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!!

Monday, June 19, 2017

It's a Wild and Wooly Monday

I have made one of the patterns that I wrote about in my last blog post.  That was a month ago.  Where has time gone?  Anyway, it is a pattern from Buttermilk Basin.  The design is very cute, but the pattern was a little sketchy.  Glad to be done with it and have it sitting on display in my family room.  Using it as a table mat.

I used cotton batting for the sheep's body.  Nice and fuzzy.  
 I used fleece for the head and feet.
 I traced a shape of a star onto freezer paper to make a template for quilting.
 Then I sewed around it versus tracing.  I peeled it off and then used it again under the tree.
 I think I forgot to give my sheep an eye.  Oh, well.  She looks pretty good to me.

I am linking up to Small Quilts and Doll Quilts.

Friday, May 12, 2017

Patterns Galore

Our quilt guild met this week and had a nice speaker named Mickey Mowery from southern Wisconsin.  Her pattern line and quilt shop are called Sew Many Pieces.  What a perfect name!  She brought lots of quilts to share from her earliest work to her most current.  Each quilt was constructed with smaller and smaller pieces.  She went from quilts with 2000 pieces to quilts with 8000 pieces.  She is currently working on a pineapple quilt that she hopes to land in the Guiness World Record Book for most pieces.

I bought two of her patterns.  The first is called X's and O's.  The pieces are cut 1" and sewn into  blocks of 81 pieces.  It does kind of look like a checkerboard.

The other pattern is the pineapple block she is using for her world record quilt.  The blocks finish at 2 inches and have 45 pieces per block.  I don't plan to challenge her record breaking quilt, but thought I would see if I could actually piece a block that small.  Mickey's plan is to make a king size quilt of these little 2" blocks!  Yikes!

My favorite quilt shop here in town closed recently and the owner sent a basket of patterns to our meeting that she is closing out at $1.00 each.  I really didn't need any more patterns, but these were so cute I could not pass them up.  One is needle punch.

One is two cute table runners from Buttermilk Basin.

The other two are Lori Smith patterns.  I just love her work.

I also finished the next step in the Sentimental Quilter Mystery Quilt.  Shoo Fly blocks.

Have a fun Mother's Day.  I will be enjoying my traveling daughter for a few more days.

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Spring is Coming!

It's almost the end of April and I am catching up on my blog.  I spent the winter in Florida again enjoying the wonderful weather and did not sew a stitch.  Our daughter travelled with us to see where we are staying and do a little sight seeing and then she flew off to Turkey once again.

We returned home 2 weeks ago and so far have been cleaning inside and out, vacuuming up lady bugs in the house and raking up leaves and debris from the yard.  I committed myself to sewing 5 hours last week and managed to get all the steps done for Kathleen Tracy's mystery quilt.  It's always fun to find a new project!

I also started quilting this piece I made sometime in the last two years.  

This weekend our son is getting married and so this week we are getting organized for the big event.  We are fortunate that he found someone so special and they are starting off their life together in a beautiful setting with family and friends to share in the day.  Can't wait!

I made it to the Daytona Quilt Show which was a treat.  I ran into two people from my local quilt guild here in Wisconsin.  How does that happen?  I even managed to take a few photos to share.

Love the applique and the quilting!

Hope you can see the detailed quilting.

Neat edge treatment.  No clue how it is done.
Fun name.
By The Chimney With Care by Karen Turnbull

Love this fabulous detail on the edge.

Bonnie and I at the show.

Our trip home included a stop at Kitty Hawk and then Washington, D.C.  I had not seen the WWII memorial and somehow in many trips there had never visited the Jefferson Memorial, so those were our first two stops and then we spent the afternoon at the American History Museum.  I was hoping to see some quilts, but there were only one or two on display as part of other exhibits.  We also spent a half day at the new Air and Space exhibit at Dulles Airport.  It is huge.  

Hope you are all enjoying the beginnings of spring.  We have a few daffodils and hyacinths popping open here.  It feels so good to see everything turning green!!