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Saturday, March 28, 2015

Projects rolling in and out, and I need YOUR help again! (and a link party)

Last time I asked you to help me, you gave me great suggestions so I will ask you one more question (see end of the post)
The Ongoing List:
  1. the SK project - no progress
  2. Tea Towel challenge and PPV BOM - no progress, needs quilting!!
  3. SYS2015 future projects - waiting May project ;)
  4. Embroidery calendar - no progress
  5. Color of the Year challenge - dooooone (can share only sneak peek)!!
    (this will be my March project for a Lovely Year of Finishes)
  6. Mug Rug Swap - doooooone (can share only sneak peek)
  7. Animal blocks for charity quilts - one block done (see below)
  8. New project: ironing board cover - dooooone (see below)
  9. New project: crochet slippers - one foot done 
The EverythingElse List:
  1. Project of Doom 2015 @ Fandom in Stitches - no progress
  2. Reversible sewing machine cover -  no progress
  3. College Days Blog Hop blocks for tote/grocery bag -  no progress
  4. Alice in Wonderland quilt - no progress
  5. As You Wish -  no progress
  6. Happy Halloween wall hanging -  no progress
  7. Crazy optical illusion -  no progress
  8. D wall hanging -  no progress
  9. B quilt -  no progress
  10. Memory quilt 2 - no progress.
--
Let's start with my two new projects: one finished and one in progress.

The finished one is this

My small ironing board needed a new cover... badly :)
This is a super quick project, I followed Melissa's tutorial to put it together but I used only one fabric instead of piecing the rainbow. The fabric I used is special because we found this big scrap of cotton in the house of out previous landlord's mom. She passed away right before we moved to our house. At that time I didn't even know what sewing meant... but for some reasons my boyfriend picked up this piece of fabric that stayed in our closet for two years. Now to honor her memory, I have a wonderful ironing board cover and soon I will use the rest for some other decorative item for my sewing space: in this way we will always remember her!

The second project is a pair of crochet slippers. It's the first time I try to make this kind of object! And I was inspired by next month's tutorial for Stretch Your Skills (spoiler alert: it does NOT have anything to do with slippers ;) but it's crochet, so it encouraged me to get my crochet hook going and to use up the extra yarn I have on hand). The foot part turned out great... I will post pictures and more details when both feet are done! ;) but I am so excited about these new small projects that are inspired by the SYS adventure! 
This is why you should try to follow along: you never know what the SYS tutorial may inspire you to do!! :) :)

--
Now for the finishes that I cannot share:

Color of the Year challenge:
(this is my March project for a Lovely Year of Finishes)
I promise... it's completely done (and washed with some issues, hence the question below ;) )
But I don't want to show it just yet... waiting for the challenge to actually start!


Spring Mug Rug Swap:
I joined this swap on FB and it was super fun! Again I can only share a sneak peek because I want to be a surprise for my partner... but I used a technique that I never tried before, and I think it tuned out pretty cute! ;)

--
And finally, something I can share: one more animal block for my charity quilts project!

Lion King, by Jennifer @ Sewhooked 
--
Oh, and I received the blocks from my March partner from the Block Swap Adventure (Zuzana from Ireland). Aren't they cute?
--
My question to you:
How do you clean color bleed stains? I soaked my Marsala mini into water to get the washable markings that I used to trace the quilting off, and some of the "marsala" fabric start bleeding! I had a color catcher in the container, but I think that those things work best in the washing machine (where the water moves around) but as the piece was still, not all the bleeding color got caught :(
It's not too much and maybe if I put the entire piece in the washing it will go away... but I was wondering if you have any trick/product to apply on the stain or in the water to help fixing the issue!

--
What are YOU going to link?

Thursday, March 26, 2015

My Tangle Thursday - Week 12

Back loving and enjoying this project!
Well, the string is still kind of round, but the main part of the string is not round which allowed me to have less weird shapes to start with. I really enjoyed how they both turned out (the original version on the left, and my reinterpretation on the right)

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

SYS 2015 - Second giveaway ending SOON!


Hello everyone!!

Just a reminder that you have one more week to link up your free motion quilting/tangle stitches small and big projects for a chance to win the prize offered by myself (the fabric bundle below).

Oh, remember that you can also link your Syndrome block (foundation paper piecing) if you didn't have the chance to link it up last month!!

It's never too late to Stretch Your Skills!!


I will draw a random winner on April 1st (no joke) between all the new entries in the link party.

Remember that in this link party only projects belonging to the SYS2015 series should be added 
(I reserve the right to delete any non compliant link). 
This link party will be open all year long and you can add as many finished projects as you want! 
The same link party will be shown on the SYS2015 page.
Each link will give you a chance to win one of the monthly prizes.

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Three projects finished, a prize (and a link party)

A week full of finishes, and few of them can be shared!! ;)
The Ongoing List:
  1. the SK project - no progress
  2. Tea Towel challenge and PPV BOM - no progress, needs quilting!!
  3. SYS2015 future projects - next project done! cannot yet share but sooo fun!
  4. Embroidery calendar - 4 numbers done (see below)
  5. Color of the Year challenge - no progress, needs quilting!!
    (this will be my March project for a Lovely Year of Finishes)
  6. J wall hanging - dooooone! (cannot share)
  7. HST pillow - doooone (see below)
  8. Squirrel Pot Holder - dooooone (see below)
  9. Mug Rug Swap - decided on pattern
The EverythingElse List:
  1. Animal blocks for charity quilts - no progress
  2. Project of Doom 2015 @ Fandom in Stitches - no progress
  3. Reversible sewing machine cover -  no progress
  4. College Days Blog Hop blocks for tote/grocery bag -  no progress
  5. Alice in Wonderland quilt - no progress
  6. As You Wish -  no progress
  7. Happy Halloween wall hanging -  no progress
  8. Crazy optical illusion -  no progress
  9. D wall hanging -  no progress
  10. B quilt -  no progress
  11. Memory quilt 2 - no progress.
--
The HST big pillow is done, washed and all nicely wrinkled!

Big HST pillow, 28'' x 28''

I really like the how the quilting looks like (even if on the back side there are some big puckers... but it's the inside of a pillow, that will never be seen... so I didn't fix it ;) )
The geometric design of the quilting is pretty cool... it's not very visible on the front because I used black thread on black. Next time I may use grey, just to make it pop.


--
My mom really like squirrels and her birthday is approaching... so I thought that two pot-holders with squirrels would make a perfect gift! I really like how they turned out, I played with the orientation of the border to get a different vertical/horizontal effect. I will use the same fabric for another wall hanging in the future, and I wanted to see which effect I like best... and I don't know, I like both of them!! I may actually do the other binding on the bias with a 45 degrees angles ;)

Squirrel pot holders (8''x8'') pattern by Amy @ During Quiet Time
 --
I finished few numbers for my embroidery calendar... I still don't know if they will "work" because it was pretty hard to stitch the elastic in place so some of them are not perfectly centered... and I don't know if that will affect how they hang to the background... I will finish my first 8 numbers and then test them. Stay tuned for more details ;)

--
And as a last note: a friend told me that "wins come in three" and she was right!! Last week I won a giveaway from Jennifer @ Sewhooked and this is what I won!

Project and pattern by Jennifer @ Sewhooked
Isn't this amazing!! 
--
What are YOU going to link?

Friday, March 20, 2015

My Tangle Thursday - Week 11

Well... kind of Thursday... :)
Yes, I feel less committed to this effort because the strings keep being circles and with Mooka, which is a design that I don't particularly like.
However, in two weeks the string is not going to be a circle so hurraaaay... I am going to hang on to this project and see how it goes.
In the meantime, this is my usual imperfectly wonky effort for this week


Wednesday, March 18, 2015

SYS 2015 - Quilting: come and join the party!


It has been two weeks since I shared with all of you not one but TWO full tutorials for not one, not two but THREE complete projects to stretch your quilting skills.
You can find the tutorials on the SYS2015 page!

These are my projects... already gifted and put to good use! :)

Just few people joined the party (with great coasters, I am happy that you are enjoying these little objects!!), is there anyone else out there ready to join?? 
Come on, get your quilting gloves on, and get your machines running!!

Remember that in this link party only projects belonging to the SYS2015 series should be added 
(I reserve the right to delete any non compliant link). 
This link party will be open all year long and you can add as many finished projects as you want! 
The same link party will be shown on the SYS2015 page.
Each link will give you a chance to win one of the monthly prizes.

For this month in order to be eligible for prizes, you are asked to make any of the objects (table runner, coasters or wall hanging). Each type of object will count as one entry: so if you make 10 coasters they will count as one entry. Remember that to add different entries in the link party, they must have different URLs (they must be different pictures in Flickr, or different blog posts, etc.).

You can still link up blocks and project from the Foundation Paper Piecing tutorial!!
For rules about what will be accepted for that case, please refer to this previous post.

This month the prize is offered by me and it is the fat quarter bundle in the picture below!
All kinds of fabric (batiks, stripes, dots, ...)

I will draw a winner (using random.org) on April 1st between all the entries in the link party. 
International participants are welcome!!

Sunday, March 15, 2015

I need YOUR help! (and a link party)

Again a lot of "top" finished and now it's time for me to get into quilting them!
I need your help and suggestions on few things!!
Please read at the end of the post ;) any comment is welcome!!


The Ongoing List:
  1. the SK project - 3 blocks done (two very special) (see below)
  2. Tea Towel challenge and PPV BOM - no progress, needs quilting!!
  3. SYS2015 future projects - no progress
  4. Embroidery calendar - some numbers done (see below)
  5. Color of the Year challenge - no progress, needs quilting!!
    (this will be my March project for a Lovely Year of Finishes)
  6. J wall hanging - top done, needs quilting (cannot share)
  7. HST pillow - no progress, needs quilting!!
  8. Block Swap Adventure - blocks done (see below)
  9. Squirrel Pot Holder - printed patterns
The EverythingElse List:
  1. Animal blocks for charity quilts - no progress
  2. Project of Doom 2015 @ Fandom in Stitches - no progress
  3. Reversible sewing machine cover -  no progress
  4. College Days Blog Hop blocks for tote/grocery bag -  no progress
  5. Alice in Wonderland quilt - no progress
  6. As You Wish -  no progress
  7. Happy Halloween wall hanging -  no progress
  8. Crazy optical illusion -  no progress
  9. D wall hanging -  no progress
  10. B quilt -  no progress
  11. Memory quilt 2 - no progress.
--
My Block Swap Adventure partner requested a block in orange and she picked a block made of HST (immense joy... sarcasm...)! :) yes, I said last week that I don't like HSTs because I find them boring to make... and here I am making some more! The universe wants me to change my mind and like them :) well... while I still don't like to make them, I am pleased with the result

(the background fabric looks much more pink than in real life... 
I don't know what happened to the picture ;) )
--
I was finally able to start the front pieces of the Embroidery calendar. I decided that I am doing a lot of embroidery already, so the numbers could instead be done with my sewing machine, using colorful thread that I have been sitting there for a while. 1 and 2 were done with my regular foot, just going slowly... the other numbers were done with in free motion. I do like how they turned out... however I had some issues while stitching, that's why I asked your help below :)


--
One new quote for my SK project comes from "Under the Dome" (opening line).

Then I wanted to honor March as being Women's month and we all know that behind every great king there is an amazing queen ;) and SK wife (Tabitha) happens to be a writer as well, so I decided to pick the only book by Tabitha King that I read (The Trap) and stitch both the book cover and a quote from it. However, since this quote need to be "different" than all others by Stephen, I decided to pick the last sentence of the book (instead of the opening line) for Tabitha's book :)
I am really pleased about how they turned out... even if I must say that the titles in those book covers are pretty small and end up being a little wonky. But I love them, so that's all that matter ;)

You can find the patterns on my The SK Project page.
--
And now for the questions...

  1. buying fabric online: how do you know that the fabric you see online is what you want? I bought some fabric recently and while some was great, in some the color was not as I expected (and if you know the white/gold/blue/black story, you know what I mean). My experience was not that bad (the red in the fabric was not as red as I wanted it) but still it won't work well with others. And another important thing is that while some prints looked great on the screen, their scale is way too big for the project I was planning to use it for... so they won't be wasted (of course) but again they won't be useful for the project I bought it for.
    So... do you have any advice on how to buy fabric online and don't have unexpected surprise when you actually see the fabric in person?
  2. free motion quilting/thread painting: as you may have seen above, I stitched some numbers using colorful thread and my free motion foot. While the first line of stitching was ok (and even the second one was fine) when I start stitching the third/fourth time in the same region the piece start getting stuck, making horrible knots/nests on the back and causing me to "color outside the line" trying to unstuck the piece. While I don't care much about how the back looks (because it's going to be covered anyway) I was wondering if there is any strategy to avoid those issues. I was using only two layers of fabric, no batting, but in another project (with the regular quilt sandwich) I had similar issues.
    So... any advice on how to tackle this problem?
  3. machine quilting gloves: I have been using quilting gloves for a while when I do FMQ and their plastic tips got pretty dirty. I wash them in cold water as written on the package, but they didn't come out great (more clean than before, but still the plastic tips are pretty brownish).
    So... how do you clean them? do you use them for a certain amount of time and then throw them away? or is there some special product/technique to make them bright white as new?
--

What are YOU going to link?

Saturday, March 14, 2015

The Pi of the Century (3/14/15, 9:26:53)

Happy Pi day!!

This is a special Pi day because it comes once in a CENTURY (3/14/15, 9:26:53).

To celebrate it, let me offer you a Slice of Pi


If you are interested in stitching more Pi, make sure to check: 
  1. the wonderful "Peace, Love, Pi" wall hanging, designed by the lovely Jennifer 
  2. the amazing "Pi Quilt", designed by Cheryl!

See you tomorrow for my weekly updates and link party!!
Now I am off to get some Pie!! :) :) :)

ETA: Having some pie... it must be 9:26:53 somewhere in the world after all ;)


Thursday, March 12, 2015

My Tangle Thursday - Week 10

Ok, another circle :(
I'm starting to lose my passion for tangles... there is nothing wrong with circle strings (or zendalas, as this should be their official name) but I feel that starting with a wonky string line (done in pen, no pencils or chance to erase and fix things) make it hard for patterns to look fluent, regular and symmetric. 
Oh, well... next week there is another zendala... I am going to do my best again and try to enjoy the process ;) let's hope that after 10 circles, things are going  change: either I would start loving them or they will stop coming ;) 

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

SYS 2015 - Quilting - Who's ready to party?


Last week I shared with all of you not one but TWO full tutorials for not one, not two but THREE complete projects to stretch your quilting skills.
You can find the tutorials on the SYS2015 page!

These are my projects... already gifted and put to good use! :)

And what are YOU making? Let's get the party started!!

Remember that in this link party only projects belonging to the SYS2015 series should be added 
(I reserve the right to delete any non compliant link). 
This link party will be open all year long and you can add as many finished projects as you want! 
The same link party will be shown on the SYS2015 page.
Each link will give you a chance to win one of the monthly prizes.

For this month in order to be eligible for prizes, you are asked to make any of the objects (table runner, coasters or wall hanging). Each type of object will count as one entry: so if you make 10 coasters they will count as one entry. Remember that to add different entries in the link party, they must have different URLs (they must be different pictures in Flickr, or different blog posts, etc.).

You can still link up blocks and project from the Foundation Paper Piecing tutorial!!
For rules about what will be accepted for that case, please refer to this previous post.

This month the prize is offered by me and 
it is the fat quarter bundle in the picture below!
All kinds of fabric (batiks, stripes, dots, ...)

I will draw a winner (using random.org) on April 1st between all the entries in the link party. 
International participants are welcome!!

Saturday, March 7, 2015

A lot done, but I can share just few things (and a link party)

Great progress in several secret projects :) but also in some that I can share!


The Ongoing List:
  1. the SK project - 2 blocks done + several put into final book layout (see below)
  2. Tea Towel challenge and PPV BOM - top completely assembled (see below)
  3. SYS2015 future projects - no progress
  4. Embroidery calendar - no progress
  5. Color of the Year challenge - quilting marked (cannot share)
    (this will be my March project for a Lovely Year of Finishes)
  6. J wall hanging - half done (cannot share)
  7. New project - HST pillow - top done (see below)
The EverythingElse List:
  1. Animal blocks for charity quilts - printed new patterns
  2. Project of Doom 2015 @ Fandom in Stitches - no progress
  3. Reversible sewing machine cover - 4/8 blocks done
  4. College Days Blog Hop blocks for tote/grocery bag - 1 block done
  5. Alice in Wonderland quilt - no progress
  6. As You Wish - 8/16 blocks done
  7. Happy Halloween wall hanging - 13/32 blocks done
  8. Crazy optical illusion - 1 "row" done
  9. D wall hanging - collected some fabric and some ideas
  10. B quilt - to be designed
  11. Memory quilt 2 - no progress.
--
Finally the Paper Piecing Vintage / Tea Towel Challenge wall-hanging top is dooooone!
I really like how it looks scrappy but with elements that connects.
I designed the top/bottom border to reproduce a motif in the central panel (the tea towel) and I used the same motif vertical and small around the panel itself, and then big and horizontal to frame the entire project.
The backing and batting are ready... now I have to think about how to quilt it... it's very busy so probably an all-over simple wavy line is the best choice, but I don't know...
Any suggestion is welcome!!

--
Some family members saw the quilt that I made for my mom and now they asked for a pillow. They sent me the picture of the pillow they liked and some of their living room to understand what they want exactly... of course is one of my all time non-favorite shapes (half square triangles) and their current decor has colors that I don't have in my stash... but wait... I told myself: breathe :) sometimes I am worrying too much ;)

First: given the fact that I can see both TheDress in white/gold and blue/black (depending on the angle of my laptop screen), there is no way I can precisely tell which colors they have in their current decor ;) I had a rough idea and then I picked from my stash things that I like and may (or may not) match their living room... 
For what I know the black/dark red/cream of their decor could be bright yellow/green and purple in reality ;)

Second: HST are not that bad, if arranged in a "fun" way... to me they are just boring to make :) but I pushed myself to make few at the time and before I knew it I had this done! 



I like it because it's scrappy but coherent. As usual, I used my scraps (no new fabric for this project) and I actually finished all my blacks (except one). Linking up at Oh Scrap!.

And for the back of the pillow I have the perfect fabric, that I won in a giveaway for the Lovely Year of Finishes last month (3 yards from Thimblepie's Quilt Supplies)!
And if that was not enough, I won another giveaway!! A wooooonderful Bionic Gear Bag made by Jen @ Quilter In The Closet. You can see both of them below.

As you can see my sewing helper reeeeeally love the bag and the fabric...
and she is posing so that y'all can see how big that bag is!!

--
And finally two new blocks for my SK project are done.
Opening line and cover of "Mr Mercedes"


*This is not the original complete first line
because that was too long :)
I edited while keeping its spirit (I hope)

new book cover and several blocks in final layout
The brown lines marking the pages are for quilting.


You can find the patterns on my The SK Project page.
--
And now what are YOU going to link?

Thursday, March 5, 2015

My Tangle Thursday - Week 9

As usual, on the left I tried the original design that Jane proposes... and on the right I made some funky changes to the overall design. Sometimes I feel tangles are too serious so I had to have something a little different... I like it, it's very me :)


Wednesday, March 4, 2015

SYS 2015 - Tutorial 2, Quilting

Now that we all mastered foundation paper piecing thanks to the first tutorial by Janeen, we are ready to stretch our skills with quilting!!


This second tutorial is brought you by... yours truly me :) Alida (tweloquilting.blogspot.com)


I am not an expert in quilting, I don't even like quilting (or at least I didn't like it before discovering the wonderful different approach on the topic that I describe in these tutorials)!! :)

The pdf (links below) contain detailed step by step instructions on how to make several projects, from start to finish!! Make sure to read both tutorials before start sewing because there are several tips and tricks that may help you along the way!
I put together TWO full tutorials: one that I call "practice pieces" helps you get acquainted with the techniques and designs (while producing great small objects that I used as perfect Christmas gift, in my case). The second one (the main project) is a little wall hanging in which I merge my new passion for "quilting" with my old passion for Disney characters :)

The tutorials also contain links to other resources for quilting and pointers for where to find more inspiration and designs.


The link up for SYS2015 is still open for your Syndrome blocks and FPP projects. You can link also your quilting projects, and next week I will tell you more about the prize for this month!

And speaking of prizes...
Today I draw the winner of the first month... and the winner is:
Congratulations Jan!! I will get in touch with you, but if you read this before that, please let me know which of Janeen's e-books collection you would like to receive! These wonderful collections contain from 10 to 16 patterns of a certain theme of blocks: there are animals, stars, Christmas, Halloween, etc.! Janeen will then email the PDF directly to you!!


All the information about the series (as well as all the previously published tutorials) will be available at
the SYS 2015 page.

If you have any question about the series, don't hesitate to contact me via email or add a comment here on my blog (and if you want an answer, make sure you are not a no-reply blogger!).

So now let's go and Stretch Our Skills!!! :)

Until next time
Happy sewing!!

Saturday, February 28, 2015

Good progress (and a link party)

Another good week with good progress!!


The Ongoing List:
  1. the SK project - 1 block done + several designed and ready to go (see below)
  2. Tea Towel challenge and PPV BOM - last block done! (see below)
  3. SYS2015 future projects - a great finished object (see below)
  4. Embroidery calendar - started cutting several scraps for the backs!
  5. Color of the Year challenge - top done!
    (this will be my March project for a Lovely Year of Finishes)
  6. New project - J wall hanging - gathered fabric
The EverythingElse List:
  1. Animal blocks for charity quilts - more blocks done (see below)
  2. Project of Doom 2015 @ Fandom in Stitches - 1 block done (see below)
  3. Reversible sewing machine cover - 4/8 blocks done
  4. College Days Blog Hop blocks for tote/grocery bag - 1 block done
  5. Alice in Wonderland quilt - printed 1 pattern, picked fabric!
  6. As You Wish - 8/16 blocks done
  7. Happy Halloween wall hanging - 13/32 blocks done
  8. Crazy optical illusion - 1 "row" done
  9. D wall hanging - collected some fabric and some ideas
  10. B quilt - to be designed
  11. Memory quilt 2 - no progress.
--
I shared this fabric box made with Syndrome block earlier this week in this post.
But seriously, how can I not repost this fun sequence of picture I took of my sewing budding using the scraps box as new place to hide?? She is too cute, sorry for reposting!! ;)
--
The variation of week 7 of Project of Doom 2015 was to cool to miss! So I had fun making this block with scraps of green for the plant, and fun prints for the book. The block will go to Jennifer for Linus.


Another block, designed by Jennifer, is my last block for my wall hanging Tea towel challenge/PPV!!
Now only two pieced border are missing and then it will be done!!
Pattern by Jennifer @ Sewhooked
--
The top for my mini for the Color of the Year challenge is done. Cannot share yet, but this will be my March project for a Lovely Year of Finishes.
Sneak peek.

--
Speaking about charity quilts, I am working on collecting animal blocks and while I was struggling finding patterns that I liked, a light bulb turned on in my brain: many Disney/Cartoon characters are animals and FiS is full of those patterns!! DUH :)
In my defense I should say that I consider cartoon characters just people of different sizes and colors ;) so that's why I didn't realize I could use some patterns from FiS for my animal quilts ;)
Anyway... these are the first two I picked: a fish (YES, I know!!! she is not just a fish!!! she is Dory!!) and a sheep (because the year of the sheep just started) :)


Pattern by Lilja
Pattern by Jessica

As usual, I was allowed to use only one main fabric and the rest had to be from my scraps bin... which is why the green background is variegated and pieced :) but it worked out great I think!!
--
And finally a new block for my SK project is ready.
Opening line of "The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon",
You can find the pattern on my The SK Project page.
--
And now what are YOU going to link?

Thursday, February 26, 2015

My Tangle Thursday - Week 8

Who says that Mookas are only round? I tried out several different shapes and had a lot of fun!


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