Sunday, December 31, 2017

Declaring War on the Scrap Bucket!

That's it!  I've had it!  I am going to get to the bottom of my scrap bins, once and for all!

To start, I selected my 2 1/2" scrap bin:

I've made several quilts out of this bin already, and it's still as full as ever.  HOW DOES THAT HAPPEN???

Yesterday I grabbed a rotary cutter (or two) and cut:

 and cut:

until I couldn't cut anymore.

I have several projects in mind to use up these fabrics and I won't stop until I see the bottom of that bucket!


What are your favorite patterns that use 2 1/2" strips?  I might run out of ideas before I run out of scraps.  Who am I kidding?  I'll DEFINITELY run out of ideas before I run out of scraps!

Friday, December 29, 2017

Taking up a New Hobby

I've decided quilting doesn't take up enough of my time so I need a new hobby.  I've decided to take up sculpting.  My first piece is titled "Houseguests with Stomach Virus"

If you need me today, I'll be bleaching everything I own.

At least I'll have a sparkling clean house for the New Year?

Thursday, December 28, 2017

From the "Way-Back Machine"

I found an embroidery project in my sewing room that is likely close to 20 years old. 

My hands have been giving me grief for the better part of a year and I haven't done any hand sewing at all.  I miss it!  I decided to see if my hands could manage an embroidery needle.  They can!

My eyes, however, are a different story.  I was in my 30s when I put this project away.  Even with my failing eyesight, I can still easily see 50 from where I'm sitting.  I hope eventually to figure out where to hold this hoop so that I can see to stitch this!

If I do find that embroidery is the handwork for me, I won't need to buy any projects.  I probably have 10 entire quilt kits waiting for me in my sewing room.  Apparently I had big embroidery plans 20 years ago!

Tuesday, December 26, 2017

Post-Christmas Greetings!

If you are like me and didn't get Christmas cards sent out in time, use this tutorial to make Season's Greetings! postcards.

This was a scrap-buster!  I dug into my bin and pulled out a bunch of neutral crumbs:

Using Victoria Findlay Wolfe's technique from 15 Minutes of Play, I pieced them together into a 5"x6" rectangle:

I grabbed some Steam a Seam 2 and traced a dime to make eyes:

I sketched a triangle for a nose:

I positioned them to make a face as I desired:

 I pulled a long string of scrap fabric from the bin and trimmed it into 3/4" x 6", 3/4" x 2 1/2", and 3/4" x 3" strips.  Without any fusible, I arranged these strips onto the background to make a scarf:

I brought the snowman to my machine and prepared to stitch the features down.  I'm too lazy to change thread for the different fabric colors so I grabbed a spool of 100 weight InvisiFil:

This thread is really thin and this gray is a neutral color so it will blend with the black eyes and orange nose as well as the blue scarf.  I set my machine to a small stitch length and stitched a straight stitch less than 1/8" inside of each piece:

I didn't stitch down the scarf ends so they would flap around and add dimension to the card:

I layered white fabric, interfacing, and the postcard together:

I trimmed the card to 4 1/4" x 5 1/2" using my Postcard Trimming Tool:

My postcard is ready to place in a cellophane envelope and wish a friend or family member a Happy New Year!

I wonder -- should I confess that this is a belated Christmas card?  Or should I simply wish a Happy New Year?

I also wonder -- am I the only one who didn't get all of her cards out before Christmas?

Sunday, December 24, 2017

In the (St.) Nick of Time

I started making a Christmas present less than 24 hours before it was to be gifted.  And I finished it!

Isn't Heidi Boyd's Forest Frolic fabric just adorable?  It matches the baby's quilt and will make the parents very happy.  Momma is partial to bunnies and Poppa is partial to birds.  This line has both which is why the parents requested it for their wee one's quilt!

The pattern is Bopple Ball and it was a well-designed pattern.  They thought of everything to make it as easy as possible.  Notice I said "as possible" and not simply "easy."

The problem for me was stuffing those little grabby-thingies.  My hands don't work for normal tasks, and this wasn't a normal task.

Shoving the stuffing inside of those tiny tubes made my hands go numb.  That Purple Thang saved my life!  Even so, I could only stuff one or two at a time and had to resort to sessions baby-proofing my house as recovery time!

If the amount of fun the adults had playing with this ball last night is any indication of how much the baby will love playing with it tonight, this Grandma done good!

Saturday, December 23, 2017

The Next-to-Last Minute

Given that in our house we celebrate Christmas on Christmas Eve, starting a gift at 2pm on December 23 is pretty last-minute.

These fabrics are leftover from a special boy's quilt.

The pattern is Bopple Ball and I'll report back how long it took to make!

Friday, December 22, 2017

Cutie Madness: WINNER

To say it was a close race is an understatement.  Twelve short hours before voting closed, the vote was TIED.  I never saw that one coming.

After twelve agonizing hours, I was able to look at the votes and Jack's Star was the winner.  Not by a landslide, but by a small margin.

Thursday, December 21, 2017

Sneak Peek

I can't show you what I'm working on YET, but I can show you what I'm doing with my leftovers:

Aren't they pretty leftovers?

Of course I'm making postcards with them:

'Tis the season for Thank You notes, so I'll likely be sending some of these on their way soon.

These leftovers gave me the chance to use one of my favorite colors of FabuLux thread -- Mellow Yellows:

I promise to tell the rest of the story as soon as possible!

Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Cutie Quilt: Irresistible

This Irresistible Cute Quilt is on the way to its forever home:

 I washed it so it would have that crinkled look.  The bride's mother and I decided on a neutral throw-sized quilt so that it could be used in many places in the bride's home for years to come.

This one was fun to quilt.  I used my walking foot on my home machine and quilted chevrons:

FabuLux Giggle was the perfect thread for this quilt!

I have fallen in love with walking-foot quilting.  Have you tried it?  Would you like to see more?  Let me know in the comments.

Tuesday, December 19, 2017

Fa La La Postcard Tutorial

You asked for it, you got it!  I showed a postcard-in-progress last week and asked if I should scrap it or keep going.  The overwhelming response was "keep going... and WRITE A TUTORIAL!" so here it is!

Who doesn't love tangled Christmas lights?  OK, skip that question and simply join in the fun of making this postcard.

5"x6" piece of white fabric for front of postcard
5"x6" piece of white fabric for back of postcard
5"x6" piece of Peltex
FabuLux Olive Trees thread
1/4" x 1/4" pieces of bright fabric fused to Steam a Seam 2

Carefully fuse the 1/4" fabric pieces:

To the front of the postcard:

Make a light crease where you want to write "fa la la la" and layer with stabilizer:

Using the open-toe free-motion quilting foot, begin stitching "fa la la la" on the crease:

Now comes the fun part -- SCRIBBLE!

Loop your lines being sure to stitch through each piece of fabric at least once.  Layer with Peltex and backing fabric:

Fuse layers together and trim using the Postcard Trimming Tool (or trim to 4 1/4" x 5 1/2")

Satin stitch over the edge of the postcard.

Write your holiday greetings on the back of the card, pop in a cellophane envelope, address, and mail!

I have more Christmas cards in my head, but I'm not sure how many more I'll get to make before this Christmas.

Stay tuned...

Monday, December 18, 2017

Bonnie Hunter Mystery -- On Ringo Lake Part 4

On Friday, Bonnie Hunter posted the fourth clue in her On Ringo Lake mystery quilt.

Today is check-in day, and I haven't sewn a single unit for part 4.  Here's the progress, such as it is:

I am half-way through part 3.  If you want to see folks who have more done than I, click HERE.

Sunday, December 17, 2017

The End

Yesterday I taught a fun home machine quilting class at the Quilt Basket in Pawling NY.  We learned how to make chevrons using a walking foot

Triple chevrons, anyone?

One of my students took this photo while I was teaching this, my last class of 2017:

I took this "after" photo, because I collapsed on the sofa after class:

2017 has been a busy year.  My next class will be on January 6, 2018 (so weird writing that!) at the Quilt Basket in Pawling NY.  We will learn all about batting and basting.

Saturday, December 16, 2017

Home Machine Quilting

I'm on my way to the Quilt Basket in Pawling, NY to teach Home Machine Quilting.

Today we are using the walking foot to stitch chevrons on my Irresistible Cutie Quilt using my Giggle FabuLux thread:

Here's a triple chevron using my Hush FabuLux thread:

This quilt isn't finished yet.  I was working on her last night:

when I noticed that there was a cough*pleat*cough on the back of the quilt at one edge of the quilt.  I put it there on purpose, just so I could show my students how to take it out and fix it.  There's nothing I won't do for my students.  Oh how I sacrifice for them.

Many thanks to my husband for packing my quilts, my beloved HQ Stitch710 (Hedwig!), and all of my other supplies into the car for me.  I'm nursing a terrible, horrible, no-good, very bad knee and there was a flight of stairs between this pile of quilting loveliness and my car last night:

I hope your day is as full of quilting fun and quilting friends as mine is!

Friday, December 15, 2017

A Happy Story

I am working (very slowly) on clearing out my sewing space.  I've given away lots of fabric and have been re-homing some of my sewing machines.

I've already found new homes for my:
Yesterday, I re-homed my beloved Janome 6600.*

She and I had many, Many, MANY happy years together.  I thought I would never part with her, but then Handi Quilter brought out home sewing machines and I fell over-the-moon in love with them and happy sewing with them.  Their names are Hedwig, Errol, and Pigwidgeon, but I digress.  Even though I no longer used my Janome 6600, I wanted her to go to a good home.

She found one and will be loved and well used.  I'm happy.  The new owner is happy.  And I'm certain my Janome 6600 is happy.

The end.
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