Wednesday, March 30, 2011

She loved it

I got the wall hanging to my Mother early. She really loved it. She said it was so Springy. Today I took her to get her drivers license renewed. Well she passed and is good to go for two more years. Tomorrow my Sister is coming. First since she lost her husband in November. There wasn't a service so we didn't go up and the weather turned bad about the time we thought about going. She lives in Oshkosh, WI. We live about 4 hours away in Illinois. She was to come today, but my niece, her daughter had to have surgery on a rush basis today. She is doing fine and I am sure she is home now. Never rains but it pours at my house. Pulled out another UFO and work on it when I sit to pull in threads and check for any mistakes. Hope to have it done next week. Been a three year quilt. I loose interest to quick. It will be one more big thing out of the sewing room and on a bed. Cleaning and changing sheets so busy off to the laundry room now. Chris

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Another one Done and ready to be wrapped

This is washed and ready to be wrapped. This is for my Mom's 83rd birthday. She has her Birthday on April 1st. So I am done ahead of schedule. She is having several in to play games so I will give it to her ahead of time. I used 80% cotton and 20% poly batt in it. I had to wash out the markings so it got wrinkled and puckery in the wash. The markings washed out with a regular amount of soap and cold water.

I think she will like it. She does machine work and not hand work anymore.
This is the center I placed on the top. I needed something to draw it all together. They are squares of the fabrics in the flowers and some of the border and the piping I used on the borders.
I will take pictures of it hanging when I take it into her. Chris

Three of the Four quilted

Been pressing on with this task. The quilting is going ok. Been interrupted several times and also so upsetting news happened and I had to work my way through it while I was stitching. The news wasn't anything horrible, but it will reflect in the future of a loved one. I quilted even around the outline stitched stems. I wanted it to look like it was accented. I have one more of the four to quilt around and then I can concentrate on the borders. I have run the ideas around in my head as to how much I want to quilt them. The print of the fabric is playing a role in the over all look and I don't want to over due the quilting to detract from the effect.

I have tried all kinds of markers. Even used one I thought was wash out and after marking and entire quilt found out it was disappearing. I have since used successfully the washable markers made by a major company. I am not an agent for them, but they do work quite well for what I do. My choice for the width of the quilting grid is off. I should have made it smaller, but I will live with the choice as I have so much of it done. Another lesson learned. Study it farther and for longer and you maybe will be pleased. I have had to much going on in a short time and it is playing out in my decisions. Funny how your everyday life gets in the way of being creative. Well anyway in my case. This was a by the seat of your pants project. Wasn't sure what it would turn out like. I had no plan when I started other than I liked the flowers and the simplicity of the stems and leaves. Off to get more done. Bye, Chris

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Here is how I did it

The curvy borders look hard but not to bad to do. They have a bias piping on the raw edge on the surface of the appliqued pieces.
Here is the detail on the corner when it is finally sewn down. I did this by hand to get the shape to lay flat. This is the seam on the back so you can see I trimmed the excess off the back of the overlap from the edge on the front. this way less bulk to quilt through.

Here is what I did for my shape. I cut a piece of freezer paper and folded it in half. then I laid it on the fold of the fabric and cut my shape out to be the border.

I then cut bias strips about 1 inch wide and used postage twine as the rope in the inside of the sewn bias strips.

As you can see I leave some of the twine showing so I know the twine is out to the edge of the pipping.

Here it is all sewn and ready to stitch on the curved edge.

As you can see the curved edge looks like it is ruffling some but because it is bias it will conform to the curved edge.

Now that it is sewn on it is laying on the front side of the border we need to get it folded to the back.

Clip the raw edge almost to the sewn edge of the piping. This gives it the ease to be pressed to the back to lay flat.

Ready to be pressed I lay it flat on the ironing board which looks like it needs replacing. Can you see I use it alot. LOL

Fold under the seamed pieces and press the rolled piping to the top of the border.

See how nice it lays after you press the clipped bias edge to the back of the border. Now you have a nice edge to sew onto the appliques pieces. This can be done on pillowcases or apron hems so many applications.

Here is the final look. Yes all of it needs a good press, but I do that upside down on a towel and spritz the piece to be pressed. Don't lay the iron on the quilt top but hold over it to prevent creases that never seem to come out.

The borders make the look more feminine I think. I plan on a center medallion of some kind and then onto quilting. April 1st is coming fast. Any questions feel free to email me. Chris

Sunday, March 20, 2011

All are stitched on to borders

I got all the hand stitching done on each block. Seamed the four blocks together and then the borders are the key in this one I think. I had hubby bring in the postage twine and I made bias piping. I sewed it to the curved border I cut out. I took a folded piece of freezer paper and cut a curvy border for the outside edges. I stitched the piping to the curved edge and trimmed and clipped so it would lay flat. I plan on stitching it down by hand on all four edges. I will miter the corners.
I have had this border fabric for a long time and not known what to use it for. It is a small pink print with yellow and blue and green little flowers in the print. I think the borders will pull this all together. more later. Chris

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Working on this UFO

Finally got all the applique pieces made and stitching them down today. I burned my hand on the iron. It was on for about three hours. You know it still hurts. Here are two more to be stitched. The pinning is done and the lines drawn for the embroidery.
There are four of them all together. I plan on a wall hanging for my Mother for her 83rd birthday which is April 1st. Maybe by tomorrow I can get the sashing and borders on the pieces and then start the quilting.

She has a small entry way and the wall as you walk in the door has a curtain rod hung up so she displays different wall hangings on it different times of the year. I have made her a couple and she likes something new to look at from time to time. She doesn't applique. She pieces all her quilts. At her age her hands don't work well. She did a lot of needlepoint for years. I have a door open and an old movie on and stitching away. Chris

Thursday, March 17, 2011

It is Done

Done and delivered. My neighbor was really pleased with it too. She is hard to get gifts for. Her Mother called me from Madison, Wisconsin and ordered it after a phone conversation with her daughter.
She had me make on for her Mother last year and in the conversation she said she wished she had one. So the next day the phone call came and it was in the works.
It was a surprise for and Easter gift. So it got delivered a little while ago. She was going to get on the phone right away with her Mother.
The interior has a pocket in It so it can hold a cellphone or a checkbook. She was so excited she didn't know quite what to say. I like surprising people who appreciate a gift that is homemade. Now I have a Birthday gift to get made before April 1st. Chris

Monday, March 14, 2011

I guess I don't know what 1/4 inch seam allowance is??

I am finding out a lot about myself while doing these blocks. I first of all found out I need to slow down. Remember the saying the Hurrier I go the behinder I get. Well that is me. I didn't realize that I didn't handle my stitching right. As you can see I have to lines of stitching. Well I start out the seam right then I let it slip to less than 1/4 of an inch. I started as a garment sewer and not a quilter. I have sewn for almost 50 years. But I do not watch what I am doing. In making these 1/4 Log Cabin blocks I am finding out how careless I am.

AS you can see the starting and ending line of the stitching are different. Hence the extra line of stitching to make the seam right. As you know if it isn't square when you get to the end you have whonky Log Cabin blocks. Which is ok if that is what you intent.
I want these square. I blamed it on using a different ruler to cut the strips, but it is me. Maybe I need to drink less coffee. LOL Chris

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Don't you just hate it when this happens

I really hate this part of sewing. You are moving along and the best efforts are made to sew straight seams and press correctly then this happens. I had to rip out three seams and now I have to resew all the seams and hope nothing is stretched or that the seams will be straight again.
I have a test block made and I just thought I was moving along a lightening speed. HA??? The third strip got put on the wrong side of the two center squares. Well it didn't match up right and I didn't notice it until after it was stitched and pressed.
These two squares are ready to be squared up to sew together for another block, but now I have to go back and restitch the block I made the mistake in. I had to stop and add some more strips to my tub for variety. I think that will happen through out this project. Seems like a lot is cut, but to get the scrappy look you need tons of variety. So today between cooking and cleaning some I will get another pile of scraps and this time I am separating the lights and darks as I cut them. Before I threw everything in the same tub.
I woke up really early with the time change. I have been up since 5am, but that was 4am on the old time. Yippeee all my auto time change clocks changed on their own. I hate resetting clocks when the electricity goes off in a storm. Back to fix my repairs. Chris

Saturday, March 12, 2011

1/4 Log Cabin Blocks

Here are scraps I have been cutting. This is the 1 1/2inch tub. I have three different sizes and this is the size I started to use first. I will have to cut many more to vary, but this is a start. Here is the block I am making. It is 4 1/4 Log Cabins sewn together. Each 1/4 block is 4 1/2 inches raw. It will be a stash buster in the end, but I think attractive.
Thought about making it for Grandson, but I think it is a lot of work for a quilt for a 4 year old.
This one will be in the works for quite awhile. I plan on having these blocks to work on in between things. I thought I had the right sides to stitch to and had to do some ripping. So I have one completed so I can use for a visual. I will go through a lot of strips this way. I have many stacks of a little of this and a lot of that. I plan on constructing the purse today. I need to get it done and in the mail.
Off to get breakfast and get sewing. Chris

Friday, March 11, 2011

It is a Finish Now

I did it. I couldn't stand listening to all the destruction going on in Japan and the TV is on in my house. Not to my liking, but my husband like TV. I decided I would get lost in the sewing room with this UFO and make it a finished top.
This picture is a different setting on the camera and the colors are better. I had to move furniture to get it spread out to take a almost full picture.
I learned several things doing this quilt. Machine applique is an art and not sure if I have tackled it yet. The quarter inch seam is difficult also with HST that are cut wrong. The quilt came as a kit and the bias was on the wrong side. Really surprised at that. Also some of the instructions were wrong. Had to work through that also. Not sure I would buy a kit ever now if it is precut as this was. It said on the packages it was for an intermediate skill level. ???? Now I have to get a backing and batting. Another UFO that is farther along but not finished completely. Chris

Thursday, March 10, 2011

This is looking like a Quilt

Major stitching has been done. Borders are assembled and rows stitched together. Pressing is going to take about an hour to get everything ready to sew into a Quilt. This Sampler is beginning to become something that looks like a quilt. Here is the parts I have assembled. It is a lot more stitching to get all the rows and borders ready for the finished quilt. I have stitched pressed and more pressing. It is a bold look for me. As I said it was a purchase my Cousin made and she didn't make it. She sent them to my Mother last year and Mom gave me this one because more of the colors I use.
I did find an error in the instructions. The size of the applique piece was not printed correctly and that threw me off for a bit. Then I measure the pre cut border pieces and found out I had to trim to make it fit. So the old saying about Reading the instructions when all else fails isn't always right. Read them but use your head to think it out too. More pictures will follow as I get this done in the next couple days. I have to help my husband paint some birdhouses today. Chris

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Got a Surprise

My husband asked to see the thread holder I had and I showed it to him. I have complained how it would tip over all the time.
He went to the garage and came in a few minutes later and this is what he had for me.
This shows the older one and how it was light weight and it really would tip over and then the tension would be off if I was doing machine quilting. Never know what he will come up with next. Chris

Monday, March 7, 2011

Been busy

Every time he isn't sure about what to do with the latest birdhouse I get beeped on the intercom system on our phone. so I put on a coat and shoes and go out to the garage. Then on the way back in I am trying to carry in an armful of firewood for the fireplace. We are trying to burn it all up before summer and the bugs are around. He doesn't have any design patterns for these. He sits and tries to figure everything out then goes back and changes things and then doesn't like it.
He never likes the finished product. He always says I made mistakes. Hey when I quilt I learn something new each time I make a different quilt.

He then paints and stains. Yesterday his Parkinson's Disease must have been pretty good because he painted all the brown trim on the birdhouse. May take him all day to do it, but it gives him a purpose. There is so little he can do anymore he gets frustrated. He loves to do finish carpentry, but the time element and the disease make it hard.

See even the back has detail in the trim and the different center section. It isn't all flat. This is a four apartment apartment house. He is going to ask about $200 for this one. I think it took 4 days to complete. The top dwelling has a clean out tray that can dump into the bottom and the bottom comes off to clean the whole house out. But we have birds that stay year round in our house so some haven't been cleaned since they were put up. He is running out of wood so maybe in the next few days we can find some more. Chris

Sunday, March 6, 2011

The Medallion is done but the pressing

Here is the medallion. It needs pressing and I am putting that on hold until I get some more housecleaning done
This is the first I have done the machine stitching with the blind hem for the applique. I guess it went ok. I am a hand appliquer and I am not sure the look is ok yet. Will have to grow on me. This is the center of a quilt that will get a lot of use so I decided I would try the technique on this one. It was a kit that was given to me so I thought why not. I did make the applique pieces using the freezer paper method and also the starch and iron method both. I wanted the seam allowance so I would get a better wear for the quilt.

Wanda, From Exuberant Color suggested thin thread. I used 50wt. but maybe should have used 60wt. embroidery thread. Well I started with the 50wt. and finished with it.
Live and learn.

My steadiness with the machine and guiding it has a lot to be desired. I need to practice more on that. But as my Grandmother use to say "Never be seen on a galloping Horse." From a distance you can't tell it is done by machine. First try not to bad. But practice, practice, practice ! Chris

Tried Somthing

I know I said I tried something. I tried machine applique with the blind hem stitch because I don't have the blanket stitch on this machine. But I did turn the seam allowance under to make the pieces more like hand applique.
I tried stitching as close to the edge of the applique shape and only biting the very edge. It is ok, but I still like the hand look better. I just don't have all the time I would like to get everything done I would like to do.

I think with practice I could perfect it more. I was advised to use thin thread and maybe the one I chose wasn't as thin as I would like in the future. I used a 50wt. and maybe a 60wt embroidery thread would be better. I will have to look for that the next time I get to the fabric shops. This is stem work on a center medallion for the Sampler UFO.

I still have centers to press and then stitch down and the center to this quilt is done. Maybe in a couple days I will have another top all complete. Weather is cold this morning, but suppose to get to 40*F today. Maybe the walk will be a better off in the sunlight today. Chris