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 findmyfabric.com 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 =)