Travel; Swirly Bird Applique and other summer things

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Tile from Turkey; gifted to me by Linda Poole

Tile from Turkey; gifted to me by Linda Poole

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

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

Swirly Bird

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

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

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

Summer can be so distracting

Summer can be so distracting

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

Enjoy your weekend!