More fun with Scraps

I’m still “dancing” with the Scrap Dance Pachanga mystery quilt by blogger Carole at From My Carolina Home. Last week was Step 7 in the mystery. We got the instructions (still available on the blog) for Block A. It was fun to put some of the bits and pieces from previous steps together. Here are my blocks.

Block A Scrap Dance Pachanga 2021
Block A Scrap Dance Pachanga Mystery Quilt

This block used some of the 4 patches, 2 patch rectangle units and some of the half square triangle units. It was fun to play around with the colors and try to balance them out a little bit. These blocks went together quickly. I am doing the throw size this year. (In the past I have done the king size for most of the Scrap Dance mystery quilts).

Next step comes out on May 14th and I am looking forward to what we do with the other units left in my project basket.

I was inspired by my friend Nancy to do a bit of “cleanup” in my sewing room. She & I were working through some donations for the quilt guild, sorting and organizing. Alright….Nancy was doing all the sorting and organizing and I was playing with the scraps, trying to save as many as possible. One donation I picked up in March came with a bunch of plastic drawer units. These units had been stacked up all over the place in my garage, and needed to be emptied of the contents. As we did the emptying, I realized these drawers would fit just under one of my cutting tables, and might help me better contain my own scraps.

New scrap storage plan

Since the guild is not currently meeting, and storage space is at a premium here, I sold those drawer units…..to me. We usually sell this type of thing for at the guild, at a “fair price”. Because they are bulky to transport and store, I often sell them for considerably less than what you would pay for them new. (If I have to drag them to a meeting to sell, I don’t want to drag them back home !) We probably won’t meet until the fall at the guild to sell anything, and I decided I “needed” those draws! I guess I can always “donate” them back later if the system doesn’t work for me. But, for now….I am happy~!

I took all the scraps that have accumulated for sorting/trimming and sorted them by color into the drawers. Previously, these were piling up in an open basket stacked sorting system and it was starting to overwhelm me. In the process, I also emptied out a “laundry hamper” of scraps, and cleaned my cutting table.

Cleaning up the cutting table
Cutting table is cleaned!

My cutting table has been buried in stuff for a while, but now, the big baskets are projects, and the smaller ones are things I still need to trim. I unearthed several things I set aside for later and gave them their own big basket. A couple of bits ended back up on the design wall for inspiration.

leftover blocks
Inspiration pieces

I really am inspired to turn that big block with the checkerboard border into a pillow. The house blocks are leftover from a class at the guild, and I want to keep making some.

During the “scrap sorting” I set aside a basket full of “leftover block/units” for crumb quilts.

I busied myself for a couple of days, inspired by Pat Sloan, making crumb blocks. You might recognize some of the pieces in the crumb blocks below from the big block above. That center house block may come out and end up on the wall with the other houses too.

I never “got to the bottom” of the crumb block basket. Really I just skimmed the surface and have made about 25 blocks. I will have to find a cohesive way to put them together and turn them into a quilt at some point. Meanwhile, they have been assigned to their own project basket and I moved along to something else.

I had lots of scraps to work on for the guild, things that were donated. I set a timer and worked on them for one hour, and got them all ironed.

Now that these small pieces are ironed and sorted by color and general size, I will trim them up. If they are of a size that I can price and sell at the guild meeting then they will get folded and priced. There were a lot of “fall colors” and I think I see a nice “bundle” coming together.

Speaking of fall colors, you might recall back in November I mentioned I was “Stuck in the Middle” of quilting my Autumn Jubilee quilt. This is another pattern by Carole/From My Carolina Home. Thanks to my friend Nancy, this past week I was able to FINALLY finish the quilting. It has languished on the frame for 5 months, all while I picked out poor stitching. The quilting is now DONE! The quilt is off the frame, trimmed and ready for the addition of the label and binding.

making binding
Binding for Autumn Jubilee

The binding will go on fairly quickly, as it is all done by machine. The main color of the binding is the stripe, with just that little green flange showing on the face of the quilt. The method I love is called Susie’s Magic Binding. I love sharing the link to Aunt Marti’s 52 Quilts in 52 Weeks blog. It is where I first saw this type of binding and the directions are so well written, along with a subsequent video. I was a fairly new quilter when I learned this method and love to share with others. The “hardest part” of the method is joining the two ends, and I just recommend you take your time, use a basting stitch to make sure you have a nice alignment. I know with a stripe pattern, some may not be happy with diagonal stripes not aligning, but personally, I am not worried at all. Time to go make my label and next blog you will see the finished quilt top!

Speaking of labels, I finished and attached two more for the Senior Quilt project I was working on. The volunteers at church got together and tied the quilt two weeks ago.

Emily's quilt
Tied and ready to trim
Senior Quilt labels Emily
Modified a label from Kreative Kiwi

I used a label from Kreative Kiwi and eliminated the line where you might hand write the name. I inserted the names using fonts from my software.

Senior quilt labels 2021

The verse on the back of the quilt was digitized by Designs by JUJU. I’m not happy with the stitch out on this label, too many puckers but I figure it will have to do on a deadline. I am certain I had stabilizer pulling in the hoop as the stitch-out took place. I think once the quilt is washed and all that stabilizer “softens up” and the quilt crinkles it will not be so noticeable. I guess if you aren’t a machine embroiderer it wouldn’t matter, but it makes me a little nuts when I see that puckering.

I had to do a little bit of machine quilting on that quilt before putting the labels on the back. Our group tied the quilt, but the borders needed more “anchoring”.

adding some quilting
Stitching in the ditch and in the borders on Emily’s quilt

I used my walking foot and did a serpentine stitch, stretched to it’s maximum length on the yellow and blue borders, along with some basic straight stitching in the ditch along the borders. The wide backing came from Marshall’s Dry Goods (Batesville AR). If you are ever shopping for wide back, they are my preferred location, with quick service, and great prices.

Time to get busy and make that label for the Autumn Jubilee quilt and get the binding on. It is going to be a hot sunny day, and the pollen count is very high, so I think hanging out in the sewing room with the A/C running will keep my allergies in check.

What’s happening in your sewing room this week?

The “final” two Snow Globes

Machine Embroidery – In the hoop projects — Snow globes …maybe they are an obsession….They certainly have been fun AND easy to make. I got some more water soluble stabilizer on Saturday and got a bit of time tonight to play.  I needed to make the last two snow globes before Thanksgiving.  Because the names are on the back of the snow globes, we are using them as “place cards”‘ for the dinner table. I hope the kids like them.  I do like to make ornaments for them.  Last year I did Gingerbread ornaments.   

Back of the snow globes

The theme seems to be “vintage” for these last two, which suites the two of us perfectly, since we are too! Bill likes trains and I like old sewing machines.

Vintage machines for me

This one is mine!  Hearts because I love old machines.

Locomotive Snow Globe

I picked a steam locomotive for my honey  While I was stitching this, he was around the corner in his work area, repairing one of his favorite locomotives.  It is one that has “smoke” and he had “gingerbread” scent in the smoke. I love the sound of the train whistles and all the noises those model trains make.

My blogging friend Judy asked about how long these take.  I think I spent an hour on both of them, including doing the names on the back. (I do the names first).  It helped that I had all the items ready to go, next to the machine, so I could add the layers as I went.

The machine embroidery pattern is free, and available from Kreative Kiwi

The last couple of days I have had the opportunity to be a “pattern tester”.  Once I get the ok from the pattern designer, I will share what I have been stitching. I’ve made 6 blocks for the test and might make a few more and turn the test into a baby quilt or throw. Pictures coming after her pattern goes “live” for purchase, so I can share a link !

I was gathering table linens , placemats and table runners to take to my daughter tomorrow for her to use on Thanksgiving. She doesn’t have all her things yet at home, so I am filling in the gaps. I realized I need to make 4 more Autumn placemats.  I have 8 and we NEED 10.  I’ve been fiddling around with AUTUMN blocks for 3 or 4 years.  Last month I made a bunch of STARS blocks in fall colors, so maybe by Thursday  I can round out the table a bit. (No pressure …but I can’t believe I only have 8!)  If I don’t get finished I have two nice placemats to work in. This is the year of the placemat I think for me.

Any last minute sewing before the holiday for you??

 

 

Snow Globes “How to’s”

Yesterday I shared a post More fun with Machine Embroidery.  In that post I talked about and shared photos of my “Snow Globes”.  Today I saw that Kreative Kiwi has a new video up to accompany the free Snow Globe Pattern 

COMMENTSKreative Kiwi does GREAT instructions that accompany the patterns; and Kay (Kays Cutz) does great videos.  It helps somebody like me who has to be shown how to do “new things” a few times to learn!  Go check out the  Snow Globe video

There has been a ton of discussion and questions, of course, on the Kreative Kiwi Facebook group about the project, and lots of fun pictures too.  It’s a great group to check out for inspiration and ideas.

Here are some things I gathered while reading posts –

VINYL —

1)Vinyl comes on a roll at big box fabric stores (JoAnn’s; Hobby Lobby or Walmart); usually in an area near the cutting tables at Walmart. Comes in a variety of weights.  For the snow globes, get the thinner vs the thick. I used the thick vinyl for a project bag –  Taking Care of Odds and Ends.

2)Vinyl document sleeve protectors in the stationery section. One sleeve for an 8.5 x 11 paper would give you at least 4 – 5″ squares.

3)Vinyl shower curtain from the dollar store.  (You could get a BUNCH of 5″ squares out of one STRIP off the bottom.

4)Vinyl zip bags sheets and comforters come from the store in. If there are stickers, peel off and use some alcohol to remove any sticker residue.  I got a bunch of squares out of one zipper bag. Some of these were really wrinkled.  I cut the seams and zips off and made a flat piece, then used a warm iron, layed the plastic between two pieces of flannel and “warmed up” the vinyl to flatten it out.  It softened up; flattened, wrinkles went away. Be sure to let it cool completely before moving it to the cutting table. I like the thinner feel of this vinyl for the project.

STATIC – I recommended a spritz of Static Guard spray on a tissue and wipe both sides of the vinyl. Kay recommends in her video one of those clothes dryer static sheets (like bounce/snuggle).  I know the Static Guard works, but I wouldn’t rush out to buy it now if I didn’t have it on hand.

SPARKLES/SNOW –  When you watch the video I linked at the beginning of this post, Kay shows you how she inserted the beads and kept them out of the way during stitching of the final round #10, which is when you attach the vinyl.  I had read a couple of posts from other people who did something similar.  I used another method……

I started my first couple with a tube of glitter for the sparkles/snow.  When it was time for round #10, I had my hoop “on the machine, latched in”.  Then I simply poured some GLITTER in the center of the globe, and carefully laid the vinyl over the top.

adding the glitter

This first couple of globes I was using the thicker vinyl, and had not employed the Static Guard.  Yes, the stuff bounces around a bit, but I would stop and use the edge of my stylus to poke the glitter over near the area that had already stitched.  I did this on every globe, no matter what my “sparkles/snow” material was.  I just started and stopped, poked and moved the stuff away from where the needle was going. (Round #10 is just around the outside of the globe).  The bigger objects were actually easier to prod a little. And LESS is best! (That is the consensus on the Kreative Kiwi group too!)

Glitter Sequins beads sparkles

Glitter in the upper left, glass beads and sequins, and metal spacer beads and foil spoke sparkles.  I seriously just dug this stuff out of the drawers and boxes of paper crafting, and jewelry making stuff.

I dug deep into a bin of “inherited” crafty stuff and dug up some vintage bits (circa 1997) –

Crafty stuff

The tree and balls are a little big, but the snowflake mitten and stockings are good sizes for a single item plus glitter.

In that same inherited stuff I this -The bits at the top were in a bag in the jewelry making stuff; some kind of stone with tiny holes.  The red, green, blue & white was all in a plastic bottle together and were useful. There were even some clear pieces and all different sizes to choose from.

More sparkles

And in another bin I found shiny hearts and crystal looking bits.

Hearts and beads

 

Some of these items were kind of thick, but that didn’t seem to be a problem.  I just made sure to go slow, stop and push the stuff around as the vinyl stitched down.  I even used the edge of the stylus to hold the stuff off to one side during the process.

IF you have to shop, look in the craft aisle at your favorite store. Little bits go a LONG way. I was at Hobby Lobby just yesterday and found all kinds of fun stuff that would make great “snow” in the globes, but since I already have so much at home, I didn’t buy anything.  If you are at the dollar store, look for the “confetti” that goes into greeting cards.  Think about paper crafting stuff you may have around….you could punch out some stars or snowflakes out of glittery paper.   I pretty much made my snow globes with things I had on hand already!

HANGERS – I used a variety of things, from wide ribbon to narrow glittery rickrack. Again; use what you have around. You could also use cording, card crafting bakers twine. One person in the Facebook group was unhappy with the thickness of her cord….so, consider scale. I like the blue ribbon below and the rick rack better than the red plaid ribbon.

Snow Globe FUN

I mentioned yesterday that I had to “stop” making these as I ran out of water soluble VILENE stabilizer. Since I had the opportunity to pop into Hobby Lobby, I was able to pick up two yards of 20″ wide, so I will be back to these and finish up the last two for Thanksgiving.  (I ordered some from Amazon and Walmart.com and am “still waiting”…..glad I had an excuse to go to Hobby Lobby!),

USE what you have on hand. These really only take 2 – 5″squares of fabric, a 5″ square of batting & a 5” square of vinyl.  I used a bit of iron on interfacing on the back of the globe as suggested in the instructions. These were all things I had on hand. I have 2 globes that are not Christmas fabric, and those two were unique to the 2 son-in-laws and their special interests.  Go create and have fun!! 

More fun with Machine Embroidery

I’ve been giving the Janome 11000 a real workout.  I LOVE that I now have twice the hoop size as my Brother PE500.  Going from a 4×4 to the 8×8 is HUGE!  So many things to do.  Last week I saw a pattern on a Facebook group for an “in the hoop” design that I wanted to try.   (In the hoop means the entire project is done without removing it from the hoop) .

The designer was asking what other sizes people would like and so I responded to her with my desire for something just a bit bigger than 5×7; that would fit my 8×8 hoop.  Now, silly me, I should have given her millimeters, not inches. Turns out my 8×8 hoop is NOT 8×8….it is 200 mm which converts to 7.87402 inches.  She added several more sizes of the design and I purchased and downloaded the one for the 8×8 hoop. It would NOT work in my machine!  I was getting this horrible message –

error message

I could not figure out what was wrong.    I tried changing the machine settings to the SQ hoop (8×8) but that didn’t work either. I deleted and reloaded multiple times and finally notified the designer that I was unable to use the product I had purchased.  After a few text messages, and my realization that 8×8 didn’t really mean 8×8 (open user manual and read!!) …she resized the product to fit!

wave pattern

You can see now on the screen that she resized the design to 6.7 x 7.5″ and I was up and running!  I had so much fun making the design and wanted the bigger size to accommodate my big cell phone.

Wave bag

Room to spare.  The phone is 6 1/2 ” long and this has “room to spare” on the finished bag.   I really liked the “wave” on the bag too!

Wave bag

If I made another one of these, I would probably put a tab on both edges so I could make a carry strap.  The pattern source – SunshineStitchesCA Custom Digitizing/Embroidery .  Dawn was a big help to me in resizing adjustments.  I appreciated her customer service!

I’ve made several other items on the embroidery machine this week, and a few of them have to “wait” for gifting before I can share them.

I can share with you some fun ornaments I made.  The design is from Kreative Kiwi, in the FREE section of their website.

In the hoop snow globe

There are about 10 steps to the snow globe, and the very last step includes laying down vinyl to keep the little sparkles inside –

adding the glitter

Did you see those pins on the outside of the hoop?  I learned that trick on one of the videos that Kay on Kreative Kiwi does.  It helps to keep the stabilizer from pulling into the hoop.  This project took 2 layers of Vilene wash away stabilizer.

Finished snow globe

My hubby said, after I did the first ornament, that it would be “nice” to put names and year on them.  So, I figured out a way to do that, using BOTH of my embroider machines. What I did was hoop “tear away” stabilizer in my Brother machine; and run the first two steps, then exit the program and use the Brother fonts and stitch out the name & year.  Meanwhile, the Janome was going on the other table with the first several steps of the front of the snow globe.  When it came time to add the backing, I trimmed up the part with the name, used a glue stick to apply it to the back side of the hoop and continue with the stitching.  I think it worked well.  (Note I chose this photo with the date showing but not the name for privacy).

When I get the hubby’s or mine done I will show you a better back!

Names and dates on the back

The project calls for vinyl over the top as part of the last step.  I have a big roll of heavy vinyl and I made a couple ornaments, but it felt really “stiff”.  I was reading online, people were talking about “upcycling” the vinyl bags that sheets and linens come in from the department store.  Well, I have a few of those in the sewing room and cut 5″ squares out of that vinyl.  I had also read that wiping a little Static Guard on the vinyl would help the sparkly stuff to move around better.   I had fun too digging in the crafty drawers for little sparkly things to put in the snow globes.

Here are some close up shots.

Fun with snow globes

Santa and crystals and glitter

Snowman and hearts

More snow globes

My daughter thought they would make fun “place cards” at the Thanksgiving table. I got 8 out of 10 finished before I ran out out the stabilizer I need.  Hopefully my order will arrive early this week.  The last 2 are for myself and my husband, and I may have to “stitch together” pieces of stabilizer to get the project finished!

fun with snow globes

These were SO much fun to make!! Kind of “addictive” digging through the fabrics and the craft drawers.  They really don’t take much material and it was fun to personalize them just a bit.

What are you working on???