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!

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!

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….

Working on UFO # 1 – Swirly Bird and more

Oh, was I ever disappointed that when I looked at my UFO list, I discovered that my “Crusty Crab” was #2, not #1.  My new quilt bee – The Queen Bees has a UFO challenge and # 1 was the project that needs to be finished by TUESDAY!!!!!  Dagnabit!

Well, I tried to renumber the list, but the “challenge Queen” said NO WAY GIRL…..

So, I got out # 1…and worked on it some on Saturday.  The pattern was by Linda Poole, and I took a workshop from her in June of 2015 when she came to Ocean Waves Quilt Guild in Lewes, DE. By the end of the week of the class, I had all the applique  stitched down, and I just needed to add tail feathers and an eye.  But, I was busy and the project went in the “box” and in the cupboard.

The UFO challenge has me pulling it out to see what I need to do to finish and move on. I added the tail feathers using variegated embroidery machine thread, but using my Janome and one of the fancy stitches that is built in.  I did trace the general shape from the pattern, but went “free form” with the stitching.  Hubby helped choose the clear button for the eye from the mason jar o’buttons.

Once the tail feathers and eye were on, the more I looked at it, the more I wanted to “play around” with some “thread painting”.  This is the result….and no, I am not finished quite yet.

Swirly Bird

Swirly Bird pattern by Linda Poole

Tail Feathers

The green thread is not supposed to be there..just a loose thread to pick off of the project…… I picked a stitch that is built into my sewing machine and just played with it to make tail feathers. I used variegated embroidery thread and put some tear away stabilizer behind the feathers.

Bird feathers

Played with the same variegated thread on the wing. Dumped out the button jar and hubby picked the clear button for the eye.

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This is the “first flower” I played with doing a little “thread painting/stitching”. Again I chose the variegated thread, but this time orange/yellow/green.   It was fun!

And then I went nuts and here are some of the other parts…..up close……

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I still need to do a little something on the green stems. I did the leaves, but forgot to take a close up.  You can get an idea if you click on the picture of the full project (first photo) and zoom in.  Anyway, once the stems are “stitched”  I can layer it up and quilt it.  The size is about 22×22.  I really had fun playing with my embroidery thread collection as I worked on this!  So many choices with the wonderful threads I was given. Having it all on thread racks makes it so easy to choose too!!

Hoping to knock it out this afternoon.  My sewing room was hitting 85 degrees yesterday; with 2 a/c units running; so not sure how much I will get done.  My room is over the garage and in this heat, it is tough to get it comfortable.  Our whole house is struggling with the temperature. The house is over 110 years old, and not the most “efficient, and no central air. At least the pool is still refreshing, though I may have to add a little cold water to it this afternoon.    What are you doing to stay cool during this heat wave?

(Note – my “other bee” – The Material Girls is also doing a UFO challenge, and I have NOT kept up with them!! This project was on that list too, but I can’t remember which number it was…)  I keep saying I am not starting any new projects until I finish a few things….so if I can get this out of the way, I won’t feel so guilty!

Update on June’s Quilt — I mailed it to my wonderful sister in law, Carolyn ( One Block Wonder Woman ) and she quilted it yesterday for me.  She is amazing!!  I had ordered the backing and she just got it on Wednesday and she is finished already!! June will be so tickled.  I have the binding all cut, but need to prep it.  While I was on a bus trip on Friday, I found more of the fabric that I used for the borders.  I bought what was left on the bolt (4 3/8 yard). June wants to recover her fabric headboard, and I didn’t have enough of any of the fabrics left, so this should give her what she needs. Any leftovers, I will turn into matching pillow cases or a throw pillow or something. I was tickled to find that fabric again, and this time I didn’t have to pay for shipping!

Update on Addison’s Quilt – it is still on the big table and I am still staring at the borders.  But…..I did get a wonderful thread that will look great on the borders at the quilt show on Friday (Quilt Odyssey 2016 – Hershey PA). I had a visit to the Superior Thread Company booth and got a wonderful grey variegated – Fantastico #5169.

I love to get my thread at the shows, because you save a couple of dollars on each spool if you buy 3 or more.  So I came home with 3 spools of Fantastico (5035-cashmere- variegated) (5169 – grey variegated) (5075-silver black variegated), and 3 spools of Masterpiece.  The Masterpiece I use for piecing and my colors are boring – granite # 156  – canvas #151 – and graystone #155.   My spreadsheet of Superior Thread is growing longer.  I dated the bottom of the cones of all the ones I bought this time and last March, so I can see “how long” they are lasting me.  I am on my 3rd greystone cone since I started using it and my second canvas. Those cones are 2500 yards! I am on my second spool of the cashmere too.   What thread do you love to piece with? Do you have a “go to” color for quilting?  My go-to is either the cashmere or Bottom Line Silver #623.  I am on my 2nd cone of it too.  I also love playing with the embroidery threads that I have.  My daughters have gifted me so many and I just love having so many color choices.

Time to go! Enjoy your day and stay cool!

Why I take photo’s along the journey

No, I am not taking a trip by plane, train or automobile….I am on my quilting journey.

The journey involves the building of 8 inch blocks and doing the “TANGO” with them. The Scrap Dance Tango that is!

A few days ago I posted my progress ( Scrap Dance Tango and other fun    ) , and yesterday I had a chance to join another 3 sections of blocks and took another photo.  Yes, the pictures all are starting to look alike to me too. I promise not to bore you to much more with this project until I get at least 50 more blocks joined!

I very proudly brought the photo to my hubby’s attention, showing off what I had accomplished after my “afternoon nap”.  Then I GASPED when I saw a block turned the wrong way!  I did that section a few days ago!  That mistake was glaring at me in the photo’s I took for the previous post,  but I didn’t see it.  Nope, not the first, second or third time I looked at it….  So, of course, I had to go back and look at the other photo’s and now it jumps out at me “BIG TIME” in every photo !!   I circled it, since nobody else saw or mentioned the error in my last post!

OOOPS

Do you take pictures as you work through a project?  More often, I see the mistake studying the photo.  It seems to present the error more easily than while I am looking  at the blocks while I have them on the wall, at the machine, at the ironing station.  I like to study them on the computer screen.  If you see an obvious error in somebody else’s work, do you tell them?  I know that I would appreciate you mentioning to me if you see something along the journey!

Time for some un-sewing!  Shouldn’t be too bad, but just a little annoying!

I’m sure this won’t be the only one I TWIST instead of TANGO.   I think the error was made during basic block building, so; I am going to go over my blocks looking for that particular error and see if I can find any more blocks that I TWISTED those “kissing fish”.

Guess I will go “rip”…..

Pattern is by Carole – From My Carolina Home –   link to (  pattern information  )

 

 

Another fun speaker and class

The first week of the month is always “QUILT WEEK” on my calendar. We have our Ocean Waves Quilt Guild meeting on Monday morning, with a lecture, a class on Tuesday and a board meeting on Thursday, followed up by a Quilt Show meeting the following Monday. It can seem a little overwhelming.  Unless of course you get a great speaker like Michele Scott McColligan.  She gave such a great presentation, was funny and really helped us to understand that we are not ever going to make the “perfect” quilt!  She said those “civilians” (non-quilters)  will look at your work and ohhh and ahhh.  As a “self taught” quilter, she made lots of mistakes in the process.  She is a great designer and I encourage you to look for her work in the magazines.  Michele is one of the last speakers that I had booked for the guild, and I am so happy it was a big success.

Tuesday I took a class called Usin’ Fusin’ to Express Yourself!  taught by Michele Scott McColligan.  I certainly learned a lot during the class, and was very pleased with the information given to the guild members during the class.  She and her “Quilter’s support staff”,  passed out a file folder filled with information!  I really like that, being able to take those things home and refer back later.    Michele’s website is full of information.  Also, on the Ocean Waves Quilt Guild website, we have a file with class information, and included was a list of recommend fusible materials that you might find helpful.  You will find it on page two of the PDF – Michele’s class information

There were choices of the project, working with the concepts she was teaching.  Most of those in attendance elected the “kit project”.  The kits had “everything” in them to make the projects.   Here is a sampling of some of the works –

Ginny quilting her project OWQG Class

Ginny is the current VP of Programs and classes!

Trimming the project OWQG class

 

Cindy working on her project OWQG class

OWQG Class

Suzanne's flower - OWQG

Kim's flower OWQG

 

OWQG Class

Only one person beside myself chose the “beach scene”, which was a bit “larger project”.  (If you looked at that list of Michele’s class supplies , you will see the options.)  The beach scene was 18 x 36, and you brought all your own fabrics and fusing etc.  The Fusible Flowers was an 18×20 kit.

We did some sharing of fabrics and ideas along the way. She gave me blue tulle, and I gave her aqua.  I found somebody who had just the “right blue” in their fabric collection who would share with her.  She shared a couple of the batiks with me, and also gave me a nice strip to use for my extra elements.  As you will note, my project is still “in the works”.

Mary's underwater project OWQG class

It has some other elements that I want to add, and borders too.  My classmates were eager to share yarns for couching and tulle for layering.  (Sorry about the wrinkles, it just came out of the project bin after being folded up for the ride home).

Adding some turtles

A few close ups of my water scene.  The turtles came from a fat quarter I had been holding on to for a few years!

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The footprints in the sand came from another “saved fat quarter”.

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This last picture shows the color variations in the water that were done by “layering” fabrics with fusibles. There is blue tulle netting over the water.  I free motion quilted over the blue tulle.  Lots of layers going on, but the YLI silver metallic thread and a top stitch (80/12) needle did the job.  ( I had Superior “invisible” thread in the bobbin)  I will couch some other elements along the water’s edge, and add elements to the sand and sky.  Hubby & I were discussing the “view” that I gave the project, and decided it was a “top down” view of the water, since you could see the sea life in the water. I need to pick up some light blue tulle and some “sandy” colored tulle too.  It softens the look of the project.  I was amazed at the effect you get once you start layering things.  I am a traditional quilter, so this ART stuff was out of my box, but I jumped in and had a great time.

On another note, my “new bee” The Queen Bee’s, are working on “string blocks”.  I’ve been making string blocks over the last week or so, while I gave my quilting brain a rest!  My 1.5″ box of strips was so full I couldn’t get the lid on.  It had been all packed in nice and tight, but once you put your hand in the box of strips, they seem to multiply.

Finally, last night I was able to get the lid back on. Between my sister-in-law, Carolyn and I, we got all of these done –

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Carolyn made 6 or 8 during our bee and then brought home the extra papers and finished up 6 more.  After I packed up the car with the 2nd Time Around Bins on Sunday night to go to the guild meeting, I had some free time, but didn’t want to pick up on anything “BIG”.  The string blocks were perfect to work on, as the 1.5″ and other strip containers needed to be put away!  I worked on them some on Monday afternoon when I came home.  After I “unloaded” all the 2nd Time Around Bins following the guild meeting I wanted something to do.  And I worked on them on Tuesday afternoon, after I unpacked (and put away…….yes Carolyn…I put it away) my materials from the class.  Hubby was working upstairs at his hobby table finishing his “weathering project” on his railroad cars, so I hung out and did a little “mindless sewing”.  Oh Carolyn, do you see your bits of brown fabric from your trimming project in these blocks?  They made great “corners”.  (She was trimming some blocks and I would not let her throw the “scraps” away as they were still “usable”.)

These are done on “phone book” paper for foundations and have some varying strip widths.  One of our Queen Bee members enjoys pulling the papers off.  Next time our group meets we will have an assortment from our last bee and will put together a couple of quilts for charity.  These make fun quilts, and go together quickly.

That’s all for today, it is time to go spend some time with my little grand daughter and get some much needed baby snuggles!  More on Addison’s quilt when I get my next post written!  (I have Wednesday afternoon & evening to my self, so it is on my agenda!)

Until then, here is hoping your stitches are as straight as you want them to be, unless you are free motion quilting ! Happy sewing and crafting.

 

 

 

 

This was a fun class – and you can see that in the pictures of some of the group below –

 

 

 

Racks are loaded

Loaded and sorted and there is still a bit of room…..fancy that!

Thread is sorted

There are 390 spools of embroidery thread on those racks; with a capacity of  480!!  One of those spools is bobbin thread, so really I only have 389 different thread choices……Boy do I feel blessed!   I did have to download a color wheel to get started placing the thread on the wall racks, and I am sure I will have to move a spool from hear to there at some point.  Overall, I am pleased.  The big spools by Floriani have to sit at the end of a row, so their colors are a bit out of line with the others. Oh well, what are you to do about that?  Tough problem!

My ironing station will most likely be placed back under the thread racks.  It is on wheels so is very conducive to moving around as the need presents itself, and it is not so wide that I can’t reach over it to reach the thread.

In order to get all 4 thread racks side by side, my hubby had to take down a cabinet and move it over by the window. It seems to be a good place.  I used it for notions and the like, and when I emptied it, I wondered what and why  I was keeping some things in it for!  A little sorting and purging (GASP) is in order!  Some of the items definitely belong in the desk drawers. I think I need to keep that in mind as I rearrange the items back onto the shelves. I had him place it higher as I have another little shelf that will be hung just underneath that will give me some little drawers too.  So, I will try to remember not to put anything too high on the shelf!

Notion etc go in this reclaimed cupboard

Last new years, I was sorting and arranging, hubby was hanging shelves and I was organizing scraps.  It seems like I am destined to do that every year!  The rest of the room is in utter chaos as I have projects and hammers and other tools still lying about.  My friend Nancy offered to come over and help organize, and I may take her up on that offer after I get a little more “purging” done.  I am the “keeper” of the Quilt Guild 2nd Time Around “stuff”, so I always have new items coming into my space that have to be sorted, pressed, folded and made ready for sale. Some times I just leave it sit in a basket/box/bin for a while because I am busy with my own projects, and my own “scraps”.  Next week at our quilt bee we will be identifying our UFO’s and projects we want to work on this new year. It helps I think, to start off on a tidier slate…..but it may take me the rest of the month to get it together!

What are you doing with your sewing space today?