Sunday, September 27, 2009

It's like a new machine... Gobble gobble

It's funny how we can get used to how things work. I can't believe how zippy and fast the fabric passes under the presser foot now. Those feet really grab hold now and pull the fabric through versus the pushing and pulling I found myself doing sometimes.

I gave up on the "pattern" for the Moda baby quilt using the gobble gobble squares. Once I got started on these this weekend, there was no stopping until the quilt top was done. The question is now, how to finish it. I have some brown fabric for a border I think I'm going to use but I'm not sure what backing fabric I'll use. Here's the top...

It turned out I had 12 blocks left and immediately thought to make a pillow. I sewed the 12 blocks together and cut the square down to 12.5 for a smaller pillow cover. I found a complementary batik piece of fabric for the backing. The back pieces I cut to 8.5" each and then turned down a 1/2 inch on the edge and sewed a 1/4 seam to finish the opening that would receive the pillow insert when it is all finished.

To prep for sewing, I placed the pillow face up and the two backing pieces face down and sewed all around the perimeter. I sewed a few back and forths on the edges where the back pieces overlap for stability and here you have it, my matching little pillow. I love how the little pillow turned out! Of course, I only have a 14, 16 & 18" pillow form. I need to stop by the craft store and get a 12" square pillow form.

Thanks for stopping by!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Finding the Lint Monster

As I was sewing last night on the Fall Quilt blocks, I thought I noticed that the fabric was slipping and sticking under the presser foot. That might be causing my problems. Today at lunch, I was able to test this theory out on a longer piece of fabric. Sure enough, the fabric was slipping and stitching in place in some places and not being passed evenly under the presser foot. I noticed this slightly before when working on the Breast Cancer quilt but not as much since I was using the walking foot and the thicker quilt sandwich.

Ok, something's wrong. I called the local repair shop and asked if I needed an appt to bring in the machine. Nope, good I'll take it after work. I looked through the clear door to the bobbin which I cleaned regularly and it all looked clean. I opened the side where I knew the mechanics were and all looked clean still.

Then after these years, I noticed the bolt on the plate under the presser foot. Figured what the heck, I'm already planning on taking to the service center. Opened it up and thought, hey they have padding all around the bobbin case, neat...

Looked closer and OMG, that's lint! The feed dogs are suffocating in all that lint!! I got out some trusty tweezers, eye brow brushes (who knew cosmetic equipment would be so handy) and got to work.
Once it was all closed back up and I tested sewing the same fabric, It was amazing!! It went zipping under those feed dogs and sounded beautiful.

Moral of my story... the instructions were located on page 57 of the instructional book. Read the manual Trish, it's in the book!! That will be a $200 savings that can be spent on more fabric :-)

P.s. How linty is your machine?

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Monday, September 21, 2009

Overanalyzing Quilting

This weekend I was able to finish a photo quilt project I had. It was actually a redo. I took off appliqued photos and replaced them with sewn in photos since the recipient was not a fan of seeing the sewing around the photos. OK, I'm a people pleaser, I know it...

Then I finished cutting out all the Moda Gobble Gobble blocks for my fall scrappy quilt. Even though this is supposed to be an exercise in free expression and mixing colors and patterns, I found my self reverting back to trying to plan out the quilt. Just look at this photo. I started to sort by background colors, then counted in each, divided by the number of blocks per row and then tried to distribute them evenly. The tablet ending up looking like a football diagram. I'm exhausted just trying to plan out the random colors... enough...this is supposed to be relaxing :-)

Then I thought, I have some free time tonight. Hubby's being the big kid he is and playing PlayStation games and I'm going to try and sew up some of these blocks. OK, the planning went out the window and I'm just grabbing blocks now. All done with the row and I look back to see many waves in the blocks... what's up with that. This should be a simple straight stitch between blocks. Then, when the blocks look just right and I sew them together, how can the longer end overhang more than the shorter end? OK, I give up, enough....time for some mind numbing TV!!

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Friday, September 18, 2009

Delivered and onto a Moda Mission

I received confirmation that the Breast Cancer Warrior Quilts have arrived at their destination. From there, their final destinations will be determined. So, what's next on the agenda? I have a photo pillow I need to finish and then it's onto a fall type quilt.

Moda Mission

One of my more recent favorite blogs is the Moda Bake Shop. I've not been a person that has used all the charm packs and layer cake fabric packages out there. However, seeing all the neat and beautiful items made on this website, I've jumped on the bandwagon. My two goals are to complete a Simply-a-Bloom quilt and a Sweet Baby Quilt only in a different fabric choice. I want to use fall color fabrics such as the Moda Gobble Gobble Charm Pack.

The first one that I will be working on is the Sweet Baby Quilt layout. I received my Gobble Gobble charm pack from and followed the direction on the Moda Bake Shop for creating my basic pattern.

Then moved onto cutting the fabrics being careful not to cut into the cardboard pattern. As a precaution, I used the ruler as well. The results were pretty quick and now I have all my gobble gobble blocks cut and ready for assembly sewing. The decision I have to make is am I going to try and arrange these in particular color fashion or throw them in a bag and just pick a piece to sew on along the way..... I'll have to think on that one.

My other decision is what to do with all these uniform pie slice scraps. Normally I'm one to just throw away scraps this small. However, the colors are so nice this time of year and they fit so nicely beside each other. I'm going to set them aside for now and wait for some grand idea to appear. It's going to have to do with card making because there is no way I am going to try and sew with these pieces!

P.s. The last butterfly emerged early this week and was released into the wide open air spaces. It was a great season and we raised and released over 12 monarch butterflies.

Thanks for stopping by!

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Four Breast Cancer Warrior Quilts Finito!!

I am 100% done with the Four Breast Cancer Warrior Quilts that I started back around June. It seems like I have been working on these for months and months.... Wait, I have. However, since I can only sew on the weekends, a lot of progress has been completed over these couple months.

I can say I am finally found my rhythm with hand sewn binding. It took a quilt and a half and then I was whip stitching like crazy. One a night since Wednesday. At first after the first binding my little finger I use to push the needle was so sore.

Then, I came up with a compromise. I had a box of spot band-aids and used them as makeshift thimbles for my middle finger which I use to push the needle through the binding. One on top near the nail and then one near the middle section. It worked like a charm!! Probably shouldn't be used for hard needle work because they are apt to puncturing. Terrible photo but you get the picture.

But, I can finally say, I am done !! Now, time to box them up and ship them out to the ad agency. I hope a few of mine go to hang in the hospitals for Breast Cancer Awareness month before they are given to a recipient. I hung them over the banister (so you can see on each one where they bow out over the carpet) and took my final photos. What a nice view below:

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Friday, September 11, 2009

Progress and Remembering


I'm so excited to say that I have two of the Breast Cancer quilt's binding completely sewn down and finished with two to go. This is not my favorite part to complete but I'm pushing ahead trying to complete one per night. My goal is to get these shipped out on Monday or Tuesday!

My contact at the advertising agency for the campaign advised that some of the quilts completed from the squares gathered at the races will be shipped off to local hospitals to hang for the October breast cancer awareness campaign. That would be great to provide the opportunity to many more people to be able to read all of the inspiring messages on each of the squares.


My thoughts and prayers are with everyone affected by 9/11. We will never forget.

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Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Busy Weekend for Quilts and Butterflies

Hope everyone had a great Labor Day Weekend!

Breast Cancer Warrior Quilts Status

I had a great visit with my sister and my nephew. I did not complete much sewing on Saturday/Sunday/Monday early since I had guests. However, I was on a roll once I put my mind and my new walking foot to it.

The end result is, I have 4 quilts ready to have their bindings turned and sewn down. Since I accomplished "sew" much, "sew" fast, I decided I am going to finish the bindings by hand. Over the next 4 nights, I'll sew while watching TV and hope to have them completed by the end of the weekend!!

Embellishment Cover

There were a few rhinestones that did not make it through all the handling of the quilts when I was adding the binding. That was until I figured out a way to protect any blocks that had excessive embellishments. I purchased some Glad Press'n Seal and then cut a piece of paper the size of the block to cover. I placed the paper on the block and then covered with the Press'n Seal around the edges. The paper protected the block and the embellishments from sticking to the Press'n Seal. When I came close to stitching in the ditch near the block, I lifted the Press'n seal, sewed the block, pressed it back down and kept going. Worked like a charm!

Butterflies Everywhere

Every time we turned around we had new butterflies this weekend. What perfect timing to have my nephew here to see the process. I think we released 3 and we have 4 about to be released tonight with about 3 more chrysalises to go. The good news is, the lid that dropped had all of it's butterflies hatch!!

Here are a few photos. Too many to choose from. Some are blurred by the netting and others came out clear. The last two show a new butterfly just minutes after it came out of the chrysalis and then a few minutes later once the wings expanded.

If you look closely at the left photo, you can see the butterfly in the chrysalis.

Soaking up some nourishment and then just hanging around drying

Before and after the wings expanded

Room with a View - Hung the netting in the window

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Saturday, September 5, 2009

The Waiting Game

There are several categories to the waiting game. I experienced 5 rounds over the past couple of days. There's "Why did I ever wait for this", "Hurry up and wait", "I'll just wait until..(AKA Procrastination wait), "Worth the wait", and finally "Can't wait".

Why did I ever wait for this?

As I was quilting the Breast Cancer Quilts I again tried my "walking foot" for my sewing machine. I have never been successful in using it. Turns out, I had the wrong one. The one I had was for the sewing machine I gave to my sister. No wonder it wouldn't work. So, I ordered one and I just waited for it's arrival. It arrived yesterday and I didn't wait a minute to try.

OK, I almost gave up because it didn't come with instructions on how to use. I knew how to add it to my sewing machine, but, each time I tried to sew, the sewing machine locked up. At least I kept trying until I finally figured out the lever thing goes above the shank bolt. One I figured that out, I quilted my 3rd breast cancer quilt using stitch in the ditch. OMGoodness, why did I ever wait so long. It was sooooo much easier to push the quilt sandwich through!! Worth the wait!!!

Hurry up and wait

It seems with our butterfly hobby, the caterpillars are in a hurry to get to the chrysalises. Eat, eat, eat and then cocoon. We feed them in a hurry just to get them to the chrysalis stage and then comes the waiting game for us. We wait and wait patiently to try and catch them emerging. We just don't seem to catch them coming out. Thursday morning, we were greeted by both of these guys. It was so nice to see both of them. We will be releasing sometime today. I hung their netting by the window and they just love the sunshine to dry their wings.

I'll just wait until... and worth the wait

This waiting game seems to be one of my favorite. Last weekend when I was going to start on the binding for the quilts, I just didn't want to create about 40 yards of binding. I'm in the home stretch and I wanted something faster. So, I decided I would just wait until I found some premade binding that I would not have to iron. Luckily, I found some dark pink moda binding. This is the first time I purchased premade binding. It came on Thursday and it was Oh, so worth the wait. It is crisp and even and matches beautifully.

Can't wait

This one happens a lot. I can't wait until I can use both my new walking foot and the new Moda premade binding to see how much easier it's going to be! I can't wait until the four chrysalis that accidentally dropped from their hanging position start to show signs of emerging. I can't wait until my nephew and sister arrive today for a long weekend visit. I can't wait until my DH has his ENT appt for something we are waiting to learn. I can't wait until I can sit back an smile at the completion of all four breast cancer quilts. I can't wait.....

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