Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Tool Tip Tuesday: Sleeve Pressing Board

If you are a quilter or sewer you might have one of these already. 

I read somewhere that a pressing board is the perfect thing for pressing the seams on totes and other small projects.  Since I upgraded my ironing board to a pressing station (it's all about size) I had no idea how I was going to NOT burn my fingers when pressing bag seams.  
This is where the sleeve pressing board comes in.  I found this one at the thrift store for $3.  Not an impressive savings over the same model available through Amazon for $7 but still worth the trip to the thrift store.  
Totes made in 2013 for Annapolis Quilts for Kids
The next time I make a tote, like the totes the Annapolis Quilts for Kids chapter is making, I'll be ready for those seams and tight corners.

Do you have any tips for pressing? 

Monday, October 27, 2014

Sunday Sew Day!

I want to tell you that I spent all day sewing on Sunday.  This is not the case.  I did manage to finish one thing.
This fleece sweater was made using the great video tutorial from the Crafty Gemini.  If you  don't follow Vanessa on Instagam, Facebook and YouTube you are missing out on a bunch of fun stuff.
I picked this great paw-print in Celtic Knotwork Pawprint from Urban Threads to embroider on the back.  I pulled the thread colors from the collar piece and I think it came out rather nicely.  The cuffs on the leg-holes are my own addition.  I think I will just use a cover-stitch to hem the bottom of the sweater next time.
My model Reesey was very nice to let me dress her and take her picture.  She always gets her serious face on when I try to take her picture.  Reesey is a 8-year-old pound puppy that we adopted in Rhode Island about seven years ago.  I have no idea what kind of dog she is other than she has a soft coat, weighs about 50 pounds, is totally cuddly and loves to run as fast as possible in our back yard.  She is also very patient with me when I'm a little crazy and put sweaters or booties on her.

Friday, October 17, 2014

Charm Swap: Rounds 3 & 4

A while back I shared a post about a charm square swap.  Since then I've joined in another swap and this time I signed up for rounds three and four hosted by The Amateur Quilter.
This time the swap is supposed to include one low volume print along with the scrappy print.  I'll admit that I messed up the cutting on one of my fabrics and had to substitute another fabric for four of the low-volume blocks.  Sometimes things just don't go smooth.
One set will have the greens and a low volume, the other set will have the blue and a low volume.  To see more photos of fabrics for the swap you can hop over to the Flickr Group.  
Just sorting my little stacks was a pain in the back.  I can't imagine what Mike feels like when he's done sorting the 56 stacks of fabric he receives for each round of the swap.

A super big thank you to Mike the Amateur Quilter for hosting this great swap again.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Tool Tip Tuesday: Quick Curve Ruler

Last year I discovered the Quick Curve Ruler.  It has been sitting on my shelf, patiently waiting for me to decide it was time to stop being afraid of sewing curves and get with the piecing.  
I finally got down to business last Saturday.  I pulled out my growing stack of holiday prints to practice these blocks.  All of the blocks I tried are from the pattern book Curve It Up! This is my first ever block created with this tool.  My trepidation was mostly unfounded.  These curves aren't difficult to sew at all!
I'm going through the pattern book, learning about the basic construction of each of the blocks.  These blocks take some time, but when they finish at 16" x 16" you feel like you've accomplished quite a bit once you give the block the final press and trim.
Curve It Up has twelve different block designs and while I made a good run of it on Saturday the remainder of the blocks will likely take me a while to finish.  If you want to learn more about this ruler and see it in action, I recommend you hop over to the Sew Kind of Wonderful Blog.  They have free patterns and tutorials on how to use the ruler.
I'm mixing and matching with all my holiday prints on this one.  I figured a sampler quilt is the best thing for a project like this.
The last block I pieced on Sunday and I have to admit that I've already started stepping away from the recommended fabrics and started to do my own thing.  It's only a matter of time before I figure out something off the program that I'm willing to give a try.

Are you sewing for the holidays?  Do you have a favorite ruler?  Share!

Saturday, October 11, 2014

The Wandering Quilt Returns!

Remember when I posted about Soul Stealer?  And about the fun adventure the quilt would be going on?  All the way to Paducah, KY, and then on to the AQS show in Des Moines, IA, as part of the BadAss Quilters exhibit.  I was so excited when someone shared photos from the quilt show on Facebook.  I got to see my quilt from all this distance.
On Thursday evening I returned home to find a UPS notification that i needed to sign for a package and I knew my quilt had finally returned from its travels.
I went home for lunch on Friday so I could catch the UPS man and catch him I did!  I signed for my package and set it aside for the evening.  Back to work I went.
When I got home I grabbed the box and went up to my studio to open up the box and get my ribbon.
Yes, I'm excited and pleased my quilt got to go to a quilt show.  I'm so much more excited about the ribbon that every quilt in the exhibit received.  I love this ribbon!

Thank you to Maddie Kertay at the BadAss Quilters Society for being the advocate to get all these bad ass quilts into the AQS in not just one show but two!  Great job!

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Thread Thursday

I know, I know... You're tired of hearing about the thread.
I'm not done talking about it, though!  I receive zero compensation for trying to get you to try Superior Threads.  I tell you about it because I am excited about thread and especially about this thread.  Don't worry, you don't have to buy it by the cone like I do, they sell spools, too.
Have I mentioned how much I like being a member of the Thread of the Month Club?  This month I got these amazing colors.  I love the shine of Magnifico and how wonderfully it quilts.  It is great stuff!  I usually pair it with Omni in the bobbin.
One of the benefits of being a member of the Thread of the Month Club is that you get the daily deal all month long AND you can just set those fun daily deals aside until your club order ships and get free shipping on the whole lot!  In this shipment I got a special price on the So Fine! #50 and the pre-wound Bottom Line bobbins.

Since I was holding out for Thursday for this post I have to admit that I've already quilted something with the dark brown So Fine!

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Charity Quilting: Postage Stamp

This quilt top was made and donated to Annapolis Quilts for Kids
It's been sitting here waiting to get quilted for a month or more.  I finally got around to it and I love the finished quilt.
Waldo approves.  Some day I'll put together my own postage stamp quilt.  Or just some scrap vomit quilt with these scraps I seem to be collecting.
Because I was in a quilting mood but not a fancy mood I just did a small meander to get it all quilted.  The meander may be humble but it is good at its job and I love it for that.
You may be wondering why there is a flower just hanging out in the middle of the quilt. I found a bad seam after I had quilted half the quilt.  While I tried to stitch over it, I just didn't think it was good enough so I cut out an applique flower with the Accuquilt Go! and quilted it right onto the top.  It isn't perfect but it will hold up better than it would have without that flower.  
I love scrappy and this quilt is no exception.  I went with the scrappy binding on this one.  I wish it was scrappier!
All folded up and ready to go in a couple weeks.  I'm going to try to stay focused and get a couple more quilted before the next meeting on October 18th.  

Do you quilt for charity?  I'd love to hear about it.

Monday, October 6, 2014

In The Mail Monday: Vintage Sewing Machine Parts

I recently placed an order with Cindy at Stitches in Time.  She is a great source for reproduction sewing machine parts for your vintage Singer and other vintage sewing machines.
I needed some bobbins for the Singer 115 that I intend to convert to a hand-crank.  The hand-cranks weren't in stock but Cindy said she would let me know when they came in.  I got a copy of her brochure/price list so now I don't have to bother her about prices for every little thing.
I used up all the bobbin winder tires I had from an order I placed on eBay months ago so I ordered some more of those.  I totally lost the bobbin case for my Singer 15-91.  I know I had it in 2008 or 2009 but I have no idea where it might be now.  I also got a replacement bobbin cover plate for my really clunky (meaning rusty and electrically dangerous) Spartan since it didn't have one when I bought it.  I had her throw in some felt pads for all of the vintage machines for good measure.  Shipping was quick and communication was excellent.

For your vintage machine parts you can reach Cindy at stitchesintime@earthlink.net.

In case you didn't hear, Sam Hunter of Hunter Design Studio is having a blog hop to promote her book.  You should totally go check it out.  Why?  Because you could win a copy of Sam's book Quilt Talk and make your own paper-pieced masterpiece!  I got my copy last month and I need to sit still long enough to make something awesome.

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Thread Thursday: Staying Organized

I found that I was having trouble keeping track of my scissors while working on the long arm.  Having to traipse back and forth along the long arm's 10 feet to find them was becoming annoying.  Several other quilters and crafters had raved about this cute little cart from IKEA.
I wasn't in love with the white or the turquoise but the gray seemed like a good fit.  I put it into the cart and it came home with us.  This project requires only one peep.
As proof that I needed somewhere to store my tools, I had trouble finding space to put this cutie together.  I ended up doing some of the assembly on top of my closed treadle cabinet.  Don't tell the vintage sewing machine people.
Like all things created IKEA, this one included simple assembly that could be accomplished with tools on-hand or those provided.  This little wrench will likely never be used again but it was a thoughtful design.
In about 30 minutes I had my cart assembled and ready for thread.
I picked up those little hanging bins and the baskets from IKEA, too.
Look at all that thread!  I've got a system for keeping track of my threads, rulers, marking tools, tape measure and scissors.  I think this was a great investment.  Why didn't I just make an apron to carry my scissors?  Because that wouldn't be as cool as building stuff from IKEA.

Do you have a unique way to store your tools and supplies?