Monday, October 2, 2017

Connecting Threads 'Autumums'

AUTUMUMS is now available in the
Fall Connecting Threads catalog!
This is the Gathering Wishes fabric line and all that
Autumn makes my heart sing:) 
It has been a year long adventure and
I am so happy to be able to share it with you now:)
You can always scroll to the bottom but how about building the anticipation with a quick tutorial on assembly.
Lately I have been cutting my HSTs to the next inch up vs. the 7/8".  This gives me a little wiggle room and an opportunity to trim if necessary.  Sometimes my personal seam allowance brings me right to the measurement I needed.
I have said it before and I will say it again, I am old fashioned and find that I get better results when I work one step at a time.  The blue ruler above is the Quick Quarter ruler (above pic) and I get very good results with it and Mary Ellen's Best Press. Pictured below are some sewn squares that have been sprayed with Best Press.
 Look how nice and crisp they are after and ready to be cut apart!

 Trimmed and ready to go!
 Time for applique....
Cutting Multiples
Sometimes the amount of applique pieces needed can seem overwhelming but if you go to my tutorial, you can cut down your tracing and cutting by a quarter if not more. 
Save this link so that when you buy the pattern,
you will have this to refer back to.

I used a small zig zag stitch to applique all
my petals down before assembly.

Let's talk quilting....I know it is hard to decide on a design that will accent your applique or fill a large space.  I outlined the flowers and did stitch in the ditch for all the seams (blocks and borders).
The border quilting was finding a leaf shape I liked and adding swirls around it. 
The leaves were alternated right and left and traced to the border.  I then lightly sketched in some vines and smaller swirls to fill the space around them.
I believe you can click on the photo to enlarge it and the side lighting should show the quilting a bit.

Enjoy having a little Autumum in your world as much as I enjoyed designing and making it!

Thursday, August 31, 2017

Get a GO BAG

Welcome to the Back to School Blog Hop hosted by Sam Hunter (Hunter’s Design Studio). Thanks Sam! 

Have you heard of a GO BAG or a Bug Out bag? Ever gathered one? Usually they refer to emergency prep but today I mean prep for the season ahead...The season of pick up lines, school/sports physical waits, and sideline cheering!
School season is the perfect reason to have one.

When minutes are limited this little bundle of happiness with its cute tiny scissors, colorful threads, and delightful prints will help keep your sanity!
You may even challenge yourself to get x number of blocks done by year's end.

As you may be able to see, I am writing this post from a hotel room with one of my own Go Bags:)
This isn't one of my fancy ones. It is your basic 10" x 7" curtain bag with zipper so it is perfect for flying (TSA can see everything!).
Below is one of my 
favorites ... Make the bag or box something fun/ pretty so you will be delighted to open it when needed.

I Love hand work and so my Go Bags are set for red work embroidery, needle turn appliqué, English Paper Piecing (EPP).
Threads and scissors of course but don't forget pencils (regular and marking), a sharpener, and an eraser. See my cool pen-shaped one with white eraser? That is the best eraser for removing marks from fabric!
The Roxanne Glue Baste It is my absolute favorite little tool for needle turn or making a thread behave (does not make humans behave:)

You never know when a nail will break or you have to shove some candy in your mouth to keep you from yelling at someone annoying!! The Welch's fruit snacks are at least healthy, right??

Tiny things make my heart sing and a dear friend made this adorable tiny bag with zipper for me:)
It fits some of the smaller basics.

www.nestlingsbyrobin.comStitching while my crown is being not the fun one!
Lots of stitching at baseball games. 

www.nestlingsbyrobin.comFor Inspiration:
All the beading on this Iris and leaves was done in one HS volleyball season as I went to my daughter's games.
A little organization goes a long way to sanity:)
There are fantastic tutorials and tips in the Hop Participant links below to make sure you get some much needed sewing therapy in all year long!

Day 22 – September 5 – Jane Davidson: How to make scrappy HSTs
Day 23 – September 6 – Linda Pearl: Low cost tips for organizing your sewing room
Day 24 – September 7 – Christa Watson – Top 10 tips for quilting on a domestic machine
Day 25 – September 8 – Sarah Nunes: To Starch or Not to Starch
Day 26 – September 9 – Suzy Webster: Testing fabric for bleeding
Day 27 – September 10 – Sarah Goer: Machine bind your quilts like a pro
Day 28 – September 11 – Vanda Chittenden: Beginner paper-piecing tips
Day 29 – September 12 – Cheryl Sleboda: Needle threading tips
Day 30 – September 13 – Kim Niedzwiecki – Different thread weights and when to use them
Day 31 – September 14 – Sandra Healy: Conquer Your Fear of Machine Appliqué
Day 32 – September 15 – Sandra Starley: The Basics of Antique Quilt Collecting

Stabilizer Free

How to live dangerously and go stabilizer free...
I like to stitch away from myself and counter clockwise being right handed (pic 1). This allows for a smoother line/curve.
With stabilizer you can travel your threads without shadowing.
This particular project has no stabilizer and this little curly-que goes the wrong direction for my stitch preference.
Take multiple tiny stitches directly ON the traced line until you get to where you want your line to start
 (pic 2).
Now as I stitch in my preferred counter clockwise direction, my stem stitch will cover my travel stitches.
The next time you get started and forget to stabilize or decide that it will get in the way of wanting to hand quilt, you can go stabilizer free!

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Heritage Stories: MY find:)

I found this Gorgeous embroidered pieced in an antique mall for maybe $6 or $8... 
It was just what I always wanted but didn't know it until that moment:)
 Look at these perfect satin stitches (that I loathe to do!!)
The fabric was much heavier than I like to
hand quilt through but I made do!
The edges were a bit wonky but once I put the binding on,
I was able to preserve most of her adorable edge
work that adds so much to the design.
It is almost time to change out my holiday décor and so here is another sweet rescue piece that lives in a cute little vignette:
A cross stitched Revolutionary Drummer boy doily.
The hunt is half the fun and I am always looking.

Saturday, August 26, 2017

Time to Dream

Look at these circa 1900 lovelies that arrived this week!! I have a tiny work break coming this week and will be spending time dreaming of a perfect way to use them.
Any suggestions?

Thursday, August 24, 2017

Heritage Stories: Kay's Applique

Today I FINALLY get to show you
what I worked on this summer:) 
Kay and I have been FB friends for years and
as I posted some of my commission work,
it must have peaked her interest.
Kay's Country Applique
I am pretty sure that by now you all know my passion for applique. Imagine my excitement when I had the honor of quilting these lovelies designed by Marion Vernon and Carlene Buck!!
I am so glad that Kay recognizes what an amazing job she did stitching these!!  This is another fun part of Heritage Quilting for me...I get to wonder in awe at the work and time taken to add each little perfect stitch into a piece of art.
Here is a back shot of the quilting because
sometimes it is lovely from the back too:)
You don't always need to mark out a design either. 
Let the fabric talk to you and tell you how to quilt it.
The plaid like print was perfect for double row cross-hatch
and added loads of texture to the final look.
 Hanging Diamonds were the perfect background fill
so that the applique was the star of the block and worked as a
different texture to the plaid print.
Read all of Kay's story on the making of this delightful quilt HERE

When you are ready to start your own Heritage Journey, find me HERE

Until next time,
Keep Quilting

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Heritage Stories: Susan's Find

You can look and look and rarely find such a lovely piece of embroidery needing its story finished.
Susan found this wonderful piece and thankfully someone suggested it be hand quilted and she knew just who to trust with it:)
 Neither of us know who started it but it is an honor
to be a part of completing her story!
Her stitches are perfect and lovely
and the design is so endearing!
 I know that Susan bragged on my quilting HERE
and so now it is my turn to brag:)
This final pic is where this adorable piece lives.  Susan's sense of design is awe inspiring!  I love being at her home where every little nook has fun antique items to drool over. 
 Home Sweet Home fits in perfectly in this vignette or the next one she dreams up after holiday change outs.
Make sure you check out her blog for lots of eye candy:
AND.....Susan has a new book that will be
out the end of this month! 
She has made Dresdens tiny and fun and adorable! 
Take a peek HERE.
PRE-Order it HERE.
Hurry Hurry:))

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Heritage Stories: Bowties

I have written before about why I am a Heritage Architect
and here is another one of those stories.
This quilt came to me because the quilter had taken a class, made the top, and started hand quilting only to realize that it just wasn't her thing and so it sat in a closet for 20 years.  Instead of trashing it (after all that work!), she found me via a guild member from my guild at the fair- Thank you Karen!
Unfortunately she no longer had the template for the flower in the red blocks she told me.  NO Problem!  I can recreate that star-like flower out of freezer paper and away we go.
This simple and sweet Bowtie block really just needed some outline quilting with the flower to accent the red blocks and a lovely quilted throw was completed for her to give to her son!
What son wouldn't want a warm snuggly throw
made by mom on a chilly winter eve?!!

Monday, August 14, 2017

Heritage Stories: HEXAGONS

I am sure most of you have seen a Grandmother's Flower Garden full of hexagons from maybe the 1930s or 40s.
I had too in shops and online and they were never my favorite.
Then I was given a bag full (40+ flower heads) from
a new client that her mother had hand pieced while
working in a textile company.
This woman had been searching for almost 10 years to find someone to complete her mother's legacy with many twists and turns.  When she met with me (a total stranger), she handed me the bag and was ready to leave them with me.  I asked whether she might want to wait until I wrote up a quote, etc.  She replied no because I was her last hope and if I couldn't do it, they were just going into the trash.  I almost cried and I didn't even know the full story at that time.
We discussed ideas for her abundance of hexagons and she told me that she really wanted to share the wealth with family members.  A table runner and twin quilt for herself and stockings and mini pillows to share with others.

I set out figuring the best way to approach this project.  Many others had turned it down because the edges were too frayed to work in the traditional English Paper Piecing but I am an excellent appliquer (if I do say so myself:) and those edges could be tamed in that technique.
We agreed that hexagons would be appliqued to squares and set with sashing...Easy:)
Hand Quilting Detail
Finished Table Runner
As we go through the post, note all the fun colors of flower heads I was given to work with.
The stockings were a lot of fun to make once I drew out my template and decided how and where to utilize the hexagons for maximum design effect.
That red and black one to the right was hard to part with:)
Mini Pillows
Hand Quilting Details of borders

 Ta-Da!! Last but not least, the Twin Quilt just for her.
This story brings tears to my eyes and it is why I Love being a Heritage Architect!  Every stitch I put into this project brought me closer to the quilter and mother that made these
precious pieces and gifted them to her children. 
Now her children and grandchildren can enjoy these heirlooms for generations because they are being taught the importance of appreciating what has been made by hand.
Keep Quilting!