TGIFF: Burn My Sage x2!!

In September of 2018, my mom and I got the chance to go on a retreat with a great bunch of ladies from the Southern California Stitchers group. It was one of those things that was just meant to be.

Through our Flosstube channel, a fellow Flosstuber, Heather, suggested we check out the Facebook group. In doing so, we learned they have a yearly retreat and we were just in time to sign up for it. And not a moment too soon! After we got into the group, we learned that the retreat we filling up fast and we took one of the last spots.

Now this is just all backstory for the beautiful pieces I’m about to share with you. Because it was during this retreat that I pulled out a new-to-me pattern by The Witchy Stitcher, one that my mom had already started.

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My mom’s working station and her Burn My Sage project.

And it was at this time that I laid down a challenge with my mom that, even though she was much further along that I was on the same pattern, that I would finish before her.

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My beginning…

This lit a fire.

The rest of the group got in on the encouragement as my mom and I worked side by side on the same pattern so see who would finish first. While she had a good start, I worked pretty consistently on this one project and by the time we left for home I had made a huge dent.

And that didn’t stop when I got home. This became my number one stitching project but all the while, my mom felt the need to heat up her stitching so she could finish what she had already start.

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Dori’s finish.

Nothing but a little healthy competition. In the end, we completed our projects within a day of each other. Mom finished first and I happily took second.

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My finished project.

We both need to FFO our finished projects but for now we can celebrate the finishing of the stitching portion of our Burn My Sage patterns. We love how they each came out just a tad bit different and the pattern was easy to read and understand.

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TGIFF: Another Minky Baby Quilt Done!

What a joy it is to give the gift of a quilt! Even if it is 6 months late and to a little one who doesn’t quite understand that he’s getting a gift made with love and sweat and tears. Even with all of that, it’s still a wonderful moment to gift to someone a quilt you’ve made with them in mind.

I was blessed with two nephews in one year. They are two months apart and both are the sweetest things. I adore them both and enjoy being their Aunty Keki.

For their first birthdays I decided to make them a minky quilt each. For Logan, I made a grey and neutral colored quilt with zoo animals and it matched his crib and decor perfectly. After working with minky on that quilt, I grew more confident and knew that I could make Watson one, too!

And I got lucky! I found this great off-the-bolt fabric in colors that matches Watson’s nursery with nautical animals. He’s all about that narwhal.

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With minky and fabric in hand, I put together this little baby quilt but ran into some technical problems. My machine was struggling with the minky this time around, something it didn’t do with the first minky quilt. I ended up taking it in to be services and that slightly solved the problems.

In the end, I got through it with a simple wavy line quilting pattern and I ended with some hand binding. I do like to attach the minky binding to the back and hand stitch to the front because it gives it a nice, cozy edge to the whole thing. And for a little guy I wants as much cozy as possible!

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Well, it finally happened (6 months late…) The quilt is finished and Watson now has his own Aunty Keki quilt of his own.

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Even though quilting on minky is kind of a pain in the tush, it looks great and just blends in nicely. And I love that minky binding. It may seem crazy to bind in such a thick fabric but it looks great when finished.

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And the little man loved it too!IMG_1613

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TGIFF: My Circa Quilt

This past week and I was able to sit down and wrap up another quilt! My Circa quilt was started in May of 2015. I used a Missouri Star Quilt Co. tutorial on their YouTube channel called the Double Sliced Layer Cake. It was a really simple pattern and made for a really dynamic top.

The Circa layer cake has a really vintage feel to it with the muted colors and the pops of red. So I chose to frame this top with off-white and black to give it a clean finish.

I’m super excited about this quilt because it’s MINE! The first one I’ve made just for me. It’s what I would look like if I was a quilt!

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I used an Aurifil red thread* to quilt the top in a geometric pattern of boxes. It’s a very tightly quilted top so when washed, it scrunches up really nicely.

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I matched the red in the quilt with a red backing framed again by black. Right before I started binding, I did run a quick black straight stitch throughout the border to tack it down.

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Now it’s been washed and dried and has the cozy, cuddly look. I still have some threads to bury (as is evidence in the above photo). This quilting pattern took A LOT of thread so there was a lot of stopping and starting. I need to get out my Sench needles to finish up that last step for this beauty.

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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

Click here to visit Amazon* for your own Mary Ellen’s Best Press.

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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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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TGIFF: The Beatles Quilt

Each time I’ve completed a quilt, I go through a myriad of feelings.  Joy, excitement, sadness and accomplishment.  All this and soooo much more filled my heart when I put the last stitch in the binding of The Beatles Quilt, a.k.a. “Blackbird”.

It’s taken two years to complete, and it’s been worth every single second!  I wrote about it’s progress in WIP Wednesday: The “Revolution” Beatles Quilt, and Katie and I talked about it on our podcast called Blackbird Quilt Episode #81.   As you might have guessed, this quilt has gone through a few name changes, and though he has settled on “Blackbird”, I’m not writing that title in cement lol!

Though Reg had wanted to hand quilt this piece on his own, he decided to turn it over to the very creative and capable hands of our longarmer, Karen Kimmel of Long Beach, CA. She did an amazing job, and worked hard to translate Reg’s vision into reality. To say she succeeded in spades, is an understatement!  (The video below is Reg’s reaction after getting his quilt back from Karen!)

It still boggles my mind to think that my hubby started with his coveted White Album inspired guitar strap, and ended up with an original, one-of-a-kind quilt!

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He started with these images…

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…and ended up with THIS!

I’m looking forward to partnering with my husband again on yet another musically inspired quilt. Maybe the Foo Fighters? Jimi Hendricks? How about The Who?!? These and so many more names have been discussed in the past couple of months as “Blackbird” was getting closer to being finished.

I can’t wait!

Hugs,

Dori

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Goodbye 2017! Episode #82

Hello hobbyists and crafters! Today we say goodbye (and good riddance!) to 2017!

Don’t forget to check out our Top 5 of 2017 post to see what were our most viewed and liked posts of the past year! And visit Cheryl’s page to see all of the wonderful participants this year.

Visit us over on our Facebook page where we post all of our fun links and updates on projects from all our of sites.

For pictures associated with this podcast, please head over to our Instagram page!

And thank you everyone! You’ve been a wonderful audience for all of 2017 and we’re really looking forward to a new year with you!

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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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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.

TGIFF: The Curved Log Cabin

To be honest, I’ve never been a fan of yellow.  It just doesn’t appeal to me, or hadn’t appealed to me until I made this beautiful Curved Log Cabin quilt for my daughter Jennifer.

I got the pattern from a Missouri Star Quilt Company tutorial.  Trust me, I’ll be making this quilt top again and again!  It was fun and easy.  I have a few jelly rolls that are just begging to be made into another Curved Log Cabin configuration.

I chose a 2 1/2″ jelly roll of Summer Breeze lll fabrics by Moda.  The blues and yellows in various florals, made for wonderful contrasts that helped to define the curve in the log cabin blocks.  The key, however, is the use of a white jelly roll in 1 1/2″ strips.

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Aren’t they fabulous?

I love the variations of yellows and blues!

Using one of the Summer Breeze strips as a center for the Log Cabin block instead of the traditional red or green, caused me to come up a bit short of fabric choices.  I ended up buying a second jelly roll.  No worries!  I used strips from the second roll to bind the quilt.  It worked out well!  Putting the blocks up on my design wall, I was tickled to find there were still many different designs that kept the curved look.

I decided to add two borders.  First I used some of the white 1 1/2″ strips I had left, then I purchased more of the Summer Breeze lll fabric in the darkest blue shade to offset the yellow.  I also used this blue fabric for the backing.

Time to quilt!  I used a new basting technique, a basting gun, which I reviewed here.  Not my fav way to baste, but I’m glad I tried it!

Turning to Christa Watson’s book Machine Quilting With Style, I found the quilting diagram on page 26 of her Ripples quilt to be perfect for this quilt.  I used a serpentine stitch already programmed into my machine, and set to quilting with white Isacord thread.  I love the ease and sheen of this polyester thread, and almost exclusively quilt with it.

IMG_6704Lots of threads to bury lol!  As you can see, I had a few “booboos”.  I patiently “unsewed” the over lapping threads, knotted and buried them.  And that hole you see?  That was made by my basting gun.  It closed up nicely, however, when the quilt was washed.  Whew!

A nice compliment to the squareness of the blocks!

Annnnn voila!  I used various strips from the Summer Breeze lll jelly roll to bind the quilt.

And yes, that’s the doily my hubby recently crocheted!

Thanks to suggestions from the Twilters group on Facebook, I decided to continue the same serpentine quilting pattern around the border.

I like sewing the binding to the front of the quilt, then hand sewing it to the back.  Adding a personalized label is the final TA DA!!! before putting it in the wash.

Here’s a pretty good look at the design.  Looove it!

Happy Friday everyone!
Dori

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