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Archive for the tag “Sapphire”

A Million Questions

There are a million questions I had when I started quilting.  Some of the information needed was readily available, other info… not so much.  I still do not consider myself anything beyond a beginning quilter and find a VERY happy place there.  I’m still in the honeymoon stage of being delighted and frustrated over the simplest things at times.

While I was working on a quilt top two nights ago, my wife walked in on me staring at the two halves of my quilt top.  She asked what was wrong when she saw me staring.  The quilt top was one that you have to assemble diagonally and I was trying to figure out which side needed the piece of fabric that I had left.  Unlike some projects, having a piece left over when you know you’ve cut the exact number does NOT work in quilting.

This brought me to realize how many question I still have and how many I have had that I was lucky enough to find or be given answers.  Some of the questions I was faced with involved personal choice:

What scissors should I use?

How large of a cutting mat do I need

Which fabric brand do I buy?

Where is the best place to buy this stuff?

This evolved into more questions:

When using a rotary cutter should I try to stay straight, or cut at a slight angle?

Should I pre-wash my fabric?

How do I get the points to look good in this pattern?

No matter where I looked people seemed to avoid answering questions where personal preference was concerned.  My take on it is that if someone has asked, give them your personal opinion but do not be broken-hearted if they end up going a different way.  I had just wanted a place to start from.

I’m sure at any stage we all have questions that need answers.  Some of these answers we get from a book or a magazine, some we seek from our fellow quilters/mentors, others we plunge into headfirst and after our 20th redo, find the answer ourselves.  Wherever your answers come from, just remember that all of us at one time or another has had the same questions.  Don’t be afraid to ask the questions… and support those that are new and try to help with the answers.

If you are looking for answers, post comments, go to quilt shows, read magazines, examine other quilts, get involved in a quilt swap.  There are so many outlets for you to find out those burning questions.  Until next time, keep quilting…

Sage Garden Patch Quilt or Two day quilt

As a teaser for the book, I’m posting some pictures of a quilt from a book Quilting a Patchwork Garden that I did a review of.  I completed this quilt in two days, although it could have been done in one day.  I changed up the borders from what the book called for because I wanted it to be a little larger and liked the added flair as well.

Outside block

The block above is as hard as this quilt will throw at you.  It is important however that you pin all the panels when sewing them together!!  When I was telling my wife about this quilt and sending pictures to her as it was coming together

She thought it was really nice and had a clean look to it.  In my earlier post of the review for this book I mentioned that it had a garden theme, and as the first quilt you come to in the book the Sage Garden patch quilt didn’t disappoint.

And this is the point when I decided to change-up the borders and add my own bit of flair.

And not satisfied with just a white border on the outside, I added a green square to all four corners.

In closing I’ll say that it was a blast to put this together.  The funnest part was when my wife came home to see this sitting on the couch and said “WOW!  We need to go to the fabric store so I make this quilt this weekend.”  The pictures that I took do not do this quilt justice.  If you’re looking for a beautiful quilt to make for a loved one or friend that won’t take forever, then this pattern is for you.

For the serious quilting I will mention two facts that we had discussed while I was making this.  This can easily be pieced together in one day.  Kay had asked me if I was working on it all in one sitting for both days and I have to confess that I goofed off for a large portion of  both days, rather than keeping at it.  Second, there is some minor changes in a couple of the measurements that I would suggest.

It is already at the long arm quilter (trying someone new) and I’ll post another picture after its bound, but before it goes off to its lucky new owner.

Contact me if you are making this and would like to hear about the changes I would suggest.  Until next time…  quilt on!!

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

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 “   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.

The Schoolhouse blocks are finished!!

I’ve said before that I work in IT (Information Technology), what that basically means is I sit at a desk and am on the computer a LOT… So yesterday, I was thinking about getting home from work and being able to do more work on the Schoolhouse quilt. One of my commitments however, is to get to the gym at least 3 times a week because, let’s be honest… I am NOT getting enough exercise at work! Some weeks I make it to the gym three times and sometimes just once.

Even though I’m practically desperate to finish those Schoolhouse blocks, I knew it was time for me to get myself to the gym. When I arrived home from work, I had about 30 minutes until my wife would get home as well and change into my workout outfit so we could go to the gym. I quickly changed and then started sewing!! I imagine it was a funny sight when my wife saw her husband in shorts and running shoes on my Viking Sapphire furiously trying to get a little bit more sewing completed before we left. She did laugh by the way.

By the time we arrived back at the house, it was 7:30pm and we had a very nice dinner that we brought home. After dinner I proceeded to spend the next 2 ½ hours getting my blocks put together, ironed, and trimmed. I’m very happy with how they turned out and when I looked at the clock and saw that it was past 10pm I knew that I’d accomplished everything I had wanted. I know the blocks are not perfect, I haven’t quite got the ¼” seam down as much as I’d like to think, but I’m proud nonetheless at how well this quilt is coming together. I still have to sew the sashing on to bring the blocks together and then put on the border. What color should I use for the backing??? I still haven’t decided and would really like some input.

Tonight and tomorrow, I’ll be working on the sampler quilt with my wife to finish the last two blocks and start sewing that quilt top together. I’ll post photos of that tomorrow. I will finish the Schoolhouse quilt top this weekend and hopefully come up with an idea of what to do to the backing by then as well.

Using my Viking Sapphire 835

I’ve recently purchased an amazing sewing machine. I started out with a Brilliance 6180 Singer sewing machine which I still love for a lot of different reasons and if there’s enough interest later on I’ll give a review of it. For now I want to talk about the new sewing machine in my life, the Viking Sapphire 835.

This machine was obviously made for large amounts of work. I have to say that like a lot of other people that I talked to spending over $1000 for a sewing machine was an enormous leap from the $200 I paid for my Singer. I went to several different stores and once I located a Joann’s that I wanted to make the purchase at, I had to have visited it on six different occasions before finally making the purchase.

To say that I had a long learning curve with this machine would be an understatement… I stopped sewing for two days at one point because I couldn’t figure out how to set up the stitch I wanted. The NOISE!!! How can I describe the feeling and joy of being able to hear while sewing? There are too many favorites to say that one function is better than another, but being able to hear is definitely in the top five. What other improvements do I love? I’m sure we’ve all been sewing and then have reached a seam or two that changes the thickness that we’re sewing through… Sewing with the Sapphire you won’t miss a beat, or have your seam move. The machine effortlessly glides over whatever thickness of fabric you happen to be sewing through. That alone has turned out to be worth the cost.


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