Kidnapped – by Millie

Well, I must apologize for my disappearance over the last few days! Millie is 100% to blame. One hundred percent. I am very much in love and maybe a little obsessed or is it just lust?

Millie
Millie

In all seriousness I want to say I love APQS. The service has been great. They came out and set up and I will have my official training in September up at Sparrows Studios in Edmonton.

The longarm actually did not take up as much room as I had anticipated so I was able to put one big table against the other wall where the girls and I can sew. DH is happy about this as he feels he can now maybe corral my sewing into one room. He should know better by now! I also moved my design wall behind her so that I can see it from the new sewing area.

Millie in all her glory!
Millie in all her glory!

I am happy with my first finish – a quilt I had pieced for one of twins back in 2003. They were due March 10, 2004, my birthday but decided to come December 10, 2003. My world abruptly changed with three months being spent in NICU with 27 week old premature twins. Twenty eight weeks is the golden week where the lungs are more developed. Having come the one week earlier created many more medical issues and I count my blessings to this day that they survived. Finishing this top that had to be abandoned and just having picked up my sewing again last year felt like some closure and a celebration at the same time.

Lexi's Quilt
Lexi’s Quilt

I am working on my Giant Bear Paw for DH next.

Giant Bear Paw
Giant Bear Paw

It has been loaded and I’m a third of the way through but we lost power for a day and have had to go on summer holidays! Millie will have to await my return – back to my little one for now.

Random Things About Me 

Okay I owe you five more! After this I can see if I am able to come up with one per blog – it could be hard!

1) I love Outlander – I am part Scottish. My maiden last name is Dundas. There is a castle, Dundas Castle, I so want to see one day as it is where my family came from.

2) I am also part Norwegian

3) My husband is half Latvian.

4) We did a Baltic Cruise on our honeymoon as neither one of us had been to Norway nor Latvia and we hit both places on the cruise. We were both mistaken for locals respectively and will definitely return to explore more hopefully with all the kids.

5) The four kidlets look like they belong in Norway. I call my oldest, Brock, my Viking. I am 5’8″ and he is 13 years old and already taller than me!

Blogging Tip 

Connect with other bloggers and follow what they do too. This is such a great community and there is a lot to learn from one another and the support is unbelievable – as well as the friendships that develop.

Quilting Tip 

Trust your gut.

This is a big one. We are always second guessing our creative process, from colour selection, to block placement, to thread choice.

Well, I asked my DH to tell me what thread he wanted me to use in his giant quilt for the longarm and well, you cannot even see it.

Giant Bear Paw with disappearing thread
Giant Bear Paw with disappearing thread

Lots of work quilting lost in the thread choice. I was going to go darker but he wanted a cream thread throughout. As you can see by this picture it doesn’t even look quilted in parts. I knew it and should have stood firm. Live and learn and good practice for Millie!

I promise you that I will do my post on Swaps this week. Millie is nowhere near me so this should happen!

Until then,

K

September Dawn

Here is my submission picture of September Dawn to QuiltCon 2015.

September Dawn - shown at QuiltCon 2015, Austin, Texas
September Dawn – shown at QuiltCon 2015, Austin, Texas

It was accepted in the Michael Miller Fabric Challenge and I was lucky enough to go to Austin, Texas to see it in person.

My first large quilt (original design, pieced by myself and quilted on a domestic machine). My first entry (and acceptance) into a quilt show and the first quilt show I’d ever been to. More importantly my first
QuiltCon.

K

The Longarm Arrives #helpagirlgetalongarm

Millie arrived today from APQS!!!

Jumping up and down! Jumping up and down!
Jumping up and down! Jumping up and down!

Set up took a little longer than expected and we did not finish until around 6pm. Dinner with DH then I had to try it out! Busy playing! They forgot the leaders so I am just pinning right now – first time using a long arm other than the demos I tried at Quilt shows. I am loving it and will post pictures tomorrow.

Thank you to everyone who helped this dream become a reality and thank you for delivering out in the middle of nowhere Sparrow Studios!

Until tomorrow,

K.

Treasure Hunt

I was going to post all about swaps today. Oddly enough, if you follow me on Instagram you will see I received lots of happy mail today! A few of my swaps all came in at once!

So between my staging photos and sending thank yous my time was stolen today.

Okay, okay what really stole most of my free time was this:

Vintage Singer with cabinet
Vintage Singer with cabinet

Yes! I started an Upitis Quilts Facebook page last night so that I can link the Blog to it as yes, that is another blogging tip! And, well, I stumbled onto a craft market site and this was for sale only 15 minutes away from me. I have been wanting one of these for so long. A change of cars over lunch was needed. DH did not ask why I needed his car, nor what I was picking up – yes, good seasoned quilter husband!

So after setting this baby up it was time to head out to the ranch, where I am now, as APQS arrives here tomorrow (if they can find me – no address and directions are drive over bridge, turn at wood sign, if you cross big river you’ve gone to far!) My Millie should be arriving early afternoon so you know I will post pics of that tomorrow!!!

Random Things About Me 

1) I am a certified Horse Breeder – I went to Olds College when I had my first child and took maternity leave (he just came with me to class in a sling – I am big supporter of Attachment parenting).

2) My first sewing machine was a Bernina and I am very loyal to them.

3) I have a fear of bridges – irrational – but I will even undo my seat belt when driving over a very long one just in case I need to get out quickly!

4) I lived in the Dominican Republic for a semester of university and I’m fluent in Spanish.

5) My favorite food is lobster but I never get it as we really do not eat out (I love to cook and well we have four kids…) and living in the Prairies!

My swap blog will have to wait until the weekend. My vintage singer and Long Arm trumped it!

Until then ,

K

Fabri-Quilt New Block Blog Hop

A picture taken in Calgary over lunch today
A picture taken in Calgary over lunch today

Wow wow wow more excitement over here today! I was delayed posting this over lunch today as we had a Tornado alert here in Calgary. Not something you tend to see right in downtown Calgary. So the blog post had to wait, as I had not pre-scheduled this one.

My other big excitement today is being able to tell you all that I will be participating in the Fabri-quilt New Block Blog Hop which will be happening August 31st to September 3rd, 2015. Even more so, I am excited that the colour palatte I voted for was chosen! Apparently it was very close; but, I so love this Watermelon Summer Colour Palette by Fabri-Quilts. It includes Chartreuse (who doesn’t love chartreuse!!), Turqouise, Coral, Aqua, Lapis Blue, and White.

Fabri-quilt Watermelon Summer Colour Palette
Fabri-quilt Watermelon Summer Colour Palette

I will be designing an original 12 1/2″ by 12 1/2″ (unfinished) block and writing a tutorial for how to make my block. I am so kicking myself right now that I did not sign up for the EQ7 drop on Mass Drop! I have put a request for it to come back though…pretty please Mass Drop! All finished blocks made by the bloggers in this hop will be sent out to be put together into charity quilts. My mind has already been churning ideas and the pencil crayons are out. Yes, there a few other projects to finish first but the excitement is taking over. I hope you all check back in at the end of August start of September to see the blocks that everyone on the hop creates.

Random Things About Me

So here are another five:

1) My favorite movies growing up were Rocky, The Terminator and The Lake House. Just a few weeks ago I’ve added the movie The Best of Me to this list

(I am a sappy romantic, and considering my DH is my first love and we reconnected later in life, it so feeds this in me). I could watch any of these over and over and over…

Favorite Movie - The Best of Me
Favorite Movie – The Best of Me

2) My favorite book is and will always be Watership Down. I had a pet rabbit I named Fiver in University – I taught him how to fetch sponge balls.

Favorite book - Watership Down
Favorite book – Watership Down

3) I do not like tomatoes, raw tomatoes, but I love salsa and pico de gallo.

4) My husband and I often say the exact same random sentences at the exact same time – it makes us both smile.

5) I’ve known my DH since we were both 12. We started grade 7 together and now our kids go to that same school and they have the exact same French teacher we had. It kinda freaks him out as he was not very good at French so Parent teacher night gives him a little PTSD!

Blogging Tip of the day

One tip I have read, and have seen in action, is asking questions of all of you. It is important to be relevant and to post things that YOU actually care about and want to know about and spend your valuable time reading – so what do you care about? What draws you to a blog? And why do you subscribe to a blog vs. one that you just read now and then?

Quilting Tip of the day

A big thing for me has always been to spend 15 minutes minimum creating daily. My tip is to have quilts in various stages. The ADHD in me loves this; but, frankly, it is also a necessity in my world. With an intense job, a husband, and four kids, there are days when I cannot physically get to my sewing machine; but, I could do a fabric pull for a project (I use the clear plastic scrapbook containers from Michael’s to store each project in and stack them in my “fabric closet”) or cut some pieces for another, do some EPP, sew on a binding, surf for ideas, doodle projects. Just something creative. It exercises the mind and keeps my creative flow going. There is a lot you can actually get done in 15 minutes. My caveat to this is I admit I do NOT clean up after my 15 minutes, I am a messy creative 100%, so I have not added clean up or set up in that 15 minutes! It is amazing how much chain piecing you can get done in 15 minutes when you do not clean up! Clean up I reserve for certain days. Yes, it happens. Rarely. But it does.

Tomorrow I am posting on Swaps and Why Do I Swap?

It is also the last day of the #TULAYAH swap sign ups!

Until then,

K

Screenshot_2015-07-22-17-58-45-1

Mini On The Bubble Quilt Tutorial

Mini On the Bubble Quilt
Mini On the Bubble Quilt

Happy Tuesday everyone! I promised many this tutorial today. If there is any component that is not clear or does not make sense just ask away. No question is a stupid question in my life.

I made this mini using 81 squares as to me that is how the gradation worked out best and still kept this within Mini size. I cut my squares using the AccuQuilt system which I love for projects like this. I used the 2.5″ square die that cuts squares and the 1 3/4″ die for circles.

AccuQuilt system
AccuQuilt system

Fabrics – I used the Silent Film Layer Cake by Kona – you could use a Charm pack as you do not need as many as are in the Layer Cake I just liked cutting 9 squares at once that you get from each slice of Cake and I was using for other projects as well.

Kona Silent Film Layer Cake
Kona Silent Film Layer Cake

I did cut a square of Kona white for the centre and used Kona snow in the other four surrounding squares. These do not come in the Silent Film palette. See my square layout below.

Screenshot_2015-07-20-22-31-05-1-2

After the first cut with the die on the circles (it cuts two at a time) I kept the fabric scrap to use as a Fussy cutting window which I then placed over spots of fabric to see if I liked how the piece would look and centre any animal figure. Then I would rough cut that out and lay it on the die – I would do six at a time this way (so three layers of fabric – you can do up to six layers but I was nervous about potential shifting as these are fussy cut as well with rough cut pieces I figured in some spots there could be six layers and why push it).

Fussy cutting
Fussy cutting

Next, I lay out how I felt the circles looked best on the squares – pointer, if you have an extra cutting mat just do that on it as then it makes for easy transport back and forth from machine and iron etc. I choose to glue baste after experimenting with doing circle raw edge applique which does work really well. If you want to do hand needle-turn applique cut your circles at 2 1/4″ if you want the exact effect I achieved as that gives you your 1/4″ seam allowance all around. There is a size for this on the die I used as well.

Layout
Layout

In the end I loved my Big glue stick vs my EPP glue stick as it was the perfect size – I assembly lined glue and iron then back to design area not to mix them up.

Glue basting
Glue basting

Next I joined them in pairs – I prefer to pin as I like to ensure seams and edges all align especially when working small as a tiny shift gets very magnified – and quickly! I also press my seams open. After I made pairs I then joined into sets of 2 by 2 then 2 by 4. For each “row” it will become a 2 by 4 and a 2 by 5. So you are now laying out rectangles. I did this again to avoid shift as single rows can get wonky very fast – in my house anyways!

Be pin happy!
Be pin happy!

In the end I ended up waiting until I was ready quilt to sew down the circles. I used my darning foot and Free Motion Quilted using white Aurifil thread going three times around each circle. I reverse stitched at the start and the end and just trimmed the threads closely vs burying them. Do three off kilter passes to make it look more organic. I used cotton batting and still got a nice bubble effect with the circles.

Stitching circles - showing the three times around
Stitching circles – showing the three times around

To finish I then stitched closely beside each horizontal and vertical seam in Aurifil light grey thread lining up just the one edge of one toe width and ensured I stitched between the circle edge and seam as made each pass. I started in the centre seam going straight across. Once one line is done just turn and come across the other side of the seam – again this creates less shift. To travel to the next seam just sew staright along the edge until you reach it. I quilted this part just using my basic piecing foot not a walking foot.

A quick binding – Kona black from a jelly roll is perfect size and no cutting needed.

Have fun with this and showcase some of your favorite lines – I may do one with my Tula Scraps next for my sewing area. Post pictures using the hashtag minionthebubblequilt as I would love to see your take on this fun project!

Blog tip of the day

A quick tip for today is to ensure you add Tags and Categories to your posts. This brings your posts up as other search different areas. It is recommended to use 5-15 tags. Yes, I am just learning this one myself so I need to start tagging away. Word press gives a great example of a recipe for brownies to describe the difference between a Category and a Tag. Say you are posting  recipe for brownies. The categories would be Dessert and Baking. Tags would be Chocolate, Brownie and Walnuts. Happy tagging!

For example in today’s post I used Mini Quilt and Tutorial as categories and AccuQuilt, Cotton and Steel, and Fussy cutting as some tags.

Quilt tip of the day

Rebel Quilt in process
Rebel Quilt in process

Here is another tip for HSTs that I seem to be doing endless amounts of lately. I just finished all the blocks for my Rebel Quilt (pattern by Libs Elliot). To trim these HSTs I always use a square with my diagonal ruler line laying directly on the diagonal seam of my HST. Trim the top and the right edge flip the HST and do the same again. Now you will have a fully square HST not just one the size you are aiming for. And yes, I cut my squares all 1/8″ larger than the pattern calls for remember – you are trimming to square up anyways so why not.

Random Fun Facts about me

So 20 things about me – with four days left this week I will post five a day.

1) I am the youngest of 5 (four older brothers and I was adopted)

2) I was published when I was in Grade 8 (poetry) – I was a big short story writer and poems.  I did start writing a novel when my twins were born – still have it have finished 200 pages and the whole outline – a medical thriller

3) I have twins! – girls aged 11 – and a boy who is 13 and a younger girl who is 9.

4) I used to wish I had lived during Little House on the Prairie times so I could ride my horse to school everyday… I guess it still would be cool to ride him to work everyday!

5) I think about my father every single day. Miss him dearly, and love that he gave me this life. He passed away suddenly in 2007 and I was able to get from the airport to his bedside before the ambulance arrived and see him before he lost consciousness. I will remember and cherish that moment forever and it still feels like yesterday.

Tomorrow – some more fun random facts about myself and tips!

Until then,

K.