Thursday, November 10, 2016

It's a Finish!!!

OMG!!! Count em, count them good! THREE more FAL finishes!!!
This is a lap sized quilt that will be donated to a local charity. A lot of the fabric I used was on our guild's "Free Table." I used the half-square triangles I had picked up at a meeting last year and some scraps from my own stash.
Autumnal Donation Quilt
This was a block of the month that I worked on for a little over a year. It is button stitched appliqué by hand. It is such a cheery quilt! It was designed by Cindy Staub from Quilt Doodle Doodles.
"My Favorite Things"
This was another block of the month project I did. It took me a bit longer to finish this one! Erin Russek is the designer and this is her pattern called "My Tweets." Her blog is "One Piece at a Time".
"My Tweets"
*Speaking about the night guild, I am going to join it again. Not only that, but I volunteered to head up the monthly challenges. If feels so good to be back in the swing of things!

Until next time, happy sewing y'all!

Monday, October 31, 2016

Birthday followup AND a finish for FAL!!!

I have been super busy in the studio again! It feels so good! I have missed my creative side for quite some time now.
The first thing I worked on were ATC's. These are Artist Trading Cards that I made for a swap. Think of ATC's as baseball trading cards for artists. The theme was Halloween. I made six cards.
 Some of these were inspired by artists that I enjoy.
There will be another swap for Yule that I think I will join in doing too.

I finally finished one of my FAL projects! It was JUST a label for the U is for Unicorn quilt. I don't know why it took me SO long to make it. But it IS done now, yippee!!!

I turned 62 last week. For my birthday I got an America the Beautiful Pass. This gets me discounts at national parks and five other national or federal agencies. I got mine at Central High School in Little Rock, Arkansas. This is the high school that had the National Guard escorting nine African American students into school. It was the start of desegregation in the south.
It felt very eerie to be on the same grounds and walking up the same stairs that held so much history!

We then went camping this past weekend for, probably, the last time this year. It was at Woolly Hollow State Park near Greenbrier, AR. It was a wonderful getaway. The campsite was spacious and the weather was perfect! We went on a long hike in the woods and I now feel quite renewed.
That's it for today. I have some other finishes coming down the pipe and can't wait to share them with you. Until then, happy sewing y'all!

Sunday, October 9, 2016

Quarater #4 - FAL

After almost totally sloughing off any major sewing all summer, my plan is to come back like gangbusters and really get a lot of quilty work done for the forth quarter of the "Follow-A-Long" challenge.

Quarter Four:
10/8/16 to 1/7/17

Seven projects:
1 Folk Art Quilt: blocks are done, need to assemble and quilt
 2 Cathedral Windows Quilt: I think I am dreaming that this will get done!
3 My Tweets Quilt: binding
 4 Hexagon Quilt: Another one that should be done, but oh my it is a big one!

5 My Favorite Things Quilt: ready to quilt and bind

6 Label for U is for Unicorn Quilt: why is this not done???
 7 Autumnal Donation Quilt: this should be done before winter, right? lol
 I am almost done making two other donation quilts. Next time I open my mouth and say "Sure, I can quilt those for you" I need to find out what kind of batting they are using. In this case, both quilts had super thick batting. This gave me no end of aggravations! Thick batting is NOT friendly!!!
To top it off, there is a method of binding I had not heard of before, called "Economy Binding Method". The binding strip is only 1 1/4" wide! Normally binding is a LOT wider. I was dubious that this was going to work, especially on a quilt with super thick batting.
I had to iron it in half and then iron one edge over. I attached it to the front of the quilt with a scant quarter inch seam allowance. NO easy feat!!! I am now hand sewing it to the back. It will actually turn out alright. I don't know that I would use this method on other quilts, but maybe. 

That's it for today. I need to get going on my 4th Quarter FAL projects now!

 Happy Sewing Y'all!

Monday, September 26, 2016

Owl-ness

A few days ago I received an email that was sent out to the members of my old quilt guild. I've remained on their distribution list, even though I am no longer a card carrying member. The email was about the need for help in making donation quilts. On a whim, I wrote back and volunteered to quilt a couple quilts for them. Why did I do this? I don't know. Maybe because I know it is hard to get folks to volunteer for stuff.

Anyway, I had just about finished the My Tweets quilt's quilting and thought it would be a nice break, to just do some simple quilts for a good cause. I contacted the person who had the tops, backings, and batting and arranged to meet up in a small town about a half hour's drive from my home.
I arrived to the meeting place a bit early. The meeting was at a new-to-the-area quilt store. This little shop is also a Pfaff dealership. My favorite machine is a Pfaff. I had been considering having my Pfaff taken in for a good deep cleaning and possible repair. I have used my machine a LOT and it was showing its age at times.

Instead of waiting in the car, I went into the store and browsed a bit. It was so terribly busy!!! I then noticed a little poster that said there was a quilt show in the area. The dates coincided with this day's date! The show was less than a block from this little store. No wonder they were so busy.

I ran into people I knew from both my old quilt guilds. It was good seeing old friends. I inquired of the store clerk about the cost to have my machine looked at, ($90) and on a whim decided I would override my frugal self and spend the $5 to go to the little quilt show.

I meet up with the person to get the donation quilts from and then went over to the show. It was little but it was fun. I looked at quilts and took note of how some of the appliquéd quilts were quilted. A few quilts caught my eye:
I'm a sucker for anything owlish
Adorable!
And of course it had an owl too - several of them!
I always admire hexagon quilts
This was so bright, in person
The colors were more vibrant than my camera shows

Oh look! An owl followed me home!
I purchased this little owl that opens up to reveal a teeny pin cushion inside. I also bought a yard of an owl print fabric. I then went back to the store after viewing the show and hesitantly left my Pfaff with them to be worked on. I was concerned and hoped that this was a good shop to do business with. I had had previous experiences with other shops that were not so good.

Later last week, I finished quilting the My Tweets quilt top. All that is left is the binding and label. I can't do that yet, because the Pfaff is still in the shop.

I am not happy with the quilting. Only the kids will see this quilt and at least it is done. I had taken note at the quilt show as to how others did their appliqué quilting. Most of them were not quilted on or over the top of the applique pieces but were quilted around each piece. I don't trust my stitches to hold if I don't nail them down with more thread, but maybe they will and I am just too worried they won't.


During the quilting of this quilt, I had a needle break, early on. That was replaced and I used mostly one needle for the whole quilt. The Mister took the old needle and a new one to work and photographed them. If you have ever wondered if it is true that a needle will get dull, just by going through cotton fabrics, here is proof that it does happen:
The older needle is on top

Isn't that amazing! I was actually just as surprised at how sharp the new needles are too.

(Several Days Later) I got my Pfaff back and she's running great! The little quilt shop came through for me. I am glad to find a local Pfaff dealership. The shop is called "The Bed-Warmer Quilt and Sew Shop" and is located in Benton, Arkansas. I hope they stay in business a good long time.

That's it for this posting. Phew it got kind of long!!! My next posting will be talking about getting back into the swing of things and actually getting some projects done with the FAL group. Till then, happy sewing y'all!

Monday, September 5, 2016

Ok, now what?

I finished the last two blocks for the Folk Art quilt.

Block 13

And Block 14
Now I will have to decide if I want to put sashing around each block or just join them all together without. I am leaning towards not doing the sashing because of the way I hope to quilt it.

I have no more appliqué work to do. I am not sure I want to start another one, but I miss working on the blocks while watching TV in the evenings.  If I were to do another appliqué quilt, I am not sure I would want to copy a pattern that someone else designed. I am very unsure about designing my own though!!! Stay tuned, as I figure this dilemma out.