apqs · Challenge · Design · Finished Quilt · Longarm · Millennium · Millie · Pattern · Quilt · Quilting · Quilting with Care · Sewing · Uncategorized

Standing at the Start Line

Everyone has to have a starting point. This is mine.

 

Not that long ago I wrote a blog post about us opening some very special boxes. Once we assembled our Millie, I spend almost every waking moment wanting to sew with her.

This weekend, I was able to take a two day class on quilt path, Millie’s brain/computer quilting system. There was so much information and I am very tired, but I have 20 pages of notes to hopefully pull me through and remember everything that was said.
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It was an incredible class that was both informational and fun. It also left my mind wandering to new quilt ideas and more projects (because we all need more of those, right?). Saturday’s class started at 9am and we dove right in. When class ended around 5pm I just wanted to jump behind the machine and apply many of the skills we had learned in simulation mode during class.

After class I drove straight to my parents house, loaded my first actual quilt, not just pieces of fabric sandwiched together, and got to work. Nerves were high as I leaned in to push the SEW button, but everything functioned fairly well.
There was a bobbin change, a thread break, safe zone areas to set, patterns to resize, repeat, and nest, and so much more.  I think I might need a checklist to remember the common steps for the next few quilts.

My weakest area is either setting the numbers for pattern sizes and thinking through that aspect of the loading process, or the last partial row at the bottom of a quilt. This row was causing a few challenges last night while quilting.

I thought I just had a problem with my pattern or a setting. I wasn’t sure, so after finishing my first quilt I loaded a second– determined to figure out what was happening.
I should clarify that the problem I was having was manually working through the jumps and a system error between the computer and the machine. There may have also been a few errors with the users brain. It happens. It was still sewing fine, occasionally there would be a thread break sensor go off when the thread was fine or it would start tracing a pattern when it was supposed to be sewing.  With each issue I was able to back it up and restart at the stitch the problem started on without changing the end result of the quilt.

With the second quilt loaded, a pattern imported, and settings seemingly happy I dove in. Unfortunately I had the same issues on the second quilt as I had with the first.
Thankfully, when I returned to class today I was able to ask a handful of questions and come up with a game plan on trouble shooting to find an answer. No matter what, she still sews beautifully and I can work around this hiccup manually instead of automatically for now.

I am just so thrilled with how each quilt turned out. I love watching Millie sew and thinking through how to enhance different quilts with different quilting designs and concepts. It opens an entire new element to quilting.
Sew you at the machine,

•Care
apqs · Challenge · Design · Longarm · Millennium · Millie · Pattern · Quilt · Quilting · Quilting with Care · Sewing · Uncategorized · Work in Progress

Flying Away On Fabric

Does life seem like it is flying away without you? I sure feel that way some days. 

I’ve been working on a new quilt and pattern that has me flying with the fabric. It is an airplane block that I have been messing with different sizing, trying to come up with the “perfect” size of each section in the block. I have a certain little one in mind for an airplane quilt, so hopefully I am able to finish this up quickly. 

For now, I have been practicing and playing with scrap fabric. I never really understood the desire for mini quilts, but I am beginning to jump on board. Some of these trial blocks are just too cute to adios. I’m thinking they might get quilted up and turn into minis. I’m sure I can find a few homes for them.

What have you been working on?
Ever since we unboxed Millie, I have been dying to get my hands on her at every available moment. Keep in mind, Millie is at my parent’s house which is a little under an hour away from where I live. That doesn’t stop me. I spent most of last weekend standing behind her, and I even went up last night to get in a couple hours of playtime. 

This weekend, my mom and I are taking a two day quilt path class. Quilt Path is the computer system that APQS offers for their longarm machines. I expect to walk away with my mind blown. Hopefully I will be able to pick up the pieces and learn everything I can. Gosh I just cannot wait.

I will be sure to share different tricks and tips we learn. Sharing this journey from cutting the tape on the box to learning how to use Millie is something I plan to do.  I am planning on posting the good, the bad, and the ugly and dragging you along with me. Strap on that seatbelt, things could get crazy around here.
For now I will dream of flying away to a land of no clocks, no commitments, happy sewing machines, and full bobbins. Care to join me?

See you at the machine,

Care

Challenge · Design · English Paper Piecing · EPP · Pattern · Quilt · Quilting · Quilting with Care · Sewing · Uncategorized · WIP week · Work in Progress

Traveling With My Needle & Thread

Hand sewing is happening.
We were up and at the airport by 4:00am this morning, but we are heading to our favorite place on earth-Disney World. 

Last year I started an English Paper Piecing (EPP) project. My Momma-In-Law gave me a pattern for the first row of a row quilt using EPP, and I dove in. It was a learning curve but not too difficult to figure out (you could definitely figure it out!). 

I was doing a decent job of staying on top of things with the first row and even the second row. However I quickly fell behind. Then, our rental lease ended, we frantically searched for our first home to purchase and we moved. I’m still trying to find everything again and really dig back in to my slower projects. 

This week happens to be WIP Week, and a travel week so I dug this quilt out and have started it again. 

The pattern is by Mickey Depre and I could not recommend her work more. If you are a fan of English Paper Piecing, she is a fabulous resource. She also has many other patterns outside of the English Paper Piecing world and all are spectacular!! Be sure to hop over to her page on Instagram (mdquilts), Facebook (MDQuilts) or her site. You won’t be disappointed! 

A fun little back story- After I started working on my first block I wanted to find the designer on Facebook (nothing is official until it is Facebook official-or something like that). When I began my search her last name was awfully familiar, and when I found her page, MDQuilts, I instantly realized I roomed with her daughter in college! Small world! Mickey is in Chicago, the college was in Arkansas, and I’m from Oklahoma. I love how things work. 

Enough of the jabber, here are some of the blocks I have finished. 

Everything always works out perfectly. As I dug for my EPP box last night, I hopped over to MDQUILTS and was greeted with a super exciting live video that Mickey has just released a Basic Hand Piecing Acrylic Template Set! You can read more about it or even purchase it here
That’s all for now friends. It is time to lay my phone down and pick my needle up. 

See you at the machine (or maybe the comfy chair with a needle and thread?) 

Care 

applique · Challenge · Christmas · Design · Finished Project · Finished Quilt · Pattern · Quilt · Quilting with Care · Sewing · Snowman · Uncategorized

Come Fly Away With Me?

Today is all about borders. It is due time that I stop procrastinating on my border-less quilts. They are so close to finished; it is time they make their move to the done pile. 

First up: Merry, Merry Snowmen. I’ve sewn on the inner border, and I was going to move forward without any green since I was out and unfortunately the quilt shop was also out. Have no fear, I have found a similar fabric and will be using it in place of the original green. I just felt the quilt needed a hint more green to balance out the reds and neutrals.

 

Since I was able to find a green substitute, I will add a skinny green border and then finish off with my favorite- the red with tiny white polka dots. This will also be my binding. Sweet! One quilt down.

 

Up next is my purple and teal quilt. (I still need to figure out a name for this charmer, because purple and teal quilt will not cut it, any suggestions?) I want a small white border to finish off the points, then flying geese pointing outwards.

 

Remember how I had run out of fabric to repair my last block… I am still running low on fabric I used in this quilt. It is time to dig in my stash and hopefully come up with something that will work. If I’m not back in 5 minutes you might want to send in a rescue team. It is pretty scary in there. 

One of these WIP Weeks just might have to be devoted to reorganizing. We can wait until next year to worry about that though.  

3…2…1… I’m off in search of fabric.

Alright friends I have found a few contenders, time to fly away with the geese.


 

After the flying geese border, I will finish it off with a thicker white border and this quilt can join Merry, Merry, Christmas in the DONE pile!

After a week with little sewing, it feels great to mark unfinished quilts, “DONE”. 

See you at the machine,

•Care
 

**If you like the Merry, Merry Snowmen pattern by Bunny Hill Designs, it is available here.**
 
 

Design · Finished Project · Pattern · Quilt · Quilting with Care · Sewing · Treasure · Uncategorized

What happened to the weekend?

Happy Monday!

Where did the weekend go? I was hoping to get some time in the sewing room, but this weekend really got away from me.

I did spend a little bit of time behind a machine, sewing with a couple friends, but it was not long enough. I was helping them on their Merry, Merry Snowmen quilts which are looking fantastic. I cannot wait to see all of ours finished. Mine is still lacking borders, let’s not talk about that. Hopefully this is the week to see those borders come together.

Today, I thought I would share a little project I have enjoyed working on in the past- Memory Bears.

When my grandfather passed away, no one knew what to do with his clothes. I asked my grandmother if I could have a few of his shirts. At the time I was not sure what I would do with them, but I knew I would come up with something. He was a hero in every definition of the word. I wanted something to remember him with.

One shirt I used to make a memory bear for my grandmother for Christmas.
I used McCalls pattern 4275 with few alterations. Most notably, I cut the buttons off the buttons and attached them down the front of the bear.  
This is possibly my favorite thing I have ever made. It has many memories sewn into every stitch. 

Part of this shirt was also sewn into my wedding dress as my something old and something blue. 

 

After making my first Memory Bear, my brother asked me to make two more for a friend. I changed them each slightly. I love the possibilities for these bears and how different each one looks depending on what the shirt style, material, and fabric pattern were. 

What are you working on this week? I am hoping to have a bit more time behind the machine than last week. 

See you at the machine,

Care
 

Challenge · Design · Pattern · Quilt · Quilting with Care · Sewing · Uncategorized · Work in Progress

Supernova Sunset

Any chance you were wondering what I was sewing while sitting outside on the porch in Kentucky?

Well lucky you, read on to find out. 

We were learning how to make a Bargello quilt. A certain little sister said something along the lines of “you can make it in one weekend” and we were sold. Of course, this would require possibly reading the size of the quilt before deciding you could make it in one weekend. As it turns out, the quilt I started is a king size quilt (Actually a king size, not just something that feels ginormous. I promise, it is.). Obviously it was not finished in one weekend. It is far from finished. 

 
When I started pulling my fabric for this quilt I chose to use colors from Oklahoma sunsets and sunrises. I’ve always been enamored by the bright, brilliant colors that appear morning and night so I am mixing them into a quilt. 

 Once I had my fabric, I cut 2.5” strips of each. 


 

After all the strips were cut I lined them up using a drying rack and started piecing together my panel or strata. By midnight on Friday all my panels were ready to press. 


That is until I decided I didn’t like the way I had sewn on my three yellows. Another date with my handy-dandy seam ripper and I was back on track. Pressing happened and then I started the long, tedious process of cutting different widths to follow along the pattern grid. 


Once you have various strips cut, you take the rows at different points and reattach them or use different rows to create the pattern shown on the template. 

 A few strips in, I realized something was off with the bottom half pattern template. I have decided to focus only on the top half and then repeat the top half again since they are mirror image patterns (or should be). These things happen and it is still a wonderful pattern. I cannot wait to see the finished product. 


 

This was when I finally noticed my quilt was in fact going to be a king size quilt (notice the painters tape holding up rows outside of the design board I was using). I had a brief freak out moment and I thought I was going to stop or at least shorten my quilt, but I had made it this far, I might as well keep plowing through. 

When the weekend came to an end, I had all of my top half strips cut apart and resewn. Now, I just need to sew these strips together-that sounds easy enough. 

I am hoping I can finish this quilt soon and that it does not become one of my infinite number of my work in progress projects. 

Wish me luck, or better yet, want to come sew? 

See you at the machine,

Care


**If you like this quilt, the pattern is called SUPERNOVA and is available in Eileen Wright’s book Twist and Turn Bargello Quilts available here.**



Challenge · Design · Pattern · Quilt · Quilting with Care · Sewing · Uncategorized · WIP week · Work in Progress

WIP Week-Breaking Up With My Seam Ripper

{WIP = Work In Progress} 

Good morning world! 

We are nearing the end of WIP Week. I always struggle with wanting to start new projects during the week I’m working on unfinished quilts, but this is a week to finish, or at least work on what has already been started. No new projects, although I’m sure I can come up with a few exceptions. 

How are your projects coming along? 
I managed to finish the middle part of my purple and teal, nameless quilt. I only had a few more dates with my seam ripper, too. Things are looking up. I may get to break up with him soon, but we will probably be back together by my next quilt. It’s a roller coaster relationship.  

Now onto the borders, but those may have to wait a while. 

See you at the machine, 

Care

Challenge · Design · Pattern · Quilt · Quilting with Care · Sewing · Uncategorized · WIP week · Work in Progress

Wacky WIP Week Wednesday, Right?

{WIP = Work in Progress}

Wacky WIP Week Wednesday, Right? 
You guessed it, I might have just piled four words that started with a W together. However, it does make some sense (if you close one eye, stand on your head, and spin in circles all at the same time). I mean, it is WIP Week, it’s Wednesday, and most days are a little wacky, am I right? 

It’s WIP Week. How are your projects going? 

I finally got to sneak into the sewing room last night and work on a few block borders to size up the smaller blocks. I’m hoping to get this little gem finished, but I’m wanting to play around with borders.  As long as I can get the middle piece finished, I’d be happy with this WIP Week. 


I would love to see what you’re working on! Share with hashtag #WIPWeek on Instagram or tag us on Facebook. 

On a totally different topic, does anyone else run out of fabric when they are working on a quilt? The last couple quilts I’ve attempted, I’ve definitely ran out of fabric. Thankfully all the blocks were finished on this one first, but I was still hoping to do a fun border. I think I might be able to find some fabric that will work;  it’s just a bummer and causes more of a headache.

And, while we are talking about borders, I still have not attempted the borders on my Merry, Merry Snowmen quilt. I better get on that one.

Well, I hope you have an awesome, wacky Wednesday. We’re halfway through with week, that means half way to go. You can do this!

See you at the machine,

Care



I have exciting news to share soon, but I’m going to wait until it’s a little closer. Stay tuned towards the end of the month though, you won’t want to miss it! Feel free to guess along in the comments. 

Challenge · Design · Pattern · Quilt · Quilting with Care · Sewing · Uncategorized · WIP week · Work in Progress

WIP Week 

It is the first week of a new month and you know what that means- WIP Week!
{WIP = Work In Progress}
WIP Week is a week where we dig out an unfinished project we have hiding away, out of thought, and we try our best to get it done. Or, at the very least, bring it to the forefront of our mind. WIP Week happens during the first full week of every month as a way to get back in and refocus.
My hope is that we can all join force and limit our piles and piles of unfinished projects. It is always better to have a finished quilt than squares of fabric cut lying around. After all, lying under a 6” square of fabric is much too difficult.   
Break out those unfinished projects and let’s get working on them. I am going to try re-tackling my seam ripper, speed bump quilt. Hopefully it will go better this week and I can have something to show in a few days. 


There are only THREE more WIP weeks until Christmas and the end of the year so we better make this one count. What project are you going to work on? I would love to see– share your photos on Instagram or tag Quilting with Care on Facebook. 
See you at the machine,

Care

 

Antique · Inherited project · Pattern · Quilt · Quilting with Care · Sewing · Treasure · Uncategorized · Work in Progress

Craigslist Called

I don’t check Craigslist often because any time I do, My Love gets sent 10+ pictures of sewing machines I think I need (like cannot live without) in that moment. Most of the time they are machines or things that are priced way too high so I know it will not happen and should not happen. I have many wants but he normally gets the dramatic messages of me needing something in order to take my next breath–poor guy. Self-control was never my strongest trait. I’m practicing… sort of.
Today was different. While waiting to clock in at work, I was reading about so many fun finds people had come across at thrift stores and places online. I couldn’t contain myself any longer. (I told you self-control was not my strongest trait.) I jumped on Craigslist and typed in my town then searched for “quilt”.
A few items down there was a listing for quilt tops at a great price but the main picture was not something I was interested in. Thankfully it said quilt TOPS (plural) so I clicked– sneaky, sneaky. A lady was selling all of her mom’s finished quilt tops and obviously had no idea what she was holding. First, I sent a message to My Love to figure out how to even contact a seller on craigslist. Then, I sent a quick text to the seller and surprisingly I received a prompt answer. All the quilts were still available. 

**Que freak out moment here!**

I’m not normally the one to find the fun deals; I’m the one who reads about all of it after the fact.
A time was set to meet at a popular gas station in town and, although there were three quilt tops I was definitely interested in, I asked if she could bring all the tops that were available.

Here is what I walked away with.  


Her loss is my gain. Stick around to see what happens with these quilt tops. I have so many ideas running through my head and I cannot wait to share them with you.
See you at the machine,

Care