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Wednesday, July 1, 2015

SYS 2015 - Tutorial 6, Applique (and flash giveaway)!

Get your sewing machine, ironing board, scissors and thread ready, because here is our next tutorial!


The sixth tutorial of the series is brought you by the amazing Kristel (wipgirl).


This is a super cool fabric postcard, with a quote from the sci-fi movie "Serenity", continuation of the TV series "Firefly"!!

The pdf (links below) contains detailed instructions on how to create that beautiful piece!!

The link up for SYS2015 is still open for your Syndrome blocks, FPP projects, free motion quilting/tangle stitches pieces, crochet projects and pixel quilts!

Next week there will be more details on what to link to win our monthly prizes...

And speaking of prizes...

Three things:
  1. There were no new entries since last month, so no winner for Karen's prize :(
  2. For the last couple of weeks I asked your opinion on this series (filling out the survey at this link) and I received few comments that I will address next week!
    If you didn't enter your comments, the survey is still open...
  3. ** FLASH GIVEAWAY **
    To encourage people to make this fun project, Kristel is offering not one, but TWO kits with everything you need to make your own cool postcard!!
    In order to be eligible to win, post a comment below telling me if you are a fan of sci-fi and, if so, which is your favorite series/movie! If you are not a sci-fi fan, you can tell me that too, we won't hold it against you :)

    ETA: comments are moderated and they need my approval. So if you don't see your comment immediately don't worry! It may take me few hours to get back to you but I will, promise!!!

    I will draw TWO winners on July 4th, 10 a.m. EST.
    If you are a no-reply blogger and I cannot get in touch with you I will simply draw another winner... so if you are not sure, just leave your email address in the comment!
--
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 stitching!!

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

2015 Finish along - my finishes!


This was the status of the projects that I picked for the second quarter of the 2015 Finish-Along over at On the Windy side (link number 98, posted on my blog at the following link)!

My goal was actually to finish 3 of them and at least start putting together the forth project (for which I only picked the fabric and the pattern at that time).

I have to proudly report that I finished the 3 project I was planning, and I have about 80% of the forth project done as well!!

These are the finishes I will link in the finishes post:

- 1 -
Tea Towel challenge and PPV BOM
Finished project shared on April 25, 2015
(but I am using the current post for the link party as the second project was shared the same day ;) )

- 2 -
Sewing machine cover
Finished project shared on April 25, 2015

- 3 -
SYS 2015 pixel project
Finished project shared on May 30, 2015

- 4 -
D wall hanging
This is not a finished project (it will roll over to the next quarter) but I will share it with you anyway ;)



Saturday, June 27, 2015

Finishes and new beginnings (and a link party)

I am done with the pixel block with thousands of tiny squares! And started new projects too!!


The Ongoing Project List:
  1. SYS2015 future projects - doooone!! Cannot share yet, but this is sooo cool!!
  2. Mirror Mirror Afghan - no progress
  3. Water Lilies (Spangled Stars Quilt-along) - basted and ready to quilt
  4. D wall hanging -  2 blocks done (see below)
  5. Block Swap Adventure - paused until next month
  6. the SK project - no progress
  7. NEW - Tiny Quilt Challenge (American Made Brand) - designed one quilt, waiting for the fabric... I won't be able to share the final project (maybe more than one) until October, but I will show some sneak peeks as soon as I started putting the project together!!
The EverythingElse List:
  1. Embroidery calendar - no progress
  2. Animal blocks for charity quilts - paused for a while
  3. Project of Doom 2015 @ Fandom in Stitches - paused for a while
  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. Memory quilt 2 - finished Stan!!! (see below)
  10. B quilt - no progress
--
Two more blocks for my D wall hanging: the tree is by Jennifer (Sewhooked), pattern called "Topsy-Turvy Trees", the sleeping cat is by Maureen


And this are all the blocks for the wall hanging! Only the panel block in the middle is missing (and some embroidery details here and there ;) )


--
I finished Stan's block!!
If you don't know who Stan is, you MUST check out this video



He is the most hilarious pixel character ever designed ;) I absolutely love how he keeps moving his arms and the plaid jacket is static!! :) :) old school animation!!

Anyway, I made it following Susan tutorial for the SYS series (with my own twists, as I didn't want to cut the 1050 squares, 1 inch unfinished, that compose the piece).

Final size:17''x19'', 1050 squares... 
should I repeat that? One THOUSAND and FIFTY squares :)
and yes, there is a mistake: the two bottom rows are upside down :(
I won't fix it, I think I will let it go ;)

That is NOT a giant penny... those are tiny squares, about 0.5 inches finished!!

I absolutely love this block! And I am ready to make another one of the same size for another character from the Secret of Monkey Island...
--

Finally, I mentioned that I will enter at least one entry in the Tiny Quilt Challenge (American Made Brand): I won't be able to show the quilt, but this is the bundle of colors I will be using!
--
How about you? What are YOU up to?
Link it here and share it with me!!

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

SYS 2015 - Hello? Is anybody there?


Earlier this month Karen shared a fun tutorial for a small little Amigurumi friend :).
You can find the tutorial on the SYS2015 page!


Where are your rolling rocks and stones ;) ??? Share them with everyone!!

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.

This month, in order to be eligible for prizes, you are asked to make some Amigurumi!

For the first entry (mandatory), you should enter a pet rock (or snow ball, however you want to call it ;) ). For a second entry, you can enter any Amigurumi doll that you completed this month! 

You can still link up blocks and projects from the Foundation Paper Piecing, Quilting, Crochet and Pixel Quilt tutorials!!

This month the prize is offered by Karen and it is...

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

--
And before leaving, I would love to hear some comments from you about this series!
Because there are many people subscribed to the mailing list, many people download the tutorial files but very very few links are added in the link party below :( :(

So if you can spend 5 minutes of your time answering few questions in this survey I would really appreciate!! The survey is anonymous so you can tell me what you think without extra pressure ;)

As of mid June, this is the situation in terms of subscribers, downloads and projects in the series (excluding mine):


I am a scientist, so I tried to produce a formal figure that illustrate the participation in the series :)
It does not accurately account for the data (numbers do not sum up, because people not subscribing to the mailing list could download the tutorials, one person may download the same file multiple times, etc.), however the overall trend is so huge, that even considering all possible errors in representing the data, the message seems pretty clear to me :(

I received very few answers in the survey and of the people entering their opinion, only 3 elaborated with text on their reason not to linking their projects. Once I collect more opinions, I will answer to those issues publicly, but if you don't tell me what you think, I cannot know if there is anything I can do to make this series more fun for all of you...
I am having a ton of fun making all these projects and learning a lot... I hope you are doing the same!!  

Saturday, June 20, 2015

Pixelling on (and a link party)

A new pixel quilt is in progress... and it's tiny!
The Ongoing Project List:
  1. SYS2015 future projects - started next project!
  2. Mirror Mirror Afghan - next block started
  3. Water Lilies (Spangled Stars Quilt-along) - backing pieced (see below)
  4. D wall hanging -  4 blocks done (see below)
  5. Block Swap Adventure - paused until next month
  6. the SK project - no progress
The EverythingElse List:
  1. Embroidery calendar - no progress
  2. Animal blocks for charity quilts - paused for a while
  3. Project of Doom 2015 @ Fandom in Stitches - paused for a while
  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. Memory quilt 2 - new block started!! (see below)
  10. B quilt - no progress
--
Susan (quiltfabrication.blogspot.com) is hosting a fun Quilt Along (Spangled Stars)!!
Last week I finished the top, but I realized the piece of fabric I wanted to use for the back was just not wide enough :( So what did I do? I decided to use some of the blocks I received in my Block Swap Adventure swap and add them on the back! I picked the blocks that didn't fit too well with the others I have... nothing wrong with these blocks, but they are just not the right color or motif to play well with others... but they are great in a scrappy sampler pieced back, right?

--
Few more blocks for my D wall hanging! Blocks from the book "A Quilter's Ark". These are soooooo simple, that it takes me more time to pull the fabric from my stash than to assemble the blocks!

--
And last, but not least I am making Stan for my Memory quilt 2!
If you don't know who Stan is, you MUST check out this video



He is the most hilarious pixel character ever designed ;) I absolutely love how he keeps moving his arms and the plaid jacket is static!! :) :) old school animation!!

Anyway, I made it following Susan tutorial for the SYS series (with my own twists, as I didn't want to cut the 1050 squares, 1 inch unfinished, that compose the piece).


That is NOT a giant penny... those are tiny squares, 0.5 inches finished!!

I am very excited to see this block completed!!

--
How about you? What are YOU up to?
Link it here and share it with me!!

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

SYS 2015 - Are you rockin it?


Earlier this month Karen shared a fun tutorial for a small little Amigurumi friend :).
You can find the tutorial on the SYS2015 page!



Are YOU rockin it??? Share it with everyone!!

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.

This month, in order to be eligible for prizes, you are asked to make some Amigurumi!

For the first entry (mandatory), you should enter a pet rock (or snow ball, however you want to call it ;) ). For a second entry, you can enter any Amigurumi doll that you completed this month! 

You can still link up blocks and projects from the Foundation Paper Piecing, Quilting, Crochet and Pixel Quilt tutorials!!

This month the prize is offered by Karen and it is...

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

--
And before leaving, I would love to hear some comments from you about this series!
Because there are many people subscribed to the mailing list, many people download the tutorial files but very very few links are added in the link party below :( :(

So if you can spend 5 minutes of your time answering few questions in this survey I would really appreciate!! The survey is anonymous so you can tell me what you think without extra pressure ;)

--

Saturday, June 13, 2015

Got back on the cow (and a link party)

Well usually people say "get back on the horse", but I have been making more cows blocks than horses ;)


The Ongoing Project List:
  1. SYS2015 future projects - waiting for next tutorial
  2. Block Swap Adventure - June block, done (see below)
  3. Mirror Mirror Afghan - second big block done (see below)
  4. Water Lilies (Spangled Stars Quilt-along) - top doooooooone! (see below)
  5. D wall hanging -  4 blocks done (see below)
  6. the SK project - no progress
The EverythingElse List:
  1. Embroidery calendar - no progress
  2. Animal blocks for charity quilts - paused for a while
  3. Project of Doom 2015 @ Fandom in Stitches - paused for a while
  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. Memory quilt 2 - no progress
  10. B quilt - no progress
--
Susan (quiltfabrication.blogspot.com) is hosting a fun Quilt Along (Spangled Stars)!!
I joined at the beginning of the moth and in about 10 days I assembled the entire quilt top! Kudos to me considering that I usually don't like these "assembly line, quick quilts designs"!! :)

But I absolutely love this design... the striking thing for me is that one block (the bar block) is the one that has more units in the entire quilt, but it is so simple that it "blends in" and it doesn't take over the design. But since it's so simple and fast, it makes the entire quilt very easy to make!!

So this is my quilt top

Water Lilies (68''x74'')
Yes, I didn't iron it yet... it's too big, I will iron it when the batting comes and I am ready to quilt it!

--
As I said, I went back on the cows :) and made another "cow face" block (resized to be 5'') and a couple of other animal blocks from the book "A Quilter's Ark". These are soooooo simple, that it takes me more time to pull the fabric from my stash than to assemble the blocks!

The tree is by Jennifer (Sewhooked), pattern called "Topsy-Turvy Trees".


--
The other project I worked on is my Mirror Mirror Afghan (using the tapestry crochet technique)

16''x22'' front and back

This is going to be the other half of my main central panel for the afghan! I really like the way it turned out! I already designed the next block, go me!!
--
Finally I made the block for Dagmar (for the Block Swap Adventure): she asked for a star block and she said scrappy is welcome. So making my "Water Lilies" quilt I ended up with extra HST and the other unit with triangles in... and when I googled for a star block pattern I found the one below that uses exactly the units I had! so this is the block I will send her (hope she likes it)


--
How about you? What are YOU up to?
Link it here and share it with me!!

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

SYS 2015 - Three announcements


Last week Karen shared a fun tutorial for a small little amigurumi friend :).
You can find the tutorial on the SYS2015 page!


Announcement 1: My project is done! 
Let me introduce you to Snowy! She is not a Pet Rock... she is the Pet Snowball of my friend-pet Pumpkin :) :)
And now I can reveal why I needed the organza to hold the filling inside (as explained in the tutorial file): I needed to add catnip so that Snowy is more fun to play with ;)

How about you? 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.

Announcement 2:
This month, in order to be eligible for prizes, you are asked to make some amigurumi!

For the first entry (mandatory), you should enter a pet rock (or snow ball, however you want to call it ;) ). For a second entry, you can enter any amigurumi doll that you completed this month! 

You can still link up blocks and projects from the Foundation Paper Piecing, Quilting, Crochet and Pixel Quilt tutorials!!

This month the prize is offered by Karen and it is...


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

--
Announcement 3:
And before leaving, I would love to hear some comments from you about this series!
Because there are many people subscribed to the mailing list, many people download the tutorial files but very very few links are added in the link party below :( :(

So if you can spend 5 minutes of your time answering few questions in this survey I would really appreciate!! The survey is anonymous so you can tell me what you think without extra pressure ;)

--

Saturday, June 6, 2015

Almost there (and a link party)

Wow, I was playing catch-up and I almost won... :)


The Ongoing Project List:
  1. SYS2015 future projects - waiting for next tutorial
  2. Block Swap Adventure - June block, planned
  3. Mirror Mirror Afghan - 1 big block done (see below)
  4. Water Lilies (Spangled Stars Quilt-along) - almost done! (see below)
  5. D wall hanging -  no progress
  6. the SK project - no progress
The EverythingElse List:
  1. Embroidery calendar - no progress
  2. Animal blocks for charity quilts - paused for a while
  3. Project of Doom 2015 @ Fandom in Stitches - paused for a while
  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. Memory quilt 2 - no progress
  10. B quilt - no progress
--
Susan (quiltfabrication.blogspot.com) is hosting a fun Quilt Along (Spangled Stars)!!
I joined last week and this week I almost caught up to the current step (which is technically the last step before assembly). So I pretty much assembled the entire quilt top in one week! Kudos to me!! :)

Actually I am still working on finishing several blocks, but I post on Saturdays so I wanted to get this post done before finishing all the blocks! :)

So this is my current plan

(left) week 1 progess,
(middle) current state after one week!!
(right) my current draft: modified layout for colors/size

So what I did this week was:

Bar blocks (inspected and approved by my sewing helper ;) )

Several Stripes and Cross and Star blocks (which for me are flowers not stars ;) )

It takes me a little more time to stitch my blocks together because I am making it very scrappy and with a gradient colored background, so I cannot use the fast and useful tips that Susan gives in her tutorials (most of the times).

I found out that cutting several pieces of any specific measure (either 2, 2.5 or the weird measures with quarters and 7/8s) is a nightmare for me :) just because I keep forgetting what the measure is, where to find it on my ruler, sometimes I turn the ruler the wrong way (using that extra half-inch side, or not)... anyway... I found a super easy trick to solve that problem. It not my idea, I saw it online somewhere but I don't know where... anyway this is the trick

Several layers (typically 3-4) of painters tape on the back of the ruler at the desired measure! The layers of tape create a nice "bump" on the back of the ruler so that you can just slide the ruler on the edge of the fabric and it will stop exactly at that point, and then it's easy to cut and go on with another cut! You don't have to remember what the measure is... whatever it is, it is where the tape is! and you can reposition it very easily and several times!!

--
The only other project I worked on is my Mirror Mirror Afghan (using the tapestry crochet technique)
16''x22'' front and back

This is going to be my main central panel for the afghan! I really like the way it turned out... looking forward to start the other block (with inverted colors!)

--
How about you? What are YOU up to?
Link it here and share it with me!!

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

SYS 2015 - Tutorial 5, Crochet (Amigurumi)

We are going to get our sewing machine a little break again, and our crochet hooks out!

The fifth tutorial of the series is brought you by the wonderful Karen (theshtickido).


This is a super simple and fun pattern that allows you to get familiar with the basics of the amigurumi technique. The Pet Rock family is fun and very versatile: play around with eyes and mouth to create infinite cute little stuffed friends!!

The pdf (links below) contains instructions and additional links to resources that can help you find similar patterns to grow the population of cute amigurumi! But be careful... they are highly addictive!! :) :)

The link up for SYS2015 is still open for your Syndrome blocks, FPP projects, free motion quilting/tangle stitches pieces, crochet projects and pixel quilts!

You can link your crochet/amigurumi project, and next week I will tell you more about the prize for this month and what kind of projects are accepted to enter for the prize.

And speaking of prizes...
Melissa! Your wonderful baby quilt is the winning entry! I will email soon to get your mailing address to send out your surprise package ;)

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 stitching!!

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