DQS6 Finished and received

Wednesday, April 29, 2009
I was so excited to finish my DQS6 quilt today. The icing on the cake was receiving my very own DQS6 quilt from Quiltinkimie. I have no idea what she had in mind for her first attempt but I love the fun cheery summer colors in this quilt!

Here is the cute cow box I got in the mail today. It was packed with loads of goodies for me and my kiddos: chocolate, stickers, pencils, a pattern, a needle card, ribbon, a cranberry brownie mix (drooling just thinking about it!) and of course my Doll quilt!
Over on our flickr group we were "challenged" to take a picture of ourselves with our quilt that we made and the one we received. Since hubby was not around I had "Big Brother" take my picture! Not bad for a 5 year old!

Ok so there were quite a few frames he had to take before we got to an acceptable one!

Ah, that's better! Moi, with my bright and cheery DQS6

And Finally a picture of my completed DQS6: "Butterfly Beauty" Again, taken by my little guy!

Here's a little peek into my life via pictures:

My gaggle of poultry, 8 chicks and 1 duck (all female.) I can't wait until they start laying eggs. We raised them from only 3 days old and are now about 3 months old. In another 2 months they should start laying eggs. We've got bard Rock, Rhode Island Reds, Production Reds, Americaunus, and Buff Orpington , the duck is a Pekin Duck

My Sunshine on a Cloudy Day! "Big Brother" and "Little Sister."

Check out these cool Easter eggs we dyed. You just write on the eggs with a white crayon before dyeing.

Here's Tobby cheesing for the camera! Tobby is almost 8. We've had him since we got married. It will be a sad day when he leaves us, but I hope that will be years and years away.

Product Review: Sew-in Inkjet Fabric Sheets

For the back of the Friendship Quilt v2.0 I used June Tailor's "Colorfast Sew-in Inkjet Fabric Sheets"Notice the hefty Price tag! 3 sheets for $7.99 this is a good 40% off coupon item.

After reading mixed reviews I was a little weary of using this product for such a special quilt. The main "problems" other noted was that the ink didn't set and that the fabric was stiff.

I followed the package directions to a "T" and got perfect results. But yes, the fabric is pretty stiff - think lightweight canvas. It doesn't seem to like pins either, they leave little holes and the fabric doesn't relax back into place to conceal the hole.

Overall I had great results with black and white images and text. I didn't try it out for a full color photograph but I'm confident that with a good high resolution image you would get perfect results! I even washed the quilt before giving it away and I had no bleeding or fading whatsoever.

Here is a picture of my results:

Notice the nice crisp text


Friday, April 24, 2009
I know I missed posting according to schedule last week, but I have a very good excuse. I've been crazy busy!

Last week Tuesday I flew out to UT to visit my brother and sister. Well my sister in-law (hubby's sister) also lives in UT. Remember the Friendship quilt v2.0? Well that was for her.

I spent all of Sunday night and all of Monday doing the quilting on the quilt! I'm proud to say I finished it, very early Tuesday morning (like 1am.) This is the biggest quilt I have personally quilted, ever! I'm so proud of actually finishing it in 2 days! Yes my back and neck where hurting like crazy, my arms felt like lead, and lets not mention my poor bottom. I think I need a more comfortable sewing chair! Well since I finished the quilt at a weird time, I was unable to get a picture because of the poor lighting. I figured I would take some pictures in UT after I gave it to my sister in-law. I completely forgot of course! No worries though, I've got my mother in-law on the job. She should be sending me pictures soon and then I will share. You should see the backing it was awesome!

So after I spent a fun 2 days in UT I had to fly home and host my Brother in-law and his wife and lovely baby girl. They came out and spent Thursday-Monday with us. It was so much fun to have them around. Well they were staying in my office/sewing room (which I completely re-organized prior to quilting the quilt) so I couldn't get in to use my computer. Thus no post last week.

Other craziness: My husband was offered a job in Anniston, AL. We pondered, we prayed and we accepted the job offer. Now we have to decide what to do with the house, sell or rent? He will start sometime around May 11th. In the meantime, until we figure out what to do with the house, he will travel back and forth on weekends (it's a 3.5hr drive)... pooh.

This is hard, we love our house, the city, our friends, and don't want to leave! This is the only place we have lived where we don't want to leave. ok that's enough whiny-ness out of me!

The winners are:

Lolly Chops
Arianne (this is my sister in-law who emailed me to ask if she could enter too)
and Erin you can win too! (just post a comment with your email)

Headband Bouquet and giveaway

Friday, April 10, 2009
The giveaway!

Leave a comment (on this post) from now until Monday morning 6am Central time and 2 lucky winners will receive a free copy of my Reversible Headbands tutorial. I will choose the winner by using a random number generator. If you don't win you can buy the tutorial at my Etsy Shop

I made a set of 3 headbands for a little friend of my daughter for her birthday. I couldn't think of an appropriate way to wrap these up that would make them look substantial. Don't get me wrong I think these make great gifts but if you were to just wrap them up it would be a tiny package and wouldn't compare to the mounds of plastic toys at a birthday party. Even though if you went out and bought the headbands you'd be spending at least $5 a piece so that's a $15 gift but would look like a $1 gift if not packaged accordingly.

So I ran around the house this morning and looked for things I could use. I spotted and empty little flower pot and a recent tutorial came to mind: April Flowers over on the Going Sew Crazy blog.

Thus was born the Headband Bouquet!

  • Fabric headbands
  • Glue
  • Scissors and kitchen shears
  • Glue
  • Bamboo skewers, or fun pencils
  • Felt
  • Needle and thread
  • Ribbon or ricrac
  • Rubber Bands, or green floral wire
  • Floral Foam
  • Trash twistie ties
  • Rocks or something to weigh don the pot
  • Raffia, moss, or something to cover the floral foam
1) Add a few rocks to the bottom of the pot. Cut a piece of floral foam to fit snugly in to the pot and about 1/4 inch below the top of the pot.
2) Cut out some leaf shapes from green felt. I used 2 leaves per flower.
3) Since this was gift for a 3yr old I cut the pointy end of the skewers off and made them all different lengths. It is easy to do this by scoring the skewer with the kitchen shears and then breaking the piece off with your hands.
4) use a little bit of glue on the end of leaves and a twistie tie to hold the leaf in place while the glue dries
5) Lay out the head band as shown in the first picture, then roll from the large side to the short side onto a skewer keeping the elastic tucked inside. secure with a rubber band and then cover the rubber band with ribbon or ricrac.
6) Another way to do the flowers (which I like better) is to use a needle and thread to make a basting/gathering stitch along the bottom of the head band. Lay the head band out as shown and start at "a" go to "b" and end at "c". Pull the thread tight to bunch up the fabric. Roll onto skewer and secure as before.
7) Insert into pot and cover foam with Easter grass, pebbles, or rafia.

Free Motion Quilting

Last weekend I was able to take a "beginner machine quilting" class. I mainly signed up just to get some practice. I figured I wouldn't learn much since "I know quite a bit about quilting." For $25 I thought that maybe the teacher could help me figure out the tension on my Kenmore 19233 for free motion quilting.

You see, I have owned my Kenmore (made by Janome) for about 4-5 years, and have gotten it to work perfectly for everyday sewing. But when it came to free motion quilting, I could never get the tension just right. I would always get loops from the top thread on the back side of the quilt. Well when I was at the quilting class the teacher tried to help me but no adjustment would help. Finally she called the quilt shop owner who is pretty dang savvy when it comes to all different types of machines. Well after about 3 minutes she figured out I wasn't threading my machine correctly! Go figure! After 5 years of owning my machine I've been doing it wrong the whole time!

See the little green arrow? (feel free to click to enlarge) I have always missed looping the thread around that little hook there.

...and this is the way it's supposed to thread!
Well as soon as the quilt shop owner made that change my machine was free motion-ing like a dream! No more loops... and to think I was too darned prideful to think I would learn anything at a beginner class. I wasn't even threading the machine right - what a rookie mistake! LOL

But it doesn't end there. When I got home I decided to clean and oil my machine (now this particular machine does not have any oiling instructions - it claims to not need oil) Well I know enough about mechanical things to figure out where a little oil could be useful especially if the machine is getting loud and clunky sounding -like mine was. Well after it was all cleaned (and after a run in between my poor finger and the shuttle hook race - I'll spare you the gory details) I made up a practice quilt sandwich. To my horror and surprise the loops were back.

I spent the next 1/2 hour trying to figure out the tension all over again. Adjusting the top thread tension only got me so far. Close to perfect but not good enough. I checked my manual for instructions on how to adjust the bobbin tension and found no instructions whatsoever. You see my machine is a top loading bobbin machine. And I guess they just think that information is not applicable for some weird reason. So I took my machine apart once more and guess what I discovered?

My bobbin adjustment screw!!! See that little screw front and center in the above pic? On the black plastic? That's it. I had never noticed it before. The only reason I even know what it is, is from my old sewing machine that had a regular vertical bobbin thinga-ma-jiggy. Anyway if you rotate that little screw to the left it loosens the bobbin tension, go the other way and it tightens the bobbin tension. Lefty loosey righty tighty.

One other thing I was doing wrong, I was using metal bobbins that fit... but I realized that they created too much drag. So I switched to some plastic ones and the drag was virtually gone!

Yay! so now my machine free motions awesomely. I was able to do the quilting on my DQS6 quilt in one evening and the best part is: No Loops!

Things learned:
  • Thread machine correctly, oh and use a cone holder thingy if you are using a cone of thread.
  • Check top thread tension
  • Check bobbin tension
  • Use the right kind of bobbins
  • Unplug the foot pedal when cleaning machine so as not to accidentally tap it.

DQS 6 update

I have now finished all of the quilting on my DQS6 quilt. Now I just need to attach the quilt label to the back (which I just made yesterday using a product that is new to me, I feel a product review coming on!) Lastly I need to make the binding and attach it (Lolly I think you are rubbing off on me!) Then my lovely little quilt will be on it's way to my swap partner.

Remember that stain i talked about in my previous post? Well I ended up cutting most of it off when I squared up my little quilt. There is only a small stain left now, but most of it if not all of it will be covered by the binding. Don't worry I still plan on using a special technique on the center flower that can be used to cover up a stain.

So here are the pics of my quilting done on my Kenmore 19233

I still have lots of practice to do before I get good. The most important thing I learned in making this quilt was having proper tension on the machine (see next post.)

Friendship Quilt v2.0

Sunday, April 5, 2009
This is a surprise quilt for someone very deserving. I don't know if they read this blog or not so I can't mention who it is for. It is a "joint venture" between a good friend (can't mention names) and myself. The top has been pieced by my friend, I think she did a super job, and I get to do the quilting.

Yes I know this looks very much like my daughter's quilt I've posted before (here.) That's because we fell in love with the fabrics, found a great deal on them, and ordered them at the same time. We thought the fabrics were very cheerful, bright, and perfect for our recipient.

I'm a little anxious about the thought of doing the quilting on such a special quilt. I really want to try something different besides stippling or quilting it in the ditch. So I snapped a picture and imported it into Illustrator so I could "try out" a couple of quilting motifs before actually committing to thread.

The top half of the quilt was drawn out with a "pumpkin seed" motif, and the bottom half was done in a quasi pinwheel motif. I think I have fallen in love with the pumpkin seed motif. I love the way it forms circles and flowers at the same time. I'm still undecided on what to do with the borders, I think I might do the borders in the ditch or echo just slightly to the inside of each "piano key." I'll definitely stick to the free motion cherry on each corner block.

(click picture to enlarge)

Oh yeah, I'm trying to get this done within the week! Yes, including the binding. Yikes! I also need to figure out what I'll be using for the backing so I can get started. Wish me luck and stay tuned for progress pics!

Painting a door

Friday, April 3, 2009
I found it! My picture was saved to the desktop for easy access and I had forgotten where I put it. This will be more of a tips post rather than a step by step post.

Materials I used:
  • Interior latex paint (white, gloss)
  • Angled brush (I love my Purdy)

  • Dust and clean your door first. (I like Simple Green)
  • Paint with the grain of your door ( Sections 1, 5 & 9 were painted with horizontal strokes, the rest were done in vertical strokes)
  • Look at your door and you will see the "sections" already picked out for you
  • Start on the top half of the door ( the numbers indicate the order in which i started painting.
  • As I painted section 1 I also painted to the top of the door (when it is open)
  • As I painted sections 3 & 7 I painted the inside edge of the door (when it is open)
  • Let dry a couple of hours before you come back and decide whether you need another coat. As your door is drying it may look uneven but will look perfect once dry.
I like to use the glossy paint on doors and trims because it stands up to cleaning and it just "pops" and brightens any room. I especially love the effect on a windowsill because the paint seems to reflect the light into the room better.

I do have a more common type of door (with out the curved panels) I'll try and do up another little numbered picture of that door as well. Feel free to ask me any questions!

This week I hope to tackle the french door in the kitchen and maybe even the staircase in the living room!

I've been productive

I was so excited to post today, actually I could have posted sooner but Little Sister got sick this week. She's been running a fever for the last 2 days. Hopefully we have seen the worst of it. Yesterday evening her fever hit 103.5F! Of course I panicked and called the Dr. I got the after hours answering service and the Dr called me back within 5 minutes, which was great (I've had other Dr's that would take forever to call back.) Basically she told me not to worry, toddlers apparently tend to run fevers a lot higher than adults (up to 104-105) and still be ok. That seems a little high to me but I was reassured nonetheless. She gave me some instructions on alternating Tylenol and Motrin. After a nice bath my daughter went to bed with a much lower fever. I was relieved! Today she has woken up a little warm but in a much better mood than she was in yesterday.

This morning one of our toilets started bubbling! Yikes I have no idea what that means! All I know is we have a septic tank and I don't want any problems! My husband thinks we just have a clogged vent. Or maybe something to do with all the rain we've gotten, he thinks the lines might just be water logged (for lack of a better description.)

So anyway I've been thinking all week long about what to post and believe me, I came up with plenty of ideas. I better save some for future posts or I might run out of things to post!

First an update on my DQS6 quilt. I need to get an updated picture because the one below is a bit old.
The good news: I have finished all the quilting around my shapes and now need to do the background quilting. The bad news: Somehow, (I have no idea how) I got a mystery stain on my quilt top! It's like a black grease stain. One minute I'm quilting away and the next thing I know... wham a stain on my quilt! I was so mad when I saw it, but try as I might I could not locate the culprit of said stain. It pretty much hindered my progress as I tried to figure out a way to deal with the stain. The solution: Luckily my little crafty brain has come up with the perfect solution. I won't post my solution until I get a current picture (so you can see the problem) so stay tuned and you too may be able to one day save a quilt!

The other thing that has kept me busy this week is that I have been painting the trim in my kitchen! We actually never did it when we moved in about 1 year ago. Lately it's really been bugging me. Especially the laundry room door. It was disgusting, and no amount of wiping and cleaning it made a difference.
Before: Super dingy

After: Bright and cheery
Well I had a nice little tutorial all made up with tips on door painting... apparently it didn't save! Pooh! I could have sworn it saved, I'll have to search my hard drive for it. It's not that hard to repaint your trim or doors and it makes a world of a difference! So check back later in the week!

One more thing! Check back later in the week for a great quilting tip and my first giveaway!!!
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