Monday, October 2, 2017

More Banner Work

I spent quite a bit of time working on church banners in the last week or so.  We changed over to fall decor at church last Wednesday night.  That gave me a week to get busy and get the banners completed.  One of our ladies made the banners last year.  They have a fall leaf design on one side..
and solid fabric on the reverse. 

She asked me to do something to the plain side.  So I made ginormous leaves - one for each banner.I started by printing off simple leaf shapes from the Internet.  I like using coloring book designs for easy applique and they are free.  Then I copied the shapes onto transparencies, enlarged them with an overhead projector at church and traced them onto large pieces of paper.  These were my patterns. 

I decided to make the leaves as stiff as I could so they would hang well.  So I traced the patterns onto Tear Away stabilizer which was the stiffest interfacing I could find.  From there I stitched veins onto the fabric

 and glued the edges of the fabric over the stabilizer so I could applique them to the banners.  The process was pretty simple, but I did all the applique by hand, so that I could sew only onto one side of the banner and not have the stitches show on the backside.  That was the time consuming part.  I managed to come up with 5 different designs and fabrics and got them done in the week's time.

They are now hanging in the church and look pretty good.

I made one sunflower to have something a little different.  

I crosshatched a portion of the center and then dabbed on gold paint so it didn't look like a giant brown spot staring at you.

I also finished my mystery quilt from Kathleen Tracy's blog.  It finished at 30 x 30, so I am thinking I will hang it on the guest room wall.

Friday, September 8, 2017

Quilt Expo time again

I spent yesterday in Madison at Quilt Expo.  This is the show that is put on by Nancy Zieman and the Sewing  with Nancy show as a fundraiser for Wisconsin Public Television.  At the entry there was a table full of post-its available to write a note to Nancy.  What a nice idea!  She has been the driver behind this show since its inception and she is usually buzzing around and often stops to talk with people and sign autographs or take photos.  She was missed yesterday.

The quilts as usual were very beautiful and varied from some simple to the very complex.   The best of show was won by Claudia Clark Meyers and Marilyn Badger.  They are such a phenomenal duo.  Two quilters from the guild in Green Bay had quilts in the show.  One even won a red ribbon and cash prize.

I took a few photos to share.  I also found a few things that made their way home with me.  I had 3 friends with me and my ears were ringing when I got home from all the constant chatter.  What a fun day!

I saw at least 4 Dear Jane quilts.  This was the most unique having the blocks on point and all in B&W with red accents.

The name of this one is One Cake, Two Cake, Red Cake, Blue Cake.  The edges are colorful loops.

 Laurie Ceesay is a hairdresser and all of her quilts are about the hair.

This quilt is a game that quizzes you on the states.  It includes the capitals, flags, birds, mottos, flowers, and other factoids.  It is quilted as a maze with the start point at the tip of Washington.  The border has all the state flowers, flags and birds.  All the answers to the quiz are printed upside down below the map.  So fun and such a great teaching tool.  

 Wisconsin features Cheese, the Badgers, Frank Lloyd Wright, Harry Houdini and water slides.   Wisconsin Dells claims to be the water park capital of the world.
 Indiana shows the Indy 500, Larry Bird, and Dr. Seuss.  
I could have looked at this quilt all day.

Monday, August 28, 2017

Designing Monday

I have not posted in over a month.  No posting means no work done by me.  I wish I had a good excuse, but I keep telling myself I need to get back to sewing.  I finished this little piece yesterday.  I took a class from Linda Poole to learn how to use Inktense pencils and we made this bird picture.  Sort of like coloring in a coloring book.  The class was in Feb of 2016.  That was a long time ago.  I finished the coloring after the class in March of 2016.  I got it layered and quilted in April or May of 2016 and then it sat while I looked for a binding material.  I finally found this batik last week and now it is done.  Yea!

I completed piecing and assembling the mystery quilt from Kathleen Tracy's Small Quilts group.  It was fun, but ended up being 30+" square.  That's bigger than most of my small quilts and I will have to find a place to display it.  I marked it to quilt with a Frixion pen and hope it will come out when I am done.

Hope you are more motivated than I am.  I want to finish more projects and move on.

A friend brought me a bag of beets.  Four beets to be exact.

 Each was bigger than a softball.  I had to parboil them for an hour in two batches as my biggest pot would only hold two at a time.  Then into the freezer they went.  It took me about 3 hours to accomplish all this.  Good thing I love beets.

I am linking to Small Quilts and Doll Quilts today.

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

A Fun Class Day

I had the good fortune to take a class last week with Lorraine Torrence.  She was the guest speaker at our guild and then followed up with a class using her patterns.  She brought 4 different patterns for us to choose from and kits that we could purchase if we wanted.

Here is the pattern that I chose.  

First we copied this large paper pattern onto freezer paper and then onto muslin.  All the pattern pieces were labeled alphabetically as well as all the pieces of fabric in the kit so we couldn't mess it up.  She really put a lot of effort into making it as easy as possible.

Then we cut the freezer paper pieces apart and ironed them onto the fabric and then cut out the fabric and laid it onto the muslin.  There were some paper piecing parts on each pattern which were fun to do.  She has a different technique for paper piecing that I enjoyed learning.  Unfortunately her technique does not really translate to other paper piecing patterns.

Once all the pieces are laid out on the muslin and pinned down, we zigzagged all the overlapping pieces right on top.  No fusing or glue required.

The next step is to make bias tape or bias strips that will be used to cover all the zigzag up.  The strips are sewn down with a top stitch along the edges (or you can use a decorative stitch.)  This is done after sandwiching the batting, the backing, and the top.  So when you top stitch the bias tape, you are actually quilting.  You can add other quilting in the open areas as well.

Here I am auditioning the different colors of bias tape.

I have sandwiched my little quilt and am ready to apply the bias tape.  We made our own bias tape from bias strips she provided in the kit.  Her method is to put a pin in the ironing board cover with a gap as wide as the finished tape.

You push the pointed end of the bias strip under the pin and then pull the strip to the left gently manipulating it before it goes under the pin.  It folds automatically.
I didn't think to take a photo before I made the tape, so this is already folded and ironed, but I tried to open it up to illustrate the point.

She taught us to set the iron flat on the tape as it comes out of the pin and Voila! you have bias tape.  I thought I would not be able to do it, so I bought a bias tape maker for that size at Joann and found it was more putzy than using the pin method.

Our guild had its summer picnic/ party in June and we brought a bright summery Fat quarter to swap.   I took home this piece of lime green with flip flops.  

We were asked to make at least one block and bring it back later in the year.  We can only add white as a background color.  

I made 3 blocks.  These will be combined with others to make some quilts for kids at the local hospital.  A fun project!

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Monday, Monday

I love a busy week and this is one of those.  Most of my weeks are pretty tame, so when it rains it always pours around here.  Lots of activities and never enough time.  Then the rush is over in a few days and it's back to the normal humdrum.  I love a busy week once in awhile.  It makes life more interesting and helps keep me organized and on my toes.  

I decided last week to take on some of my projects that have been hanging on forever.  My sofa in my sewing area has looked like this for many  months.  Projects that just need to be bound or just need to be quilted or a top waiting to be sandwiched or lots of pieces waiting to be assembled. 

 I started with this patriotic one.  It needed to be quilted and bound.  I did the straight line quilting weeks ago and then stalled.  I decided to put some wavy lines on the bars, but couldn't figure out how to make a template and I couldn't find one in my collection of templates.  I tried folding paper and drawing a wavy line, but that didn't work.  Did I mention I can't draw?  I finally asked my husband who said, "It sounds like you need a sine wave."  Is that the wiggly line they show on those machines that check your heart beat?  Close enough.

 If you are in need of a wavy line,  he showed me how to make one using the program Grapher which is on Apple computers.  When you get the program up on your computer screen, it prompts you with an equation.  It starts with "y=".  He added .2 sin 5x.  So the equation looks like this

y= .2 sin 5x

Once you enter this equation, the program graphs a nice wavy line.  You can change the wave by changing the two numbers.  That will make the waves taller or shorter and make more or less of them.  Once I found a pattern I liked, I printed out the graph with the wavy line.  I traced it onto freezer paper and used that for my quilting template.  It was so easy.  I know I will use Grapher again.

 This is the back.  Just using up some scraps.

Next up was this little Spool or Hourglass quilt.  It is pretty small, but cute.  I had it quilted in less than 30 minutes and bound in about an hour.

My friend, Barb gave me this beautiful needlepunch piece for Christmas.  It was also on the sofa pile.    I finished off the back of it and then went frame hunting.

I found a framed piece in the clearance area at Hobby Lobby that was perfect.  I found a gold mat in the framing department and had it cut to size.  Using double sided tape, I put the mat in the opening of the frame and stuck the finished piece on the mat with the same tape.

Here it is hanging on my kitchen wall!  

Three projects down and many more to go!!