Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Quilt Along Class 1

Oh boy, what a week!  I don't know about all my Alabama friends, but I am alllll funned out with this winter stuff.  I pray that everyone's friends and families are safe, mine were just reunited today.  We were only separated for 24 hours, (with my son at daycare overnight, my husband at a friend's house, and me at another friend's house with my daughter) but it was a scary 24 hours.  I would like to take just a second and say "thank you" to the wonderful friends that made my family feel at home and welcome after a long, terrifying day, and to the generous, patient, loving ladies at my son's school, Little Lambs at Liberty Baptist Church.  These ladies were more than just teachers yesterday, they were women after God's own heart, caring for my baby when I couldn't and giving these kids a time of their life even when they were scared and separated from their children as well.  Even though the church is not normally equipped to provide meals to the MDO program (we pack their lunch) God provided a nutritious dinner and breakfast for all the kids, teachers, and other people taking refuge at the church last night. 
 Lunch Time
The worst of circumstances were made into a party!  Kole didn't even know this wasn't part of the plan all along.  He thought it was a fun surprise...a school sleepover!  They had movies, popcorn, even a dance party!
Dance Party
The whole time the teachers never let on to their own concerns for their family which they were separated from.  I was sent pictures of Kole having fun with his friends throughout the day and then received a phone call at bedtime letting me know about the sleeping arrangements and plan for the next day.  Even though Kole has never spent the night with anyone other than grandparents, he never got upset or even missed us!

Sweet Dreams
Kyle was able to get to Kole first thing this morning and he's talked about his Adventure Day at school all morning.  I hope that I can repay the kindness that these ladies showed my boy in what could have been a very negative, stressful, scary situation.  God bless these women!
Ok! Enough with the heavy, lets talk quilting! ;)

So, I know there were several of you that were unable to attend our first class to the Summer Sampler Series Quilt Along.  That's okay, and its not too late to join in!  All we really went over last class were the basics to quilting and reminders about the class...
Make sure that you either purchase a copy of the 90 page PDF for $10 in Faith's Shop, or bring a smart device (iPad, iPhone, etc.) to class to pull up the individual tutorials on.  You are going to want instructions in front of you to look at during the cutting and sewing.
If you have not bought all your supplies yet, check Wal-Mart or Amazon for some really good deals on rotary cutters, cutting boards, rulers, and other sewing notions.
Please bring you precut fabric for Block #1: Star of Virginia to the next class, as well as your fabric for Block #2: Greek Cross.  This way we can go ahead and cut that block's fabric if there's time.  If you did not come to last class and are nervous about cutting your fabric for Block #1, no worries, just bring it with you and we'll help you cut it!
Our next class will be held at Double Oak Community Church in the Student Cafe on Thursday, February 13 from 6:30-8:00.
Sewing Basics:
Take a look at Beginning Quilting Series from Diary of a Quilter by Amy Smart.  Each tutorial is great, but I recommend reading Basic Quilting Supplies and Rotary Cutting 101 before the next class.

Pin basting vs Glue basting:
Pin basting:
  • Its easy to apply and remove pins
  • You are able to press seams open
  • Less bulky seams
Glue basting:
  • Very accurate, great for creating star points or nesting seams
  • Once heat set, fabric will not shift
  • Can be bulky to sew over
  • Cannot press seams open
  • If too much glue is used, seams can become glued shut more than 1/4 inch.
When cutting fabric remember to place non-dominant hand in the middle of the ruler and press straight down with fingers slightly spread (but not hanging over edge).  This will give equal pressure on the ruler and prevent it from sliding while cutting with the rotary cutter.

Whether pinning or gluing, place right sides of fabric together...
If pinning, place pins 2-3 inches apart.  Make sure the fabric is smooth while pinning.  Remove pins just before its reaches the presser foot during sewing.  Breaking needles on pins, or vice versa, is no fun.
If gluing, apply tiny dots of glue along the edge you want to sew, then use the glue tip to smear the glue thinly and evenly to make a solid line.  Apply the glue as close to the edge of the fabric as you can without running off the edge to prevent heat setting a "seam" larger than 1/4 inch. Place the right sides of the fabric together.  With a hot, DRY iron, heat set the glued edge for 3-4 seconds.  Then its ready to sew.
I hope these tutorials and hints help!  As always, please don't hesitate to contact me if you have any questions.  See you soon!

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Reese's Quilt

I would like to share with y'all my first accomplishment of the year!  Yay!  I started Reese's quilt a year ago.  I was inspired by Amy's road trip hexi project from Stitchery Dickory Dock.  In her post she drew out a possible layout for her hexies and I loved it!  I didn't follow it exactly, but it was pretty close.  I loved the big, scrappy "snowflake" shapes she made instead of the traditional flowers you usually see with hexi quilts. 

I had been thinking about doing a hexi quilt for awhile because you make the hexies by hand, and since I was mongo pregnant, I like the idea of sitting on my couch instead of being hunched over my sewing machine.  I made a hexagon template on my computer out of card stock and adhered the fabric to the hexagon using a glue stick.  I thought I would like the glue stick instead of the traditional thread basting method, but I decided in the end it was probably not the way to go.  Initially it was quicker -assembling the hexies- but when it came time to take the papers out it was kind of a pain.

(I really should have taken an iron to this thing!)

I used a layer cake of some really beautiful fabric that I really wish I could remember the name of.  I'm thinking this line was discontinued because I have searched for it for two days and have no success, but I'm pretty sure it was either Riley Blake or some sort of Moda line.  I picked the colors because of the colors and spring time prints.  My daughter's room is a bird theme with lots of purple.  The back is a beautiful yellow floral Moda print that I found at my quilt shop, and I made the binding using leftover scraps of the layer cake that I made the hexis out of.  I quilted the white area with a large free motion meandering stitch and the hexies with a very small meandering stitch.

I love the way this quilt turned out and I can't wait to get some major use out of it this spring!

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Hey, Let's Meet!

My sister-in-law Ashley from Living in the (Mom)ent decided to write "14 things you may not know about me" in honor of the new year, 2014.  It was hilarious and way fun, so I decided to join in.  I loved it because it isn't typical facts that you see everyday and since I'm new to the blogging community I thought it would be an interesting way to get to know me.  Join in by leaving facts about yourself in the comments or leaving a link to your blog, then hop over the Ashley's blog to see her fun facts.

1.  I bite the inside my lip.  I hate that I do it and most of the time don't realize I'm doing it until my husband points it out to me.  Usually its when I'm concentrating.

2.  I love love love going to the movies.  Its probably my favorite thing to do on date night.  I just love the atmosphere, the huge screen, the popcorn, everything!

3.  I hate clothes shopping for myself.  I know that's weird coming from a woman, but I really despise it.  I'm not fun to shop with either because I'll park outside the store I plan on shopping in (even at the mall), walk in, look around, and say "I don't see anything I like" and leave. Good times.

4.  I'm incredibly indecisive.  I would rather someone else make the decisions and I'll just make it happen.  You do NOT want to be with me at Office Depot!

5.  I love all things organization! Which is why you don't want to go to Office Depot with me.  The whole purpose of that store is to be organized so I'm like a kid in a candy store when I'm there.

6.  I love surprises!  I have always wanted a surprise birthday party! I get mad if my husband gives me a gift early, just wait until the day of please.  I have never tried to figure out my Christmas gifts or anything and I would get mad if someone ever gave me hints.

7.  I have the worst date memory in the world!!! I cannot retain dates to save my life.  If I don't write it down, you can bet I will forget every time.  I once forgot my mom's birthday that is a WEEK BEFORE MINE! Geez.  History was my worst subject in school because of this.  I always have a calendar with me, its sad really.

8.  I love the smell of lumber, libraries, freshly cut grass, and gasoline in the summer (I know that sounds weird but it reminds my of jet skis and the lake.)

9.  I think I have ran fever a whole 4 times in my life.  I NEVER run fever, I really have to be dying to have a temperature over 99.5.

10.  I wore a toe ring for 12 years! That has to be some sort of record.  I literally just took it off last week because it was finally starting to bother me, and surprisingly, my toe looks rather normal.

11.  I'm a cereal killer, I mean I can put down some cereal!  I think its because I love milk so much.  Between my son and I, we go through two gallons a week.

12.  I have more bobby pins than any human probably should.  I like to do hair and try out different hairdos so it seems like I buy a new thing of bobby pins every time I go to the store.

13.  I am not a good cook.  I wouldn't go as far to say I'm terrible, I obviously keep my family alive, but I'm not very good.  I make the same thing a lot of the time, I'm not good at "winging it", which leads me to #14...

14.  I don't like to cook.  Yes, that's different from not being a good cook.  Cooking stresses me out, I'd rather just clean it up than have to cook it.  On the flip side, I love to bake.  I can make pretty much anything with a can of biscuits.  Baking is comforting and therapeutic to me.

Well I hope you found out some new things about me, this was fun!

See you soon,

Monday, January 6, 2014

Summer Sampler Series Intro

Fresh Lemons Quilts
I love love love this series! I think its a great place to start even as a beginner quilter because it covers so many different piecing methods.  Three bloggers/quilters got together to create this series: Katie of Swim, Bike, Quilt, Lee of Freshly Pieced, and Faith of Fresh Lemons Modern Quilts.  There are two ways you can join in on this quilt along: 1. You can purchase the compiled collection called The Complete Block Anthology in the form of a PDF file from Faith's shop, print it out and bring it to class, or 2. You can read the tutorial ahead of time directly from Faith's website.  My role in the class is to help guide you through the piecing and answer any questions you may have. 
So for our first class I thought it might be helpful to have an introduction to the series.  I know sometimes when you start a new project it can be a bit overwhelming to even just get started cutting the fabric, so that's where we'll start.  There is some homework involved.  Use one of the above links to go to Fresh Lemons Modern Quilts' blog and read the Welcome Post to the Sampler Series.  This discusses the fabric requirements needed. 

For me personally, I used all solids in the neutral tone family, similar to that of Pat Bravo's Pure Elements.  I bought I half yard of each 9 colors and 2 yards of the off-white.  These blocks also look amazing with prints, just check out Katie's finished quilt here.  The possibilities are endless!
So lets talk supplies needed for the quilt along.  Of course you will need your fabric, small thread scissors, fabric scissors, seam ripper, a rotary cutter, straight pins and/or basting glue (optional), a cutting board, a ruler, an invisible ink marker, curved basting pins, and throw size batting (last two not needed until the end).

 I like using a 12.5in x 12.5in ruler since that is the size of our unfinished blocks.  It makes squaring up the block super easy and it is sufficient for any other cuts we need to make for this series.
 I love this particular cutting board because its small enough to take with you, big enough for most projects, and its coolest feature is that the back side is an ironing board, which is very convenient. This one is a 12in x 18in, but I know they have other sizes as well.
The size of the rotary cutter is really up to you.  I have a small 28mm which has been fine for me but I know most people prefer the larger rotary cutters, especially if you need to cut through several layers of fabric.  I bought all of my supplies (including fabric, excluding basting glue) at Hobby Lobby.  The basting glue was purchased at Zig Zag in Chelsea.
In class I plan on going over the differences of straight pins vs. basting glue so if you want to hold off getting those I items until the following class in February, that's fine. 
Pertaining to our class schedule, this months class will be held on January 23rd at 6:30pm.  Christy at Zig Zag in Chelsea, AL has been gracious enough to let us use her shop for our classes! The sewing studio in the back of the shop has tables, sewing machines, an ironing board and iron for our use and I'm so grateful to have access to it.
So to those of you joining us on January 23rd, please bring your fabric, rotary cutter, cutting board, and ruler.  Please let me know if you have any questions, I am more than happy to help!
See you soon,


Sunday, January 5, 2014

Welcome to Do Ray Me Sew!


Well, its a new year, I might as well start it off with a bang! This is a new blog that I created mainly as a means to help get a group of my girlfriends plugged in to the wonderful world of quilting. 

 My Family
 Kole 4 and a half years
Reese 8 months

First things first, my name is Rachel Washburn, I have a degree in Kinesiology and am a licensed Physical Therapist Assistant.  I went to school while my son was very young and worked while I was pregnant with my daughter, once Reese was born I knew I wanted to have the opportunity to stay home with her.  My husband, being the super supportive guy he is, was totally for it and I have loved every minute of it... well, most minutes of it ;)  I first came into quilting three and a half years ago when I saw an adorable log cabin quilt in a Martha Stewart Living magazine and thought "I could so do that!" So the journey began.  I had taken Home Ec in high school and my grandmother had let me mess around on her sewing machine some when I was younger, but that about wrapped up my sewing background.  With my grandmother's help we managed to somehow pieced together a "log cabin baby quilt" (I hesitate to even use the word quilt) which none of you will ever see pictures of, so don't even ask.  Needless to say it was a brutal experience, but I loved the idea of sewing and making quilts so I began looking up tutorials by simply Google searching, and found that most of the tutorials I was interested in were from quilting blogs.  Oh I was completely hooked!  My first real quilt I made was from the tutorials I found on my beloved blogs, no book needed.  My three favorites are Fresh Lemons Modern Quilts, Stitchery Dickory Dock, and Oh Fransson.  The women on these blogs are some seriously talented quilters and are always providing free tutorials and quilt alongs to encourage others to join the quilting community.  Which brings us to my blog...

As I said before, this initially is a blog to make it easier to communicate with my Mom's Inc group from church that has showed interest in participating in a fun quilt along.  Now, for those of you who are in the Birmingham, AL area, Mom's Inc stands for Mom's In Need of Community (which, how many of us mom's do NOT need community, right?) After I had my son I did not know there was anything like this group out there for me.  I wasn't as "cut out" for stay-at-home mom as I thought and I felt really lonely and in need of community.  When I found out I was pregnant with my daughter I made a point to seek something out that would keep me involved with the outside world where I was able to have some adult interaction.  How fortunate I am to have such a wonderful group available at my church! I felt instantly connected with these ladies.  They have given me so much that I wanted to do something to give back.  There are only a few things I am good at and enjoy doing daily, one of which is sewing. 

250px Summer Sampler Series Badge
So for the next year my plan is to host a quilt along, each month featuring a new block so that at the end of the year we have 12 beautifully unique blocks to make into a throw size quilt.  Since I am a beginner quilter I will be using the patterns from a wonderful series called the Summer Sampler Series found Here on Fresh Lemons website.

 More about this fun quilt along later, however, if you are local and would like to participate and have not already done so, please email me ASAP so I can get a head count.  Another blog will follow shortly, giving further details about the quilt along itself (fabric requirements, supplies, etc.) and then, pending everything works out with our sewing studio location, another blog will follow pinning down dates and times.

So for now, Welcome to Do Ray Me Sew! I hope you enjoy!

See you soon,