Wednesday, June 29, 2011

what I've been working on (and a quilting dilemma)

I finished something cute the other day:
L's 4th of July top and bow!
 This is the knotted top from Little Girls, Big Style in size 2. (affiliate link)  I used a couple of the DS Quilts fabrics from JoAnn, and the dot fabrics were others I had on hand. (The big red/white polka dot is from JA too, and I love it. The light blue is a mystery. I bought it in Utah a couple years ago but I don't have any other information on it.) I like this pattern; it turned out really cute, and if I make it again I will definitely make the shoulder straps significantly more narrow, or else make a pleat in them where they are attached to the bodice back. With the straps this wide, the back of the top doesn't lay really smoothly when my girl is wearing it, and making the straps narrower will look better in terms of scale on the smaller sizes.

And, my friend Ceresa made the adorable bow this afternoon. She makes fabulous bows and sells them at her etsy shop, Bowreesa. The bow she made matches the top perfectly!

I got some new quilting thread yesterday and decided to start quilting my vintage sheet quilt.
quilting part way done
I am just going to do a little at a time (we have some busy weeks coming up here) and take a kind of sampler approach to the free motion quilting.

I am kind of bummed out... because for a long time I really wanted an extension table for quilting on my Janome, and I quilted with the extension table attached for the first time last night and this morning... and it's not working for me. The fabric seems to be sticking to the extension table (or at least not sliding very freely), and I know that can be corrected if I buy one of those slider things I've heard about, but the problem is that the extension table I got extends in front of the needle area of my machine and I have to hold my hands, arms, and shoulders higher in order to manipulate the quilt. And it hurts. So I need to figure out a solution to this somehow. Maybe see if there is an extension table that doesn't go in front of the machine, or at least not as far. Or find out about getting a higher chair (a lower table isn't really going to happen any time soon I'm afraid.)

I will probably do some more quilting tomorrow; we'll see if I can make any changes in my approach that will solve my problem!

Monday, June 27, 2011

Ruffle Crush Tester Quilts

Hope everyone's summer is going well! We are keeping busy here--my son had a birthday this last week and we had a fun but sort of basic birthday party for him. T-shirt decorating, pinata, presents, and homemade cookie cake. My sewing machine had to go to the shop for a little while but I actually got it back sooner than I expected and was able to do a little bit of sewing last week. It runs so nicely now and I found a new place that has the best sewing machine servicing prices in town!

Anyway I wanted to thank everyone for their support of my Ruffle Crush quilt pattern. I have some photos to share from my testers, in case you wanted to see more examples of what this quilt can look like.

Sharon made this lovely pink and brown version (I think these fabrics are from the Lily and Will line by Moda):

And Molly made this one from Fig Tree fabrics:

Molly blogs at Stitch-N-Thyme Designs and she blogged about this quilt for the Blogger's Quilt Festival back in May. 

I really appreciate my testers, they had great suggestions for this pattern--thank you again! I'm hoping to share photos from my other 2 pattern testers soon. :)

Monday, June 20, 2011

Ruffle Crush--My First Quilt Pattern!

I'm so happy to finally be launching my Ruffle Crush quilt pattern! The PDF pattern is available to purchase at my Craftsy shop here. (There's also a link to the shop in my blog sidebar.) It is an instant download and will be emailed to buyers as soon as payment is finalized. Making this pattern has been a long process for me, and I want to share a little bit about the quilt--I made the first Ruffle Crush quilt last year for my sweet sister-in-law Amy T., using Moda's Blush fabrics by Basic Grey.

Here are some photos--front of the quilt:
Throw-size Ruffle Crush Quilt

This quilt is about 50" x 70". Close-up of some of the gathered strips:
detail shot, Ruffle Crush quilt

The back (directions for this pieced back are included in the pattern):
Ruffle Crush Quilt Back--Throw Size

I did the first diagrams and fabric calculations for this one while I watched the very last episode of Lost on tv last spring. :)

I gave Amy the quilt for Christmas last year and after thinking about it for a while, I decided to submit it to some magazines for publication. I sent my submission to just one magazine... and they never emailed me back. Then I decided that actually I wanted to write up the pattern and sell it on my own. I got out the original drawings and figures and decided to make the pattern in two sizes. I drafted a baby quilt size and decided on a color scheme using mostly Kumari Garden fabrics by Dena Designs. Here's the finished quilt:

Ruffle Crush Baby Quilt
photo by Katrina Coleman
The ruffle strips in this quilt are Moda Grunge in the color "Decadent," and the charm squares came from my stash. All other fabrics are from the Kumari Garden line. This quilt is about 40" x 53".

Here are some details on the pattern:

*It's available in my shop and is on sale for $8.50 until June 27, 2011 (next Monday). After that the price will be $10.
*The pattern includes directions for two sizes—baby quilt (40” x 53”) and throw quilt (50” x 70”).
*This pattern is a 27-page PDF file that includes lots of photos, cutting and layout diagrams, and two suggested backing options for the larger quilt size. 
*Three tutorials are included with the pattern—Detailed Gathering Instructions, Straightening Fabric Edges, and Matching Large Scale Prints. 

The fabric requirements for both sizes of the quilt are available in the pattern description over at the shop.

Ruffle Crush Baby quilt
photo by Katrina Coleman
Finally I'd like to thank Katrina Coleman, who took the photographs of the Kumari Garden Ruffle Crush quilt. She is a local friend who's just getting her photography business started and I will let you all know as soon as her website is ready!

Friday, June 17, 2011

Chef Swap

Last week I finally got to go to another KC Modern Quilt Guild meeting. It was so good to see everyone; I'd missed the last couple meetings due to kids' school events. One fun part of the meeting was the Chef Swap--a couple months ago, we brought fabrics of our own and then swapped, and then we had a couple months to make kitchen items for the person whose fabric we picked. Carla got my little fabric pack and here's what she made for me:
chef swap goodies made by Carla
A cute potholder and 4 kitchen towels with pieced fabric strips along one edge. I love it, and I can really use new kitchen towels!

The person I am giving to wasn't able to attend the meeting so I can't show her stuff off yet....:)

Also, Caitlyn brought me a zip pouch that I won on one of her blog giveaways:
zip pouch made by Caitlyn
I love this fabric and this is a great little bag!

Finally, some fabric. Our meeting this month was sponsored by Tammy of  Marmalade Fabrics. She had a lot of great fabrics but I just bought one thing.
paint splatter Jay McCarroll fabric
1 yard of the paint splatter fabric by Jay McCarroll. I am thinking a large tote bag... we'll see what I end up doing though. I had to take my sewing machine into the shop yesterday due to excessive squeaking and clunking noises, and my backup machine is broken too, so I have a bit of time to get organized and plan out what I want to make next when my sewing machine gets back. I might even do some hand sewing.

One more thing! I wanted to let you know that my Ruffle Crush quilt pattern is getting very close to completion and I hope to have it available for purchase in the next (deep breath) week! Stay tuned and I'll let you know as soon as it's ready. :)

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Quilt Backs

Rebecca at Chasing Cottons has a new post up about creative, interesting quilt backs, and I decided to show and tell some of the backs of my quilts.

scrap quilt back
back of my lavender scrap quilt (not very exciting but I LOVE this quilt so much)

Halloween doll quilt back
back of a Halloween mini-quilt I made

mermaid miniquilt back
this was given away on the old blog, here

Krista's quilt 3
back of my SIL Krista's quilt (me in the shadow)

quilt back--figgy pudding Christmas quilt
back of my figgy pudding Christmas quilt

DQS8 finished back
back of my chicken quilt for dqs8

L quilt back shrunk
back of my daughter's mermaid strip quilt

oh boy quilt back
back of my nephew L's quilt (hey it's almost his birthday again)

watercolor quilt back--finished
back of my Y2K10 insane quilt project quilt

shirt quilt back
back of shirt quilt, made for Grandma M with Grandpa's shirts after he passed away

No Prints Allowed Quilt Back
back of my "no prints allowed" kona challenge dear jane quilt

Do you have any interesting quilt backs to share? There's a link-up at Chasing Cottons... I'm going to go check it out!

Thursday, June 09, 2011

Summer Mode

I have been so busy for the last month; I'm afraid I'm not going to have a lot of time for blog-writing (or reading) this summer! Here's a quick list of some of the things going on here:
*Pool time
*Late start but we got a little garden in
*Library with kids
*Sewing a secret project (needing to work on another one, too!)
*Working on keeping up a chore schedule for my kids
*Totally giving up on a bedtime routine for them, sigh.

I did want to share about the KCMQG pouch project; it is a difficult thing to write about but our guild has been making fetal demise pouches to be used at St. Luke's Hospital in Kansas City. That's where my preemie girl was born so of course I had to join in. I've made a couple and have a few more kits to make up today before our guild meeting. Do visit the Kansas City MQG blog to find out more about the project, ok?

Also I got this sweet book in the mail the other day; I was lucky to win it from Ayumi at Pink Penguin during giveaway week. Thanks Ayumi! I've just flipped through it so far but it has some interesting projects that I think I'll try for sure.

My boys want to help make a German pancake this morning, so yummy. I need to decide if I'm going to wake them up now or wait a little longer. Hope you have a great day!

Sunday, June 05, 2011

Piecing Batting by Machine Tutorial

Hi friends! Just wanted to let you know I have a quick little tutorial on how to machine piece batting into larger pieces... over at Chasing Cottons where Rebecca has been hosting Quilt Class 101 over the last several weeks. Thanks so much to Rebecca for letting me join in!

Saturday, June 04, 2011

king size quilt top, finished

finished quilt top
A few notes: King size, 104" x 96", flea market fancy plus some others in the blocks, moda crossweave in gray for sashing and borders. 96" borders take a LONG time to make and attach. For the Naked Bed Challenge!

Some fabrics I used just about all the way up, besides my FMF, that I might try to replace: turquoise henna garden, pink grunge, that one pointy diamond fabric by H. Bailey in light blue, the turquoise scissors fabric.

This was my main project for just about 3 weeks and it was almost the only thing I sewed during that time. It was less stressful than my typical sewing MO which is a sort of project ADD, working a little bit on something and then switching to something else when I feel like it. All the while having several projects occupying my brain space and stressing me out. Working on one thing was so different (in a good way) for my stress levels--I'm going to try it more often!

Wednesday, June 01, 2011

Last 3 Blocks

Today, I finished up the last 3 blocks for my (this quilt needs a name!) king size quilt, for the naked bed challenge. I took some pictures along the way.

Here's what I had when I was getting started this morning:
last 3 blocks, part 1
Making some progress:
last 3 blocks, part 2
And, all finished!
last 3 blocks, part 3
I ended up taking apart a couple of my earliest blocks and redoing them; they didn't have the same feel/look as what I ended up doing later, and I do like them better after the second try.

The deadline for the challenge was extended until Monday, so I don't have to try to finish this thing by tomorrow. I did get started with the sashing though, and the first row is assembled. My leftover fabric and scraps are all straightened up, too.

In regular life news, we are starting off the summer busy! We went to the pool yesterday, and the library today. We have a ton of new books from the library and I plan to take the kids weekly. I also got the boys signed up for swimming lessons but I was too late to get them into the first session. Tomorrow we have an orthodontist get-measured appointment and I think Friday will be another pool day, if the weather cooperates!