Showing posts with label books. Show all posts
Showing posts with label books. Show all posts

Monday, April 18, 2016

Best New Quilting Book and Favorite Fabrics

The best way to choose variegated thread 
is to unroll a bit across your fabric. 

Is the color change subtle or sudden? 
These Sulkys are gorgeous on Schott cottons! 

Today's title should have hooked you: books and fabric. Isn't that like chocolate and peanut butter? But maybe you don't like chocolate? So it is with suggesting any book or fabric. This is my taste, and what works for me at this moment.

Monday, January 4, 2016

Öland, Sweden, & Collaging Bits

Sedum Saxifraga

Massed in concrete pots before the Borgholm Castle on Öland, Sweden, these spring alpines radiated with color. 

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Many Quiltworks In Progress

Moda's Moxi by Studio M

A few months ago I picked up a mini charm pack of these pretty-little-things at my LQS. I wanted to see if a smaller pre-cut would be more accurately cut than the charms, jelly rolls or layer cakes, and now I can tell you, "Yes!" This Moxi line was used straight out of the package, and I laid out something I thought would make sweet quilt center. A few seams needed tweaking just a bit, but overall they were quite accurate. I paid $4 for this package of 42 pieces. So, figure roughly 10 cents for a 2.5" square.

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Creative Confidence & Creative Pilgrimage Book Review

Anyone who has spent time with children will tell you they are always surprised by their creativity. They don't say, "This one is just SO creative, but that one...Oh, she doesn't have a creative bone in her body!" Yet we describe ourselves as adults in exactly these words. We say, "Sorry. I'm just not very creative." Why? Did something happen between childhood and becoming an adult?

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Never Say Never

'Mrs. Bannister's Stars'
Block from Jen Kingwell's  Quilt Lovely

Some time ago I heard from other quilters that any piecing involving Y-seams was not worth doing. End of story. They had tried everything, and there wasn't one technique that made it easy enough to be successful. I believed them, and from then on knew well enough to avoid patterns with troublesome Y-seams

Then I met an experienced quilter who said Y-seams weren't that hard, and you can also chain piece them to make lots of blocks quickly. (What?!) She had my full attention. Meet Mary Huey from the blog, Quilting through Rose-colored Trifocals, and she's made a dvd called Set-in Piecing Simplified available from her blog. I had the chance to see it a few weeks ago. Immediately, I thought of all the projects in Quilt Lovely I had crossed off my To-Do List because of those Y-seams-I-was-Never-doing. I was excited, and ready to give her techniques a try. 

Adding Complexity to the Y-seam Project

Last week I had a stash trade with a friend, and got these amazing fabrics I'd been hunting. All the fabrics either looked vintage or really were. My own stash was organized into modern and current prints, and then older 80's fabrics with a few vintage pieces. Two bins. Either this or that. I never would have thought to use them both in the same project before, but something about the Kingwell patterns hit me as a perfect design for intentionally mixing vintage with modern.

*Note: Jen Kingwell doesn't specifically promote using vintage and modern together in her book, but does use a wide variety of what she likes. She promotes using a huge number of different prints, colors, textures, and styles. Most definitely a reason I'm attracted to her quilts. Most prints in the book tend toward the vintage or reproduction side, which I didn't own. I have a tendency to imagine how every project I come across would look with bright, modern fabrics, but am also highly attracted to the vintage, and especially 1930's prints. I wondered why I was limiting my choices, and how I could tweak her look to make my own.

Could I blend true vintage fabrics with modern prints, 
and make it work successfully?

I would make this goal part of my Y-seam project. I immediately evaluated which project to start out of Quilt Lovely, and fell in love with Mrs. Bannister's Stars. 

Mrs. Bannister's Stars was my pick, but little did I realize the process of making my own templates, etc. at the start. I did a small pile of pieces at night in front of the t.v. before I realized I had cut mirror images when my fabrics weren't all the same side up. Then I used the wrong fabric with the wrong template. Frustrated and tired, I went to bed. I was learning.

The next day I started fresh. I hauled my mess back to the studio where I could stand up to cut things out, and had better focus with no t.v. Afraid I might not be able to do this block, I only cut out the center pieces. Using Mary Huey's technique, I sewed the center together. 

I felt like a Rock 'Star'! 

I will give away no secrets, but only 2 of my seams were
a little off, and I knew right away how to correct them from what I learned on the dvd. It was that good!

Can you pick out the Riley Blakes, DS Collection, and Kate Spain fabrics? Can you tell the vintage here is all real vintage? 

I used a more current, traditonal print for the outer part of the block. There's plenty of mixing in the fabric styles, and I'm all about this project now! 

A Hairy Tangent

When our older kids were very little, I brought home a pony named Buck for them. My husband questioned why I would seriously buy a pony named Buck. Two horses and another pony later, allergies and asthma, I vowed no more horses. Never again.

Meet Hot Tamale, a.k.a. Marco. He's a 5 year old Welsh pony, and the newest barn mate. He stands just 12.1 or around 125 cm.

Love his socks and stripey hooves!
The Llama boys and Evie are just the 
tiniest bit curious.

They track his every move. Introductions are going well, but there is a lot of drama between a fiesty gelding and curious llamas.

I'll keep you up to date on his progress. I, uh, we, hesitated strongly with this pony, and it took some bravery on my part to know my teenager was going to be putting herself at risk with another animal. Fear is a big deterent whether it's a pony or Y-seams, but it can stop us from growing and having the most wonderful of life's experiences. Once again, I remind you of this:

Push yourself to do something today you didn't think you could do. Remind yourself that most mistakes can be corrected, and allow yourself the chance to grow.

Come on, Doxie girls.
Let's go sew some Y-seams.

Linking up with~
Freshly Pieced
Sew Fresh Quilts
Quilt Story
Late Night Quilter
Freemotion by the River
Show and Tell Tuesday
Blossom Heart Quilts
Lily's Quilts

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Kate Spain Soft Tote Finish a.k.a. A Lesson in Laminate Sewing

A quick finish to report for my Q2 Finishes 
On the Windy Side.

2015 FAL at On the Windy Side

Here's my pile of fabric. This was a learning project, 
too, because the Kate Spain fabric on the bottom is 
a laminated cotton. I had never sewn with it, and 
when I got a little less than a yard of it on clearance, 
it was a chance to try without a big investment.

Bag construction is pretty basic to most, but 
few people have recently asked how to box out 
the bottom. I'll show you how to to get an even 
box, which doesn't always happen when 
I just eyeball it.

Once the sides are sewn, mark the same
distance to the top and side of a lower corner. 
Here I've used 3" each way.

Turn the bag so the side and bottom seam are
on top of each other. If you haven't sewn a bottom
seam, which I prefer, use your ruler to square it up 
like shown. You align the side seam with a vertical 
mark on your ruler, and match the dots on each 
side of the bottom. Pin, and draw your line.

It should look like this. If I was doing a small bag,
I would cut this excess off because it would just
add bulk. I tend to keep it on a large bag, and 
just fold it under to the bottom. It adds stability
to the corner, and an additional layer should 
the bag start to wear through.

Next I made the liner for the bag with the same 
construction process. I used the same
measurements for width exactly, but added about 
4" for a fold over band. The width got me into 
pickle, and I'll show you why in a bit. I've found if 
I cut my liner width about 1/2" smaller, it fits better 
at the end. Think of nesting bowls.

Here is where I started to learn my lesson about 
laminated fabrics. They are not smooth like 
regular cotton. It wasn't as much of a problem 
catching on the machine surface or presser foot 
I could see, but was very apparent in the stitching 
in the handle below.

I saw no other way around my handle problem, 
so I used a little more contrast fabric to cover 
my laminated fabric. The laminate added weight 
inside instead of strapping, and I could sew it all together.

This handle had to be ripped out, and notice the 
fabric didn't 'recover'. The stitching holes were 
still visible even after I misted the fabric, and 
lightly pressed from the WRONG side. Do
not iron laminated fabric from the right side!
It will ruin your fabric and your iron.

The next dilemma was how to sew the handles
onto the bag with the laminate on the bottom. I grabbed
a scrap, and positioned it under the laminate so things 
would slide on the bottom as I sewed at the top.

Here's the view from the top side. At this point, the 
lining was still free of the bag. I wanted the handle 
seams hidden on the inside so it looked polished. 
First stitching, sew with the handles facing down 
toward the inside of the bag. (The white is the liner.)

Fold the handles up covering the raw seam,
and stitch all around for security.

This is what I had so far. The lining was pinned 
at the side, and sewn down at the patches only.

I was excited to be so nearly finished. My daughter 
stopped in for a look, and asked if this bag was
staying with us. Please? I knew it was a hit then.

I brought the excess liner over the top to cover 
my orange patches, and did a quick pin around. 
It puckered. A lot! I repinned. It still puckered. 

 So, I did a quick fix by taking in my liner seams by 
about 1/4" on each side, and not too far down.

That was all it needed. I pinned the liner in place where 
I knew the pin holes would notshow on the finished 
piece, and sewed. Then I went back and sewed the 
handlesall the way to the top edge, and finished
with an edge stitch around the top.

This is a bit of a less structured bag without interfacing, 
but the laminate would not have withstood the heat to 
bond, and I'm not a lover of sewn-in interfacing. It's 
proven to be a workhorse so far while loaded.

One thing I've been toting around is a new book called 
Little Quilts. Lisa in Port Hope posted her sweet mini 
from it on the Pet Project Show a few weeks ago, and I 
had to hunt it down. So many neat ideas here!

Trying new things is fun for me. I'm not afraid of 
change, but sometimes it takes getting used to. There's
a new look to the blog, as I'm sure you've noticed. I'll 
give a little tutorial on some of the features the next
time we talk. For today, notice these fancy-shmancy 
buttons below. This is where you can find all the ways 
to follow Pink Doxies in one hexie-spot. If you don't 
know what they all are, just click. They don't bite 
like Doxies.

Come on, Doxie girls.
Let's go sew.

Linking up with~
Q2 Finishes on the Windy Side
Sew Fresh Quilts
Freshly Pieced

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

'Twas the Night Before Thanksgiving

 "Tiny Houses, Tiny Trees" came together at last this afternoon. The week before Thanksgiving brings so much extra work and preparation, so this project feels like it's taken forever. It actually hasn't been a week, though. I think I was so anxious to get the piecing done because I'm really looking forward to the next part. Bring on the bling!

Two books that have been on my shelf for several months are both by Aimee Ray. I haven't done much in the way of embroidery, but I started this project with the intention to embellish it. I think embroidery will enhance this project.

Here are another two loaded with ideas. 

I made this block while working on the project, but the trees wound up too close together. It's okay. I learned how 'not to do it', and now I have a piece to practice some techniques on before starting with the actual project.

The wine is chilled and the turkey defrosted. The cranberry sauce and sweet potatoes were cooked today. Tomorrow after the rest is prepped, and while the turkey bakes, I'll be stitching away. My mom will call to ask how the meal prep is going, and once again tell me I should be watching the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade. I'll just smile. 

May you all have a wonderful Thanksgiving Day wherever you land, and be careful in your travels. And remember, be kind to each other.

Doxie Girls, let's head to bed.
Tomorrow is Thanksgiving.