Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Wow! It's been a while!!!

Hey Ya'll,

Well... It's been a LONG time.  We aren't dead... just really busy.  Hee! Hee!  There are a lot of things to catch up on.  I hope you don't mind, but today's post is going to be kind of long winded.  I just wanted to catch up a bit.

There have been a lot of changes in schedules in our lives lately and a lot of crazy things happening at work.  With the position I have, talking about anything work related on line is a big no-no, so I will spare you the details about that... I will just say it's been a LONG season.  Hee! Hee!

So... I announced a long time ago that I got a dream of mine... an embroidery machine.  We even had a guess giveaway about it.  Well, I will keep this as short as possible, but there have been lots of issues.  The first machine had serious problems.  It was the Singer Futura CE-250.  So, I sent it back and ordered a Singer Futura Quartet.  I LOVED that machine, but after a couple of small projects, it totally seized up.  Back it went.  Then, in the time it took for HSN to receive it back, they sold out.  So... I ordered a CE-150.  In the process of machine problems, we continued to invest in things like threads, fabrics, etc... etc...  The CE-150 was messed up too.  I assumed it had to be the shipper because the boxes look like they had been dropped out of an airplane.  Hee! Hee!  So... I sent it back and ordered a heavy duty regular sewing machine and I love it!  I was able to get started on some projects, but didn't have the embroidery... just some basic stitches.  Well, I registered for Darlene Cahill's website (host of sewing shows on HSN) and got an e-mail that Singer had something brand new coming out.  I waited and ordered it as a Today's Special and since the boxes were so bad previously, I paid $80 for next day shipping.... thinking that might help.  Well, I got the machine and it sewed like a DREAM!  The only problem was that it wouldn't work with the computer and the embroidery hoops wouldn't go in the machine.  REALLY???  SERIOUSLY???  I was really ticked!  Well... HSN has the most wonderful service and they took good care to get me a good replacement.  Come to find out they had changed the hoops with this newest model and they are crap, so they are sending replacements that are good quality.  The replacement machine is perfection and I am in LOVE!!!
This is a picture of it without the embroidery attachment on it.  It's FANTASTIC!!!  There are a ton of stitches built in to it, all kinds of adjustments, automatic thread cutter (Holy Crap!), top and bottom tension controls, speed control, spool pin on the back... you name it... this machine has it!  Plus, it's all the heavy duty construction as well.  It came with so many feet too!  Anyway... if you are looking for a dream machine, I can finally endorse this one with total confidence.  Ok... so enough about the machine.  Wanna see why we haven't posted in a long time?

First of all, I haven't made a paper project in a LONG time.  Just no time.  Besides that, I have become totally obsessed with quilting.  There is a place online called Missouri Star Quilt Company that has wonderful youtube videos on quilting and an embroidery site called Secrets of Embroidery that has amazing tips and tricks!  I have never quilted before, but now, I can't stop.  Really loving it!!!

This is my first ever quilt!  There is a local store here in town called the Fabric and Decor Shoppe.  They have these amazing little kits for $39.00 where you make a quilt that is fleece backed.  No sandwich... you just quilt the top, press it really well, put fleece on the back, quilt and bind.  It took me about 3 hours start to finish!  I had no idea that it was so easy to do!
 I know it's extremely basic and if you are an avid quilter, I probably gave you a good chuckle, but I am really proud of how it turned out.  I also used scraps and made matching pillows.  In the center of the pillows, I used an embroidery stitch file from Secrets of Embroidery and embroidered it with the machine.
Well... This started a complete and total obsession!  My parents took a vacation recently and hit a bunch of fabric stores along their travels.  Mom came home with this really fun 50's print in panels.  They have a 50's themed room in their house.  So... she asked me if I could come up with something.  Here is what happened!
 This took a while to plan, but this is also a fleece backed quilt.  I laid out all of the panel pieces on top of the fleece piece on the bed and then used a ruler to measure between the pieces and wrote down everything.  Then I did a paper layout of the quilt and wrote everything in.  I was surprised that everything actually came out really accurately.  If not, I would have probably really struggled with getting into the craft.  Once the top was assembled, I put a layer of batting under it and then a layer of muslin.  I did a stay stitch around the edge of the entire quilt and then started free motion quilting.  I had NEVER done this before, but it's really quite easy!  Once the quilting was done, I put the fleece on the back and the used the walking foot to stitch in the ditch around the prints to secure it.  Then I made strips with the checkered fabric and did the binding.  Keep in mind, I learned all of this on tutorials online.  How cool has youtube become?!?  Hee! Hee!  Well, my Mom loved hers so much and we had extra fabric, so she asked me to make one for my Aunt who also has a 50's room.
Her basement looks like the diner in this picture.  It's really cute!  She has a media space next to the 50's room with black leather sofas and then the 50's furniture is all red, so we used red to make hers.  Cool huh?
The other thing I can't get over is easy it is to free motion quilt.  If you blow up the picture before, you can see the white stitching used to machine quilt the center pieces.
  Well, I was just thrilled with the way they turned out.  I know it's WAY off from paper crafting, but I hope you will still enjoy seeing the projects!  Thank so much for visiting!

11 comments:

  1. Nice to see you back!!! And even if it isn't paper-crafting - creativity is still fun to enjoy! I enjoy sewing too, but with two young daughters, I have to keep it to one hobby at a time!

    housesbuiltofcards@gmail.com
    www.housesbuiltofcards.blogspot.com

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  2. Welcome back stranger! It was so nice to see your blog listed in my google reader! Sounds like you have been extremely busy these days - sure have missed your posts and your visits. Ok, now this quilting stuff is totally out of my league, but my goodness, it is gorgeous! I love the design you created and all those pretty purple and pinks. And those 50's quilts are just darling...what fun images! Good to see you back and I hope you can find more time to do what you love in the future!

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  3. Your projects are beautiful! Have fun with your new machines, and sharing all of your creations with us. You may inspire me to try quilting, which I have never tried. BethAnn M.

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  4. WOW WOW and WOW!! fabulous quilts. Love them.

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  5. Amazing work. Glad to hear you finally got a working machine and are loving it.

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  6. Good to hear from you!! Sounds like everyone is missing you guys maybe after the holidays things will start slowing down and you can find more time to craft. This quilt is beautiful!

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  7. Well,you,ve been missed. These quilts are fabulous. Hope thing settle down for ya'll soon. Merry CHristmas!

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  8. WOW love your quilts, awesome. I have always wanted to try and quilt but just have too much going on to start another craft ha ha. You sure have been missed glad you updated us on your happenings. Merry Christmas to you and Jill HUGS

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  9. Enjoy your quilting - it's great fun. I have a couple posted on my own website. Best of luck.

    Barb from Toronto, Canada
    http://barbsmithdesigns.blogspot.com

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  10. AMAZING! AMAZING AND EVEN MORE AMAZING. You were good at paper crafting but you are amazing with material! LOVE EVERYTHING!

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  11. First of all... welcome back! Secondly... tell us more about how you did all that wonderful work! Where can I find a kit to make such a cute fleece back quilt from scratch?? Did you cut the whole thing out??? Love the ideas you have to share... keep the creativity coming and don't be gone so long next time... you can chat about quilting too.. we will listen! lol Kathi

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