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