Thursday, October 28, 2010

Farmer's Wife Blocks

My Aunt Sharon and I are working on the Farmers Wife quilt. My aunt is doing it through her local quilt shop Candlelite Quilts each month and I am following along making the same blocks as her. I am a little behind but I thought I'd show what we have done so far.

These are my blocks so far... # 29, 54, 19 and 77.

These are my Aunt Sharon's blocks so far.

I do have a bit of catching up to do!

I just got back from Vegas and had an amazing time. I printed off directions to quilt shops, wool shops and a rubber stamping store but did not make it to a single one. I did however get pictures of floors and ceilings for inspiration. There was a lot of that! I thought I would share pictures of a few floors that inspired me.

What a great way to spark your creativity!

Happy stitching!

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Glue on my quilt?

I was procrastinating on this challenge but I finally decided to just do it...that is what this blog is about but I have had misgivings. In the end I decided to keep an open mind and make a wall hanging. I found a pattern for applique to suit the season and gathered my supplies. Freezer paper and a glue stitck. It is so hard for me to use glue on a quilt. It just seems...well...wrong. I know lots of quilters use glue but I am such a traditional quilter that it is difficult for me.

The challenge was to use the freezer paper and glue method of machine applique from The Quilt Show Episode 210 with Beth Ferrier. When I googled this method there were lots of websites and blogs that mentioned it and gave tutorials.

So I began cuttitng my freezer paper, ironing it onto my fabrics and readied myself for the glue. I could not believe that every single glue stick I had was dried out. I tried it with a shrivelled glue stick and it was Yuck! Plan B..I've been meaning to try the freezer paper and spray starch method so I dig out the starch. Yuck! I am so not liking it and it took me forever to do just one piece. I ended up hand basting all my pieces, which I think took me the same amount of time as it would have with the glue stick or iron and it was less messy and I could do it in front of the tv in a relaxed position. Now I was happy!

Finally I can get to the stitching. I used Sulky clear poly thread (regular thread in the bobbin) with a very small zig zag stitch and loosened my top tension just a bit. After stitching I removed the basting stitches and the freezer paper from the back side in the same manner I would use for hand applique. After I was used to my machine stitching I made the stitch width even smaller and found it was much easier to remove the freezer paper. The smaller the 'bite' the better.

So I finished the stitching in no time at all and it turned out to be a very cute wall hanging where the stitches, while not truely invisible, were not noticeable. The one difference that I found noticeable between this method of machine applique and hand applique was that the appliques are much flatter looking as a result of the stitching on the edges. I really enjoyed it and would do this again, with the hand basting. I will not try the glue again and I will probably not try the starch again either. But I am happy that I tried them.

The pattern is from the October 2000 issue of American Patchwork and Quilting magazine.

Happy Stitching!

Monday, October 4, 2010

Retreat quilt and GO!

This quilt is getting big! When it is finished it will be about 90"x100". And it is not so easy to layout for piecing.

I sew in an attic with sloped ceilings so there is really not room for a large design wall or a small one for that matter. My design wall is a space on my floor and in this case was just large enough to hold 2 rows at a time. I moved furniture in the living room to take a picture of 4 rows done.

By tonight I did get all six rows done, so all that is left is to sew those rows together! I am really liking this quilt and I am fairly certain I am going to Big Stitch it with perle cotton. As soon as it is together I`ll start throwing embroidery floss all over it to pick a color. How many balls will I need? At least 10 and maybe up to 15. That is a lot of perle cotton. I'll be using a traditional fan pattern for the quilting. I think that circular motion of the fan will really complement the different sizes of the churn dash. This is a good winter project and hopefully it will be on my bed by summer! But I may need some luck for that.


So how does a person resist all the excitement of the Accuquilt GO! ?
All over blogland there are VERY excited people. I supposed I should state, for the record, that I am not buying a GO! and I have not even tried to win one. But the temptation is strong. Everywhere I look there are giveaways, tutorials and show and tell. So is anyone else trying to resist? Or is it just me?

Happy stitching!