Saturday, March 31, 2012

March FMQ Challenge, Barely!

I barely cracked this one out for March. I still have February's to do:O, but I wanted to get this one in on time!!! I like you can have random uniformity if you quilt in rows. I kind of lost that on the last pattern I quilted which was the flowers( even though it's up top). I think that happened because I started quilting this 20 minutes ago! My speed almost got away with me a few times.( I was in a bit of a hurry) Note to self, don't try to rush quilting. It's 11:43 here. I better go link up or I may turn in to a pumpkin!

Blog name change, again

So this is the second time in a few days I have changed my blog name. OK, I can be a bit indecisive at times. When I first opened up my blog, I couldn't think of a good name. I just wanted to get it up. So, My Quilting Journey is all I could come up with. Boring. So I really wanted to change it. Then all I could think of was Luvin' Quiltin'....better. Then, I was in bed last night. It came to me ...Fresh Off The Spool! YAY, I love it! hope you do too :) Let me know what you think!!!

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Wednesday Quilt Along/Spring Break Baby!

Me and the kids are on spring break this week. Yay! We're not going on vacation, but I am on sewcation! I am really loving how this quilt along project is turning out! I used Kona cotton( I can't remember the exact color...it looks like an eggplant color), and Isacord Peacock thread which I bought for another project( The color didn't quite work out so I'm using it here).
   I am getting much better at feathers! I have found that I do better with them if I Start out upside down, like you would make a heart upside down. But on this project, In the middle of the project, I tried something a little different.

I went sideways. And, WOW, was it a lot easier. I could see so much better! I'm not sure how it would have turned out if these lines weren't marked, but i think I will try it out!

  Last week I marked my project with chalk. I really like chalk, because, so far in my experience, it stays on long enough to quilt, but as soon as you have quilted, the marked lines are pretty much gone. Very easy removal! I don't believe the chalk I have been using are the same as the chalk pencils that Leah mentioned in her post about the Dutchess.( Correct me if I'm wrong, Leah!) I have bought those pencils before, and I couldn't really get a good mark. they seemed a bit waxy, more like colored pencils, and I just didn't even want to go there!

  I have been doing the FREE Craftsy BOM. Here is my Belkan Puzzle Block. I really LOVE this block. I may do a whole quilt in this block in the future. I did, however, run in to a few problems. My first problem was with bulky seams. Particularly, where many seams meet. Leah has mentioned in her posts before that she presses all of her seams open. Somewhere along the lines, I had it in my head to press to one side. I decided to press open this time.  I really like this method. The seams seem to stay flat better. But......

this seam had 7 intersections. BULKY!

Second problem was when I went to square up my block to 12 1/2 in. it was short by a 1/4 in.!

Yikes! I went back to the Craftsy video. Every one seemed to be having the same problem. The suggestion was to use a SCANT 1/4 inch seam. This kinda broke my heart because I purchased a 1/4 inch foot( which I used in the first place). Not only did Amy mention that we should use a scant 1/4 in seam on this block, but ALL quilt blocks because this is standard for quilting. THEN WHY THE HECK DON'T THEY MAKE A SCANT 1/4 IN FOOT??????? Sorry, just had to put that out there.

   Back to the drawing board. After watching a few youtube videos on how to mark my machine for a scant 1/4 in seam. I made another block. I used Sewing Edge.

With my second block i pressed to one side. My multiple seamed intersections worked out a bit better, but still bulky. I think I would rather have it bulky in just a few areas, than on ALL of the seams. Also, using a scant 1/4 in seam seemed to  fix the problem of my block being to samll. But I am not happy about doing a scant 1/4 in seam.

Now my questions for Leah. These questions have nothing to do with the project at hand, but rather my BOM problems. Hope that is OK.

Do you use a scant 1/4 of an inch? It seems to me this would only be required of you wanted you block an exact size, or with a sampler quilt, or BOM.

Second question is Do you Always open your seams,  and based on the photo above with open seams with the 7 intersection, could I have gotten it any flatter ? 

Oh, I almost forgot, here is what I learned this week. In last weeks post I said I didn't like marking the quilt. BUT... I learned that marking makes FMQ so easy, consistent, and gorgeous! I am definintely willing to mark a quilt if I want it to have a particular pattern or look. It was nice to not have to think about where I was going to stitch next. like Leah has said, what you save in time for one thing, you will make up in another. Or vice versa. what I spent in time on marking, I saved in thinking about my next stitch! Also, i am getting much better with straight stitching  a line with FMQ and traveling!!!!

   Welp, thats all folks! Back to my sewcation:D 

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Giveaway Week!!!!!

Want to get in on a fun filled week of giveaways? Diane Bohn @ from blank pages is having a week of giveways ! Start here, because I think you can still get in on yesterdays giveaway! Good luck!

Monday, March 19, 2012

Quilt Along Wednesday; My Head and My Heart

   I am Not stash busting. I'm stash building. I'm on the Denyse Schmidt band wagon. I bought these the other day at Joann's. I realize they are not the highly sought after re-released independent shop designs, but I'm an instant gratification kinda girl. Nobody sells her line in my area. I'd have to buy online. And although I love to get those special packages in the mail, I want to see it, feel it, touch it first, THEN, I buy:) Besides, I love the Joann's line just as much! There is one imposter fabric in the mix. See it? I loved it and thought it went well so I threw it in.

I LOOOOOVE prints.My head says buy solids. They look amazing quilted. My heart says buy prints. Because I love them. I went shopping the other day with the intention of buying lots of solids. I came home with one. Does anyone else do this?
   So here is what I did to get ready for the Quilt Along Wednesday.


I used 505 spray.  I haven't tried this method yet. I will let you know what I think after I have quilted it. You say, why did you baste first? You will find out in a minute.


First, I printed Leah's pattern x 4 and carefully lined them up and stapled them together

Then, I stitched on the lines ( with and empty needle and thread ) This took a bit of time, but I got four done at once. I took a little over an hour.

I then of course taped them together and laid it out on my fabric.

Next, it was time to pounce the chalk.

I decided to use this method because my fabric was dark. Blue pens and chalk is what I had on hand. Blue would never show up, so chalk, it was. I didn't account for my little mistake though. I left overlap paper on the pattern in order to tape it easier. This is what happend.

OOPS! No biggie, I just free handed the rest in with my little chalk thinga-ma-doober with the little spinny wheel thingy on it. I should get up and look at what it's called, but I am lazy right now.

I basted first because because i used chalk to mark my quilt. I have no idea if i did this correctly, but I figured if I marked it with chalk first, it would all disappear when I smoothed my layers while basting. If my thought process is wrong, please let me know! Or, if there is an easier way, please let me know! I can't wait to quilt this sucker up!

QUESTION FOR LEAH: Where the heck did you get that big light box? Did you make it or buy it, and if you bought it, how much would one like that cost? I didn't have a need for a light box this time, but it would be nice to have in the future.

Also, how would you have marked dark fabrics? I know I didn't use any of your purposed methods, but I really wanted to try spray basting, and didn't know any other way to mark dark fabric.

Here is what I learned in this process so far. I would rather skip marking a quilt and just freeball it. I'm not saying I won't do it again. And I have marked reference lines before. But, whew, that was a lot of extra work!

Although the finished product of taking such a step will be magnificent, it is just one more step that slows me from the fun part. The quilting. ;)

Monday, March 12, 2012

Hello Kitty Quilt...Check!

The Hello Kitty Quilt is DONE! This may technically be a UFO since I bought the fabric about 5 years ago with the intentions of making a quilt. I just didn't have the guts back then to make such a large one. It measures 56in x 74in. Is that a twin? That's what I was going for. I put it in the washer and dryer before bed last night. Good thing. My daughter, Ashley, was sick this morning. So I took it out of the dryer and put it on her. I said, " Here is your quilt, maybe it will make you feel better:)" It took me approx 3 weeks to make. A little longer if you count the time my machine was down and there was no sewing going on. I feel so accomplished! I have two finishes for the year! One mini, Good Morning, Sunshine, and Hello Kitty!! YAY!

I quilted 14 different quilting motifs. Considering my attention span and boredom level, this seems to be a good way for me to quilt! Here they are.

I know the photography is bad, but they were taken at night. =/

Question Thursday: Leah, I don't rally have a question, but rather a comment. I took your advise. I left ALL of the mistakes and imperfections in my quilt. I figured, who cares??? I just kept on going and with each motif, I found I was really getting a good rhythm as I went along. Besides, this quilt is for snuggles, not shows!  Hope you get to see this comment because I edited it in:)

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Quick Curve Ruler and Pattern Giveaway!!!

Pop on over to Sew Kind of Wonderful to win this awesome ruler! Jenny is also giving away her new pattern which is gorgeous. Good luck!

Friday, March 2, 2012

Modern Mini Challenge!

Good Morning, Sunshine!

   I was so excited to enter the modern Mini Challenge! It's technically the first quilting contest I have ever entered. I ended up entering the Sliced contest the other day(and it's not really a quilting contest). But I committed to this contest first, and I completed this project first. I just had to wait until today to submit my quilt!
  I tried a few techniques I have never tried before. I did curved piecing which I learned by a tutorial posted by Blogger Diane Bohn at from blank pages. She made it look so easy, and really, it was. Thanks, Diane! 

   The other thing I tried was my new dresden ruler. I needed bigger rays for my sun than the ruler could provide. All I had to do was extend them out. The hardest part was getting the half circle right. I thought I could apply the same principal as curved piecing to cut it. When I went to piece them It wouldn't lay flat. there was a BIG rippleright in the middle of my rays. So the second time around I cut my half circle 1/4 in bigger than the inner part of the rays. I held my breath as I pieced and voila, it worked. 
  Another thing I haven't tried is working with all solids. My quilts are usually a little to busy with prints quite frankly. I have a love prints and would rather spend my money on them I guess.But I am really starting to appreciate solids!
  With the quilting I  pretty much did the same thing on the top as the bottom with the exception of clouds on top and water on the bottom all FMQing on a home sewing machine. The sun was quilted using a design based on Leah Day's Flame Spiral. I was aiming for a reflection of the sun in the water type look. I'm not sure if I achieved this, but the ideas in my head rarely look the same as the finished product.
   I really had fun with this. My quilt made many changes before the sewing stage. I am really happy with how it turned out!! Oh, one more thing. the quilt measures 23 and 7/8 inches. Just under the 24 in. maximum.

Thursday, March 1, 2012


I am making good progress for the Hello Kitty quilt. I bought this fabric years ago to make a quilt and curtains for my daughters room. She has out grown the curtains, but she still wants the quilt.
   She couldn't decide on how she wanted it quilted. I suggested different quilting in each block, since the blocks are all pretty much the same . She like that idea.
   I'm using my new Janome 1600P-QC. I am loving it. It FMQ's so well! I have had no thread breaks at all. FMQing becomes so much more fun when you don't have any issues. Getting the new machine was a great investment! No buyers remorse here!!!
  I have been behind on getting blog entries in to link up for the Wednesday Quilt Along and the 2012 FMQ Challenge because first,my old machine decided it really didn't want to FMQ anymore. Then, I had too wait a few weeks to have the cash to buy a new one. Last, I have been working furiously on a couple of challenges with deadlines. The Sliced competition and the Modern Mini Quilt Challenge. I have those completed, so I'm back in the game!!!