What I Learned Today

30's Lone Star Mock-UpSo I spent my afternoon with Jan Krentz (Okay not HER, but her DVD) and getting my first lone star quilt setup.  I chose 30’s reproduction fabric, for many of my friends this will not come as a surprise.  There is something about 30s fabric that just makes me smile.  It’s bright, it’s cheery, it plays well together, what’s not to like?

I plan on the center to be bright red and will burst out into the cooler colors.  The background will be yellow, and then I plan on adding either smaller stars or some applique in the corners.  Jan’s DVD is a WONDERFUL tool if you plan on making one of these in a strip pieced method.  Her instructions are clear and precise, as is her entire method of assembly.

olfa45So as for what I learned today?  I should be embarrassed probably, but I will admit it, I have NEVER changed the blade on my rotary cutter….ever.  So when watching the DVD, because of the need for precision, she tells you to change your blade.  So I open my package of blade and pop a new one in.  (And I didn’t even cut myself!)  Boy HOWDY does that make a HUGE difference!!!  It cuts like BUTTER!  So the moral of the story is….change your blade.  (I admit I was cheap and didn’t want to spend the $7 on a blade, but it was SO worth it, and made the cutting process MUCH easier and enjoyable.)

So tomorrow I need to get my strip sets sewn together.  Then it’s off to Sew Inspired (my LQS) to get some muslin so I can “block” my diamonds once they are complete.  I also need to see if my 97D foot has come in yet, I can’t WAIT for that little gem!  I will keep you updated on my progress!  Excited to see how this turns out!   😀

Let’s Tidy Up the Quilt Room – And Vacation

Quilt Room - My Station
Quilt Room – My Station

If you recall a few weeks back I had received some new sewing cabinets from Arrow Sewing Cabinets that were an incredible deal.  They were moving their facilities and had some available at a STEAL!

Well this weekend I finally got around to un-boxing them and setting them up.  It will be great for my mom and my friend Joann to have a specific spot to come over and sew (which is not as often as I would like, that darn thing called life always seems to get in the way)

Quilt Room - Computer Setup
Quilt Room – Computer Setup

Anyway I now have a dedicated desk for the computer, as well as a blank spot for…well I’m sure it will collect things, but it’s nice to have a blank spot to sort, etc.

While I was arranging everything, I came to the conclusion that I needed more things on the wall.  I want to make my own design wall, and then…even though for years I’ve said how much I hate them…I want to get….a wall hanging!!!  There I said it!  For years I’ve been saying how much I hate them in a house….but in this particular instance, in a quilt room setting it seems appropriate.  🙂

Quilt Room - Joann's Station
Quilt Room – Joann’s Station

This week I will be going on vacation. (YAY!)  Karl and I are headed out to visit friends and family in Washington state.  His parents live in Coupeville, WA and I have some friends in Ephrata, WA.

So for the first 4 days I will be spending time with my quilting friends in Ephrata.  My friend Cindi is the owner of The Fabric Patch and has recently opened a Quilt Retreat Center (which is where I will be

Quilt Room - Mom's Station
Quilt Room – Mom’s Station

staying!)  And then my long-arm quilter Charisma (Owner of Charisma’s Corner – Long-Arm Quilting).  I can’t wait, we always have a wonderful time.  Lots of laughing, and inspiration, it will be GREAT!

Then I meet Karl and his family and we embark on an Alaskan cruise (a gift from Karl’s dad to the family last Christmas).  It’s going to be a really fun week, and I’m really looking forward to it.  I hope I see a polar bear!!  So I’m going to try and update my blog while I am away, but with internet service, etc on a cruise I can’t guarantee it!

Have a wonderful day!  Happy Quilting!

Piecing & Your Stitch Plate

Comparison between your regular stitch plate and single stitch plate.
Comparison between your regular stitch plate and single stitch plate.

Here’s a great tip I received from my LQS when I started quilting.  I’m surprised at how many  people don’t know this little secret.  It all has to do with your stitch plate.

Your machine will come with a regular stitch plate.  In the center it has a wide horizontal opening to allow for a zig-zag stitch, etc.  The problem with using a regular stitch plate is that when your piecing, your fabric can get stuck in this opening.

The solution?  Get a single stitch plate.  It has a small hole in the middle, just large enough to let the needle pass through.  Keeps your fabric from getting caught, and helps to keep your piecing accurate.

Sew simple right?

Happy Quilting!

P.S.  Be sure to change your foot plate if you switch from piecing to regular sewing, as you will have a broken needle if you try and zig-zag or click your needle to the left or right with this plate.  🙂