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Tuesday, August 21, 2012

2012 ~ August ~ Quilting from H-E-L-L :-)

{{{Warning, venting is ahead...haha}}}  Okay, so my story should hopefully help you next time you may be letting someone quilt (the sandwiching of the quilt top, batting and backing) something that you have worked hard on and are in a situation where you need someone else to quilt the tops for you.  My story begins over a year ago.  I made this Labyrinth quilt pattern in a king size and was so excited to be putting something on our very own bed.  I used a Quilter who had also been my instructor once in a class.  First thing I learned, look at your quilt before you hand over the $ cash $!  She meets me, hands me a bag with my now quilted comforter in it and I was so excited and naive I didn't say, may I look at it?  So she hands me the bill, I write her a check and go home.  I place it on the bed, knowing it still needs binding and take pictures.  Then I start noticing problems with it, where she must have been having tension issues.   But basically big and small loops on both sides that could easily have a finger or toe stuck under them and it would make it worse. So then, called her, told her the issue, which she attempted to deny was even possible until the proof was in front of her, seeing the 50+ pins all over it, front and back with mistakes.  So she proceeded to rip it all out and re-quilt it.  She then calls me a few months later to inform me it happened again, what would you like me to do?  Ughhhhh, so we go back and forth in email and she suddenly drops off the planet for almost a year.  So I finally heard back from her about 2 weeks ago after writing her on a whim again.  At this point I just wanted it back and what ever money I could get refunded to me.  So I am in the process of ripping it all out just so it can get done properly.  I need to buy a new quilt back and batting, she squared mine off, leaving that 4 inches needed on all sides, no longer available.  I purchased Batiks, and the backing was 11.5 yards, so I bought an entire bolt!  So it will be fun finding something else that goes as nicely as it had before.  Seriously, that part will be fun for me...LoL!  :p  So here are some pictures of my poor quilt.

So please feel free to share / vent with me about quilting issues you have heard or dealt with yourself.  Leave me a comment, just leave out the offender's name please :-)  I would have been willing to reuse her if she had handled things differently then she had.  Last thing she said to me was it ended up being a bobbin issue, and there was no way she could have known.  I didn't respond, all I kept thinking was all you needed to do was look at it every once in a while and seen it was happening...LoL! :p  Anyway, everything happens for a reason and it will all work out.  Live & Learn right? :-)

PS...Another thing I learned was make sure your quilter has insurance for situations even worse then mine where an actual hole is in your item.

What my quilt looks like on my bed, maybe one day hehe :p

Thursday, August 16, 2012

My Olfa Collection of Rotary Cutters & Mats

So, I made a new friend, Bruce Kennedy on Twitter yesterday and he runs a Olfa business in the UK and online.  It made me start thinking about how all of my rotary cutters   and cutting mats are made by Olfa.  So here is a picture of my growing collection.  I bought the nifty Olfa rotary circle cutter during a demonstration at a quilt show last year, seems it would work so much better if I took it out of the package, oops....haha :p  I have three of their Olfa cutting mats, a nice sized one for my cutting table (36"x24"), and one that sits next to my sewing machine (18"x12" Olfa cutting mat) that is great while I am paper piecing and one that is my tote (18"x24")   when I take a class.  I honestly do use all of my rotary cutters, the largest one when I am cutting through many layers of fabric at the same time, like I did for my Stack-n-Whack quilts.  I obviously love their stuff.  No one asked me to write this blog post, this was my idea since if you know me, I will take pictures of everything if it stays still long enough...LoL!  So let me know, what is your favorite tool and even the brand you prefer.  This happened to be the brand I received recommendations for and have stuck with them ever since.  :-)

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

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Tuesday, August 14, 2012

2012 August ~ The Big Reveal! The Christmas in July Quilt!

I am soooo excited!  The Free Spirit Christmas in July Quilt that I was a part of has been pieced, quilted & binded and now revealed for everyone to see it!  Let them know you were there by leaving a comment, when you do you have a chance of winning all of the fabrics used in making the quilt!  How awesome is that?!?!  So if you would like to see the quilt pattern and free tutorial I made for the quilt here is a link to it and then you can play "Eye Spy" and try to find it on the quilt too.  This was the 1st time I was involved in an endeavor like this, so I am really excited!  :-)

Monday, August 13, 2012

2012 ~ August ~ Quilt Blocks for Japan

Today, I came across this fantastic and fun way us quilters and sewing type folk can get involved and help with the people in Japan who are still trying to rebuild their lives from the earthquakes that changed their lives forever not too long ago.  By getting involved we also can raise awareness to our friends and family who follow our blogs and hopefully a chain reaction of giving will start to happen.  The Crane Project website led me to a Facebook page where there was a free pattern for the Crane quilt block and deadlines that was designed by Phyllis Dobbs, she is an amazing artist who uses many methods to show her skills off and if you don't know who she is you should check out her website too! So while I have you here, I should show you the block I made today for the cause.  I chose the colors I did since it reminded me of the Japanese flag.  I was soooooo tempted to make it purple since it is my favorite color, but here is proof I can use other colors in the rainbow besides my favorite...haha :-p  PS...Let them know, Tiffiny (Smilie Mommy) sent you over to help :-)
Full view of the crane quilt block :)
Close up view of the crane quilt block, okay, I am busted, there is purple in the block after all :D

Thursday, August 9, 2012

2012 August ~ Another Lunch bag and Link to an AwEsOmE tutorial!

 So I made this same lunch bag pattern last month for my oldest but in different fabrics.  :-)  This one is for my youngest son and if you keep scrolling you will see some fun pics of them both with their new bags.  I made this bag by using the free tutorial from a sweet crafting friend, Ayumi.  You must take a moment just to check out all of the great things she has there to share!
I finished this lunch bag for my youngest son today!

Over top view of the lunch bag :-)
Label on the inside of the bag and notice I used a wipable leather type material :-)
My 8 year old, proudly holding his new lunch bag :-)
Better ways to hold the bag then in your hands...hehe :)
The lunch bag hat :-)
My boys, being goofy with their lunch bags :-)
Now acting like the bags are weapons...haha :)
Ta Daaaah, here are the bags!

Friday, August 3, 2012

Christmas Tree Free Pattern & Tutorial ~ Block #16 for the Free Spirit Christmas in July Quilt-a-thon! Tutorial!

Paper pieced tree pattern designed for the Free Spirit Quilt-a-thon.

I am sooooo excited to be involved with my very first quilt that is a group effort to complete that was with a bunch of wonderful quilters from all over and many know and have heard of.  My job was to design my very own pattern and tutorial in a 6 inch block size using the fun fabric shown below by FreeSpirit Fabric, (this free quilt block pattern is also available as a PDF on their Free Spirit Fabric site).  So after working through several different designs floating around in my head I thought why not use the 15 degree ruler designed by Erin Underwoods Creative Grids 15 Degree Quilting Ruler Link to Amazon that I had recently purchased.  This ruler is so exciting to me the designs ideas seem endless.  (These rulers can also be found @ Erin Underwood's awesome quilting site).

So please don't be nervous about paper piecing, I had NEVER done it until I made this pattern and I taught myself how to do it by reading up on it and watching some YouTube videos.  This is a link to my favorite video on YouTube that really explained it to me best regarding paper piecing. So after making a simple tree design on paper and numbering it, I was ready to go.  This is what I came up with :-)
Updated block, same pattern & fabric which I
 think highlights the fabric better!

You will need one of these rulers, which already has at least 12 patterns designed for it's use!

Let the fun begin, I hope my pictures and descriptions explain everything you need to know.  Click on any of the photos to see them enlarged. :-)



1st Option also shown :-)

Sewn together, next step is to cut down to a 6" block!

Pic Below:  THIS WAS A HUGE BEGINNER'S NERVOUS MISTAKE it was should be 6 1/2" unfinished (Covers face, I was right the first time....ahhhhh)

Ta Daaaaa, you did it!!!  Pictures are showing 2 options, it is your block so enjoy the possibilities!  :-)