Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Quilting for Another

So I have an announcement. I've been thinking about offering my quilting services for others but I wasn't sure if I'd really enjoy it.  I love quilting for me but would the stress of quilting for someone else in a certain timeline make me a little crazy? (Crazier than I already am.)

I decided to offer it up as a giveaway prize for the #sweatnsew entrants (the Instagram healthy & fitness peeps that support each other during their efforts to get healthier - open to all, if you are on Instagram, by the way).

As it so happens, a friend I had already met in real life, Safieh, won and sent along this beautiful top with the request for baptist fans.  I did have a few moments of heart palpitations when I unfolded the top and saw how pretty it was. Honestly, what did I get myself into? After a few minutes, I realized I was up for the challenge. I would not ruin it, I told myself.

I asked about thread, thinking that with the prints and grey, a pink would be pretty. Safieh gave me the go ahead so I loaded her up on the frame and got going.
I would post little sneak peeks on Instagram along the way but I did not want to post the entire quilt until I had approval from the quilt owner and frankly, I wasn't going to ask that until after she saw it.
 I used Auriful 40wt thread on top and Superior's Bottom Line in the bobbin.
Once I finished it up and pulled it off the frame, I got a good look at it and really liked the overall quilt pattern the top design. Thankfully, Safieh also loved how it looked. Talk about  a big "phew".

So, here's my before presentation to quilt owner shot.
Here's a photo borrowed from Safieh's Instagram post (in other words, her photo and credit goes to her - @safieh) showing the quilting a little bit better than the photos I could get.  In this photo, it's fully bound and I believe washed.
This experience clinched it for me. I am going to offer quilting services. While a little stressful, I really, really enjoyed it. It won't be long now before I post a page with some pricing information.

Thank you, Safieh, for trusting me.

Cheers All!
Beck

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Little Finishes

Joining in on SewJo Saturday, today.

The last couple weeks have been about little finishes.

I finished quilting a quilt for a friend (which I can't post about just yet) and I finished piecing and binding the Quilt of Valor donation quilt made by the Fredericksburg Modern Quilt Guild.  Another member will be binding it so it's off to her next week.
Our parameters were blocks that were red white and blue and 12" finished. Any style.  Look at the variations of style and yet they play so nicely together.  I can't wait to see what it looks like with the binding on it.
Also, I was asked (after volunteering my services for whatever might be needed) if I could make 5 small giveaway gifts for The Stash Bash in GA at the end of this month.  I went to this last year and had a great time sitting and sewing with old and new friends. I can't wait to see Chris Warnick (Frecklemama) again and everyone else.  Seriously. It's a weekend where food is prepped for you and a room is always open for sewing. Top it off by being on a beautiful piece of property and it's a wonderfully relaxing. I've got 4 out of 5 prizes finished, so far. I'm not sure what to make for the 5th. Maybe a cellphone wallet. I don't know... still thinking.

Prize 1 - zippered pouch

Prize 2 - 12" mini
Prize 3 - Thread catcher and tool holder
Prize 4- Thread catcher and tool holder

Last little finish, a bunch of headbands. I  keep buying headbands in hopes I can find ones that don't slip off during exercise with no success. So, I tried making one.

It worked, didn't slip once while exercising. I've made several more and will send them to my sisters and a friend to test and see if they work for them as well. Regardless of their review, they work for me and a couple of these extra ones will be in my drawer. :-)
If you want to make your own, you need 1 piece of fabric 4"x18" and 1 piece of 1"x4" elastic.
- fold in half lengthwise and sew long side together
- turn right side out and tuck the short, raw edges inside the tube about 1/4"
- press the whole thing
- position the elastic about 1/4" inside a short end and then sew the short end closed going over it about 3 times.
- repeat on the other side and it is complete


Cheers!
Beck


Saturday, March 15, 2014

Fabric Boxes

This past week I had a sew day at the house, in part, because I had a quilty friend stop by and stay with me while she was in town.  I wanted to give a little gift to those who were able to stop by (it was selfish, really, I participated in a Kokka 10" square swap a couple years ago but I had no idea what to do with the fabric and I wanted to use it up).

I had made a fabric box a while back using this tutorial from Seaside Stitches.  I had chosen the 10" square fabric size and the box is a great size for me to hold sewn leaders & enders as I complete them and I realized that this would be a great use of the fabrics and a cute gift.  It would be a great thread catcher.

With the aid of Karie (my guest) of Two Kwik Quilters (IG: @karitkq), I sewed up several boxes with a slight variation. I made them taller, which allows them to act as a tool holder. The tutorial calls for a diagonal to be sewn using a 2" measurement for a square box but if you use a 2.5" measurement, you will get the taller box.
I also want to share a quick weekend quilt top finish. Karie gifted me with her pattern Kwik Trio of Stars and we had fun pulling fabric for the project her last night here.  After she left, it only took me a few hours to stitch this up.  I left off one additional white border (personal preference for the finished look, and no other reason). I plan to donate this to a quilt drive held in the Spring (more on that another day). Isn't this darling?
I'm in love with these little boxes and the quilt top so I am sharing them with the very new "SewJo Saturday" linky party being held by Kim on over at My Go-Go Life.  Take a look at all the great and fun projects linked up over there!

Cheers!
Beck


Sunday, March 2, 2014

Stitch that Stash Bee block

For my bee block, I am turning to 13 Spools Improv Herringbone Tutorial.  I love the look of this block and would like a colorful quilt that is sort of tonal but not necessarily all solids.
In progress...
To my bee-olleagues, I used Kona White as the strip fabric.  As for color, please choose whichever you would like. The nature of the block has light and dark contrast so as long as the block is in the same color family and doesn't have a noticeable of contrasting color in the individual fabrics, I will love it.
Did  that make sense? I guess I'm saying it doesn't need to be tone-on-tone, but if you are doing a green block and your green fabric has bright red stars, I would prefer that not be used. However, if your green has something like tiny yellow stars, it might be okay.  In short, the fabric should clearly "read" the color, I think. -sigh- I don't know if that makes any more sense but there you have it.

Okay, so this block takes a little time because of all the pieces. Once done, it is 11.5" unfinished. If you can do two blocks, that would be great but if one is all you have in you, I am completely good with that. I leave it up to you and whatever you choose/have time for. :)

I can't wait to see what you ladies come up with!

Cheers!
Beck

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

The "Learning to Love Batiks" Quilt

When I attended The Stash Bash in 2013, I thought about purchasing a jelly roll of batiks. I think, at the time, I was trying to challenge myself to come up with a quilt that focused on the batiks (instead of using them as blenders) even though I was less than enthusiastic about them.  Of course, when you are at a  retreat with wonderfully supportive quilters, who also happen to be wonderfully sarcastic and eager to encourage someone to be crazy, that thought developed into an actual purchase.

So, I came home and auditions fabrics to go with the bright, rainbow batiks and I auditioned patterns until I finally came up with what I thought would work. I ended up using this Bold and Beautiful print by Michele D'Amore for Benartex I had in my stash, which was perfect, and the "Sparkler" quilt pattern by Freshly Pieced

I really like how the top turned out.  I think the use of a print instead of a solid with the batiks makes it interesting and attractive.
 
I decided the quilting needed to mirror the fabric designs so I created meandering and twining leaves with a loose flower in certain blocks. I felt like it kept the design a little whimsical and feeling like Spring somehow.
In keeping with the "spring" feel, I used one layer of Warm and Natural 80/20 batting and a solid pink fabric as the backing of the quilt and hand sewed a multi-color dot fabric on for the binding. 
Since it measures approximately 56.5" square, it is a nice, light weight quilt that is perfect for draping over your legs when sitting on the porch on a spring or summer evening. I have already washed it (I wanted to be sure there wasn't any color bleed from the batiks) for these pictures and I'm kinda glad I did. The crinkly look suits it.
So, do I now love batiks? No. Do I hate them? No. I think they are like any other fabric. There are good and bad prints that can be used for beautiful or questionable creations. It's all a matter of personal taste.  It is unlikely I will purchase more again anytime soon, though. That's just me.

Oh, and I think I'm renaming this quilt "Spring" and I have decided to sell it. Now to figure out how to do that. :)
Cheers!
Beck