Saturday, July 15, 2017

2017 FAL Meet the Host: Izzy

Today's guest blogger is Izzy.  She and I have a few things in common.  We both have a gorgeous granddaughter and have served as VP for our MQG chapters.  Read on and learn more about what things you might also share with us like the love of quilting!, Karen

Hi - I'm Izzy from Dizzy Quilts and it's my turn to tell you a little about myself!

I'm a mother, step-mother and foster mother to six children, grand-mother to one gorgeous little girl and wife to my soul mate. During the day, I manage a team of e-Learning designers/developers at a global financial company.

All of this keeps me pretty busy, but I've always made time to be crafty - when I was a little girl, my mom taught me how to knit and I made all my teddy bears knitted sweaters!

During my teenage years, I was a little too busy with school (and with boys!) to craft, but a few years later, when I had my first child, I started sewing.  I made some baby clothes and I made curtains mostly. I even took a sewing class to learn how to make garments for myself, but I never got the hang of that - nothing ever really fit right.

About 9 years ago, I walked into JoAnn's to get fabric for new curtains and spotted the cutest little quilt kits. I bought one, put it together and haven't looked back since! I was completely and totally hooked.

The first few quilts I made were very traditional - lots of small pieces, small florals, etc. I really had no clue what I was doing, but learned so much with the making of these quilts.

A lap size log cabin quilt made for my step-mom

I started making these quilts for pretty much everyone in my family.  And pretty soon, every bed in the house had a quilt on it.

Quilt I made for my sister-in-law - this is Bronx testing it.

I even made quilts as curtains!!
Around 2010, I discovered quilt blogs and the online quilting community.  That literally changed my quilting life!!  I started my own blog, met some amazing people and a couple of years later, found the Montreal Modern Quilt Guild.

Through the members of this guild, I learned about modern quilting and I fell in love with quilting all over again.

I started making modern quilts and building a stash of really colourful fabrics and solid neutrals.

When I first started quilting, my least favourite part of the whole thing was the actual quilting. My sewing machine was pretty small and wrestling with a big quilt in that tiny little space was painful and I very often ended up with puckers on the back of my quilts.  And then I changed two things: my sewing machine and my basting method.

I purchased my Juki TL-2010Q. It is literally a dream to quilt with. Lots of room to the right of the needle and super consistent, fast stitching.

I also learned how to board baste my quilts - which has saved my knees, my back and to a certain extent, my sanity!  :-)

And now quilting is actually my favourite part. I look forward to finishing a top just so I can get to the quilting. My dream is to some day own a long-arm machine, but I would need to get a much bigger house before that could happen!

Last year, I became the Vice-President of the Montreal MQG and that has been a lot of fun. The group is growing and we have such amazing people and quilters.  Each meeting is a great source of inspiration and I'm learning so much.

When I was approached to become a FAL host last year, I was so flattered and so happy. I love hosting these link-ups - so much inspiration and so much talent every quarter.

Thanks for reading and if you have questions, please leave a comment!  :-)


Saturday, July 8, 2017

Summer Dresses

I've been seeing all of the cute summer dresses being shared on IG and was inspired to try my hand at making one for my granddaughter.  She told me after a sleepover that she was going to get dressed and find something yellow "because that's Pap's favorite color on me". How cute is that!
When she proudly held up a single yellow striped sock and announced that she'd found something to wear,  (adorable, right?) After telling her what a great job she'd done, I offered to have her choose fabric from my sewing room and spent the day stitching things up. 
Notions at my house are a disorganized mess but I managed to find bias tape.  1/2" wide elastic however sent me to the store where I could not resist the little buttons too.   I'll have to make a headband because they didn't look right on the dress. She was thrilled to"help" every step of the way with a photo shoot finale in the front yard when we were done.

Armed with the confidence of the successful yellow dress and encouragement on IG, I spent the next day sewing a second, a modified Oliver & S Popover Sundress based on the free tutorial HERE 

My non-quilts sewing actually started with an impromptu pillow case.   There is something to be said for quick makes.  It does the sewing mojo good. 

 Hope your Summer is off to a fantastic start.  I'm really enjoying the long days with natural lighting for evening sewing time.

There's still a few hours left to link up your 2017 FAL Q3 Goals.

Friday, July 7, 2017

My 2017FAL Q3 Goals = TEN

I was going to stop at nine because that's how many fit in the mosaic maker I use but while rummaging around my sewing room tonight I found the project bucket from the Sujata Shah Workshop so it's an official 10 count for Quarter 3.

1.  Framed Accent Strip bucket.  Strip made and Essex Linen cut. Needs quilted and assembled.
2.  My BeeSewcial Swap blocks.  I've been playing around with designs and if I can pull it off, it's going to be great.
3. Stretch BeeSewcial 2016.   Puzzling the layout with added coping areas and so on.
4. Eyes BeeSewcial 2017.  Ditto number 3 :)
5. Improv Abstraction Multi-Color.  Top is done and batting, backing cut to size.
6. Triangle Quilt.  This started out as a AMH QAL years ago.  It's a beautiful pattern but I'm figuring that since it's been sitting untouched I'll give myself the freedom to layout as desired.
7. Improv Pam Rocco Workshop. 
8. Dresden Workshop.  Another one I really enjoyed making parts but have done nothing with.
9. King Clam 2014 Latifa Saafir Workshop 
10. Sujata Shah Workshop (below)

Also shown are two To Do items but since I don't have any ideas in mind for the design or the mini and the other is only a block, I'm not including them in my official list.  The Cherrywood vanGogh challenge deadline is August 1 so it had better get done!  The Michael Miller Fabrics+You=Friends Forever block has to be received by November 10th and I'm happy to have it on my radar.

So there you have it.  I'm going to go head over and link up my goals HERE.  You should do the same - especially since you can win some great prizes from the generous sponsor!

Sunday, July 2, 2017

2017 FAL Q3 Goals: Time to LinkUp your list

It's time to link up your list of unfinished projects that you propose to finish in Q3 of the FAL. I am looking forward to seeing what you are planning to be working on over the next quarter.

The FAL is hosted by a community of bloggers across the world. Our hosts are:
  • Sarah - Sew me - Northern Ireland
Social Media Director
For those of you who are new to the FAL, it is a place to find motivation and encouragement to complete those unfinished projects that are hanging about becoming UFOs. Every quarter you post a list of projects you hope to finish in the next three months, and then at the end of the quarter, you post a link from your blog, Flickr or Instagram of each successful finish from your original list.

Each finish is an entry for wonderful prizes from our sponsors. There is no penalty for not finishing a listed project, so feel free to make your list long or short, as you wish. The 2017 Schedule and Rules for the FAL are on my permanent FAL page, let me know if you have any questions.

Here are the fantastic and generous sponsors for Q3 of the FAL - you can see each of their prizes listed under their logo (think about visiting them and saying thank you):  

As you may recall from last year, there was a return of tutorial week at the end of each quarter, between the opening of the link for finishes and the day that link closes. Are you enjoying this? Please share your thoughts in the comments section below! This will take place each quarter. Each host works hard to put these together so I hope you are visiting their blogs to encourage them. If you have a tutorial that you would like to share, please let me or another host know.

It's time to round up those projects you want to finish over the next three months, take a photo of each one and make your list. Please ensure that you have at least started your projects - pulled fabric with a pattern is now considered a UFO, and remember it is only finished projects that will get you an entry toward the above listed prizes.  (note to long-timers: this definition has been broadened from previous years). So while we love to see your bee blocks, the "finish" is when they are a completed, usable project.

It is very helpful if you tag your list as #2017FALQ3yourname when posting on social media: Flickr, Facebook & Instagram. Using the same hashtag over the quarter when sharing progress or finishes before the link, helps the hosts find your original list quickly - especially when this is done over a 3 month period. IMPORTANT: Don't forget to link your finishes up when the quarter closes.

The 2017 Q23link for your list of proposed finishes is now open below on my blog and on each of the hosting blogs. You need only link your list once, on one blog - and that link will show up on all of the blogs. If you are using Facebook, Flickr or Instagram, link a mosaic and put your list in the description. Katy of The Littlest Thistle has a great tutorial on how to link-up if you need it.

We also ask that you become part of the FAL community. Please check out the links of others - visit and comment on their lists. We all need encouragement to get those finishes done, so please share some of your own too. When creating your list there is one thing to remember....No deductions for not completing something so ..... Aim High! Nothing to lose!!! Well Now..... Get those lists together and get linked up. 

The Q3 proposed finish linky party will stay open until 11 pm EST, July 8, 2017- as we are global, you might want to check your time zone to determine your last possible time to link. Remember: you only need to link up on ONE hosting blog and it will automatically show up on all hosting blogs.

Good Luck and Happy Stitching, Karen

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Easy Framed Accent: 2017FALQ2 Host Tutorial

2017 FAL Q2 Host - Tutorial

Welcome!  It's my turn to share a tutorial as part of the Finish A Long Quarter 2 hop.   I hope you've been enjoying meeting the other hosts and have taken the time to check out their blogs.   Remember the Finishes Link Up closes July 1st.   See the FAL tab for details. 

Easy Framed Accent

Adding a special touch to any project just got a little easier and a tad bit clever if I do say so myself.   There are a TON of patterns out there to make simple projects like a zipper pouch, bag or tote.  No matter how great they are, I'm often tempted to give them a tweak.  If you're the same way, consider embellishing with a Framed Accent Strip.  I'll show you how.

The sample above is made using Swag charm squares and could be top stitched down and sewn into any of the above mentioned projects.
See how great this promotional free duffle bag transforms into something useful and pretty once the ugly logo is covered up.  Excuse the wonder clips - I'm contemplating the best method to use for attaching it since the outer pocket isn't conveniently accessible. What do you think, fabric glue, wonder under, hand stitching? 

Where to Begin

1. Choose your accent.  These can be scraps of any kind or one long fussy cut piece.   Left over from a swap mini, I chose to feature six 2.5" HST half square triangles.  Originally I planned to make one for each side of the duffle, but in the end decided to just use one set.  

1/4" seams throughout.  Chain stitch the squares together and press the seams open. 

Cut ONE outer frame (grey) 4" wide and slightly longer than your accent.
Cut ONE inner frame (black) at least 2" wide and slightly longer than your accent.

Sew the inner frame (black) to one side of the outer frame (grey).  Press towards the black.  Right side facing up and using the seam line where the grey and back meet, measure 1/2" and trim*.  Use the cut off excess of the black to repeat the same steps on the other side.

*alternate method: you can also cut TWO 3/4" strips.  I personally find very thin strips awkward to handle and prefer the other but either technique will work.

Sew the accent strip to one side.  Tuck in the seam allowance under as shown below as you press. 

Gently fold over to align the other side of the accent placing it directly across and sew the second side.
Using the tip of your iron, tuck and press the second side in the same manner as the first side.  
Turn the "tube" that you have created Right Side Out.
 Use your fingers to position the frame with approximately the same amount showing on each side and press.  There you have it!

Four Charms Version 

Constructed basically the same way as the HST version except that the black 1" end tabs were added.
I also like to cut off the pinked edges.
Here's a detail shot below of the presser foot running under the pressed seam.   I'm not that particular about accuracy but for those who really want it to be as even as possible you might want to take this step slow and watch your line. 

The excess trims away at 10" so that is what I will use for the width of the linen.