Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Is this working?

   I added the two rounds for the border on this vertical strip quilt.  The first one stops the design and the second makes it float.....but seems so boring.  Or it could be that I have just made too many this way.
   So my thought was to add some  applique in the final border.  As I had extra small pieces left over, I applied fusible to them.  I cut different sizes of the plume shape.

  I began to pin them in the lower corner to create a vine type shape.  I cut a few more and moved them all around.

  I had to fold up the lower part of the top to get to the corner without sitting on the floor......that's why you see the fold.
  Anyway, here's what I have pinned on so far.  My question......is this working?  I like that it softens the vertical pattern and is unexpected.   The mixed plumes can move the color and the eye out to the edge instead of staying focused on the center/vertical lines.

 My thought at this point is to create sprays in the four corners leaving some open space on each side.  I am not sure why I am doubting myself on this one.   Maybe I just need some more time in the sun.....the rain has finally stopped.  I think I will just keep playing.
Happy stitching.  

Last doll quilts

Even though the doll quilt project has been placed on hold for now, 2 more boxes of doll quilts came last week.  Mrs. Claus is ageless and tireless.

   A large group came from Mrs. Claus in California.
 Mrs. Claus is Jan and she apparently has a very willing helper....her granddaughter.  Together they made 10 doll quilts, and her granddaughter experimented with machine quilting to finish these up.

  Lots of wonderful color.....and I think the quilting is great!   She will be ready to tackle new patterns soon.

Cute prints for these two.

  More cute prints and a clever idea.  The little quilt on the left that appears to be a striped fabric has vertical rows of  eyelet sewn over the strips.  Very clever and so cute.

Thank you, Mrs. Claus.

   The next duo is from the Southwest.  Mrs. Claus from New Mexico is/are Ellen and Kathy.
  Three little quilts made from "crumbs"......I bet they laughed and giggled their way through a sewing session when making them.

  Isn't this one adorable?  Their note said they were sending southwestern love and it is expressed so well in this little doll of a doll quilt.  It just makes me smile and will surely be enjoyed by a little girl soon.

  The last two are  a pair of cool blue ones with bright yellow flowers appliqued on.
  A wonderful collection from the Southwest.  Thank you, Mrs. Claus, Ellen and Kathy.

    I have so enjoyed showing all the great creations from the Mrs. Claus participants.  I hope you gained some inspiration  along the way.   The woodworkers have made no final decision and are still seeking a volunteer to lead the program for the next year.   I am asking that you hold off making or sending any more quilts at this time, as we are covered for this year and have some for next year.  Instead, please check around your local community for a need and share your love in fabric with them.  That way, Mrs. Claus can keep on stitching.   Big hugs to all....thank you.  

Sunday, October 4, 2015

Rain...and a pincushion

 It is still coming......so much rain that everything has that damp feel to it.
Thankfully we are fine with no water problems.  As of 10 am today, we have had over 7 '' of rain since Friday.  The middle of the state and low country were the ones getting twice that amount.  Power outages, trees down, roads closed, flooding.....so there will be much clean up this next week.
  The quilt show continues today.....we were surprised at the attendance we got.  Thanks to the brave souls who got out in the mess yesterday to visit.

  I took about a half an hour last night and put together a pincushion from the tutorial from Friday's post.   I heard from Ella and Nesta....they loved being featured, so go visit them.

  I rummaged around and found this oval hoop.  I picked up a few of these years ago when a garment manufacturer closed up.  I loved the shape of this oval one.  It is about 6 inches long and just over 3'' wide.   I used the back of a greeting card to make the base, and then stacked scraps of batting in layers for the filling.

   I used lots and lots of tacky glue to bring the fabric around the inner hoop and hold it in place on the back.  The bright gold felt was the only piece I had that was large enough.....lots of glue to secure it too.    I don't do well with a glue gun.....I usually burn/glue myself to a project.....so tacky glue is my choice.

A matching blue ribbon and it now hangs on the design wall.  I  love this one!  And I am sure I will enjoy using it.

So if I can do this one.....I know you can too!

Happy stitching.

Friday, October 2, 2015

Friday Finds

Just a few this week......

Quilt Labels - Quilt With Us: Need a label for your quilt.....I ran across a nice collection of ones to print out onto prepared fabric.  From our friends at Connecting Threads.  There are good instructions at the top of the page to explain how to save and print.

HoopPinFinal Cute idea for pincushion to use old hankies.:
From BumbleBeeLinens

What a cute idea for a pin cushion!  From BumbleBeeLinens.   Turn an unused  small embroidery hoop into a pin cushion.  In this case, she used an old hankie....but a favorite fabric would be just fine.   At Ella and Nesta's blog they did a little variation in fall colors, and added a hanging loop.    Great idea.....I need one to hang on my design wall!

Tree Table Runner | free pattern & tutorial:

 And to start the Season......a quick table runner.   At AddyLouCreates, you can find a good tutorial and pattern for this tree banner or table runner.  You can make it as long or short as you want with her fused trees.   Use your creativity and turn this idea into your own.

Please visit the links for details and to pin.
Hope you find some inspiration....happy stitching.

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Let's Book It progress

   It was pouring down rain--yay!---Sunday afternoon.   A good time for a movie and some stitching.  I set up the Featherweight and clicked on a favorite movie that I had recorded.   Stitching on a classic while watching the classic of all time equals a perfect time.  My movie......Casablanca.  I can't say how many times I have sat through this one, but it is new every time I watch it.   I love the song, know most of the movie lines, and seem to always catch something in it that I have forgotten.

  The project I was working on was actually started in July as a leader/ender project.      I had most of the long vertical rows ready to join, so the leader/ender part was done.  That's why I pulled it out for my current Let's Book It project.

By August, I had about 8 rows pieced together.  My placement is random when joining. I think it creates a lot of movement in this extremely simple design.   Scrap fabrics....anything that was already a 2'' strip went into the mix.   I will join the rows with 1 1/2'' strips.

 And after an afternoon with Bogey, I had all the rows joined.   I added a white strip to the right side of each row---except one.  Then I sewed them together in pairs.  When joining 2 rows,  I pinned the placement of the top and the bottom "brick"......staggering the the row arrangement.  Most rows lined up almost perfect.  Others were a bit off, due probably from my pressing and stretching the fabric some what.

  Now it needs a strip of white to finish it off before I add some border strips.  I am  happy to have made some progress.

I'm  linking to Let's Book It at Vrooman's Quilts It's all about pulling out those saved patterns from books, magazines, etc.  And getting started.  Make a small version, or go large.  It's a good thing that a finish is not required......most of mine have taken a few months to complete.  And since The Season is approaching, a small project can turn into a gift  :).  Hope you will join in.

Our local guild's quilt show is this weekend.....got to get my things together for the demo.  Happy stitching.

Monday, September 28, 2015

Ruler work?

  Someone asked me to show them how to do ruler work on the Tiara.  I was amused until I realized they were serious.   The assumption being it was the latest "thing" in free motion quilting, and that was my love.  Ruler work is not a skill I have gone after.
  I noticed today that Patsy Thompson has put out a new DVD on her ruler work and raves about the ease of it.  I believe her, yet I am not convinced it is for me.
I have watched several  videos on youtube, read about it, and admired the results on lots of quilts.  My thinking lead me to ask myself some questions.

Echo Feet

What is required and what is the cost?
   It is a big investment.   New feet are required......and then there are the rulers.

resized Ruler Work for the Sit Down Quilter Front Cover  And you might as well add in a book or two, or DVD.....or maybe a class.  All I could see was $$$.

Next question......Am I willing to invest the time to practice enough to achieve really great results?   I spent over a year practicing free motion quilting to feel confident and gain control.  Then all the extra time learning to stitch free motion feathers.....throw in another year.  Even with my skill set, I figure it would take several months to gain the co-ordination required.

Finally.......Do I want to do this much or type of quilting on my quilts?
  This was the true deciding question.....and no, it is not the look I am going for.  While I do enter my quilts in our guild's quilt show, I don't enter larger or regional shows.  And big shows, just love the overly quilted, dense forms of quilting.   I think I already "over quilt" my quilts anyway.  Heavier quilting would just make them stiffer.....and probably not show up well either.  Of course, ruler work doesn't have to be dense.....it just seems to be the style right now.

 I make quilts to be used, and loved.  I was wonderfully reminded of this over the weekend at lunch with Chad, Amber and the beautiful Gracelyn.  She is 5 months old now and is scooting right off her Dancing Wings quilt!   Amber kept saying how much they have enjoyed the quilt and cart it everywhere she goes.   That's the highest compliment to my mind.

 So no....I chose not to do the ruler work.  Please note I did not say "never".  Experience has taught me, that the moment I say never......the universe will change, the earth will tilt on its axis, and I will have to eat my words.  For now, I am quite content with my free motion skills, and simply taking the path that suits me.

Update.....I just read LuAnn's post today.    She talks about some simple quilting designs that work.  Just thought i would share.

Saturday, September 26, 2015

Braided star block...again

    I know I showed this block about two year ago when I experimented with it.   It has been hanging around in the orphan block bin since then.   I thought a few more blocks would be a good project....just make enough or a banner, or table runner.    For the post on the tutorial for construction, click here.

One section done.  Notice the background.....my newly finished ironing station cover!

  I was working on the star sections when Sir Old Man brought up the plywood top ready to cover and put into place for the ironing station.  Since he was itching to get this project scratched off his to do list,  I put the pieces aside.   Out came the batting scraps....enough to make 3 layers.  Then we pulled out the fabric I had intended to use to cover it all.  Guess what....it was too short!  Rather than create another UFO, he insisted we go find some fabric and get it done.
  Off we went in the pouring rain to the J store.....Traffic was awful, so I am glad he was driving.  I thought I would just zip in and pick up some cotton ticking as a cover for a nice old fashion look.    The clerk looked at me rather blankly when I asked for cotton ticking.....am I that old and out of date?   Luckily, we found some home-dec fabric on sale that I liked.  And we happened upon some furniture glides that Sir Old Man wanted.  Thanks to the helpful and tech savvy cashier, who knew how to enlarge the coupons on the latest email, we saved $16.  Guess the trip was worth it.
   So back home and staple gun in hand, he made quick work  of finishing this off.   And I got to do the inaugural press on the braided star sections.

Back to the block.....another section trimmed and ready to add the corners.

  It feels good to be using some floral prints again.  Happy stitching.

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