Saturday, January 21, 2012

2012 Free Motion Quilting Challenge - January

I've decided to try to learn how to FMQ for real this year. 2012 - my year of FMQ! Since I tried Free Motion Quilting for the first time ever in February last year, having one years "base practice" with it feels good now when I embark on learning it for real.

An important step in the right direction was that I decided to participate in the 2012 Free Motion Quilting Challenge over at SewCalGal's.  Januarys challenge has been posted and this months teacher is Frances Moore  I like her no marking approach, since I have no patience whatsoever - it suits me well =) 

This month we are learning an all over leaf design, I really quite like it, it's easy (what girl don't have how to draw a heart shape worked into her bones from school?) and it's multi directional and quite easy to get the hang of and most importantly - quite forgiving. I did attempt sketching it on a paper first, however, my patience being zero and like I said, I'd been doodling hearts for years in my school books growing up I went pretty much directly to my machine. 

I set up my machine as always using my home made "Teflon slider sheet" and just played away. It's a fun pattern and it was quite pain free to make and I quite quickly got a fairly comfortable flow to it. 
I however quickly decided that I preferred to not add the stem in the end but instead start with the stem, and then go back up and do the heart shape as that way I prevented as much as possible getting that "bump" or "knot" of thread at the top of the leaf. 

Here's my second attempt, the first one was white thread on white fabric, not ideal for photography XD

Here I rocked loose a little and went a little crazy with the leaf shapes, wasn't very happy with the result through...

I've had such precious little time to sew again lately as work is taking up all my days (and nights and whatever is in between) but I hope I'll have time to practice this pattern for real a bit more later, I just really wanted to get this post up before January has past - as months tend to do that to me lately.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Baby Crawling Mat

My dear friends had a baby this summer, adorable baby Alessandra! 
She's now big enough to start rolling around and they apparently had been searching high and low for a big, square rolling/crawling mat, something soft enough to make sure she doesn't hurt her head when she drops it on the tiles and with a little edge so she doesn't roll off ^^ 

So they asked me if I could make one and of course I could! So I went out with her father and he got to choose the fabrics, isn't it adorable, one fluffy brown side and one with bright pink fleece. The fleece is quilted together with the batting in lines. Bought some polyester batting at the same store and please kill me if I ever do that again, it was absolutely TERRIBLE to work with! It stretched and pulled and as you can see on the lines, horrible to work with despite the most serious pin basting I've ever done. And on another note, we bought and paid for 2 meters of each fabric and got home with less then 160 of one and 180 of the other...

Got this photo in a text the other day from a happy father with a satisfied little lady on her mat. =)

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Gift for my landlady

We have a lovely landlady, if there's anything wrong she fixes it the same or next day, if we need anything at all, she get's it for the apartment, she doesn't even let us change or pay for the light bulbs ourselves, she's the best! So I really wanted to give her a Christmas gift this year, a small one to not make her feel weird but still something made especially for her =)

So I ended up making her a Fancy Folded Star pot holder inspired by Barb's version of them and an oven mitt, using this tutorial from Prudent Baby. I ended up using some of my Ruby by Bonnie & Camille FQ's with a touch of Bliss thrown in. The M appliqué I just traced from an alphabet on my screen. =)

She really loved them and I'm so happy! I'm however not happy with the binding on either but I was under a lot of time press, otherwise I would totally have redone it.

On a personal side note, I finally have a hard drive again! Yay!

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Quilting for sanity

I'm still without a working computer (don't get me started on OCZ's customer treatment, service level or quality of hardware for that matter or I'll go on for three pages) I'm quilting for my sanity from time to time when the work I need to do can't be done without say PS or access to a hard drive.

So I had time to whip up some quick Christmas gifts for my amazing landlady whom I haven't seen since before the holidays so it's ok (will try to sneak some time to share those photos in a day or so as I can't exactly use my precious "real computer time" for anything but work right now as Andreas too is super busy). But I can however share  a photo I took this fall of some fabric which still hasn't been turned into the super yummy baked goods it was supposed to be due to my insanely busy work schedule. I'm super embarrassed by this situation but luckily the lovely Moda peeps are so understanding <3

I have however started it now and I'm hoping to have it turned into something amazing in a month and a half or so =)

It's Twirl by My & My Sister Designs, such happy and completely insane colors, you can't help but smile when working with them =)

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