Sunday, December 17, 2017

The End

Yesterday I taught a fun home machine quilting class at the Quilt Basket in Pawling NY.  We learned how to make chevrons using a walking foot


Triple chevrons, anyone?


One of my students took this photo while I was teaching this, my last class of 2017:


I took this "after" photo, because I collapsed on the sofa after class:


2017 has been a busy year.  My next class will be on January 6, 2018 (so weird writing that!) at the Quilt Basket in Pawling NY.  We will learn all about batting and basting.


Saturday, December 16, 2017

Home Machine Quilting

I'm on my way to the Quilt Basket in Pawling, NY to teach Home Machine Quilting.

Today we are using the walking foot to stitch chevrons on my Irresistible Cutie Quilt using my Giggle FabuLux thread:


Here's a triple chevron using my Hush FabuLux thread:


This quilt isn't finished yet.  I was working on her last night:


when I noticed that there was a cough*pleat*cough on the back of the quilt at one edge of the quilt.  I put it there on purpose, just so I could show my students how to take it out and fix it.  There's nothing I won't do for my students.  Oh how I sacrifice for them.

Many thanks to my husband for packing my quilts, my beloved HQ Stitch710 (Hedwig!), and all of my other supplies into the car for me.  I'm nursing a terrible, horrible, no-good, very bad knee and there was a flight of stairs between this pile of quilting loveliness and my car last night:


I hope your day is as full of quilting fun and quilting friends as mine is!

Friday, December 15, 2017

A Happy Story

I am working (very slowly) on clearing out my sewing space.  I've given away lots of fabric and have been re-homing some of my sewing machines.

I've already found new homes for my:
Yesterday, I re-homed my beloved Janome 6600.*


She and I had many, Many, MANY happy years together.  I thought I would never part with her, but then Handi Quilter brought out home sewing machines and I fell over-the-moon in love with them and happy sewing with them.  Their names are Hedwig, Errol, and Pigwidgeon, but I digress.  Even though I no longer used my Janome 6600, I wanted her to go to a good home.

She found one and will be loved and well used.  I'm happy.  The new owner is happy.  And I'm certain my Janome 6600 is happy.

The end.
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Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Meh? or OK?

I'm undecided again.


Is this "ready for prime time"?  Or does it need work before I write the tutorial?

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Ho- Ho-Ho! A Santa Postcard Tutorial

I'm full of the holiday spirit and having fun making Christmas postcards like this Santa postcard:


If you want to make one yourself, here are the details:

Cut two pieces of red fabric 2 1/2" x 4" each and one white piece of fabric 2" x 4".


Stitch together.


Cut into two 2" segments.


Cut a piece of black fabric 2" x 6".


Stitch in between the red and white segments.


Cut two 3"x3" pieces of Steam a Seam 2* and a 3"x3" piece of yellow fabric and a 3"x3" piece of white fabric.


Using one piece of Steam a Seam 2*, fuse the white and yellow fabrics together.


Fuse the second piece of Steam a Seam 2* to the back of the white fabric.  Cut into a 2 1/2" square  with a 1"x1 1/4" rectangle cut from the center.  Set in place over the center of Santa's belt.


Using a pressing sheet, fuse the buckle to the postcard.


Place stabilizer behind the belt buckle.


Thread your machine with FabuLux Mellow Yellows thread and set the zigzag stitch to 4mm wide and .3mm long.


Zigzag around the outside of the belt buckle.


Zigzag around the inside of the belt buckle and remove stabilizer.

Fuse together 5"x6" white fabric, 5"x6" Peltex, and postcard front.  Cover Santa with a pressing sheet before pressing.


Trim to 4 1/4"x5 1/2" or use my Postcard Trimming Tool.


Still using FabuLux Mellow Yellows, set your machine to zigzag at 4.5mm wide and .4mm long


Zigzag around the postcard edges.


Set your machine to zigzag at 5.0mm wide and .2mm long.


Zigzag around the postcard edges a second time.


Ta-Da!


Write your Christmas greetings, address, and place in a cellophane envelope.


Ho Ho Ho!  Merry Christmas!
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Monday, December 11, 2017

On Ringo Lake -- part 3

It's week three of Bonnie Hunter's Free mystery quilt, On Ringo Lake.  I'm still working on last week's clue, but I hope to get caught up before Friday's clue.


Maybe when I finish all of these flying geese and diamonds, I'll finally be able to see my cutting table surface?

Check out everyone else's progress HERE.

Sunday, December 10, 2017

Expert Help

Confession:  Even though I am an extremely confident machine quilter, I am scared to death of my embroidery machine.  Scared. To. Death.

Lisa Archer reached out to help me overcome my fears.  I have a copy of her new book Modern Machine Embroidery*


and now I have no excuse to not start using my embroidery machine.

Look forward to seeing my baby steps toward machine embroidery mastery!

Saturday, December 09, 2017

Ho-Ho-So-So

I'm working on another Christmas postcard.  It's not ready for a tutorial yet, but I wanted your opinion.  Is this close?  Should I keep working on this until it's just right?  Or should I scrap it?


I need to line the buckle so the belt doesn't show through and I want to shrink the belt and buckle to show more of Santa's suit.

Today's outgoing mail makes me smile:


I hope these spread those smiles around.

This blog post is part of the 31 Day Blog Challenge from Muppin.Com.


Read what others are writing HERE.

Friday, December 08, 2017

More than Christmas Postcard Tutorial

I am a Christian and celebrate Christmas, but people I love dearly celebrate other holidays. I'm having so much fun making Christmas postcards, but I can't send them to all of my friends.

I asked a close friend if it was appropriate for me, a Christian, to send her, my Jewish friend, a Hanukkah card.  She said that she'd be delighted if I did.  So I shall.

I scoured Pinterest to get ideas for Hanukkah cards and decided to make a Menorah.


Before I tell you how I made this Menorah card, I'll tell you how NOT to make this Menorah card.

First, get out some circle quilting templates* and draw your Menorah on 6"x6" of gray fabric:


Layer with stabilizer, thread your machine, and attempt to satin stitch in a small circle smoothly:


Realize that the picture in your head isn't going to work on fabric (at least today), and move on to plan B.

Trace Menorah onto Steam a Seam 2* and cut out the pieces.  Then iron onto a 5"x6" piece of blue fabric because blue is your friend's favorite color:


Layer with stabilizer:


Thread your machine with my FabuLux Mellow Yellows and blanket stitch carefully around each curve:


Then begin the "quest for fire."  Consider appliqueing fire, but remember that the Menorah is only 1/4" thick and the pieces of fabric for the fire would be very very very tiny.  Grab some fabric markers and practice drawing flame on the edge of the postcard (the part that will be cut off).


Carefully draw flames on the postcard:


Tear away stabilizer. 
Fuse to 5"x6" Peltex and 5"x6" backing fabric.
Trim to 4 1/4" x 5 1/2" or use Postcard Trimming Tool.

Thread machine with FabuLux Blue Heaven thread and satin stitch the edging.


Write a message of love, address, pop it into an envelope, and mail it in time for Hanukkah.

Thursday, December 07, 2017

Deck the Halls Postcard Tutorial

I'm decking the halls.  Well, not my ACTUAL halls, but the halls of my Christmas postcards.


Let's all pause a moment to enjoy the insane sweetness of this card, shall me?  

Awwwwwwwwwwwww.

OK, so here's how it all started.  I keep a bag full of 1 1/2" squares of fabric (of course I do!) and I decided to use them to make Christmas tree ornaments.


I picked out some fun fabrics (cough*Hello Kitty*cough) and fused them to some Steam a Seam 2*:


I traced around coins to make the small circles:


Steam a Seam 2 is tacky on the back so I could stick the ornaments to the fabric without using an iron.  Then I drew lines for the ornament hangers.


I grabbed my FabuLux Mellow Yellows thread and stitched a 3.5mm zigzag stitch over each line.  I peeled back the ornaments so the zigzag ended behind each ornament and then stuck the ornaments back in place.


After I stitched each of the hangers, I stitched a 2.5mm blanket stitch around the edge of each ornament.  My HQ Stitch 710 machine is always up for the task!


I thought that this was cute, but not nearly cute enough.  So I added bows.  Because if bows are good enough for Hello Kitty, they are good enough for me!  I threaded a big needed with 12 weight thread and took one big stitch at the top of each ornament.  Then I fumbled through tying the bows with these clumsy fingers of mine.


Then I tore apart my sewing room looking for Fray-Check*.  Then I tore apart my remote quilting supply storage roomd ining room looking for Fray-Check.  Then I tore apart my sewing room another three times.

An hour later, I dropped a dab of Fray-Check on the knot of each bow so that they wouldn't come untied and waited for them to dry.  I covered the postcard with a pressing sheet and pressed it.  Still using the pressing sheet, I fused the postcard to Peltex and postcard backing and trimmed with my Postcard Trimming Tool.

I stitched a 5mm satin stitch around the edge of the postcard.


And then I stared and petted this postcard because of all of the adorableness.

I need to make a bunch more of these, but I might just have to stick this one in an envelope and mail it back to myself!
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