Friday, December 28, 2012

My Blog Hop Winnings Arrived

A Stocking for my Tree & Beads for Beading

5 fat quarters of fabric to add to my Stash


A woolen needle holder

I just retrieved my mail this morning and in it was a box containing my blog hop winnings from Dolores Quilts. Wow so cool. It is rare that I win anything and this was so fun. I opened the box as soon as I got home and poured over it's contents. I love the beige fabrics and the green fabric is so colorful. I loved Santa and the Stocking was fun. The beads and sequins were great. I loved the... needle holder too and the book mark is great. They already found new places to be. The Beads and sequins went in my jewelry making box, the Santa and Stocking are now hung on my tree as my New Ornaments for this year. The bookmark was placed in a book by my bed, (replacing the piece of Paper I was using as a bookmark. The Fabrics were washed, ironed and placed in my Quilting Stash for future use. the needle holder now resides with my applique notions. and the floss is with my embroidery drawer ready to use on my next project. Thank You ever-so-much Dolores. As I use my little gifts I will think of your Blog "Dolores Quilts". I do hope you have a Blessed New Year and visit my blogs often too - My Quilting and Sewing Arts Studio and In my Studio.  I also love to blog about my creative thoughts at Creative Lady's Enthusiastic Thoughts

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

My inspiration for the New Year.


Log Cabin mini quilt pins,  I'm off to my studio to make more of these little cuties - my aim is to fill a basket of these little log cabin blocks from my scraps. 

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Tutorials for making 8 flying geese at a time.

Making 8 Flying Geese at a time.  I want to try making these.  This morning before I got out of bed I was checking my e-mail and favorite blogs and I came across this blog: Sew'n Wild Oaks Quilting Blog and checked out Lynn's virtual classroom.  She has a tutorial on making 8 wild geese units at a time.  It looked easy so I do want to try this.  She uses them as a border in making a Christmas Pillow that I also would love to try.  Only I want to make the center block sold and do some applique on it.  It would look great as a mini quilt also.  So check out her blog for some great Ideas and tutorials.  I am going to try this today. 
From Quilting Ideas Magazines
I also came across a picture on flickr of a basket of  paper pieced mini log cabin blocks posted by mission homestead. I just started making a few following a pattern I found in one of my older magazines, (You know the ones I love to look thru while laying in bed before falling asleep.)   Quilting Ideas - Log Cabin Pins by Designer Pam Ehrhardt of Lasting Piece.  Now for me to make a basket full of these little Log Cabin Blocks would look awesome sitting next to my sewing machine all ready to make up into wonderful things.  Join me in my Studio as I show the steps I took making this project.

Pins I have made using Pam's Pattern.

Friday, December 7, 2012

Finish Up Friday

Last evening I finished hand-basting my Christmas Runner top to bottom.  I choose to do it by hand because I wanted the detail on the backing fabric to fall in the middle without shifting.  Today I will quilt it and add the binding by machine.  I just watched a video on YouTube; How To Bind a Quilt With a Sewing Machine -- Jenny Doan shows how to bind with a sewing machine. To get the materials needed to do this project.    She was very thorough and made it seem easy to do.  I will add pictures later today. 

This shows the pieced block I prepared to place in the middle of my backing fabric.


Well my Christmas Runner is done. I am not really happy about how The pictures turned out but I did want to show them to you anyway. 

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

My progress on my Christmas Table Runner

Here's the latest progress on my Table Runner. 
                                                                                                      These are the 8 segments I sewed & trimmed into blocks.
I took the scraps and made several 2" triangles


 I am finding that I enjoy hand quilting as much as my machine quilting and have applied the backing on with hand stitching.  Remember the Blocks I made - all 8 of them that I squared up for this runner.  I took the leftover triangles and made them into 2" squares.  Since the backing I choose for the runner needed piecing to fit I decded to cut it in half and make a block for the middle.  I took the squares and applied a short piece between each using my 2nd choice for the backing Then I used a 1 1/2" strip for the border on each.  This gave the appearance that they were floating - I like the effect.  Then I sewed the backing fabric to each side.  This made the backing wide enough to cover the top.  In order to keep the middle strip centered I decided to hand baste my backing to the top after sandwiching it between a low loft batting.  I will finish up the hand basting today and then continue to quilt and bind it.  above are pictures of my progress.  Hope you enjoy the creative process.

Saturday, December 1, 2012

A Christmas Runner

 For this Pattern you could use fabrics from your stash cut into 2 1/2" strips.  You could also change the fabric choices to go along with any season.
A Jelly Roll Friendly Pattern by Legacy also includes a pattern to make a stocking.

Yesterday I started on a Christmas Runner, from Legacy Patterns, "Very Braidy Christmas "a very jelly roll friendly pattern.  Or you could use scrappy 2 1/2" strips from your stash.  It had some difficulty at 1st understanding how to piece my segments but after making one segment and clipping it above my machine to use as a reference I was able to piece the 8 segments together.  I then trimmed them and will finish sewing the segments together.  Here are some pictures of my progress.
I cut my strips into 2 1/2" x 4"pieces then pieced them together for my 1st segment.  Note the 1st pieced together block is hanging up by my sewing machine for reference.  Once I did this the other 7 blocks went together easier. 
I have finished sewing the 8 blocks together to form a chevron pattern.
my top is ready to be sandwiched and quilted.
 Opp's need to select a backing 1st. 

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Time to re-orginize my stash

Some of the Projects I finished for our Holiday Sale.
Scrappy Hot Pads, A Patchwork Purse and appliqued kitchen Towel and hot pad

My Patchwork Purse
My Pieced Hot Pad


I need to reorganize my stash of Fabrics both my fat Quarters, scraps and larger pieces.  It has been a very hectic few weeks since I started to sew again after my shoulder replacement surgery and I have finished quite a few projects,  1st was the hot pads I made for the sale we had at my church for our annual bakery and craft/art sale on the 19th of this month.  I only was able to put a few things in this year but all of them sold.  I even put in my purple purse that I made.  I am glad they sold because this means more dollars for our women's missions projects.  My group "the Quilters at 3rd and Vine" raffled off another quilt this year.  The winner was very excited about the quilt.    I tried to blog about the progress of these projects on my sewing blogs, Quilting & Sewing Arts & Quilting and Sewing Arts Studio.  In my studio I go into a lot more detail about the process of creating my projects.  I enjoy sharing my projects.  My latest project was creating wonky log cabin blocks for the Sandy Quilt Block Drive.  this is an ongoing endeavor for the survivors of Sandy.

Monday, November 12, 2012

My Mini-Quilt is finished

The finished quilt front - note the quilting in the ditch with the stars
I finished my quilt and renamed it "Christmas Star/Autumn Pumpkins"  It is 14" x14" square.  I enjoyed making this little quilt and sharing it with all of you.  After I finished paper-piecing my middle star within a star with fabrics from my stash, (the smaller star was hand pieced), I took a look at my stash to determine what I could use for my double borders and I just loved the black & gold print for the smaller border and then used a beautiful green mistletoe for the larger border.  I did make both borders a little larger than the pattern called for and I love the way it turned out.  I then decided to machine quilt it using clear thread in both the bobbin and the upper thread, (since the print was so busy I did not want to distract from it).  I did stitch in the ditch for my center star and then used my machine embroidery stitch for the squiggly lines in my outer border.

note the surface stitching on the pumpkin block, the quilting that was
 done on the front shines thru on the back side of this quilt

Choosing the backing for my piece was a little harder - mmmm - What would it look like if I used autumn colors on the back?  I had some leftover blocks from a project I did last year, I could add a small border and then applique it onto the back...So my reversible quilt was born.  I chose a multicolor striped fabric, (leftover from some Christmas projects), to use on the back.  I did some surface quilting on my pumpkins with some small stippling in the background & outlining the pumpkins to give some texture and help them stand out.  Then I applied the block by using the same squiggly lines around the border after carefully lining up the patch to match the small border on the "Christmas Star" side.  You can see the quilting that I did on the front much better on the Autumn side.  I do think it turned out well and would love your comments.  right now it is hanging out on my livingroom sofa table and does look quite handsome there. 


 Surface Quilting: This is where I quilted on the surface with the batting underneath and then applied the block to the background surface.  This way I could quilt the pumpkins without interfering with the quilting done on the front of the quilt.

Friday, November 9, 2012

"A Star is Born" mini Quilt

A Star is Born mini quilt

I used a small stich on my machine for paper piecing. 

The center was paper pieced by hand
& the outer star was machine pieced

Today I finished the top on my mini quilt and then quilted it.  I do like the way it turned out, a little busy but ok. I was not sure I would get this far today, only need to apply the binding then I am done. I hand pieced the center star then used my sewing machine to piece the outer larger star.  I almost forgot to decrease my stitch length as I did the stitching for the larger star.  I did have fun going thru my stash and deciding what I would use for the inner and outer borders.   The ones I choose were at the bottom of my stash - Since bothe borders are very busy I decided to just quilt in the ditch for the center stars and small border then I used my machine stitch to quilt a squigly line on the larger border using clear thread.   this did give the quilt some dimension but did not add to the busyness of the fabriic itself.   

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Update on The Mini-Quilt

Using templates to do the center square
Hand sewing my cut fabrics together
Pressing with the "Hera" marker

A close up
the finished ctr square
I have decided to Hand Sew my Mini Quilt so I could sit in my comfy easy chair, watch "Gold Rush" and a few other favorite shows and work on my piecing.  1st I looked thru my scrap bag for fabric scraps I wanted to use & prepared the scraps by using "Mary Ellen's" Best Press clear starch alternative to give them some stiffness. (I always use a square of muslin under them to catch the spray & protect my Ironing board).  After pressing the fabrics  I measured paper piecing templates given in my pattern & made templates out of "Dritz" No-melt Mylar template plastic. I cut my pieces and began hand stitching the center together. I pressed open the seams using my "Hera" marker , a handy tool I discovered to help give me a sharp "finger" pressing without having to go back and forth to use my iron.

 Products I used to help me with this project.

Quilting & Sewing Arts Studio: Finish Up Friday came to soon!

Quilting & Sewing Arts Studio: Finish Up Friday came to soon!: Wow this week went fast.  last week I was able to finish some of my projects but did not get them on my site in time and this week went so fast. 

Finish Up Friday came to soon!

Wow this week went fast.  last week I was able to finish some of my projects but did not get them on my site in time and this week went so fast.  It started out a little slow, I think I was bummed out because my back is still painful even tho I got a Steroid Injection on the 26th, I was hoping for some relief in order to give my R shoulder a little more healing time before needing Surgery on my back.  (it's been 9 1/2 weeks now since surgery and my arm is getting so much stronger.  Then Tuesday I had an appointment with the Pulmonologist and got some news I did not want to hear...A new diagnosis of Arthritic Lung due to my Rhuemetoid Arthritis.  Oh! well at least she will be following me on this and that's a good thing but it did leave me bummed out a bit.

 I have not been able to be sitting at my sewing machine much this week so I started a small Mini Quilt project that I can do with paper piecing by hand sitting in my more comfortable living room chair. (see my previous post).  I will be posting updates in regard to my new project so keep an eye out. 

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Project - a small quilt.


Last summer a friend gave me a whole box of old quilting magazines she had gathered from her mother's home.  I was thrilled to recieve these magazines.  I would take a handful from the box and place them at my bedside where I could read thru them at bedtime and during the night when I awoke.  I love to read thru old quilting magazines, the patterns are so lovley and they are so inspiring.  I came across one magazine called "Small Quilts" -spring/summer 2004 edition and came across one pattern that I just fell in love with.  "A Star is Born", was originally an orphan block quilted by reader Deborah Hersko from Spokane Wa..  She had sent in her paper pieced block to a recent orphan block challange.  Sr Editor Jean Ann Wright took the block and added lovley borders to the block which resulted in this sweet 12" mini quilt.  I took a look at the pattern and thought of the bag of scraps my friend Elaine had given to me...(I love to collect scraps from my friends.)  There were some pretty christmasy scraps in there I could use.  I copied the templates and choose the fabrics.  This was the my 1st time working with such small pieces.  I liked the results but I found that the pieces did not lay flat so I used some spray starch and gave it a light press with a dry Iron. This did result in a nice flat piece as shown in the 1st picture above. 


I found using the small templates and the fabric rather difficult so I decided to Spray starch my fabrics before cutting them with a dry Iron.  I am also thinking of making a template using this piece of mylar I had to see if I could be more presise in my piecing.  I will let you how well this works for me


Saturday, October 27, 2012

Welcome to my Studio

Welcome to my creative cocoon, my place to go to in the middle of the night, my place of peace and relaxation. My Quilting and Sewing Arts Studio.  Here on my blog I want to share my enjoyment of the Sewing and Quilting arts with you and hope to get your feedback too.  I have been an avid sewer since I learned to sew in Home Economis Class in high school back in the late 50's,  That tells you how old I am' Oh well,  I retired about 2 1/2 years ago from my nursing career and decided I would like to learn how to quilt.  You see quilting for me was something I thought I didn't have time for since I a large family and work, home and husband to care for as a wife and mother.  Most of my time spent at my sewing machine in those earlier years was to make clothing and gifts for the kids, decorate my home and give me a little peace...since I had 8 children...sewing was the only activity I could escape too and still be a productive part of the household...but secretly I enjoyed my sewing so it was time I truly treasured where my mind and heart could refresh itself and be still... 

Here I plan to post my works in progress, my finished projects and my thoughts... My most recent projecs have been using up some of my bits and pieces, leftover scraps of fabrics from my projects both big and small.

This is a project I started 3 weeks ago using my leftover squares, stips and bits from different projects.  It was a way for me to sew and not have to think about pattern but just letting the creative flow take over.  I just had a shoulder replacement done 8 1/2 weeks ago so this was really a great way to get back in to the swing of it. I took a small block surrounded it by small squares and then took my strips to surround that.  Now what would it become?  Mmm it was a good size for a table runner, or a start of a purse or ?  After I had trimmed and squared this piece I let it sit for a few days and simmer in my mind just what I wanted it to become....

I had just finished this small purse pattern that I had started just before my surgery - It was a the right size.  Maybe.
But Then Again It was the right size for a Table Runner and if I put a green binding on it it would look great, and it did match some hot pads I had made at a earlier time.  A great gift idea.  Mmmm. - I really did like the idea of a purse and the fabric was just the right size.  So This is what my pieced fabric turned out to be.

I formed it into a purse base using the pattern I had from the scrappy purse I had completed. It was just the right size. Then I created the top of the purse using more of my leftover squares and strips, added longer handles instead of a tab. It became "Dianna's Purse"

This What My Fabric Became  Dianna's Purse
This is the beginning of the Purse.