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12/24/2013

Holiday Greetings and Sewing Project

MERRY CHRISTMAS 

I want to wish everyone a Merry Christmas. We had a heavy, but lovely snow last night. I have yet to go out and take photos. The snow simply adds such a brightness to the somewhat drab winter color, so this was welcome since the sun is shining and the day appears so very promising. 



I wanted to post some photo and the one I chose is a small candle mat I made from a pattern I found on the internet about 4 years ago.



I have yet to locate the tutorial I used, but I did find Dina's blog, Little by Little by Bossymomma, where she made a tree using the same technique. She has a nice tutorial. I want to try this tree for next Christmas. 


A .pdf version of this tutorial is available. If you would like a copy,
please email Dina at dfne@peterjh.wanadoo.co.uk


On New Year's Day, I am going to participate in the 
Check out the link if you are interested in a sewing project on January 1. I did one mystery two years ago and had a very enjoyable time sewing a quilt top that day. 

And again, 
Merry Christmas to all 
and happy quilting in the New Year!


12/19/2013

Cozies, Mice, Furoshiki, Zentangles and MORE!

Wow, have I been very busy with a number of projects since my last blog! 

BOWL COZIES
The booth I had the church craft bazaar yielded me a very tiny profit. But, I did get an order for some microwave bowl cozies in a blue and white theme. 




I thought I would try a round cozy. It was a bit more difficult to make and does not work as well as the square cozies. I may go back to the drawing board with this design. 


FUROSHIKI
I hemmed some 40" x 40" fabric pieces to create Japanese-style Furoshuki wrappings to sell at the kitchen store where I work a few days a week. These can be used for a table covering after the gift is opened. I actually wrapped some bottles from wine with the clothes. 

There are YouTube videos showing how to wrap almost anything with the cloth. One I liked is HERE. I liked the book carrier method.

   Here are 3 wrapping methods.


PINCUSHIONS
I joined a pincushion swap that Bea, from Beaquilter.com, organized. I made a few of these mouse pincushions to see how they made up. 



I found the pattern for the mouse pincushion at All About You. I wasn't really sure how large I was suppose to print the pattern. My mouse is setting on 4" square tiles on my countertop. So not too big. The pink one was my 3rd try and I definitely got better as I made each one.

I sent the pink one off to my December partner on Monday and she got it today. I have another one to make which will be sent to a different person in January. I will try a different pattern. 

MUG RUG
I had a new Mug Rug demo on the 1st Saturday in December. I made a wreath with bias tape strips and buttons (to cover the joint from the ends). Seven ladies were there, which was a very good turnout. 



ZENTANGLE and LUMIERE QUILT TECHNIQUE
I took a two-week class at The Arts Place. Sandy Dekker taught the class and it was wonderful. Here is what I got done:


This is the entire piece (18" x 18").
Below are some close-ups of a few areas.



In the first class we did free-motion quilting with a Zentangle look. In the second class we played with Lumiere paints. I will be using this technique again for some type of project!

BARN ADVENT CALENDAR
I came across this wonderful advent calendar craft posted as a link on Persimon Dreams Facebook page. Lynne of Lily's Quilts is putting one barn quilt printable template on her blog each day in December. I have a bit of work cut out for NEXT year's calendar!

EASILY make WEBPAGE a PDF 
I found a link to a very helpful tool today. I visited a website with a tutorial. There was a reference to a site that can turn a webpage into a PDF or print in a nice layout. I had such an easy time using it--much quicker than highlighting my selection and telling the printer what to do. Here is the link: http://www.printfriendly.com/ 

I wish all a very Merry Christmas, a Happy New Year.
And fun quilting as often as you can. 






11/27/2013

Happy Thanksgiving

This is going to be a brief post. The Giving Thanks blog hop has ended. I had fun and hope all of you did as well. I am sorry I did not get to all the blogs--just not enough time. But I did make a copy of the list so I can visit at a later date. I like blog hopping since it lets me see what others are doing with their quilting, whether it is a hobby or business. I thank Michele for organizing this and I will surely join in on the next blog hop. 

Now for the winners of my giveaways. 
I did not use a high tech method for choosing the winners. I asked my husband to pick 2 numbers between 1 and 60. The winners matching his numbers were: 



I will be sending the two hoppers an email with the PDF patterns attached as soon as I finish up all the preparations for our Thanksgiving gathering and dinner. Probably Friday, Nov. 29. 

These two patterns are available for a very reasonable price at PatternSpot.com under Patchwork Breeze, if you are interested in making the stocking or the potholder.

I will show you on Friday the things I have been working on during the blog hop, just not enough time to post them now. 

Have a Happy Thanksgiving everyone--we all have something we can be thankful for each and every day. 

11/21/2013

Giving Thanks Quilters' Blog Hop Party

It's here, the Giving Thanks Quilters' Blog Hop Party organized by Michele of Quilting Gallery.


This giveaway has ended.

Each participating blog has a giveaway. 
You leave a comment on each blog you visit. 
Your comment is your entry into the drawing for the giveaway on that blog. 
You can find the list of blogs via the link above.

My giveaway consists of two quilt patterns. One for a "woven" Christmas Stocking and another for a "woven" potholder. Below are photos of the stockings and the potholder I made. 
These are great to do up in seasonal colors, school colors, someone's favorite colors, etc. 
I made two green and white stockings and gave them to my niece and her boyfriend who went to Michigan State. One was green with white outline and the other white with green outline.

The potholders can be made to match kitchen color schemes or seasonal decor. 

At 1:45 PM today, I added the patterns to my Patchwork Breeze storefront at PatternSpot.com. They are reasonably priced, if you are interested in obtaining either or both of the patterns. 




On November 29 26, I will randomly select TWO winners from the comments left on my blog. And they will both win the TWO PDF patterns, which will be emailed anywhere in the world.

So leave a comment on my blog to the question: What two colors would you use to "weave" either one of these quilt projects (the stockings or the potholder)?

I need a way to contact you. So make sure you leave an email address in the comment if it isn't attached to your identity. Anonymous comments go to my spam folder. 

I hope you come back during the Blog Hop to see what projects I have to share with you.


11/16/2013

Visit my blog along with many others during the  

"Giving Thanks – Quilters’ Blog Hop Party"

starting Thursday, November 21st and running through November 26th. 

I will have a giveaway (I will tell you on November 21 what it is). 
Check back before then to see what quilting things I have to share. 
And I look forward to your visit on November 21!

11/13/2013

Quilt Along Blocks and Nativity Trees

About 2 weeks ago I told Bea of beaquilter.com that I would join her and others in a quilt along. I would be using scraps and sewing the units as leaders and enders of the projects I am working on. Well, I had loads of scraps. This is going to be a very scrappy quilt. Here is what I have done so far. 




Oh, by the way, I could not simply sew these as leaders and enders. I went ahead and made 12 blocks at one time and then worked on the others. These are not necessarily the way I will put them all together. 

I also joined the Nativity in the Trees - Quilt Along which Polly is leading. I stayed up a little too late last night going through my scraps to find greens! I found some already cut into strips and others that can be cut in half for some of the widths called for. Of course, I had to start sewing some last night. Needless to say, I am running on no energy today. Might have to leave the sewing for a nap this afternoon. 

Are there some other sew alongs, you are particpating in prior to the holidays? 

11/08/2013

Baby Quilts and Giveaway Link

I have been working on baby quilts for the craft show. I used 3 cuts of fabrics to make these quilts. Below the photos, I will show you how I made these.







Use one yard cuts of 3 different fabrics to make 3 quilt tops. The binding comes from the 3 yards. Add some batting and backing, stipple the layers, bind and you are done! 

Here are the directions: 
From each one yard cuts of fabric, cut four 2-1/2" x WOF strips for bindings.


From each remaining fabric piece, cut one 26" x 35" rectangle.

From the narrow ends of each 26" x 35" piece, cut two 26" x 4-1/2" strips as shown below. 

Set aside these 4-1/2" x 26" strips.
Take each of the 26" squares of fabrics and cut one 4-1/2" x 26" strip from the top and bottom edges. (You have not cut from these edges yet. Cutting from these edges is important if the fabric is directional.)
  
You now have 3 rectangles measuring 17" x 26". Fold each of these rectangles in half one way and then in half the other way. Through all layers, on the open edges, cut 4-1/2" widths as shown below. 


Take the different pieces and mix and match centers, side strips, corners, and outer borders for 3 different quilt tops. Sew the pieces together with 1/4" seams working from the center out. 
Layer batting and backing. I stippled the layers, trimmed and attached the binding to the back and used my sewing machine to topstitch the binding from the front. 

Now the Giveaway. The Giveaway has ended.

I got an email from  Lucy @ Charm About You. She showed the Giant Chevron Quilt she made and tells the details of a giveway of the pattern for 2 lucky winners. The winner will be announced Nov. 11. Check out other colorways at the pattern designer's site: Here

The quilt pattern gives directions for a baby, lap or twin quilt and looks simple enough to make. A great way to use the scraps from the 3 baby quilts I made. 

Thanks for visiting and let me know if you make some baby quilts from my tutorial. 


11/05/2013

Today's Sewing

I worked on some Christmas items for a craft show I will be at in 2 weeks. They are soft triangle "boxes" for gifts, table favors, etc. 



They are easy to make and I thought I would post a tutorial on how I make these. 

I layer a piece of batting between two pieces of fabric (right sides facing out).





I trim all three layers at once to 8-1/2" wide by whatever length the fabric measures. 


I use the Kaye Wood's Starmaker 6 ruler to cut equilateral triangles from the fabric. But any 60 degree triangle ruler would work.


The number of triangles I get depends on the length of the fabric strip. And sometimes I get one smaller triangle (the one on the left) but I can still use it!


Using the walking foot, I sew a running stitch through all layers along one edge of the triangle. The stitching is less than a 1/4" from the edge.  


When I get to the corner, I sew off the end, turn the triangle, reset the needle to sew the next edge layers. Sometime I find the fabric shifts a bit, so I line up the edge of the top fabric with the foot. It will be trimmed after all 3 sides have been stitched, so not a concern.


Trim all the edges to no less than 1/8" from stitching line.


When I am making many of the same item, I try time-saving steps. I made a template to mark the corner fold lines. The purple triangle template measures 2" from tip to base. As you can see, I lay the template on the corner, mark the fold line, then pin each corner down to show the fold.




I am ready to sew the buttons (or whatever other decoration) on the smaller, folded triangles. I use some basting tape under the button to hold it in place. (It is water soluble and will wash away if soaked in water for a bit.)


I take only the foot off my sewing machine, not the shank. When the presser foot is lowered, the shank holds the button. I put the feed dogs down and set a zig-zag stitch that sews back and forth through the button holes. **It is important to use the hand wheel to see that the needle fits in the holes properly, or the needle will break.**


If there are 4 button holes, I raise the needle, raise the presser foot, turn the piece a 1/4 turn and test the needle zig-zag in the unsewn holes before I begin sewing in the last 2 holes. 


If I can bring the top threads to the back side and tie all 4 threads on the back, I do. If not, the zig-zag is usually secure enough to hold the threads and I cut the top threads before the under threads. Here is my piece with all the buttons on it. 


Now I fold the sides and sew them. (Excuse the stained thumb, I did a half bushel of apples for applesauce this morning.)


I sew from the folded edge, using a reverse stitch (backing up) to secure the beginning stitches. I end with reverse stitches where the small triangles begin. 



It is almost done. I need to clip the threads.


And, finally, it is done! They are cute for any season or reason. I hope you will try to make a few. I suppose on could sew a decorative edge rather that straight stitching. If you find another edge finish, let me know. I'd love to here or see a photo of what you did.