Thursday, July 31, 2014

Walking foot Quilting!

Earlier this week, I was in the mood to do some machine sewing.  So I pulled out some charm squares that I have had for a few years.  I pulled the lighter shades out and made some nine patches to practice a new way for me anyway of making nine patches. Barb did a tutorial over at her blog.  It looked like something I could do.  So I started trimming and stitching.
They went pretty well, but I decided to use my new walking foot and I must say I don't think I used the same line on the foot to keep my seam allowances accurate.  Lesson learned, back to using my 1/4 inch foot from now on.  But, I do love my new walking foot for machine quilting.  I took a class on Craftsy to give me some confidence and some ideas and off I went.  Now those of you that follow my blog know I am all about hand quilting.  But, as I get older I know my hands will not last forever, and I have a couple of tops that really have too many seams to hand quilt or the fabric is so busy it is not worth putting all that effort into them.  So here are today's first effort:

I haven't added the binding yet

Look at the quilting not the piecing, please

and it was fun to do
Well, it's pretty basic not sure I will ever get brave enough to do free motion as previous experiences were quite scary. But it is progress!

Monday, July 28, 2014

Baltimore Garden Block 23

I did some prep work this weekend, so that I could get started on the stitching of block 23.  This one has quite a few leaves and some lovely curved stems.  The layered flowers will really make this block sing.

I didn't get as much hand quilting done yesterday as I had hoped, but I got a bit  bummed out after the game as Chase's team lost 0-1 to a Manhatten, NY team.  I thought about all the early morning practices and years of playing.  The day before they had come back from being down 2 and scoreless to winning 5-2 in overtime.  But, this morning, I realized not everyone can win, we must celebrate our achievement and being number 2 in the nation is quite an achievement.  He will come home with a silver medal and memories that will last a life time.  He still has college days to look forward to, hopefully his hard work will land him some scholarships. 
It is such a gorgeous day here. The humidity is gone and the temps a bit cooler, so this morning I headed to the garden to pick the produce.  This afternoon I plan to sit in the sewing room and relax with some hand quilting. 

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Cheering and Stitching!

Starting the day off with a slow start.  Slept in this morning, it's such a good feeling!  Sundays are usually a day that Kathy reminds to slow down and enjoy some slow stitching.  But my day today will start with watching my grandson Chase play in the Championship game at the  US Youth Soccer event. Yesterdays game was a nail biter.  They were down by two the  whole first half and finally after 90 + minutes they ended with a tie, so the game went into overtime for another 30 minutes. They played hard and gave it their all and won 5-2. 
Chase in yesterday's game
Here is doing what goalie's do!

So after the game I hope to get to hand quilting on Simple but Not. It is going to be a very hot day here, with high humidity before the cold front comes thru tomorrow.  So I can't think of a better way to spend the day. The ac will be running hard, Chase will be running hard, and I will be slow stitching the day away!


Saturday, July 26, 2014

A bit of red!

 Since I finished by pickledish and wonky star blocks  for RSC2014, all I have to show for this week that has a bit of red is my Baltimore Garden Block.  Yes, block 22 out of 25 is complete! 

 The flower above is done in six layers. Layer numbers four and five were quite challenging, but I must say they are getting easier each time I come across them in a block. All that practice must be paying off!
 This is a simple tulip, they are like a breath of fresh air since the applique shape is bigger and has gentle curves.

Then I took a bit of a vacation from my regular projects.  The final photo is a picture of my bed.  The Double Irish Chain is pulled back to show the row of orphan blocks that I added to the top of the top sheet.  I recently was making up my guest bed with sheets I bought many years ago.  I realized that sheets purchased today are shorter than they used to be.  You know how they change the sizes of packaging at the grocery store so you don't realize the price is going up. Well, they have done it with sheets too!  So by adding a band of blocks, it not only looks great, but hopefully the sheet will stay tucked in at the bottom of the bed. Working on this project was like taking a little vacation from my regular projects.  But, come Monday it will be time to start another applique block.

Sunday, July 20, 2014


Did you know that crosshatching is a method used by artist?  I found this site that gives a good explanation.  Unlike line drawings that artist do, quilters use crosshatching as a background.  It adds texture and works well as a background behind applique. I think it helps your eye move across the quilt. 

I am using a 3/4 inch crosshatch on Simple but Not!  This quilt is very simple in design. Just large pumpkin seed shapes made up of scraps of fabric  They are appliqued on top of a solid background.  I am adding feathers around the applique to accent it, and tying it all together with the crosshatching. 

A couple of years ago I really concentrated on what type of quilts I wanted to make.  I found that I was always drawn to the process of applique.  I am so happy I followed my heart.  I love using  colored backgrounds and having negative space to fill with hand quilting.  That balance of hand quilting and design is crucial for me.  I have never been one to use a lot of busy prints and I find when I do I turn to big stitch to achieve the balance that is so important to me.  Do you find yourself making the same category of quilt?

 So today I will be linking up with Kathy and adding a few more slow stitches to Simple but Not!

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Red block progress

Red wonky block is assembled and hanging with the other wonky stars made in the previous months.  I think it is another winner!

Then of course I started cutting the red and black and white scraps to make my pickle dish blocks.  I am including some pics of the block being assembled.  They look complicated but really aren't hard if you keep yourself organized and make sure you don't rush sewing the curve.


Monday, July 14, 2014

Quilting frame

I had several followers asking about the quilt hoop I use and how my husband was able to add some magnets to my old frame so that it would work on my new stand.  I received this Barnett quilt stand and hoop for Christmas. I opted for the 18 inch as I already had a 14 in hoop that I currently used.
When I first learned to quilt, I learned on a frame but hated that I had to quilt in my sewing room away from the family. So, I wanted to go to something more portable.  I opted for a fourteen inch hoop with a base.  I still have not figured out how people quilt in a hoop without a base, but that is Ok cause this is what works for me.

My Barnett hoop stand has a lazy susan that is made out of metal attached to the top of it.

The base of the hoop has magnets on the bottom of it.

So my husband found these magnets at Harbor Freight and attached them to the bottom of my fourteen inch base.
I use these clips that I bought ages ago when I thought I was going to learn to machine quilt.  I am glad that I have finally found a use for them.  They keep the quilt from laying on my lap.  That and in conjunction with a fan running I have been able to quilt with the warmer weather of the summer. 

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Starting with the feathers

I started hand quilting my pumpkin seed quilt a couple of weeks ago.  It has a lot of negative space for some wonderful handquilting.  I thought some feathers would be great to accent the simple scrappy pumpkin seeds.  I have named this quilt Simple But Not.  I think it is fitting since the design is simple but the quilting will make it marvelous.

For Christmas last year, Santa brought me a wonderful new quilt hoop on a stand.  I opted for the 18 inch hoop since the hoop I had been using was a fourteen and sometimes I felt it was a bit small.  Well, when I started quilting the feathers I felt the 18 inch was too big, so my wonderful hubby added some magnets to my old hoop so now I can use it with my new stand  It will be great to use the bigger hoop when I am stitching background lines, but it is so wonderful to have the smaller hoop when I need to turn and reach across the hoops for smaller motifs.

I  feel so much better this week about using the spoon instead of the aunt becky.  It took a while to make the adjustment but I no longer have the urge to go back to using the aunt becky. 

I also finished up block 21 of Baltimore Garden. I thought I would share a pic of some the embroidery that I added to this block.  It was so much fun to add a few accents here and there. I think I need to take a crazy quilt class soon.

  I am linking up with Kathy blog today to see what others are slow stitching.  Slow stitching is such a wonderful relaxing way to spend a few hours each day!

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Block #21 Progress

I continued to work on block # 21 this week.  Like I said in a previous post this block is a bit more delicate than the other blocks I have done.  So I had to figure out a way to make some 1/8 inch stems.  I didn't want to have to purchase yet another quilting tool and did some research.  Then I remembered a Pat Sloan podcast where a quilter on her show said she used cable ties as bias bars.  I wish I could remember her name, but I do remember she was from Australia.  So I headed out to my husband's work bench and yes there they were, thin black cable ties.  The reason they work is that they do not melt when you put them under your iron.

So I cut some bias strips 3/4 inch wide and folded them in half right sides facing out.
This photo shows the original strip, the strip after it is folded and stitched The final one is after the seam has been trimmed down.

I then stitched straight down them leaving enough on the folded side for the cable tie to fit.  I then trim the seam down as thin as I can.  The cable tie is then inserted and the seam is turned so that is on one side of the cable tie.

The bias strip threaded on the cable tie.

Pressing the stem after turning the seam to the backside.

 A light misting of starch and good press and whala 1/8 inch wide stems.  A few drops of glue and  press them in place and they are ready to stitch down.

It really made them quite easy to do and I was able to move on. Today I will working on the flowers. I am using the back basting method because some of the pieces are very oddly shaped and quite small.  I love this method cause it is a easy way to get pieces placed exactly where you want them.  Once the flowers are complete this block will need some embroidered stems and accents. I always loved doing simple embroidery as a child and am looking forward to those slow stitches.

Saturday, July 5, 2014

Red Wonky Star

I decided to change things up this month.  I started this month working on my wonky star block first.  I dug thru the scrap bin and found enough reds, but a lot of them are reproduction prints and I wondered how it will look with the other brighter blocks, but it is what it is.  As you can see in the photo below, I got all the pieces cut and laid out and now I just need to stitch it together and give it a good press.

I am linking up with Angela and others over Rainbow Scrap Challenge 2014.  This month's color is red. So if you have some some red scraps that need to be turned into blocks join and us and share your red project.

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

RSC2014 Halfway There

Angela is having a linky party so we can share our quilt blocks for RSC2014 since we are halfway through the year.  I have ended up working on two quilts for the challenge.  If you are wondering what to do with your stash or need to use up some scraps come join us.

Wonky Stars!
Pickledish blocks!