Wednesday, May 4, 2016

OMG: A Wedding Table Runner

May is an extremely busy month for me. It's also the last full month before school is out which means that my somewhat exclusive sewing time will be coming to an end until mid-August. So that means I need to buckle down. I have 3 projects that need to be done by June 1st but here is the one that is getting assigned as my One Monthly Goal:

These fabrics, along with a few others possibly, will be turned into a table runner for my cousin's wedding gift.  I'm planning on using the Whirligig pattern from Cora's Quilts. I start cutting into this tomorrow.

Monday, April 25, 2016

The Ultimate Guide to Machine Quilting - A Book Review

Hey Quilty Friends! If you don't already have the latest and greatest machine quilting book, The Ultimate Guide to Machine Quilting co-authored by Angela Walters and Christa Watson, please stop reading right now and go get it! Okay, maybe finish reading this post first. :)

Seriously, this book is amazing from start to finish. I was fortunate enough to receive an advance copy of the book in exchange for my unbiased and honest opinion and it truly is a wonderful resource for any quilter. The reason I started quilting back in 2012 is because I wanted to learn how to do the beautiful designs I saw on finished quilt tops. My husband got me my first really good machine that Christmas - I jumped right in to free motion quilting and I've never looked back.

While I've only quilted on my sit down domestic machine, I have a burning curiosity and desire to learn how to long arm quilt. One of my favorite features of this book is that it approaches machine quilting from both techniques. The pages are color coded and both quilters guide you through step-by step on how to achieve a specific design or motif.

There are 10 full color patterns used in the book and the photos are just stunning. The clarity and quilting details are so helpful. (Kudos to photographer Brent Kane and Martingdale for such beautiful photos!)

If you are strictly just a sit down or long arm quilter and are worried that half of the book won't pertain to you, think again. Much of the advice and tips from both Angela and Christa can be applied to developing your own skills regardless of your preferred method of quilting. Here is my own example: while I am pretty good at some of the more difficult motifs, like feathers, I have had a mental block when it came to ribbon candy. I could never seem to get the design to look uniform. Here is the advice that Angela gives on how to master it:

 After reading it, something clicked in my brain. I always tried to make the lines touch but never overlapped them. Just that slight adjustment of allowing the lines to overlap a bit made all the difference to me and before you know it, I was quilting ribbon candy! And as you can see, I didn't even need to overlap anymore. I call this a great success!

So there you have it. If you're a seasoned quilter or just starting out, I recommend that you check out this book and take the leap into quilting your own tops. You won't regret it. You can find it at your local bookstore or any of these online retailers:  Christa's shop, Angela's shop, Martingale, or Amazon.

Okay, it's time for me to get back to quilting some of the new techniques that I've read about!

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Living Room Makeover

I'm happy to say that our living room makeover is just about complete. Yes, I still want to get a new side chair but as far as textiles go, it's done. First there were the curtains and the pelmet boxes. Then there was my Turquoise Facets quilt. And now the pillows are finished.

The front ones were made from my Spanish Tiles test blocks. The back ones were older pillows that I re-stuffed to make fuller.  Here is what my couch looks like with the pillows and quilt. I couldn't be happier and I smile every time I see everything.

The pillows were my One Monthly Goal for April and was also on my 2nd Quarter list of projects to finish.

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