Monday, July 31, 2017

Starting on the July Book of the Month

Well, it's better late than never! Yep, I'm finally getting a start on a July Book of the Month pattern, with this fetching fabric pull.

fabric pull for the July 2017 Book of the Month

I must admit, I spent too many mornings on the internet last week, which really eats into sewing time. And here it is July 31 and I'm just now starting in on a pattern from Strip Savvy by Kate Henderson. 

Strip Savvy book by Kate Henderson
Strip Savvy

And me being me, I'm modifying the pattern to a baby quilt size, because there's always a need for those. So without further delay, I'm off to go cut and sew! See you tomorrow.

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Friday, July 28, 2017

Block 7 of the Growing Up QAL

Block 7 of Alida's Growing Up QAL, over at Alida Tweloq Designs, is a wrap! 

English paper pieced block 7 of the Growing Up QAL

Continued in my color scheme of red, white, and blue, this design uses the English paper piecing technique, something I've not tried before. Would I do more of this type of piecing? Only if I were travelling and didn't have a sewing machine around!

But it was good to learn a new skill, which is what the Growing Up QAL is all about. If you want to try new sewing skills, join in!

Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Midweek Makers #82

This week, it's all about the animals here at Midweek Makers!

Janome 6500 and Winston

Winston thinks there's leftover spa food on the plastic bag. For some crazy reason, he licks plastic bags when he's hungry. Maybe he's attracted to the new cherry red felts Miss Janome 6500 is sporting. Who knows!

But let's move on from real animals to those in fabric. Did everyone visit the homes of these following critters? There was adorable Freddy and Flo, the flamingos made by Tanya at Tanya Quilts in Colorado


and another set of flamingos surrounded by blue pinwheels by LeeAnna at Not Afraid of Color;


these adorable elephant brothers over at Densyendehimmel;


plus these paper pieced cuties made by Patty of Elm Street Quilts.


Feel free to post the 'Featured' button, or the Midweek Makers button on your blog - you all deserve it!

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On to this week's party - come link up your project! And remember to visit with some of the other party goers and leave some comment love - it's a great way to make new friends!

Have fun!

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Back From a Spa Treatment

My Janome 6500 - she's home from the spa!

Janome 6500 home from the spa

All clean and wrapped up, she definitely looks like she's been bathed, oiled, and massaged. Maybe she had some minor work done - though she's not telling!

Now that she's back from her 'vacation', she looks and runs fabulous! Seriously though, Ken from Ray's Sewing Center gave her all that special treatment, along with replacing a belt and a hook, thankfully minor repairs. And she sounds wonderful, like the purr a confident lioness would have. I'm sure she and I will have many, many more great years together.

The initial post about her squeaking, Piecing Withdrawal, generated very interesting comments. Seems that most of you, like me, don't take your machines in for regular maintenance. Reasons varied from repair shop being too far away, don't fix it if it works fine, prior bad experience with repairs, other machines to fall back on, and finally, expense, which are all very valid reasons.

Personally, I think the decision to take a machine in depends on two things: how much the machine is used, and how dependable the shop is. The first is easy to determine, but the other gives us pause. It's the same thing when the car needs repair. We hope that changing the oil regularly, and checking air and fluids keeps the car running. But unfortunately, lubricants become grimy and parts wear out, requiring a trip to the repair shop. We know it has to be done, but putting faith in someone to make a proper repair, and without a huge dent to the wallet, well, that really makes us hesitate. 

Deep down, I knew this machine needed attention. What ultimately swayed my decision was that I figured any repair cost would pale in comparison to the cost of replacing the machine. I love this Janome 6500, and I'm not interested in a new one with more bells and whistles. Plus, I figured if I wasn't happy, then I would keep returning to the shop until whatever issue it had was resolved. Decision made. 

So far, it's been a good decision, though I'm probably not converted to yearly spa treatments. But if she continues to be the workhorse that she is, I'm thinking every 2-3 years would be good. I'll make a note of this repair date, and reassess in a few years. Seems fair enough, right?

Hopefully, based on my experience, I've given you some food for thought about machine maintenance because I really do want you and your machine to continue to have a wonderful relationship, and that's what ultimately matters. As Ben Franklin said, "an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure." Besides, I want to keep seeing your quilts!

Monday, July 24, 2017

T- Shirt Quilts Finished

Six finished t-shirt quilts, all ready to go.

six t-shirt quilts

Commissioned back in March, they were started in April with the supplied 'tool' theme fabric. Such a sweet guy - he had his wife buy tool fabric whenever they went on shop hops. She certainly had quite the collection to work with!

t shirt quilts

For closer looks of the tops, check out these posts:
T-Shirts and Me
T-Shirts and Me Two

Since my sewing machine was in the shop, I thought it the perfect time to finish these up and move them from their resting place of the Innova quilt frame.

Innova Longarm with quilt tops

Now she's all clean!

Innova longarm quilting machine

Much better, wouldn't you say? But I feel so exposed! Now you can see 70% of the stash - I really must work on trimming that down. For new fabric, of course.

All quilts use a lightweight poly batting, and have stippling on them, with either Glide Military Gold or Glide Cool Grey.

t-shirt quilt stipple quilting

And because I'm running low on my most used thread color, Sand, plus a few others, I decided to place an order at Look at these yummy colors that arrived!

Glide thread from Bobbin Central

I'm well stocked now - just need to find storage space.

So another saga of t-shirt quilts has come to an end, though I'm sure there will be more in my future!

Happy Quilting!

Friday, July 21, 2017

Dresden Plate Poinsettia Coasters

Welcome to Day 8 of the 12 Days of Christmas in July Blog Hop! Not only is it my day to share, but there's also great projects in store for you at Katie Mae Quilts and Quilted Blooms - be sure to check them out too! And of course, we can't forget Sarah, the hostess of this Christmas themed hop who has a QAL going on over at Confessions of a Fabric Addict. 

Now, pull up a chair and get ready to rest your favorite holiday beverage on these delightful poinsettia coasters!

Poinsettia flower coaster by QuiltFabrication

These pretty blooms are a modified Dresden Plate, and super easy to sew. A full pattern, which includes the template, is available on Craftsy.

Dresden plate Poinsettia Coasters by QuiltFabrication

Below is a brief tutorial on how easy it is to sew these charming Dresden Plate Poinsettia Coasters - let's get started!

Choose red and green fabrics that would make a lovely poinsettia - I went with Kona Rich Red and Basil Green. After cutting a strip from each color, the pieces are cut out using the template. 

And by putting a ruler up to the edge of the template, 

dresden plate template cutting

then holding the ruler in place and moving the template aside before making the cut, prevented cutting into the template. Wouldn't want to make it smaller! 

moving template out of the way

All the Dresden Plate pieces are cut and ready to go!

cut Dresden pieces

Now they're sewn just like a regular Dresden Plate, with angled clipping at the fold to reduce bulk.

trimmed Dresden pieces

After opening the seam and turning right side out, the pieces are given a gentle press, then sewn together. 

sewing Dresden pairs

Once the flowers are together, the seams are pressed in a circular fashion, with three small circles fused in the center.

fused centers on Poinsettia flower

With some detail stitching of leaf veins, and center applique stitching,

vein and applique stitching

the poinsettia flower is brought to life!

With the addition of the back, turned so that the 'leaves' are exposed between the flower petals, 

stitch in the ditch

plus stitching in the ditch and the outer edges, the poinsettia coaster is now finished!

Dresden plate Poinsettia flower

And here's the back,

Dresden plate Poinsettia Coaster backside

with a touch of sealant, such as Fray Check, in the center to take care of any fraying.

I had a ton of fun making these Dresden Plate Poinsettia Coasters, and hope you do to! Remember to leave a comment here, and on all the blogs participating in the hop for a chance to win some of Tula Pink's new holiday fabric, Holiday Homies!


Pretty, huh? In case you're a no-reply blogger, please be sure to include you email in the comments so that Sarah can notify you of your win!

Merry Christmas!

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Midweek Makers #81

Wow! Did that week ever go by fast! Welcome to this week's edition of Midweek Makers, the place to share your fabric projects!

There's progress to show on those t-shirt quilts - woohoo! Two down, four to go.

Number three just got started,

with the same simple, open stipple. Really all that's needed on these - the prints say it all!

And who doesn't love prints and fun fabric? Take a look at some of prints from last week, like this hand made beauty by LeeAnna of Not Afraid of Color:


these pretty batiks DonnaLee of DonnaLeeQ found on a recent trip to Skagway:


and these bright, cheery Riley Blake prints Louisa from Sewmotion is using in a wonky squares block.


I certainly wouldn't have a problem adding them to my, um, stash (wink-wink!). All right you three, grab a 'Featured' button for your awesome fabrics!

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What do you have to share this week? I always enjoy the pictures and visiting with each and every one of you - so go ahead, link up!

Have a great time!

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Piecing Withdrawal

My baby is in the hospital!

Ikea sewing table with Janome 6500

She's been making a squeaking sound when using the knee lift, which probably means there's no oil around the needle bar. And I must admit, I don't take her in for a spa treatment as often as I should. Aside from the admonishment I know I deserve, I'll ask this: how often do you take your machine in - regularly or only when acting up? Let's take a vote, then I'll determine whether I need to change my ways!

Hopefully, it's nothing more serious than needing a drop of oil and a general cleaning and lube. Supposedly, these machines are prone to needle bar loosening, and if it needs replacement, that's ok. I certainly use the machine a lot, and if the repair means I get several more years from her, then great!

So, while she's in the shop, piecing is at a standstill, though I do have a Pfaff 7570 and a Singer Featherweight that could take up the slack should I really feel the urge to piece. But, no, I'm going to take this time to finish up the commissioned t-shirt quilts now that the commissioner's health has improved. And until my sweet Janome 6500 has returned, I get to look at this:

empty Ikea sewing table

a big empty hole in my DIY Ikea sewing table. I think I'll turn my back on it, as my Innova longarm takes up the other side of the room.

QuiltFabrication Studio with Innova longarm

See that hanging on the Innova frame? It's 5 of the 6 t-shirt quilts, plus backs. I'm sure both the machine and I will be happy to move those off of there! But then again, that would reveal the 21 under-bed boxes full of fabric hiding underneath. Please don't think badly of me and my stash - I'd rather you be jealous!

Have a great day piecing everyone!

Monday, July 17, 2017

Pinwheel Ducks

Pinwheel Ducks is a finish!

Pinwheel Ducks quilt

For a scrap quilt, I really love how this turned out! Notice in the design, there is a square on point of dark teal pinwheels, with an inner ring of pale aqua pinwheels. And the very center - a square of that cute duck fabric!

Remember the numerous sizes of pinwheels to start with?

different sized pinwheels

A little bit of the scrap duck fabric used as sashing helped to bring them up to size. Here's a pic of several different widths of sashing.

sashing to bring up the size of blocks

The pinwheel quilting is an easy arc in all the aqua areas, with seeds in the duck center. 

pinwheel quilting

And the Autumn Breeze motif in the border turned out great!

Autumn Breeze border motif

Notice the design meets in the center, mirroring itself along one side of the border.

Autumn Breeze border quilting

And if you look closely, you can see some of the 'made fabric' in the aqua pinwheels.

pinwheels using made fabric

I also had the perfect aqua/duck flannel for the back.

Pinwheel Ducks back

Overall, a win-win-win on this quilt! And my tip for today? Don't despair over different sized blocks - just add sashing to bring it to size.

Have a great weekend quilting!

Linking up with these fun linky parties!
MOP Monday