Friday, April 27, 2012

Free Motion Quilting Project Update

Week 15 was all about sharp stippling. This was a little weird for me - after all I've just spent 4 months trying NOT to have points in my stippling! It was amazing how I wanted nice curves! I practiced and practiced on my sketch pad. And I think I have some work that is almost acceptable!

You will notice that I still have a few gentle curves! Leah gave us some steps to follow which helped lots! Go on over to Leah Day's website and see what great things the others have done!

This week we are zippling. For some reason I am finding that easy!

Monday, April 23, 2012

Spring Quilt Retreat 2012

Our Lucky 2b Quilting Quilt Retreat was again held at LOMC in Oregon, Illinois. We were there last fall - check here and here. It is a wonderful place for our group.

Here we are:
That mess in the foreground is mine - sorry, but it's Chris' fault - he took the picture! He was one of those nice staff members at LOMC.

We worked out problems.
The great minds all worked together.
Mistakes were made; comfort was given.
Oops, the one on the right should be a star.

The projects that people were doing were awesome. These are just some of the things worked on.

Betsy's star quilt. 
I love the light coming through Gail's quilt.
Jody was working on the really neat quilt pictured.
Sandy finished her Cobblestones.
Barb's flag quilt.
This is Krista's second finished top!
 Leona finished all of the blocks for her quilt.
Saundra's star quilt.
Why don't I have any good pictures of what Ann was working on? Here she is with her constant smile!
Kathy made some darling bags.
And I had over half of my Quilt of Valor quilt pieced by the time we left.

It was a wonderful weekend. I'm already looking forward to out next retreat!

Liebster Award

I was awarded the Liebster Blog Award by Danielle over at Fresh off the Spool. Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!

Liebster is German for favorite. So I should be saying Danke! Danke! Danke!

The Liebster Award is for bloggers with 200 followers or less. As a recipient of the award, you get the chance to thank and link back to the blogger who gave it to you as well as pass it along to five other deserving blogs.

The Liebster Conventions say that:

  1. Thank your award presenter on you blog and link back to him/her.
  2. Copy and paste the award to you blog.
  3. Present the Liebster Award to 5 blogs that you think deserve to be recognized. 
  4. Let them know by leaving a comment on their blog.
  5. Have faith that your followers will spread the love too!

Drum roll..........
I am awarding the Liebster Award to the following deserving bloggers:

Note: Most blogs I follow have more than 200 followers.

I have been blogging since December 2008. At that time the server at the college where I kept my website was being replaced. Since I was retired from the college, it was time to move on! This year I am learning to free-motion quilt and I have found new blog-friends all over the world. It is great fun!

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Free Motion Quilting Project Update

My machine was serviced and cleaned this past week - so no FMQ going on. I've never tried FMQ with my Featherweight - wonder how that might work?? And I'm looking at another machine so maybe this won't happen again. But that's another story...

Anyway, last night when I realized that I needed to do some practice stitching for the Free Motion Quilting Project Quit Along, I grabbed a practice sandwich and wondered what my first stitches would look like after 5 days of no quilting.

Not too bad! In a few minutes, they looked even better but I was impressed at what I had when I first sat down! Head on over to Leah Day's website and check out what everyone else is doing.

If you wonder what I've been doing, (remember I had my Featherweight) check out 1 Little, 2 Little, 3 Little Dresses... 

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

1 Little, 2 Little, 3 Little Dresses ...

Since I can't be at my church's sew-in for Little Dresses for Africa, I decided to make a few dresses so I would have a donation. 

I pulled fabric from my stash, cut the lengths, sewed up the back seam and then I counted. I thought 10 would be a good donation - I had 24 dresses started! So...I kept sewing. Now it might have been faster to just follow the directions but I decided that each one 'needed' at least one pocket, some 'needed' two, some 'needed' a little more interest. And since I didn't have any bias tape, I faced the armholes and made the ties for the straps. Oh, it would have been fun to have daughters to sew for - I did sew for my sons when they were small but no frills!

So here is my pile:

There are 9 size small - definitely the cutest!

Another look.

Most of my favorites are size small. The blue with the lace.

The green with the extra piece around the middle.

And my overall favorite - the one with the flower. When I put the pockets on this dress, one of them moved! Not wanting to tear out the pocket, I appliqued a flower (already made in my stash!) coming out of the tipped pocket. I love the flower but mostly I love the colors!

There are 5 medium dresses.

 And 6 large ones.

 It's a little hard to see the second dress in. I love the fabric.

And there are 4 extra-large dresses.

The blue Hawaiian print showed up in the largest 3 sizes. I absolutely love that fabric but have never used it. As tempting as it was to keep it, I decided to pass it on. I hope some little girls love it too!

Everything you see is from my stash. You can't actually see the 8 yards of 1/4" elastic that I had to buy. 

The dress really is a quick pattern if you just make it and don't play!

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

QAYG FMQ QAL update - last of row 4 and row 5

I am doing the QAYGFMQQAL with Laura at Quokka Quilts. I am not making a quilt but I am practicing each design.

We were missing one block from row 4 and Laura gave us a choice of two. I chose to do Fireballs. It was interesting to do but I got lost every so often - I should have practiced more on paper (I keep getting lost there too.)!

Row 5 is all about feathers  and flowers- which I am beginning to be comfortable doing! But I'm not very good at echoing...

The feathers in a circle went really well but I'm not sure how much you can see. I really have to stop taking photos at night and getting my shadow in the picture - sorry! 

The flower designs are from Leah Day of The Free Motion Quilting Project. For both of them, I used chalk to sketch a middle circle and an outer circle. The first is Sunflower.

And the second is Flame Flower.

I really like the flowers designs - it's hard to believe I easily did these!

Wholecloth quilt done!

My hearts and feathers wholecloth quilt is finished! For the last 4 weeks at The Free Motion Quilting Project Quilt Along with Leah Day, we have been making a whole cloth quilt with lots of quilting on a line and micro-stippling. 
I finished the quilting a week ago. This week, I had to be sure all of my markings were removed. First, I erased the ceramic pencil marks and then I soaked the quilt in water for about 30 minutes. Then I put it in the dryer for a short while. While the quilt was still damp, I blocked it. When it was totally dry, I trimmed the quilt - I probably should have started with a larger piece of fabric so I could have done more 'outside stippling'. As I have said, this has been an educational journey!
Anyway, my quilt is now bound - I sewed the binding to the front and finished it with hand stitching on the back. My quilt is about a 16" square and I think looks pretty good! It is still hard to believe I did it! 
I have never blocked a quilt before so that was new this week. My question for Leah is: When the quilt is washed again, does it need to be blocked again?

Monday, April 9, 2012

A small finish

This is The Star Block that I made for the Quilt Square Quilt Along in March. 
It is now quilted and bound! 
I free-motion-quilted spirals because 
I really need practice with spirals! 

I'm taking a short break from quilting. 
A friend at church is organizing 
a "Little Dresses for Africa sew-in". 
I said I'd be there before I found out 
that I had a family event to attend at the same time. 
So I'm making a few dresses - just trying to do my part.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Borrowed Fun!

I borrowed this from on Facebook 
but the label came from my DH!

Ray's Life

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Quilt Square Quilt Along Block Winner!

I am enjoying doing the Quilt Square Quilt Along over at Jo's Country Junction. Each month there is a drawing for prizes. I just won the book Back To Charm School donated by Country Threads!

I go to Quilt Camp at Country Threads every year -
 you know I'll love this book!

Stop over at Jo's and check out all of the March Star Blocks. They are all gorgeous!

Thank you, Jo and Country Threads!
This is my very first blog win!

Thursday, April 5, 2012

2012 Free Motion Quilting Challenge April Update

I am following the 2012 Free Motion Quilting Challenge over at Insights from SewCalGal. This month Don Linn, Mr. Quilt, is the guest expert. His work is exceptional and I wondered what he would do for the tutorial. What a surprise and wonderful tutorial - he showed us how to transfer quilt markings with a method I'd never seen!

He began with a quilt motif and took time to show us that we are not limited to what we see - everything can be changed. Then using tulle in a hoop, we drew the pattern on the tulle with a Sharpie pen. Here is my pattern. I think you can see where I have traced one leaf. (For dark fabric, I would use black tulle and a silver Sharpie pen.)

Can you see the design on the tulle?

Next, I heat set the ink with my iron on the synthetic setting. Don't remove the tulle from the hoop and be careful with the heat.

The next step is to set the hoop on the right side of the fabric and trace the design with the marker of choice. I chose a blue wash out pen. For dark fabric, I'd use a white marker or chalk.

Here is the design all traced.

Then I quilted the motif.

Here is the motif with the quilted square.

And a better picture of the block.

I am really impressed with Don Linn's tutorial. I will be using this method of transfer from now on. Thanks Mr. Quilt!

Monday, April 2, 2012

Free Motion Quilting Project Update - an educational journey!

Doing the Hearts and Feathers Wholecloth Quilt with Leah Day has been interesting! I learned that quilting with white on light yellow is hard because I could not see the white thread - I need more contrast.  I know that I am now much better at quilting on a line. To quilt on a line, I now slow the speed down one notch on my machine and I use my forefinger to maintain a straight line. I really learned that last week.

I also learned that thread breaks when my hands and speed are not in sync. For micro-stippling, I now slow the machine down two notches. 
  • Day one:  I did the insides of four hearts in one corner - lots of problems. 
  • Day two: four hearts in another corner - problems. 
  • Day three: four hearts in a third corner - still problems. 
  • Day four:  all of a sudden I was in sync and everything worked. I did the fourth corner and all the rest of the micro-stippling! The thread did not break once! 

It took a while but I learned LOTS. Next I'll soak, block, trim, and bind this little beauty. It is truly a learning piece!


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