Sunday, February 08, 2015

Quilting Direction

I have been looking for direction in my quilting hobby.  There are so many techniques that I have not tried that I am interested in dabbling in.  I find myself drawn to wanting to do more hand sewing so my mind is all over the place from embroidery to EPP (English Paper Piecing).  I have ordered a few embroidery books and some papers for scallops, elongated hexagons and hexagons.  The Lucy Boston blocks have been calling me for some time and I hope to start giving them a try as soon as I receive this pattern and templates from In Between Stitches.  It is called Playing with Paper and is by Sue Daley, who seems to be the expert at paper piecing.  I was guided to this kit after seeing Lynn of Sew’n Wild Oats doing it on her blog, so I can’t wait to give it a try.  I also found a handy little You Tube video by Sue Daley on an easy technique for sewing scallops.  She has many other youtube videos on other techniques and she has a blog and store for her supplies and patterns called Patchwork with Busy Fingers and believe me, she must have the busiest fingers around and so creative, too.

IMG_0704 I have finally found a needle threader that works great for small needles and another that works really good for larger eyed needles with thicker threads and embroidery floss (that little metal hook thingy).  So I have tools and inspiration now to pick a direction and stay focused on a project.

IMG_0702 Over the holidays I got a good deal on an Aurifil thread pack with Joanna Figueroa’s thread colors and a small charm pack with a pattern for an adorable small spool quilt.  I whipped the quilt up in an evening and a few more hours the next morning, thanks to Joanna’s great directions.  I started quilting it that same afternoon.  I have been following Lori Kennedys FMQ blog for a long time and she is doing a fun mystery quilt this year that is teaching so much information about all things sewing.  Her most recent design was of a spool so it was very timely and inspirational for how to quilt this little quilt.

IMG_0707 As far as progress on the ABC for Ewe and Me quilt…the center is done and now I am stuck on the borders.  The borders for the pattern seem awfully busy to me and I am thinking of changing them up to something else.  I am considering making some hexagon flowers or something else fun.  So I have a feeling that this project will be put aside for a while till I play around with some of these new techniques and see which one I could use in the border.  This was such a fun project to make and I am considering the BOM that the Quilt Show is doing this year, but have not committed myself to doing it and it is already month 2.  It is designed by Lynnette Anderson who designs such fun whimsical designs that are always fun to work on.  I just really need to start finishing up some of my other projects first and several are at the quilting stage.

sooooo…..I need some direction and focusing to get things moving !

Move it!  Move it!

Ferne

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

More ABC for Ewe and Me

Well, with the weather turning toward winter weather I am getting to spend a little more time indoors and that means sewing time.  I always seem to have a hard time getting excited about a project and getting in the sewing groove after such a long break, but I started by organizing what I already had going and that was all I needed to get back in the sewing groove and now I am excited to get going again. 

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I jumped right into the ‘ABC for Ewe and Me’ again, determined to catch up which I  thought would be a real challenge since I am about 5 months behind, but I finished up month 5 in a day and started month 6.  While looking at that basket block which is ’N for Nancy’s basket’ I got inspired to try something new to me and use felt for the flowers and leaves.  Good call!  It went fast and I sure enjoyed the process.  There is so much fusible applique on here that I am going to have to get more Steam A Seam lite real soon.  I thought I should look for a roll….well, found it on Amazon for over $100, don’t think I need quite that much, but it sure would be nice to have on hand.  It seems to be the only adhesive that doesn’t gum up my needle when I sew on it which causes a lot of frustration.

IMG_0570The next fun little project I started inspired by a link from Pinterest for the little house block.  Now I tried to jump on the bandwagon for the little house project a year or was it two ago, but had found it difficult.  This time I found a link to the foundation piece patterns which come in 3”, 4”, 5” and 6” blocks.  I picked the 4” blocks and then did some log cabin strips around them and rounded off the corners to make some hot pads.  I like to make my hot pads extra thick so my quilt sandwich for a hot pads goes like this:  backing, batting, insul-brite, backing, and top.  It is thick but, not stiff and this method has made some of my favorite hot pads guaranteed to keep your hands from getting burned.

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I was making this runner for a friend who recently got married, when I got to the quilting though I thought it would be easy and I would finish it in an evening…well, that was not the case.  I tackled the pebble stitch for the sunflower centers with no problem and actually enjoyed them, but when I got to the petals my tension was all off and I couldn’t decide what color thread to use on the light colored back.  I am now thinking I should have made the backing a dark color so I wouldn’t be stressing so much about the dark threads showing up on the back.  I learned through a Janome group I joined on Facebook that my tension should actually be set at about 7 which I thought would be too high, but it really worked.  I got frustrated with the quilting on this though and set it aside for another day.  Sometimes you just have to do that or you will hate the finished project.  So I am waiting for inspiration to strike me again then that project will be finished in a flash I am sure.  The piecing was a lot of fun though and I did it with no pattern just the picture from Pinterest.

Now that I have gotten back into my sewing groove there are lots more projects I would love to start and some I really want to finish.  I think I will be busy this winter.

Ferne

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Country Threads ~ River Town

IMG_0473 I haven’t been getting much sewing done the last few months between company and gardening I have been too busy to sit at the machine.  Summer is winding down and the days are getting shorter though and I am finding a little more time in the evenings to sit and piece a few projects.  I am about 4 months behind on my ABC for Ewe and Me BOM, but have found those blocks quick to do so I should be able to catch up before long.  Right now though I have been enjoying working on my River Town blocks.  I am so glad I had put it all together in a plastic box so it was easy to pick up where I left off.  I just had an email from Country Threads saying that they are planning to retire and close up shop so I thought it would be fitting to work on getting this done.  I had the pleasure a few years ago of meeting Connie in person at a quilt show in Des Moines and had a fun evening dining and chatting with this talented quilter. 

IMG_0474 I recently placed a nice size order for some fabrics that I think will work nicely in these blocks.  Those squares come out to 3/4” finished.  I made it all a little stream lined by strip piecing the sections and then cutting them.

 

IMG_0476About a year ago I ordered a lot of patterns from Country Threads when they were having a clearance sale and I am so glad I did.  They will also be having sales as they wind down and get ready to retire so be sure to check them out.

This project is coming along nicely as I spend about an hour or two in the evening while listening to Bonnie Hunters Quiltville Quilt Cam on my Kindle while I sew.  It feels like I am sewing with a friend and sometimes more than one.  She is handy with the tech gadgets and is able to read messages from other followers while she is working and chatting.  It is so fun to see what others are working on too.  Now I need to figure out how to post my projects to her.  I learn so much from all the different inputs and it is quite inspiring.  I have lots of Quilt Cams to catch up on since I didn’t realize she was doing this.  It’s a lot of fun! 

Looking forward to fall and winter now with so many fun projects to work on!

Keep growing and sewing!

Ferne

Sunday, May 04, 2014

ABC for Ewe and Me

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 I am really enjoying the BOM that is going on this year at The Quilt Show.  They go pretty fast so I have lots of time to work on other projects while I wait for the next months instructions and the video that shows how to do the new technique that is the new months block.  I am using scraps to do this and keep it all in a Art Bin so I can reuse some of the scraps in future blocks to tie it all together in the end.  There is a really nice mix of piecing and applique in this and opportunity to try many different techniques.  All of the applique has been done with Steam-A-Seam Lite then I am using a button hole stitch to go around them after.  I am having lots of fun picking different colors of thread for each one to really accentuate the letters.  I am a little behind with all the borders, but knowing it will only take me an evening of sewing and I will be all caught up has me procrastinating I suppose.  I also need to stitch around the letters ‘e’ and ‘J’, which will be easier to do before I add the borders.  I originally thought I might give this to my Grandson, but I am starting to fall in love with it and don’t know if I will be able to let it go in the end…time will tell.

There is still lots of time to catch up if you are looking for a fun project, though The Quilt Show does require a yearly membership fee of $40, but they have wonderful hour long videos that come out about every 2 weeks and lots of sharing of patterns and other quilty tidbits.  There is a forum for chatting with other quilters and so much more.  I think I have belonged for at least 5 years now and look forward to each new video that comes out.  Once you pay your membership you can watch past episodes too so that will keep you busy for a very long time.

now I know my ABC’s

Ferne

Friday, February 28, 2014

Coloring on Fabric

 IMG_0159 I have been working on this little project for quite a while and kept putting it away because I was trying to embroider lots of little bees on it and they were not turning out as good as I had hoped.  The other night I made the decision to take out all of the embroidery and try playing with coloring my bees with crayons.  I spent a good hour carefully removing all my embroidery which is not quite as simple as ripping out a seam.  IMG_0157Then I ironed a piece of wax paper to the back of the fabric where I wanted to draw a bee, for stability.  I used only 2 colors a yellow for the body and a gray for the wings.  I then took a piece of printer paper and ironed on top of the colored bees, this melted the wax and the excess was absorbed by the paper.  I then used the same black permanent marker that I use to make my quilt labels and drew in all the details.  The whole thing took me less than a half hour and I love the results.  It should wash and wear well as all my quilt labels have been holding up to lots of washing and the color from the crayon really soaked into the fabric.   I also tried my hand at making this little paper pieced bee in the corner which was trickier than I anticipated so I decided to leave it at just that one bee.  I have not decided what to do with the other 3 corners, but I just might do some fun quilting in the corners or applique some flowers.

IMG_0156 I got a crazy idea to make the backing for this table topper from hexagons thus going with the bee theme.  It probably took me longer to cut the hexies than to piece them together.  I had just watched a Quilt Show episode where this was done and having machine pieced hexies before I decided to give it a go.  I love the way this turned out so much I am thinking of making 2 toppers from these instead of sewing them together.  I am a little concerned also about quilting through all those seams, but I will give the hexie fabric a good press and starch and then decide.

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Enjoying the wintery weather!

Ferne