Spring on Bleecker Street Sew-Along: Part 8

NOTE:  If you are just now hearing about the Spring on Bleecker Street Sew-Along, and would like to find out more, click HERE.

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Hello Friends, I hope you have been well since our last Spring on Bleecker Street post (Part 7).

It’s so embarrassing to be late for your own party …. please apologize for the delay in posting the latest installment of our Spring on Bleecker Street Sew-Along!

But before I share about the new part added to the quilt, let’s enjoy what you have sent in!  And THANK YOU, and good job for keeping up!  And please don’t feel bad if you haven’t been able to devote as much time as you would like on the project.  I know I sure haven’t because of the happenings in my life recently.

This is mine from Part 7.

Billie of http://billiebeesblog.blogspot.com (I have “known” Billie for quite a few years.  I have affectionately called her the queen of BOM’s because she works out the coolest BOM projects. Stop by Billie’s blog and see all the amazing quilts she is making!

Gail’s 30’s version is looking really really sweet!!!

Alice’s blue version has such an amazing calming effect:

Good Job, EVERYONE!  Your quilts will all be absolutely GORGEOUS!!!

I am VERY happy that you are sewing along.  You can send me pictures of your quilt at anystage at any time, and I will just include your pictures in the next posting of Spring on Bleecker Street.

Remember, this is a sew-along for those of us who have more projects we can count, all going on at the same time, and still have a life to live. :-) So, absolutely no pressure to get things done on time. You can go as fast or as slow as life allows.  More importantly, I just want you to enjoy the project as I have.

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The next parts for me (embroidery and framing pieces for the swirly bird blocks) looked quick and easy for me, but by far, this has taken me the longest time!  So, if you are doing it my pace — be prepared.  But then, I am slow at everything.  So maybe that’s why it’s took me longer than I expected.

You can either add the framing pieces first, or the embroidery first before the framing pieces.  I actually embroidered first — because I had a window where I could do Mom duties and handwork at the same time.  I probably would have framed the blocks first — because I think that will keep the squares squared up more easily.  But doing the embroidery first didn’t seem to the affect the square-ness of my blocks because I have starch-pressed the blocks really well before hand.

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Embroidery: 2 hours per block (yikes!)

I have to admit — I am getting up there in age, ha!  When I do handwork these days, I use a pair of jeweler’s glasses to help.  I like to keep my stitches as consistent in length as possible.  The good thing about the glasses (though it makes me look like a total DORK!) is that I am able to see the weave of the fabric to gauge my stitch length.  My favorite is to have my stitches cover 2-3 weave lengths of the fabric.  If it’s 4-5 weave length, the stitches end up being a little too long for my taste.

When doing hand embroidery stitching, I always use 2-strands of embroidery floss!  I am using floss from my Marmalade Meadows floss I have curated for Aurifil!  I love the Aurifloss because like the rest of Aurifil’s threads, the floss has minimal lint — which makes my stitches really crisp! I am also not needing to condition my floss before stitching.  So I pretty much just thread and needle and take off!

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You can order these amazing embroidery floss through your local Aurifil dealers, or you may order them online from

#1.  Cinnamon’s Quilt Shoppe here.

#2.  You may contact www.followthatthread.com to order.

#3.  Pumpkinvine Corner (scroll down to the bottom of order page) here.

The floss box comes with a free pattern to make this little mini quilt with the stitchery design inspired by Miss Baby’s art work!  She really did come up with the original artwork which I adapted for stitchery.

You are first to know — Miss Baby and Marmalade (the pot belly bunny) are working up something for Christmas.  I hope to be able to get the project completed and share with you by the end of October in case you want to make the project in time for Christmas!

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Here are a couple of close-ups of stitchery on the swirly bird blocks.

And don’t feel like you have to followed exactly how many French knots to add to the tendrils.  I always get carried away when I do French knots, and I ended up adding more than the number of French knots shown in the diagram in the instructions.

Now onto the framing pieces:  another 2 hours!

The piecing is pretty much straightforward!  The only thought I will share is that it’s easier to make the pieced 1″ squares by fours!  Make units of 4-squares, and then sew them together.  That way, the 20-square unit won’t end up wonky!

It took some time, but the effect was so worth it.  The tiny squares gave the swirly bird blocks a cute jeweled look!

And that’s all for this time!  Remember to enjoy the journey!!!

It’s quite amazing to see the progress I have made the last few months — just for trying to keep up! I couldn’t have done it without being accountable to you!  THANK YOU for sewing-along, and thank you for ensuring that I am making progress, albeit be it snail-speed.  And you heard it first here — my next sew-along project planned for next year will be snail-ish!

Till next time!

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Spring on Bleecker Street Sew-Along: Part 3

NOTE:  If you are just now hearing about the Spring on Bleecker Street Sew-Along, and would like to find out more, click HERE.

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Before we get started with Part 3, let’s just sit back and relax and enjoy the different versions of Part 2 (posted here) sent in by you all!  I know I have certainly enjoyed seeing your work.

Here is mine – using Quilting Treasures’ Bleecker Street fabric group!  Click here to view fabrics.  If you are new and wondering about the quilt kits, click here for information.

Here is Alice’s.  She blogs at http://aliceinquilterland.blogspot.com if you would like to visit her and make a new quilting friend.

Here is Cheryl’s.

Here is Jennifer’s.

Here is Gail’s.

Here is Debby’s.

These are Billie’s.

Here’s Sharon’s mini.  Instead of incorporating each part of the quilt to make a quilt, Sharon uses each part to make a mini.  VERY creative.  You may follow Sharon’s work on her blog here.

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Seeing how your quilts unfold as we progress in this Sew Along is one of my greatest joys.  I am VERY happy that you are sewing along.  You can send me pictures of your quilt at any stage at any time, and I will just include your pictures in the next posting of Spring on Bleecker Street.

Remember, this is a sew-along for those of us who have more projects we can count, all going on at the same time. :-) So, absolutely no pressure to get things done on time. More importantly, I just want you to enjoy the project.

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And here is Part 3.  Part 3 took me about 2 hours as well – so if you 2 hours to spare between now and May 15th, you should be able to make these “skinny mini” shoo-fly blocks. :)

The theme of this part remains to be “Keep Calm and Sew On” because we will be sewing with small pieces (just like in Part 2).  The trick in dealing with small pieces is to handle them as if you are handling normal pieces.  Keep calm – check your cutting, your machine, and you should come out just fine!

#1.  I do starch press my fabrics so that I keep the small pieces as non-distorted as possible.

#2.  I also finger press all my seams before heat-setting them.

Keep Calm and Sew On: Visit the Secret Stitch Club's blog for the PDF version of this image

(image from Secret Stitch Club)

Part 3 deals with half-square-triangles units.  They are special and precious because they will be finishing at 1″ — therefore, you will be making HST units that measure 1 1/2″ raw edge to raw edge.  I cut my starting squares at 2 1/4″ x 2 1/4″ instead of the conventionally prescribed 1 7/8″ x 1 7/8″.  That way, I can trim them to the unfinished size.

I make my HST units as normal…. but I press my seams open.  Then, I align the diagonal seam of my HST units against the 45 degree angle of my quilting ruler.  I trim the excess so that the HST units measure 1 1/2″ x 1 1/2″ raw edge to raw edge.

You can see the result of my trimming – but making the HST units that way allow me to make accurately squared up HST units.  And pressing the seams open reduces the bulk when I piece them later to make my shoo-fly blocks.  So at this stage, they are treated as if they are individual squares. [I actually save these trimmings, not usable for piecing quilts, to a lady who makes dog beds.]

Alright…. when I constructed the individual rows, I butted the seams between units.  But when I sewed the rows together, I finger pressed, then iron pressed the seams between rows OPEN!  Again, that reduced bulk, plus, it helped me to piece accurately the shoo fly blocks.

When I pinned the shoo fly blocks together, I made sure the points match at the top of the triangles of the units – very much like matching the seams when we made the house roof in part 1 here.

I pressed open the seams in between rows to even out the bulk.

I then added the shoo-fly assembly to sections made for Part 1 and Part 2 of the sew-along.

Oh — and watch my quilt grow, and yours too!

And that’s it for Part 3!  I hope you will have a blast making progress on this quilt as much as I have!   know the units are small, but I am hopeful that by making these small shoo fly units will help confidence in tackling small pieces in other quilt projects of yours.  Can’t wait to see what your Part 3 looks like!!!!

Happy Sewing, my sewing friends!!  Hugs to you all.

Stamp Pad in McCall’s Quick Quilts (April/May 2017) & More

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Hello Friends, Happy Monday, and a Blessed Week to you!  Today, I am sharing with you my latest magazine quilt that became official, Stamp Pad.   Stamp Pad is featured in McCall’s Quick Quilts (April/May 2017) issue.  The full instructions are included in the magazine issue.

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This is a design that majors in the basics — flying geese and rectangular patches — and yet, the result is quite eye-catching, no?  This design is perfect for telling a “fabric story” with any large or colorful prints.  But if you interested to use the fabrics I used, they are from RJR Fabrics‘ Garden Gate line by Robyn Pandolph.  Pandolph always has the most amazing florals!!

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I have also designed an exclusive runner project using the same fabrics for Keepsake Quilting.

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Purchase the kit here, or purchase the pattern here.

Be sure to check out my other offerings in Keepsake Quilting here.

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Meanwhile, I want to welcome those of you who have recently signed up to join the Spring on Bleecker Street Sew-Along.  I am so glad you are on board.  Click here if you would like to learn more about the Sew-Along.

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Again, like I have told many, I am running this Sew-Along with the pace of one who has way too many projects going on at the same time.  So, we will just be tackling small portions of the quilt each month.  The house/tree block took me 2 hours to complete… so, if you could just spare about 2 hours a month, I am certain you can keep up. :)Also, I found out this week Cinnamon’s Quilt Shop has the kits if you need to pick one up.  Click here to purchase the kits, and here to purchase the accompany Aurifil embroidery floss pack!

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I will be posting installment #2 of the sew-along on March 15th.  So, you definitely have time to catch up with part 1. :)  Click here if you haven’t seen installment #1.

Meanwhile, I have also been smocking.  Miss Baby still lets me dress her, mainly because she is not one who puts too much thought into what she wears.  It’s a win-win for us right now.  She is needed some new outfits.  So, here is my latest completed smocking project.

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And here, I completed the stitching for a small little project that I work on at the school parking lot when I wait to pick up Miss Baby.  The colors I use are from my Marmalade Meadows floss pack.

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And here is me and a homemade apple pie a couple of weeks ago.  I am not crazy about pictures taken of me, but I had to do it for one of the fabric companies, hahaha.  Miss Baby can handily consume an apple pie in half a day, if I let her… a pinch of nutmeg is my secret ingredient when I make apple pies! :) That pie looks a bit pale because I was scared to death the pie would look too brown for the picture, hahaha.  Truth be known, I popped that pie back into the oven after the picture was taken.  Things I do for work….

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But I am curious though — what is your favorite pie?

And that’s it for now!  I shall catch up with you again in a couple of days.  Hugs to you all!

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My 2017 Line-up

Editorial Feature

American Patchwork & Quilting (Jan/Feb 2017):  Close Quarters (Cover Quilt)

McCall’s Quick Quilts (Feb/March 2017):  I’m Blue For You

McCall’s Quick Quilts (April/May 2017): Stamp Pad

 

Free-to-use Design

Jan 2017:  Stars and Stripes Forever (Hoffman Fabrics)

Jan 2017:  HOPE (Windham Fabrics)

Jan 2017:  Bleecker Street (Quilting Treasures)

Feb 2017: Sheeps and Peeps (Quilting Treasures)

Feb 2017: Smarty Cats (Windham Fabrics)

Feb 2017: Wildwood Way (RJR Fabrics)

Aurifil’s Embroidery Floss Collection: Marmalade Meadows

Friends, you know I have a passion for handwork. Over the years I have done embroidery, smocking and cross-stitching. I love stitching with my hands, and feeling the needle and threads as the stitches are formed.  I am very excited to share more about Marmalade Meadows, an embroidery floss collection I curated for Aurifil.

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Firstly, these Aurifloss colors were selected to be companion threads for Quilting Treasures’ new group Bleecker Street!  I will share more about Bleecker Street fabrics tomorrow.  Spring on Bleecker Street is a collage quilt I designed using the Bleecker Street fabrics that involve a bit of piecing, applique as well as hand embroidery.  The hand embroidery part uses threads from Marmalade Meadows.

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The following picture was taken at this past Quilt Market of Spring on Bleecker Street.  Kits and patterns are available via your local quilt shops sometime in November!  Check and ask about the project with your local quilt shops that carry Quilting Treasures fabrics.

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And you here how the Marmalade Meadows embroidery floss is at play in the following pictures:

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I also designed and stitched a little wallhanging using the Marmalade Meadows embroidery floss, featuring Marmalade, the pot-belly bunny!  This is going to be a free pattern when the thread collection ships in December.

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I quilted the wallhanging with Aurifil’s Mako 50 wt cotton.  When quilting around embroidered motif, I like to quilt densely so that the embroidery will pop!

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I like that the Aurifil’s embroidery floss is wound on a charming wooden spool.  Some have asked if I feel a difference between Aurifloss and skeined floss.  One major thing I notice is that, with the other threads produced by Aurifil, the Aurifloss is very low on lint.  That allows me to have very crisp stitches.  [As to why Aurifil’s threads are low lint, you will have to attend Alex Veronelli’s thread lectures to find out — really worth your while if there is one offered in your area.  It is free to attend.]

So, here are the spools you will get in my Marmalade Meadows collection.  Even though they scream vibes of spring, I am actually working on a Christmas scene featuring Marmalade the pot-belly bunny!  Stay tuned for details. :)

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Again, the collection ships this December to shops.  You may place an order for the collection with any shops that carries Aurifil products.  I know http://www.followthatthread.com will have it.  If it’s not listed on the website, just shoot them an email, and they will take care of you!

Thanks so much for stopping by.  Till next time!