Sunday, July 30, 2017

Progress to share that is THIMBLY fun !

Hey ya'll!  I am so happy to share with you today!  I am glad you stopped in for a visit as well! 

Each morning this week I have been diligently making 12 pairs of 1 7/8" squares turn into a stack of 24 hst's! lol  You see each must also be sliver trimmed to remove dog ears and excess slivers to bring them to 1 1/2" finished size...
So I made the above pic collage to show just how much fun I was having and be able to share it today! lol  I HOPE YOU KNOW I am ... Just Kidding about the FUN!!!  
Now I have 6 piles to share and decided this morning I would take the day off! 

I also added to the "fun" by moving around the pin cushion and scissors I use at my 301a Gloria for daily sewing machine use...
This is the pin cushion I chose and my bestie purchased for me on Etsy for my birthday... and these scissors have larger finger/thumb holes for my arthritic knuckles to get in and out of easier ... so I moved these from the quilting frame use to Gloria's cabinet instead... much easier for me when snipping the HST's apart! lol

All these HST's will be the points in the stars in this pattern...
EVENTUALLY I will have 14 stacks and have them all done :)

After tidying my sewing room I decided to ponder my fabric stash and see if there was anything I could "de-stash"... I found these 5 fabrics of the many I have that I probably couldn't do justice with at this point... so I have these listed on eBay now HERE is one! :)
But my fave progress to share this week is on my hand quilting frame !!!!  This is where I plan to spend my Sunday too!

Here is my view I woke to and where I started stitching this morning...
 Here is what I finished this past week...
 And yes... to show off the blocks with any detail... it took 2 shots...
So as you can tell above .. I FINALLY got in my order stencils on Thursday and am pleased with my assortment to choose from now :D  Maybe I will play with the panoramic setting on my phone camera... do you use yours ever?? I never have! lol

Several have asked so I thought I would share...


Here are the needles I use for Perle 12 cotton thread... 
They have quite a selection I saw this week now at Joann's in store... and in the sewing notions department you can find these quilting betweens by Dritz in an assortment of sizes from 5 to 10.  These have a round eye and are easier to thread perle 12 and in the largest size ~ perle 8 even with these needles... or you can use a different style needle instead... but I like how a between handles with my thimbles...                                                                          So I had gone to Joann's this week to check where these needles were still located and they are NOT with the quilting supplies but with the sewing notions as I mentioned above... and I got a ball of DMC brand perle 12 cotton ecru that I am using in the charm squares for each shape... my ball is almost gone now... and with coupons I got the needles for FREE basically!!!

Me and my bestie use this handmade version of a thimble... I made a tutorial to share with you how to make one for yourself if you are interested ....

I use the white colored electrical tape found at home improvement stores... because the black leaves a black residue.. whereas the white leaves NO RESIDUE when worn all day even!  This style of handmade thimble will last a good while ( 2 days or more?!) for me even with taking it off and on throughout the day! ... but still it takes time to make and then use... so I ordered one I had seen being used in my facebook groups...
And I do really like it!  I got this in a Large size for my big thumb.. the medium wouldn't go wide and flat but this large shapes to my thumb nicely... there is still a getting used to it phase that we have to adjust to.  But if you were thinking of one of these and on the fence about it... Joann's sells them in the store I THINK and the box is made so you can try it one in the box!  Very cool design. 

The metal thimble on my middle finger is made by Clover but Dritz makes one similar as well..  It is adjustable but is not available in this large size anywhere I can find yet... maybe once more are using them they will.

So there are 2 ways to outfit your thumb for hand quilting/ hand work :D  Enjoy it!

While quilting in the early mornings ... I like to watch some Netflix on my honey's iPad... currently that is "Good Witch" with the lovely Catherine Bell playing a lead... it is a Hallmark series and I like those!

 While drinking fresh brewed coffee!
We just got a new basic coffee pot ... and a holder for our fave sugar substitute "Stevia"... we are making several lifestyle changes presently and Stevia has been a happy one of those!  So we bought the ceramic container to hold it with ocean shell motifs on it at goodwill for all of .99 cents! lol

Well that is all for now I think.  I look forward to seeing what you are each up to ... I am linking this to Kathy's Quilts today HERE... Hope you stop there for a visit as well!  She has LOTS of FUN going on there too and some interesting links if you wanna see some qayg techniques!!!!

So until my next post with hopefully more progress to show... make time to


Sunday, July 23, 2017

Slow and Loving Stitches Here!!!

Happy Sunday Y'all!!!
 This week I have had a very busy week to be slow stitching... but I find the beginning of a project busy as I gather supplies and make final design decisions on the hand quilting...  So I have been to the beach a few times!

We also were celebrating here more this week... my honey celebrated his birthday this week!  This was a pic I posted on facebook :)
 My bestie Connie took a couple of good shots of us when she was here... nice to have an ocean background as that is our fave place of late!
There is NOTHING to me besides hand quilting that equals beach visits for therapy of the soul!!!

Speaking of stitching let me show you the progress I have made slow stitching on this beauty Amethyst Stars...
I shared this planned stencil to use on the outer border...
 Here is where I marked it with Pounce Chalk... and enhanced those markings as I went along with a chalk pen I have...
 Here is the right side stitched up...
 Here is the joined area... this is a directional stencil... so because of that at the center of the sides, top and bottom I have a "join" area to deal with... which I prefer actually so it is all good...
 And here is that joined area stitched and cleaned and dry :D
 Here is a fun photo I caught in the early morning one day this week too...
 Thought you would enjoy that shot! I love catching the stitching in different light.

Here is the inner border in the design I had planned... and argyl-esque look with 2 colors of perle cotton in use here...
Here is a shot of the "Argyling" I did... it looks oh so cool in real life.. I hope that is captured in these photos taken with my iPhone though! lol
Now I have rolled the quilt yet again (yep that is twice in a week!!!) and have ordered some stencils... I get stencils from 2 different places... The Stencil Company and Quilting Stencils International.  Both can be google searched and ship in the USA as well as overseas for a price I think!  I had exhausted the fun charm square sized stencils from the first place so I checked out the second place... I am now patiently... NOT... waiting for my stencils to arrive via mail.

I do wish there were local hand quilting outlets... I live 1 hour from a big city but there is no hand quilting shops near me ... so most of my shopping is done online.  So I wait PATIENTLY! lol

As I wait I am using the stencils I had in my stash/or had ordered from the first mentioned place anticipating my need for charm sized stencil designs.  In this shot you can see my markings from a stencil to the far right charm square...
 And in this shot you can see that charm square is now stitched ... as are the 3 stars ...
So how many different threads am I using on this quilt all together you may wonder??! hahaha... let me share this shot with you then...
Yep, I am using Aurifil 28/2, YLI 40/3, Valdani 12 wt perle I get from the Rusty Crow online shop, and DMC 12 wt perle cotton too!!!  Each different brand has it's own texture though so just like using lots of fabrics can make a quilt scrappy.. using lots of different types of threads can make it more scrappy in it's finish too... I only bought a couple of these for this quilt... the rest if from stash!  I LOVE THREAD!!! lol

And here is my Pounce marking pad...
It comes in white, blue and pink ... there is a good video on YouTube by Leah Day showing how to properly use a pounce marker... there is a definite learning curve to this way of marking... and when you "charge " it to use you have to whack it against something pretty firmly and it makes a startling noise to others around who may not be expecting it! lol  So if you need a quiet environment or quilt with others in the room work out a communication for when you are charging your pad to mark is my advice :D

I have a Facebook group that I started several years ago... it hums along usually but of late has been languishing... so I am trying to resuscitate it...

 Here is the group name and the Facebook header I just put up this morning :)  I have been so preoccupied with my honey and his health and my own health concerns... I am just getting back to keeping up with things I enjoy like this Facebook group <3  If you are interested in quilty talk and sharing in a small group setting... as to join in this group if you like!  Would love to get to know you each better... if you aren't already in my group that is.

Also to add to my productivity this week I straightened my sewing room quite a bit...

 The top shot is my 401a (on the left) ~ Zena, and my 301a ~ Gloria ready for action... you can see my design wall and ironing surface there too... then below to the left is my cutting surface and it is MUCH tidier.

My bestie gave me that cool wood ruler organizer/holder over a month ago... I finally made a space for it and put a note she left me LAST summer on it along with my small cutting mat and my most commonly used rulers :)

To the bottom right is a collage I made of my next project coming up to piece and thus the reason my sewing room needed this tidy.  I now have all the major cuts made to this Christmas wall hanging... you can see the red and green and white with grey fabrics I am using... this will be a wall hanging for the foyer when the season arrives I am hoping!  While I was ordering the white/grey fabric during a clearance sale online... I found some remnant pieces I felt needed to be added to my existing stash to enhance it! lol  They will be used on a future quilt I am planning also!






Here is a closer up shot of my 401a... Zena... with the cool pin cushion my bestie gifted me for my birthday... I sent it to the lady on etsy that fashioned it from vintage stuff ... and filled it at my request with walnut shells!  It is weighty and useful... I LOVE LOVE LOVE it <3









Here is a cool way to use art to decorate and say something meaningful too that I found on Pinterest I think.  I sent it to my daughter but it has spoken to me also...
 I haven't heard from my daughter since the 4th of July (my birthday) .. hoping all is well with her and helping her to see a silver lining if life isn't working out as she thought it might!

For now I encourage you to each ...
Stitch and enjoy... come over to Kathy's Quilts to see what others are slow stitching this week too... that is where I will be posting this too!!   HERE is a direct link to make it easy for ya! :)  She has a fun interpretation of this too... this is just mine because it has the ocean in it!!!💕

Y'all ... there is PLENTY of meanness in our world of late... please be the change in your area... I will be in mine by showing my love to others... won't you try it too?!!!  

Have a blessed Sunday and a great upcoming week and grab the opportunity to make a difference around you!

Sunday, July 16, 2017

Hand Quilting... A finish and a beginning too!

Happy Sunday Y'all!
From near the most famous beach....
to the serenity we found on that beach over the last few weeks...
Now to play catch up with you all... I have been slow stitching quite a bit since we last visited on my blog.... And to link to my favorite Sunday blog linky too.. Right HERE!  Click that HERE link to see what Kathy is up to and what others who link are up to on this fine day wherever you are!!!

I reached the last row of hexi flowers in this Hollyhock Garden Quilt :)
 And just after celebrating my 51st birthday reached the LAST Hexi Flower stitching !!!
 Then I marked all the top border row....
 And big stitched it....
 I had several requests for a photo once off the frame and trimmed (before binding) so I obliged...
 And here you can see the quilting a bit more....
While completing this quilt my honey and I had a welcomed visitor though as well!!!  My bestie and quilting mentor Connie!!!!

This year she flew down from Tennessee for her yearly week visit.  It was so good to see her and with all that has been happening in our lives here a welcomed relief to have someone to visit with that truly understands things we are dealing with presently.

The 3 of us all have July birthdays... Connie's is July 3, mine is July 4, and Rick's is July 20 :)  Happy Birthday to us!!!

My honey and I had done a bit of clean up and straightening in prep for her visit... here are a couple shots of her room she took upon arrival here...





We enjoyed preparing this space
for her and she enjoyed it too!
She also spent time in the living room
using the recliner my knees won't help
me get out of so I rarely use anymore!


Daisy even hung out with her :D






We also took photos ... some posed...
 And some unexpected! lol
Once we delivered her back to the airport it was time to get the binding on the quilt... and get it ready for the home I had decided through prayer... this Hollyhock Garden Quilt should be destined for...
 Here is the label and the beginning of the binding started being sewn down... I add the twill tape labels to all my quilts... I get them from an Etsy shop...
 And here is the whole quilt after binding and washing and drying :D
 Here is a collage I made of the finish!!!  I love the backing for this quilt almost as much as the front!

And Monday it will go into the mail for the lucky recipient .. my dear friend Brandy... a nurse who I trained to the PICU I worked in and who continues to serve others her nursing career.  She loves to read so I hope to find a pic some day of her snuggled in this quilt reading a good book. <3

While finishing the slow stitching on this quilt... I finished the fast stitching of the outer borders on this quilt for my son and his new bride...

It is named Amethyst Stars Quilt ...my own design from a quilt called Morning Star I found on the internet.

I used my stash and a layer cake of "country" colored fabrics to make this quilt... as well as some donations from Connie... in fact the outer border is the end of the green fabric I backed and bordered my very first quilt with.. it has now been retired do to overuse and it is needing repairs! lol  But the fabric is even better looking on this quilt!!!

Would y'all be interested in a tutorial on how to do a nice n easy mitered corner on outer borders of a quilt??  Leave me a comment about it if you would... I took pics to do the tutorial but until now I haven't had the time! lol  Now I am ready IF there is interest!!!

The backing is a rusty brown and dark brown mix of paisley prints... very modern country in how it looks and may become the binding as well!  Here it is now on my frame... my honey helped me with that job and we got it on there yesterday... Saturday morning....
You can see the nice Hinterberg frame my honey fashioned for me from a kit we bought directly from the company here in the USA... I use a gooseneck lamp that had a torchier on it but that was long ago removed as I only need the gooseneck and love how functional it is... I left on the light for this pic so you could see how nice and bright a white daylight bulb is... they come 4 or 5 in a pack at Lowes or Home Depot... a hardware store that carries a large selection of flourescent bulbs ;)

I use a rolling chair with arms... and a rolling table and all this moves as I need it to to get to what I am quilting... by hand :D

Check out that "relax" sign on the upper right of the picture... that was my birthday present from my bestie Connie last year... this year I got...
 <<< this and this >>>

She found the funniest card with 2 nurses on it to give me this year... so fun!!! and on the right is a pin that I added a heavy duty magnet to so it can hang on the refrigerator... along with this cute vintage card that came from the maker of this vintage quilt piece that is embellished with the saysing "Ever day is a Blessing"!  LOVE IT!  My honey gifted me with a matching tea pitcher and iced tea glass... I drink iced tea (diet that is) about 50% of the day or more... between bouts of water and coffee... and we use reusable cups/glasses for most of that ... so a very practical gift and a card that made me cry he found it quick he said but it was perfect for the LOVE we share with each other!!

Suffice it to say the crazy busy week we had when Connie was here was over much too fast... we didn't even get our birthday lunch in at our fave restaurant because life was so busy when she was here... but next year she hopes to stay a bit longer... maybe that will work out too!!!

So I have shared my finish and my beginning... I did a little piecing on a project yesterday and the day before also... but now am stumped... so off to Connie I mail it to get finished....

To the left is the beginning... & to the right is the final layout.  Below is my version of a checkerboard dresden layout... with inspiration from MSQC and
Jenny Doan.  But just using the scraps from the quilt I made for Connie's room to make this pattern work!







But how do I get the backing and batting on this without zig zagging each top of each dresden piece!!!

So Connie has a couple ideas... and I got ink refills for my printer and printed off some pics from our visit to send to her along with some requested private pics too <3






Here is a collage I made of her time here!
And here is the stencil I will be marking today....
Along the bottom wide border of the Amethyst Stars quilt... currently I am doing the supportive stitching in the ditch... so that this fun stitching will show up nice!  More on that next week I am hoping!!!!

Have a blessed week and thanks for stopping by y'all!!!
And PLEASE in this time of strife all over the place make time to....