Life · Quilt · quilter's hideaway · Quilting · Quilting with Care · Sewing · Uncategorized

I Cannot Sew Without ___.

What can you not sew without?
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You can sew the guided quarter inch foot in this picture.
Gosh, my list is long but here are a few things I truly cannot live without (or maybe, things that I just really like!).
A seam guide. I use several different methods depending on what machine I’m sewing on. Recently, I purchased a guided quarter inch foot for my Featherweight. To be honest, it’s taking some getting used to. I think I like it….?
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This is a close-up of the Guided Quarter Inch Foot that I have been using on my featherweight. I purchased it here
On other machines I use my “purple bumper”. Think back to the last time you went bowling and had to beg your husband to let you put up the bumpers. It kept you out of the gutters then, and it’ll keep you on the straight and narrow in your sewing as well.
If I can’t find my trusty “purple bumper” I’ll reach for painters tape. I stack several layers so it creates a lip that my fabric can push against. It’s cheap, works great, and you probably have some around your house.
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These are my “purple bumpers.” They come 5 to a package, and one lasts quite awhile. I’m actually not sure that I have ever replaced my first one. They are available for purchase here.
The key to each of these guides is that you have an accurate way to check your quarter inch, or scant quarter inch, seam. After all, the guide will only work correctly if it is placed in the correct spot. My favorite tool for this is the guide that has a spot for your needle to slide into. If that is not an option you could carefully use a ruler.
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This is an example of a seam guide with a needle slot. It is available here.
Another thing I cannot seem to sew without are small snips, or scissors. Again, it depends on where I’m sewing for what I reach for. I’ll share pictures of my top three choices. I like snips that are small, easy to use, and super sharp!
To be honest, I’m pretty set as long as I have good snips and a true quarter inch guide. Of course, I could get into the fact that I’m a ruler snob and I only like Creative Grid rulers or that Aurifil Thread in any light grey shade is always on my machine.  Technically I could get by with other options but my complaining might be a little ridiculous.  This post is about what I cannot live without, so I’m trying to keep it narrowed down to the absolute necessities.
The last thing that I cannot, will not, without a doubt won’t do is quilt without taking my right shoe off. I can leave the left shoe on— that one isn’t a problem— but there is no possibility of me sewing with my right shoe still attached to my foot.
If you have ever been in Quilter’s Hideaway, our quilt shop, you have probably heard “Where is my shoe?”, “Just a second, I’m looking for my shoe.” or some version of this more than once. Anyone else? I cannot be the only single-shoed quilter.
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Customer quilt quilted using Flowing Water pattern.
Anyways, I would love to hear what you cannot quilt without.
See you at the machine,
Care
… Have you found my shoe yet?
Quilt · quilter's hideaway · Quilting · Quilting with Care · Uncategorized

Quilter’s Hideaway is Open!

I do not even know how to begin telling you about this past weekend. I’ve talked to several people about how to start this post, what to write, how to translate what is in my head out into words. I guess I should start with a deep breath. 

*breathe in*   *breathe out* 

I’m somewhere lost in the clouds. I wasn’t sure what to expect this weekend, but OH MY GOODNESS it was more than I ever could have dreamed. Friday night as we worked through last minute details everyone started guessing at how Saturday, the Grand Opening for Quilter’s Hideaway, would go. Some thought we would have quite a few people show up, others thought a handful, and my favorite saying was that no one would show up and we would all just eat the cake ourselves. 


Well, I didn’t get a single piece of cake, and I am beyond okay with that. You all showed up. It wasn’t in waves or even a trickle. We were packed constantly. I really hope everyone felt welcomed, though, as we tried our best to greet everyone as if they were our focus.  Each person who walked through those doors meant something to us. It was a shared dream. So many people wanted a quilt shop to visit and our dream was coming true with each passing minute.

We had many friends visit. My sweet Bible Study friends did not disappoint with doughnuts, flowers, and lemon cookies (my favorite!) other friends brought flowers, smiles, and hugs. A lady my mom swims with even brought each of us handmade leis. They smelled and looked incredible! 

Although we were busy I was still able to catch glimpses of friends running into each other, people seeing one another after many years apart, and people meeting potential new friends. This is exactly what we were hoping for. A community of people coming together and enjoying the same thing. So many prayers were answered this weekend and our dreams came true before our eyes. 

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We could not have made it without our incredible friends who helped us tremendously! My mother in law and her bestie helped cut fabric and kept fabric put up, another sweet lady helped take care of the snacks and punch, yet another helped cut fabric and greet visitors, someone made a lunch run for us, others helped with random things that came up, and my husband rolled his sleeves up and jumped in to help enter fabric and take care of whatever needed done (so thankful for him!).  

When we started this journey we really only planned on having one room for our shop and one room for the classroom. Now, we have spilled into four rooms for the shop.  And don’t tell anyone, but I have more fabric being delivered this week.

I think my biggest worry about opening was how our point of sale system would work. I wanted a way to track inventory so when we open our online shop, the QH shop and the online shop could run simultaneously. I didn’t want to have to update the online inventory every time we sold something in the store. This took quite a bit of preplanning, research, and time spent inputting every item. The other component of it was that we wanted a way to open a ticket at the cutting table and let it feed over to the checkout… some way.

After reading and reading, we found a way! The Square offered an open ticket component that allows us to start a ticket and save it for later use. If you came into our shop this weekend, you were asked for your name at the cutting table. Well, you were asked your name unless you came back again later in the day and my husband remembered what your name was. I have no idea how he did that, but there were a couple times he remembered and I was in shock. I guess I better step it up.

We asked your name to start your ticket.  Then, when you were ready to check out, you could head over and add your remaining goodies without having to carry everything around the whole time. It actually worked really well! I was pleasantly surprised and hope you enjoyed that quality as well.

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Fabric line designed by Tulsa, OK designer, Ellen Medlock!

There was one giant hiccup where I managed to miss inputting the barcodes for a few bolts of backing. I had to give my husband a crash course in the middle of everything so those could be updated.  It all managed to work itself out. Now I just look back and giggle over it. I also might have forgotten to order more business cards but Quick Prints saved the day and we had plenty just in time.

There were a couple activities we had going on during Grand Opening as well.  One of the activities was our giveaways.  Every hour we had a drawing.  There were a couple gift certificates to QH, a QH T-shirt, thread, free classes, and a couple free fabric items.  These were so fun, and I have emailed the winners who were not present when their name was drawn.  Our first winner was actually checking out when her name was drawn, and she won a gift certificate. It worked out perfectly!

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Another activity we had going was to pick a quilt for our March 25th sewing class.  There were three teams: Team Blue (Log Cabin), Team White (Turning 20), and Team Green (Half Square Triangle).  Many people participated by placing a button of their favorite team into a jar. At the end of the day the totals were 12 Team White, 43 Team Green, and 57 Team Blue.  It looks like we will be having a Log Cabin class in March! Many classes have already started filling, so make sure you sign up soon.  We do not have our online sign up set up at this time, so you will need to sign up in the shop.

We cannot thank you enough for supporting Quilter’s Hideaway! We have many fun things planned for the year and cannot wait to share them with you.


On a completely different note, it is WIP Week! The first full week of every month is WIP (Work in Progress) Week.  Find a project and try to tackle it.  I have a few projects in mind that I will hopefully be finishing up this week.  Stay tuned. 

Make sure you share your WIPs using #QHWIPWeek on Facebook and Instagram so we can see what you are up to!

See you at the machine,

Care

applique · apqs · Finished Project · Finished Quilt · Quilt · quilter's hideaway · Quilting · Quilting with Care · Sewing

How to Sew Using a PlayStation and TV

I promise I haven’t lost my mind… yet. But I did recently borrow my husband’s PS4 for a sewing project. Don’t run away, yet. You can too!

As long as there is a gaming system with internet or even a smart TV in your house, this post will apply to you. Are you ready? It has to do with our favorite “A” word… applique.

I do not have a light box, and they are quite pricy since they are only something that would serve a small purpose in my world. I cannot justify the price for the amount of time I would be using it, but I still wanted to get away with appliqueing specific images using a similar technique. That is when I realized my TV could be my light box. Once I realized that, I just needed to figure out a way to pull my image up on the TV.

Forewarning—Your husband might get home from work after you have been working on said project and ask what you have done to the TV.  After all, a huge duck on the screen might be a little strange. I warned you…

Now, let’s get down to it. If you have an internet-ready gaming system or smart TV, you can access the internet-I used google- to search for your desired image. I’ve always wanted a rubber duck bathroom, and it is happening now, so I needed a rubber duck quilt to hang on the wall (This might be the point I let you know that I have lost my mind…).

I found the place to search for a website through the PS4, I went to Google, and then typed in “Rubber Duck image.” Once I found the image, I needed to zoom in to get the right size for my quilt. This is where a larger TV might be needed depending on how large you’re wanting your applique piece. If you have a smaller-than-desired TV, you could continue in sections and move your fabric around. Although I was on a larger TV, my image was still not the size I wanted. I had to search, but to zoom in using a PS4, you click R3 (The right toggle button; press it down).

Once your image is ready, I carefully taped my fabric onto the TV, preferably the frame and not the actual screen, but I did need to lightly place a couple pieces of tape onto the screen. I am not reliable for any harmed TV’s while attempting this. Next, trace your image and continue with your desired applique method. You can trace the image onto freezer paper if you would rather not trace on your actual fabric. Also, keep in mind whether you need to attach your fusible interfacing first or if you are going to use that at all.

I was in a hurry, so I traced directly onto my fabric, cut the image out, and pinned like crazy until I knew my fabric wouldn’t move while I sewed it down.

I left the image on the TV until I had traced each piece of fabric. To clarify, I traced the entire outline in a yellow, feathered fabric. Then I put orange on the screen and traced the beak. Lastly, I placed a light yellow on the screen to trace the wing pieces. I also traced the different eye pieces.

This process worked well for my large applique piece. It might be more difficult to make it work for smaller pieces, though I think it would still be possible.

Now game systems aren’t just for the guys in our life (They never were, but we have more uses for them now!)


{For those of you who were guessing circles or bubbles from Instagram/Facebook, this duck has a bubbly personality!}

See you at the machine (or tracing at the TV),

Care



9 DAYS UNTIL OPENING!! 


apqs · Design · Finished Project · Finished Quilt · Longarm · Quilt · quilter's hideaway · Quilting · Quilting with Care · Sewing · Uncategorized

2016- Walking Down Memory Lane

2016- A year of finished quilts and dreams in the making.

 

2016 was a big year.  I started this blog, finished a handful of quilts from my WIP stack (hopefully you were able to, too), Millie joined our family, and we made the decision to open the quilt shop– Quilter’s Hideaway.  2016 was a big year, but 2017 will be a ginormous year!

 

Here is a small roundup of a few projects throughout the year.  Let’s walk down memory lane, or at least the last few months. 🙂

Between these quilts and learning to quilt on Millie, it has been a great year for learning new things and spending time at the machine.  Now, I promised myself I would start the New Year with a clean sewing room (YIKES!), so I better go get started.  If you don’t hear from me for a few days send reinforcement, please!

happy-new-year

 

See you at the machine (I’m sure I’ll find my way there more than once while cleaning),

Care

 

 

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apqs · Design · Finished Quilt · Longarm · Millennium · Millie · Pattern · Quilt · quilter's hideaway · Quilting · Quilting with Care · Sewing · Uncategorized

Weeks are Packed Around Here

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 · English Paper Piecing · EPP · Longarm · Millennium · Millie · Quilt · Quilting · Quilting with Care · Sewing · Uncategorized · WIP week · Work in Progress

Millie Hums

We went on vacation this last week and I completely checked out on technology. It was wonderful, but I am happy to be back!

I missed WIP Week for this month, but I did spend some time working on an unfinished project. I hope you did too! See my last post for more about my WIP Project. It was an English Paper Pieced quilt designed by Mickey Depre (Her patterns are fabulous!).

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We flew back home late Friday night and yesterday (Saturday) I spent on a date with Millie. If you remember, we had a few boxes delivered the week before I left town. Those boxes turned into an amazing, APQS longarm machine. I AM IN LOVE! Sorry My Love, you might have a little competition.

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Back to Millie- Her full name has turned into Millennium Falcon thanks to one of my awesome Brother-in-Law’s suggestions. For short, we will still call her Millie. The week before we left I was able to get her all assembled, we plugged her in, saw lights turn on, then I had to leave and drive back to my house. This was so tough! It was just before midnight when we saw her lights turn on, so we were not able to actually hear her hum.

The week was crazy and I wasn’t able to get back to her before leaving town. Thankfully, I had a great distraction-Disney World. Though I would be lying if I said I didn’t think about sewing with her every day.

Back to yesterday. Yesterday I finally got to not only turn her on and hear her hum!

At first, I loaded on a couple fat quarters to check tension and play with settings on QuiltPath, the computer program she is able to work with and we have conveniently named “Millie’s Brain”. Here is what we came up with.

After this was finished, I decided to work with a larger area and loaded a little over a yard top and a backing then played more. This time I didn’t have a plan and just wanted to try different things.

I wasn’t looking up tutorials or spending too much time fighting through settings because I am taking a two-day class next weekend. This was just a time to get my hands dirty.

The first row I was hoping to alternate a teddy bear and crosshatching. Everything went well for the teddy bear, then it moved to do the crosshatching, but instead of making a jump, it sewed the transition line. “It is just a test piece,” I reminded myself, though I was already looking for a seam ripper to mend this mistake. On the next jump from crosshatch to teddy bear I thought I could trick it and stop her right after finishing the crosshatch then move it to the start of teddy bear and search for closest stitch. In theory it sounded like a fabulous idea, but in action it just didn’t work. I moved along to a new row.

Another issue I came across was that sometimes after starting a block, setting the safe areas and where the block should sew, Millie would move through the pattern, but wasn’t stitching. I was able to jump in the middle of it and get her to start stitching again, but I couldn’t figure out how to back up and get her to fix what she missed.   I’m hoping to clear this up with a YouTube video or in class next weekend.

I’m very happy with how everything is going so far even with this learning curve. I’m glad I was able to start playing and come across these issues ahead of time.

After coming across a few issues I decided to take a stab at freehand quilting. I turned QuiltPath off and unlatched her from the belts to give me full control. Once ready, my mind went blank and I had no idea what to quilt. I started with a simple “hello!” and I forgot halfway through how to write cursive- brain fart!

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Next up I played with writing “Quilter’s Hideaway.” Remember that surprise I hinted at a few posts back? Here is another part of it. I’m going to let you slowly put pieces together as I share hints and clues.

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With that, I moved on to some meandering, straight lines, and a box. I also tried pebbles in a smaller box, but my goodness, this will need some work.

I hope you enjoy this journey with Millie. I cannot wait to continue learning and sharing along the way.  I already realize I will need to come up with a better option for getting pictures of the quilting.  Often it was hard to get the stitches to show up.

 

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 · Work in Progress

Speed Bumps and Seam Rippers

Do you ever plan to have a sew day but spend more time taking seams out than putting them in?  

This was how my day went yesterday. I’m working on a design-as-you-go quilt that I’m trying to finish up. The problem with these quilts is I usually spend quite a long time with my seam ripper. 

 

It’s often worth it in the end, but my goodness I think it’s time I name my seam ripper and make this relationship Facebook official. After all, we did spend many hours together all weekend, I have one favorite seam ripper, and after much practice, I know the easiest way to use it. If we aren’t in a relationship, it deserves a name at least. I’m taking suggestions! 

 

The quilt I struggled with this weekend has been an unfinished project for quite some time. You see, I hit a speed bump. I ginormous speed bump that was acting more like a dead end than something I could just slowly climb over. (I never said I wasn’t dramatic 🙂 ) 

Running out of bobbin with two inches left

I had accidentally cut a block wrong and ran out of fabric at the same time. At that point (along with many other things not going quite right) I removed the remaining blocks from my design walk to be tackled another day. Sometimes I realize when a project isn’t happening, and it’s not worth fighting through to hate the end result. 

 

Fast forward many months and it’s back on my wall. In the time it was away in hiding I had purchased new fabric that matched well, and I was able to sew up a replacement block today. 

 

When I started playing with this quilt, I wasn’t planning on having any of the diamond pinwheel blocks. I was only trying to make the pinwheel with white squares in the middle. However, I used my favorite ruler by Cindy Casciato (available here) and it made mirror images of every block. Instead of only using half the blocks I sewed, I came up with a Plan B (which was really probably Plan P but who is keeping track). I decided to turn the mirror images blocks into a pinwheel set on point. 


This led to needing to set the blocks and now another challenge was created- the diamond blocks are larger than my original blocks. 
I sure love to design as I go but it is not without those speed bumps. Thank goodness for four wheel drive. 

The newest challenge is not too big and borders around the smaller blocks will do the trick. 

 

I’m running out of room to store unfinished projects and I would much rather be looking for more room to store finished quilts. Hopefully I can leave my seam ripper alone and actually finish this quilt. 
See you at the machine, 

Care

{You might bring your seam ripper too.}