My week of sewing…Progress being made

I am loving my new machine. Thank you all, who commented and wished me fun on my new machine – sorry I have not had a chance to reply. I have a good reason though…I have been sewing most nights…

Over the weekend, I finished all my blocks for Carolyn Friedlander’s Mini Aerial quilt. I used various prints of Lotta Jansdotter’s lines (echo, bella, glimma, mormor and sylvia). I plan to finish the top for Friday.

AerialQuilt_FinishedBlocksI am pleased with how it is turning out. I think I am going to add some Essex-dyed Linen around the edge and possibly bind it in an eggplant print or teal print from the Lotta Jansdotter lines.

Monday night, I spent the time redesigning my sampler quilt to include the right colors based on the bundle I selected and adding the sashing. I also simplified a couple of blocks.
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I then moved on to cutting and writing up the fabric requirements and cutting instructions for making the top row of this quilt. This is the fabric selection (check out this post for details), but I have decided to drop the pink and possibly use it for binding.
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Tuesday, I was sewing up the second block of the top row, it turned out fantastic. I am so looking forward teaching the blocks at Spoonflower next month.

The rest of my week, I am planning on keeping up with my great progress:

  • Wednesday – last block of first row of my sampler quilt
  • Thursday – Photograph blocks + sewing together my aerial quilt blocks and finish top
  • Friday – Start 15/30 min. daily practice sessions for FMQ ( I plan on blogging my progress over the next two weeks – 1 month…maybe in a photo a day type style via instagram with a week blog summary??).

That’s it for my week of progress and activities. Keep an eye out for Book Review Tuesday next week – it will be a FMQ special.

Linking up with Lee over @ Freshly Pieced for WiP Wednesday (see button on the right).

Sunday Stash #14: A BIG purchase

I have been sewing/quilting for the past ~18 months on a brother machine, I purchased of amazon for $150.
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It is a great lightweight machine (very portable) and a great machine to learn on, as I was 18 months ago.  However, I have been struggling on it recently because:

  • It is having trouble going over seams and I have to lift the foot slightly to keep it moving (probably need the foot pressure adjusted)
  • The stitches are a little irregular.
  • Lastly but the most important point….it has a little harp space. I have been pulling my quilts through that tiny space.

So, I had made the decision that I will look at another machine. My biggest criteria was enough harp space that I can easily quilt without slipped stitches or moved stitches from yanking it through that space. Luckily, I was going to Sew Down and I was excited about using one of the supplied machines to see what sewing/quilting was like on another machine. In the FMQ and Paper Piecing classes they provided Janome 8900 QCP.

I liked it so much, and the fact there was a 60% discount/ no sales tax/free shipping…just made it so appealing….that this came home with me this week…..
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I have been sewing yesterday on it, trying to finish up my Carolyn Friedlander Aerial Quilt. My favorite features so far:

  • The hidden thread and the storage compartments for all the components.
  • The wonderful large pedal
  • The cool automatic thread cutter feature.
  • The evenness and smoothness of the stitches

We are definitely going to be “Besties” for life :-)

Linking up with Molli Sparkles for Sunday Stash (see button on the right).

My mum’s mad skills

My mum has been visiting the last few weeks, and has done a wonderful job looking after my son and us, during track out (school vacation). This past week we had a blast in New York….that’s my Mum!!!MumNY

My Mum is a fabulous seamstress, who has made our kids clothes, my ball gowns and 1930′s outfits for the Hawkes Bay Art Deco weekends in New Zealand. This is the first time, my mum and I have talked about fabric and sewing. She had mentioned that a woman in her book club had this great teapot skirt. We raided my fabrics and next thing you know she has a finish….FullSkirt

I love the waistband on the skirt and how she has finished it off with the edging and the bias. It breaks up the print wonderfully.Hem_biasHer fabric choices are:

That’s my Mum first Friday finish, is it not a pretty finish. I am linking up with Amanda Jean over @ Crazy Mom Quilts for Finish it up Friday.

 

 

 

Sew Down Nashville: Paper piecing and hand appliqué

Sunday, the last day of sew down continued the wonderful classes, lectures, socializing and food. The first class of the day was Carolyn Friedlander’s paper piecing class using her aerial quilt.  We had a chat about layout, as I had chosen my fabrics based on the full quilt and the class was a mini quilt. Carolyn_Michelle_AerialQuilt

This mini version of Carolyn’s aerial is my favorite layout, and it is the one we are making in class. Paper piecing was not new too me, so this class was not challenging but I love the pattern. I was so excited and knew I would be using my Lotta Jansdotter fabric stash, that I had been saving up.CarolynFriedlander_AerialQuilt

I managed to finish 3 of 8 blocks in class, which I was thrilled about. The other 5 blocks will be all grey, black and white. I loved how my first blocks turned out. You can check out some of the other people’s blocks on Carolyn’s blog.AerialQuilt_LottaJansdotter

After lunch, our final class commenced with Anna Maria Horner. Of course, we took advantage of a photo-op. with Anna Maria – who wouldn’t right??Michelle_AMH_Daisy_Antionette
(Photo Left to Right: Me, Anna Maria, Daisy, Antoinette)

Anna Maria’s class was on Modern Corsage where you could choose to use either:

  • Structured design and piecing
  • Or fussy cutting and hand appliqué techniques.

This project definitely took me out of my comfort zone…way beyond my comfort zone. I decided to do the fussy cutting and hand appliqué, as this was all new to me. It took me a while to decide on my background fabric and then from there it came together.

I added the low volume prints with the focus print for the complete background. The flowers were fussy cut from a variety of Anna Maria’s fabrics. Currently, they are pinned but will be basted on, then hand-appliquéd. I was so surprised how this turned out….I am not huge on flowers but I can picture the end result and I am excited. ModernCorsage_AMHClass

To finish off the day, I took a couple of celebrity shots of our wonderful organizers. Elizabeth, Heather and Jen did a fantastic job all round. The classes were so great, the food was wonderful and it all ran so smoothly. ElizabethDackson_Michelle
(Photo: Me, Elizabeth Dackson)

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(Photo Left to Right: Heather Grant, Me, Jen Carlton Bailey)

WiP Wednesday: Too many projects to count

Folks, last night I got to see, for the first time, Ashley @ Wasn’t Quilt in a Day. Can I just say that it was so wonderful to finally put faces to names of some of my blogging friends lately. We had a great time over dinner in NJ, talking mostly about fabric and quilting. I am sure, my Mum, who gracious agreed to dinner (while I am showing her round NY), was thinking I might have a slight addiction issue. At least it is a “healthy” one, right??

P.S. to Ashley, you do know what we forgot to do though….take a selfie for instagram….what kind of social media butterflies are we ???

I have so many unfinished projects at the moment and these are what I stress about. Not what everyone is doing….the pile that is constantly growing. This week my focus is still on this block which I need to sew up and make one more of:
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Finish my Mum’s pillows before she leaves on Saturday – just need to finish the border on the right block and add the back…probably doable on Friday??
TapaStar_Solid_Pillow TapaStarBlocks_complete

Complete at least another two blocks from my sampler quilt….I have this one done thanks to sew down:
HST_OpenSewBlock

Linking up with Lee over at Freshly Pieced for WiP Wednesday (see button on right).

Sew Down Nashville: FMQ and improvisational piecing + Winner

Sew Down Nashville was fantastic. Heather, Elizabeth and Jen, from The Modern Quilt Guild, organized the best weekend activity/conference, I have ever attended.

Friday evening, kicked off our sewing with open sew, where you could sew any project with others, in a social environment….like a giant bee. I worked on my hexagon (EPP) lap quilt which is slowly progressing; perfect when traveling. Can you believe it, I finished around midnight.
Hexagon_OpenSew The weekend did not slow down a second from then on. Each class exceeded my expectations. First up, was Angela Walters Free Motion Quilting class. If you ever get a chance to take her class – do….she has such a great flow and structure in her teaching…..she is funny and down to earth which made it a lot of fun. I know!! FMQ fun!!Angela_Me

This was one of her quilts she had on display….one of the quilts, you say, “When I grow up I want to be able to do this”:Angelas_FMQ

I struggled with the more curvy designs. Pebbling, which was our first lesson and my first time I have attempted it, was hard more due to the fact I got lost and didn’t know where to go next. Pebble_FMQ

My favorite designs for Angela’s class was the more geometric shapes. To get the points to be more prominent instead of rounded corners, she passed on the knowledge to pause and then move on so that the needle/stitch catches well. Great tip!!, now I just need to not keep my foot on the pedal and sew 2-3 stitches in the same place :-)Geometric_FMQ

Practice, practice, practice. Angela talked about how she would for 15 minutes a day just sit at her sewing machine and practice…I think it will be my next months challenge (Sarah @ Berry Barn Designs….sounds like a 3030SC right??).

Victoria Findlay Wolfe, was up next for improvisational piecing. A fantastic class to take those out of their comfort zone, especially if you are a pattern follower. Of course, this one was right up my alley and loved it!

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These were some of my favorite mini quilts that she had bought with her. I love that she has all these vibrant colors in her quilts. All those small pieces did not start out small, it’s all about how you piece the together…and then trim.Victorias_Quilts

In her class I learned how to do a Y seam…folks nice and easy – why was I freaked out about these before :-) Also, I managed to improv two blocks…I now have a new project in my head on how I would use these.Improv_YSeam_VictoriasClass

 

Saturday finished up with another open sew and can you believe it I was almost first one to breakfast each morning (7:30 am – yes hubby, I can be an early rising) and one of the last to leave each open sew.  I finished this open sew with a completed block!!
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Final part of business today….the winner of Quilt Essentials (btw, I met the author at sew down!!)…is
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Who is Sarah @ For Russia. Congratulations, I will send C&T Publishing/Stash books your details.

I am linking up with Lorna @ Sew Fresh Quilts for Let’s Bee Social (see button on right).

Sunday Stash #13: A Sew Down Nashville special

I have been missing in action for a couple of days, here on my blog; definitely not though if you follow me on instagram. The main reason for the absence…I was in Nashville for the Modern Quilt Guild Sew Down Nashville.Airport_SewdownI had a blast and will definitely sharing the fabulous time over the next few days. Today though, it is all about the goodies from Sew Down Nashville.

We received a few free goodies through-out the conference. Great Dear Stella Dots, a couple of Charm Packs and I won Elizabeth Dackson’s new book “Becoming a Confident Quilter”. I was ecstatic!!Sewdown_Goodies


On Friday night, we were off to Anna Maria Horner’s Studio/House….I know unbelievable right?? Of course, she was selling fabric…and I bought some.AMH_BundlesLinens

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There were gift packs from Anna Maria Horner as well…they had fat quarters of her new line that is coming out later this year. Yes, I have some.
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I also picked up some of Angela Walters new line, while participating in her FMQ class.
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I am sharing this fabulous love!!! Ashley @ Wasn’t Quilt in the Day, who has a major AMH class and has had a birthday this week, is getting these FQ.
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So, stay tuned for the rest of the week for a synopsis of the weekend….and next Sunday Stash I will have my HUGE surprise (if you are on instagram, ml_wilkie….you know what that will be), that should be arriving.

Linking up with Molli Sparkles for Sunday Stash (see button on the right).