TGIFF: The Marvel Quilt

It’s official, my friends. Jake’s Marvel quilt is done! I had been working on this project for 3 years and my son had lately been asking kindly when it would be finished. He wanted a quilt he could use while he could still fit under it.

I’ve been about 85% of the way done for a few weeks with only the last bits of quilting to be done. I started the quilting a little off centered (totally meant to do that….) and I did a simple straight line in a the shape of a square to quilt it down. I used my walking foot and just kept it simple. Due to the off-centering of my square (that I MEANT to do….), I had to improvise as I came around to that last bit of quilting.

But I ran into a few problems that I just couldn’t see my way through.

Then my friend came over for a quilting date and she really helped me solve the issues I was having with the project. She helped me find solutions that got me out of the corner I had backed myself into. I helped me get excited as the light at the end of the tunnel suddenly became brighter.

So I used the motivation from my friend’s visit to get the work done. I squared it up, trimmed the excess, and proceeded to make the binding from the left over backing fabric. I figured this WOW, POW, WOOZE fabric would tie it all together nicely.

I made MORE than enough binding, just in case….IMG_3218

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Then I sat down and attached it. All the quilting was done in red thread so I continued to use it on the binding. I figured if I messed up anything, it wouldn’t stand out so much when the thread is all the same color.

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Normally I hand bind but it’s been hellishly hot and having that much fabric draped over me was uncomfortable enough so I decided to bind with my machine instead. It worked out fine and got the job done fast.

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As quickly as the dream had come to me for this block, suddenly I was done! I don’t know what was holding me back for so long because once I got it in me to finish, it just rolled around and was done!

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So the problem I had was with the backing. My solid blue fabric was was just NOT big enough and after many trips to the store to buy more fabric and MORE FABRIC every time I ran out of something, I did not want to go back! So using what I had, I made panels on the sides to frame the blue backing. But that made the backing too BIG! It was a battle I was losing.

The decision then was to trim it down to a single panel on one side and leave it. But as I started to quilt, I realized a bottom square was starting to unravel. I couldn’t leave it and quilting it wouldn’t be enough to hold it together so I decided to take it out and replace it with another block that was holding together much better. But that decision made a mess of the bottom row and caused it to shift. Now my backing wasn’t lining up and trimming it would mean losing some of the borders…..GAH!!!!

It was my friend’s eye that helped me. She suggested I just take that same “word” fabric (WOW,  POW, WOOZE) and add a strip to the bottom at the back so that it lined up. And it worked perfectly!

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What can I say! My son loves his quilt! He’s already slept with it a few nights and he’s excited for it to soften up with use.

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And I can proudly say that I officially made him a quilt long before he out grew it! YAY!!

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Catching Up Episode #92

Time to catch up with us here at Hobbies Up To Here! The annual Katie-Needs-A-Month-Off event has come and gone. We’re now buckling up for a crafty summer together and a regular recording schedule (we hope)!

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The Beatles quilt, Blackbird, has officially been accepted into the OC Fair 2018! We hope you get the chance to see it in person if you are in town!

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When To Ditch A Project

It’s never easy to admit when a craft is no longer working for you.

What? You say that’s NEVER happened to you? Lies!

Every crafter has had that moment when a project or a style or a craft no longer brings you joy and you need to make a decision about what to do. Should you power through and finish? Well, most of us would because that’s what we do! We finish!

(or we quietly stuff it away in a cupboard and forget about it until years later when we decide to declutter and find the abandoned project buried deep within the recesses of a dark drawer….but that’s a whole other blog post…)

But there is another path we can choose…

This week I had to make the decision about my newest cross stitch project. It was a kit passed on to me from my mom. She received it from a friend that didn’t stitch and wanted to find a good, crafty home for it to go to. So my mom adopted it but soon realized it wasn’t her style so she kindly passed it on to me so that I could sink my teeth into cross stitching with a simple project.

But not long after starting did the real struggle begin. My stitches looked clumpy and I couldn’t clearly see where my next stitch was supposed to go. The fabric I was stitching onto was separating funny and my thread snapped when I had to remove a few stitches.

Now I’ve stitched in the past so I’m not completely newbie at this so I was starting to get frustrated. My memory of stitching was not this daunting! I’d never had my floss snap! And my stitches had never started out fine and then begin to turn straight. I had to undo stitch after stitch to try to figure out what I was doing wrong.

Then I saw my mom and explain my situation. And she just looked and me as say “Then don’t do it.”

WHAT?! Stop a project and not push through!?! INSANE!

But she’s right. Crafting shouldn’t be a chore. It should be fun and satisfying with a little side of challenging. And not SO challenging that you want to pull your hair out!

I did I what she suggested. I pulled my project out of the hoop (because let’s be real, I can always use a good hoop) and ditched this cross stitch project. I’m going to move on to bigger and better things that bring me joy!

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Multi-Craftual Episode #91

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Hello all our craft friends. Welcome to Hobbies Up To Here! My mom and I got the chance to sit down and chat about some crafts we’ve got our EYES on. Yup! Things we’d like to do in the future, things we wished we were trying out as we speak but we’re holding back due to a million little reasons (mostly because we already do so much).

Don’t forget to pop over to our YouTube channel (link below) and check out our first FlossTube video!

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Sharing Our Favorites Episode #90

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We’re still in celebration mode! It’s our 3rd anniversary and we’re partyin’ like we don’t have to get up the next day! And this episode is a list of some of our current favorite podcasts, YouTube channels, and books.

Here is a list of our favorite things right now. Check them out and share with us YOUR favorites!

Sewing: Podcasts
Sewing Out Loud – Mallory and Zede
Love To Sew – Helen and Caroline
Sewing: Books
Fit For Real People – Pati Palmer

Quilting: Podcasts
Off Kilter Quilt – Francis O’Roake Dowell
My Creative Corner 3 – Vicki Holloway
Lazy Daisy Quilts – Daisy Fredricks
Quilting: Books
It’s Okay If You Sit On My Quilt Book – Mary Ellen Hopkins
Quilting Made Vintage – Jera Brandvig
Christa Watson Quilting Books – Christa Watson
Quilting: YouTube Channels
Midnight Quilting Show – Angela Walters
Missouri Star Quilt Co – Jenny Doan
Fat Quarter Shop – Kimberly Jolly
The Quilt Codex – Zarkadia

Knitting: Podcasts
Craftish – Vickie Howell
Curious Handmade – Helen Stewart
Knitting: Books
Stitch ‘n Bitch – Debbie Stoller
Cables Untangles – Melissa Leapman
New Knits On The Block – Vickie Howell
Knitting: YouTube
Legacy Knitz – Chelsea and Sue
A Makers Pilgrimage – Aidan

Stitching: YouTube
Twisted Stitcher – Vonna Pfeiffer
FlossTube
Stitching: Podcast
Fiber Talk – Gary Par and Christine Williams

Katie’s Random Sh*t: Books
Love Her Wild – Atticus
Katie’s Random Sh*t: YouTube
GlamlifeGuru – Tati Westbrook
Rachhloves – Rachel Cooper
BeautyBroadcast – Emily Noel
Katie’s Random Sh*t: Podcasts
LeVar Burton Reads – LeVar Burton
Lore – Aaron Mahnke
Tales – Vanessa Richardson
Haunted Places – Greg Polcyn

 

What’s New With You Episode #89


Thank you for all your support these last three years! Today we share how our words for the year have motivated us and helped us.

And here is the video of the Kylo Ren Cosplayer who helped us visualize how to put together Jake’s cowl.

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TGIFF: Noodle’s Baby Quilt!

Not too long ago I finished a small baby quilt for my nephew, Noodle. No, he’s not actually named Noodle but that’s pretty much what I call him 100% of the time! It was a cute little nickname that stuck and now he is forever my Noodle!

He turned 1 in February and I had a baby quilt already started that I thought would be perfect for him. It’s original owner had already outgrown this fabric and when Noodle came around in 2017 I knew it would be perfect for him. Not only is is small enough for him to carry with him but it matches his nursery room color scheme and it’s made of soft minky that he can snuggle with.

It was pretty much done when I decided to gift it to him. All I had to do was quilt it down and bind it. I made the choice to use minky as my backing fabric even though I had never worked with it. I had heard so much about minky being a difficult fabric to work with that I was a bit gun shy so it sat in a corner for quite some time. Then I received Noodle’s birthday invitation and that meant I needed to get over my fears and concerns and just finish it!

So I chose a simple wavy line/meander for the quilting. I did one set in a light grey and then went back over it with a darker grey. The quilting kind of reminds me of flames with the way the tips of the quilting came to a stopping point before I turned it back around to quilt to the other side.

Because I quilted with the minky against the machine, it sailed smoothly under my free motion foot and I found it super easy to just go. It does make quite the mess but in the end, the outcome was worth all the fuzz I endured! I also made it my goal to stop as little as I could manage so that I had less stitches to bury.

Ignoring the laundry I so badly needed to finish (real life photo right there), I decided to hand bind the quilt with more minky. Boy was it bulky! But the overall look was worth every curse word uttered while binding it.

And here it is! The comfy, cozy, fuzzy baby quilt for my little Noodle!

It’s not perfect but I wasn’t aiming for perfect. I just wanted something adorable and cozy for him to drag along behind him through his baby years.

The quilting is simple yet really attractive against the different patterns in the fabric. The polka dotted squares blend well with the bumps in the minky.

It’s warm and soft, perfect for a little guy who likes to explore and touch things, curious about how things feel.

I made 9 patch blocks and then cut into them and matched them up before putting them back together. I actually posed a question to other quilters about what I should do for the borders. It was overwhelmingly expressed that I could leave it just as it is, all unsymmetrical. It wasn’t easy; I may not be a pattern follower but I love a good symmetry to my quilts. In the end, the suggestions were heard and I left it as it was, all unbalanced.

And even though it was a pain to bind with minky due to the extra bulky and the slip, I think that the binding really ties it together and makes this already comfy quilt even more inviting to cuddle with!

Happy Birthday my little Noodle!

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Here’s To Our Health Episode #88

Since QuiltCon we’ve been bitten by the GET IT DONE bug! But illness took us out for a hot second. Now we’re back and getting all those UFO projects done!

Don’t forget to check out our Instagram feed to follow along with March’s #igfest posts!

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QuiltCon 2018 Episode #87

Welcome to our QuiltCon 2018 episode! We had a fabulous weekend in Pasadena meeting up with our quilty friends and making new ones, too! Check out our Instagram page for all the pictures fro the weekend. There are a lot!!

And click the link here to read Dori’s post over at Fierce Beyond 50 about discovering her creativity, twice!

Make sure to check out our friends below and all the wonderfully crafty things they are up to!

Lorinda Davis Laurel Poppy and Pine
Kitty Wilkin Night Quilter
Sarah Goer Sarah Goer Quilts
Cheryl Brickey Meadow Mist Designs
Sara Nunes Berry Barn Designs
Michelle Bartholomew Michelle Bartholomew
Paige Alexander Quilted Blooms
Christa Watson Christa Quilts
Jamie Mueller and Jill Rimes Sunflower Quilts
Giuseppe Ribaudo @giucy_giuce
Mary Fons Mary Fons
Libs Elliott Libs Elliott
Carolina Moore 30 Minute Crafts
Daisy Aschehoug @warmfolk
Sue Miller Fabric Garden
Leah Kabaker No Idle Hands Here

I hope I haven’t missed anyone. We met SO many people and had such a good time that the whole weekend blurs together in a beautiful blend of fabrics, colors, and friends 🙂

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Jacob’s Super Block

I recently finished the top to Jake’s Marvel Quilt. All 48 blocks are done!

My son is thrilled to have this top down and to be that much closer to having his very own full sized quilt done.

As I shared this WIP, I had a lot of friends and fellow quilters ask me where I got the pattern for this block. Well, I didn’t use a pattern! Instead I pieced the block on my own to get a certain look.

I wanted the block to be framed with opposing colors alternating around the block. I made sure to fussy cut the centers so that each character would be framed nicely by the sashing.

As I continued to share my blocks, I kept getting questions about it’s construction so I decided to sit down, give it a name (Jacob’s Super Block) and lay out the steps to creating one.

To make a Super Block, you’ll need  three fabrics: your center fabric to display, one light fabric and one dark. Your light and dark fabrics can be solid or just fabrics with opposing patterns to contrast against each other.

For your center fabric, cut it to the size you want. For these Super Blocks, the center block is 6.5 inches.

Your sashing strips should be 1.5 inches wide and as along as you want. I folded my fabric and cut from end to end so I had nice long strips to work with.

To make your block, you start with your lighter fabric on the left side of your block and (1) attach to the left side then trim. Then (2) attach the same light fabric to the top of the block then trim. After each sashing, trim the excess off and square up your block.

The next step is to (3) attach the opposing dark fabric to the right side of the block, including the edges now made by the attached light fabric. Trim. Then (4) attach another strip of the dark fabric along the bottom and trim. At this point you’ll have a border framing your center block, one corner will be light and the opposite corner will be dark.

Now to continue, you swap colors. Light will go in the opposite corner and the dark fabric will go in the opposite corner. Attach (5) a light strip of fabric along the dark sashing on the right then trim. Then attach (6) another light strip along the bottom and trim.

To finish, attach (7) a dark strip along the top and trim. Finally, (8) attach the last dark strip along the left side and trim. Square up your block and press.

If you are like me and need a good visual to see how it’s done, check out my video tutorial from my Youtube channel showing how to make this block.

And if you give it a try, share your block on Instagram and tag with with the hashtag #huthsuperblock and #hobbiesuptohere.

We can’t wait to see your version of this fun block!

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