I slowed down designing for Quilt Design a Day during February as I worked to finish other projects. Designing every day is very fulfilling and exercises my creative muscles. How do you exercise your creativity?
It has been a year since I started this blog, whew! I’ve learned a lot in the past year about blogging. I thought that the years of lurking and reading blogs would prepare me to *write* a blog. I’ve had highs and lows. If you are thinking about starting a blog, I hope my many ‘adventures’ (in our house we call every wrong turn or mistake an adventure) will help you…or at least give you a chuckle.
I knew about those horrid ‘no-reply’ bloggers, had read the posts about the subject. And then (cue horror movie music)…I started commenting on other blogs, referring back to my blog….I got messages, all kind, stating that I was a ‘no-reply’ blogger (cue ‘Psycho’ shower scene music). Oh no! I felt like I was in a nightmare, you know the one where you show up for your final exam/first job/first quilt lecture wearing your clothes inside out and backwards. aargh! Luckily, I was able to fix the problem thanks to this post, from Simple Moments Stick. OK, now my nightmares are about normal things like quilting an entire quilt with the wrong side of the backing facing out, or having to walk barefoot through a pin strewn floor, or publishing a post without hitting the publish button, or taking pictures with no memory card, or…
I was starting to blog semi-regularly and then the winter hit…(cue music from Rudolf the Red-Nosed Reindeer)…the fifth coldest in Wisconsin’s history…We soldiered on despite my only window being blocked by snow. I tried to blog ahead only to realize that I wrote about things that were to happen in the future after they had already happened…confused? so am I!! I started writing tutorials only to photograph the steps with no memory card in the camera…Eventually you’ll see the tutorials, but I have to make up the samples again.
One day in those early months, I posted my blog, then saw a spelling mistake, then fixed the mistake, I thought I hit ‘publish’, but evidently I didn’t. Unfortunately, WordPress sent the original post out to Facebook and Twitter and to my e-mail followers and the links didn’t work. I’m now following my own blog–it feels weird, like voting for myself. Hopefully I’ll find the mistakes before my wonderful readers do, but I’m human (please don’t tell my sons). In the meantime, I’ll vacuum the sewing room floor, put the memory back into the camera, double check the backings and press on.
Thank you, dear readers for being patient.
I have many plans for the months ahead including more Quilt Design a Day, blog hops–the next one is Tree Bird, more quilts, more bags, and more tutorials: kitchen accessories, foundation piecing….
Have a quilty day!
Please note: If you would like to use my designs please leave a comment below or e-mail me (lovelliquilts(at)gmail(dot)com). I’m happy to answer questions you might have regarding size, pattern availability, etc. or even to have you test a pattern. Please credit me if you use my designs by stating “Designed by Elli Molstad at LovelliQuilts.me”.
I try to design every day and upload the design to Quilt Design a Day. This wonderful group of designers is so warm and supportive that it is a real pleasure to see what every one creates and to read the comments on every one’s designs.
Please visit again on February 5 for the We Support You Blog Hop.
My word for 2015 is: Concentrate. I realized, after looking back at 2014, that I tried to do too many things and that I tried to be too many people, e.g. mom, quilter, volunteer, blogger, appraiser, design, office manager….. I also realized that I start a great many projects and finish very few. Concentrate is an objective which will hopefully result in more focused efforts on my part in the coming year. Many of my unfinished objects last year remain on my to-do list this year. I hope to whittle down this list, starting in Q1.
1. Flower Strip quilt–the quilting is done, I need to sew the binding and label on.
2. Winding Ways–the quilting is done, I need to sew the binding and label on.
3. 1930’s reproduction quilt–the quilting is done, I need to sew the binding and label on.
4. Quilt the 4 Quilts of Valor tops which I have received.
8. Mission Triangles, this is a quilt I have made with the help of our Mission Stitchers group at Onalaska UMC from donated flannel triangles. It will be soft and warm. Here is the EQ7 mockup:
The top is done, well almost, I need to put on some borders and quilt it.
9. Log Cabin quilt–the quilting is done, I need to sew the binding and label on.
10. Various mug rugs, place mats, and table runners–the quilting is done, I need to sew the binding and label on.
I think that is enough, for now. I do need to sew a lot of bindings onto quilts–there are a great number of binding tutorials out in blog-land, but I will also write one. One of my goals this past year, and the coming year, has been to improve my bindings. I’ve learned a great deal about binding as I have worked on that goal. Hopefully I will be able to branch out this year to some shaped bindings.
January is an exciting month–I have 3 blog hops scheduled and I will be writing a pattern for my quilt guild’s quilt show quilt. I am looking forward to concentrating this month!!
November is a month of celebrations at our house: a birthday and Thanksgiving. I am so thankful for the community of designers in the Facebook group, Quilt Design a Day. Here are my designs from November:
My designs slowed down in September and October. I wasn’t able to design every day, but I am getting back in the swing in November. With these 30 designs I have earned my “150 day badge” with Quilt Design a Day.
Experiencing ‘quilter’s block’ is no fun! I think that most of the block was due to an increase in family obligations, septic issues (yuk) and the inspiration pictures we were using on Qdad were getting stale (I lost count of the photos of the same geode, lol). Our Qdad leader, Anne Sullivan, switched us over to member contributed photos. Every day I am excited about the design inspiration and the palettes which go along with them. My turn to post photos will come right after Christmas. I am exited about some new projects in the months to come and, hopefully, some blog hops with the irrepressible Madame Samm. Please stay with me on my journey.
I’m entering Wacky Witchy Way into the Blogger’s Quilt Festival which starts today. Voting will start November 1.
I was inspired by the great fabric line from Maywood Studios, Black Cat Crossing. Although it is a Halloween seasonal fabric line, most of the prints are very versatile and can be used in many quilt applications. My houses could be witches are wearing hats put on with flair. Or, my witches could be houses with crackled eyes. I made free-motion free-standing lace spider webs, there is a tutorial here. The spider web quilting is a design by Jessica Schick.
I will be adding my link to the Original Design Category in the Blogger’s Quilt Festival. Don’t forget to vote!
Thank you Wicked Wendy for leading us on a blog hop featuring fabric from the Black Cat Crossing by Maywood Studio. Thank you Madame Samm for organizing such wonderful hops with interesting themes. I promised a Halloween quilt and a tutorial. Today’s quilt is a Quilt Design a Day finish–yippee!! My first finish from the designs which I have posted on Quilt Design a Day is from September 11, 2014. Here is the design as I originally posted it:
And here is the finished quilt:
A closer look at the scary/whimsical witch-y houses:
I fussy cut the eyes/windows in the witch-y houses so that the spiderweb prints would look like eyes. Each house has a door/nose using a purple background print, the houses/faces are a green print and the roofs/hats are a black background print. I used fabrics from the Black Cat Crossing line and some solids which were in my stash. The web quilting design was by Jessica Schick. The spiderweb embellishments were free-motion free-standing lace. They were definitely a spooky addition and easy to make.
To make the webs I started with Aquamesh Plus, a water soluble stabilizer, Bridal organza and embroidery thread.
I set up my machine for free motion stitching, lowered the feed dogs, installed the free motion foot, changed my needle for an embroidery needle and installed the straight stitch throat plate. Please consult your sewing machine’s manual for how to do this.
In order to stitch the colored webs, I threaded both white and colored threads through the machine as if they were one thread following the same path. Both threads should be threaded through the one needle. Please consult your owner’s manual if this does not work on your machine or if you have excessive thread breakage. I stuck the adhesive side of the stabilizer to the bridal organza ribbon (after removing the wire from the ribbon) then I hooped them together in an embroidery hoop. I used a 7 inch diameter hoop.
If you are insecure with your free motion stitching drawing ability I suggest that you draw your web on the stabilizer/organza with a water soluble marker. I drew my first web with a non-soluble pen and it transferred to the thread when I dissolved the stabilizer. The resulting web looked very dirty. After drawing a few webs I felt comfortable enough to go ‘off-road’ at the sewing machine. The first stitches are an ‘asterisk’ shape which form the skeleton of the web.
I found that setting the needle speed at approximately midway between the slowest and fastest kept thread breakage at a minimum. The needle will be going fast, but your movements should be slow and deliberate. First lay down the base stitches–I stitched the lines upon which I would build the design. I usually went over the lines twice. Next I went over the spiderweb ‘straight’ lines with a tight looping stitch.
In the above picture you can see both the straight lines and the beginning of one line of the looping stitch. Watch that you do not have excessive thread build-up in one place, you don’t want to pull your needle out of the needle bar or break your needle. The width of each line when finished should be 1/8 inch. When stitching the outer lines of the web be careful not to bump into the hoop with the presser foot. Also I noticed that my hoop was not travelling smoothly because my sewing surface was not completely flat–I used my Silicone Slider to fix that issue.
After stitching the skeleton of the web and the outer shape I stitched the inner lines.
Once you have completed stitching the web, remove it from the hoop and following the manufacturer’s instructions dissolve the water soluble stabilizer.
Remove the webs from the water, dry them in a towel and press them. I then carefully cut the organza out of sections of the web to add to the ‘webby’ illusion. Arrange them on the quilt and tack them down with a few stitches.
Thank you so much for your time. Please visit the other blogs on today’s schedule:
The fearless Wicked Wendy is leading us on a blog hop featuring Black Cat Crossing by Maywood Studio starting October 20. Stop back and see the ‘wacky witchy’ way I’m quilting up a Halloween quilt and a tutorial and a bonus project on October 23.