Wild and Free and Bluebirds

More about the great workshops with Pat Sloan!  The workshops were hosted by Quilters by the Sea Guild of Ocean Pines Maryland .

Monday was “WILD & FREE” – where we spent a lot of time talking about color, and what works together, what doesn’t, how 1 piece of fabric might not have a “friend” in the stack, and might need to be removed etc.  The advance information we got for the class was to “bring a laundry basket full of fabric”.  Well, my friend Irene could not lift her basket, so she downsized into manageable  sized totes.  I  brought 4 totes of fabric. With all the totes, containers, machines, sewing supplies, mats, rulers, irons etc, we FILLED my car!!  Glad my husband suggested that little wheeled cart for bringing things in and out of the car!

I knew we were going to make a BACKGROUND for a wall hanging, and we were NOT doing it in beige!  As I was pulling fabrics out for the class, I pulled my bundle of ‘Pat Sloan MODA ‘ that I have been hoarding    COLLECTING for the last 2 years.  Into the bins it went, along with other colors, prints etc.

As I mentioned above, we did a lot of study of the colors and how we might want to incorporate very strong, vibrant patterns into our background. You won’t see any beige in these collections.  Do click on each photo so you can see the detail.

As we made our fabric decisions, and started to put the backgrounds together, Pat helped each student define the choices.  We did some cutting and sewing and there is not ONE that looks just like the person sitting across the room or next to them!  This was so freeing and fun!

If you look at my initial and my final, you will see I made some changes in fabrics.  Most of the fabric in mine was from Pat’s fabric collection.  We were encouraged to use prints that were “friends” and to add graphic elements. You see lots of stripes and check and print in these varying pieces.  One member of the class worked on her’s on Monday night and greeted us on Tuesday morning with some of her applique started.

Marti started her applique

Marti started her applique

So, yes, you can applique on a wild background!  Now that “busy background” just fades back…..

As I mentioned in my post My Little Bluebird on Wednesday, our second workshop was the actual applique techniques, and we did a lot of practice stitching.  In that post I showed my project all fused.  Late last night I finished the applique stitching and wanted to give you an updated photo or two or three.  Be sure to click on the photo’s so you can see the detail.

My Little Bluebird will get two more borders and a bit more applique in the final border and finish at 40″ x 40″ . So, Thursday’s decision….get the next border started, or go by groceries……..and ohhh…I can’t wait to start the applique on my Wild & Free background.  The pattern that will get appliqued on it is Pat’s pattern –  Ma-Ma’s Garden . 

Check out Pat Sloan’s website; pick up her book Pat Sloan’s Teach Me to Applique – Fusible Applique That’s Soft and Simple or the pattern for either of these projects – My Little Blue Bird or Ma-Ma’s Garden .  While you are clicking around through her store, check out the “Let’s go Sew” pattern.  Yes, I just HAD to get it too.

Acknowledging that I repeat myself, I just have to say I loved my class with Pat!  She was the first “name” I knew in quilting, introduced to me by my local quilt shop, Serendipity Quilt Shop, in Dagsboro Delaware.  We used two of Pat’s books in our classes – I Can’t Believe I’m Quilting and the companion  Beyond the Basics  .  I was just starting my retirement journey of quilting and blogging and found Pat’s website, her blogs, her patterns, her radio shows and I was hooked.  So, do visit  Pat Sloan’s Quilters Home website and let me know if you enjoy it as much as I do.

Time to get busy, the growling stomach said the grocery store is a priority today!

Travel; Swirly Bird Applique and other summer things

I’ve been “away” from the blog for a month, and wondered this morning what is there to write about?

I feel like I have not gotten much “done” in that time, but I have a great excuse!  I got to spend some great time with the grandkids for 15 days!

Oh, the Maid Marion dress and cape were a hit.  ( Click here for the original story or or here for more photos)  The girls decided the nightgowns should be long dresses and their mother agreed they were made well enough they could be worn this way.  I had fun giving the little cradle and doll quilt along with the big quilt to my granddaughter for her birthday.

It seems that May was full of grandkids’ projects.  A pillowcase to match the quilt and new ones for the other children too.  I also made a “reading pillow” right before I left with “map” fabric and stuffed it when I got out west.  (Note to self…never ever ever use foam pillow filling…what a mess.  I had not shipped enough and ended up at Wal-Mart to get something to finish filling.  I found a poly stuffing that was almost “down like” and bought 2 more bags to finish the job.  This poly stuffing was awesome.  It wasn’t like your normal fiberfill; it was ……..great.)   Now, if I could only remember the name.  I may have to make a road trip to a Wal-Mart with a craft department today just to get a couple of bags to have “on the shelf”.

So,  guess I have been busy, what with trips to the zoo, and hiking and playgrounds and book mobiles, hair salons and even a lost tooth to go in the little pillow pocket.  Watching the kids play, cooking with my daughter, birthday party…FUN !!!  All in all, a great trip.

I got home late on Saturday night, and the next week was go go go – Worship Assistant on Sunday; Quilt Guild on Monday; Quilt class on Tuesday; a trip to Lancaster PA on Wed & Thursday…and we don’t want to talk about how sick I got Thursday night – Saturday…..anyway…lets go back and talk about Monday & Tuesday.

Linda Poole was our speaker and instructor. ( Linda’s website )She is known for her work with applique and her lecture was about how the Iznik tiles in Turkey inspired her to use the designs in applique, and in her book Turkish Delights in Applique.  She shared here wonderful quilts with the guild and some great photos of Turkey.  She gifted a tile to me which I just love.

Tile from Turkey; gifted to me by Linda Poole

Tile from Turkey; gifted to me by Linda Poole

I have a little collection of tiles in my kitchen from travels, and this will fit in nicely with the group.

Having lived in Turkey myself back in the 70’s, I was interested to see & hear her lecture, and her photos of places that I have also traveled to.  Our class was “Swirly Birds”.  Linda puts together such a great kit for her students, with the pattern pieces already fused to the stabilizer and cut out for you!  The method she taught was using a glue stick and our class seemed to really get things done!  I’ve already seen 2 projects close to finished from other students.  I have finished the applique of the Swirly Bird…..Swirly Bird

Swirly Bird

My little bird still needs his eye “button” stitched on and perhaps a border or two to give him a finished look, along with something for his tail feathers.  Linda’s pattern calls for embroidery and she shows it with multi colored threads.  It was an interesting process using the glue stick and a water-soluble fusible product. I used Superior Mono poly clear thread for the applique. Linda demo’d a blind hem stitch when she was teaching the class.  I had better luck with one of the applique stitches on my Janome.  I’m sure if I did as much applique as Linda I would do it with ease, but this was the first I had done in nearly 2 years.

I went to Lancaster PA on Thursday last week to attend a Floriani Seminar with Brubakers Sewing Center. I like the Floriani products and it was great to learn all about the different stabilizers and various products. I was there to learn more about stabilizing for machine embroidery. The presenter demo’d was to get the most out of your stabilizers.  I found out that they have a product that would work well with applique – Stitch N Wash Printable Sheets®    (  Floriani website ) . I would encourage you to click around on the Floriani website…they have a “document” you can download and save/print called a Stabilizer Workbook.  (It’s in the tabs on the header of the website.)  It is really FULL of information about what to use and when to use a particular product.  Alex Anderson of THE QUILT SHOW has teamed up with Floriani to make products specific to quilters.  I also learned about CHROME needles made by Schmetz for embroidery machines. Supposed to last 2.5 times longer than a traditional needle.  All in all a great learning experience, and fun shopping too.

This week finds me working on my 6 quilts for our show in July.  I have hanging pockets to make for all of them; as well as labels labels labels.  So much that I had to make a spreadsheet!  And then there is the call of summer….so on these sunny hot days my attention is split!

Summer can be so distracting

Summer can be so distracting

Might have to sit outside and get some of that hand stitching of quilt labels and hanging pockets done!

Enjoy your weekend!

Table setting placemats

My daughter saw some cute placemats on ETSY that would help the children learn to set the table, so she asked me if I could manage them.  Well, you know, I quilt, so what’s the big deal about a placemat.  Well…I have to admit, when I saw the samples she presented, I took a deep breath, and ignored her request for months.  But, while visiting last summer, we went fabric shopping, and she picked out a lovely batik and a modern polka dot.  I brought home her fabric that she carefully prewashed, and put it in my UFO pile.  I did think ahead and buy one package of “wonder-under”.   As Thanksgiving approached last fall, I thought it was time to get busy (STOP PROCRASTINATING).  What was the hold up?  APPLIQUE….I had no clue; so I did my usual blog searching and gained a little confidence.  Along the way, my darling daughter talked me into blogging….so for this project, I took careful photo’s along the way. Figured you had to show photos as you blog, and really, I have learned SO much from careful instructions on blogs.  So, to all of you who write blogs and post instructions – THANKS!  (I made 12 total – 8 with appliques and 4 without)

wonder under for applique

this is a nice lightweight “double sided” fuseable

Enjoy the pictures, which I will try to caption as I go.

I fused the wonder-under to the back of my fabric I was going to use for applique, arranging my shapes on the fusing to trace and cut out. (I tried to cut them out first and it was a floppy failure – then I read the package instructions!)

the knife

It was so easy to cut the shapes out with the fusing giving the fabric some body.

behind the applique

Behind the applique! The cotton fabric was very light to applique, so I added a sheet of heavier pellon behind it.I decide a blanket stitch would hold everything down,and secure the applique over the course of many washings.
clip the corner

be sure to clip the corners to reduce the bulk before turning rightside out

opening for turning

I used the same fabric for the back of the placemat as I used for the applique .  The pellon behind the applique helpStitched all the way around (right sides together) and left a small opening for turning

after the turn

Once they were turned, there was a small opening that needed stitched closed. I topped stitched around the perimeter of the placemat and we were finished.

back of placemat

The back – finished so you could use it at the “grown up table”.

place mat front

the finished placemat front