Monday, January 25, 2010

Bring on the Steam

I started cutting into my red and aqua fabric today. It was such a thrill!

My little craft room partner was busy making her own crafts from a little stash of things I've collected for her. I had to stop occasionally to help her with a little gluing or to demonstrate how to give a pipe cleaner a good curl but she was nice company and I got 4 or 5 blocks cut.

I picked up this little magazine and DVD for about $10 a couple of weeks ago and watched it clear through last night. Waaay too late last night. I fell asleep about 12:30 am and when I woke up towards the end of the video, I had to check out what I'd missed and that made it even later. was a wonderful video and perfect for a true beginner that's never been around fabric or people who sew. They explain basic vocabulary and take you step by step through every part of making the example quilt. I'm such a visual learner and I got quite a bit out of it. I can see myself going back and watching some parts again later. And I really like the pattern to as it offers a few different setting options. I highly recommend it and I think it is still out on the magazine stands.

One of the things I learned last night was to set your seam by pressing the seam that you have just sewen and THEN opening up your two peices of fabric to press the seams to one side. I have a great new tool to do just that. My old Rowenta was just hobbling along and I use it almost daily to iron clothes. No steam, no spray, just heat. I opened this new Professional Rowenta up last night (Christmas gift from my wonderful mother!) and tried it out on my red and aqua fabric. Can I just say, I'm in love!

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Thursday, January 21, 2010

Wishy Washy

Faded Glory and my unnamed bed sized square patch quilt are back from Tennessee. My mom did a wonderful job quilting both of them. I just SO appreciate her taking the time to quilt them for me, especially during her busiest time at the quilt shop. I really love the red thread on the Faded Glory quilt. I plan on starting the binding on the bed sized quilt this weekend. I'm looking forward to sitting and watching some movies in the evenings after little one goes to bed and stitching away.

Today was a preschool day so after singing some songs at circle time and picking up a rare latte at my favorite coffee shop, I dashed home to my craft room. I was itching to break into some new fabric. Just before I visited my mom in October, I discovered this beautiful quilt on the Crazy Mom Quilts blog. I just love Amanda Jean's quilts but the color combination she used to make this quilt really grabbed me and I couldn't stop thinking about it. So as I walked around my mom's shop I spotted these two fat quarter bundles and knew they were perfect to try with this pattern.

This is my favorite of the red prints. I love scrolly, swirly, flowery lines!

I have been asking around and reading around about whether I should prewash my fabric or not. I had pretty much decided I was in the no prewashing camp. I like the crisp new fabric to work with and like the little puckery look after it's all washed after it's quilted.

Then I happened to wash a big quilt that had red in it and I had a couple spots of bleeding occur. Luckily, there is a lot of red print on the cream background where it bled and you can't really tell unless you are looking for it. But it's scared me enough to prewash for this quilt. Here it is ready to iron with all of the strings and knots. I did wash the blues and reds in a seperate load. Hopefully that will take care of any issues.

I made a stop at Quilting Bits and Pieces today to check out some quilting templates for the Cookie Crumb Catcher and had to pick up these four fat quarters. Can you tell it's been dark and dreary the last few days and I'm craving a little spring? I'm loving the pink and orange together!

Wednesday, January 6, 2010


Have you seen the laminated fabric that several designers have come out with? I went shopping for some to make a table cloth for my daughter's little table. After having our carpets cleaned I changed my mind and decided it would be better used as a splat mat under her dining room chair. I just turned it over to the back side and used a bowl to trace scallops. I was surprised to find the fabric very pliable and it is soft enough to have some drape. Love the fun design on the floor rather than just a white plastic sheet. The print is from Amy Butler's Love collection in Paradise Garden Mint.

I just finished piecing this table topper for our dining room table. I started it at the retreat this fall and had a few borders to put on. The piecing quality is improved from my last project. I really focused on trying to get the points (corners) to match. It's better but still not as accurate as I want. I found I was overcompensating at first when I was butting my seams together and causing problems. I also discovered that I wasn't making quarter inch seams. They were a little bigger. It didn't really matter on this but I'm working towards being very accurate so I can try some more complicated patterns.

The pattern is "Christmas Cookie Crumb Catcher" by Chick-a-dee Hollow. The pattern calls for holly applique on the center and the corners of the light border with embroidery. I decided not to add those. I really liked the simple design and the center would be covered by a centerpeice on the table anyway. I just love the fabric and want it to stand out. It's Peppermint & Hollyberries by Nancy Holversen (Benartex). I love the swirls and little peppermints.

I'm contemplating how to quilt it. I could try to stipple or do some other free motion quilting on it (after I practice quite a bit). Or I've thought I could have someone with more skills quilt it and quilt a neat design in the middle. I think I'll do some practicing first and see how it goes before I decide.


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