Friday, September 30, 2011

Charm Pack Complete!

Binding is done! My Charm Pack quilt is finally finished! As you may or may not know, I only started quilting last November. I initially made my daughter a Turning Twenty quilt for her bed. I then found the Charm Pack quilt on Freckled Whimsy's site. So along with some others, I started this quilt. This was in late March, early April. I finally finished it, but never quilted it. Well, I finally decided that I wanted to go back and pick up some UFO's I never finished and this was first on the list.

I stitched repeated channels down the taupe color, then did some rows of three lines in between. Inside the rectangles I repeated rectangles inside and did a something similar on those elbows. The back view really shows off the quilting more.

Some close-ups from the front...

and from the back.

I did all straight line quilting on this one. It is approximately 60" x 60", a generous lap quilt size. This one actually doesn't have a specific recipient so I may be saving it up for Christmas!

Finished it Fridays!
{Sew} Modern Monday at Canoe Ridge Creations

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

WiP Wednesday!

Here we are again guys! Another Wednesday rolled around, so what have you been up to this week?
First, before I review progress, I have to draw a name for my My Memories Suite software drawing! And the winner is....

Linz who said:

Linz has left a new comment on your post "My Memories Software Giveaway!":

Speaking of facebook, I have alerted all of my friends about this giveaway! :)

I will email you to make sure you know and I will let My Memories know how to contact you. Congratulations!

Now, onward to progress!
WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced

So far this week I have gotten a bit done. Not as much as I would have liked, but I'm getting there.
I'm caught up with Skill Builder, though I may go back and do another house and tree block in the colors of my quilt.
 Beacon Lights block

House and Tree Improv block

Here are all of my Skill Builder blocks so far.

I am debating whether to go ahead and make a quilt from what I have or to wait and make two quilts; one from the ones that have white, one from ones that have no white. Looking at them all together, I will definitely be remaking the house  and tree in the quilt colors.

My Diamond Chain quilt is pinned and ready for quilting (only a bit behind for my own quilt along!), but I'll get it done!

Still sitting and waiting though...sigh....
I also got my charm pack quilt quilted! Woohoo!

It still doesn't have binding but I was determined to finish something that otherwise was going to turn into a UFO.

I darkened the back a bit so you could see the quilting. I will do a post with close-ups when I get it bound.

I also went to a class Monday that our quilting guild co-sponsored with a fairly local (hour away) LQS. Pepper Cory was our teacher and she also spoke at our quilting guild meeting that night. She was very entertaining and had a great sense of humor. She spoke and taught about scrap quilts.
Here is the block we learned.
We were asked to bring fat quarters, and since I knew it was about scraps I didn't try to match things up. It's a bit busier than I would normally do but I LOVE the block pattern itself. I've already got ideas for how to use some different fabrics give this a bit of a more modern tweak.

Forgot to add: I turned in my quilt for 100 Quilts for Kids Monday night at quilting guild. That one will go to either DFCS or the Community Welcome House which helps women and children in abusive situations.
Hope your week was fruitful! Don't forget to go check out everyone at Lee's!

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Diamond Chains Quilt Along: Binding and Catching up!

*Update included at the bottom of the post!

I had hoped to not need catch up time but it looks like I do. I am finishing up my charm pack quilt and have not even begun quilting my Diamond Chains. Probably shouldn't have told you that, but I figured I'd fess up. It WILL be finished this week though so I will post it as soon as it is done.

As I said before, I do not reinvent the wheel. There are a ton of tutorials out there for quilt binding. Here are just a few.
Jaybird Quilts: includes instructions for adding a flange. I don't want it for this quilt but it would be cool to include on another quilt later.
Heather Bailey: continuous binding tutorial
Crazy Mom Quilts: uses crossgrain binding/also sews her strips together with a 90 degree angle.
Quilter's Cache: good explanation of all types.
Little Red Hen: this is how I usually do my binding. Machine stitch anchor and hand stitch the back.
A Girl in Paradise: stitch in the ditch on the front to catch it in the back. Great tips on how to use pins to make sure you're catching the binding in the back.

(Picture borrowed from All Things Fee)
I saw a neat way to get the folds in your binding by setting up a pin on your ironing board with an opening the size you want your folded binding and running it through the pin. Iron it as it comes through the other side. All Things Fee gives a quick explanation of this here.

Here are a few variances in what different people do when they bind their quilts.
  1. Strip width can range from 1 7/8 to 3 inches. This is totally dependent on what you like. If you want a thicker binding to set things off, increase the size of your binding strips.this way.
  2. Strips can be attached at a 90 degree angle or a 45 degree angle. Some quilters avoid using a 90 degree angle because it is felt that it increases bulk, but I know a lot of quilters who do it.
Personally, I use 2.25" for my quilts. I also don't allow my children in the room when I am taking the corners and when I am combining the two ends when I finally get to the end of stitching it down the first time. It's not pretty. But after seeing some of the above tutorials, that's all going to be better this time, right?
Don't forget to put your updated quilt pictures or new quilts (if you are new to the quilt along) in the flickr pool. I will do the same! Our goal date for finishing is October 11 and the drawing for the prizes will be October 12th.

Update: Michelle from If Toys Could Talk mentioned a great technique I've seen in her comment below. When I questioned how you would attach the strips once you did the initial run around the front of the quilt, she came across this great video tutorial. Thanks Michelle!

Monday, September 26, 2011

Back to School! (for me!)

Check here for my My Memories software giveaway! Tomorrow is the last day to enter. I will post the winner Wednesday morning!
Sew, I'm going to a little class today put on by our quilting guild today. We hooked up with an LQS in nearby city (well, nearby is relative when you live near Atlanta; it's still an hour away!) to bring a speaker to our guild tonight but she's also teaching a class today. Her name is Pepper Cory and she's going to teach us how to make a specific type of quilt. The problem for me is that the class goes until 4:00 and I couldn't get anyone else to pick up my kids. They also have dentist visits this afternoon so, it was inevitable that I would have to return for that. But I'm going to hang out as long as I can.
You would think I was going for a job interview instead of a class! I was emailing Mitzi, asking what she was taking, trying to figure out what fabrics to take with me. I had no idea what colors would work for this at all so I struggled to come up with a color scheme. Here is the block for the class.
I'm just taking a ton a fat quarters so it will be kind of scrappy.
On a different note, don't you love it when people point out things you didn't even know you did? I asked Hubby and the kids a question the other day about whether Thing 2's school library book was in his backpack. Well, at least that's what I thought I said.
"Why do you do that?" Hubby asked.
"Do what?" I questioned.
"Talk about inanimate objects like they're alive." Hubby responded.
"Huh?" I am apparently confused.
Hubby is trying not to smirk when he says, "You just asked if his library book had made it to his backpack. You do that a lot. Talk like the objects do these things on their own instead of someone being responsible for their movement."
I got to thinking about it. I think it comes partly from working in a school and partly from just dealing with people. It's a way of asking if things were done without assigning any blame for it not getting done.  Thing 1 is heavily into blame right now so I try not to give her any ammunition.
I hope other people out there have quirky habits too!

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Basting Done! Block Done!

Okay, so at least I have the basting done! Still not sure how I'm going to get it quilted by Tuesday but, Diamond Chains is basted!
Now the work begins!
I also finished my next Skill Builder block. I did two yesterday; the Beacon Lights and this one, the Improv House and Tree.

This was my first attempt, and is not in the fabric I'm using for the quilt, but I wanted to do a practice fun first. I'll do another one for my actual quilt by I thought this turned out pretty cute. I remembered having the snowy fabric and thought it would look good with the white bottom.
Now, on to quilting!

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Fussy and Frantic!

More mailbox goodies! But I didn't pay for these. I participated in the Fussy Cut Swap over at Stitchery Dickory Dock. I sent mine in and these are the ones I received in return.
I really like the birds and owls. The girly stuff will definitely have to go into a girly project. My goodies came all the way from Margaret in Kokomo, Indiana. Thank you Margaret!
Guess where my goodies went! You're not going to believe this; to a girl in my quilting guild! I had no idea she was participating until she emailed to let me know she got my squares. Too funny! I hope you like them Ruth! Here's a pic of what Ruth received from me.

I also FINALLY got last week's block done for Skill Builder. I messed up because I use the same white on it and my red/white hexie. I bought some more and, without thinking, cut it all up for hexies. Duh! So I had to go get more so I could finally do my Beacon Lights...which is here.

Now, I'm trying to get my Improv House and Tree done. Hmm,... not sure how well this one is going to turn out, but we shall see! I am also in a drastic rush to get my Diamond Chains pinned seeing as how I have not quilte it YET and my next step for the quilt along is Tuesday! HELLO!
Have a happy afternoon!

Friday, September 23, 2011

Mailbox Goodness!

So I made a little order at Pink Chalk Fabrics last week when they were running a special on scrap bags. Wasn't I just fussing earlier this week about all my scraps? Uh, yeah, but those scraps are all little bitty pieces, not blocks of fabric. Plus, I don't have a lot of solids at all. So I ordered a solid bag...

and then I thought, "Well,...." and I ordered a print bag too!

Okay, here's what I expected. Some nice fabrics. Yeah. Some fat quarter sized stuff, maybe even a bit bigger. Uh-huh. What I did not expect was what I got.

I see Sugar Pops! Definitely some usables for Bottled Rainbows here!

I see a manly project with these fabrics!

And a ladylike project here!

Some trees...

A piece of Echino (thank you for how you cut it Pink Chalk!!),

And  piece that almost looks like a panel! These last two were what I really didn't expect. I'm used to going in a store and they slap it up there, cut it, and you 'get what you get and you don't pitch a fit!' I was shocked that that last two were cut in such a way that I actually got fussy cut pieces. That top to bottom trio of birds could be bordered out and made into a wall hanging, easy peasy!

This got me thinking. What online shops have you dealt with and gotten great service from? I'm posting the ones I know of and what comments I have about them. So far I have not had any problems with anyone, thank goodness. This is not a plug for anyone. I am not getting any kind of deal from anyone; I'm just honestly curious as to what shops appear to be good, reputable and have great service. Also, fabric that I won from specific stores occurred through various blogs, but I just wanted to give a shout out to the stores themselves.

  • Sew Lux Fabric and Gifts:  I won a kit from Clover & Violet through these guys, but I also ordered some more fabric from them. They were quick and seemed to take great care to make your order arrive neat and orderly. Fabric arrives wrapped in tissue paper.
  • Fat Quarter Shop: I won fabric from here. Fairly quick and everything was bundled in a crisp, clean fashion. Fabric arrives in clear celephane. Nice to be able to see your purchases.
  • Sew Fresh Fabrics: Won a gift certificate here but ordered more. They were great to work with. They worked with me to set up fabric for my quilting guild to do the Bottled Rainbows quilt. 
  • Intrepid Thread: Another win. They were fairly quick.
  • Hawthorne Threads: Very quick turnaround. Currently running flat rate $5 shipping on domestic purchases.  
  • Pink Chalk Fabrics: This is where I received the above purchases. I was a little worried because I received the notice that my order had shipped on a day when I thought it should be close to arriving. But then it arrived the next day, so it was fine. Clear celephane bags, neat and orderly. 

Thursday, September 22, 2011

My Memories Software Review

Disclaimer: My Memories provided me with software as well as that software for the giveaway. These opinions are my own and are my honest feelings about the software. ~Melinda @ Tilda's Twisted

This is my review of the My Memories Suite software by Polaroid. If you would like to enter the giveaway, go here.

Here's a great introduction to the My Memories software.

Okay, so let's start by being honest here. I am not too trusty of companies I've never heard of. I was apprehensive about this software when I saw it on other blog giveaways. Then I got offered my own program and one to give away so I started doing a little research. I watched this little youtube video about it and I heard the words "by Polaroid". Huh? This program is made by Polaroid? Hello? That's definitely a company I've heard of! I felt much better that this product was by a trusted name that has been around for years.

I used to scrapbook but time got away from me when my second child came along. I have tons of stuff in my basement which basically just take up a lot of room. I finally started letting the kids play with my supplies! I like the online books that can be purchased but I have never taken the time to do one. I needed something that's easily accessible! For me,  My Memories helps me with that.

If you are a learn by seeing and doing kind of person like me, there are instructional videos available on youtube.

For me, the main thing about hands on scrapbooking that is both great and irritating at the same time is all the supplies. Having papers, embellishments, stickers, etc., all of these things give you texture to your pages. However, all these supplies have to have a place to live! I have piles and containers full of scrapbooking supplies! With this program, all your supplies are located inside your computer! I am leaning toward a more streamlined version of scrapbooking, so using this program INSTEAD of the traditional scrapbooking is right up my alley. However, I think it also has a place with more traditional scrapbookers as well because there are always times when you need to pull some pages together quickly.
I thought this was cute, being able to use my picture as the background.
But this program isn't just about scrapbooking. You could definitely use this for your business if you were trying to show people what you do. I plan on making up a little book of quilts as well as other projects I make so that I have a go to album for people who are interested in commissioning work.

Things I like:
  • It pulls MY fonts into the program. I have tons of really cool fonts I have downloaded into my computer and it's always frustrating to me when a program doesn't allow me to access them.
  • Each element can be reused in different projects. If you buy embellishments at the store, you have to keep replenishing your stock; with the program, the supply is endless.
  • The web store offers a good variety of kits and pages. There are a lot of freebies available as well.
  • A user guide is available as well as youtube instructional videos if you are stumped as to how something works.
  • EASE! This is pretty darned easy to use right from the start. It actually took me longer to pick out pictures than to make the pages sometimes.
  • The uses are many. Cards, scrapbooking, single page pics, videos for your blog, cute blog button pics, calendars, etc.! Another idea I saw online included making trading cards for your kid's sports team.
  • You can share video in a variety of ways including iPod compatible format.
  • There are hundreds of options including preset templates as well as 'Design your own' pages. And even if you use a preset template, you can add to, change colors, and move things around.
  • You can reposition pictures within an element by zooming in and out, or moving it over with the 'nudge' button.
Things I don't necessarily like:
  • I got a bit confused about how to download the kits and papers available at the web store. For my computer, you had to close the program for the download to work.
  • The only ways there are to alter pictures within the program is by cropping and fixing red-eye. As far as I can tell, you can't do any major editing other than that (brightness, contrast). But I usually do those processes within a different program anyway.
Overall I am very pleased with the program and can't wait to really put it to work. Don't forget to enter the giveaway! And if you are interested in purchasing the program, use the following code (STMMMS93670) and you will receive $10 off the purchase of the program itself and a $10 coupon toward the purchase of goodies to use in your program! There are also lots of freebies you can download as well. I'm all about freebies!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

WiP Wednesday!

Come check out my My Memories software giveaway here! Be sure to enter! I'll be writing up a review of it for tomorrow if you'd like to see what I think about it! Here's a hint...I like it a lot!

Otherwise, check out the progress... or lack thereof! We shall see. Lee is not posting the WIP linky this week; I look forward to seeing it next week and good luck with your fabric line, Lee!

WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced

Well, I actually finished some stuff this week!

My baby quilt for 100 Quilts for Kids is done! And my Japanese/ Austrian baby quilt is done! Woohoo!

In Progress:
I also finally sewed on my first Bottled Rainbows block, though I hope to get better at it as I go.

I've got some good headway on my Sunbonnet Sue pillows. Six down. I have at least 4 more ready to be stuffed when I can catch some pillow forms on sale.

I finally got started quilting my charm pack quilt. At this point I'm just doing straight line on the solids. I have an idea of what I'm going to do on the prints.

Which means I haven't even started quilting the Diamond Chains quilt. I still have until next Tuesday for my own deadline, well, seeing as how it is my quilt along! 

I also got overwhelmed by all my scraps so I started using some up on donation quilts. These are leftovers from my sister's quilt. They started as a stacked coin, but went astray...

Also, I have a secret project.... I can't talk about it but something came in the mail for it today, and it was just, dare I say it, Ghastlie! Here's a little peak.
Need another hint? Well, see that little button on my sidebar that says Ghastlie Blog Hop? Well, I'm participating in the hop! I've just got to get some stuff done!

What did you get done this week?

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

My Memories Software Giveaway!

Okay, so kept seeing these giveaways for digital scrapbooking software from a company called My Memories. I tried to win it the other day on Love Affair with my Brother because she was not just using it as scrapbooking software; she was using it to update her website page! Needless to say, I did not win. But just as I was beginning to wonder about checking out the website to see what the software was all about, I got myself a little email from Liz with My Memories to offer me the My Memories Suite! Woohoo! And she's giving me another one to give away to you guys too! Excellent!
My Memories also has a great Facebook page where they do giveaways as well. Anyway, I downloaded mine to play with so I could give you guys an idea of what it's capable of. I've been playing with it a bit so I can give you guys a real down and dirty review of the goods! Check back Thursday for my review.

If you'd just like to bypass the giveaway, or if you don't win, you can still purchase the software. If you use the code at the end of this paragraph, you can receive a $10 discount on the My Memories Suite v2 software, plus you get a $10 coupon to use in the store on kits and downloads! How cool is that? Just use the following code (copy and paste it so you don't miss any numbers!): STMMMS93670

I'm personally very excited about using this software not only on my blog but for scrapbooking as well! I used to scrapbook a lot but once Thing 2 arrived, it kind of got away from me. I never even finished his baby book and he's 5 now. Not good. I also always want to send picture cards at Christmas. I never seem to get one done in time to order them so I end up just sticking a picture of the kids in with the card. I can do better than that! I also have a friend who thinks I need to make up a book of the different things I make in case anyone is ever interested in commissioning an item. So this was something I came up with quickly to give you an idea of what the program can do.

So, how's about a giveaway, huh? To enter this giveaway, you get one entry for each of the following:

 #1 Visit My Memories and check out the kits. Come back and tell me which one you would definitely pick up with your coupon!

#2 Follow My Memories on one of the following...Come back and tell me which one and under what access name ... one entry.

#3 Blog, tweet, or Facebook for extra entries. (1 each)

#4 Be a follower of my blog.

That's it. Good luck! This giveaway ends September 27, 2011 at midnight EST.