14 July 2016

A Lot of Sewing Going On

I decided to clean my sewing room. I know, I know. And as I was going through some stuff I found a pair of wooden handles. I figured it was about time to use them and I had that Miranda Day bag pattern I talked about in the last post. And so, using only items and fabric from the stash, I made this bag. It's the prototype for...

this bag! I use this bag every day and I love it. You know what? That crosshatch quilting on the first bag took twice as long as the pebbling on this black bag.

Then I found this little dab of a Jackie Robinson print in the stash. Since I've always wanted to try shirring, I used the technique on this little top for my grand-daughter. This is so cute with a pair of shorts.

This is the same technique as the top. The difference is the top is 100% quilting cotton and this little dress is 100% cotton lawn. Cotton lawn is lighter weight and really shirrs better.

I was on a roll and made this adorable pillowcase dress too.

Have you been sewing lately? I find after making a large quilt I want to finish something fast and this type of sewing is the best thing for me to do.

09 July 2016

Pebble Practice

I've been working on the Miranda Day Bag by Lazy Girl Designs. I needed to quilt the outside of the bag and had this gorgeous batik fabric. See it there in the top of the photo? This step only has 2 layers: the fabric and the batting. I absolutely COULD NOT see where I was going or where I had been on that fabric. So I turned the sandwich upside down and quilted from the batting side. Since you can't see the quilting on the fabric side, I took this opportunity to practice my pebbles in between the paisleys.

19 June 2016

A Quilter's Garage Sale

Several weeks ago the local quilt shop had it's second annual "Junk from the Trunk" sale.This was open to sewists and quilters to open up the trunk of their car and sell their 'junk'. This is the first year that I participated and I did all right. Next year I know what to do and what not to do.

Of course, there was some purchasing happening on my end. My HandiQuilter Sweet 16 loves MaxiLoc thread. I got all of these for $20!

06 June 2016

Hugs and Kisses

I am a member of The Quilt Show and every year they have a Block of the Month (BOM) that also includes video lessons. It is great to see how the designer does things.

So back in 2010, Sue Garman designed two! quilts for the BOM: one was pieced and the other was applique. I fell in love with the applique quilt and when the fabric kit was offered, why I just snatched it up.

Since this is a BOM and only one block was released a month, plus the sashings and borders, it took me almost 18 months to hand applique. I was really enjoying the process. I did redesign the border a bit because two flowers in such close proximity reminded me of the pasties a stripper would wear, not that I've ever seen such a thing except in movies, but still. Instead of the second, smaller flower (which I was really tired of making, BTW) at the join of the swags I did a trefoil of leaves.

I researched long arm quilters and went with one I had used before who assured me that she had quilted applique before. My alert button should have gone off, but it was silent. After months of my quilt being in her possession, I got it back. The quilting that she did was beautiful, but there wasn't anything around the applique! She computerized the quilting in the sashing and somewhat in the border, did a bit of free-motion here and there, but nothing, and I mean nothing, in or around the applique. The swags in the border should have had at least one line of quilting through them to keep them from sagging.

I paid her $250 and took it home to study. I knew I would have to finish it myself but my skills weren't to the level needed. Plus, I didn't want to man-handle it under my Bernina sewing machine. So I started to save up for a sit-down quilting machine. THIS is the quilt that made me want to do all my own quilting. If there is a problem, then I only have myself to blame.

I bought my used Handi Quilter Sweet Sixteen in 2013 and just started practicing and practicing.

I learned a lot in the ensuing 3 years, not only with the quilting itself, but how to choose the actual quilting design and what thread to use.

And so, here it is! I used a combination of Invisafil thread on top and Superior Bottomline in the bobbin. I am happy with the way it turned out. I would be even happier if my idea of hand trapunto would have worked out, but my hands do not have the strength needed to pull that long needle filled with thick yarn through the tightly woven fabric.

01 June 2016

June 1 already!

June is bustin' out all over! The skies have been cloudy and rainy for much of the month of May, but we are having a bit of a warm and dry stretch right now. I hope it lasts more than a couple of days.

I've been finishing up some knitted projects before the really hot weather hits. Even though we have AC, I don't like to knit in the summer. I don't knit with cotton yarn because it really makes my hands ache -- no give in the yarn.

Summer, for me, is a time to work in the yarden and to read in the shade of a tree. Camping is always a big one for my family and now that there is a grandchild I will be spending a lot of time at places like the zoo and children's art museums.

Do you want to see the last knitted finishes before hot weather? Here you go:

This is Lael. It is a beautiful cowl made with a beautiful yarn. This yarn is Silky Flammé by Elsebeth Lavold and is a combination wool/alpaca/silk. Once I learned the pattern repeat, it was an easy knit.

I finished up a pair of socks, too. I hated working on these. Plain knitting with a plain Oatmeal colored yarn. The man receiving these is happy with them and I suppose that is what counts.

These mitts are for me to wear next fall in that very cold and drafty building I work in. Don't you love the mirror imaged cables?

08 May 2016

Happy Mother's Day

This small (8.5x11") quilt was made for and displayed in the 2004 International Quilt Festival Journal Quilt exhibit. The picture was taken 35 years ago when I was cradling my 6 month old son. It is fused applique with a bit of embellishment and minimal thread painting.

01 May 2016

Hat Burnout

I am so burned out on knitting hats! This will probably be the last one for a while. And, guess what? I'm keeping this one for me! I'll have a new hat for next fall.

Just because I'm burnt out on knitting hats doesn't mean that I'm not knitting at all. I made this adorable Seamless (?) Baby Hoodie for my grand. I question the seamless because the shoulders are seamed together, the sleeves are seamed onto the body and the hood was seamed onto the sweater. If I were to make this again, I might be tempted to rewrite the pattern. But I made the largest size in the pattern and don't want to do the maths to enlarge or make it truly seamless. Nevertheless, isn't it cute?