Sunday, December 9, 2018

Some time has passed! From the first of November to now!!!

So like most of you, much has happened within the past month.  My eldest twin son saved and bought his first car:  The really odd part is actually having my car anytime I want it for at least the next week until my daughter gets home from Snow College!

He also raked up the forest worth of leaves in our back yard.  That pile doesn't look very tall but you need to understand that I'm looking down at them.  Our house (and patio) stands on a hill above the level of that playset.  Both of my sons bagged those leaves which filled 8 or 9 of those big contractor-sized leaf and debris bags!

Biscuits and chicken.  Definitely not a diet food but tasty!

Now my latest quilting finish:

I finished the quilt top and have purchased the backing and batting.  Now it sits on a chair.  Waiting.

My other twin son treated me to dinner at Taqueria Tres Hermanos Thursday night.  It was a lovely night out with him!

Finally starting to break out Christmas decorations starting with stockings my sister-in-law made us years ago.  She is in our hearts, prayers, and minds this Christmas.

Some bookmarks I made for my quilting friends. This was my inspiration post.

Now what else can I do to avoid quilting that Christmas quilt above?!  I think that starting is the hardest part!

Saturday, October 27, 2018

Christmas is coming!

I made a mini-button quilt of the Nativity!  

I sewed on the buttons representing the principle figures but cut the shanks off the back of the animal buttons so they could be glued.  Any suggestions of a good, long-lasting glue?  The glue stick from Missouri Star that I'm using is working for now, but I'm not sure it will last through the years.  Maybe a craft glue like Aleene's Tacky Glue?  

I didn't do a whole lot of quilting on this because I used my walking foot and found I missed the flexibility of the FMQ open toe presser foot.  I might go back to add quilting in the black frame.

Friday, October 26, 2018

Lots of FMQ designs on this periodic table of elements!

Here's my latest quilt, created to practice free motion quilting.  I think I used a little bit of everything I've learned so far because some of the spaces are irregular and some because I got bored with what I had already done.  I tried to do each type of element differently from each other too.

Some examples (if you look really close!)

The back side:

Any chemistry teachers out there?  Homeschoolers?

Monday, October 15, 2018

Tablet, etc. Organizer

Today I completed my tablet holder using the Little Scraps pattern from This & That, Original Quilt Pattern by Sherri K. Falls.

The inside:

The good:

This is a cute idea.  The right side was originally designed for a tablet of paper, but I put my tablet inside and added the fastener at the top so it wouldn't drop out.

The bad:

There's a lot of wasted opportunity.  The pocket where I tucked the small notebook could have been modified to hold a phone, and the brown area above the pink zippered pocket is totally wasted.  I think I'll add a photo area there and maybe a key fob.  Since I used the blue pocket for holding my tablet instead of an 8 1/2" x 11 3/4" paper note pad, I should have added multiple pen holders (maybe with a piece of elastic?) across the outside of the pocket.

The ugly:

The instructions.  Ugh.  They were good at the beginning but the final assembly and the zipper pocket directions lost me.  Maybe it was just me?  If I do this again, I would not close the whole zipper pocket.  First, I would cut it slightly wider and then line it up after adding the zipper with zipper facing up and the outside edges lined up with the edges of the brown fabric.  After lining up the tablet side, seam the front to back with the right sides together.  Turn it and everything lays nice and flat around the edge.

I cut out all the pieces before starting.  There are some odd sizes so next time I'll probably cut as I go.  (I cut the wrong size on more than one piece! plus the brown interior lining fabric didn't cover the whole length.)

I'm not sure why I ended up with an inch or so in the middle with no fabric covering the interfacing.  The pattern's picture doesn't show that so I don't know if I cut something wrong or put it together incorrectly.  That was probably the problem because I definitely did NOT want to seam 8 layers of fabric at one go.  As it was, I broke 3 jeans needles!    

What the pattern got right:

I also highly recommend getting an ultra firm interfacing like the pattern called for.  It makes a difference.


I added the tab at the top of the large blue pocket on the left to make sure my tablet won't drop out.  (It's actually a green pocket, but my computer shows it as blue.)  

At last:

I love how bright and happy this booklet is and how it allows me to keep everything together when I go out.  It uses scraps from several quilting projects too!

Helpful notions:

I used clips to hold the pieces together after getting frustrated with pins.  Best move ever!

Friday, October 12, 2018

Long overdue Thanksgiving placemats!

Last year, or maybe the year before, or maybe the year before that, I picked up some Thanksgiving themed fabric at JoAnn Fabrics thinking that I would quickly make them up for that year's festivities.  

So that didn't happen

until now.

So while Princess Eugenie got married to Jack Brooksbank, I listened to Words of Radiance, by Brandon Sanderson, on Audible and cut, quilted, and bound these placemats.

I ran out of 505 Spray Adhesive (because I'm not coordinated enough to pull out safety pins before I stitch right over the top of them) so I have only completed 3 out of 6.  Originally I bought enough fabric for 8 but tried another Star experiment that I abandoned before going forward with the original plan.  Placemats use a lot of adhesive spray!  I'm car-less at home today so there were no quick trips to the store!

Actually, the third placemat is probably my favorite.  It was the easiest to quilt because I did the quilting design with the walking foot.  Having a stitch regulator is a beautiful thing!

Maybe one day I'll actually use a thread you can see better!  The sunburst in the top right corner is more difficult to see with white thread.

Thursday, October 11, 2018

Halloween quilt gifting

I picked up a Halloween panel at Quilting Is My Therapy fabric shop and came home, sandwiched it, and started free motion quilting it.  I finished it quickly for my daughter.  Their kitchen walls are a boring white with a desperate need for a colorful pick me up.  

Cute, huh.  Not bad from someone that dislikes Halloween!

If you look closely, you'll see steam swirls going up from the black pot.

The machine-stitched label.  Like the striped backing?  That's from my stash.

My daughter received the quilt yesterday so I can post this now without ruining the surprise.  It turns out she didn't realize I was making this for her.

On one of her walks in town, she discovered a hardware store to buy a wooden dowel to hang this.  She also befriended a seemingly stray cat.  She pet it but had to walk away from it.  Once back at her apartment, the cat stayed on her mind and she felt she should do something for it.

 After googling, she discovered mushrooms were safe for cats so she sacrificed her only can of mushrooms and took it out for the forlorn kitty.  The cat was still there and enjoyed the food, but she noticed that she didn't snarf it down like a starving kitten, prompting her to start looking for an owner.  She was right in front of AutoZone where she found the owner.  The cat?  The AutoZone pet, matted fur and all.  The manager's home was right across the way and she went between the two.  She was much relieved to know that this kitty had a home to retreat to with winter coming.  She was greatly relieved!

What do you do with your quilts?  Do you dislike making hanging sleeves?  I remembered to add one to this Halloween wall hanging, but I often forget so I was happy to see this blog post by Quilting Digest on other ideas to hang quilts.  Some are super clever!

Creative Ways to Hang Quilts
(from Quilting Digest)

Monday, October 8, 2018

Finished? Absolutely maybe.

Recently, I finished a gift wall hanging/lap quilt for a Christmas gift, at least if "finished" means bound.  I quilted most of it quite heavily but left the main characters relatively untouched.  Except I haven't been able to leave it alone.  Now almost everything is fairly heavily quilted.  I can't show the whole thing since it's a gift, but here's a piece of it:

I think I'm getting better, at least some days!

This morning, this blog post came across my feed from Diary of a Quilter just in time as a reminder to celebrate small victories.  So I'm celebrating and allowing that quilt to be put away to move onto my next wall hanging.

This is what's currently on my machine:

I don't really have a plan of how I want to quilt this.  I've used wavy lines, leafy meanders, and wood knots so far.  I'm starting to use circular quilting designs in the mid-section of green inspired by the trees.  All the red barns are traced in thread and I've added planks with my sewing.

Have you seen Missouri Star Quilt Co.'s latest tutorial with Jenny Doan?  Her Time to Sew quilt features Moda's Collection for a Cause Heritage collection that Howard Markus created.  Here's a link for it.  All the money that's made from this collection goes to the International Quilt Study Center and Museum this year.  They showcase exhibitions, collections, world quilts, block of the month quilts, and so forth.  Their mission is to "build a global collection and audience that celebrate the cultural and artistic significance of quilts."  It was established by the University of Nebraska-Lincoln in 1997, and "the collection has grown to represent more than 50 countries and span 5 centuries." Here's a link if you're interested in knowing more about them!

Happy sewing!