Wednesday, August 28, 2013

What am I work on this Wednesday??

This has been a busy week in the sewing studio! I found my groove and spent quite a bit of time sewing and quilting this week. Saturday I loaded and quilted this Autumn Visitors UFO. It was an unloved UFO the Sarcastic Quilter sent me a couple years ago. I love the fabric, but wasn't sure who it would go to, so it sat untouched. However we are going to a wedding next month and I needed a gift. I'm not sure if this will go to them or not, but that's what I'm planning to use as the gift. I'm just not sure of their tastes, so I'm kind of on the fence. I trimmed it up on Monday night and put the binding on. Last night I stitched it down by machine. Just wasn't feeling like hand sewing it down, too many other handwork projects going on right now.
Saturday late night I loaded this Autumn Star quilt on the frame. I fully intended to quilt it, but the tension was off and I was really struggling, so I put it away and didn't touch it until Monday night when I got home from work. We had leftovers, so I had a chance to quilt it. I ended up adjusting my bobbin tension and then I was able to get it to an acceptable level. My top tension has been running between 1-2 for quite a while and you can only go so low, so I knew I needed to adjust the bobbin. Luckily the adjustments worked. I read online, but it didn't really help me to know which way to go. The backing on this one is pink batik. It's from the same piece I used to back mom's pink ribbon quilt back in 2009. So glad I was able to use up some of my stash.
Here's a close up of the quilting. I used a variegated King Tut and pink Bottomline.
Yesterday I got the email about getting our class samples in for photos next week and I realized I hadn't even made this sample. It's a new class I'm teaching in the next quarter. I just love these purple fabrics. I wish I could find something to make with the whole line. I worked on this for an hour last night and when I was doing more unpicking than necessary I quit. On something so simple I think the seams need to match better than I had them, so I am fixing a couple spots. This one is a bit of a challenge, but I think it will turn out cute in the end. It's made with 4 fat quarters. I just wish one of the many hexie rulers we have in the store would have worked to cut these out. I ended up using 2" hexie EPP's.
Yesterday I finished #18 Ahhhh, Aunt Mollie's Umbrella. My goal for August was to finish 3 Ahhhh's, which I was thinking was really unrealistic considering all the other handwork I have been doing on other projects, but this one went together so fast I started another one.

Today I finished up #12 O' Matt's Lantern. I realize I need some lighter fabrics in these, so I'm going to have to incorporate more next week when cut out a new bunch. I have 3 left to piece before I need to prep more. I started the 3rd one and with a wee bit of luck I should be able to finish it before the end of the month.

We are off for a camping adventure over the long weekend, so I'm planning to take a few EPP projects to work on. If I get the hexie table topper done and quilted I'll have some binding to finish as well. This has been such a productive month. I hope to get as much done in Sept. when I am off school for 3 weeks!

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Be A Hexie Queen Blog Hop

Thanks for stopping by my corner of the world for the Be a Hexie Queen blog hop. It's been fun collecting my hexie projects to share with everyone. Welcome to those visiting for the first time. Thanks to Madam Samm and Debby for hosting this great blog hop. Thanks also to Connecting Threads for sponsoring this blog hop.

Here's a little about my crazy life, to introduce everyone to my love of hexie's. I started quilting in 1998, started blogging in 2004, met my husband Paul in 2005, met my best blogging friend the Cre8tive Quilter Jen in 2006, married in 2008, met the Prolific Online quilters at a blog retreat in 2009, and started hexieing in 2010. I work full time as an Assistant Registrar at a college, work on my masters degree (only 2 classes left!), and teach one night a week at The Sewing Center/Fabric City. We live just outside of Rapid City, SD and have a 2.5 year old Mikaela and an 8 month old Mathew.

My mom and best friend Delia was my sewing partner in crime. We taught, sewed, shop hopped, and quilted together. Her breast cancer came back in 2009 as brain cancer and my amazing friend Jen sent me a hexie travel bag, a Valentine's Charm pack cut into 2.5" squares, and 100 1" hexie papers. I had never hand sewn anything except binding, but I quickly learned to love basting and sewing hexie's. I worked on them off and on throughout all of 2010 while my mom was taking chemo treatments. I was attending all her appointments and I worked on them while we waited. I got pregnant during that year, so on top of her appointments, I had my own Dr. appointments to hexie at as well. I finished the Valentine Hexie Diamond on 1/15/11, just days before our daughter Mikaela was born. Mom got to see it before she passed away in February. This was the first quilt I won a ribbon for at the Central States Fair in 2011.

In December 2012 we welcomed a son Mathew. I knew I had to have a hospital quilt, so I used a Blush Jelly Roll I had won on a blog giveaway several years ago and created this Hexie quilt to take to the hospital with me. I didn't use a pattern, just a jelly roll and my 60* ruler.
Quilt 2013-08-13 011
In 2013 I knew I needed something to keep me busy while I pumped at work. As a nursing mom I spend 2 half hour breaks a day pumping, so I wanted some hand work. Jen was finishing up a very large English paper pieced hexie quilt and starting a new one. She formed a hexie group and encouraged us to baste 16 hexies a week. I have mine basted so I don't keep up with the basting goal, but I do work on my hexies every single week. The group has been amazing and keeping me motivated to work on my hexie projects. I'm so lucky that Regina (1I), Patti, Linda, and Jen from the Prolific Online quilters are part of the group as well as my local quilt friends Heather and Nicole H. The encouragement from the other gals is amazing.  I can't have just one project, I must have multiple WIP hexie projects.
Jen introduced me to Hillbilly Handiworks and her Ahhhh's. I quickly joined the block of the month for beginners. In the first month I created them all and they were super easy, so I started ordering from the Gotta Have them all club. I can't quite keep up with them, but I have been working on the beginner and intermediate ones. I have several prepped at a time and keep them in a travel bag so I can hexie when I get a chance. I do a lot of prep work during my lunch hour. My favorite place to hexie is the car wash. I have to sit in line and wait and the kids are almost always asleep!
This is one of my favorite ahhhh's.
I can hexie just about any place as my hubby can attest, even in the ice house. I won't let him go ice fishing by himself, so a couple Saturday's this winter grandma watched the kids and we went fishing. I got over 75 hexie's basted in just 6 hours.
I also was able to finish 2 ahhhh's during our fishing trip.
Ahhhh's #3 & #2
This is how far I have gotten with the ahhhh's. I'm excited to get more done, but I try to balance these with my other hand sewing projects.
I recently taught a class on how to make hexies. I created this snowflake as a sample.  These are 3/4" paper pieces, so it's a bit big for an ornament. Jen was my inspiration for this cute snowflake and it is made from just 2 charm squares.
I also taught a class on how to make this hexie table topper from Gudrun Erla's Table topper book. It's done with the quilt as you go method and I have another one in progress.

I love the 60* ruler, I think I have 6 or 7 of them in different sizes. One of my favorite projects are table toppers made from border fabrics. This farm friends one is the border off of my sons baby quilt. I also made a table runner to match for his bedroom. With the 60* ruler, it's the perfect hexie every time.
Farm Friends Tabletopper

Another inspiration I took from Jen was to make needlebooks for my travel hand sewing bags. We both love the winding ways fabric so I made a couple from it.
Hexie Needle Books made with Winding Ways fabric.
I also made these hexie needlebooks from English paper piecing hexies for all my friends when we went to retreat this year.
I made travel bags for hexie projects as well.
Zippered bags for retreat friends
I have several hexie English paper piecing projects that I am working on right now. This one is made from Buggy Barn scraps and I keep it in a fishing tackle box. These are 3/4" hexies. I typically baste them all, put them in the box and take what I need in my travel bag.
I am making a small table topper with 9 pink flowers and a cream sashing. I have all the flowers made, just have to put them together now. This project stays at work for the days I might forget my other projects.
I am also working on this sewing motif hexie project. It is going to be a tablerunner when it is finished. I make them in rows now and then put them together. It makes it easier to travel with them. Again these are in my fishing tackle box. I bought quite a few on clearance at Cabelas because they are the same size as the Art Bin one I bought, but much cheaper.
This project was brought on by my love of hexie English paper piecing and I made a complete 6 point star with EPP. I love how it turned out, but wish my diamonds were a bit more pronounced on the ends. I made this during the month of May, so my hand piecing is getting much quicker. I plan to make a lone/radiant star next, but am currently working on an Amish Rubic Star, so I want to finish it first.
Now for my Hexie Blog Hop Project - I started this as a way to use up scraps from my winding ways quilt. I saw something on the hexie group I belong to using these small 4 piece diamond hexies and thought it would be a quick way to use up some scraps. The diamonds are all made using 1/2" English papers. I hand sewed them as diamonds. These are the ones I completed during the World of Outlaws race. Paul can't believe some of the places I find to hexie.
Then I made them into rows. I had this background fabric from another project and it just seemed to work for this project.
Each row then became part of the diamond. I appliqued it to the black background and added borders. I quilted it with the walking foot, only on the background and borders. It does have steam a seam to hold down the hexie diamonds.
Quilt 2013-08-14 006
The final piece, a small wall hanging approximately 24"x 27"
Quilt 2013-08-14 008
I entered it at the Central States Fair this week and won a first place ribbon.
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I couldn't do a blog hop without a giveaway, so I've decided to give away this hexie fabric with matching coordinates. There are 5 fat quarters total. I will also add a travel kit for English Paper Piecing hexies.
Quilt 2013-08-12 009
To enter the giveaway please leave a comment and tell me what your favorite thing to do in South Dakota would be if you have or would travel here.

Join the other blog hoppers today as they share their love of hexies as well!

Friday, August 23
Moneik Quilts - You're Here!

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Sewing Studio Tour

I've been following the Sewing Studio tour over at Ellison Lane Quilts and felt inspired to clean up and organize my little sewing space. Those who have followed my blog for many years know I used to have a whole room for quilting and sewing, including a quilt frame set up to the King size. Last summer when I found out I was pregnant with our second child, I knew we needed the space for the kids, so I put my quilt frame down to the crib size and sold off/donated 12 huge totes full of sewing and craft supplies. I am now down to my UFO's, some background fabric, a small bit of sewing themed fabric, and lots of pink ribbon fabric. I inherited a lot of sewing supplies when my mother passed away two years ago, but I had my own full sewing studio already, so I consolidated. 
The quilt frame is in the kids room and I quilt when my amazing husband Paul watches the kids during races or while watching TV, usually on weekends. I sew in the corner of our bedroom. This is my little space at the end of the bed. It's about a 3'x5' space.
Quilt 2013-08-12 003
I have a Janome 6600 and table which I normally use, but recently was given my mom's Bernina 730 and I am trying to bond with it. I've sewn for 25 years, but adjusting to a new machine brand is a bit of a challenge. I do love the option of doing machine embroidery though, so that is the big plus. I need to figure out a better table, but for now I am making this work. I will have a big cutting table once we get it moved back from my dad's in the next few months. The pack and play in our room will be put up to make room since we no longer have a new baby sleeping in it. Mathew is 8 months and has moved in to the crib in the other room. The blocks to the left of the ruler rack are from a friendship block swap we are doing this year. I have about 8 of the 16 I will receive, so I have them hanging there for inspiration as to how I will set them.
Quilt 2013-08-12 002
I keep my rulers on this ruler rack my little brother Ed gave me for Christmas one year. I absolutely love it. It's over flowing and I even got rid of quite a few. At one point I had 100 plus rulers. I probably have 6-8 at work, several in my travel bags, some in the closet, and I still have this one over flowing. I'm a huge Creative Grids fan and am slowly replacing my older ones. The "Create" sign on top was a sale purchase that inspires my creativity. The Aurifil empty thread spools are from quilt retreat. My friends and I finished these at retreat and we're collecting this year to see how many we can acquire. The quilters picture on the bottom right is a mug rug I have hanging up. I made my friends these from a panel for quilt retreat one year. My knee lift hangs from the rack for quick access, since it doesn't fit with my chair under the table.
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My ironing board is a covered piece of wood that has semi-naked firemen on it. I covered it with cotton batting and thinsulate fabric before putting the cotton on top. It's all stapled to the back for easy removal for washing. I also have a small fan on it to keep me cool while I work. Since I work mostly after Paul goes to bed the bright Ott Lite is essential. It's the perfect amount of light without keeping him up. I also have a couple other smaller ones when I don't need it quite so bright. The end of the ironing board holds my purple notions bag that Jen B. made for me when attended quilt retreat in 2009. Jen and I have known each other since 2005 when we met through blogging and we've had a chance to meet a couple time since then. She lives in Milwaukee, WI. This bag holds all my "gotta have" notions for sewing. I know if I'm going to sew somewhere I can grab the bag and it has everything I need.
Quilt 2013-08-12 001
The wall hanging is one I made for 6 close quilting friends. It says, "Good friends are like quilts, they grow with you, yet never loose their warmth". The bottom one is the excess HST's I had after making all the wall hangings from my Buggy Barn scraps. Hanging off of the light are the 2 name tags Jen B. made for me. One was for the retreat and the other was just because. I love seeing them as they remind me of her daily.
Quilt 2013-08-12 005
To the left of my machine, under the TV is a wall hanging I made after attending the bloggers retreat in 2009. It's made from fabric I bought while we shop hopped around Ohio. We met in Cincinatti and there were 11 bloggers and 8 friends who came to the retreat. It was the first time we had met and was such an amazing experience. This quilt became a siggy quilt for my local quilting friends. I have a much larger one that all the blogging ladies signed. It's in my office at work. Next to it is the granny square quilt Emilee made me for our Christmas swap exchange last year. We each brought a bag of scraps, swapped them and made something for the person out of their scraps. It was so much fun and we are doing it again this summer. I also have a ribbon I won at the fair and my name tag that my friend Jenn from Rapid City made me. She made them for our local quilting friends when we attended a retreat in May. The Bernina feet box sits behind the machine.
Quilt 2013-08-12 006
This is my "WIP" cupboard. I allow myself to work on the projects in here and limit myself to these. If I start working on something else, I have to make room for it to fit. This keeps me controled and the room stays cleaner. With a 2.5 year old, everything has to be put away or out of reach at night. My grandpa build this for me in college so I had a place to store my food. It reminds me of him and I wish he was still around to do such amazing woodwork.
Quilt 2013-08-13 001
Inside I have a few boxes of thread. These are approximately the size of fishing tackle boxes and they hold my Aurifil and King Tut. They are within easy reach. I also have the bag to the right with Aurifil thread that is ready for travel. The next shelf holds the fabric for my Swoon, my scrappy swoon that needs a few seams fixed, and my pink box with my "Ahhhh's" fabric. This is the fabric I have pulled to make them all and I use this to make up the "kits" for my prepped ahhhh's so I can work on them when travelling. To the right is fabric for a tumbler quilt. I found an inspiring pattern on pinterest, so I may just finish making this quilt after all. On the bottom self are books, a Happy Hour quilt for a friend, and the fabric kit for my Rubic Star quilt. I also have a B/W/Pink quilt I am working on.
Quilt 2013-08-13 002
This wall hanging was made by my Aunt Jane for a quilt retreat I planned in 2012. Everyone who attended signed the back. The blocks hanging from it are my "orphan" blocks. I didn't think I had any, but once I started finishing some UFO's this year I have a ton! Not sure what they will become, but it's fun to see them.
Quilt 2013-08-13 003

This wall hanging was made by my college roommate and friend Angie after my mom passed away in 2011. It's so very special to me and reminds me of my mom. Mom and I quilted, sewed, shop hopped, taught, and spent a lot of time discussion quilting. She was my best friend and I miss her so much. Everything I do with quilting reminds me of her in some way.
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This is my awards box from high school. It's all the pins and letters and different medals I won in high school. My grandpa Jim made the shadow box. It's been 15 years since I graduated, but I still love to be reminded of all I did back then. On top is a little sewing sign that reminds me of Jen and one of my Willow Tree collection given to me by mom. There is also a mold of my daughters hand from when she was 7 weeks old. The sheep was given to mom by a close quilting friend, so I keep it there to remind me of moms friends as well.
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A close up of the pieced sewing machine for my name tag. I'm a purple girl through and through and my friends know that about me.
Quilt 2013-08-13 007
To the left of the sewing area is a big 2" piece of foam with grided flannel. I use it for a design wall. The TV is up there too. I never actually watch it, but have it on more for noise than anything else. Last week I made my 6th Swoon block. Slowly I will get them done.
Quilt 2013-08-13 009
So that's my sewing space in a nut shell. Eventually I would like to have a larger space, but for now this works and I am able to sew each and every day. I work full time, teach 1 night a week, and am working on my masters degree, so sewing is my stress reliever after some very long days! Thanks for stopping by my sewing space. It's been fun to organize and show my "new" space.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Mid August Quilting Accomplishments - 13/13

This month I am staying very busy sewing. I have a lot of mid-done projects, but at least I am making progress. I started my amish rubic star that a bunch of us are working on in my hexie group. I wanted to make sure I liked my colors so I did one blue diamond. I also have a green one done. I had to replace a couple diamonds in the green because I didn't like them. I have all the diamonds basted and am working on the purple squares.

These are the threads I have pulled. A good collection of Aurifil threads to sew the diamonds together with and they all fit in one of my Keep on Sewing Plastic bags. I may have to make a few more just for keeping my thread together for travel.

I've been busy this month finishing up a couple projects for my Scrap Swap I am doing with a bunch of sewing friends. I made this project from Emilee's leftovers and hope to get a couple more little things done in the next couple weeks. I just need to put binding on so I can put it in the fair.
I also worked on this swoon block. It actually took me 3 nights to complete compared to 1 since i only worked on a step at a time and for an hour or less each night. I'd like to get one more done yet this month.
This is one of my older UFO's and one I don't really care for anymore, so I'm so glad it is completely finished! Last week I got 3 quilts ready and quilted them up really quick so I could get them out of my way. I need some more finishes for the UFO challenge. I need to go back and check how many/much I finished in July, but it wasn't nearly enough. I'm trying to balance new and old so I don't get too bored. I pulled out a couple extremely old/challenging ones last night when I cleaned that I would like to make progress on too.
This is one of mom's UFO's. It's called friendship stars I think and she made the top as a sample for a class, but I don't know if she even taught the class. It's going to be a table topper when I get the binding on. I'm not sure if I will keep it or gift it, but I just want it done. The top was done, I just pieced the back and batting and quilted/bond it.
The major project for me this month is called Diamond Hexie's. It's for the Hexie Queen blog hop coming up next week. I just have to finish the binding and I'll be ready for the blog hop. I've also been working hard on gather and preparing my quilts for the county fair this week. I received a 1st and 2 2nd's on my quilts at the Custer county fair last weekend. Ann submitted them for me. This week I have 17 to enter in the quilt division and 4 for the sewing division. Tonight I plan to make sure they are all ready, measured and I have all the information written down.
My graduate class is going well. I'm done with the 3rd LP which means I only have 2 left, or 4 weeks. I'm getting so close to being done with the program that I can almost taste it. Two classes left.