Tuesday, July 30, 2013

V and Co: another finish

this summer is passing me by quite quickly. 
anyone else having a super fast warp speed summer too? 
not that im complaining.
we've had a great summer.
we've relaxed, we've done some fun family stuff, and we've done a family vacation. which i'll show pictures of that soon too. 
i've worked on my new fall patterns at the pool, in the car, with a fish, in a dish...wait. 
hmmm. well the idea is that whenever a i do get a minute i've been doing some work that i can take with me anywhere i am and when the kids are all occupied.
 this summer i've made it a point to get a little bit of sewing done. not too much "work" related sewing, but more "just for me" sewing.
and honestly it's not been that much but it's more than in the years past. 
i think it's because my kids are getting older and needing me less and less. (mixed feelings)
here's my latest "just for me" finish. 

i decided that i could work here and there on a double point dresden plate.
using my  Dresden plate ruler i decided to just used the top part of the blade of the ruler. 
for the "double point" look you are going to sew the bottom part of the blade just like the top.
continue with turning the points inside out and press with an iron. 

then just like the normal dresden plate, line up your raw edges. and sew those together.
you end up with two finished edges on your dresden plate. 
easy for appliqué!!!
 for basting my wall quilt i used  505 basting spray . if you havent tried this you should. it's worth it and makes quilting a little easier on a home machine.
 next i drew my lines on my quilt. i wanted "X"s.
once i drew my line with a erasable pen i then used my walking foot (bernina) which i still can't believe i've gone so many years not having a walking foot. it's one of my favorite to quilt my quilts. (seeing that i mainly do straight line quilting. okay i've only tried free motion quilting twice and it's something i need to work on.)
 remember how i was saying i "worked" on stuff anywhere i could and many days it was at the pool.
i hand bind all my quilts. i like how it looks
here's my tutorial i did a while ago on how i bind quilts. :)

now i know what you must think...because i'm a quilter and i love quilts, that must mean i have quilts lining my walls, hung over couches, chairs and on quilt racks.
i don't.
i have one quilt on a couch back in the basement. katies room has the i heart you quilt up but i'm thinking i may need to at some point add some other kind of art in there...
mainly we just sleep under them and have them at the foot of our beds. i have them in baskets upstairs and downstairs and anywhere we have sitting places. but yeah not any of them are up on my walls in my main level area. 
so when i placed this up on my front entry way...i've been passing it every day a few times a day thinking, hmmm...

i like it. 
i really like how simply color and simply style go well together. 

oh...and yeah. btw. simply style. is now available in a quilt store near you. :) and if it's not. raise hell that you want it.
you have my permission.
just sayin.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

V and Co: selvage zipper tote for BERNINA

well, the day has arrived where i get to talk a little about my relationship with BERNINA
i bought my first bernina 5 years ago. 
actually back up.
my husband bought me my bernina for my birthday 5 years ago.
it was the best birthday gift he has ever given me. 
second best was my flat iron. yes, you know because i have monica from friends hair remember? (man i miss blogging about stupid stuff...maybe i'll start that up again...)
anyways, when i got my first bernina machine i turned it on and immediately i felt the difference between my new bernina sewing machine, and the old not bernina one i had been using for years.
it's like overnight i became a better piecer, (thank you 1/4" seam foot!) and a much better seamstress in general.
i KNOW it has to do with the sewing machine because i didn't just wake up and become that much better over night due to my skills. 
so fast forward to my craftsy class...and well what do you know i got to sew on the new bernina 380  and fell in even more in love with the bernina sewing machines.
then i got to work briefly with the 780 and holy swear word that was a freaking amazing experience and i am grateful for that! 
i have since settled quite nicely with my 580 and i think we fit well together. katie has been learning on my 580 and i'll blog about that in a little bit. it's been cool to see her at such a young age really love to learn. tearing up. stupid hormones..k what was i talking about...oh yeah.

i have the privilege to work as a bernina ambassador, and one of my duties is to create a few fun projects for the WE ALL SEW blog

 for my first project over there i decided to make a fun little selvage zipper tote.
i give you step by step instructions on:
*how to create your selvage blocks
*how to use your zipper foot to create the best looking sewn in zipper :)
*and how to finish your adorable bag

i used a lot of pictures (just like i always do!)
and of course written instructions to go with all the pictures.

so head on over to the BERNINA blog, tell them i sent you. and let me know what you think of my first project over there.
if you have any bernina machine questions i will most happily answer them in the comments section, and if i don't know...i have my bernina dealer quilt shop here in town that is awesome and full of knowledge in the bernina world and can give me the answer to just about anything you throw at me. :)
have a fantabulous day.
we'll talk soon. ;)

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

V and Co: tips for small hexagon paper piecing

 phew! well i said i would get this out on wednesday didn't i? i didn't mention that it might be at 11:59 on wednesday night...but with all the kids home for summer, that's how we're rolling today.
anyways, here's my helpful hints for small hexagon paper piecing.

i'll talk about getting your hexagons started, and then i'll finish with a more NON traditional finish by teaching you how to appliqué it onto a block, or in this case appliquéing it to the fabric used to make my little zipper pouch.

you can keep making your hexagons using the first part of this tutorial and by using the how to attach them method i do, plus add a center if you want a more traditional flower project.

i tend to be a little bit of a cross between the two so i went with my twist and i will show you how to appliqué your flower.

anyways here's what i've learned while trying my hand at small paper piecing:

the hexagons featured are 7/8" or 1" point to point

*i like to use freezer paper for my hexagons.
trace on the paper side of your freezer paper with a template.
the shiny side goes down on the wrong side of the fabric and you can iron on your paper to your fabric.
it stays put while you cut out and also while you hand stitch down your sides.
they are also easy to pull out and are reusable. :)
*make sure you have around 1/4" extra allowance around your hexagons.
if you want you can draw with an erasable pen your 1/4" allowance around the hexagon paper.
 *it doesn't have to be perfectly 1/4" but if you go smaller it will be harder to work with.
i eyeballed mine, and as you can see some were a little bigger than 1/4" and this was okay. :)
*with an iron start on one side of your small hexagon and press down towards the center your extra fabric allowance.
 *continue to do so around all 6 sides.

 when you turn it around you will have a nice looking small hexagon.

*do NOT hyperventilate when your fabric hexagons don't stay perfectly pressed.
our next step will take care of this issue.
seriously relax. this is supposed to be fun remember.
 *k, here's the deal, we want to make sure those pesky corners stay nice and crisp and put, so with a needle and thread you are going to come up starting on the top part of your hexagon (the part that shows to the world without the seam) to the back side of your hexagon right next to one of your folded corners. (why we start with the knot facing on the seamless side of the hexagon will make sense later on)
 *next go across your fold and make a stitch going through the hexagon to the other side. (the side where your knot is)
 *continue to do this to all your corners.
these are big stitches on purpose, they go away later on so don't worry that they don't look perfect or pretty.

 *finish off by knotting and cutting off extra thread.
how are we doing?
feeling good?
okay now do that to all 5 other hexagons.

you have now done your first step to paper piecing. yay you!
if you want to make more of a traditional flower you can continue to make one more hexagon for the middle of your flower and then continue with the next step of instructions.

now lets attach them together to make a pretty looking flower. 
 first things first you need matching thread to your hexagons. i've used the eggplant thread in my thread collection with aurifil *line up 2 of your hexagons right sides together. make sure you edges line up nicely.
*start your first stitch just slightly in from your corner. this will help keep your bulky knot slightly inside and away from your edge so there's no chance of your knot showing later on.
*make this first stitch very close to the top edge of your creases. we want to make these stitches not show up on the other side, so the closer to the edge you can get the better.
*now go back to the very corner and again make a stitch very close to the edge of your crease in the fabric. 
**i like to do two stitches on top of each other on the corners to make them extra sturdy.
*make a ladder stitch across the two hexagons. this will assure that your stitches will be hidden from the other side.
to make a ladder stitch:
*use the above pictures as your guide
*take the needle and thread and bring the needle down and up (a very small stitch) through the top crease (fold) of the hexagon side.
*cross over to the other side and repeat this stitch in the fold going directly across from where you stitch came up on the opposite side.
*repeat this till you get to the end of the hexagon.

 *stitch two stitches like you did in the beginning on your first corner end.
*go back one stitch to tie off with a knot. cut off excess thread.
 *turn it around and you should have your first two hexagons attached to each other. with no stitches showing thanks to the ladder stitch.
 *continue to do this for the other hexagons. and then continue to join them to make your flower.

now lets learn how to applique the flower and how to take out all those paper pieces holding your hexagon shapes!
 *place your flower onto a base fabric.
*pin in place.
*use matching thread again! (shown is my simply color eggplant)
 *use the same appliqué technique i use in all my projects
make your first stitch by bringing the needle up through the fabric, its tip emerging a tiny bit to the side of one of the inside circle hexagon. 
-insert the needle back into the fabric, right next to the place where it emerged.(NEXT to it not right through the same place) 
-only go about halfway down with your needle and bring it back up just slightly from your first stitch. (the picture above shows what i am describing.
*do this around the whole circle hexagon inside of the flower. 
 next we are going to do the same appliqué method on the outside part of the flower.
*start on an inside corner of your flower like i have shown on the picture above.

 *applique just one side of your first hexagon. this will make removing the paper easier.
*cut the large stitches of your first hexagon that was holding the corners down.
*pull out the large stitches.
gently turn over your first hexagon, and pull away the paper
 *after you pull away the paper, fold over your extra fabric under and continue to appliqué the remaining two sides of the first hexagon.
 *repeat the first couple of steps of appliquéing one side of the next hexagon, pulling out the paper, and then finishing that next hexagon.
*finish appliquéing all your hexagons this way.

*you now have one small appliquéd hexagon flower.
make it into a pincushion, a block for a quilt, a zipper pouch, a baby doll blanket...whatever you want!

hopefully these hints and small project will inspire you to try paper piecing. and appliquéing!!! i love both! :)
we'll talk soon!

Monday, July 8, 2013

V and Co: the tale of tiny hexagons and english paper piecing.

 our summer vacation is halfway done. actually more than that. we go back to school in middle of august much to the children and my sadness.
my summer vacations growing up didnt end till labor day.
anyone else out there like that? what ever happened to having summer during the summer? hmm.
one thing i am excited about summer ending is that i get to have more scheduled time with my sewing machine. but for now we continue with and enjoy our summer

i've mentioned before that normally i don't go places with out having something to work on.
most of the time i will either get my checkbook balanced, or work on some kind of binding (when i have something to bind that is!) but one of my favorites is appliqué and english paper piecing hexagon work.

 this summer i wanted to make some tiny little hexagons.
i started with even smaller than these shown
these measure 7/8" and 1" across
when i started the smaller ones, i quickly figured out they were going to be a little frustrating to the point of wanting to throw them across the room and swear in my head like a drunken sailor, which in my book is still bad...so i went with a little larger hexagons and adapted a few little hints here and there on how to have great looking small hexagons and help me with my not swearing like a drunken sailor, even in my head.

these babies have traveled with me and i have worked on them at gymnastics, in the car line waiting for orchestra to get out, waiting to have reading camp get out, waiting to have band get out, and of course the pool. 
on wednesday i'll do step by step hints and how tos from start to finish on these little guys. (which you can also incorporate into your larger hexagon work)

i'm slow to blog these days. as you can see even my pictures here are from my instagram feed. but i promise to keep blogging, even if it's just to update that i'm still planning to blog. :)
a great day. we'll talk soon.

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