Show update

I wanted to share with you that the Ocean Waves Quilt Guild show 2017 was a huge success!  My little corner of the show was busy and we made lots of sales at the 2nd Time Around Booth.  Quilters loved the bargains and bags we filled at check out reflected that!  Lot of merchandise moved on to someone else!

My transfer of inventory has taken place, and my fellow guild member Lois is taking over following the quilt show.  I am “moving on” to another job in the guild.  (I truly believe that 2 years in any volunteer position is long enough.)  My next job is membership chairman , and I admire Melissa for doing it for longer than I have been a member of the guild.

As we wrapped up the show, I thought a lot about the more than 40 volunteers who worked with me in the lead up this week to the show.  Beyond that, in the last year and 1/2, probably another 40 have worked tirelessly preparing fabric for sale at the show and the guild meetings.  It has been fun, and a lot of work, and lots of friendships were made in the process.  My apologies to any & all if I was a tad short tempered by the end of the day today.  By 3 pm today, I just KNEW I needed some time alone and away from the booth, and I spent an hour walking the quilts on display; and admiring the talent and art that was exhibited by the show participants.

I spent a bit of time talking with the representative of the Fiber Arts Center in Denton Maryland after enjoying the 300+ quilts on display.  What an interesting organization!  They are creating a great directory of artists, teachers etc on the DelMarVa peninsula, and we had a wonderful conversation.   Their purpose stated is this:  “The Delmarva region is home to a thriving fiber arts scene! The Fiber Arts Center of the Eastern Shore (FACES) was founded in 2011 to preserve and nurture all forms of fiber arts. From the pre-Colonial era through the Civil War, to today’s modern and fast-paced world, fiber artists have created works that reflect Delmarva’s culture. At FACES, we’re working to preserve this tradition.

We’re also working to build a vibrant community of fiber artists and enthusiasts. Perhaps more than any other visual art form, fiber arts are often social in nature. For centuries, women have joined together for quilting bees, sewing circles, and “stich ‘n bitch” groups. As more and more of our communication moves online, the face-to-face sharing of talent and ideas has become more important than ever.

We invite you to join our community. Become a FACES member, subscribe to our e-newsletter, join our regional directory, or check out an upcoming exhibit or class on our regional event calendar. Happy stitching!  ”  Check out their website – http://www.fiberartscenter.com

I got pulled “away” from that conversation by the chairs of the show; and was delighted to be told, that my quilt “MITTENS” had won the VIEWER’S CHOICE award.   I was stunned, and overjoyed.  My thanks go out to all who voted for this art quilt. I’m so glad you took 6 steps back from the quilt and looked at it, as it was meant to be viewed.

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Additionally – I received a 3rd place ribbon for “Addison’s Quilt“.  Now, I am sad to say, I never took a photo while it was hanging at the show with the ribbon beside it! (Insert shamed face here.)  I do have a few photo’s take at the time the quilt was made though —

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Addison’s Quilt” has an interesting reverse side, and I think that is what got it into a prize winning category!

Addison's Quilt back

So, that’s it for my show update.  I spent most of the show behind the cash register, while coordinating volunteers who helped customers during their shopping.

If you want to see more about the Pet Mosaic Project – “MITTENS”, I have a FLICKR album with a ton of photos –Pet Mosaic Project . I also have an album full of photo’s on the  construction   of Addison’s quilt — https://www.flickr.com/photos/92296158@N02/albums/72157666492829803

I’ve made multiple posts here on the blog in the last year on both of these quilts, and you can read more about them if you back track through the older posts.  🙂

Taking a little time off in the morning to head to Hershey PA for the quilt show there and looking for Bonnie Hunter’s exhibit. My reward to myself for hard work (and the hard work of my two friends riding along).

How is your weekend?  Tell me, if you enter a show and it is judge, what do you think about the report given to you????

 

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 tad bit of sewing

Greetings friends. Previous post indicates it was a busy week.  It continues.  I did squeeze in a little sewing and stuffing Saturday though, as I had a spare moment to play.  Remember the little bear?  Well, he is stitched, stuffed and ready to gift to a newborn.  This was a “test stitch out” of a pattern that I downloaded last week for some “charity” bears.  I loved the look of the muzzle, even though it took nearly 10,000 stitches.  The charity bears won’t have the muzzle, just the eyes, nose and smile.  The pattern source for the stitching is Embroidery Library . com pattern 3994.

test of the bear

The week has flown by. We “flew” home from Texas on Monday, getting in after 10 p m; then Tuesday I had a nice visit with my little granddaughter and her mommy for a couple of hours, then I was off to the “Queen Bees”.

Wednesday was Ash Wednesday, and I “car pooled” with a bee/church member to pick up our sewing machines from the local sewing machine service folks, went to church for the service, and out to lunch. Home for a few hours, then off to the model railroad club annual dinner meeting. (More about that soon).

Thursday was a venture north to visit our dentist for our routine cleanings (& discussion of a wisdom tooth that is acting very unwise).  Friday morning was “Second Time Around” prep day, with 3 helpers.  We plowed thru another stack of donated fabric, pressing into submission, measuring and pricing and getting ready for Monday.  I have set aside Thursdays and Fridays all month (mostly) to work on getting the donations under control.

Friday afternoon I took everything off the cutting table, cleaned the lint and dust and turned my cutting mat around. It was getting quite worn in one area.  I spent the rest of the day cleaning up the mess I had made!  The back of my table tends to get piled up with scraps and things.  Took me all afternoon, but I sliced and diced and took control of the scraps.  I try to cut those scraps into manageable pieces, starting with the largest possible.  I cut 5″ squares; 3.5″ squares, 2.5″ squares, 1.5″ squares and lots of 2.5, 2, 1.5 strips.  Amazingly they all got stored away!

If you are “new” to my blog, let me tell you that my scrap storage system is a combination of Bonnie Hunter http://quiltville.blogspot.com/2005/06/scrap-users-system.html and Joan Ford https://hummingbird-highway.com/do-you-need-scraptherapy/. It works for me!  I have lots of pieces ready to go into the next scrap quilt. My overflow of 2″ and 2.5″ is telling me it is time to start making 9 patches!   I am going to “resist” temptation and NOT start another thing until I knock out a few UFO’s.   I do have a “running list” and have made a real goal for March.  Not telling…will let you know how it goes!  And no, not sharing my UFO list this year….too depressing to post it publically and NOT get it all checked off.  My goal is to enjoy each FINISH, not to feel guilty!

This coming week is “quilt guild week” for me. Meeting on Monday, which means the SUV is already loaded to the roof, with containers of fabrics and other odd bits to sell prior to the meeting.  Fingers crossed we have just as good a day in sales.  After the meeting, I hope to swap vehicles with the hubby, and take off for points south in Maryland, and an “embroidery club” that has formed. An informational meeting will take place and I want to give my input on the who/what/when etc.  I look forward to meeting the members of that club and sharing info about this hobby.  Thursday and Friday coming up will be more “Second Time Around” workdays with guild members coming over to give me a hand; a guild board meeting squeezed in there too.  Hoping I will get to do some sewing of my own on Tuesday & Wednesday.   Wishing I had something finished beside the little bear to show, but that will happen as I am able.

Hope you have had a great week and are ready to start all over again tomorrow!

Happy stitching!

 

A quieter week

I’ve had a couple of quiet days, and time to play a bit more with my Brother PE500 embroidery machine.   I made a few more bibs for the littlest grandchild and delivered them on Thursday when I went to babysit.  As I worked on these I was reminded how important it is (to me) to have an organized filing system.  I say this because I was having trouble “finding” the design that I was looking for.

When I download designs from a website, I try to print out the “color change sheet” at the same time. My intention is to always name the file something that is “close” to what it was called by the designer, and to include any “file code” names as part of the name. I have an embroidery download folder on my computer, and many, many, sub folders. I  break those sub folders down by “type”; for example, Holidays-Valentines Day/Christmas/Easter/St Patrick’s Day; or Animals; Food; Verses etc.  I place the color change sheet in a 3 ring binder in a similar way, using page dividers.  I am up to 4 – three ring binders!

Well – wouldn’t you know, I have a HEARTS folder and a Valentines folder.  Many of the HEARTS are NOT specific to Valentines day.  Darn if the file I was searching for didn’t land in the HEARTS folder, not the Valentines Day Folder.  I wasted a good deal of “stitching time” looking for the file.  (Like 3 days wasted….)

At one point, I gave up and I started with a St Patrick’s Day design, while I “looked” for the elusive Valentine/Heart file.  I did a little stitching and searching.  Finally I selected an alternate Valentine design and set it up to run.  Well in my haste, I had not “removed” the St Patrick’s Day design from the machine before I started the stitch out on the 2nd design.  1/2 way through the first color, I realised it was stitching out my St Patrick’s Day design all over again.  Well, you decide if you like it in pinks and purples instead of the greens!

February Bib Fun for Addy

I decided to just keep on stitching and while it was busy stitching; get the fabric prepped for an alternate Valentine!  So, 3 new bibs completed and that will be it for a while.  The littlest grandchild will be a year old next month and has quite a collection of “StitchingGrandma” bibs.  (Somewhere in the bib process in the last couple of weeks, I lost the great “Bandana” pattern, so she got traditional shaped bibs.  Clean up was in order at the end of this project; and again, the lost pattern was found and stored away properly!)

I took the new Singer Featherweight 221 for a spin on Wednesday.  My quilt bee – Material Girls – had an all day sit & sew; and that new little machine had a great debut.  Tuesday night we got her oiled up (must be 90 oiling / lube  points). She is clean as a whistle.  Had a few challenges “winding” a bobbin, and had to engage the hubby to help.  Got 3 bobbins ready with his help and determined what was causing the trouble.  He adjusted the belt a tad and it worked much better.  (Nice to have a guy with a mechanical mind helping out).

Today, the LED light I ordered arrived (Thank you EBay!).  I installed it and am pleased with the brightness and lower temperature.  The Ebay seller I purchased from had a few photo’s showing the difference in temperature on the light- from 172 degrees on the incandescent  bulb to 74 degrees with the LED bulb.  That will save an accidental burn on a wrist!  The difference in the light was significant – from 139 lumens to 205 lumens.  Hubby said the bulbs look similar to automotive tail lights. He thinks that the new bulb will last a long time, and because it is LED, will be less likely to break due to the handling of the machine transport case.  I will be ordering 2 belts soon, just to have one on hand and to replace the current belt which is at it’s limit of adjustment.   All in all, I am most pleased with this little machine, which was made in January of 1948. She stitches well and should be a fun travel machine!

I have assembled a tote ready to “travel” with the Autumn Jubilee project material.  I can just “grab & go” to a sit and sew, and not have to “think” about what project I am going to take to work on, or worry over what to assemble ahead of time.  (One of the Bee members said this is how she operates and the only time the project gets worked on is at a bee)  I did manage to get 6 more blocks made on Wednesday using the Autumn Jubilee pattern.  I have lots of pieces cut and ready to assemble. My intention is to make 6 – 8 placemats with the lovely leaf pattern. Once I get a “few” more leaves made I can start building the placemats.  At this rate, it will be August before I can set the table; but the timing will be just about right for this project.  I like the idea of “no stress” on which project to take.  The fun of a going to a sit & sew or quilters bee is the company.  I like being able to dedicate a whole day (or 2 or 3) and not have any other tasks taking me away from the fun!  (Note – the Autumn Jubilee project is from a pattern by Carole – From My Carolina Home)

I worked on my Talkin’ Turkey blocks again Wednesday night and again this afternoon.  I have 4 left to add the corner string blocks to. They are “pinned” and ready to stitch.  The Talkin’ Turkey pattern is by Bonnie Hunter and can be found in the String Fling Book. Bonnie Hunter’s blog

I will need to  square up the blocks next.  I am thinking about how I am going to tackle the  “next round” which will include a LOT of flying geese (8 per block x 30 blocks= 240 flying geese units.)  The pattern by Bonnie Hunter suggests you use the Easy Angle and Companion Angle ruler for the Flying Geese or your “favorite method” .

I plan to use my new Square in a Square tool/method –OPTION 3…by Jodi Barrows.  Using the Square in a Square tool by Jodi Barrows,  flying geese will be done with strips and squares; and if I do the math right; it is done with 120 squares and LOTS of strips!! I just have to sit down with Bonnie Hunters pattern and find the “finished unit size) and then check my Square in a Square book and the chart and figure out what size squares and strips I need to start!  More to follow! I like the “methodical” building of units for a big quilt.  240 Flying Geese doesn’t scare me after I did that quilt last winter with 1400+ half square triangles.  I will be making about 4 “test units” just to make sure I have them sized properly before I begin!

Check out the video on you – tube if you have never seen this ruler or method.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GekwRp8_cGU     and    www.squareinasquare.com 

What fun things are you working on??   What is your favorite method for flying geese ?  Do you have any “new tools” or “toys” ??  Do tell………………

A week away…………Ready for Santa!

We are just 1 week away from the celebration of Christmas.  I had a special project I have been working on.  Now that it has been delivered, I can tell you about it.

For years, my family has had lovely green velvet stockings. Years ago, my oldest sister made stockings for each of her sibling’s families; and as the family grew, she added stockings.   My children loved their  stockings made by their aunt, and when they started their own married lives, they took their stockings to their new homes. One daughter decided that the new brother-in-law law / husbands in the family deserved hand-made stockings.  She worked with her talented friends and made 3.  Then, the babies started to arrive; and I gifted my  Mom & Dad stockings to the first daughter,  and I have been making the stockings for the grandchildren as they come along. I didn’t put any names on those stockings when I made them, as I don’t hand embroider.   A couple of years ago, my daughter sent me the kids stockings back, and I was able to embroider their names on the stockings with my embroidery machine, and send them back in time for Christmas

This year, the newest granddaughter needed a stocking.   I decided on deep red velvet for the “cuffs” of the stocking and dug through my supplies of cording etc.  I matched my embroidery thread to the gold cording for the names.  

I had “just enough” of the dark green velvet to cut out 3 new stockings – so the NEW Mom & Dad are getting new stockings to match. 

stockings

 

I did a production line sewing marathon yesterday, stitching out the names on the red velvet; putting the cording in for the bottom of the cuff.  

I referred back to a blog post I had read recently about making a LINED stocking with a cuff, and “no raw edges  – tutorial for a stocking by Cluck Cluck Sew   (Gosh I love people who write great tutorials.)  My cuffs are a little different that the tutorial because of the cording and the name.  (Test fitted with pins, name was upside down…duh moment……)

Anyway, the tutorial worked out well.  I used muslin for the lining. Nothing fancy, but won’t be bothered if a little chocolate melts in them.  The lining can be pulled out far enough to spot wash if needed.  I made my own paper pattern years ago for the size/shape of the stocking boot.

I think these are the best of the stockings I have made over the years.  The new parents were surprised too!  Now, a week away from Santa doing his duty!  stockings-for-fitz

This is a fun family tradition, and I do have other green and gold velvet on hand.  Since I gave away my “MOM” stocking 8 years ago; maybe I should make a Grandma stocking ………  Wondering if Santa would start to stop by again and fill it?

What ever your projects are, I hope you are having a good time with making them. Merry Christmas!

Projects for Christmas

If you have been a reader for any part of the past four years, you may have seen some of these projects I have made as Christmas gifts.  I am compiling them all together to share because my friend Maria Shell – will be linking up. Maria is a fantastic fiber artist, living in Alaska.  Her blog – Tales of a Stitcher – is full of color and energy and ideas.  I find it interesting how our paths connected in the blog world, and have had the opportunity to meet her twice in person. The first year I had a blog, I went to Houston to the International Quilt Festival, and Maria made sure I knew where and how to find her. This past year, Maria was available to speak and teach at my guild (Ocean Waves Quilt Guild – Lewes DE). It was a wonderful opportunity to reconnect in person again.  So, when she asked me if I would share my holiday projects, I decided I would!

I went back through my previous posts, digging thru the photo’s stored looking for things I had made as Christmas gifts.

Back in 2012, I decided to make a “floor checkerboard” for the grandkids.

Marked a silver stitching line on the black border.

Marked a silver stitching line on the black border.

Top stitched around the outside of the checker so you could SEE it!! Helps it to stand out.

Top stitched around the outside of the checker so you could SEE it!! Helps it to stand out.

More details on that post   Floor Checkerboard    (Now it is time to make some chess pieces for that board –  I have some in mind from an embroidery website).

The following year, I updated the Christmas stockings using my embroidery machine.  These stockings were over the course of several years, as the family grew.  My sewing skill have improved somewhat since the first efforts.

Updated the big kids stockings and made a new one for the youngest!

Updated the big kids stockings and made a new one for the youngest!

More details on the   Stockings  post.     I have a stocking to make this Christmas for the newest family member.

Then, of course, are the wonderful Artful Oven Mitts that I made using the pattern that Maria had sent me.  They were SO fun.  (I really enjoyed looking at the scraps as I “made” fabric, remembering where each piece originated.)

Artful Oven Mitts

Artful Oven Mitts

Naturally, I wrote a blog post (or 2) about them – this link is to my Production Line post.

In 2014 I was a busy Grandma.  My grandchildren were living out of the area, and I wanted to make them something that I could “easily ship”.  I tracked down a panel by Moda, designed by Angela Yolston  for FLAT DOLLS.  I had SO much fun with this project.  Flats Dolls  post.  (Note – this panel was HARD to find!)

And of course – the dolls needed a house! Flats Doll House post.  Link to the pattern is in that post.  I imagine you could use it for any “flat doll” or paper doll. It is a great little storage container for those items too.

 

The living room panel

The living room panel

My favorite type of gift wrap for the grandkids –


I love to follow the pattern information that you can find on Missouri Star Quilt Company You Tube Video – Tube Pillow Case – Missouri Star video .

I also made quillows for the grandkids one year – I used fleece, and added a little “hood” and hand pockets on the end, so they could “wrap up” and stay warm ! Details on this post – Fleece Quillows

Last year for Christmas, I made “slip covers” for the sofa pillows as a gift – Star pillows post.

Star pillows

Star pillows

This year, I have been busy making bibs for the youngest-though not for Christmas.

Fall fashion bibs
I’ve been posting off and on about them and other fall projects here – Bibs and more post.  Table runners have been a highlight for me this fall, and I have made 3, plus some placemats. One of the 3 will be a gift, so no pictures of it yet.  I am working on this year’s secret project for the youngest grandchild also. I told her mommy that there will be NO plastic toys from this Grandma this year.  It involves the embroidery machine and I won’t post pictures until AFTER Christmas. I gave her mommy a sneak peak but don’t want to spoil the surprise – especially if the embroidery machine jams up or breaks!  So far,  I have stitched out 5 of the elements, over 100,000 stitches and at least  100 thread changes!  (I am having fun with that great thread my kids gifted me last year!)

What are you working on that you can “whisper” about? What was your favorite “gift project” in the past ? I would LOVE to know.   Be sure to check out Maria’s blog Tales of a Stitcher- and follow.  She is going to link up lots of other gift projects from people who follow her.