Thursday, February 4, 2016

a new old project

We've been away - without internet even for a whole 7 days and we survived!  So, there was time to sew :0)
I wanted an easy prep applique project to bring along and remembered my intension to get back to this project.  I started it at retreat in March of 2014.  It is a Kim Diehl pattern from the 2014 April issue of Fons and Porter magazine.  I posted about it here.  Anyway I started the project in Kim's machine applique method but now have switched to hand applique which I love.  This is my newly appliqued block. 
 I lay it next to the machine appliqued blocks from a couple years ago and they look okay together.  I will make some more blocks before I decide if I want to put both styles of applique into the same quilt. 
 What do you think?  Would you put hand appliqued blocks next to machine appliqued blocks (appliqued with invisible plastic thread) in the same quilt?  I really disliked doing the machine applique and I won't go back to it but it sure is a lot faster!

While we were away I also managed to make a Star-a-day block everyday :0)  I'm up to these 15 blocks now and I am considering aiming for 365.
They are amazingly portable to bring places which I really like but I don't think I'm getting any better at hand piecing yet.  Oh well, maybe in a 100 or so more stars...

Happy Quilting!!

Sunday, January 17, 2016

on the final stretch

 It's about time I posted some progress on my Bird of Paradise quilt.  I finished the 3rd border sometime ago and attached it but there was a small empty area that I wanted to fill in and I just got that appliqued a couple days ago. 
 I was able to make a reverse pattern from the side border by turning it over and with a rigged up "light box" I traced around the stitching on the back.  Stitching the final border will go quicker I think with a pattern in hand.
 A few closer pictures of the squirrels. 
 Here I added a couple of buds and some leaves to tie the top border together with the now added side border.
 And, since it was laying out on the floor I thought I would look at my progress so far on the final border. There's still a few more leaves and flowers to go but I'm on the home stretch  :0)

I finished a small project this week too.  I've needed a new bag to carry around my handsewing supplies for quite awhile.  The handles on my favorite old bag are in shreds - kind of embarrassing to carry around - people would think I don't know how to sew (or mend)  I haven't switched over yet - the old bag is kind of like an old friend.   Silly me :0)
 I tried a new free motion quilting design.  I was surprised at how easy it went.  It's a bit dense and stiff for a quilt for sleeping under but just fine for a bag.
I should try new things more often...
Happy Quilting!!

Friday, January 8, 2016

Happy 2016

It's been a busy year so far.  I haven't had time to show you the little toy that was under the tree for me this year.  I think it's adorable :0)  Its a Singer Model 20 toy sewing machine.  It is small and very lightweight in spite of being all metal.  It is a chainstitching machine so there is only thread on the top - no bobbin.  It is also a handcrank so I can now bring it with me and sew anytime and anywhere :0)  

I took it with me to my inlaw's over Christmas and worked on the little pieced border for this bird applique.  I didn't quite get it finished though.  After I came home I got busy with other things.  I need to get back to it.
 I've been working away on these Wheel of Fortune blocks.  I need one more I think for the layout I want to do.  I have not decided yet if I will make half blocks for the top and bottom.
 45 blocks makes a pretty good pile.
I'm really ready for a scrappier machine piecing project though! 
I think I'm getting a little better at making these Star-a-Day blocks.  While I don't love it yet I think I dislike it less :0)

They sure are cute.  I have a bunch more cut out now - they are a very good, portable project.  They could become a doll quilt - no one said I had to make 365 of them.   I certainly do not get one made per day - lol!
Happy Quilting!!

Sunday, December 20, 2015

some Christmas gifts :0)

This weekend my sister and her family are visiting so some gifts have been opened early :0)  But first, a little handquilting update.
 I was stumped about what to quilt in the lily flower shape.  After looking at lots and lots of antique quilt pictures I decided on parallel lines - LOL!  Actually, I'm very happy with it and have 8 done already
 Here's a picture of how it looks from the back.  A picture of nothing for some I'm sure but I like to look at the back :0)
Now for the gifts - I made these little purses/pouches for my 2 little nieces and my youngest daughter.  I saw a picture of one somewhere on the internet and decided I could whip up a few.
 My nieces don't like cherries so I made theirs with apples. 
 I put in lots of pictures. 
As soon as they opened them they ran off to play mystery investigators??
Their smiles and hugs were very rewarding! (Maybe the straps are a tad too long though)

In case I don't get a chance to post again before the 25th I wish you a very Merry Christmas!!

Happy Quilting!

Monday, December 14, 2015

some Christmas sewing

December sure is a busy month - its almost half over already!  On December 5/6th we remember my Mom's Dutch heritage by celebrating Sinter Klaas.  This was my Sinter Klaas gift for my Mom this year.
 I used a wallhanging pattern by Terry Morberg of Applepatch designs. She designs such charming seasonal projects.
 I enjoyed doing the applique and the big stitch outline quilting.  I wasn't completely happy with the border fabric.  I had pulled fabrics from my stash to go with this Christmassy brown fabric but once it was pieced and appliqued the brown was just too drab.  After trying many, many other fabrics this bold red polka dot was best.
 I will have to use this fabric in something for next year... I love the vintage shaped ornaments.

 I also started another small applique project.  (I needed something portable) This Fig Tree pattern had been sitting on my sewing table for a few years and it was finally time to make it.
The holly leaves split down the middle were pretty challenging for me.  I almost abandoned it after the first leaf because the points at the split were not very neat.  But, decided that a little imperfection adds charm  :0)  I'm not sure I will add the embroidery to make this look like a cancelled stamp from Paris.  My embroidery encouraging friend will have to come over for that to happen.  I won't get this done for this year but its fun to sew seasonal projects during the season.

Happy Quilting!!

Monday, November 30, 2015

not my Christmas sewing

It's the season of Christmas making and Christmas sewing.  I can't post about that stuff so looking back I see I haven't posted a couple of things.
I have enjoyed seeing online the Star a Day quilts using Karen Styles' pattern and templates.  I thought it would be the best portable handwork project ever. They're small stars -3 inches finished and I could make hundreds of them. 
They are handpieced.  I really believe that I should love handpiecing.  I love handsewing and I am usually okay with fiddly, small pieces.  However, I just don't love it. And I'm not very good at it.
This first star is not exactly square and the centre - ugg!  I'm about 1/2 way with the next star and I did cut a third one out but I'm not sure this is the handwork project for me.  The cutting out of these blocks is sloooow as well.  They are darling little stars though - so we'll see.  Maybe after a few more I will be hooked??
And I was surprised I never posted a picture of my 9 completed pots of flowers blocks.  This project has hit the back burner now because it's got to the machine stitching part - sashing and borders etc...  In the new year I will get back to this.  And in the meantime I am anxious to find a new easy prep applique project  :0)

Happy Quilting!!

Monday, November 9, 2015

16 circle blocks

This is the not-from-the-pattern block that my friend and I made to go in our Circle Game quilt.  I love how it turned out.  
 So here are all 16 blocks together. I will likely play with this arrangement before I trim and sew them together.  Also, I might decide to make 4 more blocks to make this quilt a more useable size for our family. 
 I have decided to not do the border as per the pattern. (Circle Game by Jen Kingwell)  I think this quilt is busy enough and I would like to find a dark navy print to use for a border.  I'll have to see what I can find.
 So the comments from my last post were interesting :0)  Thanks!  Here is my son's costume.  He wanted to dress up as Ethane - a hydrocarbon.  I've never sewn a costume like that before. I'm not sure how successful it was but he had fun Trick or Treating in it.  A few of our neighbors "got it" ( there are people who work in the Oil and Gas industry in our neighborhood)  My son's latest interest has been chemistry.  I never cease to be surprised by the things that interest an 11 year old boy :0)
Katy's guess was pretty good - an organic chemical compound.  Send me your address Katy and I will put together a package of some quilty things.
I thought I would also include a picture of our guild's charity quilt made using Elizabeth Hartman's Fancy Fox pattern.  It turned out really well I think. 

Happy Quilting!!