Tuesday, August 31, 2010
Monday, August 30, 2010
Saturday, August 28, 2010
Friday, August 27, 2010
Wednesday, August 25, 2010
Tuesday, August 24, 2010
Monday, August 23, 2010
Thursday, August 19, 2010
I am in an amazing charity bee called do.Good Stitches and we're looking for a few good quilters to round out the Hope and Faith circles. Quilters are responsible for planning a quilt 2-3 times per year (or however long you remain a quilter - you can always just give it a try!). You share the plan with your circle, and then assemble the blocks and finish the quilt within the next month. Lastly, you ship the finished quilt to Piecing Hope, from where it will go on to an African orphan.
Now, I have only quilted three quilts in my life but I'm willing to give it a go as a quilter in the Hope Circle. The way I figure it, this will help me practice my quilting skills AND I get the added bonus of knowing that I am providing a quilt to a child in need.
If you would like to join us in either the Hope or Faith Circle you can sign up on our Flickr group. I hope to "see" you there!
Wednesday, August 18, 2010
Tuesday, August 17, 2010
Monday, August 16, 2010
Friday, August 13, 2010
Thursday, August 12, 2010
Tuesday, August 10, 2010
Mandy's blocks for me.
I also won a giveaway just before I left and I was greeted with a fantastic Bliss charm pack courtesy of Katy over here! Thanks Katy! I can’t wait to make something with it!
I also finally got all of my online fabric purchases organized! Yes, I know I bought a lot of fabric when I was away. But it’s so easy now that we can shop online. The internet really is a dangerous thing, isn’t it?
I am very excited, too, that I was finally able to join in the do. Good Stitches Charity Bee. I read about this really amazing project on Rachel's blog last month. She has added two more charities and with that, more openings. We're still looking for quilters and stitchers in the Hope circle and the Faith circle. And if we get enough interest we just might open up another circle for a charity called Threading Hope I found that I would love to help out. Check out the bee and let Rachel know if you want to join us.
Lastly, I got caught up on my bee blocks for July and I started working on my blocks for this month. We also decided that I can turn our garage office into my work studio, so in the coming weeks (who am I kidding with my workload it will be months) I am going to start working on transforming the space. My first order of business is to create a design wall. I’ve been reading other blogs, getting tips, techniques and ideas together and one of these days I’ll be ready to execute my master plan. Until then, I’m still working at the dining room table…
Monday, August 9, 2010
I was going to post about how much I HATE paper piecing. I get so frustrated and it seems like it should be so easy! But I took a step back, a deep breath and walked away from the machine. And instead of taking pen to paper right then and there, like I should have, I let myself calm down and my frustration passed.
A few days later when I sat back down at my machine I ended up with this…
And I must say I am pleased with the result. So, while I might hate paper piecing, I do love the end result so it’s kind of a catch 22. I think my problems with paper piecing start with my brain. I am not a mathematical person. I am a creative type. That’s why I write and make TV shows for a living. I wish I were good at math. I always loved science but struggled in class because of the math. It’s simply not the way my brain functions. And I know there’s really not math involved in paper piecing, per se, but it’s just figuring out the angles and that’s where my brain starts to fry. I suppose the frustration stems from me thinking that I’ve place the fabric at the right angle and then I sew and it’s off so I have to rip out stitches and try it again, sometimes multiple times, until I get it right.
In between the screams and the ripped stitches I did find a few new techniques that ended up helping me as I got further along. I am, by no means, an expert at paper piecing – nor do I ever think I will be – but I did make some new discoveries that helped me as I worked.
Since I struggle with the angles when I’m paper piecing I finger press my seams to try and get the fabric nestled in at the correct angle, and this helps but I also started machine basting the pieced together. I know this creates an extra step, but since I am not proficient at paper piecing yet this really helped me when I had to rip out the stitches. I found it far easier to machine baste my fabric together, check to make sure it fit properly and then stitch over my basting stitches to secure in place. Then if I HAD to rip out stitches and start again it was much easier.
Also, chalk is my friend. I tried using chalk to mark the lines on my fabric to help with the layout. Any thing to get it right! And I don’t know about you, but I always iron in between pieces. My iron is always on and at the ready. It helps keep the lines cleaner and sharper.
At the end of the day I am really, truly happy with how these blocks for Mollie turned out. And joining a bee has been so rewarding in ways I never expected. I love the challenge of learning a new technique and pushing my sewing skills to the next level. As much as I bitch, moan and complain about paper piecing I will happily attack the next one that comes my way because with every block I further my skills and hopefully learn something new that will make the next one easier. And frankly, the end result makes it all worth it… almost.