Friday, December 30, 2016

Embellishment Tools: Pins and Wax and Purple Thang

My sister taught me to use lots of pins to secure the wool to cotton and to press outward while stitching so that the wool will lie flat and not ripple.  She also gave me some Tulip applique pins.  I have been using my short Karen Kay Buckley applique pins but they are so very thin.  I find them wonderful for cotton but they are fragile and bend easily.  I prefer the Tulip applique pins for wool on cotton. The pins are thin, sharp and short....just what you need,

My spacing for my scroll stitch was not optimal.  While thinking about this I decided to pull out my Purple Thang.  This tool is handy and has many uses.  I use it for a stiletto while stitching; it is great for poking out points after turning because it does not poke through;  it is great for stuffing;  and the quarter inch square end is great for measuring situations.  I decided to use it to help with making my stitching uniform on my  project.

My next problem was that the Razzle Dazzle was separating at the needle end.  You can not knot it to keep it together or knot it on the needle.  That would defeat the purpose of using a milliners needle.  I thought about it for a spell and was thinking about using some kind of glue to hold the end together.  I was thinking about using a temporary spray fusible but then thought of my thread wax.  I pulled the thread through the wax and it does hold together.  If it starts to separate again I just finger press it together again.  It seems to be working.

Rami Kim Side Borders

 I am working on the side borders.  I have used iron on stabilizer on the back of my fabric to support the embroidery stitches.  Another nice thing about the stabilizer is that one can mark so your stitching is more consistent.  I also like that I can bury the ends between the stabilizer and the fabric for a nice finish.
 I am using Sue Spargo's Creative Stitching and Creative Texturing as well as Judith Baker Montano Elegant Stitches.  I love these small spiral bound books.  It is so convenient to lie open while you follow stitch diagrams.  I like Sue Spargo's photos and the Quilt Combination section which shows how to combine different stitches together.
 Sue Spargo explains the types of needles needed for success.
She suggested using Ricky Tims Razzle Dazzle Thread from Superior Threads when using a Scroll Stitch for edging.  I quite like the result.
I used Purple, Blue, Red, Green and Gold around these blossoms.  
Bullion knots are quite a bit easier to do with a milliners needle.  I was using an applique needle because it is so much shorter than a milliners and I was trying to conserve thread.  I switched to a milliners needle and it sped up the process a ton.  I should listen to the experts.
The beak of the bird blends in quite a bit.  I am trying to think of an idea.  Maybe I will edge stitch this bird as well.  What do you think?  I will add a few more trinkets but I need to do the quilting first. Next I will work on the top and bottom borders.  

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

January OMG

 I bought this pattern from Rami Kim after a thread painting class she was teaching.  The class was wonderful and I have incorporated some of what I learned in other quilts.  I did very much like this quilt.  It is in the UFO pile and it is now time to complete this project.  I have completed the center woven panel and need to finish the applique borders.
I think I said that my Halloween Table Runner was my first adventure in wool.  When I opened my Rami Kim Project container I discovered that I had indeed started my adventures in wool applique with this quilt.  Whoops.  My memory fails me at times.  Anyway....I am going to pull out my Sue Spargo Creative Stitching book and get to stitching.

December OMG Finish

I did finish the Diva wallet for my sister and now I am working on another for myself.  I also finished a table topper for my sister Pam.  The original design was by Becky Jorgensen and the baskets in the corners were all the same.  I used some of Little Wooly Basket patterns from Linen Closet Quilts for my baskets.  My intent was to have seasonal baskets-Tulips for spring, Strawberries for Summer, Helenium for autumn and Evergreen with berries for winter.  I had a grand time with both projects.

When I was making the wallet, I was showing my progress to my mother.  The design has card pockets and my mother commented that she would worry that the cards would come out of the pockets.  I deconstructed the wallet and turned the card pocket unit inside out and added a zipper on top so that cards would be secured inside.  I used Straps-part-two: How-to-make-an-adjustable-bag-strap tutorial to make the strap for the wallet.  It has both a wrist strap and a detachable strap that can adjust to shoulder or cross body lengths.

The table topper was an opportunity for me to use my quilt rulers.  I used Ronda's Crescent and Double S Rulers to do the curved crosshatching.  I had echo quilted the baskets and I used a Westalee diamond ruler for one round of the center and a curve for the center section.  I washed and dried the quilt and the quilting and the wool baskets puffed up.  I had used some water soluble thread to baste the quilt and had some pencil marks that needed removal.   I like to wash and dry my quilts before I gift them.  I should put the washing instructions on the label.  I used the alphabet lettering on my sewing machine and stitched my label on the binding of the quilt.   I used 3 or 4 rows of my wavy zigzag stitch in the dark narrow borders.  I am very happy with my new Bernina ruler foot. It works much better than the other one I had been using.  My rulers work on all sides of the foot.

 Now what will I commit to complete for January.  Hmmmmmmmm.

Thursday, December 1, 2016

December OMG

For my December OMG I am making Prima Diva Purses.  I bought the hardware and pattern many moons ago at a quilt show and never constructed it.  I recently went to Pinwheels and Friends One Stop Shop Hop in Sturbridge MA during November.  Sew Many Creations had a booth at this show and I was reminded that the task was still on the drawing board. My sister had also made that purchase way back when.  I suggested to her that since I knew purses were not her favorite thing to make that I would snag her hardware and my gift to her would be making the purse.  The surprise will be my fabric choices.  Fun for the holidays.

Saturday, November 26, 2016

November OMG

The quilt is done.  I am hoping to hang it over my front door window.  This was fun beginning to end. I had fun sorting my fabrics to come up with the light, medium and dark values.   I loved learning how to do English Paper Piecing.  There is always something else to learn when you are a quilter. I had a great time selecting all the quilting designs for the body and borders.  I used the Hanging Sleeve Completely by Machine tutorial from  and then I used my alphabet on my sewing machine to create my label on my binding.  Now to decide what is on the agenda for next month's OMG.

Thursday, November 24, 2016

Bernina Adjustable Ruler Foot #72

I am so excited to have the Bernina Adjustable Ruler Foot #72.  For my first adventure I am using my Line Tamer and Inchie Tape to quilt a double kite design on to the top border of my version of Inner City available at Paper Pieces.  I have quilted with the Line Tamer with other ruler feet and decided that it would be a perfect way to begin to learn to use the Bernina foot.  It is so wonderful that the ruler foot uses the same width ruler as my Babyloc Tiara.  I can use them on both machines.  Hooray!!

Quilting November OMG

The quilting is now done on the borders.  I am getting ready to add a sleeve and bind it.  The bottom right side I used a clam shell filligree design.
It was made by off setting the clam shells and then overlapping and stitching again.  The middle right  was a ribbon pattern that was created by following a sinusoidal curve.  The top right was an accident.  
I was using a straight stitch to make some diamond shapes.  I  accidentally changed it to a wobble stitch and the default setting was 1.5 width by 0.5 length.  I was using my new ruler foot and could not select it because I do not have a machine update that allows me to select it yet.  I substituted the #26 free motion foot instead.  I started to rip it out after I finished my first line of stitching and then changed my mind.  I decided to go with it.  Wobble stitching is much more forgiving that straight stitch.  I really like how it look.
I used a zigzag pattern on the left and I did it wrong.  I was supposed to leave a space between the zigzags that did not happen.  When I added the X stitches I did not get the pattern that I was trying to create.  I decided to leave it as is.  Only my readers know that it was a mistake.  I have some straight line stitching on the left side that is diagonal from the ribbon stitching on the right.  This was supposed to accentuate the angle of the piecing.  The bottom left below the straight stitching is a continuation of the pattern I created on the bottom.
It was made by stitching next to these and then cross hatching at the intersections.  The top of the quilt was a kite design and the left top corner is an arrow design that was made by connecting intersections of some zigzag stitching.  Stitching and football....a wonderful way to spend my Thanksgiving.  I am thankful that I have the opportunity to do this.  

Saturday, November 19, 2016

November OMG next chapter

The thread I am using is Lava by Superior which I purchased some time ago when it was on sale....perhaps because it was discontinued. It is a 35 wt polyester. I think is was a perfect choice to show up on the center and blend in the borders.
Here is the back of the quilt. I have quilted the center and it blends so well. Tres bien! C'est magnifique!
I am now planning on quilting the borders. I am going to chunk it up into sections and quilt different patterns in different sections. I am picking from Charlotte Warr Anderson's book One Line at a Time Encore. I am having fun with the quilting. It is like dot to dot. You feel like anyone can do this. It certainly builds ones confidence in learning to quilt.

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

November OMG in process.

My first part of my OMG for November is a December Kathy Schmitz block.  I am well pleased with the results.  The October and November blocks that I did used quite bright fabrics.  I was not so sure they were such good choices.  I much prefer my choices that I made for this month.  At first I wasn't sure how the black I used in the corners would work with the other black I chose since they were adjacent.  The corners look like arrows and I like that.  I also like the holly berries in the fabric.  The lattice fabric is something that I have had in my stash for decades.  It came from a Keepsake Quilting special mystery batch.  Way back I would place my orders on the phone and the person answering would always ask if I wanted to hear the specials.  Usually I said yes, but sometimes I said no because I was always tempted and I did not want to buy beyond my budget.  I am no longer stash building after decades of quilting.  I am now working to use that stash.  It always feels fabulous to use a fabric that you have for the longest time not been able to find a home for it.

I am not working on the second part of my OMG.  I think this English Paper Pieced Project will be a window covering for my front door window,  I had a collection of 2.5 inch strips in my stash.  I sister had given me the pattern as a gift.  She knew that I would love the geometry of this project.  I had done a tumbling block scrap quilt at one point in time so I knew how important value was to making this kind quilt work.  Once I realized that in the jelly roll I had three values some colors the fun began.  I went through the jelly roll and decided what triples I would form.  I decided to put the yellow on the top because in one class I took, the instructor taught use that it was important to consider from where your light source was coming.  I try to think of that aspect when planning quilts.  I did hunt around a bit for a border fabric.  The actual pattern has an inside border and a larger outside border.  Once I found this Kaffe I decided that I would applique the EPP onto the border fabric instead,  I think it adds dimension to the piece and I like the float of it.  I am trying to continually improve my technique,  While doing the EPP you have time to reflect upon the quilting choices available.  I had taken a Craftsy class on walking foot quilting.  I had considered using a double needle pattern.  I scanned a section of my quilt into the computer so that I would have a true to size print out with which to work.  I placed the print into a plastic sheet protector and used a wet erase pen to draw my quilting options.  If an option did not work, I would use a little water on a paper towel and erase it away.  If it had potential, I would get out another sheet protector and work on another option.  I was all set to do a double needle design that I thought looked like water dripping down.  After I quilted the Kathy Schmitz,  I totally changed my mind.  I had wanted to learn how to use a double needle in a quilting project but decided that this was not the right project for that technique.  I decide that all that linear design needed some curved quilting so back to the drawing board,  I was looking through One Line at a Time Encore by Charlotte War Anderson and decided that I would try some of that quilting.  I am trying to do the design she calls whirlpools.  It will take three passes of quilting to work.  I have just finished the first direction of my curved lines for this pattern.  I am thinking about what I will do on the border while I complete the center.  The book has multiple examples of quilts that use multiple designs.  I am so enjoying the process of quilting my projects these days.  I am thinking how I will section out the border to use more of the designs in this book.  This book is very helpful to a novice quilter to gain confidence in her quilting ....ONE LINE AT A TIME!!!!

Sunday, November 6, 2016

November OMG

Thank you Heidi for hosting OMG.  I find it most helpful to focus.  This month I will commit to finishing The December Kathy Schmitz Design by adding the borders and quilting so it will be ready to display next month.  I am currently working on my first English Paper Piecing Project.  Another gift from my sister Paula.  I need to add the borders and quilt it.  To add the border I am appliqueing the EPP to a Kaffe fabric that I have selected.  Today I am taking out the papers and beginning the applique process.

I want to mention that I so appreciate the comments Heidi has made to me about my projects.  I can tell she has looked at each one carefully.  This makes you feel really connected.  Back to my missions.

Friday, October 28, 2016

October OMG C'est fini !

October OMG is finished.  My first wool adventure was so much fun.  Thank you Paula for your encouragement to embark on projects in wool applique.  I learned that you need to use lots of pins to keep the applique flat.  My socks and bat are a little rippled because they were not well pinned.

First I big stitched the table runner. I had the binding mostly done and I realized that I had not put on a hanging sleeve and the quilt was not lying as flat as I would like, I took off the binding and removed the quilting.  I had been cleaning up my quilt bookcase when I found this candy corn free motion design that I had used on another Halloween quilt.  I switched up my quilting plan and fired up my Tiara.  I tried my new glide foot for the free motion.
I have not had the chance to quilt on the Tiara for quite a spell.  I am a novice.  I made a rookie mistake.  I put on the foot and thought that it was loose so I tightened it with a wrench.  In the process the needle no longer was aligned with the whole in the foot.  BIG OOPS!  I recovered.  My next challenge was to set the tension.  I had to loosen the bobbin tension a bit.  When I started working on my practice sandwich, there were skipped stitches so I started to adjust the top tension.  I had purchased this device to help with the top tension and did not really use it so I decided to remove it.  After I reassembled, the stitching was worse.  Hmmmm.  I took it apart again and put the tension monitor back on the machine.  Then went online to check the order of the parts to correctly reassemble the top tension assembly.  Could not find anything to help me.  I looked closely at this one part and noticed that one side was smooth and the other was grooved.  I matched it up this time correctly with the knurled knob and it stitched much better.  A few more passes on my practice sandwich and the tension was in fine shape.  I am not so good at free motion but I enjoyed stitching my candy corn motifs on my quilt.

  I am so enjoying learning the joys of the quilting part of the process.  The pattern called for using velvet on the hat.  I ordered a pieced of black  hand dyed cotton velvet but the color did not work well with the black wool so I used a piece of minky-like fabric instead.
I will be on the look out for a hunk of black velvet to have in my stash,  I think you have to see it in person to see if the color works.  I also finished 2 blocks from a Kathy Schmitz design.

Good month of finishes.

Monday, October 17, 2016

First Adventures in Wool

I am working on the Buttermilk Basin table runner pattern.  I'm not sure about the spacing, but I am happy with the result.  I need to finish the embellishment but my buttons and such are at home.  I am thinking over my plan for the added stitching.  I have not decided whether to couch or not and I need to select the threads I will use.  I must also decide upon the quilting plan.  I am whip stitching the edges.  I think that will be my preferred goto.  I found that the wool in the kit was not so tightly woven.  Whip stitching allowed me to reign in the loose fibers. The stitch only went over one could not be more or the thread would show from the larger stitch.  I had some trouble reigning in the loose fibers while maintaining the shape.  The lip on the mouth of the moon almost disappeared because I was trying to corral the loose fibers.  I really like wool applique.  I also learned that I need to use more pins. I think I like the Karen Kay Buckley small pins better than my clover white head pins for this.  They kept the applique flatter because they are so thin.  They can get lost in the piece though.  Happy stitchin'.  I am a fan of wool applique!!

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Much Ado About Nothing...Maybe

I am futzing about how to stitch the wool to the background fabric.  I tried to whip stitch the wool but the edges frayed.  I ended up stab stitching to control the fraying.  I do not know if I needed to make my stitches as small as I did.  The mouth should be easier so because I am dealing with 3 fabrics not four.  On to the mouth.

Sunday, October 2, 2016

October OMG!

This month I start my adventures in wool applique.  My sister has encouraged me to branch out and try it with a gift from Buttermilk Basin.  This will be my October OMG.  I also have basket patterns from Red Linen Quilts and the Round the Garden from Quiltmania in the queue.

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

September OMG Done!

Thanks to thequiltshow,com for this fun project.  My version of Blooms for Julie was made in memory of my maternal grandfather, a country doctor who had a passion for gardening.  I spent many hours playing in the gardens playing or picking cherries, vegetables or flowers.  I can still smell the lilacs. I adapted the pattern.  My applique is needle turned and many of the flowers are 3D.  Some sport Kurumi centers.

 I decided the the bright green half of the leaf needed some toning down a bit.  I decided to embroider them with some DMC #911.  I used the Spanish knotted feather stitch for veins.  I declare this quilt officially done and ready for use.
Before....                                                                        After.............

In addition to finishing Blooms for Julie I said I would complete one other TBD.  Above I have completed the stitching on Kathy Schmitz calendar blocks.  I now have all of them stitched and I will piece the border on the October block so that I have it up by the first.  Thanks to OMG I am feeling fabulous about my finishes,
                                                   October Done!

Monday, September 19, 2016

Stovetop Felting

Here is my plan to felt my brights.  I have a modern washing machine.  Unfortunately that means for my machine that the washer controls the cycles and not me.  The only way to get the hottest water is to use the sanitize cycle which takes more that two and a half hours.  That is much too long for individually felting small pieces of wool.  I know to felt you need soap, agitation and heat.  I put measured amounts of water in my pots added a measured amount of Synthrapol and boiled on my stovetop.  How long?  I was not sure about the time.  My regular cycle is about 45 minutes which includes time to fill, drain, and spin.  I settled on 23 minutes.  This is because my washer does have a rinse and spin cycle that takes 23 minutes.  I boil the wool then dump the pot with the wool and the boiling water into my machine and let the machine finish the job.  Today I will finish felting my brights for Round the Garden and hopefully finish stitching Blooms for Julie.

Sunday, September 18, 2016

Organizing my wool.

Today I will spend watching football games and organizing my wool stash.  I am planning on getting ready to make Round the Garden, a quilt project published in Quiltmania's Simply Moderne magazine.  I hand dyed a piece of cotton that I intend to use.

Here is my fabric on top of the magazine issue.  The center is dyed wisteria followed by a ring of kiwi and the outside is old rose.  The dyes I got from Pro-Chem. I need a bunch of wool brights to applique on my cotton background.  Time to organize.  The process took me all day....but then again I was watching football as well.  It was fun for me,  First I rolled all my larger pieces.
I had purchased some scrap bags from Sue Spargo recently and they were in these little bags.  I dumped a bag that was pinks and purples onto my plastic table and decided to roll them.  I fastened them with safety pins.  The pins were pins that I had when I first started quilting.  I had later purchased curved safety pins and these others were in a box not really being used.  I went through my wool pile and pulled out all the pinks and purples and rolled these larger pieces.  I put them in a gallon zip bag.
Next I worked on the lights.  
 The beige lights.
 The gold lights.
 The taupe lights
The peachy lights.  Then on to the darks, reds, multicoloreds, greys, blues, greens, browns and the like.

I left my charms together.  Most of them I know are slated for the this project.  
I have a group of wool that needs to be felted.
But now my wool is being stored in these bags ready.  I think I will be able to find what I need for my projects.