Monday, April 23, 2012

2012 Free Motion Quilting Challenge - April

So I've been practicing my Free Motion Quilting for the challenge a bit lately as time hasn't permitted any real projects (apart from trying to finish my secret big project which isn't at a sewing stage yet) and I'd go crazy without sewing anything but buttons into my finances pants and mending trousers.

I really liked this months tutorial by the very skilled Don Linn aka "Mr Quilt", it had a some valuable tips and the tulle transfer technique looks very clever I have to say! The only thing though is that I honestly wished the video would have been a touch shorter (like having the design partly per-drawn) as I tended to skip ahead the first time I watched it to get to the "good parts" and then ended up having to re-watch it to make sure I hadn't missed anything important.

I've been meaning to do this months FMQ challenge in full but after trying I can't get my hands on any tulle at this point in time nor an embroidery hoop (would have to order from abroad) so I figured I'd try some of the techniques, practice sewing in the same lines back and also practice FMQing quilting a per-drawn design and count it as this months challenge even if I didn't do the tulle-transfer part. I now know how to do it and once I get the equipment, I'll absolutely try it because it seems like an great technique as I could never mark a quilt before basting it!

I used a tutorial from Judi over at Green Fairy Quilts to draw the star and then I gave it my own little twist to get some of the rounded edges from this months tutorial in there too. =) It wouldn't show up very nicely on the front in the photo, hence the main image being of the batting/back. To get it to match my other pillow I'll also make some swirls around the edges before it's done.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

I'm apparently 27 years old now...

Luckily I have some pretty amazing friends and family who did their very best to help me forget the fact =)

My mother sent me the most adorable birthday present, an absolutely gorgeous pincushion! It's sewn with such amazing care and attention to detail. In the link to ehr blog above she links to the tutorial and pattern she used. I think she partly made it for me since she knows how much I envy respect her endless patience and amazingly small stitches when sewing by hand. It's just so perfect! Thank you mom! <3

It has the place of honor next to my sewing machine with only my favorite, really thin needles in it.

I also got another present from her and it was very exciting, a brand new seam ripper with some super cool features. My seam ripper is my best friend and I think that I and this seam ripper will be even closer. If you take a look at it you will see a little "eraser" looking thing at the top and if you look at the photo of the backside of the packaging here it explains how to use it, if it works as well as I think it will, it will revolutionize my ripping =D I'll let you know how good it works once I've tried it =)


Some of our closest friends flew in from Sweden to celebrate with me and they really made sure I felt pampered like a princess with everything from lunch at my favorite restaurant, 1½ massage and spa, lot's of good wine and bubbles (both pool and wine) =)

We also got a PonyIsland cake from our friends at our party! Isn't it adorable!?

Thursday, April 19, 2012

And the winner is...

So sorry for the delay in this! Things have been crazy (again) and I haven't had time to sew or blog anything at all! Thanks to everyone who entered and most welcome to all my new followers!

It's time to announce our lucky winner and it's no one less then:

Who said:
 Hiya! Thanks for the chance to win, and well done on 100 followers!

I've sent you an email requesting your shipping address.

And since blog posts without pictures are very boring, here's some of the beautiful Calla Lilies that are blossoming all over our little island atm. These I got from my local flower shop for the whopping price of €1.50 =)

Friday, April 6, 2012

Celebrating over 100 followers giveaway!

It's so much fun to cross that magic 3-digit line and I've been saying to myself that when that day comes, I have to celebrate it with a giveaway! =)

But since I'm one of those people who don't have a huge fabric stash and  most of the stuff I buy is earmarked for a special project, I had such a hard time deciding what to give away! The solution came to me in the shape of Tova, she suggested I gave away the extra fabric I had left from making my favorite bag!

The Kitty Yoshida City Girl fabrics are some of my favorites, such lovely, wearable colors! They go with jeans, they go with mocha, they go with anything! I had around ½ yard left of both of them so that's in there and I also added about a fat quarter of two other light green fabrics in the spirit of spring to the bundle since I didn't have anything but scraps left of the light blue I used. I might sneak in something else in there too, but I haven't decided what just yet ^^

I try to keep Diana away from my stash but everything from our home comes with the risk of cat hair, so if you're super allergic, this giveaway might not be for you.


So enough of this rambling, how do you win?

It's very simple, you don't have to be a follower, you don't have to do anything special, just please make sure you're not a no- reply blogger since then I can't contact you if you win. =)

1. Just leave  a comment on this post and you're entered!

2. And since this is a follower celebration giveaway, my followers of course get one extra chance to win so just post a separate comment saying you're a follower. New followers too of course!

Winner will be announced in about a week and I ship to any place in the world. I also want to reach out and *hug* all my followers, it's so much fun to know that someone is actually reading what I'm writing and every time you comment, you make my day!
Thanks everyone, I love you! <3

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Sewing Class - We're making a dress

Me and Tova (a friends daughter who's home schooled and I'm sewing teacher for) have been making a dress in class lately. A definite first for both of us. I'm not a fan of making clothes and she has never made clothes, not a match made in heaven maybe but it has sure made for a lot of laughs, lots of interesting discussions trying to decipher a dress pattern and lots and lots of mistakes, small and large. But luckily everything has been salvageable and we're now approaching the last stages, we need to take a it in a little and hem it in it will be finished. I couldn't be more proud of Tova, she's such a patient student and she learns so quickly!

Diana has been very helpful, making sure the pattern pieces stayed in place while Tova was cutting by laying down on the firmly. Here's Tova removing her for the 10th or so time, when you lift Diana she's like a ragdoll or blob of jelly, hence the funny, part blurred pic ^^

It wasn't at all an easy pattern she chose, lot's of ruffles and little design features.

 And the bane of min and now Tovas existence, hand sewing, it's just not fun. However, with a cute and loudly purring Diana next to you, the task is less tedious.

And we have a nearly complete dress! As you can see it's a little big so we're going to take it in a little and then hem it and voila! Finished!

This has also been great practice for me in "letting go of control" as she has to make everything on her own and I can't but tell her how to do it, something that's quite difficult for me. It has also reminded me very, very clearly about why I don't sew clothes!

While Tova has been working away I've taken the chance to straighten out my sewing area, and folding my fabric. I just have to get a design wall up (have a very clear idea of how to do that, will get back to it once I have the supplies) and get me a new ironing board and I'm back in business for real =) Here are my fusion fabrics getting a go over with the ruler.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Meeting a quilting friend

About a week ago I had the pleasure of meeting up with a friend from my summer quilt retreat, Dominika who was visiting Malta with a friend. We grabbed a cup of coffee and talked about this and that and of course quilting, trying to persuade her friend to try it (you know us junkies, always trying to drag everyone down with us ^^). She is such a sweetheart and had brought me a bunch of magazines (some of my favorite ones too, like Amelia, how she knew I'll never know) and two quilt magazines!
Imagine my surprise when she tells me to flip through the Swedish one, and in it I found a tutorial by one of my favorite quilters, Pirjo! Super fun!

Thank you so very much Dominika! <3

I've been slowly reading these and trying to start this years tan carefully on the balcony when I've taken  a few minutes of "breaks for sanity". =)

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

2012 Free Motion Quilting Challenge - March

I'm alive! Work has been killing me again, we've celebrated our first game, PonyIsland's 8th birthday on the 13th of March and I couldn't be more excited! It was a ton of work and fun, we had contests and lots of updates and releases replaced the last pieces of the game that was actually 8 years old =)

We're also starting to settle in our new apartment and better late then never - I've unpacked my sewing room! Naturally I celebrated with some free motion quilting! =)


Regarding the challenge, I skipped February for now, the month I was most excited about so far, those beautiful feathers are still haunting me!  I really hope I'll be able to come back to it soon and do it as I so badly want to learn how to do them.

This months tutorial was by the talented Ann Fahl, and it was a shout out to us to encourage more creative filler designs then the common stippling and meandering =)

She gave us a number of designs to try and I have to say I felt very comfortable with all of them from the beginning, and again I skipped the sketching part and went straight to the machine (naughty me!), and especially now after my long forced break from my beloved Horizon it felt like being back where I belong. I was so happy to be quilting again!

My first attempt at the designs she suggested:

Since I hadn't quilted in a while I at first forgot to use my "home made teflon slider" sheet and in this image you can really see what a huge difference it makes! The first little section in the rectangle was quilted before I realized why my technique was so poor all of a sudden! You can clearly see how much better and even my quilting became after I got my sheet in place and my little sandwich  didn't drag and snag =)

I really liked the swirls a lot and the extension design of them, the flowers where really fun too, can totally see myself using these in the future. 

I will practice it a more, I just really wanted to get my post up before  the month was over this time =)

EDIT: So I had to play some more with this months challenge and ended up breaking out my drunkards path templates for the very first time and whipped up what's going to become two pillow's with some of my Ruby, so I'd have something "real" to try it on. Drunkards path was sooo much easier to make then I'd feared, it's so much fun to sew curves! =D
This is my first one, still contemplating what to do for borders. I got a lot of inspiration from Judi over at Green Fairy Quilts for this with her intricate and wonderfully free quilting style:

Unfortunately the light was disappearing so the photos are not the best, will quilt some more and try to upload more soon. I was really good and didn't unpick a single stitch, despite my fingers itching when it went a little of track =)

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

Monday, February 27, 2012

My first Spoonflower order has arrived!

I've been really curious about Spoonflower for a long, long time and now I had a project I really couldn't do any other way then designing the fabric myself so it was time to take the step and finally make an order. After a weeks of fiddling with Adobe Illustrator in my spare moments I finally had vector graphics of what I wanted and could make my first order. It arrived today and way, way above all my expectations! The quality of the print is just amazing, the colors very close to what they appeared on screen in nearly all cases and gradients looked great! I'm super happy!

Here's a part of what I ordered, since you can only order full yards when you order more then 1 yard I had some space left over and added some of this and some of that to the edges. I'm making an OviPets Pillow from this I think ^^ The main design is a secret still and not ready to be revealed.

I also got an adorable little fabric swatch booklet:

I also have to show you my beautiful Grape Hyacinths that's been flowering so prettily!

Well, now I have to unpack my sewing room! =)

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Joining the Pinterest Craze

I admit it, my name is Maria and I've gone Pinterest crazy.
When you can't create yourself, you can always collect inspiration from others. One of my most recent pins is this awesome makeup pouch which I just have to make my own version of when I get the chance =)

I'm pinning like crazy from all over the net (all the stuff that used to clog up my bookmarks and get lost in every reformatting, now on Pinterest, neatly sorted and easily over-viewed) and this site is just the best!

Follow Me on Pinterest 


Now I want you all to help me by wishing really hard that I'm able to unpack my sewing room in time for this months February FMQ Challenge

It looks like so much fun as I've always wanted to learn how to quilt feathers so I really hope I'll have some time to spend on learning how to do this:

Picture borrowed from SewCalGal's blog

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Move complete!

We've moved into our new apartment which we just love, it's just the perfect little size for us and Diana loves it just as much as we do, the windows go to the floor in the living room so she can watch people and cars below. Her old climbing tree was very used up after 5 years and either way much to big for this apartment so we got her a new little one that we could place in front of the window next to our  "desk" (kitchen table with computers) so she could lie next to us and still enjoy the view. However, our Norwegian Forest Cat is not much of a climber so we had to add a little stepping stool for her so she could get up ^^
I also just love the bowls I found for her when I bought the tree, they look like hollowed out rocks but are very durable plastic and can be seen at the bottom right of the pic, below the refrigerator and freezer.

She's also very much enjoying the armrest on the couch and went monorail cat on us =D

I have however not had time for anything craftier then wrapping this Christening gift, however, I did enjoy that, I got to play with some buttons and ribbon for a while, yep that's how bad my crafting withdrawals are.

Other then that the craftiest thing I've done is trying to unpack our place from the bags and boxes. Not much fun to see there... Work is still just killing us so not much hope for the near future either. :(


Luckily there are other people out there being crafty and I get to live through them a little right now, I have received an email from Mary Deckert who made her own, gorgeous version of Summer Squares, she made hers Twin size too by adding more squares, isn't it just lovely?

She added two rows to the bottom and to the side to get it this size. Thank you so very much Mary for sharing your beautiful creation with me! <3


 I also noticed that in my absence, I've gotten over 100 followers! That's just amazing and will be celebrated with a giveaway as soon as I have unpacked my sewing room! =D

Most welcome all new followers! You have no idea how happy I am to have you <3
I hope you will enjoy my rambling and crafting. I'm really longing to be able to get back in the saddle and sew soon, my creative side threatens to claw it's way out if kept boxed up for much longer. ^^