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.

Monday, March 7, 2011

New fabrics and something borderlining an issue

So as you can see, pun totally intended. This is what happens when your order 2 yards, is convinced you've converted all your measurements and it turns out you need 2 meters. You end up 20 cm's short. So I ended up not getting my planned continuous border after all... and in case anyone is thinking "it looks like it would have been enough if she just didn't put on the other borders first", that's sadly not the case, the top itself without borders is 2 meters.

On a happier not my mother gifted me (amongst other things to be shown off later) this adorable little cutting mat when I was in Sweden and it's really making my life so much easier! Not only for cutting small stuff near the sewing machine, but for when I'm measuring borders and cutting them I can do it "in place"  really easily! Love it mom, thank you! <3

And I also thought I'd show you some of the fabric I bought in Sweden, my mother had made this beautiful drop shadow quilt top using Michael Miller's Flower Fairies fabric, which I fell head over heals in love with and with her permission bought fabric to make my own version of. Hers is in the blue color version though.                                                              
And I also bought some fabric in an adorably romantic rosy line from The Henley Studio, so not normal me but I just had to get some as Anki (a fantastic quilter, I hope she'll have a blog too soon to share her beautiful works with us), who was selling them had made a beautiful quilt from them and I just felt I had to have them.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

My very first attempt at FMQ

So, when I was in Sweden I of course had to test out my new machine to make sure it worked and also to get a basic idea of how the machine worked from Mia whom I bought it off. Mia know exactly what I wanted to try first and set up the machine for free motion quilting, gave me a quick start off and then I got to play... And it was EVERYTHING I DREAMED!

It was: 
* Exactly as difficult as I'd feared
* Exactly as fascinating as I thought it would be to "paint with a needle"
* Exactly as addictive and fun as I'd hoped!

So without further ado, here's my very first FMQ attempt =)
The little red square in the picture is what my teacher made to start me off, so that part isn't mine.

And I also thought I'd show you a group shot of some of the stuff I bought in Sweden. There's a lot of interesting stuff in there from new rulers, basting spray, markers, scissors of various kinds etc. I'll get back to this stuff as I get to try it and see how it works for me =)

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Back in Malta after 2 weeks in Sweden

So I'm back on my dear island. It's been a ton of fun but oh so stressful to visit family and friends in Sweden. And of course, not to be forgotten, pick up my new sewing machine (introductory post will come later) and attend the Syfestival! I'm very happy to tell you that my new Janome survived the journey in the plane's cargo hold. I was very, VERY worried about my new best friends health during the trip.

I've had so much fun with my dear mother (thank you for so many great laughs, all the inspiration and everything else mom! <3 ) at fairs and quilt stores and shopped so much fabric and quilting supplies so I think I'll have to spread it out over a few posts as I haven't got time to unpack and photograph it all in one go now. And I think it will be more fun this way anyway =)

I have a ton of work to do now as I just have had 2 weeks "vacation" Not truly vacation, I don't think you ever get that when you run your own business (have not been more then a plane rides length without my cellphone on in soon 7 years) but I've only taken care of the day to day stuff so I have a lot to take care of now. Hope I will have time to sneak in some sewing on my new machine through and play some with my new fabrics.

Before I leave you have have to show you what a wonderful family we met on the drive home from my maternal grandparents, this beautiful moose family. Look how close they where!  The red in the bottom of the picture is the roof of the car.

A mother and her twin calf's, they where so calm and friendly. I talked to them for quite some time and snapped over two hundred pictures before my fingers where so stiff from cold I couldn't press the button anymore. The pictures are sadly of quite poor quality as it was quite dark when we met them and I was shaking so from cold I couldn't hold the camera still. I've tried to adjust it so you can see them better so please excuse the image quality.

Beautiful mother moose stepped out of the shrubbery when I talked to her a little

She was great at posing for the camera, showed both her left side and her right ^^ Make sure you note what a beautiful condition she and her coat is in, she's stunning!

 Side view of her pretty face =)

 Baby moose had to stay in the forest, they where not allowed to come out and say hi.

It was a fantastic meeting! I'm so happy my family didn't mind waiting in the freezing car in -23 degrees Celsius the car while I was snapping pictures like crazy in nothing but my indoor clothes, it was totally worth every blue limb! More Sweden stories to come, now I have to work =)

Friday, February 25, 2011

A little baggie with silly doggies

Last summer I saw this fabric with absolutely ridiculous doggies on it, it was so cute and it instantly made me think of my fiance's mother (not because it was ridiculous - because of the cute doggies! :P). She's a lovely woman who runs a doggie daycare and grooming center at home. She's of the last few years also employing her husband, really awesome!  You can see their business homepage here, it's in Swedish though:

Anyhow, this fabric made me think of her and I just had a to buy a small piece of it and it's mate with bones on it. And since then I've been thinking about what to make of it. It's a silly thing so it couldn't be anything she'd take seriously and I didn't have enough to make something like a doggy bed or so so I went ahead and made a little baggy of it, I figured she could always use it to store her threads in like I do with mine, or for dog treats or something =) I think I'm going to make a little bag of the leftovers...

Saturday, February 19, 2011

A gift for a friend - Ruffled Bracelet

I made one of my best friends a sami bracelet for her 25th birthday. She's a beautiful woman with a great sense of style (something I very much lack!) so I was terrified at the thought of getting her a gift. But after seeing a sami bracelet in a picture online I knew that was what similar to what I was going to make for my friend, it was very much her style I thought.

I auditioned leather colors and braids endlessly and after much internal debate I concluded that offwhite reindeer leather was the best choice in combination with a four strand braid with 3 strands of pewter threads. The ruffles was a battle and took many many tries but made the whole thing oh so feminine but still it felt very much like her with the skin and the pewter and the fact that you tie it instead of button it closed. She's from the north of Sweden and always working out - so she's no delicate flower and needs a little edge too ^^

I think she really liked it and it was given to her with the little pleated purse I made earlier.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Sewing caddy done and in place

My hexagon sewing caddy is finally done *wipes sweat from forehead* it was a battle!

Let's just say that while I'm really glad I made it, I learned a ton about sewing by hand (can now stitch really nicely and invisibly when closing up stuff ^^) but it didn't turn out great. I think the main problem is the stuffing actually, it clumped no matter how much I fought and didn't fill it out nicely at all :( However, it's very practical and quite cute from a distance =)

You can make your own by following the tutorial here over at Penny's Hands:

I'm going to Sweden today so while I have a few posts prepared, it'll not be very frequent blogging for the next two weeks I don't think. However I might surprise myself ^^

Monday, February 14, 2011

Valentines Day = Kittycat Hearts

So we going home to Sweden on Wednesday and I'm getting a brand new sewing machine then! Yay! And I'll also be attending Syfestivalen, which is a fabric and crafting fair  (the largest?) in Sweden. I'm so excited as it will be my first fair! My shopping list is VERY long, luckily my fiance is not aware of this *lol*

Anyhow, I'm going home and I'm going to visit a dear friend (I'll be visiting many but you know) from my cat showing days in Sweden and since I haven't met her in a while and I've missed her and the other "cat ladies" so very, very much I'm trying to put together some small, homemade gifts.  So in the spirit of Valentines day I've been making fabric hearts with catnip in them =)

 I also tried my hand at making fabric fortune cookies for the kitties, a little tricky since the tension on my machine is very near completely broken but after the 4th try I got a decent enough zigzag around the edges. *sigh* However, everything I make right now gets all bumpy and weird because every 5-10 stitches my machine takes it starts chewing on the thread and jumps left and right XD

I can't wait to get my new Janome home! <3

Next year for Valentines day I absolutely have to have made myself one of these beautiful Valentines table runners:

It's my mothers very own design from a little versatile triangle block we learned at quilting camp, and I just love her use of it! I'll write more about my mother another day but she's an amazing quilter and seamstress and it's thanks to her I have my sewing skills. Even if my interest was limited growing up she thought me all the basics  and today she shares the "quilt bug" with me and it's her and me who are going to the fair together on Friday. I'm going to help her set up her own blog when I go to Sweden now so hopefully you'll be able to see more of her fantastic works online in the near future.

Happy Valentines Day! <3

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Hollow cubes and empty brains after midnight

So after my disappointment with the cubes here, I decided that I'd have to test my own hypothesis that I could do "sooo much better now" and I decided to use the scraps I had left of the other cubes to try my hand at some hollow cubes. I'm a huge fan of 3D looking quilts so this was a step I've been both fearing (what if I still can't do it?) and looking forward to immensely as I have some major future plans for 3D quilts of my own. So I set to work earlier tonight and now at 02:41 at night I'm done with my three test blocks.

To my big happiness I'd not been lying to myself when I thought I could do much better now (only 7 or so months after my earlier try) and the cubes came out looking great in my eyes! I'm so happy with them and it's such a fun block to make as you can play with it endlessly! When I go to Sweden in few days I'll absolutely pick up much more matching fabrics for hollow cubes and other 3D looking stuff I want to try.

Anyhow, this time at night my brain is completely empty and I realize I shouldn't be making any major decisions so since I just can't decide which way should be up, I'll leave it to "mature" here on the blog overnight to see what I feel tomorrow.

Traditional hollow cubes have the light source coming from above, which is great for a quilt which will lie on a bed as I think it looks more natural that way.

However, since I'm making a little wall hanging I'm thinking It might look better having the light source coming from the top-right instead?

What do you think? Any input is much appreciated =)