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Nov 29, 2012

Pleated Pouches - Easy Gifts!

Nov 29, 2012
Pin It Ahh, the holiday gift season is upon us!  Even though we all know it's coming, I always end up behind the eight ball when it comes to making gifts for friends and family.

The hubs usually has a trip to Japan near the holidays (super convenient, eh?) and I wanted to make a cute little gift for my friend Mari.  I've put her on a mission for some super cool Japanese quilting stuff and I wanted to send along a little token of my appreciation.

pleated pouches by gen X quilters
These little Pleated Pouches from Michelle Patterns are just perfect for dropping a little something into.  I made the small and tall versions.  For some reason, when I try to create my own, bags and pouches baffle me.  But these pouches were simple and quick to put together with clear instructions.  Perfect for someone like me who gets a little nervous at hearing the word "pleat" or "dart".  (I'm a quilter!  Dressmaking terms scare me!)
pleated pouch small by gen X quilters
The pouches are small enough that I could use fabric from my scrap bins.  In the smallest one, I put a few tea bags.  I used some Little Apples (Aneela Hoey) for the outside and DS Picnics and Fairgrounds for the lining.

Pleated Pouch Tall Open by gen X quilters
And in the tall size, I placed a little notebook and pen.  Super cute right?
Love these fabrics.  Shasta Daisy by Suzuko Koseki for Yuwa, and Handwriting in Red for Lake House Dry Goods.  (Available at Sew Me A Song.)

pleated pouch large by gen X quilters closed
And lastly, I couldn't help but make one of these pouches for myself.  The last one I made was the "Large" size.
pleated pouch large by gen X quilters
I wanted to test out a little heavier fabric.  I had this home dec weight fabric in my stash from Joann's clearance bin.  I like the heavier weight for the bigger pouch.  I lined it with some Daydream gingham from Riley Blake.
pleated pouches 2 by gen X quilters

Overall, I'm really happy with these pouches!  So much so, that I bought another pattern from Michelle Patterns.  Eeek!  I'm making some teacher gifts with the Keychain Clutch pattern.  :)  I'll share those with you next week... Pin It

Nov 26, 2012

Craftsy Class Review: Quick Strip Paper Piecing with Peggy Martin

Nov 26, 2012
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Online Quilting Class

**All Craftsy classes are $19.99 or less and today, Cyber Monday, is the LAST day!**

I just took my first Craftsy class - Quick Strip Paper Piecing with Peggy Martin.  It wasn't until I actually took a class myself that I understood what a novel concept Craftsy has with it's online class platform.

I love to paper piece, but it always takes a lot of time.  If there is a faster and more efficient way to do something, count me in.  Peggy teaches her technique - which is a version of chain piecing for foundation patterns.

I expected maybe an hour long instructional video.  Boy was I surprised!  This Craftsy course has 8 hours of instruction and includes 6 patterns with the class.
If you've never paper pieced before, this class is a good place to start.  The course covers all the details from fabric selection, supplies, how to use your scraps, etc.

Pros:
  • good for beginners - detailed instruction
  • downloadable supply list
  • downloadable patterns
  • watch whenever you have time (start, stop, pause, repeat)
  • access to class stays in your account permanently
  • insert notes while watching
  • see other participants' discussions

Cons:
  • time - I have little time to sew.  I'd rather be sewing than watching.  But you can click through to skip portions of the material you already know.
Overall, I was impressed with the detailed level of instruction and corresponding course materials for the class.  If you want to acquire paper piecing as a new skill, this is a great way to start.

One of Peggy's quick strip patterns includes the New York Beauty block.  I have been intimidated by this block in the past.  It contains paper piecing and curves - both of these skills more difficult.  I was afraid to try them together.  I can't wait to get started on my NY Beauty block using Peggy's quick strip technique.  I'll be sure to show you when I get sewing.
NY Beauty block sketched with Allison Glass' Lucky Penny.

Now is a great time to buy a class.  If you don't have time to watch until the new year, it's no problem.  You can always access the class and know that you got one on sale.  There are also some free courses you can check out to get a feel for how Craftsy classes operate.

**All Craftsy classes are $19.99 or less and today, Cyber Monday, is the LAST day!**

Online Quilting Class


Disclosure:  As a Craftsy affiliate, I was able to take this class for free in exchange for a review.
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Nov 23, 2012

Would you like some batting with your coffee? Yes, Ma'am!

Nov 23, 2012
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I hit up Joann's at 7am this morning and hauled this bad boy to the checkout.  No need to even stop at the cutting counter when you buy the entire 40 yd. bolt.  40 yds!  Holy Moly.

There were no carts so I had to squat and bear hug this guy to get him from the back corner of the store to my car.  Totally worth the effort when I could get Warm & Natural batting for 75% off (ok, it was really 50% and then an additional 25%.  I got too excited and messed up the math).

Die hards are at Joann's on Black Friday, right?  No makeup, bedhead, throw on a pair of jeans.... ready to duke it out for batting and interfacing.... Pin It

Nov 22, 2012

Black Friday Fabric Specials

Nov 22, 2012
Pin It Happy Thanksgiving!

Here are some specials for you.


Sew Me a Song
Today thru Sunday.  Flat Rate Shipping of $2.50 US/$6.50 Canada/ $8.50 everywhere else.  No minimum required.  Refunds will be made upon shipment via paypal. 

Please put coupon code " THANKYOU12" in NOTES TO SELLER upon checkout. 


Michelle Patterns

I just bought the Pleated Pouches Pattern and will be showing you my pouches next week.  If you're thinking of making any cute pouches or bags for the holidays, be sure to check out Michelle's pattern sale.


Enjoy the craziness! Pin It

Nov 16, 2012

50 Fabulous Paper Pieced Stars - Block 2 Pennsylvania

Nov 16, 2012
Pin It Wrong season, I know.  But these blocks I am leisurely making in my free time.  I figure at this pace I'll actually get this quilt finished by the major red, white and blue holidays... :)

Pennslyvania block from 50 Fabulous Paper-Pieced Stars


Colorado block from 50 Fabulous Paper-Pieced Stars


I'm looking forward to making a gallery of these.
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Nov 14, 2012

Japanese Fabric Panel Coloring Pouch

Nov 14, 2012
Pin It Becca sent me a few scraps from Sew Me A Song to play with.  When I first saw this Japanese print, I knew immediately I wanted to make something for Mr. G (aka the middle son or wild card).  The fabric is Daiwabo Japan Tip Top Car Panel by Fumika Oishi.  I love it!  I decided to make a coloring pouch since he is really getting into learning to write his letters.
There are so many fun details included in the panel.  I cut this portion of the panel to make a little strap for him to wrap around his wrist.  I was so excited about it, I forgot to top stitch the strap.  I don't think he noticed....
The inside lining of the pouch is a fun plaid with cars and other traffic items scattered about.  The plaid is just dark enough to hide all the crayon and marker marks that will end up inside.
Here is the back.  Since this fabric is off white and my son only 3, I decided to use iron-on vinyl to protect the pouch.  If you missed it, you can read my review of this product here.
Here is what the panel looks like from selvage to selvage.
(photo by Sew Me A Song)

These types of panels are so much fun!  I have a couple others from Japan that I am going to have to make a fun project out of.  There are so many possibilities of cute things to make with them.

You can find this print at Sew Me A Song.  


Check out Becca's fun selection of Japanese panels.  I already have the first one - what should I make?

1. Striped Panel in Red from the Minakoko Collection by Koko Seki for Lecien

2.  Daiwabo Japan Tip Top Animal Panel in Pastel by Fumika Oishi


3. Melody Miller Ruby Star Shining Cameo Print in Violet



These are such fun unique prints! Pin It

Nov 12, 2012

Feather in my cap

Nov 12, 2012
Pin It Well, I did it.  I finished Katie's bee block - although far be it from a feather in my cap.  I managed to make a disaster with this block that required ordering more fabric.  Simple enough, Katie requested these Feather blocks with Anna Maria Horner's free pattern.
You know that saying about Measure twice, cut once?  I need to remind myself that also applies for reading the directions.  I should have read them three times.  I realized I needed a right and left side, but didn't fold my strips.  I ended up with feathers with plumes that all slanted the same direction, instead of the nice V shape they are supposed to have.  
And I cut out a third right side to boot.  So that meant I had to order some more Indie by Art Gallery.  I turned to my friend Peg at Sew Fresh Fabrics.  Here's the Indie print I ordered and some other goodies that happened to fall into my cart.
1.  Geisha in Bliss, Indie for Art Gallery
2.  Floradots in Grey, La Dee Da by Erin McMorris
3.  Too Muchery Damask in Mustard by Helen Dardik

The last 2 were on special $3.95 for half yards.  Peg (Sew Fresh Fabrics) has a lot of great specials right now, along with new lines like Indie, Field Study and Frippery.
Katie graciously allowed me to make my left sides one print to complete the block.  (AMH does show a few random feathers like this on the pattern cover.)  Most of the other ladies in the bee are sewing both feathers together to make one block, but I am leaving mine separate in case Katie would like to scatter them randomly in her quilt top.

I know there was not too much exciting to report in this post, but I want to share not only my successes here - but also my difficulties and errors.  I'm just so frustrated that I messed up someone else's block!

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Nov 9, 2012

{sew} beautiful bee quilt top (finally!)

Nov 9, 2012
Pin It A new quilt top finished!  Yay - it's been a while....  This is my {Sew} Beautiful Bee top from 2011.  It's the one I've had waiting for me for months.  So patiently....

 I used 3 charm packs of Bonnie & Camille's Ruby line, plus some old school Bliss thrown in with Kona PFD.  The sashing is Kona Ice Frappe.  And below is 6 yards of Ruby snuggly flannel.  Won't this be great for winter?
 The bee ladies all made 17" Dutch Pinwheel blocks using the charms.  These blocks are huge!   Each block has a major and minor color.  The Minor color was used on the inside pinwheel and the major color was used on the outside frame of the block.
 These colors are looking gorgeous to me.  Since it is a year later though, I do wish I could include a little Vintage Modern too.
 It's off to my LAQ.  This baby is a little bigger than a twin - and too big for me to enjoy doing on my home machine.  And right now with the little ones, I haven't much time to go to my LQS to use the long-arm there.  So, I wait to get it back for binding.
But it sure feels good to check off a WIP/UFO and to be getting back into the swing of things.  :) Pin It

Nov 6, 2012

Vote!

Nov 6, 2012
Pin It Ok ok.  So YES, today is the big day to cast your ballot on Election Day here in the U.S.  But did you know there are TWO places you should vote today?

Not only should you go to the polls, you should stop at Amy's Creative Side too!

I am so honored to have been nominated for my Water Pitcher Wall Hanging Quilt in the Blogger's Quilt Festival.  I am so surprised!

Please stop by and cast your vote for your favorite quilts today on Election Day!
Amy's Creative Side

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Nov 5, 2012

Product Review: Quilting Extension Tables

Nov 5, 2012
Pin It Do you have an extension table for your home sewing machine?  I've received several emails since I last posted about my new sewing space asking about the table.  So I thought I'd share the information with everyone.

If you want to make free-motioning quilting easier on your home machine, I would recommend getting one of the many quilting extension tables on the market.  The tables are made to provide a larger surface area to maneuver the bulky quilts when free-motion quilting.  A larger surface area allows you more room to keep your hands and quilt layers flat as you quilt.


This is a great solution for those of us who do not have a sewing table with a recessed area to drop your machine into.  You simply remove the tool bin portion of the machine and slide the acrylic table into place.  There are several supports under the table to keep the extension table surface level with the throat plate.

The tables seem to start at around $50 and go up from there.  I absolutely love using this table and keep it on my machine all the time, not just when quilting.  Since I use it every day, I would consider it a worthwhile investment.  But if that's just not in your budget right now, I have also seen some DIY tutorials online for making one from cardboard boxes, etc.

It is important to note that these tables are made specific to the make/model of each sewing machine.  If you decide to purchase one, make sure to get one that is made to mate with your particular machine.

Pros:
  • easy to use/install
  • allows you more surface area to maneuver quilt for FMQ
  • acrylic - easy to clean
  • specific for your make/model sewing machine - perfect fit
  • some models have a printed ruler

Cons:
  • can be pricey

**This product was a gift from my family several years ago.  This is solely my opinion and I have not been compensated for this review.
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Nov 3, 2012

{simple} saturday

Nov 3, 2012
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Working on {Sew} Beautiful Bee blocks today....  This block is for Lee.  She requested these blocks to make a quilt similar to this one by Rita.

This block is redeeming me today after yesterday's fail.  Here's the beginning of some AMH feathers for Katie.  Do you see anything wrong with them?


Yep.  I didn't get the memo about folding the strips for left and right feathers.  Instead all my strips go in the same direction.  AND I cut 3 right sides instead of 2.

Gah.  Everyone has their bad days, but why did mine have to be with someone else's fabric?

More Indie is on it's way from Sew Fresh Fabrics....


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Nov 1, 2012

First Quilts on the First: Bern of Spoilt Dog Quilts

Nov 1, 2012
Pin It Can you believe it's November 1st already?  We are recovering from a candy-coma after trick-or-treating in our new neighborhood last night.  Each year the boys are getting older and are bringing home even more candy.  This means mom has to exercise some serious self-control when it comes to all that chocolate staring at me all day.  Better to focus on quilts...

So a new month brings us another First Quilt feature!  Please welcome Bern of Spoilt Dog Quilts, an art quilter from Australia.  She has some neat quilts dedicated to honoring the military.  Let's learn about her first....


Hi, my name is Bern Johnson (I’m a proud Aussie) and my blog is called Spoilt Dog Quilts. Thank-you so much to AnneMarie for hosting the First on the First series of blog posts. It is quite an honour to to showcase one’s quilts especially on a blog that I greatly admire. As I write this post, I am sending my prayers and positive thoughts to the people of New York City and the east coast states of the US who are currently enduring super storm Sandy.

I first learned to sew as a child on Mum’s old Singer treadle sewing machine making doll’s clothes. Fast forward to two weeks in November/December 1991, when I got married, was promoted from a primary school (elementary) teacher to being a Teaching Principal in a small isolated one teacher school and moved house. This meant moving 2 000km+ (to Wyandra, a very small isolated town, population maybe 60) along with a husband who is physically disabled. That was a huge challenge! I then had to sew a houseful of curtains on Mum’s treadle machine. I developed very strong calf muscles making those curtains! I vowed that the next Christmas holidays, I would do something for me. So I went to a class and learnt to sew a patchwork quilt and was bitten by the patchwork bug!

My first quilt is actually a reversible QAYG log cabin with leaf prints in the centre of the blocks and on the border.

My quilts are very eclectic – I love traditional quilts, I love art quilts, I love memory quilts, I love landscape quilts and more modern quilts. I love designing my own quilts. Patchwork and quilting is such a passion for me.

Fast forward to 2012 and I have been retired (medical grounds) for 10 years. My dear husband Barry and I have moved house 3 times since then and I have had three operations on my right hand in the past 15 months. A badly broken hand really stops one from doing a lot! This includes slowing down establishing my Spoilt Dog Quilt patchwork pattern design business but hopefully the next few months will see that come to fruition. This first pattern is military-related (my husband and I volunteer a lot within the ex-service community and also with Variety, the Children’s Charity). I will donate part proceeds from the sale of my military-related quilts to charities supporting ex-service people and their families.

Here are a few of my past quilts:

My Birdsville quilt (almost finished after 17+ years): My husband and I moved to Birdsville (home of the world famous Birdsville Races) on the edge of the Simpson Desert in 1993. The sand dune strips were all done on Mum’s old Singer treadle and the billabong block (2 nd left) is all hand-appliqued.

Alaska 2005: My husband and I visited Alaska. The photos are mostly from that trip; the animals are from other sources but the quilt design is my own. We will definitely go back to Alaska in a few years’ time as hubby and I have become Alaskaholics!

A2 10-22 – One Hell of a Huey: The quilt was commissioned early this year, by the Caloundra Returned Services League (RSL) Sub-Branch to commemorate their acquisition and restoration of one of the Iroquois helicopters used in the Battle of Long Tan (1966), the most famous battle in the Vietnam War that Australia was involved in. Members of 9 Squadron and 6 RAR (from that battle) have started signing the quilt, making it a “living” quilt.


Hoo’s watching? The wall-hanging below was made for a recent challenge with a bowls theme. One of my friends thought that lawn bowls might be the theme (hubby is a lawn bowler) so I decided to combine the two. I do so love a touch of whimsy or quirkiness in my quilts.

My next quilt is a quilt for one of our Australian troops on the HMAS ANZAC (Australian Navy). We have an organisation called Aussie Hero Quilts (similar to Quilts of Valor) which make quilts and laundry bags for Aussie troops overseas. Pin It
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