Trying New Things: Success With Spray Basting

14 Sep

I’ve been working on my most recent log cabin quilt this month and tried a few new things this time. I have made a Log Cabin baby quilt before where I made each block individually, which was really stupid and time consuming. With this recent one, I did everything in big chunks and chain pieced like a madwoman. Cut all the squares and strips at once, pinned at once, ironed at once, trimmed at once, chain pieced, etc. It was so much easier and gave me plenty of couch time to watch Netflix while I ironed, trimmed, and pinned (I just pulled a small table up to the couch and did everything on that). Everyone has been telling me I made this quilt really fast, but I don’t think I made it really fast. I just worked on it a LOT every chance I had. If I had a day off, I’d just work on it all day long right into the evening and night. So, I can see why it seemed like I made it really fast. I was just so excited, I HAD to see the finished product as soon as possible.

I tried several new things with this quilt. Instead of basting in my tiny living room and wrestling around with it, I went to my mom’s house where she has ample floor space and one less cat to be a nuisance. I also decided to use masking tape to tape the batting to the floor in order to prevent it from shifting and sliding around. Instead of using safety pins to baste, I used 505 Adhesive Spray. I followed the basic instructions from Ashley’s instructions on her blog here. However, I did a couple extra things that she didn’t do. I’ve heard people complain that the one time they’ve used this it was a disaster. From what I can tell, it was a disaster because 1) they used too much spray and 2) they didn’t take precautions to cover their floor properly in order to account for the over spray.  If you’ve ever spray painted anything in your life, you know that less is more. You don’t want to slather on a ton of spray paint all at once. It’ll look like garbage with drip marks and uneven coating. A little goes a long way with 505. I followed the directions on the can by holding the can about 12″ away from what I was spraying. I did quick even sprays and hoped that would be enough. It was plenty. I also took care to cover part of the batting and part of the floor with newspaper like this.


Because of the newspaper, I didn’t leave any sticky residue on my mom’s floor. Before I started, I used masking tape to tape the batting to the floor. I didn’t pull it super tight because I didn’t want to stretch it, but I pulled it enough to get out the wrinkles. Then I laid my backing over the batting and smoothed it out. I then folded half the batting down and sprayed in nice even strokes, laid the half I had folded down back out on top of the batting and smoothed it out.  Then I folded the other half over and sprayed nice even strokes of 505 on the batting and laid the backing back out. I then crawled around and smoothed everything out. After that, I moved the newspaper, took off all the masking tape and flipped the batting over, re-taped, and put the newspaper back in place and did the same thing with the quilt top as I did with the backing. I didn’t make any marks on the batting like Ashley’s tutorial because my backing was all one fabric so it didn’t much matter to me that it was completely straight, so long as it covered everything.


I have yet to do any free motion quilting. So, I just stuck with straight lines. I probably didn’t need to do what I am about to show you, but I found that it really helped me. I measured out with a ruler and made lines with masking tape. I’m sure there is an easier way to do this with my walking foot guide, but I get so frustrated with that thing that I would rather just mark it out like this. I’ve used disappearing inking pens for this before, but I always have a hard time seeing the lines and keeping everything straight so this really helped me. I sewed next to the tape and NOT on it. I do NOT recommend sewing on the tape. AGAIN, DO NOT SEW ON THE TAPE.


After I got all the lines marked with masking tape, I folded it up and took it home to sew. I only sewed on one side of the masking tape so that the lines would be spaced 3″ a part. After I finished one direction, I peeled all the tape off and taped in the other direction so that there would be a grid when all the quilting was done.

I’ve heard different schools of thought on quilting. I’ve heard, don’t roll your quilt up as you go! And I’ve heard, roll your quilt up as you go! Who do you believe?! Well, my school of thought is: Do what works best for you. So, that’s what I did. I’ve found that rolling the quilt up as I go helps me so much more than when I haven’t rolled it up. Here’s what I mean by rolling it.


I surprised myself by getting all the quilting done in one day! I really think the 505 spray and masking tape significantly improved my results. Like I said before, I usually have a really hard time wrestling with quilts as I quilt. And I’d go so far as to say, I hate the process of actual quilting. Yes, I said it. But this time was different. I had a MUCH easier time of it. I think it’s safe to say that I am a full on convert to 505. Sorry, Safety Pins, we’re over. It’s not me, it’s you. Of course, it helped that I had invited a few lovely friends over and we chatted  and sewed. I worked on the quilting, while they worked on hand sewing or knitting. You can see their adventures here, here, and here. It was really fun to have them over. Next time, I hope it won’t be so dang hot out!

Here’s what my sewing area looks like while in the process of quilting. I have a lot of lovely inspirational items hung up in front of my machine that were made for me by Jenn and Charise.


After I got everything quilted and trimmed, I chose binding. I didn’t quite have enough, but luckily my friend Ale came to my rescue!


Now I’m almost done and only have one and a half sides left to hand stitch on.


Franklin didn’t think it needed binding. It was fine just the way it was.


Fiyero? Well, Fiyero couldn’t care less. It was too hot out for quilts.


Two posts in one month?! It’s a miracle! See? I told you, I’d start posting more. I just needed a little time.

If you’ve never tried spray basting, I highly recommend it. It might be best to start with a small project first just to test it out and get the hang of it. It’s not for everyone, but I highly recommend finding out if it’s right for you. Good luck! I’d love to hear your experiences.






Actually doing stuff and lots of photos

5 Sep

Just a quick post with a lot of pictures of what I’ve been up to.

So far, I’ve been fairly good about not buying fabric (I know, it’s only the 5th). HOWEVER, I DID buy 5 yards for backing of my newly finished log cabin quilt top. But I’m not counting that since it finishes a project and it will be used right away. Look, I’m only human, okay?

Anyway, here it is. I really, really, really love it and can’t wait to have it on my couch all fall/winter long.

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I’ve also been slowly working on a huge batch of these lovely strawberries (again). The first batch is nearly gone as I’ve given them away as gifts and extras in swaps.


I also whipped up this cute little bag for a late birthday present for my best friend, Renee. I filled it with all sorts of goodies.


I also made her this cute little zipper pouch since she is after all getting married in January. I was going to save it for her bridal shower and fill it with all sorts of things that brides need, but I just couldn’t wait. It is way too cute to wait.


The following picture is NOT from September purchases, but have simply accumulated over the past couple months. I had no idea they had multiplied so fast until I gathered them up all together.


I still plan to stick with my no unnecessary fabric purchases in September. I’ll make sure to check in and let you know how I’m doing.

I almost forgot, I also made this cute little liner for this basket this past weekend.


And last but not least, we’re finally getting some tomatoes from our plants around here!


I have no kitty photo to leave you with (shocking, I know.). Next time though, I swear. What have you been up to?

It’s a Sasquatch Summer

29 Aug

Warning: This post is picture heavy!

I’m ashamed to admit that I have been on a fabric buying frenzy the past few months. My fabric cupboard is stuffed. As in, no more room for anything. It’s also been too hot in my apartment this summer to use the iron for much of anything. Thankfully, it’s started to cool down.

I have this plan to not buy ANY fabric in September. No, seriously. I swear. I’m determined. And let’s face it, I have enough fabric to last me for, well probably two or three lifetimes. I feel like I have this condition that is impossible to fight. Looking at other people’s fabric makes me want to buy fabric. Then using my own fabric makes me want to buy fabric. For example I’ll find a really great fabric combination in my stash, use it, and then freak out because I only have a half yard (or two yards) of each. The horror! But it’s all mental. I really want to get serious about buying less and using more. I know, I know, I’ve tried this a million times. But it’s like any other addiction really. Most people don’t quit smoking the first time they try, right? They have to keep trying. So, that’s what I’m going to do–keep trying. I’m not saying I’m never going to buy fabric again. I mean, duh, that would be really stupid to even make that statement. I figure, I’ll start with September and sew my little heart out and go from there. I’ve even come up with an elaborate and complicated plan of putting X’s on a calendar for each day I don’t buy fabric. Genius, right?

I have been doing some sewing this summer despite the whole iron/too hot issue. My dad’s 75th birthday was in July. We threw him a huge Sasquatch themed surprise party. Here are a few things you should know about my dad: 1) He’s a HUGE believer in Sasquatch. No, seriously. He is. Sasquatch is real, you guys. 2) He’s really patriotic. 3) I’ve seen him cry once in my entire 32 two years. (This is important later.)

I’m going to tell you a short story about my dad and me. Every summer growing up, my family and I went camping. When I got older, my sisters both moved out and the camping trips became just my parents, me, and my best friend. One summer when I was 17, my parents took me and my best friend camping. Earlier in the day my dad had bought a 48-star American flag at an antique store. He collected old American flags. It just so happened that the antique store had put it in a paper grocery sack, which my dad then set right next to the firewood, newspaper, and kindling for the campfire. BIG mistake, Dad! My parents had left the campsite for something, food, water, a walk, I have no idea what. My best friend and I decided to start a campfire. Being that I was 17, I didn’t even think to look inside the grocery bag. You know where this is going. My parents came back and the first thing my dad said when he looked at the campfire was, “You burned my flag!” in a super annoyed and mad tone.  I, of course, did no such thing, “No, I didn’t!” I mimicked his tone of voice.  I then looked down at the campfire and sure enough, there were stars and stripes burning. Oops. I obviously did NOT do that on purpose.

So, for my dad’s 75th birthday, I knew I had to make him something special. Thus was born the Patriotic Sasquatch Quilt. I found the Sasquatch fabric on Spoonflower. At first the quilt was just going to be a simple patchwork square quilt. I was on a deadline after all. Then I got the bright idea of making sawtooth stars and Sasquatch could be the center. I didn’t have enough Sasquatches (what’s the plural of Sasquatch??), so some of the blocks just have another patterned square for the center. Then I was just going to use up a bunch of red fabric I had for the backing, when I thought of making the back look like an American Flag. Not only was the American Flag back idea my way of saying “Um. Sorry, I accidentally burned your antique 48-star flag when I was 17,” but it was also just a super awesome idea. Genius! Leave it to me to figure out how to make a project more time consuming and difficult. Once I thought of these two ideas, I just couldn’t go back to simple.

I don’t have any great photos of the completed project, but here’s what I do have.

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I wish I had an actual photo of my dad opening this gift, but I don’t. In all honesty, I was expecting my dad to laugh when he opened this. I was expecting him to get a real kick out of it, which he did. But much to my surprise, my dad did not laugh. He cried. Not just tears streaming down his face, but the kind of cry where you have to cover your face with your hands because everyone is looking at you. What you have to understand about my dad is that he’s not much of an emotional guy. The only emotions my dad really ever shows are amusement, anger, and/or annoyance. As I told you above, I’ve seen my dad cry once in my whole life and that was when we were putting my childhood cat to sleep. So, for him to cry over a quilt, that’s utterly shocking. I have to say it is hands down the best reaction I have ever received from someone opening one of my quilts.

I was worried about how difficult it would be to get my dad out of the house while my sister decorated for his surprise party. My boyfriend and I showed up unexpectedly early to go to his supposed birthday dinner. My dad can get pretty cranky when he’s hungry. So, we told him we knew dinner was a little late for him and we wanted to take him out for a milkshake so he wouldn’t be famished by the time dinner rolled around. It’s really hard to put one over on my dad. I really thought he wouldn’t fall for it.  He did. My dad is just full of surprises this year.  Here’s a really blurry photo of my dad walking into his surprise party. He was in fact, surprised!


It was great to see my dad so surprised and happy. I’m so glad we were able to throw such a great party for him. There was a Sasquatch cake, which our lovely family friends made for him.


There were tons of Sasquatch decorations, a Sasquatch hunting gift, which my sister and I put together for him, and every single gift my dad got was Sasquatch themed. I told you, this man loves Sasquatch.  I’m really happy we were able to surprise him and make this a birthday to remember. I’m so glad that I was able to see him so happy.

Aside from all that Sasquatch’n, I have been working on some other projects too. I’ve started Camille Roskelly’s Round and Round pattern. I wanted to try it out first before I dug into my Sweet by Urban Chiks charm packs. So, I made a mini quilt with some Sarah Jane and Denyse Schmidt. I love the result.


I have four more blocks to go on my Sweet Round and Round quilt. Now that it’s cooling off, I’ll be able to work on that more often.


I’ve also been working on this log cabin quilt. I am absolutely loving how it’s coming out.

low volume log cabin -8

I’ve been working on several more projects, but I think that’s a post for another day. I’ll spare you 800 more photos. I, of course, can’t leave you without an obligatory cat photo at the end of this post. So, here is Fiyero helping himself to my log cabin quilt.


I’d love to hear what you’ve been up to. What are you making?


Some sewing did happen

26 Apr

I haven’t posted since February?! Shame on me. Well, this post isn’t going to be very substantial, unfortunately. But I wanted to share a few things I’ve been working on. Before I do, let me start by apologizing for the terrible quality photos. But that’s what happens when you get an iPad. You get lazy and suddenly it’s just like, eh, get the camera out? Are you crazy? Use the iPad! So the photos look REALLY good on my iPad and not so good on the actual computer. I’m sorry, please forgive me.

I made these pillow shams, even though they don’t match any of our bedding, but I love them more than a reasonable person should.


I also made a bunch of tote bags. Not for any reason. Or for anyone specific, but because, hey! Why not??


And then I made this one for my niece’s 19th birthday. She has a hedgehog named Fluffy. I think she liked the stuff we put it in better than the bag itself. Teenagers! Can’t live with ’em, well actually, I don’t live with them.


And then I made this insanely adorable pincushion that I can’t even use because seriously? Could you stab that little mouse with a million tiny pins? If you can, you’re a monster.


And then Fiyero happened and no one in the land was allowed to sew ever again.


Just kidding. I was tired of cutting out fabric anyway. Next time I post, I’ll try not to be so lazy with the camera.


Helloooooo Kitty!

20 Feb

I always have a really hard time deciding on what I want for my birthday. If I want it, I usually figure out a way to get it. So, by the time my birthday rolls around, I’ve already gotten everything I wanted. But this year, I figured it out early. So, when Boyfriend asked me what I wanted for my birthday, I said “HELLO KITTY!!!” Okay. It wasn’t that dramatic. And I actually said, “A new sewing machine. That happens to have Hello Kitty on it.” So, being the kind and generous man that he is, he agreed to help make it happen. I “accidentally” ordered it early. So, happy early birthday to me!  (For the record, my birthday isn’t until March.)

Behold! Hello Kitty! Image

I know what you’re thinking. “How old are you turning? 12?” Well, the answer is, waaaaaay older than 12. But I’m really immature for my age. Plus, did you even look at her?? Just go look at her one more time.

Anyway. My old machine is a 1972 Bernina Record 830 and I do love her so. I will continue to use her, of course. But there are some things my beautiful old Bernina can’t do. Or I can’t figure out how to do (actually, I’m just too lazy to figure it out). Like button holes. Plus, Hello Kitty Janome has a flower stitch! And I can do smocking! And THREE DIFFERENT one step button holes! The button holes are amazing! You just stick your button in the back of the button hole foot and Hello Kitty does the rest! Push the pedal down and she beeps at you when she’s done. I couldn’t believe it either. I might just be impressed with computerized machines because I’ve never used one, but I am really very impressed with this adorable machine. I was worried that it would be only that: adorable. But I think she will suit me very well.

I even made some new pillowcases today with her. Image

I had a little trouble finding a walking foot that I thought would fit her. But I ended up ordering this Distinctive 7-Piece set from Amazon. I was worried I had ordered wrong, but after I figured out how to attach it, it worked great! I’m so happy!


Also, I accidentally ordered some fabric I have been wanting for a while with my tax return. Oops.


I could look at that all day long.

In case you were wondering, the Janome 18750 looks great from the back too.


Goodbye January, Hello Quiltuary!

5 Feb

I haven’t been working on much else except these quilts in January. Okay, let’s face it, I’ve been working on nothing else. But I’d say three completed quilts in one month is pretty good, right? They’re small, easy, throw quilts, but let’s not mention that. Ahem, I mean they were really complicated and difficult. I’m really amazing.

I completed the quilt top of this first one back in December or even November, but was too lazy to draw on lines for my quilting. I wish the pictures were a little bit better, but that’s what I get for living in Oregon.  I could have made one more block to finish the corner, but I thought it might make the quilt a little more interesting if I made the corner slightly different. I’ve done similar with two other quilts and always liked the outcome. I’m on the fence about it here, but too late to change it now, so I might as well learn to like it. If you look really closely, you can see that a few of the gray squares are a slightly different shade. That’s because I ran out of fabric and had to order another batch. You CAN tell if you look closely, but it doesn’t really bother me because I don’t look at it that closely on a normal basis. That’s why you should always order enough fabric, huh? Have you ever had something like this happen to you? Did it bother you? I’ve practiced really hard at not letting things like this bother me. Or maybe I’m just a careless quilter. Either way, I haven’t hated a quilt yet.


Here is a closer picture for you to see a little bit of the detail.


Here are all three completed quilts. They’re all three resting on the back of my couch right now. You can never have too many quilts, you know? Chugging right along with my goal of owning 80 quilts by the time I die. Or was it 800? No matter.  I am right on track.


I used Moda’s Ruby Sundae print for the pink quilt and Bari J’s Country Lane print for the other two quilts. I just love all of them, especially stacked. Don’t you?


Fiyero really likes all three of the quilts. Now if I hadn’t put a pea in the middle of them, he could get some much needed beauty sleep.


I’d love to hear what you’ve been working on.


Quilts and of course, a cat.

20 Jan

I’ve been a total slacker at this blog thing, but now that Thanksgiving, Pearl Harbor Day, Hanukkah, Battle of the Bulge (December 16th!), Christmas, the Official End of WWII (December 31st), and New Years are over, I’m going to crack the whip and start posting about my projects again. No, really.

There’s lots of pink going on around here lately. And a little blue and green. I’ve been working on two quilts. One for a baby and one for a furry baby (a cat) named Willow. I am loving the color palettes of both quilts.


In fact, I liked both of them so much, I’m making larger versions for myself. Just working toward my goal of owning 8,000 quilts by the time I die, you know.  I’m just waiting for a little bit of backing fabric for the pink one. And I’m waiting on more solid and also backing fabric for the blue and green one.

IMG_4407 IMG_4401

My seams aren’t exactly even on the bigger pink quilt (which I’ve decided to call my Shabby Chic Fairy Tale Adult iSpy Quilt ((it has a ring to it, right??)), but I’ve noticed that I am really the only one that notices or cares about that. And after it’s all completed and after the initial “Oh, frick-a-frack*! My seams don’t match!”, I NEVER notice my mistakes when actually using the quilt. So, as long as I like it, right? A few blocks ended up turned around the wrong way when sewing them together. So, a couple of the same fabrics ended up really close to each other. I was way too lazy and didn’t care enough to correct that. I can’t wait to have this quilt done! I won’t bring up the other pink quilt I’ve been working on and lost interest in, if you won’t…


I’m going to work on it again riiiiiiiiiight after I finish the other three I’m working on. Oh yeah. there’s one more I’m working on too. Did I mention that?

IMG_4456Hey, at least it’s already basted.

If you must know, I haven’t been very good at not buying fabric lately. It all started with a gift certificate I got for Christmas from Hawthorne Threads. And some Sarah Jane fabric I got for Christmas. I just had to get more of it. And then some other things… Here’s my gift certificate order. Still waiting for the non-gift certificate order. Oops. Try and try again, right?


Never fear though, I’m destashing a few things on my old Etsy site just to clear out some room. I’ve gotten my stash to the point where I really love 99.9% of all the fabric I own. So, now it’s time to start getting realistic around here. Just because I love it, doesn’t mean I will actually use it. So, I’ve decided to part ways with some of it. If you’re interested, you can find my destash fabrics here. I only have them listed for US shipping, but if you’re out of the US and really want something, just message me and we can talk about shipping.

I’m in the process of making some goals about fabric and sewing. I’ll post about that next time.

*Usually replaced with a much more inappropriate word that I shouldn’t repeat in the company of others. Or on a blog.

Hold on, I forgot to post a picture of a cat. Here’s Franklin sleeping on the dog’s coat. On the kitchen table. That’s right, I let my cats get up on the table. And the kitchen counter. And pretty much anywhere. I’m a really good mom.