Monday, March 21, 2011

Quilting Notions to make life easier

Last week was the Portland Modern Quilt Guild meeting. It is always fun to go, and now that I've been several times, I am making some friends, and I enjoy that! I get so nervous when I first meet people, it's silly really. But everyone is so nice and chatty, you forget to be shy right away.

Jen taught us how to make zipper pouches, I've made some, but her tutorial taught me even more, thanks! And the meeting also had everyone share their favorite tools and notions. Oh man, that was great. I love hearing tips and tricks!

Here is what I shared. Jenn over at Quiddity Quilts showed me this, and I use this tool ALL of the time. It is made by Scotch, and it cuts wrapping paper. That in and of itself is very nice. BUT after you've sewn a long chain piece, with lots of thread to cut inbetween, you have to cut them apart right? The cutter is so easy you just slide your thread into the razor and it cuts it right in half, it works like a charm. I've seen these at Joann's, or Target. I am sure you can find them about anywhere.

Then I shared the Kwik Klip. I pin baste my quilts, and closing all of the safety pins can hurt your fingertips. I found this at Joann's as well. The tool has notches on the end of it, so it grabs the safety pin and you push it closed, it is so much faster and nicer to your hands.

Last, my friend Colleen told me about this next tool, she learned it at a class she took. Most of our husbands have an electric razor. On the razor is a pop up trimmer, for a beard or mustache. Well, if you have sewn a long seam incorrectly, and need to unpick that long seam using a seam ripper, it can take forever. You use the trimmer on that razor! You pick apart the first few seams, and then take the trimmer and open the fabric, cut the seams, it just zips right apart, it's so much faster, and you can't really hurt your fabric unless you press ridiculously hard. Just make sure you pick the threads out of the razor before putting it back or you get some weird looks from your man! LOL!

Let me know if you try any of these out! They have made my life much easier. What are your fave tools you can't live without??

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Happy Art

Back in December we went to Utah before Christmas to visit out friends. In order to stay sane I was reading my blogs on Mark’s IPhone during the 12 hour drive. I ran across a post from Lizzy House saying she was having a studio sale. It turns out she lives in Salt Lake, about 10 minutes from where we were staying. When we finally got there, I took Jessie over to her studio to check it out. Lizzy was very sweet, and had some really nice art, fabrics and ribbons for sale. I walked out with a print she had made and a quilt pattern. I finally framed the print last week, and had to share it with you, I think it’s adorable, and I love the color. I found some scrapbooking paper that I liked and put that as the background to the print.

While blog hopping I found a fantastic artist. Katie Daisy make the most beautiful paintings, the colors are so happy. That’s the only word that comes to mind when I see her art HAPPY. I bought this print. Her etsy store is: thewheatfield.

Then I went to Craft Warehouse and found a standard frame, and had them mat it so it’d fit in the frame. I chose the turquoise mat, I know it’s dark, but I think it lets the colors in the painting shine. I walk in my house and see it hanging on the wall and smile.

Nothing like new art to freshen up the house.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Lazy weekend

What a weekend! The weather was pretty miserable, so we spent a lot of it running errands and lounging around. I thought it would never stop raining last night, sheesh! You have got to love Oregon… or not LOL!

So, due to the weather I’ve been lazy and slothful. Gray cloudy rainy days tend to do that to a person. I did have some friends over on Friday night to sew, and that was fun. I made slow and steady progress on my Single Girl Quilt. Many of the people doing the Quilt along are flying! I am not however, and I’m okay with that. I have two “test” blocks I’ve done now with the curved piecing. I just pin it like crazy and that seems to work okay.

Another thing I did all weekend long was watch Downton Abbey on Netflix. It is a pretty good show, I think the acting is awesome, and I kept laughing out loud in some parts. It is along the lines of a Jane Austen movie with the intrigue and characters. Kind of slow and subtle, I like it. Has anyone else been watching that show? It is put out by PBS.

This week is the Portland Modern Quilt Guild meeting! Is it just me, or did a month just fly by and I didn’t even realize it??

Tuesday, March 08, 2011

Rectangle Squared Quilt Finished

The pretty Rectangle Squared quilt is all done. It is going to a new home this summer. How lovely are these colors?? I really do enjoy this quilt, it's very happy. While I was in Montana in October, I stopped at a quilt shop in somebody's home called 4 Winds Quilting. She had some gorgeous bright fabrics. I fell in love with the Amy Butler print you see on the border, it is from the Love collection. I like the dark purples, and the flower print on it has many different colors to match to. I then went through my stash and pulled out lots of lime greens and purples to go with the Love fabric. By the way how do you like my cute quilt models?? Adorable kids! I like that my kids and my neighbor kids are unfazed with my quilting, they are all involved in it, whether it is ironing, helping me choose colors, or just watching me. I have an audience all of the time LOL!I stipple quilted the quilt using a lime green thread on front and back. On the border I used a dark purple thread so it'd blend in better. The pattern is called Rectangle Squared and can be found at Film in the Fridge.
I am trying so hard to use up my stash and not buy a lot of new fabric this year. The back of this quilt shows that. I had about 2 yards of that green flannel in my stash, the purples on the sides were used in the Trip Around the World quilt you see on my side bar. I've had them forever!
It looks good in my living room right?? I may have to make another quilt using these colors. See that painting on the wall? I just hung it this week, and it is soooo pretty. More on that print to come soon.

Monday, March 07, 2011


I sew on my kitchen table, aka "the sewing center" my husband is less than thrilled my machine is set up here 365 days a year, I will take it down if we have company, but only if they aren't family haha! Our house isn't very big, we don't have an extra room. So, this is how we have to live with it. Plus I like having the big table to spread my quilts and blocks on while I work. This does mean I have to clean it up every day, or stack it and put it on my sewing machine.
My fabric storage is all in rubbermaid bins, in my bedroom closet, and under our bed. We have an unused entertainment center sitting in our bedroom. When we got one of those big tv's we had to get a different entertainment center, and we just drug this up to our room for temporary storage. It's been there for over a year now, I pulled everything out of it, as in VHS tapes, boxes of photos, albums, random knick knacks, and threw most of that away. Not the photos :P
Anyways, I then pulled out the bins of fabric from my closet and re-organized them. I was able to get one huge bin out of my closet and one bin out from under my bed. They are now dwelling in my "sewing center" no longer called the entertainment center. I love it!
In my quest to continue using my stash in 2011, I pulled out the super cute fabric I bought last year. My sister in law is having a girl this summer (yay!!!). So, this will be the backing fabric, and I pulled out pinks, yellows and greens from my stash to make the top.
I am using the tutorial on Crazy Mom Quilts called the Ragged Squares Quilt. Easy, cute and not too big. I cut out the squares this past week, and plan on whipping this together soon. Gotta use that stash!

Friday, March 04, 2011

Holiday Happy, a few months late...

Back in September Randi over at Fresh Squeezed Fabrics was having a giveaway, and I won! Woohoo! So, I started making the quilt pattern and fabric that she sent me, and finally I have finished the quilt top. I am in love the red and aqua color combination along with everybody else. It's so clean and fresh.
The pattern is called Skipping Squares by Cluck Cluck Sew. Great pattern, it used up those 10 fat quarters so well, and the quilt went together quickly, that is whenever I would sit down to work on it. The fabric is called Holiday Happy designed by Miss Monica over at the Happy Zombie. *hi Monica!!*
I have some Bliss flannel for the backing fabric. I hope to get it quilted in the next month or so. We shall see. It will be a nice looking quilt when it's done!

Wednesday, March 02, 2011

Crazy Nine Patch Lattice Quilt DONE

This little quilt was really fun to make, I finished stipple quilting it and binding it over the weekend. All of it was from my stash, and it really isn't a big quilt at all, like a crib size. So, all of you should go out and make one.
There were 4 blocks leftover which I pieced into the backing. I've had that big piece of green solid in my stash forever, so I figured now was a good time to finally use it.
I stipple quilted it using a cream colored thread, it really stands out on the back, but blends in well on the front.
I used the tutorial from Oh Fransson! called Crazy Nine Patch Lattice Quilt.