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.

Friday, September 25, 2015

Friday Finds

Shorter days, cooler nights means changing seasons.  Time to think about Autumn finally!  To spiff up your decor, you might check out a couple of these places.

Fall Quilt Project: Autumn Glow
Free projects are all over this page at  Landauerpub.com.  
From small quilts, to blocks, to appliques.....PDF projects are free to use.  Several projects from Thimbleberries, which are always so great.  Even if you are not making a seasonal project this year, you might want to grab the pattern for later.

This leaf is made by hammering an actual leaf onto the fabric to create a print, and then #quilting the outline and veins:
From Bloombakecreate.com

At   Bloom bake create  I found a tutorial for what she calls hammered leaves......leaf pounding/flower pounding.    I like her idea of using a real hammer......that means I get to swipe something from the workshop when I play around with this technique.   Simple straight stitching brings out the details.  Great to use on many small projects.

Meadow (a quilt tutorial)mixed sizes of tossed 9 patch used.:
From Bonjour Quilts

And a design idea......I found this at Bonjour Quilts.    Using 3 sizes of the Tossed 9 Patch block, she created a lot of visual interest for the background.  Appliqued flowers stretch from corner to corner.  While the color palette is not one I would select,  I found it interesting for  using the multiple sizes.  Done in seasonal colors....or batiks....this
could be fun to play with.

A Few Scraps: Quilt as you Go tutorial: Joining your quilted pieces by machine:
From A Few Scraps

A Few Scraps offered up a very good tutorial on joining Quilt As You Go blocks.    This is not a process that I like, yet Christina has some very good tips in her tutorial that make me think I might do this one day.  At least I pinned it for future reference.  Check out her blog for some excellent free motion lessons.....her second book was just published, too.   I like her simple direct style.

  As always, visit the links to pin from the source.  Happy stitching.

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

More doll quilts

    I am having internet service problems this week.  Two hours to write a post is way too long.  Email is sporadic also.....so if I miss replying, please understand.  So enjoy the photos....some would only load as extra large.......a great collection this week.

  Three very cute quilts from Mrs. Claus of California.  Suestitches is a member of the Our Circle of Friends group.    The paper pieced kangaroo is just adorable, and hexagons and strings are always welcome!

Mrs. Claus of Ohio, aka Chlynn1129 is also a member of Our circle of Friends.  Her little quilt proves you can never go wrong with lots of 4 patches.  I love seeing a wonderful assortment of fabrics.   Mrs. Claus finished this off with decorative machine stitches for the quilting and binding.

Just for comparison, this Mrs. Claus used rectangles.  PatriciaAnne  is Mrs. Claus of Maryland and a member of Our Circle of Friends.  This is a great way to use up some scraps and still make something a little bit different.  She also used decorative stitching for the quilting.

Mrs. Claus of Texas, aka Nicki, finished off her little quilts with these two.  The pinwheel.....red and white is so striking....was made using the Easy Pinwheel method from Missouri Star Quilts.   And check out her Lots of Dots.....each of the fabrics features dots.  both of these turned out so cute!

What a beauty......sent by Mrs. Claus of Arizona, aka Kaylaquilts.  She is also a member of Our Circle of Friends.  The colors and stars are just beautiful.....and hand quilted.   She chose to represent Alaska with this quilt.  And she sent more....

 Two wonderful quilts of hexagons.  The dotted sashing is also used for the bindings.....and again Mrs. Claus hand quilted both!  Of course, I am partial to the purple one  :)  These represent Arizona and Missouri.

  Can you figure out which state this little quilt represents?  Hawaiian quilting in the traditional way for the island state of Hawaii.  And this is heavily quilted by hand in the Hawaiian style.....Mrs. Claus you out did yourself !

  Thank you all.....each Mrs. Claus is so special to me.  I cherish all the support and help.  The first delivery is soon.....the season is beginning.  Thanks again.  

Saturday, September 19, 2015

Filling the cabinet

  Where have I been?  Right here.  What has been going on?  Cleaning out and moving things around.   I have been too exhausted to do more than read a few blogs.

 A couple of months ago, I shared a post about a very large, very old storage cabinet that Sir Old Man was repairing......read it here.   This week it was ready to be disassembled in the workshop and moved to the house.  That meant I needed to empty the smaller wardrobe that was there.   So I have been sorting through stuff in the small cabinet...... figuring out what to keep, give away, donate, etc.

It was no easy task, but Sir Old Man got the cabinet to the house and set it position.    It is a very large cabinet and dominates its space.  I hung a long runner over one door to soften the effect.  And it is very hard to get a good photo as there is a window right next to it.....sorry for the glare.

Then the real work began....lol. Sorting the quilts, and wall hanging  to fold and place into the cabinet.

   Most of the smaller quilts and wall hangings are on the left side, with the large ones on the right.   Near the bottom I pulled and rolled the quilts that will be entered in the quilt show in a couple of weeks.

  I also decided  to sort out the quilts that would travel to Columbia for the presentation and class in November.  They fill two shelves, but this will make it easier to already have them set aside.

    Sir Old Man used some shelving he had salvaged from  the  clear out of items from the woodworker's guild.   He did a glue up of the boards, and painted them white.  He also freshened the inside with milk paint...buttermilk yellow, just like the original color.

  There are holes and dings that show.....but I love them for their character and personality.  Maybe a little worn and rough about the edges....but filled with quilts to cover you with a little love and color.

  But I am only showing you the end....I need to mention that to find all the quilts and wall hangings I had to open the dreaded hall closet door, as well as the closet in the guest bath.
So if I am pulling things out.....you got it, let's get rid of the excess.  I have 3 very large bags to donate, and 2 big bags for the trash.  And one final stack to decide on.
  That has been my week...one thing just naturally lead to another.  I am glad it is almost done.  I'll be happy to return to some sewing and baking.
Happy stitching.

Monday, September 14, 2015

A huge round of doll quilts

The mailbox was stuffed, and boxes stacked on the porch this week.  Mrs. Claus around the world has been busy.

From my next state over neighbor....Mrs. Claus of Georgia, aka wannaquilt2 of the Our Circle of Friends group sent 2 quilts that made me smile.  Jumping frogs, frogs on surf boards....too cute....and a pink and purple strip quilt.  Her quilts represent the state of Washington this year.   Thank you, Mrs. Claus of Georgia.

Three cute ones arrived from PattyJ, who is Mrs. Claus of Wisconsin.  She is a member of the Our Circle of Friends, also.  She made a blue patchwork quilt, and 2 out of soft flannel.  Just perfect.

Thank you, Mrs. Claus of Wisconsin.

Another package....Another "recruit" from Our Circle of Friends forum  is Mrs. Claus of Australia, aka Trish.  She made this beautiful color wheel star!  What a wonderful little quilt that grabs your attention.
  Yet, as I read her note,  I was over-whelmed.  There were 6 more quilts in the package that had been made by her son.

 I have named him "Elf Caleb"....a wonderful Mrs. Claus helper.  Trish said he is 9 years old, and very kind hearted.  He completed these next quilts on his own after she did the cutting.

 Wonderful....and I bet he helped pick out the cute fabrics too.  The jungle fabric is so great....and more frogs!

And his final two.....Thank you, Mrs. Claus of Australia, and to your big hearted helper, Caleb, for participating and making this project successful.

The largest box so far this year arrived from Missouri.  Shirley is a new Mrs. Claus and she has really been rolling.  I counted 35 quilts from Mrs. Claus of Missouri.  A big assortment of doll quilts made from panel fabrics and novelty prints.....alphabet, to frogs, to tea pots and cupcakes.  Just adorable.

And scrappy ones!  Just a delightful  mix of fabrics, and colors, and prints.  Pinwheels, and squares....it all goes in and comes out so cute.

 I think she put a dent in the stash.
Thank you, Mrs. Claus of Missouri.

  Then there is the long awaited box.  We thought it was lost.  I got an email from Mrs. Claus of Montana  checking to see if it arrived.  We both began following the tracking number....from Montana it went to Washington state, as Mrs. Claus said "you know, way over there on the west coast".     It reminded me of the 2 summers I worked for the post office while in college.  After 8 hours of tossing packages in huge bags,  what does it matter if one goes the wrong direction?

  But I digress.  The box returned to Montana, and then was sent to the central US.  Didn't they know I lived east of the Mississippi?  Then it was the holiday....which was probably the cause of the mis-direction.  Finally, Sir Old Man checked and said the box was in NC.  Closer.....and then it came.  Since I have played around with this, here is what was inside.

Bozie of the Our Circle of Friends is Mrs. Claus of Montana.  I class her as a master quilter with a special talent for small quilts.  The color choices and piecing are spectacular.
  Her reputation precedes her.  She is  well known through her donations to the Art Quilt Initiative for Alzheimer's Research.

Two more.....see what I mean?  That Dresden plate quilt is just fabulous.  And the striped binding looks like it is piping.

And she did not fail me....but included a purple one on the butterfly applique.  Be sure to enlarge this photo and see those tiny, tiny cornerstones on the other one.
Thank you Mrs. Claus of Montana for helping  and your wonderful work.

We are over the top in the number of quilts needed to complete this year!  Ahead of schedule and yet right on time!  Any future quilts that arrive will start our next year donations.  Thank you to all the effort, and work done by the Mrs. Claus participants---and helpers---you are the greatest!  

Saturday, September 12, 2015

Plume pattern from EQ7

    After doing the EQ7 stitch lesson that I shared last Friday, I played around with those plumes.  I changed the size, used the vector tool, cloned them, flipped them and rotated the plumes.  What fun to play and memorize the steps as I  learned.

 The result was a page of plume shapes.....plus the reversed image.  Perfect to use as a pattern for fusible applique.     Three in the corner of a block are cute.  They could be arranged in a wreath, or a tree.  And they would be perfect petals for a cone flower.


Dragonfly a la plume

  One more idea for plumes is to use them for dragonfly wings.   You could overlap them, or set them closer.  I drew the body, but it can be elongated or made fatter.

  Time to play with fusible and fabric.    I cut 2 background squares at 6 1/2'' out of a botanical toile fabric in brown and cream. I found a couple of other squares to experiment with.  Then I dug in the small scrap box for some autumn shades....very limited but this was just play time.
   I free hand cut the "stem" for the leaf cluster out of a dark green and added some plumes, mixing the colors to see how they played together.  I like the  whimsical feel of them.
  Ah...the dragonfly....love the colors.  He will become a mug rug.

   That's as much creating as I can muster.....I feel a change of season cold/virus has arrived and lodged in my head.   I am starting on a new box of tissues, and sipping hot tea.  See you next week with another batch of doll quilts.  Happy stitching.


Friday, September 11, 2015

Friday Finds

The Thread Director:     The Thread Director... I needed one of these!  Some threads are straight wound and they do not feed properly on my machine.  This little gadget changes the direction of the thread feed.  It attaches via the spool winder to hold those odd spools---especially decorative threads---so they do not tangle and break.  I haven't used it yet, but I do have plans for some thread painting and this will be required for some of my threads.  This was spotted at Red Rock threads.

   Do you use small design boards in your project?  They are great for holding units for the blocks, carting the parts/pieces to the ironing board and then to the machine.  I have a couple I use....just foam core covered with batting.  After running across  a very good tutorial at Bee in My Bonnet blog for mini design boards, I decided I could improve my boards.

  I use old yard signs.  This one is the plastic type of corrugated sign.  I cut mine to 12'' by 16'', along with a layer of batting and muslin about  1 1/2'' larger on all sides.    Grab the glue stick......

I use the glue stick for a temporary hold.  Run the glue stick along the edge of the board and fold the fabric over.  Press down with finger tips.

Remember the colorful duct tape?  I found a good use for it here.  Pull off a piece long enough for the side.  Lay the covered board face down onto the tape.  Put the tape around the edge and press down onto the back covering the edge of the fabric.   I trimmed the ends of the tape so that they were flush with the end.

  Done!  A small work surface that easily moves from sewing table to ironing board....safely.

 At Bee in my Bonnet blog, you can see how she finished her edges with fabric for a very cute look.

From Amity Quilter

   A few weeks ago, I saw this on a blog I follow.  I loved the quilt tale about the quilt and its repair.  What is more simple than patches on a patchwork quilt.  See the story at Amity Quilter.  While you are there, check out her hand quilting and machine quilting, too.

Download this beautiful project today! Add 4 new blocks and 32 new fabrics to your QDW, EQ6 or EQ7!
From DoyouEQ

 Season alert!!!  So it begins....
 Free block patterns are available for down load at DoyouEQ.   I  don't do much paper piecing.....but these would convert to applique a la machine quite easily.   So if you do EQ , grab this freebie.

While you are at EQ, check out this tutorial  in the Tool Tip section.   
 It is a lesson in the EQ Stitch section.....how to draw ovals, hearts, and plumes.  Yes, plumes like for feathers.   I completed the lesson and learned a couple of new things.   Next week I hope to have a small finished project to share because of this.

As always, please visit the original source for pinning.  I hope you found a little inspiration and fun.

Before I close...In remembrance of those we lost.

Happy stitching.
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