Thursday, February 15, 2018

EPP one handed

I figured out how to EPP one handed, by bracing my stitching against my thumb, and using a clover clip to grip the fabrics. I cannot grip yet with my left hand, but this is working for now.    Been working on my EQ8 as well, there are quite a few changes to the updated version, and that probably not new, but I did not know about them before.

Saturday, February 10, 2018

No sewing for 6 weeks

Its a sad day....I fell and broke my wrist Thursday.  An ambulance ride to the ER and the  orthopedic doctor yesterday and now I am scheduled for surgery on Monday.  I could show you some gruesome pictures of my break before temp cast was put on, and the xrays of the broken bones - yes more than one - but I don't think anyone wants to see that, including me.  Doc said I will be in a cast with pins sticking out of my hand and arm for at least 6 weeks.  First there were tears, then acceptance and then thankfulness for a doctor that I have confidence in to  fix this; for pain medication; a caring husband, family and friends AND most of all, that my sweet 2 year old grandson was not hurt when I tripped over him. And thank you God for these blessings and for His comfort to get through this trial.

 I have always heard be careful what you wish for.  Of course I didn't wish for a broken wrist, but I did say I wished I had three or four weeks to work thru my EQ8 lesson book that arrived on Wednesday.  I can't sew one handed, but I can operate my mouse and type with one hand :)


Monday, February 5, 2018

Pemberley Quilt

I wonder if others get as excited with the start of a new project as I do.  I have been planning this start for a several months now...selecting fabrics and organizing my project notebook.  The object was to start the project in January, and I missed it by a month, but finally the project is underway.  A good friend, Brenda, is also making a Perberley quilt and we plan to keep each other on track throughout this year.    The plan....finish the top this year. 

The fabrics I have selected are primarily from a Sarah Morgan line under Washington Street Studio, a division of P&B Textiles.  Its called Southern Vintage.  I just love the sound of that .  Other fabrics I am using are Moda and a couple of other lines by P & B textiles.  And then there are the random fabrics I pulled from my stash.

I got my sewing basket put together with the applique threads and miscellaneous supplies.

The basket is one we gave out at retreat as our "goody bags."  Two friends, Darlene and Brenda, and I lined the baskets and my husband was drilled the holes in the handles and cut the dowel rods.  The baskets were filled with hand made goodies made by members of my club and a few other little surprises.

 I am using Wonderfil Invasil thread, I believe 80 wt. for the applique.  This is new for me, as I usually just use Coats and Clark 50wt all purpose thread.  I know - not normally an appliquer choice, but it works for me and I like that it does not break easily. 

I did start the applique, just to see how the thread would work, and so far so good.

And so the Pemberley journey begins......


Thursday, January 25, 2018

January Finishes and Retreat

I love January, as that is the  month my quilt club, Stitchin Friends, goes on retreat to a local church sponsored camp site near my house.  Its only about 20 minutes away, so if I, or any of the other ladies, forget something, its easy enough to run home and get it - or better yet, have someone bring it to us.  This year there was 12 of us, and we had so much fun as well as accomplished a lot.

At retreat, I did a demo on Quilt As You Go, and used my 2016 Aurifil BOM blocks in teaching this process.  I quilted each block with a different design using the auto feed (built in walking foot) on my Janome 6600 machine.  This was so much fun and a process I plan to use on many quilts to come

Linda, a dear friend who came to retreat without a project to work on and who I put to work right away, hemmed the quilt as well as doing some of the hand stitching on the back of the quilt.  So nice to have an "assistant" at retreat!

I have a close up of each block at the end of this post, along with the quilting pattern used on the block. 

 Also at retreat, Linda and Donna worked on hemming my Galaxy Star quilt which will be a gift to my grandson Toby in February.  Its his big boy quilt from moving from a crib to a bed, which he did about 4 years ago!

I quilted it on my Janome 6600, doing a cross hatch stitch on the stars and a free motion meandering between the stars. 

I was concerned that it might be too dark a quilt for little boy, but his mom said he is into Star Wars these days, and this would be a perfect quilt for him.  Now to get the label made
Also at retreat, my dear friend Linda hemmed a baby quilt for me that I finished just before retreat.  Its a Schnibbles pattern.  The parents are not finding out the gender until after the baby is born, so I just used a primary color palette and hopefully this will work out ok.

Guess I really got worn out with all the fun at retreat cause I made a whopper of a booboo on my Jack's Chain yesterday morning.  I got up early and did a little hand stitching while enjoying my  morning coffee. Shortly afterwards,  Linda, who was spending a few days after retreat with me, joined me and we enjoyed chatting and talking about the retreat.  Eventually my husband joined us as well.  So when I laid the quilt out to "admire" my progress was I in for a surprise.

That block you see standing up is not being pushed up by anything - that is actually how I had sewn it in.  I have no idea how in the world I did that, but there it was, standing nice and proud.  Needless to say, that morning's work was ripped out.

Yesterday I started on the Pemberley quilt, but more on that later.  Its just what I needed...another new project.

As promised here are some closeups of the 2016 Aurifil Blocks, which I am calling the quilt the Machine Quilting Sampler.



Cross Hatch


Expanded ZigZag



Point to Point

Point to Point

Point to Point
Orange Peel


Monday, January 1, 2018

What I did on New Year's Day

I have always heard that what you do on the first day of a new year, you will do all year long.  So here is what I did today, and can only hope and pray the good times continue throughout the year.  I hope all of your New Year's Days were filled with family and friends.

My day started early around 5:00 and with machine quilting on  Toby's birthday quilt for February.  This is a Galaxy Star quilt and will be partly machine quilted with my auto feed foot, and partly with free motion quilting.  This is going to take me awhile to complete, but is still so much faster than hand quilting.

My whole family gathered at my house today for our traditional family dinner of pork roast, sauerkraut, lima beans, black-eyed peas, mashed potatoes and various desserts.  So today I cooked for my family.  I just had to make the port roasts and get the sauerkraut - everybody brought the remainder of the food items.  It was such a fun day, and my heart was full as was my house too.  There was a total of 23 of us and I had table set up on the living room, kitchen and dining room. 

But before they arrived and while the pork roasts cooked, I got a little English Paper Piecing in on my Jack's Chain quilt.

It is soooooooo cold today, I had the gas logs going in the living room and so enjoy stitching and watching the fire.

The remainder of the pictures are family groupings. 

Saturday, December 30, 2017

Board Basting a Quilt

I have tried many methods for basting a large quilt sandwich, but I believe this is my favorite.  I followed the tutorial "The RST Guide to Board Basting."  I did do a couple of things differently, but for the most part, followed the instructions.

I purchased my supplies, which are minimal, from Lowes.  I purchased two "marker" boards to protect my table top.  They are slick and easy to pin on.  Its kind of like the boards they used to make peg boards, but without any holes.  These were also finished so I think you could use dry erase marker on.  I needed two to get the width of my table - I think they are 3 x 4.  The boards for wrapping are PVC boards and are used in vinyl house covering.  They have a nice finish that tape will stick to.

This is where I was "wrapping" the boards.  I actually taped by fabric to the board before I began wrapping them just to make sure I had the fabric straight and it would not slip.  In the demo, the quilter simply folded the fabric around the board and then started wrapping. But she was doing a small quilt and I was concerned that my larger one would slip - so I taped it to the board.

I was very careful to keep it straight, but even so, the backing got a little off center creating a pleat on the back.  I guess its a learning process, and I did get the pleat out.  I have to wonder if I had stretched the fabric a little when pressing or if maybe it was a little off bias from ripping instead of cutting.
 In the tutorial, she recommended starching the backing 2 or 3 times, before wrapping - I only did it once, maybe I should have done it more.

 Here it is all wrapped and ready to baste.  In the tutorial, the quilter thread basted her quilt and commented she felt it held the quilt together better in the quilting process.  She does this for both hand quilting and machine quilting.

I chose to pin baste mine as that is my preference when machine quilting.  I do thread baste for hand quilting.

This process was so much easier as I could just sit at the table and pin it, rather than standing over a table and reaching  and hurting my back.  Also just unwrapped a small section of the quilt at a time, which help to keep it straight and flat.  This took me a couple of hours, but normally it would take me all morning - at least 4 hours.

And here is my pinned quilt all set for machine quilting.  This will be a gift for my Grandson Toby who has a birthday in February, so I need to get busy.  I have a couple of other quilts in the lineup for quilting as well, one for a baby shower in January.

Now to decide how I want it quilted.  I purchased some Aurifil silvery grey thread recently to try out on this quilt.  Its 100% cotton, 50 wt - looking forward to giving this a try.


Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Schnibbles Reveille and Moda Blockhead catch up

Its a good day even if I am battling a cold and missed out on a shopping outing with three of my closest friends....well ok, I am having a little pity party.  Hopefully tomorrow I will feel much better, as my husband, brother and his wife and I are going to Old Salem.  I have always wanted to visit there at Christmas and looking forward to this trip for several weeks now. 

Yesterday I started working on a baby quilt for one of the expectant mom's in our church.  She is not finding out the baby's gender before delivery and I was in a quandary as to what kind of quilt to make.  I finally just settled on a scrappy and decided to try a Schnibbles pattern for the first time.  Its called Reveille and is in the book "Another Bite of Schnibbles".
I finished all the blocks last night and laid them out on my dining table. My blocks measure 7" square which is larger than they are supposed to measure according to the instructions (6 3/4")- guess I got a little too scant on my scant quarter inch seam.  At least I was consistent and they all seem to line up ok.  Laying out a scrappy quilt can be a challenge as I try hard not to have two colors the same touching.  I used 53 different fabrics in these blocks and thought this would be a snap to arrange - wrong!  I think I am going with this layout, although that bottom row does seem a little brown now that I look at the picture.  Maybe move those blocks around a right corner could use some brown.  Funny when I look at the picture I see a row of 3 blue arrows pointing the same direction.  Geez Louise, this is going to drive me nuts.
Moda Blockhead update.  There are 40 blocks out now, and I have made 39 of them.  This last block, #40 is a primitive bird on a huge branch.  I just cant seem to wrap my mind around primitive and therefore this block has not been completed.  Seems like I remember a pretty redbird on a branch in a Mimi Dietrich book I have, gonna look for it and maybe use that pattern.
Here are my most recent Moda Blockhead blocks.
Blocks 1 through 39

Block 36

Block 37

block 38

Block 39