Monday, October 31, 2016

Binding Deco Rose

I sewed the binding to the Deco Rose quilt yesterday.

Now all that's left is to hand sew it down. This is going to be one very pretty quilt.

After all, this is going to one very pretty little girl!

Sunday, October 30, 2016

Red Around

Now that my sewing machine is back, I can get some real work done. I've made the binding for the pink baby quilt and the bright slashed squares quilt, and I'll show those in the next couple of days.

I also added a 2-1/2" strip of various red fabrics around the perimeter of the Peppermint Candy quilt. I think it really finishes it off nicely. I cut the red strips about half a WOF and joined them at an angle. I started at one side and worked my way around the quilt, so the different colors rotate and look continuous.

This red border does a couple of other things, though. It stabilizes the blocks that have bias edges along the outside of the quilt and allows me a bit of leeway when it comes time to trim the quilt after it gets quilted. I didn't use any of the really "busy" prints along this edge, because I didn't want to draw the eye to this outer border. I also did not use the fabric I intend to use as a binding, because I want that to be separate.


I've added another "page" to my blog. You can see the links just under the header. The new one is called "Details & More Organizational Stuff" and it is meant to be a place where you can find specific information about the tools I use. Information is there about my sewing machine, cutting table, the pins and irons I use and the thread I prefer.

I've also added photos to the Inspirations page, added links to the Friends and Good Stories pages and added the Mini Slashed Squares tutorial to the Tutorials page.

I've also added a link to a post about my stash and why I buy the fabric I buy to the Inspirations page. This should probably be in the details section, but for now it's staying where it is.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

I have two things I can't wait to blog about, and one of them has absolutely NOTHING to do with making quilts. (Neither of them is about my granddaughter.) But those will have to wait until later next week.

Saturday, October 29, 2016

She's Ba--ACK!

My sewing machine is back from the "Sewing Machine Spa."  As he was carrying it out to my car, the repairman said, "You know, the manufacturer of this machine recommends it come in for service once a year. I think you'll find she sews a lot better."

I got this machine about five years ago, in November of 2011. It's never had anything done to it since then. I deserved that remark. "In that case, I shall make a note on my calendar to bring her back to visit you next year," I told the guy.

As I got in the car, I thought, "I thought my machine sewed pretty good when I brought it in. Hmmm."

I stopped by my LQS and replaced the 2-1/2" x 12-1/2" ruler I broke last week, bought a few yards of various WOWs and came home.

I sewed the back of the Peppermint Candy quilt.

Oh. Yes.

She sews MUCH better than she did before. How lovely!

Now it time for me to put this girl to work!


Friday, October 28, 2016

Backing for Black & White Slashed Squares

I had a lot of different black and white fabrics to sew together to make the backing of the Black and White Slashed Squares quilt, but I wanted to use them in an interesting way. I just didn't know what that was. So I waited. I don't just dive in and start sewing. I figured an idea would come to me.

But I can't JUST wait. It's important to THINK, and to look around to try to find inspiration somewhere. I found it, and it wasn't where I expected to find it, which is why it's so important to look at everything.

I found my inspiration in my own tutorial for the Slashed Squares, in the last photo of the back of the quilt, when I wrote, "Give yourself bonus points if you make a giant block on the back of the quilt."

I thought, well, I don't want to make something THAT BIG, but it gave me an idea. What if I made a few large blocks and ran them down the middle of the back of the quilt, and then surrounded it with the extra black and white fabrics I have? So I started playing, and you can see that in the first photo at the top of this post.

This is the first of three blocks I designed. These will be 28" square when they are finished. They are just pieces on the design wall because my sewing machine is still at the "spa." ARGH! I really want to sew these together!!!

 The smallest square in the block above is 4-1/2" square.

 This is the third block.

Here are some of the small blocks I made lined up next to these big blocks. I may use them in the backing too. (And yes, I changed that stripe in the 3rd block)

I really miss my sewing machine. I called the "spa" yesterday, and they have been very busy. Apparently there was some remodeling going on in the shop, and they had to move everything two shops over, then move it all back two days later. And then find everything. Anyway, my machine is "next up on the bench" so by the end of today I should have a better idea of when it will be coming home.

It's a good thing. I have run out of projects that need a sewing machine, and I can't avoid this any longer.

Thursday, October 27, 2016

Bright Slashed Squares

Earlier this year I made a Slashed Squares quilt from fabrics in my stash.

It is now back from being quilted, and I think it looks great. Here's a detail.

Here you can see the big Philip Jacobs fabric I chose for the back. I'll use the same fabric for the binding. As I am still waiting for my sewing machine to get out of the shop, work on this quilt is on hold.

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Deco Rose, Quilted

Deco Rose, the pink quilt I made for my granddaughter, is back from being quilted.

Here is the quilt with the fabric I have chosen for the binding. I think it's going to look terrific.

My sewing machine is still in the sewing machine "spa", so aside from trimming the quilt of the excess backing and batting and cutting strips for the binding, there's not much I can do but wait.

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Red In & Out

I never get tired of watching the trees turn colors in the fall. This is the view outside my living room windows.

I ironed the backing fabric for the Peppermint Candy quilt, then got it ready to be sewn into a backing.

This used to be my favorite ruler. It's what happens when you stick it in your back pants pocket during a class and then sit down on a wooden chair with a hard back. Damn.

Sunday, October 23, 2016

Pepperell Birds

The ladies of the Squanacook Colonial Quilt Guild had a great time on Saturday making birds.



One student bought a field guide to birds and made these birds based on real birds. From left is the Cardinal, Robin and Goldfinch.

Here are some more birds the ladies made on Saturday.

They all did a great job and made some terrific birds.

This was made by Cherie Moore. It's her guild's challenge quilt. The challenge was Waterfowl with 4" of water. Cherie did a great job of adapting my birds into shore birds. Note also that Cherie's bird legs go into the water. I received this photo during the class on Saturday, and the students were really happy to see this.

You can find my free-pieced bird tutorial here, on my Etsy page. Please note that my birds are free pieced, which means they are made without traditional patterns or templates and they are not paper pieced.

Saturday, October 22, 2016

Birds, Birds, Birds

I'll be teaching a Birds, Birds, Birds workshop today at the Squanacook Colonial Quilt Guild in Pepperell Mass. If you want to make birds, you can get the tutorial here, at my Etsy shop. It's a digital file, available for instant download.

After you buy it, you can print it out and have it bound at your local big box office supply store.

It's forty pages of everything you ever needed to know about making these beauties with plenty of how-to photos and examples of finished birds.

Please note that my birds are free pieced, which means they are made without traditional patterns or templates and they are not paper pieced.

Friday, October 21, 2016

Black & White

Last winter I made this Black and White Slashed Squares quilt. I'm just now getting around to make a backing for it. 

 A friend sent me a box filled with black and white fabrics, so after I cleaned the studio last night, I ironed all the fabrics and lined them up.

I don't know how I'll use these different fabrics yet, but I'm going to have a bit of fun.

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Got Dryer!

The dryer was delivered yesterday, and I put it right to work. It's amazing how quickly laundry piles up. The fabric for the backing and binding of my new Peppermint Candy quilt arrived, so that's getting washed too. Great timing.

While I waited for the delivery guys, I started cleaning the sewing studio. Since the sewing machine is still at the spa, there's no way I can get sidetracked! LOL.

I'm teaching how to make my free pieced birds this Saturday at the Squanacook Colonial Quilt Guild in Pepperell Mass, so I'm getting ready for that.

A reminder to everybody that my bird tutorial is for sale on my Etsy shop here. It's forty pages of absolutely everything you need to make your own unique free pieced birds. Everybody who takes one of my bird classes gets a copy of the bird tute.

Monday, October 17, 2016

A Little Hand Work

My sewing machine is in the shop for repairs and a tune up. I may have it back later this week.  In the meantime I've been sewing the AQS labels on the back of the Black & White Crayons...

and Too Much Chicken.

Of course Millie had to help.

This is my quilting buddy, Julie Post (who blogs as Joe Tulips, which is an anagram of her name), with Too Much Chicken when it was at the AQS show in Des Moines. Julie is an awesome quilter, and a fellow member of the SSOBB. Thanks for the photo, and the show pin, Julie!

Friday, October 14, 2016

Home Again & Some Leftovers

My quilt, Too Much Chicken, is back home from the AQS shows in Syracuse, Chattanooga (where it won an Honorable Mention), and Des Moines. I've got to enter in the AQS shows for 2017 and sew on the labels from the shows where it has been exhibited.

I'm expecting a couple more quilts from the long arm quilter (Chris) soon.

The pink baby quilt, I made for my granddaughter, Deco Rose,

and the colorful Slashed Squares quilt I made last January. I'll be finishing those up. I have to choose binding for each quilt, but I am not worried.

I've decided to add a bit of red all around the Peppermint Candy quilt as a narrow outer border. It will give me a bit of wiggle room when I have to trim it after it's been quilted.  Problem is, I didn't have enough of the reds, so when I ordered the backing...

... these ladies in red evening gowns... I ordered more of a few of the reds too. I'll figure out which one (or ones) to use when they arrive.

While I wait for all this wonderful stuff to get here, I really have to bring my sewing machine to the sewing machine "spa" for a bit of rejuvenation. The thread cutter needs adjusting and it probably could use a little fine tuning as well.

For the latest photo of my darling Little Miss, check out Millie's blog today.