Sunday, December 7, 2014

Never Too Old to Learn.....or Be Afraid to learn by mistakes

Never Too Old to Learn, or Humble enough to accept when it isn’t right!
Well, I have been doing this now for quite a while, but because I choose to do everything in this BUCKET LIST from scratch, I want to share with you that I have learned a new way of paper piecing. Paperless....no more peeling from the back of the block when all sewing is completed.

November 21 two friends and I got together ((Lyn G and Yvonne T) for an afternoon of complete fun, learning and sore cheek bones by the time we finiished our lesson. Lyn is such a relaxed teacher, that even when things didn’t work out, she kept both of her students feeling as relaxed and even making wierd comments. So.....here is a little of a recap of the finished pieces.

By the way, if you want to check out this new method, then here is a web site for you to look at in your own spare time. Go to:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5GlWcG7nYFc and you will get the idea from the video.

Here are the paper pieced blocks I completed from Lyn’s personal instructions.
 1st block Log Cabin with a red heart fire center represented
2nd (top block) was a lesson from Lyn which I finished at home later. 



3rd block....well I had so much fun that I decided to try the block yet again.....wow!! This is such fun.
4th block, I was getting a bit too confident. So this was my learning block. Notice that everything is off center, causing the block to come out incorrectly.

So OK one more try with the freezer paper before I decide to stop for this learning time. I know I’ll be back. Never Too Old to Learn, or Humble enough to accept when it isn't right!
This will be a block which is going to be included in a quilt for a friend in one of my groups on line. She is going through some personal issues right now.

2014 December 6th
  as I believe this will be my new way to paper piece henceforthwith (big word isn’t it?)

Monday, September 1, 2014

A Tale of Quilting a Halloween Table Runner

Seemed a simple thing to do, make myself a Halloween Table Runner....simple...not so. Stay here a while and I'll share with you my HALLOWEEN HORRORS ..... a tale of tears, trials, and errors...and believe it or not, a happy ending.

It all started when my friends Rose, Anna and I decided to present a night of sharing in November at our local quilting group of other friends. Anna stepped right up to the bar and she made her table runner. Rose will act as our main spokeswoman. So how was I going to participate? (picture a light bulb shining brightly here!).....I know, another friend, Bonita, had just shared a pattern with us.  Yes! This will be my portion. I will make and demonstrate this new idea in easy patterns, which are quick, simple, and very striking when finished.

So you get the picture already don't you.  Now to share with you why I am calling this special, but yet oh so pretty table runner HALLOWEEN HORRORS
Enjoy the tale. 

HALLOWEEN HORRORS

Yes,using that lesson from Bonita. I have renamed that table runner from Hugs and Kisses to Halloween Horrors. Here has and is my experience so far.

1/ sewed the front wrongly by adding that reverse block pattern.hence I was going to call it  HALLOWEEN HUGS AND KISSES ...you know XOX idea..Wrong, wrong, wrong! None of the seams joined properly and it was a more jagged look. .OK ripped out, resewed it together again, and now it looks great
2/ worked on the back using that reverse block that is no longer showing the X in the middle, sewed strips of same material used on front and left over to each end to complete the look.
3/ pinned both front and back together...back was on strip short on each end.  Fixed that to make the back longer than the front
4/ got it all pinned an quilted looking good and learned how to work with invisible thread on back...looking good All quilted, now to move forward to the binding..
5/ trimmed up all 4 sides to make it all nice and ready for sewing on the black binding
6/ turned it over HORRORS......one side at one end goes from 1" short to zip short...the length of one of the blocks on front........I think I died...now what do I do.
7/ I went to Walmart and bought myself a light weight BROTHER sewing machine as I have been telling myself to do since early spring. You know how it is.....when things get stressed, the stressed go shopping. 
8/ I came home and figured out how to fix that horror so it will at least get finished. I joined the short section to some left over strips that I had just cut off while straightening the sides (see #5). Hand stitched everything into place, trimmed again and did a final 1/8" stitch around all 4 sides to be sure I had it right this time.  I DID....whew!
9/ From this point on it was easy, peasy. Cut out my binding, sewed it to the back, turned around and pinned the front binding in place and sat down at my new sewing machine and stitched a beautiful line all around it.  I used thread auditioning the colours of fall. Hunter green, running into gold and then into orange, light cream and black.....boy that made everything pop.

 I named it Halloween Horrors, an cant wait for you to see the finished photos below.  

Oh no wait!!!!!!!

3A/......I took a pen that you can iron off the lines (friction pen) and proceeded to draw wiggly lines all over the lightest area on the front for quilting ideas.  I didn't like the scribbles so tried to iRON them out.  Oh Grasp....I used the wrong pen and ended up with bright green highlighter and it won't iron off......sheesh!

This has been such a disaster that I think for fun and hilarity. it has been a really educational step in my quilting and thank goodness I learned that pride goes before a fall, or Karma Can and Does Kick Butt.....I was so pleased with the progress I was making after step 1 above, that I thought then nothing would stop me now....well it didn't I stop me, but certainly slowed me down and opened my eyes as to what can happen in my quilting life.

So now I will share some photos with you so you can see the "horrors" in full view. Before I do so, I just wanted to say that this really turned out to be a pretty neat table runner and when the green lines disappear I'm going to love it even more. BTW I was able to purchase a lightweight sewing machine a week or so ago. It is a Brother 9130. It comes loaded with lots of neat things, including fancy stitches....so when you see the photo of the border, yes, that is my crowning glory, and it turned out to be problem free.....well except for a tiny, little section that if I didn't point it out, you might not see that the binding was a bit off.  So please enjoy and remember me on October 31 as I will certainly be enjoying my self.






HAPPY HALLOWEEN TO ALL!!!!!     :) :) :)
Smiles and giggles
Sept 01, 2014 :)
 *started Aug 18th and finished Aug 31, 2014.....this has to have been my fastest project ever.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Autumn adventure in Mug Rugs

 Fall Colours in all their splendor
















I have been having a great, glorious, getting ready for fall here in my Quilting Playroom.   As a member in a group called QUILTERS WHO CARE a lot of the members are partnering up and sending each other a Autumn Mug Rug (or Mug Mat as I used to call them).

This has been my contribution to bring in the fall colours.

Already this summer, yes, it is still summer, driving along the streets of town, or even along the major highways it is very noticeable that fall is creeping in on us with her soft, quiet ways.

With this M.R. I am also staring to downsize some of my stash materials.  You know, out with the old so you can shop for more. Fortunately (or unfortunately) for me I have lots to fall back on in my cupboards, shelves, bins, etc, etc, etc.

Now this Autumn M.R. is on its way to a friend in USA, I have already picked out the choice for WINTER Mug Mat.  Stay tuned, when it is finished, I will be placing a photo here in my journal for you to take a look see.

Remember that old school memory work:
Along the lines of smoky hills the crimson forest stands.
And all day long the blue jay calls throughout the autumn land
Now by the brook the maple stands with all her glory spread
And all the sumacks on the hill have turned their greens to reds.

And that my friends is how I felt when I made this Mug Mat/Rug for my friend across the border.

Enjoy this day, as sooner than we know it, we will be deep in the white stuff.

Aug 27 2014

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Mug Mat Adventure

Mug Mats???? Ever heard of them?  Do you walk on them, put one under a rocking chair? Maybe even hopes of hopes, never have to take them outside and shake them?  Well, here is an interesting fact about Mug Mats

They are usually 6x9" big, and are made for your pure enjoyment....of a cuppa coffee or tea, and maybe large enough to hold a spoon (be careful, don't want to stain them) and/or maybe a sweet treat.

To make a Mug Mat you would start with some sort of pattern idea.  Worthy Note Here:   I have pinned several samples on my Pinterest account if you want to check some of them out.  (look for Diamond Dee).  There are samples from campsites, to silhouette profiles blowing coloured bubbles,,,,happens to be a favourite of mine.
Too many, in fact, to know which one to choose for your own project.

So....my eyes settled on a rainbow coloured sample.  I thought this idea would be fun to try....of course, it was!  So off I went to my scrappy bin and chose all my rainbow colours with flowers in the pattern.  I set to work cutting my 2" hexagons after printing them on the HP printer first, and of course singly cutting each little hex out by hand.

Then I proceeded to glue the paper pattern to the material square of 4" each, and a glue stick works perfect for this step....warning from learning, you don't need a lot of glue, just a dab in the center will work wonders to hold the paper pieced hexie to the material.

Then next step, I measured and marked approx 1/4" all around the pp (paper pieced) hexie and then very carefully cut the extra material off the marked part.
Then I proceeded to hand based the 1/4 seam in place all around the hexie turning the excess material to the back.  And away I went. placing, and whip stitching all the hexagons in place to follow through on my rainbow choice.

Alas, this was going too smoothly. I finished all the hand whipping of hexagons only to discover....it was wayyyyyyyyyy to large.  So out came the seam ripper for a bit of "frogging"....in other words..............rrrrriiiiiippppppp.  So next I measured the size I needed and proceeded to cut it into a 6x9" rectangle.....oh for sakes alive, I trimmed it too small.  So over to my scrap box again and found some material that would fit the bill and could be added to the sides and thereby complete my 6x9" requirement. The material I found was a sample of grassy area...what more appropriate to encase my flower garden.  Of course as luck or lack of skill would have it....my Red and Indigo colour strips were cut off....so part of the rainbow is no more.

To finish my little mug mat and being happy that all was not lost, I found a piece of material that would match and yet keeping with the green grass look, I proceeded to make a self-backing and binding finish.   This wasn't hard to do at all. perhaps being a nice small size helped.  The last step I did was to sign the back of the mat and leave a different sort of quilt label. I thought it was very appropriate and was totally happy with my finished mug mat.

Now you might ask the purpose in making this little event happen. Thanks to an online group I belong to who decided July was a great month to make a mug mat swap, and of which I was quick to join in.......Thank you to the group member (Lois) who suggested our little fun in July.  Now we will be hopefully making one for the seasonal changes, or yearly type holidays.  Stay tuned if I am able to jump in again, you will find more of my mats in this Blog.

Here are some photos I took along the process.  I loved this idea and am now waiting for the arrival of my own exchange to come from one of the other members.  Great fun this July.

Oh yes, Math was never my strongest point! Would you like to see a few instructions and maybe try making some for yourself.....check out these web sites:
Web Sites for a few Mug Mat Ideas:
http://thecuriousquilter.wordpress.com/2010/11/30/make-a-basic-quilted-mug-rug-a-tutorial/
 That should get you started on your own Mug Mat Adventures.





July 29, 2014

Thursday, May 8, 2014

January Hexagon has been completed

I know, and you know, the months just seem to fly by. For me it is now a completion of month five....or in the calendar year known as January.

This little block tells a small story of my year 2000 (see center block). For all the world, this was the beginning of a new millennium. The year 2000, open to so many new possibilities and a whole new year lies ahead.  This was also a very special year to myself and my brand new hubby.....then, now we've been married for 13 years this October.  So naturally I would used this beautiful piece of blue to be the focus of my block.

Blue, January, dark days and darker nights.  Snow falling and darkness. That is the theme I have chosen for this wonderful month of new beginnings. In the top section all dressed in blue I have tried to capture the night sky using some very shiny, thick silver threads...might not notice it, but I decided that this should be a cold, clear night full of many sparkling stars. Each of the central circles have colonial knots to show off the sparkle, and in a few of the other circles I have added crossed straight stitches to reflect the sparkle and shine of larger stars, maybe even one is the North Star...the star that guides our way. My seam treatment consists of the feather stitch with 2 colonial knots resting lightly on the thread.

Going to the left of the block, for trim I have added curves made from dull, grey, but yet a bit shiny sequins. These sequins have been sewn onto elastic, so they give a really nice shape of snow drift tops, the likes of which we see adorning the edges of snow covered highways and country roads.....in the gold and cream material you will see blue snowflakes resting lightly. These snowflakes are made by using straight stitches but the larges one (probably the one not seen so well) has tips made using a fly-stitch pattern.  To help draw attention to this quieter flake I sewed to buttons in place (blue of course with white snowflakes painted on top) either side of the row of sequins.

Going to the patch in the bottom of this block I used the fly stitches placed really close together, yet not evenly stitched....to use as arrows pointing down toward the long straight stitches with sparkly beads to look like long, dripping icicles.

Now who I ask, could not enjoy being a child again and getting out in the fresh, newly fallen snow and not take part in making a snowman. Isn't this the dream of every child?  The snowman used here was a cute little winter button that I had in my stash.....he just knew how to play the part so well.  To decorate this border, I used a stitch called the Weave Stitch.....it comprises of 3 stitches lying on top of each other, bordered by 3 stitches standing tall, guarding the snowman.  These two stitch layouts follow along the stitching line on the hexagon.  Maybe in some imaginations they could be those old wooden split rail fences....well, just a thought.

Oh but what winter plan doesn't include a warm, cozy home of love, complete with a little stream of smoke coming out of the chimney?  But Wait!!! If you can really look closely in the yard in front of the house you may see a little family of bunnies looking longingly at that house.  Maybe they want to come inside and get warm? The bunny family (daddy, mummy and baby) members have been made using a fly stitch for the ears, with a little small almost circular lazy daizy stitch for the head, and then a longer, stretched out lazy daisy for the main body.....and I hope you can see it, the little French Knot bunny tail......in the still, quiet of the night, we never can tell what animals are watching over us. I chose, for seam treatment to be used on this seam a stitch called The Wheat Stitch....it consists of a fly stitch base with a lazy daisy oval resting on the base.  I did these stitches fairly close together and followed that sewn seam....btw, this was the inspiration to make that family of bunnies on the front lawn.

And this brings to a finish the January Hexigon block......what fun to create and design my "Year in Hexigon" table runner.

May 8, 2014 :)

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Hexigon Table Runner growing by another month (Dec)

As this is my ongoing Year in Hexagon fun I thought I'd show a photo of the 1st four months starting to take shape.  I have a lot to finish yet, I know I will get to the other months all in good time.  I thought it would be fun to see the table runner grow by months at a time. 

Apr 23 2014
:)

Sunday, April 20, 2014

My First Quillow started Feb 15, 2014...question is when will it be finished


A Quillow....until a few years ago I hadn't any idea what they were.....but patience paid out. The teacher of my class, back in September, offered this course through my Quilt Guild. I signed up right away. A quillow is a quilt that can be folded and turned into its own pillow.  Yes, when you make the quillow, on the back after the quilting is finished you sew on a matching block which will become the pillow to hold this said quilt.
Our teacher, Wanda, challenged us to bring in what we had completed 2 quilt meetings later. I was very please to hold up my Love of Pansy Quillow and show it along with other students, our quillow in the making.
This is a very special piece of quilting for me as I love pansys. My Grandmother taught me when I was a child that pansy faces are the most beautiful in all the garden. Have you ever studied a pansy's face?  Some are bright and clear, while others seem to have shaded eyes.  If you ever see a pansy garden, take a look, you might be surprised.

The top photo is showing the 2 first blocks we made in class that day. The bottom photo shows the flimsy quilt top up to the borders.  I have the batting and backing all prepared as well, and the binding has been all sewn up, folded and waiting to play its own part, in time.

Years ago before I ever started quilting my Mum saw this pansy material in a quilt shop in a small nearby village. She fell in love with it and decided to take a course making a quilt with it. The teacher stressed the need for 4 yards. So I had a bright though, I'd purchase 2 yards for Mum's birthday that year.....Mum purchased and added to that 2 yards of her own.  Sadly enough, my Dad became ill at the time and Mum was never able to take the course, but the material was washed and packed away. This past June my Mother herself passed away and I inherited a lot of material and other sewing goodies from her.  There it was, the pansy material so nicely folded and waiting for me to use.
 I decided this would be my first quillow goal.  I love the bright cherryness of this soon to be blanket-quilt. Of course I still have to finish it and add the binding. This has been a learning experience for me, but even more, a labour of love as I work on my dream quilt, as Mum was never able to do.
Hopefully when I get it all finished I will post another photo to show you all what a gift of love can do for all involved.

:) Apr 20, 2014