Small Progress, small quilting machine, small child

So, I have made small progress with my Pet Mosaic Project – Mittens –  (really do wish I was sewing right now!).

I got his “cheek” put in on the right side.  And tried to show some of the “whiskers” in the fabric pieces I chose.

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Then I spent a couple of days doing some stitching and pressing –

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The method used is called “webbing”, so you keep your pieces in “order”. (Very useful when you have gone to so much effort to put “just” the right piece of fabric in a particular spot or when you have a square that is so much more than “square”.

One night I decided to sew, and watch Bonnie Hunter QUILT-CAM.  Bonnie was talking on her live video stream about webbing, so I sent her a picture of my “webbed” pieces and of the project.  She showed them on her video stream, and talked about it quite a bit.   If you want to see what she said – check out this You Tube link —   QUILT-CAM Sept 7 – Fast forward to about 58:42.  (Now, dear Mittens, don’t get a big head….)

This is just how far I have gotten as of now – 8 sections stitched together.  I can do another 4 sections before I have to go back to the designing.

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Life has interrupted though for a bit. – I would really like to get back to this project, but I had to get busy with the quilt guild responsibilities.  Maybe I mentioned I co-chair the Second Time Around Table at Ocean Waves Quilt Guild, Lewes DE?  We “re-purpose” sewing items that members have “cleaned out” of their sewing room.  So, I spent nearly 6 days working with 3 other helpers, ironing, trimming, folding and pricing those donations for our Sept 12th meeting. I packed it all up in the hubby’s SUV the day before the meeting.

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We set this stuff up on tables starting at 8 am; and by 8:50 the members are shopping and finding great bargains.  We sold over $600 worth of items in just over an hour.  Then, following the meeting, I pack up all the leftovers, plus all the “new donations “ and load it “back up” in the SUV.  The new donations get carted upstairs into my sewing room for sorting/folding etc; while the items that have already been priced, stay in their containers on a shelving unit I have, for the next time.  I usually “fill” as many empty containers with donated items, as I sell.  It is really amazing what a little ironing and folding will do! It  takes a lot of time and effort, but is brings great results.

I’ve also had some fun setting up an Inspira Quilting Frame that I am “storing” for my friend Kathi. (Thank goodness for a hubby with a mechanical mind and a VHS video tape that came with it).

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She acquired it from her daughter in law, along with a stitch regulator earlier in the summer.  I spent a couple of days searching high and low for the “right” sewing machine to go along with the stitch regulator.  After my E-bay shopping did not pan out, I wrote to the company who made the stitch regulator, describing what I had, and asking about any other machine types that would work with the stitch regulator.  They gave me the info, and then, they also offered a machine for sale for a great price that was “gently used”. So, this week; the machine arrived.  It is a Janome 1600p; and it is all set up in the Inspira Quilting Frame.  It is a “small system”; with a small throat, but it will be a great starting point and something that I think, I can learn to work with.  I was really motivated when I visited a fellow guild member, Lana, and saw her using a similar set up.  She has been doing amazing work with this type of system, and I am going to try and follow her method for practicing and skill building.  Before I get too excited, I need to order some bobbins, and some spare needles!  I have lots of muslin that I can work with to practice.

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Of course, the person who had this machine before only had 5 foot leaders, and silly me, when I set them up I set them all the way to the right. Now I have learned that they need to be centered!  Better new is I have had 2 different people offer me sets of leaders; and I am taking them BOTH up on their offers. The frame is set up in a 10 foot configuration, and the shelf on top where my “clutter” sits, is where you would set the panto’s for the laser light to “follow”.  I managed to get it threaded, and the bobbin thread pulled thru, but that is all I have had time for.  My wonderful sister-in-law sent me great instructions for loading the quilt top/bottom/batting.  She has a Tin Lizzy long arm and lots of experience, so I found her input invaluable.  Maybe once I get some “hours” under my belt with this system, I can “finish” some of those quilt tops I have on hangers!

The other quilt guild I belong to, Helping Hands Quilt Guild, in Dover DE is offering two classes with Bonnie Hunter at the end of the month.  I have pre-washed mountains of blues, reds, and neutral fabrics for the two classes, and have ironed all the red and blue.  3 cans of spray starch later, I still need to get my neutrals done. (My dear hubby did the shopping this week at the warehouse store, and brought me home 8 more cans of Niagara spray starch….talk about love and understanding!!!)   I also have some pre-cutting done for the 2nd class, but not for the first class.

In addition, I have spent two days with my darling littlest granddaughter……

6 months old Addison and Grandma M.

This sweet little one is teething, and Grandma needs to make some bibs that are more “absorbent” than the typical “commercial” bib.  I have spoken with my friend Nancy, who made LOTS for a grandchild and gotten great advice, and a great supply of fun fabrics to supplement my stash.  My daughter favors the “bandanna” shape like she is wearing in the photo with snaps.  I think I will work on some this afternoon following our church service.  Like I said, busy life has interrupted, and Mittens is taking the back seat for a while!    Not much progress, to report……..other than I have had a ton of fun playing on the floor with that sweet little one.  I finally gave her 2 quilts this week.  You might remember Addison’s Quilt  her double bed quilt and the much smaller “play pen sized” courthouse steps scrappy quilt.

Hope you are enjoying beautiful fall weather like we are!

MITTENS has 2 eyes!

Pet Mosaic Update — Mittens really does have 2 eyes!  My quilting sister-in-law asked at some point if he did, and now, I can show evidence!  I have worked on this project off and on this week; primarily on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday. I fed my dear hubby dinner at 9 pm tonight because I was on such a roll!  Here is a look at him over the last few days.

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August 25 2016

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Aug 27 2016  Spent some time building in the right ear and side of his head

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Aug 28 2016 – head taking shape

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Aug 31 2016 – Working on the left side of his face and the bridge of his nose.

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Sept 2, 2016 – And now he has a nose and I am starting on his left cheek!

Kind of like watching paint dry, but it is fairly exciting to see him coming together.  There are areas that I will probably rework a little bit around his nose, nostrils etc before I move on to his lips.  My next goal is to finish that left side of his face.

Hope you enjoy the project process.  Thanks to Cheryl Lynch  ( Cheryl Lynch Quilts )for her wonderful instruction and to Carolyn Lingor (  One Block Wonder Woman) for her great advice too.      (My hubby has been kindly giving his artistic point of view on some of the pieces with transitions and it has really been helpful…right up to the point where he said “I never thought you would stick with this”; at which point I threw him out of my sewing space….)  (I did let him come back in to look at it today!)

This soft fuzzy thing is Smokey, the brother of Mittens.  He has much softer fur, and very soft stripes.  He looks dejected because he is not the star of my Pet Mosaic Project.  He claims ownership of me, as “HIS” human.  If I sit in a chair, he will instantly be in my lap!

Smokey

Mittens

Mittens was selected for the project because of his highly defined markings.  He looks a lot like his mother – Momma Cat; but she doesn’t have the pretty white above the sweet pink nose.

Momma Cat

Momma Cat is a cat with attitude.  She does like to talk alot, and is in mid conversation when I took this picture.  She lives “outside”; and likes to share her food with every stray that wanders in the yard.  (This is how we acquired these 3 cats…they moved in and took over).   She is all settled in to her nice little igloo, waiting on the coming storm.

As the Tropical Storm Hermine heads up the East Coast of the USA, I hope you are safe and sound where ever you are. Looks like we are going to get a big hit from the storm beginning Saturday morning, with 3 days of Tropical rains and winds as the storm is predicted to settle just off the coast of Delaware.  As my sewing room is “out over the garage” I may not be able to venture out to play with this project, so I will have to settle  and play with the real cats in the house!

 

Pet Mosaic and Paper crafting

I have spent 2 months trying to “clear the backlog” of projects so I could get my pet mosaic “back up on the design wall”.  Back story in case you are new —  My sister-in-law, Carolyn (aka – One Block Wonder Woman ) flew in from California in May, and she and I went to a retreat hosted by Cheryl Lynch  ( Cheryl’s blog ) . We signed up in JUNE 2015 for the May 2016 retreat. The project was a Pet Mosaic; finishing around 54″ x 54″.   (What a great retreat by the way, in the Pocono Mountains, on a lake, with wonderful food and great instruction and inspiration.)  (After you read my post, go check out Carolyn’s post about her project –Creating a dog from scratch can be Ruff .  If this type of project interests you, Cheryl Lynch is a GREAT teacher.

Flash forward to July and Carolyn’s project is finished! Quilted and bound, and making the circuit to quilt guild meetings, hanging at her local quilt show next month etc.

Meanwhile….mine has been languishing in a plastic bin on the shelf….waiting……waiting….waiting….so patiently (unlike the real live pet)….

When I packed up to leave the retreat, this is how far I had gotten – two sections “stitched together”, and two more ready to stitch, plus 2 transition rows.

the ear

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Well, now that my many projects from the spring & summer are complete – I had a clear design wall and Mittens the cat is back up on my wall at home.  Since my last post 9 days ago, I have been working at a turtle pace on this project.  I keep telling myself I am moving forward.  Carolyn worked on hers from Memorial Day until the end of July, so I am pacing myself!  (She reports dreaming about her project….)

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August 17, 2016

So, here we are back on the wall at home, and I have joined the blocks for the first 9 rows.  We are working in 9×9 sections for stitching, and much bigger area for design purpose.  I’ve been thankful for the extra grey and black fabric that Carolyn mailed to me; which helps give more variety and texture.  (did you notice all those pins on the right side…..convenience factor…they are all used….no wonder Cheryl said 500 pins on the supply list!)  Even though I am working on a felt board, with the air conditioner, and the ceiling fan, I want my pieces “secure”.

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August 18, 2016

These are 2 ” squares, and in order to make the shape transitions, I am doing some minor “piecing” within the 2″ square.  Sometimes I make a piece 2-3-4-5 times before I feel like I have caught the shape.  And of course, I have to remember what will happen when the seam allowance comes into play.

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I am headed towards his eye and am trying to capture the shape and the changes of color in his eye, along with the light sparkle.

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August 20, 2016

So, you can see, I am using lots of methods to keep track of where I am.  On the board I used row marking pins, then slips of paper to mark the columns and rows; and then I went with blue painters tape to define my field, numbering along the side and bottom.  The photo I am working with is on the right in this picture, and I have blocked off (with post-it notes) everything except my area of focus. That helps.  I was only going to work down 11 rows in this section, but I really needed to capture the shape of his eye, so I moved my tape down and will continue that area.  And you can see those blocks that are just “hanging around” on the side of the board near the photo…well those are my “OOPS…not quite what I intended” pieces.  Who knows, I may find a way for them to fit elsewhere.

I feel pretty good about how Mittens the Cat is progressing in this project. Below is what he really looks like….hanging out. In this picture the lighting isn’t great and he looks like he has a brown cast; but he is grey, black and white.  It is his pink nose that I love. And those little tufts at the top of his ears!  He has such great markings, and I am hoping once I move on to the right side of the project, that they will start to show better in the fabric placement.

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So, this will be a long process; and I am going to work at it as much as I am able.  I have my little interruptions – quilt bees, quilt show meetings; more quilt bees, more quilt guild meetings; etc.  I am not going to rush it.  I have been “standing back and looking” and find pieces I want to change, so I do.

I wanted to share with you the fun stuff I made for one of the grandchildren’s birthdays in August.  She wanted a “HORSE” birthday party…and Grandma got commissioned to use her Brother Scan’N’Cut machine again…..  I cut out 2 different sized silhouettes that my daughter used for various purposes on the day of the party.

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Then I cut out some BOWS for the “pin the bow on the pony” game.

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And finally – I decided I would make her a “custom” card to fit the theme.  (I am a novice card maker, so be kind!)

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The fence and the grass were built into the machine designs, the horse head I found on-line and imported.

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I invested last spring in “birthday stamps” so I used them on the inside….and I added the horse & grass inside too.  I still need to work on placement and “order” as I do these things, but I had fun making the card.  It is a learning process too.  (I have been watching video’s from Dawn’s Stamping Thoughts .net , and have determined that the card making hobby is “very extensive” and I have a lot to learn about the tools, punches, stamps, etc…..)

I’m not sure that I will do a lot of “stamping” and “card making” , but the little bit I have done I have enjoyed, and my ScanNCut machine makes it fun! I have to report that I finally learned about the “pressure” setting after destroying one mat this spring.  I have purchased a new mat and when I did this cutting, I had no problem.  At a recent quilt show, I talked to the Brother dealer who was doing demo’s on the machine, and she gave me a worksheet that had listings of settings for different materials. That was very helpful too.    I do need to get a bit more variety of papers, as PINK was a requested color and I used it all up this spring with the BARBIE stuff I cut for a 6 year old’s party.  I invested in envelopes (50 pack); so now I need to focus on cards that are the “right” size for the envelopes I have. Last spring at the card making class I went to, we saw a demo on how to make our own, but I didn’t “LEARN” well enough…….  I will keep watching the video’s and try to learn a bit more.  It is dangerous now for me to go into Michael’s  Craft Store or Hobby Lobby or A.C. Moore.  Good thing there is not one in town!

Hope your sewing & crafting adventures are bringing you joy!

 

 

Two Scrappy Quilts completed

I have been in my scrappy element the last several weeks working on a variety of projects. I have been “hurrying” to get some of these projects finished, so I could move back to my Pet Mosaic project.  Ever since I saw how Carolyn’s rottweiler, Fannie-Mae turned out, I have been motivated to get back to my cat Mittens. If you haven’t seen her yet, go check her out~  Creating a dog from scratch can be Ruff

I unrolled the “portable felt design wall” and have it pinned now to my big design wall and have started numbering rows and sorting out my bins of 2″ squares in various greens, grey, black, tan, brown and white. Carolyn sent me more grey’s and blacks to use, and I went through my 2″ squares that I have “in Scrap Storage ” and pulled more there too, along with some more green.

Before I could get to this, I had to finish up Addison’s quilt; and the 2 other small quilts I have been working on.  Addison’s was finished last week – Addison’s Finished Quilt .  So this last week I finished up the Scrappy Stars Quilt.  It will be going to a Benefit Auction at the end of the week.

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It finished out at a nice 52″x 52″.  I hope it brings a nice auction price to benefit our friends.

Today I wrapped up my Happy Scrappy Courthouse Steps Log Cabin Quilt.  This was a Pat Sloan Scrap Challenge. Check out her challenge here!

It is made of 1.5″ strips, except that final round on the block where I bumped it up enough to square things up.  And it is bound with scrappy binding. (Susie’s Magic Binding of course).   I always save those extra bits of binding that are leftover from my projects. I think it is a fun way to bind a scrappy project.

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There is “cork” binding from Ronnie & Terry’s Wedding Wine Quilt; grey and coral from Addison’s quilt, polka dot green with purple from the Scrappy Stars quilt, a grey with burgundy from the cross banner. The only challenge is joining all those pieces and setting them out to make sure you don’t have a join at a corner!

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The only “non scrappy” part of this quilt is the bird fabric on the back!  I got it on a whim when I was buying grey fabrics for Addison’s quilt, but the yellow was too much for that project, and I set it aside.  When I had the log cabin up on the design wall, those little birds called to me!

It finished out at 45×45, just perfect size for when a grandchild comes to visit!  If you click on the photo, you will see it is full of fun fabrics!

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I still need to hand stitch the labels, but I declare these two “done”, and it is time to move on with the Mosaic!  That means it may be a good while before you see another “finish” post from me….

Hope you are having a great summer and staying cool where ever you are!

Addison’s Quilt is finished

August is shaping up to be a month where things are finally getting finished.  A friend of mine asked me the other night “How many quilts are you working on at once? ”   Well, the answer really is I can only work on one at a time, but I have many in various stages of completion.  Today was a great day with the finish on Addison’s Quilt.  I was able to get it trimmed and bound this afternoon/evening and am ready to pop it in the washer with 3 or 4 color catchers.  I did “pre wash” but I want to be sure there are NO surprises, and I love the way a quilt “crinkles” after it is washed and dried the first time.  Besides, I have been handling it alot and I want it to be nice & clean when I give it to her.  (Do you suppose I can wait until I get to show it off at the next guild meeting????)

If you have been following along, I started this project in late March when my daughter selected the pattern.  I had made a  baby quilt Pinterest board and “pinned” quilt patterns that I was willing to make.  The pattern she selected was one that was called “A Halloween Quilt by Simple Simon and Company.  I used it as a launching point, and I added in a third color. I do want to give credit for the inspiration to Elizabeth and her design at Simple Simon and Co  The addition of the aqua was my choice, and I think it adds a little “zing” to the project.  I used 5″ half square triangles (HST) for Addison’s quilt and a 6 1/2″ wide finished border.  I wasn’t sure how many HST I was going to need, so I made LOTS ! !  In fact, I made so many that I added them to the pieced back that I made.

So, here is an overview with the finish pictures at the end –

Half Square Triangles

I made LOTS of half square triangles

More Half Square triangles

I had about 222 LEFT OVER so I used a few in the backing with these great “wagon wheel blocks”. I love a “pieced back” and like bringing the fabric from the quilt top to the back of the quilt.

Addison's Quilt back

I made LOTS of binding….using the Susie’s Magic Binding technique from 52 Quilts in 52 Weeks blog.

Binding for Addison's quilt

I quilted with my walking foot in a diagonal in the white only.

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Made the label on my embroidery machine and stitched it on so the very top is “under the binding”.

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Feels great to have another finish! Just think – she will be 5 months old tomorrow! Not bad! This is a double bed sized quilt finishing at 80″x88″, so she can “grow into it!”.

Oh; I forgot to share this picture – I delivered June’s quilt to her on Monday….I think she was happy!

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I might have mentioned last week that I was going to pin baste 2 smaller quilts…Well, I got to my SitNSew group at church last Wednesday with 2 quilt tops, and the fabric to build the backings. Got the backings all built, dug out the safety pins and realized I had come without the batting!  So, I hung everything back on hangers, and brought it all back home. This morning bright and early I re-measured and cut batting for both my Scrappy Stars and my Courthouse steps.  So they are now “pin basted” and ready to quilt. My goal is to get the Scrappy Stars done in the next few days, as it is going to a Benefit Auction at the end of the month.  When it is done, my Pet Mosaic moves up to #1…….Not sure where Courthouse Steps will land in the priority list, but it is not at the top! I looked at all the quilt tops on hangers and have been thinking I need to work on some more “finishes”….I am on a roll…..

It’s been a good day!

Scrap Dance Tango Pattern is published

Do you remember my “Scrap Dance Tango Mystery Quilt”?? My last post about it was Sticking to a project .

Here is a picture to remind you of the project.

Scrap Dance Tango is Assembled

Well, Carole at From My Carolina Home on WordPress has PUBLISHED the pattern!!  Go check out her blog!!!!  From My Carolina Home

Details in her blog post today about purchasing the pattern.  And remember, just because I made it king sized, doesn’t mean you have to.  The directions were great, everything from a table topper on up to king!  She writes great instructions and she helps you take on a big project by breaking it down into manageable bites.  This is the 3rd pattern I have done with Carole’s great  patterns and I can tell you they are EASY to follow!

Enjoy and check out the great stuff going on over at Carole’s page.