Tuesday, July 31, 2012

A Bit About Me

Kim and Zdenek Piter

Since I started this blog a couple of months ago, I have been thinking about what to share about myself with fellow bloggers.  I love reading sewing and quilting blogs;  it makes it easier to connect with bloggers if I know something about them.  So it is only fair to share a bit about myself.

I have lived in Scottsdale, AZ for eight years.  I love living in the desert and like the heat much better than the cold. Although, I miss pretty flower plants that only can live where it rains :(

I have been married eight years to Zdenek who is from Czech Republic.  I met him when I was on a three-month work assignment in Flagstaff, AZ. A year later we got married on Catalina Island, honeymooned in Europe and moved to Scottsdale.  I think that was enough changes in a year!

I have two grown sons.  Mathew, 30, lives in Brooklyn, NY and Jason, 26, lives in Clearwater, FL.  I am flying to Florida in August and Mathew is also.  I can't wait!  It's been a year since I've seen them.

I have been sewing for about six years off and on.  The last two years more on than off!  I can't imagine my life without this hobby.  I can't say I can always sew a straight line but I can say I love sewing.  All styles of sewing.

I have a degree in Radiologic Technology,  meaning I take X-rays; actually, I work in Cat Scan.  I work at a children's hospital in Phoenix.  Many people ask me how I can work in a children's hospital, isn't it hard seeing sick kids?  Yes.  I see the worst but also see miracles.  Honestly, kids are much easier patients than adults.  They always have a smile for  you.

I started sewing as an outlet to my job.  I needed something in my life that was creative since I see so much illness, accidents  and abuse.  I hope to be able to retire from my job in five years! This is my dream.

I love hiking with my husband.  We often go to Sedona, AZ to hike.  I also like to go camping!  We plan to go when it's a bit cooler.  I also watch Formula One racing with my husband.  My favorite driver is Fernando Alonso.

We hope to move to Czech Republic.   Right now this is just a dream but you have to start somewhere.  If our dream comes true, we still plan to come back to United States for several months a year.  We want to be close to both of our families.

Writing, in general, is difficult for me.  I am dyslexic.  Writing is one of the hardest things for a person who has this condition.  But I do it anyways.  When I was growing up, I felt stupid.  It wasn't until I left school that I learned of my condition.  Years ago I was a waitress and had this customer I saw everyday.  One day he asked me what I wanted to do with my life. Well, I didn't really know.  He said I should go to college.  I explained to him that I couldn't because learning was very difficult for me.  He asked what made learning hard for me.  I said that most written words didn't make sense to me.  He said he knew me better than I knew myself.  He said that within six months, if I really worked hard, he would help me enroll in college.  I asked him what did he do professionally?  He was a professor!  I took him up on his offer and everyday for six months, he taught me how to learn.  He explained that I had dyslexia and how to get around it.  I admit it was hard but exactly six months later I enrolled in college and earned a degree in Radiography.  He helped me all through out my college days.   So if some of my posts do not make sense, I'm sorry.  I usually wait till my husband can read them before I post them. But sometimes, I just want to get them posted so I don't wait.

On a much lighter note....I have my pilot's license!

Thank you for visiting my blog.  Please tell me something about yourself.

                                                              Sew long for now,  Kim

Friday, July 27, 2012

Triangle Placemats

 For a couple of days now I have been sewing this ONE placemat.  I had purchased two charm packs with the idea of making these.  I knew that with one of the packs I would make the Redding Block, which would be incorporated in the placemats; the other pack would be used to make the front of the the placemats. I just didn't know what I wanted.  Finally, I decided on triangles.  I just started cutting into the squares without  thought.  BIG mistake.  It's amazing how sometimes you can create something wonderful when you have nothing in mind and the next time you wished you had followed  someone else's lead.  This was one of those times.  Luckily, all is not lost because this is the only one I had created.  Now I plan to do some research on how to sew and arrange triangles together.  I like the overall look of the placemat and dislike the way I have two halves of the pattern side cut and sewn  together.  Most of my points aren't points.  I had taken many squares apart trying to fix them but finally I threw in the towel and said: this is just gonna have to be GOOD ENOUGH... I'm sure you understand.  I plan to keep this one for myself!

                                                                                    Sew long for now...Kim

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Dogwood Blossom, Storm at Sea, Mission Completed

Well, mission was accomplished but I'm not sure I like the results.


When I was done sewing the ten rows of blocks, it didn't measure 20.5" and the end blocks were shy of what they should have been.  So I had to cut into the orange border on all sides.  Then I had to cut a bit more off two sides.  So really nothing measures out correctly.  I'm not liking how bright it is.  I feel like it's glaring at me.  I have read other people's comment when they sowed their Storm at Sea together about how bright it felt to them.  So I know I'm not alone.  Oh well, I'm not going to rip it out.  I invested too much money and time so it will remain this way and hopefully it will grow on me.

Sew long for now....Kim

Today's Mission: Dogwood Blossom Quilt

If I choose to accept this mission, I would be finishing up Storm at Sea portion of this quilt.  Here's where the mission begins:

I really should accept this mission!!  I'm totally behind in my class! I'm not leaving my sewing room until there's serious progress :)  I'll report back at the end of the day.  You can be the judge if I took my mission seriously...

                                                                                Sew long for now....Kim

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Paper Pieicng Blog Hop at Quiet Play

I am so excited about Quiet Play's Blog Hop starting August 1st.  It's all about paper piecing.   Have you tried paper piecing yet? If not, I recommend it. I love that I can use up fabric scraps sewing with this method. The tiniest pieces of fabrics can still have a purpose!  How cool is that!   This Video by Vanessa Wilson explains in very simple terms how to paper piece.  After doing a few blocks for an online sewing class I'm taking,  I found a tutorial  Kristy created over at Quiet Play called  the Red Herring block.  I enjoy making it  and now I can't wait to do more paper piecing.  Warning: you may not be able to stop making them after you get the hang of paper piecing.  I just wanna warn ya!  I am looking forward to seeing what other people have pieced and what they did with their blocks.  If you are interested in this type of sewing, Kristy would love it if you spread the word.

 Practically Paper Piecing

Sew Long for now, Kim

Friday, July 20, 2012

Paper Piecing Beauties

I just wanted to post an update of my paper piecing project:  The Red Herring Blocks.

Organizing Set A and Set B of a Block

Totally Organized for Paper Piecing

Two Blocks Completed!

I am happy with my success of paper piecing and will write about my experience with this pattern soon.  Just wanted to share some happiness.

                                                   Sew long for now, Kim

A Great Morning To Do Some Paper Piecing

Good Morning, 

I feel a bit guilty for all those gals at work right now.  I am enjoying my morning with a hot cup of coffee. I live in Scottsdale,  AZ but can't seem to give up my morning coffee even in 110 degree weather.  I know, CRAZY!  
I'm cutting all the material to do some paper piecing.  I found this great tutorial from Kristy at Quiet Play called the Red Herring Block.  I am planning to use this pattern to sew place mats for Dagmar, my sister-in-law.  I purchased two 5x5 charm packs of Benartex Sampler Crazy Daisy.  I love the name Crazy Daisy.  The pattern is so bright and cheerful.  Who wouldn't smile when looking at this?  I hope this adds some sunshine to Dagmar's table.  I can't wait to see how I create these blocks.  

(photo by Kristy at Quiet Play)

Anyways, I hope you have a great sewing day... just like me :)

                       Sew long for now, Kim

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Hexagon Tree Project

I finished another project from the Handstitched: Camp Pearl online sewing class.

This was a project that introduced English Paper Piecing.  I'm sure you remember my last post where I was defeated by this.  NOT ANY MORE!!!!  This is a great example why you should try more than once.  This project was a great introduction to this technique.  I should have tried it first and maybe I would have been more successful with my earlier blocks.  Oh well, live and learn!  What I think made this a success was the fact that the paper was stiffer.  So it was easier to wrap the fabric around the foundation.  Second, all the pieces lined up perfectly.  And third, I only had to  join 2 or 3 EPPs together.  Great project to learn EPP.

Here's the end result.....

Here are some pictures of the process:

Have all supplies and material cut.  Usually I do this on the fly!  But I
totally think this way is much better :) 

First step in EPP: wrap fabric around foundation and stitch to hold in place.  Second step is to attached them together.

Successful EPP!!!  

And you will be making a lot of them!  

Next is to place them on my tote bag.  I embroider a tree truck and these are my leaves!
I played around a bit on how I want to attached them: running stitch or blanket stitch.
The running stitch won.  The tree is made with the back stitch.

Really starting to look like a cute tree.

and after a bit of more sewing, you have the finished product...

Ta Da~  (Notice that I used fabric I already had on hand so I saved money
on this project....makes my husband very happy :))

I feel good about this.  I love the end result.  I would like to make more tote bags but adjust the size of them.  Also, I would like to find a quicker way to make the bag.  Of course I was learning so this took way longer than it normally would.  I love the fact that I can do the EPP and tree embroidery ahead of time.  Plus, I love the fact that the first half of this project is portable, I can do it anywhere.  No machine required! I think these might sell well at a craft fair.  What do you think? 

                                                                  Sew long for now!  Kim 

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

English Paper Piecing: Happy Dance

If you're first not successful....keep tryin'

Success can be lurking around the corner....

English Paper Piecing

I am doin' the "Happy Dance"

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

English Paper Piecing vs Paper Piecing


A picture is worth a thousand words so here it is....

Top: English Paper Piecing Bottom: Machine Paper Piecing
It's really no constest which way was easier for me.  I think that it will take me a lot more practice to master English Paper Piecing and since Rachel, the instructor said something about paper piecing being quicker, I opted for that route.  The only problem about machine paper piecing is I had never attempted it before.  Well, really no better time to learn so I headed over to one of my favorite ways to learn something new, You Tube!  I love modern technology. Nothing could be more convenient than sitting in your pajamas and learning from other women who have way more experience than you.  I love that people are willing to take the time to help others learn from their own experiences.  I found a video  from Vanessa Wilson (blog: Crafty Gemini) on youtube that explained paper piecing in really simple terms.  It didn't take me much time at all to try piecing.  Of course, there were some mistakes that quickly helped me learn!  After I made a couple mistakes, I decided to follow along with her while she was demenstrating the procedure.  Here's a picture of my first tries:

As you can see, I didn't quite follow her instructions at first.  In the top square,  I trimmed off the bottom left triangle.  In the bottom square, I didn't have enough fabric in the bottom right square.  She recommends to use plenty big enough fabric when learning.  Well, I'm trying to live frugelly!  It doesn't pay when doing this.  Maybe once I have more (much more!) experience I can try to be frugal with my fabric.  Anyways, I am thrilled to have tried a new sewing technique.  I am very happy with how my squares turned out:

The real lesson here is that there are more than one way of doing things.  Since I didn't think my English Paper Piecing (EPP) was good enough, I was able to still make my blocks  using a different technique.  Don't be afraid, just jump in :)  Sow sew sow Kim:)

Monday, July 2, 2012

Hand and Machine Sewing

Adding some hand stitches around medallion centerpiece.  There's a lot of squares so I might be at it for a while.  Great piece to slow me down a bit...this should keep me out of trouble for a while :)

I have missed sewing on my machine so I started sewing some Timeless Treasures Tonga Treats strips together.  I am making some placemats for my mother in law.  I hope she likes them.

I haven't  decided on the back.  I was thinking of keeping it simple using a linen blend with a column of the front in the center.