Here is a funny story, that just very recently got the ending it had been lacking !
Back when Jonathan first decided he wanted to make a quilt for the fair, I told him to ” look around Pinterest and see if he could find anything he liked. He came back into my room and said ” I found a couple things that looked cool”. I thought okay, great ! When asked what board he pinned them to he looked at me with that ” huh ? ” look. Needless to say he found alot of things he liked, but figured he could just tell me about them and I would find them again myself from his oh so random and vague descriptions ! * insert silent scream of a mother *. So after 3 days of him sketching out what he thought he saw that he thought he liked, I took it to EQ and tried to duplicate his ” vision “. Recently, Joanne from canuckquilter.com left a message on the bloggers quilt festival post for the quilt that Jonathan has entered, asking if it was inspired by her pattern “ Wandering Geese”.
I showed him the picture of Wandering Geese and he goes” Oh yeah, that was the one I was trying to tell you about ” . So thank you Joanne, for the inspiration! Now I can finally give inspiration credit where it is most definitely due.
So for the past few months I have been sporadically playing around with a new pattern idea. This one was a bit tricky since it involves no repeating blocks. I also wanted it to scale well, so you could change up the size depending on what size you made the blocks. I finally got to the ” prototype” stage. As with most of my prototypes, this one is made from old sheets LOL, it makes ” practicing” alot more affordable, since I can screw up more without worrying about wasting the good stuff !
Its current name is ” A-Maze-Thing”, not sure if that will stick or not.
( don’t mind all those points that don’t match LOL, that is operator error, not pattern error LOL )
This version finishes without borders at 48 x 60.
The alternate version would finish out at 72 x 90.
So what do you think? Should this be the next Slightly Off Quilter pattern ?
This entry for the Bloggers Quilt Festival is being made by my son Jonathan, for the quilt that he made this year for the county fair, and did very well with there.
Most of you that visit here have sen this one ALOT over this past summer, as I was so very tickled green with jealousy at how much nicer his points are than my own !
For those of you who have not been here before, I will give you a bit of background on this quilt !
Finished size : 72″ x 84″
The creator of this quilt is my 15 year old son Jonathan.
His love of all things muscle car is something that could only have come from my father, but here is the thing. My father passed away 8 years BEFORE my son was born. It is my firm belief that my father comes and whispers to him in his sleep about all things automotive !
The only work that I ( Mom ) did on this quilt, was to learn how to use my digitizing software so that I could create the files for the machine embroidery.
The points on this quilt are an ongoing rivalry in our household. He is very quilt to remind me, that his points are better than mine !
Since my son will be using my second entry to enter HIS quilt, I decided to enter this beauty into the ” Home Machine Quilted ” section !
” Gargantuan “
Finished Size : 90″ x 105 “
This is by FAR the largest quilt I have ever done. This was also the first quilt that I ever attempted feathers on !
It was made by quilting each individual block and then joining them together with faux sashing.Since each block was constructed and quilted separately, it allowed me to make this reversible. The solid squares on one side, are pieced on the opposite.
It’s that time again ! Bloggers Quilt Festival – fall 2014 has begun and I am sooo excited to be participating once again !
In case you have not heard about it, check it out here !
Well, I have finally gotten around to getting my quilt pattern set up for sale in my Etsy Store !
While I was at it, I decided to put some of my latest finishes up for sale as well !
** Fingers Crossed **
Beading Right Along
Ring Around The Rosey
I am all ready for the arrival of my newest nephew next month ! My brother and his girlfriend are expecting a little boy in November and his quilt is ready and waiting for him ! The baby shower is this weekend, but mom to be has already seen it , so I am safe to show it off !
I finally got to use the fabric I picked up at the quilt show last year !
I love how these colors go together !
I quilted it using Maxi-Lock Swirl thread ( OMG I used serger thread to quilt with ! The horror ! )
I also made up a cute bib using the leftover pieces from the quilt ! He is sure to be one coordinated baby !
We all know that saying, about Karma being a bitch, but I am here to tell you she can also be a wonderful angel. It’s all about what you send out, that determines what comes back at you.
A few weeks ago, our local seamstress was having a moving sale. She is retiring and moving south, so she was selling off almost all of her sewing items ! In her listing, she had mentioned that she had over 180 cones of thread, so you KNOW I was there bright and early at 9 AM when the listing said she was opening the door !
When I told her I had come for her thread, she told me that a woman had called her the night before about it, and had come and picked it up earlier in the morning. I was heartbroken ! I had been dreaming of that thread all night !
So I went about looking through the other things she had, and had picked up a small handful of things. While I was browsing, she and I got to talking, since no one else had arrived, and I told her I was a quilter. I was telling her about the quilts I was working on to send to the nursing home where my mother works. She said something about how sweet I was to donate my time and materials to those in the home, and asked if I already had a serger. I told her that at the moment, a serger was a bit outside my budget.
This my friends, is when Karma walked into the room.
She offered to sell me her Serger, for the same price as I had brought with me to purchase the thread ! Not only did she sell me the serger, but she gave me almost an hours worth of lessons on how to thread it, use it, adjust its tension and a host of other helpful information. She also loaded up a box with loads of extra feet, blades and other tools, as well as the handful of items I had selected earlier, and some other odds and ends. I honestly thought I was going to cry right then and there. Never in my wildest thread dreams from the night before did I think I was going to come home with a serger, when I left for thread !
This is my new beauty.
I am still playing with her to get the feel of her stitches, and I have signed up for the serger class of Craftsy which has been very helpful !
So far I have managed to perfect my flat-lock stitch, which by the way, is AWESOME for joining scraps of batting to make larger pieces without the extra bulk !
As you might be aware, my mother works for a nursing home in New Hampshire. Since I started quilting, I have made it a point to try and send up lap quilts for her residents who could use a little extra something. With everything that has been going on here this past summer, with moving , I have not sent anything up in a while. That is about to change ! I am planning on sending 4 up before Thanksgiving, I have two done !
Since I was overhauling the tutorials section, I decided to use the blocks from making the tutorials to make up some donation quilts !
Magicians 9 Patch Block
Instead of batting I used fleece throw blankets and no backing.
I found that this keeps the blankets lightweight but very warm , and also helps keep the quilt from falling off of laps. This is a big plus for those that may have trouble leaning over to pick it back up again on their own !
Vegas Wedding Block
Since these two are a bit girly, with the floral prints, I want to try and make two more more guy friendly to send up as well!
Calling all quilters ! This may sound like an odd request, but I am in need of post cards !
As a homeschool parent, I try and make learning as interesting and interactive as I can for our 15 year old son. As a teenager, sometimes this takes more effort than when he was younger ! Since we are doing World Geography and cultures this year for Social Studies / History I thought that it might make things interesting if he could get post cards from the places we are studying, both inside the US and abroad !
Since I know what an awesome bunch of people us quilters are, I figured I would send the call to you all !
If you are interested, please use the contact form here on the blog and I will e-mail you back with our mailing address.
It has been 2 weeks since my last post. It is not because I have had nothing to show or talk about either. The sad truth of the matter is that I was waiting for something that will never happen.
We all read those blogs where every single picture looks like it was taken with a professional camera crew. Perfect lighting, perfect setting, perfect, well, everything !
My sewing room does not offer that. Especially that perfect lighting part ! My sewing room is on the 3rd floor , in what used to be the attic of a house built in the mid 1800’s. I have ONE window, it faces south and gets full light all day long. The trouble with that, is that I get full light, ALL DAY LONG. Being on the third floor, means that my room seems to stay pretty warm, and since I am over the kitchen, it gets REALLY warm as soon as the oven is turned on. God help me when I need to use the iron AND cook at the same time ! You could use my room as a sauna !
This is the aforementioned window. ( Yes, that is a quilt rack / shelf being used for a bottle holder, just go with it ! )
I do have overhead lighting and I have a lamp for extra lighting at my machine, but that is far from the ” perfect lighting ” for photography.
This was driving me crazy for the past 2 weeks. Taking pictures outside in the beautiful fall leaves of New York may SOUND like a beautiful background… but let me tell you something you may not already know… It RAINS in the fall in New York. ALOT. It may not rain for long, but we are bound to get at least SOME moisture falling from the sky at some point every day. Oh and on those rare days when it ISN’T going to rain and sun makes an appearance ? Yeah, Those days are just so cold and windy that I don’t even like to leave the house, let alone stand outside and take pictures ! So this means taking pictures outside in the ” natural lighting ” is out.
With all of that said, I came to the conclusion that you all are just going to have to deal with ” not perfect ” pictures. It also means I am going to have to come to terms with the fact that I am going to be offering them up to you to look at ! This may sound strange to some of you, but the pictures that I post here on the blog, are probably the ONLY time that anyone ( my family included ) actually gets to see the inside of my house LOL. Given my Social Anxiety issues, we do not have people over to visit. We do not have dinner guests, or any type of guests for that matter. I consider my house to be my ” safety bubble ” , that place where I do not have to worry about other people being inside it. Hubs and Jonathan are allowed inside the “safety bubble”, but anyone else is considered an intrusion. So you can see what a big step this is for me to accept the fact that I have to put ” less than perfect ” pictures here on the blog, for the whole world to see !
So keep tuned for some updates over the next few days of things I have been working on, with pictures that show warts and all !
With all the excitement over putting together my first full pattern, I decided that it was time that the tutorials got a fresh overhaul as well, so everything would look like it matched ! I have made downloadable PDF files for all three of my block tutorials, which will continue to remain free ! You can find them over on the tutorials page ! Don’t they all look so nice now ? !
OMGosh, I am so excited to announce that my Beading Right Along pattern is now available for sale on Craftsy !
I designed and wrote this pattern in the exact same way as I did for my tutorials.
This pattern includes 21 pages of full color photos and instructions to walk you through every step to complete this wonderful 60 in. x 72 in. lap quilt.
This pattern includes directions for using either yardage or scraps to make your quilt truly one of a kind.
Multiple color options are illustrated to help you select a color scheme that you will love !
For right now the pattern is only available at Craftsy , but I am hoping to expand that to Etsy as well soon.
While I was at it, I decided to revamp my current tutorials and offer them up ( still free of charge ) in PDF format as well.
You can also find the revamped PDF versions here on the blog in the Tutorials Section !
I have mentioned my sister Deidre, on several occasions. She is the awesome jewelry maker of the family ! I have been wanting to make her a quilt for a while, but have been putting it off because I just could not figure out what I wanted to make ! I finally decided that instead of waiting for someone else to design something I liked, I would just design something myself ! So I did !
Pardon the very bad lighting, but here she is ! I decided to use batiks since they resemble gemstones so well , and I was going for a beaded look. This still needs a binding, but other than that it is finished. I have decided that this is going to be my first ever FULL pattern as well. I am almost done putting it all together, and hope to have it available by the end of October if not sooner. It has been a real eye opener, seeing how much work goes into putting together a full pattern. I wanted to keep the same style I have been using for my tutorials, since everyone seems to really enjoy the format that I use. I am sooo thrilled with the results of this quilt, and anxious about it being my first full pattern. By enough of my anxiety ! On to the close ups !
I decided to quilt the diamonds to make them look like cut gemstones.
(pardon the sideways pictures )
The background spaces in between the strands I quilted each area with a different filler.
W’s and E’s
Clam Shells or Rainbows
There is no denying it ! Christmas is coming, and there is NOTHING we can do about it, except start early ! As anyone who has EVER given home made for Christmas knows, we start making things MONTHS in advance so that we can get it all done ! I am no different, though I do have a tendency to put the final stitches in at least one give on Christmas Eve LOL. So here are a few things I am working on for this years Holiday Season !
Some of you may remember the double sided tablecloth that I made for my Grandmother last year ( here ). I swore to myself that I was NEVER, EVER, EEEEVER going to make another one, because of all the trouble I had with so many seams on both sides , thread issues, tension issues ect. Welllllll…. My wonderful Aunt, decided that she HAD to have one. It is all I have heard about since last thanksgiving ! Sooooo being the awesome niece that I am, decided to make her one. Well, let me tell ya ! This time, was the last time ! If my cousin wants one, she can have her mothers ( my aunt’s ) when she is dead, because that is the only way she will get one ! This beast tested my patience to the extreme !
Her table is 4 feet x 8 feet ( a sheet of plywood with molding on the edges ) and I accounted for a 5 inch drop all the way around. The fall side pieced together easy peasy ! No issues to be seen ! It looks fantastic !
So then I start piecing the Christmas side. And all hell came down upon my sewing room. I swear there is a curse ! A Tablecloth curse ! This side was horrific ! The FIRST top I made, I was thinking, okay, this looks good, nice points, good seams…. then WHAM ! I realize I had only made enough blocks for HALF !! I had 16 blocks and not 32 !! I also did not have enough of the fabric to make another half .. soooo… I pieced an entire DIFFERENT Christmas side all together ! I am sorta glad I did, because it looks awesome like this !!
Then came the basting ! I had to VERY carefully baste this bad boy so that the borders lined up on all 4 sides, since I was using the wide border as my drop, and wanted some consistency from one side to the other. Let me tell you, I had to ask myself what drugs I was on yet again, to decide to make such a thing ! More than once I decided that if I wasn’t on any when I made the decision to make the dang thing, I sure as heck should be on SOMETHING by the time I was done !
Then there was the quilting. Ohhh the glorious choices I made for quilting. Yeah. I decided to use the SAME Variegated thread on both sides that I did for last years ! You may remember.. different weights ( top thread was a 60 weight, bobbin was a 40 weight ! ), different brands ( Aurifil on the top, Coats and Clark in the bobbin ) Hahahahaha… yep, I was in need of medication.Once I started quilting, I was thinking… this isn’t so terrible… not a single snapped thread… then the bobbin ran out, and I flipped it over ! The reason there was no broken thread on the top, was because there was NO tension on the BOTTOM ! My entire first bobbin of thread was sitting there snaking along the bottom of the quilt, being held on so loosely that a mouse fart could have pulled it off ! So a ripping I did go ! An entire L bobbins worth ! Once I fixed the tension issue, things went much smoother. The quilting finished up without any more major incidents, and the tripping up went very smoothly. I still need to bind it… but I am waiting for my refill of Xanax ! You know, just in case !