Our week-end sewing retreat is coming up this coming Friday through Sunday. I chose a project with a TON of prep required. The Go! Be Dazzled Quilt was actually designed as a 12 month block of the month project. I decided a little over a week ago that this was going to be my take along project for the retreat. I do NOT expect to be anywhere finished with it before coming home.
I recently posted about how I worked on locating and purchasing small amounts of fabrics that I might want to use, deciding on thread colors, and prepping and stitching a couple of samples to be sure I am happy with my choice. This past week, I purchased the full amount of fabrics that I have decided on. I am still deciphering the instructions. There is a lot of very helpful info in the instructions, but I feel that they are also missing information that I feel would be helpful.
I spent quite a bit of time yesterday and today cutting all of the actual quilt parts and pieces. There were a couple of pieces that I kind of had to figure out what length to cut them, but most cuts did give specific measurements. All of the pieces that will have embroidery on them also had to be backed with a lightweight interfacing, as well as an iron-on tear-away stabilizer.
I have stacked, tagged and bagged all of these pieces to help keep them organized.
Right now, I am in the process of figuring out how much, and what sizes, of the appliqué fabric to prepare for die cutting.
I do not have the Accuquilt circle dies or the diamond dies, but I do have other ways of cutting these. Tomorrow, I hope to have all of the appliqué pieces cut and ready to go by the end of the day.
Once I feel confident that I have my project parts and pieces prepped and ready to go, I will be able to focus on making sure I have everything else I will need for the retreat, both for embroidering my project and for myself.
Hopefully, I will have prepared well enough that I can just embroider non-stop while I am there, with the exception of eating, “Happy Hour” and sleep.
I have definitely spent my “at least 15 minutes a day” participating in the March-A-Long challenge that Darla of Scientific Quilter Podcast and Blog is hosting. This is the final week to report in. I am happy to say that I did report that I met the challenge each week during the month of March. Thanks for the motivation, Darla!
After studying my sample stitch out, I stitched a “real” embroidered block for my Go! Be Dazzled quilt.
The thread colors I ended up choosing for this block will set most of the color palate for the rest of the embroidery for this quilt.
I replaced the original too light fabric with one that I found in my stash and I like it much better. The problem is that I only have a small amount, not enough for the whole quilt. So I went to Joann’s today and bought a yard of this to try:
I like it overall, but not sure if it is right, the small design on it reminds me of toe nail clippings.
In addition to being used in the appliques, this will be a pretty prominent fabric in the quilt so I want to be sure that I am happy with it. I will look again over the next few days to see if I find something I like better. If not, this fabric does seem to go well with the block. I love how this block turned out, I am anxious to see it stitch out over the next few weeks.
I think I am happy with my fabric choices for my version of the Go! Bedazzled quilt, but I am struggling with my thread choices.
I love the thread colors used in the inspiration quilt, especially the punch of turquoise throughout.
I want to use this in my bedroom, in which I tend to use burgundy/cranberry and earth tone colors and feel that the turquoise would not “go” in the bedroom .
I think I just need to get over it and go for the bright punches of color, that is part of what drew me to this quilt in the first place.
I embroidered a sample stitch out of one of the blocks with several different thread options.
I am getting closer to making some choices, but am starting to think that maybe my light colored appliqué fabric may just be too light.
There are only 3 different fabrics in the entire quilt, a dark, a medium and a light. I did buy another fabric for the light option that isn’t quite as light and will try that tonight.
I am also reporting in for the 3rd week of the March-A-Long that Darla is hosting. My report is very brief (non-detailed) this week. I have definitely spent more than my 15 minutes each day doing or focusing on quilty/stitch things. I am mainly focused on getting Go! Be Dazzled prepared to take on retreat in 2 weeks. I also try to squeeze in a few minutes here and there throughout the week practicing free motion quilting. As usual, I manage to spend more than my fair share of time looking at photos and reading blogs.
In just 2 weeks, I will be going on my first “Girl’s Sewing Retreat Week-end”. It will be at the Tonto Ridge View Lodge in Payson, AZ. It is about a 2 ½ hour drive from home. I will be riding along with 2 of my sewing buddies and a few other quilty/stitchy ladies will be there as well. The lodge has a separate building set up for sewing, quilting or whatever type of craft project you would like to bring along. We are each bringing our own specific projects, the lodge provides the meals.
I kicked around a few project ideas and finally settled on Sarah Vedeler’s Go! Bedazzled quilt.
It is a machine embroidered appliqué project that is then pieced and quilted. The embroidery designs are digitized to perfectly stitch and embellish appliqué pieces cut with the Accuquilt dies. She also provides cutting templates for cutting the appliqué pieces by hand. Sarah’s written instructions seem to be written specifically for Bernina owners, but the designs are provided in all formats for all machines. I do not have a Bernina, so I need to use her instructions as a guide, adapting them for my specific hoop size for my Brother Duetta 4500D.
I bought a few pieces of fabrics yesterday that I think I will be using. I have a ton of embroidery thread and will pick my thread colors as I am stitching it out.
I know that two of the fabrics seem dark, but I am hoping to emulate the quilt that motivated me to actually do this quilt:
This quilt was made by Sandy Lawrence and won Best of Show at the 2012 Arizona Quilters Guild Quilt Show.
I will stitch one or more blocks today to see if I am happy with my fabric choices, if I am, I will get the rest of the yardage tomorrow.
Happy International Quilt Day!
I am participating in a quilty (for my updates, I am including all things stitchy) March-A-Long hosted by Darla of Scientific Quilter blog and podcast. The goal is to spend at least 15 minutes per day doing something quilty related.
This is my update for what I did during week 2.
I looked in all of my hiding places and gathered my UFO’s together into one space. They are separated into storage tubs, most with all of the parts and pieces to complete them, but for some, I need to gather the remaining supplies necessary to complete the project.
I looked at my stack of UFO’s with the plan of making a list of them and got distracted with something else. I guess they will just have to hang out together for a while longer. I did look at quilty blogs and photos for my daily dose of eye candy.
I laid out my Easy Street Quilt top on the bed in the guest bedroom to see how it fits and to decide on borders. I definitely will need to add borders to make it finish to the size I want. I still need to buy the backing fabric. I am anxious to get this quilt finished, but I am also hesitant to quilt it since I have never quilted a bed size quilt before. I guess I will just go for it when the time comes.
In 3 weeks, I will be going on my first week end “sewing” retreat. I will be going along with 2 of my sewing friends and some others that I have not met yet. We will drive up early Friday and stay through Sunday afternoon. Everyone will be working on a project(s) of their own choosing. For my 15 minutes for today, I stopped on my way home from work and bought the pattern for Amy Butler’s Weekender Bag and looked around online at a few blogs and on Flickr for hints and tips on making my own. I know I won’t have time to make it before the retreat, but the trip sparked my interest in making the bag.
I will be going to the Arizona Quilters Guild Quilt Show tomorrow so this afternoon I reviewed my fabric, thread, book and pattern stash to refresh my memory on what I have so that I don’t buy anything that I already have or pass up a deal on something that I might need.
I met with some girlfriends at the Quilt Show today. I took several photos (I really need a new camera!) so that I could study some of the quilting details and spend more time appreciating the quilts when I was not distracted by all of the people and surroundings. I picked up some fabric and a few other supplies while I was there. I met another lady that is also going on the upcoming retreat.
I am trying to make fabric decisions, printing templates and reading the instructions for a large quilt that I am starting. It includes paper piecing, applique and machine embroidery. I want to become familiar with the project and make sure that I have everything I need so that I can take it along as my retreat project.
I also renewed my membership for The Quilt Show today. All shows are free for all members for the entire week-end in celebration of International Quilt Day.
During the month of March, Darla, over at Scientific Quilter Podcast and blog is hosting a Quilty March-A-Long. This is a 15 minute per day challenge to do something quilty each day. At the end of each week, she invites us to report our challenge results on her blog, which will then qualify participants to be entered into a drawing at the end of the month for Leah Day’s beginning Free Motion Quilt book patterns called from Daisy to Paisley .
Darla will comment on these updates in her podcast.
Here is my update for the week:
Today I was able to stitch out 2 of the bonus blocks of AnitaGoodesign’s Tree of Life
embroidery design set. I plan to do the entire Tree of Life wall quilt but wanted to try out the bonus blocks first.
Mondays are an especially tiring day for me since it is the first day back at work after being on my own schedule over the week-end, so not much time is spent in the sewing room. I did manage to stitch out another embroidered block.
I stopped by my local LQS to use a coupon I had for some fabric for my future Tree of Life Quilt. As usual, I read through some sewing/embroidery/quilting group emails and looked at a few blogs in the evening.
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I stitched the 4th and final Tree of Life bonus block and trimmed all four of them to size.
They are ready to sew together, quilt and bind.
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I spent Thursday evening doing just a little bit of FMQ practice on my Tiara. Nothing to show, just practicing on a quilt sandwich.
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Friday is Day 1 of 2 of the Dental Convention, attending classes and visiting vendors, so I am away from home for an even longer day than usual and have to drive in heavy, slow traffic both ways. The only quilty motivation today is to read blogs and e-mails.
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Day 2 of 2 at the Dental Convention. The vendors are not there today, so just a class in the morning. Traffic is also not as bad since it is not a week day. On my way home, I stopped at the Library and returned a couple of Quilting books that were due today and could not be renewed since others have requested them. I picked up a Zentangle book while I was there. Tonight, I plan to look for all of my UFO’s and gather them in a central location so that I can work on getting some of them finished.
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I do feel that I met the challenge of spending at least 15 minutes each day doing something quilty related, even if it was just reading about it.
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I am linking this post to Darla’s blog where you can read Darla’s updates, as well as updates of others who are joining in on the challenge. She will also be commenting on these updates on her podcast. It is not too late to join the March-A-Long yourself.
Last week, I was able to use a 50% coupon at my LQS to purchase this set of concentric hearts quilting templates. This was the last set they had on the wall.
They are by Creative Grids. When I went to their website to look for design suggestions, I could not find any information on them. I don’t know if I got one of the last ones available or if they are just not widely available yet. Either way, I am very happy to have them.
This was my first sample on some scrap fabric. I quilted around the outside and/or the inside of a couple of the templates, depending on the size that I was going for. Then I free motion quilted inside the lines, I was pretty happy with the quilting with in the hearts. (Keep in mind, I am new at this!) There is no need to discuss the background filler outside of the hearts~ major fail! But that is the great thing about scrap fabric samples, not a big deal if it turns out ugly, it is a learning piece.
Even with the overlay in place on my Tiara, I was having trouble keeping the templates from wobbling a bit on the “hump” caused by the slight height discrepancy between the machine and the table. I decided to slip a couple of thin catalogs on either side of the needle plate underneath the overlay. This helped a lot, but there was still a bit of a dip in front of the machine between the catalogs.
To smooth things out a bit more, I added my Supreme Slider. I probably didn’t need to use this, but since I have it and it is just sitting in a drawer, I decided to leave it. This is the smaller of the 2 sizes available, but it seems to be enough to help. Now the table top feels much more even.
My second attempt with the Hearts templates was with white thread on white fabric.
After I was done quilting the hearts, I was nervous about filling in the background since my first sample turned out so bad.
This is my attempt at “McTavishing” to fill in the background. (Thank you, Leah Day, for introducing me to this idea!) I think it turned out very pretty. At this point, I could have trimmed it and put the binding on it and called it done, but felt like it might be too much white for a mini wall quilt.
I decided to be adventuresome and add color with some Jacquard Lumiere paints that I had. I think I liked it better before painting it, but I think it is pretty both ways.
One major thing I learned from this particular project is that I should have put the binding on BEFORE I painted the quilt. The paint caused my machine to produce several skipped stitches, so I stitched 2-3 times around the binding to be sure that it was secure before painting it, too.
The colors that you see on the front were not my first attempt. You can see on the back side that the areas that were painted over twice had some bleed through to the back side. I did have a piece of freezer paper underneath, just in case this happened. I added the corner triangles for hanging the piece with a thin dowel. I am pretty sure this will be my March 2013 submission for the AAQI Quilt a Month Club.
PS: I am tagging this post with HandiQuilter, HQ, Sweet 16 and Sweet Sixteen since the Baby Lock Tiara is an identical twin sister to the HandiQuilter Sweet Sixteen.
Several months ago, I found a blog that I find very full of creative inspiration. MarvelesArtStudios is included in my list of tabs that open each time that I open my browser, so that I remember to visit daily.
Recently, Leslie was a participant in a stencil blog hop. In addition to a drawing for the stencils that she was demonstrating, she also drew names for a couple of small stitched samples that she made using the stencils. One of those names was mine!
Here is what I received.
I often study the details of Leslie’s work, but always from the photos on the computer.
Even though this piece is small, it gives me the opportunity to examine the details, on the real thing, right in front of me. Plus it is just fun to have something hand made by someone else.
Leslie’s piece inspired the quilting pattern I used on my most recent mini quilt that will be my February Quilt A Month Club submission for AAQI. It is simple straight line quilting in planned, random placement.
I was trying a new to me technique for binding. It got a off square at the lower left corner, which was the first corner that I attempted, since I wasn’t quite sure what I was doing. It should turn out better next time, now that I understand the technique better.
As usual, I added the triangle corners for inserting the small dowel for hanging.
I definitely plan to try some of the stencil techniques demonstrated by several of the hop’s participating bloggers.
I enjoyed working with the bright colors/prints that I used in Easy Street. I wanted to use them together in other projects.
It was time to submit my entry for AAQI’s Quilt A Month Club and I decided this was a perfect time to use those left overs.
Fast Finish Triangles were added to the back for easy hanging with a small dowel rod.
I decided to put triangles in all four corners so that it could be hung in any orientation.
I plan to use these fabrics together in other projects.
I am not new to sewing. I used to sew my own casual clothes years ago (plan to do so again, soon). I have made a couple of rag quilts, I make mini art quilts for AAQI and I have even joined and quilted embroidered blocks into wall quilts.
Until just recently, though, I have never made a bed quilt.
WELL….. That is (mostly) no longer true.
I have been wanting to make a real quilt for quite some time. I listen to podcasts about quilting, I study photos and read anything and everything I can related to quilting, so I have a comfortable familiarity with the process. But, experience is the true teacher, and boy did I get some experience in cutting and piecing recently.
Back in October, Bonnie Hunter was getting ready to run her annual Mystery Quilt Along. Several of the podcasters that I listen to were saying they were going to do it. Bonnie said that this one would be easier than those that she had done in the past, and I decided that I can do easy and that I would join in. Boy, I had no idea what I was getting myself into.
It started out easy enough, just had to go pick out fabric. Then over the next couple of weeks, Bonnie would provide cutting and/or sewing instructions for various units that would later be made into blocks. I was impressed with how I was able to keep up. Then all of a sudden, the rest of the instructions were released one right after the other, and I was out of town for the Holidays for 2 of those releases. It is not a race and there are no deadlines, but I wanted to keep up. I have stayed focused. It is very close to being a finished quilt top.
This quilt top has taught me a lot. I have seen my cutting improve. I used templates for the first time. I made my first flying goose units. I can see a definite improvement in my piecing skills from those first four patches all the way through to completing all of those blocks and triangles.
Since my piecing in the beginning was not that great, my blocks were off a bit. They are supposed to be 15.5″ square and finish in the quilt at 15″ square.
Well, most of mine were not 15.5″, in fact some were just barely at 15″ to start with so I trimmed them all to 15″.
Here are all of the “A” blocks laid out.
The “B” blocks have been set into place.
The corner and setting triangles complete the layout. Now to sew it all together!
I hope to finish it tomorrow and then just put it away for a while. It will officially become a UFO.
I still need to decide on what type of batting to use (I am not sure of the look that I want it to have after laundering). I need to decide if I want to add borders or not. I want to take time to practice quilting on my Babylock Tiara before attempting to quilt this top, plus I really don’t know how I want it quilted.
I am really glad that I didn’t know about this quilt before I decided to do it, because if I did I would have decided against it and I would have missed out on a wonderful learning opportunity and a pretty awesome quilt (top, atleast!).