May Do Good Stitches Blocks

I’m a bit behind. Things have been kind of emotional in my house lately, my husband is getting ready to go to Korea for a year with the army and let’s face it, that’s hard on everyone. I’m just not ready for it and to be honest, I would probably be even more concerned if I was ready for it. Separations are not easy and this is the fourth long term separation since our darling Anne was born. Let me be the first to say, that it does not actually get easier. The uncertain political situation in Korea is frightening. The fact that Anne has a true understanding of how long a year is and she knows how much she will miss, all add to the fact that this will be a tough year.  He leaves one month from tomorrow, and I will probably be a bit scarce between now and then. I promise it isn’t from a place of not wanting to blog but from a place of needing to refocus my energy for a little while. In the meantime, here are my May blocks for Do Good Stitches.

Trust Circle - Do Good Stitches - May 2016 for TessaThese great Spider Web blocks are from .House. of A La Mode. You can find the tutorial here.

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Posted in Do.Good Stitches, Personal Post | 10 Comments

Laser Level Trimming Tutorial

Last week I posted a picture to Instagram of me trimming a quilt with my husband’s laser level. The idea came to me because I was thinking about Vicki from Orchid Owl Quilts using laser levels to block her quilts for quilt shows, and I thought why not use them to trim my quilts too! Talk abut accuracy!

Laser Level Trimming - http://blog.sewbittersweetdesigns.comNeedless to say, it was kind of a big hit, it was shared multiple times on Facebook and got lots of likes and comments on Instagram. I thought I would give you a quick tutorial on using Laser Light Levels to trim your quilts. For really big quilts this is awesome, because you don’t need a huge line of rulers, you can use one and just keep your ruler on the laser line, moving up the quilt as needed.

Step 1: Steal Borrow your husband’s laser level. If you don’t have one in the house, head to your favorite hardware store and buy one. We have two, one is Black and Decker brand the other is Skil. You don’t need anything fancy, don’t spend more than $25.00.

Step 2: Get out your biggest square ruler and place it on the corner of the quilt. this will be your 90 degree angle.

Laser Level Trimming - http://blog.sewbittersweetdesigns.comStep 3: Use the laser levels to create your straight lines for cutting. Once your lines are there, bust out your rotary cutter and start cutting, you can move your ruler along the laser line and not worry about your cuts being straight.

More about the quilt in these pictures later!

Have a happy Wednesday!

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Posted in tutorial | 9 Comments

Long Arm Quilting – Stripper Quilt Finish

Stripper Quilt?!? What has Melissa been doing?

I promise, I have only been quilting, not stripping. 3 years ago I was part of a fun group of quilters who called themselves Stripper Quilters because we each made block strips for each other over the course of a year to make fabulous, fun and scrappy quilts. I pieced my top in January of 2014 and never quilted it because it was 80×80 and that was too big for me to wrestle through my domestic machine. Well now that Spike is here, I have run out of excuses not to finish it!  All that’s left is the binding and given how I feel about quilt bindings…well that could take awhile, but at least the quilting is done.

Rainbow Stripper Quilt - http://blog.sewbittersweetdesigns.comIt is really hard to photograph the quilting on the white background, lucky for me the backing is a nice dark blue and the quilting popped beautifully. I did this quilt with a different fill on each row so that I could show customers what different fills would like like and given them ideas for how they might like their quilts done.

Row One - Stripper Quilt - http://blog.sewbittersweetdesigns.comThe outside border has a nice wishbone motif, I wanted to be able to show lots of different ideas and what might work for different quilts. The second border has continuous feathers that go around the entire quilt. Not bad for my first attempt at feathers if I do say so myself. The first stripper row has my take on Vicki Swirls – which are done by my good friend Vicki from Orchid Owl Quilts.

Row Two - Stripper Quilt - http://blog.sewbittersweetdesigns.comRow two are my flames. One of my favorite designs so far. I love the gentle echoes and think the design has so much potential for a quilting.

Row Three - Stripper Quilt - http://blog.sewbittersweetdesigns.comRow three starts with pebbles (pictured above) and then fades into paisley (pictured below) and back to pebbles. Showing how designs can be mixed together for different textural effects.

Row Three - Stripper Quilt - http://blog.sewbittersweetdesigns.comThis row was lots of fun to quilt.

Row Four - Stripper Quilt - http://blog.sewbittersweetdesigns.comRow four is this fun triangle design, they look like fireworks or starbursts to me. Can’t wait to do this design again! I love angular designs.

Row Five - Stripper Quilt - http://blog.sewbittersweetdesigns.comRow five is an echo heart design.

I really enjoyed quilting this one, I learned so much on it and even got to FaceTime my Innova rep in Italy when I had issues, talk about amazing customer service! She is on a two month vacation and took time out to help me. Truly awesome people work for Innova.

This summer I will start taking customer quilts and I am so excited about it!

Have a great day!

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Posted in 2016 Finishes, Innova, Long Arm Quilting, Stripper Quilt | 8 Comments

Spring Blossoms Magazine Debut

Spring Blossoms - http://blog.sewbittersweetdesigns.comMy latest quilt pattern has been released! This beauty is called Spring Blossoms and is in the May 2016 issue of Make Modern Magazine, along with so many other gorgeous quilty projects.

Picture from Make Modern Magazine

Picture from Make Modern Magazine

This was my secret project that I was working on back in January. It is hard to see in the picture but I did some of my favorite zentangle quilting on it, in fact this is one of the last quilts done on my domestic before Spike arrived.

I am so excited to be included in an issue with so many other gorgeous designs! Make sure to head over to the Make Modern website and download your copy today!

Have a very happy Friday!

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Posted in 2016 Finishes, Make Modern Magazine, Sew BitterSweet Designs Patterns | 7 Comments

Long Arm Quilting – Disappearing 9 Patch

When I first got Spike, a very good family friend sent me a quilt top she made for charity, complete with backing and batting. She said it was something I could practice on. I was so grateful for her trusting me with something that she made. It was the first quilt I loaded after getting my new and awesome Red Snappers installed. Speaking of which, I will NEVER pin again!

Disappearing 9 Patch - http://blog.sewbittersweetdesigns.comWhen I first looked at the quilt I was a bit stumped, but I decided to load up a lovely yellow thread from Signature and just getting going.

Close up - disappearing 9 patch - http://blog.sewbittersweetdesigns.comI love this quilting design, it is so much fun and versatile for the different sizes and shapes that are in this quilt pattern and the yellow thread popped just enough in some places and receded perfectly in other places.

close up - disappearing 9 patch - http://blog.sewbittersweetdesigns.comThe back looks great too! The backing was a solid navy and I used Superior Threads Omni in the bobbin, it was a golden brown color and it pops so beautifully. You can really see how the quilting looks!

Back - disappearing 9 patch - http://blog.sewbittersweetdesigns.comI love how the quilting stands out on the back and makes all kinds of interesting patterns!

I will likely be accepting customer quilts this summer! Just working on the business end of things! Can’t wait to get started!

Have a lovely Monday!

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Posted in Custom Quilting, Innova, Long Arm Quilting, Spike | 6 Comments