Sunday, January 25, 2015

Table Runner Experiment


I have wanting to learn how to free motion quilt for quite a while.  According to all the books and articles I have read, practice, practice, practice is the key to learning how to do the task.  Since I am in limbo between projects, I decided to put together a simple table runner and see what I can do.  And  so I made the table runner.

I will say that getting to play with the walking foot tool is fun.  Good thing, there is a small instruction sheet on how to hook up the free loop tool.. haha.

So I went for it and I was more impressed by the skill needed to accomplish something that looks good.  So there are going to be lots of pot holders in my future as I learn this skill..haha.

And naturally, Gracie had to bless the material first.

I also got to practice the other skills of making the binding perfect and gluing the edges down to reduce having to use pins on the binding, which are always the death of me.  I usually spend more time cussing because I have snagged my finger on another pin..

This is the free motion quilting.  I see the long stitches, the short stitches, the side step direction ending in a point cause I didn't know where the heck the piece was headed.  I can also see I will have to move my machine from its small table to my big cutting table, so I have room to maneuver fabric.

The bright orange fabric is the backing and enough left over for the binding.  The binding is glued in place,  so just need to sew on the decorative stitch I like.

Anyway, here is the table runner.

Flannel Shirt Quilt


While I was working on the Roman Road Quilt, I was also toying with some left over flannel plaid pieces that I was given a few years ago.  I wanted to make something with them, but nothing ever seemed right.  Every few months, I would see them folded up in the fabric drawer and they kept calling out to be something..but my mind just never had a good idea for them.

Since I was already working with flannel, I decided that I needed to do something with them.  I cut the fabric into large squares, laid them out until I liked the pattern, and then sewed them together.  It came out smaller than I wanted originally, so thought I would just make a lap quilt for the sofa.

One day, while in JoAnn Fabrics, I saw a huge bright piece of red flannel and I thought that it would be perfect for the plaid material.  I don't normally buy a lot of red fabric, so the amount I bought seemed overkill, but I bought it anyway.  So, I went ahead and got a green flannel herringbone fabric for the backing.  The even sweeter deal was that I was able to get both pieces of fabric for 50% off.

When sewn together, they seemed awful bright to my eyes, but I still liked it.

The blanket was now bigger than a lapsize, but for some reason, I knew I was giving to someone who would love it, so I just kept on going.  Eventually I realized it was for some friends in England, so they got it for xmas 2014.

Pics of the blanket and the progress to getting there..

This is the finished piece ..

The following are the construction of squares, border and backing fabric ..

I joined them together and took one more shot before sending it off to be quilted..

It came back and I was very happy with the quilting.  Because of the dense quilting, the blanket shrunk quite a bit, but it was nice and snuggly warm.

So, I got the binding done and everything was looking good.  Because I have cats..and they love to sneak onto quilts, it was necessary to put the quilt through the washer/dryer.  Whoa!!  Major lesson about flannel.  Apparently, the flannel was not the top grain flannel I thought it might be.  It shrank some more, which was okay, cause it did make the blanket a little more cozy; it did pull on the binding stitches.  There was no way to undo all the stitching.  It was now too tight.  I ended up going back over everything and hand stitching everything in place.

So, then I mailed it off to England.  Had to chuckle in that it cost as much to send it to England as it did for me to have it quilted.. But the guys were worth it.  ;-)

Roman Road Quilt


I was going to give this to a particular person but changed my mind for personal reasons and decided to give this to someone else. I need to sew the blocks together but suddenly my sewing room needs to be reconfigured and the sewing is getting suspended for a few days. 

Here is a pic of the work so far. The design has two different names. So take your pick, "Roman Road" or "Rail Fence".

Quilt Top .. Unfinished.  Blocks are laid out, but not sewn together yet.


A few years ago, I was given some xmas print flannel fat quarters.  At the time, I had an idea for a quilt, but never got around to making it.  About this time last year, another idea began to pop up in my mind.  So, I made this Roman Road..or Split Rail Fence .. depending on where you are from and the name you associate to it.

My nephew, Josh, requested a quilt from me 'someday', 'my choice'.  He likes to sleep, veg out on the sofa, thought that a sofa throw would be what I made for him.


I finally got the quilt top finished and sent off to Terri Clark (Salmon Creek Quilting) to have it long-armed.  I gave it to my nephew for Xmas.  He was thrilled when he saw it.  Hope it lasts him a long time.

Here is the finished piece:

Diamonds in the Rough


Ok..started a new project.  Lang's niece is having a baby near Xmas, so her mother asked me if I would make a crib quilt for the new baby.   We worked out which pattern she wanted and she bought the fabric and sent it to me.  The pattern calls for some bling pieces and she forgot to send the bling..which is fine, cause I have lots of scrap fabric...and it gives me an excuse to use up the different fabrics I have.

The quilt pattern is called:  Diamond in the Rough.

It will look like this:

So I have been cutting and trying to match scraps to the blocks with the idea of creating little bits of "pop" throughout the quilt.  The scrap fabric in the center will not match on the seams and the more varied the colors, the more bling it adds to the piece overall.  Because I want the overall pattern to be pleasing, so have put everything up on the flannel board.  I will be putting the 5 inch blocks back into a 9.5 inch block and then rearranging the colors according to the pattern I have drawn out.  When the four blocks are joined together, they form a rough diamond in the middle.. :-)

Here is the darker of the beiges that will become 6  9-inch blocks.


Still plugging away on the baby quilt for Kim's daughter.

I have cut all the blocks into 5 inch squares.  I laid out the fabric pieces on my big table, and began adding color (bling) to each of the corners.  I was having so many problems remembering top from bottom and which square I wanted to make into part of a 9 inch square, that I began to label each block.  Each color has nine blocks so I labeled them 1 through 9.  Each big square is made up of four smaller squares, a - d.  And I labeled each top so I knew which way was up.  haha.

A few trial pieces showed me that apparently I can't sew a straight line free hand, so I drew a line to sew on, on each piece.  So I am sewing assembly line to gets the bling on.


Working at joining the blocks today.  Spent a productive day at getting the blocks put together.  Got all done and was putting stuff away and realized that I was sewing them together wrong.  So..seam ripper time !!!

So, truing up the smaller squares ..


So when I got done, I laid out a few of the blocks just to see how fragmented they looked.  Not bad..


Took some of the blocks and lay them out on the bed..just for fun..missing colors are blue and yellow..


I finished the top and sent it off to be quilted.

I was taking pics of this and decided to take a few hanging on the clothesline on my patio. The sunlight was a little bright, but it made for a beautiful picture. 


I finished the Diamonds quilt.  Waiting for label, but that will be an easy sew..

So here are the pics.

Picture taken by Teri Clark, the long arm quilter who quilted this for me:

The binding has been sewn on.

I requested that Kim design her own label, since this is for her grandchild.  This is her design.  It took me a while to figure out that "G & G" stand for Grandpa and Grandma.. ;-)  or at least I think it does..haha.

A friend of mine has an embroidery machine and he did this label for me.  We are still trying to decide if the background color should be different.  But this is one of the attempts of what it will look like.

And we did go with a new label..and it is sewn truly done.

And so I used both labels..

I received a nice thank you and a pic on Facebook of the quilt on the babies beautiful crib. Kim's choice of colors for the quilt were perfect.

Curtains and Needle Holder


I had surgery on Feb 24, 2014, and needed to take it easy.  Which was okay, but I began to feel I needed to feed the addition.  While I was resting, Lang decided to paint the living room and hallway.  And then we finally attached the new curtain rod to the wall like it should have been done.  Well, that necessitated getting new curtains.  The ones we saw were of a weave pattern, but needed to have a backing.  Since I had about 20 yards of white linen fabric...sure, piece of cake..  Well, I got one done before I needed to take a day or two off..then I finished the other one.  They came out looking nice, so that fed that fix.

The outer brown weave is what I put the panels on.  The inner greenish pattern already had a backing on it.

pastedGraphic_1.png  Before, you could see all the way through the brown curtains.  Lang painted the walls a mint green.

Yesterday, I woke up and just needed to sew something, so came into the craft room and saw a cute little project, so I did that.

This a Sunbonnet Sue Needle Holder.

A lot of times, in your sewing bag/kit/basket, you find that when you are hand sewing something, you often want to use the same needle over again, because it is a comfortable fit to your hand, or whatever.  Where to put the needle so it is handy for the next time.  You carry a bit of fabric with some felt attached to it to store the needle.  Felt absorbs any oils or moisture from your hands and keeps the needle from rusting.

For those unfamiliar with the Sunbonett Sue fanatics out is a sample of what Sunbonnet Sue looks like on a quilt.


So here is the needle holder I made:

pastedGraphic_3.png  This is the top of the needle holder.  I stuffed her bonnet so that it could be a pin holder.  The dress lifts up to get to the pins and needles inside.


The red material is felt.  I sewed it down on the black fabric before I attached to floral print.  Missed the mark on my placement of the felt..Better planning next time. haha


The back of the piece. Once I sewed the head shut after stuffing it, I sewed a ribbon around her neck which hid the other sew lines and made her look prettier.

Now, I can stash this in my sewing bag..and always have a needle holder ready when I need it.

Neck Scarf



I didn't take enough pics, but saw the cutest pattern on line from Sew 4 Home. It was a basic neck scarf for a man. What I liked about it was that they have you make a small zippered bag and then see it on one end of the scarf. The bag is made from ribbed sport nylon .. I think that is the right verbage for it. Anyway it was clever. The length was 60 inches. For me, that's not long enough, but the person I made it for is small framed, so it should work. I changed my copy of the length of the pattern to 72 inches, because I think most people would find that length more suitable. 

Anyway, here is the one pic I took of it. Note the zippered pocket. You can wear the scarf with bag showing or reverse scarf and have bag next to your body. My friends has a large dog she walks daily, so bag could hold keys, bags for poop scoops, or whatever.