Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Tuesday Tutorial -- Technical Difficulties

I filmed a great tutorial for you for today.  Sadly, I had technical difficulties* with my new microphone and there is no Tuesday tutorial this week.

I was able to piece together a behind-the-scenes look at the fun side of filming (with lousy audio from my secondary camera).

It's a good thing he's cute.  It's an even better thing that I had to scrap the entire video due to poor audio quality so this didn't matter at all.

Did you know that the audio and video in that clip are from different cameras and I edited them together without looking like a badly dubbed Godzilla movie?  Let's all take a second to be properly impressed.

I film in my dining room and have wires running to the sewing machine, cameras, lights, and who knows what else.  I may or may not trip over those wires when I stand up to stop the camera between takes.

My middle name is not Grace.

Since I work at home and all 24 hours of the day are mine, I film whenever I get a chance.  This next clip was filmed just before 11pm.

I'm so glad that Windows called me to let me know that there was a problem with my computer.  I gladly gave them my passwords so they could fix it.  ;-)

I'm off on a super-secret adventure today so I can't film a replacement tutorial for you.  Maybe I'll have a chance to film again later this week.  Re-watch all of my 2018 weekly tutorials while you wait!
*I plugged it in incorrectly 'cause I'm smart like that.

Monday, January 29, 2018

Sweetness and Bright!

I'm trying something new this year -- starting a project and then staying with it until it is completed.  Weird, right? 

I dove head-first into my bin of 2 1/2" squares and grabbed anything that was bright and cheery.  I took the scraps to the sewing machine when the weather and I were both dark and gray.  I put on my headphones and stitched the gray away:

I asked for help in picking the quilting thread:

I picked pink, by the way:

Then began the fun job of quilting this beauty:

Because you will ask:  It's a Multi Clamshell ruler and a Steady Betty Band.

Want to see how I did the quilting?

After I finished the ridiculously fun machine quilting, it was time to grab my Binding Baby:

This 36"x42" quilt is quilted, bound, and ready to bring some warmth and happiness to a senior in a nursing home:

Come back tomorrow where I plan to post a full tutorial on how to quilt this pumpkin seed design on a Crate Quilt.

Time to find another quilt to finish!  Should I be responsible and finish one already started?  Or should I start something new and exciting?  Or should I delay this decision by working on some postcards?

Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Tuesday Tutorial: Walking Foot Quilting (offset angles)

Happy Tuesday!  It's time for another Crate Quilt tutorial using the walking foot on your home machine!

I used Paradise FabuLux thread in the needle, DecoBob in the bobbin, and Quilter's Dream Green batting (made from recycled soda pop bottles!).  I am almost finished piecing wheelchair quilt for a senior at church and I just might use this pattern to quilt it.

Stay tuned!

Friday, January 19, 2018

Perfect Timing

Last year, I decided to be honest with you about my rare autoimmune disease.  To continue with that honesty, I must admit that I'm having a lousy week.  I had another infusion on Tuesday and since then I've been asleep all but about 8 hours and didn't enjoy those 8 hours at all.  Yesterday was rather awful; I was either unconscious or miserable and weepy.  Then I got a package in the mail and everything changed.

Lucy Fazely is THE BEST!  I first met her when she interviewed me for a magazine article and she's been nothing but kind to me ever since, sending periodic treats through the mail.  I have no idea what I've done to inspire such generosity on her part but her package yesterday was truly heaven-sent.

She made me a tote bag!

I burst out in tears, happy ones, when I saw it.  It took a while for me to notice that the gift didn't end there.

It was FULL of love!

Thank you a million times over, Lucy, for brightening an incredibly dark day.

I hope the darkest days of this round of infusions are over but even if they aren't, love from my quilting friends will carry me through.

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Tuesday Tuturial: Machine Quilting with Rulers (Clamshells)

Have you made a Crate Quilt for a shelter animal yet?  Hopefully this week's tutorial has you jumping into your scrap pile so you can practice making clamshells!

Supply List:

HQ Multi Clamshell ruler

Handi Grip

Steady Betty Bands

FabuLux In The Pinks thread

quarter-inch masking tape

My stack of Crate Quilts for the shelter is growing.  Is yours?
*1.  Believe it or not, this cover photo was the best of the ones that they offered me.

2.  I have no idea why this 12 minute video is over an hour long.  Please don't watch a blank screen for an hour!

Monday, January 15, 2018

Quilting Therapy

I was away all of last week with my Handi Quilter buddies.  We looked at quilts, talked about quilts, and made some wonderful memories and plans for the coming year.

Yesterday, I chained myself to Errol because I missed him so much!  At the end of the evening, I had a charity quilt for the veteran's home.  The guidelines say 36"x42" and patriotic colors.  I made my quilt from red, white, blue, black, gold, and brown fabrics.  Who knew that my huge box of scrappy 2-1/2" squares only had 5 blue squares in it?

I basted the quilt last night:

It's small enough to easily baste on my kitchen table!  I rolled the batting and top on old cardboard tubes to keep it contained while basting.

I plan to chain myself to Hedwig today and machine quilt the day away.  Which thread would you use?  I think I like Midas Touch (it's my go-to thread on the left), but I also considered Blue Heaven (middle) to add the blue that this quilt is missing.  I pulled out Mudpies (right) just because.

Once you choose my thread for me, I plan to quilt it the same way I quilted the last Crate Quilt.

I still have enough squares to make another veteran's quilt.  

I'll make that quilt the next time I'm in quilting withdrawal.

Friday, January 12, 2018

Will I See You There?

I'm teaching at STITCHES United in Hartford, CT.


I hope to see you there!!!

Thursday, January 11, 2018

Geek Streak Quilting -- That's no moon

I have a Geek Streak a mile wide!  I'm a bit of a Star Wars fan and I'm married to an even bigger Star Wars fan.

I miss that man I'm married to this week since I'm at Handi Quilter headquarters in Salt Lake City all week.  I made a postcard just for my husband and sent it to him as I left for the airport.

That's no moon; it's a space station!

He mentioned it when we talked on the phone last night, so I guess he was pleased.

I have more Geek Streak quilting projects in the works.  Stay tuned!

Tuesday, January 09, 2018

Tuesday Tutorial: Walking Foot Crate Quilt

One of my greatest joys in life is teaching people to machine quilt.  I see students in person in my classes and know that they take my Craftsy classes and watch my YouTube videos.  I hope that my classes help, but nothing replaces practice.

I know many quilters won't sit and practice machine quilting on practice pieces but would rather just get quilting.  This year, I am suggesting that quilters make small crate quilts for animal shelters and practice their machine quilting while doing good!

Raid your scraps, make a crate quilt, and practice using your walking foot.  Sew together a few mini charm packs for a color co-ordinated crate quilt.

Have you tried to quilt a quilt using your walking foot?  You can quilt many different patterns using your walking foot, but start with this simple pattern if you've never tried it before.

Monday, January 08, 2018

Cutie Quilt: Share and Share Alike

I have been playing with my walking foot on my home machine lately so I pulled out some In Bloom fabrics from Sandra Clemons (affiliate link*) and pieced a Share and Share Alike Cutie Quilt just so I could quilt it.  That's perfectly normal, right?  Lie to me.

The orange butterflies on the pink fabric are insanely adorable and I need 18 bolts of this fabric!

The pattern calls for fat eighths and border fabric, but I had fat quarters and yardage.  I cut the blocks as instructed and pieced binding from the rest of the fat quarter pack.

I've always been intrigued by quilting spirals.  Fortunately, the fabulous Pat Sloan taught me how to quilt a spiral with my walking foot in her Teach Me to Machine Quilt book! (affiliate link*)

I threaded Hedwig, my HQ Stitch 710 machine, with my FabuLux Hint of Lime Thread

and started quilting my spiral.  This thread color is my favorite neutral.  Isn't lime green everyone's neutral?

This quilt was given to a baby born during the hurricane.  OK, 3 days after the hurricane but my story is better.
*If you purchase something using an affiliate link I may, at no additional cost to you, receive a small commission to help keep the quilty love flowing.

Friday, January 05, 2018

A Month of Birthdays!

Most of the people in my life are used to accepting IOUs in lieu of gifts or cards, trusting that I'll eventually make good on the note.  I'm a week into January, and I finally made the rest of my January birthday cards using the cupcake from my latest machine quilting tutorial.

Starring FabuLux Ocean Breeze:

Starring FabuLux Paradise:

Starring FabuLux Cabana:

Starring FabuLux Aquarium:

Starring FabuLux Springtime:

They look good enough to eat!

Wednesday, January 03, 2018

Not Exactly Quilting, but...

Last week I re-started a (more than a) decade old handwork project to see if my terrible, horrible, no-good, very bad fingers could handle it:

The good news is that they can!  The bad news is that this is a bedspread and I will have YEARS of evening handwork.

As I was looking for a long-term home for this project formerly housed in a large Ziploc bag, I thought I needed something tall and skinny to live between my sofa and the table.  I remembered that I received a cool new project case* as a Christmas gift:

It's stupidly cold in New York and I'm living in my basement in front of the woodstove, so my photographs are all dark.  My apologies.

I store my separated threads in the top zippered pockets, the scissors tied with a ribbon, and my Tulip embroidery needles* in an elastic all on the lid of this tote:

In the bottom of the tote, I have enough room for my embroidery hoop and current project:

These are 18-inch blocks.  I apparently covered the edges in masking tape in the last millennium.  Do they still make masking tape?  I only have blue painter's tape in the house now:

Under my current block, I have my one completed block:

Only 17 to go!

There is a mesh compartment to hold my embroidery floss and my pattern:

When I lift the mesh pocket, there's a room to store all of the eleventy million 16 unfinished squares:

I can't believe that someone bought me the perfect tote for this ridiculously old project, but I'm so glad they did.  This will be perfect at home and for light hotel room sewing.
*Affiliate link.  If you purchase something through one of these links I may, at no additional cost to you, receive a small commission.

Tuesday, January 02, 2018

Machine Quilting Tutorial: Happy Cakes!

Happy New Year!  I'm so excited to bring regular machine quilting videos back to you this year!

2018 is going to be a party, so I'm starting off with Happy Cakes!

To make this postcard, I used:

HQ Mini Scallop Ruler

HQ Right Angle Ruler

HQ Handi Grip

FabuLux thread

DecoBob thread

Postcard Trimming Tool and Supply Kit

I'm out of touch for today and part of tomorrow with some icky medical treatments.  Have a cupcake for me, if you get the chance.

Leave a comment telling me what you want to see in future videos because this year is the year of VIDEO!

Monday, January 01, 2018

New Bullet Journal for the New Year

Happy New Year!

I'm an organizing geek, so January 1 means that I am over-the-moon excited for a NEW BULLET JOURNAL!!!

What is a Bullet Journal, you ask?  Let's take a peek inside of mine:

I am giddy -- GIDDY, I tell you -- because I get to start writing in my new Miquelrius journal* today.

The book Dot Journaling* has a lot of ideas about how to set up your journal.  It focuses on the "diary" aspect of the journal in addition to the calendar, lists, and quilts that I talked about.

If you have 27 years to spare, search Pinterest for Bullet Journal ideas.  Some people go totally "arty" with their journals.  I will eventually add some color to mine, but it will NEVER be as beautiful as the ones I see on Pinterest.  Mine is completely functional, and that is good enough for me.

Do you have a new calendar/bullet journal for this year?

Please recommend some pens that these arthritic hands can use and love!
*Affiliate link.  If you purchase through one of these links I may, at no additional cost to you, receive a small commission.