Monday, September 26, 2016

Hand Quilting On The Road

MisterStitches and I recently took a road trip to Ashland, Oregon to attend the Oregon Shakespeare Festival.  It is a full day of driving, mostly straight highways.  So I took along a project to keep my hands busy.

I wanted to do some hand quilting, so I found some light blue fabric at my LQS, The Loft.  After washing and ironing, I sandwiched it with some backing fabric that I had in my stash.  I decided to hand quilt around the edges of the leaves on the fabric.  


I chose this cute variegated thread that I already had on hand for the quilting.





I really enjoy hand quilting.  It is so relaxing and peaceful to me.  (Except when I poke myself with the needle!)



 This is the backing fabric that I chose.  The stitches hardly show on it.



And of course, I used my trusty portable sewing station that I could attach to the car window.  It is so handy!


Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Sewing with GranddaughterStitches

We recently had a visit from eight-year-old GranddaughterStitches, who came to attend Art Camp at GAC.  This is her third year at the camp, and she loves it.  

She looks so serious, doesn't she!

As you can imagine, I am very interested in teaching GranddaughterStitches how to sew/quilt. In previous years, I have taught her how to hand sew; she loved cutting (fussy cutting) pieces of print fabric, then sewing them onto another piece of fabric.  Last year I gave her 40 5-inch squares and had her arrange them on my design wall.  I then sewed them together for her.  She helped me pin the quilt sandwich, and instructed me in what design to use for the quilting.  She was very proud of her doll quilt.

This year I found a book at Marva’s “The Loft” called Sewing Machine Fun for Kids by Lynda Milligan and Nancy Smith.  It is a great book for guiding a young quilter/sewer.  It had puzzles that helped GranddaughterStitches learn the names of different parts of the sewing machine.  That made it more fun for her.  It also had sample projects, and she chose to make a hair scrunchie.  After that she decided she wanted to sew a pillowcase, even though that wasn’t one of the projects in the book.  And I have to say, she did a pretty good job of it. 

The pillowcase.  I love the fabric that she chose from my stash.
The scrunchy.







I’m so happy to see this new generation interested in sewing and quilting.  It warms my heart.

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Receiving Blankets

 I am pleased as punch to be making some receiving blankets.  Because that means there is going to be a new BabyStitches in our family!  SonStitches and DearDaughter-in-lawStitches are pregnant, expecting a little one in December.  I'm so excited!!!


It was a very windy day, so I had GranddaughterStitches's help in photographing these blankets outside.



One is a cute alphabet print, with a light yellow background.



 I hand-sewed the hems down with a funky little stitch that left these marks on the front side.




Another fabric I chose is from the book How Much Do I Love You?




I used a blanket stitch to hem this one.




This one is two-sided.  I followed the instructions at Missouri Star Quilt Company's Youtube site.  Here's the link.








The result is a cute receiving blanket that has a double thickness, and about a 4" contrasting border on the front side.


These cute flannels are from the same fabric line, and I found them at The Loft, my LQS.  One of the fabrics shows lots of different animals, then there are separate fabrics that use just one of those animals.  Here I chose the elephants.

Monday, August 22, 2016

Row By Row

Or

My Own Little Shop Hop


I am home now, from a trip back to Iowa and Minnesota to visit my family.  I had a great time visiting with people, and I even got to work in a little more "quilt business" than I usually do.

My own LQS, The Loft, is participating in the Row By Row Experience.  This was the first I'd heard about this, but RxR has been around for several years.  The idea is to visit participating quilt shops and receive a free pattern from each one.  This year's theme is Home Sweet Home.  The patterns depict something about this theme, usually mixing in something about that particular quilt shop.  The shops also offer (for sale) special fabrics that have been chosen for this year's theme.  Also available are fabric personalized license plates.  

Now, back to my trip to the Midwest.  Before I left home I looked up participating quilt shops on the route I would be driving.  I ended up stopping at Calico Hutch in Hayward, Minnesota; Quilt Cove in Eagan, Minnesota; Quilting by the Hearth in Lonsdale, Minnesota; Michele's Quilting and Sewing Center in Blue Earth, Minnesota; Old Alley Quilt Shop LLP in Sherburn, MN, and Bear Patch Quilting Company in White Bear Lake, Minnesota.  One day we drove to Sioux Falls, South Dakota to visit my niece and her husband, and I was able to visit Quilters Headquarters there.

At each shop I picked up the free pattern, did some looking around, sometimes bought some fabric (like I need any more!!), and at most of the shops I also bought the fabric license plate.

Notice the cute license patch fabric under the patterns.




Before I left on my trip, I had also collected RxR patterns from The Loft in Gualala, California and Eddie's Quilting Bee in Sunnyvale, California.

It happened to be that the Minnesota Quilt Shop Hop was going on at the same time.  So there were many shoppers who were also participating in that.

Now I have my work cut out for me--to sew up all these cute rows into a happy quilt!

Saturday, August 13, 2016

Art In The Redwoods 2016

I am so excited!  Art In The Redwoods is this weekend (Aug 13-14) and in the quilt division of the art exhibit, I won 1st place and 3rd place.  I can hardly believe it!

The first place winner was this Sunbonnet Sue, where she is standing on the bluff top, in a very blustery wind.  It is small, about 14" square, and you can read about it in this previous post.




I also entered my relatively new Poppy Quilt.  It won 3rd place!  I still can't believe it.  You can read about it here and here.



My third entry was this Sunbonnet Sue, where I've depicted a naked Sue jumping into the water, near the sign that says "No nude swimming." 
 


This small quilt didn't win a prize, but it won what is called the "Red Dot Award," which means that it sold.  (A red dot gets put on the identifying label on the wall next to the artwork.)  In fact, both Sunbonnet Sue quilts sold, and that makes me very happy too!

I feel extremely lucky to have won these awards and for selling the two quilts.  I remember many years ago hearing Alex Anderson speak about quilt shows and contests.  She said that sometimes it is just "your turn" to win an award, and other times it is someone else's turn to win.  I guess it was my turn this time.

Sunday, July 24, 2016

Electric Poppies


This is Electric Poppies--finally finished.  I'm happy with how it looks.  I posted about the process of 

making this quilt previously, here.  It measures 29" wide by 36" tall.  Just in time for me to 

enter it into Art in the Redwoods, an annual art show held at Gualala Arts Center.  It has 147 

separate pieces in it--no fusing at all!

Friday, July 15, 2016

What Have I Been Doing?

Yes, I know it's the middle of summer, but I seem to find myself making Christmas ornaments almost all year long!  Partly because my guild has a fund-raising booth at a summertime art festival in August, so we need things like this to sell in the booth.



Here are some close-up samples.


Most of the designs are from patterns I have purchased.  But I made up some of the designs myself.


An easy way was to "print" a word having to do with Christmas.






I drew this Christmas tree pattern.



Here is another of my word ornaments.

I had an amusing conversation with MisterStitches recently about these ornaments.  I told him that I don't think I can ever stop making these ornaments.  If I find that I have some of the small muslin rectangles left over, then I have to cut some more colored strips to make borders.  If I have border strips left over, then I need to cut some more muslin rectangles.  MisterStitches said, "Why don't you just throw the leftover pieces away?"  Now, isn't that a silly thing to say!  And I told him so!!  "I can't just throw fabric away."

He just doesn't seem to get it.