Tuesday, April 17, 2012

I have been busy

Well the show season is here. Colleen is getting ready and I have been busy writing direction sheets and putting kits together for the Ribbon Star Quilt that I worked on in Florida. I have also done the same for the Folk Art Vase quilt. My studio was an absolute mess while I was making them, piles of stuff everywhere. I love doing these direction sheets and putting the kits together it provides such a sense of accomplishment.  Both of these quilts can be seen in previous posts. In addition I have been putting together Wire Edged Ribbon  Sampler Packs that can be used with the Ribboned Bouquet book.

Ribbon Sampler Pack

I also started another quilt using similar flowers and applique. I have been making a whole garden of ribbon flowers, daffodils, pansies, periwinkles and zinnias. I wanted to get it finished for the show in Freeport this weekend QuiltportUSA but it won't happen. Perhaps by next weekend when we go to the Celebration of Needlework in Nashua, New Hampshire I will have most of it done. I am off to stitch.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Quilt is getting there

As you can see my quilt is just about done. I am in the process of machine quilting it, I should finish today. I want to start another project just like this as it was so much fun to do, but I am going to finish my Dear Jane Quilt instead. All my blocks are done and 1 1/2 of the borders so I will be working on that in earnest to finish.
Being Quilted

Now Something Completely Different

If you are a machine embroiderer and love the look of hand embroidery this is for you. The thread I used is wool-acrylic from Madeira Thread called Lana. A couple of years ago I machine embroidered linen curtains for my living room. They were a lot of fun and I used the Lana thread, many of my hand stitching friends thought they were hand stitched. A couple of my friends and I decided to stitch this little foot stool so I created this design using parts from my curtains. It was a lot of fun and I will put the footstool where the cat cannot get to it.

Foot Stool

Friday, March 16, 2012

Ribboned Bouquet

Well I have talked about my next project using this wonderful book I was able to buy in Jacksonville our our way North. I used the method from that book for my basket handles. 

When I applique a curve I either bast or draw the inside of the curve and stitch my appliqued piece there first. The outside of the curve will "stretch" to fit, of course that is true if you made the "tube" from piece of fabric cut on the bias.
Gathering Supplies
I ordered the wire edged ribbon my mail when I was in NC and when I got home I went to a number of fabric stores to try to find the large print fabric for the borders. After purchasing three different ones I finally decided on this one. I have been following the directions fairly well except I have appliqued all the stems on all the blocks and then did all the embroidered leaves. 
Stems and Leaves
As you can see I have now started the fun stuff. This rose is padded applique. It will have embroidered accents and ribbon leaves. I hope to get a lot done today. It is a wonderful project and the directions and diagrams in the book are wonderful. It is a delight to work on. So many times I have purchased a pattern and felt like I needed a PhD in hieroglyphics. 

A Time Out Project
I took time out to make some shirts (seven in all) for my grandchildren's Destination ImagiNation team project. My daughter is the coach so they have a little extra pull! They drew the image and selected the name. They sure are happy Dodo Birds! They built a time machine as their project.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Monthly Challenge

I have been following along on the yahoo group http://groups.yahoo.com/group/smallquilttalk/ and love all of Kathy Tracy's books.

I made her March challenge and made her basket quilt. I did however make the blocks a bit smaller at 3" square. I had a place for it to go and that size worked great for me. As you can see it is only the top, I will finish it soon. I have been also been working on my Ribboned Bouquet quilt and in that book by Janice Vaine she has you use a tube turner to make fabric tubes for flowers.

I altered her method by using a different tool to make the handles for the baskets. I was great fun and there were no raw edges for threads to peel out.

I used a 1 1/4" strip of fabric. Folded it right sides together and sewed a 1/4" seam along the raw edge. I then trimmed very close to the stitching line.

Slid on to tube turner

Close up of point

I then pushed the the entire strip onto the turner and poked the hook through the fabric and closed the hook, this prevents the "hook" from getting caught in the tube as you turn it inside out. Working carefully at the beginning to get it started just right. I found that using that rubber shelf liner helped in turning the tube.
Hold with rubber shelf liner
For my Ribboned Bouquet I needed a strip the width of the fabric cut on the grain. As you can see I was able to turn the entire 42" 

I used this same technique for the bias strips needed for the basket handles. I will say it was easier with both bias and shorter strips but will certainly use this method again. How many times have I needed a narrow piece to applique down and had a difficult time keeping those those thread ends under control.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Finishing Up

All Around the Town
Well I first worked on a quilt I had started just before we left. I am not a lover of paper piecing but I loved this pattern by countrythreads.com.

I dislike paper piecing so much because I hate to have to remove the paper, so I normally use water-soluble stabilizer. I print from my computer onto the stabilizer, do the paper piecing and once the quilt top is complete soak in warm water and viola the "paper" is gone. 

When I working on this I was away on a quilting week with friends and tried to get a copy center to print out the pp blocks on my stabilizer. They were afraid to that so I did a a modified method. It was great fun and I love how it came out. All I had left was backing, quilting and binding. I was in a clean up these almost finished projects.


Next onto this project I started in Florida. I just had to quilt and bind. I had embroidered through the batting so it was already for backing and binding.

I cannot believe this was created around that wonderful ribbon. Now all I have left is to write the directions for my daughter Colleen to sell at the shows she vends at this year. I am going to digitize the designs for a friend to use on her embroidery machine. She does not like hand embroidery. 

Another One:

Folk Art Vase
I also started this in Florida, rem-ember my care package. Colleen designed the center and I did the stitching. We work like this a lot. She does a design i make the quilt and write the directions. The center portion is wool and she will make and sell a kit. The directions will be for the entire quilt. Her firs show is in April so I have to get going.

Still More:

Chocolate and Pink
Piecing the Past

While I was in the groove of backing, quilting and binding. I finished up a couple more. The Chocolate and Pink I made from a bundle of civil war fabrics I bought last summer at a quilt show. It is only 18" x 27". I love to use these small quilts as table toppers on end tables or dressers.

The Piecing the past quilt was from a pattern from Donna Ruppert. I love her patterns and usually buy from her when ever I see her at a show. She used to have a web site but took it down. 

Enough for now I have to get back to my next project.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Long Time Missing

Well we are home and have been for a month. Where does the time go. We spent time in Jacksonville Florida with a former Navy buddy, Frank. We had a wonderful time. He is now living in a Retirement  Community and we were able to stay right there for our visit. It was very pleasant.

One day I told mu hubby that I was going to go to the quilt shop and Frank thought it was probably better if they took me. I assured them that with my trusty GPS i would be fine. When I got in the car and turned on the GPS I was only one and a half miles away. 

What a lovely shop! http://cinnamonsquilts.com . When I walked in I saw Janice Vaine's book that I own. I asked about it and they told me she was going to be teaching there on Friday, and she would have her NEW book with her! Sadly we were leaving on Friday but they assured me if I came in before her class started I could purchase her book. We stopped in on our way out of town so I could purchase her new book and I was lucky enough to get to meet her. A lovely lady. Oh how I wish I could have stayed for class. More about this in the next couple of posts. 

We then left and headed north to my wonderful Sister in law's new retirement home. Yes, we are certainly seeing lot of choices. We had a wonderful visit and only wished we lived closer to her. She is an awesome lady. She has only lived here for about six months and has already made her mark. There are a four lovely widows that meet every evening at the "dining room" bar to have their before dinner cocktail. They are known as the "MWBF", Merry Widow Bar Flies. They even had they picture in the Southern Pines newspaper. What a gal!

We finally arrived home late evening of February 16, after my monthly treatment at Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center.

We woke up a couple of days later to this lovely scene. Although it didn't last long it sure was a change.

After we unpacked and I got all the clothes and "stuff" put away I started to sew like a made fool. I will post more tomorrow along with pictures.

Good night for now,

Monday, January 30, 2012

Sadness... Heading home

Well we leave for our trip north in the morning. It has been so wonderful here, enjoyed every minute. We will have a good trip home visiting with friends and family along the way. We meet some very interesting people here today on the last day, they will be here next year so I am sure we will connect again then.

Talk to you all soon.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Perfect Day

Well here it is another perfect day. I have been stitching on my crazy quilt and having a lot of fun doing so. I also have been working with my new computer getting things saved that I need or want and cleaning up my old computer. I think Jim may keep it as it is newer than his laptop. He only uses the laptop when we are away from home as he loves his desktop and large screen.

We will be leaving here on Tuesday heading to Jacksonville to see an old Navy friend, and then on to my sister in law's new home. It will be good to get to see her. One interesting thing we can see is how the beach has changed "shape" since we have been here. I talked about the sandbar moving well now it is gone and part of the beach. It would be interesting to live here for a whole year and watch what nature does to the shore.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Another Project Update

Well with my care package I was able to finish the next step in the Folk Art Vase quilt. It was fun working with wool. I used a lot of beads in the applique and embellishment of the flowers. I also used a number of Brazilian Embroidery stitches. 
Folk Art Vase
When I get home I will make a quilt with pieced block around this. I forgot to bring my EQ7 with me so have to wait until then to plan and complete the whole quilt. 

Yesterday was so foggy we could just see the pool, When I sitting stitching and looked out it was like being in the clouds.

well onto stitching on my Crazy Quilt blocks, I am making good progress.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Well I got all the leaf ribbon sewn on and I love how the quilt is shaping up. Once I get home to my sewing machine I will machine quilt, and then bind it.
Quilt with Ribbon Leaves
Now onto the Folk Art Vase, I will add beads to the rest of the applique.

I drove to the doctors office today to get my cancer treatment and after I was finished as I was driving "home" i stopped at Books A Million and bought a beading and Applique book. Huge store when I was there they lost power so I had to sit and read for a while until the electrician repaired the problem. I was talking to another customer and asked her if she knew of any fabric stores as I had not been able to find one or a quilt shop on line or in the phone book. She told me about A & E Drugstore. What a crazy store. They sell drugs of course and fabric and they have a lot of it. All the major quilt brands are represented. They have notions for quilters, including rulers, thread, patterns  and a good supply of books. In addition they have all things needed for Mardi Gras, feather boas, beads, masks and more. It sure was an interesting place.

I also had a good laugh as I drove home from there I went by a Beauty Parlor called are you ready ... Curl Up and Dye. I wanted to go in and get a hair cut and talk to the owner she must have a great sense of humor.

Bye for now.. off to sew

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Care Package Arrives

What a Care Package!

Well my care package arrived! It is loaded with all kinds of goodies as you can see. Beads, beads and more beads. The ribbon for Star Quilt it is small green leaves along a vine.  I am going to sew on the ribbons with matching thread so they travel around each of the stars. I am going to go sew right now! 

Monday, January 16, 2012

Upcoming Projects

When I get home and have access to my fabric stash and sewing machine I am going to sew along with Val Laird with her block of the month called "Thoughts in Thread". It looks like it will be a lot of fun and not a whole lot of time. I said I was new to this blogging thing, if I could figure out how to add a link to her page I certainly would. 

I am now stitching on my crazy quilt blocks and have decided I did not make enough. I made 12 and will make 4 more to have a total of 16. This will make my latest crazy quilt about 45" square, a nice size and not as big as my last one so it won't take as long. It is totally different than my first one.

I do miss my sewing machine but I am getting a lot of hand stitching down in the daytime, something I would never do at home. Who taught me never to sit in a chair to read or stitch in the middle of the day?

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Change in the Water

Normally the water is very calm nothing like at home. For the past couple of days the water has been rough and choppy and very loud. According to the weather maps there have been no big storms around, but this is what it has looked like from the balcony, as you can see it is nothing like the ocean along the Maine coast but we haven't seen this when we have been here. 

Choppy for Here

This morning the Gulf is back to it's calm and restful self. You can see a small sand bar in the picture that and another one that is out of camera range were not there before the "choppy" waters. I certainly would not want to be here in a hurricane but would love to see a real storm. 

Calm waters

Well I have been stitching away on my wool block and I am having a good time. I called Colleen (my daughter owner of Thread Express.com) to send me a care package with some beads. I have more flowers to add but want some beads to use as i stitch down the remaining flowers and berries.

Folk Art Basket 

Thursday, January 12, 2012

New Project

Traced and Basted Design on Press and Seal

Well again I realize I don't have all of my normal tools. How do I transfer my design to my wool background to start my applique. Glad Press and Seal to the rescue. I traced the design onto the Press and Seal and then basted through to get the basic design for the center vase and the stems. Once basting was complete I removed the Press and seal by tearing it away. It certainly would have been easier to see if I had another color of thread but it worked fine up close and with good light.

Vase with Stems

Well here is the beginning the vase was attached with chain stitch and the stems are done in stem stitch. I think I will do each flower with a different stitch.

I have learned a couple of things I will see to it that my "sewing box" for travel contains a few more tools. I have not done much applique with wool but really love working on it. I always loved sewing garments with wool it is sooo... forgiving and I can see the wool applique is the same.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Rainy Day

I started my day in the pool - wonderful water is heated slightly and there was no one else there, although there had been someone earlier when I looked out. I followed that by a soak in the hot tub, just like my daily routine at home. 

It is now raining and the sea is more churned up then we have seen it since we have been here. I will be forced to stitch, just love these days. 

Monday, January 9, 2012

New Computer

Well, I bought a new computer and have been busy moving things I need from my old computer. I installed my Bernina software with all my class notes and lesson plans. I am now in the process of loading all of my Electric Quilt programs, unfortunately I forgot my disk for my EQ7 so will have to wait until I get home to install it, but will work in version 6 until then. The best laid plans as I know are not always successful.

Star Quilt Step 2

Remember my Little Star quilt? Well i had to remove some of the basting in order to trace the patterns to stitch. I am going to add ribbon leaves to all of the lattice but that will have to wait as I do not have it with me. It was fun to stitch, I used all back-stitch and a varigated thread by Caron.

I will start on the next project I brought with me later today.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

A Very Interesting Day

On Sunday Jim and I grove down to downtown Pensacola to have lunch, when we were driving by the pier on Palafox Street we saw this HUGE ship. We stopped and looked at it along with many others. We came home and looked it up on the internet. It is a derrick/pipe laying vessel. It has a lifting capacity of 1,200 tons, 400 tons deep water lowering system capacity, and is capable of operating in up to 3000 meters water depth.

Global 1200

Notice the size of the cars.

On Tuesday as I was stitching away on the couch I looked out at the water and saw a ship, using the telescope I could see it was this ship working away. It was located to the East of where I was and off to the left or West there was another ship. It looked like the cable laying ship we saw last year. It would certainly be interesting to see how many cables and pipes are under the Gulf.

As I stitch today there are no ships in sight, but I am sure they are out there just not close enough to see. 

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Stitching in Florida

Well I am so efficient - NOT! I wanted to get this quilt top finished so I could do the hand stitching when were here in Florida so I basted the top to the batting so the stitching would also act as the quilting. I frequently do this so there is relief around the embroidery. I machine baste using wash-away thread on the top and regular thread in the bobbin. This allows me to just use the steam iron and "surge" steam over the top thread and the thread disappears.

Normally that would work fine but in my oh so organized way I forgot to trace the designs on for the stitching. I think I will try the old pierce the pattern with a pin and use cinnamon to transfer the designs for stitching. I will let you know how it works.

Stage One of the Leaf Quilt

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Happy New Year

The new year started with the most beautiful sunrise, I just wish I had the camera beside me. 

This blogging will be a new undertaking for me. Hopefully i will figure it out and have plenty of pictures to show for my days "work" no matter if it is hand stitching, quilting knitting or creating some wonderful design to embroidery with my sewing machine.

We are here in Florida for the next 6 weeks I will take advantage of the beautifully warm weather and lovely sunrises and sunsets.