Thursday, January 14, 2016

New Quilt Top and, do you stay-stitch??

It was a whole 7 degrees out yesterday when I went outside to take this picture.  The parts of the top that I had recently handled started freezing after they touched the snow.  It felt a little like a Tom and Jerry episode.  But I am happy to report that after being distracted by Christmas, New Years, and a family wedding, that I have this top finished!  And not only is it finished, but I am taking it with me on a quilting cruise (yes, I said quilting cruise) that I am teaching the Regatta pattern on next week.  So I'll be leaving this frigid weather to do some sewing. On a ship. In the Atlantic Ocean (the warmer part).  (See more information about this cruise and others here).  

I'm beyond excited about this.  Thank you to Stitchin' Heaven for all of the planning and the opportunity!  I will be sharing some of the details here after my return!

I am waiting to quilt this quilt because the batting and thread will make it heavier (and there are luggage restrictions, you know).  So to keep it in shape during my travels, I stay-stitched around the entire perimeter of the quilt.  This is a trick I learned from my mom when I was sewing clothes in high school.  I started applying it to quilting after I started ironing my seams open.  The seams always seemed to pop open around the edge of the quilt.  Sometimes I would even have to mend them before starting to quilt.  At first, I decreased my stitch length. I found, however, that this was not enough - Especially if the top was going to hang around a little before being quilted.  Stitching around the edge really helps.  I use a regular stitch length, and am sure to sew slightly LESS than 1/4" from the edge.  This ensures that the stitch will be caught up in the binding when the quilt is finished.  It's also a really nice thing to do for your long arm quilter - s/he won't have to deal with open seams, either!

Sunday, January 3, 2016

Happy New Year!

As a teenager, and long into adulthood, I used to make wildly drastic New Year's resolutions.  You know the type - they are all about eating well, exercising more, working harder, being more organized, etc.  They're very revolutionary, and without fail, they never stick for me (at least never until Valentine's day).

Thankfully, as I have gotten older, I have had a different approach to New Years.  Instead of focusing on the things I didn't get done during any given year, I try to feel positive about the things I did accomplish, and to be more at peace with the time of life I am in right now - some might call this being 'more present.'  I realize now that I will always be a work in progress - there will forever be something about myself that I am not 100% happy about! So, I am always grateful for the new year. It's a chance to reset. To mentally start again and continue the work in progress.  This year, instead of making more far-reaching resolutions, I am going to try and do my best - as a wife, mom, designer, teacher, sister, daughter, and friend.

My best to you for a peaceful and inspirational 2016.  Do your best!