Sunday Sewing: Hand Quilting

Mini Quilt - Block Pattern Illusion by Daine {from blank pages...}

Mini Quilt - Pattern Illusion - Hand quilting

You might remember this... back in December I tested a paper piecing pattern for Diane @ From Blank Pages. And the block had been hanging on my inspiration board, unfinished all this time; mainly because I couldn't decide on how to quilt it. I knew I wanted to make it into a mini quilt to decorate my sewing room (I love looking at it every time I come into the room), but I had my doubts about the quilting. I wanted something soft that wouldn't overpower the design. Thus, hand quilting was my final choice. To contrast the straight lines and at the same time complement the geometric design of the block I hand quilted circles all over. I really like the texture the hand quilting gives to this quilt. Hand quilting takes a bit more time than machine quilting, but is totally worth it. I'm looking forward to creating another project using this technique. 

Have a wonderful week!



Monday Link Up: Some Photography Tips


Welcome, for those of you new to my blog, my name is Martha and this is where I record my adventures in quilting, cooking and gardening. I'm so happy to be hosting the Let's Get Acquainted Monday Link Up this week. I was so delighted when Beth asked me if I wanted to host it. I met Beth last summer during Let's Get Acquainted Blog Hop that she organized, and I'm so glad I did. I'm a big fan of her blog. For those of you who haven't visited her  blog, please do so, every week she shares the beautiful sewing and quilting projects that she creates and she always uses the most beautiful fabrics, she has excellent taste. I'm so glad to have you here, please look around, I hope you stay a while.

Now on to this week's post: Photography is a subject that I'm very passionate about. And for us bloggers photos really help us convey the message we are trying impart whether it is sharing our latest creations or what we have been up to. I'm not an expert in any way, but I love learning about photography and trying new tricks that would help me improve my photos. Thus, I thought I'd share some tips that I have learned over the past year or so I have been blogging.


* Equipment: You don't need to have expensive equipment to create beautiful photographs. Most of my photos are taken using with my trusty point and shoot Nikon I got as a gift from my husband two Christmases ago.   Nowadays digital cameras have advanced so much and you can get a great affordable camera that would deliver great results without breaking the bank. Don't get me wrong, having a fancy DSLR is great, I myself I'm thinking about upgrading one day, but I feel that I still have not completely outgrown my current camera.
If you own a smart phone, as most of us do, take advantage of it. There are great apps available that could help you edit and enhance your photography and you can get great shots using your phone. I took the pictures above using my iPhone.

* Lighting: Try taking your pictures in bright daylight, and avoid using your flash. Look around in your house and observe how the light comes in at different times of the day to identify the best spots where to take your pictures. For me for example, I get great lighting in the afternoon in my sewing room. I have a desk next to the window and that is one of my preferred spots to take pictures. I like placing a white board on the opposite direction from the where the light comes in to reflect the light and avoid shadows on the object I'm photographing.

* Taking steady pictures is very important and sometimes just pressing the shutter button on your camera  can get the picture out of focus. Try using a tripod or set your camera on the table your are taking the pictures and use some books to raise your camera to get the height you need. Then, use the timer on your camera that way you won't need to press the shutter button.

* Experiment with the settings of your camera and take different shots at different angles to see which setting gives you the result you were looking for. Having multiple shots of the subject you are photographing gives you more possibilities when choosing the picture you want to include in your post.

* Use a neutral backdrop to enhance the object you are photographing rather than risking getting lost on a busy background. 

*Lastly, take lots of pictures. I think amateur photography takes a lot of trial and error, and practice make us better. So don't be shy; get to know your camera and take it with you everywhere. Learn to see the world through the lens of your camera. You will be surprised how much your photos will improve by just taking more photos.

And now on to the Link up;

Plum and June

  1. Link up a recent sewing/quilt post.
  2. In your post or on your blog, please include either a text link or a button letting people know about this link up.
  3. Visit at least the two bloggers who link up before you and everyone who visits you from this post. 
  4. When the link tool asks for your name, write down your favorite cookie!


Work in Progress: Star Quilt




After a few days of neglect I finally got back to my Star Quilt. As the number of blocks grows so is my  pile of scraps leftover from building the blocks. Each time I worked on the blocks I kept wondering what to make with the scraps. The pieces are in the small side but perfect half square triangles; and I simply couldn't bare the thought of them just going to waste, And today I finally had my "Aha! moment." I figured out what to make with the tiny triangles and came up with this sort of pinwheel block. The finished size is going to be 3.5", a pretty good size and since I'm going to end up having a good number of them I'm thinking about making them into a couple of pillows or maybe a bag. 

Have a lovely week.


Happy Mail


Pretty Little Pouch Swap R6 - Received

I got some happy mail today! The pouch that my partner, Kim @ quiltinkimmie, made for me for the Pretty Little Pouch Swap arrived today. It is so pretty that I wanted to share it with you. I love that she used linen, my favorite fabric, and the bicycle fabric is just adorable. I just love everything about it. I'm going to carry my EPP projects in it and be very fashionable!
She also included some amazing goodies with the pouch: a beautiful assortment of charm squares, a birdhouse magnet (the birdie is adorable), a butterfly charm, a sheet of whimsical stickers for the quilting enthusiast and a pocket notebook. I'm a lucky girl!



A Picture... A Moment

Orchids From My Garden

These are orchids from my garden. Can you believe it? All year round my orchid plant goes unnoticed; standing quietly in a secluded section of the garden, but when winter arrives it definitely shows its presence delighting us with the most stunning blossoms. My husband cut some for me and this is what I have adorning my table right now. 
They are so breathtaking... don't you agree?



Pretty Little Pouch

Square Pouch

Square Pouch

Square Pouch

This weekend I didn't spend as much time in my sewing room as I had wished. But I did managed to work on several projects that I had in progress. And most importantly, I finished my pouch for the Pretty Little Pouch Swap. I'm so delighted with the way it turned out that I think I'm going to have a hard time saying good bye to it. The finished pouch measures approximately 9" wide by 4" deep by 5" high; a great size for carrying a small sewing project, cosmetics or just about anything. A girl can't never have too many bags. Am I right? 
I really hope my partner likes it. I had so much fun making it and even learned a few things throughout the process. I'm tempted to make another one for myself.

I hope you had a lovely weekend.
*Update: Linking up to Sew Cute Tuesday @ Better Off Thread*