Thursday, July 21, 2016

First Attempt at Quilting Feathers

I want to thank all of you who gave me advice about how to quilt my chevron quilt.  SO appreciated!  Rebecca Grace, I really liked your idea about how to stabilize with water soluble thread but I couldn't find any around here!  I needed to get going on this so had to just baste as well as I could with pins.

OK, now don't laugh too hard.  These are some pretty wonky feathers.  I am hoping that my husband's cousin is going to give me a little grace because I'm family! (Karen, are you reading this?)

In critiquing my own work, I can see some things that I need to work on but I am hoping the overall effect is pleasing in spite of the imperfections.  I have trouble going around the corners and keeping the feather sizes consistent and going all the way to the edge of the chevron.  I might need to put some echoing around the outside of those feathers to make it look more filled.    I got the three white rows feathered last night and hope to work on the purple and green chevrons today. Hearts will be last.  And then the weird shaped white rows.

The blog hop has been a lot of fun and tomorrow is the last day to sign up to win some great prizes! So don't forget to visit Meadowmist Designs, Quilting Jetgirl and Late Night Quilter for links to the bloggers who are participating in the final week of the 2016 New Quilt Bloggers Blog Hop.

If I could do it over, I would ask a different question and that is 

"How do you start a quilt guild?"  

I live in a tiny little town of 1300 but amazingly, we DO have a quilt shop.  In spite of the fact that there are scads of quilters around here, the closest quilt guild is an hour away.  I am seriously thinking about trying to start one but have no clue how to go about it.   You guys have been so AWESOME with your quilting advice, who better to ask?  I've done a little bit of searching online but firsthand experience about the pitfalls and what works and what doesn't from someone who has been there is more interesting to me.  Could you tell me do's and don'ts and of course, stories are always good!  Just how big a commitment is this we're talking about?

Linking up with: 
Needle and Thread Thursday at My Quilt Infatuation  
Let's Bee Social at Sew Fresh Quilts
Midweek Makers at Quilt Fabrication

Thank you for stopping by!  Please do come again . . .

Sunday, July 17, 2016

2016 New Quilt Bloggers Blog Hop

Hello, my name is Janice and it is my pleasure to welcome you to the final week of the 2016 New Quilt Bloggers Blog Hop.   Thank you to our hostesses Cheryl at Meadowmist Designs, Yvonne at Quilting Jetgirl, and Stephanie at Late Night Quilter for sponsoring this learning experience for us new bloggers!  Be sure to visit their blogs for a chance at some great prizes!!

So I'll start off with a bit about me.  I am married with three children, only one of whom is left at home right now.  Currently, we are living with my husband's parents while we are remodeling an old farm house.  The original farmhouse is TINY, a shack, really.  Only about 800 square feet and built in the early 1900's.  Here it is . . .

We tore everything out and down to the studs.  Redid everything so it's basically going to be like a brand new house.

Next comes wall raising for extra rooms . . .

My middle son, my daughter, my nephew all push the wall up while my husband nails it into place.  And before you get all impressed that we are doing this all on our own, without any professionals,  you should probably know that my husband is a builder by trade!

So here is how it looks after all the new square footage is added so it is now a 3 bedroom, two bath house with a sun room!  One of the bedrooms used to be a root cellar under the house and is now a really nice sized bedroom which will probably be my sewing room until we move into our permanent home.  This will be a temporary house while we wait for our final home to be built.

And here is what it looks like now!

At the moment, the place we live is up in the mountains and the wifi is horrible up there so I drove down the mountain to the nearest town in a car with no AC.  I'm hot and windblown.  But I have to have wifi to get this post done!  Sorry, no pretty dressed up pictures of me this time.   This is me in all my messed up glory!  :D

OK, now lets get onto the quilting part of the story!  

I have been piecing quilt tops off and on (mostly off) for the last 15 years. It all started with a pack of 100 5-inch squares that I bought from ebay.  This would have been before they started calling them charm packs, I guess.

Much to my son's chagrin (it's his) it took me five years to finish just the piecing part and then paying what seemed like a small fortune for someone to quilt it for me meant that I kind of lost interest in quilting for a while . . . we're talking years.

Then just this past April 2016, my BFF (best quilty friend) taught me how to quilt on my Bernina (I did a post showing her wonderful talents here) and I just started gobbling up all the information I could find on FMQ and started practicing.  I LOVE FMQing!!!   That is Free Motion Quilting for those of you who don't quilt.  This is my first attempt.

Needs work, but I am hooked!

 I have been reading all the wonderful quilting blogs out there, (which is how I found this blog hop) and buying Craftsy classes, and watching everybody making the most gorgeous things!

Unfortunately, I don't have a lot of quilts to show you because I've only made three . . .   all baby quilts.
Quilt #1

Quilt #2  Same quilt, only in in pink.

Quilt #3 was made for my neice's baby who was SUPPOSED to be a girl but he came out a boy!

And last but not least is a work in progress (WIP in quilt lingo!) and I really need some advice on this.  I've never quilted a big quilt and I'm very nervous about this.  It is a chevron pattern and usually, I think you're supposed to start quilting from the middle and work your way out, correct?  But since this is a chevron and I'm going to be attempting feathers in the white parts, wouldn't I start from the edge and work my way to the other side?  Any advice for me before I start this would be MOST appreciated! Also, this picture doesn't show it but I sewed an additional 2" strip between the bottom of every chevron and the top of the heart rows as the pattern called for.  It made it look a little more balanced but leaves kind of some odd spaces between each heart because that row is not a true chevron.  Not sure what to put there.

 Another snag I ran into is the amount of fabric the pattern said to purchase for the back was just BARELY enough to match the quilt top.  I have heard horror stories about people quilting a quilt and finding that the quilting caused the backing to be too small.  Yikes!  So to make sure I didn't run into that problem, I added this on the back using scraps from trimming the hearts.  So that presents a problem in that whatever I quilt on the front is not going to match this at all unless I do an allover pattern.  Should I care about that?  Or should I go ahead with my plan to do feathers in the chevrons?  I plan on using thread to match whatever color I'm quilting over so I'm not sure what is going to end up on this part of the back.  This is getting complicated!!  I didn't really know there were so many things to consider!

Our blog mentors asked that we share a blogging tip so here is my tip.  Make your pictures big!  I see these beautiful pictures but sometimes I can't see the detail very well.  Unfortunately, I can only advise those who use the Blogger platform.  When you insert your picture, click on your picture and then choose XLarge.  This will make your picture as large as it can be without flowing outside your post area.  If you click Original Size some of your picture won't show.

A quilting tip?  Make friends with people who know what they are doing!! Ha! Ha!  That is EXACTLY why I started this blog because I am hoping I can count on more experienced blogger/quilters out there to guide me in my journey.  I have SO MANY questions all the time!

Earlier in my blogging career (a month ago, hee! hee!)  I took an informal survey of other quilters who I had been talking with and asked them if they were a one-at-a-time project quilter or multiple.  My motivation for asking this question was to justify to myself having too many different projects going all at once.  You all came through with flying colors!  I only met ONE person who prefers to work on one project at a time.  The rest of you have anywhere from 5 to 10 projects in the works at all times.  And since I've read some of your goals since then I'm pretty sure there are bunches of out there with waaaaaay more than even that.  Some of you up in the 20's!   

So how many projects do you have going right now?  Let's see who has the most!

Last but not least is a random fact about me.  Before I got so interested in quilting, I collected antique perfume bottles and even created a website in 1997 called Passion for Perfume.  It still exists but unfortunately, that poor baby has been sadly neglected in favor of sewing. In fact, I probably could make my blog a little prettier and more professional than it is, but I prefer to spend my time sewing!   Trying to decide whether I want to keep the perfume site or not.  Here is an example of the kind I collect, er, used to collect:

Well, I have been having a WONDERFUL time with learning how to quilt and making new friends!  I love comments and suggestions and will always try to respond to every single one.  

There are three hives to visit and I belong to Miss Bee- Hivin' with the cutest logo made by the talented Amista from Hilltop Custom Designs

Please be sure to visit the other ladies in my hive and give them some comment love!!

Blog Hop Week 4 - July 18th
Janice @ Color, Creating, and Quilting! (you're already here)  

Thank you so much for stopping by and I hope you'll come again!

Linking to: 
Monday Making at Love, Laugh,  Quilt
Main Crush Monday at Cooking Up Quilts
Oh Scrap! at Quilting is More Fun Than Housework

Friday, July 15, 2016

Go Away Yellow!

Do you ever have pictures that don't look right to you because they are too yellow or too blue?

I'm going to show you an easy way to fix this!   Bernie Kringel at Needle and Foot is graciously allowing me to use her picture as an example.   Here is her picture in its original state:

And here is the picture with the colors corrected!

Much better!  It would be a shame not to be able to see this beautiful quilt in its true colors!

Ready to learn?  Here we go . . .

There are multiple ways to do this because there are many programs out there that can adjust colors but for this tutorial, I am going to use 's picture editing feature.  It is a free site but you will need to create an account to use this program.  There are certain features that will require you to subscribe and the site presents a 7 day free trial if you try those features, but the Picture Editing portion is free.  Once you have created your account and logged in, here is what you see at the top of the page :

Click on "Edit" and you will now see this:

Click on "Open" and navigate to the place where the picture that needs editing is stored.  It will give you options to go to your computer, Facebook, Flickr, etc   

Once you have selected the picture you want to edit, your screen should look like this with your picture showing in the black field to the right of the Basic Edits menu:

Now click on the option that says "Colors" and this is what should appear.  

There are two ways to go about this.  You can either just click on the box that says Auto Adjust OR you can click on the box with the Neutral picker for a more accurate adjustment.   Once you click on the Neutral picker, go hover over the picture you want to edit and you will see a little dropper looking cursor appear.  Click the dropper on an area of your photo that should be either white or gray and the adjustment will be made for you.  You should now see your adjusted picture like this!

All that is left to do is click on "Save" up at the top left of the screen and save it on your computer wherever you like.  If you are ready to edit another picture, just click on "Open" again and you will see this message:

Just click on "open new image"and start all over.

I hope this tutorial has been helpful!  
If you have any questions at all, please leave them in the comments and I'll respond asap.

If anyone can suggest a good linky party for this tutorial, I would love to know.  Most of the party's I've linked to want your post to be about a finish or a work in progress so I'm not sure this would really fit that.

Thanks so much for stopping by!

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Am I Lucky or WHAT??

Guess what happened to me this week?

If you guessed that I won four giveaways within two weeks, you would be right!  I was just asking Tish at Tish's Wonderland what her secret was and bam!  things just started coming in the mail!

My first win was from Kate at Smiles From Kate which was so appropriate because she was the very first blogger online to befriend me.  I was SOOOO excited!!

She also enclosed the cutest elephant panel!  I see a pillow in my future.

Next, in a giveaway at Amy Smart's Diary of a Quilter, I won a $40 gift certificate from Honey Bee Good, a fabric store dedicated to promoting organic and sustainable fabric for the quilting arts.  I got 1/2 yard of each of the following.  Aren't these fun??

My third surprise was from Sue Brain at Sue Bee's World.  She is having another giveaway right now so hurry on over there!  This one is a biggie!

Surprise #4 was a charm pack of Kaffe Fasset fabric (YAHOO!!!) and some green, gray, and yellow Moda Grunge fabric.  Looks like it goes pretty good with giveaway #3 up above there!  This goody came from Carole Lyle Shaw who wrote the book Madly Modern Quilts and is a fellow participant in the 2016 New Quilt Bloggers.

So here is the progress on my purple and green project.   I really should come up with a name for this quilt.  Shame on me!  What would you call it?  I've got all the blocks sewed together in rows, but still need to sew a 2 1/2" strip of white between each heart row and the chevron above it.  Unfortunately, I am going to have to piece some of that out of scraps because I ran out of white!

And I received some great news!  I thought this quilt needed to be done by this Saturday but the baby shower got moved to a week later.  Yahoo!  I might actually get it done.  And yes, I know what you're thinking.  This is a baby quilt?  Yep!  This baby girl's parents are not afraid of color!  How do I know that?

Here is her room!

Hope you all had a great week and be sure to check out the 2016 New Quilt Bloggers Blog Hop going on right now.  My turn is next Monday so I hope you'll be sure to check out all the newest kids on the block!

This week I'll be linking up with:

Let's Bee Social at Sew Fresh Quilts
Scraptastic Tuesday at She Can Quilt
Sew Cute Tuesday at Blossom Heart Quilts

Thank you for stopping by!

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

One Month Goal (OMG) for July

Hello friends and quilt lovers!

Happy belated Independence Day!  Just got home from celebrating with good friends in Washington.  Here we are all decked out in our red, white and blue!  I'm the short one on the left.

We got home this afternoon and I've been cutting and sewing like mad to try and get caught up on the four days I didn't get to sew.

Another "wish I would have known" about this pattern that I'm using.  There were no instructions about which way to press the seams so when it doesn't say anything, I usually press to the darkest side.  After going with that default, I think it would have come together much better had there been instructions to press the seams either open or alternate the pressing direction every other block to go together easier.  I think there should always be pressing instructions with any pattern. Pressing to the dark doesn't always work the best.  Just my 2 cents worth!

I know for sure that the Pretzel Twist quilt I have been working on (which is temporarily on hold)

could REALLY have used some pressing instructions.  Specific pressing directions would have improved the ease of piecing that quilt.  Now that I've been taking a break for a while, I've probably forgotten what I learned and will have to figure it all out again.  Should have written it down.  :(

So my purple and green concoction is under way and I have until the 16th to get this done.   I need some encouragement and pushing to keep at it!  Don't let me quit!  I would really like to have it pieced and quilted and bound by then if I can.  Hoping that linking up to the OMG party will motivate me to do this.

Linking up to
July OMG (One Month Goal)
Free Motion by the River
Let's Bee Social at SewFreshQuilts
Midweek Makers

Thanks so much for stopping by!