Sunday, October 31, 2010

The quilt

About 2 weeks ago I showed you a batik quilt that I was making for which I had no recipient. I asked for opinions about whether it would be appropriate for a man.  I was pondering giving it as a gift to my brother.  I related that the quilt was designed by a quilting biker (male).  One of my followers told me about the man who designed the quilt and that he had died a few years ago very soon after being diagnosed with lung cancer.

The Wednesday following that post I received some news about the COO of our company.  As I was processing that news, suddenly it "clicked".  I knew EXACTLY who the quilt is for.  I added 2 borders and quilted it on Friday and Saturday.  I finished the binding today.  As I was hand stitching the binding I was praying for my friend and his family.  I attached a note relating the symbolism of the colors of the quilt and my hopes that he would not only be made warm by the quilt but also would recognize it as a prayer/healing quilt.  I told him to wrap it around him and know he was surrounded by prayers, hope and love.

Here's how the quilt looks finished.

This portion of the quilt was quilted on the long arm.  I used a variegated thread from Superior Thread.

I quilted the outside borders on my domestic machine using a sage colored thread.
I am amazed at how sometimes things just fall into place...and I am thankful.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Busy weekend

I have been a sewing fool for the last few days.  I had some Halloween fat quarters that were part of a bundle I picked up at Joann's a couple of years ago.  (They are ugly but were on clearance for practically no money so I HAD to buy them!)  I used the to throw together a couple of quick "boo!" bags for my great-nieces.  The following photo was taken spur of the moment when I dropped them off at their house on Friday evening.

I think they turned out cute and put together with the "boo!" fabric the ugly stuff doesn't look nearly as bad.  I did hate parting with the lining fabric.  It is also a Halloween themed stripe from a Moda collection.

On Saturday I made two baby quilts while watching movies from Netflix on my computer.  (I honestly think I am almost ready to give up cable tv!)

This one is made from a charm pack that I picked up at the quilt show in Hershey a couple of months ago.  I love the bright colors and this one definitely says "boy" to me.

I wanted to make a baby girl quilt and found these fabrics on my lunch break Friday.  I used 6 different fabrics and will find a pale lavender for the outside border.  I can't wait to quilt this using more of the wool batting.  (I love that stuff!!)

Yesterday I had a big time in the studio.  I made two purses and I am in love.  Seriously.  These were so much fun to make.  Once I figured out angles and the little details, they came together beautifully.  The bag made with "Metro" measures about 7" high and 16" long.  The smaller bag is 14" x 8".  The small bag is made from a couple of fat quarters I got in a basket of winnings from a quilt shop hop a couple of years ago.  I never thought I would use them as they are "not my colors" but love them in the purse.

I love weekends when I feel productive.  I even cleaned house and worked for a bit in the garden!

Now, I need some advice/information.  I have not made Drew a quilt since he was in the NICU.  That quilt was so tiny!  I need to make one for his crib and I picked up this piece of Minkee as a remnant.

I have never quilted with Minkee.  I have sewn it but no quilting.  I know I want to pre-wash my quilt top fabrics since the Minkee is made from polyester and won't shrink.  I was thinking about using flannel for the quilt top with just a single piece of flannel as the batting so the quilt won't be heavy.  Or, I could make the quilt top with cotton and use a regular batting.  I don't know what to do!  I am also thinking I should longarm it so the tension on the fabrics remains constant while I am quilting.  Does anyone have any advice?

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Nearly finished

A couple of years ago I found a pattern for a quilt in a Quick Quilts magazine.  It was designed by a "biker dude", was shown in batiks and since I am a batik freak, I had to make it.  I cut out all the pieces and started putting it together on a retreat.  I got home from the retreat and promptly forgot about the quilt ('cause I have quilter's ADD and I am easily distracted!).  I was delighted when I "found" it on Sunday so I finished putting it together.
I pinned it to the "design bunk bed" so you could see it....or at least a portion of it.  I love the colors.

I had it folded so you can see some crease marks but I think you get the idea.  I need to add at least one border (the original design had two) so I am trying to decide on the border color.  I don't want to use anything that is already in the quilt.  I just want it to blend with what I already have.  I am thinking something either blue or green.  I like the purples but want to down play them a bit.  I was hoping this would be masculine enough that I could gift it to a man but I am not sure.  Too much purple/lavender to be "man friendly"?  What do you think?

Monday, October 18, 2010

Little tip

Have you been following a blog and decided that you don't want to follow any longer?  Wanna know how to stop?

Sign in and go to your Dashboard.  Go all the way to the bottom of the page and you will see your Reading List.  See the tab marked "Blogs I'm Following"? Go to the bottom and click on "Manage".  The next screen will list all the blogs you are following.  Find the one you want to quit and all the way to the right choose "Settings".  The next screen will give you information about the blog you are following and printed out in blue is "Stop following this site".  Click on that and you will be given the option to stop following or cancel. 

There you go!

Another winner!

 Sandee said...

Now this is a give a way! How generous of you and what a beautiful tote! I am a follower and enjoy your blog so much.

Thanks everyone for reading and participating.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Fusible thread

I finally got around to using the fusible thread.  Thanks to everyone for reminding me that I bought it to hold binding in place for machine binding.  In case you are curious as to how I used it, here is a mini-tutorial (or at least my version of one!)

First I attached the binding to the front of the quilt in the in usual manner

I loaded the fusible thread in my bobbin and, again from the top side of the quilt, did a wide zig-zag stitch all around the edge of the quilt.  Flipped onto the back side it looked like this

I flipped the binding from the front to the back and ironed it in place.

It fused down easily and then I turned it back over to the front side so that I could stitch in the ditch

After stitching all the way around, this is the back of the quilt

I would not use this finish if I were selling a quilted piece but for a personal table runner, quilt or charity quilt, it is a nice finish.  Because I didn't use any pins, the stitching on the back is even and straight.  One note, my machine did not like the fusible thread coming down through the thread path into the needle.  Loaded in the bobbin, it worked perfectly.

Friday, October 15, 2010

We have a winner!!

Bluebird 49!

Thanks to everyone who entered the contest on my page!!

Fall into Fall update

The Fall into Fall giveaway ends tonight.  I will close comments at 6pm, EDT.  Thanks to everyone that entered!!

A special "thank you"

I know that 92 followers is not a big number by most blogger's standards but it is a big deal to me! The fact that anyone reads my blog is a huge deal and makes me happy. I appreciate all of you that have stuck with me through my sporadic posts, my whiney episodes when I can't find my sewing mojo and all of my posts that have very little to do with quilting. I am so excited that all of my new followers have found something in my blog that they like and have decided to come along for the ride.

So - another giveaway! This time it's from me and Hazelnut from each!  Just leave a comment on this post and you will be entered. However, there is a catch. Since the giveaway is to thank all of my followers, it is for followers only. If you are not a follower when you read this, just sign up to follow and let me know in your comment. There will be one entry per person. I will leave comments open until Sunday night at 9pm Eastern Daylight. I will use a random generator to choose the winners.

From me - fabric! Eight fat quarters of pretty florals that would make a darling baby quilt for a little girl or a spring quilt.

From Hazelnut Hill - a library tote bag! This bag is a good size for all sorts of things - library, gym, knitting, etc.  It measures 11.5 x 15 x 4.

Thanks again and good luck!!

Monday, October 11, 2010


I absolutely feel so terrible about having to delete "no reply" entries for the Fall into Fall but I have to do it!  Please, please - if you are not sure about your status do this:

Go to your Dashboard
Go to "Edit Profile"
See "Share My Profile"? -  check that box
Now under "Show My Email Address" - check that box

Now when you leave a comment, when someone clicks on your name they will be able to find your email address.  If you really don't want your email to appear with your profile, please at least leave your email address with your comment.

I have now deleted 6 comments and there will be more as I go back through.  If you are a "no reply" person, please comment again and I will gladly add you back to the list!

Just wondering

Does anyone have any idea why I purchased this?

I was digging through a box of fabric (shocking!) and found an unopened bag.  In it was this, some twill tape and a few fat quarters.  I know I bought it for a specific purpose.  I just can't remember what the heck it was!

I have been working every day in the studio.  I have so many projects to finish before the holidays (and for the love of Pete, will everyone please stop telling me how few days there are until Christmas?!?) so I get up between 3 and 3:30 every morning and work until it is time to get ready for work.  I love the extra hours on the weekends but I also need some time to play so I made time this past weekend and spent it with my quilty sister.  No more lazy weekends until after November 15th!

I just "discovered" fabric roses.  I have seen many tutorials and finally got around to making my first one just a few hours ago.

Pretty, huh?  I used a strip from a jelly roll, folded it in half lengthwise and then gathered the raw edge.  I just scrunched up a bit in the center and then started rolling and taking random stitches along the bottom to hold it all together.  I had a piece in mind when I made it.  I used it to take this perfectly nice, ordinary purse and make it a little "special".

That may (or may not) be the final placement.  I really like the deep red against the black and white fabric.  As I look at in the photo, I am not crazy about the pocket running smack up against the bottom fabric.  This may call for a revision.  What do you think?

(Fall into Fall link is still up!)

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Fall into Fall Giveaway is still going on!

Here's the link back to my giveaway. 

I am sad to report that there have been several entries on my blog that have a "no reply" status and left absolutely no way to reach them if they win.  I will be deleting those entries before the 15th.

PLEASE - if you are a "no reply" blogger, please either change your status, include your email with the comment or check Debi's site for more information.

Thanks to everyone who has entered so far.  I am really excited about all the new followers!  I am going to have to start being a better blogger!!

Monday, October 4, 2010

Bread baking

I am fortunate to own a Pampered Chef  baking bowl.  I don't know how long ago they were taken off the market but I love mine.  It bakes up the most moist roasted chicken you can imagine.  Well, I have a new recipe for my bowl.  Have you heard about No Knead Bread?  The original recipe was in the New York Times. I have looked at several versions of the recipe and have adapted one from Kimba at "A Soft Place to Land".  Here is the link to her post about the bread.  Kimba does a great job with the recipe and tutorial.

This is my adaptation. I add 1 tablespoon of granulated sugar to the flour, use regular unbleached flour and add about a tablespoon of gluten.  I also only take the lid off for about 5 minutes at the end of the baking cycle.  I use the same baking time - roughly 45 minutes - and then I stick it with my instant read thermometer to be sure it reads 210. I do suggest you take a look at your bread about 35 minutes into baking to see how it looks.  If it is browning just fine, the 5 minutes at the end with the lid off should be sufficient.  I have found that if I take the lid off for too long it gets darker than I like.  The texture of the bread is wonderful and makes incredible toast.  It is fabulous still warm from the oven and torn off in chunks.  I like to drag it through a little extra virgin olive oil or slather it with butter.  A word of caution...this bread is so easy to make you will want to make a fresh loaf every day and I am betting your waistline will not thank me!

Friday, October 1, 2010

The Fall into Fall Giveaway!!


Here's my giveaway for Fall into Fall

The basket it filled with a little over a hundred dollars worth of quilting patterns. (There are holiday patterns, a purse pattern, lots of sweet little quilts, etc.)  There is also a Moda charm pack of Dandelion Girl (Joanna Figueroa - Fig Tree Quilts) and a Hazelnut Hill smart phone/iPod/sunglass case.

The winner will be chosen October 15th. If you do not have a blog, please leave your email address in your comment or I will not be able to reach you.  If you are a blogger, please be sure that you are not a "no reply blogger" because if the random generator chooses you, I will not be able to contact you.  This giveaway is open to anyone - I am going international with this one!!

Be sure to click on the scarecrow on my sidebar to see all of the other bloggers and vendors that are participating.  There are 143 bloggers and 8 vendor blogs participating so there are LOTS of opportunities to win something! 

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