July 27, 2015

My New Accuquilt Go! + My To-Do List Week of July 27th

This weekend I became the oh-so-tickled owner of an Accuquilt Go! fabric cutter!  It has been on my Must-Get list for a long time, and now she's here!  The plan is to enlist my kids to cut fabric for me, and this will make accurate cuts and keep their fingers safe.  I think I'll name her Mrs.AQ!  I plan to put her to work this week on some of the following projects.

I've decided to begin writing down my plans for each week.  I don't know if it will continue or not, but here's this week's list!

First up is getting my sewing room back together.  For my birthday, my husband remade a kitchen cabinet into an ironing station for me!  My part of the project was stapling on the cover, and I finished that this weekend.  In order to move this into my sewing room, we had to move out the big beast of a desk which of course required emptying it and finding a place for all that stuff.  My new ironing station will store a lot of things, including Mrs.AQ and all her dies!  When it's all back in order, I'll post pictures of it for you - the whole room, too, since I've been promising them since January!

My most important sewing goal this week is to finish my GRAVITY quilt top and get it mailed off to the quilter.  I'm sending it to Christa of Cotton Berry Quilts in North Carolina.  I no longer have quilts custom quilted by others since I have Mrs.Singer, and I am over-the-top thrilled to have this beauty custom quilted!  Here is a peek at my completed color blocks.  Ha Ha!  You'll have to stop back on August 7th to see them in color!

Next up is fabric selection for the Lost Lake Quilt Along over at Quilting It Out. Busy Hands Quilts is a sponsor of this quilt along, and it would be great if you'd join!  It's a perfect project for which to buy an AccuQuilt!  I'm pretty sure I'm using reds and snow white.  I purchased a 3" finished HST die for this project.

Quilting It Out

Also this week and probably next, too, is fabric cutting for a custom order of a queen-size Postcard from Sweden quilt.  I am SO EXCITED to be making this quilt!  I was planning on making one for myself, but this order beat me to it!  It's another project for Mrs.AQ, and I purchased a 6" finished HST die for this project.  

Other projects for this week include:
  • Finish block diagrams and finish cutting blocks for upcoming Rosewood Lane pattern.  
  • Aiming for Accuracy QAL Lessons 8-10
  • Canning pickled beans (dilly beans).  We've a ton of green beans in the freezer already, so we've decided to pickle the rest of the harvest.


Linking to:
Monday MakingDesign Wall MondaysMain Crush MondaysBOMs AwayTo-Do TuesdayWIP WednesdayLet's Bee SocialNeedle and Thread Thursday

July 25, 2015

Free Free Motion Quilting Guide by Christa Watson

Don't Fear Free-Motion Quilting is a free guide by Christa Watson of Christa Quilts.  You'll learn tips for machine quilting, as well as features that would be helpful in a sewing machine intended for free-motion quilting.  All this in addition to a special link to save 33% on your next machine quilting class on Craftsy!

And because quilting and chocolate go together, you may want to check out the free Death by Chocolate guide, as well!  It includes recipes for souffles, cupcakes with three frosting recipes, brownies, mousse, and of course, chocolate martinis!


July 24, 2015

GRAVITY Quilt Along {Block 8 Eclipse}


Today we're beginning Block 8 in the GRAVITY Quilt Along!  I am excited to have you quilting along with me or watching from the sidelines!

   Cheers  erupt,  confetti  falls,  and  happy  dance  begins!!  


March 8, 2015 Announcement!
March 10, 2015  Alternative Fabric Ideas
March 16, 2015 - Schedule and Sponsors
March 17, 2015  Sponsors and Prizes!
March 24, 2015  Template Tips
April 17, 2015  Block 1 Horizon
May 1, 2015  Block 2 Constellation 
May 15, 2015  Block 3 Orbit 
May 29, 2015  Block 4 Intergalactic 
June 12, 2015  Block 5 Celestial
June 26, 2015  Block 6 Ultraviolet
July 10, 2015  Block 7 Cosmic  
July 24, 2015  Block 8 Eclipse ◄ You are here!
August 7, 2015  Block 9 Voyage
August 21, 2015  Background Blocks
September 4, 2015  Finished Quilt Tops
September 18, 2015  Finished Quilts
November 20, 2015 Last day to enter the Finished quilt link-up.

 ♥ Block 7 Prize Winner! ♥ 

A special Thank You to the sponsors for today's giveaway!  
The prize package winner is entry #1 Laura of Sewing Out of My Comfort Zone!!

Today's winner was chosen randomly from the entries who have not won in previous GRAVITY QAL drawings in order to spread the prizes around more evenly. Hopefully other quilters will join us and the drawings will revert to being truly random.  The final Grand Prize Drawing of completed quilts will be random, and all previous winners can win that amazing package!

 ♥ Visit the QAL Sponsors to Get Your Supplies! ♥ 

 ♥ Block 8 Construction ♥ 

Julie of Jaybird Quilts has shared her color selection tips for Block 8. This will help you know which colors from the stack to use if you are making your GRAVITY quilt exactly like the original, which I am.

Here are my previous tips for creating your GRAVITY Quilt:
  • Starch fabrics with Best Press or similar high-quality starch.
  • Allow fabrics to completely dry before cutting due to potential shrinkage from the starch.
  • Read the instructions carefully several times.
  • Press seams open.  This is new for me but really makes a difference in this quilt.  Run fingernail along the seam ahead of the iron to fully open it.
  • When piecing, pin the end of the pieces closest to you to keep them lined up.
  • Design boards come in handy for keeping block pieces in the right place when moving them to the sewing machine.  You can view my Design Board Tutorial - the Duck Tape Version for tips on making some for yourself.
  • I don't think I've told you before - I'm using gray thread because it blends well with all of the colors.  
  • The full 10" of fabric is used for one of the colors in Block 5.  Be sure to measure carefully before cutting off the pinked edge to be sure there will be enough fabric left for all of the required strips.
  • I'm getting comfortable enough with using the templates that I am layering both fabrics with the same letter together before cutting - what a timesaver!
  • When piecing, follow the diagrams carefully, paying close attention to how the notched edge of each piece is oriented.  They seem to be placed in a way that reduces bulk where many seams come together.  This is amazing foresight by the designer.  Thanks so much, Julie!
  • Don't panic when you notice Block 6 has partial seams!  I avoided them like the plague before, but now I know they are super simple!
  • Keep calm and sew on!
My tips for block 8:
  • Be very careful with the orientation of the pieced strips before cutting them into half hexagons.  I got confused because the cutting lines in the picture are shown the opposite of how I usually cut, and all my eye saw was the color of the strips, not the direction of the cutting lines.  If you happen to cut the first one wrong and realize your mistake, continue cutting them all wrong for that colored block so the design of the block is not broken, i.e., so all the same color strips end up where they should be.  
  • If you haven't cut off the dog ears, DON'T do it!  They are very useful when assembling the blocks into the quilt top.
Here are my finished block 8's.  Because I didn't pay close enough attention before cutting, some of the strips in the top portion my blue block are reversed and will not look identical to yours.

 ♥ ♥   Prize Package Giveaway!  ♥ ♥ 

Please visit our sponsors and show them some love by purchasing from their shops, bookmarking their storefronts for later shopping, and signing up for their newsletters.  Be sure to tell them you are visiting their shop from the GRAVITY Quilt Along!  Let them know sponsoring Quilt Alongs is advertising that works!

The following prize package will be given away to one entrant on August 7th when Block 9 is posted. 

  ♥  ♥  ♥  ♥  ♥  ♥  ♥  ♥  ♥  ♥  ♥  ♥  ♥  ♥  ♥

Pink Door Fabrics was started by two great friends, Chelsea and Charlie.  They carry bold, geometric, punchy fabrics.  Pink Door Fabrics is located in Colorado.  Thank you to Pink Door Fabrics for donating a $35 Gift Certificate!  

♥  ♥  ♥  ♥  ♥  ♥  ♥  ♥  ♥  ♥  ♥  ♥  ♥  ♥  ♥

Allison of Cluck Cluck Sew is donating 10 PDF patterns! Each prize drawing will include one PDF pattern of the winner's choice. Stop by her shop and take your merry time deliberating over which pattern you'd choose!  Allison has over 40 patterns to choose from, so you're sure to find just what you need.  Cluck Cluck Sew is located in Washington!  Here's a sampling of her patterns.

 Share Via Flickr, Social Media, & Your Blog! 

Please post your pictures to the Gravity Quilt Along Flickr Group!

Please share about the Gravity Quilt Along on social media!

#GravityQAL and #GravityQuilt

Please share the GRAVITY QAL button in your blog post.

 ♥ ♥   Link-Up Your Block 8's!   ♥ ♥ 

The link-up will be open until the Quilt Along ends.  To qualify for the prize giveaway, you must complete two Block 8's and add your link by Thursday, August 6th, 2015, 11:55 pm Pacific Coast US time.  You can link to a blog post, Flickr, Instagram, or Facebook.  Just make sure to link up before Friday, August 7th to be entered in the prize package giveaway!

If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to contact me.

Please link to the GRAVITY Quilt Along in your post!