Finished!

Log Cabin Cross banner 25x35"

Log Cabin Cross banner 25×35″

Details on the pattern and construction  –here

I know I posted bolts of fabric and some people were shocked at the price per yard.  We have only 2 local quilt shops in our area.  Prices range from 9.50 – 13.00 per yard.  The nearest “big box” fabric stores are 30+ miles away, so unless I am going “that way” I don’t often venture out to Hancocks or JoAnn’s or Hobby Lobby.  It is a “road trip”.

Project cost was about $40.   This was a small project and I only purchased 1 yard of the outer border fabric, and then 1/2 yards of the other fabrics. I might have gotten away with a 1/4 yard purchase, and my favorite Quilt Store would cut 2″ if that is what I wanted!  The wood grain that comprises the cross and the next darker color were done with fat quarters. Because of the size, I had to piece the darkest wood grain color.  A fat quarter was too “short”.   The lightest wood grain came from my stash, left over from another project.  I used it for the backing along with some of the darkest wood grain. And yes, I do have left over pieces; not quite “fat quarter” but usable in other projects. The batting was also from the stash.  I never throw anything bigger than 1″x 1″ away, and had the perfect size folded up and put away. I’m sure in the next few months you might see a square of the left overs appear here or there!

I have invested about 24 hours in the project.  10 hours over 2 days  to get the main part of the cross made, then the rest of the time in the borders, making the backing, layering, quilting, trimming, making the binding and attaching it.  Embroidery machine for the label and hand sewing it and the hanging sleeve were my last step last night.  Dear husband even cooked dinner (thank you for the frozen pizza dear) so I could continue to work without interruption.  He knows my deadline for travel tomorrow! I wanted it to be ready for delivery!

Today I have a class I signed up for months ago, and it will fill most of my day. When I get home, I must pack for a 2 week journey and TRY to finish the princess dress for my littlest granddaughter.  I must get the hem(s) in, and the velcro closing sewn on.  Hem(s) because I made the larger size, so I will put in the regular hem, and then add a 2nd one that can be taken out “later” when she gets a little taller.  Velcro so she can get it on and off herself and her big sister can help her “finish” putting on a “play dress up dress”.

Princess dress

Princess dress Butterick pattern # B4320 

Yes, more sparkles for mommy to growl about and to cling to everything in the house and daddy’s work clothes, but hey, little girls like sparkles.

Grandma was a slacker for this trip and this is the only thing I have finished, though I had great hopes for other projects.  Just too many interruptions on my time in the last 2 months.  (If you peak at the left side of the dress on the table is her finished quilt).  (Now I feel a little better…hate arriving “empty handed”.) (Especially when there is a birthday!!!)

When I come home at the end of the month, I have to make a new “to-do” list!  There are some projects that have been on my “list” but left to the side while I dealt with speakers and contracts for the guild, meetings, meetings, and so forth.  Now, time to go to class!

Baptism Banner – Log Cabin style

My daughter asked me in June to make a baptism banner for her God child. I had picked out some wood grain fabric to use as a cross in the center of the banner.  I searched around for a pattern to use and stumbled over the Log Cabin Cross. A bit more searching and I found a “free” pattern on a blog!  (Bloggers are the nicest people I think!)  So, thanks to Irene at Sweet Seasons of Life for her Free log cabin pattern .  (Click the link if you want the pattern)

I took my pattern, taped right to the project box along with my fat quarters to my favorite local quilt shop (Serendipity Quilt Store in Dagsboro DE) and had my dear hubby come along for the ride drive.  (Yes dear, I KNOW it’s Friday, the beach traffic is terrible and I wanted NEED to head out and get fabric…but we locals know the back way around and we had no trouble!) (He needed to go to Lowes to get electric wire too….he is rewiring my friends sewing machine as a “favor” to me.)  (I let him get a toy at Lowes so all is good) .  See, I knew you would understand.

Dear hubby helped pick the additional fabrics.   I got a yard of the bolt on the far left, and a half yard of the other 3. Poor hubby nearly fainted when he saw the prices per yard. He did have the strength to carry those bolts to the cutting table for me.  But hey, they are NICE fabrics! I figure when you make something you want to last then buying quality fabrics matters!  (It’s good for him to understand about these things, as I often get a sale, and he needs to understand why that is SO important too!)    He also now better understands the value of my “stash” I have acquired.  But, sometimes you just have to get the perfect fabric for the project.

A few bolts decided upon

A few bolts decided upon

Pattern and fabrics

Pattern and fabrics

 

I realized I was short one “dark” fabric, and dug into my stash and had the perfect wood grain to add in the project and you will be able to pick it out in later photo’s.

I have about 10 hours so far “invested” in the project.  I spent a couple of hours prepping the fabric and cutting on Friday afternoon.  Then after dinner on Friday night I went back to my sewing room to “lay out” the logs.  Well, I sewed until 11 pm and came up with this:

Main portion completed

Main portion completed

 

Saturday afternoon I worked on the project for 5 or 6 hours, getting the two borders on, making a pieced back and pin basting.

2 borders added

2 borders added

 

I did a little image searching for ideas on how to quilt the project.  I ditched around the cross and then I marked off “rays”.  (I swear my next investment is a handful of FRIXON pens.  My water erasable was “ok” but the other expensive BOHN marking pen was a waste of time. )

Quilting finished

Quilting finished

This afternoon I make a hanging sleeve, bind it and make a label.  It’s all about the timing!  I leave on Wednesday morning to go visit my daughter and want it ready to go.  Monday  & Tuesday are Quilt Guild days, so I “MUST” finish today….I will share a finish picture later.  Right now, it’s time for church!

Ocean Waves Quilt Guild Show photos

Ocean Waves Quilt Guild, Lewes Delaware held a show with the theme of Paying it Forward, highlighting all of the Community Service groups that our guild supports. We had a great show in Lewes DE on July 17 & 18. Our members quilts speak for themselves.    These are just a few of the photos.  Over 250 quilts were on display.  I took photos of a ‘few’ of my favorites.

Note; as you look at the photo’s, the Information Card precedes the quilt.
Show Sign close up

 

Besides all those quilts, there were 20 vendors with an assortment of goodies to sell. Our guild did Raffle baskets and a Featherweight Machine Raffle

It was a great show. For information on the show, including who the vendors were and the ribbon winners; follow this link: OWQG Show 2015

As you browsed through, how many famous quilt designers patterns did you see?  There are at least 3 Bonnie Hunter patterns, a Heather Kojan pattern, and many many more!  If you read the display cards, you will find out the specifics of the pattern name and designer, along with the quilter.

Hope you enjoy, and the next time we have a show, I hope you can come!

Machine embroidery resources

I was chatting with 2 ladies from my quilt guild yesterday about machine embroidery and all the stuff that goes along with having the machine and getting an outcome that you are happy with.  I went to a seminar in June with Floriani and learned a lot, and I have been gaining knowledge and skill by following along with the questions comments and answers in a Facebook embroidery group.

I thought I would share some of my favorite sources.

Designs – I mostly use free designs, however, I have purchased a “few”.  I download to my computer into an “embroidery” folder.  That folder is split into multiple sub-folders. (Think of it as a file cabinet with drawers).  I also print out the color sheet for every design I download, and put those in a 3 ring binder with similar divisions/groupings.  So, Autumn harvest designs are in a folder called Autumn harvest; and the printed sheet is behind a tab named the same. Autumn rolls around and I want to make something seasonal, I just flip my notebook open to the Autumn harvest tab, and page through the designs.  I tried to stick to just storing on the computer and using a design reader, but that doesn’t work in my brain.

Sources:

Free designs – note – many sites have some freebies on their tabs, but they tend to constantly be the same.  These I am listing have different all the time. Of course, they also have designs for sale and they are all very nice quality when stitching out.  Most require you to subscribe/join etc.

Cute designs for sale – note; there are LOTS of people selling designs on line.  I don’t buy very many, but I love these websites.

 

Digitizing – If you don’t want to buy software, then you send your design off to someone to “digitize” for you .  Whenever anybody on the group I belong to on Facebook asks for a recommendation, the first name that ALWAYS comes up is Brad at http://www.ssdigitizing.com/   I’m sure other people do quality work, and you can buy your own software. I haven’t used his services, but will if I need them in the future.  The recommendations I read about him are great.

Great tutorials –

 

Stabilizer and Thread – I attended a Floriani product seminar in June.  I have been using Floriani products, purchased either at Delaware Sewing Center or at Quilt shows.  I love them!  The secret to good embroidery results is the stabilizer!  Spend some time on the RNK Distributing/Floriani website to get an idea of the products.  http://www.rnkdistributing.com/

Download the Floriani Stabilizer workbook! http://www.rnkdistributing.com/resources/workbooks-guides/FlorianiWorkbookStabilizer.pdf

Note:  Floriani has a line called “Quilter’s Select” that they developed with Alex Anderson (The Quilt Show).  She LOVES the Floriani products.

I have not been disappointed with ANY of the Floriani products, thread or sabilizer.

I have purchased some supplies from Amazon, when I first got started.  My experience with everything has been GOOD.  My machine liked the thread, I have used up my supply of pre cut tear away and will order more.  It will take me YEARS to use up all the thread and bobbin thread I have purchased.

These are the supplies I originally bought:

8×8 medium weight tear away stabilizer

63 Brother Threads

HUGE Spool WHITE bobbin thread (90 wt)

I also purchased “water soluble” stabilizer (WSS) at Delaware Sewing Center.  It looked and felt a bit heavier than Glad wrap for food.  When using a WSS, it helps to make it larger than your hoop and pin it to your project outside the edge of the hoop. Slippery stuff.  Recently on the Embroidery group, I read that people were using a Vilene Water Soluble stabilizer.  Amazon is carrying that also – Vilene Water Soluble Stabilizer

Things I have learned from the groups & seminars:

  1. FLOAT a piece of tear away UNDER your hoop – EVERY TIME. (AMAZING what that does for your project
  2. Iron a stabilizer to the back of your fabric
  3. Make your stabilizer much larger than your hoop to avoid stretching your piece
  4. Most stabilizers can support about 10,000 stitches. When you have a design with MORE than that; add a second layer running in the opposite direction
  5. ALWAYS use a WSS on top. ALWAYS.  The theory has been to only use the WSS on things like towels and velvet or plush items that your stitches would sink into, but I saw a visible difference in “sinking designs” on t-shirts and cotton items.
  6. When your machine “acts up” stop, change the needle, clean the bobbin case, rethread everything and make sure you don’t miss anything.  These machines are stitching FAST; 800-2000 stitches per minute, and a dense design, if improperly digitized may “bend” your needle.
  7. Thread single needle machines with the pressure foot up until you get to the needle, then lower it.  It opens up all the tension areas, and you won’t “miss” getting your thread through the disk or channel.
  8. Use a CHROME needle by Schmetz or a Titanium needle sold by Superior Thread
  9. I used my embroidery thread in my regular sewing machine when I need to top stitch something and match a color
  10. Use the RIGHT stabilizer for the project (See the Floriani guide or the Embrodery Library “how to embroidery on any product)

Supplies –  These are one stop shop for supplies – stabilizer, thread and blanks

Thread Info

 

Don’t forget to check your BRAND of machines website.  Brother is “my brand” and they offer lots of free designs and information.

Join an embroidery “GROUP” on Facebook for your brand.

I hope you find this to be a helpful lists of sources and fun places to window shop designs etc.  If you know of other places that I may not have mentioned, PLEASE comment and include a link and why.  I will periodically update this list.

 

Iron Caddy tote

I admire all those bloggers who put together such great tutorials!  I had a quilt bee today, and we were to bring our own projects to work on.  What to do??  Well, I had seen a tutorial on a blog (can’t remember where) with a PDF file link for making an Iron Caddy tote.  I printed out a copy a month or more ago, and decided it was time to make one.    What is it?  Oh, a carrier for your iron, plus a place to iron when you are at a retreat, sit & sew, etc.  Took me less than a day to make it….could have been faster, but it is finished!!  First of all – here is a link to the PDF pattern – Iron Caddy Tote.  Thanks Tri County Quilters!

(Could have been faster if somebody hadn’t plied me with a bottle of Leinenkugels Summer Shandy. But that’s another story..Oh those wild girls in my quilt bee)

A quick look at the pattern will give you a feel for how it looks, both open and closed.  I shopped for the “shiny silver ironing board material” and found it at Hancock Fabrics.  I had the Insulbrite on hand already, and lots of scraps of batting in a bin.  I chose  a green floral with some great animals for the main fabric, and a coordinating brown for the handles and the “flange” on my “go-to” Susies Magic Binding.  The pattern instructions have you  make a full scale copy of the pattern and then stitch through it for the quilting.  If I were to do it again, I would mark my stitching lines with a pencil. The paper was newsprint and not so easy to pull off.  I was using an older machine without a walking foot, so I lengthened the stitch, where I really should have shortened it!  After I got the paper off, I stitched again with a shorter stitch.

Notes to remember – use cotton thread, top and bobbin for the area that is going to be ironed on.  I used Aurifil in a nice brown and it doesn’t look bad on the silver pressing surface.  My first run thru stitching I had it in the bobbin.  I switched machines (I started at a friends house during our quilt bee meeting) when I got home, and stitched those “fold lines” one more time.

At home I put the Aurifil brown in the top thread, and had Superior Cashmere in the bobbin.  Since there is no heat on the “cotton side” I didn’t think the poly thread would be a problem in the bobbin.  I used the 2 layers of  cotton batting, the silver iron board fabric and the Insulbrite, so I think the poly thread will be ok on the pretty side of the project.

The only thing lacking in the directions is “how much” fabric to cut for the binding, or if there was a preferred method for putting the binding on. So, I resorted to my Susies Magic Binding Method, and added up the 4 sides of the mat and figured it out for myself. (Oh no…engaged the brain….).  I dug through the button box and found two nice brown buttons with shanks, and dug through the “elastic box” and cut some “vintage elastic from my mother-in-law’s “stash”.  Check out the price of that elastic!!  I think the buttons are vintage too.  Wonder what year that elastic is from? It was still stretchy, so why not?!!

 

The high price of elastic.

The high price of elastic.

 

ready for a full size iron

ready for a full size iron

Folded up and ready to tote, even hot

Folded up and ready to tote, even hot

close up of the fabric and binding

close up of the fabric and binding

Nice to do a project in a day; start to finish!! Now, on to the grandkids projects before my next visit!!!

Happy sewing!

Barn Quilt Demo

I was asked by our Quilt Show committee to be one of the demonstrators during our recent quilt show for Ocean Waves Quilt Guild.  They requested I do a Barn Quilt demo.

I had so much fun taking Suzi Parron’s classes in March 2015 that I felt confident I could present something useful.  As Suzi comments on her website (just in case you have never heard of these)  “Barn quilts are painted quilt squares-usually fashioned on boards and then mounted on a barn or other building. While cloth quilts are usually made up of a series of squares of the same pattern placed together, a barn quilt is almost always a single square “.

My first order of business was to order Suzi’s book Barn Quilts and the American Quilt Trail Movement.  Oh my, what a great read!!  Yes, there are great photos,  but it is so interesting to sit and read.  You can order one directly from Suzi’s website – Barn Quilt Info   . (I was so busy with my duties as Vice President during Suzi’s visit that I failed to buy a copy of her book when she was here!)

I recently saw a photo of a quilt using a pattern by Eleanor (Quilt in a Day) Burns. She has a book out called Quilt Block on American Barns.  What caught my eye on that quilt was the barn in the center, complete with a barn quilt on the barn. It made me laugh, and I had to get her book.  Along with the great patterns are some wonderful photo’s of Barn Quilts (yes, the non – fabric; hanging on barns.) Check it out on Amazon!  http://www.amazon.com/Quilt-Blocks-American-Barns-Series/dp/1891776401

The next “order of business” was to get the two Barn Quilts I painted in March and check them out and see if they were “quilt show ready”.  I had not hung them yet, as I had great intentions of touching them up following the class. (Good intentions but little follow thru!)  So, I spent a couple of afternoons working on them, preparing them to be viewed by someone besides me, up close!

I realized that there were “paint line ridges” between colors, so I broke out the trusty sand paper, and sanded the lines, and then sanded the entire board lightly.  The tricky part was the paint.  Suzi had sent us home from class with a container of paint for touch ups.  I had “JUST ENOUGH” of my red paint.  Along the way, my hubby gave me some paint/tape tips to prevent those ridge lines.  I followed his tips and I was very pleased.

The weather was so nice, I set up “shop” on the patio next to the pool. (You have to do SOMETHING while the paint dries!)

The final “order of business” was to get  new boards prepped for the demo.  My hubby had some 1/2″ oak from a previous project, and I gave it a little light sanding, and  3 coats of exterior latex primer.  What a difference that thicker wood was to work with. Heavy for one thing.  I did this over a couple of days, and let the primer dry well.  Perfect job for sitting out at the pool too!

Once my 2 boards were ready, I decided I should select and lay out a design, taping off areas to paint, and “refreshing my memory” on the process so I could speak about the process easily. My goal was an easy pattern that could start out as a 9 patch.  I figured if I had 2 boards prepped, showing different parts of the process, it would make sense. I dug out 3 cans of exterior latex paint, left over from our last round of painting our house, and got it stirred up and portioned out into small containers to take with me to the show.  (You should have seen the faces when I pulled out those “laboratory specimen cups” with the paint! Hey, the lids stayed closed, and they were “NEW” when I filled them with paint!)

I had fun at the Quilt Show doing the demo, and appreciated the attention and questions I got from those that came to listen.  I began my demo explaining that I am not an expert, and I am not an artist.  With my handy yardstick, ruler, blue tape and razor knife, I could, however, make a barn quilt.  If I could do it, then anybody else could too.  As I only had 30 minutes to demonstrate, I taped off just two areas on the sample boards and I asked for paint helpers!  The two ladies that painted seemed like they had fun!  Overall, I had a successful demo based on the feedback I got from those attending.

Many thanks to my hubby who cut the wood for me, got my photo’s running on a slide show, and helped me get the laptop, the computer monitor, cords, power strips, electric cords, paint, books and samples into the show and set up.  Bless his heart for putting up with me & my hobbies!  Thanks to my friends Barbara & Elli for sharing their barn quilts from our class in March.  Nice to have so many samples to generate interest.

Now that I have the boards back home, perhaps I should finish both of them! (I shouldn’t wait 4 months to look at them!!) And I want to take the original boards and get them hung!  One is going on the fence, and one on the garage near the entrance to my quilting studio.  Not quite sure what I will do with the two done in oak, but I will get them finished. Maybe I should pick up one more color of paint, just to jazz things up a bit!  I put together a handout with general information on how to make your own barn quilt, and lots of links to resources around the web too.  Seems there are lots of people making and selling them, both in wood and in metal.  They are becoming very popular and they are fun and easy to create, at least in the smaller 2×2 size that I used.  Now, if I only had a barn……….

If you are interested in the handout I gave during the demonstration, it is available here: barn quilts

The document is a PDF,  and has multiple links for more information.

Happy sewing and painting.

 

Quilt Show Today & Tomorrow

Ohio Stars and Rails

Ohio Stars and Rails

It is FINALLY here! A years worth of work, and so wonderful to see the quilts go up yesterday afternoon.  We worked from 2:15 to 8 pm getting over 250 quilts hung at Cape Henlopen High School in Lewes DE getting every thing ready!

I had to take a photo of MY quilts that were hanging…My Ohio Stars and rails for Quilts of Valor hangs pretty nicely.

This Boxy Stars quilt that my bee, The Material Girls,  worked on together turned out well.  Our challenge was to make a Red White and Blue Quilt for Quilts of Valor.  One member , Judy B.,  really got us organized. My part was to work on paper piecing some of the blocks and helping with the layout. Other members sashed and joined the blocks, made the binding and hand stitched it on.  The custom quilting was done by Pat Kost.    This is the first time I have seen it since we made the blocks in January.

Boxy Stars made by the Material Girls

Boxy Stars made by the Material Girls

Both of these quilts will be donated to Quilts of Valor after the show.

The very first quilt hung was one of mine and I got to hang it.  After looking at this photo, I realized it needs to be on shorter hooks.  Oh well, maybe one of our many “quality control checks” caught that.  This picture was taken about 10 minutes after it went up….so I am hoping in the next 4 or 5 hours somebody adjusted it!.

Tshirt Quilt in Honor of Edward Mahoney for Karen Rupp

Tshirt Quilt in Honor of Edward Mahoney for Karen Rupp

So; take a road trip and come to see the show!  The vendors were working just as hard as our guild members getting ready!

click on the link to get       Ocean Waves Quilt Show Info

Ocean Waves Show logo

I promise to take lots of pictures today and tomorrow!  I have lots of jobs at the show, including a BARN QUILT demo.  So, if you are coming to the show; look for me on Saturday at 11:30 .  I will be the one painting back in the corner!

I spent  part of the week getting my sample boards prepared –  here is a peek at those too:

Time for me to “get busy” !