Sunday, June 27, 2010

Another handwork project done!

I have been working on my small handwork projects one by one to get a few done and off my pile! Here is my latest!

It had been quite a while since I did a cross stitch. I had forgotten how much I enjoyed it. I kept seeing this one being stitched on blogs I would stumble upon and I couldn't resist! I just love her. I am actually itching to get another one going but I will resist for now. After all I am trying to REDUCE my handwork pile.

I've also been putting together the quilt a long from Charming Chatter.

I was walking through my sewing room with the lights off and saw that the light from the window was shining through the quilt hanging off the side of my ironing board. I thought it looked really interesting! Maybe a stained glass quilt is in my future.

Here is the quilt without the stain glass effect. It really has a western look to it. I may have to call it Giddy-Up!

Now I just have to figure out how to quilt it. Any ideas?

Happy Stitching!

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Another QAL!

I could not resist! Yes it is another Quilt A Long- this time it's the "Between Charming Friends QAL' from Charming Chatter.

It's a sweet little quilt. Mine will be not sweet but I am hoping cute. I went rifling through my charm packs ( I really don't have that many) but all were single packs and then I realized that I have become lazy in picking out fabric. All these charm packs and jelly rolls have made life really easy ...but have they? Or maybe they have made my little projects a bit too matching.

I love scrap quilts. I love all the color differences and the changing textures. A scrap quilt makes me want to reach out and pet it. So into my stash I went. What fun I had lining up all the possibilities and I think I came up with a combination that suited me. Thank you beautiful stash for taking me back!

A two color quilt with a scrappy feel! A classic combo of blue and brown will be perfect! I got cutting and sewing and am almost caught up now. So far I am loving this how this little quilt is coming together!

It's not too late to get started in on the fun! And there are two options- one is this cute little quilt or you can choose to make the larger size quilt.

And now for a BIG thank you!

Every Canadian girl needs a brother living in the USA if only to bring home freezer paper! My brother has come to visit and look what he brought with him...and they are the jumbo size! Thanks my wonderful brother!

I'll be keeping you posted on my QAL,

Happy stitching!

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

A bit of thread fun!

Machine threadwork is not something I do a lot of. I should practice it a bit more often so I get a bit more skilled. A few years ago I saw those Skillbuilder panels with all sorts of quilting patterns but always thought I could do that myself but guess who never did. I should just buy them! 

This 'Quilt Show' challenge is all about threadwork. I combined Episode #111 with Ann Fahl and Episode #112 with Libby Lehman.

First I played with episode #111 and was charmed by Ann Fahl and her threadwork. I am not even close to trying out something so complex so my project was 'Ricky's Greeting Card'. This was freestyle and fun and I will be doing this again! Look out friends!

I cut the flowers freehand, placed them without thought and without fusible and stitched without a line to follow! It was liberating for a quilter who likes things just so (yes that would be me!). I used Sulky Blendables thread. I really liked the weight for this project.

Don't look too close though- I spelled 'friend' wrong. I am a good speller but the word friend gets me everytime.

Here is the finished piece all ready to enjoy. Now the great part...from beginning to end it took me less than 45 minutes and that includes choosing fabric and setting up my machine. Now that is fast and I think it would make a great gift.

Now for my second project of machine threadwork. I watched Libby Lehman with great interest.

I followed all the directions and my first attempt was so awful I did not even take a picture. First I drew the ribbons on freezer paper and sewed on the lines and removed the paper. I'm sorry Libby Lehman but I do not like this method. The freezer paper is hard to tear away and I actually pulled some stitches. If I was to do this again I would use a different method for transfering the stitching lines.

I almost didn't go on to try attempt #2 but I really wanted to see how this worked. So this time I thought I would do blobs.

I put the fabric into the hoop and just drew blobs all over. Blobs are fun! Then I chose 5 different threads. I wanted to see how each one looked. I picked a thick thread, a regular thread, a rayon thread, a sliver metallic, and a thick hard to sew metallic. One thing I did try was setting my stitch length at different settings to see if that made a difference even though I was doing freemotion with my feed dogs down. It did make a difference- 2.5 was jerky, 2 was a bit better and I liked 1.5 the best. I stopped there but another time I'll try setting 1 just to see.

Over all I liked the effects of all of them but my favourites were

The sliver metallic and

the rayon thread!

I don't think I would do this particular technique again but this challenge showed me that it is maybe time to get more comfortable with freemotion 'motions'.

I am now on to Season 2 of 'The Quilt Show'. There are lots of techniques I am excited to try so please visit once in a while to see what I am working on next!

Happy Stitching!

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Piping Hot flowers!

I have been wanting to do Susan Cleveland's Piping Hot Curves since I first saw it on The Quilt Show - Episode #109. Susan has great tips and her insight into this technique is invaluable. I had a few issues that were all my doing! I ran out of cording because I had no plan when I bought it and I didn't have enough fabric for the border I wanted to make. I guess that is what happens when you are using up your pieces of hand dyed fabrics. 

Tip #1- when you live a long way from a quilt shop have a plan!

I started out drafting a pattern and decided on a flower split into 4 identical sections. Then I got busy picking fabrics and cuttting. Then onto the piping...

To start out with I do have a tip for making piping. My cording was really, really slippery. After I sewed my first length of piping I picked it up and no cord! I was more than a little surprised. It had slipped right out. I had to sew across each end of the piping to keep the cording in. After that it was really easy. I loved this technique. For flowing lines it would be a great alternate way to do machine applique. Once the piping is on you just sew your applique down. It takes care of all your seam allowances- it's wonderful.

Finally I was adding sashing and trying hard to come up with another option for finishing the borders. And as I happily sewed along I had a little oops! I was supposed to check that seam before I sewed...It just looks so wrong. I know no one would notice it when it is all quilted and to tell the truth I left it in just for that reason but....

This is what I usually do when sewing sashings that need to look lined up. I peek before sewing to make sure it is all lined up and pin on each side! Such an easy fix.

Sashing is great for this technique. You don't need to worry about pressing the bulk of the piping against your block. It happily goes towards the sashing. It looks great and no bulges!

Finally the flowers are done. For now it is going to get added to my UFO pile until I get more piping and figure out that border. I know that can be a dangerous place to put an unfinished quilt. It may never get out of that UFO pile but I'll take a chance.

Will I do this technique again? I hope so! It was so much fun and it was easy. And it would be great on not only curves but straight lines. The thin piping really adds a little extra zing!

Up next I am skipping to The Quilt Show - Episode #111 and will do a 'greeting card' and then I'll be heading to #112 for Threadplay with Libby Lehman.

Happy Stitching!


Wednesday, June 2, 2010

A smiling laptop!

Never heard of a smiling laptop? Mine is completely happy, excited and ready to create! This morning in the mail was a very exciting surprise....

I swear my sweet computer is humming and I must admit I did a little dance myself!

I can tell this is going to take away some sewing machine time but it is worth every second! I can't wait to try out the new features so the first thing I'm doing is going carefully through the manual. Watch for a few new designs coming soon!

THANK YOU  Electric Quilt!

Happy Designing!