Saturday, August 31, 2013

A Strange Job Interview

So, I have to do a sort of audition for Grumbacher to become certified as an instructor of acrylics.. they asked me to submit a couple paintings - all realistic, which is something I don't really do often.  One of the options for a type of painting I could submit was a Still-Life.  I chose to paint some things I love -

On another note: the husband and I found THE PERFECT HOUSE!!  It has everything we wanted, needed, and it's 3 blocks away from a great school (for when the little ones arrive), and the grocery store is within 1 block - we can walk there, easily.  The best part, it was a foreclosure, but it's in pristine condition, and it's WELL within our price range.  We're putting in a bid first thing on Tuesday. 
Thanks for reading :)

Friday, August 30, 2013

Nook HD Cover {Tutorial Coming NEXT THURSDAY!}

Finished Cover

This week I finished this - a great quilted Nook HD cover. I stole my hexie stripe block from my Craftsy BOM 2012 to make it, so now I have to make another - oh darn!

I have some exciting news: next week for Tutorial Thursdays, I'm going to teach you how to make this cover for any electronic device you might have. :D I'm in the process of writing the tutorial now.

Grab my Tutorial Thursdays Button here:
Sew Simply

Finished Cover 2
Thanks for reading!

Linking up with Crazy Mom Quilts for finish it up Friday!

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Tutorial Thursdays

Today has been crazy!  My husband and I are working on financing for our first home - needless to say, I have not really thought about doing tutorial thursdays, until just now.  I would still like to open up the link-up, though!

Up next week: Tutorial for a Nook HD (or any other e-reader) cover.  Stay tuned! 

Now, share what you've been working on!

Thanks for reading,

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Nearly... there.....

So, I've been really busy again this week - not necessarily quilting though (unfortunately).  I did get a few more blocks done for my Craftsy (2012) BOM series.  I'm definitely liking my choices of fabric more and more as I continue.



No matter what I tried, I could not get the white background fabric to show as white. Probably because I took it on my blue cutting mat (as I do with so many other things), and that is shining through the Kona Snow... oh well. Still not bad for my first Dresden ever.

Ohio Star

Double Star

I'm still not completely satisfied with the points on this one.

Circle of Geese Quarter Block

Lastly, my in progress circle of geese block. I should finish this one in the next hour, and hopefully the remainder of the blocks today or tomorrow (there are only 4 left!)

Lastly, be sure and come back tomorrow for Tutorial Thursdays!  It's a link party where I'm sharing a tutorial, and asking you to do the same. :)

Sew Simply

Friday, August 23, 2013

First HEX experience

I'm so excited that I finally decided to do my hexie blocks.  The first one is finished and it came out very pretty, I think. I decided to make my own hexie templates from the one that was in the class materials on the Craftsy class.


I was afraid the regular printer paper was going to be too flimsy, but it worked out okay.  I'm glad I cut the template out of a cardboard piece I snagged from a FQ, now I'll have it to make more paper pieces later.


I stitched them all together last night while my husband and I watched a movie.  Not many pictures occurred during this time.  :)


I can't say how much I love those little flat flower pins.

Finished Hex Block

I machine appliqued my hexie stripe on with a zig-zag pattern.  Warm with one cool hex.  So, that block is finished - now I'm going to hope for my local quilting shop to carry more kona snow fabric so I can finish the rest of the series.. I wish the fabric fairy would bring me some solids!!

Studio Update! 

So, for a while, my studio has been a wreck.  Between all the home repairs and updates my husband and I are doing to our 103 year old house, my studio has become kind of a storage room.  Today, I got a bit of drive to clean up my fabric stash, and finally put it in its place - the awesome built in shelving unit in my studio. I was so excited because there is room in there to grow!

I wish that I had taken a before picture - my painting supplies were all over both the shelves, and it was generally a huge wreck.  I think as a general rule, there is never enough storage space, no matter where you live.  Don't you agree?


So, I'm calling both of these things my finishes for the week, baby steps, you know!

Linking up with Crazy Mom Quilts for Finish it up Friday
And Thank Goodness it's Finished Friday this week at Sewing By Moonlight.

Thanks for reading, lovelies.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Tutorial Thursdays!

Grab a badge for your blog here:
Sew Simply

So, this week I've been kind of lazy.  My husband and I started watching Breaking Bad (from the beginning), and that has distracted me - so I've only been working on the Craftsy BOM from 2012.  I blogged about it yesterday, in fact!

I have to say that Craftsy's BOM class - for the sake of Tutorial Thursdays, we'll call it a tutorial "series" - has been very good so far.  I have not really learned a new technique, but it has been good practice, and I've been forced to kind of think about color matching as I go along, rather than just having all the fabric for the entire project laid out at the start (I went with the stash rather than purchasing a new bundle..)

That being said, I'm NOT going to actually post the tutorial, since I can't.  You have to register on Craftsy to actually take any of their classes (it's free to register).  However, I will post my finished broken spider web block :)

Finished Broken Spider Web

I just hate that my final point was off by like 1/8 of an inch.... I might unpick some of the stitches and try to fudge it a little.  I haven't decided yet - have any of you had any success with doing that?  Yes, it is a string block, so none of the seams are supposed to match other than around the center star. 

Hopefully next week I'll have a better tutorial for y'all.  Until then, share what you've been working on from a tutorial (or your own tutorial)! 

Thanks for reading! 

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Block Progress

My A.D.D. self has started another project.  Last week (I think), I blogged about wanting to start the Craftsy BOM series from 2012.  I just loved Amy Gibson's choice of blocks, so I told myself, "you can make one block a day, and that's that."  - Plus I just so happened to have a few yards of Kona Snow, the fabric she chose as her background fabric, so I took that as a sign.

Anyway, I wanted to share with you my progress so far.  I've got 7 blocks completely done, and one 3/4 done - my husband wanted to call it early last night so we could go for a run this morning... out of respect for the light sleeper, I turned off the sewing machine.

Here's what I've made so far on this project:

January Blocks
The Asterisk Block

Slashed Pound Sign

February Blocks
Balkan Puzzle
The Balkan Puzzle - this one has been one of my faves so far :)

Chunky Chevron
Chunky Chevron

March Blocks
string block
String Block

Broken Spider Web
The IN-PROGRESS Broken Spider Web

April Blocks
These are hexie blocks which I haven't done because, frankly, my printer is out of ink!

May Blocks
Modern Frame Log Cabin
Modern Frame Log Cabin - I really enjoyed the improv blocks.. I'm thinking about making an entire quilt of either a May block or something from March... but that's in the future.

5-sided wonky log cabin
5-sided Wonky Log Cabin

Well, that's about all for now! Finishing up the Broken Spider Web block today, and going to go pick up ink for the printer so I can do my hexie blocks.

Linking up with WIP Wednesdays @ Freshly Pieced

Friday, August 16, 2013

5 Hexagon Project Tutorials

Hexagon Pin
Here you will find a list of 5 of my favorite Hexagon projects and tutorials.  As I've been perusing other people's blogs and work a lot lately, I thought I'd share these gems that I found.  I have linked directly to the original post (or where I found it originally), and have done my best to give credit where credit is due. 
Strip of Hexies Dish Towel by Wild Olive

Eye Glass Case by Liesl Made
Hexagon Park on Moda Bake Shop by Lily's Quilts
Hexagon Quilt Tutorial by The Sewing Chick

Stitchy Hexie with Embroidery Pattern by Clover and Violet
Thank you original authors for your hard work, and for sharing it with us! 

Thanks for reading,

Finished Pressing Table + Tutorial

Earlier this week I blogged about the table that my mom gave me that I was going to turn into my pressing table (here).  I finally decided which fabric I wanted to use, so as promised, here is my process for repurposing the table.

So, obviously, you need a table - the top doesn't need to be in good condition (it'll be covered!), but it needs to be sturdy.  Here are the other supplies you'll need:

Tools Needed

I used 3/8" staples - they worked just fine. 
The fabric is a heavy cotton, but not quite a decorator weight. 
Since you'll most likely be ironing cotton on your pressing board, you want to use a cotton batting for the pad. 

The first thing you want to do is sweep!  Make sure your floor is pretty clean.  I have OLD wooden floors, so dirt gets trapped in the cracks, but make sure the surface you'll be laying your materials on is fairly clean.

Measure the table.  Write this down.  You'll be adding inches to this measurement for the padding and cover.

Cutting the fabric piece. Depending on the height of the table top (the thickness of the piece on top that you'll be stapling to), you'll want to give yourself between 2"-5" extra fabric on all sides.  I was not very comfortable with the whole process, so I gave myself a lot extra - about 4" on all sides.  Place this face down on the floor.

Cutting the padding.  I cut 3 pieces of batting - I like a fairly firm surface to press on, but you can cut more if you like yours softer.  I cut my pieces 1" over on all sides, enough to go around the edge of my table - no one likes a crease in their fabric from the edge of their pressing board.  Place these centered on top of the already face down fabric piece as shown here:


Next you'll place the table top down on the stack you just made.  Without pulling the stack out of place, place a single staple on one side of the table.  Once this staple is in place, move the opposite side of the table.  Pull this side tight, and place another staple.  Repeat for the remaining sides.

Single Staple
Continue pulling tight and stapling every 1"-2".  Stop an inch or two away from each corner.  Corners are last.

For the corners: pull the fabric tight, parallel to the leg.  Depending on how round the corners of your table are, you will have a sharp point, or a flat one like mine. 

Corner Stretch

Double staple the fabric as flush as you can get it to lay on the corner.  Pulling the fabric tight and stapling it will ensure that you don't end up with bubbles in your pressing surface.  Since I borrowed the stapler from my husband's tool box, it left some dirty spots around my staples - but I'm not that worried about it, they are on the bottom.

Corner Staples

Just trim up the excess fabric, and you're finished!

Cutting Corners


Before and After
Thanks for reading!! 

Thursday, August 15, 2013

HST Tutorial (Tutorial Thursdays #2)

Good morning everyone!  This week I'm going to show you my amazing magical HST trick, it's probably not new, but I think pictures and a written set of instructions help.  At the end I really want to see what you guys have been working on as far as projects from a tutorial - or even your own tutorial!  I'm very new to quilting, so I will definitely try out whatever you share with me, then come back and show you what I've done.

So I'm going to get on with it.

HST Tutorial Pin
The first thing to remember is that we're going to be sewing together 2 squares all the way around the edge with a 1/4" seam, closing them in together.  You want to start with two squares that are 2 inches larger than the size of your HST.  Each set of two squares will yield 4 HSTs.  I made 3.5" HSTs so I started with 5.5" squares of fabric.

Materials for 4 HSTs:
Two blocks of material 2" larger than the desired size of your HST.
Rotary cutter 
Sewing Machine


The first obvious step is to pin your squares together.  This will keep them from shifting when you are sewing all the way around the edges. 

.25 Stitching

Next take the blocks to the machine.  Start about 1/4" away from a corner (doesn't matter which, we're going to go all the way around this puppy.)  With your needle down, turn the corner 1/4" away from the end of each side.  Don't worry if you go over a little - I just backstitched a few stitches and turned.  The important thing is maintaining a good 1/4" border around the entire block.

Stitching Finished
This is what my corners looked like. Maintain the 1/4" seam around the whole edge and you'll be fine.


After you're done stitching around all 4 sides, take the block to the cutting mat.  Line up your ruler diagonally from one corner to the corner across from it.  Cut.  Flip the triangles and cut again - to get what looks like a QST with all 4 closed.  

Then, press. *Enter Darth Vader* Quilters always press to the dark side.  :)  Trim the dog ears, and then you are finished constructing your HST. 
I found this method to be much quicker than the traditional HST method.  I think you will too.  Plus you don't end up with a mark on your fabric. 

Tutorial Thursdays - A New Linky Party

Please be sure and link back to my blog in your post, using either my button (below) or a text link. <3 data-blogger-escaped-br=""> Grab my button!

Sew Simply

Wednesday, August 14, 2013


I have been dragging this one out.. but it's coming along!  I'm hand quilting it, and during my down time at the flea market that I helped my parents with last weekend, I sat in the shade and quilted.  It was amazing how many people came up and wanted to admire my work and give me compliments for being a "young quilter."  It makes me proud to know that I am taking up an art and past-time and making it mine.  

Strips 1
Stitching the squares together on my machine.

Quilt Sandwich
The Quilt Sandwich.

In the hoop.

So now, I might not be done with it this week.  Especially since my fingertips are complaining!  I think I might go back to piecing something for a while..  thinking about doing the Craftsy BOM 2012 series - better late than never!  I'll share that if I decide to get started on it.  By the way, if you haven't already, check out Craftsy - they have tons of free patterns and the awesome BOM classes (one for last year, and one for this year.)

Addition to my sewing/craft studio.  :)

I love my mom.   She is always giving me things - I try to do the same for her (Something I think will be easier after I start getting paid!).  Last week I gave her a rotary cutter and mat - she had been eyeing them for a while, so I made the buy for her.  :-)  I got her a nice little Fiskars set:
Cutter (came with a bonus pair of scissors!)
Self-healing Mat
Since her sewing room isn't as big as mine (how did I get so lucky?) I gave her the 18"x 24" mat.

Anyway, this past weekend I helped them do a flea market type sale (that I was talking about above..)  My parents are something of a pair of pickers.  So they had tons of treasures to take to the sale, I'm thinking if my back was crying this much afterward, I feel sorry for my dad's back!  In the sale, she had this fantastic table that I had my eye on for a new pressing table for my sewing room.

I think that it didn't sell because it has this crack in the top.  Something I wasn't so worried about, since I'm covering the top with layers of batting and fabric to create my pressing surface.  Planning to make my first tute over this as well - repurposed table.  I just need to decide which type of fabric I want to use - I'll be looking at it nearly every day, so I want to love it! - SUGGESTIONS?

That's all for now!