Friday, October 30, 2015

I'm Back

And refreshed in spirit - the body is another story.  Somehow I've put my back out, and can't sit for very long.

 My view on the way to my aunt's.  I wish my camera had captured the hugeness of this moon!

The leaves are really changing, and the tree skeletons are starting to show.

The moon the other night was so spooky - it would have been a good night for trick-or-treating.

One of the joys of visiting my aunt's house is the fabulous Joann's 5 minutes away.  Look what I found there - Wendy's [from Ivory Spring blog] new book!  Well, one of her new books, lol!  So pretty!  Love those swirls and birdy.

I'm afraid I can't do much sitting [or standing or laying down!] so I've not visited blogs much.    But I do want to mention something Jenny blogged about - her new two free BOM's for next year, one of which I'll be collaborating on with her!

It's called Postcards From Heaven, and will begin on New Year's Day 2016.  Jenny will kick off the free BOM with her design, and I'll take over in February, and we'll tag-team back and forth with 12 free designs.  I hope you'll join us!  

I'm off to take more Tylenol - I'll see you as soon as I can sit for a spell!

Saturday, October 24, 2015

A Bit Of News And A Breather

The leaves are turning so fast here in Michigan -

I love how on even rainy days, you get under some bright yellow trees and you'd think the sun was still shining.  So gorgeous.

I'm going out to my aunt's for a few days, I need a breather and that's the best way to get it.  I'll be working on a project for next year....taking my pencils and most importantly, my eraser.  So you may not hear from me for a few!

I did finish up my first Christmas design, still working on the free one - I've been so busy cleaning this week, I haven't picked up a needle or turned my machine on at all!  Christmas Canoe is now in my shop, as an instant pdf download, for only $1.98!

I come from the land of Hiawatha [seems like everything around here is named after him] so I thought a canoe would be fitting.

The pattern is for the stitchery design only.  I used colored pencils on this one, rather than crayons - I like them better.  You do have to use a textile medium over them to make them permanent, but it's fast, easy and fun.

You just lightly brush on the medium after coloring, and let it dry.  I don't find it any harder to stitch through.  After coloring and adding the medium, I add the fusible interfacing to the back, and that heat sets the color.  Then your piece is washable!

I'm going to turn mine into a small door hanging, to greet visitors.  I'd love to see how you finish yours!

I am still stitching the free Christmas design coming up, my cleaning kind of got in the way this week.  I'm taking that with me as well to my aunt's, hopefully it will be finished in the next few days.  See ya soon - don't forget to BREATHE!

Sunday, October 18, 2015

Quilt Show Part Two - Kathleen Mayo

My friend Patty and I were in junior high and high school together.  The ink wasn't dry on her high school diploma when she made tracks for Florida - I had gone into the military by that time and we lost touch.  A few years ago, I found her on, and found out that she had lost her mom.  I loved her mom.  So sweet, so gentle, so loving....and after we had lost touch, she'd become a quilter!  How I wish I had known her then.

She was an amazing quilter, and she was a big part of this quilt show for many years.  Patty and her family come up every year for it, and bring her quilts to put in the show.  This time, one of her quilts was donated to the church - it's called How Great Thou Art, and it is the most amazing work of art.

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I'm sorry that my stupid cell phone took such bad pictures of it.  Although there's no way a picture could do this quilt justice.  The amount of hand work in it is mind-boggling.

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The quilt will hang in the Children's Ministry, to teach children the stories of the bible.  What a blessing!

The other quilt is called Claude's Navy Quilt, made for her husband to commemorate his service.  Only two of my pictures turned out at all - the quilt was laying on a table, and the lighting was less than ideal.  It was no less amazing than the bible quilt.

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I wish the close-ups had turned out on this.  It was jam-packed with information about his service, the top right border was all hand-drawn mermaids and oh it was splendid.  The back was equally amazing.

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That ship was HIS ship, in WWII.  All the signal flags, as well.  When I say she was a quilter, I really mean she was an artist of the highest caliber.  You could look at these quilts all day and not see everything, they're so detailed.  All the silks and laces and hand-drawn details - the exquisite workmanship in the applique and quilting - just magnificent.

Seeing her work really makes me want to be a better quilter!  Thanks for coming to the show with me, I am sorry about the quality of the pics - next year I'll do better, and that's a promise to me AND to you!

Happy stitching!!

Saturday, October 17, 2015

How About A Quilt Show?

Taken with my awful phone camera - in dim light.  Honestly, I'm choosing my next cell phone by how good the camera is.  I should have taken my son's phone, it takes great pics, or my good camera....but hey.

Today was the Festival of Quilts at First United Methodist Church in Dearborn, MI.  I have a friend from high school, who's mum used to be a huge part of this - she's gone now, but they still hang her quilts, and my friend comes up from FL every year for it.  It was great catching up with her.  And I'll show her quilts, but first, the others.  Descriptions are under the photo.

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Tiny vintage quilt made from yo-yo's.

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All the pews had quilts on them.  These two were hand cross-stitched.

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Pretty wall quilt.  Loved the colors.

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This was just gorgeous, hanging high from a branch.  A tribute quilt to their show horses that had passed.

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The sanctuary.

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Beautiful quilt hanging by the altar.

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Trip Around The World quilt - I'd never seen an edging done like this.  I think it was vintage.

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Lovely pew quilt.

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This was gorgeous.

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Another vintage quilt.

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The vintage quilts were on loan from the Dearborn Historical Museum.

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Quilts of Valor were there - mum and I signed blocks.

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This won best of show, it was all pieced.

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This was an amazing 3D quilt.

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Hand appliqued, hand quilted.

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Also hand appliqued, but machine quilted.

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This was in the story quilts section.

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This was too - with 3D ears on the elephants.

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So - those are some of  the other quilts, I'll do another post for my friend's mum.  A few of my favorites didn't turn out - I was so bummed.  It was lovely to see all the handwork - there were some machine embroidered quilts, and machine quilted, but TONS of ones done by hand.  I'll see you tomorrow with more!  I have to go make some microwave rice bags - we got down below freezing last night, with another freeze warning for tonight, and we need them!

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Scrappy Harvest First Applique Block, The Apple

I finished the first applique block, and I'm having so much fun - I hope you are too!  Here's a short tutorial and link to the block.

The three [so far] applique blocks are going to be stitched on neutral log cabins, except for the last four logs.  So make your block with all lights, but don't add logs 10-13.  The last four logs will be added after you do your applique.

Make your block, with logs 1-9.  [I had to unstitch my last four logs - some teacher, eh?]

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Trace your applique shapes, using the REVERSED pattern on your printout, onto fusible web.

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Cut them out, leaving at least 1/8th inch all around, then following manufacturer's directions, fuse them to the wrong side [back] of your fabrics.

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Once they've cooled, cut them out on the line, and lay them on your fabric following the picture as a guide - there is a layout diagram in the pattern, but you don't have to get it exactly.  I laid out my branch and apple, then stitched them down, then added the leaves wherever.  There's no layout diagram for the leaves.

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I used a blanket stitch on my machine.  Don't look too close - it's been so long since I've done this, I had a mess!

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I just scattered the leaves wherever.  There's no right or wrong.  And I know that one tree doesn't have multi-colored leaves, that's ok, we're going for the spirit of autumn here.

After you stitch down the leaves, you're going to add the last four logs - in darks.

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And that's it!  Your applique block is done.  I'm not sure if I'm going to add this one to my quilt, it may become a table runner, I really want to do needle-turn applique on these.  I've never done it before, so rather than making you wait for the applique blocks for a year or two, I thought I'd go ahead, fuse them, and have them ready.

Here's my first three blocks:

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I have no idea yet what kind of layout these will have, but I kind of like this!

The applique is a free download in my craftsy shop, click HERE - happy stitching!

Sunday, October 11, 2015

First Block Made And A Short Tute

Yay!  I spent most of the day cutting and pressing.  Remember that tv tray I got to sit next to my machine, so I could conveniently stitch and press?  Well, my son found me something better....

The ironing board lifts up, it's on wheels [and has brakes], the baskets underneath hold my scraps that I'm using on this quilt.  I LOVE IT.  The ironing board on top is so firm and flat, it's just perfect.  And he found it at Aldi, of all places.

So.  Today I pressed and cut, cut and pressed, and after an hour long search to find my quarter-inch foot, I commenced to sewing.  I'm doing my blocks according to the old log cabin pattern - lights and darks, with a red hearth.  Here's how I did it.

Forgive the bad pics taken with my phone, in the dark.....

Logs 1 and 2 are the same size.  Mine are 2" square.  Stitch them together and press seam open [I always press mine open, you do what works best for you].

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Block 3 uses the same fabric as block 2 - following the diagram*, stitch it to your first two blocks, trim and press.

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And you just keep going around, trimming and pressing as you go.  I've numbered a pic of my block, so you can see in what order I stitched the logs.

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I did a google image search for a log cabin template, and I believe I already posted a pic of it; I printed it out and put it on my design wall where I can reference it constantly.  It's really easy to get turned around with these blocks, but with that reference you won't go wrong.

My block finished at 10.5".  I think that's a good size.  As you can see from the pic, each block uses 3 darks and 3 lights, and you'll have two logs of each fabric, except for the center.  So - logs 2-3 are the same light, 4-5 are the same dark, 6-7 same light, 8-9 same dark, 10-11 same light, 12-13 same dark.  

I'm also working on the applique patterns.  The blocks for those will be strictly lights - pieced the same way, but with neutrals.  I wanted to see what size my blocks would be before finalizing the patterns.  Stay tuned for those!

I'm saving the trims off the logs - as long as they look big enough to make a leaf, they're going in the border.  My border is going to be tons of autumn leaves.  I really want to use up these scraps, lol!  I did say this wouldn't be a fast project, didn't I? *smile*  Happy scrappin'!!!

*Diagram that you found on google - or follow my finished block picture


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