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

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Scrap Bustin’

IMG_0117I have had an urge for quite a while to get my scraps in order and under control so I decided to ‘Hop to It’ as Edyta Sitar would say.  I started by sorting through all my bins which I have organized by color and pulling out all that small stuff.  My sewing table was filled with scraps for cutting up and my drawers are now so neat and tidy. 

IMG_0118The next step was to decide what size pieces I might want to cut them into so I started with 2 !/2 “ strips and 5” squares, but there was still some smaller fabric left that seemed usable so then I was saving 1 1/2” strips.  I found too that I have been using a lot of 3” squares for HST so I starting a 3” pile.  I have them all in this one Art Bin, but I think I will be making a bin for each size strip as soon as I can get to Michael’s or Joann’s to pick more up.  I cut for hours and still have my old scrap bags to go through, in fact there is a whole drawer under the table full of plastic bags sorted by color.  I have decided to sort my scraps by size now and drop the color idea.  We’ll see how that works.

IMG_0120  Well, I couldn’t cut all day without sewing and I had been inspired by a quilt I saw on Pinterest so I figured out the sizes and started sewing strips of different sized together and cutting and ended up starting a quilt that is really going together rather quickly.  Before I knew it it was 11:00 at night and I had been there most of the day.  I had a blast!  I am making the corner squares from the 5” blocks.  I started trying to making pleasing color combos then I just went with the scrappy look and worked my way down my stack.  I spent more time figuring out the setting corners since I decided to turn it on point til I remembered that I had this handy little reference tool put together by Harriet Hargrove, Alex Anderson, Sharyn Craig, and Liz Aneloski.  The plan is to do some fun FMQ in the tan squares.  I am also thinking of doing some fun scrappy border so I don’t have a plan yet how big this will be, maybe I will finally have a quilt for my queen size bed which has been a quilting goal of mine for a few years.IMG_0121

Boy am I hoping for more rainy days of sewing to work on this!

Ferne

Saturday, January 04, 2014

Tone it Down

IMG_0114 I love the idea of toning things down and simplifying so I am going to try to play along with making these quilt blocks from the APQ quilt-along.  This is my trial block and I’m not sure if this is the color scheme I will stick with.  The green seems too light and doesn’t show much with my beige background, but it is always fun to do a trial block then go from there.  I found this block fun to put together and there are lots of strip sets to make it quick.  If I had my color scheme finalized I could whip out a lot more blocks after spending a good evening getting all the cutting done.  I love to chain piece and using long strips would really help to get me moving right along.  Right now my favorite color way (Plum Sweet by Blackbird Designs) that I am seeing on the internet is the one that Anne Sutton from Bunny Hill Designs is using.  If I made this quilt for my bed though it needs to have a blue and/or green color scheme so I’d better do a bit more research.

There is even a Pinterest page which is full of inspiration for color schemes and showing the progress that people are already making.  Camille Roskelley is really making progress and working with her new fabric line which is giving it a fresh, clean look.

Thanks go out to Lissa Alexander for the design of this fun quilt and the Fat Quarter shop ladies for all ideas and enthusiasm they have put into this project.  I always look for one block of the month to participate in each year.  I rarely get them finished, but the process is fun and I always learn new things.  Two years ago I decided that I really wanted to practice my FMQ and followed Sew Cal Gal’s wonderful line up of teachers that each offered some new tips and techniques on free motion quilting, I really got a lot out of that.  One year I really wanted to learn to needle turn appliqué and followed Anne Suttons basket quilt, I love that one, but I didn’t get it finished because we moved somewhere in there and I got so behind I didn’t ever get caught up, but I have it all printed out and love stumbling upon the blocks I did finish.  Last year I followed Lori Holt’s Quilty Fun row along and never finished that either, but now she has a book to go along with it and lots of projects that I could do something totally different with the blocks I did finish.  It all makes me wonder what I would be doing now without all this inspiration from such talented quilters and the internet to help spread it around.

Back to quilting!  I am making my sewing machine a little dust cover (as if I ever give it a chance to collect dust).

IMG_0111Ferne

Friday, December 06, 2013

The Sewing Elf

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I finally finished up this little blanket after the birth of a co-workers baby girl gave me a great big push.  I always feel a little intimidated by the quilting, but once I got rolling on this corner to corner design I made up myself, I cranked it out in only a few hours.  I backed the quilt in flannel which I had never quilted on before and I am very happy with the results.  The fabric is prints from the Little Golden Books and has all my favorite characters though I am not sure if children these days know Shy Little Kitten, Pokey Puppy, Saggy Baggy Elephant and the rest.  It was sure a fun quilt to put together and quilt.

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Once the baby quilt was done I put on my elf hat and got to work on a few small gifts for some special little people.  I have to get these in the mail so they have them to put out on Christmas Eve.  The pocket is for holding a little note to Santa which I am suggesting to them that they put a nice ‘Thank You!’ note in.  This pattern was around last year and I had saved it in my Pinterest folder so I found it easily and purchased it from Jodi Nelson at Pleasant Home.  She has an Etsy shop where you can get this immediately as a PDF.  What did I ever do before the internet?

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Also on my sewing table I am mass producing some pin cushions for sewing friends from a Fig Tree pattern that I have already used many times before.  It makes such a nice and useful sized pin cushion that I just have to share with all my sewing pals.  It fits nicely right by my sewing machine when I am sewing and I can easily transport it all around my sewing area with me.  Since I love it I am sure my friends will too!  Next up I am going to mass produce some needle books to accompany these little cushions.  They are both from the patterns I used for the ones in my header, though I think I will make the needle book a little smaller this time.

I am loving working on these smaller projects for now, but I think there will be some bigger projects in the near future and with snow in the forecast what a perfect time to focus on some of those!  I am about to tackle some more free motion quilting and finish up some of the tops that I have been nervous about.  I found a wonderful blog by a lady who does some really beautiful quilting on her Janome 6600 (same machine as me) and she has been talking about using these Fine Line Rulers on her domestic machine.  I am very intrigued and on the verge of purchasing a few after watching some demos and seeing what she is doing with them looks like a very handy tool.  I love quilting, but get a little disappointed with my imperfections and these look like the perfect tool to help me create some perfect lines.

Slow down, create and most of all…enjoy the holidays!

Ferne

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Patches the Pumpkin Protector

IMG_0007Patches is quilted and the binding is on.  I am very happy with the way this project turned out.   It is a free paper pieced pattern from Martingale’s website you can get for free here http://www.shopmartingale.com/martingale-freebies.html

Enjoying Fall!

Ferne