Lancaster County Super Fair

I entered my first Fair! I saw an Instagram post that the Lincoln Modern Quilt Guild posted about quilts being entered into the local County Fair. I had a couple days to decide, and I decided I would be able to finish one in time, and I had three I wanted to submit. I filled out the form, finished hand sewing the binding on the largest one, and dropped them off a week ago. I haven’t entered a quilt show or Fair or anything else before, so I was a little nervous about leaving them behind – they took so long to make and so much went into them – in the way of fabric, and time and trial and error and skill learning, and custom quilting! Judging was to be done the next day before the Fair opened.

Fast forward to Saturday and we went to the Fair, with Demolition Derby tickets for that night. We wanted to arrive a few hours early to look around the Fair at the activities and see some events, and go check on my quilts that I dropped off. We finally made it over to the room where the quilts were displayed and I saw Minecraft right away – with a tag with my name on it! I turned around to see my Gravity quilt, larger than life and bold in color – and I excitedly said “that’s mine!”. I took a photo of Minecraft on display, one with my son in front of Minecraft (it is his quilt…) and I waited for Gravity to be clear.

Minecraft Quilt On Display

I walked over to my Gravity quilt and saw the white tag with my name on it again – and under the white tag was a red ribbon – 2nd Place for the Bed Size Quilts Class! I’m not exactly sure how the ribbons work with the Class being Bed Quilts and having 12 subclasses, but I was so surprised – and happy – to see a ribbon attached!

Gravity Quilt On Display

I was talking with the Lincoln Modern Quilt Guild Rep that was there about how excited I was to have a ribbon, and my husband took my photo – I asked if I could hold up the ribbon while he took the photo – she allowed it only because it was my quilt. You are not allowed to touch the quilts! I didn’t touch any but my own. And then I said I had one more entered that I hadn’t found yet. I turned to the next section and I found my third quilt entry – the Small Quilts Class – and I entered it into the Embroidery category. Under the name tag on this quilt was a blue ribbon! I couldn’t believe it – two ribbons and one of them was blue! I received a First Place Blue Ribbon! I was hoping Gravity would get me some positive feedback, as I worked really hard on that one and I thought my piecing was pretty good, and the quilting is beautiful (Thank you Teresa Silva: Quilting Is My Bliss). I was not expecting a blue ribbon for the Embroidery Panel quilt – but I am so happy I received it!

We talked about how they had a National judge come in who gave some really specific feedback (looking forward to and a little scared of that). And we talked about the Lincoln Modern Quilt Guild – my husband basically signed me up on the spot.

For now, I’m just very excited that my first quilt entry was a success. I did not expect to receive 2 ribbons but I am very happy. I am looking forward to having the quilts back home. And the ribbons.

Panel Quilting

Have you ever made a Panel Quilt? I just got 4 panels that I am very excited about! It all started with a quilt I saw hanging in a quilt shop recently – with a panel they don’t even carry! So I had to hunt it down because I needed it. You know?! So I tracked it down, and during my research I found three others I had to have, so now I have four panel quilts I have to make! The hard part right now is finding the perfect border and binding fabric, and the perfect backing for each. I think I want to do Minky backing for all of them and then they will be super soft and fuzzy, perfect for movie nights in our theatre chairs!

The Inspiration:

Iron Man Panel Quilt

And the 4 Panels I have plans for – (Jack glows in the dark!) :

Beauty and the Beast Panel
Iron Man Panel
Nightmare Before Christmas Panel
Spiderman Panel

Have you made a Panel Quilt before? Do you have a favorite border size or quantity of borders? I like the idea of a Minky backing but the one I was looking at said no ironing and it wasn’t wide enough by itself, there would need to be a seam! Something else to look into…

New Items 07.14

Happy Bastille Day! I wish I was in Paris celebrating. Okay I always wish I was in Paris…

I was able to finish some new Hoop Art today and just got them posted. I have a couple of new series that will be available over time. The one I’m most excited about is the States series – I am hoping to have one new one each week. They are large and detailed and take a lot of time for the machine to finish, even with the new beast! Today I am starting with my home state of Washington. Go Seahawks! Go Mariners! I’ll start with the Western states and head east. Next up is Oregon!

I also found a Toile Space Needle design that I could not pass up, some Crazy Ladies, a Celestial Balloon girl, a Miss July, and a Lunar Landing to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 Moon Landing!

Images are linked below – as always let me know if there is something you are looking for that you can’t find and I’ll see if we can figure it out. Thanks for visiting, and I hope you are having an amazing summer. I can’t believe it’s half over and school will start so soon!

New Items 07.01

Happy July and Happy Monday! It’s Monday, which is always scary, but it’s a new day, a new week, a new month, and the Second Half of the New Year Day! Yeah that’s a real thing. It’s also less than 6 month to Christmas! Are you getting ready for that yet?!

Anyways… this past week was really busy. Last weekend I was not able to finish any new items because I was making so many patches and shipping them out all over the place. Thank you if you had a recent patch order! But it also meant that I had items just sitting there waiting to be finished, so this week I made sure that I was able to finish a few of them.

I went back and revisited the Celebration Gnomies and finished the group of them in their proper coloring. I also made the Surf ‘n Swim Gnomies and the Strike A Pose Gnomies, that might be my favorite Gnomie set right now.

I also finished a Watercolor Lobster, a Gemstone Wolf and some Patriotic Blooms. It may sound like a random assortment but I love them all! They have all been added to the shop and are ready to ship immediately except for the Patriotic Blooms – this one has already been sold but I can make more!

As always let me know if there is something you are looking for – otherwise I am working through my very long list of ideas and will be back soon with more to share. I hope you all have a good Holiday and weekend this week!

A Harry Potter Surprise

Have you heard about the new Harry Potter game that was released on Friday? It’s called Harry Potter: Wizards Unite. My family downloaded it and we all created character names, but I’m not as far into as they are – I never played the Pokemon game so I’m still trying to figure it all out!

But with the release of this new app, it reminded me that I never shared my Harry Potter Surprise on the blog. If you follow me on Instagram you may have seen this a few months ago, but here I can give a little more detail and some more photos.

If you are familiar with the Harry Potter books, then you know what happens when you turn 11. My son turned 11 in March and it was around the time of the school’s Spring Break, so we took advantage of that and did a whole themed Spring Break vacation, complete with the reveal!

I created the pieces well in advance just in case I ran out of time. Plus I needed to have everything staged – we were headed to Seattle for a couple days before we came back home, to surprise him and then leave again! So these photos are of what was waiting for him when he walked through the door. I recorded video on my phone and my husband took photos – the reveal was so fun. He was so surprised and shocked and excited!

Please look past the snow on these first few photos – it was snowing that day but the light was good and it was my only chance to get some outdoor photos before the reveal!

I found a zip up sweatshirt on Amazon that was black on the outside and yellow on the inside – perfect for my little Hufflepuff! I added the Hogwarts Crest to the left side of the jacket, and I added Bowtruckle to the right, his favorite character from the new Fantastic Beasts movie series. On the back I have the quote “I Solemnly Swear I Am Up to No Good”.

Hufflepuff Jacket Front
Hufflepuff Jacket Bowtruckle
Hufflepuff Jacket Hogwarts Crest

I moved my mannequin out to the dining room table – where he would see it as soon as he walked in. We set out the Hufflepuff t-shirt we found, the Hogwarts Acceptance Letter, and the Owl delivery – I wish I could have gotten an actual owl to deliver but, you know…

Hogwarts Acceptance Letter
Hufflepuff Jacket Back
Hufflepuff Jacket Front Mannequin

This was one of the many faces he made when he realized what he had received, and what was about to happen. One of my favorite faces that day!

Hogwarts Acceptance Letter Face

And a photo of him standing with the Knight Bus – the first stop before entering the Wizarding World of Harry Potter – and the only time he wore the jacket! To be fair, it was hot, and he got his own House Robe shortly after that so he wore that, when it wasn’t too hot!

Knight Bus

In addition to Hedwig, I also created Bowtruckle and Niffler and have added them to my shop in case you were in need of one for your wall, or your own Harry Potter Surprise! The jacket was my favorite though – got some oohs and aahs with that one, the short time that he wore it!

Harry Potter Bowtruckle
Harry Potter Hedwig
Harry Potter Niffler

I would like to go back and create the Hogwarts Crest on a mini hoop as well as the 4 House Crests – and wrap them in their House color. I think that would be fun. I think the Hogwarts Crest would need to be wrapped in black to match the robes – that would be fun to hang on the wall with our other souvenirs.

New Items 06.17

I have been trying to catch up on embroidery designs that I have created but never finished. I was able to finish several this weekend and get them posted. This week was full of lions and tigers and butterflies… oh my! And llamas and ravens too! I love how all of the designs turned out in this week’s set of art, but I think the tiger is my favorite. We just saw Aladdin this weekend and I really think I need a tiger, plus the rainbows and butterflies in the design, it’s just perfect.

Click on the images below to go to the listing and get more information. And let me know if there is something you are looking for that you can’t find that I might be able to create for you. This week I will be busy making patches so I don’t know how many new designs I will be able to finish and post next weekend.

Have a great week – and thanks for visiting!

Butterfly Dreams Tiger

The Enchanting Llama Face is available in two sizes: 9″ and 5″

Enchanting Llama Face
Enchanting Llama Face

The No Probllama is available in two sizes: 10″ and 5″

No Probllama
No Probllama
Majestic Pink Lion

I love how this Monarch Fashionista is clearly a woman in a fashionable dress, yet clearly a butterfly!

Monarch Fashionista
Poe-etic Love Birds

Brother Entrepreneur Pro X

I mentioned last week that I recently became the brand new owner of a 10-needle embroidery machine. It is a Brother Entrepreneur model, and it arrived to me brand new, with a 0 total stitch count! That part was very exciting to me as my sewing/embroidery machine I was the second owner. So I was very excited to see that screen with all 0’s and I took a photo because it will never look like that again.

Brother Entrepreneur Pro X

I have been playing around with it for about a week now, doing the typical flat fabric embroidery that I have been doing in the past. I think I have those projects figured out for the most part – there are still some quirks I need to figure out but I think it will get better as I use the machine and get in a rhythm. Right now the hardest part or longest part is threading it. I love that it has 10 needles and will do 10 colors at a time, but threading them can take forever. And I have had a problem with the thread coming out as it starts to stitch so I have to stop and rethread – this is one of those quirks to work through.

Premiere+ Ultra Software

I also recently purchased the embroidery design software. I went with the Husqvarna Premiere+ Ultra bundle because they design on a Mac – and I am a Mac! But I also have to use the Windows laptop I share with my son because not all the features are available for Mac, still not sure why. But the goal is to be able to create my own embroidery designs that I have looked for in the past and haven’t found. I wanted to start slow with a quote here, a basic image there… my husband says no skip all that basic stuff and go right to this super custom funky thing I have in my head. We’ll see who wins that battle.

And then this sunshine was the first design I stitched out on the new machine. At 1000 stitches per minute and less than 10 colors required – 13 minutes actually means 13 minutes! I think I need to find an oval hoop for this one.

You Are My Sunshine Embroidery

I have some ideas of what I want to design and create with the software and the new machine, not sure how fast that is going to happen though. Do you have embroidery software or a multi-needle machine? Any tips and tricks you want to share?

New Items 06.09

Four days ago I became the owner of a brand new 10-needle embroidery machine! I will share more on that later – but the good news is I put it to work right away and have figured some things out. I was able to create some new designs and get those finished and posted to Etsy! It has been almost 2 months since my other machine went in for service. They are waiting for a cable that is on backorder from Brother. I’m in less pain now that I have this new embroidery machine, but I still miss my girl. We are still a couple weeks out from getting that cable, but until then I have my original tiny sewing machine, plus this new beast so I can get some things done!

For this week I created a Rosé flamingo design, for National Rosé Day, as well as a set of Celebration Gnomies, and individual Celebration Gnomies.

The Rosé design was less than 10 colors so it was easy to load and create, no stops! The Gnomies designs were the first designs with over 10 colors that I created on this machine – I thought I was doing so well, but I must have pushed a wrong button!

You load the design, thread the first 10 colors, press play – then after 10 colors you pause, load the next set of colors, and continue. Somehow the set of Gnomies received burgundy beards and highlights (instead of white). Not sure how that happened but I still like the color combination. We are going to keep this one for our home celebrations and call it a super custom color set, limited edition!

You can click the images below for more information on each, and I will be back soon to share more about my new machine!

Rosé Flamingo
Celebration Gnomies Limited Edition
Celebration Gnomie Carl
Celebration Gnomie Elmer
Celebration Gnomie Roy
Celebration Gnomies Set

I think Roy is my favorite Celebration Gnomie (with the cupcake). Do you have a favorite?

How I Paper Piece

You may have been following the Trinket Quilt top I completed recently, or other quilts and projects on my Instagram feed in the past – I like to paper piece! Not all of my projects are paper pieced, and certainly some projects are much more detailed and complicated than others, but paper piecing is fun because you get a precise block with “perfect” lines. There are a few challenges though…

I know that everyone has a different method of how they paper piece – this is mine.

Supplies:

  • Foundation Paper (I use newsprint cut in 8 1/2″ x 11″ sheets)
  • Paper Piecing Pattern
  • Fabric
  • Rotary Cutter
  • Large Postcard
  • Add-A-Quarter Ruler
  • 3″ x 12″ or 6″ x 12″ Ruler
  • Needle – I use a fine needle with a small eye, find a low-profile almost flat needle
  • Coordinating Neutral Thread

I was working on my Cadence Court Quilt Top with Tula Pink All Stars when I took these photos:

Before you can start you need your Foundation Paper Piecing pattern transferred to foundation paper. If it’s from a book, you will need to photocopy the pattern to the newsprint, or if in PDF format, just print.

Once you have all of your supplies ready, figure out what size fabric strips you need to cut – cut these pieces before you start, it will be easier and faster.

For example: If my finished block is 4 1/2″ wide, if I cut a 5″ strip of fabric, say 1/2 yard of fabric by 5″, that should be enough to cover the desired template area, plus overage past the edge of the newsprint when trimmed down. You don’t want to see newsprint when finished – that means there isn’t enough fabric for the seam allowance!

You will get better with practice, but know that angles are trickier to determine over straight lines, and if your section is a triangle, it will be reversed when ironed, and be off by 1/4″ due to seam allowance. If unsure if you have enough fabric – go bigger. It’s better to have extra than not enough and rip out and try again. Ripping out also significantly reduces the newsprint stability and lines may not be straight anymore.

My next step is to separate all the pieces of the block, and label where each fabric will go. This is the back side, the front side will be reversed. But it will be easier as you sew through the block if you have the entire block labeled in advance.

Then begin with number 1, in this case the fabric is Cajun.

Align the fabric on the paper pieced block section and put a needle through the center of number 1. The most important factor here is that Cajun needs to extend past all of its borders – in this case the center diamond – at least 1/4″ in each direction. The way this is set up is plenty, but a smaller piece would also work.

Now take your postcard and place it on the line dividing 1 and 2. Fold the paper over the postcard, add your Add-A-Quarter Ruler to the edge of the postcard, and trim. This is where you line up fabric number 2, White. See the next 4 images:

Next: Change the seam length on your machine. I use 1.4 for the length, but your machine may be different. The main thing here is to have enough needle pokes so that the paper will be easier to tear away, but not too difficult to tear out if you need to.

Now align the White fabric along the Cajun line. Flip over and sew ON the line. I start with one stitch forward, one stitch back, one stitch forward – to lock it in, and then continue to the end of the line. And then I backstitch one stitch and then forward again to lock it in, then cut.

Then iron the White back.

There is a lot of White fabric left over so I will trim it down so it is a straight edge and continue. Next is section number 3: do the same as with section number 2 and continue until you are done with this block (next 4 images):

When you are done with this section, trim down to the edge of the block:

Continue the same steps as above for the other pieces to make the complete block. For the focal point of this block, I have a Prince Charming Frog. I would like it centered in the diamond so that it looks nice and planned when finished, not just any part of the fabric. For this section, I am going to take my paper and fabric over to the light table and determine the exact placement of the fabric – and pin it in place. Then I will continue with the rest of the pieces.

After all the pieces are complete I am ready to sew the block together – in this case it is a wedge with 5 different sections for one complete piece. So I will follow the directions in how to piece them together, A through E, and sew ON the 1/4″ seam line to connect them. I iron my seams open when finished and tear off the newsprint that I just sewed – JUST the 1/4″ piece that is no longer needed. I will keep the rest of the paper intact until I put the whole thing together.

Once I have all 5 pieces sewn together the block is done! Save it in a safe place until you have finished all paper pieced blocks for your quilt and can sew them all together.

I hope you have found this tutorial helpful – and are motivated to try a new paper pieced project!

Trinket Finisher

I did it – I finished my Trinket Quilt Top just in time for the end of the challenge. I will get my Trinket Finisher Pin and be entered for one of the grand prizes. I am just happy I was able to finish in time and that it looks okay!

I did have some challenges with this quilt top – after paper piecing all of the individual blocks, my biggest challenge was sewing together all of the squares and trying to get them to line up together with enough seam allowance so it wouldn’t fall apart in the future. I hope I succeeded!

As I have previously stated, I used Alison Glass’s Kaleidoscope fabric collection for this, using 36 of the collection colors for the pieced blocks, and Raven for the background checkerboard blocks. You can see all of the individual blocks and colors used on my Trinket Sew Along page. For the final quilt top, I rotated some of the blocks for variety and interest so they are not facing all the same direction. And I kept my color flow throughout according to plan, starting with Cherry at the top left corner and ending with Beet in the lower right corner.

I have already ordered the backing fabric so that I can ship this out and have it quilted as soon as that arrives, and just get this one done! I opted for the larger version as we like the longer quilts when we share them on the sofa for movie nights or just hanging out. This version finishes at 76″ x 92″ with 218 pieced blocks – 437 total blocks! It was a lot but I am glad I am finished!

Did you sew along with the Trinket Quilt? How did it go for you – what were your challenges and how did you overcome them? And congratulations on being a Trinket Finisher!