Play Time

At the beginning of each year, my mom and I choose words to live by. They can be actions or descriptions but the purpose is to guide us throughout the year. My word this year is practice. I’ve learned a lot over the last four years here at Hobbies Up To Here and I realized I don’t take a lot of time to practice what I’ve learned. Instead, I rush into new things to learn new techniques rather than putting effort into improving the skills I already have.

So I wanted to focus on this for 2019. Taking time to practice. Making small things. Focusing on one skill and improving it. Create multiples of a project to get in as much practice as possible.

The year has not given me much time for practice. My son decided to play two sports this past season. I’ve been working harder than ever at school. And when I get free time, I tend to choose to do very little. I’m not going to berate myself for this because, #selfcare, but I did decided to venture into my craft room today to create something. Anything.

I went in with a simple purpose: just sit and finish a small project. No worries about perfection. No stress about gifting it to anyone. Hell, it didn’t even need to be anything. Just sit down and sew.

I pulled some scraps and pieced together a simple mug rug with fabric that was already cut. I had no use for this fabric in anything else so I was free to do with them as I pleased.

In a span of 90 minutes, I pieced and quilted. I bound and cleaned up the loose ends. And I was happy with the result. I simplely just allowed myself to play. To practice. To enjoy.

Are there things I would change? Yes. The binding is not my favorite piece. It was too big for such a small project. So I’d change that in the future. Otherwise, I did exactly what I set out to do. I played and practiced and finished a small project.

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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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Adventures In 3D Sewing: The Paris Purse

There are soooo many wonderful bag and purse patterns available today. While at the Orange Quilt Bee a couple of years ago, I saw one I just had to have, and instantly had someone in mind to gift it to.

My daughter Jennifer’s birthday was coming up, and I didn’t want to give her the normal card with a check as a gift. This Susan Rooney Patterns Versatile Wave Interchangeable Purse by Ruthann Stilwell pattern was perfect!


I also wanted to look for fabric that was reflective of her, and if I could, something that would bring to mind a memory that she and I shared exclusively. She and I spent two weeks in Paris a few years ago, so that’s where my mind went. Now to find a fabric that reflected that!

Luckily, I had no problem in that regard. What I really liked about this pattern, was that it was actually two bags in one; a quilted faux leather clutch alone, or add the reversible outer shell, and it became a shoulder bag.

I did a simple straight line quilting pattern on the faux leather.  Easy peasy!

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I added pockets to the lining of the purse with the faux leather.  I looove that print fabric!

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This is a view of the finished “clutch” part of the purse.  I could have stopped there, but nope! Onto the outer, reversible shell!

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Here’s the finished purse. I love the scalloped edge! The button helps to attach the shell, and adds interest.  The straps are detachable, so the clutch can be used independently.
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This final photograph shows all three views;  the clutch, the reversible shell with the neutral fabric showing, and then that lovely Paris fabric!  And yes, that’s a photo of Jennifer and me when she was itsybitsy!
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This was a fun project to make. It had been a long time since I’d inserted a zipper;  sewing with faux leather was a new experience, as well as adding the hardware;  I’m glad I tackled it. Jennifer was tickled with her custom birthday gift! Yay!

Enjoy your crafty day!

Hugs,
Dori

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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Solids For My Stash

I allowed myself some freedom to shop recently when I took a trip to a local quilt shop with a good friend. I went in search of solids or low volume fabrics, especially if I could find a good deal on them.

I did come home with a grey charm pack and two layer cakes by Jen Kingwell, and all at a discounted price. I picked these sets because they felt like great filler sets. Some simple, small polka dots and some neutral colored fabrics.

Recently I shared some tips in a Youtube for beginning quilters. One of the tips was to document the fabric or patterns you are working with so that if you ever lose sight of a project, you have pictures or posts to go back and look at for reference. I noticed on the back of the Moda sets, they list ID numbers for the colors and even some suggestions for cutting the fabric to get the most out of it.

I figured it was good to listen to my own advice and take a picture of it so that I have it documented somewhere in case something gets thrown away or lost over time.

This behind the scenes layer cake is simple and neutral. I look forward to using it with some of my other, more colorful fabrics.

The Just A Speck set is simple and colorful. Lots of variety to play with and match up.

I went out looking with my Cotton and Steel box set in mind. It’s been sitting there for two years and I’d like to play with it but needed something to balance the colors already included in the box.

So far I think these sets will work well with the fabrics in the box as you can see below.

I’m looking forward to trying something new as soon as I wrap up the few quilts I have already started.

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Top 5 Hobbies Up To Here Posts of 2017

It’s been a rather quiet year here at Hobbies Up To Here. We’ve not quilted or crafted nearly as much as we’d have liked but so many other great things have happened: two new munchkins have joined the family, my brother got married, and many other great happenings blessed us.
Even if the blog has been quieter and our podcast episodes aren’t as frequent, we still love to join Cheryl over at Meadow Mist Designs to celebrate the top posts of the year! You can go back and check out 2015 and 2016 to see what our past top posts have been.
Alright, lets jump in and see what our top posts have been this year!
#5 Post With The Most Comments
My dad’s first attempt at a completed, quilted, and appliquéd project received the most comments in the 2017 year with 17 comments. I believe it was his enthusiasm and pride in the work he did that garnered so much positive attention!
#4 Post With The Most Likes
A TIE!
Both of these posts received 8 likes each bringing them both in at #4 on our list.
#3 Highest Viewed Podcast Episode
And it looks like our episode all about hacks to make crafting easier gets another top spot! With 326 views, this podcast episode takes it’s second place on our list.
#2 Jake’s Top Viewed Post
Each year I share at least one or two blog posts about Jake and his sewing attempts. Last year his Darth Vader finish took the top spot as the most viewed post of 2016. This year I decided to dedicate the #2 spot to his most viewed/liked post. And this year it is his finished block post with 624 views!
#1 Highest Viewed Post of 2017
Congrats to my mom for taking the top spot (AGAIN!) with a beautifully finished quilt!! Ironically enough, the first year she won this spot was with a quilt she gifted to my brother in 2015. This year she takes the top spot with yet another gifted quilt, my sister’s curved log cabin. That post clocked in with 836 views, our highest yet!!!
It’s a gorgeous quilt so definitely take a moment to check out that post and read all about it. Or just check out this adorable picture of my nephew Logan sitting on it! Ah forget it, I mean, who can concentrate on that quilt when there is such an precious little man sitting on it!!
From all of us at Hobbies Up To Here, we hope you’ve had a marvelous holiday season and that your new year starts of wonderfully!! Here’s to 2018!!!

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TGIFF: The Friendship Quilt

Guess what got finished this summer??? If you said “Katie, did you finally finish that Friendship Quilt for your husband??” you’d be absolutely right!

As promised to myself and my husband, I finished his damn quilt before the end of summer 2017 (which was only 2 years after I began it)!!

Ok, ok, it took me forever but it’s done, and it’s been used heavily since it’s completion.

This project was a success and a defeat all rolled into one. My original quilting wasn’t working so I ripped it out and started over.

While I’m happier with the end result, I still could have done a better job. I didn’t quilt much in the borders so it’s a bit looser than I’d like. I think my issue was that I was DONE with this quilt and didn’t want to do more. I just wanted it finished.

Either way, it’s done! And the husband loves it.

And so do I!

And it looks great on our bed.

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Notions, Notions, EVERYWHERE! Episode #78

Welcome back!
We sit down and share some of our favorite notions, both new and old!

We’ve got some YouTube videos sharing what’s in my sewing/quilting kits. Definitely check those out and don’t forget to subscribe!


Here is the list of the new items we spoke of today!

Dori’s Wire Threader

Finger Cots

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Dome Threaded Needle Case

Some of our faves that we always reach for:

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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.

WIP: Splendid Sampler Project #1

So I’ve got these blocks just lying around. They are pretty and I loved making them but I had no idea what to do with them.

Oh yeah…

That’s because they were apart of a larger project that I never completed! A little something called The Splendid Sampler.

It’s been awhile since I’ve played with these blocks but it’s time for me to do something with them. So I decided to pulled a few out and put them together into something I can use around the house. Plus it would give me the ability to practice my free motion quilting on smaller projects.

My first project (yet unnamed) is going to be a table topper/runner. I pulled three pieced blocks and sashed them with black and then bordered the whole thing in a complementary cream fabric from the same line.

The top turned out super cute. I stuck with only pieced blocks so that they seemed uniform and not too busy.

Then I decided to try my hand at a little pebbling. I did some practice runs before hand to get my tension and pacing down. Then I took to the borders with a black Aurifil thread so that if I did make a mess, it would be hard to see.

Probably the best idea as my pebbling definitely needs work. 

As I battled with my quilting and trying to make decent little circles, I realized that my batting was making a complete mess. Fuzz everywhere… And a few of my seams decided to pull and strain, which annoyed me but not enough to pull it out and start over.

Had I used any other lighter color for the backing, the fuzz probably would bug me so much. But up against that black, all I an see is the nasty white fur all over.

During some of my time off, I’m planning to get back to pebbling and practicing. I’m also recording my process for our YouTube channel so stay tuned for any updates!

Check out our side bar for other quilting blogs and link ups for WIP Wednesday.

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