Sunday, April 19, 2015

Piano Key tablerunners

  Two versions of the Piano Keys table runners that came from the pattern by Connie at Freemotion by the River.    The link will take you to her post and tutorial.
Note that she added information on her Saturday post for the tutorial....and another version!

Bold and blue!  This one was done with 2 1/2" strips by the pattern.  I used a variety of batik precuts that were leftover from several projects.   And more leftovers for the binding....just as long as it was mainly dark blue.  This one is 18" by 42".

    The floral version.....spring has arrived.  What can I say....this layout is the result of a happy mistake.  I ended up with the exact same fabric on  one end and decided to disguise it by putting the background together in the center.

   Finished size for this one is 18" by 32" because I used 2" strips from the stash in place of the 2 1/2" strips.
   I really enjoy the light feel of Spring in this one.  Quilted with feathers in the center and swirls in the floral prints.

  My favorite is easy to pick. :)

  Yet, the blue is so soothing.

I hope I inspired you to get the pattern and spend an afternoon making a runner.....surely you need a small gift to share.  Thanks, again to Connie for sharing her pattern.

Linking to # Creative Goodness this week at QuiltShopGal.
Happy stitching.  

Saturday, April 18, 2015

Disaster Response for quilters

   Today Sir Old Man is off to take training for Disaster Response Team in our he needs another volunteer project?    He attempted to interest me....but for some reason I do not have a desire to learn "Mud Out/Ashes Out".  And secondly it can be intensely physical and guess  who is a total klutz?

  Yet......I am joining a Disaster Response Team....for quilters.  Sharon at Vrooman's Quilts  shared a call (very timely for me)  from  Quilts of Compassion---Facebook link here ---- for quilts for their Disaster Response Team.   There is an urgent need for quilts for the victims in Illinois after the tornadoes.   I have one ready to go.  And a real purpose for those scraps I love to stitch.

  So while I am changing the layout of my Let's Book It project....that means I am adding sashing strips after doing a reset.....I am also doing a leader/ender  of lots of 4 patches.  I can then turn the 4 patches into another Disaster donation quilt.

  I also had time to think about why I hate to do sashings.  You can wander thru my house and look thru my quilt stack and not see a quilt with sashing between the blocks.
Insight:  Adding sashings to blocks is so absolutely boring for me.  I feel like I am running in place and getting no where.   At least when I am adding a border, I know I am approaching the finish.
  OK, break is over....time to take photos of the table those finished and will post tomorrow.  And then back to the sashing salt mine!  Happy stitching.  

Friday, April 17, 2015

Friday Finds

Mum's 30-minute reversible ironing board cover @ Bloom We are in the sewing room today with a few ideas.

 From Bloom and Blossom to make an ironing board cover.   I have done one before and thought it was not too hard to do.  I thought this was a good tutorial.....although I may be lazy and just buy the next one.

ice cube tray ideas

The blog at Sew Many Ways has a Tool Time Tuesday, which I love.   I am borrowing her image for the use of silicon ice cube trays for bobbins.  I thought this was too clever.  Of course, she also had one filled with sewing machine feet, and/or batteries.  Where does she get all her ideas?  Drop in for a visit and see what she has done with household stuff.

Ruler box pin cushion

   Isn't this cute?  Even if you have plenty of pincushions, you have to like it!  And if you are fortunate enough to have a vintage/old/broken/unwanted yard stick or ruler, now you can re-cycle it.    Here is a link to here.    She uploaded the photo to Pinterest, but I could find no other info.  So it's for inspiration!

     Inspiration takes different forms......what to do with a craft project from Sir Old Man's father?   His Dad would go to craft time at the nursing home, and I  was usually the recipient of whatever was the monthly project.   One such project was a small wood box about 3 1/2" square with a lid.

     So....a few ideas here.  Storing needle packs, fill it with safety pins, or turn it into a pincushion.  I intended to use it as a pincushion, but there was the lid.  It is the personality of the box that Dad painted.  I decided it is for safety pins....especially the bent ones!  Thanks, Dad.

   Please visit the links for pinning for future reference.  
Happy stitching.

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Update to thread guilt

Thread guilt was a post from here to read.

  I was surprised  to hear how many agreed with me.  But the extra emails were even more surprising.....and I am still answering some of them.  I thought I would share a couple of the topics.

   Meandering came up in 2 of them......yes, I still do a lot of meandering.  I like the appearance it gives to a quilt.  Although I do get bored stitching it sometimes, it is a very useful motif to stitch.  Never think it is too simple,  too easy,  too common.  It can create great texture, or be done quite large and keep a quilt soft and cuddly.   And it works perfect on busy prints like my floral favorites.  It is the first motif I teach in a class to teach control and steady motion.

   Dense quilting.....perfect for wall hangings that you want to be flat, and it makes those applique areas jump, pop up, and stand out!

    How did I learn feather quilting?  LOL.....they haven't been reading this blog very long!!
    I battled to learn how to do feathers for about a year.  Over and over, until it finally clicked and I got the hang of it.  It was something I wanted to master, and took time, practice, and determination.  And I don't demand perfection...expect to have a wobble or two.

    So today, decide for yourself to quilt those UFOs with whatever works for you....straight lines, curves, meandering, whatever.   You have permission to experiment and see what works.  We are making quilts to warm bodies and hearts.   I am waving the banner that says...."My quilt, my way, and that is enough."   Join me......happy stitching.    

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Thread guilt

     How much quilting is enough?  Or, do I just have thread guilt.  Sixty years ago, my grandmother  quilted enough to hold the top to the backing and to hold the pulled cotton batting in place.  She did a lot of simple cross-hatch quilting usually 1" to 2" apart.  Today we are gifted with batting that allows for quilting up to 8" apart and we seem to be expected to quilt about 1/2" or less apart.  Rough calculations mean we are adding at least 4 times---and that could double even--- as much thread as required!      And I am guilty of stepping/falling/rolling in this bottomless pit of more, more, even more quilting.  Enough, I say!
   What brought this on......quilting the table runners, and then requests for entries into large regional shows.   I don't do "show" quilts.  Yes, I enter quilts into my local guild's show, as support for the efforts and fun.   I quilt for expression and for others.  I quilt because I like it.  I quilt because I am addicted to fabric.  I do not design or quilt just to "show".  This is my path, my choice.  I am merely reminding myself to not be caught up in thinking otherwise.

  The floral table runner....covered in feathers because I like stitching them.  It has been a while since I did feather stitching....and I had a few wobbles.  I left them in and carried on.  In the grand scheme of things, no one will notice or even care!   I used a light purple Aurifil thread.  I took the hint from the background fabric....a mottled purple tint and creamy yellow.  I made sure all the floral prints in this one picked up on that color way.

  The blue batik table runner  has a light blue print on the backing.  I had intended to use straight lines, matchstick style quilting.  Yet when I drew the lines on a plastic overlay and placed it on the runner.....I thought ugh!  It was just too much thread and did nothing to enhance the runner.  Or maybe it just wasn't my style.  Either way, I decided to practice some wings.....I call them butterfly wings.   It is from  Luann Kessi's design called "plumify".  I like the overall blend of this design stitch.

I have to round up some binding strips to finish these two off.

   Insight:  Stitch with no guilt.  Make it flat, leave it puffy,  let it blend,  or make a statement.   Find your style, improve your skills. It is your quilt and that is enough.
Happy stitching.   

Monday, April 13, 2015

Variations on table runners

  I hope you grabbed the Piano Keys pattern from Craftsy by Connie at Freemotion on the River    that I shared on Friday Finds.   She says it is the #4 best seller!

  Since I was cutting another project I threw in a couple of table runners to play with.  First, I did one in with a background in blue/gray print.  I did some power stitching....sewing the units together for each size.  Then I cut them apart and pressed before the layout to join them.

  I was working with leftover strips that were already cut at 2 1/2".   My variety was slightly limited on the precut size.    Yet the design turned out great.  Within a couple of hours, a table runner ready to be quilted.

  And this is the year of my floral out came the box of 2" strips.  The 2" strips of florals were cut to the same lengths as the pattern said, only the overall size is ends up at 32" long.
  This is the first half.

Viola....a mistake makes it a surprise!
Somehow, I ended up with the same fabric on the end positions on the right side.  I could have un-stitched a few strips, but instead  I  reversed the layout to put the background in the center.  ( Boy...this needs a good pressing before quilting.)  I like the variation with the floral fabrics.

  I think matchstick lines for the quilting on the blue one.  And some feathers for the floral....I am sure you expected that,  lol.

Insight:  Mistakes are opportunity for design options.  Go ahead, make a mistake and see where it takes you.

Happy stitching.

Friday, April 10, 2015

Friday finds April 10

Did ya miss me?  I missed last week, so I will try to make this one good.

Vintage View: FREE For the Cause Bed Quilt Pattern  A full size quilt from McCall's Quilting.  It is called For the Cause and here is the link for the free download.   It is based on an Amish 1820 quilt.  See the link for details.  Such a perfect scrap quilt, and I can think of a lot of color ways that this would be good in.

  I fell in love with this one immediately!  It is done in blues, it blends, and it is soothing, and it is called Watercolors!  What more do you want?
  The full pattern can be downloaded at All People Quilt here.   I may need to add this to my list of future projects.

From Vicki's Crafts blog

 No pattern needed for this one.....but I loved the use of color and simple arrangement of coin strips and the 4 patch units on point.  This scrap quilt is from Vicki's Crafts blog and you can read about it here. 
     This could put a dent in the scrap basket, or that stack of left over coins and 4 patch blocks.

Bordered Diamonds Pattern via Flickr Very nice in cool colors palette...

  Isn't this one a beauty?     The colors of the sea.....simple and striking.   Dana at Stormy Days found this pin from a flickr post.   Karen, the maker, says it is Bordered Diamonds pattern from the book Simple Shapes Spectacular Quilts.

It is amazing what the added border does to the diamond shape.  I think the variety of the border colors makes this one very striking.

Piano Keys Table Runner tutorial at Freemotion by the River
From Freemotion by the River

 One last free one.....this is from Connie at Freemotion by the River.
  It is her new pattern called Piano Keys.  Jelly roll friendly for those of you that use precuts....and great for us that use scraps too.  Her blog offers a tutorial.....and links to the full pattern that is free on Craftsy for the rest of the month.  Know where I am heading!  Thanks, Connie, for offering this to us.

  As always, please visit the links provided for pinning for future reference.
That's it for the week.  I feel like I am living in "fast time" --- where did the week go?  Hope your time has been productive and full of inspiration.
Happy stitching.
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