Sunday, January 30, 2011

Sew Stuck

So as mentionned I am having a doozy of a time quilting, the foot wasn't fitting properly, I just couldn't seem to get it going properly. Soooo I did more research on my machine....apparently no quilting/free motion foot is compatible with it that I can find. So I pretty much am at a stand still.

I LOVE the sentimental value of this sewing machine. Even though my mother didn't use it much, it was hers. The problematic part is it's older and doesn't do all I need it to. So I'm taking the plunge and looking at a new machine. I'm thinking a Janome Memory Craft. Very sad and excited at the same time!

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Snow on Snow on Snow

When I looked out my window this morning in NY after one of many snowstorms, I couldn't help but think of a book I read to my kindergarten class called Snow On Snow On Snow. It's a lovely story with beautiful pictures. The story or maybe just title is inpired by the first part of Christina Rossetti's In the Bleak Midwinter.

In the Bleak Midwinter
by Christina Rossetti Christina Rossetti

In the bleak midwinter, frosty wind made moan,
Earth stood hard as iron, water like a stone;
Snow had fallen, snow on snow, snow on snow.

The book is absolutely great too and when I went into work after a two-hour delay. I read it to the 12 children who showed up. I also told them we may have more snow on snow on snow next week!

Wednesday, January 26, 2011


I finally have finished the first project that I quilted. I'm pretty darn proud. I used scraps from a quilt (that needs to be quilted) to make this cute little table runner. I finally took the plunge and quilted it. Here's a close up:

I'm so excited to finish up the quilt that I made with this fabric!

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Always Something There To Remind Me...

How great would life be if we had our own personal soundtrack, or better yet, if it was like a musical and people were constantly bursting out in song? Lately, I've been singing, Always Something There to Remind Me, mostly because my home is filled with unfinished projects, quilts draped over chairs, little scraps begging to become something and baskets of crocheting and needle point that are just waiting to be picked up again.

The above picture I find the most frustrating. I need to quilt this, I need to have my dining room table back. I have practiced and practiced stippling religiously, but have a bad case of stage fright. So in the meantime I have quilted myself into a corner (literally) and pieced together this quilt top (below).
This quilt above is a pattern from Moda Bake Shop called "Awesome" lap quilt, courtesy of Jamie Mueller.

It really was super easy to pull together since it mainly consists of one jelly roll. As a matter of fact I have gotten it mostly together so quickly I still haven't bought backing for it. I used "Hoopla" by Moda fabric. It's so cheery during this frigid NY winter! I just need to stitch together the rows and it too will be ready for quilting. I'm hoping to get over the stage fright soon! Either that or move into a larger place that will allow me to just keep making quilt tops. HELP!!

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Oh the tension of stippling!

I finally received the stippling foot I ordered for my viking 980. After several attempts it took me an hour to properly attach this foot. As wonderful of a machine as mine is, the downfall of using an older machine is the limited online information about it. However, in the end I was victorious and ready to practice stippling.

So with my foot ready to go I set about to see how I could handle stippling. I consulted many tutorials and blogs to find out the best way to go was to make tons of quilt sandwiches and practice, practice, and practice some more. Little did I know that I would have to fight with the machine for hours adjusting tension as top threads broke and bobbins tangled. After my first attempt the only tension that was perfect was between my shoulders!

My second attempt turned out much better, check out below. I mastered the tension and really am getting it! I can't wait to quilt the quilt top that is currently residing on my dining room table!

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Two Honey Buns and a Snow Day

Before Christmas, without any idea in the world of what to do with them, I bought two of these beautiful Mary Engelbreit, The Caroler honey buns. They have sat in my closet as I have waited for the holidays to end to use them.

Patiently I waited as the holiday festivities ended for the moment to take them out. In the meantime, I discovered the Moda Bake Shop. I found the perfect project for those honey buns. I found this tutorial and waited for snow.

My prayers were answered! Every school teachers dream..... a snow day!

With several hours to sew. I began three projects. Though, I have to admit the quilt top I began on a snowy day after Christmas. Project one, The Cobblestone Road Quilt.

After putting together the quilt top, I had a ton of scraps left. What to do with the remaining scraps?

A potholder (the reverse side has a pocket to slide your hand in)

While waiting for a darning foot to arrive in the mail so that I may quilt my first project, I decided to take the last of the scraps and make a cute little table runner. Finished projects to follow!

Dear Weatherman,

Please send some snow so that I may finish these projects. I miss my living room floor!!!!

xoxoxox, Jill

Christmas Quilts

Recently I discovered the world of quilts. I was searching through material on Etsy and found such exciting holiday fabrics. Kate Spain of Moda's 12 Day's of Christmas was so beautiful. I had about 10 projects in my mind. What I really wanted was a blanket. Why not try quilting. The Aquarius in me would have jumped right in cutting fabric. However, the teacher in me decided to go to the library and take the smarter route...research. I took out this book; Quick and Easy Machine Quilts.

My research didn't last long, but this book is super for someone who really doesn't know much about quilting. It goes into piecing blocks together and cutting. I created two quilts using this book and am working on a third ( a Christmas quilt for my mother that was never finished.)

My very first quilt was made with Kate Spain's 12 Days of Christmas for Moda. As mentioned I LOVE this fabric. I used several different fat quarters because I couldn't decide which liked the most. I backed the quilt with fleece to make it cozy for the winter.

The second quilt was stressful. I am a kindergarten teacher and work with a wonderful, wonderful teaching assistant for the last 4 years. I really wanted to make her something special for the holidays as a way of saying "Thank you for helping me stay sane in the face of 5 yr olds."

Of course it was a great excuse to buy more fabric, one of my favorite things to do! I chose adorable fabric, Riley Blake's Colorful Christmas. I backed this quilt with fleece as well. My teaching assistant told me her youngest son took it out of the gift bag and promptly claimed this quilt as his! The picture was a last minute before gift giving with my phone.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

I Can Make That

My first project, courtesy of Martha Stewart, was exactly the same type of wristlet I saw in that small shop. This is the first one I made. Not too bad for a first run on the sewing machine.

A new journey...

Some journeys begin with one step. Mine began with a sewing machine. Thanks to my father's generous nature and my mother's loss of interest in fighting with a bobbin I aquired a sewing machine after seeing some adorable wristlets in a small shop and claiming "I can make that!"
I have to say it is a rather phenomenal machine, a Husqvarna Viking 980.