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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Here’s To Our Health Episode #88

Since QuiltCon we’ve been bitten by the GET IT DONE bug! But illness took us out for a hot second. Now we’re back and getting all those UFO projects done!

Don’t forget to check out our Instagram feed to follow along with March’s #igfest posts!

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Hello 2018! Episode #83

Hello to 2018!
Here at Hobbies Up To Here we hope your new year has started on a positive note and that you enjoy this new episode!

For all pictures mentioned in this episode, check out our Instagram account!

Will you be at Road to California? How about QuiltCon? Let us know in the comments!

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Short On The Borders

At the beginning of this year, my mom and I agreed that 2017 should be the year of finishes. We had enough projects going to last us a lifetime and we needed to get some of that work done!

Well I’ve sorta lived up to my word. I did finish my husband’s quilt not too long ago and he now sleeps wrapped up in it on warmed nights.

My son’s quilt still languishes due to having run out of his border colors. I’ll need to finally bite the bullet and just purchase more so I can get that one done, too!

But last summer I started a quilt with this adorable flannel fabric I found at JoAnns. Originally, I got it for a friend’s baby boy but he has since grown beyond such a young pattern. Then I was blessed with two nephews, one whose room is adorably grey and light colored, similar to this fabric. Plus, he’s got an animal theme going so it’s perfect for him.

Well, this project has made it’s way out of my drawers and I’ve finished the top. It’s small and simple, just right for a little guy who needs some extra snuggles on chilly fall nights.

It’s adorable and fuzzy soft. I’m considering some minky for the backing to make it even softer.

But I have a small conundrum. There is a border the lines only two sides of this top. It is the slimmer pieces that surround the larger squares. I’m all out of fabric from this kit (except for some random end pieces) so I have a few paths I can take to even this out.

  1. I could just leave it be with that slim border only on two sides.
  2. Or I could remove both sides and leave the outer edge border free.
  3. Or, and this one is probably the most work, I could trim down the borders and then attach it to the barren sides. But my cutting and measuring would have to be pretty precise if I don’t want to screw it up.

So, quilters, what should I do?? Should I go with plan 1, 2, or 3? Or maybe there is another plan I haven’t considered. I do have to get fabric for Jake’s superhero quilt so I could just see if JoAnns has any more of this kit lying around. This would mean I have 4 options!

Decisions, decisions!!!

WIP: The Puzzlebox Quilt

The last couple of weeks I’ve been very motivated to work on my quilts. It could be the regular podcast schedule we’ve been sticking to or meeting up with my good friend to quilt together each week. Either way, I’ve been cranking out blocks left and right.

I picked up my work on the puzzle box quilt and really went to town chain piecing like a fiend.

I took a look at the blocks and realized that I could piece most of the center pairs and not piece the whole block. Having my little thread cutter from Sunflower-Quilts really helped move this part of my process along very quickly.

It took a bit more work to organize things because originally I was completing a block each time I sat down to work and using up each color from the kit. Once I made the block, I could move on to the next color in the set. But since I switched to this new process, I only piece together a few pairs in each color and save the rest to be used later to complete the block.

It’s a good thing I like to be organized!

I am struggling a bit with the reds. They are so close in tone that I can’t quite tell them apart. We’ll see what happens as I move along through each color.

And even though I did a lot of great work on my own, getting together with my friend to quilt really motivates me to stick with it. In the span of time we worked together, I pieced a good chunk of blocks.

And I’ve been playing around with the layout on my design board. There is something fun about fiddling with how many different ways I can move these blocks around.

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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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Problems With Patterns Episode #62

We all know that feeling. Reading a pattern and it’s going along fine until you hit a snag. Suddenly, it’s like the instructions are written in a different language, one you don’t understand.

Well, we asked our fellow quilter’s and listeners what their go-to solutions were when facing a problem with a pattern and today we share those thoughts and comments! So tune in and maybe you’ll learn something new along with us!

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And to celebrate our friends all going to Quilt Con this week, there is a Quilt Non 2017 Instagram hop happening. Last year we had the chance to go to our first Quilt Con and it was amazing!!! So even though we aren’t there in body, we are there in spirit.

Happy Birthday to G and Sherri, some of our wonderful quilty friends we met at Quilt Con last year.

If you want to see any of the original comments from our friends and followers about the topic today, feel free to check out our Instagram feed and our Facebook page with the links below.

And if you are interested in a very details tutorial on binding your finished quilt, check out the Fat Quarter Shop video below that Dori really got a lot out of!

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2017 WIP List 

A big part of a quilter’s life is half-done projects, partially started quilts, and almost completed gifts. What can I say, it’s a BIG part of our culture.

It could be that new fabrics and patterns are coming out all the time and something new will catch our eye and we feel it call to us. Or may we can get a little bored with our current WIPs and just feel the need to start fresh, something different.

This year, after watching The Minimalist with my husband, I got the itch to pull out all my WIP and UFO quilts and make it a point to wrap them up. To keep myself accountable to this goal of mine, I’m listing these quilts here and I plan to revisit the list each month.

#1: The Friendship Quilt (for my husband)

This quilt goes WAY back. Like summer of 2015 WAY BACK. The kit was a gift to me from my parents. When I pulled it out and started cutting it, my husband liked the look of the batik fabrics and the earth colors. So I deemed it to be his.

I finished the top and bought the batting and backing for 25% from my local quilt shop, The Orange Quilt Bee. Then I decided to go with a free motion wood grain pattern for the quilting. That seemed like an awesome idea in the beginning and so far it’s looking beautiful but I ran into a few issues. Firstly, it’s going to take me FOREVER to quilt the full sized quilt on my own. I’m wishing now I would have picked a simpler pattern or sent it out to be done.

Then I found a fold in the backing that was too big to leave alone. I mean I could have just kept going but I wouldn’t have been happy leaving such a glaring mistake. So this quilt lingered for a LONG time just sitting there while I avoided the task of taking out the stitches to fix it. Finally, over winter break, I finally got around to fixing the problem and I’m ready to start quilting again.

This quilt is the furthest along in the process of getting finished.

#2: My CIRCA Quilt

I don’t know many quilters that quilt for themselves. So many of our projects are for others and we are often left to say goodbye to many of our beautiful finishes. Not this one…

This one is for me!

I love this CIRCA kit and I fell even more in love with it when I framed it in cream and black borders. It’s also been a long time in progress, another 2015 start. The top has been long done but I really stalled on the backing. I needed to sew together two red pieces and then frame them in the same black as the top. But, for some reason I just couldn’t get myself motivated to do any of that.

Again, over the winter break, I got the itch to start wrapping these projects up so I pulled this top out and finished piecing together the back. All I need now is my batting and to baste it together. The quilting on this will be simple, just simple squares and straight lines. Maybe even a little stitch in the ditch.

With the Friendship quilt being so complex, I’m happy to keep this quilting simple. and straight forward.

#3 Marvel Quilt (for Jake)

Oh man, this is a definite UFO. This project is for Jake and was started a long, long time ago. It’s going on 3 years now and it’s started and stopped me so many times. First, everything needed to be cut. There were NO pre-cuts for me to work with so I was stuck cutting everything myself.

Then, I decided to do my own block. Yeah, this decision is really holding me back because of the process of piecing together isn’t smooth and it’s time consuming. Had I gone with a block that had a pattern already created I may have moved faster to complete them but as it stands, I’m still making the blocks and I may soon run out of my sashing material. Yikes…

I have two rows completed and on my design wall but I have six more to go. I’m aiming for eight rows of six blocks, giving me a full sized quilt for my growing boy.

#4: Puzzle Box Quilt

Over the span of 2015, we made a lot of new friendships both online and off line. We also connected with other quilts that we happily learned from and shared with. In that time, we got to know Christa Watson, both as a friend and a fellow quilter. She puts out some amazing tutorials and information for quilting at home and I decided to join her website. In doing so I received a free pattern.

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Seeing the pattern and knowing that I had a jelly roll made for this pattern, I starting cutting for it. It’s a project that stays at my mom’s house so it rarely see the light of day. But it definitely needs to be put on this list so that it gets some much needed attention. I’m still cutting away at it and this year I plan to get further along!

Four projects, all at different points of finish. I’m quilting, basting, piecing, and cutting my little heart out with the intention of finishing some or all of these projects this year.

What are YOUR 2017 WIPs or UFOs?

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Hobbies Up To Here Episode #46

Hey hobbyists and crafters! Episode #46 is ready to roll out!

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Going into this episode we had NO clue what we would talk about. We were without a topic!!! Instead of our usual discussion about some crafty topic, we decided to just sit and chat about what’s going on in our lives.

We chat about our new healthy lifestyles and the few crafty things we’ve got our hands in. I share my issues with too many electronics in everyday items (I see you Sleep Number bed). My mom shares some of her thoughts about exercise and getting herself moving again!

My mom is super happy with her interaction with the people over at Doll Makers Journey. Not only has she learned a lot from their tutorials and videos but they have been nothing but wonderful when an item she ordered didn’t arrive. They were quick to resolve the issue and with a great sense of humor about it. Thanks Mary Ann!

My baby quilt is moving along. I shared my disappointment in it this week but the positive response from our readers kept me going and I’m now putting the blocks back together. I’ll post updates soon!

Myra over at Busy Hands Quilts is hosting a new Friday link up. It’s for those projects that just don’t get finished by Friday but you’d like to share all your hard work. Check it out by using the link attached to the button below!

Finished or Not Friday at Busy Hands Quilts

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WIP: Flannel Baby Quilt

Sometimes, the best way to get back in the swing of things is to start up something new. Now I have more than enough projects going on but none of them are calling to me. I’m still working through Darth Vader and it’s going well but I was already feeling less interested in it and I knew, if I wanted I stay motivated, I would need something new to draw my attention in.

While out and about with the guys, we stopped in our local Joann’s and a pack of flannel charm squares caught my eye. I had a gift card and a coupon (YAY coupon!) so I picked up two packs and a new seam ripper.

I broke my old seam ripper when I used it to try and pick out a fluff ball inside my machine.

But I digress. 

I decided to string the blocks together in rows of three with the intention of making a version of a 9 patch quilt. The quilt will be for a friend’s baby boy who is about 6 months old.

Now this is my first time using flannel and it’s not so bad but I do love my cotton. It doesn’t shift and move on me as much. This flannel seems finicky too. Some of the squares are not perfectly cut and I had some trimming to do to make them work.

It came together rather quickly and it got me moving and stitching. My machine whirled and I worked through it until my bobbin ran out then I’d switch it up with Darth Vader and sew a few rows on him until that bobbin ran out. It’s a new concept for me, working through the bobbin then switching up projects until that bobbin runs out.

We’ll see how it goes…

From rows to blocks, I finished them all, played them out, then took them to the cutting board. Then came time slice and dice. I decided I wanted to play and to cut into the blocks to make up interesting patterns. Like cutting into a block to make a disappearing 9 patch.

Sadly, after the first cut, I didn’t like it…

It’s too busy…

Oh well, I’m powering through. I think, had I included one common solid in each block, it would have worked out better.  I just think that with all the busy little patterns, it’s a bit too much. But, who knows!? I might work out just fine!

My current book in progress: The New Rules of Lifting for Women. I am back on the workout train and this book has a lot of interesting info for both the diet and your workout routine. I’m not ready to get into the weight room (I have major anxiety about it) but my eating has been super clean and healthy and I’m moving everyday, even if it is to catch Pokemon!

Check out our side bar for lots of great link ups and places that host some wonderful sharing!

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