applique · crafts · embroidery

From One Project To Another

I have numerous projects going, and this weekend, it seems my goal is to do a little of everything.  I completed my “homework” for next month’s quilt guild meeting.  I completed the next “block” in my project for our block of the month challenge.

This was a fun block, once I got past the frustrati0n of learning to machine blanket stitch the stars halfway decently.  The points really gave me fits to start with, and I don’t know that I ever got them “right”, but I’m happy enough with them.

While I was working on those, I had my embroidery machine running, making these angel parts:

This is going to be my ornament for the guild ornament exchange at our Christmas party this year.

Speaking of quilt guild, I have to give mine a shout out.  It seems that a topic that pops up a lot in online quilting forums is ugliness of one kind or another at quilt guilds…hatefulness among members, etc.  Well, my quilt guild is awesome! The camaraderie is something I look forward to every month.  It’s really a special group and I’m thankful to be a part of it.

I also worked on Sana’s quilt, from the previous post.  I have almost all the crosshatching finished, some more rope border done, and almost all of the SID.  Once I’m completely finished with those things, I will go back and do the rest of the star blocks.  I only did the first two, to make sure I liked the design.  Then, I went back to the crosshatching and SID to get the whole quilt stabilized.

And, after all that…I treated myself to a little time to spend on an applique project that I have started.  I found a yummy kit at Material Girls fabric shop in Borger, for a yummy quilt by Blackbird designs.  I needed another project like I need another hole in my head…but…well, y’all understand don’t ya?  I also discovered that the girls from Blackbird designs have a nice blog, too, called One Stitch At A Time.  They even love the caterpillars that eat their dill and parsley, and then turn into swallowtail butterflies, just like I do! Their pattern is for needle turn applique, but the only time I tried that, I found it to be a very frustrating experience.  Not my strong suit, at all.  So, I’m doing it the way Sharon Schamber teaches in her book, Piece by Piece Machine Applique. It involves special wash away stabilizer and Elmer’s washable glue sticks and Liquid Stitch.  I’m pretty slow at this, so I will probably still be working on this a few years from now.  I hope I stay with it…I really like the quilt and want to finish it.  I think it will be so much fun to quilt on my longarm!

I even did some laundry and housework today.  Yep, it was a good Saturday! Hope your weekend is going great! Thanks for stopping by!

embroidery · sewing

Just having some crafty fun this weekend!

Happy 4th of July to my fellow American readers!  I haven’t worked on any of my own projects since I finished the quilting of my For the Love of Eleanor quilt.  All my spare time has been spent quilting on client tops.  So, this weekend, I decided to relax a little, and just have some fun.

First, I got out an embroidery collection I recently purchased, after seeing it on an episode of Fons & Porter.  It’s called In a Clutch, by Vicki Tracy.  I still need to find some magnetic closures, so I can finish out the tab.  I don’t think I got the zipper exactly right, but it was fun to make, and I will probably do a few more.

A peek at the inside.  The designer recommends finishing out the raw edges with binding, but I just don’t care that much…lol.

But, what I most proud of, is the little project I did today! I made a little apron.  I don’t think I have mentioned that my oldest stepdaughter, and her family, just moved back here from Nebraska last month.  That means I will be spending more time with my five year old “granddaughter-in-love”.  I reckon that we will work on some little projects, such as making those little embroidered clutches, or little quilts…and maybe some cooking together.  I often wear an apron while I’m working on stuff around here, so I thought she needed one to wear, too.  I was watching an episode of Sewing With Nancy, and got the inspiration to make this apron, from one of her Grandpa’s button-up shirts he no longer wears.  It was a nice Tommy Hilfiger shirt, but was just hanging around in the closet.  I didn’t have the pattern from the show, so I just had to wing it.  This is what I came up with, and I can’t wait to show it to my little Catey, later today.  I hope it fits!  Every bit of it, including the fabric for the ties, came from the shirt.

It’s even reversible!

The “front” has pockets.

The “back” has her initials.  That was not part of the original plan, but I accidentally snipped a hole in the fabric, and needed to cover it up.  Thankfully, it was almost right in the center.

I cut two identical pieces, from the shirt front and shirt back, sewed them together up the sides and across the front with right sides together, and turned it back right side out.  I just used the original shirt bottom, as is, so that I didn’t have to finish that edge off.

I had fun making it.  I’ll take a picture of her wearing it later.  Going to get ready to grill some steaks with my hubby!

embroidery · family · favorite things

I have a real treat for y’all!

Soon, I will be finished with the DWR on the machine, and will have the finished pics of that to share with you.  I have quite a little backlog of customer quilts waiting right now, so I have put aside my own projects for the moment, to stay up with that, as best as I can.  But, in the meantime, I have some yummy, yummy eye candy to share with you.  I want to show off some beautiful handwork, done by a woman that I never had a chance to know in this life.  These lovely items were all done by my husband’s grandmother, Clara Woods Allen.  I do not know when she made them…they are many years old.  They have been stored in my husband’s parents  house, in a cedar chest.  My husband, his sister and brother worked on sorting through the items still left in the house, in order to get it emptied in preparation for selling.  These are things they picked out for me to take home.  I am so in love with them and feel so blessed to be able to enjoy these TREASURES.  I love to look at the stitching, and imagine “Grandma Allen” working on them, and at times I am moved to tears by them.  That might sound kind of silly, but that is how deeply I appreciate and value her handwork.  I will love and enjoy them until it is time to pass them down to my stepdaughter, who will love them just as much.  I am so thankful that I have been given the chance to love and treasure them in my life! And, I feel honored to be trusted with their safekeeping. Enjoy the show…and remember you can click the pictures to make them even bigger, and really see the details.  I have several pieces to share, and will space them out over a few posts, rather than all at once, as posting takes me quite a bit of time, and I’m kind of short on that right now.

Actually, the first couple of items are ones that we brought home after Greg’s mom passed, about nine years ago, but I don’t think I have shown them before, so I am including them in the show.  Even if I have, they are worth seeing again.

Her work is so neat and pretty on the backs, as well…just like it is supposed to be, but mine never is!

A pretty table runner.

Another pretty back.

A very pretty three piece set.  Can anyone tell me what the purpose of these was? My mom thought maybe it was for a chair.

And another pretty back.

That’s all for this post…but stay tuned for more! I hope you enjoy the pics.  I’m going to grab a bite of lunch and get back to work on Erma’s DWR.


Productive Day

Today was some work, some play, but all in all, a very nice day.  I finished up a customer quilt.  Lots of laundry done.  I played with my embroidery machine a bit.  I wanted to try Christmas embroidery on some kitchen towels.  I used a heavy cut away stabilizer, and a wash away stabilizer on top, as is recommended…and they are ok, but nothing awesome.  I don’t like how you can see white spots in the green leaves, but I don’t know what you can do about that.

I have a love/hate thing going on with the embroidery.  I’m trying to build my design library, which is certainly not cheap.  And I buy the stock packs from OESD.  My machine, a Bernina Bernette Deco 340, reads exp files.  And that isn’t a problem, except if I want the colors to load to the machine, I somehow have to convert those files to exp+ files.  NO ONE seems to be able to explain to me HOW to do that??? My machine dealer just kind of looked at me…told me my machine wouldn’t have the thread colors in it for the designs I buy and put on a stick, I just have to print out the color charts.  Well, that takes a ton of paper, and then you have to store all those printed sheets, and then you have to flip through all of them to find the one you need.  I am new to embroidery…only had my machine a little over a year…so tell me you wise experienced embroiderers…is this how it’s supposed to be? It’s really quite a lot of trouble…not to mention $$$$.  I’m just not getting it, I don’t guess.  But, it would be really nice to get a good explanation of how I’m supposed to convert to exp+ without it costing a gazillion dollars, which one answer I got would have.  I asked about this on the Bernina blog…and was told I could do it with embroidery software, and of course Bernina’s is recommended.  That’s a pricey answer.  And I still wasn’t told HOW it works, just that I could do it with the software.  I’m pretty sure that stuff cost more than the machine…like around $2,000.00.  Not that big into embroidery.  I know I’m still pretty ignorant about this craft, so if  anyone can enlighten me, I’m all ears…or eyes, I guess, since I’ll most likely be reading the responses. 🙂

I finally got around to fixing my binding booboo on my Gracie’s Star quilt, too.  Now I can get back to the hand stitching, and have a finish soon.  I really love that quilt.

Gotta go hang up laundry! And cheer for the Longhorns!

embroidery · fabric · feather quilting · freehand quilting · longarm quilting · machine quilting · pretty fabric · quilt top · quilting · quilts · stash busting

Stash & Quilting Report

  • Incoming Yardage to date: 75 yds.
  • Outgoing Yardage to date:  56.25 yds.
  • Total Stash Busted to date: -18.75 yds.
Ok, so my time in the positive was short lived.  But I love my new batiks! (see previous post for the full disclosure with photos you will drool over) So, I’m not feeling too bad about it.  Ok, not bad at all.   I don’t think I will, either, as long as there is movement going through my stash.  Some in, some out…just not all in, in, in.
During my lunch hours, or while I’m cooking something for dinner, and I’m waiting, I’ve been sitting down at the sewing machine and working on the pieced borders for my Boston Commons.
I also got labels made for my friend’s comfort quilt.  I haven’t finished trimming the jump threads, so just ignore them. It took me right at an hour to get the first one all programmed into the machine.  The stitchout was 74 minutes, and that did not include the time it took me to change thread colors.  I thought I was never going to get done with it.  I started on it after work one evening, so I was already tired, but it was worth it.  I also made a small label to go beside it, just stating that I made the quilt.  Couldn’t fit it on the other label.  A more experienced embroiderer might have been able to, but this was the best I could do.  I don’t have any embroidery software yet, so I have to sit at the machine and program each letter in one by one, and it will only let me put so many characters on a line.  So the machine stops after each line of stitching, and even if I’m not changing colors, I have to be close by to restart the machine.  I hate to invest a bunch of money in embroidery software that I’m not sure I will use that much.  There is a lot about the embroidery that still confuses me.  I may address some of that in a future post.  Maybe some of you embroidery gurus can clear up a question or two for me.
I started working on Joanna’s quilt a couple of days ago, but until today, I didn’t have anything to show for my efforts, except SID (stitch in the ditch).  I’m sure she is anxious to see how it’s coming, so if you can stand a dose of cuteness, I’ll show you a peek!
Enjoy the rest of your Sunday and have a great week, y’all!
embroidery · freehand quilting · longarm quilting · machine quilting · stash busting

Sunday Stash Report, 2-1-09

I used 1/4 yard up making labels this week, and 1/4 yard making guild name tags for myself and my friend.  So my official “out” for this week is only 1/2 yard.  However, I am plugging away on stash quilts I have going, and soon should have some big numbers to post.

YTD totals:

  • Incoming Yardage to date: 0 yds.
  • Outgoing Yardage to date:  17.75 yds.
  • Total Stash Busted to date: 17.75 yds.

I have border and backing fabric for the 2nd of my 9P & stripe tops, in the dryer as I type.  I pulled this  yummy Robyn Pandolph flannel from my stash, for the backing. My current plan is that this will be the next quilt of my own to land on the longarm.

I’ve been sewing on my Boston Commons top, during my lunch hours, and have all the end triangles sewn to the 72 strips.  I have started sewing them into the big rows.  I am surprised at how quickly this is actually going together. Please ignore that I haven’t pressed the seams yet.  That is why it looks wonky.  It isn’t really.
I also got the memorial t-shirt quilt quilted.  Here is a snippet of the freehand quilting on the back.  I will post a pic of the whole quilt after I get it completely finished.
I have to say that t-shirt quilting is not my most favorite.  I feel like my machine is moving through sludge when I hit the shirt areas, and I had some thread breaking issues. That said, the quilt came out nice, and I know the family will love it.
My friend Betty and I needed name tags to wear to our guild meetings.  I loaded a small “quilt sandwich” on my longarm, quilted it up, and then used my embroidery machine to finish our tags.  They came out cute.  I finished mine out by just stitching a satin stitch edge around, in the lighter green thread, after I took this pic.
Such a small project, but it still took me almost three hours to do these.  I enjoyed it, though.  And while I had my embroidery machine out, I made labels for two quilts that I made for my Mom, but gave them to her before I had the labels on.  She reminded me recently that I still hadn’t brought the labels to stitch on.  So next time we go to visit, I have some labeling to do!  🙂  One of her labels took 99 minutes to stitch out.  The other was almost an hour.  Embroidery is fun, but it’s not fast.  I love that I can work on other things at the same time, though.  Good job to my hubby for getting me the stand alone machine, rather than the embroidery upgrade for my Aurora.
Tomorrow starts another week at the day job.  I hope y’all have a great week!
applique · embroidery · longarm quilting · quilting · quilts

A Tisket A Tasket…

I started a little basket.


Lord knows I needed another project to work on right now, so he made sure I stumbled across this one from Bunny Hill Designs…lol.  It’s called a Tisket A Tasket, and it’s a free block of the month.

A Tisket A Tasket, Twelve Months of Baskets

Applique is really a struggle for me, so mine may not get any further than this, but I’m going to try.  Just one a month.  We’ll see.  That tiny little carrot nose almost did me in.  I am using the Sharon Schamber applique method, which involves a stabilizer under each piece and lots of washable Elmer’s glue.  Right now, glue is the only thing holding mine together.  Also, there’s the issue of the hand embroidery that has to be done.  Not sure how that is going to work out for me.  Succeed or fail, I will keep you posted!  But isn’t it a cute project?

I am still quilting on Joanna’s Five & Dime.  I have one last paisley/peacock filler block to finish with the lighter thread, and then I will finish the flower blocks.  I have the swirlies done.  There are a few blocks that I will use a darker thread in, the pinkish blocks, and the three long strips.  After I finish with the rest of the flowers, I will start quilting some feathered hearts, using a hook type feather in the remaining blocks, that measure 9.5″ square.  It’s been going well and I’m anxious to see it unfold, so to speak.  It’s fun watching the transition from unquilted to quilted.  I never get tired of it.

Enjoy your Saturday! Try to spend some time doing something you love!

embroidery · longarm quilting · machine quilting · quilting · stash busting

Sunday Reporting, 10-19-08

My stash hasn’t changed a bit, either in or out.  I did pull fabrics from it for the guild mystery quilt, but I’m not counting that til I actually start on it.  I have been working on some projects, though.  I quilted one customer lap quilt, and have another ready to start.  My parents came for a visit Saturday, so Friday afternoon was spent cleaning, and getting ready.  I really enjoyed our time together Saturday.  I demo’d my embroidery machine for Mom, by working on the label for my Dad’s log cabin quilt.  Then, after they left, I just had some play time with it.  I got these Christmas ornament patterns, at the shop where my machine came from.  They are an OESD Christmas promo.  You spend $60.00 shopping, and you get the patterns for free.  This is the one I made last night.  I used a red that had been prewashed, but after wetting it to get the stabilizer out, and leaving it overnight to dry, the red still bled through the white stitching, turning it pink around the edge of the applique.  And, I don’t think I had my tension set quite right on this one.

Today, as I was making a label for the back of my Storm At Sea quilt, I thought that a scrap of that fabric might make a neat ornament, so I played with a different color theme.

The ornament is still wet, from rinsing out the stabilizer, but when it’s dry, it will be the same color as the label it is laying beside.  Also in the pic, is the label for Daddy’s quilt.  I still need to trim it up.

I like the way the ornament came out, in the golden color, with a bit of silver metallic thread for some sparkle.  I will add some crystals for further embellishment.  I think I’ll be making some more of these.  It was fun!

I also jazzed up one of my DH’s fishing shirts, by adding a couple of embroidered designs to it.  He loves it!  I was so proud of myself for getting them on so straight, and even symmetrical with each other!

And, I got the labels for the commissioned memorial quilt ready to stitch.

All in all, I had a really nice weekend.  Just too short, as usual.  Hope yours was great, too!  I’m off to soak in the new infinity pool hot tub now!