Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Before and after Hand dyes


I am home for a few days so I am taking a suggestion from the quilt show and am spending some time organizing my sewing space.  I had a box of fabric that my mother gifted to me. I found some treasures in there.....a couple of pieces of fabric I think she got while traveling to Australia and some blues I will use for backgrounds for this applique Christmas quilt I've been wanting to do for a spell.  It has houses and I think I am obsessed with houses.  Then there was another box of my hand dyes.  I had taken classes from Frieda Anderson (Fabric to Dye for) and Lisa White Reber (Dippydyes.com).  Both are excellent instructors.  I spent the time ironing, sorting and folding them on magazine boards. The magazine boards (aka comic book backing boards) have really helped me organize my fabric.  The can handle fat quarters and yardages.  I can easily find the fabric I am looking for this way.  I put them on some bookshelves behind a quilt so the sun does not fade them.  

I have several quilts in mind for this fabric.  I may have to dye some more.  

Monday, January 25, 2016

Should a Patch Box every be empty?

I caught up with the Bricks, Cobblestones and Pebbles Mystery quilt just in time for Clue 4 to be released.   I have been using my patch box to make this quilt.  I have been dipping into my patch box for a number of projects.  The box was full after a cutting party at my sister's.  Now it's getting cleared out.  I used a bunch for Dear Jane.

My sister found an electric Accuquilt cutter under her tree.  I think I need to bring some scraps and head for Massachusetts to fill up my patch box.

Saturday, January 23, 2016

GF Mystery Quilt

I am housebound in a blizzard, but I still have power so I decided to have some fun and work on Gyleen Fitzgerald's Bricks, Cobblestones and Pebbles Mystery Quilt,  I was going to follow my sister's lead and use hand dyes but I decided to use the scraps that I had already cut.  I had a cutting party many months ago.  I brought my Accuquilt Go to my sister's and a bag of scraps and started cutting.  I grabbed each hunk of fabric and started with the biggest square die that I could use and then with the leftovers I just kept cutting using smaller and smaller dies.  I stacked the scraps and stored them in a clear plastic Rubbermaid box.  This is a grand way to use up my scraps.  

Monday, January 18, 2016

Yoko Saito Block 3

I just need to add the leaves to the trees, add the cat dog and bird and then I am on to Block 4.  I am contemplating dressing up the windows.  I have satin stitched around the windows in the past but I think I am going to try couching some Perle Crown Rayon or DMC #5.  I am contemplating how to couch.  I wonder if I should have one strand go all the way around the perimeter of the window.  If I do that do I start in a corner and pull the threads to the back at the corner?  That corner might look different from the other three.  Maybe I should start on the center of the bottom and overlap to finish.  I am also considering starting in the lower left corner and ending at the lower right with two parallel cords that might look like a sill on the bottom.  I guess I will have to try it out.  I'll think about that while I am stitching leaves on the trees.  Fun with embellishment!! 

Saturday, January 16, 2016

Yoko Saito Le Quilt Mystere

I am beginning Block 3 and completed house 1 while watching the NFL playoffs.    Blocks 4,5 and 6 have many more appliques than the first three blocks.  I look forward to their intricacies.  I'm hoping to get this done in a few days.  Later this week I will visit my sister for Show and Tell.  She has been working on some gorgeous applique that I want to see in person.  Now for sleep.

Hedgehogs at Play

Hedgehogs at Play is done.  I don't know whether the critters are actually playing but I was playing as I created this wall quilt.  I learned more about thread painting, I used a layer of netting to cover some of the fusible appliques to reduce the fraying of the fabric.  It also adds some depth to the overall image.  I used my couching foot on a quilt for the first time.  I played with using the direction of light as well.  I really like the backing fabric I found for this quilt and I was more successful with using my alphabet stitching for a label than I was the last time.  My label was made by folding a square and stitching the unfinished edges in the binding.  It makes a little pocket that one could store things.  
This quilt has been in the drawer for a very long time.  So many of our projects lay waiting because one does not have a block of time that one can devote.  This one allowed me to play with bits and pieces during that time.........a session for picking fabric,,,,,,,,,another for the black eyed susans......others for fusing fabrics for leaves and petals.  I celebrate all those quilt projects that let us keep out hand in when our lives are otherwise too frenetic.  

Thursday, January 14, 2016

Hedgehogs ready for quilting

Today I added leaves and silk ribbon violets along with the rest of the ferns.  It is sandwiched and ready for quilting.  I actually started to quilt, sat down on the couch to bury some threads and realized that I needed to do the silk ribbon flowers to hide the knots and ribbons ends inside.  I'm glad I had a light bulb moment before I needed to unstitch.  I would be quilting now but I ran out of energy.  I need a nap.  I ran out of the purple 7mm silk so I used some cream for a few flowers.  I'm glad I ran out.  I like that there are two colours.  Looks like this can be finished tomorrow.  I am well pleased with the outcome.  I pleated the leaves of the violets and they puff up like little mounds.  I folded each leaf and sewed the pleat to the top, then I tacked each leaf with three stitches at the ends of the veins. I used gold DMC 5WT to make 3 french knots in the centers of the flowers.  When I first stitched the nasturtium leaves by couching the veins, they were flat.  Now that I have been manipulating the quilt to embroider the flowers, the leaves have curled up a bit.  I like the dimension and the texture of this quilt. As usual I have forgotten to make a label and a hanging sleeve.  I will deal with that tomorrow.  Next up is the quiltmania mystery quilt.  Next week I head back to Delaware to get my furnace fixed and check on my house.  I will resupply my UFO's to bring up north.  I think I will leave my Bernina here and quilt on the Tiara while I'm home.  Now to nap.  

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Gyleen Fitzgerald Mystery Quilt


I joined the 2016 Facebook Group of Gyleen Fitzgerald's Mystery 2016 Quilt.  I will grab my scraps when I get home and join the fun.

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Couching Foot

Today's new adventure is using my couching foot.  I am using DMC#5 with Bottom Line in the needle and the bobbin.  The Bernina video I watched said to lower the feed dogs.  I did not.  It is working just fine. I am burying the vein threads after each petal.  I drew the stitching line on the petals with Roxanne's Silver chalk pencil.  I am hoping to get this quilt done in the next couple of days,  I went to Ben Franklin's and found my backing fabric.  The batting is being quilted as I stitch on the appliques so I think I will sandwich and quilt the backing to the other two layers with some embroidery stitching.  I am trying to decide what stitch or stitches to use.  I think I will use some silk ribbon stitching for the violets.  I will ponder as I couch.  Yeah for couching foot.,,,,so so easy.

Monday, January 11, 2016

Pawtuckaway Piecers

I joined a Quilt Guild today and attended my first guild meeting.  We met at the town municipal building.  I enjoyed the company of the women who attended.  Thank you Karen for encouraging me to attend and making me feel welcome.  I look forward to future meetings and the monthly Saturday Sews.  I am glad I brought something for Show and Tell.   We are to make nine patch blocks in blue and white for next month's meeting.  The blocks may be put in a pile for a drawing or become a charity quilt.  I was surprised that some on the members were  concerned about what color blue to pick.  They wanted us to specify whether it would be royal or cobalt or navy.  They decided on a medium dark blue with off-white.  It should be fun to see what people bring.  See you next month Pawtuckaway Piecers.

Sunday, January 10, 2016

Sea Turtle Parade is Done!!

I waited the 24 hours recommended to ensure the crystals do not fall off and I washed the quilt.  I chose to wash and rinse in warm water.  It removed all the soluble thread.  There were some bits of polyester batting that I pulled off.......I wonder if I will have an issue with bearding.  There were a couple of threads that needed burying but the washing puffed up the quilting and I am pleased with the result.  When I make my trek home to pick up my mail, it will adorn my table.  I almost forgot.  I need to linkup my finished monthly goal on OMG at Red Letter Quilts!

Adding Ferns to the Hedgehogs

This UFO has been in the bin for quite a spell.  I purchased the Hedgehog Pattern above from Debora Konchinsky from her booth at a quilt show.  She assured me that I could do the thread painting required.  I had taken a thread painting class with my sister at the first Show I ever attended.  I was really drawn to the pattern and decided that I would give it a shot.  Mind you I had NO confidence in my thread painting skills.  The designer assured me that the directions included would be sufficient and that I would be successful.  I have had so much fun working on this little quilt.  The pattern sat in my drawer for a long time.  I would periodically pull it out and read the directions before I acquired to courage to sally forth.  I actually made the hedgehogs in a hoop.  This facilitated the thread painting because I could grab onto that hoop and easily move it around making my stitches shorter and longer as I saw fit.  I learned about different weights of thread and used several.  I trimmed the critters leaving the edge unstitched. I just had to thread paint around the edge, add the feet and my critters we at home in the woods.  

Today I am watching football and cutting out ferns.  Notice that I opted to sew the background fabrics at an angle.  In one of my quilt books it suggested that you consider from whence the light was coming so I sewed the strips at an angle to indicate the light source.  I often wish I had taken some art classes in high school or college.  Tomorrow I will attend my first guild meeting.  I met someone at my mother's church and she invited me.  I look forward to meeting some other quilters and to discussing quilting.    

Saturday, January 9, 2016

Sea Turtle Parade Done (Almost!)

All that remains for me to do is to wash away the Vanish Lite thread and Sea Turtle Parade is done.  The binding, hanging sleeve and label are attached.  The flat piping is flipflopped in place with the seed beads and the crystals are glued.  I will be able to meet Kathy's Quilts OMG (One Monthly Goal) for January.  Whoopee!!  Next up is my Hedgehog Quilt.  It is about halfway there.  Tonight I will clear the decks of all remnants of the Sea Turtle Parade and see what needs doing to finish my Hedgehog Forest.  

I may also look for some background fabric for the 1857 Album Quilt from Sentimental Stitches BsOM.  I need 7.5 yards and I don't think I have any hunks in my stash at home with that much yardage.  I have a lot of red stripe fabric that I was going to use for my Aunt Millie Quilt.  Hmmmm.  What to do?  Fun to ponder.

Slow Stitchin' Weekend

Sea Turtle Parade is headed to the finish line.  Thursday I finished up the machine quilting and attached the flat piping and binding and began turning the binding and sewing to the backside.  The next morning after having completed half the binding, I remembered that I had not attached a label.  I have only recently started adding labels to my quilts so I often forget.  I had a bobbin of some variegated thread that I thought complemented the colours in the quilt so I decided to use my alphabet on the Bernina to stitch out a label.  I used heat off stabilizer.  The first three lines of stitching look pretty good.  The 4th ......not so much.  I was getting to the edge of the stabilizer I had pinned to the fabric and I decided to use my hands to stretch and guide the fabric.  The lettering is skewed a bit.  I hid it under the binding.  I folded over 2 of the edges and selected a loopty loop stitch,  The stitch scrunched the fabric.  NOT pretty.  I used the blind hem stitch to attach the label.  I had to unstitch about 6 inches of my binding to put the label in the bottom corner.  I decided to use my sloppy label.

 I then added a hanging sleeve using the directions on We All Sew.  What a disaster.  My 1/8 inch basting seam was probably more like a 1/16 and not wide enough for the blind hem stitch to work correctly.  Time to unsew.  AGAIN.....and restitch.  Lousy job on the hanging sleeve as well as the label.  Better luck next time.  I doubt the hanging sleeve will ever get used.  This quilt will more likely be used as a table runner for most of its life.  I have been reading in blogs about not pointing out your mistakes in your quilts.  I concur with the sentiments.... but on a blog the conversation is about remembering the mistakes for future reference.  There is something to be said about enjoying the process of quilting including the missteps one makes.  I enjoyed the process of the learning that happened while I made my label and my hanging sleeve.  I am not a perfectionist and I think the label and hanging sleeve will work well enough so I am perfectly content for all their flaws to reside on the backside of my quilt. Now on to the finish.
I am using seed beads to flipflop the flat piping back and forth emulating waves.  I like the look and may well add more piping effects in future quilts.  After I sew on the beads, Slow Stitchin' Fun,  I will add the crystals and the quilt will no long be in the UFO pile.  On to Hedgehog quilt.  Does anyone know how to make a single seed bead stand up? 

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Spaghetti Squash Straw and Hay

I was quilting Sea Turtle Parade while my mother was working on her geneology on the computer.  She lost a file location and commented that maybe it was time for lunch.  It was 10:15.  This could very well be lunchtime for her.  I suspect she has been up since 3 or 4 AM.  I told her that it was a bit early for lunch but I would be glad to go cook up the spaghetti squash that had been purchased in out last grocery store outing.  I made Spaghetti Squash Straw and Hay which is based on a recipe found in HPBooks Microwave Cookbook: The Complete Guide by Pam Jester circa 1983.  In this recipe everything is optional except the squash.

Ritz Crackers...................................1 tube crunched
Butter................................................2 to 4 T

Spaghetti Squash........................2 to 5 pounds which makes 3 to 6 cups

Onion........................................1/2 to whole
Frozen peas with mushrooms.......1 package
    or frozen peas and sliced fresh mushrooms
Green and/or Red Pepper strips....Fresh or Frozen maybe a cup
Sliced cooked ham strips..............1 C or whatever you have on hand
     or smoked sausage
     or Canadian Bacon
     or bacon bits

Eggs, beaten....................................1 or 2
Cream(whipping or just milk)..........1/2 to 1 cup
Ricotta Cheese.................................15 to 32 oz
Grated Parmesan or the like............1/2 to 1 Cup
Shredded Cheddar.........................1/2 to 2 cups

Want to add some seasonings:  I have used dashes of salt, pepper, nutmeg, ginger, garlic, allspice, cloves, cinnamon, red pepper flakes, Goya Adobo. Use whatever you fancy all or none

Melt Butter in microwave in a 4 cup container.  Grab a tube of Ritz Crackers, open one end and with your hands crunch them up in the tube or crunch them however you like.  Mix with the butter and set aside.

Pierce whole squash and cook in the microwave on high for about 10 minutes.  Cut the squash in half, remove seeds,  Place the halved squash in a backing dish with 1/2 cup or less of salted water( garlic salt, onion salt, table salt whatever! or no salt at all).  Microwave on high for another 10 minutes.

Beat eggs then mix with cream/milk and the cheeses.

Chop the onion and mix with the peas, mushrooms, pepper strips, and meat. Scoop the cooked squash out of the shells and in a large bowl mix the egg mixture with the squash and other vegetables mixture together.

You can then mound it all bake into the squash shells in the baking dish or just butter up a baking dish and load it up.  Top with the Ritz cracker butter mixture.  Bake covered for 10 minutes and uncovered for another 10 minutes,  (This cooking time is based on another favorite vegetable dish that is made with frozen vegetable and topped with the buttered cracker mixture) . The cooking times are based on recipes that were created when microwaves were first introduced and a very powerful oven might have been 500 watts.  The time works in my mothers 1200 watt machine so I have stuck with it.  It may need less time.

Or use the squash mixture as a layer of a vegetable lasagna.

Hope you enjoy.   Lunch is done and now back to Sea Turtle Parade and quilting with my roller foot.

Monday, January 4, 2016

Slow Stitchin' Sunday

Today my sister alerted me to her linky.  I first came across linky's in Bonnie Hunter's blog the day before.  Now I'm trying to make one of my own.  Here goes.
Whoops to big.
Oops again. Let me try to link to this picture of another slow stitchin' project.
I accidentally posted two identical pictures.  Mega oops!  Sorry Kathy.  I used the wrong url my first time and then when I tried to get another picture of a slow stitchin' project to post the correct url, I inadvertantly posted the same picture.  Live and learn.  Bye the bye...the first photos are of my Kathy Schmitz designs and the last is a photo of my block from a Mystery Quilt published in Quiltmania.  Now I am headed back to my machine to continue quilting the Sea Turtle Parade. Although this is machine quilted,  it is slow stitchin'. 

Saturday, January 2, 2016

Sea Turtle Parade

I purchased the Mount Redoubt Designs Sea Turtle Parade Kit that came complete with batting, backing and crystals years ago. ( I did purchase a batik to use in place of the muslin backing from the kit.) Yesterday I finished stitching with Superior's Vanish Lite through my drawings that I had made on Golden Threads Quilting paper,  Some of the drawings were from Laura Lee Fritz 250 Continuous-Line and 250 New Continuous-Line Quilting Designs.  Others were from drawings I adapted.  For example the pelican head came from Laura's book.  It is standing.  I decided to draw wings as it it were flying.  I probable should have done a little research about what pelican wings actually look like.  I just drew wings  .... my wings may actually be eagle like and not pelican like.  I don't know.  Oh well. I was thinking that a pelican would not be standing under water so maybe this might be a shadow on the water from the pelican flying overhead.  Again do sea turtles and pelicans exist in the same environs.... Should have researched that as well... I just liked that pelican eating the fish....again does a pelican eat when it flies???????? 

I used my leather roller foot for the first time on my Bernina.  Interestingly the cutter did not work when I had the roller foot selected on my Bernina screen.  I changed the selection on the Bernina to foot #24 without actually changing the foot and the cutter worked.  Don't know if I should have done that or not but it served my purpose.  The roller foot worked so well.  The visibility was fabulous.  When I got to some parts of my drawing that were really wiggly I sometimes just took the leather foot off and worked without a foot attached and sometimes if the section was longer I attached the #24 foot.  What fun to use new tools!!!!   I would have thought that the golden threads paper would have acted like a stabilizer for the stitches.  Not so much.  Does it have to be on the bottom to work as a stabilizer???  Hmmmmmm.  I could have used Ricky Tims Stable Stuff but I would have had to use a light box for the drawings.  I wanted to use the Golden Threads product because I could see the stitching of the applique through the paper and knew where to draw.  
The Vanish Lite is easily visible on all of the blue background except for the very lightest blue.  When I get to the quilting, my plan is to stitch around the applique first before I stitch on top of the vanish lite stitching. My top is wrinkled so I wanted to iron it before I sandwiched it but I did not know if I could iron vanish lite.  I called Superior Threads.  The customer service is so great.  The representative did not know the answer so she went to find out.  She said that they did not know and to try it on a sample with a press cloth to see what happens.  I have yet to do that.  

Today I learned to add links and pictures to my posts.  I have not done any CSS for quite a while.  I will do that one of these days.  Happy blogging. M

Friday, January 1, 2016

Day One

New Year's Day 2016 I begin by setting up my first blog with my first post.  My sister Paula at mypiecefulponderings.blogspot.com inspired this endeavor.  I look forward to the adventure.  This year I plan to complete the many quilt projects I have started.  I am beginning with the small ones and the ones that are almost complete.  I recently read a Kathy's Quilts post in which she delineated her finished and noted the progress of her current endeavors.  Very impressive.  Next year I hope to do the same.