Joint Venture with Karen Miller: Mystery Quilt Along – Part 5

Jan 7: Announcement post
Jan 21:  Planning, basting, batting, etc
Jan 28:  Stabilization quilting or just to catch up
***Feb 4, Feb 11: Inside center panel
Feb 25: Top and Bottom Rectangles
March 4: Top and Bottom Squares
March 11: Left and Right Side panels
Mach 18: Narrow Sashing
March 25: Outside (wider) Border
April 1: Binding & Hanging

***

Hello Friends, here we are again on our Quilt-Along Monday!  There’s not a new installment because Karen and I know the hustles and bustles of life all too well, and sometimes we just can’t get to quilting like we would like.  The panel center is a relatively large area, so, we though we would give folks a couple of weeks to get that done before we move on to the subsequent sections.  If you missed my post 2 weeks ago on quilting the panel center, here is the link again!

I am starting to see pictures of your work, and have interacted with some of you on your project.  I am so excited to see how you have chosen to customize this panel quilt with quilting.

***

Now, some of you might still be gathering your supplies.  That’s okay — jump in when you are able to. Click HERE where Karen keeps a list of shops where you can purchase the supplies.

2019c

I have heard positive responses from many regarding my book.  THANK YOU!

You may order my book from:

Connecting Threads

Fox Chapel Publishing

Amazon

or email me for signed copies!

I will be using Aurifli 50 wt threads from my Subtle Strings collection.  You may read more about the collection here, and here.  You may order your collection here for $99.99 (regularly selling for $140)!  The collection is IN STOCK again as of this morning!!!

Meanwhile, you may also order the collection HERE and HERE.

My Subtle Strings colors are specially selected to achieve a subtle contrast effect in the quilting.  That is to say, we get to quilt with pretty colors on our quilts, but the colors aren’t really visible from afar and are not competing with the overall look of the quilt, until one looks at the quilting close up.  These colors are also perfect for piecing, machine or hand applique — definitely my go-to!  Why limit yourself to using only beige and light brown, or white?!

subtle1-1

subtle2

So far, here are the Subtle Strings colors I used for the different sections!  It’s a great time to experiment with subtle colors in quilting!  I hope you like subtle contrast quilting as much as I have!  Where the spool is indicates the area quilted with the color.

Since we are on a downtime installment-wise, I thought I would chat with you briefly on quilting results and personality!  One observation that has been consistent from all the free-motion domestic machine quilting classes I have taught is that different quilters will quilt differently the one motif that is being presented.  For example, we would be working on pebbles (pages 50-51), and students will end up with different shapes or sizes for their pebbles.

Last week I shared how our quilting looks is like how our signature looks!  And that solves the mystery why we often end up with different looks when we quilt one motif.  And you know what, THAT is perfectly fine!  Your quilting reflects and celebrates you!!!

***

This week, I want to share a rule I have for my students who take classes with me.  So often, students are alarmed because the quilting they see right at the moment of them quilting isn’t looking so nice!

I get it!  I am the same way!!  When I am quilting, I see the not so perfectly formed curves, or the slight jerk from moving my quilt sandwich too fast — it’s like seeing all the imperfections in real time.  However, I have learned if I just focus on quilting the piece, and not worry so much about the results and come back to look at my quilting later (36-48 hours!), I would have forgotten about all those real time imperfections and would decide that my quilting looks pretty good after all.

SO — always wait 36-48 hours before you decide how your quilting turns out!  

Here is a real life example…. as I quilted this part of the cloud, I thought I made a tactical mistake in placing the spiral here.  Truth is I went a little further than I would like quilting that front spiral.  I call it my wayward spiral.

I thought of ripping out the stitches.  I then reminded myself I should just wait and see…

I waited and looked at it again, and decided it doesn’t look bad after all as a whole.  So, I was 94.7% satisfied with that wayward spiral, and I am okay with it because I didn’t have to take out stitches!

Remember, the more you quilt, the better you will be at it!  I hope you are having the time of your life working on this piece.  I know I have!  See you again next Monday, but not before you check out Karen’s post for today!  Click HERE to go to Karen’s blog.

Advertisements

Joint Venture with Karen Miller: Mystery Quilt Along – Part 4

Jan 7: Announcement post
Jan 21:  Planning, basting, batting, etc
Jan 28:  Stabilization quilting or just to catch up
***Feb 4, Feb 11: Inside center panel
Feb 25: Top and Bottom Rectangles
March 4: Top and Bottom Squares
March 11: Left and Right Side panels
Mach 18: Narrow Sashing
March 25: Outside (wider) Border
April 1: Binding & Hanging

***

Hello Friends, here we are again on our Quilt-Along Monday!  There’s not a new installment because Karen and I know the hustles and bustles of life all too well, and sometimes we just can’t get to quilting like we would like.  The panel center is a relatively large area, so, we though we would give folks a couple week to get that done before we move on to the subsequent sections.  If you missed my post last week on quilting the panel center, here is the link again!

Now, some of you might still be gathering your supplies.  That’s okay — jump in when you are able to. Click HERE where Karen keeps a list of shops where you can purchase the supplies.

2019c

I have heard positive responses from many regarding my book.  THANK YOU!

You may order my book from:

Connecting Threads

Fox Chapel Publishing

Amazon

or email me for signed copies!

I will be using Aurifli 50 wt threads from my Subtle Strings collection.  You may read more about the collection here, and here.  You may order your collection here for $99.99 (regularly selling for $140)!  The collection is IN STOCK again as of this morning!!!

Meanwhile, you may also order the collection HERE and HERE.

My Subtle Strings colors are specially selected to achieve a subtle contrast effect in the quilting.  That is to say, we get to quilt with pretty colors on our quilts, but the colors aren’t really visible from afar and are not competing with the overall look of the quilt, until one looks at the quilting close up.  These colors are also perfect for piecing, machine or hand applique — definitely my go-to!  Why limit yourself to using only beige and light brown, or white?!

subtle1-1

subtle2

So far, here are the Subtle Strings colors I used for the different sections!  It’s a great time to experiment with subtle colors in quilting!  I hope you like subtle contrast quilting as much as I have!  Where the spool is indicates the area quilted with the color.

Since we are on a downtime installment-wise, I thought I would chat with you briefly on quilting results and personality!  One observation that has been consistent from all the free-motion domestic machine quilting classes I have taught is that different quilters will quilt differently the one motif that is being presented.  For example, we would be working on pebbles (pages 50-51), and students will end up with different shapes or sizes for their pebbles.

I always remind my students how our quilting looks is like how our signature looks!  And that solves the mystery why we often end up with different looks when we quilt one motif.  And you know what, THAT is perfectly fine!  Your quilting reflects and celebrates you!!!

Of course, quilting adds personality to a quilt.  If a quilt is quilted with puppies and bone treats, you know that it is a lighthearted quilt, versus a quilt quilted with 1/4″ cross hatches and feather plumes.  I encourage you to find ways to add personalities to the panel as you quilt it.  I quilted “grass” to the face of one of the sheep — to give him (I think of it’s a him!) a  mischievous personality.  Doesn’t he look like he KNEW BETTER than to chew with this mouth open?!

So, let’s try to analyze my personality from how I have quilted the panel center.

#1.  I tend to be OCD on things — especially when it comes to feather quilting.  I see anything and everything as excuses to quilt feathers.

#2.  I can at times major on the minor — from the way I like to keep my quilting dense.

#3.  I like movement with the curves and swirls — I like things to be non-static.

Anything you can deduce about my personality from the quilting?  NOSY and VERY CURIOUS mind would like to know! :)

I hope you are having the time of your life working on this piece.  I know I have!  See you again next Monday, but not before you check out Karen’s post for today!  Click HERE to go to Karen’s blog.

Joint Venture with Karen Miller: Mystery Quilt Along – Part 3

 

Jan 7: Announcement post
Jan 21:  Planning, basting, batting, etc
Jan 28:  Stabilization quilting or just to catch up
***Feb 4, Feb 11: Inside center panel
Feb 25: Top and Bottom Rectangles
March 4: Top and Bottom Squares
March 11: Left and Right Side panels
Mach 18: Narrow Sashing
March 25: Outside (wider) Border
April 1: Binding & Hanging

***

Hello Friends, Happy Monday!  I hope your week got off a great start, and that those of you who lived in last week’s extreme cold have thawed out nicely, and are ready to do some quilting on your machine.

Now, some of you might still be gathering your supplies.  That’s okay — jump in when you are able to. Click HERE where Karen keeps a list of shops where you can purchase the supplies.

2019c

I have heard positive responses from many regarding my book.  THANK YOU!

You may order my book from:

Connecting Threads

Fox Chapel Publishing

Amazon

or email me for signed copies!

I will be using Aurifli 50 wt threads from my Subtle Strings collection.  You may read more about the collection here, and here.  You may order your collection here for $99.99 (regularly selling for $140)!  I saw that some of you have bought up the stock available on Pumpkinvine Corner.  But don’t worry, more has been ordered according to the website.

Meanwhile, you may also order the collection HERE and HERE.

My Subtle Strings colors are specially selected to achieve a subtle contrast effect in the quilting.  That is to say, we get to quilt with pretty colors on our quilts, but the colors aren’t really visible from afar and are not competing with the overall look of the quilt, until one looks at the quilting close up.  These colors are also perfect for piecing, machine or hand applique — definitely my go-to!  Why limit yourself to using only beige and light brown, or white?!

subtle1-1

subtle2

BEFORE WE START, here are the Subtle Strings colors I used for the different sections!  It’s a great time to experiment with subtle colors in quilting!  I hope you like subtle contrast quilting as much as I have!  Where the spool is indicates the area quilted with the color.

FOR TODAY’S INSTALLMENT:

#1,  If you have a needle down function on your machine, USE IT!  That way, when you have to turn your quilt, your needle won’t lose its spot if you have to turn your quilt.

#2.  It’s also time to shelf the walking foot for a little bit!  For the rest of the quilting, I foresee myself only using my free-motion quilting foot.  The far left foot attachment is the one I use, in fact, the ONLY one.

I like to use the open-toe foot because I can see better, and therefore decide where to go from one spot to the next when I am quilting.

#3.  I started off doing outline stitching and some on the sheep — just to warm-up a little.  Here I am showing you a few options.  References from my book: pages 30, 35, 50.

Outline quilting around the fluff – and continue with the echo inside the sheep.

Outline quilting around the fluff and tuft above the head.

Outline quilting in oval shape around sheep.

Outline quilting with swirls in the body.

Outline quilting, and then echo closely a few times around the body.

Outline quilting, and a few pebbles in the body to give a bit of texture.

And you know how quilting adds personality to one’s quilt, I added a bit of a personality to one of the sheep.  CLEARLY, he forgot what his mother has told him NOT to chew with his mouth open!!!

#4.  I then worked on the sky.  I outline quilted and then echoed around the clouds several times.  

Then, I quilted swirls with long tail (like a bean sprout almost).  This is a variation stemmed from the basic swirl in page 35 in my book.

#5.  Next I divided the grass into sections.

Section 1.  I quilted pebbles (page 50) and sand dunes (page 33) in this section.  I love the sand dunes because it’s like echoing without having to worry about the equal distance between the echoes.  It is much more freeing and forgiving.

Section 2.  More sand dunes in this one, except I added pebbles in between the pebbles.  And that’s another reason I like sand dunes because you can add bits and bobs in between the echoes.

Section 3.  This section is quilted with horizontal and vertical lines (not necessarily straight) that make a wavy cross hatch (page 72).  I then go back and fill in alternate boxes with closely quilted lines to make a basketweave effect.  Spot the pink quilting? You can also see the occasional grass sprouting on a couple of the empty squares.  Feel free to add any accents to your liking!

Section 4.  I have to admit, I couldn’t help myself with the feather quilting!  I quilted the foreground of the panel center with feathers.  Once you are comfortable doodling feathers (pages 54-59), you could mark your feathers on the quilt itself and quilt by following the line…. OR you may mark the spines of the feather plume as a guide on your quilt, and free-hand quilt your feathers (page 79).

I was so proud of my students in my De-mystifying Feather Quilting Class last week at Road to CA, who were able to free-hand quilt their feathers, having NO prior feather quilting experience, and AFTER learning the basics of feather quilting well.

AND THERE YOU HAVE IT, for today’s installment!  You noticed how the colors I used in the quilting don’t jump out at you?  That’s the beauty of subtle contrast in quilting!

It might look like it is a lot to quilt the panel center, but wait, you actually get to quilt the panel center over the next three weeks!  I will still check in the next two Mondays.  The next installment isn’t till Feb 25.

I timed myself.  The panel center took me about 4 1/2″ hours of solid quilting.  But it’s all good fun.

However, if all this is overwhelming to you. Tackle one section at a time.  Even if you have to mark on your quilt before you quilt with a washable fabric marker, it is ALRIGHT!  I use either a Frixion Pen or this blue marker.

***

Remember, BABY STEPS!

NOW, I wonder what Karen has done …. remember, it’s ALL a mystery between the two of us!!!  I am heading on to her blog to see what she has been up to.  Click HERE to go to Karen’s blog.

See you next week!

My stop — Splendid Sampler 2 Quilt Along

Hello Friends!  I hope you who are in the northern hemisphere are keeping yourself safe and warm!  It’s amazing to hear some of the wind chills experienced by some in the country!  Anyhow, I hope you have had a great week.  I got home on Sunday night, and jumped straight back to work the next day in my quest to check off things on my long list.

Cover art

Many of you have joined in the fun Splendid Sampler quilt along, hosted by Pat Sloan and Jane Davidson!  You probably already know of the reprise in Splendid Sampler 2.  I am so excited to share with you that I am one of the Splendid Sampler designers!!

#1.  Click here if you haven’t known about Splendid Sampler 2 to read more about it.

#2.  Click here If you would like to order the Splendid Sampler 2 book that has instructions and templates included in this quilt along,

And TODAY is my turn to share about my Snail and Pail block!  This block is what you’d see in the book.

This original block is inspired by Miss Baby’s beloved watering can she has had for years.  And here is the block I made for my Splendid Sampler quilt.  This quilt is actually for Miss Baby, thus the monogrammed G on the watering can.

I used the embroidery floss from Miss Baby’s Spool-en-dids floss collection to add the embroidery on the block.  Click here if you would like to read about the collection.  You may purchase the collection here.

Have you seen some of the other Splendid Sampler 2 blocks I have made for the quilt?  I have documented all the blocks on my Instragram account under ivory_spring.  Follow me on Instagram to follow along my Splendid Sampler 2 progress. Fabrics are Uppercase Vol.2 by Windham Fabrics.  Click here to view fabrics.

Back to Snail and Pail… I also used the design to make a 10″ x 10″ mini quilt!  I am using it to show that you can place the snail WHEREVER you wish!  Fabrics are Forest Gifts by Michael Miller. Click here to view fabrics.

This picture shows the quilting I did over Hobbs Tuscany Wool batting.  I taught machine quilting all week last week at Road to CA — I was more then ready to do some quilting myself after I got home.

A quick note on the blanket stitches I do around my fusible applique shapes.  I like the buttonhole/blanket stitches small.  You may read more about how I do the stitching here.

 

Does this Quilt-Along look fun to you?  It is SUPER FUN — trust me!  I like, with the book, that I am able to make the blocks at my own pace.  And the blocks are so versatile I can easily add my own spin to them.  AND the best part is that I am able to see what others have made their blocks on social media sites.  If you haven’t joined, you know you want to!!!

***

For those who are participating in the Quilt Along, and have actually make the blocks — comment to enter the giveaway of a copy of my book below.  Make sure you indicate in your comment that you have actually make the block(s).  I am interested to know which is your favorite block so far!  This giveaway relies on the honor system — again, ONLY open to Splendid Sampler 2 participants!

CreativeNewQuilts&Projects

I will announce the winner next Thursday (Feb 7, 2019).

That’s all for now, my quilting friends!  Chat with you again soon!

p.s.  I came across a fun article on beginning quilting that would make a great resource for any quilts.  Check it out here.

Joint Venture with Karen Miller: Mystery Quilt Along – Part 2

Jan 7: Announcement post
Jan 21:  Planning, basting, batting, etc
***Jan 28:  Stabilization quilting or just to catch up
Feb 4, Feb 11: Inside center panel
Feb 25: Top and Bottom Rectangles
March 4: Top and Bottom Squares
March 11: Left and Right Side panels
Mach 18: Narrow Sashing
March 25: Outside (wider) Border
April 1: Binding & Hanging

***

Hello Friends, I just spent a better of last week at Road to CA show.  It was a fun show making new friends, and sharing the love of domestic machine and feather quilting with my new friends!

I even met some who already heard about our Mystery Quilt Along, and for those heard about it from me at the show, they were excited.  So, today is another minimally demanding day for those who already sandwiched their quilt.  Some might just now be getting their supplies in the mail.  All’s good — you just catch up whenever you are able.  If you are just now joining, click on the previous dates above for more information.

Now, I have heard that certain shops sold out of the panel, click HERE where Karen keeps a list of shops where you can purchase the supplies.

2019c

You may order my book from:

Connecting Threads

Fox Chapel Publishing

Amazon

or email me for signed copies!

I will be using Aurifli 50 wt threads from my Subtle Strings collection.  You may read more about the collection here, and here.  You may order your collection here for $99.99 (regularly selling for $140)!

subtle1-1

subtle2

FOR TODAY’S INSTALLMENT:

#1,  If you have a needle down function on your machine, USE IT!  That way, when you have to turn your quilt, your needle won’t lose its spot if you have to turn your quilt.

#2.  We are stitching straight lines.  So, you have the option of using your walking foot, or  your dual feed foot.  Both feet ensure all layers are moved at the same time!  Please note that your walking or dual feed foot might not look exactly as what I have.  If you have any doubt, please reach out to your local machine dealer for help.  I learn so much from my machine dealer.

 

 

Today, we are going to stabilize our quilt sandwich.  I try to stabilize, but not over-stabilize, my quilt sandwich by first stitching down the edge of the quilt.  I stitch very close to the edge of quilt top just to anchor my quilt top so I don’t have to deal with “loose leaves” so to speak with the quilt top, batting and quilt back.  It’s totally fine if you don’t catch all of the fabric edge.

If you have a needle down function on your machine, USE IT!  That way, when you have to turn your quilt, your needle won’t lose its spot if you have to turn your quilt.

One of my tips I share in my book Stitching Pathways is instead of using the quilting foot as a guide, watch your needle to see where it lands to ensure accurate stitching.  A student of mine told me in one of the classes I taught at Road to CA this past week, that tip was the game changer for her.  So, in order for you to practice that, we will stitching around the large center of the panel where the dotted boundary is.  Try to stitch slow, and keep your eye to the needle.

So the previous image also illustrate a very important point — if you see any basting pins that are too close to your needle ensemble, go ahead and remove the pin before you stitch.  That will keep the pin from catching the needle ensemble and produce poor quality stitches.  Generally, I leave my stitching area about 3″ around and all all sides my needle clear  of any obstacles (basting pins).  So in real, before I quilt any further, I would go ahead and remove that basting pin.

So there you have it, for today!  

qal13

Now a quick note on starting and stopping…. I like to pull up my bobbin thread before I start.  You can do that by rotating the hand wheel, and tugging on the top thread.  Once you have the bobbin thread up, you will have two thread tails on the quilt top.  I hold on to the tails, and take a few small stitches (if it’s with feed dog, I just reduce the stitch length) before I quilt normal.  To stop, I will reduce the stitch length of my stitches as well.  This time, I will only have the top thread on top.  So, after those mini stitches, I will have my needle up, pull my quilt sandwich out from the needle, and cut off enough top and bottom thread to have tails, and then, I bury all the tails into the quilt batting.

To get us ready for next week — when we get to the actual quilting part, WOOHOO — you might do some practice quilting on a practice piece using my Stitching Pathways book, specifically the motifs covered in pages 30, 32, 33, 50 and 52.  I think I am going to add a bit of feathering in there too.  Feathers are covered in pages 55-66.  

In today’s baby step, we stabilized our quilt for stress-free quilting on the machine later.

NOW, I wonder what Karen has done …. remember, it’s ALL a mystery between the two of us!!!  I am heading on to her blog to see what she has been up to.  Click HERE to go to Karen’s blog.

I CAN’T WAIT TO SHARE WITH YOU NEXT WEEK HOW I AM QUILTING THE PANEL CENTER NEXT WEEK — SEE YOU NEXT MONDAY!

Spring on Bleecker Street Sew-Along: Part 5

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

petalquiltfinal-rgb

Hello Friends, I hope you have been well since our last Spring on Bleecker Street post (Part 4).

Let’s enjoy some progress pictures you have sent in?  I am really loving seeing how your quilts have grown!

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.  So, it is an honor to have her join my humble little sew-along).  I am really loving the orange Billie has incorporated in her quilt!

I am loving Alice’s milk chocolate bunny!!!!!

And here is Gail’s progress picture!  I am loving the 30’s fabrics Gail has used.  Gail is a master quilter, and I am so honored she joined my little sew-along party!

I have been hoping to see a batik version of the quilt, and Kim’s doesn’t disappoint!!!  LOVE the rich color tones.  I love those tree fabrics — be still my heart!

Jennifer’s Japanese neutrals really give the quilt a unique and elegant look.

Margaret mixed in Bleecker Street fabrics with her choice of fabrics — LOVE!  Plus, she used a green fabric for the grass – what a genius idea!

GOOD JOB, everyone!!!

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, and still have a life to live. :-) So, absolutely no pressure to get things done on time. More importantly, I just want you to enjoy the project as I have.

As it tured out… life for me has been more than a little crazy this past month, and my sewing capacity has been temporarily reduced!  As a result, I am declaring Part 5 our “catch-up/because life happens” party!  There just has been too much happening at my end in May and the early part of June… among which, a college graduation, Quilt Market, work deadlines, and what looks like outfitting a sewing room!

So Part 5 is going to be short and easy – we are going to on the 4-patch with a bow blocks!  I think those are one of the sweetest blocks, ever!  I can see a whole quilt made with them.  In fact, I have an upcoming design with just those blocks!

These 4 blocks go on top of the embroidered bunny panel we did for Part 4.

One thing to point out is that you want to make sure which fabric your white tonal corner will be to get that alternating effect on the bows.  ASK ME HOW I KNOW!  Make your yellow and pink blocks together and the same, and your blue and green blocks together and same — and you should be ok!

How I pressed my seams —

OPEN when flip-and-sewing the white corner triangle — we are dealing with small pieces here.  SO to prevent wonkiness, I would press-starch my fabrics with a dry iron before cutting.  One the white 1 1/2″ x 1 1/2″ square is sewn onto to the print 2 1/2″ x 2 1/2″ square, I finger-press the seam open.  THEN, I trim off 1/4″ for the seam allowance before pressing the seam open again with my dry iron.  Pressing – not ironing!

TO ONE SIDE when sewing 2 1/2″ x 2 1/2″ square to the patch with white corner triangle to make a row unit

OPEN when sewing row units together

OPEN when sewing the blocks together

And adding the row to the top embroidered bunny portion – and we have Part 5 completed!

And there are three other of the same block that will be used later.  You may make them now, or you may make them later.  I did all 7 in an hour!

That’s it – my sewing friends!  I am going to spend a little more time making those pinwheel units.  See you for Part 6!

Spring on Bleecker Street Sew-Along: Part 2

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

petalquiltfinal-rgb

Before we get started with Part 2, let’s just sit and relax and enjoy the different versions of Part 1 (posted here) sent in by you all!

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.

img_5461

Here is Alice’s.  She blogs at http://aliceinquilterland.blogspot.com if you would like to visit her and make a new quilting friend.  You can also see Alice moved on beyond the first part – which is absolutely wonderful!

Here is Gail’s.  I love the 30’s fabric choices.

This is Sharon’s – she has creatively turned her part 1 into a mini — Loving this idea!

This is Debby’s with a kitty to welcome the guests – this is Debby’s first time joining in a sew-along!  I am so happy to hear that, and am proud of her!

This is Kathy’s – Kathy is a dear friend of mine, and I love her dearly!

This is Jennifer’s – she is using Japanese neutrals for a completely different feel!

This is Cheryl’s.  A polka dotted roof — what is not to love?!

This is Margaret’s.  I am loving her blue roof!

Bleecker_Margaret

And I told Joyce it’s okay to turn in late homework!!!!  Even though Joyce didn’t share her block, she did share her fabrics.  I was hoping someone would do a monochromatic color scheme with this quilt — and Joyce apparently read my mind, somehow. :)  These fabrics are from Penny Rose!

I have enjoyed everyone’s version!!  I can’t wait to see how your quilt unfold as we sew along.  I have to say 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.

****** Now, to Part 2!!!  Part 2 will take a total of about 2 1/2 hours…. and I have the total time broken down into 3 sections in case you don’t have a block of time that spans 2-3 hours!

The theme of this part is “Keep Calm and Sew On” because we will be sewing with small pieces.  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)

#1.  Remaining trees (~35 minutes).  As I was saying, I finger-pressed my seams open before trimming off the dog-ears.

Then I used the iron to heat-set the seams open.

When you pin the two pink tree units together before sewing, be sure to match the diagonal seams, and you will have the tree units match up nicely.

I sewed together the pink tree and the yellow tree, and set aside — without sewing on the 4 1/2″ x 6 1/2″ white rectangle.

#2.  Sun embroidery on 4 1/2″ x 6 1/2″ white rectangle (~ 1 hr, and that’s with me texting with my best friend).  The pattern didn’t show the sun drawing.  So, we will just wing it.  I first press-starch my rectangle so that it is not wobbly.  You would mark the circle for your sun where you would like it as long as you keep in mind where the seam allowance is on that 4 1/2″ x 6 1/2″ rectangle.  I marked the circle using the back of an Aurifil thread spool with a fine tip pen.

You can see that instead of triangles in the original design, I used radiating lines for the sun rays.  You can do however you choose for the sun rays.   I will be using the yellow from my Marmalade Meadows Floss Pack to stitch the sun!  I normally use a John James size 9 embroidery needle for embroidery stitches, stitching with 2-ply of floss.

If you would like to order the floss pack(s), Cinnamon Quilt Shopped has them here.

marmalade

And you might have seen a pillow ornament I recently completed with the colors in the floss pack, and some fabric scraps.

Back to our sew-along, here is my sun stitched out, and pieced to the tree units.  I hope you can see that I actually stitched around the sun circle twice, stacking my back stitches.  I have never done it that way, and I quite like the effects.

And the newly completed section is sewn to Part 1.

#3.  Pinwheels (~45 minutes).  So, I looked at the quilt layout, and felt like I didn’t want to have to make a whole bunch of pinwheels all at one go later on.  I went ahead and made the 4 pinwheels needed for the yellow fabric.  I used the method here to make accurate and squared up pinwheels.  Give the method a try – you might be as happy as the result as I am! :)

I plan to make a few of these pinwheels to go with each section until I have all of them made.

And that’s it for Part 2!  I hope you will have a blast making progress on this quilt as much as I have!  Can’t wait to see what your Part 2 looks like!!!!

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

Happy Monday & Sew Along & Scrappy Mystery & This and That

Hello Friends, Happy Monday and Happy Week to you!  I hope you are all well!  I will try to cover a few items today. :)

#1.  This is of utmost importance — I want to know who amongst you still has her Christmas tree up! :)  I found out over the weekend on Instagram there are quite a few still who are keeping their Christmas trees up to enjoy them longer.  With that, I will no longer feel self-conscious about keeping ours up for two weeks at least after Christmas!!! Truth be known, Miss Baby is still blasting Christmas carols and music at home.  And I sewed up these charm squares over the weekend.  So, Christmas is here to stay, I think!

christmas3

#2. Spring on Bleecker Street Sew-Along!  If you have expressed an interest in following with the sew-along, you will have received an email from me with a bit of logistics on how we will be doing things – all in an informal way!  Please know that you are able to join in the fun anytime!  It will be great if you just shoot me an email expressing your intention to join in the fun! :0)

petalquiltfinal-rgb

You may download the pattern instructions and templates here.

I will be using the Bleecker Street fabrics from Quilting Treasures for this project!  I am totally in love with these fabrics!!!!  You may use fabrics of your choice for the project.  However, if you want to replicate the original quilt,  I know of places listed below that are selling the kits/fabrics.  For the embroidery, I will be using colors from my Aurifil’s Marmalade Meadows collection.  Click here to read about the collection if you haven’t known about it.  I would imagine any Aurifil dealer will be able to order the floss for you.  Please know that I will be showcasing more ways to use up the floss in a couple of months.

* The quilt and floss kits are available from http://thimblemouseandspouse.com.  I think Lynn is still waiting for the fabrics and floss to arrive.

* Quilt kits from http://www.northerncomfortquilts.com/sales-and-specials

* Fabrics from Quiltropolis.

* Quilt kits from Hancocks of Paducah.

low-res_img_4941

dsc_0401

Tentatively, I will be posting my first section on Feb 15th.  And then you will have a month between Feb 15th and March 15th to complete your section. :)

#3.  SCRAPPY MYSTERY Quilt-Along!  I asked, and you responded.  So, scrappy it is!  This will start in June or July 2017.  I am still working out the details, and will have more to share when I have more solid information.

#4.  Miss Baby’s Stitching Progress.  Some of you have written to ask about Miss Baby’s stitching progress.  Here is the last progress picture I took of her work.  Pattern is by Jardin Prive.  You may purchase the chart here. The latest completed house is the one right next to the letter “m”.  She actually messed up on counting her squares. Instead of correcting her mistake, she “improvise” to make her house work!  I am not quite sure how I feel about that yet… on one hand, I want her to follow the rules because I am pretty much a “dot my i’s, and cross my t’s kind of person.  But on the other hand, I thought she did a great job improvising!  Hahaha.  The original house has 3 windows, and Miss Baby’s version has 2 windows.  And of course, Miss Baby has totally ignored all the “suggested colors”, and picked out all her colors.

I have to say Miss Baby has made great strides in the last 6 months in that she has learned to thread her own needles, and finish her stitches etc.  She is now a totally independent stitcher.  For a while there, I had to cut the threads, thread the needle, show here where to stitch, and then help her bury her thread tails etc.  Now, she asks if I could get her a gold needle!  Well, I didn’t… I told her she would have to earn her own money to buy that as regular needles do just fine. :-)

I say all that to encourage mothers and grandmothers out there who are teaching their young ones in the art of needle and thread that it is possible to start them really young!  I started Miss Baby when she was about 5.  And it’s been really gratifying to see her progress and develop in her skills.

progress

That’s all for now, Dear Friends!  It’s past 10pm, and I still have a quilt to bind that needs to be shipped in the morning. :)  There goes my life whirling around again!  Hugs to you all, and I do hope you have a lovely week.

More Aurifil Thread Journey Sightings!!!

Hello Friends, I hope you have been well!  I am so excited to share with you additional Thread Journey sightings today!  I love it when you send me pictures of your quilts.

#1.  Miriam’s…

You remember this cool picture of Miriam’s Thread Journey quilt top, right?

m3b

Well, Miriam has totally completed her quilt!!!  I feel so honored that she included my name on the quilt label!!!! THANKS, Miriam… I feel like I have arrived, haha!

miriamb

miriama

#2.  Kathy’s…

Meanwhile, Kathy (for whom I am always grateful because she prays for me!) finished constructing her version of Thread Journey.  I love the rich colors Kathy has used.  I actually see her quilt being used during the holidays.

kathy1

I am always blown away by the thought of how we as quilters are bound by threads as we embark on our individual, and yet interconnecting quilting journey(s) that are seasoned with so many sweet friends!  I know that to be true in my own quilting journey.  I just chatted with a quilting friend today who has quickly become one of my greatest cheerleaders, and that did my heart a lot of good…. to think I probably wouldn’t have met her if we weren’t bound by threads!

With that, I want to thank ALL of you for your friendships.  I actually owe many of you emails.  I feel quite bad about behind on my emails… I am hoping I will be able to crawl out of the pile soon to write you as I have promised.

Thank you for stopping by.  Blessings to all of you!  NOW — I want to hear about the sweet friends you have made in your quilting journey.

Thread Journey: Done!!!

banner1

Friends, my Aurifil Thread Journey quilt is finished!!!!  I shall again let the pictures do most of the talking today. First we had the un-quilted, but constructed many week ago…

July13i

After about 52 hours of just quilting alone at the machine, we have the finished product!

morning-pictures1

morning-pictures2

morning-pictures3

morning-pictures5

sept15b

sept15c

I quilted the entire quilt with colors from my Aurifil’s Subtle Strings collection.  You may read more about the collection here, and exactly why those shades are chosen.  You may also order the thread collection from heresubtle1-1

subtle2

And you will see how the Subtle Strings colors meet in the following close-up pictures.

sept15d

sept15e

sept15g

sept15h

sept15i

sept15j

sept15k

And here is a quick look at what the back looks like.

sept15n

That’s it for my Thread Journey 2.0!  It’s been such a fun journey for me being able to quilt to my little heart’s content on this one.  You may find the instructions on how to construct the quilt, as well as quilting suggestions here.

Come back tomorrow for the announcement of the giveaway winner of Windham’s Maribel FQ bundle.  Have a lovely rest of your week!

Final Post: Quilting Treasures Harmony Mystery Summer Sew-Along Quilt

… Except it’s not a mystery any longer! :)  Friends, it’s been so fun sewing along with  this past summer!!  I hope for those who have followed this sew-along program at a quilt shop, you have made great friends…. like this group from Nimble Thimble Quilt Shop in California!  Remember to support your local quilt shops whenever possible! Linda noted, “Our group so enjoyed not only the quilt, but the experience of meeting once a week for coffee/donuts and a really good chat. It is especially fulfilling when a group clicks and you can appreciate the old fashioned companionship that is synonymous with quilting.”  I was told this group of ladies had a dinner together for the finishing portion of the quilt – how absolutely SWEET! [By the way, feel free to contact Nimble Thimble and Rossville Quilts (Indiana) for kits — you can STILL make this quilt! :o)]

giveaway_nimblethimble

Looking back, we started with a jelly roll back in July…

Harmony Mystery

IMG_4419

IMG_4522

IMG_4554

IMG_4593

After seam upon seam, the mystery became a reality…

Final

Thank you to some of you who sent in pictures of your completed quilt top to enter the Completion Celebration Giveaway!!! Well done, EVERYONE!  Notice some of the creative ways you can use up the scraps.  You can certainly sew up four-patch blocks for a smaller quilt or matching pillows!

From Debra,

giveaway_debra

From Elizabeth,

giveaway_elizabeth

From Joyce,

giveaway_joycepic

From Judy,

giveaway_judy

From Linda,

giveaway_linda

From Marian,

giveaway_marian

From Michelle,

giveaway_michelle

From Paula,

giveaway_paula

From Suzi,

giveaway_suzi

And I am happy to announce the winner of the Completion Celebration Giveaway… it is DEBRA (selected by Random Generator).  Congratulations to Debra – an email is sent asking for your mailing address.  Thank you all, for playing along!!!

img_4826

And here is MY own quilt — quilted and bound!!!

img_4879

In so many ways, I feel like my own life is a mystery quilt in progress with God being the quilt designer.  I am confident in the end the quilt will be completed (Philippians 1:6), and all I can do is to follow each and every step the Great Designer has laid out for me — day by day, moment by moment.

THANK YOU all, for a fun sewing summer.  Maybe (just maybe), we will meet again in another mystery sew-along in the future! :)

Aurifil Thread Journey Quilt Along – Quilting Still!

banner1

Happy Thursday, Friends!  I honestly don’t know where this week has gone.  But here we are, looking at another weekend! :)

I received the following picture from Jody showing her quilting in her Thread Journey quilt center.  I think it’s absolutely beautiful.  Jody is quilting her quilt with a wool batt and loving it — and you can see how her feathers poof up!!!

jquilted

And the newest post on the Journey is up on Aurifil’s blog today.  Check out how I quilted the next border by clicking here – shown with schematics, and additional options for quilting on borders that you can use in any quilt.

Aug25a

Aug25b

That’s all for now, Friends!  I hope you have a lovely rest of your day.