Thursday, May 24, 2018

New Addition to Sewtopia, We have a Little Girl on the Way!

Anyone who knows me knows that I am a dog person. I have been dogless for 9 months since our dear Lucy went to her reward. It has been so hard, I have bounced around, yes and no since then. Did I want another dog? The answer has always been yes but the timing is the issue. I love Labrador Retrievers. I don't care for the shedding. I found the answer. A Labradoodle! No shed, no drool. I made final arrangements today, puppies were born last week. I will meet her July 1 and bring her home July 13th. I am in love. 💖  Image may contain: dog
Dad, Finnegan
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Somewhere in the puddle of curly cuteness is my girl, Lola! (I think)
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Mum, Gracie.
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Siblings from last year, waiting to go home.

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Machine Embroidery and Trapunto

Wow, we really learned a lot in this class. Not the best photo of the finished product but I am amazed that I actually was able to do this. (with help) Each feature of the design is developed in the computer and transferred to embroidery. Many, many steps involved. Fortunately, the written instructions led me step by step through the process. 
Confession time. A take a few classes relating to embroidery to learn how to use my Destiny. I have mentioned in the past that this machine is a computer that sews. Embroidery and in-the-hoop assembly is a fairly new concept in the market and it takes some learning. 
When I returned home I started making another heart center from a light gray fabric that was provided in our kits that I did not use, I chose the off-white fabric. I was hoping I could follow the written instructions and go from there. Trapunto by machine is a different animal Sewists, I think I have it though.
This class was held at the Meadows Racetrack and Casino's sponsored by Gloria Horn Sewing Studio and taught by Debi Kuennen Baker. She is retiring as a Baby Lock Ambassador to pursue other interests closer to home. Ours was her very last class. Debi is a great teacher and led my class and two before me in the complicated process of making this little pillow. While a finished project is always the purpose of these classes I honestly don't finish most of them. There are several reasons for that. Number one, how many little zippered pouches do you really need? I need space and time to work. So, Number Two, not optimum set ups tend to not work for me. I absorb content, learn something with every class, but I know what works best for me and a small work space and sharing a machine does not.
So. you hoop a no-show mesh stabilizer in a large hoop. I used my 9 1/2 by 9 1/2. After building the design in the IQ system, the machine takes over. This micro-stipple acts as a knock down stitch. Under the fabric is one layer of a low loft poly batting. The knock-down stitch creates the dimension of the design in relief. 
 That said, this class checked off all my buttons. The class size was small, the teacher well prepared and written instructions very good. Gloria had great assistants working each table and roaming the room to assist sewists. We each had our own top of the line Baby Lock Destiny machine. I didn't have to bring mine. Thank you! I just can't haul that monster anymore. That is NOT a portable machine. The wonderful ladies that work for Gloria cut all the fabric, stabilizer, batting and cording into kits before class. No time wasted cutting. Everything was set up and ready to go when we walked in the door.
A close up. As always,  the Baby Lock Destiny gives a perfect stitch. Please note the red mini-piping. What a great way to feature the design! It was fun to make as well.
 Trimming and pressing stations were set up in the back of the classroom and everything you need was there and ready. THIS is the way to run an event. We even were gifted "Fascinators" to wear while working as a nod to the royal wedding!
Here you see the quilting on the fabric parts of the pillow. These were strips added to each side, top and bottom (like a quilt border) then quilted with a Serpentine stitch using the Digital Walking Foot. I also used my laser beam function to guide my stitches. By placing the guide beam on the prior row, just touching the peaks of the prior row of stitching you can maintain an even distance between the rows.
As always, a hot and cold beverage station was available all day, a buffet lunch was provided as well as afternoon cookies and candy.
Cute, yes?
Now this, the Candlewicking Stitch, placed (with some difficulty I might add) around the heart is probably my favorite design element and it was an after thought. I love the design, the dimension and the me it reminds me of a string of pearls. You build the design in IQ then transfer it to the computer, then press embroidery and the machine spaces your stitches to achieve the perfect distance between each pearl.
The amazing Digital Walking Foot. This foot is adjustable to feed the fabric at varying speeds to achieve that look. No slip, no puckers, no bad words were said. This foot works miracles with slippery fabrics and minky as well as fleece and layers of a quilt. It can actually removed a bump, tuck or ripple while stitching.
We inserted an invisible zipper. At the event a serger was offered for a quick application or you could use a traditional sewing machine and a zipper foot.
  • I keep taking classes that interest me to learn all the functions of my machine. I am fairly sure I will never be able to do it all but I am giving it my best. 
  • I need inspiration, classes and like-minded souls help me with that. 
  • I am grateful to have a dealer so close by and so in tune with her customers needs. I met a lovely lady at the event from far out of state who does not have that luxury. Therefore, she drove here from Kentucky to learn about her machine.

Sunday, May 20, 2018

The Generous Heart and the Spirit of the Quilter

Quilty Friend Linda, her generous spirit in fabric.
Recently I read a blog post from a nationally known and acclaimed traveling quilt teacher that has settled in my head. She commented that a guild she visited was voting on a proposal to stop making service quilts and just donate some cash to a charity or two.

The teacher was dismayed to say the least. Now, make no mistake, her designs and books as well as travel are a full time job. This is her livelihood but sharing our gifts is a strong component of her life philosophy. She did not understand the reasons for their decision. There may have been more there that was behind the scenes, everyone has their own story.

Linda is a fabulously generous person. This sweet little quilt is just one example of her kindness. The Linus project requested a special size quilt from its participants to be donated to a special project. A local Quilt Shop owner donated these Dr. Seuss panels to help the project along. (she is also very generous) Linda took the panels and made a beautiful little quilt. After piecing then quilting it on her sit down long arm (she is really getting good with that machine BTW!)  she brought it to our Ladies of the Cloth gathering last week to share. 

 Some sweet little kiddo will be absolutely thrilled to receive this. A lovely lady will know that She has touched someone with her kindness, generosity and skill. I am so fortunate to have found this group of ladies. The lady who invited me is another member who is active in Linus and has been featured here before, her name is Pat.  Each member of this group has spent years making and donating their work.
  •  When I measure myself against Ladies like these I fall very short. Their talents have been honed over many productive years and often do not receive the recognition they deserve. 
  • Nancy Zieman was a pioneer in show casing Service Projects for the sewer/quilter. Bless her heart. Her loss to the quilting world will be felt for a long time to come.
  •  I finally broke down and bought a new chair for my studio! I have been using husbands old office chair for the last 10 years....he used it for 10 years prior!
  • The chair is hanging by a thread (of metal) to the pedestal. I have been very careful using it because if that snaps off....we will have a problem.
  • I plan to assemble it this afternoon. I am hoping this will help with the arthritic discomfort. 
  • Here's hoping your week ahead will find you inspired, productive and enjoying Spring weather.   

Thursday, May 17, 2018

Next We See........A Lovely Table Runner

In the sewing world we see many projects using small pieces of fabrics, left overs, bits and pieces planned or not that can be fashioned into something special. Such is this little table runner presented at the Ladies of the Cloth gathering by Quilty friend Terri!

Lovely leaves cut from strip sets and appliqued to the base fabric are colorful and such a happy use of small pieces of fabric. Love it. I am such a fan of pear shaped pieces that I may just steal the idea from Terri! Terri is becoming more and more prolific with her Babylock Coronet Quilting machine and these pieces do serve a double purpose. Not just to use all those little pieces of fabric but also to hone and perfect quilting skills into a useful and decorative item. Thank You Terri!
  • I so admire Terri's advancing skill. Her dedication to perfecting her work is an incentive to me. I need a boost it is true.
  • My Quilty Friends are so talented, I have more to show in another post. Not being able to attend the Tuesday gathering for the last month or so has been a loss to me. Life gets complicated, doesn't it.
  • I have been blessed in the discovery of a kindred sewing spirit in that of my sons girlfriend. She sews! She loves sewing! We talk about sewing! Yippee.
  •  Tomorrow is a Sewing Event Day for me. Debi Kuennen Baker is our instructor for this project. It is beautiful. Image may contain: indoor
 Summary of event to follow. I tend to get so wrapped up in the projects and activities that I forget to take pictures etc. Meeting up with old friends is half the fun as well!

  •  I have binge watching "The Crown" on Netflix. Still. I need to buff my tiara!
A nice little placemat tutorial.
Home made quilt basting spray.

Saturday, May 12, 2018

On This Mothers Day I Was Looking For a Rainbow but I Caught The Moon

Thunderstorm approaching, photo through sun roof, moon hidden behind clouds, this is mid-day! I was looking for a rainbow!
I have been doing my semi-annual folding of the antique quilts and this wee character was in the same bundle. This is a little nurse bunny. How appropriate! The quilt is the star here.
Made sometime in the late 1940's or early 1950's from a kit, this is hand appliqued, embroidered and quilted. Handed down through the family, I am pleased to be the keeper. It was a wedding gift to my in-laws. *never washed
The Sister Quilt, same time period, same maker.

  • I learned about quilting in the 1960's from my Husband's maternal side of the family. His Aunt and Grandmother would spend the Summer piecing by hand and on an old Singer 99 set up in the dining room of their large four square home situated on a tree lined street in a small city. The bus line ran past their door, the local grocery delivered their food in wooden boxes and the church was a couple block walk. 
  • Everyone in that family quilted and sewed. In Winter they would set up the quilting frame in the living room and work through the bad weather quilting basic and meticulous stitches on their pieced quilts. They used flannel blankets as batting. They made utility quilts, warm, soft and reminding the user of a warm hug. Many were scrap quilts.
  • The lady who made these quilts immigrated from Czechoslovakia and spoke broken English. Her skills were more advanced and she had been doing needle work since childhood. 
  • On this Mothers Day I remember so many little things about these ladies, their hard work, their love and the legacy they have left with their quilts.
  • Happy Mothers Day!  

Friday, May 11, 2018

Birds of a Feather Stick Together.....................

no; felt birds
source Pinterist the artist is Russian, this is the page I found for her. What amazing talent.
  • I received the most thoughtful Birthday Card today from my Quilty friends. A little knitted gift was included. Iwas so moved,  a little tear fell. I am planning to return to the group next week if everything goes well. You never know around here though. We are indeed Birds of a Feather.

    • I did it, I finally basted that scrappy charm quilt....3 different times. You may still see the rust on the floor. I am rusty, really rusty. I tried to do it using half the table, no good. Moved the car out of the garage, moved the table into the garage, blasted oldies and used the whole table. Then after all layers were clipped I realized the bottom layer was face up, not face down. Undo, Redo, finally got it right.  
    • Load it on the Coronet sometime this weekend.
    •  Spring has sprung. I am in bunny, birdy, turkey, deer and squirrel heaven. 
    • This is Mother's Day weekend in the US. I was born on Mother's Day. For all the Mother's, Mother surrogates and people out there who have a Mothering Spirit , Have a Lovely Day.  
    • I have a dear friend whose Mother passed recently, it will be a difficult day for him but he knows beyond the shadow of a doubt that she is at Peace and with the Father. 


If You Can't Make Them All, Make Them Small!

Have you ever heard that saying before...If you can't make them all, make them small? I don't remember when I first heard it but it sure does apply to quilters these days, doesn't it? With so many resources for pattern choice, the Quilter has been inundated with opportunities to create. For me, too many choices are not necessarily a good thing. I want to make them all! I don't have the time to make them all! But I still want to try! 💓💓 

One of the fantastic Roses in the giant bouquet sent to me by my Dear Sister at my birthday.
So how do you decide what to make? I would love to know. I have been primarily traditional in pattern choice but actually stretching my concepts a bit with fabric choices. More brights, more color and yes more patterns. 
This fabric, for instance, would never have come home with me a few years ago.
Remember this one? Whoa, talk about stretching my creative wings.
When I first started quilting I found this pattern. Easy, yes? At the time it was daunting. I still have it and use it. My first example of make it small. 

Riley Blake Summer Blush fabric
For example, These pillows from Quilt Market Spring 2018 illustrate how one quilt block can be used to fulfill that make it small mantra!

Amy Smart shows how to make a cute little table runner in this tutorial, another use for a make it small pattern.

I have a few little ideas going on to use up some practice blocks etc. See you then..............

A Charm Quilt on Point!


New Addition to Sewtopia, We have a Little Girl on the Way!

Anyone who knows me knows that I am a dog person. I have been dogless for 9 months since our dear Lucy went to her reward. It has been so ...