Sunday, September 8, 2019

And Now, Something Completely Different

Does anyone else remember that Monty Python phrase? Anyway, I have returned to cross stitch after many years away from it. I blame Kimberly Jolly and Lori Holt for getting me hooked again. It will actually be good to have projects that are more portable than quilting.

This is a Lori Holt design that I recently finished.

I just love the button embellishments. So cute.

Thanks for stopping by.

Thursday, August 29, 2019

Back in the Sewing Room

The quilts are now back home from the state fair. I have turned my attention to other projects.

I am working on Kimberly Jolly's 2019 scrap challenge. She has saved scraps from every quilt project she has made in 2919 to make into a pinwheel table topper. She is offering a free pattern, here.

I am working from years of bonus triangles that I have saved. I had an overflowing box of triangles, most of them were already sewn. I took days to go through and size each of them into the nearest useable size using my BlocLoc ruler. Many of them were 1.5", which are used in Kimberly's project. When I had sets of four, I put them into the pinwheel box. I still had many odd numbers of 1.5" to save for another time. I had many in other sizes also. I organized all of them in a recently cleaned out drawer in my sewing room.

The project calls for 440 pinwheels, 2.5" unf/ 2" f. I have 443 completed and ready to begin assembling.

I got tired of pinwheels, so I returned to the Winter Wonderland quilt. I finished the embroidery this week. The blocks were already completed and waiting to be added.

It has been such a long time since I have done much embroidery that I couldn't remember how to do the feather stitch. I did a Youtube search to watch videos. That worked. Done now and ready for the longarm.

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Sunday, August 18, 2019

Update on State Fair

Many thanks to follower Kitty who asked for an update on my state fair submissions. I have been very lax about keeping up with my blog posts. Sorry.

DH and I went to the fair on opening day. We bee lined it to the quilt exhibit. I had four submissions and three of them received ribbons.

Double 9-Patch received a second place red ribbon in the lap quilt/wall hanging category.

My problem child, the red and white, didn't get a ribbon. I am anxious to see the judges comments to see what they had to say about it. I had a bit of an issue when looking at the other quilts in the "two color" quilt category. I would argue that some of the entries I saw, including the first place, had more than two colors. Oh well.

Audubon's Christmas took a first place blue ribbon in the Holiday Quilts category. I am thrilled with this result. I was obsessed with this quilt for a year and used many new-to-me techniques.

As we went up and down the rows of quilts I couldn't find my Halo Medallion quilt. The category was bed quilts machine pieced and machine quilted, #03. Quilts are hung by category and in numerical order, so as we came to the end of 03, I was very confused. I didn't see my quilt. I thought maybe they had accidentally hung it in the wrong group. When we had gone through all of the exhibit and didn't see Halo Medallion, I had a bit of a panic attack. Did they actually lose my quilt? Or worse, had it been stolen? I was able to find one of my long arm guild friends who is on the state fair board. I asked her if quilts were displayed in any other areas. She directed DH and I to the main entry lobby where the "big winners" were hung. I think I had heart palpitations.

OMG. Halo Medallion won Best of Show! There it was, beautifully displayed in a glass case at the main entrance for all to see.

Poor Halo Medallion didn't get any recognition in the AQS shows where it was juried in. In that venue, it was in the same category with works from professional quilters with national reputations. The state fair was the right place for it to really shine.

I am, of course, very pleased with how my quilts were judged at the state fair. I really look forward to getting the comment sheets when we pick them up at the end of the fair.

Thanks for stopping by.

Thursday, August 1, 2019

Ready for the State Fair

I will be entering four quilts in the Kentucky State Fair this year. The drop off dates are the 10th and 11th. I put all of my final changes on my projects today. How about that. I am not running up against a deadline for once.

The first entry has been featured on my blog many times before. The Halo Medallion which has shown in four AQS national shows. I shared lots of photos when this was a work in progress.

I don't know why this is showing sideways. Here is a close-up of the center.

The next entry is my red and white Star light, Star bright quilt.

I had several problems with this one. First, after I had the top quilted, but still on the machine, I re-read the requirements for this category. A minimum 300" perimeter was required. Oh scrap! I needed to add borders all around to this already quilted piece in order to make the minimum. You can see the red and white outer border with corner blocks. I figured out how to accomplish this. During that process, I had a very unfortunate rotary cutter incident. I had to put a patch on the backing fabric. The second problem was that I had severe color bleeding, despite the fact that I washed the red fabric before I started the piecing. I followed directions I found on Margaret Solomon Gunn's blog (find it here).  Overall, I am happy with the quilting. Here are some detail photos.

My third entry is a double nine-patch. I am most happy with the quilting. This is very much in the style of Judi Madsen. I love her style.

My last entry is in the holiday category. I made Kathy McNeil's Audubon Christmas quilt. I tried many new techniques on this wallhanging. I am very pleased with the way this turned out.

Here is an overload of close-ups.

Now I can relax and work on some other projects.

Thanks for stopping by.

Friday, July 5, 2019

Sew Happy Mini Quilt

I just finished another small project. I plan to hang this in the sewing area in our snowbird place on FL this winter.

This is a free pattern from Julie Cefalu at The Crafty Quilter. Here is the link to the project. So cute.

I was surprised to find that I had all of the appropriate colors of embroidery floss in my stash.

This was a fun small project. I look forward to hanging it in my snowbird sewing space.

Thanks for stopping by.

Thursday, July 4, 2019

WIP Project Bags

I whipped up two cute WIP (Works in Progress) bags this week. The free pattern is from Kimberly Jolly at the Fat Quarter Shop. Here is the link to her tutorial for the project.

All of the materials are available at FQS, but I used what was available to me locally. Kimberly recommends zippers and vinyl By Annie. I bought my vinyl from the roll available at Hobby Lobby. It seems to be fine to me. I had one By Annie zipper on hand, so I used that on the turquoise bag. I used a Talon zipper on the pink bag. The Annie zipper is superior by far. It has a wider tape on the zipper that allowed for a second line of top stitching. The Talon tape is much narrower. It was more difficult for my second line of top stitching to stay on the tape. I can't compare the vinyl products, because I only have what I bought at Hobby Lobby.

I don't know why these pics are sideways. Sorry. Both of my bags have projects already. I see more of these bags in my future.

Thanks for stopping by.

Thursday, June 27, 2019

Happy Pineapple Day!

Did you know that June 27 is Pineapple Day? It is. To celebrate, Fat Quarter Shop has a Pineapple Sew Along going on. They have produced a super-helpful tutorial to explain how to use the paper piecing method for Pineapple blocks.

How to use pineapple paper tutorial from FQS

They also have two sizes of paper available for blocks. I used both sizes in my quilt.

12" Pineapple Paper
6" Pineapple Paper

My plan was to use my red scraps in the project. Isn't that always the plan?

I really felt I needed to add more reds in the middle of the color range. I found this great bundle at FQS. It really helped pull the project together. I also bought Kona Snow for the background fabric. This is my go-to white for any project.

Cherry Red Lori Holt Fat Quarter Bundle
Kona Snow Yardage

You really can do paper piecing without the Add-a-Quarter ruler, but I love mine. I have had it for years. There is a newer version available now that provides the sharp edge for folding the paper. I always keep postcards around for this purpose. It works fine for me, so I don't see the need for a new ruler. Here is my method.

I cut my fabric and get everything set up by my machine.

I put the postcard on the line I need to fold. 

I fold the paper back on the line and crease it sharply. Loosen the paper from the stitches that are in the seam allowance. This is necessary and will not ruin your block.

Use the Add-a-Quarter ruler to trim away the excess fabric.

I use my wooden iron to press the fabric back. I never use an iron on paper piecing projects. I am afraid that the ink will come off the paper and get onto my fabric.

I chain pieced the 6" blocks. I didn't find this helpful for the 12" blocks because it was difficult to manage multiple large pieces of paper in the machine. Just my opinion.

Here is one block completely sewn, but not yet trimmed.

The papers are very clear about where to cut. Easy peasy.

Ta-dah! One block finished. Time to rip off the paper. It would be great if I had a kid around here who could do this for me. I had to do it myself.

Now, just repeat this until you have enough blocks for your quilt. My quilt used 24-6" blocks and 16-12" blocks.

I quilted lots of feathers on this one. Such fun. No measuring and marking for the quilting.

DH held this up for its photo session.

Thanks to FQS for another fun quilt along project.
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