Sunday, November 28, 2010

Mini quilt

Like many of you, I'm working on several different projects at once.  When these projects are all big quilts I usually need a break to work on a smaller project- a mini quilt.  Mini quilts can be defined as many different things but I refer to them as "minis" if they are too small to be used functionally.  So, basically any little quilt that I would display on a wall or on a desk somewhere. 

I love mini quilts because the simple ones can literally be completed (yes, binding and all) in less than an hour!  Talk about instant gratification!  Here is my latest mini- an abstract quilt I call "Primary Puffs."

I love working with primary colors and black and white whenever I can.  I ♥ the bold results

This was so simple to make.  I chose four fabrics that had some circle/dot print and sewed random width strips together.  The two red puffs are made with my puffy applique technique.  It's kinda like trapunto... but not really.  I hand appliqued them on to the finished quilt. 

You can see how the red puffs add dimension to the mini quilt.  I really like the effect. 

Now to the quilting..... 

I used a pale yellow poly thread I found on eBay for $1.  That's not a typo.  I really paid $1 for a 5,500 yd cone of thread....(more on this in a bit.)

I love how the yellow pops on the black and white fabrics.  Another reason I love mini quilts is that they are a small canvas to experiment with your free-motion quilting designs.  I used a different design on each strip.  

Now about that $1 cone of thread.  It sounds insane, I know!  Leslie, an online group quilting buddy of mine, recently sent out a link to this eBay shop she buys quilting thread from.  After seeing some of the gorgeous work she did with the cheap thread... I had to buy some even if it was just to try it!

SewingThreadsRUS is the eBay shop.  The thread is the Signature Poly.  It's made by A&E- American & Efird. It is considered embroidery thread but we use it for quilting and it stitches like butter!  It has a matte-like sheen that adds more texture than plain ol' cotton quilting thread.  

My confession: 
Initially, I ordered 10 cones + shipping = ~$18
(Had to place a second order after I tried it out on my Primary Puffs mini quilt.)
Second order: 20 cones= ~$30.  
Can you believe it?!  30 CONES (not spools) of quilting thread for <$50!

If you are looking for suuuuuper affordable and good quality thread give them a try. 

p.s.- Here is a quick comparison so you can get a better feel for exactly how big a 5,500 yd cone is. The cone on the left is the Signature Poly I bought and the itty bitty one on the right is a standard 250 yd spool from Coats & Clark.

Happy Quilting!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Quilty Black Friday SALES!

I'm on the lookout for the best BLACK FRIDAY deals for quilters and have compiled a little 9-list just for you!  Save yourself the hassle of waiting in the cold outside a mall or department store and just shop from the comfort of your own couch!

Note:  The information included here was taken directly from the shops' websites and/or the owners themselves.  I am not responsible for any errors or misunderstandings arising from posting this information.

1. Crafty Gemini- All e-patterns are 50% off!  Pillowcase dress pattern for only $1.50!  Baby/wallhanging quilt patterns for $3.25!  NO SHIPPING COSTS! Once you pay you will get an instant email with a link to download your purchase. Sale is good through Saturday.

2. Quilting Lodge- Fabric mark downs as much as 30%.  FREE U.S. SHIPPING on all orders over $40.00.  Sale starts on Thanksgiving afternoon. Newest Hoffman Bali Pops (forty 2.5" strips.) now available- NEW colors are Grasshopper, Pink Lemonade, Mango Margarita, Sangria, Blue Hawaiian, and Zinfandel.

3.  Jojo's Gift & Quilt Shoppe- Black Friday AND Cyber Monday Sale! Free U.S. Shipping and $5 International Shipping. Select items are marked down visit the website for more info. 

4.  Piece N Quilt- Dozens of designer fabrics, kits, jelly rolls, and patterns have been marked down! 

5.  The Thrifty Needle-  All kinds of goodies are going to be marked off at 20%, 25%, 30%, 40%, 50% and even 60% off the regular price!

6.  Ladyfingers Sewing Studio- Four pages of fabric, patterns and kits that have been marked down!  FREE shipping (on orders over $20) all day Friday 11/26.

7.   Green Fairy Quilts- Sale starts Friday, 11/26 at 12:01am.  All layer cakes will be only $22.95! All Origins (MODA) Fat Quarter Bundles only $59.95.  All quilt patterns only $4.95.  
8. The Craft Connection-Sale runs from Thanksgiving day (11/24) to Monday (11/29).  Insane sales!! Fabric marked down  upwards of 50%!  FREE SHIPPING!

9.  A Vision to Remember - Rag quilt patterns are 25% off!

If you know of any other great (quilty related) BLACK FRIDAY deals feel free to post in the comments below and I'll add it to this list.  Thanks! I'm off to prep my dishes for tomorrow's yummy dinner!

Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours!

Monday, November 22, 2010

Black Friday at AccuQuilt!

I'm not one to sleep outside the mall on Thanksgiving night to try and score a few deals.  I rather shop from the comfort of my own couch! With that said.... here is some sneak peek info on AccuQuilt's Black Friday sale!  Yes, this information is coming to you all first!  It's not even posted yet because the sale doesn't start until Wednesday.... whip out the plastic and check out the details:

AccuQuilt’s Black Friday Sale – Lowest Prices Ever!

AccuQuilt is giving its blogger friends a sneak peek of their upcoming Black Friday sale!  As you all know, Black Friday has become a great shopping tradition among Americans everywhere.  However, a majority of consumers now prefer to shop online to escape the dangers of stampede and the hassles of long lines at stores.  If you can’t find the items you want, it’s easy to hop from one store website to the next without being disappointed.  Savvy online shoppers know how to get the most out of Black Friday sales by utilizing blogs, Facebook, Twitter, and other websites to get the inside track on tremendous sales.

AccuQuilt is offering the lowest prices ever on some of their most popular items plus special Daily Deals you don’t want to miss!  AccuQuilt’s Black Friday sale begins on Wednesday, November 24th and ends on Cyber Monday, November 29thDon’t miss out – visit starting Wednesday to place your order!

And here is the the full ad:

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Curves anyone?

I'm baaaaaaack!  Phew!  It's been a while... I know! We recently returned home after spending a super relaxing week in Dominican Republic.  My mother came with us and we visited tons of family.  This was the first visit for my husband and the baby so, I was glad they were able to see where my people come from.  My family is from the mountains where we visited my cousin's farm and several properties he purchased including the land where my great grandmother's house once stood.  Here are a few pics of some of the scenery out there.
 View from the top of my grandparents' street.

View of Rio Yaque from one end of my cousin's farm.

As you can imagine I have had a tough time getting back to my regular life... not to mention how behind I am on EVERYTHING! AH!  Bear with me people.  I finally sat behind my (recently serviced-yay!) sewing machine today and look what I put together....

Drunkard's Path blocks!
 Don't look so sad!  Those curved seams aren't as difficult as you think (or have heard) they are.  Would you believe me if I told you I didn't even use one pin to sew these blocks?!  Well, I didn't! 
Do you see how nice and flat that curved seam is laying?!  Yea... I did that...and without using a single pin!  I surprised myself too!  If you are wondering how I did it... stay tuned.  I'm working on a tutorial and it's accompanied by your favorite.....a GIVEAWAY!  

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Blogger's Quilt Festival

I briefly recall reading about the Blogger's Quilt Festival sometime last year but didn't know what it was all about.  This year I did my homework and I'm excited to participate!  Amy from Amy's Creative Side is the host and hundreds of quilting bloggers participate!  Last I checked I think there were over 500 bloggers participating?! Is that insane or what? WOW!

Amy's Creative Side - Blogger's Quilt Festival

Here is the quilt I'm entering: 

 I know you have seen it before but I just couldn't resist!  It is my favorite and most recent quilt.  
I made this quilt for my mother-in-law's 51st birthday this past weekend.  She looooooves animal prints and has her entire house decorated with different safari-type decor. 
I had been collecting animal print fabrics for about six months before beginning the project.  
I designed about six different quilts before deciding on this one that I call Shoofly Safari.  

One big (16" x 16") simple block repeated twelve times.  That's it.  Real simple. Just the way I like it

Her reaction: "You're gonna make me cry!"

She loves it! yay!

If you get a chance checkout all the other Blogger's Quilt Festival entries HERE.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Oh boy!

What a busy week!  I feel like I haven't blogged in forever (only been a week in reality).  I am working on some new quilt patterns, quilting for customers, Halloween, and trying to get all my school stuff caught up because we leave for vacation on Saturday!

Here is the latest quilt on my frame...

Quilting this batik french braid quilt for a customer.
 If any of you longarm quilts for customers you know its tough to get a perfectly flat quilt when the piecing and borders aren't exact.  It's a challenge.  But like I tell my customers, I will do the best I can!

Sometimes we have to get creative and take strategic pleats in places where they won't be noticed as much or ease in the puckering as best as possible.  

In the end they always turn out beautiful so, it's worth it!

...and I want to share my progress with you all..
Check out my free-handed stitching in the ditch!! AH! I'm getting so much better!
No rulers, templates, guides, etc.  Just me an Janoris (my machine) stitching away!

Halloween creeped up on me this year and by the time I realized what day it was it was too late!  Then at the last second (literally) we decided to take Jonathan trick-or-treating ... he had no costume.
I told my hubby to finish feeding the baby and I went to my sewing room.  Ten minutes later here is what I came up with...

 My little wizard! I'll admit it was (very) cheap for a costume but it was a last minute solution.  I promised him I would put more time and effort into it next year.  I was happy with the candy bag I made though. 

I'll try to blog once more this week before I leave on my vacation.... see you then!

p.s.- need any new fabric?  notions?  or other quilty goodies?

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