Search this blog

Are you looking for a pattern? Just type the name of the character and let Google find it for you ;)

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?


  1. I have only bought fabric from Thousands of Bolts and Connecting Threads, except for the occasional fat quarter pack (Robert Kaufman, etc) from an etsy seller. It did happen to me once that the "gray/silver" I bought was more white than silver as it was a stonehenge print, but I set it aside for another quilt and ordered a few fat quarters until I found the fabric I wanted. You can always ask if they will send you a small sample of the fabric in question. Many companies will send a 1 inch square for free or a larger piece for a small fee. Most of what I buy is in precut sets, so I haven't generally been disappointed so far. If I need to match a color to what I already have, I will make a trip to the fabric store. Many reputable online stores state what the repeat of the fabric is or specify that it is a 6 inch by 6 inch square that you are looking at, which should give you some idea of scale.

  2. I always love the looks of HSTs, but they are time consuming with the trimming.

    One online store I like is Thousands of Bolts which has a color matcher option, but I have had my share of bad matches with online shopping too.

    I have always thrown the gloves in the washing machine in cold dryer. I did not realize they were supposed to be hand washed. ;-)

    The numbers look terrific. It almost sounds like the threads are being caught on loose threads on the Maybe a tension problem??

  3. I buy from connecting threads, and sometimes otherwise a FB group where she has good prices and you see what you get..... if you want specific colors, solids, get a kona cotton card, it's invaluable for SPOT on colors. Now has a GREAT return policy, I've called before with issues and sometimes they just refund the money, sometimes (rarely) they ask for the fabric back, but with me it's usually just a yard, so they would rather send a new yard and have me keep the yard that's a mistake and they say to use it for something else or donate it. that's GREAT customer service. with connecting threads, I usually buy a line of fabric that goes together so you can't go wrong there and I like that they have the fabrics for electric quilt, so I can design a quilt first and then see what it would look like and then order the fabrics. on FB the group is called Ozark fabrics, and Tonya is great.... you order until your priority box is filled (which can take weeks for me sometimes) and then I get charged for shipping and get the fabric a week later.

  4. Im not an expert on the sketching with thread sort of thing but I always use a very thin iron on stabiliser and find that works really well. As for buying fabric online I do that all the time, well till I began my fabric diet ahahahah, I find a line I like then I wander to google images and look for quilts or projects using that fabric line, it sort of helps with print size etc and to see how it looks paired with other fabrics. Ive never really had any problems with picking fabrics this way, can be time consuming and a lot of pinning happens hahahahah.

  5. When ordering online, I either order fabric from a Collection, so I know that the fabrics should blend together well OR I just buy a fabric and hope that it is good and know that I am taking a gamble and the size of the gamble depends on the yardage and the price. If I want a piece of fabric to go with something I have, I made a trip to make local quilt shop. Once I thought I was ordering a cheddar color for a old looking bow tie quilt and did not read closely and ended up with YARDS of bright orange, so I'm going to have a bright orange and SCRAPPY bow tie quilt - some day! Life and learn and some times you use what you get.

  6. I haven't purchased fabric online as I want to support my local quilt shops. During the past 3-5 years we've lost four shops. My suggestion for the numbers would be to add a layer of interface like material. Unsure if it would work but I've been told this by other sewers. I haven't tried washing my gloves. I do need to do that and I have two different kinds. If they don't come clean in the regular white load (I'll put them in a mesh bag), then I might try toothpaste one one of the fingers. Or I have hand washed my stained white socks in dishwashing soap and then washed them in the regular washer. This made them whiter. Good luck!

    1. Thanks for the suggestions! I also like to support local quilt shops but due to the snowy weather these past months every weekend and the full time job, unfortunately I haven't been able to physically reach them ;) and as you all know, the show must go on!! ;)
      For the numbers, I tried with two layers of fabric and one of batting, and I had similar issues... maybe it's my machine, maybe the thread, maybe me... but I will keep trying!

  7. I think the colour thing is sincerely the hardest part about buying fabric online... there's just no really solid way to be certain. Here's a couple thoughts... if you have one fabric in a collection, it's a pretty good guess that the rest of the ones from that line will be the same or very similar, and if that designer has multiple lines with similar looking colours, there's a very good chance they're going back to the same colour well, rather than drawing up something new each time (a lot of designers, particularly Moda designers, aim to create lines that work together even though they've come out in different seasons/years - so a Bonnie and Camille print from this year is pretty likely to work well with a B&C print from three years ago)
    Also, even if you don't shop there, Hawthorne Threads ( has a colour matching tool. So if I have a particular print I want to match to, then I'll see if they've got that fabric on their site and then using their colour tool to look for fabrics that have similar colours. It's not perfect, but it does a pretty good job.

    For scale, Hawthorne Threads has a couple lines about the print - typically they tell you want the repeat size on the fabric is, plus it tells you how large the largest print component will be. usually photographs the fabric with a ruler. Even if you don't buy at either site, you can use them to get a idea of what you're going to wind up getting.

  8. For the issues with thread painting,. it sounds to me like you might possibly be having a tension issue. But it's also possible that whatever thread you're using just doesn't like to be sewn in that way. Leah Day uses poly threads because they're typically thinner and stronger and deal better with stitching layers of threads one on top of another. I haven't personally had issues with cotton threads, but she's not the only person I've heard say that poly works better for that type of quilting. It might be something to consider, anyway.


Thanks for stopping by! I would love to hear from you!
Please share your thoughts on my projects with me!