Sunday, January 20, 2013

#scrappytripalong Almost there

Quilt top pieced and quilt basted, I am in the home stretch on this one. When my shift ended on Wednesday, I took a little break on this quilt to finally start on my Weekender bag. Let me tell you, this bag is not for the meek. It has been incredibly time consuming, but I am almost done and ready to show off! It is rather hard, and thus I'm feeling pretty accomplished. Haha. But back to the quilt at hand.

I have to go back to Columbia today for my final shift on this project and wanted to get the Scrappy Trip Along quilt basted so that I could quilt it while in my hotel room. Basting usually goes pretty smoothly for me, but this one started out as a nightmare. The garage is full of sawdust from the chicken coop that my dad is building, and it was too windy to try to do it on the driveway. The only place left, was inside.

This is not the best idea due to the spray radius of the glue, but it was the only option. For whatever reason, no matter what my Mom and I did, we could not get the backing to lay on the batting smoothly without wrinkles. I can normally get it to lay pretty flat and even and then smooth any remaining wrinkles with my hands, but not this time. Right before I went into full meltdown mode, we called in Dad.

Naturally, Dad knew just what to do. He essentially just wallpapered the whole thing down. I know all of this is just like duh, but I normally can smooth the wrinkles out with my hands after laying down each layer. This however, gave such perfect results (I mean PERFECT, check out that backing) that I recommend it to all home quilt basters.

Here's what we did. The batting was taped to the floor to apply the backing and quilt top to the batting. It makes for easier smoothing when you have the fabric side up rather than batting side up. I like to bast half of the quilt at a time (shown below) so that you have less sticky area to control at once. So, spray basting onto batting. 

The next part is easier if you have three participants. I couldn't get any great pictures while we were mid process since I was one of the three people involved, but hopefully you get the idea. Next week I will be basting the Good Folks quilt and I will see if I can rope someone in to photograph. 

While one person smoothes, have two others hold each corner of the quilt and keep it hovered over the sticky batting. While you are smoothing from the middle towards the end of the quilt, have them slowly lay it down ahead of you. This allows controlled application of the quilt back or top to the batting that is firmly secured, and it allows any wrinkles that may appear to be smoothed out before the entire area of the quilt is set. 

End result, absolutely no wrinkles. Not even the 'i can live with those' wrinkles. I'm sure many people are like yea, obviously, BUT this opened a whole new world to me for perfectly basted quilts. Ill put up an in depth picture tutorial when we baste the Good Folks quilt!

Monday, January 14, 2013

#scrappytripalong Almost pieced!

I finally finished piecing all 30 of my blocks for the #scrappytripalong quilt. I got a little distracted between being in the middle of another 10 day shift and having my boyfriend here to visit for a few days. It was nice to come home (to my hotel room?...thats not home) and unwind with him around.

Since I have so much floor space and the carpet in my room is so lovely (scary?) I decided to play with a couple different layouts. There is the basic traditional,

the zig zag,

and the offset diamond.

After much deliberation and TONS of feedback from my wonderful instagram friends, I ended up deciding on going the traditional route. It is just so pretty. I do, however, plan to do another one in boy colors and use the zig zag pattern.

With that decision made, I rearranged the blocks to try to get the best distribution of lights and darks. Decent right? Ok, now to piece the top. This is the first quilt that I think I might actually start and finish in the same month. Holy moly! #finishit2013

Monday, January 7, 2013

Travel Sewing Kit {part 1}

Remember a couple weeks ago when I was complaining about needing a travel sewing kit? Well over Christmas vacation, I launched into it. My key items were bag for notions and fabric, bag for machine, easy way to carry all small notion-like items, and something for cutting/ironing. Not a lot right? And it needs to be decently portable. Ok so. First, I set out on an easy task, make a pin cushion.

I got this cute pattern by Little Jaybird Quilts for Christmas for a quick and easy one, so I thought, hey, lets do this.

hello awesome instagram photo! pin cushion is huge. Good I guess, but huge nevertheless. I also chose to weight it because I HATE when you try to put a pin in a pincushion, and it tries to get away from you. Huge pet peeve. It was rather simple and easy to adapt to any pincushion pattern. Just sew a little pouch, fill it with rice or lentils or beans, and insert when you are stuffing your pincushion. Boom!

Next was my carry/organizing device for my notions.

This, I am proud to say, I created and designed by myself. I know there are many versions of it out there in the world, but this particular one used no pattern at all. Yay creativity! My main needs were zip pockets for small things (needles, bobbins, pins, thread, binding clips, ext) and sleeve pockets for my rotary cutter and scissors.

Great success! It is super cute when it is all folded up too!

Now, last time I was in Columbia, I bought my super cute teeny tiny cutting mat. I also had plans to make a tiny ironing board using a small piece of wood, an old towel, fabric, and a staple gun. However, I received this awesome Omnigrid cutting mat and ironing board for Christmas, and so the homemade ironing board got put on the back burner.

This sucker is cool and I can't help but love it more than I probably would my homemade ironing board. It is so portable with its ability to fold up and convenient little handle. Yep, its awesome. It comes in a couple sizes, mine being the largest one I think. If you are considering purchasing something like this, it is worth every penny.

O, and um, if you can't tell or didn't notice, I'm back in my hotel. Lots of free sewing time this shift to finish up the scrappy trip along and my travel sewing bags!

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

in under the wire

Phew! Finally wrapped up my long over due do. Good Stitches quilt. I am the quilter again this month and needed to get my first quilt done so that I could be on track to get this new quilt in on time. Here is my first quilt as a quilter in the Believe circle of do. Good Stitches.

I am so excited for it to find its way into the hands of a sweet little boy. My favorite part is the binding. I had no idea what to use and then after accidentally tossing this fabric onto the waiting quilt, I knew it would be perfect. It is a great pop of color that is nowhere in the quilt! But I think it works rather well. Time to trim any strings and package it up so I can send it on its way!

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

#scrappytripalong Progress

This impromptu quilt along has taken over! I am so off schedule and totally loving it. I chopped up some gorgeous stash scraps

and have been churning out blocks. 12 done and 24 to go. If you haven't started, you should totally make one! It is addictive!

The tutorial is located here on Quiltville! Go go go! Join in on the fun! And follow along on instagram, citystitches or #scrappytripalong. 

Also, if you are interested in handstitching or curves, hop on over to Stitched in Color and sign up for one of Rachel's classes! I have already taken handstitched and signed up for this round of curves! They are very fun, full of learning, and totally worth it!