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Dec 31, 2011

Secret Santa Swap on Twitter

Dec 31, 2011
Pin It My friend Amy (Sukie) set up a Secret Santa Swap on Twitter for the holidays.  It was fun to get to know some new sewing friends and the swap was made easy by not requiring a handmade item.  You could purchase supplies or other items from your partner's wishlist.

Here's what I gave to my partner Megan of Canoe Ridge Creations:
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Dec 30, 2011

Follower Friday: Rachel at Stitched in Color

Dec 30, 2011
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Whew!  I made it back from holiday traveling just in time to feature another great quilter on Follower Friday.  I have lots of handmade gifts to show you, but we'll get to all those things later!  Today, I am featuring Rachel of Stitched in Color.  (And a big Thank You to Rachel for putting together her interview information during such a busy time!)  Rachel and I met and sat next to each other at dinner one night during the Sewing Summit.  We had a great time chatting about quilting, blogs, and even some of the deeper things in life.  It was very easy to pick up and chat with her, as if you couldn't tell by the relaxed conversational style of her blog.  Let's learn more about her!


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Dec 24, 2011

Christmas Trees Quilt

Dec 24, 2011
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Merry Christmas to those who are celebrating!  Today I am showing off my new Christmas quilt before I take some time off for family and lots of eating....
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Dec 21, 2011

Charmed Prints QAL Showcase

Dec 21, 2011
Pin It What a crazy time of year to wrap up a Quilt Along!  Next time I promise I won't do one of these SO close to the holidays.  THANK YOU so much to those that participated!  I hope you enjoyed working on the quilt as much as I enjoyed designing it.  Keep it in mind for all those baby quilts!

Today I am highlighting those participants who met the criteria of posting a quilt top in the flickr group.  What a great collection of quilts!  This is the Charmed Prints Showcase to date.  If you finish one up later one, we'd still love to see it!

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Dec 19, 2011

Charmed Prints - Post your Quilts and Tops

Dec 19, 2011
Pin It Just a reminder that on Wednesday, I'll draw the winner of the Charmed Prints QAL FQ bundle.  To be eligible to win, you just need to upload a picture of your complete quilt top (and quilted quilts too of course) to the flickr group.  Be sure to get your pic up before I draw on Wed. morning!


Gen X Quilters
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Dec 17, 2011

SMS GiveAway Winner

Dec 17, 2011
Pin It The lucky winner of the Sew Mama Sew GiveAway Day loot is....




Congratulations Theresa!  I'll be emailing you shortly for your contact info...

(I baked all day today.... completely exhausted.   I'll be back with some quilty posting in a couple!) Pin It

Dec 16, 2011

Follower Friday: Meg of Fashioned by Meg

Dec 16, 2011
Pin It Well, these Fridays are certainly going by a little too quickly for me!  Anyone else feel the squeeze to finish that holiday sewing?  Yikes - what a crazy month!  Today we have another great guest feature from the wonderful people I met at the Sewing Summit.  Megan of Fashioned by Meg and I sat next to each other at breakfast one morning and bonded over the fact that we were both sporting somewhat incognito baby bellies.  (Well, mine wasn't so incognito, but it was nice to know someone else was tired and sleeping at night instead of staying up all night in the sewing room!)  Let's learn more about her....



Megan or
Meg of California


Occupation:  Stay at home(schooling) mom!

Significant Other/Kids/Pets:  
One wonderful attorney husband, who puts up with all my sewing and quilting!  Three kids- a six year old daughter, a four year old daughter, and one crazy little 19 month old boy.  I am also expecting baby #4 (a girl) April 8th!  One little doggie named Poppy.

# Years Quilting:  
I have been quilting for 2 ½ years.  I never thought I would ever, ever be interested in quilting.  However, the modern quilting movement sucked me in!  I always associated quilts with dull colors and patterns that I didn’t find inspiring.  However, I started seeing lots of brightly colored quilts, offset with white and I fell in love!  I was super inspired especially by Oh Fransson! and Crazy Mom Quilts.

How you learned to quilt:  
I learned to quilt by reading fabulous tutorials online.  I would say reading Elizabeth’s blog is what gave me the courage to give it a try.  She wrote so many thorough and complete tutorials.  My sister-in-law got married in June of 2009, and I decided I was going to try and make them a quilt for their special day.  It turned out well, and I haven’t looked back!  I have also taken a couple of quilt classes at local quilt stores.  I found the one on free motion quilting especially helpful.  I am also part of our local modern quilt guild and have learned a lot from all of our different members!

Favorite Completed Project Description:


I don't know if I have a favorite big quilt that I have made.  Probably my scrappy nine patch quilt that I made during a quilt-a-long.  I love scrappy quilts!  Plus, we use this one all the time for soccer games and outings.  I like putting something I made to use!



I like quilting on a small scale too.  I love making little minis, pillows, and mug rugs.  I feel like my brain is always running over with ideas, but I don't have enough time to make them all right now.  So, small quilting is a fun way for me to try new techniques and make a "quilt" I might have never gotten around to otherwise.  I love this pillow in particular.  I like the colors, and it just feels like "me".


Quilting Workstation Setup:



My sewing area is set up in my bedroom.  I used to have a sewing room but alas it had to be turned into a baby room! ;0)  I have this wonderful sewing desk that I really like that easily becomes smaller or bigger depending on what I need out.  I store all of my fabric and patterns in my closet.


Machine(s) you sew on:  
I sew on a Janome MC6600.  I love it.  I also have kept my little Kenmore as a backup, since the Janome doesn’t have a free arm.  It helps when you are trying to sew little sleeves and the like on little girl clothes.  I also have a serger, a Brother 1034D.

 Your favorite notion/tool in your sewing room:  
My rotary cutter and all my rulers!


If you'd like to keep up with Megan and all that she's up to visit her blog Fashioned by Meg or  flickr photostream. Have a great weekend!



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Dec 15, 2011

Pouch with Charmed Prints Sample

Dec 15, 2011
Pin It I took some crummy photos of my original pinwheel blocks for the Charmed Prints QAL...  so I ended up redoing my tutorial photos with a new block.  The new block was super cute and instantly made me think of a certain friend, so I made up this little pouch....


My friend moved here from Japan in the spring and I tutor her in English once or twice a week while our children play.  She brought me a bunch of fabulous fabrics from Tomato in Tokyo when she moved.  This little deer block just called out her name!!  I knew she'd love the Japanese Kokka print.


It ended up being the perfect size to fit her pocket translator.  I'm so glad she likes it!


These little projects are so fun to whip up sometimes... Pin It

Dec 13, 2011

Completed Charmed Prints QAL Quilts

Dec 13, 2011
Pin It A Charmed Prints QAL finish!  I hope you have enjoyed the Charmed Prints Quilt Along.... today is the official day to show off your finish (or close-to-finish if you have a quilt top!).  I enjoyed putting this quilt along together and watching each person's take on the design pop up in the flickr group.  Thank you to everyone who is participating!  Since this is such a crazy time of year, I'm going to leave the linky open for quite a while - if you end up finishing your quilt after the new year, I'd still really love to see it.  In my opinion, the best thing about this QAL was the ability to customize it.  Each person made their version completely unique.

Here's my finish:
Is that orange calling you?  It didn't start out as an orange quilt in my mind, but I love how the orange accents in the prints are picked up.  I think I have a new found love for gingham.

The Fussy Cut Feature Blocks:

STAR


GREEK CROSS


DIAMOND


PINWHEEL

If  you look closely, you can see I had a rotary cutting misfire here on my last pinwheel.  I couldn't bear to omit that little dear, so I did my best to salvage the block.  By far, the one with the most problems... but oh well, like my kids will notice?

The Flange:  This was a fun little skill to add to my back pocket.  When used in certain situations, I think it gives just a little needed pop.


Quilt Stats:
Name: Charmed and Fussy Cut
Size: 47" x47"
Design: Charmed Prints Quilt Along, designed by me
Fabrics:  assorted charms from GXQ Japanese Imports and Spoonflower Fabric Swaps
Piecing: Me
Quilting: Me -  Stipple on my home machine


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Dec 12, 2011

GiveAway Day!

Dec 12, 2011
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Hello!  Welcome to any new vistors here today through Sew Mama Sew's GiveAway Day!


Here is my GiveAway....


This is some of the loot I gathered at the Sewing Summit!

1.  Riley Blake's Lost and Found - 4 fat quarters
2.  Steam-a-Seam Fusible Tape

3.  Izzy & Ivy Fabric Labels
4.  Twine sample from the Twinery
5.  Sweetwater's Label Crew Christmas labels
6.  Lizzy House's 1001 Peeps Journal
7.  The winner will also get to choose one of my patterns shown below.
That sounds like some Christmas quilty fun!

While you're here, I hope you'll sit back and paruse Gen X Quilters for bit.  If you like it, I hope you'll come back soon.  If you've been here a while, thanks for listening.  I love this online community so much!

To enter for the GiveAway, simply leave me a comment here on this post.  If you are so inclined, tell me your top boy and girl baby names of the moment.  My third trimester has begun - now it's time to get serious about some names!

The GiveAway will remain open until Friday, December 16, 2011.  And I am willing to ship internationally.

The winner will be chosen by a Random Number Generator and announced on
Saturday, December 17, 2011. 
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Dec 9, 2011

Tutorial: Simple X Block

Dec 9, 2011
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This is the block I used to make my Hello Sunshine quilt with Nicey Jane.  It's one I customized with EQ7 to be the size I wanted.  It's simple and elegant when paired with some great fabrics.  Here's a tutorial for the block in case you'd like to try it.

Simple X 

CUT:
1 - 10 1/2" square with your background fabric (Kona Maize in photo)
1 - 3 3/4" square with your center fabric (green/blue geometric print)
4 - 3 3/4" x 9" rectangles (floral print)



1.  Cut the 10 1/2" square across both diagonals to create 4 triangles.


2.  Sew a 3 3/4" x 9" rectangle to both the left and right side of the 3 3/4" square.  Press.

3.  Take the remaining two 3 3/4" x 9" rectangles and sew the solid triangles to the right-hand long side of the rectangles.  Refer to the photo for the triangle placement.

4.  Open the unit and press.

5.  Next sew the remaining two triangles to the left-hand long side of the rectangles.

6.  Open and press.  Your two units should look like the picture below.

7.  Now we are ready to sew the unit from step 2 in between the units with the triangles.  Pin one triangle unit right sides together with the unit from step 2, making sure to match the seams where the geometric center square meets the rectangle of the triangle unit.

8.  Open and press.
9.  Repeat step 7 on the other side of the block.

10.  Open and press.

11.  Trim off the excess material of the floral rectangles to square up the block to 14".

There you go.... done!


Nicey Jane Hello Sunshine #1

Nicey Jane Hello Sunshine #7
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Dec 6, 2011

Charmed Prints QAL: Quilting and Flange Binding

Dec 6, 2011
Pin It Well, here we are!  The last post for the Charmed Prints Quilt Along.  Are you ready to finish these puppies up?  I'll be telling you exactly how I am finishing up my quilt and referencing you to some other good tutorials for the details on each process.  Sound good?  As always, be sure to let me know if you have any questions...

BACKING:  Depending on whether you like one continuous fabric used for the back or a pieced scrappy back, there are a lot of options.  Unfortunately, I almost always run out of steam by this point, and usually cannot fathom piecing a second quilt top for the backs of my quilts.  For my quilt, I chose to use a super cool Japanese print featuring Anpanman.  Anpanman is a celebrity cartoon show for kids in Japan and has a million different types of merchandising products.  My friend brought this fabric from Tokyo's Fabric-town giant Tomato for me this summer.

Whichever method you choose for making your quilt back, be sure to make the back 3-4" larger than your quilt top in all directions.


BASTING:  Now that our quilt top is done,  we have arrived at my most dreaded step in the whole process.  Basting.  Ack.  Gotta do it!  I know that spray basting has been popping up a lot lately and I've used it on smaller quilts such as this one.  But for now, breathing any extra fumes just will not do for the growing baby!  So it's on my hands and knees with pins that I am basting.

Great Basting Tutorial HERE.


QUILTING:  On to some fun!  Now that your 3 layers are basted together, you can begin to contemplate how to quilt them together.  For a long while, I considered myself a beginner and ventured no further than straight line quilting.  Minimal, at that.  Honestly, this was only a year ago!  If you have the patience, there are some fantastic straight line designs you can try.

Then I built up my courage and ventured into free motion quilting.  I would still consider myself learning in this area.  I've mastered stippling on my home machine and use loopy "Ls" on the mid-arm machine at my LQS.  There are so many things to learn and practice here!  I've found my comfort zone for now though, and am stippling this baby quilt as well.  After all, I want my own QAL quilt to look spectacular, right?



FLANGE:  Add some flair!  Sometimes when I finish a quilt, I like to use the same fabric for binding as I do for the last border.  On this particular quilt, I wanted to add something a little flashy and fun in between.  The flange on the quilt binding was a new-to-me technique, although I have added flanges on blocks for in the Rockin' Robin QAL and really enjoyed them then.  Julie's tutorial instantly came to mind.  I used her method with a very small exception.

I wanted to mention that it is suggested that a large basting 1/8" topstitch is sewn all around the quilt after you complete the quilting.  Julie mentions she does this on all her quilts.  I think this is a fabulous idea....  I love how this small step adds security to each edge all the way around.  I'm definitely going to start doing this on all my quilts.
I differed from the tutorial by adding the 2 side flanges first, then going back and adding the flange for the bottom and top.  The tutorial has you pin all 4 sides of the flange in place and then sew continuously until all 4 have been secured.  This was just my personal preference - the end look is the same.

Flange Tutorial

BINDING:  Most of the time I am in a great hurry to finish up a quilt.  This time, since I used the new flange, I decided to put my binding on the traditional way - stitch to the front, turn and hand stitch to the back.  Most of the time, I'm a machine stitch all the way type of girl, but I really wanted the binding to look perfect.  (I decided a while ago, I am hanging this quilt up and am not letting it be the pukey playmat for the floor)

I listed 2 great tutorials for binding depending on your preference!

Traditional Binding Tutorial

Machine Binding Tutorial

Gen X Quilters

Next week, I'll be showing off the finish photos of my own quilt for the Charmed Prints QAL.  Next week's linky will be on Tuesday if you'd like to link up a quilt top or quilted finish.

If you enter a photo of a completed quilt top to the flickr group by 12/20, you will be in the running for the prize drawing. (Outfoxed bundle from Fresh Squeezed Fabrics)

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