Wednesday, October 19, 2016

What I’ve Been Working On

        I have made time for some sewing and quilting the past week.  I quilted 3 scrappy fall mug rugs.  They could also be used as potholders because I used 2 layers of cotton batting. They will be used for small gifts. 

       At a recent church quilt group sew day, I started scrappy trip blocks using 3 ½” strips so the blocks finish at 18”.  I like this design, however, it is not great to use fat quarters because you must have 21” strips when trimmed. Sometimes you cannot get 21” after trimming selvedge and straightening the edge.  Even though scrappy, I tried to keep the colors in the same order for each block.  Somehow I sewed one wrong.  At least the cream, red and blacks are in the same order. Can you spot my mistake?  Today I sewed on borders so the top is ready to sandwich for quilting.

     I talked several ladies in my church quilt group into making big house blocks.  The pattern was free from Quilter’s Newsletter Magazine.  For now you can still find the free pattern here.
We changed the size of the quilt and only put 6 together with sashing and a border.  It is a top ready to sandwich for quilting.

    I have plenty of other projects and some with December deadlines so I better get working on them.

Enjoy some time sewing and quilting!

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Granddaughters Learning to Sew

     I am home from a visit with granddaughters and family.  I am glad I could be there for school holidays to spend more time with them. 
The oldest made her Halloween costume – a bat.  She designed the wings.  She couched pipe cleaners as bones in the wings. We used sticky back hook and loop tape to hold the wings to a black shirt.
She has also made a mask out of black felt.

   The youngest recounted that her big sister first learned to use the sewing machine at age 4 and since she is age 4, she wanted her lesson.  I happened to have 2 ½” by 4 ½” scraps cut.  I let her choose a dark and a light to sew together.  I ran the foot pedal and helped her guild the fabric.  She was responsible for raising and lowering the presser foot and cutting the thread.  After a few seams she wanted to keep sewing to make a doll blanket large enough for her doll. I did have to resew 2 seams so as not to have holes.  I pressed, sewed backing and turned pillowcase style plus top-stitched the edge.

She is happy and this grandmother is very proud of both.

Enjoy some time sewing and quilting!

Sunday, October 2, 2016

Potholders, Mug Rugs and More

Even though the days here are only a little cooler, I have been thinking fall and holiday projects. The past week I have been busy playing with scraps.  I saw this cute pieced turkey on Lori Holt’s blog Bee in a My Bonnet.   You can see her 12” block here
I decided to resize it to 8” for a potholder and made 2.  I placed the first hanging loop in the corner and the second in the middle.  I guess I like the straight hanging one better.  Which do you like?
 The backing fabric is mum like and it looks like fall also so these potholders could be reversed and used for longer. 
 I also played a day with fall scraps and pieced the top of 3 more mug rugs. I enjoy giving them as small gifts.

Wednesday was sew day at church.  Martha shared her “Star Gazing” quilt top.  It looks great!  The pattern is from Britney Walsh of Soft Day Quilts.  You can find out more about where to find the free pattern on this post

Saturday morning I taught 3 beginning quilters in a class at JoAnn Fabrics.  Kelly finished her 2 blocks and sent me these photos.  Her birthday is Halloween and these are perfect for her and the season.

Enjoy a few minutes each day sewing or quilting!

Sunday, September 25, 2016

Scrap Management

     When I am at my home away from home in between painting, spending time with granddaughters or free time, I like to work on scrap management. One type is sewing crumbs together into “made fabric”. I am working on rainbow pieces for a future quilt.  Here is some purple “made fabric”. 

Second type of scrap management is cutting down fabric pieces less than a fat quarter.  I cut strips to 6 ½”, 4 ½”, 3 ½” and 2 ½”.  Strips less than 2 ½” become strings.  Too short to be a string pieces are grouped as crumbs.

I also finished a couple of painting projects during this visit. The bathroom cabinets have a new coat of paint.  Here is a photo of work in progress   
 and after.

Enjoy some time sewing and quilting!

Saturday, September 17, 2016

Saturday Morning Finish

   I just finished machine sewing the binding on my “Star Gazing” quilt. You can find the free pattern for the lap size quilt on Craftsy. On this post I wrote some about it.

I enjoyed this pattern to learn a new technique for sewing multiple HSTs and stitching on some new free-motion quilting motifs.  I used repetitive lines in half the light diamonds and echoing spirals in the other.  I stitched an S-curve feather in the darker diamonds and meandering on the print because I did not think the design would show up well.

    Now I can work on finishing another project. 
Enjoy some time sewing and quilting!

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Piecing and Quilting

      I am frequently inspired by what Wanda is working on that she shares on her blog   In 2014 she shared a photo of a lovely scrappy quilt that inspired me.  I decided to make some blocks and cut sets to use for leader/ender work.  Then I could not wait and began sewing on some. Here are 22 sets sewn.  I don't know what Wanda calls them. I'll call them "Rails". 

 When I am ready to put them in the quilt, I plan to mix them all up and not place pairs together.  You can check out Wanda’s here and her description

Below is one set of blocks.  For a set of 2 blocks use 2 contrasting WOF 2 ½” strips cut into 4 – 8” sections of each.  Take one of each and cut them lengthwise in half into 2 pieces 1 ¼” by 8”.  The 2 narrow strips are pieced between the 3 wider strips of the opposite fabric to form a block. 

     I recently spent a day quilting on the "Star Gazing" quilt which is now half complete.  I decided to try out a couple of different motifs for texture.  I used a pattern of lines in half and swirls in the other half of the light areas.  
They make fairly dense quilting so the quilting on the dark areas will need to match in density. 

Enjoy some time sewing and quilting!

Friday, September 9, 2016

Mug Rugs

    I wanted a quick gift so pulled fall strips and pieced the mug rug background.  Then I used fusible applique for a couple of leaves and acorns.  It is quilted, bound and ready to give.

 I also paper pieced these mug rug tops using an Eileen Sullivan pattern.  The bottom leafy print will be backing.

    Two large quilts are sandwiched and ready to quilt; however, my machines have had issues so they have had to wait. I prefer to use my Bernina 185 and the super quilter’s table it sits in but it needed service. It got a good cleaning and service Wednesday and is ready to get back to work on projects.  I hope to start some quilting on one of the big projects today.  I also spent a few hours cutting leader/ender kits of  Bonnie's "Carolina Chain" blocks and a couple other scrappy blocks. 
     For the past year I have not had as much quilting to post on this blog.   For the future I hope to spend more time with granddaughters.  The oldest is learning to sew and she is working on piecing quilt blocks but that still means I spend less time sewing and quilting.  I am considering whether to keep up the blog or use other avenues to share what I’m making. I’ll let you know what I decide.

Enjoy some time sewing and quilting.