Tuesday, March 31, 2015

April 2015 Goals

From the look of the Farmer's Almanac and Dopplar Radar forecasts - April is going to be a very wet one for us.  I better keep my boots and umbrella at the door as well as the 'rag' towels for wiping muddy kitty feet.

And I am keeping my April really SIMPLE.  Very few projects on the 'real' to-do list with room for a lot of block play.  I do have 4 quilts ready for quilting - NO MARATHON QUILTING and 4 quilts that need their final borders so they can be quilted.  But no rush or stress with those.


A lovely blogger shared a quilt she was working on out of this book - and I smacked myself as she gifted me this very book and I have yet to touch it - shame!!  So I have found two quilts in here I would like to make for my next 'Let's Book It', but only committing to one for the month.  The other will certainly be played with later in the year.


This is the quilt I chose and I am doing the BIG size - and borders.  I have a lot of scraps that I hope will get put to good use in this.  AND the left overs will get boxed for the other one I liked.


The RSC1 color for the month is PURPLE, so I pulled my baggie of purples from last year as I want to use all these up before I have to pull more from my other sources.  Yup, get another one of those zip bags emptied!

And I have the cross stitch monthly flowers to slow down with on Sundays.

I, also, have pledged to myself that once this 'winter' is over - I NEED to get out more.  I have had too many years of being layed up recovering from one accident to the next and then two horrible winters in a row.  I need to get out on some day trips - some new adventures.


Sewingly Yours,
Sharon

  

Closing Out March


March roared in with cold, wind, and snow - and she is closing out with much the same in our area.  Things were slowly melting off (then a fresh blanket), but I think Mother Nature and Old Man Winter are in a bit of a tiff these days.  I wonder what April Fools Day will bring?


RSC15 color - YELLOW - all blocks completed and stored in their respective containers in wait of next month.


Using Slow Stitching Sunday to work the newest cross stitch.  I have been a little lax on this one and trying to catch up on some evenings for the Sundays that I miss.  I finally took a day and gave myself a headache to sort all those pinks, corals, reds, fuschia strands so I can start working the flowers.

 

Progress on the 9-patch and snowball QAL was to get all those blocks into rows - completed and actually into a flimsy with first borders made.


Complete the 'Let's Book It' project - done and tutorial for geese done.


Fabric frame and finish off the "found' cross stitch piece.  And add the fabric framing tutorial to my tab.


Some extra play time - use up those bits for doll quilts to send to the Mrs Clause Project.  This is my second little quilt and I have another baggy of bits ready for April.


And some added fun to the end of the month.  The minute I saw this on Jolly Jabber ( Fat Quarter Shop blog) for the Charm Box Quilt, I had to play.  It's not me - someone else used my camera to snap a photo for me while I held the quilt - it IS my crummy camera that takes horrible pics.  This is Jubilee by Bunny Hill with some left over Kona Snow.  I added the outer border (yes, I did a border!) to increase the size.  It took an afternoon to make and another afternoon to quilt.  Need a quick baby quilt?  This one is fast.

A long, hard month has come to a close - I am looking to April as a new light into Spring.

Sewingly Yours,
Sharon

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Let's Book It - March 2015


I hope you have enjoyed browsing those forgotten books, magazines, etc... AND hope you chose one to play with this month.  If not, you are always welcome to join in any time.


My chosen 'dusty' pattern was this older Debbi Mumm and selected the little geese wallhanging.  I thought I would get to the kitties, but opted not to make those as I have done something very similar in the past - I hate to repeat patterns.


My Country Geese gone modern.  The scraps for the geese are more of a classic country, but the setting on the white reads a little modern to me.  The entire project was made out of the scrap basket - even the back and hanging sleeve.  The batt was two pieces of Hobbs cotton stitched together - used up.


I used Connecting Threads Pro poly (for longarms, but I use it on my home machine) and Essentials white for the bobbin.  Using my walking foot, I stitched in the ditch on all the sashing and around each goose - lots of turning this baby under the machine.  Since it was so white, I stitched some extra geese in the border and lots of straight line quilting for texture.


Since this was entirely scraps used up - I had just enough of each 'goose' fabric for one flying geese block.  So I stitched the blank corners with their own geese.  I really enjoyed working on this project.  Finished size is 20" square.

  

This month is the Patchwork Heart Charm to go with the Vintage Sewing Machine Pin.  I do ship international, so encourage your blogging friends to join in.  



Sewingly Yours,
Sharon

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Little Goose Block Tutorial


Due to the requests, I have done up a quick tutorial for this little Goose Block.  How you decide to embellish and set them into a project is all up to your creativity.


You will need for your background:
(one) 3" x 3.5" rectangle
(one) 1.5" x 4.5" rectangle
(one) 2" square 
(two) 1.5" squares


Goose:
(one) 3" x 4.5" rectangle
(one) 1.5" x 3" rectangle
(one) 1.5" square
(one) 2" square **beak fabric**


First we will do all the 'flip and sews':

*draw line from corner to corner for stitch quide*
1. 1.5" Goose fabric square to the lower right corner of the 3" x 3.5" background
2.  The two 1.5" backgrounds to the bottom of the 3" x 4.5" goose fabric

*draw line corner to corner on background 2" square and match with beak fabric - stitch 1.4" on both sides* (you will have two beaks)


Clip extra away and press your corners out.  Press HSTs to dark - You will trim the beak to 1.5" square.


Next we will be adding the beak to the 1.5" x 4.5" background (press toward the long background) and the goose 1.5" x 3" rectangle to the background piece with the little 'tail' (press toward the good neck).


Getting close to finishing.  Add the goose body to the neck/tail - press to body piece.  Add the beak strip to the left side - press toward body.


Your little 5.5" unfinished goose block.


You can embellish as desired.  I used a 2.5" square and added fuseable to the back.  I made a heart template (approximately 1.75") with cardstock.


I have a nice button hole stitch on my machine, but you can finish these any way you prefer.  Buttons or yo-yo's would look cute, too.  I didn't add eyes, but you could use embroidery or buttons or beads for eyes.  You decide!  

Sewingly Yours,
Sharon

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Still Waiting


Although I love seeing some of the lovely photos of the coming of Spring  on other blogs - we are still waiting.  We had snow on the first day of Spring and now we are turning over to the rainy portion before the wonders of warmth, sun, and sprouting flowers and trees.  A few robins have returned, but looking rather confused - there are no lovely flowering shrubs and fruit trees yet to nest in and the ground is too hard to pull worms.  But Mother Nature has shown some part of her cycle as the lambs and calves are arriving at many of our valley's farms. 


If you are not familiar with Val's Quilting Studio, she hosts a Tuesday Archive linky with weekly themes.  This week is paper piecing.  Maybe you would enjoy browsing your old posts and link up a past paper piecing project.  At least go visit and see all the inspiration linked up.


I have been using the 'still winter' weather to play with scraps and making lots of blocks.  I found these HSTs in one of the scrap baggies donated and turned them into sawtooth stars - there are two of each color way.  I did finish up all those string blocks, but I boxed them and a whole lot of other blocks to be shipped out for someone else to play with.


  Yes, I get into a groove when block making and just roll with it.  Remember these ?  


Well, there is a whole lot more.  There's 50 in each of those stacks (except the little one with the note) and about a 100 more 4-patches whipped thru the machine today while I mixed in some Spring cleaning.


And I try to take my Sunday's slow time, but I have had the last few weekends interrupted with company - good company.


So I am trying to do a little each night to unwind from the day.  I am driving myself crazy with trying to sort the pinks, fuschia, corals and yellows/oranges so I can do some flowers.  I am getting bored working with greens.  Luckily the purple was just 3 different hues and the sole ones.


I tried to change the color saturation so the stitching would show, but white on white and my crappy photo skills.  Well, I have the 'geese' Let's Book It project quilted, hanging sleeve, label, and binding attached - just need to get that stitched down in time for our end of the month link up.


I am working up a tutorial for the geese blocks to share with you too.  AND I had a lovely person make a comment on the pattern, but she used Google+ and was a no-reply commentor - SO Sharon Massena, if you read this please respond to me in private e-mail as I would like to get in touch with you.


"Come, fill the Cup, and in the Fire of Spring
The Winter Garment of Repentance fling:
The Bird of Time has but a little way
To fly--and Lo! the Bird is on the Wing."
-  Omar Khayy├ím   


Sewingly Yours,
Sharon

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Fabric Framing Tutorial


** I am moving this tutorial onto my own blog for permanent record and ability to have it for publishing - this is my original tutorial **

Today I would like to share a tutorial on how you can fabric frame your stitcheries. I evolved into this method when professional framing got costly and good wooden frames became hard to find. And as quilters, you have all the materials necessary - fabric, thread, bindings, and scrap batting.




















Your stitcheries are probably wrinkled (hand held)or have hoop marks. Your hands have oils that do get left in the fibers and it does pick up dust, so it needs a bath. 



A little bit of a mild soap in tepid water - a little hand swishing, let set 5-10 minutes, and then run under cold water to rinse.



Lay your piece out flat (DO NOT WRING OUT) on a nice clean,absorbant towel and roll up loosly. Set aside in a warm area to dry.


Place a thick towel or double fold bath towel on your ironing board. Place your stitchery FACE DOWN and press from the back. The towel protects your stitches - we don't want to flatten them. Or if you have used beading or metalic threads - this prevents damage from a direct iron.



The fun part - pull those scraps and select a backing, audition border fabrics, and maybe there is enough of a scrap binding to use. Hmmm - this all sounds familiar - like making a quilt? 


Layout your basics - backing fabric, batting, stitchery. I go over every piece with my lint roller to pick up loose threads and fabric bits. It would be a shame to have a 'red' thread show thru the stitchery background. Then I draw out my framing for the first border. Yes, pencil right on from edge to edge as it is where I am laying my strip and will be covered.



As you can see, I lay my first inner border strips using the pencil line for a guide. Sew from edge to edge and use your 1/4" seam quide, catch your strip, and continue on. I used a purple thread to hopefully show you the 1'4". 



After lightly pressing the first strips back, just like making a quilt block, our second inner border strip is sewn, using the same edge to edge using the pencil line for the guide and our 1/4" seam. This is the 'flip-and-sew' method - some of you may be familiar with.  Again lightly press your inner border back. You will need to mark your sewing guide line edge-to-edge again for the next border. 



Rinse and repeat - we add our first strips for the second border using the same edge to edge and 1/4" seam.


I usually 'eye-ball' the edge over laps - but if you feel you need the quide - redraw your line.  Just like a quilt block - we need to square up and trim. You can leave your edges or if you feel better in keeping things together, you can use a long baste stitch around the piece.



Now it is time for the binding. Use your method of binding - just like a quilt. If you are adding a hanger sleeve - it can be attached with the binding. Remember - these are smaller projects, so start your binding close to the corner and end just after the last corner to give you room to handle splicing your binding ends. 

This is a candle mat, so no hanger. I use metallic thread to 'tie' the Celtic Knot centers for a little 'quilting' in the center. This is the back - to show why I sew edge to edge when applying the borders. You have quilted your entire piece.