Thursday, March 24, 2016

Channelling Kathy

Kathy O. of Stitch by Stitch does the most amazing swirls - I want to be her when I grow up!  But unfortunately, I haven't grown up yet.  So, in the meantime, I'm determined to learn how to do those swirls that she has perfected!

This was the perfect quilt stop to practice some swirls.  It was quick and easy to stitch, and since I hadn't invested a lot of time, I wasn't attached to it and wouldn't have been heart broken if the machine quilting wasn't up to my expectations.  Also, at 39x45" it was a manageable size - just big enough to do some serious practicing without overdoing it.  The busy design hides any imperfections, 

yet at the same time, the plain backing fabric gives me a chance to study my progress.

The solid stars gave me a blank canvas to do some stress-free walking foot quilting.  I love the contrast of the swirls in the background and the straight line quilting within the stars.  

I was stumped as to how to quilt this top.  Thank goodness I asked Kathy for some suggestions; I probably would have resorted to my basic stippling stitch had I not checked in with her.  I'm so glad I didn't take the easy way out!

Wish I could just channel Kathy!
Click here to view the fabulous swirls she stitched on my Suburbs quilt.

PS - Funny thing, now I am attached to this quilt!  :)

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Wrapping Up Quilt Week

I love it when AQS Quilt wWek comes to Lancaster!  I look forward to it all year.  It means that in addition to the events surrounding the show, all fabric stores in the area run sales.  Yay for me! 

I started off at The Lancaster Quilt Show at the Continental Inn on Wednesday.  Although the venue isn't that spectacular, the vendors make up for it. There I purchased an assortment of 30's fat quarters to add to my collection, a few low volume FQ's, a base for my automatic thread cutter, a Clover Tailor's Awl, a Gyspsy Cutting Gizmo, and visited my favorite vendor by far, Ameila's Garden.

On Thursday I headed to the Marriott for the AQS show.  That venue is definitely worth visiting!! 

 I played with the Bernina sit down long arm; it's an impressive machine, but it's way out of my price range and space options for the time being.  So, instead, I bought some thread at the Superior Threads booth for English Paper Piecing, and picked up a set of Hobb's batting samples.  :)

Saturday was Sarah Fielke's Trunk Show at the Eden.  

Very inspiring....

Then, since I ran out of time last week for fabric shopping, I finally made it to Good's and Mook's today.  You can't beat their sale prices - $3.19 and $3.99 per yd!  I found some goodies for my stash.  :)

That's it for Quilt Week this year!

Saturday, March 19, 2016

Sarah Fielke Comes to Town!

Photo credit: Cheryl Lynch

I was thrilled to see Sarah Fielke in person this afternoon!  She was in town for the Lancaster AQS show, and the Lancaster Modern Quilt Guild was fortunate enough to be able to snag her for a trunk show.

I had been on the fence about joining the LMQG (wasn't sure I had the time), but I'm so glad I did, because I wouldn't have even known about this event otherwise!!

I love Sarah!  In fact, I stalked her last summer at  the Stitchin' Post quilt shop in Sisters and got a chance to chat with her a bit and snap a picture of her.  :)

Photo credit: Cheryl Lynch

I wasn't able to get good shots of her quilts from where I was sitting, so Cheryl Lynch was kind enough to share her photos with me.

Photo credit:  Cheryl Lynch

Photo Credit: Cheryl Lynch

She really inspires me....

... especially her hand quilting.

(I want to do something similar on this quilt I recently finished piecing.)

I took along one of her books for her to autograph.

(I had purchased it after getting home from Sisters.)

And, I bought a pair of little scissors from her to remember the day by.
(I think I just might have a scissor addiction....)

Monday, March 7, 2016

Another Sew Together Bag!

These are addictive!

They are so time consuming, but every time you make another one, 
you just can't take your eyes off it....

As always, it's so fun to select a variety of fabrics and zipper colors to use....

All zippers were from my thrift shop stash again!  :)

The stitching detail really makes the bag, so take your time, make friends with your seam ripper, and stitch up a great bag for yourself!

This one if for me, so I won't have to worry about taking my eyes off it anytime soon.  :)

Click here for pictures of the first two Sew Together Bags I stitched.

Saturday, March 5, 2016

Sew Together Bags

I can finally post pictures of the Sew Together Bags I stitched right after Christmas last year!

These were gifts for my sisters.  I didn't have them finished in time for Christmas gift giving, so I just now gave them to them in person since we were all together this evening for dinner.

I LOVE these bags!!  I was glad I didn't have to part with them until now.  :)   It's the coolest pattern, and you can do a thousand variations of them and never get tired of the possibilities.

It's so fun to slide open the exterior zipper and see all the interior pockets....

... where you can showcase even more fabrics!

Renee picked out the fabrics for her bag,

and Alison's fabrics were leftovers from the various T-shirt quilts I stitched for her over the years (with the exception of the exterior fabric).

I'll admit, they aren't the easiest bags to make.  They're not something you can crank out quickly.  But they are worth the effort, and you'll be able to say you belong to the elite group of sewists who have  tackled these bags. :)  I probably wouldn't have worked up the courage to stitch one, but I promised Renee I would make one for her after we saw one in person at one of the vendor stands at the Quilt Odyssey quilt show in Hershey last summer.  I'm glad I did!

A few tips:

It's difficult to make one of these bags with the pattern as your only resource.  I found Quilt Barn's Sew-Along's series of posts to be invaluable.   

I also found From the Blue Chair's tips to be helpful as well.

Give yourself plenty of time.  And while you're at it, you may as well stitch 2 or more bags.  I stitched the first one just to work out the kinks, then stitched the second one; it went so much faster!  So, I decided to stitch at least 5 more.  I cut out all the interfacing pieces all at once - way more time efficient that way.

Yes, stitching all that binding is a bit tricky.  But, take your time and be willing to rip and restitch if necessary; it's so worth it in the end.  I found glue-basting to be the secret.

Zippers can get pricey.  If you can't find the zippers you need at your local thrift shop or in your zipper stash, check out this Etsy shop.  They sell sets of zippers in the sizes needed for these bags (how ingenious is that!); you can select your individual colors, and they are a bargain.  
I prefer to buy a longer length zipper than the pattern calls for, then cut it down after I've stitched it.  It's so much easier that way - you can slide the tabs out of the way and won't have to fiddle with them while stitching.

Check to see if your local quilt shop has a class on The Sew Together Bag.  My favorite quilt shop (for more reasons than one!) is offering a class right now.

Be sure to peruse all the pictures of Sew Together Bags on Pinterest - the possibilities are endless!

Here's a peek at some of the additional bags I'm preparing to stitch.  This time I want to try machine quilting the exterior of one of the bags.

I love this fabric combination!  :)