Wednesday, February 29, 2012

REVIEW: Free-Motion Quilting Make Easy-186 Designs from 8 Simple Shapes

First, I want to say I bought this book by Eva A. Larkin, after finding it on, because I needed some help with free-motion quilting. I had taken a free motion class and felt comfortable with it. But I just didn't know where to go with it.  What designs to use or how to find good designs.
And this book's title had key words I liked: easy and simple

So get ready for some gushing - cause I loved this book. 

One of the best things about this book is the easy and entertaining way that Larkin writes.  I could totally understand what she was saying plus she provided nice illustrations.  I had also checked a free motion quilting book out of the library (which I won't name) and I could not understand what the author was saying.   This made me appreciate Larkin even more. 

Larkin starts the book with the basics, which I'm so glad I took the time to read, because I actually learned some valuable information!  And I love her tension photos and advise!  

She then moves on to practice lessons, then the 8 simple shapes and then the combinations of them plus little twists to make even more patterns. She includes little arrow and numbers so you know which way to stitch. 

Here's where I had to change things up.  I took my book and put a spiral binding on it. 
I know it's too expensive for the publishers to publish most books this way. 
For me the joy of having a book lay flat is totally worth it. 
Especially when I'm using it as a reference as I sew. 

Larkin gives details on how to set up your quilting area and maneuver the quilt so that even big quilts are a breeze to quilt. She also includes a chapter on how to look at your quilt in sections for easy quilting. (Boy did I appreciate learning this!!) She gives good instructions (&  illustrations) for taking it beyond just the designs to actually how one goes about determining the quilting design for their own quilt. Including using continuous designs and using these simple shapes in the borders.  She closes the book with a chapter  showing a gallery of quilts with her designs and a troubleshooting chart.    

I'll close this review saying this is the best quilting book I have brought. I really am happy with it.   

Thanks Eva Larkin for writing it!

Now here are some of my pictures.
First my practice:
These were my second and third attempts. I then left them sitting on the table and when I looked at them again, I thought they were good enough and started in on my quilt.
I'm so very pleased with it!  I now have all my pink squares quilted. 
And while I was having fun doing that - here's what KitKat was doing:
She was sleeping away!
KitKat get off that couch!  Hmmm....she doesn't listen very well.

Happy Stitching,
Nicey Linda

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

What to do when your camera is dead...

So are we all happy today?  Well, I would have liked to post about the quilting I've been doing, and the book I bought about quilting, but my camera is dead. Just the battery is dead.  So after I charge it up I'll do a review on the book and show some pictures of the quilting.  Hopefully that will be tomorrow.

Happy Stitching,
Nicey Linda

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

My quilting update and Hanging with the band

Okay it's time for an update, since my picture in my last post failed. ( I love that.  We all need a chance to say "failure is fun".) I tried to upload the picture in a different way. At first it appeared to worked but when I logged back on, my picture was an X.

Okay so here's the picture.
I used a decorative stitch for the quilting.  I think it's just okay. At least it's done with shiny thread.  And we all like shiny, Right?
Here's the back....
I kind of like this.  But I think it needs more. I need to stitch in the ditch around the square at the very least. I only did some of the blocks with the decorative stitch.  I'll be doing something else on the other ones.

Saturday night my son in law's band got back together for a reunion.  Yes!!! What a great show!  So much fun!! How many movies are based on "The Band's Getting Back Together" premise; and all the members quit their jobs and then the band finally cuts the deal with the big promoters?  Well, that didn't exactly happen here.  They just played and it was fun.
Lebecs - poor quality photo was taken by an amateur groupie: ME!
That's Dan on the right.  He's a great bass player.  
And Kenny, Dan's brother on the drums. So cool!
The band, called the Lebecs, used to be the hot band here in our area. Scarlett still thinks so. She was really enjoying them play, her little head bobbing up and down to the music.  Is that so cute or what?
Scarlett and her Daddy, Dan, after the show.
The band started playing at 10:30 pm and some little girls just couldn't hang!
Violet sleeping away on Aunt MiMi. (Dan's sister)
Also pictured THE best Grandma, Sherry (Dan's Mom)
Those two sure look wide awake, don't they?
So that's what I've been up too.  Just having fun.

Happy Stitching,
Nicey Groupie Linda

Friday, February 17, 2012

FNSI - Feb 17th - (with update)


I did a little bit of quilting on my Queen.  Sort of quilting.  I'm using a decorative stitch to quilt the turquoise squares. 

Now back to stitching.
Nicey Linda

I'm ready.  Are you?

Join us at Handmade by Heidi. Let share what we get done.

I'm really bad about posting on Saturdays - but I'll make a huge effort okay?

Happy Friday Stitching,
Nicey Linda

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Sonoma Rose Review (& Happy Valentine's Day!)

I took a trip up to Salinas and then to San Francisco to visit with family this past weekend.

The weekend was a girls weekend and consisted of Daughters, Moms and Aunties.   Of course we had so much fun - trips to Starbucks
 and some shopping, ate great salads - cuz you know we are all on a diet.  Then we splurged and ate dinner out, stayed up until the wee hours of the morning and played games.

I'm telling you I was so tired the day I got home.  And then I got a nice surprise in the mail...Oh yes, I really NICE surprise. 

The publisher for Jennifer Chiaverini sent me her latest book, Sonoma Rose, to review.  Of course I've heard of Chiaverini's books but have never read any.  
I was watching a movie when the book came and I thought I would just open it a see what I thought.   With such a beautiful cover, can you blame me?

Oh my! It's so intriguing right off the bat. It's about a woman named Rosa, who has 4 kids and her husband is abusive and he's up to something, probably something no good - but I don't know exactly what that is yet.  And two of the children are ill, which I can see will be another  mystery. Just let me say I forgot all about the movie!  She has such a nice writing style, (duh, she's a bestselling author of about 20 -25 books) and she brings in the subject of quilting in such a way that it flows seamlessly with the story.  

I was asked to give a review - they did not asked for a positive review.  But it certainly is easy to give one.  It really is a wonderful book to sit and read and relax with.  You know this may be a minor point to some people but this hardcover book is just the right size for my hands to hold comfortably and that makes it more pleasurable to read.   And it fits in my purse easily. Score!

Now before I run away close and continue reading Sonoma Rose I want to wish you all a Happy Valentine's Day.  

Remember Valentine's Day is not just for lover's but for "giving love" to others.  

Thanks for reading,


Thursday, February 9, 2012

When you can't quilt - Shop!

I decided to run over to one of our local quilt shops on my lunch hour and you know,  just look around, see what's new.  See what classes they are offering.   

On the way over there I said "I will only look, I will not buy anything."  

I repeated it to myself again, more firmly "I will not buy anything!"

And because last time when I only said it twice I ended up buying - I said it very firmly a third time.  "I will NOT buy anything!!"

Ooooh..... Don't you just love the fat quarter bundle I bought?

Do you see why I just couldn't resist?
I'm not going to talk to myself anymore - it just doesn't do any good!  

Happy Sewing or Shopping,
 Nicey Linda

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

How the Anniversary Day Went

So are you at all interested in how that anniversary day went?

Well, my big plan was to dye my hair and wash the car.  Not too exciting, but now we both look so much better! hehehe  And also to help my husband shop for our gift. 

My husband is kind of romantic/funny, each year he gets us a gift from the traditional list of what one should buy each anniversary. 

Anniversary #Traditional GiftModern Gift
FirstPaper AnniversaryPaperClocks AnniversaryClocks
SecondCotton AnniversaryCottonChina AnniversaryChina
ThirdLeather AnniversaryLeatherCrystal / Glass AnniversaryCrystal / Glass

 I found this list here.

According to the list that he found the 18Th year is porcelain.  He looked all over for something I would want and couldn't find anything.  So being a good wife I went with him to help. We had so much fun but didn't find anything we wanted.   We went to a Japanese place for dinner.  You know the kind where they cook in front of you, and do all that fancy knife work. That was fun.  
Photo from because I didn't think to take a camera!
He told me what he really wanted to get me were flowers.  So off to Home Depot we went.  It's not every girl that gets to have her present come from Home Depot!!  

I bought him some Iceland Poppies.  (And planted them too! I got big brownie points for that!)  
I picked out two orchid plants for me.
The orchids were on sale for $5.00!  Whoo Hoo! I love a sale!
And then we also bought two fern plants - Because I liked one and he liked another - and some nice pots to put them in.
One is called a lemon button (that's the one I liked) and the other is  some type of ruffled leaf fern (that he liked).
I just loved re-potting the plants and now having them in the house. It was a bit different from sewing and that was nice too.
Happy Stitching!!
Nicey Linda

Friday, February 3, 2012

I was online and I found this book.  It received 5 stars! 
Doesn't it look like it was made just for me with words like easy and only 8 simple shapes yet makes 186 designs?

Well how could I resist?  Yep, I got out my credit card and it is on it's way!!

In the meanwhile, I haven't been doing anything on the queen.  It has just been sitting on my dinning room table for a week now.  Just sitting there doing nothing and it's getting on my nerves!  LOL!

So I'm formed a plan.  Tonight I'm  going to get the binding all ready to go.
Then put the quilt up, because.....

Tomorrow is our anniversary.  
So I'll be busy making my husband think it was worth it to marry me.
This is a hard job and it will take all day. (hehehe)

Maybe I'll get the book on Monday.

Happy Sewing,
Nicey Linda

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Ahh, a new month in which to try again...

Here we are February all ready! Are you all excited about the month?  Looking forward to completing new projects and finishing up some of those UFO?

Well, it was my plan for January to finish up just my UFO.  But I ran out of time.  And I really didn't have a good idea how to quilt these Jewel Boxes. 

Don't you think these Jewel Boxes will be fun to quilt once I get a good idea? (Hint, Hint, If you have an idea please let me know. )
I did get all the Irish Chain portion quilted.  Yea for me!  

Just a close up picture of one - as the light pink thread is hard to see on that very light blue/pink fabric batik.  

Also on my mind for January that didn't get finished is The Stay at Home Round Robin.  (I bet I'm using the wrong name for that.) 
I've thought long and hard about this quilt today; What is keeping me from doing this quilt. Answer: (Insert whining voice)   It's too hard!!!  

I'm either too tired at night or too busy to sit and figure out the math for the different elements - like the log cabin blocks.  So...I'm skipping that row, and I'm going on to the next row, or maybe even the next row after that.  Then maybe this quilt and I can come to an understanding and it will get completed. 

Another thing that I worked on during January was my little house block.  I had said I wasn't going to do this one but it I just couldn't help it.  I was at work and I thought oh, lets see how it would be to make this template, and then I had a bit of fabric to cut out. The next thing I knew I was working on the little houses. I do it at work, when I have a few moments - and as you can see I haven't had many of those.  Here's how far I've gotten in 3 weeks.  
Hey, my door is upside down! Good thing I didn't sew it up yet.
My only finish for January was my "Hello Sun" block.  
This little guy was fun and I can't wait to start February's block. 

There's nothing like quilting for a hobby.  There's always a new project to start and an old project to finish up.  We never have to worry about getting bored with our hobby.

Happy February Sewing,
Nicey Linda