Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Overwhelmed


OK,,,NOW I'm overwhelmed...I looked (BRIEFLY) for a picture of a hand sticking out of the bottom of a pile of fabrics or quilts, but no go. I figured I didn't need to be spinning my wheels looking for a picture for my blog when I have so much to do! So this is the picture you get! And YES, I feel turned around and directionless! I will get back on track and I'm taking pictures to show you when I get out from under this mountain. ...Oh and I think when I'm done, I will take my OWN picture of the avalanche of fabric for my next tsunami of projects!

Monday, April 21, 2008

a finish!

Here is a baby quilt I delivered today for my son's teacher and his wife. Their baby girl was born March 1st.




This is a planned bargello from Bonnie's Scrappy Bargello pattern. I have a patriotic one just waiting for border/backing/quilt machine!

close up of quilting. (sorry about the blurry-ness). I just did a loop-de-loop. I hope you can see the close up of the pastel batik. I bought this fabric as least 4 times. I think this is the last of it...dogGONE it!




typical of me..scrappy back. The solids were in the throw away pile at sewing class. I brought them home, washed them to take out the musty smell, and ironed them. They look so good with that batik! I hope they like it. My son's teacher is wonderful with him...he puts up with his very sarcastic wit! PRICELESS!

Friday, April 18, 2008

pillows in the works

Here is a bit of the process for those hand print pillows....Not the ONLY way! Just the way I do them....



First I layer the hand print with batting and back it with muslin.

I mark the valley on the top of the heart...just a small pencil mark.






The point of the heart..even with the valley above...



I try to make the top of the heart even...so I make two spots and make the valley spot in the middle..






Start stitching at the point in the valley, go forward a stitch or two...back track a stitch or two..and then head for the pencil marks. I only use the pencil marks as a guide. If I miss them, I keep on stitching!



Pivot at the bottom of the heart and clip
the starting threads in the valley.




I cannot DRAW a decent heart...but LOOK! I can stitch one! More pillow steps to come soon. I need to have these sashed and backed by next week....

Saturday, April 12, 2008

busy week!

Sorry about no post..My week FLEW by! Here in AZ the kids were taking yearly standardized tests. Terra Nova for the little ones and AIMS for the bigger ones. The parent group at school served fresh fruit plates each day for their nutrition breaks. On Friday, they got strawberries and cream...YUM! If I don't see fresh fruit for a week or so, I will be happy!

On Wednesday, I found myself in a 1st grade class. I have done this project before...its alot of work for me, but SO worth it for the kids! They LOVE it!

Fabric hand prints on muslin...one...
two!




Hanging up to dry....can you tell what it is?

Hurry those feet to the sink and WASH THOSE HANDS! I would not be popular if fabric paint came home on clothes!



Here is the finished product! I have alot of work to do! I sandwich batting and another layer of muslin...and quilt around the heart. Then sashing..and backing. The kids help stuff and I stitch them closed. They decorated bags while they were waiting for their turn to paint. I had two GREAT helpers. I showed them once and they just took off! All I had to do was help wash hands and tie/untie aprons. We did 25 kids in less than one hour! The prints were left to dry over night and I picked them up on Thursday. I will work on them this week and hope to take them to stuff the week after.





Here is the book that inspired the ideas. It made me run around looking for little hands to print! lolol









I was cleaning out the front seat of my van (kiddo moved up from the backseat this week...BIG Move as I had always made him sit in the back!)and I found this reciept. LOOK what was at the bottom! I"M NOT THAT OLD! and I DON"T LOOK THAT OLD! HARUMPH! Kiddo thought it was HILARIOUS. I didn't crack a smile...I guess I'm glad to save the money...:::grumble:::::

Sunday, April 06, 2008

Binding my way Lesson 2

Here is the rest of the binding tutorial. I HAVE tried sewing all of the binding by machine. I didn't NOT like the result. Could be I just needed practice...also could be I didn't want to! I enjoy the hand stitching...its just about the only hand stitching I do...




Turn the binding to the back and pin. I usually use my small applique pins. I rarely get my thread caught in them. I pin about 10 or so and move them as I pass them by or when I rethread my needle.



I like to use a straw needle. I think this is a 9. It is a long skinny needle. Pretty small eye, but I wear glasses and have little problem threading it. I use thread to match the binding. (in this case the binding matches the border! I used the rest of the thread in the last bobbin from machine quilting
Bring your needle up from behind the binding. You will go back down right next to it...

traveling thru the quilt to the next stitch... where you come out and nip a bit of the binding...
leaving just a small stitch. If I use a finer thread, sometimes it just disappears. Silk thread is lovely!
When you come to a corner...try it both ways. fold it out, leaving the 45 degree angle.


Fold up the other side.


now try it folding the side first.
Now fold in the bottom. It always amazes me that one side ALWAYS folds in perfectly and lies flatter. If you are showing your quilt? Be sure to stitch down the miters on both sides. Judges DO look! On the only quilt I put in a show, I was in a hurry to get to the drop off place. I had sewn all the miters on one side..but only ONE miter on the other. I got a comment saying "miter corners sewn down" GEE I bit THAT bullet didn't I????



Tomorrow I will show you pictures of this quilt. Can you see where I had to pull out some quilting stitches? Batik leaves a hole until its washed. I guess this one is destined for the washing machine before it gets delivered! Sweet dreams....

Saturday, April 05, 2008

Binding my way

I'm no expert..but awhile back there were a few binding tutorials. After binding a few times in class, I started doing mine this way. I assume that you sew your strips together on the diagonal..so if you don't, and want to see how to do that, let me know. I will be glad to show that as well.




I start with a 2 inch strip. Most patterns tell you to cut them 2 1/4". If that is your preference : go for it! I like the look of a smaller binding..and it works for ME. (you need to find what works for YOU) I only use bias if I have curved edges anywhere on the quilt. I use bias so seldom, I have to go back to a book for instructions when I do! Iron it in half, widthwise, wrong sides together. Leaving about 10 inches free, sew along one edge until you get a couple of inches from the corner.





Put a pin 1/4 inch from the bottom edge.

Sew down JUST to this pin...back stitch just a couple of stitches and then remove from under the presser foot.
Fold the binding back 45 degrees. See how it slants JUST to the point of the corner?

Now fold it back on itself, leaving that 45 degree angle fold in place. Turn the quilt and sew your quarter inch starting at the corner. Continue around the quilt, mitering at each corner as you go. Stop sewing about 10-15 inches from where you started.


Unfold your starting strip. This one is cut on the diagonal because I join mine that way. I find that the bias seam is less bulky. Personal preference.



Unfold the ending strip. Lay a bias edge on TOP. This can be the starting end OR the ending end. You are just looking for a fairly accurate diagonal.






Trace the diagonal line with a fine pencil. Now add 3/8 inch to that line. (the pointer is showing the 2nd line) You will be adding on the side CLOSEST to the strip you are adding to. What you are doing is giving yourself a seam allowance. I know , I know! You are used to 1/4" for each side. I have found that if I give myself a full 1/2 inch, I have too much. Something about that bias seam stretching. So I tried just a bit less at 3/8" Now I don't get a small pucker when I sew this seam down. Try it once and see what you think...

Now cut on that line...CLOSEST to the strip you want to sew it to. (ask me how I know! I hope you don''t do what I did...I had to keep adding on! NOOOO!)


this is the only tricky part. You need to sew these two ends together. It is kind of a tight connection. I usually have to scrunch the quilt itself up just a bit to be able to sew this. Be patient with yourself! If you take just a bit of time to be comfortable, it will be worth it! I usually use about 3 pins: tight space/bias seam...
Now all you have to do is finger press that seam to one side or the other and complete the 1/4 inch seam! Pat yourself on the back! Tomorrow I will show you how I sew the back (if you are looking for a totally machine application : STOP right there! I do the back of my binding by hand. I will show you how I do the miters on the back...see you tomorrow!

Thursday, April 03, 2008

Mystery SOLVED

I won't keep you in suspense ANY longer! I actually have 2 solved mysteries! Remember the QOV mystery I was working on? Over the weekend, I finished putting the blocks together. Here is the top:

Any suggestions on a border? It is a sticking point! I have more of the blue. The reds were scrappy anyway. What do you think of a stripped red inner/blue outer/pieced block corner? Maybe just a solid border? Not sure if just a blue border would do it for me. Could be workable with a red binding. It needs non fussy and I need EASY!






And here is the box mystery solved! I found a used HQ16. It is a sit down version..so no wheels and no handles. The wheels I don't need. Julie at ToBeQuilting said I could use my B-line carriage. I DO need handles tho. I have 2 offers of used handles, but need today to call my machine repair guy. Hoping he can steer me to figure out if they are comptible with this machine. If I'm gonna plunk down more $ I need to know if they will play nice!

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

I'm back!

Thought you were lucky and I was gone for good didn'tcha!!?? Well I WOULD have said 'April Fools" but that was yesterday and this is today! I had nothing to blog..and now I have TOO MUCH!

We tried to get out standby to Washington DC on Friday...um...can you say "GOOD FRIDAY"? As in the 1st day of Spring break for us....almost the end of spring training for the Valley? Lets just leave you with this memorable mental picture : arrival at airport 4:20 AM, brief rest at home for a couple hours ...return to the airport at around 2pm, final trip home at 5. Recuperate at home (because the flights are FULL all weekend) Here are our pictures from a BRIEF trip to Tucson by car! LOLOL

A trip to Tucson Electric Park to see one of the last Spring Training game before the season..

Spring training is a great time to see your favorite players up close...and get a glimpse of some of the youngsters you may see during the season. I would love to see EVERY game, but they won't televise them..and they didn't ask me...TYPICAL!

Here are a few pictures from the area where we spent the night. It is just west of the freeway in Tucson (which had EIGHT exits closed...and you had to drive literally past the city to get off...my poor dh's patience was frayed MIGHTILY!) The views were lovely tho!

some pretty vistas on the trip over the hill toward The Sonora Desert Museum and Old Tucson




The pictures really don't do this area justice. The air was cool and still..the flowers were blooming..it was lovely! More on the Desert Museum tomorrow...

OH! And a sneak peak of my new surprise!