What’s New, Hobbyists? Episode #97

It’s official! We can begin to celebrate the holidays!
And a hobbyists, we celebrate the holidays with new projects. Whether for gifts or for fun, we’re always up for a new adventure!

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Show Notes
Crafty Gemini Tips for Sewing Clear Vinyl 
Calico Project Bag Tutorial
G and Sheri and their Wombmate Creations
Frances O’Roark Dowell and her Friendship Album 1933 Quilt Fiction 
Marie Boswick’s The Second Sister is going to be a Hallmark Hall of Fame movie
Piecemakers Craft Festival is happening December 1st in Costa Mesa, CA

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TGIFF: Seminole Table Runner

I’m not sure what it is about the holidays but every year I get the wild hair to start something the week before Christmas that I MUST GET DONE by Christmas.

It happened last year with my first Dresden project that turned in to a holiday runner.  I was literally sewing the binding on before we left for our family gatherings! I was so proud of it that I took it with me so it would be used as a part of the holiday decor at each house we visited!

This year was no different. My husband went to Green Bay for a Packer’s game and went out of his way to find a quilt shop and bring home a kit for me. How thoughtful! Well, I started that project on Monday with the intention of working on it with my friend while the kids played together. That partially happened: I got to work on it but not with my friend because my son got very, very sick. 😦

The first part of this project is linked here. Check it out so see how the runner top came together!

Since that Wednesday post, I’ve been stuck at home with a sick kid and a lot of rain. So I’ve poured all of that pent up energy into sewing. I hit up Joann’s Wednesday night with a few coupons and swatches from the runner to audition backing fabric.

I got down to four. The decision was tough as so many worked really well with all the colors or at least complemented them.

I ended up choosing that upper left fabric  with the poinsettias and ribbons. It had enough of each original color in it to tie the whole thing together while having a bit of gold sprinkled about to give it some holiday flare.

Then I sat down to sew. Now the biggest issue I had was that I wanted to quilt these grand things and really go ALL OUT with my designs. But as I started with a red thread on the red squares, I chickened out and stuck to what I know: a meander on the red and some straight lines on the green. I used red and green thread to blend in to the color square I was working on.

It’s been a long time since I’ve quilted something using my free motion foot and I forgot that I tend to hold my breath when I’m quilting. As I took off and made my first stitches, I totally caught myself NOT BREATHING!

It’s an odd thing…

To keep things moving and to simplify my job, I had my side-threading needle handy to bury my thread as I went. This way I wasn’t going back and having to seek out where I started and ended. Instead I was doing it then and there!

I decided to attach the binding to the back and fold over to the front where I pressed and clipped it down. Originally I started sewing the binding from the front to the back and I hated the way it looked. It gave it a “fringe” that I didn’t like. I think I used this technique WAY in the beginning with one of my first quilts and while it worked for me then, now I’ve progressed to a point where I know I can do better.

So I decided to attached the binding using the “stitch in the ditch” method for a quick and clean look. I did alright, much better than I have in the past with this method, although I did have a corner to fix and some areas where I missed the binding and had small gaps.

And before the clock struck midnight, I was done! I was aiming to do some of my best work (really focused on pressing and starching my fabrics before and during the process) and I feel I really did a great job!

All the fabrics seem to work well together. My binging is not too shabby (although it could still use some practice). My quilting has really come a long way and I like the flow of the two types; straight lines and the meander.

I used pins to hold down my binding and I took my time to measure and cut carefully and yet, it’s still not completed flat and one end is a quarter inch wider than the other. I’m still working on achieving a more perfected rhythm to the whole thing. I’ll get there someday!

But hey… I started this runner on Monday and I finished by Friday. I’m proud of my self for sticking with something from beginning to end, trying some new techniques, and even going back to some old ones and working on improving them. Those are some big improvements in the way I tend to work so this is a serious accomplishment for me!

And this weekend it will travel with me to all of the holiday parties we have lined up. I may even leave it up until we go back to school. I mean, why not? It’s beautiful and I want to leave it out so I can enjoy it as long as I can!

Check out our side bar for some great link ups. This post will be added to the list of other great finished over at Crazy Mom Quilts!

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WIP: Seminole Table Runner

I’ve got a wonderful man in my life. Not only is he my best friend but he is a great guy all around.

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Recently he traveled all the way to Green Bay to see his favorite football team play in the snow. He’s nuts, we know. Leaving the mild Southern California fall/winter weather for the freezing temps of Wisconsin to sit through a Packer game at Lambeau field just because he loves Green Bay that much.

But that’s not what makes him great. While there, he went to Manitowoc to see the sights and take a few pictures but he also went looking for a quilt shop for me. And while there, he picks dup a beautiful Terry Atkinson Christmas table runner kit.

It was a wonderful surprise to receive when he came home. And a beautiful one too! Once I was out of school and on break, I decided to dive in and give this kit a go. It seemed clear cut and simple enough that I could put it together by Christmas.

I started on Monday night and put a good 3 hours in. I made sure to press everything before cutting and to be as meticulous with the instructions as possible. I wanted to do a really good job (not that I don’t always want to do a good job but sometimes I just want to get done more than anything).

I slowly made progress and found the instructions in this kit really easy to understand! I’m usually so turned off from  patterns because they seem to be poorly written and hard for me to understand. I’m so visual I do best when I can see the information as well as read each step.

So far so good! I’ve made it to the point that I’m ready to add the inner borders and then I just have to cut the thicker borders to wrap up the top. img_0786

A friend is planning on coming over tomorrow to sew with me so I’d love to have the whole thing basted and ready to quilt by then. After the kiddos bedtime tonight I plan to sit down and get the top finished. I’ll have to dig up some batting and maybe even shop for a little bit of backing fabric if I don’t have it in my stash.

Crossing fingers I can stick to my sewing schedule so that I’m not rushing to finish it like I did last year with the Dresden wall hanging that I was literally binding on Christmas Eve!

For this post and other great WIP posts, check out the side bar for link ups around the web!

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Hobbies Up To Here Episode #35

Hey Hobbyist and Crafters, it’s a special day today! Not only is it our podcast day but it’s our anniversary!!!

Happy 1st year Hobbies Up To Here!!
Check out our first podcast episode for old time’s sake!
Episode One

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On today’s podcast we list our top 5 projects that are the most memorable over the last year. It’s never easy to pick your favorite quilt or craft but we made the tough choices and are excited to share them with you!

Katie’s Top Five Favorites

  • My 4th of July table runner was my first quilted project that really came together beautifully. I loved everything about it!

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  • Another finished runner, our Halloween runners, came out so different yet so great. We love them both!

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  • It seems any time I tried something new, I loved the outcome. My Christmas Dresden hanging came out beautifully and I would love to have it out all year long!

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  • The holidays really lit a creative fire and I couldn’t put it out. Along with my quilting projects, another holiday favorite was my Christmas wreath.

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Katie’s Honorable Mention

During podcast episode 4, my mom surprised me with a new sewing machine. My Elna, aka Rosy, has become my best friend. I’m so thankful for the gift and so grateful for the opportunity to work with it!

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Dori’s Top Five Favorites

  • Dori’s first favorite memory recalls her first finish! Mike’s birthday quilt, the Music Quilt, was a grand undertaking and it came out beautifully!

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  • She also did a beautiful Dresden plate for a baby quilt that came out so incredible. It really showed how much she’s grown and how far her quilting has come.

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  • She also attempted some “3D sewing” and made a purse for my sister’s birthday. While the pattern was not as clear as she would like, it still looks amazing.

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  • And Dori’s last favorite is her current in-progress project, paper piecing. Having gone from not knowing that paper piecing existing to this beautiful outcome is saying a lot about her talent!

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Dori’s Honorable Mention

It can be easy to forget where you started but Dori’s honorable mention is just that, her first official finished quilt from this past year. Her first baby quilt was not only her first in decades but her first quilt-as-you-go!

A Last Honorable Mention (Or Two!)

QuiltCon was an amazing experience! Check out my mom’s thoughts on meeting Mary Fons and Jenny Doan, our live podcast episode while we were there, our wrap-up podcast after we returned, and our YouTube video to share our thoughts.

The So Cal Quilter’s Run happens every June and local quilt shops participate in a themed shop-hop that runs two weekends in June. We went last year and had a blast and we plan to go again this year. Hopefully we’ll get to hang out again with our friend Melanie at Thousand Needles and maybe even visit a few shops together!

We have some exciting goals we want to work towards this coming year so make sure to subscribe to us wherever you can and return as often as possible to keep up with all of our crafty endeavors. And THANK YOU THANK YOU to all our listeners. Without you, we’d just be two crazy ladies sitting around, talking about our hobbies!

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TGIFF: My First Dresden!

Having my mom as my partner in crime is definitely a blessing in disguise because she’s constantly trying new things and it encourages me to step out of my comfort zone and do the same.

Now my husband may disagree only because when I get motivated to try something new that means trouble for our bank account. NEW FABRIC!!!! Must have rulers!!!! Oh he must cringe when I tell him I’m trying something new and I must go shopping! Ha!

In all honesty, he’s just as encouraging and supportive even if he’s cringing a bit inside. Thanks, love!!!

Before the holidays hit, my mom attempted her first Dresden in the form of a baby quilt/wall hanging. I was so taken with how quickly she put it together and how beautifully it looked that I had to try my hand at my own Dresden plate project. So, I started to cut into my Joyeux Noel set to make my own holiday wall hanging.

I pushed to have it finished before Christmas so I could use it and I literally finished it Christmas Eve!! And I took that thing with me to each of our holiday parties so I could display it.

Christmas Eve binding!

When it was all said and done, I was in love!!!

This project took on a whole different look once it was completed and I was so surprised. It has a rustic charm to it and it looks really well done even though I can see a few areas of improvement. But the overall effect is a well put together piece.

I used a different binding technique which was new for me. I did the double fold bias tape method. I have mixed feelings with this. I think it works BUT it could use some work. I think what saved my crooked lines is that I used a thread color that closely matched the binding color. Had I gone with a contrasting color, my mistakes would have stood out boldly and made the overall look messy and amateurish.

I have to say my favorite part to all of this is my quilting. Yes, I’ll toot my own horn. I LOVE MY QUILTING!!!! The echoing pattern radiating out from the Dresden really seals the deal. Again, my lines aren’t perfect and my start and stop points are messy but the choice to echo outward to the border and then leave the border plain with only a single framing stitch around the edge brought the whole thing together.

I love it! It’s tight, neat, and clean without being too busy and burdening the fabric with too much of a quilted pattern.

Now as I said, there are areas where I could use some work. First, my start and stop points. There was A LOT of nesting issues and I know that’s more an issue with me than with my machine. My machine works perfectly still and I make sure to clean it out, dust it off, and I switch out  my needles regularly so that it stays in tip top shape.

This is an area that I do need some help. I want the BACK of my quilted pieces to look as good as the front. Luckily this is a wall hanging so it will most likely be seen from the front only. If you look closely in the picture below, you’ll see how on the back my starting/stopping points are messy, bunched up, and there are some stitches that have even come undone due to not being totally tacted down.

While I wish the stop/start points were neater, the back is probably my favorite part. It looks to me like an art deco piece. And even though I LOVE the back and how it came together, I forget that I have the option to use two different colors, one in the bobbin and another up top. While this looks good to me, I’m still curious how it would have looked if I had used the deep rusty red thread in the bobbin that I used along the binding.

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So many things to think of and so many options for next time. And there will be a next time. I’ve fallen in love with Dresdens and I can’t wait to make my next one!

Check out our side bar for some great link ups around the web. And don’t forget to share your recent finishes that you are proud of!

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{VIDEO} Last Minute Gift Ideas for $10

Ever run out of time for gift shopping and wonder what can you do for those left on your list? Need a creative gift idea you can make on a budget?

I hit up my favorite store and got a few things to create some thoughtful gifts for those left on my list.

What’s better than using your creativity and craftiness to make a gift someone will appreciate?

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{VIDEO} DIY Holiday Wreath

This holiday season I’ve really been in the mood to get crafty and decorate all while working within a budget. So I hit up my dollar tree store and grabbed a few items to make a new holiday wreath.

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I grabbed fake flowers, berry and pinecone fillers, ribbon, and a hanging ornament that says “joy”.  My local store also carried foam rings that would work as the base to my wreath.

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If you want some tips and ideas, check out my video below.

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Hobbies Up To Here Episode #24

Here comes Santa Claus, here comes Santa Claus, right down Santa Claus Lane……

Hey hobbyist and crafters! Welcome to our 24th episode of Hobbies Up To Here!!!IMG_6544

Following up last week’s episode #23 where we talked about organization and how we are planning to get our crafts and our podcast topics in order for the new year, today we talked and shared our goals for 2016.

We’re both looking forward to the new year and all that it has to hold for us.

If you are interested in the fit planner I spoke of in the podcast, you can buy it at Blogilates. This is in no way an advertisement on Hobbies Up To Here, it’s just a really cool and beautiful planner that you can use to set goals and I thought I’d share!

We said it on the podcast and on periscope, but we’d like to say it again. Thank you everyone for a wonderful 2015! Without you reading, clicking, emailing, and listening to our podcast we’d just be two crazy ladies sitting on a couch talking about our hobbies.

Instead, with all of your support and love, what started out as just a mother and daughter sharing their love of sewing has turned into a community of crafters who care about each other and lift each other up. Thank you, thank you, and again, THANK YOU!

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DIY Glass Bulb Ornamnets

Something is in the air this holiday season and it’s not just the flu bug (cough, cough sniff, sniff).

Dori has been crafting away and making a lot of her own Christmas decorations this year. She’s even gone so far as to repurpose some of her holiday items in new and exciting ways. Along with her usual decorations, she’s added some bulbs that have been personalized.

Taking clear glass bulbs and filling with a pearlized paint began the process. Her goal was to make a little snowman for the tree with a sock cap on top!

It all started out wonderfully, filling the bulb and even painting a face on the little snowman.

We mixed and played with paints to get the right color orange for his cute little nose.

So far so good!

There goes the nose!

Adorable, no?

What we didn’t take into consideration is that the paint would need to rest so that it would dry completely and stick to the inside of the globe. Once we hung him up, looking dapper and adorable, we noticed some streaks inside the bulb forming.

Now a week later and this little guy is clear again with a puddle of paint at the bottom. Oops! Well, we’ve learned what NOT to do and hopefully our next attempt will work out better. We’ll let the bulb dry upside down, draining the excess paint and waiting to add the detail until it is completely dry inside so that we won’t lose the painted coat inside.

The next DIY bulb ornament  project involved my son. He got to make his own bulb for the tree. It’s filled with little fuzzy balls and bells all in the holiday colors.

While he watched football with Papa he stuffed the fuzz balls into his bulb and later added some bells. The colors and types were all his own decision so this ornament is very personal to him.

Then we added some ribbon  and closed it up. It’s now ready to be personalized.

My mom is great at adding well printed and decorative writing to round ornaments. She did this for family and friends and even as a job during the holidays when we were younger. I hope to soon sit down with her and create a tutorial for anyone interested in seeing more on her techniques and tips.

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Hobbies Up To Here Episode #23

Ho Ho Ho hobbyist and crafters!


The holidays are upon us and we’ve got another podcast episode for you full of holiday cheer and laughter!IMG_6543

We have a few holiday works in progress. From my first Dresden plate to my mom’s first mug rug!

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Inspiration for the mug rugs come from Annies Quilt Craft on Etsy.

 

Our big topic today is on the idea of organization. We discuss the idea of over planning and squashing the creative flame and instead finding a healthy balance so that projects are easier to plan and execute.

We’re very excited for Dori’s Quilt Planner by Stephanie Palmer to arrive so we can start filling it up with great ideas for future projects and sew alongs!

We’ve been pretty crafty at home, decorating and creating our very own DIY ornaments. Check out Dori’s haul and mine on YouTube to see what we brought home to make these great crafts!

 

Dori’s gallery wall made with gift bags.


  So adorable! She watched this tutorial that helped give her the inspiration!

And her darling snowman ornament based on this tutorial.
Post to come showing all the bulb ornaments we’ve made with our tips and tricks.

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