Sunday, December 17, 2017

Slow Sunday Stitching

I was gone a week to visit our daughter and son-in-law in warm, sunny, beautiful Phoenix while northern Indiana was getting its first real blast of winter.

I embroidered during my time in Phoenix. Several months ago I was working on small designs for needle book covers and pincushions but didn't finish all of the squares. I'm still not finished with them, but I'm making progress.


The designs came from these books, patchwork loves embroidery and Christmas Patchwork Loves Embroidery, both by Gail Pan.



Here are some of the blocks I've completed.



I use a Frixion pen when I marked the designs. Gail tells you to use a permanent pen but I'm not talented enough to cover all the markings. I will press with a hot iron when all the embroidery is completed and the markings will disappear, unless, of course, you stick the blocks in a freezer which I won't do.

I've used regular DMC embroidery thread to embroider these blocks. 


I rolled the border of the quilt I'm hand quilting just before I left for Arizona and forgot to take a picture. I'm working on the next borders now and I have 4 needles going. Three needles are stitching in the ditch along the white edges and the 4th is to quilt the design in the border.

The thread is a variegated blue King Tut thread. It will be interesting to see how much the blue thread shows after the blue markings are washed out.

I am right handed but I quilt from left to right. I didn't used to quilt that way but several years ago I started having shooting pain in my right wrist. Since I've started quilting towards myself this way, I have my wrist bent in and no longer have the pain. Whatever works!

Linking to Kathy's Slow Sunday Stitching, Show & Tell Monday With Bambi, Em's ScrapbagLove Laugh Quilt, Design Wall Monday-Small Quilts, BOM's Away, Quilter's Monday, Esther's Wednesday WOW!

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Zippy-Strippy Variation

At the November retreat I sewed a crib sized zippy-strippy top. This week I quilted her with my Elna 720 sewing machine.


I divided the quilt into 4ths diagonally by marking with a X,  drew a + for the pivot points then quilted her with inverted V's one half inch apart.

I think she turned out pretty well. 

She measures 43" by 50-1/2", a nice sized crib quilt.

I have a small assortment of stripped fabrics. This stripe wasn't a perfect match but it looked the best of what I had. 

The fabrics used were a pack of 2-1/2" strips of Candy Swirls from Connecting Threads. There were 20 strips in this pack. The white fabric is Bella solid - white bleached.


Last summer I bought fabric from Connecting Threads that was on clearance including the fabric I used on the back of the quilt.

In the picture the loops look gray but they are blue. The fabric is from Amanda Jean Nyberg's Good Neighbor's collection.

Linking to - Sew, Stitch, Snap SHOW, Let's Bee Social, My Quilt Infatuation, Finished Or Not Friday, Confessions of a Fabric Addict, TGIFF!, Let's Make Baby Quilts, Finish It Up Friday, Free Motion Mavericks

Sunday, December 3, 2017

The Pleasure of Ordinary Days

It was with a sigh of relief that I turned the calendar to December. November was absolutely too busy! I'm glad to see there are very few commitments for this month. For me, there is great pleasure in the sameness of routine. 

We don't have any large family gathering to attend this month, my extended family gathered in November and the Farmer's family hasn't gotten together in years. We will have our local son and his family here for a large breakfast on the 23rd.

We don't get into the hustle and bustle of Christmas shopping and definitely don't do the black Friday thing. I admit I did attend Wana Night Out in Shipshewana last Tuesday but waiting in line at Yoder's isn't anything like waiting in lines at Wal-Mart or another large box store. 

I do have some special days planned: Advent services at church, Grandparents Day at our grandson's kindergarten class, coffee with a neighbor lady(s) and a special shopping day with my DIL at local stores. Some baking is also going to happen here at home.

I'm going to spend the monthly slowly working on the many projects I worked on at the Jane Stickle Retreat including this small quilt which measures 74" long and probably 60" wide. I know I have the measurements written somewhere but can't find them now!



I had originally made the this quilt at the April 2017 Jane Stickle Retreat and added a white outside border. All summer I thought, "I don't like that white border!" 



The fabric had come from Yoder's so I checked there and fortunately they still had some yardage from this collection. 

At the fall retreat, I cut the white border to a narrow border and added the blue border, much more pleasing to my eye. I also sewed the backing fabric and the binding.

And now she's marked and in the hand quilting frame. 

When I was quilting my blue & white churn dash quilt, I was often asked how I marked the quilt. I took pictures while marking the outside border.

I've never had a professional marking lesson so this is the method that works for me that I have come up with over the years.

For the various marking tools I use, check out the post I wrote  on March 12, 2017.


First I marked the 4 corners. That is your starting point. Make sure you mark all 4 exactly the same.


Next I marked the long sides. Laying the stencil on the border, I pin each measure of the stencil. I need to see how many times the design fits or repeats.


I have 3 repeats of the stencil. I have 3 1/2" space I need to adjust for.

What I do is move the pins. I moved the first right pin 1", the 2nd pin 2 1/2" which left 1" for the 3rd pin. Carefully I add an extra feather to the design and carefully make the curve on the bottom. You will never notice the addition. Then I repeat this on the other long border. 



Now for the short borders. I do the same thing, seeing how many times the stencil fits. 

For this border, it is 2 times and I need to fit in 6".


I measured the stencil. It is 6" from the center feather on the right side to the next center feather on the left side.

All I need to do is trace that 6" onto the border. Turn the quilt and mark the other side!


For the all white border, again I marked the 4 corners first but just the left part, not the right cable.

Once the corners are marked, I start making the rest. I don't measure how often this stencil fits like I did with the feathers. 

When I'm about 10" from the corner, I slide the stencil shorter or wider the make it fit. 


This corner looks slightly different than the above picture. No one is going to ever notice once the marking is washed out.

I used the same marker for the next border. I am going to mark those blue squares as I quilt them using the white chalk marker. My experience with the Sewline white markers has been the mark doesn't last a long time so it is less frustrating for me to just mark them as I am ready to quilt that block.


I taped the stencil onto the inside squares so it won't slide around as I am marking. I used the blue marker on the white fabric and then marked the blue fabric with the silver pencil. 

After awhile my blue marker ink was getting very faint so I pulled a newer different blue marker. It makes wider lines and it actually showed up on the blue fabric so I used that instead of the pencil. In the white corners, I marked straight lines 7/8th" apart. Where did I get the 7/8" measurement? That is how far apart the lines are in the stencil hearts. 

I don't have a separate picture of the marked square but I'm sure you'll see it as I make progress with my hand quilting.


I've started quilting and this is how far I've gotten.

You will notice I am marking straight lines every 1 1/2" to give stability to the unquilted fabric in the border. I'm also doing it because I don't like baggy quilted quilts!
A close up view of the corner.






When I'm not quilting, I keep the quilt covered to protect from direct sunshine and little fingers. 

The pattern for this quilt is Cabin Fever, a five fat quarter fun project from Jedi Craft Girl.

Linking to - Slow Stitching Sunday, Show & Tell Monday With Bambi, Em's ScrapbagLove Laugh Quilt, BOM's Away, Quilter's Monday

Sunday, November 26, 2017

Guild Relief Sale Quilt

Over the years, I have shown you pictures of the various quilts my guild has made for the Michiana Mennonite Relief Sale.

The 2018 sale quilt is in the frame and being hand quilted. I finally remembered to take my camera along and took some pictures to show you.

Rhoda and Kathy coordinated the making of this quilt. Guild members either appliqued the basket blocks or sewed the 16 patch blocks.


The pattern is a variation of Victoria's Garden designed by Victoria Hurst.

I'm showing this side so the baskets are right side up. More quilting has been on the top and a row of baskets has already been rolled under. That top row is about completed and probably has been rolled under by now.


Here is a close up picture of a section.

I forgot to take a picture of an individual quilted basket block, sorry.


I appliqued several baskets, I don't know if this is one of mine or not, doesn't matter. Marie did most of the embroidery. Rhoda did the button embellishment.

We are making progress and the quilting should be completed in plenty of time for the September sale.

Linking to Slow Stitching Sunday, Oh Scrap!, Show & Tell With Bambi.

Thursday, November 23, 2017

Shipshewana Summer, A Row By Row Project

Today I'm showing you a different project I sewed at the Jane Stickle Retreat several weeks ago.

The 2014 Row By Row quilt from Yoder Department Store makes a great gift. The row comes in the 4 seasons and this is the Summer Row.



I pieced the top at the retreat and quilted it with a blue variegated thread since I've been home. I do the quilting before I iron on the buggies which are then top stitched with black thread.

The wall hanging measure 8 1/2" by 30 1/2".

Linking to Finished Or Not Friday, Confessions of a Fabric Addict, TGIFF!, Finish It Up Friday, Show Off Saturday.

Sunday, November 19, 2017

A New Embroidery Project

Last spring, summer, sometime this year anyway, I mentioned that I had been embroidering with Perl cotton thread and how I liked the way it glided through the fabric.

My friend Elaine mentioned that she wanted me to try some cotton thread she likes to use. At the Jane Stickle retreat, she pulled out a box with spools of 12 weight thread. This is the equivalent of 2 strands of regular embroidery thread.

She asked me if I had brought an embroidery project along, uh no, I hadn't.


Saturday morning I took a break and went over to Yoder's to show my friend Nancy some of the projects I had been working on. While there I browsed in the embroidery section and found a preprint panel of flowers designed by Darlene Zimmerman. I thought it was very pretty. I haven't done any preprint embroidery in years so I bought the panel.

There are 8 blocks so I will have some interesting embroidery ahead of me. I used Elaine's thread and embroidered 2 of the tulips. I liked the thread and had my DIL order a box for me after I returned home.


The thread has arrived and here it is!
The box isn't completely full but this will give me a good start on colors.

I know preprinted embroidered blocks are not a popular project anymore but I still enjoy working with them. And it simplifies my life too by not having to decide which colors to use. I'm still in control of which shade of color.

Linking to Slow Sunday Stitching, Esther's Wednesday WOW!.

Friday, November 17, 2017

Star Dance Blocks

Another project that made progress at the Jane Stickle Retreat, were the Star Dance blocks. The center is now sewn and ready for applique.

I didn't set the blocks the way the pattern said with a straight set. I personally like blocks set on point. At this stage, she measures 43 1/2" by 53 1/2".

I'm planning on doing the applique with machine stitching, a new learning experience for me! Hopefully I will have the applique pieces prepped and ready to go for my guild's retreat the first weekend in March, 2018.

A fun fact about this quilt is that all the stars have been made from fabrics in my stash, the striped border too!

While at the retreat, I also sewed the border on my mammoth 4-patch quilt (no picture). He measures 124" by 125". I need to finish piecing the backing and then off to the long arm quilter he will go. I'll take a picture after the binding is attached.

Linking to Finished Or Not Friday, Confessions of a Fabric Addict, TGIFF!, Finish It Up FridayScrap Happy Saturday, Oh Scrap!, LoveLaughQuilt, Show & Tell Monday with Bambi, Em's Scrapbag, BOM'S Away, Quilts My Way, UFO Challenge