Monday, August 30, 2010

What I'm Working on Today

Tada!!!!!  The Crazy Short Cut Quilt blocks are all quilted with the decorative stitches!!  I can't even tell you how happy I am to be finished with the stitching LOL.  What I finally ended up doing was pulling the end off the Aurifil thread spool (you can do this apparently) and turned the thread around so that the thread was coming off the back instead of the front.  It seemed to unravel less ~ well that and I was sewing soooo sloooowwww.  Anyways they are finished so now I just have to arrange them and sash them.  The backings are all blue Christmas and winter batiks so I'll have to pay attention to the back placement as well ~ but I am not going to stess about that.
I have also been hand sewing the binding to the back of the sampler quilt that we recently took off the group hand-quilting frame.  I love the look of a hand turned binding on a hand appliqued (a few of the blocks are applique) and hand quilted quilt.  That process also takes a long time ~ especially in this heat!  Wow!  Anyone else getting this heat wave?

What I can tell you is that a sampler quilt would be easy peasy to make with the Accuquilt GO! cutter!  Since you could cut small amounts of different shapes.

Speaking of the Go!!  There are a few more Go! Giveaways!!
Ryan Walsh:  I'm Just a Guy Who Quilts and
Sew Many Ways
A Quilting Life
are doing Go! Giveaways!  You have to check these sites out!!!

By the way ~ I just put a Followers button on my blog ~ so I hope that you will all decide to follow my blog to let me know who you are ~ and that you are in fact there LOL!

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Stash Ruminations

Have you seen some of the new fabrics from Lakehouse Fabrics?  I have to say that I absolutely love them!  They have a real 1930's influence but more updated.  Maybe it's the 1930's part that makes me absolutely love them but they feel so fresh to me!  have I done anything with any of these fabrics?  Or have I purchased any of these yummy prints?  No!!  :'(  I've been buying only what I need to buy to do projects out of my stash ~ and I think that this is really starting to wear on me. 

When I first started quilting everyone said "You've got to built up your stash!!"  So build a stash I did ~ and ~ can I just say that with a few exceptions I regret building that stash.  I love my 1930's prints ~ it's a little collection but I really like it.  I love my batiks and I use them a lot.  I also love my red and white collection and I have a quilt planned for them.  I do like that I have some background fabrics (creams and whites etc) set aside that I love to dig into when I start something new.  Pretty much everything else though I regret buying to "build my stash."  I have drawers of fabrics that now feel dated to me.  I sigh and look at the three meter cut of something I bought on sale but I don't really like the tone of anymore; or, it is difficult to match it with the fabrics that are out now.  These fabrics don't inspire me and I feel obligated to "use them up" and do something useful with them since I bought them.  I've been doing this for a couple years now, and, thankfully, my stash is decreasing.  My pile of UFO's has also been decreasing over this time.  I do feel lighter now that my stash is slowly going down ~ but ~ I'm getting tired of dealing with my stash and I am wondering if I need to take bigger steps.  Should I just list everything I don't like on Ebay?  Or give it to Victoria's Quilts?  Will I miss it when it's gone or feel liberated?  I don't know.

I've seen a trend the past couple years of quilters stash busting ~ who, like me, are trying to decrease their stash.  I've been trying to complete my UFO's and bust my stash but I think that I am in need of some inspiration.  Should I take more drastic steps to lighten my load ~ or ~ should I just give myself a break and buy what I like?

What I can say though is that when a new quilter asks me about building a stash I never tell them to build one.  I always say to buy for the project and make it.  Don't buy meters and meters of extra fabric (like I did) just buy what you like and make from that.  I still do recommend that people buy backgrounds, backings and batiks when there is a sale ~ but I never recommend that new quilters build a stash of random fabrics anymore.

Wow I feel lighter just having that off my chest LOL!!

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Sewing Some Nine-Patches

I made some progress on my Dessert Nine-Patch quilt today ~ it's completely cut-out and I made 24 nine patches.  You can see my batik colours there.  There is a slight difference in the background batiks.  They are close together but different enough that I think that the change will stand out.  I love piecing with batiks!  The pima cotton is wonderful to work with and you can press wonderful seam-lines into it.

This is a free pattern from the Timeless Treasures web site although I first saw it in the Keepsake Quilting catalog.  I really didn't want to buy a kit when I knew that I had oodles of batiks in the tones I wanted just sitting in my stash LOL!

I did some more decorative stitching last night, to hem the edges of a hanging sleeve, and, I used a regular cotton thread.  The decorative stitches turned out great with absolutely no problems or thread breakage!  So the good, and bad, news is that it is the thread and not my machine!  Now if I can just get through the last two Crazy Quilt blocks I will be happy.  I've decided to switch threads and stitch with a straight stitch to do the quilt-as-you-go aspects of the quilt.  The less I have to deal with the thread that hates me the better LOL!!  I'll get back to those quilt blocks maybe later today or maybe tomorrow - sigh.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Trying to Do Some Decorative Stitches

I have been trying and trying to finish the decorative stitches on my Christmas Crazy Shortcut Quilt for the past couple of days and I am soooo frustrated!!!  I think that my machine really doesn't like the thread that I am using.  I am trying to use the Aurifil Aurilux Polyester thread in 36wt in the top and bobin.  I know that many, many people like this thread for machine quilting but I just don't like it for decorative stitching - I haven't tried it for machine quilting so I can't say anything about that.  The thread just flies off the spool and comes out in globs on the fabric.  You can actually see it unwinding (or unraveling) itself as well as it travels through the machine - so that after a few inches of sewing you can see that it is shredding at the needle :'(  Let me tell you I have tried almost everything I can!!
  • I've tried a 90 metallic needle and a 100 topstitch and embroidery needles and I am still getting the thread shredding
  • I've tried Sewer's Aid Lubricant
  • I've re threaded my machine more times that I can count
  • I've had the thread lying down on the horizonal spool pin and standing up on the vertical spool pin.  And, I've tried it on a cone holder off the machine.
  • I've put a net on the thread and also tried a "Wonder Guard"
  • I've decreased top tension and even tried increasing it
  • I've tried a different spool of the thread
This thread just doesn't like me.  It's shredding and pinging off the spool.  Right now I have the thread on the horizontal spool pin with a wonder guard on it and a 100 topstitch needle with decreased tension and I am sewing very slowly.

This is a 36 block quilt and I only have 2 blocks left to do the decorative stitching on so I am going to slog through and finish these up using the thread that I have.  Sometimes a thread just doesn't like your sewing machine but will be fine in someone else's.  And sometimes a certain die-lot can be faulty.  Sometimes you just buy a lemon LOL.  I don't know what it is but I do know that I won't be using this thread for decorative stitches again LOL.

Has anyone used this thread before that could give me some words of advise?  I would certainly appreciate it ~ even if it's just to make me feel better!

Happy Stitching all!

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Baltimore Bunnies QUilt on the Frame

Recently the quilt bee that I belong to, The Silver Thimbles, put a new quilt on the frame to be hand quilted in our group.  This is a pattern set called "Baltimore Bunnies" by Bunny Hill Designs.  Isn't it pretty??  The two side boarders are already quilted so you can't see those - as they are rolled up on the rollers; but, the inside of the quilt is all there.  I love the twist to the traditional Baltimore quilt by adding the bunnies.  They make a nice change.

I got a new camera card and card reader yesterday so I was able to actually take and upload pictures again!!  I bought that same card reader - since I was happy with it before I blew it out.  They wouldn't replace it for me since I didn't keep the receipt (I think anyways) but I am keeping the box and receipt from this one I can tell you that!  I find receipts from things that I have purchased years ago - but I somehow always manage to throw out the ones that I need at a latter date :-(

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Another Go Giveaway!!!

Wow!  I thought that I would let you all know that Sweet P Quilting and Creations is giving away a GO! Cutter as well!!!  If you want one of these as badly as I do then you should Go Go Go to her site to check it out!!

I spent the day today cutting out a couple of quilts.  My rotary cutter is starting to feel old fashioned now LOL.  I cut out a nine-patch quilt from a free pattern on the Timeless Treasures web-site called the Desert Nine-Patch.  I love the way that this quilt is quilted.   I'm not sure if you can see the quilting in this picture but I think that you can on the web-site.  I'm going a bit browner with my colours.   Then I cut out another 4-patch 1-patch baby quilt for a friend that had twins - a boy and a girl.  So I am making her two baby quilts.

I'll try to upload a picture of the fabrics I'm using but I somehow destroyed my camera card readers yesterday!  They both did the same thing (got all hot and smelly) so we think that it's the camera card not the readers - although the readers do appear to be dead as well . . .sigh . . I have no luck with card readers :-(

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Accuquilt GO Cutter

Have you all seen this cutter? This is the Accuquilt Go Cutter and it is so cute! Anyone have it? It looks absolutely amazing to me and I have been really considering getting one ~ I'm not a huge fan of the cutting stage of quilting (especially applique) and I think this might just be an answer to my prayers!

Canton Village Quilt Works is giving away a GO cutter with multiple ways to win ~ so I thought that I would share it here with you all as well! The only thing I can think of that would be better than owning one of these is to get one for free!

We just got back from two weeks vacation in British Columbia and I put my SD card into the card reader but put the cord into the wrong port! I fried my new card reader I think :-( But I didn't fry the card which is great! i was going to post a bunch of pictures from things that I have been working on but that might have to wait for another day LOL! I do promise to be a better blogger ~ I do have finished projects I just haven't been blogging :-/

A Rag Quilt Gift and a Rag Rectangle Trick

  Hello my friend! Here in Ontario we had a huge dump of snow - huge, big cotton ball flakes that turned into baking snow kind of dump.  We ...