Saturday, January 31, 2015

My wall hanging... has been hanging around too long!

I am sooo happy to report I am currently BINDING!!!
I just looked on my blog for curiosity sake... I first showed the first blocks of this wall hanging on October 10, 2014!!! 

This has been my "in-between" project and I have really enjoyed that about it :)

But I must admit getting this binding finished, hanging pocket on, and washed properly... I will be happy to show you a pic of it hanging in the foyer in all its beautiful glory.

Stay tuned!!!

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Finally the blue machine is home :)

There is a huge whoop I wanna share... but there is a back story to it.  Please read along if you like :)

October 27, 2014 we sold this Singer Featherweight on eBay and shipped it the next day to the lucky winning bidder...
Unfortunately it was our first casualty during shipping and got tossed hard along it's path and ended up completely damaged.  UPS was our shipper... and the store we used was a UPS franchise here local to us.  So November 4 the customer received the then damaged machine and notified us... we then contacted UPS.  The next day our customer took the machine to UPS Claims department.  All bubbling right along right??

Wrong.. UPS denied the claim initially and said we hadn't packed it properly.. however we knew it to be packed well when it left our care so we asked them to appeal it... that took 2 weeks to get started by our franchise store... no one else is allowed to handle the situation when you use UPS franchise except the franchise... CRAZY!!!!

So we refund our client after a few days as we can see this isn't gonna be a fast resolution... They paid $729.00 for this beauty and it's accessories after shipping was included.  Our customer left us glowing feedback on eBay and found a painted machine local I believe...

As for us???

We just got resolution yesterday completely (YES.. THAT IS 3 MONTHS LATER) ... and now that machine above sits in our Sewing Room
as it's final resting place as it was too damaged to work anymore but will make for good memories, lessons learned as well!

Besides having a little story telling here to remember why I won't use a local franchise UPS for shipping in the future and to warn you as well how they actually work since I have had to learn the last 3 months... with the resolution yesterday I also posted on google and yelp my dissatisfaction so others new to town as we were won't choose that option if they can help it ... or at least have the facts.

Have you ever left comments on places like that about products you buy or regret buying???

I find the online comments entertaining at times but overall helpful.  So I have also left feedback on some of the doctors and other services we use that are available for commenting on... to help future shoppers.

I have been quite busy on the handquilting front too and should be close to a finish on the Vintage Stars Wall Hanging I feel like I have been working on for quite a while... it has always been my in-between project for some reason! lol

 Here you can see in my hoop this area I just finished...

I have heard concern from many of you that you feel pounce powder wipes off easily... I apply liberally and firmly over the stencil and still have noted lines left after quilting and rubbing against it... so I don't agree ... I do feel HOW you apply it really matters.

I live in a humid environment so it works well for me here also ... better than the blue pens as they disappear in a day or less usually ... so in using pounce a lot I have a better idea of how to mark with it... Hope this extra explanation helps anyone wanting to try it!

Happy Stitches!  And dont forget to...

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Midweek Musings ;)

As I plod along on this wallhanging... I try to stop and enjoy the texture the quilting is creating... here is a good shot of that in close up view...
Here is a pic of my current location "in the hoop" view...
And once I got that part finished you can see some of the texture in this freshly marked view...
This corner only looks distorted in the photo! lol  It is actually straight :)

I really love how effortless it is to mark using a stencil with the pounce powder!  Loving this project again now! haha :D

HERE is a link to the video on Youtube that shows how to properly use a Pounce Pad.  They come in white, pink, and blue chalk powder.  You need an applicator for each color chalk then can buy refills if you need to.. I haven't had to and my white is getting a bit low.. I don't have the blue yet.

And to make the middle of my week even more exciting...

New fabrics to show off!!!!
12 new fabrics here... Thanks goes to my quilty cyber friend Kathy Porter.. she sent me all this fabric to make room for fabric she liked and would use more of!  WHAT!!! Yeah :)  Check out her blog HERE & see her tiny hand quilted stitches in a gorgeous log cabin quilt!  Anyway, as they say.. one man's trash is anothers treasure... this is MY TREASURE TROVE here :)  Very pleased with this transaction!

Here are some close ups...
 It is folded (over a yard) and organized on boards (1 yard or less)
For storage in my fabric chest.

This fabric will breed many quilts in years to come... I am blessed to be the recipient of this... my honey agrees too!  Honestly he is bowled over by the top quality fabrics!

Next is some fabric I have been collecting for my granddaughter that is due to make her appearance the end of May!  Here are the beginnings of Kaydence's quilt to be....
Here are the fabrics laid out on my ironing board I use for piecing... did you see that finished project??
 Here is my vintage iron I use for piecing and my new ironing board made from a thick piece of plywood... covered with a towel then covered with decorator grade fabric that is all cotton :)

I got the idea from a Missouri Star Quilt Company vid... and I love this one.. I used a fluffy towel that had found bleach somewhere and discolored it... folded it over the board and sewed the sides.. slipped in the board after trimming and turning the towel (messy process by the way!).  Then I measured and sewed the sides of the fabric.. I made french feld seams so no strings will appear over time as I am hard on my ironing board!  My old one is faded and flat in comparison!!

What you will see me quilting next...

I am making a banner for my honey from an piece I had embroidered for him with the Singer logo and leftovers from the valance.. plus some other fabric to bring our design to life.

Here is my design process... I started on the notepad ... then moved that design to graph paper... but I keep my original "idea" paper because it is where I doodle quilting designs during the piecing process :)
The banner itself will be ready to show off once I have it to a showable state ! lol

So what are you up to during this last week of January... can you believe February is coming soon?!!

Linking this post up with Lorna at Sew Fresh Quilts HERE!

Hope you have a wonderful and productive rest of your week.. and when you have a minute don't forget to ...

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Slow Stitching Weekend :)

My normal quilting interests and time devoted to actual quilting has been low the last couple weeks since I got sick.. even though I am now fully recovered it was only this weekend that my mojo for being quilty came back... yes I finished the valance.. but I just wasn't as stoked about that awesome finish as I should been.  But I am back now  and OVER Halfway around the outer border of this wall hanging!!!!
I have a stencil for the clamshell border... each clam shell is about 2" on this stencil and it marks very easily with white chalk called Pounce Powder and the Pounce applicator.  Have you used this before??  You do NOT pounce it actually you swipe it to apply the powder from the applicator... using a very firm hand to press as you swipe.

There is a great Youtube video Leah Day does for this product and how I learned to use it properly. :)

I have lots of things going on in the background as I hand quilt... I am making a special banner for my honey and a baby quilt for my first grandbaby to come in May!  So follow along so you don't miss anything!

Linking this awesome Slow Stitching progress to Kathy's Quilts HERE

Have a blessed Sunday :)  I am glad to be back to Relaxin' & Enjoyin'

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

The Valance is Complete!

Sunday I shared my progress on sewing down the binding on this valance... well it was tricky .. but watching and reading the links I posted HERE really did help me do a GREAT job on the valance binding.
Once the binding was all on I added a hanging sleeve about 2" down from the top edge as this is a valance and I wanted some headway there and I wanted and fullness added by the rod to be close to the design in the top.  I used THIS video by Bonnie Browning with AQS to make my sleeve...
Finally it was ready to wash... and i had some graphite and blue water pen marks I had not removed so I first gave it a nice rinse to make sure all markings were gone.. then washed with regular soap and warm water.. then dried it on high for maximum shrinkage as we are going for the old wrinkled look...

Once washed and dried my honey promptly put it on the rod and held it up in place and it was magical for that moment!  Now I want to share my new valance for under $40 using only batting scraps from my stash... all else was purchased new from Wanda at Old South Fabrics... an online Moda fabric shop I LOVE!  Check here out HERE if you are looking for fast shipping... great service and great prices!
Tadah!  What do you think??  Doesn't it just twinkle up there over the window with the treadle base table below it and great Featherweights all around it???

Here is a view of that side of the room from a broader perspective...
Between the shelves and the Quilt artwork will be a banner I will be making next.... so excuse the blank spot as we are still a work in progress :)

So for the record... here is the valance....

It measures now about 57" long (was 62" before washing) and hangs about 19".  I used Aurifil thread for this.. 50 wt for piecing.. 28 wt for the machine and hand quilting I did on this cute valance!

I used Moda fabrics exclusively as well... I did add 3 charms from my stash so it stayed a true charmer ;)  This valance features Moda's Sunnyside Charms by Kate Spain and Bella Solid Grey (I bought 3 yards and have 1/2 yard left over that I will use on the banner!  Yippee!!)

I am very happy with this valance & my binding... I used a double binding cut cross grain as specified in my blog post noted above.  There are no pulls or distortions in any of the binding that I noted after washing and drying was done.

If I did this project over I would not change a thing... except I wouldn't get a sore tooth in the midst of it! ha !!!

For all the machine and hand stitches in this finish I am linking to Freemotion on the River HERE :)
and to
Lorna at Sew Fresh Quilts for Let's bee Social HERE :)
and to
Kelly with Needle and Thread Thursday HERE :)

Thanks for following along and until my next post...

A Binding Quandary

WARNING... LOW PICTURE VOLUME POST... but some good info here :)

So not many pictures but I want to explain my binding quandary on this valance...
You see it stayed on my design wall unbound for a few days as I researched how to best bind the bottom zig zagged edge!  I posed the question to my fave quilty facebook group Bias or Straight... Single or Double on the binding???

I found a YouTube vid by Marci Baker that was VERY good in my opinion... which suggests straight binding HERE
Bonnie Hunter states on her Quiltville page that straight binding should be used and even gives detailed instructions at the bottom of THIS page... under irregular bindings.

So in the end... with LOTS of opinions running through my head and advice from my 2 go to ladies as well... I decided to try a sample first... so I made a quilt sandwich out of the cut off edges after trimming the valance down and cut a strip across the wof... my thought was cross grain cuts like this give you some give but not a lot of give.... bias would have had a lot of give to it and straight grain would have NO stretch to it...

Well the test was a success!!! So I cut five 2 1/2" strips the WOF and away I went! 

If you can believe it without doing all the math not one seam from those 5 pieces wound up in a zig zag or a corner!!!  Mega happy about that too!

So I am sharing all this so you will have the info and you can see experimenting with quilting is FUN!

To see the end result I will post later today when it is hung in place and the sun is out :)... Until then!


Sunday, January 18, 2015

Slow Valance Binding :)

Thanks for all the well wishes... I am feeling almost back to normal now which means I finally got the binding on the valance!  Yippee :)

I sew it down my machine to the front and then hand sew it to the back... however this is the shape of my valance before binding was added...
 It measures 62" across and 20" down.

I am planning a post on my decisions for binding but won't know the outcome until it has been finished and washed... so stay tuned for a meaty post about binding this zig zag edge and what I think of the decisions I made.  I opened this up a quilty facebook group I am a part of which spawned more info needed! lol

So the Sunny Side Up Charmer Valance will soon be a reality!!!

Here is a close up of the binding being held in place.. from the front side
And here is my progress early this morning... about 3/4 done with the zig zag edge which is where I started...
Here is a special pic I took this morning for my friend Kathy as I plan to link this post to her Slow Sunday Stitching post... you should come and take a look.  Today she is offering a giveaway if you post a blog post with our hand stitching in it... here is my pic...
And HERE is here linky party info :)

Well, my honey really wants this valance done now that I am feeling more like myself.. so time to get back to stitching for me.. hope you make time to do something crafty today!

Friday, January 16, 2015

Slow Stitching and Recovering...

Sorry I have been quiet on the bloggy front lately.. last weekend I had a tooth abcess on me and swell up fast!  I went to the dentist Monday morning and had it pulled as the infection had gotten so bad in such a short amount of time the dentist said best to get it out and I agreed!

But recovery has been a bit more painful and slower than expected... I have felt like that side of my face is recovering from a punch in that jaw! lol  Anyway... since I have been recovering and not ready to bind the valance because of the pain meds I am taking intermittently... I have had the urge to slow stitch :)
My progress on this project has been slow but enjoyable... I am in no rush to finish this so just working on it as I can... however this recovery time may change that a bit...
Just about 1/4 around the whole wall hanging if you can see my arrows :)

And here is a cool texture shot I caught this morning just after I moved the hoop some!  Yippee!!!

But as I mentioned there are other projects needing to be done too...
The valance needs its binding and hanging sleeve added then washed and hung.

My honey made me this totally rad design wall for the new sewing room... it is about 4 feet tall by almost 7 feet wide and is totally built in using a flannel backed table cloth, a piece of white batting that size, and topped with the beautiful mahogany stained wood with rosette corners!  Oh I am giddy to feel better and be sewing with this design board next to me!!!!

I finally found some fabric I liked and my honey liked it too... so we were happy to find it also on sale... for a new ironing board and a pillow for a chair in the room as well...
I think this will go with the room and the valance too :)

While picking up my pain medication I also picked up this photo from the local pharmacy I use... It is a collage print and was on sale... paid $12.00 for the print that I designed online... then used the frame I had from a long time ago when I had done this :)... check it out!

It was hard to find a glare free shot so this is a low glare shot anyway! lol

It has all my kids but 1 as I didn't see him in 2014.  This is full of memories from my Be Kind year :)

Hope you have a great weekend... I am returning to slow stitching for now but hope to have a catch up post on Sunday or Monday with more :)

Saturday, January 10, 2015

Weekend Catch Up :)

It has been a very busy week here at Casa Del Loro... I successfully machine quilted the middle of the Sunny Side Up Charmer valance that I introduced HERE!  WHOOP!!!!

Didn't take a pic of the machine quilting parts... I just wanted it done! lol  But I am now finishing the busier top and bottom portions by hand.  Here is my design up close on the bottom...
And here is a wider shot once I got the bottom finished and laid it out a bit...
I am NOT using a hoop for this as it is the border and this is how I am used to stitching as well :)  I am watching my tension and feeling for any wrinkles on the back side and pinning very well before quilting it :)  All came out good here ..

QUESTION... I plan to bind this along the outer quilting line in a zig zig... would you use bias or straight cut binding for this type of application?

I machine sew my binding to the front then hand sew to the back.. I have an upcoming quilt with this type of zig zig pattern on the sides.. my Batik Hollyhock Garden quilt.. so I thought this would be a good place to learn the best technique :)

Here is a view of the top border...
And a close up of the date I added to the blank spot on the left far end...
I will put my initials in the far right side... these shouldn't really be seen... I thought this was a good place to put the date and my initials :)  Do you ever put a date on your quilted items?

This week we also did a bit of thrifting at our local thrift shops...
My honey found this cool cup that now hold screwdrivers on his desk...
It has his name engraved on one side of it!  Funny to find your own name on a cool looking item... we had to get it! lol  It is pewter with a glass bottom in it.  But it holds his tools perfect and is heavy with a wide base so it won't tip over :)

Then I found this frame...
I didn't get a pic before this... but here is the frame with my beloved QUILT sign inside it... You see my honey made me the quilt sign in his wood shop about 2 years ago & it found a home adorning the top of my design wall ... now that we are inside in the new sewing room it had not found a cool new home yet... so here it is mounted inside the frame I found thifting!  The frame is made of some kind of oak and is very old and handmade... we paid $16 for the frame... and just over $2 for the cool cup... That was a score!

Here is the idea we are trying on the frame now...

The black fabric is from my stash... and will be used on a wall hanging that will be near this frame once finished...  The scissors were a thrift shop find too... a while back and they also never had found a home...

I am thinking of digging around in my antique buttons and thread collection to add to it... what do you think?  Like it as is or would you embellish a bit more???

I have also begun to watch... intermittently as she has lots of MEAT to offer... Jinny Beyer's 2015 BOM on Craftsy.. it is a FREE class with one on one time with Jinny!  I am loving it... but I already enjoy the Craftsy platform for learning... Just look at the New Classes in Quilting... or search their  site for classes taught by "Jinny Beyer" :)
It is like getting a mini of her Color Theory class right in your own space!  LOVING IT!

Don't think I have forgotten and occasionally grab my hoop though... I am still making progress on the Wish Upon a Vintage Star wall hanging as well...
I have rounded the bottom left corner and am heading up the left side now!  Yippee :)  I am loving the texture this design creates too... that is accentuated with the wool batting I used in this project.  Yet to get you a good pic of the texture here as it is black fabric and black thread... makes for a tough combo... but stay tuned.. I will keep trying! lol

Well I am linking this Catch Up post to Sarah's Whoop it up Friday blog party HERE
I am also linnking this hand quilting heavy post to Kathy's Slow Sunday Stitching HERE

Until next time...

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Sunny Side Up Charmer .. a Valance Story :)

In my post this past Friday I was giddy about a package possibly coming... some FABRIC!!!  I don't buy much fabric new so I was really excited and the package had all I needed for a project! :)  Well Sunday I shared with you this picture...
Inside the mailer was a plastic enclosed "gift" wrapped with white tulle (project for the future so I stashed it away! lol) with her business card... I got this great fabric "gift" from Old South Fabrics and online quilt shop I LOVE ... they carry mainly Moda but have very competitive prices, yardage availability, and nice online shop and great customer service :)  Wanda is the owner and is a gem!

Okay enough of a commercial... here is what was inside...
 And so you can see the full palette of these 42 charms (yes I needed all of them!)...
As my pattern calls for 14 blocks across for 3 rows to make enough of the pattern show up.

MY pattern was totally inspired by this blog tutorial for the Entwined Table Runner and hers looked like this...
My pattern will be a window valance and I have adorned it with Sunny Side Up Charmer as a name :)
Here is my rough sketch on a notepad paper that reminded me of the shape when sideways so became my early morning sketch pad! lol

There are 14 rows across and 3 down on the patchwork middle section of this valance.  Here is that patchwork section in it's final placement on my design wall...
How did I get it to this point though??? I followed the basics of her tutorial and adapted it to MY design :)  I also wrote her to tell her how much I loved it using her blog but have not heard back from her yet.  So onward I go :)
I "webbed" my valance top by first sewing vertical columns together.. then sewing the horizontals rows last after ironing my seams opposingly for nesting :)

I then added the top and bottom after measuring my horizontal middle for length and pinning in place so it doesn't have any waves in it :)
And here it is above.. as an unmarked flimsy!  :)  Yippee!

So no to figure out how I want to quilt it... I opened the Paint program on my computer... imported this pic and this is what I came up with for the middle....
The bottom edge will have a zig zag cut into it if you look back at my pattern so I have marked that as well with pencil to know it was a cut line and used a blue water removable marker for all the straight lines...
This Valance is 22 x 64 currently as a flimsy and should shrink to 20 x 62 as I have pieced some Pellon cotton batting I had left over from previous quilts and am using that...
Can you see my whip stitched seam on the batting above?  I ironed it nice and flat once I was finished whip stitching these batting pieces into one :)

Next up will be layering and machine quilting and hand quilting it.  It will go in this window in my sewing room when done...
Yes, I share my sewing room with my honey and his Featherweight business... I chose the corner with my design wall ... he was happy with the window side.

We also have a plantation blind coming for that window so we shall have a relaxing environment soon in there!  It is already great to me but the reflection from the window drives my honey batty! lol

So I am off to start layering and machine quilting... and in my break times I will be hand quilting the outer border of my wall hanging...

So that is what I am up to... what is up in your world?  Would love to hear what you are up to as well in this new year!!!

LInking this WIP to Kelly for Needle and Thread Thursday :)  Come on over and see what other quilty things are being linked!

Until next time...