Tuesday, June 29, 2010

New Sewing Machine! (And a few new giveaways!)

Well, just after my last post, my sewing machine decided to take a dive... The shuttle thingy (excuse me for not knowing proper terms!) that spins around to pick up the bobbin string no longer spins. I am sure it is an easy fix, but above my head. The ironic thing is that while I was trying to peek and see if I could fix it myself, I realized what the problem was with my bobbin tension the last few weeks! Anyway, considering the sewing machine cost me less than 100$ to begin with, and I still need to buy the 25$ walker foot to fit it, I am sure you can guess that I am not exactly jumping to pay for servicing/repair. I had been hinting at Shaine that I wanted a new sewing machine anyway, and I have seen tons of good reviews on the Brother CS6000i sewing machine. It's inexpensive, COMES WITH the walker foot-- as well as several other nifty feet and accessories, and an extension table, and all for 153$ when all was said, done, and totalled up! I don't need a super fancy several hundred dollar machine, and probably won't for a long time, if ever, and if all the 900+ reviews speak truth, this machine is good for basic quilting and will last me a long time. I sure hope so! If any of you have used this machine, please let me know! Either way I am POSITIVE it will be MUCH better than the Singer Inspiration 4205 that I impulse bought two years ago without any research. Don't get me wrong, it did what I wanted it to do, but for a little bit larger of an investment I could have had much more!

So, since Shaine and Little Man are leaving me for TEN WHOLE DAYS on Friday (is it wrong to be excited about some alone time?!), I told Shaine I NEEDED the new machine before he left. Well, we ordered it last night, and it is supposed to be here tomorrow. I am so excited! I can not wait! I have some great ideas for new crafts, and can't wait to post them when they are finished!

The charm pack I won from Bev at 44th Street Fabric came in the mail yesterday! It is Freebird, by MoMo for Moda. So cute, and I could not be more excited! I am thinking a cute tote/purse? Maybe a matching clutch too!

Anyway, until I get my new machine and some new projects underway, here are a couple great giveaways I have found lately.... Be sure to check out the blogs themselves, too, lots of great stuff there!

Good Luck!

Saturday, June 26, 2010

What I get done when the hubs is gone...

Usually it isn't much, but I have seen some great tutorials lately that I just had to try!

First, it was the Magic Baby Quilt I found over at Piece N Quilt. I used the Botany Jelly Roll that I still hadn't decided what to do with it. I still have to add a border (I plan on doing mine a bit different than the tutorial, but I just haven't decided yet), then of course quilt and bind it, but here it is so far:

Then with the leftover strip pieces, I made this coupon clutch on MBS by Julie of Jaybird Quilts. It was SO easy, and fun to make. I am making another one to send to my sister :)

And speaking of my sister, she just started her new job at the bakery about two weeks ago, as a cupcake maker. She asked me to make her an apron, because she didn't want to pay 20-25$ for something I could make for alot less. Here is what I threw together yesterday:

That's an applique I did of a cupcake on the bottom right. Not the greatest, but it was my first attempt, and it was freehand (no pattern or stencil). She saw the picture this morning and loves it! She wants me to make her a skirt with the same fabrics LOL (I planned on making a reverse second apron for her in case she loses one, the dogs get it, forgets to wash it, etc, with the blue as the main part, and the pretty brown batik for the borders!)

Monday, June 21, 2010

The last week or so...

It has been such a busy week that I haven't even popped on to do more than just check up on everyone else's blogs! I have, however, gotten a bit done outside of the internet ;) I finished the blocks for a new pattern I tried (found at Quilter's Cache). It is my first attempt at paper piecing, and looking at the finished blocks I wish I had chosen more contrasting fabrics, but I think it will still look nice overall. I am going to add some brown sashing, and then have yet to decide how I am going to do the outer border and backing, so until I do I need to decide on which layout:

Option A:

Option B:
I also found the PERFECT way to use the Botany Jelly Roll I have been holding onto. I am not one to resist the urge of cutting into fabrics because they are too cute or too pretty... in fact, it's the opposite! I can't WAIT to find the perfect idea or inspiration to cut into them! I am starting on this one as soon as I publish this post, so expect pictures soon!

I am also super excited because the first thing I found out this morning is that I won a giveaway at 44th Street Fabric for a charm pack! I am not sure which one, as there were 7 charm packs, and 7 winners, so it will be a great surprise when it gets here in the mail! If you haven't heard already, there is another giveaway that just started, with 2 winners receiving 5 different 1.2 yard cuts of beautiful Rural Jardin fabric by French General. I feel like it would anger the Fabric Giveaway Gods by entering so soon after winning one, so I will be sitting this one out!

Also in the mail on its way to me is some fabric Heidi was giving away free to anyone willing to pay the postage. What a great thing for her to do, right? I am waiting on Box 2, and can't wait to see the Halloween and Christmas fabrics, as I have been pestering the manbeast that I want to make a BIG quilt for Christmas!

Saturday, June 12, 2010

My own little space!

So, Shaine decided I could use our "Computer area" in our room and convert it to my "Sewing area". We never used that computer--or the desk-- for anything anyway. I cleared out the computer and moved all my stuff from the kitchen to the bedroom about two weeks ago, after I finished piecing the top of the circle quilt together, but until tonight it has looked like this (and sometimes worse):

However, I finally tonight got some peace and quiet and felt like organizing! It's not like I had a ton to work with anyway, as you can see. I did take the messy tupperware bucket of fabric and get it all out, folded nicely, and semi-color sorted, as well as got all the scraps organized.

It's not much, but I am actually quite proud of it. Growing up with two sisters, stepsister, and often times a cousin or two living in the same house doesn't equate to much private space. Then, joining the military does away with any idea of a private room or area for awhile. Now, I am lucky to even use the restroom in peace without my toddler barging in haha... So even though this is in OUR bedroom, it is still "my space." Who knows, maybe when we finally buy a house, we will have a spare bedroom again and then it can really be "mine."

In other news, I finished the handquilting on the circle quilt. Was hoping to get the binding done tonight, but one of our military friends who just returned from Afghanistan is spending a few days with us. I didn't think he would be here until tomorrow sometime, but he apparently broke a few speed limits because he's already here! Maybe I will be able to CUT the binding ;)

Friday, June 11, 2010

Giveaway again :)

It is so great of some of these bloggers to do these giveaways! Maybe one day I will be able to do the same!

Michigan Quilts Giveaway--- ziploc bag with lots of 3" squares (and they look well coordinated already!) and the book Quilts, Coverlets, Rugs and Samplers by Robert Bishop

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Another giveaway and progress

So, I decided to take out the horrible attempt at machine quilting and just hand quilt the circle quilt. It is taking me a long time, since it isn't easy to do with a toddler running around, but it's SO WORTH IT! I love how it is coming out, and I can't wait to finish it all up!

Since I have been handquilting (and find it a bit therapeutic) I told Shaine I can wait on the walker foot, and since I did that, he let me pick out a Jelly Roll for a new quilt idea :) I picked Botany, and found one on sale for 18$ :) I can't wait for it to get here!

I also told him I am not feeling up to flying to Michigan next month after all. He is a little bummed about it, but it will save us a lot of money, and I told him to take Cullen with him. Is it bad that my son isn't even two and I am already looking forward to a week of peace and quiet?? Think of all the quilting I will be able to get done!

Also, found a few more giveaways today:

Martinique Jelly Cake -- So much I could do with this!! *crosses fingers*

Cute Charm Squares-- 7 winners will be chosen!

Fat Quarters--- And also a chance to win a Candy Cane Lane quilt book!

Another Quilt Shoppe-related giveaway-- Fat Quarters!

Giveaway of 5 Patterns and a Botany Layer Cake-- I just bought a Botany Jelly Roll, and can't wait for it to arrive!

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Beginner stuff...

So I figured since this blog is supposed to be about my "quilting progress," I should post a few pictures of where I am at so that every few months I can look back and laugh at my progress...
This first one is from a kit I bought, and was my first foray into any type of quilting at all. You can see how the corners don't quite match up, and the edges just aren't quite right, haha. Ah well, little man doesn't seem to mind!

This was my first time I actually picked out and bought fabric, followed a pattern I found in a quilting book, and did the whole thing from start to finish. The fabric colors and patterns seemed good together BEFORE they were actually sewn together, but now that it's all done I am almost embarrassed to even show it. I haven't even bothered to do any actual QUILTING to it.

This one also isn't quilted, but it was my first try at binding. I am actually quite pleased with how this one turned out, especially the binding. Alot better than I expected to do, and the colors work much better together than the last one!

And last, but not least, this is my current WIP, and my first attempt at quilting (although that was done AFTER the picture was taken). Unfortunately, I sort of blundered through it and thought I could machine quilt without a walker foot (a purchase I am not allowed to make yet LOL!). Big mistake. I have done about half of the circles and it just looks horrible, so it is now folded up on the table. I am going to try to salvage it by taking out all the horrible machine stitches if possible, and just hand quilt it. I love the top too much to leave it messed up, or continue on messing it up worse.
Side note: The top was done by following this circle quilt tutorial and just changing the sizes of the circles and such that I wanted to do.

Anyway, try not to judge too harshly ;) I tend to sort of fly by the seat of my pants with many things that I do. Sometimes it works out and sometimes not so much. At least we can see a bit of progress already, right?


So I have been trying to find a decent beginners quilting group/guild in the San Antonio area. Everything I have found seems to be extremely out of date and inactive. Also, call me stingy, but I can't afford a high amount in dues until this baby comes and I can go back to work, since the hubby is limiting me on how much I can spend on anything related to quilting. I can't really blame him, we do have things we are saving for, but I sure can pout about it!

During my searching, however I have found a few giveaways of various kinds! Here are the ones I found that haven't ended yet:

An Accuquilt go! cutter giveaway *gasp*

A stack of Heather Ross fat quarters

Moda's Candy Bars (Sooooo cute!)

Beautiful hand-dyed wool, fabric, thread, and a handmade bag!!

Cutie Pinwheel Giveaway! (I love these :) )