Friday, September 28, 2012

Quilt Finish: Houndstooth

You may have already seen this quilt top yesterday during the Sew Sweetness Tula Pink Sew Along. You can go here to see my full review of the pattern. A little bit of my original review got cut off. All it really said though is that Tula Pink rocks and her book is amazing. I absolutely recommend it!

So this is finally quilted and bound and I couldn't wait to show the final product here.

I struggled with how to quilt this (as usual). It's pretty large at 66"x72" (I showed a size reference on the other post) and therefore is bulky under my standard machine for custom quilting. So I decided to play off the way that Angela Walters quilted Tula Pinks version in her book. She did straight lines in the dark herringbones and then a wavy design in the light ones. I took that straight line and extended it through the quilt and spaced it out so it made more of a texture. You can see it more on this photo (apparently bright sunlight is good for showing texture!). I'm really happy with how this turned out and will probably do this again.

I totally miscalculated the fabric I needed for the front and wound up with a lot of extra. It worked out well for the back!

Close up of the fabrics and my labels. I also struggled with the thread choice because I had such contrasting colors. I wound up meeting in the middle and using a soft grey from Essentials Thread (silver, 50 wt). I'm really happy with how it turned out. And my machine was very happy with the thread. I had zero tension issues with this one which is rare for me.

One of the things I didn't talk about in my other post is the fabrics. Specifically that purple solid. My sister (who now owns this quilt) had a specific purple in her living room with the yellow and grey. She sent me a photo and I searched for just the right purple. I finally found it in Cotton Couture Venus. This was the first time I've worked with Cotton Couture (which is from Michael Miller) and I just have to rave about it. It is so soft and fabulous to the touch. It's almost reminded me of voile! But definitely not see-through. I had to be careful with it so it didn't pucker since it was softer/lighter(?) than the other fabrics) but once I got used to it, it was fantastic. I even did the binding with it. I can definitely see myself getting more of this to use for shirts.

I really love this quilt, but it's going to live with my sister in Florida. Guess I'll just have to make another one right??

Quilt stats:
Pattern: Houndstooth by Tula Pink
Fabrics: Woodgrain from Joel Dewberry, Michael Miller Cotton Couture Venus, Kona white and I can't remember the dot fabric! 
Quilted by: Myself
Finished: 9/14/12

Thursday, September 27, 2012

My stop on the Tula Pink Sew Along

I am so thrilled to be part of Sara's Tula Pink Sew Along. You all know my addiction for Tula Pink and her fabrics (just search my blog for Tula Pink and you can see my many projects!). So when Sara asked me to do a pattern review I jumped at the chance. Today is my stop on the blog so check it out right here.

More information on the Sew Along  and how you can participate:

Here is the schedule of guest posts that will appear:

Sept 24 - Sara @ Sew Sweetness (Dream Weaver/book)
Sept 25 - Katie @ Katie's Korner (Beanstalks/book)
Sept 26 - Lisa @ That Crazy Quilty Girl (Cloudy Day/book)
Sept 27 - Becky @ My Fabric Obsession (Houndstooth/book)<----you are here! 
Sept 28 - Caitlin at I Don't Do Dishes (Spiked Punch)

Oct 1 - Amanda @ A Crafty Fox (Alphabet)
Oct 2 - Michelle @ City House Studio (Fade to Pink)
Oct 3 - Marci @ Marci Girl Designs (Le Petite Salon)
Oct 4 - Katie @ There and Back (Field Study)
Oct 5 - Lorelei @ Mermaid Sews (Hushabye)

Oct 8 - Anorina @ Samelia's Mum (Pancakes)
Oct 9 - Jenna @ Sew Happy Geek (LOVE)
Oct 10 - Lindsey @ LR Stitched (Fairy Tale Lane/book)
Oct 11 - DeeDee @ mybricole (Any Which Way/book)
              Beth @ Plum and June (Cartwheels)
Oct 12 - Katy @ The Littlest Thistle (Crown Jewels)

Oct 15 - Colleen @ The Busy Bean (Shattered Glass/book)
Oct 16 - Kristen @ KD-Quilts (Stacks/book)
Oct 17 - Roseann @ Rosebud's Cottage (Shattered Glass/book)
Oct 18 - Emily @ Mommy's Naptime (Lollipops/book)
Oct 19 - Jeannette @ Gone Aussie Quilting (Honey Honey)

Oct 22 - Brenda @ Pink Castle Fabrics (Windswept)
Oct 23 - Bianca @ Sweet Diesel Designs (Stacks/book)
Oct 24 - Jessica @ Sew Crafty Jess (Snow Globes)
Oct 25 - Elizabeth @ Don't Call Me Betsy (Space Dust)
              Lindsay @ Lindsay Sews and Craft Buds (Cherry Pie)
Oct 26 - Kim @ My Go-Go Life (Kiss Kiss)
              Kim Munoz (Grand Salon/book)

You also have your own opportunity to make a Tula quilt, bag, dress, whatever! You have until Monday, November 12, 2012 to make something and be eligible for some outstanding prizes!! Here are the rules to be eligible for entry into the contest:

1. Join the Tula Pink Sew Along Flickr Group.

2. To be counted for entry into the contest, get sewing!! Sewn item must be made from a Tula Pink pattern (or from her book) *OR* made from at least 50% Tula Pink fabric (such as a bag, dress, etc.). If you are sewing from a Tula Pink pattern, the fabric does not need to be Tula Pink fabric.

3. If you will be adding an item to the pool to be counted as an entry, it must be sewn and photographed from September 24th through November 12th, 2012. Any items completed before September 24th are not eligible.

4. You may add up to 2 photographs per item.

5. You may add as many items as you want, as long as you made them each within the time frame. If you are making a quilt, the quilt top is adequate to be entered. Anything smaller (mug rug, mini quilt, bag, dress) should be completely finished.

Tula Pink Sew Along
Now how about some discounts?!?
Tula Pink has generously offered a 25% discount on all PDF quilt patterns when you use coupon code tulatroop in her pattern shop. This code is good now through October 31, 2012.
My lovely sponsor, Brenda from Pink Castle Fabrics, has generously extended a 15% discount on all Tula Pink fabrics in the shop using coupon code TULA15. This code will be good now through September 30th.
If you don't already have the book, Tula Pink's publisher is offering a discount code so you can pick up your own copy! Use code TULA2012 when you purchase the book from the Martha Pullen store. Support publishers and authors by buying direct!

Prizes will be announced soon, but here's a little sneak peak at the sponsors that have offered up their amazing products as prizes!
So let's get ready to sew!!! Join me and head on over to the Flickr Group and get ready for some amazing Tula Pink eye candy! I can't wait to see what you create!

Monday, September 24, 2012

Tutorial: Pin basting on a table

For a while now I have been a spray baster. Lately I've been having less than stellar results. I've been getting puckering on my backing that I'm just not happy with. I think the quilts I've been doing have just been too big. So I've gone back to pin basting and I figured I might as well put together a little tutorial on how I do it.

First of all, you need the right surface. I have no floors in my house that will work (everything is hardwood or carpet) except the kitchen. And since I tend to baste over a few days, leaving a quilt on the floor in the kitchen is not an option. We happen to have just the right card table which is sturdy and has a hard surface. I've heard people like to use their kitchen island (which is a great height) but again, I can't leave my quilt there for a few days!

The first thing to do with your work space is divide it into 4 quadrants. I used cording that I had on hand. You could use anything that is going to be thick enough to feel through the quilt. Extension cords, anything you have on hand. Secure it down. It doesn't have to be the exact centers of your table, you'll see why in the next step.

Fold your quilt backing into quadrants and finger press it. Meaning fold it in half one way, then in half the other way. That way you have fold marks that also divide your quilt back into quadrants. Do the same for your batting and backing.

Starting with your backing, lay it right side down on the table and line up your folds with your cording. You can see the arrows are pointing to where you can actually see my cording through the fabric. Usually you will just feel for this which is why it's important for your cording to be thick enough.

After all the lines are matched to the cording, smooth everything out and clamp it down.

Add your next layer on top, the batting. I start by matching up one of the folds as the batting is still folded (like in the photo) and then unfold it and match the other fold.

Smooth everything out and clamp again. Some people don't clamp this layer since it's not likely to shift. Since I have two small children all layers get clamped!!

Repeat those steps for your quilt top.  At this point, take the time to walk around your quilt and double check that all the edges hanging over are lining up correctly. You don't want to spend time pinning just to find out there isn't enough backing on one side.

Gather your supplies and start pinning! I didn't know how to photograph the last steps but it's pretty simple. Once you have pinned the surface as you like you can undo your clamps and shift the whole quilt. Re-clamp it making sure all layers are smooth and keep pinning until the whole quilt is basted.

Hope this is helpful! If you have any tips to share, I'd love to hear them. How do you baste your quilts?

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Another do.Good Stitches quilt

In June, I was leader of our group in do.Good Stitches again. I chose to use this tutorial and asked for green and blue fabrics. It's a great tutorial and I highly recommend it for using those strings you've got! The girls of the Bliss group delivered with some fantastic blocks.

I used Kona charcoal for the sashing to hopefully give it a masculine feel. And some leftover binding I had from my double wedding ring.

I had lots of leftover binding I from my double wedding ring and it matched perfectly with this quilt.

I did straight line quilting across the quilt to keep it simple but hopefully give all those bias edges some strength.

This is a pretty big quilt at 58"x 70". It will be heading to our groups charity Wrap Them in Love which distributes them to needy children.

Quilt stats:
Size: 58"x70"
Pattern: String block
Fabrics: Various from do.Good Stitches Blissgroup
Quilted by: Myself
Finished: 9/21/12

Monday, September 17, 2012

Modern Scrappy Swap Received!

I was so excited to open the mailbox on Saturday and find this inside! It's my package for the Modern Scrappy Swap.  It traveled to me from Bonnie in Reno, Nevada. One of the fun things about this swap was that we were to include a postcard from our area. Bonnie was also sweet enough to include chocolate! YUM!

But back to the fabric. I almost died when I saw which pouch I got. I had drooled all over this one on Flickr. That adorable focal fabric? She made that!! (my 4 yr old keeps saying, 'I love those cute monsters'. haha! I think i'll be prying this one from her hands a few times.)

The back is fantastic.

And then she included all kinds of great scraps. Nothing that I have in my collection! YAY!

Huge thank you to Bonnie for such a great package! I just hope my partner is half as happy with what I sent .

Friday, September 14, 2012

The powder room is finished!

Back in April of 2011 I posted about our horrible powder room downstairs. We had just moved into this house and had inherited this lovely bathroom. After many delays, it is finally finished so I have a few before and after photos to share!

Here it was in all it's glory. This is 3 of the 4 wallpapers that I had to strip from that wall.

The 4th was down here.

The update (disclosure - I have since gotten a wide angle lens and can get more of the room in the shot):

The wall color is Valspar Notre Dame from Lowe's.  I know Grey is trendy and I'll probably not like it in 10 yrs. But I had pink tile to deal with and the room outside this is the trendy dark red of the 90's which I'm not repainting just yet. And besides, the room is like 3'x5' so I can repaint it quickly! For now, I love it.

Here's the other side before.

And the update:

ahhh!! Country flowers be gone!

Here's a close up of my valance that I made.

The only thing not done is I want hubby to get shades for the window. It's an odd size window because it's pretty old and he hasn't liked anything I've picked up. So, that will be done eventually. For now I'm calling this room done!

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

The reader participation post

I could use some opinions again! Remember that Neptune Honeybun I posted the other day? I have all my blocks finished and need to decide on a background fabric. Nothing is jumping out at me so I'd love to know what you think. It's going to be a baby quilt so the Kona Ash might be in the front for me because of that.



Here they are side by side.

What do you think?

And while I am asking for participation. Maybe you can help with a personal crusade? I entered Evan in the Gerber baby contest and I'd really appreciate if you could vote for him! The link directly to him is here. Or you can search for him as entry ID #348145. Thanks so much!


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