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Archive for the tag “joann”

Persian Plum Block 5… almost half-way there!!

I’m so happy today that I was able to get accomplished the behemoth task of working late today and still managing to get the block finished and sew on the binding for my Arbor Lane quilt. Of course I’ve probably stayed up a little later than I normally would to make sure I could finish this. So here it is:

This block had a little more assembly, but went together fairly easily and finished 12 1/2 x 12 1/2.

And underneath was the fabric I used to bind the Arbor Lane.

Then a little trimming and some more sewing

and finally…

Shopping Day

Yesterday was a shopping day for me.  I had specifically purchased fabrics for three quilts minus the backings, but had received a couple of coupons from Joann Fabrics for 30% in addition to any other discounts.  So, off to the store I went where I found the Heidi Grace fabric collection.

This I thought would make a really nice queen size quilt.  I ended up buying enough of the fabric to make a queen and a twin.  My plan was to make a twin first as a sort of proof of concept and then make the queen.  I had assumed that I could readily find a pattern for this fabric set… and that’s what I get when I assume!  I laughed until I cried.  I will find something suitable however and soldier on.

I also found a couple of quick nursery blanket kits that I intend on making for my nephew and niece:

And of course a shopping trip wouldn’t be complete without buying some more Jelly Rolls

There was another item I was able to pick up was some of my favorite Warm & White batting.  Have you done any shopping lately?

Jelly Rolls and Persian Plum Block 4

At lunch I slipped out to buy something from the fabric store, not out of need but there are a lot of sales going  on and I just had to.  After almost an hour of trying to decide between fabrics I ran across some jelly rolls.  I used my last one that I received for Christmas for a quilt that my son absconded with recently.  As I have no other jelly rolls at hand, I wanted to get some should the mood strike me.  Let’s be honest, can you really ever have enough fabric?

On to Block 4 of the Persian Plum BOTM

So now onto the new block.  This was definitely one of the easiest I had the pleasure of putting together!  And the colors as usual were stunning and magnificent.  If you were looking for a beautiful block this one turned out rather well.  There is some cutting involved, so be aware.

And the finished piece!!  Block 4 of 12, hey that’s means we’re already 1/3 the way there.

Winner for the Persian Plum Block 7

And the winner is…

Pillowsalamode!!!  If this is you, then you are the lucky winner.  Please email me at txmlawrence@bistroquilts.com

And for the rest of you, I’ll be having another giveaway in two weeks.  Stay tuned and as always keep quilting!!

Free Persian Plum Block 7 Give-A-Way

Believe it or not I happen to have an extra Joann Fabrics Persian Plum block 7 that I am going to send to some lucky bistroquilts.com follower.

How to Enter:

1. [Required] Leave a comment on this post. What would you do with your Persian Plum Block 7?

2. [Required] Be a follower of this blog.  It only takes a moment to click the follow button.

2. {optional} Like BistroQuilts.com, and then leave a separate comment letting me know you did {or that you do already}.

If you are reading this in your email or feed reader, please visit the actual blog post to enter. Email entries, Facebook comments, and Twitter messages will NOT be counted.

Prizes:


At the end of the week on 6/16/12 I will randomly select a lucky recipient to send this prize to.  This is not restricted to the U.S., I will send anywhere in the world.

Joann Fabric’s Persian Plum Block 3

I’ve just completed block 3 from Joann’s Persian Plum which is called the “Quartered Star”.  This was a little more difficult than the previous two, made more so by the fact that I put three pieced together that didn’t belong.  Isn’t seam ripping fun???

The block is beautiful when finished and I’m very excited to put all of these together to see what the whole quilt will look like.  Here are some pictures of the block going together.

Here is the finished block

My Struggle with Appliques

Applique sewn on with Husqvarna Viking Sapphire

Eating carrots as a child was always a chore at the dinner table. My parents knew they were good for me and would not injure me as I thought they would. Likewise, although quilts can contain any number of different techniques from paper piecing to string art, one of the most popular remains that of the applique.

I set my sights a couple of times on trying this out and it has been a disaster, my technique is horrid. I am okay (read not thrilled) with mistakes in the quilts that I make. But there comes a point in time where giving up on a technique seems really compelling. Luckily for me, unluckily for my wife, I’m stubborn. I will ruin 20 pieces just to become adequate at its creation.

Why would my wife become unlucky?  Because I will plead and beg her to stop her projects to work with me on mine, asking her questions nonstop, and criticizing our work until I’m satisfied with the result. She is a real trooper but has politely suggested that I join a quilting guild so I can learn more.

My confession… is that everything I do has been self-taught through trial and error, although at times (many times) I have come across wonderful people who’ve shared their videos of how to’s on the web. (Thank you from the bottom of my heart!!) I know I should be trying to work with more experienced quilters, but it’s difficult while working a full-time job. That doesn’t even mention that I’m a guy and a lot of experienced quilters in my area are women… married women whose husbands probably wouldn’t understand why their wives were spending time quilting with another man!!

Kay and I do go to quilting events when they’re in town and plan on going to the quilt show in Houston this October. that is normally where I am able to connect with other quilters and ask the questions that are giving me fits.

Until then, I would love comments from anyone out there on the best way to do appliques on quilts. I’ve seen them with a satin stitch, a zig-zag, and have seen them done by hand.  But would love to know what your favorite way is…

Until then thank you for all your support and keep sending the comments!

UFO’s and how to complete your least engaging projects

So many times I plan on doing a project and get caught up doing something else, like a site I read that had the same subject “buriedinscraps.wordpress.com.   So this evening I was looking at some of my unfinished projects and knew that I needed to get a move on to finish some.  I decided to start with my old block of the month project from Joann Fabrics Arbor Lane.

Has anyone else out there worked on a project and as it was coming together felt their stomach drop through the floor?  As soon as I started I realized that the measurements were all wrong.  I was texting my wife and letting her know how disappointed I was in this, but that I was persevering in the face of adversity!!

“I AM going to complete this quilt” I keep telling myself, all the while thinking about the quilt I really want to be making.  It’s not turning out horrible, but some of the blocks do NOT match up.

What do you do when things go wrong with your projects?  This UFO isn’t complete yet, but by the end of this weekend it will be.  I think the best way to complete these unfinished project is the same way you do anything else that’s overwhelming like eating an elephant… one bite at a time.  After all, it really isn’t the rabbit that wins the race, it’s the turtle.  Steady and with perseverance, at least that’s my .02 worth.

So as far as ease-ability of putting the Arbor Lane quilt from Joann Fabrics together??  2 out of 5 stars.  We’ll revisit once we’re completely done.

Persian Plum Block 2

This is the second block in the series for Joann Fabrics Block of the Month “Persian Plum”. This block was a little more technical and has you sewing triangles together prior to joining the halves to form a square.

While not impossible to get the tips perfectly lined up, I would suggest pinning for best effect.

At the end of the first round of sewing you should end up with eight half squares.

Joining these together forms your four multicolored squares.

The finished square is well designed and I’ll say once again a beautiful set of colors. Look me up in another week where I’ll be putting block three together.

 

Thimbles and Batting

Have you ever wanted to know which product to use only to go through the process of searching and only have a headache and more confusion for your trouble??  When I first started quilting and figured out how to piece my quilt together through trial and error I was finally ready to put the sandwich together.  Which batting to use?  I went down to the store to find myself inundated with cotton, polyester, cotton/poly, and wool.  Which would be best?  I couldn’t find an answer, not even after I searched extensively online.  No one just came out and said, “this is my favorite!”.  So for anyone searching out there, here’s my opinion for what it’s worth…

Warm and Natural 100% cotton batting is the ONLY batting I have used on any of my quilts.  Another look into what constitutes GOOD batting makes my head spin.  Bearding, loft, composition, and drape… for me it couldn’t be more confusing.  When I start to search this topic through numerous hops on the web, after 2 – 3 pages of information the final answer I read about is they don’t have a straight answer.  Well, polyester is used for some wall-hangings, but is harder with a higher loft to quilt…  blah, blah, blah…

Warm and Natural 100% Cotton

Usually if someone has asked a question or does a web search, they have a specific need in mind.  The bulk of what I make are quilts ranging in size from 12” x 12” up to a King size  of 100” x 120”.  When I ask what batting should I use I not looking for a discourse in batting or a run-thru on the thermal-dynamics of polyester vs. cotton vs. cotton/poly blend.  I’m asking about a personal preference, what would you use if this was a quilt you were making for a family member and why would you select that particular batting.

Microsafe Traditional Loft Polyester

I have noticed that there is far fluffier (read “more loft”) batting out there, but MY personal preference is warm and natural 100% cotton because of the weight and feel of it and it may be kind of goofy, but it says natural (no dyes).  I’ve made enough quilts now that I am relatively sure it will survive my grandchildren tussling and still keep them warm and that’s good enough for me.

Mountain Mist Traditional Loft Polyester

Now on to thimbles…

I have to qualify my remarks first.  I’m a guy and my hands are on the large size, so when picking out a thimble I’m only trying out large ones.  So far I’ve tried out thimbles from Dritz, Clover, and Pons & Foster.  I’ll give you my impression of each one.

I started out using Fons & Porter brass thimble for my hand quilting and after a while was very pleased with the result.  The third day of use however, left me with a green thumb… which is great for gardening, but not so nice when dealing with fabric.

I looked around for an equivalent thimble that kept my finger its natural color and came across the Dritz thimble.  This thimble was fantastic and I did a lot of work with it on my Amish swap quilt.  Alas… after so much use it was cutting into my cuticle on the back side.  I’m not sure if this was due to bad technique, sizing of the thimble, or combination of both.  There was enough pain though to prompt my searching for another.

Enter the Clover thimble, soft supple leather and a steel coin to protect the finger.  This is the MOST comfortable thimble that I’ve used and still use when I want to give my finger a break from the Drizt, but it had a couple of disadvantages for me.  The coin is located on the front of the finger and when I’m using the rocking motion for quilting, I can get more stitches per inch if it’s on the top of my finger.  The other issue is that at times the needle head will get wedged between the leather and the coin.  That can be real annoying when you are on a roll.

The last thimble I’ve purchased seamed like a good idea, it just didn’t work for me though.  The top is solid and the body is elastic.  It stays glued to my finger without any issue and protect it as well… but without the stiffness of the solid thimble I, once again, had trouble with not enough stitches at a time.

So for now i use a combination of the two thimbles, the dritz with its solid performance until my finger hurts, then the soft leather clover to ease the pain.

That is all I have to say on the subjects of batting and thimbles.  I would LOVE to hear everybody’s preferences and opinions.

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