Wednesday, August 28, 2013

A "new to me" technique.....

Yes, it has been awhile since I posted about anything.  Not that there has not been stuff on my mind and have wanted to say - it is just that it probably would not have been a very positive or encouraging post..... I am a middle-aged woman who is nearing her Year of Jubilation....  yes, 50 and that means none other than the big "M" word....  I will leave it at that.  

Other than to say..... My hubby is a patient man.

Okay - on to fun..... PAPER PIECING!  

I will be honest - at first I thought - there is a lot of cutting, LOTS of cutting and I could be sewing.  So I was a little discouraged...... then I made my first block.  It is a flying geese block..... and no points were cut off, the triangles are lined up and straight..... 

Oh my goodness this is just fantastic!  

Yes, it took me nearly an hour and a half to make this first block, but to my defense, my friends and I were talking, telling stories and laughing like crazy - so I really cannot tell you the actual amount of time of sewing.....  but I could not be more pleased with the outcome.  So I made another one......

....and it only took a few minutes - about fifteen to be exact.  Not too bad for a second try.  (Don't you love all the colors in the cut pieces? I sure do!)  

So there I am going to go and fold, cut, pin, check, sew and press.....  36 more..... 

Love this "new to me" technique!  

Saturday, August 3, 2013


Yay!  Finally, finally, finally finished a quilted project.  

Do I think it is the best..... No.
Should I give it has a present.... No.
Is it the first ever table runner.... Yes.
Is it the first ever project that was pieced, quilted and bound.... YES!!  
Were lots and lots of valuable lessons learned.... YES, YES AND YES! 

My quilting mentor told me I needed to quilt smaller projects to develop muscle memory and to get a good feel for quilting.  So I searched and searched the internet to find an easy table runner to make so I could quilt it.  I found Katie Hennagir Designs and loved the Simple Table Runner.  I thought... okay I can do this one!  

This table runner has the blocks set on-point and I love that design!  I have made two quilt tops already on-point - so I felt comfy with that layout.  I did deviate from the actual cutting fabric instructions because I did not have enough to make three identical blocks - but other than that - I stuck to her pattern.  

I recommend this pattern - it is super easy to follow and it makes a great sized table runner!  I am using it again for Christmas presents....  

Now for quilting - oh I thought I would go all out and try echo quilting, feathers and so forth.  I immediately stopped with the echo and really fussed with the feathers (there are no close ups of the quilting and a bowl will be strategically placed over the feather attempts) and went to meandering.... 

Oh I love meandering.... my shoulders instantly began to relax and off I went. 

Then it was time to bind.  I decided to bind with the fabric I used in the center of the blocks because (a) it looked really nice and (b) I had enough of that fabric! 

Once that was all in place, I was able to relax more and sew the back of the binding down.  I like that part.  One of the lessons I learned was that I did not need to double the thread.  Once I figured that one out (about 3/4 of the way around) the hand sewing went really, really fast! 

Here was the homestretch..... (I am feeling a bit under the weather today so it was nice to sit at my table under the window and finish the binding).  And yes, this is some of the same fabric I unsuccessfully used to construct the Antique Basket block last night.  I do love this fabric.  I used the dark brown as the backing of this table runner.  

Meandering is good.....  can you guess that the icky feathering and echo attempts are NOT in this picture?  

Perfect fit on my table!  

Okay - for the lessons learned:  

1.  If you have cats, never, ever leave your thimble unattended. 
2.  If you do leave your thimble unattended, make sure you have a back up!  (I still cannot find my thimble) 
3.  Ease into quilting.... take your time, relax and start off with meandering. Start off with smaller projects.
4.  Tape down all FOUR sides of your backing fabric.... not just the ends!  (Yes there is some puckering on the back of the table runner - so again no close-ups!) 

Best lesson of all is enjoy the project, give credit where due and display it with abandon!  

Finally..... I am not afraid of quilting and am ready to take on more projects!  

Friday, August 2, 2013

Learning the Hard Way.... Contrast

Ahhhhh......contrast.  I would like to think that I know my colors.  I know contrast.  I was an Art major... 

But I did not finish my formal education so I must have missed something somewhere... and it was over 30 years ago..... right?  

No, it is more of "Oh I love these colors together, so I will make a block." 

Well, do love this block.... and I do love these colors....

First Antique Basket

I used the Marti Mitchell templates from the Block of the Month...... but did not have a pattern.  So I just looked at the picture from the booklet and remembered lessons learned in the many classes I have taken at my favorite quilt store!  

Yes, yes, yes.... I am bragging.  But bragging is not ladylike and there is a downside....  CONTRAST.  Not enough of it with these fabrics so the basket gets lost in the block.  

But do not fear.....  I have a plan