Friday, December 28, 2018

2019 Planning Party

Planning Party

There is a party going on at Yvonne's Quilting Jet Girl.  Let's join in for some fun.

It's that time of the year again that we look back and reflect on the finishing year and look ahead with hopeful/wishful plans for the coming year.  I'm not one who makes resolutions, but I do hope to change and improve a few things in my personal and professional life.  Here we go.......

2018 has been an eventful year for me.   It started off just like any ordinary and quiet year but is ending with a bang.  I am disappointed that the AQS is out of the book publishing business.  I still have an inventory of my book, Soft & Cozy Keepsakes -  Faux Rag Quilting.  You can read about it here and let me know by email if you want to buy one.  As of today, the book is still being listed on the AQS website.

I made a some baby quilts for gifts and charities.  There was one commissioned baby quilt too and you can read about it here.  I was asked by my mother in law to make a baby boy quilt for her grandson.  She insisted that I accept payment for it because if I didn't, it wouldn't be her gift.  I usually don't charge friends and family for my work, but this is the first quilt that I got paid for making.

The baby quilt below was an experiment.  I added some cotton fabric into the design along with cotton flannels before, but I wanted to see if another large piece of fabric besides flannels would work well for the background for Faux Rage quilts.  This quilt was made for the element challenge from the Valley MQG which you can read about it here.   I found some cute linen fabric so I used it on both front and back.  I quilted on the linen negative space lightly.  It turned out great because this linen shrinks at the same rate as flannel and frays so well after washing.  It would be a great gift for a baby boy some days!

The following two quilts were gifts.  I love to use the Faux Rag technique in a quilt to give it a lift.  The design stands out more and has a 3D effect.

I made this Faux Rag quilt below, for the National Federation for the Blind of California (nfbcal).  If you read about it here,  then you will know why I used the Faux Rag technique for this quilt. 

The following quilt is the quilt that I made for our guild's  philanthropy group.
It has been fun all year round at our Valley MQG.  There were many challenging and fun quilt projects.  Our guild is participating in the QuiltCon Charity Quilt Challenge which you can read about it here.  I don't have a finished quilt picture to show but trust me, it's beautiful.  I hope to take its picture at QuiltCon 2019 in Nashville.  Here is the top that I showed to the guild members on our meeting night.  There are so many reasons to love this quilt.  The main one is that it's made with so much love for our guild.  Those who participated in making blocks, putting together the top, quilting the quilt and putting on the binding and sleeve had given their all.  I'm so proud of everyone and couldn't be happier to see the beautiful finished quilt.

One of the happiest moments for me this year was to learn that my Curved Triangles #2 quilt got selected into QuiltCon 2019.  What can be a better way to end the year than with this great news?  

Now it's time to look ahead for the new year.  I do have some goals for 2019:

1. Make more quilts, of course.

2. Set up an Etsy shop.  This is a big step for me, we'll see how it goes.

3. Finish setting up the new sewing studio.  I purchased a new sewing table that I can drop the sewing machine down.  It's being delivered as we speak.

4. Challenge myself to design one new quilt a month.  It's going to be tough but I'd love to try.

5. Post more tutorials and free patternsThe quilting community has given me so much and I want to give back.  I used to think that I'm a novice and don't really have new information to contribute or that everyone already knew what I know.  I didn't think about people who are new to quilting.  I don't think it's inaccurate to say that there are new quilters born almost everyday.  Someone new may benefit from what I have to share.  With that in mind, I will share more things regarding quilting.  In 2018, I tried to write free patterns but didn't finish them.  I don't have a good graphic program to do the illustration for the patterns.  I'll be more confident and try harder to finish them and post them on my blog.
I have so much to be thankful for.  My family of four is the most important aspect of my life.  I couldn't have gone through the year without them.  They are my biggest supporters, my fans, and my everything.  My husband and I just celebrated our 30th wedding anniversary last week.  It's wonderful to have him next to me in every step of the way to cheer me on and to give me encouragement, always.  I love him with all my heart and I'm happy to call him mine.  My two great children are the crown jewels for me.  They are my proudest achievement.  They both do well in their respective fields of work and interests.

I've been working on my own in my little sewing corner for a long time.  A few years ago, I started to reach out to others by joining quilting guilds and I've met many wonderful quilters.  Some have become good friends.  I've learned so much from them.  I want to thank them for filling my world with colors and possibilities.

Last but not least, I'm thankful to all of you who visit my blog and my Instagram.  You've made social media fun and exciting.  I'm still here blogging because of you.  When I first started 4 years ago, I didn't think I would last 6 months but look, I'm still here.  I've learned to come out of my little shell and experience the world.  I hope you will continue to visit and make comments.  You've touched me with warmth of humanity and friendship and for that, I Thank You.

Happy New Year!!

Link to #2019PlanningParty.

Thursday, December 20, 2018

For the love of HSTs, again!

I'm working on a fun project using half square triangles (HST) to compose the blocks.

The only thing that wasn't fun about these blocks was trimming all 256 HSTs to 3" pieces.  That task took me a few days to finish because it was so boring.  Sewing them to make 16 blocks was a real fun though.  

By chance, one day I saw a show on PBS by Nancy Zieman, one of the icons in quilting world.  She was sewing small squares to make a block just like what I was doing.  She called it honey comb piecing, all the squares were connected by chain piecing.  So I decided to give it a try.  

First I lay a block on my sewing table.

Since I'm right handed person, I flip the squares on the right side over the ones on the left side, like in the picture below.  If you want to flip the square on the left to the right side, you can do that.  Whichever side you choose to flip, be consistent through out the project.

Continue to pair all the squares.
Start chain piecing the pairs of the squares.  After sewing all the pairs, put them back in the same positions, do not separate them.

Now pair the top row by flipping the right side over the left side.  Continue down to the last row, as in the picture below.  Put one pin to secure the pair in place.  Chain piece the pairs together. 

Now you have 4 rows of connected squares, do not separate them.  We will sew the row together by flipping the top row over the bottom row.  Nest the seam together to create a nicely matched corner as you go.  Continue down to the bottom row.

When you finish sewing all 4 rows together, press the whole block at once.  Here's the finished block.

I found this method to be very fast and convenient because I only press once after all the sewing is done.  In the past, I would sew and press each pair separately.  Sometime the squares got mixed up and misplaced.  This way each square stays put where it belongs. 

Well, that's my two cents about sewing small squares together.  

I have another great news:  

Monday was my 30th wedding anniversary and I got a great present.  I got an email from the MQG that my quilt, Curved Triangles #2, was selected for QuiltCon 2019. 

I'm super excited and looking forward to see it at QuiltCon.  Nashville here I come!!

Have a great sewing day!

Link to: Sew Fresh Quilts: Let's Bee Social
              Midweek Makers@QuiltFabrication

Friday, December 7, 2018

We are in QuiltCon Charity Quilt Challenge

In the past few months, I've been working on a few secret projects and a few charity quilts.  It's shocking to me how time flies by so quickly.  I can't believe we're in December already.  

In August, our guild, the Valley MQG, participated in the 2019 QuiltCon Charity Quilt Challenge.  The theme for this year is "Small Piecing".  We bought the fabric and made kits for our members who wanted to join in with the fun.  We handed the kits out in our September meeting.  These are the blocks that I got back from our members at the October meeting.

They were on my design wall for a few weeks till I knew what I wanted to do with them and this is the finished top that we showed to everyone at our November meeting. 

Now the top is in the hands of other guild members for quilting and binding.  By the December meeting, we'll get it back and it'll be ready for shipping to QuiltCon in January.  Everything worked out well according to our plan and we're right on target.  I still have a few blocks left over, they will be made into a baby quilt for our Philanthropy group later on. 

I just love a project like this.  It helps us to become one as a guild.  So many hands have helped to make this quilt which will be donated to a good cause.   

Have a great day!!

Thursday, December 6, 2018

QuiltCon Submission

Here is my personal project for the QuiltCon submission.  I chose to do the Michael Miller fabric challenge.  I really like the fabric this year.  I love, love the minimalist designs and geometric shapes.  I put some blocks on the design wall as I was trying to come up with some interesting designs.  My husband joined in and played with them too by putting some blocks together and that gave me the idea for this design.  I must say that this is the most quilting on one quilt I've done to date. I used Aurifil white 2024 for both piecing and quilting.

I wish you all HAPPY QUILTING!!

Wednesday, December 5, 2018

Charity baby quilts

I used to volunteer at the Twin Vision Library which is a part of the American Action fund before it was closed and moved to Baltimore.  I posted about the quilt that I made for them last year in this post here.   I was asked by Ever Lee Hairston, the president of The National Federation for the Blind of California (nfbcal) for a quilt for their fundraising event this year.  This is what I made for her.

I love to make Faux Rag quilts for this event because not only that the quilts are warm and soft, they also have texture that blind children can touch and feel. 

I would like to tell you more about the organization called the National Federation of the Blind.  It's comprised entirely of blind people and headquartered in Baltimore.  They work to make things easier and better for blind people.  You can go to their web site for more information.  They are the ones who get laws passed (like beeps at light signals) and pressure companies to make things accessible and safer for blind folks.  Each state has an affiliate.  And each state has a convention each year to keep local folks updated on what's new, what they're working on, and just as a social way of getting together.  I'm happy to be a small part of this organization.

Last month I also finished a baby quilt for the Philanthropy group at our Valley MQG guild.  I talked about it here.  I finally quilted it and here's the finished quilt.

I wish you all HAPPY QUILTING!!

 I link to Sew Fresh Quilts: Let's Bee Social