Friday, October 24, 2014

Patsy Thompson Designs Blog Hop Announcement

Do you see a new button on my sidebar? It's a smaller version of this... I have been asked to participate in a blog hop featuring Patsy Thompson's line of Machine Embroidery and Pre-Cut Applique shapes.

Several years ago when I lived in Ohio I had the opportunity to take a machine quilting class from Patsy. I drove four hours to be there. So you know if I traveled that far, I'm a fan! She approaches her projects in a very logical way. (I'd love for her to head west to teach my friends... hint hint!)

When my friend Kelly over at IHAN asked me to join the Patsy Thompson Designs Blog Hop, you know I jumped on this opportunity lickety-split! Especially since I'm trying to build my skills in machine embroidery and want to be more comfortable with applique techniques.

So here's the skinny:

IHAN will be hosting a Patsy Thompson Designs Blog Hop starting November 10-14, 2014 and here is a schedule of the places you won't want to miss :

I Have A Notion Blog November 10th
Jean Creates November 13
SewCalGal November 14

I can't wait to see what my fellow hoppers are doing. I've got my machine embroidery design files and pre-cut applique shapes ready to roll and am planning something fun and easy for us beginners. But until then, it's a surprise... LOL!

Trust me. This is going to be fun!

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

On a Roll

This girl is on a roll! Yesiree, I'm on a roll these days (thanks B12 vitamins and my hot flash meds). I'm energized and in the mood to tackle some UFOs. I was looking at the floor of my sewing room and found this little lovely taking up space. I did a quick stitch in the ditch and bound it. Mark it D for Done!

I'm not thrilled with how the back looks on this one, but It's a table topper thingy for my sideboard in the dining room. I chose the hand quilting look stitch to stitch in the ditch and it shows up in a few places. Lesson learned. Just use a straight stitch next time. On the sideboard no one will notice.

I have one other project taking up valuable floor space and I'm toying with tackling that tomorrow. It's my black and white Emma quilt that has the bright Liberty of London accents. I never got to finish it in time for my late friend. I've got it partially quilted. Debating on whether to rip out the meander part of the quilting and finish with straight line work. We'll see. Depends on what kind of mood I'm in tomorrow.

I tried vinegar and hot water to get out the musty smell of that one Asian quilt, and it worked. Make note of that. Glad it worked.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014


Finally some real progress! The Modern Unrest top is done (except for some minor nitpicking). I need to give it a really good press, clip unruly threads, and pick out the foundation papers. I didn't think that was ever going to get done! If it's not too much of a hot mess I'm going to send this and the Civil Unrest top out to be quilted. But I will wait until after the holidays for that. I'm in no rush.

Someone forgot to turn off their 4am alarm this morning. GRRRR! I spent this morning sewing. The rest of my studio time will be re-homing my fabric leftovers from this project. I over cut some squares which will go into small bins and will be labeled. Then I have some scraps to go in my big ikea bag that I use for a scrap bin. There's a class coming up in November that will call for those luscious bits.

I used my time wisely yesterday. I got all my kits sorted out and the main yardage cut. They are all ready to roll.

I will start with the black and cream one first. Keep that one for home sewing, and then use my Cotton+Steel kit for my traveling project.

Oh, and remember the Asian quilt I purchased at the tag sale? I got the last of the decorative stitching done. This was purchased already pieced and quilted, I just added the bling. It just needs a good wine gar wash to get out the musty smell.

Monday, October 20, 2014

Monday Musings and Inspirations

I've taken to setting my alarm clock early. I need to put the petal to the metal and get some sewing done. My sleep habits have gotten quite lax and I need to correct that. The day started at 7am for me. But tomorrow it will start a bit earlier at 6am.

Last night I poured through my online magazines to see what projects inspired me.After some exploration on how to print magazine pages from my ipad ( take a screen shot of the page, mail it to my PC, save it as a PDF, and print it), I got several patterns printed up. Today I will start putting together kits for those projects. I'm sure there's an easier way to do that, but this work-around worked for me at the moment.

I'm going to take a page from my friend Denise and really try make time to sew each day. My time management skills have gone to heck in a scrap basket and I need to take control of that, too.

Speaking of scraps, I found the perfect patterns for this pile -- A lovely windmill pattern from Pinterest that I happen to have in one of my iPad magazines. I also saw this X-Plus tutorial which would work with that pile as well. Both are perfect for scrappy fun. Those have been printed as well.

(Just a snip from a photo at American Patchwork and quilting)

I've also been dying to take my cream and black solids and pair them with dusty colors using my Kona Dusty charm pack. I found the perfect quilt pattern to start with on that one too!. This one came from a magazine I get free through my library's Zinio app. Those larger solid squares on the diagonal sashing will be the pop of color for the quilt. I'll love it. I'm sure. My goal (lofty) is to make this one large enough for our queen size bed. Good thing is that I have bolts of the black and cream on hand, so I shouldn't run out!

(photo snipped from their website)

Then I found another Christmas quilt I actually like in the latest issue of Love Patchwork and Quilting. LOVE the big giant snowflake!!!! I adore this magazine and Quilt Now. Both are published in the UK. I purchased subscriptions to them on my iPad. I've grown tired of the US magazines. They have the same old recycled stuff. These modern UK magazines have really cute projects and they are on-trend.

So that's what's going on this little head of mine. Going to throw some bread dough in the oven for dinner tonight. Put my assembled casserole in the fridge for later, and start on mount laundry, studio cleanup and kitting quilts. I need to strike while the iron is hot.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Busy Busy Busy

Gorgeous, glorious sunshine!   

Hello! It was a beautiful autumn day here in the Pacific Northwest. The sky was bright blue. With the pretty green and yellow leaves in my back yard, it was a beautiful sight! Glad to see the sun after a few days of rain.

It's been two weeks since my accident and I'm so glad to say that I'm on the mend. Yes, my right leg is still technicolor from bruising and my left foot is still broken, but I haven't had any measurable amount of pain that required medication. I'm sooo thankful for that! So very very thankful.

And doubly thankful that I could still use my sewing foot. Tee hee!

Triple shot grande nonfat vanilla latte

I've been a busy lady the past two weeks. lots of meetings and outings. I did get to my regular Ben Franklin sew day with the ladies the last two weeks. Not wanting to tempt fate again by lugging a machine, I took my hand project with me. I'm still terribly behind my goal of getting to row 11 by Halloween. But I do have row 7 completed and am starting on row 8. (out of 13).

I broke my no fabric buying ban. I know, you're not surprised. A friend of mine and I took a ferry over to Vashon Island. I had a store credit I had from a class I cancelled out on. And since I couldn't make the class I decided to at least get some fabric. Right? After all it's already paid for! I figured I'd keep the money with the shop. And some of that pile is for a specific project.

Then there was this little temptation of a $5/yard table at Ben Franklin. C'mon... $5 per yard fabric. Doesn't that make you want to run over and buy some? I found a bunch of cute Quilt shop quality fabrics. Ok, so it's last year's designs... shoot me. It's still cute! Oh, and this also includes one yard I got for 42 cents because I had a $5 credit waiting for me. (blush!)

Then there was this fabric exchange I joined at my local quilt shop. All this costed me was some stash yardage. I got back a four pound sack filled with a plethora of fat-sixteenths (4-1/2" x 22"). Perfect for when I need little scrappy bits or want to make a yummy scrappy quilt. (I'm really trying to make an effort to relax and learn scrappy.)

Fabric -- it's a sickness, ya know!

I also got some fun stuff in the mail to play with. I'll be part of a machine embroidery blog hop in November. So stay tuned. A quilting friend knows I need some more experience with machine embroidery and is including me. You will absolutely love it. The method I'll be learning is foolproof. I can't wait to play with the materials I received for that, But you'll have to wait until November. LOL! How's that for keeping you in suspense?

Today I attended our modern quilting satellite group for Stray Threads. I really enjoy the exchange of ideas. It's basically a group show and tell and discussion of things we've seen online and things we've tried. I always come out of there inspired. I'm so blessed to ahve creative friends.

Last but not least, this girl now has short pixie hair. Hopefully this will help with those change of life hot flashes. (Maybe?) I hate wet drippy hair on the back of my neck. I don't want to run around wet and drippy looking like plague woman.

So life is good here. Hoping to get into my studio tomorrow to work on some things. (Cleaning.) I really want to get that Asian quilt finished so I can show it off my embellishments. Also want to start kitting up a couple of projects for the winter. I know. High hopes, but I think I can do it.

Monday, October 6, 2014

Technicolor Limbs and Quilt Blocks

I got me a new shoe last week. Isn't it purty? Yeppers, this gal had a smackdown with some pavement. And yes, the pavement won. Broken left foot, banged up right elbow, and really banged up right knee (luckily not broken!) -- my limbs are now technicolor due to various stages of bruising. As a result of the bone break, I gotta wear this designer shoe for 4-6 weeks. I'm going to paint flames on it! Ya know I'll be moving really faaaaaaaaast! Not!

Luckily, the knee is still quite numb, but it's starting to wake up.  And when it does it will be angry. The good news? I can still drive to fabric shops and sew! Yay!

So needless to say I didn't make my goal of getting the top done.

Because I fell Thursday afternoon, I missed the guild meeting on top of that. I felt bad because we were already running short of staff that night and our committee had a lot going on. The next day I found out I was the lucky recipient of two sets of block lotto blocks! Yay! Lucky me! Love the fall colors and the black multi print of the focus fabric. And we were able to give a chunk of a companion fabric to the winners. I can't wait to get this together. It's going to be a fun quilt!

I'm thankful the bodily damage from my fall isn't any worse so far. Honestly, the broken foot hurts less than my elbow, and my knee. Right now my pride hurts more than anything. And I'm also excited to get these pretty blocks. I'm going to have to put these on my design wall and play with some layout possibilities.

Oh, and I can still drive to fabric shops and sew! :)

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Misadventures in Machine Embroidery

I got all the embroidery done on the Asian quilt I purchased. Now I just need to finish the accent stitching. Since I had the embroidery unit and all it's acoutrements out, I decided to try a couple more things.

First up on the agenda was to embroider butterflies on my zippered sweatshirt. I applied my no-show mesh on the bottom, hooped it, and began stitching. The black portion went really well. Then the lighter color didn't. I guess I needed to re-align the design center when I removed the hoop from the unit. Oops! Boo-boo #2 was not using a topper. I was dealing with tons of thread shredding and breakage. Oo a walking horse, no one will know the troubles I had with this.

Yes, even after re-threading everything and putting in several new needles, I still had major thread shred. I was even using good thread. Any suggestions? I  lowered the top tension. I used pre-wound bobbins our dealer sells, so I know those are compatible. I changed the needle, even the size. It still shredded. Don't know what else to do. I'm thinking I may try one of those titanium needles by Superior when I do heavier materials. I'm wondering if the light sweatshirt material was too heavy for a regular embroidery needle.

Feeling oh so optimistic, I dragged out a white tee shirt to do my geek kitty design. Love this. Got it marked up with my yellow chaco liner to align my snowman sticker (for centering), got the no-show mesh going, my heat and gone topper, and was ready to go to town. Had a couple thread shred incidents, but nothing major.

Then came time to remove the heat and gone topper. Bad idea. It doesn't go away completely. I should have used the water soluble topper. That and the iron's heat set the chaco liner. Bummer!

Lessons learned.

Mistakes happen. I'm not discouraged. I see it as a learning  experience. I will know better what to do going forward. Not every project works out like it should. Some you can salvage, some you can't. Luckily, these are salvageable. But most importantly, I learned.