Saturday, March 8, 2014

Sew..... It's official, I'm addicted

Where have I been the last month or so?  Sewing my heart out.  We had a Women's Conference to prepare for so there was a lot of sewing and such to do before the end of February.  After attending a little class on quilting techniques at the famous Missouri Star Quilt Co. in Hamilton, MO, let's just say Jenny had us hooked!  I'd made a quilt (or two, seriously....probably only two that I can remember), in the past and needless to say I had not enjoyed the process or thought it would ever be something I would find myself doing on a regular basis.  Maybe someday, as in.....when I have grandchildren to gift one to, for their GRADUATION.  Yeah, I didn't like the idea of sewing all those tiny little pieces of fabric together to come up with a greater vision.  Until Jenny.

Jenny Doan is the head honcho at Missouri Star Quilt Co. and to quote her, they are "the McDonald's of the quilt world!"  In layman's terms: she can show you how to do it FAST and EASY!!!  I was blown away by the intricate designs of the quilts she showed us and then when she explained the 'cheaters' way of doing things I knew in an instant this was something I could tackle and become addicted to.  And I did.

I've always been the type of person who has to learn by watching.  You know, kind of a hands on approach.  You see I'd read about these fancy quilts and 'easy' tutorials, but until someone showed me it didn't sink in.  After the class my best friend Joy and I headed straight to the quilt shop to buy a little stash of precuts to start some new projects.  

Then it donned on me....I could use this new found love of all things quilty to raise money for our mission trips and projects!!!  You've seen the last couple of quilts I made in the previous post.  Pretty simple, straight cuts or squares.  Yes, they're awesome, I still love them dearly, but discovering I could make something that looked like it took weeks in a matter of hours, well....that was SWEET.

So in order to prepare for the upcoming Women's Conference we were to set up at, I made a couple of baby quilts to raffle off.   And it was a success!!!  With just a small group of women in one of our hometown churches I raised about $200.  Now, that's a far cry from the price of paying for a quilt when they range in price from $75 on up, and I raffled off three of them.  But it was a nice surprise for me and I'm on a mission to make some more for the same purpose.  This love of quilting is going to take me back to Haiti and hopefully Africa very soon!

First I made this one.....

A disappearing 9 patch pattern that is SUPER simple.  I discovered the pattern for it HERE.  Surprisingly simple and I've discovered it's pretty much an awesome design no matter who you're quilting for and it looks like you spent a lot of time doing it.  This little quilt was also my first attempt at free motion quilting.  I checked out a book at the local library and after reading through it, purchasing the right foot for my sewing machine and practicing on a piece of scrap fabric I jumped right in.  It's like doodling with a needle and thread.  I LOVE it!  I wanted these little quilts finished for the event we were attending, but didn't want to have to spend anymore money on them paying someone else to quilt them.  Not to mention it can take a lot of time for someone else to quilt your projects if they do it on a full time basis.  The quilt shop I love states their turnaround time is averaging 6 weeks!  Apparently there are a lot of ladies who still love this pastime.

If you're afraid of trying free motion quilting I challenge you to give it a shot.  It really isn't as hard as everyone makes it out to be.  The best part of all, the quirky little mistakes that I notice and hopefully no one else will, give it that personal touch.  I've embraced them rather than thinking they are major disasters.  My girlfriend would agree.  ;)  She loved it so much she gave it a shot on her machine and whipped up an adorable baby blanket for a gift as well!  Yeah, we're both hooked.  lol

This was my next little quilt.  I found the daisy quilting on pinterest of course because I got so excited about the free motion quilting that it inspired the quilt itself.  Rather than chop up all those cute little blocks in a disappearing 9 patch I left the charm pack pieces whole and this one came together in no time flat!

Overall, I'd say our little booth was a big success!!!  At just $1 per ticket I was thrilled that I managed to raise almost $200.  I spent $8.95 on two charm packs and had some other fabric in my stash to create the borders and backing for these little quilts.  Throw in less than half a package of batting that cost around $5 and I'd say this is a fantastic little fundraiser idea!  I know you can never get paid for the time you put into a quilt, but honestly these took me just a couple of hours and praying for the cause and whoever got them during the process sure makes it go much faster.

Our booth....

We got lucky...having a metal wall behind us I just used some magnets to hang the quilts we were raffling off on the wall.  It gave everyone a chance to see them from all over the room.  With approximately 350 women in attendance it was an awesome day.

Of course my new addiction had me making a return trip to Missouri Star Quilt Co. and I picked up a Moda Layer Cake this time and decided to make a quilt for me.....which quickly turned into a quilt for my daughter.  Saying she loves to snuggle is an understatement.  The girl wears hoodies and sweats and sleeps with 5 blankets on her, IN THE SUMMER!  Seriously.  She's getting ready to graduate from college so I thought I'd surprise her.  Only she surprised us by coming home today for a visit and I couldn't contain my excitement, and I spoiled the surprise.  It only took me 2 days anyway.  I'll make another one before graduation I'm sure.  ;)

It reminds me of books and she is an avid reader.  That may in fact be an entirely gross understatement.  She never, repeat never, leaves home without a book in her hand.  It turned off a bit windy today so I didn't get more pictures, but the back of this is the dark gray (the same as the skinny strip border) with a color blocked strip of orange and a matching block from the front pieced in.  Pretty cool actually.  Can't wait to share more pics soon.  I have to take it to church to lay it out and baste it together so I can quilt the top.  I'm already on to my next project.  I found a book at Hastings and started making another baby quilt that is a spin on a traditional log cabin pattern.  Pretty neat, pretty fast.  Yeah, I like fast.  Instant gratification.

If you're in the mood to try something new, or have the same attitude about quilting as I did and want to learn the quick and easy way to make some treasured heirlooms then check out Missouri Star Quilt Co. online.  Shipping is only a flat $5!  You can't drive there for less than that with the price of gas, and she has some great free patterns on her website as well as some incredible youtube tutorials.  Serious goodness.  Check out her video for the Jelly Roll Race quilt.  I've already made 2 of those too.....  now why didn't I get pictures of that?  Hmmm......  I should start keeping a count of all the ones I make and see how large the list grows.  It's about to get crazy.  Stay tuned.

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