Tuesday, January 29, 2013


I completed the Free Motion Quilting border for the yellow and gray quilt. I'm getting so much closer to my goal. I wanted to get this quilt completed by the end of January. Hopefully I can get the last little bit done that I want to tomorrow: remove the paper guides, two more lines of straight stitching, and square up the quilt--then hopefully machine-stitch the first part of the binding.

So many steps!

Still to-do:
Fire truck quilts FMQ.

Monday, January 28, 2013

Starburst Quilt Along - Goose-Corner and Half-Square Triangles

I think I'm caught up with the Starburst Quilt Along!
Here are my Goose in the Corner units and my Half-Square Triangle (HST) units. I even did the bonus half-square triangle units off of the Goose in the Corner, pictured here. Why waste?!

Yes, I need to trim the HST units, but it's so late, that I'll have to do it tomorrow. I wanted to get this posted and get to bed.

Yes, I did get more quilting done, too. The center is quilted, and now I just need to quilt the borders.

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Starburst Quilt Along cutting

I'm going to do it! Happy Quilting Melissa is hosting a quilt-along--it's a giant star called a Starburst! How can I pass this up?!!!!
Through browsing all of the bundles and collections at Intrepid Thread shop, who is linked with Melissa and put together bundles for her quilt along, I fell in love/obsession with a specific collection. However, I didn't get a lot of hours at work this month, so my hubby told me to wait for a bit longer before ordering.

So in order to jump in and not get too behind, I rummaged and rummaged through my meager stash, added to it, and bought 2 shades of yellow for background fabric. And I will be doing just 1 40" block for now. (*Yes, I have a plan--another baby quilt for another coworker.)

The background fabrics that I'm using for the Starburst, I am using to complete a few projects, such as making the binding for the yellow and gray quilt (see below), and replace the yellow/gold I ran out of doing Sylvia's Bridal Sampler.

(I sacrificed the beautiful Mariners Compass Star for a history high school class quilt project that my cousin is making. She wanted to do a history report with stories about our grandfather--and represent it in a quilt. I felt the star would be great to symbolize my grandfather--and since she had a tight schedule, I had this made up already! Therefore, I need to make another Mariners Compass, but only tiny scraps are left of the golds I used. The new fabric is not going to match.)

Here's the binding I was talking about earlier. I didn't have enough yellow to bind the yellow/gray quilt. I prefer double-fold binding, cut straight, especially for baby quilts or quilts that will see a lot of use; like this one is! I'm so proud that I got all this cutting done today!

I have to say, that joining binding strips in mitered seams is getting easier for me.

 I also have been trying some new notions to help reduce the raveling and twisting of the binding as I'm machine-sewing it on the front of the quilt. This one is called the Binding Buddy, purchased from Annie's Catalog/formerly Clotilde catalog. The spool rotates inside itself, and there are two little loop hooks on the outside of the spool, to tie ribbon onto. Put the ribbon around your neck, and the binding spools off easily! I'm going to test this out, but it's patiently waiting until I get the quilting done.

And P.S., I have less than a week to get my goals done for January:
1--finish the yellow/gray quilt
2 and 3--finish quilting the two firetruck quilts

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Skirt and quilting progress

I finally got the skirt done for my sister-in-law. It's a New Look pattern, and it wasn't difficult. I'm not a fan of pink, I'm actually a purple-type of girl--my favorite color is purple-- but even I enjoyed the fabrics she picked out. I loved the floral godet insets that just "pop" against the solid pink skirt.

I found these adorable embroidered tags that come in a long row, that you can cut apart and sew onto projects, and can be personalized with your name. I found them at Annie's catalog, formerly Clotilde. They have several styles to choose from, and have the most labels for the price that I've seen.

The only thing I changed, was that I put in an invisible zipper instead if a lapped zipper (that's what my sister in law bought for it). Not a problem!

I guess one of the reasons it took so long, is because my "hang up" is doing zippers. I will sew everything I can on the project, and then when I get to the zipper, I end up putting away the whole project. I literally need to force myself to just get through it, even though I found a type of zipper I'm pleased with the results about: invisibles.

I actually prefer invisible zippers to any other type. I absolutely refuse to do centered zippers anymore on clothing--they never turn out looking good! And once I bought a Bernina invisible zipper foot for my Bernina machine, it was great!

Do you have a sewing or quilting hang up? Is there something you dread doing? How do you make yourself sew a step or technique that you don't enjoy, but is necessary to complete a project?

Then, here are a few pictures of the yellow and gray quilt as I'm getting the quilting progressing. I'm using the walking foot, and using the edge of the foot + moving my needle farther to the left or right, for the straight lines. Since I don't like turning the whole quilt under my tiny sewing machine each time I turn a corner, I attempted putting the machine on reverse mode. Then I wouldn't need to turn, just move left or right to my next stitching line. Yeah, I learned the walking foot and machine really don't work well in reverse. After Facebook messaging my local Bernina store, they told me it wasn't meant to go backward! *sigh* back to turning I go!

Friday, January 18, 2013

Finish Friday

I'm happy to report that I finished the Quilt U Be Mine portion, and took it to the post office to send it home to its owner! I can't wait to get mine back and see what everyone has shared.

And I'm nearly done with the skirt for my sister-in-law. I could probably fit in it, if I didn't have that stubborn post-baby belly flab (two babies). Didn't hurt to try it on!

I must say, for a New Look pattern, it's pretty cute and roomy. I'm loving the godet insets.

And I'm really contemplating joining Happy Quilting Melissa's Starburst quilt-along. Too bad that none of the fabric I bought for Christmas is appropriate for the fabric requirements (I bought Rolie Polies and the quilt along takes fat quarters). And the fat quarters that I have already, don't really go together.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Celtic heart appliqué

Drum roll please......
Maybe some bagpipes.....
Fiddles and flutes....
Some step-dancing......

Because I accomplished one of my goals for 2013 :
Teach myself Celtic fusible bias tape appliqué!

There is still a lot that I need to learn, I'm sure, but I think this is pretty good for my first attempt! (four, actually.)

And, maybe you can guess what the theme is for this set and where they're going to be attached....think Valentines Day.

Friday, January 11, 2013

Fusible bias tape

Ok-I'm finally trying this fusible bias tape making.

First I had to make continuous bias.
The width of the cut bias strips is 3/4", according to the instructions on the bias tape maker. I used the Clover Fusible Bias Tape Maker in 3/8" finished width.

I used the instructions for making continuous bias from a square of fabric, from McCalls Quick Quilts "Bound and Determined: Finish That Quilt!" This is a great little guide and I refer to it a lot when doing my bindings. It has great little charts with math done for you, and instructions!

Then, following the instructions on the tape maker, I inserted Clover paper-backed fusible tape into the upper plastic guide with the paper side up, and the wrong side of the fabric strips facing up, or the fusible tape. Pull them through slightly together, use a hot small iron (again, I used Clover's mini iron), and pull the tape maker a few centimeters at a time, pressing for a few seconds right as the tapes come out of the maker.

*** Tip: as the seams connecting the strips feed through the maker, pin them to the ironing board as you press it...the bulk is a bit much, and the edges of the fabric might escape the melted fusible. Wiggle it back under the fusible tape with a pin, then Pin through the paper tape, the fabric and the ironing board until cool.

Phew! It's slow work, but I have a comfy office chair, and thank goodness my ironing board can raise and lower!

There's no time to try it out on a Celtic knot tonight, and I have a migraine too. And the little guy might need to go to the doctor in the morning. Hubby already fell asleep in the recliner, with his xbox game character perpetually running into a wall. :-) He had almost no sleep at the fire station last night!

Goodnight! I'll keep you updated!

Monday, January 7, 2013

Hearts Around

I found this cute heart block in my Quilt-Pro block library, while searching for any blocks that are heart and love related. I'm not sure what it's named, so I'll just name it Cornered Hearts.

The hardest part was that it's a five-patch, and the measurements didn't seem to work out that well for an 8" block. It seemed I had to do tiny bits of trimming on every piece.

Overall, I think it's adorable, don't you?

Thursday, January 3, 2013

2013 goals

Everyone is asking what quilting goals are for 2013. I decided I need to put mine in writing too, on my own blog.

To do by the end of January:

Finish the yellow and gray baby quilt.

Finish the two To the Rescue fire truck quilts for my sons.

Teach myself how to make fusible bias tape appliqué for Celtic quilts.

The rest of the year:

Finish piecing the blocks and sashing for Sylvia's Bridal Sampler. Watch my Craftsy class for Quilting a Big Quilt on your Small Machine. Before I put the quilt top together, I need to decide how I'm going to split up the quilt to be able to quilt it in sections. (It's going to be about 112" x 128".)

Start the firefighter-themed quilt for my husband's fire station quilt.

Start the Brown Bear quilt kit for my son.

Start the Swoon quilt for my son with Autism. I will use the fat quarter bundle of Riley Blake "Pieces of Hope" autism fabric.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Little helper

Trying really hard to get my Quilt U Be Mine finished, and then my little guy runs to get his toolbox to fix his "sewing machine" and wants to help me "fix" my machine. Couldn't help taking pics, because usually he's just running off with all my tools or coloring with my marking pencils.

And, he had to make a castle "one for you Mom, and one for me", out of my new Rolie polies and layer cakes. :-)
This little guy makes a lot of messes, but he has such an imagination and is so cute, that I can't help but love him.