Sunday, March 31, 2013

Let's Get Acquainted Link Up and Girl Friday Sews

Plum and June

The Let's Get Acquainted Link Up is still traveling around the blogosphere!  This week it is being hosted by Taryn at from Pixels to Patchwork.  Click here to add your link and to see Taryn's adorable spool mini-quilt (and her awesome Starburst quilt.)

Fabric Mutt

And if you haven't already heard, Heidi from Fabric Mutt is hosting a fun blog hop that starts tomorrow (see all the hop details here.)  Girl Friday Sews will be full of tutorials for items to use where we (and/or our children) work and learn.  Noticing that this hop was starting soon, I put aside some time last week to decide what I was going to make and before I knew it, I made the item and even wrote my post - crazy!  My date is not even until April 9th!  

Since I spent my sewing time working on my top secret project for the Girl Friday Sews blog hop and the quilt that I spoke about in my last post, this is my only Farmer's Wife block to share this week.  I really thought that my points had lined up well but now looking at this photo - yikes!  

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

A Vacation, Some Scraps, and a Quilt Top

A few weeks ago, I tagged along with my husband when he had a conference in Southern California.  It was my first time travelling without my kids in years and though I was sad at first, we had a fantastic time.  One of the highlights of my trip that I got to meet and spend time with one of my best blog friends - Heidi from Fabric Mutt.  (Here is her post about the visit.)  We've been emailing and even video chatting for almost a year now and I can't tell you how amazing it was to actually meet her in person!  And being the generous person she is, Heidi gave me the adorable bag above filled with a fantastic variety of scraps (there were even more than shown in the photo.)

And speaking of scraps, the day before we left for California an unexpected box arrived on our doorstep from another of my best blog friends - Nicole from Bold Goods.  I've met Nicole twice and she knows how much my daughters love to sew so she had sent them a huge box of fun fabrics!

These photos show just a small sampling of what she sent - and yes, she sent Nano Iro and HTF Heather Ross to my 8 and 10 year old!!!

As I recently mentioned, my sewing space (which I share with my daughters) is quite small so I decided a day (or two or three) of organizing was needed to fit my daughters' growing stash and my new acquisitions.  Somewhere between ironing, trimming, folding, and refolding, I thought about how I'd like to make another scrap quilt.  Thus, I started trimming a 3" x WOF strip from many of my "non-novelty print" fabrics and putting them in a pile.  And a few days later, I finished the quilt top.

I used some of the fabrics from Heidi and snipped a little rectangle from one (or two) of the fabrics Nicole sent (I worked out a trade with my 8 year old!)  Also, last week at a quilt guild sewing day, one of the lovely members - Amy from The Calico Cat - brought a bag full of scraps that she shared with the group!   There were so many fun treasures and I used many of them in this quilt.

For the quilt, I just cut the 3" strips into various size rectangles and (mostly) randomly stitched them together.  After I finished about 5 rows, I decided to add in some Kona Oyster which I also cut into strips so that I could combine it with a few low volume fabrics.  I'm excited to get this quilted (I still need to decide on quilting) and I plan on backing it in flannel - however, I have no batting at the moment so I likely won't be quilting it until next week.  Oh, well - guess that will give me time to make some more FW blocks!

Linking to WIP WednesdayCrazy Mom Quilts, and Lily's Quilts.

Sunday, March 24, 2013

More FW blocks and the Let's Get Acquainted Link Up

Just a few more Farmer's Wife blocks.  I'm not sure how I am feeling about the fabric choices in the first two - might be redoing those!  I know a few of you have started making some too - link them up so we all can see.

Plum and June

This week's link up is being hosted by the lovely Deborah from Simply Miss Luella.  Click here to add you link, see what everyone else has been making, and to see Deborah's beautiful Liberty pillow.

Monday, March 18, 2013

Meet My Machine! blog hop

The Tilted Quilt meet My Machine Linky Party

Hi everyone!  Welcome to my stop on Stacey and Erin's Meet My Machine Blog Hop.  

I've just spent some time in my sewing space trying to get a decent photo to share.  However, the size of the space (approximately 5ft x 12ft), all the things in that space (sewing desk for me, child size table for my daughters, ironing board, and wide bookcase-type organizer thingamajig where I keep my fabric), that three sides are covered in windows (I sew in a tiny sunroom), and that my camera only has a 50mm prime lens (no zooming in or out), it appears that I won't be sharing any pics today!  Hmm, is that enough excuses?  Well, excuses plus a description!  But so that I don't have a completely picture-less post, I'll share some pics of what I've made using my new machine.

Anyway, the reason you are reading this is to hear about my sewing machine.  If you were reading my blog last summer/fall, you might remember that I wrote a lot about sewing machine problems and was constantly on a search for an upgrade.  I don't know the model number of my first machine - it was purchased way before I actually started sewing (almost 10 years before!) when I thought I would use it to make curtains (I never did but I did make a pillow cover!) and sat in a box until my oldest daughter showed an interest in sewing (about 4 or 5 years ago.)  It was just a basic mechanical machine that worked great for basic sewing and I even straight line quilted some smaller quilts on it.

However, when I became more serious about sewing (December 2011), I bought a computerized machine online that came with both a walking foot and a free motion quilting foot.  I was so excited but I had problems with it from day one - fortunately, I was able to return it for a full refund so I took out my old mechanical to use again.  By this point, I had started blogging and meeting people who actually owned sewing machines so I began paying attention to what people wrote about their machines and began seeking advice.  

Ultimately, I bought the Juki 2010q and I LOVE IT!  The Juki is a mechanical machine that only does straight stitch but it really has everything I need!  It is awesome for free motion quilting (it also has speed control - you choose the speed by moving a little tab toward a tortoise or a hare!!!) and has needle down and a thread cutter!  Oh, and it came with an extension table that I leave on all the time.  

There have been exactly two times when I would have liked to have been able to zig zag stitch - once to secure the edges of the linen for the Woodland Sampler and once when I wanted to machine stitch the binding the way I did way back when (in early 2012.)  As for the binding, not having the zig zag option just forced me to learn a new method (learning new things is always good, right?) and I just straight stitched around the linen a few times which seems to be working so far. 

One more thing about the Juki - it does not technically have a free arm but I've still been able to sew bags on it so I wouldn't say that is something I miss (at least not yet!)

So, overall I am extremely happy with my sewing machine!  Despite its lack of fancy features, I don't find it lacking at all!  It really has everything I need and I have no plans for purchasing an additional machine (though I have thought about possibly getting a serger at some point in the not so near future.) One disclaimer here, though - my daughters have their own sewing machine (an inexpensive computerized Brother bought when my old mechanical machine stopped working) and though I haven't used it since I bought the Juki, that option is always there if I wanted to use a fancy stitch or needed a true free arm machine.  And I'll probably start bringing it my guild's sewing days (not that I actually do much sewing there!) because their little machine is way easier to travel with than the Juki!

Here is the blog hop schedule and click here to link up a post about your machine!







Sunday, March 17, 2013

Let's Get Acquainted! Link Up

Plum and June

Just a quick post tonight since my husband is patiently waiting for me to turn off the computer so that we can watch our favorite TV show - the same husband who spent the whole day with our three girls while I was busy socializing with my quilt guild friends at our monthly sewing day (he didn't even ask me to write this!)  Jamie from Busy Bee Quilts is hosting the Let's Get Acquainted Link Up this week.  Click here to add your link.

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Quilty Happenings

1.  Follow my blog with Bloglovin

2.  Stacey from The Tilted Quilt and Erin at Sew at Home Mummy are hosting a great blog hop this week all about sewing machines.  They've enlisted a group of bloggers to write all about their home machines AND they are hosting a week long link up for you to post about yours.  For all the details and to see the list of bloggers, click here or here.  And if you are interested in hearing what I have to say about my machine, my date is Tuesday, March 19th. 

The Tilted Quilt

3.  Have you heard about the new monthly challenge from Nat and Lucy (both of whom have newborns!!!!)?  It is called Le Challenge and you can find all the details here.  Basically, as Nat and Lucy explain:  One theme, one month - all craft projects of any size welcome! They just posted this month's theme so go have a look!

Le Challenge

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

wednesday. . .

{low(er) volume  . . .  again}

{farmer's wife block 1 - foundation pieced  - I purposely did not center the novelty print but now I think it looks like a mistake?}

{farmer's wife block 2 - rotary cut}

Anyone else working on the Farmer's Wife blocks?

Linking to WIP Wednesday.

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Let's Get Acquainted Link Up!

I haven't done much any sewing the past few days but here is the Woodland Sampler I wrote about in a recent post.

Plum and June

I'd love to see your sewing projects though.  This week's Let's Get Acquainted Link Up is at Owen's Olivia.  I found Nancy's blog awhile ago and we've been friends ever since (and after reading the end of her post today, I now see we have even more in common than I realized!)  Nancy shares lots of awesome quilting/sewing projects on her blog AND she also blogs about her very cool home decorating projects!  Lots of inspiration there - go check it out!

Monday, March 4, 2013


About 5 years ago, my oldest daughter got a "learn how to knit" kit.  She was only 4 or 5 at the time so I figured I would try to figure it out first and then we would try it together.  In addition to the book from the kit, I watched lots of online video tutorials and eventually figured it out.  I can't remember if I tried to teach her or not but I do remember knitting two little bags from the kit and I remember it taking me forever to do so!

The kit also came with a crochet hook so I decided to try it.  I borrowed a kid's crochet book from the library and I was immediately hooked (ha, ha!)  Over the past five years, I've crocheted lots of things - many of which I've shared on this blog (here, here and here) and some which I haven't like the scarves in the above photo.  But recently I've decided to try knitting again.  I specifically wanted to knit a honey cowl after admiring the versions I have been seeing around on lots of quilting blogs.  I only had the knitting needles from the original learn to knit kit so I ordered a set of circular needles and started with a  simple scarf instead (and good thing I did because I had to completely re-learn how to knit.)

The circular needles eventually came and I spent some - um, lots of - time watching video tutorials and reading more knitting books from the library.  I just couldn't figure it out but then my friend Nat came to the rescue with a somewhat simple, but totally perfect suggestion and I was on my way.

Well, at least I thought I was - I had figured out the trick to circular needles but apparently not the trick to actually reading a pattern correctly.  I forgot to read the part about knitting four rounds before starting the pattern stitch AND I was knitting inside out (didn't even know there was such a thing) AND I somehow unknowingly switched to knitting right side out about halfway through.  Oh, well, I decided to just cast off early and give it to my daughter to wear instead.  And despite all the errors, it looks super cute on her so it worked out fine!  

If you are a knitter, you can probably already identify the big (unfixable) error I made with this one.  Yep, every thing I read about using circular needles clearly says that you need to make sure that you don't twist your stitches when joining the first round.  I thought I was so careful but again about halfway though knitting this, I realized that I had indeed twisted the stitches!  Well, since I have more than one daughter, I again just cast off the stitches and I was going to pass this on to my oldest but decided to try it on first and  . . . I love it!  It is not the big, thick, comfy cowl that I thought I was making but it works great wrapped around twice!  If you are interested, I cast on 140 stitches and cast off when it was about 5 inches.

I took a break from cowls to try a hat (I'll save that for another post) but I'm starting cowl #3 soon  - I'll let you know how it goes!

So, anyone have any suggestions for other patterns I should try (especially hats)?  Or do you have a favorite knitting website or book to recommend?  Or any tips?

Saturday, March 2, 2013

A Few New Scarves and the Let's Get Acquainted Link Up

I recently realized that I have a few occasions coming up in the next few months which are going to require me to wear something other than yoga pants.  So I figured - why not sew some scarves?!?

Without giving it much thought, I grabbed the rest of the AMH flannel and voile from when I made some Figure 8 scarves for holiday presents (blogged here.)  However, shortly after finishing this scarf, it occurred to me that flannel is probably not what I'll want for the spring so I went back to my small stash of voile and with the help of my 7 year old chose two prints to make a scarf.

I only had 1/2 yard cuts of each of these prints so I cut them in half lengthwise and sewed them together  on the short side so that I had a long, skinny piece of each.  I cut off about 10 inches from each of the fabrics and then just sewed the two fabrics right sides together leaving a small opening which I hand-stitched closed.  I like it and definitely will be wearing it but I think for my next one, I'll make it a bit longer and wider.  Which is funny because it is basically the same dimensions that I used and really like for the Figure 8 scarf but for the regular scarf, I felt it was too skinny.  Next time I order voile, I'll have to remember to get a full yard instead of a half.

And speaking of scarves, I'll be posting about my knitting adventures later this week.

Plum and June

1. Link up any recent sewing/quilting post.
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4. When the link tool asks for your name, write down your most common sewing error.