Tuesday, March 29, 2011

The Sewing Machine Attachment Handbook

Such excitement! I found this book, The Sewing Machine Attachment Handbook by Charlene Phillips, at the Borders Books (going out of business sale - boo hoo). A few years ago my Mother in Law gave me a bunch of sewing machine attachments. I had no idea how to use them....until now!

They fit on my Singer Featherweight antique machine. Amazing all the things you can do with a straight stitch machine!

But, what to do with ruffles? a binder? a hemmer? a shirring foot? I think it will stretch my creativity. If I get good at using these things, I might even write some more tutorials on them.

Mmmm,  gadgets....such fun to play with!

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Hexagon Park

Hexagon Park by ava99riley00
Hexagon Park a photo by ava99riley00 on Flickr.

Told you I was charmed with this pattern! Look how far I've gotten!

This will be a charity quilt for my guild. I used their stash, after all. It is really fun, though...maybe I'll hang onto it long enough to finish and show somewhere. I am pleased with how it is coming together.

The fabrics from the stash were a lot of fun to select. Some of them are probably 30 years old or more - they look quite "vintage" 70s. Mini calicos, some Moda prints, a hawaiian shirt style print, and a few 30s repro. It makes a unique and colorful collection.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

A Sharp Cutter Blade

Sure, it makes sense, intellectually. A sharp blade on the rotary cutter will make your task so much easier and more pleasant. But how many of us put it off? We think we're being thrifty (after all, blades cost over $5 each!) and environmentally conscious (less waste to the landfill). We humor ourselves that our current blade is really not that bad.

How many times must we learn this lesson???

Yesterday, I changed the blade on my 45mm Olfa rotary cutter and it was like night and day. It just licked through the trimmings of my hexagon blocks. It made the task so much more pleasant.

We need to use good tools - this hobby, this passion, we have - what is the point of annoying ourselves with poor quality tools?

Use that 40% off coupon next time you go to Hancock Fabrics and get a new, sharp blade. You deserve it.

(Just noticed that Hancock Fabrics has the five pack of blades on sale for $14.99 starting today 3/17/11. Great deal!)

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Total impulse

As I said, I follow a number of quilting blogs, always looking for inspiration and something new.

I received an email from a shop from North Carolina called "Wish Upon a Quilt." I used to live in NC, but this shop didn't exist back then. When I went back for a visit to Raleigh in 2009, I had some time to kill before my flight back home, so a friend recommended I check out the shop. After all, it's right by the airport. How convenient! I bought a few things, got on their email list, and that was that.

Well, that's just the beginning...

I follow their blog, I get their weekly emails, and I even subscribed to their Kaffe Fassett block of the month. This is my first block of the month....and while I like Kaffe Fassett fabric, I haven't bought much yet. A BOM seemed like a fun way to play with Kaffe Fassett brights, without committing too much.

In today's weekly specials email, I followed the link to the free pattern. It's called "Hexagon Park"...OMG, it totally charmed me! I don't know why it struck a chord in me, but it is a brilliant, interesting, clever  yet simple pattern, and it looks like great way to use up small pieces of my guild's charity quilt fabric stash! (Which, as you may know, resides in my basement).

I pulled the fabrics this morning and started cutting.

The pattern designer has her own blog called Lily's Quilts. Yep, I'm subscribed already.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Modern Charity: Quilting

Here you can see the random dots in the quilting a little better.

Modern Charity: Quilting

I tried a modern style quilting design that (I think) is original...well, OK, I saw the design on a stylized post-it note and thought it would make a cool quilting design.

It's a series of lengthwise lines that undulate like waves. But there's a surprise! Every so often I stitched in a dot. Just "drew" a circle in free motion and filled it in.

Modern Charity

Modern Charity by ava99riley00
Modern Charity a photo by ava99riley00 on Flickr.
Here's a close up of the strips. Various shades of blue, and a black thrown in for good measure. Most of the fabric in the strips was from my stash, left over from another project. I added a few strips from the guild's charity quilt stash.

Modern Charity Quilt

Modern Charity Quilt by ava99riley00
Modern Charity Quilt a photo by ava99riley00 on Flickr.
This is a project I designed myself as a creative way to use up strips. I made a long piece of strips and positioned it about 1/3 of the way across the width of this crib size quilt.