Friday, January 21, 2022

Brimfield and Gentle Gems Completed!

 Yea, for January I have two "completed" projects to show.  

The first I will share is my sweet little Gentle Gems, a Val Laird BOM for 2021.  Her 2022 BOM is a Calendar one that looks really cute, but I have already committed to a different project and better hold off on that one.

The next is my Brimfield block quilt.  This quilt is English Paper Pieced blocks that are hand appliqued to the background.  I hand quilted using big stitch with Bold weight Coats and Clark hand quilting thread.  I decided that rather than make a label, I would just "sign" the quilt the way my mom always did.  She embroidered her name and year the quilt was finished on the back. Sometimes I want to write a little about the history of the quilt, so I do a label - but in this case, I just wanted to sign it.

Now on to another UFO and also getting ready to start a new project.  

Wednesday, January 19, 2022

January Organization

 At a recent retreat of my club Stitchin' Friends, Linda D challenged us to get organized and is going to get us started by giving us one task to do each month.  Well for January, it was actually two tasks:

1 - Clean out all your pens, pencils, markers, etc and throw away what no longer works.

2 - Clean out the wheels of your chair

Well I have a new chair and the wheels are nice and pretty and clean, so I did not have to do that one, but now the other was quite a challenge.

Here is the before picture: This is a nice tray/box that someone gave me years ago and it sets in a file cabinet drawer beside my sewing table...over the years, I have just dumped so many markers, pens, hi-highters, mechanical pencils and other stuff.  So I took every thing out, decided what I wanted to keep, threw away pens and markers that no longer had ink and put away stuff that did not belong in there.


This is the box after.  I was amazed at the pens and markers that no longer work.  I used containers that sugar free drink packets come in to sort what I had left.  The plastic storage box will hopefully go home with the grandkids - its full of mechanical pencils and pens that I no longer use or want.  I even had room to put my note pads that I can never find when I need them.

I did find some stuff in the box that did not belong there and have either throw away or put away where they belong
And there is one mystery - any idea what this is?   I don't know where I got it or what its for, but its just too darn cute to throw away, so it went back in the box:

Monday, December 27, 2021

Gentle Gems - Val Laird

 Last night I completed the blocks for November which were the last two in the Gentle Gems block of the month by Val Laird.  I so enjoyed working on these blocks and will hopefully get them sewed into a wall hanging while at a retreat in a couple of weeks.  Not sure where I will hang it, but I know I will always like looking at the pretty stitcheries.  Below are the pictures of all blocks stacked together, the November blocks and a layout of the blocks that hopefully I have in the order I will use.

Monday, November 29, 2021

Gail Pan - Bring Me Flowers quilt top

 I finished the quilt top for the Gail Pan Block of the Month - Bring Me Flowers.  I added a flange in the border, the first time I have tried this and I do like the look it gives.  I made the flange 3/8" and wish I had just done a 1/4" flange, but its done now.  I hope to do a mixture of machine and hand quilting which I have done on other quilts and liked the look.  The embroidered blocks will be hand quilted and the remainder of the quilt machine quilted.  Can't wait to start on it, but need to finish the quilting on the Brimfield first.

Friday, November 26, 2021

Brimfield - quilting

 I have started quilting my Brimfield quilt.  I have had more trouble deciding on thread choice and pattern for this quilt than any other I have done.  I started out with just regular hand quilting thread (40wt) and the dark green just did not look dark enough on the back of the quilt.  So I ordered Bold (25wt) Coats and Clark hand quilting thread from Sewing Parts on-line.  It is almost impossible to find local sources of C&C thread other than Michaels and they have a very limited selection. This is odd being that the C&C threads are headquarted in Charlotte. I can drive to Charlotte to Joanns and they have it, but once again a limited selection.  Once I had my thread, I then debated on the pattern to use.  It took me quilting three blocks and ripping out the stitches twice to finally get what I am satisfied with.  Now I can really enjoy the process.

These are pictures of the quilting on the front.  The area in the dark green sections are done with Forest Green thread.  I use a white chalk pencil for marking and left it on for the picture just so the quilting would show up better.  The actual EPP blocks are quilted in white bold thread.  I did not like the way the dark green thread looked against these blocks.

And here are a couple pictures of the back side of the quilt.  The white thread does not have a strong contrast against the backing, which is a golden yellow.  In person you can see it better, but in a photo it is hard to see.

To me there is nothing more relaxing than hand quilting and I am thoroughly enjoying quiet times in the morning and afternoon, listening to a book on Audible and doing my quilting.

Tuesday, November 23, 2021

Spikes and Specks - Katrina Hadjimichael

Here is my finished Spikes and Specks quilt, designed by Katrina Hadjimichael ( ).   I thoroughly enjoyed making this quilt. It will be a gift to my special niece, Cindy, and right in time for her wedding :)  My dear friend, Donna K, quilted it for my on her long arm.   I will give it to Cindy on Thanksgiving Day when she and her future husband will be here.

My sweet niece Cindy with her quilt

Wednesday, October 20, 2021

Chickadee Workshop with David Taylor

 I attended the first in-person workshop yesterday since this Pandemic started.  It was great fun to spend a day with quilting friends and learn some new techniques. The workshop instructor was David Taylor

Three techniques that will especially impact my future applique were:

1. How and when to use a lining behind the applique pieces to keep a shadow of the fabric from showing through, as well as what fabric to use for the lining.

2. When David applique curves, he only turns the fabric under on convex curves.  For concave curves, he does not turn the fabric under, but rather fits the adjoining applique piece such that the adjoining convex curve overlaps the convave curve.  Hard to put this into words, and can be a little complicated doing it as well, but was an interesting technique to learn.

3. How to use a finger stilletto.

    I finished up my little 12" square Chickadee block this morning. Sweet little Chickadees are among of my favorite wild birds, right up there with blue birds.  Not sure yet what it will become, but I am considering a pillow, and maybe more "bird" theme pillows to put out in the spring.