All but binding……

I am nearly finished with Mittens, my pet mosaic project I started in May of 2016.  (If you click on that link you can go back to my FLICKR album and browse through all the photo’s).  I’ve written many times about Mittens on this blog, and wanted you to know I have FINALLY reached the end!

Mittens will be completed in the next day or two with a week to spare.  I entered him into the  Ocean Waves Quilt Guild Quilt Show  which takes place on July 21 & 22, 2017 in Lewes Delaware.

I did a LOT of thread work on this project trying to give the idea of his fur, especially in his ear you see below-

Thread painting

All that heavy thread work caused the sides of the quilt to pull in and make a “bow” in the sides of the quilt near the ears.

I needed to block the quilt.  I went to the internet and read lots of posts on how to block the project, and compiled info from many sources for “my method”.

Can you see how wavy the sides are???

Quilting finished

I ended up on the floor with 2 of those old fashioned cardboard cutting mats, a carpenter’s square with a yardstick attached and about 500 pins, and two tape measures.  I just kept working and working until it was as square as I could get it. The pins went through the project, into the cardboard mats and then into the floor!  (Industrial carpeting!!!)  This took me nearly 3 hours as I worked to get rid of as much of the “curve” the heavy quilting caused.  If you have a tip on how to keep that from happening, let me know! The project & borders were straight before quilting!

I got the water bottle out and started spraying.  I let it “soak” in and waiting an hour or so, and plugged in the iron, and steamed and pressed the whole quilt.  After I was finished with the iron, I set a floor fan near it and walked away.

Blocking Mittens

I let him dry for about 18 hours and then I pulled out the pins, put him on the table and trimmed him up.

While he was drying I got busy with making the binding and the label and the hanging sleeve.

I did my label on my embroidery machine and edged it in some cute cat fabric.  There are pieces of this fabric scattered out in the project.

Label for my Pet Mosaic project

I stitched down 2 sides of the label in the edges of the binding, and fused to the back of the quilt. I still have to hand stitch around 2 sides of the label, and the bottom and ends of the hanging sleeve.  Since Mittens is a wall hanging, the top of the sleeve is stitched in the edge of the binding.  Which binding?  Well….Susie’s Magic Binding of course. It is stitched to the back of the quilt and READY for me to roll to the front and take those final stitches in the area of the flange.

That is my project for this summer afternoon!  What are you working on??

 

NOTE – Cheryl Lynch taught the class where I began the project – check out her website Cheryl Lynch Quilts  .  If your guild is looking for a great teacher & speaker, she comes with my recommendation!

I love the 3rd Friday!

I look forward to the 3rd Friday of the month.  I “book” time in my calendar especially for the release of the “next step” in the Scrap Dance Mystery Two Step quilt by Carole – From My Carolina Home  .  Carole writes such great instructions, and today was the day for Step 5 of our mystery.  I love the way she breaks down the instructions into “Two Steps” !  It’s not to late to sew along!  Check out the blog post from today-use the button on my page or the link above.

I am making the twin size, (I think….) and this afternoon before dinner, and after dinner I got all 12 blocks constructed.  Of course, in the photo they are randomly placed, and this is not the final arrangement as there are 2 more months to go on the mystery!

Scrap dance two step Part 5

This is a pure SCRAP project, and I pulled from my “already cut” items in my Scrap Storage System!  (I am an avid follower of Bonnie Hunter and have been cutting the scraps for a couple of years and storing them in containers waiting for the “right” projects.)

Speaking of Bonnie Hunter, I played a bit with my Talkin’ Turkey quilt that I started in her class in Dover DE last September.  I have started the sashing of the blocks, and have 2 rows sashed.  The first row is stitched together, and I still have some joining of blocks on the 2nd row. I like the way the sashing puts a little 9 patch between the blocks.  More to follow on that project.

Sashing done on a few blocks Talkin' Turkey

There are 30 blocks total to sash and join.  I have all the sashing made, but need to spend some time attaching it to the blocks etc.

I had to take the Talkin’ Turkey “off the wall” earlier in the week to lay out a quilt during my quilt bee with the Material Girls.  Our guild is making a quilt top for the outgoing president, and we all did a string block and signed the blocks.  The president of the guild is in my Material Girls bee, so we had to “keep her from looking” while we worked on the quilt.  I put her to work on “Second Time Around” fabrics, ironing and trimming and folding and pricing donations for the quilt show. She and a few other other ladies did an AMAZING amount of work while the rest of us focused on the president’s quilt top assembly.  Of course, since we were at my house, I had to flit from person to person, making sure my “Second Time Around” helpers were on task and answering questions.  I did manage to sew 3 rows of the President’s quilt, so I can safely say I wasn’t goofing off the whole time.  I tasked one member of our bee to take a wide assortment of 4.5″ squares, and to “bundle” them into groups of compatible colors.  She was amazing and got 99% of them into bundles that we will sell at the quilt show.  (I just knew she was the right woman for the job, and she was committed to NOT leaving the job unfinished!)

Working on bundles

I’ve had 3 days this week of working on 2nd Time Around in preparation for our quilt show in July. Today I tackled all those “non fabric” items that have been donated.  I ended up with 3 shoe boxes sorted & filled with various rick rac, hem tape and packaged binding.  Any of the packages that were already opened went into a box for donation to a charity our guild supports in Tanzania, Africa,  Sifa Threads .  I am boxing up notions, thread, zippers, seam rippers, and LOTS of rick race & prepackaged binding.  A member of our bee & guild will have her son take a suitcase full of sewing supplies to Tanzania when he returns later in the year. We are inspired by the Sifa Threads mission to teach young women to sew and at completion of the course, they earn a sewing machine of their own to take home. Hopefully they will find a way to earn a living for their families through the training and equipment provided.

Last week I was able to work on quilting my Pet Mosaic quilt – “MITTENS”.  I was inspired at a sit & sew the end of April to get it layered up and quilted.  I ordered a wide backing from Marshall Dry Goods . com and it arrived early in the week. I did a lot of “thread painting” on his (Mittens) ears, and general quilting of his fur.  I still have a lot to do, but on Monday, I turned in my entry for the quilt show.  He is coming along nicely, and I think if I have just “one more day” to work on the quilting, I will be able to knock it out.

Thread painting the ear

Quilting Mittens

I am working on my Janome 8900 doing free motion quilting, trying to capture the way the fur on this cat grows. (The squares in the quilt are 2″ to give you an idea of the scale).

I hope you are working on something fun, and have fun things to look forward to as well.  I find it so important in my well being to only do those things that bring me joy.  Not always possible, but I am striving to do away with the things that stress me (like those stinkin’ wisdom teeth)  and focus on the fun.

Happy Scrappy Quilting!

A bit of sewing

It’s been quite a while where I felt like I have done any sewing at all.  Thank goodness for the Scrap Dance Two Step for March!!  This mystery quilt run by Carole at https://frommycarolinahome.wordpress.com/2017/03/17/scrap-dance-two-step-march/   got me busy!  I put my half square triangles together on Friday afternoon, and finished squaring them all up today.  I did have to send Carole an email and ask if I was “counting” properly.  I either have extra, or I am short!   That quilter’s math on an empty stomach….

It was fun working out of the scrap bins.  Most of my fabrics for this project were already “cut to size” when I started, coming from my scrap storage system.

Step 3 of the Two Step

Scrap Dance Two Step mystery Scrap HST

Last weekend my youngest granddaughter turned a year old.   I swore I would not be the “plastic toy grandma” but she needed a dump truck and a cell phone to call me!  I feel a bit better about the plastic toys because I also gave her a handmade fabric book.  I had some ” animal prints” from a panel that were just right. Especially since her mom had posted pictures of a paper book that had been mutilated ! Those pop up books just don’t hold up to the eager fingers of a little one.  I had fun putting this together –

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Yesterday I got together with another quilter and we laid out our blocks for a couple of senior quilts at church.  This is the look mine will take on –

Senior Quilt 2017

These are 8.5″ squares, and I got about 1/3 of it assembled yesterday during our workshop.  It was fun sewing on my little featherweight.  I did decide it is time to order that new belt the hubby suggested.  I used it on Wednesday at a sit & sew with the Material Girls, and we had a few moments of “hesitation”.

What have you been up to??

A little fun!

I managed to sneak into my sewing room and have a little fun.  Thanks for putting up with my rant the other day.

I added another finish to the stack with 1 more placemat 12″ x 21″.  I like that size a bit better. I like the finish too, so I will probably make some more similar. Quite likely the borders/backing/binding will all be slightly different.  I have enough leaves sewn together to make 8 total.

Placemat Autumn Jubilee

Today, I showed this runner as a flimsy at my Material Girls Bee, along with the previous runner.  I  was able to work on it this evening and now have another finished table runner

2nd Table Runner

This runner is just a bit bigger (14×48)than the last one (15×42).  I added an extra row to fit my table a bit better. I didn’t use as wide a border either; so that it isn’t “in the way” if I put placemats on the table.  Did some matchstick quilting with variegated thread (Cashmere by Superior Threads).  I used that same thread in the stitching in the border. It is one of 300 stitches on my machine, and up close it looks like leaves.  The binding is the same fabric as the backing.  If you “zoom in” you can see I used Susie’s Magic binding on both the placemat and the runner.

Tomorrow morning is another “work day” with the guild stuff, but I hope I can play a bit in the afternoon and finish up 2 more placemats.

Note – the Autumn Jubilee pattern for both of these projects was inspired by Carole Carter – From My Carolina Home

What are you working on in your crafty space??

So little sewing progress

Sewing time has been SO limited last week. Guild on Monday, church meeting on Wednesday, trip to the dentist with the hubby on Thursday, Senior Quilt workshop on Saturday.

Monday was our quilt guild meeting. We had Cathy Miller, the singing quilter from Canada for our program.  She was great!  I love that her hubby sings along.  This is their last long road tour, so I am glad I got to hear her again.  Check out her website- The Singing Quilter website

For me, the meetings are usually such a fun, exciting time.  Our 2nd Time Around table made a good deal of money in spite of some situations that have left me very frustrated and wondering how to move forward.  The frustrations expanded over the week with decisions made by others, and further lack of decisions that affect how I proceed. No dirty laundry here….just know that I have hit my “limit” with this project.

My sewing room is buried in donations for 2nd Time Around. My good friend Nancy helped me Tuesday, when she stopped over, helped carry more donations upstairs; helped me to ‘clear my work table’  and ‘clear my brain’ so I could touch my own projects. She is a blessing to me.

I was able to do a little sewing on Tuesday afternoon and on Friday.  I am continuing to work on the Autumn Jubilee project.  I have the blocks made for 2 more Autumn Jubilee table runners. I have enough parts and pieces on my sewing table to also do placemats and have started to assemble them. I like the look of the 4 leaves together.  I used a 1″ strip at the top and bottom, and a 3″ on each side.  This is my test run and I think it is not wide enough…. When I was making those “strip decisions” I wasn’t thinking “seam allowance will eat up width”….hmmm…silly quilter.

coordinating placemat

 

Daughter # 1 wants her table runner to do double duty and serve 2 holidays– reversible.  She will get a Christmas fabric pieced block for the back to do double duty.   I made Christmas pillow slip covers last year for her, and have more of that same fabric. Since she like that fabric, I think she will like the flip side runner that I come up with.    I’ve got the “Autumn” side assembled, now I have to clear space and get the Christmas fabric out.  I will get it sent off to Texas when finished. (No pictures of the completed project until she receives it!)  The 2nd runner will be a keeper for me.  I added a little length to it as my table is quite long. The first one (in the picture above with the candlesticks) I made will go on top of my buffet or one of the treadle sewing machines in the dining room. Daughter # 2 wasn’t interest in a table runner.  I love that she is honest with me.  Both of my girls will tell me exactly what they want. This saves a lot of heartache for all of us.

The coming week doesn’t bode well for getting much done either, with committee meetings, more 2nd time around work, quilt bee, and babysitting the grand child too. Good thing Autumn and Christmas come around every year!

Note; the pattern for Autumn Jubilee is by Carole Carter. Check out her blog – https://frommycarolinahome.wordpress.com/

UFO # 1 -Swirly Bird FINISHED

Yippee…..Swirly Bird is finished….Quilted…Hanging sleeve, Binding AND a label!!!  Finished in time to take to the Helping Hands Quilt Guild meeting on Monday night and the Queen Bees gathering today!!  This project is from a class I took at Ocean Waves Quilt Guild in June 2015.  Pattern is by Linda M. Poole.

Making a label for my Swirly bird

Gave my little embroider machine a work out!  Always amazing to see it work out properly. Very time consuming when you have to monitor it as it stitches.  The minute you turn your back is when it wants to get goofy.

Label finished and attached

I used fusible underneath the label to attach to the back of the project.  I promise I will hand stitch the edge of the label down.  (I always use do both).

Susie's Magic Binding Swirly Bird

You can see the echo quilting I did around the applique.  I went through a bobbin plus half of a second bobbin with this Superior 50 wt parchment thread doing the quilting.

Susie's magic binding

My favorite binding method is Susie’s Magic Binding.  Tutorial at 52 quilts in 52 weeks blog  –  The hardest part of this binding is getting a good “join”.

Swirly Bird bound

SWIRLY BIRD is finished!!

Yay !!! 2 finishes in a week!!!  While I was at it, I made the label for my “Crusty Crab” (UFO #2) Crusty Crab Finish   and got it affixed to the back of the project.  I showed them both at the Helping Hands Quilt Guild meeting last night.  Both Bees that I am in are doing UFO challenges; and both Swirly Bird and Crusty Crab were on those lists.  Now I need to empty the contents of the project box, file away the pattern details and “move on”.

Today at the Queen Bees we are making “folded Christmas trees” and I need to get busy and find my background fabric and get those strips cut.  I also want to get a border on that Scrap Happy Challenge Courthouse steps that I did two weeks ago and get it layered and quilted.  It is going in a charity auction at the end of August.  I heard last night that  June’s Quilt is in the mail on the way back to Delaware from California where Carolyn  ( One Block Wonder Woman )kindly long arm quilted it for me, so tomorrow I will get busy at our church sit & sew and prep that binding.  Did I mention already that when I was on a bus trip on Friday, I found more of the green fabric that we used on her borders?  I bought all that was on the bolt – 4 3/8 yard and took it to June last night. She wants to re-do her fabric covered headboard and possible the side chair in her bedroom to match.  All I had left was one piece at 18″ x 100″.

Someday soon I hope to get my Pet Mosaic back on the wall, but first I have to finish quilting the border on Addison’s quilt…..gee whiz I better start a list ! !  (You see what I do to myself!)  (And Bonnie Hunter is coming in 2 months to Helping Hands Quilt Guild in Dover DE, and I want to get those borders done on my Allietare – hey – it was March when I got the top together and I only need those 12″ borders…and I still haven’t found a fabric I love for the border)

How many projects are you working on at once???  (I swear I am not starting anything new, and here I go with the folded Christmas tree……TABLE RUNNER! )

Time to get busy before the Queen Bee’s start buzzing….

Finished a UFO – Crusty Crab!!

Crusty Crab Mosaic is finished.  I started this in a class in Aug 2014.  All it needed was trimming and binding.  Well, that and I did not like the look of the back which was white and all the stitching from the little “tiles” looked horrible.  This spring when Michelle Scott McColligan came to lecture at our guild, she showed us a trick for “fixing that”.  The trick was to put “another” layer of fabric on the back, do a little “minor quilting” to hold the layers together.  It was a great way to hid all those stitches.  I simply outlined stitched around the crab, then trimmed and bound the project.

 

It is 22×22″ and has a hanging pocket on the back.  Such a simple thing to finish, and I wonder why I held on to it for so long.    I am so glad I took this project with me to our Sit N Sew at Reformation Lutheran Church yesterday!!

Last week I got Addison’s quilt pin basted, and then hubby and I went to a car show for the weekend.  I left the quilt “under the needle” for 3 days, abandoned …..I got busy early this week and spent Monday and Tuesday finishing up the quilting.  My friend Nancy came by and we layered and tied 2 string quilts for charity on Tuesday.  She also helped me “move some tables” and assorted STUFF around in my room above the garage. The goal was better light over the table that we use to lay things out on.  It was a success, and I have since also spent a little time straightening up the chaos that happens up stairs!  Shhh…don’t tell….I even vacuumed!  In the process, I came across a little yellow stacking basket gizmo in storage, and today I gave it a good washing, and I am planning on “color” sorting the scraps that have started to take over my ironing table.

I have had this piece of fabric for the binding set aside for the last 2 years….

Crusty Crab Tile Mosaic

Crusty Crab Back

What are  you working on???