Thursday, January 19, 2017

WIPs With Friends (the Thursday edition)

Sorry about missing yesterday.  I had cataract surgery on Tuesday and didn't think it was such a good idea to be on the computer on Wednesday.  I'm back and all went well so let's have a WIP progress today instead, ok?  I guess my eye counts as a WIP since it is getting back to a new normal now right?

This was me on the way to the doctor the day after the surgery.  
(you can see the sharpie dot above my left eye so they knew which eye to operate on).  
I still can't get that dot off!  Hope this photo doesn't scare anyone. 
 I am not allowed to use eye makeup for a week.



I did some work but not too much actually.  
As you all saw I did the Bumble pillow cover and that took most of my time.
 I worked on a block that I have had "in progress" for some time and 
got all the stitching around the applique finished.  
I can't show it as I am thinking about submitting it to the 100 Blocks magazine.  
It is super cute though. 
 I am trying to decide if I want to keep it instead and make a little wall hanging and submit that 
or send off the block.  
Without seeing it what would your vote be for?

OK so since I am so lame and have nothing else to share today, what are you working on?  Time to share via the linky.

~XOP~

Now it's your turn to link up your finishes here. 
 Remember that if you do post in the link up here
 you should post a link back to this post on your own blog too.

So now it's your turn to share what you are working on.  
Please use the linky to link up and share that you linked up to WIPs With Friends on your blog too.  If using Instagram please use the hashtag
#wipswithfriends.  
We can't wait to see what you are working on!
Use the blue Inllinkz button to link up and spread the word by linking back to this post!





Monday, January 16, 2017

Meet Mrs Bumble

I have a friend at work that is CrAzY about Yeti.  
She is expecting a baby and she is decorating the nursery in a Yeti theme.  
I remembered a pattern for Bumble from the Rudolph tv show and went on the hunt for it. 
 It is at a site called Fandom In Stitches.

If you are looking for something that has a fan base you may want to look there first. 
 Disney?  Harry Potter? Comics and super heros?  They have all of that plus more!  
I thought that was where I had seen Bumble and I was right!   
 It is under the Holiday Favorites tab.


OK so paper piecing it is.  It was relatively easy except for two things. 
1- The larger bottom section printed off the paper (not scaled of course).  
I printed it out smaller and measured the differences and
 translated it to my pattern which was successful.  
2-The pattern had all the pieces colored, which was so helpful. 
 All except for the background pieces!  UGH.  
I had to try to figure out what colors went where and 
did no small amount of ripping out and replacing until I got it correct.  

Of course inspector Autumn was right on "helping me"



Take a look at this eye section!


Here is Mrs Bumble all finished and trimmed up.  
My friend is having a little girl so the Bumble had to be in pink of course! 
Still considering adding a bow too. 


I wanted to make this a pillow cover so I had to add to the background.  
I would have made it larger but that is all the pink PB fabric I own right there.  


I went ahead and made a quick envelope back for it and it is all finished!
I just need to purchase a pillow form to go inside and it will be ready to gift
Well, unless I decide it needs a bow, which I would do first.  

What do you think?  
Bow or no bow?


What did you work on over the weekend?

~XOP~



Thursday, January 12, 2017

Craft University

The folks at Craft University contacted me and offered me the opportunity to take one of their classes (for free)
They wanted me to write a blog post about the course, so that means this is a sponsored post.  
They did NOT tell me what to write.

I chose the Design Quilts with EQ7 & Nancy Mahoney.  
The registration for the course can be found right here if after this you want to take it too! 

 Additionally there is a beginner EQ7 webinar with Nancy Mahoney that is less money and if you do that first you will receive a 20% off coupon code to use toward the full course.  


I have been dying to learn this program ever since I had EQ6 so this seemed like the perfect time to take them up on their very generous offer.  
I have to say that I really enjoyed the online course.  I learned so much!  
It was a little overwhelming but so amazing.  

Nancy is an excellent teacher.  
She follows a logical progression as she goes through the material. 
 I watched each hour lesson and furiously took notes. 
 I wanted to hear it all once before I actually opened up my EQ7 and worked along with her.  
 I would need to open the course on my iPad and do the EQ7 lessons on my actual computer.  
She did suggest that the program works best when using a mouse 
so I need to go out and get one of those.

There is a tip section that explains how to navigate in the program.  
They also have phone help for technical issues, instructor problems or general site issues.  
I didn't have a problem so did not use that feature, but it is nice to know it is there.  
Additionally there is a place to ask the instructor questions if you have any.  
I did ask some questions and Nancy herself answered those.  

As an example this was the first page of the beginning of the first lesson:
(shared with Craft University's permission)


As you can see there is a LOT of good information covered in just the first lesson.

Sometimes it was tricky to see what she clicked on as the camera was on the EQ screen 
but you can rewind and watch it so you can see it better. 
 I don't think there is any better way to be able to do that part though.

Nancy did a fantastic job of explaining and showing LOTS of examples of what she was doing.  
As I said I was taking lots of notes. 
 It would be fantastic if they had an actual notebook of all of this information that 
you could take notes in as you follow along.

I can't wait to design my Ocean Waves quilt in the program.
The whole time I was listening I kept thinking,
"Wow, this would make laying out of my quilt so much quicker!"
Not to mention effective use of color placement.
No more trying to erase the colors or starting over!  
YAY!

You can change the colors so easily.
On the very last lesson she was talking about borders.
I don't know about you but when I get ready to put on a border I never seem to end up with what I thought I wanted to do.  
Either I change the fabric or the size or something.
Well in EQ7 you can scan in your own fabrics, and a photo of your quilt and guess what?
YES you can preview your borders using your fabrics and your own quilt.
A whole new world just opened up to me!

(shared with permission of CU)

I really loved this course!  
You have full access for one year from the time you pay.  

Now I know that sounds like a long time but I don't think it is really long enough. 
 Once you pay it would be nice to have access to the class forever, right? 
 Sometimes life gets in the way or you don't use one section and later wish you still could go back and view what you are SURE Nancy told you about that. 

 The good news is that YOU CAN have it forever!!
Look at the end of the video box and there is a green box with an arrow.
When you hover over it it says "Share Control".
If you click that you can download all of the videos and keep them forever.


How amazing is that???
No streaming necessary.
Download and take it wherever you are.
Brilliant! 

There are a LOT of great online courses over at Craft University. 
 If you have not checked them out you need to go and do that...right now!!

Tell them Mama Spark sent you ; )

I would love to hear of your experiences with Craft University courses.
If you can't afford the whole EQ7 course start with the webinar
I think the important thing is to just start.

What are you waiting for?

~XOP~





Wednesday, January 11, 2017

WIPs With Friends Hallowedding Progress

I am continuing progress on the Hallowedding quilt top.  
I lost one of the spider webs and finally found it this weekend.  
Then I thought I had lost the 2 witch's hats and the 2 candy corn blocks but 
they were actually hiding under the other spider web block.  
(Of course I discovered this after I made new ones, LOL.)

I had made a few extra coffin blocks and was lamenting this when another friend suggested that I use them in my filler block locations.  
BRILLIANT (this is why she is by BFF).  
I hand appliqued 4 individual coffin blocks and trimmed them to fit in the places that I needed the filler blocks. 


 Remember that since the ring was 6" larger, I had to find a way to enlarge the quilt top to make it fit.  I dug out the graph paper and started working. 
 As it turns out there was only one partial seam in the quilt top piecing. 
 How lucky was that?  


The first section I worked on was this one.  See the four filler blocks? 
 I was happy to use that skeleton hand fabric forming hearts. 
 It came from my friend.


I think this one with the cat, fish and boy (holding up the peacock) is my favorite.  
I was totally going for this look too.  So cool!


I wanted to find a way to use Sebastian in the quilt wherever I could and this large pink cat was purrrrfect!


A different friend also send a Ghastly peacock so I had to use him.  
See that pumpkin fabric?  I was dying to find a way to include that in this quilt.


I was under the mistaken idea that I needed to make more candy corns so made this one with the cat.
Turns out the others were hiding under that blue web!  
(They will be on the back)


Another "must use" fabric was this haunted forest.


Last adorable filler I will share is Sebastian on the picture frame.  
These were all so perfect for my quilt.


So this is my progress after the weekend.
Linking up with Sew Fresh Quilts

~XOP~

Now it's your turn to link up your finishes here. 
 Remember that if you do post in the link up here
 you should post a link back to this post on your own blog too.

So now it's your turn to share what you are working on.  
Please use the linky to link up and share that you linked up to WIPs With Friends on your blog too.  If using Instagram please use the hashtag
#wipswithfriends.  
We can't wait to see what you are working on!
Use the blue Inllinkz button to link up and spread the word by linking back to this post!





Monday, January 09, 2017

Over The Weekend

What were you up to over the weekend?  I tried out my new doughnut pan.  
They were not perfect so I guess I will have to keep experimenting right? 
 They were pretty delish right out of the oven though.


I sat down to take a break from laundry and cleaning only to have Hallie snuggle up to me and throw her arm over mine.  
She is such a good snuggler!


I tried to sew on the Hallowedding quilt but Autumn insisted on laying right behind the needle so everything backed up on top of her. 
 Every time I would push her a bit she would complain.


Finally she moved over on to the quilt I put on my table for her to lay on. 
 She is doing much better on her medicine.  
She has gained 1/4 of a pound
 (now over 6 pounds!), 
and her thyroid and kidney levels are back to normal.  


How was your weekend?

~XOP~


Friday, January 06, 2017

Ocean Waves QAL

Ocean Waves Quilt Along

We are going to start this thing today!

So you can maybe get planning your colors I have uploaded this worksheet.  
You can print it out and color it in.  If you are working with scraps then never mind, LOL.  
If you are working like me using different fabrics for each quarter of the block but all the same color family then also never mind.


Ocean Waves Coloring Grid 

I am planning on using 3" squares to make the HST blocks required for this quilt, and trimming them to 2.5" squares.

You will need 48 HST squares per block, and 16 2.5" background squares per block.

To make this queen sized you will need 36 blocks.
Each OW (Ocean Wave) block will be 18.5" before sewn into the quilt.
Finished size will be 108" x 108"

You can make any size quilt you like though.

I am planning on making my HST by cutting 3" squares of navy and white (my background).
I will be using my Clearly Perfect rather than drawing a line.  If you are drawing a diagonal line you will sew 1/4" away from both sides of the line and cut on the line.
Press to the dark.
Trim to 2.5" square.
Total number of HST is 1728

You can get 14 three inch squares out of a 3" x WOF strip.
So if you are using one color for your entire quilt you would need 62 strips of your colored and your background fabrics.  Plus an extra 2.5" strip (36 of them) to cut out the 2.5" squares for each block.
I hope this makes sense.  

I am hoping to get to my cutting soon.
I need to finish up my Hallowedding quilt first! 

So this is the beginning.
Select your fabrics.
Plan and execute the cutting.
Start sewing the HST
When finished trim the HST to 2.5"

Once I am beginning this I will post my progress.
In an upcoming post I will post a linky so you can post your progress too.

I'm looking forward to seeing everyone's progress
Please grab the button and put on your blog and spread the word!
Use #oceanwavesQAL on Instagram to post your progress too.  
Find me on Facebook at Mama Spark's Quilts and post there as well!!!

Happy planning, enjoy your weekend!

~XOP~