Wednesday, February 19, 2020

Doing Lots of Hand Work

Hello Dear Readers

It's a beautiful day here in Indiana.  It's a bit cool, but the sun is shining and that makes everything better, right?  Of course it does.   I saw Patty on Tuesday, and she said she enjoys reading my blog.  It's always nice to hear that from a reader, so thanks Patty!

I've been using these winter months to look through my stash and decide what I think I will really use and what I can part with.   I have a whole lot of stash in containers in my basement, and they have kind been out of sight --- out of mind.  So that's where I've been working.  The fabrics that went into the "can live without" pile have been cut into pillowcases if they were large enough.   Some pillowcases have already been sewn and donated along with fabrics that were too small for pillowcases or charity quilts.  I've cut over 100 pillowcases, and those of you that sew pillowcases know that each one has 1 yard of fabric.  I know that's a lot of yardage, but I'm not alone, right?

I've been doing some embroidery.  I started these little baskets awhile ago right after the pattern came out.  I put them away and just recently started working on them again.  I've joined the Knotty Girls group at my local quilt shop, Back Door Quilts.  Since the group only does hand stitching, I decided these baskets would be my take along project.  And, as my friend Helen tells me - it doesn't do any good to take them along if you don't work on them.  By the way, Helen has done her 20 baskets and her quilt top is put together.   It's gorgeous.  I got a little sidetracked ……..

I think I have enough basket bottoms sewn to do 16.  I might make 4 more and do a 4 X 5 setting.  Some quilts are fine being square, but I mostly like to see a rectangular quilt unless it is a medallion style.

It was fun picking out the fabrics, and I fussy cut the fabric whenever I could.

The basket below is the one I'm working on.  It's almost finished.

You can see in the photo above that I'm using a product called Transfer Eze to do my embroidery.

Transfer-Eze (no affiliation) is an easy way to transfer an intricate design onto your fabric.  You simply place the design in your copier and a piece of Transfer Eze in the paper tray.  Then you peel the backing off of the transfer Eze sheet that has been printed with your pattern and stick it to your fabric.   The sticky part is very light, but if your needle begins to drag all you have to do is clean the needle.  Those little bottles of hand sanitizer come in handy for this.  It's available at your local quilt shop or from an on line source.

Transfer-Eze Transfer Paper (30pk) 8 1/2" x 11" Sheets for Easy, Fast, Do-It-Yourself Transfers for Embroidery, Applique, Punchneedle, Quilting and More.
This is the Antique Baskets pattern.  The pattern was copyrighted in 2015.  That's just over 4 years ----not long enough to be officially labeled a UFO.

In this post, I wrote about a trip that I made with friends up to northern Ohio to the Sue Spargo store. Helen made these amazing blocks using wool and fabric and beautiful threads.  She has started me on these patterns, and this is my first one.  I don't usually do much folk art, but this will give me a chance to work with some of the beautiful threads I've been collecting.   I think that will be the fun part.

That's a lot of what I've been working on.  I'll show you the rest in a few days.

Thanks for stopping by for a visit.

I hope you are finding some time to stitch today.  

Sunday, January 26, 2020

Fussy Cutting Class Fun

A couple of weeks ago I taught a fussy cutting class at Back Door Quilts here in Greenwood, Indiana. I enjoy fussy cutting, talking fussy cutting, looking at fabric for fuss cutting....    Well, you get the idea.  I enjoyed getting together with others that are interested in learning.   I cut kits for the class and included paper pieces, templates, marking pen and fabrics.  

Here are some examples of some of the French General fabric that I enclosed.  I showed a 1" hexagon, 1" jewel, and 2" 60 degree diamond.  I also basted 3 hexagons for each student.  One was thread basted through the paper, another had the fabric tack stitched at each corner, and the third was glue basted.  

In these photos, I show you how you can fussy cut a hexagon.  This is the same hexagon, but in this second photo the hexagon pieces have been turned 180 degrees. When you baste your hexagon pieces, take time to audition them in different arrangements.  Sometimes you end up sewing the pieces together in a different way than you intended when cutting.  I call that a "happy accident".  In the photo above, you end up with the white lines creating a secondary design that forms a wonky star.  In the hexagon below, at first glance you see a white circle in the center. It all depends on which way you like the best.   In fussy cutting there is no right or wrong way to sew a block together.

Here is the example of the 60 degree diamond.  Sewing it together as in the first photo, there is a red circle with a blue center.

But in the second star you get a red flower in the center with a white star as a secondary design.

The last shape we worked with was the 1" jewel.  Below the 1" jewel is shown with the points together.  This layout ends up the same size as a 1" hexagon flower.

Here the 1" jewel has a hexagon in the center .  You can see how you get a totally different look depending on how you arrange and sew your pieces together 


 This is the first hexagon that we worked on in class.  I love how the two stripes in the outer round gives the whole block a totally different look.  

I also included some Di Ford fabric to make the hexagon in the center below.  That fabric (I have it in both color ways), is really great for fussy cutting.  

Below is the same fabric in the teal color.  

Here is another example that I took to class.  I also took along several different quilts to show examples.

The table topper below is made from my Sunburst Dresden Table Topper pattern.  It is available in my Etsy shop or at Back Door Quilts.  I made this as an example that you can fussy cut shapes other than those that are for English Paper Piecing.   

Every one also got the fabric and pattern to make this snowman mini quilt.  The snowmen are fussy cut from a fabric that I bought at Back Door Quilts.  

Here is another shape that I fussy cut.  These paper pieces were a gift from my friend, Rosemary.  Right now I don't remember the name of the paper pieces.  

 The first block of my Antique Wedding Sampler has a bit of fussy cutting.  The pattern for the quilt is in Di Ford's book, Primarily Quilts.  I love every quilt in that book, and I have a lot of the original border fabrics that she used in her quilts in the book.  

Here is another block from my Antique Wedding Sampler.  The center is fussy cut.  I ended up hand piecing that little star.  It's pretty tiny.  

I am kind of addicted to sewing hexagons.  I keep some basted and stored in this case below in case of emergency.  You never know when you're going to need a hexagon to sew.  I have 2 more cases like the one below.  One has bright 1" hexagons and the other has 3/4" hexagons.

I've been cutting and sorting some of my stash.  I cut, sewed, and donated 30 pillowcases
 to the group at church that sews charity items.  

I sewed with Quilters United yesterday and turned in 30 Christmas stockings for next year, 12 burp pads and a few quilts made from kid friendly fabrics.  I've been keeping pretty busy.

Here are the links on my blog to my fussy cutting tutorials:

Fussy Cutting Tutorial

Lucy Boston Framed Tutorial

Thanks for stopping by for a visit.

I hope you are finding some time to stitch today.

Saturday, January 4, 2020

And The Stockings Were Hung....

A belated Merry Christmas to you.   I had planned to post this before Christmas, but time got away from me.

As you can see, the stockings weren't hung by the chimney with (or without) care.   I believe one of the last times I hung our family stockings on the fireplace, one of the filled stockings fell on our cat who loves to lay in front of the fire.  Another year I put some chocolate in the stockings.  We have a gas fireplace, so it comes on as easy as turning on a light switch.  That chocolate was pretty squishy after a night hanging over the fire.

For a few years, our stockings have remained in the box in the basement.   Then I saw this idea on Pinterest.  (I somehow have 2 Pinterest accounts.   One has no pins, and the other is linked here on my sidebar.  You can see my pins by clicking the link on the right.)   I had the ladder in our bedroom with a crocheted piece on it, so all I had to do was put lights on the ladder and tie the stockings on with ribbon.


You can see the cat's blanket in front of the fireplace.  The bubble lights on the fireplace have been around for ages.  I love the decorations from back in the day.  I crocheted the tree skirt in this photo and the photo below.  I enjoy knitting and crocheting in the winter.

The photos are kind of dark.  It looks like I took them at night.  The tiny tree on the right (below) is for my grandson's room.  Someone at their house ran over the cord with the vacuum, and the lights quit working so I ordered another string of the fairy lights and fixed it.

The quilt on the wall is from a pattern linked on my sidebar.   You can find it by clicking here.  It is a Moda pattern that I made with smaller blocks.  The table topper pattern is my pattern and is available in my Etsy shop here.

I make these little quilts with 1 1/2" half square triangles.   They measure about 12 1/2" when finished.  You could put Insul Bright in them so you could use them to hold hot dishes.   The knitting needle tree is something I remember from when I was younger.  My Mom always had one of these, and I would help put it together.   I did a post and showed how I do my knitting needle tree here.

This tree is in our entryway with another tree skirt that I made.  The pattern can be found on my crochet blog at this link.

I have a few of these signs around my house.  They come from Joyfully Said Home in Middlebury, Indiana.   When I get to Shipshewana, I usually go there to shop.

Here's a ceramic Christmas tree that I made years ago along with a cross stitched sign from my childhood friend, Sharon.   She and I used to cross stitch different Precious Moments cross stitch pictures and gift them to each other.

I wish you all a healthy, Happy New Year with countless blessings.

Thank you for stopping by for a visit.

I hope you are finding some time to stitch today!!!

Monday, November 18, 2019

Sue Spargo Trip

A few weeks ago 5 friends and I made an overnight road trip from Indianapolis to Uniontown, Ohio, which is just south of Akron.   Our destination was the Sue Spargo store.  There were a couple of quilt shop stops in Dublin, Ohio, on the way.  Since we were a group of 6, one of the girls called ahead to let them know we were coming.   There is open sewing on some Wednesdays in the classroom next to the shop so we got to meet others that were working on Sue Spargo projects.

Here is the main part of the shop.  There is lots of wool, ribbons, buttons, and thread.  

Here we are in the shop.  I'm on the left.  My basket has some goodies in it.  You will notice that you don't see much wool in photos on my blog.  OK.  You haven't seen any wool yet.  That didn't stop me from buying a few things there.

They took us on a tour of the back room.  Here is some of the wool.  The back area is mostly for mail orders.  We were allowed to go back there and shop off of the shelves.

Just look at these beautiful colors.

The wool is dyed in house, and we got to see the room where it all happens

Here are just some of the ribbons and trims in the back area.

These are all of the different type of threads.  

Here are samples from the shop that were for sale.

More ribbons waiting to be packaged.

Here are just a few of Helen's blocks that she made in a class with Sue up at Mackinaw Island.  Helen brought her blocks along to pick a sashing fabric.  They featured Helen on Sue Spargo's 
Instagram page on Featured Friends Friday.  Helen is an awesome stitcher.  I always enjoy seeing what she's working on.

I know you want to see my haul.  Here are a couple of pieces of Tula Pink that I bought at one of the quilt shops where we stopped.

Here is what I bought at Sue Spargo's.   I have a lot of supplies.  Now I just need to make it into something.   
Shamefully, what I bought that day is still in the bag.   I keep hearing it's going to  be a long, cold winter so I'll have plenty of time to work on a wool project.

Thanks for stopping by for a visit.

I hope you are finding some time to stitch today.

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