Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Winner and another giveaway..........

Fall is in the air.  This tree is across the street and is already losing leaves.  Other trees have barely started turning.

Now, for the winner of yesterday's Lapel Stick.  First, I said NO REPLY people would automatically be disqualified.  Image how I felt when the first three comments were all no reply.  Numbers 4 and 5 were too but they put their email in their comment so they were included.  Those of you  NO REPLY with blogger accounts, go to your profile page, click on the Edit Profile button (top right corner), put a check mark in the box after Show my email address, scroll down and SAVE.  If you don't save it, it isn't done.  Those of you with Google+, almost all of you are no reply, I wish I could help you but I don't know how to get your email enabled.

Now for the winner, 19 people were in the drawing.  I did it the old fashioned way of writing names on slips of paper and picking one out of the pile.  The winner is KadyB.
Today anyone in the US can enter.  My second test for the Lapel Stick was for a binding all by machine.  I quilted a little sample of 3 layers and sewed my binding onto the front side.

Then I put a very small amount of the Lapel Stick glue near the fold edge of the binding and pressed it in place with my fingers on the back side of the sample.  Then I stitched from the right side and caught the folded edge with my stitching.  I even glued the corner in place with a very light coating of glue and it didn't move.  I can't stand the idea of a stream of wet glue on my quilts so I was happy with this thin coating of glue stick that doesn't gum up my needle.

Giveaway drawing CLOSED at midnight 9/30/14 

Monday, September 29, 2014

A give away....if you have an embroidery machine.......

I had seen Lapel Stick on several other blogs and they were hosting a giveaway for it.  I contacted the company and they sent me some samples.  I would like to share with other machine embroiderers today.  I had been looking for a nice glue stick that didn't leave a residue in the area around the stitching, and also one that didn't gum up my scissors when trimming.
I loaded this old Amazing Designs pattern on my memory stick and brought it to my machine.  Here I am preparing to sew the outline of the birdhouse.  It was stitched once on the green fabric to show me the location and to give me an idea how large to cut the applique fabric.  I used the Lapel Stick glue to hold the fabric in place.
After stitching the bird house outline, I gently lifted the edges of the birdhouse fabric and trimmed close to the stitching line.

Now the machine is doing a tacking zig zag around the perimeter of the birdhouse.

The birdhouse stitching is all completed and the bird has been straight stitched and is being trimmed.

I wish I would have had some of this lapel stick when I was shopping one day and lost a button when trying on clothes.  Not one store had a safety pin that I could borrow.  Remember the good old days when they pinned price tags on garments?

My giveaway today is just for people who own embroidery machines and want to try the Lapel Stick for applique.  Tomorrow I will have a giveaway for everyone.  In your giveaway entry comment tell me whether you have done any applique with your embroidery machine.  If you are a NO REPLY you are automatically disqualified unless you leave your email address in your comment using AT instead of @ and DOT instead of a period.

I will choose a winner at midnight tonight.
Giveaway closed Midnight 9/29/14

Sunday, September 28, 2014

The clean up...........

I have made several little wallhangings with a colorwash heart.  If I did this one now I would be more creative with prints at the outside edge of the heart so it would look more rounded and less pixelly.

I brought the pile of scraps upstairs to sort while I watched the news and weather.  These are all of the widths that were too narrow to use for the kit pieces.  I'm picking the pieces I want to keep and I have a buyer for the rest.

Once again I'm going to mention that if you asked me a question in a comment and you didn't hear back from me, you are a NO REPLY commenter.  The majority of you are Google+ and I can't even leave a comment on your site because I won't join (and become a no reply like you are).  I have an email link on the right side bar and another in my profile........so if you really want an answer....email me.

Saturday, September 27, 2014


Someone once told me I was obsessed with colorwash.  I prefer to think I am driven to create with a smooth blend of values.  I used to cut kits of 2.5" squares when I taught colorwash classes.  There was usually a piece left by the fold from which I could cut a 2" or 1.5" square.  If I cut a 1.5" square the leftover was 1" and those are the pieces I used for this little quilt.  The 6" ruler is to give you a perspective of the size of the piece.  I know I still have a tray of 1" squares in one of my storage boxes.

Friday, September 26, 2014

The end of a treat..........

All I have to show for my day yesterday is the last 4 toffee bars.  I baked 2 desserts to take both places I went yesterday.  I started out at the twice monthly sew in and helped someone with the directions on a pattern.  Then I went to a sister in law gathering and also saw my niece from California.  It was a relaxing social day.   Last night I sorted kits and then spent time on the computer contacting a bunch of people who wanted a kit.  I'm at the end of the fabric with just 4 more kits to cut today.  When I finish them I will have cut 89.25 yards of colorwash type fabric into kits.  That leaves me with 2 empty blanket boxes under the pool table.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Bear Paw says goodbye......

If you have been reading my blog for awhile you might remember the Bear Paw top that I completed in Feb. 2013.  I had so much fun making those blocks.  Yesterday two friends came to town to go out to lunch.  We hadn't seen each other for a little over a year.  One of them surprised me by buying two of my quilt tops and this was one of them.  
This was the other layout I had on the design wall and I really liked it but chose to sew the other one.  Now that the first one is gone I will probably make more blocks and do a layout similar to this.  It is a great block to sew while watching TV and now that the good shows are on again, I will want a fun project to work on.

Today is a social day which I need.  My body is beginning to hurt from all of the kit cutting and a day away will be good.  I'll be back at it on Friday.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Still working on kits.......

I'm still cutting.....  my old white cutting mat, 35 years old has so many grooves in it that it isn't accurate so I lay an Olfa mat on top.  The Olfa mats are more cushioned too.  Speaking of cushions, you can see the edge of the puzzle piece mats that I stand on while cutting.  It has really helped a lot.  I have them in front of the ironing table too.  I have one more batch of fabric to press and cut and then sorting into kits is all that is left.

When I go to Sitemeter, it tells me how many people visit my blog.  I can also go to Referrals and it tells me where people came from to see my blog.  Yesterday there was a huge amount of people coming from Pinterest and from one blog post.  I don't know who has alerted everyone to it but they couldn't have all found it on their own in such a short period of time. It is the post about value, how to sort your fabrics, determining what is light, medium, or dark.  Here is a link if you are interested.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

What is left.............

When cutting the pieces for the kits, the first slice is to straighten the edge of the fabric, about 1/4" wide.  These pieces will go to the lady that collects for dog bed filler.

After the 6" strips are cut I slice a sliver off the fold edge of a stack of 4 fabrics.  These will end up in the dog beds too.

The last slice at 21" leaves the 6" selvage, sometimes with as much as an inch of the fabric print showing, sometimes just 1/4" of it showing.  I separate out all of the ones with words and color circles and throw the rest into the dog bed filler bag.

I went to church sewing circle yesterday for a break in cutting.  We were making tote bags for 2 different destinations.

Monday, September 22, 2014


Well....the photographer (me!) obviously wasn't standing straight in front of this!!  It was almost midnight and I wasn't in the mood to go down to the basement and retake the photo.

Everyone tells me I'm so good with color on these colorwashes, but it is value that makes them work, light to dark.  With busy multicolor prints, occasionally a color will get grouped, like the green in this area, but it is the busyness and multicolor that is making it blend.  It is like one of those collages that look like a certain person or object, and then they zoom in and it is a bunch of photos strategically placed to make it work.

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Almost sewn together...........

I have just three more seams and this will be finished.  I was simply too tired to finish it last night.

I spent another 5 hours pressing and cutting and am making good headway on the kits.

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Sewing and cutting..........

I have sewn 11 of the 16 rows of the colorwash.  The remaining rows are clipped together and labeled.

I have mentioned before that I have tough fingernails so I fingernail press the seams as I go, one row to the right, the next row to the left.  When I have all of the vertical rows attached, I won't have to take it to the ironing board because the seams are already pressed.
I'm busy cutting kits.  These stacks were cut from 1 yard pieces of fabric with 6 cuts of 4 fabrics each so when I do the crosscuts at 10.5" there will be 24 pieces for each of 24 kits.
These stacks were cut from shorter lengths of fabric which are the groups I am working on from here to the end.  I hope I can get all of the rest of the strips cut today and then tomorrow I can crosscut and sort into individual kits. 

Hedy H you are a no reply.  Try to use this link to email me.
EYSchmitt, you either need to enable your email address or email me directly.  You are also no reply.

Friday, September 19, 2014

Yard work and kits.......

I spent the morning in the back yard, sharing peony roots with a friend (her son did the digging) and chopping off peony bushes and pulling weeds.  When I came in I was pleased to find I had 20 people interested in the floral/colorwash fabric kits.  (If anyone else is interested, I can make more kits but they would only have a few of the fabrics I showed yesterday in them and more of the fabrics shown today.) As of 10:30 a.m. CST I am not taking any more orders for kits.  If you want to be on a waiting list in case someone drops out or I have enough to make more then continue to comment or email me.  I will respond to you telling you that you are on the waiting list.

In the afternoon I went through all three blanket boxes and separated the fabrics into groups.  This group is 'less than 1/4 yard' pieces.

This pile is 1/4 - 3/8 yard pieces.  I pulled all of the large prints and also the pieces I have larger yardage of and filled one of the blanket boxes with those.  I'm hoping for only a box and a half of fabric left after all of the cutting. 

This pile is 1/2 -3/4 yard pieces.  All of the 1 yard and larger were in another pile that didn't get photographed.

I started cutting the kits last night and also ironed a bunch more pieces that are ready to cut this morning.  I'll probably take a break in the middle of the day and sew the wallhanging shown 2 days ago and then go back to cutting again.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

I was wondering..........

It was so much fun emptying that blanket box of the 10 trays of colorwash squares.  A friend wanted to purchase a selection from them and what is left over will go to another friend.  I have 3 large blanket boxes full of floral fabrics, most from several years ago.  Since so many people loved the colorwash I was working on yesterday, I wondered if there would be anyone interested in a selection of 50 pieces of florals including the ones in the photo above, 6" x 10.5" for about $28 which would include first class mailing in the US.  If you are interested leave a comment or contact me directly with the email link in my profile or the email link on the right sidebar.

From a piece 6" x 10.5" you could cut 2 charm squares (5") or 2 strips 2.5" from which you could cut 8 - 2.5" squares or leave them as strips for jelly roll type projects.  You could instead cut 3 - 2" strips which could be cut into 2" squares or left as strips.  There are many combinations of triangles and other shapes that could be cut from that size piece.  

In a colorwash project variety of fabric is more important than repeating the same fabric over and over.  I do repeat some fabrics 2 or 3 times in a piece the size I built yesterday (256 squares) but I probably have 230 different fabrics in it.

I work with 2.5" squares and sew them together in rows like I showed in this post.  A lot of people would rather use the 2" gridded interfacing and use 2" squares to build a colorwash.  Here is a post where I show how I store my squares to make it easy to see all of the fabrics at once.

This link from my Label list (right side bar) will take you to all of the posts that refer to colorwash.  

ES, yes you are a no reply as are many others who leave comments.  Those of you with blogger accounts, go to your profile page, click on the Edit Profile button (top right corner), put a check mark in the box after Show my email address, scroll down and SAVE.  If you don't save it, it isn't done.  Those of you with Google+, almost all of you are no reply, I wish I could help you but I don't know how to get your email enabled.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Emptying a bin........

I have all of my Kaffe Fassett fabric in matching bins and I needed one more.  I emptied out the trays with the floral fabric squares that were in one of them.  I figured I might as well play on a design wall while doing it.  I have some tweaking to do but I always do that over a couple days after I have the initial design up on the wall.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

In progress piece..........

Several readers asked about the little piece in progress on my cleaned off cutting table in yesterday's post.  It has been laying there since December last year.  Here is a link to the others I was working on at that time.  This one has lost a few pieces in all of that time so I pulled out the trays on which I store the tiny pieces of batik fabric.  I should finish it NOW!  The little clips are holding the layers together so I can do a straight stitch on the edge and then do the machine quilting and the zig-zagged edge finish.

Monday, September 15, 2014

Clean up day.........

Every time I walked into my studio this is the mess I saw.  Maybe if the tops were tilted like this photo, they would be clean all of the time.

By the time 2 episodes of Unforgettable were over I had made some progress.   Now maybe I'll really work in here.

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Family day............

We had a family photo shoot at the local forest preserve.  The little great-grandson was in pretty good humor.

This critter was on the picnic table and I didn't investigate to see if it was dead or alive.

I gave my granddaughter a piece of vintage jewelry, that is if 56 years old is vintage.  It was one of my gifts when I graduated from high school.  It was always a favorite of mine and I wanted her to know the story behind it.

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Hunter Star table runner top......

I decided to mix up the values and try to distribute the very darkest value evenly.  The biggest problem with it is that the middle value was used for both a dark and a light so one block looks pretty solid where they came together.  I probably could have played with the triangle half blocks longer to fix that, but let's get real.  This is something that will sit on a table with hot dishes on it and probably get gravy spilled on it.  Now I have to find a backing and binding fabric and finish it along with about 5 or 6 other table runners that are waiting to be finished.  For those who were asking, I cut these pieces with the Hunter Star die for the GO! cutter.

Our weather has set new records 2 days in a row, coldest high it has been on these dates for over a hundred years (records in Chicago), 53 degrees 2 days in a row.  I haven't turned on the heat yet.

Friday, September 12, 2014

Cutting done..........

This is what I wanted to try with the fabric I showed yesterday.  It is still just half blocks so I can play with layouts first.
I don't know if the light to dark in the first photo is any better than just values mixed up.  I need to move some more pieces in the second photo for a better balance of the dark values.  This is all that 1 yard will make.  There was another half star (2 6" blocks) but that would make it unbalanced.  This would finish at 12" x 36", a nice table runner size.  It resembles a parquet floor.
I sewed the last 10 strips on this piece (from 2 days ago).  It is only about 17" square.  All of the fabrics in this piece and the fabric shown above were from a group I showed on a 2009 post.  The photo is a little dark, taken with an older camera.

This cute little baby bunny was in the back yard in charge of weed control.  He sat there and patiently ate a bunch of leaves from the broad leaf weeds.  It was 53 degrees here yesterday and 79 degrees on Wednesday.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Coleus cuttings......

It is time to start taking cuttings off the Coleus plants to winter over.  You can keep them in water all winter, no need to plant them.  If you do a search for rooting Coleus you will find that it is one of the very easiest plants to root.  So many need rooting compound but Coleus just needs water.  I planted a bunch of mine last year and lost them by February so this year they will stay in water.
I have a few more varieties to take cuttings from.  I must have had at least a dozen different color this year.

Today I am going to cut up this 1 yard piece of fabric that I have had for close to 20 years.  Our twice monthly sew-ins are starting up again and all I'm taking is cutting projects.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

An experiment

My two friends came over yesterday for a day of sewing and I decided to experiment with something I saw on the internet.  It turned out to be a failure because of my choices of fabric.  I still have 10 strips on the bottom to sew on.

The two fabrics in the center are too close in value.  The large beige leaves in the brown print blended into the zebra print in the piecing.  Also the shape of my template wasn't curvy enough.

 To see how to make this, put Interleave quilt into a Search and it will bring up many photos of succesful pieces as well as Lorrie's blog post that is a tutorial.  There are other blogs that will come up in the search too and they show the pieces they made.  It is a very interesting concept and I want to try it again with some better value and color choices.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Working in the garden......

The last 2 days have had low humidity and cooler temperatures.  It was perfect for working outside.  This year I am making an attempt to have the whole back garden cleaned up before winter.  I will leave the coneflower heads.  As you can see the goldfinches love to lunch on them.  They will be the only dead stalks to clean up in the spring.  Another reason I like to leave them is for markers where the plants are.  I may move a few to new spots next spring and it will be easy to find them.

Monday, September 8, 2014

A day at the fair............

I went out to the county Fair on Saturday morning.  I tried to get a variety of needlework photos to post.  Some are the "best of" winners, others I just liked the colors or pattern.  We have the largest county fair in IL, also the last fair of the season, starting on Wednesday after Labor Day.

There is a category for hand knit socks.

I thought the hand embroidery on this pillow was beautiful.

I love this yo-yo quilt.