Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Hand Applique

I hoped to have more to show for my sewing time yesterday but hand applique takes a long time, especially when you are just learning. I could have made more progress if I hadn't ripped out the door on my little block shown below. The door was crooked after the first time sewing it on. It would have bothered me so I redid it. The chimney is also a bit crooked, but it doesn't bother me so it stays.

I am learning to do needle turn applique. I have already discovered that it is easier for me to needle turn applique on a wool background rather than a cotton one. I've also learned that good quality fabric makes it much easier too.


This little block lacks a tree top, windows for the house, a star in the sky and the ground with sidewalk. I actually have the ground with sidewalk done, but couldn't find it for the photo. Grrrr! I'm sure it is just lost in the mess. It seems that hand applique is also a messy affair for me. I've got pattern pieces and little bits of fabric scattered all over!

Friday, September 12, 2014

What I've Been Up To

I have not gotten to do much sewing since I got back from my awesome week with Sue Spargo. The photo below says it all.

This is the front of my LQS, where I work, at least for a few more weeks. Yesterday was the first day of the closing sale. It went well but was exhausting.

Monday, September 8, 2014

Home Again, Home Again Jiggety Jig

My week with Sue Spargo went by so quickly! If at all possible, I will definitely take another class from Sue. She was just delightful! Our class ended at 4 pm each afternoon yet most days she stayed for a few more hours and just hung out with us or provided more individual help and instruction.

Her teaching style meshes well with my learning style in that she showed how she does things but then added that each person should do what works best for them. There are no rules! She was so patient and routinely did demonstrations and lessons several times until we were all comfortable with whatever it was she was going over.

There were 13 of us in the class and everyone was nice. Several of the ladies had taken classes with Sue before and brought their projects in progress with them to continue working on them.

I didn't make much progress on my class project. I got a little more done on it yesterday. This is how it looks this morning.

Everything in the photo above is tacked down. I even did some textural stitching in the light rectangle using some little running stitches in a light blue cotton thread. I think I need to start on the leaves next.

One of the reasons I didn't make much progress on my project is that I asked Sue to show me how she does needle turn applique. I then spent the rest of that day practicing and getting frequent assistance with the peaks and valleys. I'm pretty comfortable with the peaks by now, but still struggle with the valleys. Check out that root in the photo above. I did it all using needle turn applique!

But the main reason I didn't make much progress on my project is that we asked Sue to do an entire day of just embroidery stitching instruction, which she did. We all made small samplers with circles and leaves to practice on.

Sue put bags of her personal thread stash on the table and told us to just use her thread and try the various stitches. She uses cotton, silk, linen, wool, rayon, metallic, and chenille threads as well as silk ribbon, beads, and other fibers. She talked about the various characteristics of each thread and showed samples before we started stitching.

I personally tried silken pearl, chenille, pearl cotton and a metallic ribbon floss. She started out by showing us a few of the basic stitches that she uses often and then took requests. I was most interested in learning some of the woven stitches she uses since I need to do them on my 2014 BOM. I'm not a master at them yet, but I feel confident that I can do well enough now.

The last morning we went around and looked at everyone's pieces. Sue gave advice on where to go next to each of us. And we got to hear the stories that go with everyone's pieces. One lady was using her deceased husband's silk ties. Each one had special significance to her. Another lady was journaling all the places she had traveled to or lived in. I took pictures of everyone's pieces but will not show them here because I do not have their permission to do so.

Our classroom was in a banquet hall at the end of a hallway. About halfway down the hallway was this door.

It was always closed so I don't know what is in the room, but check out the sign on the door.

Is this where Hagrid goes on vacation?

Friday, September 5, 2014

Day Three with Sue

Yesterday I learned how to do needle turn applique!!!! Here is me and Sue with my almost completed needle turn applique heart.

I tried needle turn applique 15 years ago and hated it. I've resisted it ever since, until yesterday. I need a lot more practice, but I was pretty pleased with my heart. It was just a practice piece but I might make a label out of it for my class project.

Speaking of my class project, it is starting to take shape. Here is what it looked like yesterday morning.

There will be lots of leaves added to the tree but I haven't cut them all out yet. I got the trunk of the tree tacked down and started appliqueing the roots down.

All the ladies in the class are so much fun, as is Sue. Everyone's projects are so different. It is fun to walk around see them take shape. If you ever get a chance to take a class from Sue, do it, especially if it is a multi-day class. I've learned a lot and we still have two more days.

Tomorrow we will be doing some embroidery stitching. We are all working on small samplers to practice the stitches on. I'll show you mine another day.

I also wanted to show you the view from our condo.

We are looking out on the ski area. The elk is standing on a gas fireplace. We have two rooms plus two bathrooms. One room is the bedroom with two queen size beds. The other room is the kitchen (a full kitchen), plus dining room that seats about 10, and a living room.

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Day One of Class with Sue

We arrived around 1 pm today in Steamboat Springs, CO. The hotel is gorgeous and our rooms are fabulous! We had our first session with Sue this afternoon. I got my background started.

I'm not sure where this is going, but I'm having a great time!

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

I'm off!

Today is the day I've been anticipating for months. I'm off to Steamboat Springs, CO to take a week long class with Sue Spargo at the Rocky Mountain Quilting Adventure. I'm going with a quilting friend. She has been to this before and took the class with David Taylor. If you click on the link you can see her picture at that class! It's the bottom one of the three stacked vertically on the right hand side of the page.

I'm taking my laptop because I will need to check my Adams State University work email in the evenings to see if there is anything I need to do for that job. If I have time I may post a few pictures of what I'm up to, but don't count on it. I will, of course, give a full report when I get back.

Hope you have a good week. I plan to!

Friday, August 29, 2014

Scrap Happy Purse

I have wanted to make one of these for a long time. The pattern has been in my Craftsy wishlist for months. If you would like to purchase a copy of the pattern for yourself, click here to purchase it directly from the pattern designer or search for it as "Scrap Happy Purse" on Craftsy. The pattern is by Amanda Jean who blogs at Crazy Mom Quilts.

Here is my Scrap Happy Purse.

This is my first time using pre-made handles. They were pretty easy to hand sew on. The pattern also has instructions for fabric handles in case you don't have or don't want to use pre-made handles.

There are two pockets on the inside.

You could very easily add more pockets to the inside. There is a magnetic closure at the top. I used a new-to-me version of these that get sewn in on the wrong side of the lining so they are hidden. They are called invisible sew-in magnetic snaps. The link will take you to Nancy's Notions where I purchased mine.

These were interesting to sew on since the stitch plate on my machine is metal. Every time the magnet got close to the stitch plate it would jump. I ended up glueing the magnet to the wrong side of the lining and then placing a scrap of batting, folded over so it was doubled, underneath the magnet so I could sew it on. My machine had no problem sewing it on after that.

Pattern details: The pattern is well-written and easy to follow. There are good diagrams where needed. The finished bag is 9" wide by 11" tall by 5" deep. It is a great way to use up every last bit of your favorite fabrics!

I purchased this pattern. The above review is voluntary. I am not benefitting in any way by giving it a good review. I simply like the pattern and am happy with how my bag turned out.