Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Working On

          A friend gave a sister 3 different doll beds including cradle and Barbie bedroom unit. At our Thanksgiving visit, she passed them to me for my granddaughters.  I took some measurements and quickly covered 2 mattresses and made 2 blankets and pillows.  I thought a darker color paint would show less dirt so decided to paint the Barbie unit.  
After            I did not paint inside the closet.        

     After painting the Barbie bedroom furniture, I worked with fleece.  I have lots of pieces.   My younger granddaughter asked for a gold hat and pink mittens.   The simple fleece hat was made using a free pattern from FleeceFun.com    I just couldn't leave it plain so added a flower shape. 

 The mittens and pompom hat were made using a free pattern from DIY-crush.comI am a little concerned about the mitten fit. The thumb and fingers look long but I will see when they get on.  I’m sure I can make them smaller if needed.  Another site recommended tracing the child’s hand to make a pattern.   

     I have started the quilting on the Blue, Yellow, and Green UFO.   So far I have done a lot of stitching-in-the-ditch to stabilize the quilt.  I spray basted and used safety pins, but I have still had to be careful using the walking foot working on the puffy wool batting.  I want to do free-motion quilting after I make a plan for each block and am considering feathers in the green setting triangles. 

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Ready for Thanksgiving

    I am looking forward to visiting with siblings and their families for Thanksgiving. I decided to take a mug rug for each adult of my generation so collected those previously finished and made a couple more to have enough. 

My siblings usually bring Christmas gifts instead of putting them in the mail so I got busy for that too. I finished up this set of red Cobblestone placemats. I quilted them with one of my favorite motifs from Leah Day called “Echo Shortcut”.
I also made a quilted cosmetic bag and a couple of insulated wine totes.  Both of these were classes I taught at JoAnn Fabrics.  

    After getting baking done, I found time to quilt some on a comfort quilt and finished the Big Houses quilt.  You can find out more about the pattern on this post.  This was a joint effort by members of my church quilt group.  I adapted the size so it finishes at 48” by 66”. 

I decided to quilt the houses with simple straight lines but in the border did a free-motion star meander to go with the border fabric.

Wishing you all an enjoyable Thanksgiving Day of visiting with family and friends. Then you can rest and enjoy some quiet time to sew and quilt.

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

This and That

     I have not had time recently for much sewing or quilting.  I had a short visit with granddaughters and family.  The oldest took time to sew a bib for her expected new cousin.  She was nervous about sewing the curves but she did well.  I’m very proud of how her skills are improving and happy that she loves creating things with her sewing machine.
The bib pattern is free from  Clover and Violet  .  Instead of making it reversible, we put flannel on the back.

      I did make time to create more red “made-fabric”.  I hope to make some more crumb hearts.  You can find basic directions from Bonnie Hunter here.  It is easy to adjust the size of the block if you want to make them larger. I am thinking of using multiple sizes and colors.

     Tuesday at Greater Columbia Quilt Guild general meeting Roger Winchell shared a great trunk show.  I helped hold up many of the quilts so I did not get to take photos of them all.  You can see some pictures on the guild blog here or check out Roger’s website   He is a retired engineer, loves math and uses it a lot to design his quilts.  The quilt below is related to a Snail's Trail except that it starts with a hexagon pinwheel instead of a four patch. 

Hope you can find some time to enjoy sewing and quilting!

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Embroidery Frustration

        I don’t do a lot of machine embroidery and it has been a while since I did.  With my experience yesterday it may be a LONG time before I do again.  This is the result of about 8 hours, 2 new needles, and a lot of stops for broken top thread.

 Sometimes the thread shredded in the tension system and the spool was not feeding smoothly. I used the same polyester embroidery thread I have always used.  Another problem was when the machine would cut the thread to move or change color, it cut it too short and would not pick up the bobbin thread when it started again. That also means backing up the design to not skip areas.  I had to watch constantly. I hope my nephew and his wife will not notice glitches. I wish I knew whether the problems had to do with my embroidery module, machine or something more I should have done.  
     *I would appreciate machine embroidery problem ideas or suggestions

    With much less frustration. I have been going through my clothing fabric stash to see what I can use now.  I finished 2 skirts for myself and a corduroy jumper for a granddaughter.  For my next visit I am taking the Simplicity pattern and more fabric in case the older granddaughter wants to learn and make one for herself. 

     It is Election Day and no matter who wins, I will be glad when all the campaigning is over.  Hope you take time to vote and then find time to sew without frustration.

Sunday, October 30, 2016

A Couple of Finishes

    I have been working on a few things even though it has been a while since I posted anything.  A couple of things are for my guild Christmas challenge so I don’t want to show them at this time.
   This was the week for church sew day and guild comfort quilt sew day.  I worked at both.  I finished the quilting Friday and sewed the binding and label on so this 3” strip scrappy trip is ready to give.

I quilted with a floral type swirl and tried a new design from ChristinaCameli in the border. My bubbles need a lot more practice.                      ---   front
                                 --- back

  I finally quilted the owl mug rugs so they are also ready to give. 

    My granddaughters love playing with dolls when they visit.  I found a pattern on PixieFaire  for beds made from PVC.  I just happened to have some laying around plus the cutter.  Here are some in progress photos and almost finished. 

 They can be twin or bunk.
This was a fun project. It was so easy I am considering making more.

Enjoy some time sewing and quilting!

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!