Thursday, July 31, 2014

Using Up Your Older Stash Fabrics

Have you ever wanted to step back in time? One of my least favorite means of transportation growing up was the Streetcar. In our area Streetcars were everywhere, their tracks threading through neighborhoods and down city streets.  Why the dislike?  Car sickness. Simple as that, still have it even today unless I drive or sit in the front seat. Now that might be more than you wanted to know but it brings up a point....older is not always better. Fabric that is. Like many I have been collecting fabric for a long time.

I am working on a purge mission.  I have concluded that many of the fabrics in my stash just aren't going to work with my current esthetic. While considering all this our Sew and Sew member, Betty Jane, brought in her finished quilt made from fabrics in her stash that no longer suit her creative direction.
I think this is a great use of all those stash fabrics. Notice how the color families are grouped. The white sashing makes it fresh and modern. A double border pulls it all together. Time for me to think about fresh new ways to use up all that older fabric. It's all quality fabric but my direction has changed and my fabric needs to reflect that.  *photo is from the Heinz Museum, Pittsburgh, Pa. Refurbished Streetcar, it is a beauty!

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

The Rumors are not True, The Hexi is as Popular as Ever

I read a little piece in a quilting periodical recently, can't remember which, that predicted trends in quilting. Clearly, the "modern style" has caught on and shows no tendency to wane.  While hand quilting remains very strong machine quilting is becoming more and more accepted in the traditional quilting community. No longer the poor cousin, machine quilting has transformed the art and provided another medium for design. Then there is the good old fashioned hexi. The resurgence in popularity of this lowly little geometric dynamo shows no sign of slowing down. I started making them again about 5 years ago. Great for portability, one can arrange the finished hexi's many ways employing many color combinations to achieve an original design. 

The theme for our Guild show next Spring is....guess what....Hexi's!!!
This little quilt is one of two to be raffled during the show. If you are local you may see one or both on display at local quilt shops. Tickets will be available for purchase there, from any member and at the door. Remember we have two quilts this year and you will be supporting our Guild charities as well as gaining the possibility of winning a great quilt. This is the smaller of the two, lap size. 
Entirely hand pieced and machine quilted by one of our professional long-arm quilters, Kathie  of  "Quilt Your Quilt,"  the happy little binding sets it off beautifully. Thanks for bringing it for us to see Pat. 
  • Have you tried English Paper Piecing?
  • Have you used a templar template hexagon?
  • Have you made a hexi from a circle of fabric, no template? 
  • Have you tried English Paper Piecing other shapes, such as diamonds?
*** Quilting arts tv twisted 9 patch, circle started hexi's episode 1308. This segment will show you an 'Old Fashioned' method of making the hexi by starting with a simple circle. I will be trying this soon.  Smile quilters, everything old is new again, yes?

Monday, July 28, 2014

Oh My, I Think This Quilty Thing May Have Gone Too Far! and Tidbits

Seen on Facebook

Good day all. Have you ever had a thought, a peculiar thought,  about what to do with those orphan blocks cluttering up your sewing area? Well here is one you can cross off your list. While I do not wish to offend, this is a mistake, a really big mistake.

Not to be totally irrelevant today I wanted to share this little tidbit I found while cruising the blogs.  A guideline for those who donate quilts to different charities. I do not know the source of this information but I think the sizing seems very appropriate. Thought you might be interested. Have a lovely stitching day. It is quite cold here, I think I will plan my Christmas quilts, and light a fire, and pour a nice strong cup of tea. Is it really July?

  • Orphan blocks can be used to make:
  • tote bags
  • pillow covers
  • become the center of another quilt
  • placemats
  • cosmetic bags
  • needle cases
  • tea wallets
  • eye glass cases
  • lingere bag for travel
  • journal cover
  • mug rugs
  • tree ornaments
  • sewing machine mat/or/caddy
  • lining for bag or tote
  • jewelry keeper
  • handkerchief keeper
  • roll up keeper for crochet hooks or knitting needles
  • and so forth.........

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Lets Start the Week on a Hight Note, Just Look at Natures Gifts, a Stunning Quilt and a Cut work Project!

Monday's. Sometimes I like Monday's and  sometimes, not so much. In Summer they seem to show up very rapidly, time wise. Back-to-school ads are dominating the papers and television, I keep seeing more and more yellow buses in the streets on trial runs and there are subtle signs in nature as well. I was on my patio yesterday drinking the first of the days coffee when I remarked to Lucy that the gossamer  threads of spiders are sparkling in the trees already. I normally don't notice the dew laden webs until later in August. 

Lets talk of little pretties now, Hello there ! Well, not my Pretty but Sew and Sew member Linda has been very busy. Is this not the sweetest little number? Needle-turn applique flowers and butterflies on the cutest little lattice quilt will make an amazing gift for her Great-Niece-to-be.
As usual my photo's do not do it justice. The applique's are so beautifully done they appear dimensional. Thanks for sharing Linda.
Just look at that meticulous stitching!

Our Rose has been very creative lately as well. This is a scaled pattern designed by Rose for cut-work.
This is an early example of her skill. A linen hand towel. So nicely done.

The project in progress. Note the tracing with her hand stitched button hole stitch around the elements of the design. So many itty-bitty stitches. Lovely!  I believe the figure in the center is a likeness of her Grandson. Can't wait to see this finished.

That's all for now. This weeks questions:
  • Do you ever totally stray from quilting and pursue another craft, like knitting or embroidery?
  • Do you find that these dalliances renew your passion for your first creative passion?
  • Do you sometimes just need to step away from quilting and regroup? 
  • What do other people do (for creative outlet) who do not quilt and what can they teach us?
  • Do I over-think this stuff? 

I am also a seeker of woodland fungus. I know, it's a little odd but I am fascinated by the many forms these things take. Now this one, above, was bright orange when I first saw it. The next day, camera in hand, I was disappointed when I noted that the color was fading and a silvery-blue was creeping in. It is shaped like a cauliflower in a crimped pie crust. Never saw one like this before and I am always on the lookout.   
a few inches away from the fungus, a fallen feather from one of the resident, bossy, Blue Jays!

Another passion is seeing fallen feathers. Living in the woods I have many opportunities to observe the avian community but interestingly not many feathers cross my path. It's the Gnomes you know, they come out at night and gather them, probably for talisman's.

I Don't pick them up either, lice I have heard. Do not need those little nitters crawling around!

Among Quilting Friends....A Saying....

Have a lovely day with Family and Friends, and maybe find time to sew a little :) 

Saturday, July 26, 2014

The Saturday Chuckle!

I would love to have been present when the shearer was working. Sheep won't stay still for a traditional trim, I can just imagine the wrestling required to accomplish this. Are they the coolest or what? I think I am seeing some  post-trim "Kiss my French Powder-puff attitude here!" Photo
saw this on Facebook, source unknown but it sure made me Laugh!
  • I wonder if this is photo-shopped?
  •  If you are local, if you are a "Yinzer," you will be thrilled with the headline story on every newscast, every day for weeks to come. Steeler Camp has started.
  • Sales at local quilt shops, as you know. Wear your helmets and shin guards!  

Friday, July 25, 2014

New Girl in Town...Well New to the Sew and Sews:)

Hello everyone. A little time unplugged has been a good thing for me. I find it essential to step away from the blog every few months for a few days to regroup. It is like a little vacation. I do a little online research but otherwise I stay silent. I discover so many interesting things to share that I find that I need to narrow the focus on a regular basis. For the creative person, that is sometimes difficult. We want to try so many things that it becomes a distraction. Narrowing the focus of our work helps us to move forward rather than just spin our wheels.  That said, I wanted to introduce you to the creative work of one of our new members in the Sew and Sew group, meet Terri. An expert knitter, I first met her at a class where the dealer who sold us our new machines teaches us the fine points of operation. Terri says she is new to "sewing" but her efforts with these two stunning bags beg to differ. The first one is a stylish and handy little bag that could be fabricated so many ways. I like the way she contrasted the middle gusset that reads like a solid color. Very nice. The floral bag below is genius. One slips the longer handle, on the right, through the smaller handle and there you have it. Too cute, I can think of so many uses for a bag like this. The patterns are available free on All People Quilt.But make no mistake readers, Terri can knit. She is making this stunning sweater from the top down. It is beautiful. We are looking forward for much inspiration from Terri, Welcome!