Monday, February 24, 2014

Monday Morning Star Count 2014/8

What a busy week!  I took some time with my granddaughter, Gracie, to teach her basting hexagons.  Gracie was born at 31 weeks, has a form of autism,  and struggles with her small motor skills.  She actually used the needle :) without my help, and stayed focused long enough to complete 7 - 1" hexies.

When she first started she poked her finger and cried.  I gave her a big hug and told her she would get the hang of it.  Although she was hesitant, she took my thimble (she refused it at first) and put it on her thumb and carried on.  Now for the funny part, when she was finishing her last hexagon, I said, "See, there is no crying in sewing." and she replied (very seriously), "G-Mom, there is no crying in sewing until someone pokes themselves with a needle!"  I couldn't help but laugh.  So here she is:

And look at how proud she was when she finished!  She chose all of her own colors and this is the very first time she basted all by herself.  I am so proud of her!

And so now for my progress.  I was able to add one more section and completed 3 more flowers.

And thank you to everyone who provided suggestions for thimbles!  It was very helpful and I ordered several to try.  I will write a separate post next week with the results.  You are all wonderful!

I am linking up with Jessica at Life Under Quilts!  Check it out and join the fun!

Monday, February 17, 2014

Monday Morning Star Count 2014/7

I did not get as much stitching completed on putting the sections together as I had hoped.  I did however add one more section and completed 3 more flowers for the quilt.  I am still getting used to handling the larger size of the quilt section and it actually took me an hour to add one section.  I am sure as I go I will be able to figure out how big to keep the sections so they are manageable and then I can sew those larger sections together.

So here is my progress on sewing sections:

I think the best part was removing the paper pieces :) - it made me anxious to stitch more together!

And here are the addtional flowers that I completed:

I am also trying different thimbles.  I am having such a hard time getting used to wearing one, but when  I was stitching the sections together I actually pushed the needle into my finger so deep it spurted blood....not a good thing!!  LOL.  So I purchased a few different ones to try and I will let you know how that goes next week.  Do you have a favorite thimble?  Is it always hard to get used to?

I'm linking up with Jessica at Life Under Quilts for the Monday Morning Start Count.  Check it out and join us!  The more the merrier!

Monday, February 10, 2014

Monday Morning Star Count - Week #6 least I made progress this week!  I finished 4 hexie flowers.

And I now have 16 flowers, 19 flower sections with the added background hexies, and it looks like I should start putting some sections together!

My hexie box is getting low :(, but that means I have made a lot of progress!!

This week my focus is to make more sections and start stitching them together.  I can't wait to see how it looks!  I'm very excited to be linking up with Jessica at Life Under Quilts!

Sunday, February 2, 2014

MM Star Count - Week 5

It was a busy week and I was distracted by other projects :), but I still managed to complete 4 more flowers.

One of the reasons I was distracted was that I just received Mickey Depre's latest book - Pieced Hexies Deux.  And of course I needed to try one of the new designs!  The one I tried is called "Echo" and thing I find so amazing about these is that just by spinning/rearranging the hexies, you can create a totally different design.  Here are the various versions of Echo:

The other distraction was learning to free motion quilt.  You can read more about that here.

Looking forward to next week and more progress....and uh....focus!!

I'm linking up with Jessica at Life Under Quilts for the Monday Morning Star Count.  Stop over and check out the awesome projects and progress.

Just a little distraction....

I have so many projects in progress and my goal is to wrap up many by April.  However, I just decided to start a new one!  I have a quilt frame with a BabyLock Jane for quilting my projects.  I have really wanted to learn to free motion quilt on my domestic home sewing machine.

Well...I wasn't feeling so well yesterday, so I spent time laying around and surfing the web and I came across a new learning session that Leah Day at Free Motion Quilting Project started for 2014.  I have taken Leah's Craftsy classes, but never quite got the hang of it.  I thought this would be a great option because she has videos and has set up a FaceBook group for all the participants to share progress and questions.  There is a fee for the PDF download with the blocks for the project, but it is very reasonable.  I really like this option because we are learning piecing techniques as well as free motion quilting.

First thing this morning, I got to work cutting the blocks for the January session.  I pieced them and set out to test free motion quilting on my old Janome 4800QC.  I had a real issue with going backwards on the Janome as it left eyelashes on the back.  After about an hour, I decided to pull my BabyLock Jane off the quilt frame and guess what?  Right off the bat it was a perfect tension issues at all.  I am using Superior Omni thread on the top and Superior Bottom Line on the bottom.  

I used fabric I had in my stash and for the back I used a layer cake, 'Lost and Found 2' by Riley Blake.

I free motion quilted the first block and found that I was having difficulty between my foot and my hands :)  One or the other was going too fast!  Here is my first block:

Block Front:

Block Back:

So for the next block, I removed my shoes to see if I could 'connect' with the pedal and my hand movements.  This is something Leah recommends, but I reallly didn't think I needed.  Below are the pics and I really think that it made a difference.  I still need practice, but it felt more natural.

I can't wait to start the February session!  Oh and did I tell you?  Leah Day's husband Josh is also participating and since he is very new as well, Leah goes over all the challenges and ways to correct them.  Check it out!