Tag Archives: hand quilting

Busy, Busy, Busy

October is here which means we have been in our new house for almost six months. Seems like one would have all the boxes unpacked at this point but nah… there are too many other fun things to do.

Ray and his mom on the beach

For instance, we had my mother in law here for a visit last week. She had not seen the house yet. It was super fun to show her the area. Like me, she is a fan of beach combing so we spent a lovely afternoon wandering at the water’s edge picking up shells and sea glass. The weather could not have been better.

It is finished!

Just before she came, I put the finishing touches on this mini. I worked in slow motion when attaching the binding so I could minimize any issues with the hearts. I just didn’t leave quite enough room for the binding. All is well though and I hardly touched the little hand quilted hearts.

With the backing.

It looks so cute on the wall. I already want to start a new mini. They are super satisfying because I can finish them quickly.

These photos make me laugh each time I look at them. Julia and her buddies at the swine unit were making a social media post to welcome the students back to campus. She was trying to pose with one of her favorite 500 pound boars, Leopard. He was feeling frisky and wanted to play rather than stand still. Hahaha.

Taking his girls for a ride

My son built an electric bike with two seats on it for the girls. The three of them love it and cruise all over with it. It helps for him to have a little boost of power to cart the weight of two kids behind him.

The coolest cotton candy ever!

Yesterday Andrew was trying to keep the girls out of the house. My DIL has to work nights for a couple of days so she needs to sleep during the day. They found a festival they could ride too. The girls waited in line for quite a while for this fancy cotton candy. It was huge so they shared it. Isn’t it cool though? I haven’t seen anything like this before.

My own sort of festival

I had my own bit of fun yesterday. One of the local quilt guilds held a fabric sale as a fundraiser. Fabric was $3.00 per pound so shoppers just filled their bag, it was weighed and then calculated. I told myself not to buy any small pieces as I just don’t need them. Instead I looked for stretch knits to make t-shirts and larger pieces of cotton for potential backings. I also needed some fusible batting for a project I am going to make (more on that later). I was so successful! I bought 20 yards of fabric, a large unopened package of fusible batting and a new triangular ruler for $27.00. I am in the process of washing the fabric now. What fun!

That is it for now. Today’s plan is a long walk this morning and a bit of yard work. Hope you are enjoying your weekend!

Linking up with Oh Scrap!

Pretty and Pink

When I started to collect my thoughts for this post, I realized that pink is a common theme with the projects I intend to share. This is strange because it isn’t one of my favorite colors. Hence the title to the post. Let’s see what I have been working on.

Another Mercyful Quilt!

Remember I shared about a quilt show and lavender festival I attended earlier this summer? While at the show, I picked up an almost finished quilt top because I knew it would be sweet as a Mercyful quilt. Then center was complete but smaller than I wanted so I added two borders.

Two borders made this just big enough.

Quilting this was a quick effort using a serpentine style straight stitch following the lines of the blocks.

Sweet pastel colors.
Super soft voile backing.

What makes this quilt for me is the backing. I have a few pieces of 60″ wide voile made by Frou Frou. It is so silky soft. It was a trick to make this work because the quilt is nearly 60″ wide. Using an excessive of pins when basting (to make sure it didn’t shift while quilting it) worked though. I used a sweet pink floral for the binding. It is ready to be sent off to Patty for Mercy Hospital.

Totally different feel with this project!

Before Julia went back to California in July, she asked me to make her another bag. She wanted the same pattern as the previous two I made for her. (When this girl finds something she likes, she sticks with it!) I have used this reversible bag tutorial at Very Purple Person. I believe this is the fourth bag I have made with this pattern. Julia shopped my fabrics and found this piece; a fantastic print designed by Ocllo Mason for QT Fabrics. I received it as a sample when I had my shop (I do miss those occasional freebies!). It looks like a galaxy and the colors are so rich.

The other side of the bag.

Julia helped me to center the pieces for the bag so she would have two distinct patterns, one for each side. She chose a pale white tone on tone fabric for the lining.

This girl loves simplicity so there is one medium size pocket inside with a velcro closure as well as a velcro closure for the main bag. Easy peasy. I just mailed off a few things to Julia the other day and this bag is included in the box.

Final project for this post! At the same quilt show I mentioned earlier, I also picked up a few books. This little pamphlet by Moda Fabrics was one of those. It contains super simple ideas for using up 2 1/2″ squares. I often cut my scraps this size and knew it would come in handy.

Bonus HST’s

I have several sets of those bonus HST’s from making flying geese blocks. If I can remember to just stitch them before trimming the corners, they are almost ready to go for use in a new project.

Set on point with a deep background.

OK – this project is only sort of pink. But the background (while it doesn’t photograph as such) is fuchsia and there is pink in some of the HST’s so I decided it still fits.

Hand quilting hearts on the solid squares.

The quilting is a lot of fun and nearly complete. The trick will be binding it and not catching any of the hearts in that process. I kind of wish I had added a small border to help with this but I didn’t have enough of the background fabric. I’ll just have to go slowly (not my forte!)

OK – those are the projects I have been working on – and two are even finished! Woot! Here is my closing picture of my girls. Little sister sure misses H during the day. Kindergarten is a full day program in their district and A is so excited when her big sister gets home!

In the ‘live’ version of this picture, A is running toward her big sister. It is adorable!

Hope everyone is looking toward a fun weekend. I know so many parts of the country are dealing with this horrible heat wave. Because it is super difficult to cool off in many parts of the US; I think staying inside and sewing is the only sensible solution. ūüôā

A Homespun Finish

This quilt has been in process for quite some time. I finished the quilt top last March. The piecing was quite fun – I used two different charm packs from Benartex that both had a vintage feel to them. After sewing a 2 1/2″ wide strip to the top of each one, I sliced the block in 1/2 and flipped one side upside down. That gave me the rectangular blocks you see here. To add some size to the quilt, I sashed between rows. Finally I added a deep purple border all the way around.

I knew I wanted to try hand quilting and this seemed a good project to learn with. Wanting to think just about the hand stitching and not worry about the durability, I stitched in the ditch along the sashing lines and around the inner border. This was really helpful in keeping everything together.

There are many who would say I might have used a darker color thread but again, this was my first time and it shows! The stitches are inconsistent – honestly, I didn’t want them to be the star of the show here. I quilted around each smaller square and was ready to call it good there. However, what was the rush? I enjoyed quilting this in the evenings so I decided to go around the inner border once.

Then it came to me I might want to do some stitching in the purple border. I used a stencil to trace the curves here. I felt like I was done at this point so I put the binding on. For some reason, it was a challenge to find a binding I liked with this quilt. The neutral fabric used as the background is gone so that wasn’t going to work. There was enough of the purple fabric though and I decided I liked the simplicity of using the same fabric for binding and the outer border.

This quilt is sooooo cozy and soft. The only reason I haven’t yet washed it is there is one more thing nagging at me. I think maybe I should quilt another wavy line on the purple so it intersects and makes a bit of a chain. What do you think? Add more, or leave it as is?

Hand quilting was quite satisfying, especially since I was in no rush to finish this, and I knew I wanted to keep it so there wasn’t the pressure of it being just perfect for the recipient. I have a long ways to go. The back of the quilt doesn’t look so amazing. My stitches on the back look so tiny. I need to learn how to stitch so the front and back are more uniform. A few times, I forgot to pull my knot through and now it seems like it is too late. This doesn’t really bother me but you know…. it is a learning curve.

Spring is surely here! This pond is on the edge of our property and there are geese galore right now. Ray has seen a mama and her goslings swimming but I keep missing them.

The Dogwood tree in all its glory!

Our yard is at its best in spring time, before it gets too hot and the plants become stressed. The iris are pushing loads of blooms so they will be putting on a show soon.

This weekend I am celebrating spring flowers with a sale for you. All fabrics with flowers and blooms are 25% off. Sale begins today and runs through Sunday, April 25th! Enjoy!

So Thankful

OK – this is such a sweet little finish! Remember I mentioned Julia is learning to embroider and to knit? She stitched the word thankful for me on a simple square of quilting cotton. (She was looking for something to do and I asked her to stitch one word I could display during the fall season.)

I knew I would make something very understated with this. Using a deep red scrap, I sewed on the first border. It finished at 3/4″ wide. Then I took an earthy brown scrap and attached a second border which finished at 1 1/4″ wide.

The quilting is simple and quite minimal. I did a few rows of big-stitch hand quilting above and below the word. You can still see the (crooked) line I had marked with the Hera marker right below the word. That has since melted away (I love using a Hera marker!) I think this is really all it needed. I did machine stitch a tiny border just outside of the red fabric as well. The binding is the same fabric as the outer border which less distracting, keeping the focus to the center.

Measuring only 8″ x 11″, it is easy to tuck into any spot. I originally planned to hang it during Thanksgiving but truly, it is something that should always be displayed. It will most likely be kept on display as a little reminder throughout the year.

Linking to Brag About Your Beauties, Whoop Whoop, and Finished or Not Friday.

Reminder – today is the last day of the 20% off sale on all Autumn and Holiday fabrics!

Quarantine Quilting – Quilt Top Done

Well all this time at home is certainly allowing for lots of time in the sewing room. Last June I started sewing these charm squares I had accumulated into blocks. The charm squares are from a variety of sample packs from Benartex. Simple, prints in soothing colors that wanted to be made into something rather than live on the shelf in the closet (where they had been for at least two years or so).

I saw this idea on Julie’s blog, Me and My Quilts, around that time. She was making something similar and I absolutely copied her!! I cut 2 1/2″ strips and sub cut them into five inch strips. Each was sewed to a charm square, then sliced vertically. One piece flipped around and then I sewed them back together.

I did lay out the pieces in a random order first but decided I wanted something a bit more organized so I started putting them in collections by color.

Finally making up my mind, I got the rows put together and added a few borders (it is a bit on the long and skinny side).

I used this purple print from the shop for the outer border. It is from the Ginger & Spice line by Missy Carpenter and looks great with the neutral sashing. I chose purple because there are only three purple blocks in the quilt and I thought it just needed more!

Draped sideways on the railing.

Now I am looking through choices for the backing. I have decided to keep this one. It is time for me to set up a hand quilting project to work on in the evenings. I have never hand quilted anything larger than a pillow or a mini so this is a big undertaking for me.

I have so many questions since this is a new undertaking for me! Once I baste it, I am thinking of stitching in the ditch along the sashing lines. I was thinking if I had it anchored in place, it would be easier to quilt. Of course one might say after stitching in the ditch it is basically quilted already. Is this a normal progression? I need all the hand quilters to give me lots and lots of tips and tricks in the comments please!! I am thinking of using Perle cotton. Yay or Nay??? I really don’t know what I am doing here so would love any and all hints or referrals to good places to read up on this.

I appreciate the help. Hope everyone is doing well as can be. These are trying times so let’s all stay connected even if virtually. Take care all of you. ūüôā

Linking up with all the usuals. Check them out at the top of the page, under Link Ups.

Christmas Finishes

I have two little projects to share with you. These were both gifted at Christmas and I thought I would wait to post until after they had been given to their intended owners. First is a small, fabric book that I made for my soon-to-be-born grand daughter.

I have several of these panels, in two different flavors, that I purchased when a local fabric store was closing out, maybe four or five years ago? I thought it would be good to have them on hand as a fun gift to give. Then somehow I lost track of them or they went to the bottom of the pile in that closet of mine. After some digging, I found them.

I think it is a sweet way to introduce baby to books. The pages are thick and easily grasped, bright colors and not a whole lot in the way of a plot. Plus it is washable which might come in handy. ¬†ūüėČ

If you haven’t made one of these before, it is basically a panel of rectangles. Once you cut them out, the panels are paired up to be sewn in a certain order so the pages are in the correct order. (This is crucial when the plot is as deep as these are!) The instructions said to fuse a mid-weight interfacing to one page of each pair. I chose to use fusible batting instead. It makes the book a bit softer. Each pair of pages is sewn, right sides together and then turned right side out. Press and sew up the little opening that was left to turn the book right sides out. Stack the pages and sew down the center to hold them together. Ta da! Your book is complete.

I didn’t put her name on the book because it hasn’t been shared yet. (Actually, I am not certain they have truly decided on one yet.)

The other gift I made is a scrappy Christmas pillow. I had cut lots of rectangles from a bag of Christmas scraps and decided to use a few of them. I stitched the rows and then when I sewed the rows together I offset the seams. It makes things a little bit more interesting. I love some of the vintage Christmas scraps in this pillow (especially the candy cane fabric).

It looked too busy with the patchwork rows right next to each other so I took a solid khaki color scrap and cut some strips that were 1.5″ finished. At first I quilted the scrappy rows with my walking foot and a variegated Mettler thread in Christmas colors of red and green. That looked boring. I added the big stitch quilting on the solid rows and liked the way that was looking. (You may have seen some of this on Instagram – I shared a few pictures there along the way.

After doing the straight lines of big stitches (using Perle cotton thread) I added the phrasing. I think that finished it off nicely. A simple envelope backing and it was complete.

I didn’t give as many handmade gifts as I sometimes do. Time doesn’t always allow for these things! But these were very simple and fun to make.

I have been reading lots of great posts about everyone’s plans for the new year. I am hoping to get to that soon. I didn’t get it done ahead of time and now we are in the middle of lots of family time. Maybe next week when things settle down again. I do have some fun ideas for 2017 and am excited to share them. Stay tuned!

Happy New Year everyone! Wishing you all the best in 2017.

 

Linking to my usuals – find the links at the top of the page, under Link Ups. Additionally, I linked to Frontier Dream’s linky party,¬†Keep Calm and Craft On.

 

Change of Plans

The day we were to leave for our vacation in Maine, I decided I really wanted to take a hand stitching project along with me as I was fairly certain Ray wouldn’t be too keen on my bringing along a sewing machine. He can be so darn unreasonable. Ha ha. We were to be gone for two weeks which is far too long to be without needle and thread. I was searching through the closet in my sewing room and decided to change my plan for a UFO that I had.

Here is the back story. In July, 2014, I posted about a packet of scraps I ordered online. It turned out to be strips from the Moda line called Lexington, designed by Minnick & Simpson. I planned to make a string quilt. Here is a picture of some of the blocks. Side note: ¬†wow, that is a horrible picture. I am happy to see that my photography has improved over time. ūüėČblue tan quilt blocks 2

Each string block finished at seven inches. After making about 20 blocks I set it aside and have not touched it since. I am not sure why, but I lost interest in it. I really like the colors in the project though. I decided to repurpose the blocks that were made and quickly sewed twelve blocks together to use as a table runner. Using twelve blocks gave me a runner that was about 13.5″ x 40″ which is a nice size for my table.

I cut a piece of batting from a bag of batting scraps that I had and also a piece of backing. I love the backing – I purchased it a couple of years ago at a quilt shop in the bay area. My sister, Cathy, found it on a sale table for me.

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It has been on the shelf for a bit and I was happy to find a project to use it in. After stitching up the blocks, I quickly sandwiched everything and ditch stitched it down the center and across the width at each seam. I didn’t want to pack a hoop to quilt it and if it was stitched already, I knew it would be stable to hand stitch.

This was such a nice way to practice hand quilting. I have not done a lot of handwork. I did quilt a pillow last spring but since then, not so much. I brought my Hera marker and a square ruler with me, hoping I could figure out some sort of design once I got going. I also brought some basic hand quilting thread as well as Perle cotton.

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There are three centers and on each, I stitched a flower. In the center I placed a cluster of french knots. To create the flower petals I used my Hera marker and traced around the top of a coffee cup. Once I got going, I could just freehand them but I needed a guide to get me started.

In each triangle I echoed the lines of the triangles with straight lines. I like the simplicity of the quilting. While we are looking at this picture, let’s all ignore the fact that the point isn’t even close to matching properly. Thank you kindly.

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The  table runner is very pretty and I look forward to using it later this fall. It feels autumnal to me. I love the binding. This bit of fabric was in my stash and works perfectly. I definitely enjoyed the hand quilting and will continue to practice my stitching.

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I still have a few more of these string blocks which will likely sit in that lonely pile where orphan blocks go until I find a use for them.

Hope everyone has a lovely weekend which involves at least a little time in the sewing room. Linking to my usual favorites. Find them at the top of the page, under Link Ups.

day1_quilt craftsy

In case you are searching for that perfect class to take on Craftsy, there is a sale running this weekend on their most popular classes. It’s a good time to take advantage of a great deal and learn something new.

As a Craftsy affiliate, I will earn a small portion of any sale made by clicking through the links on my page. If you choose to make a purchase, thanks a bunch!

Whisper – Giveaway!

Have you all been looking for little signs of the arrival of spring?  Living in California, spring is noticeable early on. My daffodils are done blooming and our fruit trees are leafing out, with all of their blossoms raining down. It is definitely spring here.

Another sign of spring is the gorgeous Windham Fabrics collection, Whisper, which was recently released and is now shipping at Brewstitched.  I love the gorgeous pallette used in this line. Soft, muted shades of blue, pink, and mustard yellow are used in this springtime collection. The fabric features various florals and sweet butterflies for a truly feminine feel. Sheryl, the owner of Brewstitched, would like to give four fat quarters to a lucky reader!

whisper giveaway 2

For those of you living in cold weather country, this is the perfect way to bring a bit of spring to your sewing room!

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Sheryl sent me a few fat quarters of Whisper to play with. I immediately thought of our Downieville house. It could certainly use something cute hanging on the walls.

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The pattern for this mini is one that I downloaded last winter during the Aurifil Designer Mini series. It was designed by Kim Jolly over at The Fat Quarter Shop. It’s been on my list to make for a while now and this was just the right opportunity. I added a scrap of bright yellow to make the center pop a bit.

One of the reasons I wanted to make a simple project was to practice some hand quilting. I have some spools of Pearle cotton floss that I have been itching to use.

IMG_20160316_4704I ditch¬†quilted in several of the seams so that I wouldn’t have to worry about things slipping around as I hand quilted. Adding a bit of hand stitching makes just about anything look that much sweeter.

IMG_20160316_4705Stitching with Pearle Cotton was a treat. I will definitely keep practicing to increase the consistency of my stitching.

OK – Back to the Whisper giveaway! In order to enter, please take a peek over at Brewstitched. Sheryl has recently added some wonderful new fabrics to her shop. She is carrying the entire line of Whisper and I happened to notice she now has several pieces of the crazy popular Cotton and Steel line, Bluebird. So hop over and then come back and tell me about your favorite. Spring is here and it is blissfully evident over at Brewstitched!

If you follow me, you are welcome to comment a second time telling me how you follow. Are you following Brewstitched on Facebook or Instagram? If so, that is worth a third entry. Be sure to let me know how you follow them.

This giveaway is open through March 29th. The winner will be announced first thing, March 30th!  Make sure to leave an email address if you are a no-reply blogger. In the event that someone is picked and I cannot email them, I will draw another winner.  Due to the cost of shipping, this giveaway is open to US residents only. Good Luck!

GIVEAWAY IS  NOW CLOSED.

Remember that Needle and Foot readers have a discount this month over at Brewstitched. Enter coupon code NANDFMARCLUB10 for 10% off your order through the end of March!

Linking to my usual parties – all links are listed at the top of the page under Link Ups.