Sunday, November 30, 2014

Managing and juggling my schedule but still finding some me time...

I know my personality and know what is important to keep me energized and productive.  I know that with customer deadlines, it is still important to find some time for my personal projects so that I don't loose site of the love I have for quilting and just turn business.  Without the love and passion I would not be doing my customers justice.

So how do I juggle it all and make it all work.  First I have a dry erase board (which I have shared before) to help keep things in focus.  Then I keep things moving in a million directions to keep it exciting.  And I'm being real here, not sarcastic.  :)

Right now I have a hand sewn binding going on in the living room that I am working on during my breaks...  (I finished quilting this the other day.  The texture of the swirls are just gorgeous and will only improve after a wash.)
Then I have a tshirt quilt laid out that I plan to get the stabilizer ironed on and the top sewn together.  It is also in the living room floor.  But granddaughters are coming soon so if that's not a deadline to get moving I don't know what is.  :)
Then there is my Talkin' Turkey from a Bonnie Hunter class I took back in the summer.  Tons of pieces and I keep it close by so that I can do a few here, there and anytime.  This is a personal project.
Then there is the new Red & White challenge from Evening Star Quilt Guild.  Red & white quilts are very popular right now and very beautiful.  I have 8 of my 20 blocks completed so far.
This is a block exchange that isn't due until February.  Again, I know me and know that I can't wait until the last minute so I have to manage that in with everything else.  So, as my admission fee to my quilt room, I have to make one block (only on weekends, remember I work a full time job also, week days are mainly devoted to customer quilts).

Oh and I almost forgot the new Bonnie Hunter  Mystery Quilt....  Clue one was released and in order to keep up and FINISHED on time, I start as soon as I can after release and make sure I finish before the next clue comes out. (Really try to finish same day).  While I was working on these, all I could think of is what a great "Sweet 16" quilt this would make for my granddaughter.  She is only 5 so better come up with something else to do with it.  :)
Things that makes most of this easier for my is having my dry erase board for project listed AND having my AccuQuilt GO! Cutter.  If I had to spend hours cutting out shapes, I would have hours less to do the fun stuff.

I still have several customer quilts due before Christmas but I know that these personal project keep my passion alive.  It is so important not to let that die and just become boring.  :)

If you want your own AccuQuilt system, I am happy to help customize a die bundle just for you.  Just give me a call or send me an email.

Friday, November 28, 2014

Bonnie Hunter's Mystery Quilt - Grand Illusion - Has Begun...

If you are a Bonnie Hunter fan, well today is the day you have been waiting for.  The first clue if the mystery quilt is out and we are ready to get started.

I have already finished cutting the first clue thanks to my AccuQuilt GO!  If you have the cutter, you already have the basic die for this clue.  It is 2-1/2" half square triangles and 2-1/2" squares, both are on your value die that came with your cutter.  You can also purchase them separately to get more pieces cut with each pass.  (55001 & 55059)

Now to get these pieces sewn together in the units Bonnie instructed.

For more information and details on Bonnie's Mystery Quilt, go to her blog.  This is something she offers for free every year and I am very appreciative for that.

Well, now that cutting is finished, I am back to quilting for my wonderful customers until I take my next break.  :)

Here are my first units COMPLETE!  WooHoo!

Monday, November 24, 2014

Quilting In Progress....

Loving this beautiful quilt and how it is coming along.
Sure hope my customer loves it too. :)

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Quilting In Progress...

Well, actual just took these three off the frame and ready for binding.  Customer ask for these three baby quilts to be quilted vintage since the fabrics are vintage look.
First one, meandering...
Next, stitch in the ditch around the blocks and corner to corner curves...
And the final, stitch in the ditch and corner to corner diagonal...
Not sure what other vintage options I could have used.  Please feel free to share your ideas and what you might have done.

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Getting your blocks the right size...

As a quilter, we all know that having a finished quilt turn out square starts with great cuts.  When your cuts are right, your seam allowance is right, your block goes together right and the finish quilt turns out.... You guessed it, RIGHT!

AccuQuilt GO! Is a great way to make sure your cuts are right on the money, but if you don't have that luxury just be extra cautious with your rotary cutter.  You can do this.

Now, in this example I have two half square triangles which need to finish at 3" + .25" seam allowance on each side.  So once they are sewn together, the square unit should be 3.5".
If for some reason it measures differently, STOP right there and figure out why!  If it is a seam allowance issues, and more than likely it is, we could end up with out final block being .5" off and that is not good.
Next I want to share a board that I use often.    It is just a piece of foam board from the school supply section with a piece of spare batting glued to it.  I have these in many sizes and at least two per size.  It's like a mini design wall.
I lay out my pieces as the finished block will look.  This saves me so much time at the sewing machine.  When I get to my machine, I don't have to think about how the block goes together.
Once laid out on the board, I can determine which way I need to see my parts so that I can chain piece as much as possible.
In this example, I need to construct the center block first, the. Add the flying geese and remaining half square triangles.
Once the center is sewn, it is time to measure again.  Since this finish size is 12", I know that the outside rows should be 3" each and the center should be 6" + .5" total seam allowance (.25" each side).
Again, if the measurement is off, STOP and correct the problem before moving forward.  You can see below that the block as finished at 12.5" (12" block + .5" seam allowance).  That is exactly what we want to see.
When you get in the habit of checking your measurements, you will see a huge difference in how your quilts turn out.

If you have any questions or if you are interested in purchasing your own AccuQuilt cutter to help you start strong, please let me know.