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 appliqués. 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.