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Sunday, April 20, 2014

Quilt Re-Do. . . What I learned.

This is my quilt I called "12 Tribes" - a BOM pattern designed by Erin Russek.  I used a technique that Kelli from Dont Look Now blog described in this applique quilt.  Her work is always so absolutely breathtakingly beautiful and so I had to learn how to do it.   
  It is a free-motion, raw edge fusible applique.  It is still to this DAY my favorite method to do applique.  However, I do things very differently these days.   I don't know how Kelli does it . . I don't know if she doesn't wash her quilts or what. . but after I washed this quilt 20 times, the applique pieces started coming apart at the edges.  
the way she did it made it looks so "neat and tidy" .    she would stitch a straight-line right at the edge of each applique piece.  and she did her stitching with a free-motion/quilting/darning foot, which makes it VERY easy and fast!   

Can you see in these photos?  here is a section where the pieces are coming apart.  Now, I HAVE washed this quilt ALOT. .  and maybe it's because I used a very lightweight fusible product.  I know that Steam-A-Seam is usually a little bit stronger.  

 After I discovered the issues with this quilt, I changed my raw-edge applique WAYS.   There are many different options, and I use different ones depending on the particular project.  Some good methods are:
Using a buttonhole stitch, zigzag stitch, or satin stitch with a regular sewing machine foot.  ( a clear foot works best.)
But what I usually do is use the #5 setting on my Janome and use my darning foot. The #5 is a narrow zig-zag. So basically you need to catch at LEAST an 1/8" of the fabric with your thread.  And the great thing about using the darning foot is that you don't have to keep turning your machine constantly.  Which is great for big quilts like this ;c)

So, moral of the story, if you don't want to have to redo your whole quilt, than make sure you secure your applique pieces at FIRST.   and I wouldn't even CARE really, if I were still just using it and washing it.  BUT, I decided to hang this quilt up and "retire" it from use. . so I wanted to make sure to fix all the problems first.  ;c)

Saturday, April 19, 2014

My favorite POTLUCK "recipe"

I wanted to share with you guys my FAVORITE Potluck "recipe."  
Here are some of the reasons why it is so perfect for me:

  • It is Healthy
  • It is Gluten-Free
  • It is High-Fiber
  • It is Dairy-Free
  • It can be left in room temperature for awhile. 
  • It is SUPER Easy
  • It is SUPER Fast
  • It is SUPER Cheap

  • 1 Can Light Kidney beans
  • 1 Can Dark Kidney beans
  • 1 Can Garbonzo Beans
  • 1 Can Black Beans 
  • 1 Can White Kidney Beans or Great Northern 
  • 1 can Corn 
  • 1 Green Pepper Chopped
  • 1 Small Onion Chopped
  • 1.5 Cups Apple Cider Vinegar 
  • 3/4 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil 
  • Salt and Pepper 
  • Tostitos Scoops (optional)
Drain all of the beans and rinse well.  Add everything to a large bowl and stir, taste and see if it needs more oil or vinegar.  This ratio is pretty good but you can use more or less depending on your taste, it is a very forgiving recipe. 
 I have used different kinds of vinegar but apple cider tastes best to me.    
This bean salad is good AS-IS, but is amazing with Tostido's Scoops Tortilla Chips!  (not sure if they are gluten free though, so make sure you check on that first)

Some names of this recipe are as follows:  Bean Salad, WV Caviar, and Stinky bean Dip.  ;c)

Monday, April 7, 2014

Mira is 7 months old!

 Each Month I hand-dye onesies, and use white socks, white crocheted headband, and a matching bow.  Starting with Red, then orange yellow green blue purple and then I'm going to start back over at Red again.  I put the two reds together in the photo to show the difference between 1 month and 7 months.

It keeps getting more difficult to get her to sit still, and I know one of these days she's going to fall head first into the floor.   But the pictures are so cute. . so it's totally worth it right?  LOL/ / just kidding I would not let her fall!  (hopefully!) 

You can get bows like the one Mira is wearing on amazon for cheap!  12 for like $9 or so.  Also, you can mix and match colors, these bows are removable!

Qs 10 Pieces Baby's Headbands Girl's Headband Chiffion Flower Hair Bow (10 Pack)

4 Baby Quilts

So either all of my friends are PREGNANT, or just had babies. . including ME!  So, an idea popped into my head (a brilliant one I might add) - that I would make all of us a baby quilt -similar, but not totally matching.  I wanted the moms to pick out the colors, and applique the name on there.  These quilts are the perfect "tummy time" quilts too!  Soft, yet strong, and will hopefully be washed and used for years! 

I drew up this little design in paint.  (Encore wasn't named yet, but is my friends 2nd baby, her "encore" baby. . cute huh?)  I took this little design to the fabric shop to pick out fabrics.  

Lauren Grace, daughter of my friend Amy & Paul, who has yet to arrive, but we are all excited to meet her! 
Emmett Theodore, who is here, but just BRAND new.  Only a few weeks old, but I hear he is perfect and sleeping like an Angel.  When I met him, he gave me a smile, so I already like him ;c) 

Juliana Elise - I have decided that she and MY daughter are going to be BFFs!  They are only a few months apart and we live just down the street from each other!  They have already had a beautiful photo shoot together and seem to get along great! ;c) 
 (this is them)

 And then finally, my Mira's. . I started out with brand new fabrics that I LOVE, but I quilted it to death (did you know you could OVER quilt something?  yeah, me neither!)  So I made it into a rug, and started from scratch, using all scraps.  Guess what? the scrappy, quick-quilted version is 10X better!   BIG LESSON LEARNED !
 (here's the old version/rug)

 Some finished photos hanging on my dirty wet fence ;c) 

and just thought this was a cute picture.  All of my names, in different fonts, all printed in reverse, ready for the applique process!

2014 Crown Royal Quilt - - #1?

My first Crown Royal Quilt of the year! Will it be the first and ONLY?  Time will tell!
I had to get mostly new fabrics for this quilt, as the fabrics I was using for previous crown quilts is mostly sold out or MIA.  

 My customer had a beautifully colorful selection of bags.  3 different sizes of golds!
 3 different size of blacks!
 Browns, Reds, and tons of purples!  
 This is going to be a colorful quilt!
 Here are all of my bags "prepped" and ready to be pressed and trimmed into 4" squares. 
 All of my star blocks ready to go!
 Finished quilt top! 

 Quilting the quilt recipients name in the border is kind of a tradition now ;c) can you see the "randy?"
 Finished back! 
 Finished Front! 
 And I just had to get a photo of my favorite helper - outside on a rare beautiful sunny day.  And the photo on the left is of my NEXT project "Rocking Horse Quilt"

Also, I am now selling the pattern for these quilts if you would like to make one for yourself.   Or, you can commission ME to make it for you!  I have a detailed price list on my facebook page under "general info" or there's a tab called "PRICE LIST" right next to the photos.  Send me a message if you have any questions.  I am happy to help - no extra charge! ;c)

Rocking Horse Baby Quilt

Finished Rocking Horse Quilt for my friends the Ritchie's new baby girl.

Started off by googling a photo of a rocking horse "clip art" style.   This one was the most prominent one and looked the most user friendly.   I tweaked it a bit, adding hearts, and seperating the pieces by fabrics.   I laid out the fabrics and labeled them A, b, C, D, etc., and wrote the label on the rocking horse clip art. 

Here I am tracing the Rocking Horse. . and making the EXACT SAME MISTAKE I continually make and have made a gazillion times:  I did not print the image in reverse!   Remember if you are doing fusible applique to print your image in reverse.  However, since I wasn't doing text or anything direction -specific, I left it as-is.  The rocking horse will just be in the opposite direction in the finished quilt! 

After fusing all the applique pieces, I used the leftovers to make a beautiful piano-key border!  I went ahead and sewed the border on.  I like my quilt top to be completely finished before starting the raw-edge fusible applique process.  

Next I just fused my pieces, and stitched them down.  I mostly used a buttonhole stitch for this project, but I also used a straight stitch with a darning foot in some of the tighter areas.  

I free-motion embroidered the baby's name in the bottom area. I used Wonderfil's Spaghetti thread for this.  (It's the thickets thread I have found that still works in my machine!)

When I took this picture, it had been 2 weeks straight of cold and snow, so I coudln't wait any longer, I had to go ahead and take the photo.  

Here I am quilting a wide whimisical feather stitch with variegated polyester longarm thread by Aurifil.  Then I used a white cone polyster thread by connecting threads for the white area.  

The photo on the left is the one Karen picked out and wanted me to try to recreate - the one on the right is my finished creation.   I had a FQ bundle of Aunt Jane 1930s reproduction fabrics that I wanted to use up and this project was perfect!

I had a cone of  Aurifil longarm thread (that I LOVE) but cotton is great too - especially on a regular domestic sewing machine.  

Marshall University T-Quilt

Just recently finished a T-quilt made with Marshall University T-shirts.  The owner of these T-shirts is my friend Missy, who was a MU cheerleader.   I tried something a bit different with this quilt.  Instead of using JUST the T-shirt fabrics, I added in additional green tonals and prints to break up the monotiny of the greens and whites.   However, now that it's finished, I'm not even sure it added that much!   I'll definitely try this again though - especially with Tquilts that are mostly made up of Grey/White/Black shirts.  Those can get kinda boring ;)

Another thing unique about this quilt. .. Missy gave me two hooded sweatshirts with large pockets.  I decided to leave the pockets in the quilt.  I think it's pretty cute too!