April 09, 2016

Salem Quilt Guild Panel #1---Finished!

There are three mystery panels for the Salem Quilt Guild quilt. Panel #2 has been released, and panel #3 is going to released in May.  I mention all this so that you---and with that I realize how far behind I am with this project. (sigh)

Celebrating that I have finally finished panel #1!!!! Yeah!  Here are photos of my panel #1

 Drumelza Von Spellcaster
 Bertha Broomhildagard
 Celinda Wickenblat and Bertha Broomhildagard
 Hagatha Thistlebottom and Tituba P. Wartsworth

 The Salem Witches going to the Guild Meeting! Recognize anyone?
 Drumelda Stump pulling her wagon load of quilts with Cosmo the cat.

 Hagatha Thistlebottom, Tituba P. Wartsworth and Drumelda Stump.
 Cosmo the Cat!

Preview:  Photo of Panel #2 of the Salem Quilt Guild is now in process of me transferring the drawing to fabric. Then it will be colored with crayola.  Heat set. This process takes me about a week. Then the stitching can begin on this panel. Love it! 

March 01, 2016

Finish #2--#3 Loaded

The Double Slice Layer Cake quilt is off the frame----all the quilting is finished and I've loaded quilt #3 is loaded onto the long arm.  I have binding to do, but I love sitting in the evening watching a movie and sewing on bindings, so no excuses there.  I want to make a flanged binding with turquoise and red to match this Riley Blake fabric.  I'll post another photo once it is finished.

Double Slice Layer cake pattern from Jenny Doan,  a Missouri Star Quilt. Tutorial on You Tube. Circle Lord "Cosmos" template board design.

I've also ordered 5 wide backings for some of the other quilts hanging in the closet.  

Quilt #3 ready to quilt.

Yesterday was so beautiful outside that I didn't quilt at all.  Instead I pulled weeds (and there are plenty of those this year!)-----and I've been wanting to clean the fountain and repot some of the plants, so I spent most of the day out in the wonderful sunshine!

Today Norma is coming over and we are going to play with Miss Ellie' (Babylock Ellisimo) arranging some text on the machine, and learning more about Designers Gallery Works.  She got an Ellisimo this past year and is just starting to machine embroidery.  We will have some fun planning some embroideries and sharing ideas. 

2008 Babylock Ellisimo

Hope you have a wonderful day too---. It is another sun filled day here in Sonoma County wine country ---rain is expected towards the end of the week. We need more rain, and more rain means more time quilting! even though I do love being out in the yard thinking about new plants. Cleaning up weeds?---not so much fun. 

February 26, 2016

Allowed: Quilting Only

I have finished piecing Minature Menagerie from Urban Threads and it's hanging in the closet with 17 other quilt tops! (yes, 17! )

Here it is spread out on top of our bed. It took me weeks to find my way back to where I had left off piecing this quilt.  Then finding out I had not actually made all the blocks needed for the bottom row. That meant I had to hunt for some of the 9 patch tone on tone fabric and hope I still had it in my stash. Remembering also that is why I had quit sewing on this at retreat---I had run out of the fabrics, and they were at home.

Trying to recall, (even with instructions) what I had to cut out of the fabrics to create the blocks. ???

I will never-never do this to myself again! Trying to pick up where you left off on an unfinished project that is years old is brutal, to say the least.  It would have been so much easier to just stuff it in a bag and donate it to the guild, or to Legacy, our local senior center thrift shop. But, really, I love this quilt so much, determination prevailed.  I'm glad I didn't give up.  Now I have to decide how to quilt it. That is another  thing---which brings me to my semi New Years resolutions.

I have done all the sewing I'm not going to the sewing room for now---and have refocused my attention to those unfinished quilt tops waiting in the closet to be quilted! I don't want to be tempted to start anything new. I will only making binding at the machines and quilt labels. (keep repeating---)

I want all those tops quilted! Yesterday I finished this top that had been on the frame since Christmas. (shame on me). It's one of my friend Shirley's quilt top that she requested be quilted for one of her family members. Shirley passed in July.  I've done several of her tops, and they are all colorful and beautifully made.  Shirley had a wonderful way with scraps and combining colors. I miss her so much----

After this her quilt was off the frame ( literally dusted off!) and squared up,  I loaded onto the long arm one of my quilt tops that I'm sure you have seen before.  A Double Slice Layer Cake pattern from Jenny Doan at Missouri Star quilts.

I'm using a wide backing from Riley Blake and the top was also a Riley Blake "layer cake" 10" square packet.  I'm quilting it with one of my template boards. "Cosmos".  It's going fast! And maybe today I'll be finished! (what a wonder)

Proving once again that procrastination should not be acceptable, and that I can accomplish a lot if I set my mind to it. You would think that would be so obvious at my age.  Obviously that concept has never truly sank in.

Cosmos quilting motif. 

My sewing machines will collect dust from now,  until I get all these quilt tops finished. My inspiration is Mary Johnson of Making Quilts from Stash. One of my favorite quilt bloggers.  She sticks with her projects until they are finished.  I'm constantly amazed at how much she accomplishes. A true time manager if there ever was!

February 11, 2016

Coloring-Paper and Embroidery

Here are a few of my coloring book pages.  I love the new "adult coloring book" craze that is going on now. The coloring books are getting to be more fun and more intricate than ever. So far I have resisted buying all the wonderful coloring books I see and hear about, but I don't know how long that will last!

 These are two pages I've colored from Nikolett Corley's book, "The Magic Path".  These pages are colored with a combination of Prismacolor premier pencils and Bright Night gel pens.  However, buying colored pencils and pens is another whole realm you can get caught up in too. (just like fabric & thread!)

  My favorite coloring instructor is on You Tube.  Peta Hewitt.  

As if paper was not enough, I found this embroidery designers, SweetPea, and she just released an embroidery that I could color---and she plans to offer more designs like this in the future---This is the Painted Thread wallhanging I just finished.

The embroidery is done in the hoop first. All black thread. Once the blocks are finished you seam them together, add a backing and binding and color between the lines of thread.  I used a combination of Copic pens and fabric markers.

"Painted Thread" is now hanging on the sewing room wall. 
Two loves of mine, embroidery and coloring! fun---combined.

January 15, 2016

Touching Base---

I thought I would post some photos of projects I completed, and a few works in progress just so you know I am still alive and well in the New Year! Most were gift's for Christmas, and The Salem Witch Quilt Guild #1 panel hand embroidery is ongoing.  

My New Year's goal is to work on UFO projects. Open some of those containers that have projects in them, and either finish them or give them away. Some containers have collections of future projects. Like the pattern, fabric and thread in them, but I've never started the project. So, I can put the fabric and thread back into my stash, and get rid of the pattern. Or decide if I want to start another UFO! LOL! 

October 31, 2015

New "Forever" Hand Stitching Project

I like to have a long term hand embroidery project going on, and haven't started one for a long time.  Not since this Star Spangled Uncle Sam. With the time change, and hopeful rainy season, it will be nice to snuggle down in the early evening with a new stitchery.

I seldom sit and piece at the sewing machine at night, as after a long day, as I'm usually tired and I find I make more mistakes cutting and sewing at night that I then need to correct in the morning light.

However, hand embroidery is different.  I thread all my embroidery needles early in the day in preparation for stitching. Have good lighting set up by my chair, and I'm ready to relax----and hand stitch.

Star Spankled Uncle Sam

When I saw Crabapple Hill Studio's newest mystery stitchery, The Salem Witches at the Quilt Guild, I knew I had found a new "forever project".  I love all the witches! Their poses, and clothing and what their various guild duties are! Like the Raffle ticket selling witch holding her basket of tickets and the sewing machine that is being raffled off!

(click on the pictures to enlarge)

Here is a photo from Crabapple Hill designs showing all the witches. The detail is awesome!

How about that cute cat on the pile of quilts in the wagon? Adorable! I love the vintage look of the whole scene.  I can't even imagine what part 2 will be like! But, I'm loving this first panel!

Yesterday I started transferring the design to fabric. It is suggested you use a brown colored .05 Micron pen and a light table.  My light table is definitely too small for these figures, so I taped the pattern to a large window in our hallway, and then taped the fabric over the drawing and started tracing the images.

I got this far transferring the design yesterday before my arm gave out----

I hope to finish the tracing today and get started on the coloring process.  I may venture away from the suggested Crayola Crayon method and use my Copic markers instead.

More later--------

October 30, 2015

More Scan n Cut Learning

I'm having fun learning about the Brother Scan n' Cut machine. Here are some of my latest projects. My primairy reason, or so I told myself, for buying a Scan n' Cut was to cut out fabric for machine embroidery appliqu├ęs. But, since joining several of the Scan n' Cut groups on Facebook I've become fascinated with trying out paper projects. These Halloween paper cuts are all freebie .svg files from Birdcards.com

I thought cutting paper would be the challenge, instead it has turned out to be the Glue! How to keep the sticky glue where it belongs and not smearing it all over the paper!  I feel like I'm back in pre-school  flunking "Pasting Day!"

I finished this next project yesterday.  The challenge here was to scan the pattern pieces and sort them,  place the fabrics on the cutting mat, and sort out the pieces on the Scan n' Cut touch screen so they would be placed correctly on the fabrics, and then you press cut and hope all goes well!  This is a a freebie from Connecting Threads online catalog.  The Christmas Scottie Mug Rug.

Lots of mistakes I realize, but this is all part of learning about blade depth, pressure and cutting speed on the machine.  I am however enjoying the whole process so far.

You can learn more about the Brother  Scan n' Cut2 650 here.  

October 18, 2015

Slow Progress

I try to spend time, a little or a lot, in my sewing room. Even if it's just 30 mins. I feel like I'm making progress. I would love to spend more time there, it's a very relaxing room, and I love being there. I have so many ideas and projects swirling around in my mind plus all those unfinished projects to work on.

The passing of my friend, Shirley, has made me more thoughtful about all the unfinished quilts that seem to be piling up. Some tops that need completion, others on hangers in the closet waiting to be quilted. Do I have enough hours or days to get them all done?----probably not, but I'm not giving up on the idea of finishing the unfinished ---yet.

I get thoughtful, deep thoughtful about all this at times and have decided it's not the time so much. (it really is amazing what you can do in 30 mins.)---it's the beckoning of new projects that gets me so sidetracked! If only I would not start anything "new".  But, how will I ever accomplish that. No self control in that department it seems.

 My other option is to literally pack up each and every unfinished project and give it away. Not deal with it any longer-----and that would be a serious undertaking both emotionally, and physically.

So, onward I go trying to meet the challenge.

So far this month I have finished a baby quilt. Pieced the borders on a quilt, and learned to miter the corners on it.  (I am not good at mitering quilt borders) but I did OK.  I learned a new binding technique! Love it, and will do it again. Put a long forgotten Unfinished Project on the design wall and will start piecing it soon. (today) Downloaded all the files I needed to make my new Scan n Cut2 650 work wirelessly. Downloaded Canvas software to work with Scan n Cut.   I mention this because it took me over an hour to get all this computer stuff figured out and working like it should.

This is a machine embroidery project (unfinished project) from Urban Threads that I started several years ago. It had been so long since I had opened the container it was stored in, I had forgotten all the placement of the blocks. That is a real problem when working with unfinished projects.  Just recalling where you left off, and where to restart can present it's own challenge. Moments of sheer confusion!

I did finish the Calendar Kids border and I've decided a simple free motion meander will complete the quilt and not detract from the design.

Tried as I might I could not get the pieced borders to perfectly match in length near the corners so that the seams would miter from one side of the quilt to the other.  But, the 30's print fabric is so busy looking, it's not too noticeable, and once it's quilted I think it will be OK.

The Elephant quilt is finished!

I tried a new quilt binding method from Missouri Star Quilts. Jenny Doan's flanged quilt binding. The video is on You Tube. Liking this! No hand stitching!

This beauty awaits me on the long arm. One of my dear departed Shirley's lovely quilt tops. I need to add extensions to the top and bottom so I can load it onto the leaders. They are way to short now.  At some point it was intended to be machine quilted sitting at the sewing machine.  I'll need to remove all the safety pins too. Don't you wish for an "assistant" some days! for jobs like safety pin removal!

For Shirley's son.

So, this is some of the stuff going on. Hopefully you will understand why I don't blog as often these days.