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Monday, July 21, 2014

You Are Invited to The Sewing Party!

Well, who doesn't enjoy a good party?  
If you are a U.S. resident, this is one party you will LOVE!!!



On November 8, 2014, thousands of DIY-ers will gather for a fun-filled day of sewing and crafting classes taught online by leading bloggers and educational experts. It’s all about Connecting. Crafting. And Creating.

Attendees will have access to more than 30 online classes available on the day of the event and for an additional 90 days. There is truly something for everyone! Classes include home d├ęcor, fashion sewing, quilting and upcycling, crafting, costume design, techniques for turning your craft into an entrepreneurial venture, and more!
Space is limited and likely to fill up fast! For just $40, “The Sewing Party” participants can attend classes; chat with participants from across the country; interact with top bloggers and educational experts who are teaching; and explore the latest crafting and sewing tips, techniques and products in our marketplace.

The Sewing Party” brings together some of the best in the industry for this FIRST EVER event. Our stellar lineup of sponsors includes:





The educators include:  Bari J Ackerman, Amy Bell, Carrie Bloomston,  Devon Iott, and Malka Dubrawsky...just to name a few....


The cost for the event is $40....and if you REGISTER between now and July 31st. you will receive a FREE SEWING PARTY T-SHIRT!!!!  Just remember when you register to enter LETSPARTY in the promocode box!!!!

BUT WAIT...IT IS ABOUT TO GET SUPER EXCITING!!!

AS A FRIEND OF THE SEWING PARTY, I AM GIVING AWAY 5 FREE TICKETS!!!

All I ask is that you leave a comment here and LIKE one of the Sewing Party's Social Media...

Website & Social Links (Launching on July 15):

Don't forget....go 'LIKE' one of the social media links....come back here and tell me which quilt block, quilting technique or sewing technique you have always wanted to learn.  PLEASE, be sure I have your email address!!!  If you are a no-reply blogger, leave your email in your comment.  

I will choose 5 winners by random on Saturday, July 26th.


This event is open to United States residents only for 2014.  Hopefully, it will be an international event in the years to come! 

****NOTE:  You only need to leave one comment...One Comment per person and  5 winners will be chosen***

Best of luck!  
mary
  
         










  

Friday, July 18, 2014

Quilting and Binding....the Flowering Snowball

Hello....hello....are you still out there?!
We are getting close to the end....I promise!

Once your top is all together and the quilt has been basted...you are ready to quilt!  Yay!  

As many of you know, I LOVE hand quilting!
As a new quilter, I hand quilted all of my quilts...the traditional way.  As a matter of fact, I don't think it even occurred to me that a quilt could be quilted by machine.  

But in recent years, I have converted to quilting by hand with perle cotton using a big stitch.  In my childhood, this would have been called a pick stitch.  

    
I must have been destined to be a quilter because I love the repetitive nature of quilting.  Holding the layers, coaxing the needle through and back out to create the perfect stitch.  

Obviously, not everyone is able to invest the time it takes to hand quilt so free motion quilting or straight line quilting may be the option for you.  But even if you choose to machine quilt, you can still add some hand quilting...it is a lovely option.

    
I am almost finished quilting my Flowering Snowball quilt...

 
For hand quilting with perle cotton, I like to use size 8 perle cotton and I LOVE Valdani thread.  Perle cotton is similar to embroidery floss except the thread is twisted, so you can't separate the threads.  Size 8 is bold enough to be seen and yet not too heavy; making it difficult to pull through the layers. If you can't find size 8 or would like a thread that is not as heavy, look for size 12.

As far as needles, I like Fons and Porter Utility needles.  They are designed for size 8 perle cotton and the pack comes with a rubber disc that can be used to pull the needle through if it gets stuck.

I did a tutorial on the method I use for hand quilting and you can find it here....

I do use a hoop, and I use a Thimble Nimble {different from the thimble in my tutorial}

     
I am a sucker for simple designs in my quilting.  Even if I choose to machine quilt, more often than not I will use straight line stitching or just a series of big loops.  

  



I have never sent a quilt out to be quilted, so I can't really help much on that front.

After the quilting is all finished...the only step left is to bind!

    
 I have a tutorial for binding here....
this method ALWAYS works for me.  And I do prefer to hand stitch my binding on the back.

 
So many fabrics are perfect for binding.  I love spots, stripes, gingham, but don't forget a scrappy binding.  This Feather Bed Quilt is one of my favorite quilts and the scrappy binding just makes me happy!

 
Okay...I will let you get back to your Flowering Snowball!
I can't wait to see them!
xo mary 

 *** as luck would have it.....Lucy at Charm About You just did a post on hand quilting.....you can find her post here.  What a talented girl!***

Monday, July 14, 2014

Putting the blocks together!

Well, the end is getting near!  And for some it has already arrived!
The end of the Flowering Snowball-along, of course! Although, even after we have put the last stitch in the binding, you are welcome to continue posting your progress and finished pictures on Flickr!

This quilt-along has just reinforced my love for the Flowering Snowball block. Every quilt-in-progress or finished quilt I have seen on Flickr or on Instagram has been breathtaking!

It is thrilling!

But today we are putting the blocks together and the rows together.

This will be very easy and most of you know how the drill goes without any prompting.

Begin with two blocks....

  
Obviously, the area that is important to match up is the center section where the A/B template pieces meet.

This is just a teeny bit more tricky because the seams have been pressed toward the A/B piece. So the seams are not butting up to each other, but rather are pressed in the same direction. This makes that area a little more bulky (but not too bad) and if you aren't careful the two seams will 'slip' and not line up properly.  Pressing in opposite directions 'locks' those two seams into place.  
There are many ways to secure the seam before you begin stitching.  Of course, you can use pins...or forked pins which straddle the seam and secure the critical area.  Or you could use clips to hold everything in place, or even a dab of basting glue in the seam allowance.


Once you have stitched the seam, check for proper alignment.  If it isn't quite as perfect as you would like....try unpicking a few stitches before the mistake flub and a few after the flub.  Sometimes you can set your seam again and stitch over that area a second time.  This saves you from having to take out the entire seam.  


        
Stitch all the blocks for Row one, Row two, Row three, etc.  in this manner.  
 All of the seams in Row one will be pressed in one direction.  The seams in Row two will be pressed in the opposite direction.  Now you can 'lock' the seams between blocks for Row one and Row two.

Add each row this way and before you know it, you will have an amazing Flowering Snowball top!!!!

Keep posting pictures on instagram with the hashtag #floweringsnowballalong 
and the Flickr page!

But it can't be all about Flowering Snowballs....so today I worked on a little something different...


I turned the volume down a bit and machine pieced a few hexies!

 
      What are you stitching this week?
happy monday
mary 

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Let The Fun Begin!

In case you missed it...the Auditions, Sponsors and Prizes have been announced for Sew-Vivor!!!!

 

This is the Quilter's Edition!!!
The prizes are outstanding!!!

So head over to Rachel's place at Family Ever After and look over the details....then enter!!!

you can find all the information you need here....


And, I must say, Rachel has done a fabulous job pulling this together every year, but particularly this year. She just had a baby a couple of weeks ago! She is amazing and incredibly sweet to boot! Hats off to you, Rachel!!!

happy tuesday!
mary 

   

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Two Big Announcements!

Good Morning! There are two big events you will want to know about and, perhaps, participate!

Karen of 'Laugh Yourself Into Stitches' is having a HUGE GIVEAWAY!
She is giving away 6 months of instructions for 60 Farmer's Wife blocks...instructions for a table runner, topper and lap quilt pattern!

 

You can find all the details for the Giveaway here....

I hope you enter and best of luck!
-------------------------------------------------

The second big announcement is SEW-VIVOR!!!!  A fun sewing competition Hosted by Rachel of 'Family Ever After'  

This year SEW-VIVOR is all about quilting!!!
 You can check out the schedule and the categories on Rachel's blog

the prizes and the sponsors will be announced next week and auditions will open!

I am even more excited about SEW-VIVOR this year because I am a member of the Tribal Council!  Whoa Nelly!   



  

 This will be an exciting Edition with all the wonderful Blogger/Quilters out there! I am so excited!

Rachel does a fantastic job pulling this fun competition together.  This is the third year of SEW-VIVOR so I expect the prize packages will be impressive!

Hop over to Family Ever After and get all the details! 

happy tuesday!
mary