Monday, June 22, 2009

Triangles in a Square Quilt



I'm taking a few vacation days from work here and there to work on projects and school work. It's been nice to get out of the office for a while, and it's even nicer to finish up some loose ends around here.





On Friday I quilted and sewed the binding on my triangle quilt. I don't normally do straight line quilting because accuracy is not my forte. Even though the lines are crooked and not all that parallel, I really love how the diamonds on this are all puffy.





This quilt is going in our living room on the couch. Since everything in our house is either green, blue or brown...this quilt is perfect for our house!





Here are the details:

Original pre-cut block size:

8" x 8"

Four yards of fabric in four different colors are needed (1 yard each color). You will be able to cut 20 blocks from each color.

Then, the 8" blocks are cut in half on the diagonal (40 triangles of each color).

Sew the triangles together to opposing colors. You will have 80 blocks total. Arrange the blocks in 8 columns and ten rows and sew together.

Binding (for 2.5" strips): 1/2 yard

Backing: 4 yards

The quilt is 54" x 68"







Monday, June 15, 2009

Nine patch a day Quilt Along: Part 2



I've finally finished all 70 blocks for Amanda's quilt along! It feels great to finish these and make a big dent in my fabric stash. I've got my white muslin and am ready to turn these blocks into a quilt top. Here are the finished blocks:

 









Thursday, June 11, 2009

triangle quilt top

Ever since I saw the Amy Butler Electric Quilt company software preview on trueup, I've had my heart set on making the solid triangle quilt pattern included in the set (see the last photo in the preview).





I initially wanted to copy the colors in the preview quilt, but after browsing on fatquartershop last week, I ended up changing the colors to complement this polka dot fabric. I plan on using the polka dots for the binding and the floral print for the backing fabric.






I'm pretty sure these three colors are my favorite color combo. They appear all over our house and I never tire of using brown, blue and green. I really love how this turned out. It just goes to show that solid colors and simple piecing can really create a classic, clean, modern look in a quilt.

I used four yards of solid fabric for the top. I was able to cut out 20 8-inch squares from each yard of fabric. The quilt is eight blocks wide and ten rows long and is about 60" x 75", so it will be the perfect length lap quilts for the tall people in our house.

I'm planning on doing some diagonal criss cross quilting with this to accentuate the triangles. I can't wait to get this one sandwiched and quilted!






Monday, June 8, 2009

Janome 6260QC

Here's my answers to the sewing machine meme by SewMamaSew.

470197541_a30c3bd8a6

What brand and model do you have?


I have a Janome 6260QC (Quilter's Companion). It's now
discontinued, though and Janome only makes the lowest model in the
series.


How long have you had it?

I purchased this machine in August 2006, before I knew how much sewing/quilting/crafting would take over my life.





How much does that machine cost (approximately)?

The machine was around $600.

Pict5429


What types of things do you sew (i.e. quilting, clothing, handbags, home dec projects, etc.)?

I
use this machine for everything, but mostly quilting and making
handbags. I bought this model because it was in the Quilter's Companion
line and included a walking foot, darning foot, stitch guide and a few
other quilting tools that I have yet to use.




How much do you sew? How much wear and tear does the machine get?

This
machine has received lots of wear and tear in the past three years that
I've been using it. When I'm in peak sewing moods, I would say that it
gets used about 20 hours a week. It's made about 20 different quilts
from piecing to quilting to binding and lots of different smaller
projects and handled everything really well. I've sewn canvas, cotton,
vinyl, denim, corduroy and lots of thick things and I've never had a
problem with it.



I should note that I had the machine in for repair last
fall and it was diagnosed with an overabundant amount of lint. Now,
I've been vacuuming it out after large projects to keep the lint
cleaned out and it runs smoothly all the time.

1465531302_b577f79e24

Do you like/love/hate your machine? Are you ambivalent? Passionate? Does she have a name?

This
is a great machine and I haven't had any problems with it (other than
the occasional user errors on my part). I really like it and the one
thing that would make me like it more would be if it had a wider throat
for fitting large quilts through it.





What features does your machine have that work well for you?

I
originally bought it because I liked that all of the feet are stored in
the top part of it and because it
has a handy stitch guide reference along with what foot to use on the
inside of the top case. I also love the needle threader on it and the
needle up/down option. It's got a ton of extra stitches on it and it's
really easy to select the stitch (and foot), adjust the stitch length and width and start sewing. It's a
computerized machine, but it's not overly complicated
.





Is there anything that drives you nuts about your machine?

The
bobbin winder is a bit tricky to figure out. When I first got the
machine, I had more fails than successes with it. Now that I have all
of its quirks figured out, I only have a problem with the bobbin every
20 bobbins wound or so.

Pict5178



Do you have a great story to share about your machine (i.e.,
Found it under the Christmas tree? Dropped it on the kitchen floor?
Sewed your fingernail to your zipper?, Got it from your Great Grandma?,
etc.!)? We want to hear it!

I
spent a lot of time shopping around for this machine. I was really
afraid to spend so much money on something that was just a fleeting
interest at the time. I'm really glad that I bought a mid range machine
instead of a beginner model because my sewing skills have grown as I've
used it and I haven't yet found anything that this machine can't handle.




Would you recommend the machine to others? Why?

Yes, it's a great, solid, easy-to-use machine and it's got a wide range of capabilities.



What factors do you think are important to consider when looking for a new machine?


Price


Basic stitches (straight, zig zag, etc.)


Automatic button hole


Needle up/down option


Location of repair


Access to sewing machine classes to get you started


Metal parts


Ease of Use

If you've never sewn before, try to take along someone who has some experience with sewing to try out the machines to point out things that you may not think of or be aware of.



Do you have a dream machine?

I would love to get a Juki. The wide throat on it thrills me and would make free motion quilting a lot easier to do. That being said, if I'm never able to purchase another machine, I will be happy using this machine forever.



Saturday, June 6, 2009

on the needles

I've had a serious case of start-itis lately...

so far I've cast on for the following projects:

Emerald Fingerless Mittens




Baktus





Owls Sweater





Dorothea Beanie





Noro Striped Scarf




I've recently become addicted to acquiring yarn from The Plucky Knitter...this yarn is amazing and is dyed in so many beautiful colors. I love all of it! It's part of the reason I've started so many new projects. The fingerless mittens, baktus and dorothe beanie are all in her yarn.









Friday, June 5, 2009

spidery tank

I finished up the Spidery tank late Monday night and by the time I had dealt with all of the fiddly details on the neckline and straps, I almost through it out the window in frustration. In the tank's defense, I was up too late, really tired and should have stopped while I was ahead. The only problem that I ran into with this pattern was that I needed to add about 3 inches to each strap to lengthen it. This is definitely not a big deal and a very simple modification, but when I operate on little sleep, it's not a pretty sight. On the bright side of things, I did manage to watch Conan's Tonight Show debut, which was hilarious!





This was a fun project to knit and I really enjoyed working with addi turbo lace needles for the first time. Everything slides so quickly on those needles and they do help me knit a lot faster because I'm not always sliding my project around the circular needle. I don't normally wear tops like this, so I'm still getting used to the style, but I do like the idea of being able to wear knitwear in the summer.






Here are the details:
Pattern: Spidery Tank Interweave Knits Summer '09
Yarn: Adrienne Vittadini Dianna
Color: 403
Yards: 609 (7 balls)
Needles: 7 and 10
Rav link: Craftr's Spidery Tank



Tuesday, June 2, 2009

My little sewing protege

My sister, Rachel, came over last week for a sewing lesson (part deux). We had actually scheduled a sewing night last October and only got so far as picking out the fabric. We were both in the middle of semesters and exhausted, so I'm pretty sure we conked out in front of the tv instead of sewing together.





We came up with this pattern on the fly and based it off of Rachel's messenger bag/purse. The new version is slightly large and has less exterior pockets. She made a pocket on the front with a flap on top (still waiting on a
black button/loop enclosure) and quilted the long strap for extra
stability.





Once Rachel sewed the inside of the bag she exclaimed: "it looks like the inside of a vampire's house, doesn't it?"  Hilarious! I totally agree with her, though.


She's already preparing for the next sewing project and has laid a claim to my yard of Heather Ross Octopus Fabric.

HR10Chocolate

And, since she's worn it around town, she says she's received at 10
requests from friends to make one just like it to sell. I have a
feeling she's going to be hanging around my house a lot more often.



Monday, June 1, 2009

Carissa's package

Carissa's package arrive last week and now that I've made a trip to IKEA to pick up some frames, I can share what she sent.

Our swap was set up to by my knitting for her needlepoint. I requested a pear needlepoint project and she came through in flying colors!

When I first opened the package, I was looking at the back of her needlepoint. I was really impressed with all of the texture she added to the project. I held up the pear to show Jon and that's when I noticed that I had been looking at the wrong side. The front is even prettier than the back!





Her package contained lots of fun goodies! A beautifully printed tea towel (available in her etsy store, Pidoodle Designs), a cute sticker sheet and a thoughtful card.

Thanks, Carissa!

Here's the framed artwork hanging in our kitchen (complete with the reflection of our pan rack). It's so nice to be able to spice things up in here.





Jon's quip of the day: "It's ap"pear"ant that this will be perfect for our kitchen." *har har har*