Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Being Productive

I got a little bug up my butt to finish my "Unbe-weevil-ble" quilt last weekend, and I was super productive by focusing on it as if it were a job. I gave myself two days to finish the quilt back, and I got it done!  Here it is on the floor, taking up even more space in our living room.

You can see the Jellyfish sitting up on a design board on a table above the quilt back I'm working on. That top area is all stitched up, I'm ready for the next row of hexies - I'll be bringing it to the PMQG meeting tonight, along with the stuffed round blue guy I stole from my daughter to use as a work surface.

I had yet to baste a quilt in my new house. Figuring out how to baste that big quilt proved to take a bit of time in problem solving. I ended up sticking with spray baste, which is my favorite basting method, and just laying out bed sheets to catch any runaway spray. I did it on our basement floor which is carpeted and padded, so I couldn't tack it down... but it still worked!

Started working on the quilting yesterday - it will take a little time, I'm just doing (somewhat) straight line quilting at an angle - I think it will look good, and I can do it on my Singer! Unfortunately, I will NOT be able to finish this quilt for the meeting tonight... next month!

Monday, July 14, 2014

Starting to Grow

The Jellyfish quilt is starting to grow!
Quilt back - whip stitching
Sewing the strips together takes the most time of all the steps in this project. It is also the most rewarding. Every stitch is adding a bit more to the quilt!  I whip stitch the rows together from the backside of the quilt - you can see the stitches in the photo above, and in this photo of the front, you can see how those stitches are barely visible.
stitches on front
Beyond sewing, I've been working a lot this summer! Our business is 'off the hook' busy right now so I haven't had much time to sew. Sad face.  However, I did have one great idea for a quilt design this week, and if I have time, I'm going to whip up a new machine-pieced quilt top inspired by an Akira Kurosawa film I just watched.  I also have to finish the back of my Unbe-weevil-ble quilt.

So much to do, and so little time. I bet I'm not the only one with a to-do list a mile long!

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Time To Connect

YAY! I finished sewing all the rows in the Jellyfish quilt this weekend! I was lucky to take the whole day on Saturday and sew. I spent most of the day with my quilty friends at the PMQG All-Day-Sew and was able to get a lot done, then I came home and finished up the last few (very small) rows.

I'm starting with the top corner and will work my way down. When I stitched the rows together I used a ladder stitch, now to connect the rows, I use a whip stitch.
This is the fun part! Each little stitch builds the quilt. I already have the small corner done and it's sooo exciting! I started this project in January, and am really happy with the progress - I hope to have the quilt fully completed by the end of the year.

Thanks to my new quilty friend, Sam, I was turned onto something called Thread Heaven. It's a thread conditioner made of silicon... and it really helps keep the thread from knotting up. I think it's helping me stitch a little faster too - I highly recommend it!

I'm hoping my progress with the hexies goes fast so I can dig into some new fabric and machine sew a few things. I've been big into dots... and I've always liked tone on tone prints. It's hard to have these out and not be using them yet.
The cerise with white dots is for the back of the Jellyfish - I think it will be perfect. Now that I'm at this phase of the project, I can start considering the kind of quilting I want to do... French Knots will certainly make another appearance!

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Getting In The Groove

These last two weeks just flew by while I've been stitching the Jellyfish together!  I've had a few people ask how I stitch my hexies, and I use two different styles. To sew my rows together, I use a ladder stitch, to sew the rows together, I use a whip stitch.

I'm not quite ready to start stitching row to row, but I thought I'd share how I stitch the hexies into rows:

First I tie a knot a little left of center below the stitch line, then I take a small stitch and run my needle up and out, now I'm ready to grab my next hexie

I put the hexies together with the WRONG sides together and a ladder stitch out to the end of the first hexie.
 Then I flip my hexies over and ladder stitch all the way to the other end
 I flip the hexies one more time and stitch back to just left of center
I 'open' the hexies and put the needle to the back - right where the last stitch was. I don't pick up any fabric here - if you do, that stitch might be visible
On the back side I take a small stitch on the new hexie where the needle came through
and tie a knot and run the needle under the knot to the other end of the hexie where I start the process again
 For me, this leaves no thread showing on front, and the seam is nice and tight with no knots on the ends.  This leaves those points nice and open for when I sew the rows together

So, this has been what I've been doing with my free time. Not too exciting, but the progress has been good and steady.

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Starting To Obsess

I'm at a point in the Jellyfish Hexie quilt where all I want to do is sew... so I'm making pretty good progress! In a few days I'll have half the hexies stitched into rows - once the diagonal rows are done I can put it all together! Here are more process shots:
Jellyfish Hexie Quilt - bottom portion sewn into strips
Jellyfish Hexie Quilt - starting a "roll" of hexies
Jellyfish Hexie Quilt - an open "roll" of hexies ready to be rolled
Jellyfish Hexie Quilt - rolling hexies up in batting and fabric strips
Rolls of hexies ready to go!
My hexie roll kit

Sunday, June 8, 2014

All Day Sew Day!

Yesterday I was able to attend the All-Day-Sew that the PMQG sponsors every month. It's pretty sweet...  now that I moved, I'm feeling pretty lucky in that I can walk to the fabric store where it's held!!

It was really fun - we have such a great group of people. Of course, I forgot my camera, so no pics of the day - oh well. I do have a photo of all the pretty fabric I bought while I was there - the fabric store was having a 35% all fabric sale... and there were some sweet remnants too! My little brain is spinning with all the ideas I have for some of this:
Sweet new fabric score!
I also finished two long strips of my Jellyfish Hexie Quilt. I'm taking a photo with some dimes and quarters to over some of the stitched rows to show size. What do you think Miss Kory? Does this help?

Each piece is a bit bigger than a dime. Hexies are so cute... especially when they're small - right?

The sun is out today, and I don't have anything pressing, so I might take the opportunity to sit in the sun and stitch a few more of these together. My pace is at about 30 in a row per day. Not too bad.

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Number 200!

This is my 200th post! Woot Woot!

To celebrate, I'm going to be posting some free downloads. You'll find my Unbe-weevil-ble quilt pattern, and a file to print to cut your own 1/2" hexie paper templates. I'll be adding my layouts for the Squid and Dragon Hexie quilts soon too - kind of exciting to be able to give back a little!

Timing is on my mind as I feel I'm going very slowly on the Jellyfish Hexie Quilt... I've started sewing rows together from the bottom up. I'm sewing about 25 hexies together a day, so I am making some progress.
Missing rows are currently being stitched together - bottom right rows completed.
I figure it will take about 3 months to sew the rows and another 2-3 months to sew the rows to each other. Fingers crossed to finish this year! Here's my layout sheet - you can see I make really good use of it for note-taking, counts, and a little math. I used a piece of cardstock for the dragon quilt... much better than regular paper.
Jellyfish Pattern - all marked up, and a row of stitched hexies.
Help me celebrate my big 200 by leaving me a comment. (comments make my day!)
I'd love to know if you have done English Paper Piecing before, and if so - what was your first project... and how long did it take you to finish?
If you've never tried EPP, what would you make if you did?