Thursday, February 25, 2016

Quilting with Rulers on the Janome 6600

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A while back I stumbled upon the blog of Amy Johnson and saw some stunning quilting being done on her Janome.  I had been in practice mode with my FMQ on my Janome and was somewhat frustrated with my lack of perfection, but figured more practice was needed.  Well, Amy was using some rulers (aka templates because they are thicker than rulers).  I just had to give this a try so off I went to my Janome dealer and found the ruler foot I needed to use with the rulers.  I ordered 2 rulers, 1 straight and 1 curved and got started playing around with them.  I loved the results and yes there is still some practice to be done, but they are a huge help.  The thing I love most is that there is very little marking to do.  I marked the square and a few check points on each side and then let the ruler help me with the rest.

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These are blocks that will be 6” finished and I am trying a quilt as you go technique.  There will be a different pattern in each block.  Problem is I ran out of fabric and I have fallen in love with this fabric so I need to order some more if I can only remember what it is!  Amy has since opened an online store and started selling her rulers.  She also has a class on Craftsy and lots of videos on her blog…so if you want to learn this technique be sure to check her out!

Thursday, February 18, 2016

Splendid Sampler

Okay, I wasn’t going to do any samplers this year.  I really need to quilt the quilts I have finished, but 2 blocks in to the Splendid Sampler and weather that turned from Spring back to Winter sent me running to my machine.  I had been pretty sick the last 3 weeks and did a lot of sleeping so not much sewing, cleaning or gardening got done.  While looking through my blogs I started seeing people posting about Pat and Janes collaboration and decided to check it out.  Once I did I thought how fun to jump in and try one, there are prizes to be won and they are small and not time consuming so I printed out the instructions and got inspired by some of the blocks people were sharing.  A little digging in my scrap bins for some of my all time favorite fabrics and I was off and running.  The heart came from a 3 Sisters fabric I had from years ago.  I think it was the first fat quarter bundle I ever bought so fond memories come with that one.  I doesn’t look quite square partly because it is laying funny, but I did have a little trouble getting back into the groove so this was a good block to start with. 

Thanks to Pat for sharing this one and for setting up such a splendid group!

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That was yesterday and today I remembered that block 2 was set to be posted today so I got my coffee and found the post and it was off to the printer.  Well, Jane’s block was also a fun one to pull fabrics together for.  The purple butterflies are from a recent project I finished piecing for my son’s 30th birthday in December…it is on the ‘to be quilted’ pile.  I will be glad to see those butterflies to remind me of that project years from now, but I will hope neither project is still on that pile.  This block was a bit more challenging though.  It looked harmless enough, but those are 1” finished squares including the HST so some of my butterflies my not have sharp points.  My advice to anyone reading this is that when she recommends pressing seems open follow that advice.  I though I could figure out how to press the seams to the side so they would lock like I often to, but half way through the first row I was already in trouble so I switched it all there and I even used pins at most of my seams.  You can see the ones where I got all confident and, well, they may be off a bit, but overall I am very happy with this block.  I am still embroidering my antennea, but here it is…

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and the quilt I made for my son in my December…I know, quite the rebel I am, but in my defense I was making something for my son I thought he would enjoy because he loves history and especially American history.  All the talk about not displaying the confederate flag bothers me because it is a part of history and always will be so I designed this quilt completely around it.  My son was not as excited about it as I had hoped, but I sure had a fun time making it.  I even have some good ideas for quilting it and got a good flannel backing for it so after I take all the paper off those piano keys on the side I can get busy on that.

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Hopefully, I might have a few readers here who I have inspired to check out the Splendid Sampler project and join me there for fun, prizes, sharing and lots of learning for many talented designers.  And…it is free!

Ferne

Saturday, June 27, 2015

Farm Girl Vintage on a Hot day

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It has been extremely hot here in Northern California lately so after do some early watering yesterday I decided to spend the rest of the day inside sewing something fun.  I had gotten the Farm Girl Vintage book by Lori Holt a while ago, but not made anything yet mostly because I just couldn’t decide on any one thing.  I love the way Lori writes and illustrates her patterns and this book did not disappoint.  I had seen how Lori had pieced 4-6” pear blocks and I just had to try my hand at it.  Picking fabrics was fun, but I can see I needed a green with more contrast.  I have an idea to fix that with the quilting by using a darker green thread and outlining a leaf pattern on it.  The background I thought I wanted was white, but I seem to be lacking fabric in that department so I settled on this brownish grey and am quite pleased.

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I had lots of fun playing with some tools I have not used much yet such as the Alphabitties that proved to be so helpful since there were many pieces involved and the sizes on some only varied by 1/4” so they were hard to tell apart.  I also had some batting boards I made a while back using Lori’s pattern.  I still need to add the colorful binding to some, but they are just as useful without.

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There were many angles to sew and I remembered that I had purchased an angler in the past.  Once I located it I found that I had really bought 2!  Good thing I remembered where they were or I may have been tempted to buy another one…

Now that this block is finished and with the 4 together I made a 12” finished block I am thinking I could pick some more from the book and make a runner for my buffet.

Farm Girl Vintage is really my style!

Ferne

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