Thursday, January 2, 2020

"I Can See Clearly Now. . ."

 I guess we all find places for our stashes, depending on what's available, what is convenient, maybe even some place that won't get discovered by someone else!  I wasn't a quilter when I moved into this house, which has a very nice linen closet.  The door that you see below opens into the hallway near the bedrooms, and on the back side of the linen closet, a door opens into the laundry room.  Perfect for placing clean linens into from the laundry room, and accessing them from the other side.

But, who really needs a linen closet!!??!!  I found places in the bedrooms to stash the extra folded sheets and towels and blankets.  So the linen closet has become a fabric closet.  And it works really nicely.  The only problem is that it's quite dark inside.  This hallway isn't very bright either.

So I bought this head lamp on Amazon, and it makes all the difference!  I can put it on my head and see really well into the fabric stacks.  The light can be slanted up or down, and it can even blink.  I know, a blinking light isn't very helpful when choosing fabrics!  (And neither is the red light, which is also available on this head lamp!)

Isn't this quite dorky looking?!  Do I look really weird wearing it?  Of course, I do!!!  But do I care?No!  Not as long as I can see into my fabric closet.

Wednesday, December 4, 2019

Another New Comforter Cover!

I recently made another comforter cover, for a different bed.   I used spare sheets to make it.  

For some reason, it makes me a little nervous to make things like this.  I end up measuring once, twice, three times or more, saying a prayer, crossing my heart, and anything else that I think might possibly help me avoid making a big error!  I guess I'm reluctant to cut into extra large pieces of fabric like this.

I wanted the cover to sort of echo the painting in the room, so I made the balance of the stripes lean toward the darker blue on the left side and toward the lighter blue on the right side.  I'm happy with the result.

The pillowcases included in the sets are king size, and our pillows are regular size.  So I plan to "shorten" the large cases down to normal size, and use the leftover pieces of fabric to sew a contrasting strip to the new pillow cases.

Sunday, November 3, 2019

Making Some Special Cards

 I've had a card-making kit lying around for several years now (I know--embarassing!), and there was always one reason or another not to make the cards.  But I finally did!  They combine quilting and cards--what could be better!?!

Here are the results--all heart cards.  The kit included the cards with the cutouts.  I supplied everything  that is not paper!  

The instructions said to layer fabric, batting, and a piece of paper, then to zig-zag them to the cards.  Here you can see the back of one card, after I have removed the paper and cut the excess fabric/batting away.

And in this photo you can see that the cards have two folds in them, so one side gets glued over the messy back-side of the pretty hearts.

I chose the fabrics and accessories, and I couldn't be happier with my new cards! 

Wednesday, October 30, 2019

"Square Dance" Quilt for Challenge

 This is my original drawing of how I wanted this quilt to look.  I'm not sure what this "progression" of squares is called, or even if it has a term.  But I knew that I wanted my "one red square" to be in the center, and then angle the other squares around it.

The progression of my drawings. . .

. . . to the final drawing, which I took to the copy shop to have enlarged.  

When I brought home my extra large version of the pattern, I traced those pieces onto freezer paper.  I ironed the freezer paper onto the fabric, and cut 1/4" away from the edges to make my fabric pieces.

I found that I needed to label the pattern pieces (N, S, E, and W) just to keep them straight to myself.  Theoretically, all of the orange pieces are the same, all of the blue pieces are the same, etc.  But labeling them helped me to keep everything where it was supposed to be.  It's not the easiest thing in the world to sew large pieces of fabric together and keep the freezer paper on them!  The whole thing is about 3 1/2 feet square.

I decided that I wanted to quilt one big spiral on this quilt because it is so angular.  I've always liked the look of spiral quilting, but have never done it.  I searched on Pinterest for instructions and found some good ones.  The source was Flourishing Palms, and the instructions were very thorough.  (Thank you, F.P.!)

I started by drawing around a quarter with a white chalk marker, just as Flourishing Palms directed. Not all of my stitches are perfect, but all in all I'm very pleased with them.

Getting to the bigger, outer circles was a snap!  Frustratingly,  the very center circles were the hardest to sew, and also the first ones I sewed.  And those inside circles will probably also be more noticed than the easier, neater, outer quilting lines.

When I got to the edge of the quilt, I had to lift my presser foot and "travel" to the next corner to get all the corners filled in.

And here is the finished quilt.  I debated about how to bind it--basically I was going between pink binding and black binding.  In the end I decided to do a faced binding.

Saturday, October 5, 2019

"One Red Square" Quilt Guild Challenge

I think I mentioned that our guild's challenge theme for this year is One Red Square.  Anything we enter must contain one red square.  Not two squares or more, just one red square.  I came up with LOTS of ideas for this challenge!  And I carried through on most of them!

There is a large white barn near where I live.  It is the only barn in the immediate vicinity.  And it is called (wait for it. . .) The White Barn.  Every time I drive past it I think, "That barn really needs a barn quilt on it."  So with this challenge, I was able to produce a barn quilt on my very own 
White Barn.  

I used a technique which I have used in the past called Fabric Confetti.  I took a class a few years ago at Asilomar (Empty Spools) from Denise Oyama Miller and Nancy Ryan.  Here's the process in a nutshell.  First I cut the fabric pieces into "confetti."  Fast back and forth with the rotary cutter accomplishes this.  The backing fabric and batting are laid down on a surface, and the colored confetti pieces are laid onto the batting to form the picture.  

When that is finished, a layer of black tulle is (very carefully) laid down on top, being careful not to move the fabric pieces.  Then it gets safety pinned really, really close together to baste it all and to hold the tiny pieces in place.

The next step is to stipple the * out of it, using invisible thread.  That holds everything in place.  Here you can see the quilt in the midst of being quilted down.

After I did that, I laid down the white fabric pieces for the barn itself.  In the photo below you can see that I've made some "barn board" lines in the barn, as well as tiny stippling.

When that was done, I had some fun laying down brown tree trunk pieces amidst the greenery.  I added a fence, which appears in that part of the scene.  I had the very edges of the quilt turned over and pinned for two reasons.  One is so I didn't "leak" any more pieces of fabric onto the floor!  There was already enough of that!  And the other reason is to minimize the risk of getting the edge of the quilt folded over underneath where I was quilting.  Yes, I did do that, and had to rip out some very dense quilting I had done over a tree trunk.

This is just a tiny sample of what the floor looked like, as well as the clothes I was wearing.  Little tiny fabric pieces everywhere!

Here's a close-up of part of the barn, where you can see the two slightly different colors I made the barn to give an impression of shadows.

I created some pink "Naked Ladies" and yellow dandelions and tall grasses in the foreground.  Naked Ladies are properly known as amaryllis belladonna.

Friday, October 4, 2019

A New Comforter Cover

Our comforter cover was really, really showing its age (don't we all!!), and I knew it had to be replaced.  Several years ago I had sewn this strip of blocks together, because I wanted to understand the process.  Here are the basic instructions for making this type of strip.  It has hung around for quite a while, patiently waiting to be used.

It worked perfectly as a "strip of interest" on a comforter cover.  (Is this supposed to be called a duvet? Or is the duvet the comforter that is inside?  I'm really confused by these words.)  I used a spare sheet that I had, and after measuring carefully, I just top-sewed the strip to the sheet. 

You can see that I used the top of the sheet for the bottom of the comforter cover, so it has a nicely finished hemmed edge.  I hand-sewed extra-large snaps to the bottom of the cover to close it.

Monday, August 26, 2019

Recent Work

I'm afraid I've neglected my blog recently, but it's mainly because I've been so busy sewing!  So this blog post will be "short and sweet" so I can get back to my sewing.  #notaddictedtoquilting

Here are a few of the things I've been working on.

While watching Giants games in the living room with MisterStitches I've been cutting out aprons for TwoFish Baking Company.  Here Cassie is inspecting them.

On Saturday I started a new quilting project, one involving the "fabric confetti" method.  The whole quilt won't be confetti; I'll be adding some appliquéd shapes too.

Finished up this cute little Christmas tree ornament for my quilt guild's fundraiser sale on Thanksgiving weekend.  Isn't it cute!!??!

Added some appliqué flowers to my green denim jacket.  I guess I should do a whole blog post about that jacket, to show you all the treasures it holds.  

Here is a closer photo of the embroidered flowers.  I found a new way to embroider a flower on Pinterest:  the two red flowers.  I think they look a little like roses.

 I finished quilting a spiral on this quilt for our quilt guild's challenge show in October.  I found a great entry on Pinterest that gave very detailed instructions on quilting a spiral, and it was very, very  helpful.

And I finished crocheting another baby afghan.