Let’s Get Motivated Episode #75

Sometimes you need a friend and some good ol’ fashioned inspiration to find your quilting motivation!

Through friendship and inspiration, we’ve really found our quilting mojo. Not that it was lost but it definitely took a backseat to a few of our other hobbies.

We officially finished our So Cal Quilt Run passports!!! Every square received a stamp and we turned them in to be included in the grand prize drawing for a new machine! YAY!

I’ve been cracking away at my puzzle box quilt! I cranked out 15 blocks so far this week!

The unquilting is finally complete!! And it’s all thanks to my mom and her diligent seam ripping.

Frank is really coming together and my dad is enjoying every step in the process of putting this little guy together. Doesn’t he look snazzy?

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Quilter’s Confession: Most Disliked! Episode #74

Get ready for a laugh-fest, hobbyists and crafters!
Because this episode is a real doozy!

And you can’t say we didn’t warn ya!!

We have some great shows and podcasts to share with you. These are the things we are listening to and watching while we craft away!

We may not be quilting much these days but it’s still a favorite hobby of ours. Sharing our concerns or frustrations together can really help us know our intentions and also where we need to work a little harder on our interests. That’s what friendship and quilting buddies are for!

Gettin’ It Done All By Himself (almost)!

A few years ago, my son asked if I could teach him to sew and piece a block. Oh he was a cute little thing then and really took to piecing the bright colors from a simple fabric kit I had bought.

Then a long lapse in time away from the craft room happened and about two years ago we got back to piecing his block and completing it.

He was pretty happy with his block but it didn’t keep his attention long enough to come back to it and do any more or anything else to that one block. What can I say,  Pokemon and soccer occupies the majority of his attention!

After along time collecting dust in the closet, he finally asked again to pull out that block and make something of it. He really wanted to quilt it himself especially after having watched a long arm machine run in a shop we had visited. Watching the beast of a machine smoothly lay down stitches in a beautiful swirling pattern was enough to inspire him.

So I sandwiched his block with some random fabric from my stash and some scrap of batting left over from a bigger project. He’s really into purple these days so finding a swatch of purple and black fabric was just what he wanted.

His quilting was simple. Using a walking foot, he echoed the colorful swatches in his block. I guided him here and there but for the most part he did the work all himself. He kept his speed low and simply walked along to quilt his block together.

He helped me trim his block but using the rotary blade has always been tough for him. I’m making a note to myself that he needs a blade that works for both right and left handed people.

I really wanted him to help with every part of the process so he pressed and arranged his binding strips after I sewed them together.

It took a bit of team work but he pinned the binding down and got himself all set up to sew it to his block.

That walking foot sure came in handy. Every time he sat at the machine, it was the only foot he used. I figured with all the fabric and the larger base on the foot to line up against the edge, it would all make it easier for him to get done what he needed.

At this point he informed me he wanted to hand stitch the binding. I was pretty impressed. That’s a big task to undertake! But I happily set him up and gave him some pointers until…

UH OH!

My poor kiddo. When will I ever learn that he’s a lefty!!! I mean I’ve only been his mom for 11 years!! I started him off in the direction a right handed person would sew but once I handed it to him, he realized that wasn’t going to work for him.

He gave it a good try but it just wasn’t turned right and he was more frustrated than anything. Trying to sew the binding upside down just wasn’t going to work. I apologized and promised I would get it right next time and decided to just have him finish it off on the machine.

And here is his very first finished block! Now he did help to make his Darth Vader quilt but I did the quilting and binding. This time, he did most of it himself with only some help from me.

He’s pretty stinking proud of his mish-mash block with flowers on the back and stripes on the front. It took him some time to finally feel the need to do something with it but in the end, he’s happy and I’m so proud.

So Cal Quilter’s Run 2017

This weekend marks the beginning of the annual Southern California Quilter’s Run. Every year, quilt shops around the southern California area open up and participate in this fun shop hop.

We discovered it two years ago and have been participating ever since. We have our pins and we get a new bar every year. There are plans and plots and snacks mades for the long hauls across Los Angeles, out to Palm Desert, and down to San Diego.

This year the theme is California’s Camping and each shop plays off the theme in their own way. Some of these shops go all out and really do a great job. We can’t wait to see what’s in store for us!

At each stop we’ll get a stamp in our card and some piece to a quilt that can be made from the parts gathered at each shop. Last year we received letters to be appliquéd and the year before we received a fat quarter with a block pattern.

To kick off this year, we’re going to the Orange Quilt Bee on July 14th at 3:00 to hold a meet and greet with a few other local quilters. Because the run is so large and covers a lot of mileage, it can be hard to bump into people you know so we wanted to set up a time and place to meet with other runners!

Be sure to like us on Facebook so you can receive up to date event information.

Beginning on Saturday, we plan to head out early to reach some of the furthest stops, one being the Quilt Emporium in Woodland Hills. That entire day will be spent on the road collecting stamps and game pieces. We’ll end at The Quilt Cupboard in Placentia.

Day two will see us on the road early to reach Palm Desert for our first stop at Monica’s Quilt and Bead Creations and ending up at the Orange Quilt Bee in Orange.

Once we get our first weekend under our belts, we’ll post again to share what our last leg of our trip looks like. If you want to see our antics as we race around from shop to shop, make sure you’ve liked @hobbiesuptohere on Instagram to see our posts at each shop.

And if you want to reminisce with us and see what past years were like, check out our YouTube channel for our SoCal Quilter’s Run playlist. We try to vlog as much as possible while we’re on the move!

Lastly, if you are local and running the Quilter’s Run yourself, keep an eye out for us! We’ll be sporting our Hobbies Up To Here shirts proudly and we’ll always be ready to stop for a hug and a chat!

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What We Want, What We Got Episode #73

It’s official, hobbyists and crafters…

I'm Going to QuiltCon 2018!

Well, it really should say WE’RE going to QuiltCon but you get the idea!

We’ve got a two part episode for you today to talk all about our plans for QuiltCon followed by an update sharing what our schedule ended up actually being.

We hope you enjoy hearing us plan and plot out our ideas for February and that you’ll return as the event get closer to share your QuiltCon 2018 schedule with us!

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The Positives of Undoing Episode #72

Welcome back!
We’re glad to have you all here and listening to our most recent podcast episode.

This episode is dedicated to those crafters that have had to make the hard decision to undo part or all of their project. To those brave souls who take the longer road to start over rather than leave things as they are.

My post about undoing some quilting really hit home for so many quilters. Make sure you scroll down and check out all the great comments and positive encouragement we shared in this episode.

I’m working daily to remove the quilting and I hope to get it done soon so I can get this project back on my machine!

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I’m In Heaven!

Or should I say Heaven and Earth?  That’s the name of the design company from which I bought my most recent cross stitch chart and spoke so passionately about in episode #71.  Talk about instantaneous gratification too!  I paid for the chart with my PayPal account, then downloaded the PDF file to my GoodReader app on my iPad.  Because this chart is an all-over design, it’s presented in “pages”.  As I stitch each ten-stitch by ten-stitch grid on the page, I have the ability to highlight each stitch completed in a chosen color, and with another color, I can highlight where I’ve “parked” my thread in the next ten-stitch by ten-stitch grid.  My favorite part is the ability to pinch my iPad screen and enlarge as much of the chart as I want.  SCORE!

Here’s an example of both the grids and how the threads are parked:

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The photo below shows my first completed grid! I chose to use a mechanical pencil to lightly mark my grid, instead of stitching it with fine fishing line.  Most of the marks will be covered up by stitching.  The remaining lines will be carefully erased, and the rest will surely disappear with a gentle washing after the stitching is completed.

This type of cross stitching blew me away.  The designs are stunning, intense and so gratifying to stitch up.  But….I had to let go of some of my died-in-the-wool cross stitching rules.  I’ve always stitched as though the back was just as important as the front.  I wanted it to look neat.  Stitching by grid and parking my threads, meant that a neat back was impossible.  In the linked video below, Carolyn Mazzeo gives an excellent tutorial on how she parks her threads.  When she mentions that she doesn’t carry her threads more that twenty-five stitches on the back of her work, my eyes bugged outta my head lol!  I was uncomfortable carrying my thread more than THREE stitches!  I’ve actually been freed….whether I complete each stitch individually or stitch multiple stitches in a row of a particular color (cross country stitching), it all works!

Here is Carolyn Mazzeo’s video on her parking technique from her YouTube channel.  Thanks to her excellent tutorials and inspiring works of art, here’s the design I bought and am stitching now.   She’s a mini chart-225 stitches by 337 stitches, called Mini Andromeda.

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Mini Andromeda

I’d loooove to hear what you think.  Would you like to give an all-over crossed stitch design a try?  I’ll keep you apprised of my progress.  Wish me luck!

Hugs and happy stitching,

Dori

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Dori’s In Stitches! Episode #71

Stitching, floss, and needles, OH MY!
Dori has been dying to share with us her newly rediscovered hobby, counted cross stitching. It’s been a love of her’s for years but it’s recently come back around to the forefront of her mind.

I shared with Dori a hack for storing all her DMC floss. This was shared in the Twilters group on Facebook. It’s from a post on Mary Corbet on how to use comb binding to hang your DMC floss in a file box.

Photo Courtesy of Needle ‘n Thread.

Dori has been playing with cross stitching monthly boxes. Her first box was from the Fat Quarter Shop called Hello There! Each month she gets a new piece of linen, buttons, and a needle minder all to make these adorable stitched projects.

She also gave StitchyBox a try and loved what she received from them! Originally she was on a waiting list but a spot opened up and she received a box full of stitching yummies.

All of these goodies has really fueled her passion for stitching to reignite and burn brightly. She wrote about her newest projects like band samplers and patterns by Heaven and Earth Designs.

She’s also discovered a new app that is really turning out to be a useful tool to read her patterns. 

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Let The Unquilting Begin!

About two years ago, my parents bought me a great batik kit of fabrics and a pattern called The Friendship Quilt. The stack was large and the colors were very rustic and beautiful.

By November of 2015, I had finished the top and promised it to my husband. He was thrilled to have a quilt of his own.

After getting everything put together, I started quilting a wood grain pattern. But this proved to be a problem for a few reasons.

First, I’m still new at quilting. And a wood grain pattern is not necessarily easy. I definitely bit off a little more than I could chew. Without enough practice before starting, I found myself frustrated each time I sat down to work on the quilt. Instead of enjoying quilting, I was dreading it. So this quilt has been sitting for sometime.

But I have to say, even for a beginner, I feel like my wood grain quilting isn’t half bad.



Secondly, I didn’t plan it out very well. I know, I know. If you’ve read our posts or listened to our podcast long enough, this doesn’t surprise anyone. I’m not a pattern follower and I’m not a big planner. When I started this quilt, I was quilting to the edge of the top. But my plan was to roll the backing to the front to create binding instead of attaching the binding separately. With the quilting running right to the edge, I’ve now complicated the binding more than was really necessary.

And lastly, this is a HUGE quilt. A full queen sized quilt. So the wood grain pattern is a bit much and on top of that, quilting it is taking such a long time due to its size. So not only am I annoyed with the process of laying down my stitches but I’m also tired of feeling like I’m not getting anywhere no matter how much I sew.

Over the weekend while we were living it up on Lake Mead, I had a moment of clarity about this quilt. While I could continue with the wood grain pattern and fight through the frustration, I could **GASP** start over.

Yes, it hit me that I could simply rip out the quilting and start over with a simpler pattern. The idea of undoing all that I have already done is heartbreaking but once I really let it settle in, I started to feel a sudden sense of relief. Now I’ll be able to plan out my quilting a little better so that when it comes time to bind, I’ll have more success and less frustration.

So hobbyists, today begins the undoing of the Friendship quilt. While it’s an sad end, it’s also a huge beginning. The beginning of something simpler yet more manageable. And I’m looking forward to it!

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Glimpse Into The Future Episode #70

Summer is here and we’re ready to get crafty!!

A few of the big California quilting events have us excited and pumped to get out there and mingle with our quilty friends.

So Cal Quilt Run 2017

It’s time for the annual quilt shop hop here around Southern California! We’re excited that this year my dad is on board and ready to run with us. He’s got it all planned out already!

We’re also planning on a meet and greet at one of our local shops to meet with other So Cal quilters that are also listeners of the podcast. We’re aiming for a meeting at the Orange Quilt Bee but don’t have a set day and time yet. Keep an eye out on our Facebook page for an event notification soon!

Dori is thinking of heading to a local retreat in October up to Big Bear. I may not be a member but I may just drive up and crash with the quilters for a day!

Road to California 2018

Have yet to make it to Road to California but Dori has gone twice in and lived to tell about it! We’re aiming to go in 2018 together this time and maybe even sign up for a class or two. Pubic registration opens July 8th!

QuiltCon 2018

QuiltCon is coming back to Pasadena and we’re excited to sign up for classes and lectures! We really enjoyed our first trip in 2016 and we’re looking forward to experiencing the joy and creativity all over again! Public registration opens July 8th!