Saturday, December 28, 2013

Finally, the Good Folks Finish

Ok, so I know this is a long time coming. It just seems like every time I try to get photos of this quilt, something gets in the way. Regardless, I have finally done it! You may remember it from my Japanese X and + tutorial, when I posted about the finished top, or you may have seen it in my header and wondered what happened to the finished quilt.

Well finally, here it is. This is my flat out all time favorite ever quilt.

For the back, I got really lucky and found 3 yards of filigree on Etsy for only $18. You know how expensive yardage of Good Folks can get. Naturally I scooped it right up, and it is the perfect backing.

I quilted it with basic straight lines that were set just 1/4" off of each side of the the seams. It has great drape and is not too heavily quilted. I don't like quilts that I actually use to have any kind of heavy quilting on them. I think heavy quilting makes a quilt feel like a piece of cardboard. 

So yes, the finished quilt does exist. I use it almost everyday and it is my favorite finish of all time. :)

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Hemispheres QAL {Winner}

I am pleased to announce the Hemispheres QAL Winner! The voters picked Anya Nixon! Anya, I will shoot your email over to Tammy at Marmalade Fabrics and she will be in touch. Thank you everyone for participating!

Make sure to keep up with the new patterns released from Aria Lane. I have a few more coming soon as do some of the other designers! To be kept up to date, sign up for their newsletter! Happy sewing!

Thursday, December 12, 2013

My Gypsy Wife: Part 2

Im still in love. This quilt is so therapeutic. Here are a few more of my main blocks.

This one is just heavenly. I got to highlight a little piece of original Flea Market Fancy Barbells that I have been hoarding. It just seemed so appropriate in this quilt. 

And as I began to add the filler blocks, the blocks on the wall started to grow,

and grow,

and are looking awwwwesome (if I do say so myself). If you are as inspired by this pattern as I am, you can find it and all the other gorgeous Jen Kingwell Patterns at Westwood Acres!

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Around the ColorWheel {Green}

Yum! This arrived on my doorstep just in time for my birthday and the holidays!

I love watching my solids stash grow. If you need stash builders, check out Tammy's bundles and Around the Color Wheel at Marmalade Fabrics!

On my birthday, we made ornaments for our first tree. He's adorbs, I look like I'm 10 rather than 26. Haha.  :)

Monday, December 9, 2013

Hemispheres QAL {Link Up}

Are you ready to win this!?!?!?

Then link up your finished Hemispheres quilt top or finished quilt below!

I have changed the dates a little since my technical difficulties with my internet today delayed this post so much. You can link up today and tomorrow, and then on Wednesday, the chance to vote on your favorite top will be available! Please come vote and help us pick the winner of this gorgeous stack of fabric. The voting will be open until midnight on the 14th, and then the winner announced on the 15th!

So link up now and check back to vote on Wednesday! Can't wait to see what everyone has made! Thanks again to everyone who participated! I have really enjoyed seeing everyone's quilts come to life!

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

My Gypsy Wife: Part 1

My newest obsession is Jen Kingwell's Gypsy Wife. I knew I had no other choice but to make it when the BOM came out last year, but I could not afford a BOM that was shipping from Australia. So I waited. And waited. And waited. And finally, the BOM finished, and the pattern was released! I snatched it up super fast from Westwood Acres and almost fell over with glee!

Needless to say, I got started right away! If you follow me on Instagram, you have seen the progression of this quilt already. Block 1 won my heart. I was in love. Love love love.

It was on this block that I noticed the first error. When I follow a pattern, I look at the cover, look at the diagrams, and then read the words. Its kind of like cross checking that it all flows correctly. Well the diagram for this block has a shading error, and if you only look at said diagram, you will leave off one of the little triangles.

For all those following along with #gypsywifealong or who decide to make it after my blog posts, I am probably going to post a list of errata that I found. I have already seen some people on Instagram making the blocks wrong, and it makes me sad because they are just following the directions. It is not their fault. If you are making this with me on IG and you think you have found an error, post it to #gypsywifealong. I want to make sure I capture everything when I write this up for my friends who are following along. I also want to shout out a little bit to Alyssa and say thank you for all of the rigorous revisions that you do for our Aria Lane patterns. Months of checking and testing go into those puppies.

So anyway, semi-negative stuff aside, I am still painfully in love with this quilt. It touches my soul because I see so much of myself reflected in the design. The chaos of the pattern, the saturation of all the color, the inability to take it all in on first glance. I love this quilt.

I chugged through what I call the 'main blocks' pretty quickly. Here are a few more.

I'll save the rest for my next post! What pattern touches your soul and reflects everything you are? I am interested to see what quilts people see themselves in. Happy quilting!

Monday, December 2, 2013

Hemispheres QAL {Giveaway Winners!}

Yay! We have some winners! Our random number generator picked numbers three and eighteen! Congrats Stephanie and Rachel! I will email you soon and let Tammy know that you guys are the winners!

Thanks to everyone for entering! I was so pleased that so many people found the quilting tutorial helpful! If you follow me on Instagram, you'll know that I have a bit of a new obsession. It's called the Gypsy Wife. I will post about my progress this week!

Monday, November 25, 2013

Hemispheres QAL {Quilting}

So before we get started, is anyone interested in a giveaway? Leave a comment on this post and enter to win one of two Kona Bundles from Marmalade Fabrics. I don't know about you, but I have had a rough two weeks, and a giveaway is definitely necessary :)

So quilting. I am going to show you the method of quilting that I used on my original Hemispheres Quilt. This method uses concentric circles echoing out from a single point. I decided to use just some solid white in my tutorial so that the detail of what I was doing would show up better than on a print or than on my wall hanging. I should preface this by saying that this is not a tutorial on Free Motion Quilting. I am sure it can be done with free motion, but that is not a skill I yet possess. Plus, I want people who, like myself, cannot master FMQ to have some options other than straight line quilting. That said, lets do this.

So first, find any round object that is a good size for tracing your center circle. For me, the lid of a mason jar works perfectly. It is still small, but not too small that you have trouble getting a smooth curve with your machine.

Trace your object using a water soluble or heat removable marking pen (test it out first to make sure it diappears!) on your quilt where you want the center of your quilting to be. I generally toss mine off center somewhere.

Now, with your machine, line up on the circle you just drew. Before you make your way around the circle, take a couple stitches forward and a couple stitches backwards to lock your stitch in place. You want to do this at the beginning and end of every circle. Otherwise, your quilting will come out in the wash. 

Now, begin to sew along the circle you drew. Ease through the curve like you did when you were piecing, trying to start/stop as little as possible so that you don't end up with angles. If you are worried about not being able to get a smooth curve, trace something a little bigger. The bigger it is, the easier it will be to guide your machine through that circle. Since this circle will be our center, it will be the smallest and have the tightest curve. All the curves that follow will get easier as you echo out. 

Once you have completed your circle, make sure you backstitch at the end to lock it in place. 

To get exact spacing between your concentric circles, I use this tool that came with my machine. It is a guide bar that you can insert into the arm that holds your presser foot. If your machine didn't come with one, I am sure you can buy one that attaches similar to how they make walking feet that attach. (feet? foot? idk)

So using a ruler, I put my needle down on the spacing that I want. In this instance, I am using 1.5". Normally I use something much smaller like 0.75". This is just so that I can show the technique. With the needle down, I then insert the guide bar, line it up to the edge of my ruler, and screw it in. Now we are ready to sew!

Line up the guide bar on the first circle you sewed. While sewing, you will want to spend more time watching that guide bar and keeping it lined up than you will watching your needle. As long as that guide bar is in the right place, your stitches will follow. Again, backstitch as you begin your next circle. 


Once you get to a place where no more complete circles will fit on your quilt, you finish out the corners as arcs. You still line up on your previous circle, but you stitch from one edge of the quilt to the next. 

And here is the finished product! Again, you might want to do your lines much closer together. Mine always fall between 0.5" and 1". This 1.5" could be good on a really huge quilt, but for most, I would suggest keeping it in the same range as straight line quilting. 


Happy quilting! Can't wait to see how all of the Hemispheres turn out and how you decide to quilt them!

Friday, November 15, 2013

Around the Color Wheel: Teal

My first of many Around the Color Wheel bundle from Marmalade Fabrics arrived yesterday. I was sooo excited that I almost tore into it before taking a picture of the fantastic packaging. Luckily, I regained some self control. I love the time and effort she puts in to her packages. How cute?!

November was teal, and I love teal. I mean, I LOVE teal. Tammy did a great job picking these Kona Solids. 

If you haven't signed up for Around the Color Wheel, you should check it out. It really is a great deal and a great way to build your stash. I am currently signed up just for the solids because that is where I have a big hole in my stash. But if you need prints, there are monthly print Around the Color Wheel bundles as well! These are good, quality, modern, relevant prints. Definitely things I would pick for myself.

And! If there was a month that you particularly liked, you can go in to the shop at any time and buy both the solid bundles and the print bundles. The last 8 months of bundles are all listed! I must now go pet my new beauties. They are waiting to be folded. :)

Monday, November 11, 2013

Hemispheres QAL {piecing curves freehand}

Ok everybody! Now it's time to learn to piece your curves with no pins and no glue. Embarrassingly enough, this is one technique I just cannot master. Mostly because I'm pretty wedded to my pins. So, for today's post, we will be visiting Alyssa at Pileofabric!

As always, if you have any questions, feel free to comment or post them in the Flickr group! For our next post, we will be back here!

Monday, November 4, 2013

Hemispheres QAL {Gluing Curves}

Ok, so if you weren't a huge fan of the idea of pinning all your curves, but you aren't sure that you can freehand them, gluing might be for you. You will need a washable glue that is safe for fabric, Elmers works great. It is also handy if you have a tip of any kind that will allow you to control the flow of the glue a little better than your standard top.

The steps for glue basting and pin basting a curve are essentially the same. First, you want to fold both you concave and convex pieces in half and finger press them so that you have a little crease along the center line. It is important to line your pieces up in the center so that you don't end up with too much bulk on one side or the other.

Next, rather than pin through these lines, put a small drop of glue on the center line of the convex piece.

Then, place the center line of the concave piece direction on top of this glue dot. You want to then set that glue using a hot dry iron.

Once you have your center set, you want to put a small dab of glue right on the left and right edges of the convex piece.

Then, just as you did with pinning, bring the edges of the concave piece up to meet right on top of those glue dots. Again, heat set your glue with a hot, dry iron.

Now, if you are comfortable with curves and your machine, you can stop here and align the rest of the edges as you sew. If you want your basting to give you a little less movement in your curve while you sew, you can add more dots between the ones that you have already heat set just as you did with pins. The number of glue dots you use is completely based on your comfort with your curve and how much control you want to have when sewing it.

So you have the instructions on how to trim the blocks in your pattern, but I wanted to go over it really quickly in case it doesn't make sense for everyone. Basically, you need to just make sure that you have only a quarter inch of background at the edges. That way, when you sew two hemispheres together, they touch.

So line up your ruler so that you have the quarter inch line laying on your seam ON BOTH EDGES. If you don't line both edges up, you will cut your background wonky. 

 Once you trim your background fabric, flip the block 180 and trim the other side.  And there you go!

Sorry this got up late! I was having some super huge technical difficulties. :( Thanks for the patience!!