2016 New Quilters Blog Hop

Welcome everyone to my blog! My name is Pam and this is the first time I have ever participated in a blog hop….so hold on! First of all, many thanks to Yvonne @QuiltingJetgirl, Cheryl @MeadowMistDesigns, and Stephanie @LateNightQuilter for hosting this blog hop. I am already learning so much. 😉

My blog is really new…as in March 31, 2016 new. Am I the newbie of newbies? My purpose for blogging is to meet new people with like interests, to share things I have learned, and to archive my work.

A Little Background

The earliest memories of sewing I have are of my maternal grandmother. I can remember the sound of the crunch her scissors would make as she cut through her fabric laying across her dining room table. She would quickly get to a stopping point, and put everything away. I was always curious, always wanted to see more, but I totally understand why she would put things away. My paternal grandmother had a Singer treadle sewing machine. I never witnessed her using it, but it sure pinched my fingers a time or two when I would play with it to see how fast I could make it go. Until this past August, that was it. That was all I knew about sewing. After my flame and passion for art was reignited this past year, I wanted to learn how to use a new medium…fabric and thread! Taking an intro to sewing class taught me several things, how to use my machine, and there is a reason I am a hermit. Learning in a classroom setting is not for me. I do better at home with my computer (pause and rewind are my favorite!), books, and hands on. The three projects I made in that class are by far my worst creations so far. Not because the instruction or material was not good, but because my attention span and focus abilities is like Dory on Nemo.

Blogging Tips

Now that’s funny. Sorry, but I am of no help here. I still have issues with codes, buttons…

Facts About Me

  • I homeschool my two boys (13 & 15 yrs old).
  • My hubby and I own a small retail business….rerouting….a small retail business owns my hubby and I.
  • We own a pitbull (sweetest girl ever) and a chihuahua (her name is Gabby, but we sometimes call her Gabzilla).
  • I love to cook (and eat too!)
  • I have never been on a plane. 😳
  • When I don’t have the time to sew, I love to draw, paint, or doodle. Calligraphy has been on my to learn list. Man I am all over the place! Told you I was Dory-ish. lol
  • My hubby and I both own Harley-Davidson motorcycles. I am a motorcycle momma too! (It’s much more fun to drive than to ride.) lol
  • I love learning!

 

Found some time to play (learn) this week on my new to me long arm machine. 

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A mixed media art piece I started on this week. Not sure where it is going yet. 🙂

Quilting Tips

The better you prep, the better the quilt. I always use two or three rulers to square up my fabric. It could just be that I am also OCD, but..it works for me. Also, don’t be afraid of the walking foot. It can be your best friend. And last but not least, glue basting rocks! (Unless you like to press seams open.) Ha!

All in all, I am one busy wife & momma. Schooling in the mornings, then off to the store I go to do paperwork, orders, blah, blah, home to cook, clean, etc. Finding time to create anything can be a challenge, but one I have started making time for. My house is messier than it has ever been, and I am trying to be ok with that.

Thank you all for taking time to read my blog. I hope it isn’t too difficult to read ’cause I write and type as I speak, with a southern accent y’all! Please show some love to the other bloggers’ pages in my group this week:

Nicole @Handwrought Quilts

Karen @Tu-Na Quilts, Travels, and Eats

Mary @Briarystitches

 

 

The Beginning of an Addiction

Because I have had no time to sew over the last couple of weeks, I thought I would share with you some of my very first sewing projects. Last August is when I purchased my first sewing machine and learned to sew. Looking back, I realize how ambitious I was. When you are a newbie, full of excitement and eager to learn, there is nothing you can’t do. For me at least, not knowing the rules helped me to approach sewing fearlessly. The fourth thing I made is a Bionic Gear Bag. (The pattern is found on Craftsy.) Holy moly! What the heck was I thinking?? This is not a newbie project. lol It took me a whole day to make!

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The binding was the most difficult thing for me sew on because there was so much bulk on the sides.

My first quilt was made soon after. The pattern I followed had an on point layout and I changed it to a horizontal layout. On point would have been awesome, but the triangles that would’ve been around the edges of the quilt intimidated me. Here are the cut pieces:

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On this next photo, I am sewing together the rows I pieced together. My brave self! I had no clue!! lol

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Ahhh! The finished quilt!

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Even though I used no glue to glue baste, it came out great. The rows are stitched together horizontally and some of the vertical rows were a bit off, but I was tickled pink. Binding was sewn on with a machine. I haven’t attempted to hand stitch binding on yet, but from viewing everyone else’s beautiful quilts, I may need to give it a go. One of the next things I made was a double oven mitt.

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I found a tutorial on Youtube for this on Crafty Gemini Creates‘ channel. This worked up really fast and I made a few of these for Christmas gifts. The next quilt I made was a chevron pattern. Totally clueless me, I made this baby sized quilt without squaring up any of the half square triangles. I still love the way it came out.

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Since last August, my creative world has been flipped, turned upside down. (Fresh Prince anyone? Haha!) Whether I have time to sew or not, I am doodling, painting, drawing, or educating myself about all things artsy craftsy. I feel most alive when I am creating! The day for our house remodeling to be complete cannot get here fast enough. Besides more room for the entire family, I will have a craft space that my machine can stay out to play, and my art supplies will be at arms reach. Until then…

xo

Pam

 

Drunkard’s Path…What a Hoot!

Drunkard’s path blocks are one of my favorite blocks to use. They give a quilt curves and movement. At the same time, they can be a pain in the patootie for me to sew.

The first time I tried curves/circles, I used Cristy’s piec-lique method. It was scary and intimidating, but once conquered I was hooked on curves. The next time I tried drunkard’s paths blocks, I attacked it and didn’t use any glue or pins…”I got this!” Using templates, I cut the fabric and just went with it. It worked! Now…I am superwoman. Ha!

This week, while doodling on graph paper, I designed an owl quilt (she still needs a name) using using these blocks that I adore. So excited, I printed out some templates using EQ7. With the intention of this being a mini quilt, I had to change the original 4″ finished block size to a 2″. No problem, I thought. Now to cut & prep the fabric. Cutting was a challenge, but I managed.

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With my superwoman skills, I began piecing these blocks together without pinning. Nothing seemed to line up, the edges of template A seemed to be too short. I stitched, ripped stitches, stressed, cussed, threw away the superwoman outfit, gave up, and came back the next day. (I really thought of chunking it all in the scrap pile.) This time, I brought my pins with me.

Ahhh! 

 

After successfully sewing a couple of blocks together together, I pinned the rest of the curves together.

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I pressed the blocks and sewed them together row by row. Because I was on a roll, I didn’t think to get pictures of the finished blocks. Next, I glue basted the rows together, stitched, and bam! My vision has come together, finally!

Some things I learned from this mini: I don’t like smaller curves as much as the larger ones, pins can be your friends, coffee and rest are even greater friends.

 

Here is my finished mini quilt top. It measures about 16″ x 22″. The original plan for 4″ finished blocks would have been 34″x 46″.

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If anyone is interested in this pattern, let me know. I am actually working on my first pattern (another project) and would love some constructive criticism. For now, the onesie quilt I began last weekend is begging to be pieced.

Wish me luck!! ~Pam

Onesie Quilt Anyone?

Sewing therapy was a must for me this past weekend.  With a couple of to do’s on my list, I decided to begin a project for a friend…a onesie quilt. Cutting up these memories made it difficult for me start. What if I make a mistake and ruin her baby clothes & precious memories?? This struggle was the reason for my procrastination on this project. Usually I can’t wait to start on a project. For this quilt,  I decided on making all  rectangular shapes… the same length, but different widths. This made it a little easier since the sizes of the outfits varied and were worn from birth to one year. A variety of fabrics made it a bit tricky applying stabilizer (I used Pellon Fusible 911FF), but I managed. To any of you who have made onesie/t-shirt quilts…what requirements do you ask of your clients?  Anywho…I began prepping fabric, and prepped some more.

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Took a break, cause poochie’s sixth sense said I needed one. lol

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And prepped some more:

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Although I did not finish prepping or have time to sew, it was a productive weekend.  Thinking of sewing these pieces together still causes a bit of fear because the seams will be thicker than the usual quilting cotton fabrics… but I will tackle it. It may teach me a lesson, but I will conquer this beast!

Before I go…I have one more thing to share. EXCITING news!!! A local quilter found that she likes piecing quilts more than she likes quilting and sold me her quilting machine. The space I have to put her in is a work in process (as you can see in the photos).  When we finish renovations, I will be able to play. For now, she sits…and waits….

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Hope you all are having a fantastic week!

Pamela

Learning Curves

After watching different webinars and listening to different podcasts recently, I decided to learn how to use Adobe Illustrator. Many quilt pattern writers seem to love this program. One downside….there’s a huge learning curve (for me at least). It can also be expensive, but I homeschool my children and get huge discounts under Adobe’s Student/Teacher plan.

At first, I attempted to use a book I had purchased a short while back called Adobe Illustrator CC Classroom in a Book.

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How quickly I remembered, I am a visual learner.  Videos are my friend! I searched and searched and found these tutorials by Tasty Tuts/Creative Tutorials by Gareth David. His tutorials are heaven sent. Here are some screen shots of my work while following along with those tutorials.

Finishing most of those videos, I feel more confident now to go through the book I purchased. My goals are to be able to use this program as well as others by Adobe to create quilt patterns. I have used EQ7 to design a few quilts. My very first blog post, Urgency to Create, has the first quilt I designed in it as well as sketches, quilt photo, and a photo of the quilt design in EQ7.

At this moment in time, I have to force myself to take a break. My brain is fried! lol My family probably thinks that my booty is glued to my office chair and probably wondering what’s for supper?!

What programs do you use to create quilt patterns? Any tips from any Ai users? If you use Ai, do you use a pen tablet?

 

 

 

Finding Happy

It’s hard to believe so many years have past and I didn’t touch a paint brush, an art pad, etc. I feel as though I have waisted so many years wandering around in the wilderness of blah. Many lessons were learned, negative experiences had blurred my vision. Everything happens for a reason? I’m still trying to figure out what the reason is/was.

Thankfully, zentangling and zendoodling found me this past year. My creative soul has been reawakened and it feels so good! Feeling like a child with ADD in a toy store, my senses are overwhelmed, and I am running around amazed by all of the choices in front of me. Do I sketch, paint, crochet, sew/quilt, and oh my goodness….there is thread art!! All of the choices make me happy, but which makes me the happiest?

Moving on…remember Dory? Stay with me…Maybe I should paint and/or stitch Dory..haha!

Sneaking in a little sewing time weekend before last, I pieced together the top from my last blog “Improvisational Piecing.” Jacquie Gerring’s methods are so inspiring and freeing. The purple represents my husband, and the orange represents myself.

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Here is a close up of those points. I just love it when my points match up. Improv and OCD…hmmm. 

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Since piecing this quilt top, I have not had the opportunity to sew so I do the next best thing…pull out my art pads, pencils, paints, etc. Drawing faces has always been a challenge, so…that is what I decided to tackle. Like many of you, I am my own worst critic. I see flaws in everything I do. Trying to shake this inner critic, I signed up for a class by Tamara Laporte called Life Book 2016. So, when Pearl (my sewing machine) can’t come out to play, this will be my creative medium of choice.

While creating these two pieces, I was happy. Finding happy and holding onto happy is my goal. Life is too short for anything else. What is your happy?
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Improvisational Piecing

Improvisational Piecing by Ms. Jacquie Gering….how can I explain this Craftsy class and do it justice? For a newbie like myself, and maybe some of you who would like to delve into modern quilting, this class totally rocks!  Detailed and to the point, Ms. Jacquie radiates passion for modern quilting. Her teaching methods are wonderful and there’s a bonus…she has a pleasant voice and tone. There is thankfully no “vocal fry” at the end of her sentences.

After taking her class and reading her book Quilting Modern, I couldn’t wait for the weekend to come to pull my machine out.

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With little time to sew this past weekend (cause ya know, you have to prioritize), I did manage to prep some blocks. Ms. Gering’s methods on these flip-n-stitch blocks worked up really fast.

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Don’t you just love Alison Glass fabrics?! You will also notice, I love grey! 

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Fingers crossed I will have time to piece these blocks this upcoming weekend. We have a huge project going on at our house at the moment that may take some of my sewing time away. BUT…hint, hint…the result will make for more sewing time. 😁