the right. It's getting easier but I'm still having big problems following a sketched out pattern like the wraith below, it's easier to just "wing it" I think. The leaf and wreath is from the book Machine Quilting Made Easy which is a good beginners guide I think, not that I've read many books on the subjecs so I haven't got much to compare it too - but I like it.  

I've also made an attempt at meander quilting which I think turned out quite well, lot's to work on still before I dare use it in a quilt but still =) Please excuse the unironed fabric, I was in a great hurry to get to the fun part when preparing my quilt sandwich.