Friday, 26 April 2013

Oh Good. I Needed More Fabric.

There is no doubt that I love fabric. And I love buying fabric. And I buy too much fabric.

This week three bundles arrived. One was my Kona Solids of the Month Club from Sew Sisters. Here is the inspiration photo:

And here are the fat quarters:
Left to right: Kona Melon, Salmon, School Bus and Coral

I don't mind the School Bus (though not with those pinks) but I am not particularly enamoured with the pinks. They are very peachy and I hate peach. When you add them to a project and don't group them all together it is much nicer on the eyes, though, so I'm still happy with the bundle. And the Melon I think is the best of this bunch.

Also, Sew Sisters recently got in some Laurie Wisbrun Brrr fabric, a line that is now "out of season" so it was an awesome price. I bought a yard of everything.

Look at those polar bears!

My plan is a Christmas quilt for my own house. I'm not committing to which Christmas, mind you. Or maybe a tree skirt? Or stockings? Love, love, love Laurie Wisbrun.

Also, because it was inexpensive and adorable, I ordered some yardage of this adorable print, destined to be a backing:

Monkey Bizness- Park and Ride Tea
I also got my Fat Quarter Shop Blogger Bundle this week. It is a Vanessa Coppola bundle. I'm stealing the picture from the website:
I really like some of the yellows, which I find terribly difficult to get right, and the greys are lovely. But, alas, more pink. I guess more friends need to have baby girls, or I need to think of some of the wonderful women in my life who would enjoy a pink quilt.

Here's to a potential weekend of sewing!

Lynn (aka Buttons)

Thursday, 25 April 2013

Tumbling Jungle: A Finished Quilt

I have only been quilting about a year and a half- and really I started quilting regularly in July 2012, so not even a year. In the early months of my new obsession (and also when I first got addicted to Pinterest) I came across several examples of tumbler quilts. I knew I HAD to make one. 

Then I found a tool at Missouri Star Quilt Company that is a template for making tumbler blocks on charm packs. It seemed ideal for a newbie like me, so I ordered one immediately! (Well, when they were back in stock because these suckers are popular!).

I finally got to use my template when I started Tumbling Jungle using Bungle Jungle by Tim and Beck to make a baby quilt for our neighbours who are expected their fourth boy any day now.

Here are the pictures of Tumbling Jungle, all finished! (Warning: Despite being the end of April, the wind was cold and strong and there is actual snow on the ground. I am NOT happy with Mother Nature. Or that stupid lying groundhog).

Tumbling Jungle- front
Here you can see the wiggly line quilting through each block.
Tumbling Jungle- back
This Dr. Seuss print is my favourite of the backing fabrics.
A detail of the Michael Miller Dot Duo binding fabric.
Windy day + Quilt Photo Shoot= Annoyed Hubby
All rolled and ready to go when Hunter arrives!
I used an adorable ribbon with cars on it to tie up the quilt.
I love, love, love this tumbler pattern and I will definitely be making more in my future!

Lynn (aka Buttons)

Tuesday, 23 April 2013

A Note on Finishing

95% of learning about quilting I do online. There is so much you can learn from the amazing world of modern quilting blogs. I read a ton of the them, and love them because they are like eye candy and because I learn so much. I can't, however, remember where I learned about easy-thread needles and burying threads. I think there was a You Tube video about it?

When I FMQ,  I always have threads that come from where I stop and start. The more stops and starts (the more complex the quilting) the more threads there are. I used to just snip them close to the quilt. No longer! For about six months I have been burying my threads using easy-thread needles.

Here is Comma Sutra, all quilted:
Straight-line on the white sashing, FMQ stippling/swirls in the blocks

Easy-threading needles. It makes it so simple to bury the threads.
I find this method very sturdy and a great finished look but very, very time consuming. And that is where I am with Comma Sutra- slowly burying each and every thread. But then binding is next- this quilt might even get done this week!

Lynn (aka Buttons)

Sunday, 21 April 2013

Why I Don't Need a Quilt Magazine Subscription

I loooooove magazines. I also love reading literature but magazines are such a satisfying, quick indulgence that I can't resist them. I think I became particularly obsessed with magazines when I was on maternity leave because I didn't have time to read whole books but I could fit in some magazine articles. Our family currently has 11 magazine subscriptions (my husband and daughter each have two, the rest, sadly, are mine). And yet...I do NOT need a quilt magazine subscription.

Instead, I occasionally take some quilt magazines out of the library, flip through them and determine quickly that I was glad I didn't buy them. In reality I have enough books and patterns to keep me quilting for at least 5 years and the quilts in these magazines are never really modern enough to get me excited. Also, the articles never really do it for me. I like learning from bloggers!

Here is a batch I recently went through:

And there are the patterns that caught my eye:
Candy Corn by Lissa Alexander in Issue Apr/May 2013 of Quilt
Sea Glass Mosaic by Jocelyn Ueng in Issue Feb/March 2013 of Quilt
These are probably the most modern patterns of any of the quilts in the magazines (not surprisingly).

But do I love either of them enough to even want to photocopy these patterns? Not really. And so these are sent back to the library, and I go back to my books and patterns already purchased, happy that I do not have a quilting magazine subscription.

Do any of you subscribe to a quilt magazine? If so, which one(s) and why?

Lynn (aka Buttons)

Bold Binding

I am thrilled to death over my fabric pulls for the binding for Comma Sutra:

Ann Kelle's Zig Zag Remix in Black, Heath in Black and ...not sure. Will have to check again. 

Squeal! Check it out, ready to go!

Lynn (aka Buttons)

Friday, 19 April 2013

Adventures in Free Motion

I have been tackling the free motion quilting of Comma Sutra and it has been a beast. The quilt isn't even all that large but because of my quilting decisions it is a pain in the butt!
You see, I decided to quilt each coloured square with a matching thread (and white in the bobbin) and that is a pain because there are quite a few colours (white, light grey, dark grey, yellow, green, orange, black) and even within one block there are often two or more colours needed. See the next picture as an example of what I mean:
I had to use yellow on 3/4 triangles and white on the white background triangle.
I have had lots of "help."
This helper has been on the quilt every chance he can get!
I also have been hitting a few problems with the FMQ. Generally my machine, an inexpensive Brother, has NO tension issues or problems like this. This is unusual. I needed to stop when this happened because of neck and shoulder pain and general frustration.
I have also worked a little on my grandmother's quilt, piecing the rows of rectangles:

And though I haven't had lots of time to sew, I am thrilled that we are finally getting bits of sunshine which gives me more energy in general to sew. It is, however, calling for snow tomorrow. I am unimpressed.

Lynn (aka Buttons)

Thursday, 18 April 2013


A package arrived for me today from Pink Castle Fabrics. I always know it is going to be good mail when I open my small mailbox and there is a key inside for the big compartment. There is a compartment A- big packages and a compartment B- REALLY big packages. Today it was a B key. :)

I picked up a fat quarter bundle of Tasha Noel's Little Red Riding Hood for a baby girl due in August to friends C & P. I already have about 500 other ideas for this baby, so I'm really having to control myself. Here is the line:
Fat Quarter Bundle

A fabulous selection of patterns and colours, all tiny and adorable in a way that is usually too sweet for my taste.
This is my favourite print by far.
Look how sweet Little Red is!
 I also HAD to order a fat quarter bundle of text prints, a bundle which sold out in about 30 seconds last time Pink Castle had it up. I love these text prints and want to find some creative ways to use them.

My mind is swirling with options.
This is my favourite print of the bunch, from Architextures. Honestly, that line is to DIE for.

Here are both bundles together.
You can see, with that stack, why this post is titled Gluttony.

On another note, I have finished the "straight" line quilting in the white sashing on Comma Sutra and now I am loosely stippling the coloured blocks using matching thread on top and white on the bottom. I hope it looks amazing when it is done because it has involved some serious quilt wrangling!

Lynn (aka Buttons)

Friday, 12 April 2013

Work in Progress...Friday?

I know, I know, it is supposed to be Work in Progress Wednesdays over at Freshly Pieced and then Finish It Up Fridays with Crazy Mom Quilts. I'm making up my own Work in Progress Friday today because that is the kind of week it has been!

I chose this delightful aqua and red Michael Miller Dot Duo for the binding for Tumbling Jungle.
I love the way a roll of binding looks when you are done. It feels like an accomplishment.

I cut up a big stack of rectangles for my grandmother's birthday quilt.

I tried this layout first- and hated it. Too busy! I went with simple stacked rectangles instead. Apparently I didn't take a picture.
 If you have read my blog before you may know that close friends of ours are expecting triplets this fall. They won't know the sexes of the babies for awhile (if ever, depending on their position) but after working with Tim and Beck's Bungle Jungle for Tumbling Jungle I knew two big fat quarter bundles would work perfectly. Fat Quarter Shop seemed to be the only place that had it (from my usual haunts) and so I ordered the stacks (and some other goodies). Each baby will get a different colour combo from this line- I'm thinking grey & red, blue & green, yellow & turquoise. We'll have to see.

Here is the big stack:

A pair of charm packs of Happy-Go-Lucky by Bonnie and Camille for a future planned quilt for my bedroom and a pair of charm packs of Apple Jack by Tim and Beck. That has a plan but shhhhh, it is a secret.
I auditioned fabric for the backing for Comma Sutra (all greys).
These are the three I went with. The backing is made and the quilt is basted. Now on to quilting.

 I hope I get a bit of time to sew this weekend...maybe even finish Tumbling Jungle and the quilting on Comma Sutra?

Fingers crossed!

Lynn (aka Buttons)

Wednesday, 10 April 2013

Tumbling Jungle Quilting

I have finished the quilting on Tumbling Jungle, a baby quilt for my neighbours who are expecting their fourth boy at the end of April. I used a tumbler template for the first time and I am smitten.

I used a wavy stitch with a long stitch length to do the wavy quilting through the tumbler blocks. They are spaced about 1" away from the smaller end of each tumbler, two lines per column.

I then mimicked the pattern in one of the fabrics with FMQ around the border (which is Kona Chartreuse, I believe). It was so much fun to quilt this way- loose, overlapping, wiggly and playful. I think it is a fun pattern and I will probably do it again when I use Bungle Jungle in the upcoming quilts I will be making for friends expecting triplets this fall.

I also tried something totally new for me- quilting a word using FMQ. The baby's name will be Hunter, so I used my fabric marker and wrote it out in a way that I thought would work, then quilted over the writing. The H did not turn out very well, but the rest looks pretty good for a first attempt, so I'm thrilled! Plus it is a little unexpected detail that might take them a few looks to notice, and I love that!

Here is a shot of the back where the solid meets the white-on-white alphabet. Fun, right?

Now I need to trim and pick a binding (I'm torn about this one...I'm thinking a red) and get on sewing the binding down because Hunter will be here soon!

Lynn (aka Buttons)