Thursday, July 29, 2010

Charming Butterfly Blocks

IMG_2432I have been seeing a lot of butterfly blocks popping up on the internet.  They are simple to make and don’t require much accuracy to get great results.  I kept thinking though that they would be a great way to use some charm packs.  Charm packs are 5 inch square samples of fabrics.  I had to refigure the measurements though to make it work and this is what I came up with:

Wings:  Cut the charm square in half


Background:  Cut 1 1/2” Strips from a charm square or 1 1/2” X 5” from a background fabric

Body:  Cut 1” X 5” strips I used a brown fabric all the same for each butterfly.

  • Mark the wings at 3/4” from the top for the section near the body and 1/4” from the top.  This is where you will put the background strip to sew.  Lay the background strip on the wing and sew 1/4” from edge.  Be sure you have extra fabric hanging over each end for full coverage.IMG_2427IMG_2428
  • Fold background fabric back and iron in place.
  • Square up the wings to 2 1/2” X 5” .  I turned the piece upside down to square it up and I didn’t cut the extra backing off because it was so small and it helped with the squaring up.
  • IMG_2429
  • Sew wings to body and iron towards the body.IMG_2423IMG_2430 

Voila!  a 5” Butterfly block ~ Charming!   I sewed 4 together and it made a 9 1/2” block.  Not sure what I will do with this but, I have lots more charm squares to play with and see what happens…

Be sure to check out what some other bloggers are saying about this fun block:

Pam Kitty Morning  - She made it even smaller than mine

Mrs. Schmenkman Quilts – She posted a tutorial on this that might be easier to understand than what I just did.

Choccybangles  - summer project

and I’m sure there are some I missed and more to come!

Let’s see some more beautiful butterflies flitting around out there in blogland of all sizes.


Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Janome, I love you!

IMG_2372 I did it!  I went to test drive the Janome 6600 yesterday and of course it had to come home with me.  I even got a deal on the table special made to fit it.  The table is really nicely made and solid.  There is no vibration when it is sewing at all and the height is very comfortable to work at.  I played on this machine for about an hour and already felt comfortable enough to start a project.  I read that the manual was terribly written, but I found it easy to understand and I went through it for each step of setting up and changing feet to changing settings and had no problems at all.  My Mom would be so proud of me using the manual, she always says “Did you read the manual?” and usually I don’t I just figure that I will figure it out sooner or later.  Well, the manual was read and reread and I followed the directions and I figured it out faster.  So it pays to follow Mom’s advice once in a while.

I’m trying to decide what is my favorite feature so far…I thought it would  be the Accufeed foot, but it is not yet, maybe after I quilt something it will be.  It will be nice not to have to put on the bulky walking foot.  You just put on your quilting foot, pull down the feed foot holder and that is it.  It is not noisy, that is the best part.  The store owner gave me an Accufeed 1/4 inch foot, but I found that I had to move my needle so far over for it to be a true 1/4 inch, the regular 1/4 inch foot that comes standard with the machine is so much more accurate.  You don’t really need the Accufeed to piece, but it will be good for putting on binding.  So my favorite feature is a tie between two little buttons, the thread cutter and the Start/Stop button. 

I sounds like the thread cutter is causing some people problems, but it was explained to me that you have to cut the thread before you lift the foot and there will not be bobbin thread coming out which bothers some people because they are use to holding the top and bottom threads before they start sewing.  The thread cutter is holding the bottom thread and it will come out when you start sewing.  No more lifting projects to cut threads from the bottom, very handy for me! 

The Start/Stop button lets you sew without using a foot petal.  I keep forgetting this and wanting to step on the gas.  You do have the IMG_2371option to use the foot petal if you want and it is a really nice petal, but I am really liking this button a lot and finding it easy to get use to.

We had our first real harvest from the garden yesterday.  We have gotten a few zucchini and few strawberries here and there, but last night I filled my basket to overflowing.  I have a feeling this is just the beginning.  I may be making some strawberry jam soon!

Eat healthy and use your time wisely!



Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Something About Summer

IMG_2325  There is just something about summer that draws me away from sewing and blogging for long periods of time.  I am still reading other people’s blogs, but posting to mine…not so much.  It is so hot where I am working – 112 the other day and over 105 most days, so when I get home I am just exhausted.  IMG_2337

On my days off I have been working in my garden most of the time, but last week I actually spent one day fishing on Lake Shasta with my sons and Michael.  It was my older son’s 26th birthday and this was something he really enjoyed.  Just look at that smile on his face!  We had a great   time, saw some great sites and even caught quite a few fish.

IMG_2348Things are growing in my garden with all this heat and we have been harvesting strawberries, but the tomatoes are just getting big and not coloring up yet.  They will probably be ready all at once in a few weeks or less.  The zucchini’s on the other hand are all ready and hard to use up.  We grew Magda, White Lebonese and an eight ball squash.  They are delicious, but I am runninIMG_2346g out of ideas to do with them.  I’ve made several stir frys and a Zucchini Pie (this recipe was from a Pillsbury Bake off winner, follow the link~it’s great!).   I have lots of basil ready and waiting for the tomatoes to be ready…can’t wait for that!

The only sewing I have been working on is to make some cushions for some out door chairs and now I am piecing a simple table cloth to match them. I am going to a  near by SIMG_2368ewing Center to test drive the Janome 6600P today.  It has an Accufeed foot that would be great for quilting and it has lots more stitches than my machine and an automatic thread cutter .  If I get it I will probably keep my Janome DC3050 for taking to classes since it is a nice lightweight size for that.  I have been reading all kinds of things about the 6600 and it sounds like it might have a few problems, but I think the pros out weigh the cons.  I’ll decide after a test drive.  Anyone reading this that has input on this machine please share, I would love to hear reports!

IMG_2358 Summer ~ Gotta love it!