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.
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.
It’s finally time to update everyone on another Splendid Sampler finish block.
Block 11 by Alyssa Thomas was a mix of piecing and embroidery. After my successful attempts at embroidery with block 4 and block 7, I was throughly excited to start this new block!
So I jumped to it and get my block done. I was in the groove so I didn’t want to leave my house and sewing room to use my mom’s light table at her house.
Thank goodness for BIG west facing windows and warm, sunny California days! I was able to tape up and trace the embroidery pattern right onto my fabric without the need for a light table.
Before I began the actual stitching, I made a quick trip to Joann’s for some hoops and needles. The last blocks did I with old hoop or without one completely. And with the way this sampler was going, I figured there was more embroidery to come so it wouldn’t hurt to have some hoops to use. Good ones.
So I began. Using the same maroon floss and this time using a chain stitch, I made my way around the design and then…
I slowed to a stop. For some reason I couldn’t pull myself through. I’m not sure what it was, maybe just the need to quickly move onto the next block or the tedium of so much embroidery.
After a while, I finished the center design and decided it was good enough. I enjoyed learning a new stitch but I was ready to move on.
What did I learn from this block:
Using a hoop really does help. While I can embroider without one, the tension built with the hoop does made it easier.
I may want to purchase some stabilizer. I’ve yet to use it and I wonder if it will change the way I embroider.
DON’T LEAVE MY PROJECTS IN THE HOOP! As you can see, no matter how much I iron it, the impression from the hoop is still there.
Sometimes, less is more. Not doing the whole design for the embroidery turned out perfectly fine and looks good.
The Splendid Sampler is still going strong with over 30 blocks already posted and over thousands of people participating. I’m in the background now participating when I can. But between our new house and my old job ending while setting up my new job for next year, I’ve had hardly a moment to sit down and sew.
But I do have a few blocks to share .
We have block 9 The Quilt Shop and block 10 Iowa.
After a long hiatus from the sampler, I jumped in and knocked out these two blocks fairly quickly. I was worried the shop block would be tough but it came together really quickly. I did cut out some smaller pieces to simplify the process.
These were some pretty tiny pieces.
And because I’m using the little back dress set I named this the Little Black Dress Shop and used some of my embroidery stitches to make the sign. I was pretty pleased with that although I will admit to needing some stabilizer for the back.
For Iowa, I wanted to play with all the same fabrics but in the different color families so I went with my favorite, polka dots, and used that punch of red to make the corners and the center. I think it came out really sharp and a lot of people commented that it looked like a bird with a red beak.
I can’t blame them, it kinda does!
I’m pretty proud of that center point even if my other points don’t match quite perfectly. And I loved how easily this block came together.
If you are still on the fence about joining The Splendid Sampler, check out my beginners tips video on my YouTube channel for some inspiration and some ideas for getting started. I share my favorite tools and process to keep this sampler going!
This podcast episode was a live Periscope broadcast. For 24 hours you can check out this broadcast OR check out our Youtube channel where I will be posting the whole video! Our Youtube channel is listed below!
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
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!
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.
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.
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!
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!
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!
Sometimes I’m annoying. I say this with slightly tongue in cheek. Otherwise, I mean it whole heartedly. I can be annoying.
My mom and I talk at length about her perfectionism and how I scoff at patterns and rules. But sometimes, just sometimes, I get roped in by the rules and it really can suck me in!
Block 8 looked simple enough. A month had gone by for the sampler and I was feeling pretty confident about all my new skills. All my other blocks had their trials but so far I have been super happy with the end results. So I dove right in and decided to knock this block out quickly.
This was the first block that I took the time to organize my fabrics and to label them as I worked through the pattern. Yes, I said while “I worked through the pattern”. I was doing my best to use all the tools offered to me so that I could make a great block. And while it came together rather fast, I got stuck trying to make my points match up in the center.
Yes, my mother’s perfectionism is really started to rub off on me! While I could have just left it as it was, I figured I am in this to improve and learn so I can’t just leave well enough alone. I want it to be as close to perfect a I can!
My end result for that center point is as close to perfect as I could get after I literally ripped out the center seam 8 times to get my points to match! In the end, I love this block for it’s simplicity and it’s color combo. These fabrics together really sing to me and I’m happy to see my hard work pay off!
What did I learn this block:
Making my points match up is oddly satisfying. Seriously.
Prints that translate closely as a solid (that ouster black fabric) need to be broken up with more color or smaller prints. I like my choices, but it reads very solid and dark.
Measuring once and cutting twice isn’t effective when it comes to quilting (or anything really). So double check your measurements before cutting.
I am distractible. I can get easily pulled way from the task at hand and while it’s not always a bad thing, sometimes it can really cause problems.
After wrapping up blocks 7 and 4 with all the hand embroidery, I was high on these small accomplishments and decided to ride that wave. I started up block 6, Focal Point.
Things were going so well at the beginning. My fabric choices were looking beautiful and really singing to me.
And then, my luck ran out. I changed out my bobbins and noticed a lot of fuzz stuck beneath so I figured it was time to give it a good dusting with my compressed air canister I keep close at hand. After I whisked away all the mini dust bunnies in my bobbin area, I put things back together. But something funky started happening. Rosy began making loud noises and my feed dogs would not grab my fabric.
Something was wrong. After hours of working to fix the problem, I gave up and left my block 3/4 the way done and broke hearted that my block was SO CLOSE to being finished but it would just not be that night. I needed to walk away, sleep, and come back the next day.
In the process of fiddling with my machine and TRYING to get her to work, I broke my favorite seam ripper, too. Time for a new one!
But the next morning I woke up with the same resolve and discovered that in my need to clean, I had placed my bobbin casing back in wrong and my machine was fighting with each stitch.
Another reason why cleaning is no good! (I kid….kinda).
Here is my finished block. Look how beautiful it came out! I’m so happy with the end result and the simplicity of this pattern yet the complex look I ended up with. The black polka dots really frame the perfectly matched up center points and the light/dark corners really pull my eyes out.
So, what did I learn this block?
Don’t break your machine just trying to clean it up.
Make sure your needle is in the correct position before reinserting your bobbin case.
Clean in between projects, not in the midst of one.
Making the points meet perfectly has a satisfaction like nothing else!
Don’t use your favorite seam ripper to repair the much stronger innards of the machine. The seam ripper will lose. Every. Time.
After my success with my first time hand embroidering on my block 7 for the splendid sampler, I decided to go for it and work on block 4, Happy Happy.
When this block first came out, I wasn’t sure about the vase. It’s supposed to be a bit wonky but for me it wasn’t a cute wonky, just wonky. Between that element and that I hadn’t embroidered before, I had put this block aside for another time. Then it was time to take it on.
I played a little with the design and cut different sizes and shapes of flowers while altering the vase into a more hour glass figure. I guess being that I’m shaped this way it really called to me!
I used a little Elmer’s glue and heat to get my pieces to stick down. Not my favorite way to go about that but it was what I had on hand for the moment. I seriously need some fusible webbing of my own at home.
I broke out some mouline DMC thread to add some sparkle to my vase and I have to say, I disliked it very much. It was very difficult to use and maybe it’s not meant for this but in the end I like how it looks but I don’t like working with it.
All of my appliqué was done by hand. I’m still not turning the edges around but I’m loving the process of appliqué. It’s great to have a handy project I can do while I sit next to my husband at the end of the day.
Almost there! By this point all I needed was to embroider the leaves and stems. I loved the way the vase looked and the teeny tiny stitches on the flowers/circles really tied the whole thing together. (literally)
I thought I would add some small black stitches around the border on the vase and didn’t like the way it looked. To me it looked like tiny black ants were marching across my block so I ripped them out and left it alone.
And ta-da! My favorite block (so far). Now I couldn’t leave things are they were and had to continue stitching some words onto the vase. This block really makes me happy to see it. It’s beautiful and shows how far I’ve come.
Last weekend we went to not just one but TWO quilt/crafting shows here in southern California.
On Saturday, we took a trip to Pomona for the Quilt, Craft, & Sewing Festival at the Pomona Fairplex. There was SO MUCH to see there and my dad was in the mind to seek out long arm machines. For research purposes (wink wink).
Then on Sunday we went to the Friendship Square Quilt Guild show in La Habra. We saw some beautiful quilts, met lots of wonderful crafters, and even passed out a calling card or two!
Of course it’s hard to go to a show and NOT buy something. Both of us came home with some goodies.
This week we introduced a new segment called Quilt & Coffee Chat. During this portion of our podcast, we’ll continue the discussion of past episodes, reply to blog comments, and read email from any readers or listeners we’ve received.
This week we shared comments from a few readers who gave us something to chew on and think over.
Nonnie from Nonnie Quilting Dreams shared some fascinating background and history on quilting terms, pressing seams, and what different types of quilters are called in the midwest. Check out her comments on Episode #32.
Alida from Tweety Loves Quilting commented on Episode #30 about coding and quilting and the blend between modern and traditional quilts. She’s hosting a pretty cool blog hop in May called Art with Fabric. Definitely check it out and see if it’s something you’d like to participate in!
Kati from Kati’s Quilting and Sewing shared with us her experience of learning quilting and sewing techniques from HGTV and how we just gotta get in there and give ourselves the power of knowledge by learning any terms we need on our own. Her comments are here on Episode #21.
I shared an email from Christa Watson that I had received. It had a beautiful picture of her thread stash that I was blown away by. So beautiful and colorful! We often forget to share other stashes we keep for all of our crafts so seeing a thread stash was fun and inspiring.
During our coffee chat, probably after the second cup had kicked in, we shared some of the other podcasts for crafters and quilters all around the web. We’re in great company with SO many awesome podcaster out there. And Nonnie has a pretty comprehensive list of podcasts to check out. She keeps it updated pretty regularly so pop on over, give it a peep, and check out some new podcasts!
And make sure you keeping checking back as I’m expecting a new mystery stash box to arrive in the mail any day now! I’m testing out some of the quilter’s box subscriptions available. So far I’ve received my first Try Me box from Quilter’s Stash Box. Next up is my first Quilty Box and in April I’ll receive a Sew Sampler box from the Fat Quarter Shop. I’m planning a full Youtube review video talking about the pros/cons of each box!
A lot is happening here at Hobbies Up To Here so make sure you’re subscribed to us so that you don’t miss a thing!!