Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Been Busy . . .

Been busy cutting, and cutting, and cutting, and well . . . cutting.  I found this Super Mario Quilt Along
over on Cut to Pieces - and being the Mario junkie that I am, I couldn't resist!  Actually, this quilt will be for a Christmas present for my grandson - he's just as big a Mario Brothers freak as I am - I LOVE it! 

So basically, all the characters are made on a grid and pixelated like the video game.  The initial instructions called for Pellon's Stick n Wash - which is super easy to use since your fabric sticks on it, and then after you sew you can just wash it off - but for 12 yards - it also super expensive.  Instead I opted for a cheaper Pellon product - I think it was P44 - at 0.99/yd, and used my 40% off coupon at Joann's.  Of course, there was always the option of just piecing everything without the foundation - but I'm not even thinking of trying to sew all those individual blocks, and fighting with all those points/corners!  I'm quite comforted to think I can iron, fold, and sew, and everything will be exactly where it needs to be!
I marked my grid on for 1 1/2" blocks.  My quilt blocks are 16 grid blocks x 16 grid blocks - making each block 24" and finishing at 16" after sewing.  All pieces/blocks for the characters are 1 1/2" squares.  So as I mentioned - I was cutting . . .  I mean the kind of cutting that requires new rotary blades, and a full list of programming on your DVR . . .

 Nope - not even close to everything I need to cut!  But dag gon' it!  I'm gettin' bored with cutting!  I needed to make a block!  So today I was able to sit down and get my first block done :)  I opted to use a washable glue stick (not purple!) just to gently swipe the fabric squares.  There was hardly any glue on them at all - I just needed a touch to keep the blocks from slipping out of place or twisting before I had a chance to iron them down.

My fusible was only 19.5" wide so I had to add 3 more rows for the top . . .

Once Mario was all together my first seam was to join the two pieces, then I folded and sewed the remaining seams horizontally.  I clipped the seams along the fold lines and pressed the seams open.  This was a little tedious but I thought if I pressed them to once side, and then folded the fabric again to sew the vertical seams there would just be way too much fabric and each intersection.

Started out super big!  After stitching the horizontal seams he looked squashed.  Then sewing the vertical seams made him just right!

There's lots of great blocks that all the participants are making.  This is just my first, and I need to get cracking so I can get finished in time!  You can check out the other blocks on the flickr group! :)

Thursday, September 13, 2012

A Fun Night Out

Las night fun was had by all at the Berry Basket Quilters.  Some of the highlights were the donations for our community outreach.  Quilters are such generous people.  There's always beautiful quilts every month whether for QOV, our local hospital pediatric ward, and or community efforts for families in need.

community outreach quilt

baby quilts

Then there were those who finished this month's BOM - the Boston Star - did not get the entire line of people - a lot of blocks!

And the lovely young lady in the top row with the birthday hat on is Betty - we all wore hats for the evening (and ate delicious cake) to help her celebrate her 90th birthday!!  This lady is absolutely AMAZING!  You just can't keep up with her - you CAN'T!  I told her I wish I was as young as she is.  And then our over achievers :)  These two are ahead on their star blocks for our 2012, and have assembled these gorgeous tops!

star blocks - BOM

Last night was also the end of our guild's "Name Your Space" challenge.  It was great to see all the different ideas everyone had.  The "Fabricologist" piece won :)
name your space challenge

My camera batteries were dead by the time we got to show and tell, and the birthday party. . . but I was having too much fun to worry about pictures anyway! :)

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Long Time No Sew!!

I have not touched my sewing machine since my last post!!  Ugh!  The entire summer has gone by without anything to show for it.  Life Happens!  I had to take on a second job at the end of March which cut my available time down considerably, and recently due to the foundation of our house sinking, and other timely incidentals, we have now relocated to my mother's home, with the majority of our belongings stowed away in storage.  Regardless of the fact that there is ABSOLUTELY no room for fabric, tools, and sewing machine, I ignored my husband's protesting and brought them.  Well, as much of them as I could without looking insane.  A great deal of fabric is storage - this pains me - but I managed to smuggle two totes worth of scraps and fat quarters covering the spectrum of all colors one could possibly think they might need to have a smidgen of on hand! :)  So, I've been driving around with the said smuggled items in the back of my car for 4 weeks now - did I mention I was trying to not look insane?  With the only space available to work in/on being the kitchen table - I can see this going to be difficult, but I intend to perservere.  So I took my fabrics & tools out yesterday -- knowing I had an hour on hand that no one would be around, and I wouldn't be in their way or visa-versa -- and I cut out fabric needed for my September BOM for guild (meeting tonight).


Then today, same time, I was able to sew my block together!

sep bom
At least I have a little relief.  Sewing for me is like therapy and I've been missing it sooooo much!  And having the night off so I can attend a guild meeting??  That like a 2 for 1 kind'a day! :)

Thursday, March 22, 2012

March BOM

Into every quilter's life . . . a little scrap must fall.  :)  Thank goodness for that!  Got some time to sit and sew - gotta get it while the gettin's good!  Today I get to work on my March BOM for guild.  I have to admit, I really don't like cutting all that much - I'm impatient and it seems like a chore keeping from my "play". . .
. . . but I sure do love the hummmm of my machine!

Wednesday, March 21, 2012


After missing my sewing time yesterday (that's another story) I finally got to sit down today and finish my NYB blocks - from last week!
I am very pleased with how it turned out (and thankful I managed it!).  I would love to dive right in to this week's block - but I've gotta get to work. Hopefully I'll be at least cutting it out tomorrow!  If you haven't done so yet, check out the flickr group for the NYB sew-a-long - very BEAUTY-ful stuff!

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Ugh . . .

Worked on my NYB block today.  The Slow Quilter warned me it would be a lot of cutting . . . truly NO EXAGGERATION!  For some reason this block was really a problem for me. My brain would not work right today at all. :(

These triangle centers gave me a dickens of a time . . . rip, rip, rip!  For some reason I would either put the gray where I wanted the green, or wrong sides facing instead of right sides facing, etc., etc., etc.  FINALLY I got all four done.

The rest of the pieces went together fairly easy. . . 

Thank goodness, because I think I was about to CRY!

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Bits of Joy . . .

Went to guild meeting last night - a total pick-me-up.  Last night the speaker was Suzanne Egan-Hill who makes Painted Batiks.  Wow!!
She went through the process of creating her images on blank fabric, adding the dye and wax, and dye, and wax - color mixing - removing the wax - crackle effect.  Absolutely stunning work.  I can't tell you how much I'm itchin' to try this, and how far away this is from anything I've ever attempted, AND long my list of "want to try's" already is!!!  Suzanne had various sized pieces on display, as well as various sizes of work for sale.

I love Goodies!  After her presentation, Suzanne told us her birthday was on March 4th, and after asking to see who's birthday was closest to hers - mine being on March 2nd - she let me choose on of her small art sets.  I picked the sea shell set, which had seven pieces, each approximately 3"x4".  Now just need to think what to do/make with them!  I also got to pick a fat-eighth out of the fabric basket since my birthday was in the month of March - loved this brown floral!
Show n' Tell, Show n' Tell!  When you get well over 50 quilters together in one place - believe me, show n' tell is gonna be a while.  First are the community outreach quilts - this by no means represents all the quilts showed/donated, just a sampling.  We currently donate quilts to the pediatric NICU at our local hospital, Service/QOV quilts for our vets and service men and women, as well as other outreach projects.
Then BOM (February's block) . . . no, I didn't finish my black and white one . . .  I always love seeing everyone's take on the block - so different and beautiful!
and some more show n' tell - just a few because I tell ya ... tons!  tons!  gorgeous stuff these ladies make!
So, had a great time . . . added more ideas to my ridiculously long list of "want to do's", and got a little boost to my motivation to get a little more done this week!  I still need to get to my NYB for this week.  I'm making that one for my BFF, and I don't want to get behind on the blocks, got 1 baby quilt to be cut out before the end of the week  for part of my community service donation, and possibly get some sketching time in for a quilt I want to get in the works. Yikes! only a couple of days left in this week so I need to act purposefully!

Hope you're having a blessed and productive week!  Keep on quiltin'!

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

What's up for the week??

Well, I'm still working on my cone flower from my Wendy Butler Berns class.  The last video I watched was the machine applique process, so off I went . . . very slowly.  I used monofilament thread, set my machine for zig zag, small stitch 1.5, and put on my free-motion foot.  Very uncomfortable at first.  It was difficult for me to keep my stitches evenly spaced, so it took awhile to get into a movement rhythm.  As I was going, I kept noticing the holes.  The holes.  Oh my!  The holes from the needle and the clear thread.  Wendy did say in the video that they would "disappear" after quilting and embellishments were added.  We'll see. . .

Although my free-motion quilting is not the great (I still need some practice), I'm still happy I get to use my FriXon pens, and I'll even splurge a little add a bit of color.  I've never been adventurous with color - but why not?!
Nothing fancy-shmancy, just a little on the flower, and some flowy skylines.  I still have to do the grass, but it's almost done! :)

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Beauties for Week 1 . . .

DONE! Yeah!!!  I've got all 4 of my "0" blocks, for week 1 done - ahead of schedule for a change! :)

Going in I hadn't given much thought to placement, but now that these are done with more on the way, I'm beginning to think I should at least give a glance over to get some ideas before I put the other blocks together.  Everyone is posting such beautiful and different blocks.  If you haven't done so, stop by the flickr group and check them out!

Monday, March 5, 2012

New York Beauty!

Today starts the New York Beauty quilt-a-long and this week is block "0".  I got this Crayola Doodle pad, and the paper is perfect!  It's a 9" x 12" pad, so I cut it down and loaded into the printer for my first block pattern . . .

The starring cast of the production . . .

all cut up and ready to go - for the top corner (part "A") I simply cut on a folded line rather than cutting two out . . .

Sew, flip, press, trim, flip, repeat

Trim and rip, rip, rip.  Gotta say, the Crayola Doodle is like magic.  No effort at all :)

Sewing my center and outer pieces in - here she is . . . I like!

Sunday, March 4, 2012

This n' That . . .

So, I've got a couple things on the sewing table now - gotta put a little time in and make it look like I'm makin' progress. LOL!

As a birthday present to myself, I'm taking a class on Craftsy, with Wendy Butler Berns.  I've gotten through the first 3 videos, and this is my progress so far . . .

I printed out my pattern, and traced the pattern onto my freezer paper using my new Pilot FriXon pens (I was sooo anxious to try them).  ***NOTE!!!  Really cool pens, write on, rub off, OR iron off.  This is a problem if you actually want to KEEP the writing! LOL!  I ironed my freezer paper to my fabric, and lost my numbers and register marks! (ooops!)  But if you want mark your fabric and THEN sew it, and THEN iron it - these are the pens for YOU!
We have what we call "auditioning" the fabrics.  I'm not real "hot" about these greens, but this is a class project so, whatever I have on hand is it.  Then I cut all the pieces of the puzzle . . . I mean freezer paper, and ironed them to the fabric and cut out.  Let the party begin!

As I start turning the edges under, glue basting, and continuing, things start to take form . . . and since I'm so impatient, I had to sneak a look at the back side of things :)

Here's a close up of the "turned under" edges, and also a picture of everything piece together - just needed to add the stem and flower.

So my top is pieced together now.  I'll make some time this week to progress with the next video in the lesson - my top still may need embellishing, and then I will quilt it.

But I think tomorrow starts the New York Beauty quilt-a-long. . . so that time is definitely taken!

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