Saturday, April 30, 2011

A Big Cardboard Box...

This has become Liz's favorite napping spot for the past week. How much fun a child can have with just a box!

Yesterday, I was able to work on my plastic bag keeper.
I did long wavy FMQing line on it. It was good for a larger practice piece. I liked how most of them turned out...but they definitely are not symmetrical.
 I did do some stitch-in-the-ditch before I did the FMQing.
I really like how it turned out. I used the tutorial from Moda Bake Shop by Rachel of p.s. i quilt. It was easy to follow and quick to make. This is my completed plastic bag keeper, I've been wanting one for a long time...something finally done!
Now, for today's accomplishments...I made 3 log cabin blocks. One (mine) has been quilted for my FMQing practice for day 9. The loops turned out good, still not symmetrical, but Oh well...if I want to keep FMQing, I better not worry about symmetry for a while!
 
I really like today's results. I hope the other ones come out good too. The other 2 blocks are basted, but they may not get quilted till tomorrow.

I've noticed with FMQing that I think I like the results better when I hold the sandwich a little father away from the needle and just pull it around. Also, pulling the material towards me rather than pushing it away. What's your favorite way to FMQ? I'd love to hear your comments. Thank you to those who have commented before, I appreciate the feed back!

Well, tomorrow is Sunday, and I hope everyone finds themselves heading to church in the morning...

And let us consider one another
to provoke unto love and to good works:
Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together,
as the manner of some is;
but exhorting one another:
and so much the more,
as ye see the day approaching.
Hebrews 10:24-25

Continually crafting creations...
Amanda
   ~ the Mad Fabrictist

Friday, April 29, 2011

Flower Pot Pin Cushion Turtorial...

Flower Pot Pin Cushion

Materials Needed:
1 - 3 1/2 inch (or 3"...which ever size is closestest) terra cota pot
3 scraps of 2 1/2" x 8" or 1 square 6" x 6"
1 piece 4 1/2" x 4 1/2" piece felt or batting
5 or 6 rocks (ie. driveway rocks)
stuffing (ie. Poly-fil)
lace, ribbon, etc.
hot glue gun
I had materials for two pots.

First, if you choose to use the three strips of fabric...
sew them together

Then...for both...
take your topper material and cut into a 5 1/2" diameter circle
and your felt/batting peice and cut it to about 4 1/2" diameter circle

baste the topper and batting together and quilt

Now, we can assemble the pieces.
Take the pot and put in the rocks.
Use the stuffing to fill up the rest of the pot...and add extra so it is puffing out of the pot (the more you can hold in during assembly, the better the top looks on the finished product.)
Once stuffed, push the stuffing down as much as possible, flip the pot over onto the quilted topper.
Take your glue gun and work your way around the edge of the pot, bringing up the outer material, pulling it taut. (pushing down on the pot also helps have a nicely finished top)
Once you've gone all the way around, turn the pot back upright.

Now to finish it off...
Add lace around the upper edge using your glue gun.


The single piece of material seemed to work better, and finished nice (but it was also the third time I was making a pot).

I hope this is clear and you like your new pin cushion...I love mine! (...but I think I'm going to restuff it - there not quite enough in it - it was the first one I made!)

Finally, my brethern,
rejoice in the Lord.
Philippians 3:1a

Amanda
   ~ the Mad Fabrictist

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Fabric Forgiveness...

Yesterday, I made a log cabin quilt block...because I just love them and wanted to see how easy or hard they were to make. It was rather easy and quick. My only question is...How long are the pieces to be cut? I printed a pattern that didn't have any directions with it. So I went by the middle square and just multiplied by the number of blocks per strip. It worked, but I had a lot of extra 'scrap' sections that I cut off as I was sewing the pieces together. I love what I ended up with and I'm sending out to my grandmother tomorrow!
I know the colors are not blocked together as a traditional log cabin block...but I felt like doing my own thing...and I was using scraps!

I also used this to practice my FMQing for yesterday. I began in the middle and started curling outward...but I didn't like it and started the long wavy lines. So, I took out the middle with the seam ripper, and then went over it with wavy lines to complete the same look all over. I liked it but you could see the holes...so I decided to throw it in the washing machine...and when it came out of the dryer - Yeah! Fabric Forgiveness! There were no more holes.
I like the long wavy lines. But I also tried a few other patterns yesterday on an extra rag quilt block...
Today, I didn't get very much FMQ practice in.  What I did do was start on my FMQing on my Carpenter's Wheel block...but I didn't like how it looked...so out came the seam ripper. You can see the needle holes in the picture...hopefully this material is as forgiving as what I used on the potholder.
Also, I started putting my plastic bag keeper together, so it should be tomorrows FMQing project...probably long wavy lines :) !
I hope everyone is having a great week. The sun has been out here, but it has been very windy.

Blessed art thou, O Lord:
teach me thy statues.
Psalm 119:12

This has been a great week of Revival at church...to bad the meetings are over tonight. However, the revival of the church can continue even without special meetings!
Amanda
    ~ the Mad Fabrictist

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Lets Catch Up...

On the recent things...then I'll work my way back through the things I've mentioned on some previous posts.

So, first is the Free Motion Quilting Challenge that began (at least for me) on Friday, April 22...it is going well. On Monday - my day 4 - I did a few very small items. A pin cushion top, a small plaque, and what will become a coaster...

Pin cushion top
Pin cushion top back

Plaque and coaster

Then Tuesday - day 5 - I used an extra square that had been left over from a quilted rag bag I made around Christmas. I think I might bind it and use it as a mug rug...
The FMQing seems to be getting easier. I'm gaining a little more control, however, I do feel like I'm fighting the machine at times. It feels like it wants to pull the fabric it's own way. Is this because the feed dogs aren't lowered? I don't have that option on my machine. Before I even started my FMQ the lady at the sewing machine shop told my to put the stitch lenght on 0, but that didn't seem to do anything. I'll have to keep working at it... I still have 9 days of regular practice to work on my FMQing.

Now on to a few other items of previously mentioned plans...

1) The April Moda Bake Shop Contest...
I was going to enter ethier my Bible cover or Liz's, however, that changed. I reread the contest rules and saw that the item had to be out of Moda fabric. So, since I only have on thing of Moda fabric - a Maderia Jelly roll by Blackbird Designs - I used some of it to make the Casserole Carrier...which I did enter in the contest.

2) Pin cushions...
I thought about submitting a turorial on these to Moda, but I think I've changed my mind...I'll probably just post one here this week instead! Check back...I hope to have one up for the Casserole carrier this week, too!


This particular pin cushion was given as a gift to a friend. I do have pictures of mine for the tutorial. I think this one turned out better!

3) Lastly...
I had mentioned a while back that I'd tell you about invitations I had designed for a party. Well, the invitations have gone out and now I can show you the background I drew for the cards. I enjoyed this...because nothing on my card program seemed to fit...so I made something that did!

That about wraps it up for me... except to leave you with a verse that really spoke to me today (well, actually yesterday if you go by what the clock says, but I havn't gone to bed yet!)...
but God used this to work on my heart...

Withhold not good from them
to whom it is due,
when it is in the
power of thine hand to do it.
Proverbs 3:27

Live life to the fullest...serving God with all vigour!
Amanda
     ~the Mad Fabrictist

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Mad Fabrictist...

My husband comes up with some great nicknames. Yesterday, when I was having the rushed day trying to finish the casserole carrier, my wonderful husband was in our bedroom... family room... sewing room with me towards the end of my escapade. Well, the radio was on with some kids shows on (but adults enjoy them too!) and Ranger Bill was the one on and the subject was about a doctor. At one point in the show someone called her a mad scientist...

This caused my husband to say that that's what I am...my college degree is Earth Science and I teach a science class...

But he QUICKLY changed his mind and called me a Mad Fabrictist...I laughed and took it as a great compliment, then turned to my sewing machine and kept sewing!

I love my husband very much and this new title.

To continue to live up to my title...I did today's FMQ Challenge - however it only consisted of two small pieces of scraps so I could continue to get the hang of it.

 Each day seems to be getting easier! The tall 'feather' was roughly sketched on to the felt to see if I could follow the lines with my movement...it worked some, then others were really off. I'll try more tomorrow...I have more time to practice this week no school for me till Friday!

Today we celebrated Resurrection Sunday and continued our Revivals at church. It was a very nice day...but it never seems like we reverance God enough!

Exalt the Lord our God,
and worship at his holy hill;
for the Lord our God is holy.
Psalm 99:9

Secure in salvation because of His resurrection from the dead...He is Risen! Praise the Lord for his mercy and grace!
Amanda
   ~ the Mad Fabrictist

That Cassarole Carrier...

Took ALL DAY to finish...I was still working on it while I was also trying to get ready to go to church! But it is (almost) completely finished...



I need to sew around the handles a little bit more, but I really like the way it looks...however, there are some bad spots on it. I was in a hurry, I broke three needles (on the handle loops) and I'm still learning about quilting and binding! I used Madeira by Blackbird Designs (Moda) for the printed material and cream flannel for the flaps. I'm hoping to post it to Moda Bake Shops April Monthly Contest in the next few days.

But because the casserole carrier took so long, I wasn't able to get to my FMQ Challenge till after our first Revival meeting at church. It was a great start to a week of meetings. I'll share a little of what I learned after I show my FMQ stuff for day 2.

I made Amber another bib and a matching burp rag. The fronts are cream floral with a purple back. The FMQ seamed allot easier tonight, however, I was messing around a little with the settings on my sewing machine to see which I liked better. The one I liked the best was when I forgot to but the foot lever down...but that caused issues with the stitching on the backs...which you can see in the photos.



So I think I've decided on a setting of 4 for stitch length and the tension on my thread. We'll see if I stick to this as the challenge progresses.

Before I started stitching on the bib and rag, I did a small sample that ended up with a flower on it.

The picture is a little blurry, so I hope you can see it.

The Easter baskets are filled and Liz's is ready to be hid...I don't think Amber will care if hers is not hid! The baskets are reused from previous givings... Yeah, I'm a regifter!


Tonight (Saturday) began our Revival services with Evangelist Mark Kerlin...
The text was 1 Corinthians 15:10 and the thought that stuck with me is "It's by God's grace that we are what we are, but its by God's grace we could be so much more."

The 15th chapter of 1 Corinthians begins by talking about the resurrection of Jesus Christ and is very good, please read it some time soon, but for now I'll leave you with this excerpt from it...

But by the grace of God I am what I am;
and his grace which was bestowed upon me
 was not in vain;
but I laboured more abundantly than they all:
yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me.
Therefore, whether it were I or they,
so we preached, and so ye believed.
1 Corinthians 15:10-11

Have a blessed Easter...reflecting on the Resurrection of the Lord!
Amanda

Saturday, April 23, 2011

A couple of good days...

Thursday was a very productive day...
       the house got cleaned (which I hate doing! but love the results...but with two kids, it never lasts! :),
       the laundry was almost all caught-up by the end of the day...also something I rarely see the end of...
       the casserole carrier was assembled, is now just waiting to be quilted, bound and handles added...
       a bib for Amber cut out to practice on for the FMQ Challenge...
       and two cute pin cushions were made...

Here is a picture of the casserole carrier at it's present state, which will be completed and used tomorrow (I hope!).
 
I was going to use this project as a FMQ Challenge piece, however, I've decided to do some regular quilting on this project and do more 'practice' pieces for the FMQ Challenge.

The two pin cushions were so quick and a fun project...I'm thinking about submitting a tutorial request for them to Moda Bake Shop...so you'll have to check back to see if this occurs and to see the cushions.

On to today, Friday...and my FMQ Project on my first day...

After a morning of sleeping in (if 7:20 counts), the reading of a few blogs, getting the girls ready, and a blog post... the family was off to town, where the first stop was the sewing store to purchased my darning foot, and I couldn't resist...I also purchased 2 Fat Quarters (their in the picture above the bib). Once we returned home from town, I was able to begin my FMQing with my new sewing machine foot.

WOW! I didn't think it would be this awkward. My first piece was this bib for Amber.
Here is a closer look at the quilting...
Sorry for the bad lighting.
And then I finished it by adding bias tape to the edge...
My FMQing is a bunch of lines, squiggles and bad loops...and one meager attempt at a flower. I'm going to continue my practicing on another bib, the oversized mug rug, and possibly, before the end of the 2 week challenge, a grocery bag dispenser. I've decided to do quilting I'm a little more familiar with - which will probably include my walking foot - on the casserole carrier, since it will be seen in public :) !

I am looking forward with anticipation to the progress I make during the Free Motion Quilting Challenge...especially since I've never FMQed before in my life!

Still reflecting on the events and reason we now have Easter...

And when Jesus had cried with a loud voice, he said,
Father, into thy hands I commend my spirit:
and having said thus, he gave up the ghost.
Luke 23:46
When Jesus therefore had received the vinegar,
he said, It is finished:
and he bowed his head, and gave up the ghost.
John 19:30

Have a wonderful weekend...updates continuing!
Amanda

Friday, April 22, 2011

Good Friday...

Today is traditionally remembered as the day Jesus was crucified...and the crucifiction is something to be remembered and reflected upon. As a Christian, one should remember the work Christ did for us on the cross. He took the painful beatings, the agony of the hanging on the cross and, in doing so, died for our sins.

As a non-Christian, one should realize their sin and their need for a Saviour. Jesus Christ is our way to forgiveness. If you want to know more the right side bar of my blog is clear about what someone needs to do to be forgiven. 

His blood covers our sins when we ask his forgiveness...His Resurrection on Sunday fullfils the prophesy of a Saviour and finishes the work of salvation. All we have to do is accept it.

My belief, however, is more in line with a Wednesday crucifiction. This is because from Friday to Sunday is not 3 days... and the Last Supper was for the Passover. If you would like more information on this, I'd be happy to supply the verse references and events of the Holy Week that leads to a Wednesday crucifiction.

For as Jonas was three days and three nights
in the whale's belly; so shall the Son of man be
three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.
Matthew 12:40

Have a Good Friday...looking forward to the celebration of the Resurrection!
Amanda 
 

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Some Practice Pieces...

So yesterday was good that I did get one of my practice pieces for the FMQ Challenge all ready. However, the piecing of my squares turned out terrible. Good thing its all practice! So not only do I need a FMQ Challenge to better (well, actually start) my quilting skills...I NEED a piecing challenge!
Warning! Don't look to close at the piecing...it may scare you!!

Then I was able to get the material chosen for another project that I hope to finish by Saturday evening. This will also be one of my FMQ practice pieces - I think!
This will become a casserole carrier, which I need to use Saturday because at church we are beginning revival services, which includes fellowship dinners.

 All scripture is given by inspiration of God,
and is profitable for doctrine,
for reproof, for correction,
for instruction in righteousness:
That the man of God may be perfect,
 throughly furnished unto all good works.
2 Timothy 3:16-17 

Happy Wednesday!
Amanda

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Get ready for a Challenge...

I'm going to be joining the Free Motion Quilting Challenge beginning on Friday. So today I hope to get a few sample peices sandwiched together. If the progress goes well, I'll share some pictures here and on the FMQ blog.

This morning I designed some fabric for the Spoonflower weekly contest. This week was to be inspired by poetry. I choose Psalm 1 - mostly verse 3.
I'm still working on perfecting my designs...but I did like how this one came out. I beleive voting should open tomorrow on the poetry materials.

And he shall be like a tree
planted by the rivers of water,
that bringeth forth his fruit in his season;
his leaf also shall not wither;
and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper.
Psalm 1:3

Hope you are having a productive week...
Amanda

Saturday, April 16, 2011

The Results...

Last nights Friday Night Sew-in didn't feel very productive at first, but once the baby went to bed more was accomplished. First I wanted to finish piecing the pillow tops, because this is how they've looked for almost a week...
First mission accomplished!
Next I decided to work on my oversize mug rug. I had the pattern picked out and some of the material I wanted to use. However, once I laid out the material to get started, I added some from my scrap basket... so my choices were from these...
Earlier I was going to go with blue, green, and yellow...However, the yellow & red material won out...so I went with yellow, red, and green...
So I cut the pieces...

And sewed the squares together and then cut where needed...
Now, I just have to press the triangles open to squares and then piece them all together and quilt.

I made a mistake - I didn't add an extra 1/2 inch to my small squares...I should have done this because the pattern was to cut triangles, and I thought it easier to make squares and then sew 1/4 inch both ways from the center diagonal line, then cut then apart there, but I forgot to do that the material should have been a little bigger because of the way the pattern was first laid out. (I should probably try this way on something small to make sure I thinking about this accurately!)

Oh well - so they are smaller than I first expected...but I had enough material for the size I did make :) All it means is that the finished block will be a little small...which for a mug rug exact measurements aren't as necessary as if I was making something more important. It's great practice...a trial and error kind of thing!

It's windy, rainy, and cool here - so I've changed my plans for the day...I'm going to stay home and sew. I think I'll work on the mug rug and Easter pillows for the girls.

This morning I read Psalm 48 and liked the confidence that God will always guide...

For this God is our God for ever and ever:
he will be our guide even into death.
Psalm 48:14

Have a great day...hope to 'see' you in church tomorrow!
Amanda