Monday, July 28

Flowering Lone Star Pattern Testing

Happy Monday to you!  I hope that everyone's summer is going well!  For us, it's like summer is just screaming by, and in just 4 short weeks' time, it will be back to school for us!  This is a very sad reality for me, because it really does feel like our summer just started.

our cute kids!
I've been working hard trying to get my little quilting business up and running this summer so I'll have some quilting to do when ALL my kids go to school this fall!  This is my baby's first year of school, so I'm really excited about that!  I've had a child home with me ever since I had my first baby 21 years ago, so I feel like it's time for me to do something for me, and quilting is it!

I've also been busy working on a fun quilt that I volunteered to pattern test for Melissa, the Flowering Lone Star!

I actually loved making this pattern so much that I made two quilt tops!

The first one I made using fabrics that I've had in my stash for a REALLY long time.

The map print is an old Robert Kaufman print that I had always planned to use for a quilt for my oldest son, but I could never decide on a pattern that was just right.  

This pattern was perfect for it!  Instead of going to my son though (who's too big for it now), I'm planning to gift it to a friend's daughter that just had a baby boy.  It's not really baby-ish, but it's boy-ish, which is what I love about it!

The two plaid prints are random homespun prints that I liked with the RK print!  The red is a Kona--not sure of the color exactly!  The background is a Moda Mochi Dot, which I haven't ever used before, but I love it!  The texture is amazing!

The second quilt top I made using my collection of Amy Butler Soul Blossoms fabric.  The white is a Bella Solids bright white--I don't know the name, but I know the number is 9900-98.  Technical, huh?

This Amy Butler quilt is destined for my sewing room wall.  I can't wait to get these quilted!  Any ideas for quilting designs??

Melissa's pattern was SO SO SO fun to sew!  Her directions were really simple and full of pictures so I could follow the pattern without having to second-guess or interpret like you have to do with some patterns!  She laid everything out in baby steps, so I never felt lost!

She made it really easy to understand how to get the seams to match up perfectly too, without any headache!

The pattern sews up really fast because this is a one block quilt!  The quilt measures 50x50 inches, so it's the perfect size for a large wall hanging, a small lap quilt, or even a big-ish baby quilt.  

My first top took a couple of days to finish because I was going slow to be sure I did everything right, but I finished the second top in only a day once I knew what I was doing!

There are some Y-seams, but Melissa's instructions made it really easy to understand and execute them without any guesswork, so even if you're new to Y-seams, you won't have any problems getting them sewn up!

Thanks Melissa, for letting me test your pattern!

stitch by stitch

Wednesday, July 9

Little Alien

**A note to begin with:  I'm now taking customer quilts--see the notice on the sidebar for opening specials!**

So, I have my tension problems fixed (crossing fingers here), and I got started with a quilt for my dear friend Michelle.

Her oldest daughter is having a baby (like, this week maybe!), and she sewed up the most adorable baby boy quilt I've ever seen!

Isn't it that just the most darling thing, ever?  She appliqued all the planets and words and monster on the pieced background.  My kids couldn't stop drooling over it, and my little boy kept trying to steal it!

I quilted a different pattern in each different fabric.  I think the quilting turned out really nice!  I especially love the swirls in the blue, and the design in the yellow polka dot above.

I used a 40 wt polyester thread that is so soft.  It left the quilt just as soft as it was before it was quilted.

I did pebbling in all the other polka-dot fabrics.

I love the swirls!

She chose minky for the back.  I love looking at the back!  It's so fun to look at, and shows the quilting a little better.

My daughter Ari helped me to photograph it.  Don't you love her snow boots in the middle of summer?

Michelle bound it and sent me a couple of pictures so I could show it all finished.  I think the green finishes it off perfectly!

She surprised her daughter with it at her baby shower!

What a cute mommy!  We're so excited for her to have her baby!!

Thanks for letting me quilt this for you Michelle!  It was so much fun!

Tuesday, July 8

A love/hate relationship

I suppose it's time I get on the ball and start posting about what I've been doing this last month!

To tell the sad truth, I've been having lots of problems with tension on my longarm, and it's been really discouraging!  The kind of discouragement that drives you to the floor, flat on your back, in tears--while asking yourself why you ever bought yourself a longarm in the first place!

My tension problems started while I was quilting this quilt.

I finally had to admit defeat and pulled it off to put a practice quilt on again until I figured out my problems.

Yes, I need much more practice!
My husband yelled at me for being so stubborn.  I didn't want to call customer service!  I just wanted to figure it out for myself!  I'd been through 3 whole days of training, and I was convinced that I could do it on my own.

I finally realized I couldn't do it on my own so I called my sweet dealer Renae, then ABM customer service.  After an embarrassingly short 5 minutes, my problems were solved and I realized that I wasn't setting my bobbin tension high enough.  Dumb.  Actually, I'm dumb that I didn't. call. earlier.  Three weeks of agony that were solved in 5 minutes.

Just like my husband reminds me.  Nice.

So, happy days have returned, and I love my machine once again!

I've finished a couple of cute quilts since then, and I'll post about them starting tomorrow!