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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Interview With My Dad Episode #79

Can you believe it? We finally have a guest!
My dad joins us to chat about Frankie!

Yes, this was how they sat together.

Too cute!

One of Dori’s little stitching projects. So adorable!

My brain!

This is my AVID wall in my room. It’s slowly coming together!

And my husband is proudly sporting a new look this fall. He is wearing his handmade Friendship Quilt! Only took me 2 years to finish this bad boy (the quilt, not the husband)!

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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: A Whale of a Good Time Quilt

There’s nothing like presenting a gift that has love in every stitch.  Such was the case when I gave this adorable “Andrew” whale quilt to my Daughter-In-Law Jaqueline on the day of her baby shower.  She chose the pattern from the book Fat Quarter Baby, and asked that I choose colors that reflected their “under the sea” theme.  She wanted to be surprised, so I picked out the fabrics in secret.  I found the fat quarters at a booth called Custom Creations at Road to California, and I was off an running!



The pattern was fairly simple.  I had a heck of a time however…not the pattern’s fault, but my own brain translating the instructions.  But I never gave up, and with the help of my husband, was able to correct any boo-boos and finish the quilt in under three weeks.

I didn’t realize that I had chosen two fabrics that had directional designs.  This made piecing a bit more difficult, but certainly not impossible.  Here’s the in-progress quilt top.  My hubby placed all the bubbles for me before I appliquéd them down!

We experimented with this built in wave pattern on my Baby Lock Aria machine. What a gift! It worked perfectly!

And then a miracle happened!  For the first time, my husband asked if he could stitch one of the borders…of course I said YES!

The sandwich ready to be quilted!

Then a second miracle happened….da hubs offered to do ALL of the quilting. WOW! I happily gave up my chair after he mapped out and marked the whole design.

It took him about 2 1/2 hours to complete the quilting. Can you tell he’s really happy with the result? Trust me, I’m so impressed and it’s gorgeous!  Oh, and I had him pose in front of “Revolution”, the quilt he designed.  It’s still a work in progress.

I chose to machine stitch the binding to the front, then hand stitch it to the back. I really enjoy hand stitching with a good movie and hubby for company!  But first, I wanted to watch a tutorial on binding, a refresher course if you will.  I love this video by Kimberly of Fat Quarter Shop.  It really helped me to feel confident and well informed!

Finally, the day of the shower arrived. It was so nice to get such wonderful compliments on the quilt, and even nicer still, to say that BOTH Nona AND Papa worked on this project together.  Talk about stitching with love!!! I also made the adorable teddy bear you see in the crib. Here’s the link to THAT post lol!

I attached a label with the instruction that the quilt not be washed yet. After baby comes (he/she is due in late April) I’ll add baby’s name and birth date to the label, then we can soften it up with a gentle run through the washing machine.

Have a wonderful weekend, and thank you for your support and love!
Hugs,

DoriSignature

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TGIFF: The Disappearing Pinwheel Quilt!

Yay!  It’s DONE!

Last September I posted my progress on my Disappearing Pinwheel TWIST 5 quilt.   I finally hand stitched the last stitch on the binding on July 31st.  I can honestly say I loved this process, and am very proud of this quilt!

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For the first time, I sent my quilt to be quilted by my friend, Janet, rather than doing the quilting myself.  She stitched a simple and airy meander stitch which complimented the quilt perfectly.  After squaring up the quilt, I attached the binding which was another first.  This time, I chose not to do the wrap-around binding  process I’ve done on all my other quilted projects.  After attaching the binding to the front of the quilt by machine (I was excited to use the binding tool Rob Appell denonstrates here), I hand stitched it to the back.  I’m so happy I did!  I love the clean look.

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I think this quilt looks best when it’s worn by my beautiful partner-in-crime lol!

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Have a wonderful weekend, and remember…be crafty, be creative!

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Quilt As You Sew Hotpad

Periscope has become one of my favorite places to hang out. I hear my phone notify me of a live broadcast and I flock to see who is sharing and what they have to say. I’ve learned so much and have really felt apart of the Honest Craft Roomies community.

While on one day, Marcia, from Crafty Sewing and Quilting, was sharing a simple hotpad quilt as you go project. We watched her work and listened to her share with us when she announced that she would send the pattern for her hotpad to anyone participating in the scope that day.

I was thrilled! I’ve been wanting to make some small projects just to practice some simple techniques and to improve my quilting. Plus I find that when I have a successfully completed project under my belt, I’m more likely to pick up another project and work on it.

So  I emailed Marcia and received the pattern with a simple request, to tag her on Instagram if I got around to making one. I made sure to do just that and share with you, my readers, my finished hotpad made with my Java set by Deb Strain for Moda. If you want to purchase and use this pattern, check out this link to her Craftsy store for the step-by-step instruction with pictures.

I love the rich colors of this fabric set and I’ve been waiting for a reason to use it again. Having this pattern from Marcia and the itch to work on a quick project for some instant success had me chomping at the bit to go. So I began with some strips, cutting them between 1.5-2.5 inches wide and varying the fabrics. I tried to allow it to build organically with enough variety but with just a touch of organization.

I used a heat resistant batting so that this project can be used as a hotpad or even a mug rug. This was a first for me and while I see its purpose, I may not go out of my way to make sure I have some on hand and might just continue using whatever batting I have available. But it’s nice to know that if I gift this, the batting will protect any surfaces or hands!

After everything was sewn together, it was time to trim the strips down to the batting so that I could fold and bind with the backing fabric. That’s when it happened…

WHOOPS! In my haste to continue working, I snipped my backing fabric. Damn!

Yeah, it’s not supposed to look like that. And try as I might, it would not work for the binding so I ended up trimming it off and going the old fashioned way with my binding. I made a simple double fold bias binding and used a decorative stitch to seal the deal.

Not too shabby! I used a red thread for the quilting and I like the way it came together. It really matched the fabric well. And it came together in under 4 hours. I am bummed I didn’t get the chance to use the backing for the binding but that just means it’s time to give it another go and this time be a little more careful with the trimming.

Thanks Marcia again for sending me the pattern and giving me the opportunity to create my own hotpad!

If you want to see some of my 2015 finishes, some WIPs I have for 2016, and my new projects for this new year, then check out our recent YouTube video sharing some 2015 successes and all that will be for Hobbies Up To Here in 2016!

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TGIFF: 4th of July Table Runner

Last week I started a table runner for my in-laws to celebrate their annual 4th of July BBQ. I’ve been going to these BBQ’s for five years now so I wanted to thank them for inviting and including me for so many years.

It was apart of the Southern California Quilter’s Run we participated in last week. I picked up this kit to go along with the block pattern we received for free. I really like how it turned out, all these different blues and reds and whites. Very patriotic without being overdone.
I learned a lot with this project. I hand stitched the binding and it comes out SO CLEAN and neat! I’ll be doing that again!

I also used starch to help with my fabrics. They lay so nicely and are so much easier to sew with, it’s a step worth taking from now on.  
My corners need some work. They came out too loose and that because I didn’t sew down from the edge when I turned to attach the binding to the other side. I started down about a quarter of an inch and that left a gap. Not how I wanted it but I’ve learned for the next one.

This is my first free motion quilted project. I’ve never had a machine that allowed me to do this and I loved it!! And I feel in love with multicolored thread. It really ties the colors of the runner together in both the fabric and colors.

 

  

I can’t wait to make my next runner!

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WIP: July 4th Table Runner

During the Southern California Quilter’s Run, I picked up a little kit to make a table runner. At first I pretty much thought I was nuts. Not only would I have to follow a pattern to make the blocks in it but I would also have to measure and follow the instructions to make this thing come together.

BLACH!

I hate following directions when it comes to crafts! Mostly because it makes me feel like I’m not free to be creative and that is what I love most about making things, the freedom I feel to create anything I dream up.

So I was tentative to pick this up but it was really cute and I knew someone who would enjoy a 4th of July table runner. In the end the cute colors and the simplicity of the runner called to me so I bought it and set out to make it before the 4th.

My in-laws host a HUGE 4th BBQ every year and I’ve been going for 5 years now so I wanted to surprise them with a little decorative gift for their big parties.


My first two blocks came together super easy but my third one decided to be a pain in the butt. I couldn’t get things to line up and I was working on being as exact as I could be. I measured and pressed and even used some fabric starch made JUST for quilting.

In the end the three came together nicely and it was time to cut the rest of the fabric. 

And then I blew it! I somehow mis-cut my gingham fabric. The pattern called for two large swatches to be placed in between so that there was a block at each end and one in the middle. I swear I was paying attention but cut it about 1/2 an in short making the fabric unusable in that state. So, I improvised.

Or went “rogue” as I told my mom by text message. I left the fabric as it was but instead made smaller swatches at the ends and then made two bigger swatches between the blocks.

I think it came out handsomely!   
Picking the backing fabric was tougher than expected and I went back and forth over what to use. The border fabric, while adorable, turned out to be my black sheep fabric. It stuck out and made matching anything to it super rough.

So I went with a white fabric dotted with blue and red stars. It fits in and was only the back so the top and back won’t be seen together regularly.

Then came the quilting!!! DUH DUH DUUUUNNNNNN!!!

I’ve been waiting for a project to finish for awhile now so I could jump in and so my first free-motion project. I picked a multicolored thread that had a red/white/blue theme to it and set to make a swirly pattern just for simplicity.

I took off with confidence and quickly found it to be HARDER than I expected. I had practiced on smaller pieces and was able to make a systematic swirl I was happy with but suddenly, with knowing this would be given as a gift, my nerves got the better of me and I realized I need more practice!

In the end the product I came out with was satisfactory. My stitches are nearly uniform enough but good enough to give the overall appearance of  something made with love.

For my first attempt I’d say this is pretty decent!!!

Now to bind! I haven’t decided how I want to do this, whether entirely by machine or by both machine/hand. With three days left I can do either, especially with my son being gone and having some time to myself.

  
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Side Stitches: Done In A Day

This post should be called “The Seam Ripper: My Best Friend”. I’ve never used a seam ripper as much in one project as I did today. At least we are close buddies now.

I was asked for my artistic opinion from someone the other day. When they asked, it was for a simple project, just to get some idea how to display something. Well, I highly doubt they knew what they were getting into when they asked me, Mrs. I’m-Addicted-To-Quilting.

What started out as a simple project worked itself into two quilt square.

But, they were simple and easy to assemble. I cut one day and quilted the next. Then BOOM! I was done.

Simple and elegant.

The center square is a simple cream with gold flecks, just right to match the other fabrics with the golden stars and spots.

As you can tell, there is a theme which ties into the secret second half of the project. A secret I can’t divulge just yet.

Today I’ll hand these over to the secret patron who asked for my simple opinion.

I hope they don’t mind that I took some liberties and kinda went a different direction.

Urg, I can see some puckering of the center square. I’m wondering if my tension is not right and causing it to do that.

Per usual, I have my complaints. My cutting was off (only I could really tell) and my sewing required more than one seam to be ripped and restitched. Because it’s a gift and not being used as a quilt but to be displayed, I really wanted/needed the seams to align as best as possible so I could just leave it as I have for past quilts.