Tuesday, December 31, 2019

Quilting goals for 2020

There are lots of things I want to be able to do in 2020. 

The first is to be organized.   I need to get my quilting and sewing organized.  Make sure I know where things are and clean up after sewing projects.

I want to improve my quilting skills.  Both my hand guided that I use for free motion and my ruler skills.  To do this I have a Pinterest board called quilting designs I want to try.   I will choose 1 design and doodle it on paper and then try it on fabric.  I know that if I practice daily I can do it. And as my boss tells me, I can do anything I put my mind to.

Finish projects.   If I need to put a deadline down for a project to get it done, then so be it.  I need to set aside time each day for my projects.   I will also keep a list of projects that I want to do, then set up a reward program for myself and allow me to start a new project.

Develop lesson plans for beginning quilting classes.  This is so I can teach others quilting techniques.   In doing this I will continue teaching my granddaughters to sew and quilt.

Continue blogging and participate in blog hops each month.  I love blog hops.  This also encourages me to get things down. 

These aren't a lot of goals, but they are things I want to work on.

I hope you have some goals that you will be working on.   I would love to hear what your goals are. 2

Monday, December 30, 2019

Monthly color challenge January 2020

Welcome to the 2020 Monthly color challenge.    This challenge is hosted by Jen of www.patternsbyjen.blogspot.com.  I am so excited to be one of her bloggers this year.

The color for the block this month is yellow.   The block is done in a dark and light yellow.

 But wait!!!! Jen has a fun surprise for you!!!!!  This year she added a bonus of using a constant background color in either black or white.

My white one is cut.  I will share it in about a week.

I really love all of the backgrounds. 

And she has sponsors for each quarter this year.   So, yes, you can win prizes. 

Here is a list of the prizes you can win:

Quilters Chic PDF Pattern https://quilterchic.com/

3rd Story Workshop: Andrea Jackson Book: Gemology https://3rdstoryworkshop.com/

For the Love of Geese PDF Pattern https://fortheloveofgeese.com/

Quilters Dream Batting Dream Fusible 80/20 - 60" x 60" https://www.quiltersdreambatting.com/

Andover Fabrics Fabric Bundle -  Giucy Giuce's DECLASSIFIED https://www.andoverfabrics.com/

Warm Company Warm and Natural - Needled Cotton Batting 45" x 60" https://warmcompany.com/

Make Modern Magazine 6 month subscription https://www.makemodern.com.au/

Patterns By Jen Superior Thread S-Fine 50 https://www.superiorthreads.com/

Patterns By Jen Tucker Trimmer https://patternsbyjen.blogspot.com/

Those are some awesome prizes.   It makes doing the blocks doubly worth it, right?

This block is very quick and easy to make. Which is a good thing, because I make my quilts in bed sizes, so I know I need to make some extra blocks.

A couple of tips:

First test out to make sure you have the right seam allowance.   Cut just a small strip of 2 colors, run your 1/4" seam allowance and measure.  Having the correct seam allowance is really a big deal. 

2nd:  make sure you cut accurately.   I cut my pieces the size I am instructed to and then once they are sewn, I double check measurements and trim if I need to.   Remember measure twice, cut once. 

I really hope you enjoy the monthly color challenge.

You can get the pattern by going to Jen's blog at www.patternsbyjen.blogspot.com

Join these other bloggers to see their blocks

Jen @ www.patternsbyjen.blogspot.com
Kathy @ www.pennyformythoughts-nona.blogspot.com
Joanne @ www.joanne-everyonedeservesaquilt.blogspot.com
Sarah @www.quilted-diary.com/blog-1
Willow @www.bearpawdesignblog.wordpress.com

I can't wait to see what colors you use for your backgrounds.  Be sure to follow along so you know when to link up your blocks.   U

Sunday, December 29, 2019

My PHD list and it is only a partial list

Welcome to my world of PHD's or projects half done.  I knew I had a lot in different stages but until I was cleaning and organizing I really had no clue.

So, why do I share this?   I am trying to turn over a new leaf in 2020 and learning to be organized.   I need to somehow be accountable for what I start and get it finished.   I have never been really organized.   You can walk into my moms home and she has everything totally organized.   For me, 1 or 2 rooms might be organized.   In the last few months I have noticed my brain is really cloudy, you know that feeling at least I hope I am not the only one, and I just wonder if all the clutter is causing it.

I have people who tell me I am amazing, because I do this and that, but I may be amazing at starting projects but I am not amazing at finishing.  So in 2020 I am doing what it takes to finish the projects that I have started.

So, I am following some groups on Facebook that are having challenges to get these projects done.  Each month a number is chosen and you go down the list to that number and that is the project you work on.  My plan is that as soon as that project is done is to choose another one, by counting down that many more projects. 

Will it work?   Only time will tell, but I hope so. I want these quilts done and given to those whom they were made for so they can be loved.

Some were done just for fun and I may try to sell them or donate them.

As I get these done, I will definitely share them with you.  I am pretty sure there are some missing from the list.   But at least this is a start.

I am always open to suggestions on the best way to organize, so please share your favorite tips with me.

Thursday, December 26, 2019

The Fancy Fox baby quilt

I had seen this pattern along with Bjorn Bear making their way through social media.   Well I thought they were very cute and I wanted to make them. 

I bought Bjorn Bear first and then went back to my local quilt shop and bought the fancy fox after I found out my friend at work was having a boy and they were decorating with foxes.

Bjorn Bear is still waiting to be done.   It will get there.

Both of these patterns are made by Elizabeth Hartmann @ www.elizabethhartman.com.  I can tell you I absolutely love her patterns.   The instructions are easy to follow.

As there are a lot of pieces I suggest you use something to help you keep your pieces organized.  But even with a lot of pieces this is an easy to sew pattern.  When I start with a new pattern, I do 1 block first. This helps to make sure I have all my seam allowances perfect and then I can continue on with the rest of the blocks.

The process I use is to cut at all pieces and label them.   Once all are cut then I can start sewing.   I organize them in the way I will stitch them then I can chain piece, clip threads, and chain press.  So, if I have 20 minutes I may chain piece.   Then next time I will clip and then press.  Before long I have my blocks ready to put together.

This is also an easy quilt to hand piece, if you like to have a portable, on the go, project.

Daddy knew the quilt was coming.  He looked at layouts with me.  Mommy was surprised with it and it is loved by all.

This quilt was quilted with a leaf and loop design using glide thread in a grey color.  Glide is made by Fil- tec www.habanddash.comand the one I used was a 40 at polyester thread.  I love this thread as it has a beautiful sheen to it.   I purchased mine through kmquiltingsupply.net

This was fun to do and I will definitely do this one again.

Linking up this week with:
Wednesday weight loss @ www.inquiringquilter.com
Can I get a whoop whoop @ confessionsofafabricaddict.blogspot.com
Finished or not Friday @ alyciaquilts.blogspot.com
Thank Goodness its finished Friday @anjaquilts.blogspot.com
Needle and Thread Thursday @ myquiltinfatuation.blogspot.com

Friday, December 13, 2019

How to prep tour machine and getting started with free motion quilting

On Wednesday I shared how to prepare for free motion quilting.   Today, I want to share how to get your machine ready and get started with free motion quilting.

Before we go too far though, let me share a few goals with you.   I would love to have a business of quilting for others.  That may be a ways in the future though.  I would also like to make quilts from start to finish and sell them.  That may also be a ways in the future.  I would also like to teach some quilting classes.   Teach how to make a quilt and then teach how to machine quilt.   I love to share the joy of quilting with others.

Now back to the reason for the post.

One question that seems to come up a lot is do I need an expensive machine to free motion.  No.  Any machine that can have the feed dogs drop works great.  You can even cover the feed dogs.

What else do I need?
A free motion quilting foot.  Usually you can find one from your manufacturer.  I like the ones that are spring loaded and hop as you are sewing. 

You may also get a ruler foot for your machine.  I have requested one for Christmas.

Then you need scissors, thread -  my choice is glide thread by www.habanddash.com. I can't get it locally so I order through the mail.  One of the places I order from is https://kmquiltingsupply.net/  they have some of the best prices.

And you need a quilt sandwhich.  For practice this could be a layer of muslin, batting and then another layer of muslin.

Now you need to set up your machine.

First thing you need to do is drop your feed dogs.   I use a juki tl98q and I have a little switch that I turn.

This is the lever or switch I use to drop my feed dogs

Then turn your stitch length to "0".   You will be controlling the length of your stitch with how fast you move your hands and fabric.   I will tell you that this will take practice.

Stitch length is set to "0"

The more you practice, the easier it will become for you.

Remember the sketchbook idea I shared with you?   Start by drawing loop de loops, or "l's"   and "e's".

L's and E's sketching practice

Loop de loops practice

I hope these posts are helpful for those of you who want to learn free motion quilting.

For those of you who want to learn to quilt what things would you like to learn? Let me know in the comments, please. 

Wednesday, December 11, 2019

How I get ready to do free motion quilting

Today I thought I would share what I do to prepare for free motion quilting.

When I am working on a quilt, I will take time to look up ideas on how I might want to quilt it.  Usually I find ideas on Pinterest.
When I was getting ready to start this Christmas quilt, I knew I wanted Holly leaves.

  So I started looking at tutorials on how to do them.   I used 2 different ones.  One is www.lorikennedyquilts.com, just look in the menu and find motifs.  She has lots of ideas.  The other is Tracy at https://www.whirlsnswirlsquilting.ca/.  She also has a you tube channel so you can search that. 

Once I decide on the design then I have to practice it.  So, I take a sketch book or blank paper and practice drawing the design.  This aids in muscle memory.   I don't erase my mistakes, I just keep practicing.

Holly leaves practice

Leaf practice for the fancy fox quilt

The next thing I do, is practice on scrap fabric.  I always keep a scrap quilt sandwich by my machine.   Then when I have a few minutes I practice.
This is my practice swatch.   I just use it until I can't anymore. 

  When I feel confident I start quilting on my quilt.  Even with the practice it still doesn't always look perfect.  But the more I do it, the more confident I feel.

The back side of the fox quilt

So where do I get my ideas?  I use books I have.

 And I go to Pinterest.  I have quite a board saved of quilting designs that I want to try.   One of my goals for next year is to take the ideas and practice them.  I am aiming for 2 a month.  I will practice drawing them, then practice on scraps and then put them on the quilt.

Thursday, December 5, 2019

Oldest UFO

It is day 6 of the 31 day blog writing challenge hosted by Cheryl at www.muppin.com.   The prompt for today is oldest UFO. 

I HAVE A FEW UFO'S on my list to complete.

This one was started in August 2013 for my youngest daughters wedding.   Here it is 6 years later and I just need to finish it.   

I decided I was going to do custom quilting on it, meaning that in the different areas of the quilt I am quilting different things. 

I just need to basically finish the borders and am trying to decide what to put on the outside border.   I am thinking feathers.

All of my kids keep reminding me I need to finish their quilts.  They hint that it would be a great Christmas present.  I tend to agree. 

  I just need to organize myself and my time better and actually make a list of the projects I want to do and not have lots of unfinished projects anymore.   That will be a good goal for next year.

Wednesday, December 4, 2019

Virtual Cookie Exchange

Today is my day on the Virtual Cookie Exchange blog hop, hosted by Carol at www.justletmequilt.blogspot.com  Not only will I share a cookie recipe with you, but I will share a quilt I am working on.

  Now, this quilt has a fun name.   It is called Cookie Jar Treats, which is the name of the fabric.  This pattern was a free pattern for the fabric line by Wilmington.  Unfortunately the pattern is no longer available.  I used fabrics I had in my stash.  My friend had made the quilt and was able to lead me to where to find the pattern.

This quilt has been fun to do.  In the snowball blocks I did some Holly leaves.   I followed tutorials by Lori @ www.lorikennedyquilts.com, when you visit her site, go to the menu and look for motifs.   I have also watched some you tube videos by Tracy at https://www.whirlsnswirlsquilting.ca/.  If you go to you tube and types in whirls and swirls quilting holly leaves it takes you to a couple of videos she has done.

For my 9 patches I am following along with a free motion challenge quilting along.    by Angela Walters at www.quiltingismytherapy.com

In the green blocks I am doing a diamond shape and the other blocks I am doing wishbone.

The threads I am using are glide threads.  They are a 40 weight poly.  In the snowball blocks I used white and on the 9 patches and borders is cool grey 3. 

I would like to say I am really awesome and made some cookies and got pictures of them.  However, that did not happen.  But it is a recipe my hubby likes so one day soon I will make him some.   The cookies I am sharing the recipe for is Snickerdoodles.   My hubby likes when I divide the dough and make some red and green ones.

So here is the recipe:
2 3/4 cup flour
2 tsp cream of tartar
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup shortening
1 1/2 cup sugar
2 eggs

This is mixed together separately
2 tsp cinnamon
2 Tablespoons sugar

Cream together shortening, sugar and eggs; add flour, soda, cream of tartar and salt and mix well.   Roll into balls the size of walnuts.  Then roll balls in cinnamon and sugar mixture.  Place on greased cookie sheet.  Bake at 400 for 12 minutes.

Please visit these other bloggers.   They are sharing lots of fun things.
December 2nd

December 3rd

December 4th

December 5th

December 6th

This month I am participating in the 31st day blog writing challenge.   I hope you will join me.

I will be back next month with the Blue and white challenge.  One of my goals for next year is to make sure when I share for blog hops that my projects are completely done.  I will have to think of some fun things to do.