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Monday, December 26, 2011

Merry Christmas!! -JUKI DDL 8700

I think I got everything I asked for, for Christmas and more. I am truly blessed. . TRULY blessed!!! Christmas morning I woke up with that song in my head by the Gaithers "Greatly Blessed, Highly Favored, Imperfect but Forgiven Child of God!"

It's been such an amazing year for me. So SO many quilts finished. . and what more could a quilter ask for?!

For Christmas this year. . I got . . . THIS:

It's a Juki DDL 8700 - Not sure how to assemble it. . and I can't even LIFT the thing by myself. It weighs 80lbs!!!! I know these machines go really good on a table/frame but I'm just using it as a sit-down machine. . I'm trying to find the perfect sturdy table to put it on right now. Because once it gets situated I canNOT move it!
Can't wait for DH to get home and help me with it!!! He also had to help me with my new iphone. . still not quite sure how to use that either. something tells me that I'll have more luck with the sewing machine than the phone though. . LOL

Here's some other QUILTY things I got for Christmas:

3 large spools of cotton quilting thread from C&C
One package of Neutral thread from Connecting Threads
Fiskers rotary cutter and blades (I'll probably stick to my original olfa cutter though LOL)
Colored and white chalk pencils
A blue quilt marker
A SQUARE quilt ruler. . YAY!!!
and some bobbins for my new Juki!!!

Some white and darkbrown/burgundy fabric yardage!

And look at what my sister did for me!!!!
She has ALL these old magazines . . I kept hinting to her that I really could use the subscription cards out of the magazines for my English Paper Piecing projects. . .
Well I never expected this. . . I get the box and she says to me. . "this gift took the most time for me" LOL. . . . I open it up and she has pulled out ALLL of the index cards out of her magazines for me!!1 Is that not the most thoughtful, sweet, awesome gift ever?! My sister is awesome!

So yes, it's been an amazing Christmas for me. .
Has anyone used this machine before? I can't wait to get'r going!


December was a super busy month for me. . I finished more projects this month than ever before.
Here are all of my finishes for December, 2011 -

4 memory quilts - these were made with their father's clothes and photos - I embroidered sayings in the borders. This was such a special project to be a part of, and when they sent me this photo of them with their quilts, I cried!!

A memory quilts for my moms secret sister at Church Joyce Jimison.

A memory quilts for a lady in NY's daughter. We used her daughters photos and really BRIGHT colors. . this was a super fun quilt to make!!

A tote with contrasting pockets made with Kate Spain fabric for my friend Megan Howard's sister.

I didn't get a pic of the finished and bound quilt. . but here is one with the quilting finished. This is a lonestar I made for my friend Jaime's mom for Christmas.

I also made a round table cloth for my mom.

So all of these were finished in the month of December. Can you believe it??
Needless to say I am now finally catching up on my sleep. But there is NOTHING in the world I would rather have done with my time. What a great month and a great feeling!

I hope everyone had a successfull and Merry Christmas!!!
Looking forward to another great year full of sewing and Quilting!!

Saturday, December 10, 2011


I have been super duper busy this month. . but I would like to take just a moment and share my latest two quilts. Both of these are memory quilts. The colorful ROYGBV one was for a lady I met through etsy. The photos were 4" x 6" with feather quilting in the colored "framed" areas.

The civil war colored one was for my mom's secret sister at church. The photos in this one are 1.75" finished. In the blocks I used CW strips from a swap I participated in on quiltville. My mom picked out two coordinating strips to use for each block. I cut the strips to 2.25" for the "X"s and the background areas I had to use the companion angle ruler.
The borders were a civil war print we got from WV Quilts in Barboursville, WV and I quilted a large feather in the border FREE HAND. ;c) so I'm very proud of myself for those feathers ;c)

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

The Motherload

Ya know I have been truly blessed this year!!!!!
I have secured enough quilt orders to make it a great Christmas for my family. I feel so completely blessed that I can do WHAT I LOVE SO MUCH for a LIVING!!! Of course I'm also thankful for my hardworking husband who pays the "real" bills. I am so thankful for him that he goes to work each week and allows me to quilt all day!!

So I am totally booked for the holiday season. I cannot commit to anymore projects until about mid-January. I have actually had to turn a few people away this year, so next year please contact me EARLY if you would like a quilt made before Christmas ;c)

I want to be able to devote enough of my time an energy to each individual project without feeling stressed or pressed for time. I want everyone to walk away with something spectacular.

I ordered the fabric for all my upcoming projects right before Thanksgiving. I think since it was ordered around a holiday it took a little longer to ship. While waiting on this fabric shipment I UFO'd all my current projects and have been anxiously awaiting their arrival! ;c)
But today my first fabric shipment came and I'm very excited to get started.
Look at all the pretty fabrics!!!

Just yesterday I had a friend ask me to make some curtains. This was great because #1) I've never made curtains before and have always wanted to try. #2) I owed her a birthday gift, and #3) It filled up my day before my motherload shipment of fabric arrived!!
She wanted a lighthouse theme and I happened to have some fabric with lighthouses in it already in my stash!

So now I'm going to work on a quilt, and I also have a quilted tote to work on. Next week I'll be working on 4 matching quilts with a blue/white "ford" theme. I'm excited. . but I'm going to be VERY busy in the upcoming weeks!

Saturday, November 26, 2011

My First Quilt

Bonnie Hunter of Quiltville is hosting a Show-And Tell with theme "My First Quilt." FUN!

This is my very first quilt I ever made. Before I started quilting, I was only a dyer. I started dyeing tee-shirts and then moved to old cotton sheets and then to cotton yardage. I had ALL this fabric leftover from dyeing which prompted me to try my hand at quilting.

It was ALL over from there!!!

The center of this quilt was made with 4 different shades of fuchsia tie-dyed fabric in a rail fence pattern. There is a small tan border around that, then, i cut squares from different shades of blue tie-dyed fabric and use that for the outer border. I think I quilted this extremely minimally. Maybe just a sparse in-the-ditch.

My room was messy when I took this photo. If I had known the significance of my FIRST EVER QUILT PHOTO back then, I probably would have tried a little harder to take a nice photo!!
That's my baby boy Louie the Dachshund on the bed. He is such a hamdog! ;c)

So head on over to QUILTVILLE and join in the show-and-tell!! I'm sure there will be some fun photos to come!

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Black Friday!!!

I have never in my life participated in the mad rush of Black Friday Shopping. I do most of my Christmas shopping ONLINE (LIKE NORMAL PEOPLE) hahahahaha.

BUT, a few years ago I stopped into a Jo-Ann's on the weekend after Thanksgiving. My life was forever changed. I realized I could stock up on all of my necessary items for my quilting for the whole year in one weekend. Most everything is on sale for at LEAST 50% off. Then, the store offers an additional 25% off sale items coupon from 6am - Noon. That = dirt cheap quilting supplies!!!
I will be at the Dunbar Joanns tomorrow, and the Barboursville Joanns on Saturday. I have a VERY long list and will also be using a buggy ( a rare thing for me.)

So. . . if you haven't signed up for email coupons I know you can sign up online and also via text. If you sign up via text they will send you their most recent coupons via text immediately. You just show the cashier your phone and will get the savings.

I hope everyone had a fabulous Thanksgiving. . I sure did!!
Where will you be shopping tomorrow?

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Finished Minky/Fleece Quilts!

Freshly Washed and Dried Minky Quilts!!!!

For these quilts I PIECED MINKY. . yes it's true! It can be done!!! You can see more details about these quilts in my last few posts. ;c)

Quilt #1

Quilt #2

The backs are both the same. . A plain white fleece backing was used for both of them.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Mitered Self-Binding with Fleece

I finished my quilts for a friend. I talked about the piecing of these quilts in THIS POST.
Now I'm going to discuss how I finished these quilts.
When I had completed the quilting, I started pondering how to bind the quilt. I decided that I did not want to use a regular quilting cotton for the binding on an all-fleece quilt. I ALSO did not want to have those bulky seams from fleece in the binding.
I decided to use the backing and do a self-binding.
I found a way to do this that worked out quite well. Here's how it was done:

Cut off all the excess backing except for 1" all around.

When you get to the corners, you want to cut 1" chunk out of each of the corners.

When I did this myself, I didn't pin it, but I'm pinning it now, to show you each step.
First, Fold in the corners like this:

Then fold the sides down a 1/2" (in half) making them level with the quilt's raw edge.

Then fold down the folded edge again over the quilt.
Take a needle and thread and hand-stitch this corner together.

Once the edges are sewn, I buried the threads inside the quilt.

I did all the corners first and pinned those down, and then
I folded the rest of the edges down just the same.

I'll post a pic of the finished quilts in a bit! ;c)

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

My Quilt-y Xmas Wishlist!

If you go to Connecting Threads, and make a WISH LIST, then share it on Facebook, on your blog, and to a friend via email, you will be entered to win $50 of goodies from Connecting Threads!

Monday, November 7, 2011

Minky is the Devil!!!

Okay, so maybe I'm exaggerating a little bit but it sure feels like Minky is out to get me!! LOL
For the last couple weeks I have been working with Minky. There is no point in trying to clean it up because the mess just keeps making babies and accumulating all over the place!!!

So my friend has commissioned me to make her two quilts that utilized her grandmothers old house robes. There are 3 robes that are made out of a print fleece. She and I mapped out a design and I graphed it out and we ordered complimentary fabrics to go with it.

I'll admit that before I started these fleece projects I've never felt quality fleece before. It's definitely that fabric that just says "KEEP TOUCHING ME" LOL. But it is a BITCH to sew! So some of the fabrics ordered were Minky, and I'm telling you it is EVERYWHERE!!!

Since fleece is stretchy, I decided to use Freezer Paper to keep its shape while I worked. I cut out the pieces of freezer paper based on my graph (1block=1inch) then ironed it to the back of the fabric. I then cut out 1/2" seam allowance around the fabrics with my rotary cutter.

Now, as you can see. . . as you cut out the MINKY, it leaves this residue in the grooves of my cutting mat!! This stuff is VERY DIFFICULT to get out - but what I found did the best was just taking a scrap piece of cotton fabric and rubbing it off.

This WAD of fluff is just the stuff I pulled out of the cutting mat from JUST the CREAM minky. . LOL

I sewed them all together. . . the freezer paper really helped. I did have a bit of trouble squeezing the seam allowances through the machine. ..AND it's almost impossible to match the seams perfectly ;c) But since I"m a brilliant genius. . We are going to FINISH these quilts and they are going to be amazing. I'll keep ya posted!

Click HERE to see finished quilt!

Sunday, November 6, 2011

J Rachel Besnard's November Referral Contest ~ NEW!

My dear friend Jonua Besnard is having another contest. The most referrals wins . . . . "A jewelry set, a cute recycled tote bag (with my logo), and a bag or box of gourmet treats from Paris! You won't be sorry you participated in this one."

So head on over to Jonua's Blog BUMBLEBEEBEAD for all the details!!

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Halloween and Owl Baby Quilt

With minutes to spare, I finished mine and DH's Halloween costumes. We went as the Yip-Yip aliens from Sesame Street. We found the INSTRUCTABLE but made a few adjustments. First of all, we stitched up the sides for a better fit, we used a baseball cap turned around backwards and we also added a zipper on the mouth piece. I felt the zipper was a necessary addition for the consumption of adult beverages, BUT, we found that there was plenty of room INSIDE the costume for hands, beer, and whatever else! ;c) It was nice to unzip the mouth piece so that you could have a slightly better view of the ground when walking where there was not much lighting.

Before the Halloween party, there was my friend's Baby Shower. My friend Tiffany soon will be the mommy of "unbornbabynoname." It's always the correct assumption that anytime a gift is necessary, the gift will aLWAYS be . . a quilt. I would have liked to have been able to personalize the quilt . . but since the baby still has no name, I made a little quilt with an owl applique on it. She likes owls.. we both do!

I just used scraps of fabric to make up this little quilt. I was going for a more "modern" look, but after the applique was added it leans more to the traditional side. . my quilts seem to do that no matter how hard I try otherwise!

I quilted the background (white) areas with my version of McTavishing. . I really need a name for this stitch since it is far different than how the amazing Karen does hers.
I quilted the colored blocks with alternating feather plumes.
I went ahead and layered the quilt sandwich, fused the applique shapes, and then just free-motion stitched down the applique pieces with a narrow zig-zag stitch. My goal was to do the 3 layers and then add minky to the back as a 4th layer. THIS DID NOT WORK OUT AT ALL! I pinned them RST and stitched around the edges leaving a whole to flip it right side out. The edges turned out all lumpy and it was just way too thick. I do'nt know what I was actually thinking.
Oh well, it was a learning experience. So this is what the back looks like. . NOT what I originally planned, and NOT the prettiest, but it still has an interesting effect.

I might come back and do a tutorial on this little quilt in a few days - Right now I'm trying to figure out how to add a .pdf file to blogger. =c/ Without using scribd (i do not care for that program at all.)

One more thing - I just finished another Tee-shirt quilt for my friend Beth. She wanted to use up all of her college and high school running shirts. They were alot of fun to quilt around! ;c)

Monday, October 24, 2011

Fall Quilt - "Awesome" Fabric FQ Bundle

Last year for Christmas "Santa" got me the WHOLE line of "Awesome" fabrics by Sandy Gervais for Moda as a Fat Quarter Bundle. What I first did with those is I cut 1/4 of the short edge off of the FQ and then cut again to where I had 4 "charm" squares out of each FQ of the bundle.
With these squares I'm making a hexagon charm quilt. So this is what I have so far:

This is my hand/travel project I've been doing for awhile - It's coming along slowly. I think the English Paper piecing templates are about 3" wide.

So anyway the remaining bit of fabrics I was waiting for the Fall season to break out and do something with them. I came up with a plan do to Broken Dishes Blocks for the center - and have a big fat border with some fun appliques, using ONLY these fabrics.

I started out by picking out 18 fabrics from the bundle and cutting those into 16" squares.

Then I took each square and cut that up into 4- 8" smaller squares.

My pretty stack of 8" squares ;c)

I then arranged them by color ~

Then I paired them all up-

With a thin-lined pencil, on the back of the lightest square of each pair, I drew my stitching line 1/4" on each side of each diagonal.

I just lined up the square on my mat, and placed the ruler 1/4" away like this:

After all the lines were drawn, I pinned them Right Sides Together. I just used two pins on each side like so:

I then stitched on each line. Some people do this by just drawing ONE line on the diagonal, but I find I am more accurate if I draw the two stitching lines.

Now I press on both sides.

Then I cut on each diagonal, and also across each way.

I found a more efficient way to cut - by laying out your 4 sewn pairs on your mat like this. The red lines are where you would cut.

Then you have all of these cut in less strokes.

Then I took all my little HSTs and pressed them with starch.

There was 8 of each pair. and I laid them all out to make the broken dishes blocks.

While they were in order, I pinned them.

Took them to the machine and stitched ~

After the pairs were stitched, I then pressed those.

Pinned the pairs together and stitched. . .

Pressed with starch. . .

I pinned all the blocks up on the wall, if you use the same formula as me, you can get a center quilt that's a 7 blocks X 8 blocks layout.

I am almost finished with my Fat, Applique borders and should be able to update you soon with the result. The second half is even more exciting then the first. Also, I would like to add that this quilt WILL be done with the quilt -as-you-go method. . as usual ;c)