Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Second Pillow Cover

I finished the second pillow cover yesterday.

And the back.

Please ignore the stray threads on the back. I didn't bother to pick them all off since this will be inside the pillow cover eventually. The batting used on both of these is fusible fleece. It's what came with them when I was given them. The first one was even already fused to the fleece.

In case anyone is interested, this one had a selvedge. These were printed in 2004 by Andover Fabrics under license from the American Folk Art Museum. The line name is Home Sweet Home II by Kathy Hall and the pattern is F2751. I don't know if the one I showed you yesterday is Home Sweet Home I or if they are both Home Sweet Home II. They obviously go together and the backing fabric has the birds from this one, only much smaller, all over it. When I get some pillow forms I'll finish these.

Monday, August 29, 2011

More Practice with Hattie

Someone gave me everything but the pillow forms to make two pillows. They just need to be quilted. I wanted to quilt something, anything, yesterday so I got them out.

One is now quilted.

I used black thread so it is nearly impossible for me to capture the quilting from the front. Here is what the back looks like.

To give you an idea of the size, this will require a 20" pillow form.

FYI: This is my 497th post! I'm planning a few giveaways for next week in celebration of getting to 500 posts. Be sure to check back next Monday for the first one.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Sunday Sneak Peak

It still needs the border, but the center is done.

It goes together quickly with all of the pieces laid out on the design wall. Can I get it quilted by Friday in time for my UFO Bust Report? Answer: maybe.

See Friday's post for pattern information.

Friday, August 26, 2011

UFO Bust Report - Puzzle Quilt

Even though Lily is loud and squeaky, I've begun piecing my Puzzle Quilt. My mom sent me the colored fabrics already precut. I cut the few solid black pieces I'll need yesterday.

I've only laid out three rows and sewed a couple of the seams so far. It's not a difficult quilt to make but it does require placement planning.

Head over to Susan's at Blackberry Creek Home Arts to see what the other little green quilters have been doing this week.

Edit with pattern info: The pattern is called Quilter's Puzzle and you can purchase it from eQuiltPatterns.com for $6.95. Click here to go directly to the pattern.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Lily is Home

My friend picked up Lily in Colorado Springs yesterday. So I did manage to get her there and back without having to drive to Colorado Springs again.

Unfortunately, she still isn't right. She does sew, but she is loud and makes a squeaking noise she didn't make before. In addition, the bulb is burned out! Thank goodness for my bendable bright light! Without that I'd be sewing in the dark.

Where did I put that Bernina flyer?

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Sweet Divinity Disappearing Four Patch

Work and school both started this week. It has been a bit crazy at times around here. I hope things will settle down into a routine soon so I can get back to more regular sewing and posting.

I was able to finish quilting my disappearing four patch and finished the binding last night.



I've very please with how it turned out even though I think I should have quilted the border more heavily (or the blocks less heavily). Click on the images to see them larger.

Here is a close-up so that maybe you can see the quilting better.

I used Aurifil thread, 50 wt., in white for the quilting so it is hard to see the quilting from the front in a photograph. The above photo is of the back which is also pretty cute if I do say so myself. (And I do!)

I'm still playing around with photo staging. I've also noticed the days getting shorter. I need to get out to take pictures earlier if I do it in the evening and later if I do it in the morning.

First day of 4th grade today. I almost forgot to take a picture!

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Sunday Afternoon Playdate

The boy has a friend over for an end of summer sleep over. I'm taking the opportunity to play with Hattie.

I'm quilting my disappearing 4 patch.

The photo above shows the back side of the quilt so the quilting will show in a photograph. Click on any image to see it larger. Below is a reminder of what the front looks like.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Baton Rouge Square with built in sashing

I have made no UFO progress this week. To see what others have done hop over to Susan's blog, Blackberry Creek Home Arts.

I did make progress on other things though. Yesterday I made my donation block for my guild's annual donation quilt to one of our local charities, La Puente. This block finishes at 14". The instructions call for the following fabrics: black solid, white solid, light greens (several fabrics), dark green, and medium blues (several fabrics). It is an interesting block since it includes sashing as well as the actual block.

Here is the block part of it.

And here is the block with sashing.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Just Playing

I needed something to sew but I only have a few minutes at a time right now so I can't do anything complicated. I got out my Gwen Marston book to look for inspiration.

I decided to try the square in a square blocks.

Above it what I've done so far. I'm just using scraps. I may add another round of triangles to these to make them larger and I may not. Right now it's just something easy to sew when I don't have much time to sew. They measure between 5" and 6" squarish at this point.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Sew Silly Sisters Scrap Blocks

My art group met today. We brought our quilted scrap blocks and discussed how we are going to attach them to our quilted background. Check out the quilting on the black background! Click the image to enlarge it.

I'm going to put the binding on the black quilted background and the sleeve. I brought home five of the six blocks. The sixth is still being worked on. Here is a taste of what it will look like. Again, click to enlarge.

I will take closeup images of each block later when I can show you all six along with the names of the makers. Here is mine though.

And since you can't really see the quilting from the front, here is the back.

I quilted this Monday on Hattie. I learned that I need to slow her speed way down, like 10%, in order to stitch in the ditch with Hattie. I purchased a 12" by 3" long arm ruler recently for sewing straight lines with Hattie. I haven't even opened it yet though. I was sewing so slowly and following the seam lines that I didn't worry about using the ruler. I think it turned out as well or better than it would have with the ruler.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Wonky Cross Quilt

I decided to go ahead and finish quilting the Wonky Cross quilt on Hattie. Now that it is done, I don't think I could even tell you which part I quilted on which machine.

I did an all over swirl pattern. You will probably need to click on the photos to enlarge them to see the quilting. I really like the back of this one too.

I'm not sure what I will do with this one. I took a few more pictures trying to practice and improve my photography and staging skills.

Sunday afternoon the boy caught a dragonfly. He was keeping it in a plastic bug jar until I convinced him that it was cruel to keep it too long.

I took a picture so that he could "always remember his pet dragonfly, Golden."

Monday, August 15, 2011


I quilted a charity quilt with my new HQ Sweet 16 this weekend.

It went well but I need to quilt a few more projects on it before I get the hang of the new setup.

I got the extension table on yesterday morning, all by myself. The hardest part is removing the machine from the table and flipping the table over and then putting everything back. Both the machine and table are heavy. The instructions for installing the extension table are very clear, with pictures, and I had no trouble doing it myself.

After doing one project on my new machine I discovered two main differences between quilting on Lily, my regular machine, and on my new one. By the way, I have named her Hattie or Chatty Hattie. Have you seen the movie Chitty Chitty Bang Bang? Hattie has a rhythmic sound like the car in that movie, like she is talking to me as we work. Anyway, on to the differences.

(1) Hattie's speed is set by her computer (the little screen above the needle arm in the first photo of Hattie above). When I step on the pedal she is almost instantly going at full speed and easing back on the pedal has little or no affect on her speed. On Lily, the speed is controlled by the pedal, like a car. I have obviously learned how to adjust the speed of the machine to my hand speed when quilting on Lily. I'm going to have to work on maintaining a constant hand speed on Hattie. I also need to play around with the stitching speed to figure out what works best for me.

(2) With Hattie the main body of the machine is directly in front of me at the back of the table. On Lily the main body of the machine is to my right. So the ways that I have been controlling the part of the quilt that is not under the needle is going to have to change. This is just going to require practice and trial and error to figure out what works best for me.

I've got a couple more charity tops ready to be basted and quilted to practice with Hattie. School begins next week for our whole family. (My husband also teaches at Adams State College) It will take a little time for my routine to adjust and solidify. Then I hope to get into a quilting/work/family rhythm again.

One more picture of the quilt. Goldie had to see what the heck her momma was doing at 7:15 am out front with her camera this morning.

Friday, August 12, 2011

UFO Bust Report - Week 32

Well ... I wouldn't really call this "progress," but I found another UFO during my recent sewing room remodel. This is from a hand applique class I took some time around 1999.

Ugh! This is soooo not my taste anymore! I never did really like hand applique either. I thought that maybe I would like it more if I learned how to do it properly. Nope. The instructor didn't help either. It bothered her that I appliqued in what she called "the left-handed manner" even though I am right-handed and sew right-handed. I tried to do it her way but was just miserable. I probably could have relearned how to do it the way she wanted me to, but what I was doing was working for me and you can't tell which "way" the pieces are sewn down. I finished the whole class but above you can see that I didn't finish the project.

Since taking this class I have adopted the policy that class projects do not require finishing, unless I want to finish them. For me, the purpose of a class is to learn a technique, not complete a project. I did learn how to hand applique, even if I don't like it and don't do it well. So this project has served it's purpose.

I'm not sure what I want to do with this block at this point. It's pretty big, about 16" square. I just have to finish up the center. I'm tempted to finish it with machine applique and maybe put some borders around it until it's big enough for a baby quilt. I could also take it to guild and put it on the in-house raffle table for someone else to finish. Or I could just throw it away. I don't know, I need to think about it for a little while longer.

Hop on over to Blackberry Creek Home Arts to see what the other UFO Busters have accomplished this week.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Summer Camp - Glamp!

I finished my Glamp earlier this week. It was really fun to make and pretty easy.

Here it is.



I chose to just do a simple one - great fabric and some fun trim on the bottom. You might recognize the fabric from the birthday purse I made for my niece. I had to hang it from the ceiling fan for the photos because I don't have a way to hang it yet where I want it. I hope it will hang above my cutting table. I could really use some overhead light above the cutting table!

The son likes it too. He thought it made a nice hat!

Head over to Amanda's at the Quilted Fish to see the other Summer Camp Glamps. And if you are so inclined, please vote for me.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Machine Woes, Again

I love my Featherweight, but she is suppose to be my travel machine and Lily is my regular machine.

Unfortunately, after only about 3 hours of sewing on Lily, she is making another "distressed motor" type noise. I was so frustrated yesterday that I just got the Featherweight back out and worked on something she could handle. I'm still considering my options for Lily. The shop where I take her guarantees their repair work for 30 days but I still have to get her there. Two trips there and back costs me two tanks of gas, about $100, 700 miles of driving and about 13 hours of my time. She has been a good machine (until recently) and I have no complaints with the shop, but I'm wondering if she is worth all this.

I'm going today to my local Bernina dealer to browse and explore my options. Initially it will cost me more to buy a different machine, but I know in the long run it will be cheaper to have a local repair and service shop. The other consideration is that I just spent a lot of money on my HQ Sweet 16. We do have a good savings account so we can afford for me to buy another new machine. However, I have a comfort zone I like to stay above with our savings account and I don't want to drop below that by purchasing a second machine in one month. My husband is being so sweet about this though. He told me to do whatever I need to so that I can have a working regular machine.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Birthday Purse

One of my nieces is turning 6 this Saturday. I made her a purse today to send her. It's the same pattern as the one I made for her big sister, but with different fabrics. I asked my mom for advice in picking fabrics. My instructions were purple, orange and bright. Do you think I followed directions?

Monday, August 8, 2011


Both of my machines are now in their proper places!

They are getting along very nicely and I think we will all have many enjoyable hours together! Lily is working beautifully after her trip to Colorado Springs. The drive motor was bad and had to be replaced. She is now back to her old self again. I'm trying to think of a name for my HQ. The current forerunner is Helga. Any suggestions?

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Hodge Podge

(1) Our house guests left Friday afternoon. We all had such a wonderful time with them! It is so rare to find "couple friends" of which both you and your spouse like both of the other couple. Even rarer to like the whole family. Yet we have this with this family. The kids just picked up where they left off last time we got together, two years ago.

They brought the son a gift, the Battle of Naboo Star Wars Lego Set. To say he loved this gift really doesn't quite describe his enthusiasm. It has sparked quite a bit of creativity. Here are just two of the various displays and creations he has crafted since receiving it.

(2) I ordered a new book recently, The Bag Making Bible.

It includes 8 patterns will full size patterns but that isn't why I purchased it. The book is mainly a "technique" book that teaches you about the various components of a bag and how to create and customize them. There are eight chapters: Getting Started, Choosing Fabrics, Structure and Reinforcement, Linings, Closures, Handles and Straps, Pockets, and Edgings and Trimmings. I've only had a chance to read a little bit of the book and browse through it, but I think I'm going to really like it. I love bags but want to customize patterns I like and/or create my own patterns. I think this book will help me create the cute bags floating around in my head.

(3) I've started on my Glamp for Summer Camp. I've decided to make this one for me. If the boy decides he wants one too, I'll order another kit from Amanda.

(4) My new HQ Sweet 16 is AWESOME! I've only set it up and done some practice stitching with it so far. The "getting started" DVD said to change the needle before sewing if you just received the machine. I did this and put the needle in backwards. So then the tension wasn't right. I took out the bobbin thinking I may need to adjust the tension on the bobbin case. The bobbin fell out of the case before I had a chance to see which way it goes in the case. So then I had to wait until business hours to call the dealer I bought it from for help. All is well now! The dealer is coming to my house on Friday to check out my set up, make sure I got everything set up properly, answer any questions I have and give me some pointers and tips about the machine. I don't feel comfortable enough yet to use it on a "real" project, but I hope to test it out "for real" on a charity quilt soon.

(5) I'm driving back to Colorado Springs to pick up my regular machine today. It's 350 miles round trip, Ugh. I don't plan on doing much shopping, just up and back. We've got a neighborhood party this evening that I need to be back for.

(6) My local quilt shop changed owners at the beginning of this month, about a week ago. I went in yesterday for the first time. It was like going into a house a friend used to own for the first time after they moved to meet the new owners. The building is the same but everything else is different. I met the new owner and she seems very nice. I'm sure it will feel familiar again in time.

Friday, August 5, 2011

Wednesday, August 3, 2011


I started listening to Anne of the Greenstitch blog and podcast last year. Anne has inspired me to think before I buy. Now when we need something, instead of automatically shopping for it, I stop to think if I could make it and could I make it out of something I already have.

Case in point: My husband bought a new skillet for the camper and I gave him a griddle for the camper for his birthday. He wanted covers for them so they don't get scratched up while stored in the camper. He asked me where I thought he should go to buy some and I said, "don't buy any, I think I can make you some." I've still got 11 panels of our old curtains, maroon cotton velvet. I pulled one of those out, measured his items and made covers in about two hours.

The skillet cover.

The griddle cover.

The skillet cover has a drawstring. I had to use some green grosgrain ribbon because it was the only "manly" thing I had enough of on hand. I didn't think he'd like pink! I told him it would be easy to change the drawstrings later if he really doesn't like the ribbon. The griddle cover has a flap that folds over the end of the griddle and goes about 1/4 of the way inside the cover.

I think he really likes them! I was glad to make them for him and use up some of the old curtains. As I was making the skillet cover it occurred to me that these curtains would make luxurious Christmas gift bags. I think that is what I will do with the rest of the curtain panel I used for these covers.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Recent Shopping

Last week, in addition to purchasing a Handiquilter Sweet 16, I also purchased some fabric and a pattern.

The fabrics just called to me! I bought a yard of each. I'm planning to use them to make some baskets for my newly remodeled sewing room using the pattern I bought.

They had the cube size made up at the shop. It is sooo cute! It's about a 6" cube, so a good size. I may be able to use the pattern idea and techniques to make different sizes too.

The shop I'm referring to is Stitcher's Garden in Pueblo, CO. If you are ever in Pueblo you should stop in. It's a really nice shop, not very large, but a great selection of fabrics and patterns in a nicely renovated old building. Actually, the whole street is nicely renovated and had some interesting shops. I didn't spend much time window shopping since I was on a bit of a schedule and I'd already spent quite a bit that day.