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Aug 25, 2010

Snowflake Quilt Top Finished

Aug 25, 2010
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The snowflake quilt top is finished!  Or least I decided it was done.  There is supposed to be one more wide border according to the pattern.  The fabric on the right hand side is what came with the kit.  No way man!  First of all, the tones don't match... and the pattern on the fabric is too country for the rest of the fabric palette. 


I debated trying to find another yard and a half of the Marble Dots by Moda being used for the binding (fabric on the left hand side).  But the current width of the quilt will allow me to hang it up in my two-story great room where I have a couple quilts displayed that change with the seasons.  This will make a nice quilt to display in January when Ohio winters are so cold.

I am not sure if having white as your last border is a cardinal quilting sin, but hey, live 'n learn right?

We'll see this puppy again when she's back from my long-arm quilter...
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Aug 23, 2010

Preschooler Sock Puppets

Aug 23, 2010
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By request, my preschooler and I made sock puppets for an upcoming road trip.  I was pumped to make them since it was his own idea and something cool we could do together while the baby napped.  Here's our necessary items:  

1. collection of misfit socks


I used to knit, so spare yarn balls are abundant in the house.  Mostly, the kids like to play in this box.  I call this photo "Yarn Mess".

2.  yarn mess


3.  button collection


Pretty much as soon as we started, I realized his idea of making sock puppets included him getting to press all the fancy buttons on my machine.  My idea was simply for him to try manuevering a yarn needle.  Add a 4-yr. old attention span, and here's what you get....



Mom doing the sewing while he asks "are they done yet?" and slides down the pole in our basement like a fireman.





He loves them now that they're finished (note: he only had patience for 2 of the 4 socks from our misfit collection) and soon I came to understand that "playing sock puppets" means wearing the sock puppet on your hand and wrestling each other to the floor.  Boys!
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Aug 19, 2010

Check it out! I am Guest Blogging @ Quilting Gallery Today

Aug 19, 2010
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Hi Everyone!  This is so exciting.... I am guest blogging over at the Quilting Gallery today.  Please stop by and give it a read.  (There are some embarrassing pictures of me as a kid you won't want to miss!)

As always, I welcome your comments and feedback for how to make GXQ a great resource! Pin It

Aug 18, 2010

Inspired by Vintage - a 1960s "Quilt"

Aug 18, 2010
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After viewing so many vintage quilts at the Ohio Outdoor Quilt Festival, I decided to showcase the only vintage quilt I have.  Actually, it's technically not even quilted, but it is a great patchwork of scraps made by my paternal grandmother Veronica*.



Our best guess is that this blanket was made sometime in the 1960s.  My Grammy made several of these blankets from leftover material she had from making her own house dresses.  The patchwork is more like a coverlet over what we (my mom and I) think is a wool blanket inside.  This is the WARMest blanket I have ever owned.



Ever since I can remember, this quilt was my favorite "sick blanket".  When home sick from school, this blanket helped me through many a fever as I laid on the couch watching TV and drinking 7Up.  It has been through many washings to get rid of the germs, and now it is starting to show it's age.  Some seams are starting to fray - but that's pretty good for 40-50 years old!



Grammy and me

*Side note:  My Grammy Veronica was the BEST pierogi maker.  We would come to visit from Ohio (she lived in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania where my dad grew up) and she would have been up since 4am, making pierogies in the kitchen.  Hundreds of them!  What a feast!

Although I love to cook, it is my brother who has taken to carrying on the enduring task of making pierogies.  Don't lose that recipe!
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Aug 16, 2010

Oilcloth Boxy Cosmetic Bag

Aug 16, 2010
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More dabbling in oilcloth fun!  If you haven't tried it, give it a whirl.  Sometimes it's fun to whip something up in an hour when most quilt projects are such an endeavor.



This cute boxy number was made from a pattern found on Skip to my Lou.  I changed the dimensions to 12" x 10" since I already had the 12" zipper.  It's big enough to hold quite a few toiletries... the one on the tutorial (16" x 14") must be huge!



P.S.  This time I tried to use the zipper foot when sewing.  I'm kind of a zipper novice and I thought I could do better if I used the right foot.  Nope!  Oilcloth grooves MUCH better with the walking foot - even when doing the zipper.  I just sewed right up to the zip, then pretty much took the walking foot off (with the needle down) to zip the zipper past where I was sewing, then started up again.



This bag is partying here:


The Girl Creative





Photobucket


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Aug 13, 2010

Sew Lefty Sew: Looking for Lefties!

Aug 13, 2010
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Today is International Left Hander's Day and if you are a Lefty, like me, then you see full reason to celebrate.  The holiday is meant to raise awareness of the inconveniences facing left-handers in a right hand dominated world.  Whether it is the camera button being on the wrong side or the serrated edges on knives making it difficult to cut, Lefties overcome all the obstacles.



Now what does this have to do with sewing?  Because of cross-wiring in the brain, Left-Handed people are supposedly more likely to be creative and visual thinkers.  This makes for a perfect sewist and quilter!

Show your Lefty Pride!  Grab a badge if you like and please link up so we can see where the Lefties are.




Badge:


SewLeftySew@GenXQuilters

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Aug 12, 2010

Snowflake Quilt Revisited

Aug 12, 2010
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After all the stress free-motion quilting and trying to get it done in a hurry, I went back to the snowflake quilt this week.  How relaxing to work on a project that doesn't need to be done until January!


Look closely at the next photo.  See if you can find my Oops!  Obviously, I didn't see it until it was sewn in and my seam ripper had a serious job to do.  I've circled the mistake in the last photo of this post (don't cheat!)...



After fixing the oops! block, I assembled the snowflake in the middle, added the white border, and started working on the charm border.




Oops! ANSWER:  Circled in red below.  I almost didn't catch it!


Doesn't this happen to everyone??  :)
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Aug 10, 2010

Gen X Quilters now on flickr

Aug 10, 2010
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So you know I'm new to blogging (I am loving meeting new people I would never have "met" if not for blogging!)... now I'm finding out about all this cool online stuff I never paid much attention to.  I'd like to blame it on having an infant or toddler on my lap while sitting at the pc for the past 4 years.... but that's not entirely true.

Anyway....

I've finally discovered Flickr and I thought it would be perfect for Gen X Quilters.  GXQ now has a new Flickr group as a way to hopefully include those who do not have blogs and/or anyone else who is interested.

I would LOVE to see your work!  Hop on over and share it with us.
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Aug 9, 2010

Playing with Oilcloth Fabrics - Oilcloth Cosmetic Bag

Aug 9, 2010
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Remember my oilcloth purchase last week?  I couldn't wait to play around with it.  Look at this cute little cosmetic bag I whipped up (pattern here)!

The whole thing took about 1.5 hours (including a couple mistakes) and now my makeup is swinging in some new style.

This is a fun new fabric to play with, perfect for summer.  I'd been warned oilcloth is difficult to work with, but my walking foot handled it like a champ.

It's even lined with fabric from my stash!  Sure bet I'll be posting more oilcloth fun soon!


This little bag is partying here...

The Girl Creative





Photobucket
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Aug 8, 2010

The End of Birthday Week

Aug 8, 2010
Pin It 2 boys.  2 birthdays.  8 days of Birthday Week.  2 rounds of cupcakes and a "race car" cake.  Stuffed full of the local joint's brisket, potato salad and watermelon.  Mama's going to sleep well tonight.

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Aug 7, 2010

Gen X/Y Blogroll is now a Linky!

Aug 7, 2010
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Get with the times sister!  I am discovering new things about blogging on a daily basis.... and realizing there are more efficient ways of getting things done.  So!

Come join the party!   Gen X Quilters' Blogroll is now a Linky!


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Aug 5, 2010

A fitting finish to free-motion quilting woes

Aug 5, 2010
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After working late into the night to finish this quilt, I laid it out in the family room.  Displayed for his birthday (even 1 day ahead of time) in the early morning light, my cranky almost-4 yr. old's comment was "I don't like it.  Take off the polka dots."  ***Sigh***  Not that I really had dreams of him squealing with delight, but he helped pick out the fabrics for goodness sake.  Well, it's finished.  And that lukewarm reception captures how I feel about it too.

The center turqoiuse section is FMQ with a random star pattern.  Then I did a series of square borders around the train tracks with a walking foot.


Every project, either a masterpiece or a disaster, has a lesson.  Here's what I learned from mine.

  1. Don't try a new technique when faced with a definite quickly-looming deadline.
  2. New techniques should definitely be experimented with on something small (24" x 24" max?)
  3. Leah mentioned using polyester thread to avoid the fraying problem.  I had used a cotton that was supposed to be for piecing and machine quilting - so maybe those are not really best for machine quilting.  Said 4-yr. old picked it out because of the color.
  4. Holding both threads when starting up really does help eliminate the bobbin "spit-up" issue.
  5. I'm in love with pin less basting!  This was the first time I tried it, and now I am much more eager to attempt quilting my own stuff.

Through all the uneven stitches and disproportionate stars, I hope this quilt will find love even if it's just because his holiness Thomas the Train is on the front.  Do not fear.....I will attempt free motion quilting again!

*And just for the record, after the negative reception, I rolled it up and put it away, saying "That hurts my feelings when I worked on it so hard, but ok, then I'll just give this quilt to someone who likes it if you don't want it."  Crying.  Crying.  He hurt my feelings and he wants his quilt back.  This spurred a discussion about how when you receive a gift, you say "thank you" even if you don't like it or it's not what you wanted.  We'll see how this goes over at the Birthday Party on Sunday...
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Aug 2, 2010

Learning Free Motion Quilting is Frustrating....

Aug 2, 2010
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So it's probably my own fault that I've put myself under the gun to get this quilt done by T's 4th birthday (in 4 days! yikes.).... but I am supposed to make major headway in completing this quilt this week.  I also decided this was the perfect time to learn free motion quilting.  Deadline + new skill = STRESS!!!!


Here's the scenario:


I was not able to sew very long before THIS happened.  Repeatedly.  The needle thread jumbled a bit and the strands frayed.  I could hear it happening before I could see it.  I tried re-threading everything again and again.


Problem #2:  What I like to call "Bobbin Spit-up"


I was attempting to hold the bobbin thread when I started up sewing to avoid it getting tangled below, but it didn't seem to be working either.


Time to walk away.  I came up to write my first draft of this post.  An angry post.  A frustrated post.  Why did I decide to do this in the midst of Birthday Week?

Time to regroup.  Ate a some cake.  That helped a little.

Hours later it dawns on me to change the needle.  Why I didn't try it before I'll never know.  I also referenced my "Quilting Bible" and read that I should hold both threads when starting up free motion to remedy the "spit-up" situation.

Ok, happy sewing now.  I'll show you the rest when it's finished (hopefully, on time)..
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