Monday, December 1, 2014

Quilt #2 Underway!

It's probably been just about a month since my last post (Sorry about that).  Time sure does fly by quick.  I know I said after I finished the quilt for my daughter I was going back to working on my wardrobe.  But I couldn't help it, I had to start on another quilt!  Don't ask me why, I thinks it's a disease!  I wonder if maybe I was bitten by something or could I have hit my head on something hard.  Hmm... I wonder if it's some kind of air born virus.  I love sewing garments.....What is happening!

It took several weeks to finally come up with my next block and quilt pattern.  I searched all over the internet.  There are some very talented individuals out there with some truly amazing patterns.  I really do have to applaud you all.  In the end though I needed to find the one that brought me to the next level and that was unique in some way.  Once again Jenny Doan from the Missouri Star Quilt Co. comes through with her youtube video the Exploding Block Quilt.

With most of my fabrics picked out I was ready to start quilt number two!

I'm not going to go into detail on how the blocks are sewn together.  Jenny does a real good demo on that in her video.

This was my favorite part.  You actually have to cut open the blocks and iron them out flat.  It was like watching a flower bloom.  It was pretty cool.

Sorry, I just had to show you one more time.  It was just so much fun to make this block pattern.  Whats really great about it is you can make little changes to each block so every one is just a little different.  Leave it to Jenny to come out with another great pattern.  So in no time I was moving right along.

....and only a little while after that we got up to this!

Altogether I need 256 blocks and at this point I have 24.  So let the adventure begin!

Until next time....Happy Sewing!    Seam Ripper Joe

Saturday, November 8, 2014

Finally Ready to Ship the "Disappearing Hourglass Quilt"

This has been a long time coming.  Finally I have completed my daughters Christmas present and it is ready to be shipped off.  To date this is by far the largest project I've sewn.  Also the one that took the longest, working on it everyday for right at 3 months.  I've been keeping you all updated on the progress of this quilt through google+ so this is going to be a fairly short post.  Just a few finished photo's and a little movie I made up of the start to finish construction of the "Disappearing Hourglass Quilt".

I probably made this video more for me than anyone.  Something to look back upon.  The memories, triumphs and struggles I went through during construction.  Quilts are truly an item you sew that your own personality comes out in.

In closing I just wanted to say for anyone who ever wanted to use a hand crank sewing machine or for that matter any hand crank sewing machine owners.  Never let anyone tell you a project is to big to use your hand crank machine.  This is a Queen Size Quilt and the entire quilt was stitched with my Brother Prestige hand crank machine and you know what....I enjoyed every minute of it!

Until next time....Happy Sewing!    Seam Ripper Joe

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Yard Sale Saturday...Oodles of Fabric!

I had the absolute best Saturday.  Ocean City puts on there city wide yard sale once a year.  Yesterday it consisted of 56 families on this relatively small island.  Everyone always has such a great time.  You just never know what you'll run into.

I really hit the fabric jackpot.

At this one particular home the mumm was retiring from teaching to spend more time with the kids, still young teens.  She had Tupperware containers full of fabric (no wonky shapes).  She used them to cover her bulletin boards in class.  Needles to say she had some excellent tastes in fabric.  All the fabric was 100% cotton.

The fabric was your typical 45 inch width it was the length I was really thrilled about.  This piece was 108 inches.

120" length.

72" length.

72" length.

72" length.

72" length.

42" length.

The white spider web was 54" and the black spider web was 90" inches in length.

So that's a whopping 20 yards of fabric approximately, perfect for quilting, and I was able to pick up the whole load for only $10.00.  

Talk about doing a happy dance.

Until next time....Happy Sewing!    Seam Ripper Joe

Saturday, September 27, 2014

My First Two Blocks Quilted!

It is pretty exciting to finally start quilting the blocks.  Seeing the vision I had of how I wanted it to look to be actually  taking shape.  You really start feeling a sense of accomplishment.

Here are my first two blocks I just finished quilting.

After I finished sewing my quilt tops there were only a few more steps I needed to take to get to this point.

I cut the 56 blocks of backing fabric.

.......and cotton quilting batting.

It was pretty cool to finally have all my batting cut into blocks.  It meant I was soon going to be quilting.  Yea!

All sandwiched together.  Let the quilting begin.  I'm using the Hobbs Fusible Batting so I didn't even have to pin it together.  You have to love this batting!

It's such an awesome feeling to actually start the quilting.  As you can see all of my points in my blocks didn't always match up like I wanted them to but that's all right.  I still really like how they turned out and it's going to be beautiful when the quilts completed.

Ta-dah!  My very first two blocks completed.  Only 54 more to go.  I'm going to try to have them all quilted up within the next two weeks.  It's getting pretty exciting.

I hope everyone is having a great weekend!

Until next time....Happy Sewing!    Seam Ripper Joe

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Even the Tortoise eventually makes headway on his quilt.

Just wanted to give everyone a quick update on how Joe's big quilting adventures been coming along.

I have a total of 32 blocks done so far, I still need another 24.  I would love to say I am able to get 10 or so blocks done in a day.  Wow, that would be great, but in reality I am only able to do 1 maybe 2 and if I am really lucky 3 blocks in a day depending on how busy life makes me.  Hmm....for some reason garment sewing seemed to be so much faster.  I do have to admit I will always love constructing clothes and sewing my own wardrobe, but there is something very special about quilting.  It's hard to put an exact finger on.  I think I'll just have to always do both now.

For the batting I'm going to use Hobbs Heirloom Cotton Fusible Batting.  I think for me that will be the easiest way to put together my first quilt.  Also it seems to be a favorite of a whole bunch of quilters.  

I also think I'm going to quilt my individual blocks first and then join them together like the Gourmet Quilter does in her video How to join up Quilt as you Go blocks and border.

I really love how well the blocks are coming out and I can't wait to see it all quilted.  That's it for now!

Until Next Time....Happy Sewing!    Seam Ripper Joe

Monday, August 25, 2014

My Quilting Production Line....Slowly Coming Along!

Rome wasn't built in a day and this quilt is sorta like my Rome.  I just need to keep at it a little everyday.  I'm giving myself a generous amount of time.  Around a month and a half.  What do you think?

So far I have 13 blocks completed.  Here are the first 12.  The 13th one didn't fit on the table properly.  He's laying on my laptop "odd man out".  I had to recalculate the amount of blocks I needed for Sarah's queen size bed.  The finished quilt will be 90" long by 80" wide.  So that brings the tally up to 56 block all together.  I can't wait until I have them all made up, it's going to be so cool to see them all sewn together.

My production line.  There's probably a faster way of doing them but I'm sorta old fashion.  I complete one block at a time.  I'm sorta the "enjoy the process" kind of guy.

I'm going to get back to my sewing now.  I just wanted to update everyone on how the great quilt of 2014 was going.  Boy, I still have to say.  I really love those Clover Wonder Clips.

Until next time....Happy Sewing!    Seam Ripper Joe

Friday, August 15, 2014

Changing gears a bit! "A quilt for Christmas"

I was sitting in front of my pattern box the other day, thinking about exactly what I should sew next.  Should I make the KWIK Sew Jeans Jacket Pattern 1660 or try the KWIK Sew Pattern K3504 for Blue Jeans or maybe give another go to the KWIK Sew Shorts Pattern 3267 which I really like but make them into the pants version.  Hmm...Decisions, Decisions..... Then it hit me all of a sudden.  Am I being a "Selfish Sewist"!  Thinking only of, out of nowhere it just hit me like a ton of bricks to make a quilt for my daughter for Christmas.

Since I never quilted before I turned to youtube for some examples and guidance of what I might be able to make for her and I ran into a really cool design demonstrated by Jenny Doan of the Missouri Quilt Co.  This is the link for it Disappearing Hourglass Quilt.  As soon as I viewed it I knew that was the one.  I also like the way free motion quilting turns out so I watched a few of Leah Day's videos.  She really is talented.  So with two great examples I started my new venture into the quilting world.

My first completed block!

The following photo's are the steps I took to get to the finished block.

Started with two 10" blocks.  One white fabric and one printed.  Sandwiched them right sides together and sewed 1/4" all the way around.

Made the first cuts from corner to corner in both directions.

Opened them up.  The next step is very important.  Always make sure you iron every seam flat.  It helps in making sure your seams match up when you sew the sections together.

Turn the 4 squares until you come up with the hourglass design and then sew them up with another 1/4" seam.  Now cut this pattern into 9 even blocks.

It should look just like this after it is cut into the nine sections and the blocks are turned to make this design.  Its sorta mind boggling how a few turns of a fabric square can change a design so much.

This is how the finished block should turn out.

Now I only have 41 more blocks to go!  I'm making it for a queen size bed so wish me luck.  I'll try to keep you updated every week to show you how its coming together.

Until next time....Happy Sewing!    Seam Ripper Joe

Monday, August 4, 2014

KWIK Sew 3267 ~ Men's Shorts ~ The tweaked pair!

Is it just me or did July just fly right by!  Zip.....and it was gone!  So without no time to waste here is my revised pair of KWIK Sew 3267 men's shorts.

I liked my last pair that I made and they are very wearable on me, but they really needed to be taken in just a tiny bit in several areas.  So my pattern alterations took place as follows.  Took out 1/2" out of the waist.  3/4" out of each leg seam inside and out and tapered it only up to the crotch and 1/2" out of the seat on both sides.  Hmm....I'm not sure if I explained that very well, but it sure did make a big difference in the fit of my shorts.

Going through some of my fabric I found 1/2 yard of this really unique print that matched the shorts perfectly so I wanted to give it a try for my fly front and pockets.  What do you think?    I sorta like the contrast!

Everything else stayed pretty much the same on them.  Welt pockets.  They are just the most fun to make

So, it looks like falls getting here pretty quick, a lot faster than I thought it would and it's just about time to start gearing up for makes that have cooler weather in mind.  One particular pattern I have in mind is KWIK Sew 1660 ~ The men's Jean Jacket.  I purchased this pattern in the spring and have been itching to sew it since it arrived.  Sewing for fall and winters the best, so many patterns to choose from for men.  With that in mind....

Until next time....Happy sewing!  Seam Ripper Joe