Free Motion Quilting Challenge

I signed up for SewCalGal's Free Motion Quilting Challenge and have totally spaced out on the first month's linky.

Mainly because I've been working on this below, still..... And because my camera that was a Christmas gift is not working properly, so I had to pull out the old one and take new pictures. At night. Yuck.

So I did not pull out a practice piece. Instead I worked a few sections on my Poured Out quilt with January's motif.

But I didn't care for the random leafy thing, so I stitched a main stem in this bit below and added the leaves a bit like a feather or what looks like the way these leaves might grow on a vine.

This I like much better. I'm excited to see some big names on the list of experts for the challenge and hope to do a better job on next month's challenge and post.

I hope you've been giving FMQ'ing a whirl too! It's fun, but takes practice! Check out SewCalGal's site for more FMQ goodness.

Sizzix Die Hack

I have a Sizzix Die Cutter and a few dies. In trying to get the most out of it for as little money possible, I've come up with a few different ways to get great shapes and I thought I'd start sharing them here.

Valentine's Day is coming up and I'd like to make some hearts. You can use the tear drop leaf shape to make hearts! Below is the die and the big leaf shape and the heart I made from it.

Below is how I placed a folded piece of paper on the die to get the heart. (Sorry, I didn't get a shot before I cut it.) There are 4 different sizes of leaves on this die, so 4 sizes of heart can be made. You will have to iron your shape to remove the crease, not a problem if you are using fabric with fusible on it!

Be creative! What shapes can you make from dies already on hand? Yes, it's a bit fiddly, but one you get the hang of it, it goes quickly. If you are just making a few shapes, it may be faster (and certainly uses less fabric) to cut them out by hand, but no matter how carefully I cut with scissors, I have trouble to get as smooth a cut as with a die. You can also go to the Sizzix Outlet and look at their older dies for a good deal. But don't just look for cheap, look for versatile. I'll tell you more about that in a few days.

A Happy Quilty Birthday

I've been a little neglectful here, haven't I?

Here's the latest shot of "Poured Out". I ripped out the feathers I started with the King Tut and restitched using Isacord and in a palm frond design framing the whole jug portion of the quilt. These pics are pretty high resolution, even if they aren't the best shots so you should be able to zoom and see the detail better. I really am unsure now about how to transition between the palm fronds and the fillers I want to use in the blocks. The cross was a recent addition to help balance the composition. In other news, I had a birthday this past week. It pretty much stunk. It's not an age thing though, actually I feel like I might be coming into my own since I turned 40 last year. But the day before and the 2 days after were pretty awesome, especially from a quilty point of view.

The day before, my hubby got the final word that he is to report for work this week at a new job. We're very excited, and of course after the cancer and lay offs, we definitely need a steady source of income. I also received a birthday card from my Dad with some birthday $ which was a nice surprise. Then a box arrived in the mail from a member on MQR. She had passed along a sock loom and thrown in some yarn and several large cones of Superior Threads Rainbows that she didn't want to use on her long arm. She also padded the box with some nice batting pieces.

Then the birthday came and well, let's just pretend that it was on either the previous or next day.

Then my new quilty friend came over with 2 totes of fabric she had culled from her stash. We sorted through it while we chatted and I only took stuff I really liked. Below is about half of the fabrics.

Nice, huh? Then Saturday, my neighbor and I went to a town about an hour away to check out a quilt shop there and their JoAnne's. We had a blast even though I was careful to not buy too much. While there, I picked up a flyer for the Mid Atlantic Quilt Festival and showed it to her. She wants to go with me and if it works out, it will be a fun weekend road trip for us.

So I'm trying to delete my actual birthday mentally and focus on the good days prior and post birthday. All these blues in this pile are calling out to me......... What shall I make? When? So many things to work on!

Forum for Quilters Using Their Domestic Sewing Machines to Quilt Their Quilts

Sorry for the long title, but I wanted to be specific.

Have you been to MQResource? It's "a resource for all machine quilters"! The site leans a little heavily towards long arm quilters, but there's good info for all machine quilters. I love the forums and the folks are so nice and encouraging. And of course there's the quilty eye-candy; yummy!

And now there's a forum set up specifically for those who use domestic sewing machines to quilt their tops! Come and join the fun!