Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Bless My Stars It's Harry Potter

I recently went to another 3 day retreat in Mascoutah with my quilty friends.  It's always such a great time.  Super chill, funny people.  We just come and go as we please.  Work on whatever strikes our fancy.

On the first day, I did some hand work.  I embellished the Vintage Christmas quilt from my last post.

The second and third days, I spent working on The Project of Doom.  http://www.fandominstitches.com/2014/11/the-project-of-doom-2015.html

They do a block of the week follow along every now and then.  I can't ever manage to follow along because I keep getting really frustrated with paper piecing but I HAVE to have this Harry Potter Book Shelf!  Or die trying.

For example, the wand above is wonky.

Hedrig's feathers got put on with the wrong fabric sequence... both of his outer wings are supposed to be the darker swirled fabric.


 I'm certain these O.W.L books are wrong.  Upside down?  Backwards? Not sure what...
This one turned out!  I like my Snitch.
 This one, I put the wrong color on the wrong books.  Luckily Sharon N. came to my rescue with an extra purple fabric (with the green swirl).  She saved the day.
This one turned out great, too.  The hourglass that only moves when the conversation was interesting.  It was keeping time this weekend, that's for sure!

I really tried to get more done but you know how it goes.  Hopefully, I stick to it now that I'm making progress.  but, you couldn't have paid me to paper piece another block that weekend!


So, as I said last time, I got a new sewing machine!!  I still love it.  I took my old one to retreat and it was super hard to settle for the old machine.  The Pfaff was worth the $$, for sure.

Any who.  I chose to quilt my Quilt of Valor to test out the new machine.  My first Pfaff project.  The Pfaff has a built in Walking Foot.  And, boy does it ever do beautifully!  No loud clanking.  Love it, love it.  I used a variegated blue thread and a geometric meandering.   No skipped stitches, smooth sailing the whole way!
And, I used this cool wavy binding.  Now to wash it, and get it off to the Marine it belongs to.

So, because I've been an absolute wacko about quilting on my new machine.  And, stringing the buttons on my lamp shade for 10 hours.  I hurt my arm.  I'm getting a little carpal tunnel type of feeling.  Which is my worst nightmare.  Right up there with Arthritis.  They would ruin my life.  I decided to take a week off of hand work.   It's better already.  Someone also told me to try B6.  Getting right on that!  But, now I'm pretty far behind on my hand applique work.  This is my most recent Art Nouveau block.  I worked some on the Hearts and Tulips banner but I'll have to show you another time.  Not sure where I put it...

Happy Stitching!

Friday, July 24, 2015

I'm So Excited

I finally got a new sewing machine!!  Yay, me!  I got a Pfaff Quilt Expression 4.2 & I love it!
I have obsessively been sewing since it crossed the treshold of my home!
My second project was to free motion my Vintage Christmas Quilt.  If you don't want to see tons of pictures, I advise that you leave now.  I'm like a proud new momma.

First, all the inner borders.  I did a ribbon candy stitch.  Loved it, super easy.  You make U's and then go around a second time with off-set U's and it looks like a 3D ribbon.  I went around all of the applique with monofilament.

For the house block, I did a meander with roof shingles.  I LOVE the shingles!


 The outer borders, I did these cute bows.  Super easy!  Just small figure 8, large figure 8 but square it up.  Then, move to the next bow.  Love it!

The bell flower got big loops all around.   Not the most original but I was running out of ideas at this point.  I followed the plaid fabric on the bells with straightish lines.  Should have used the walking foot.




The bird got some feathers.  The background on that block got meandering holly leaves.  I liked this one, too.



The church got snow flurries.  It's a line from top to bottom with a spiral every few inches.  Then, the next row over, I alternated spaces.  I like this one, too.  Very simple.  Then, I beaded the tree.  That took several hours of my recent Mascoutah retreat.



Mr. Sheepy got loops in the background and swirls on his wool.  Not original but the Mr. Sheepy is the cutest.  The grass just got some up and down tight squiggles.



Large interlocking loops for the strips above another Christmas tree.  The background is as tiny as I could make, loops.  I kind of feel like the frame needs something more but I can't figure out what.  I beaded pearls to decorate this tree.  And, decorated the floor of the Mascoutah Community Center.  Oopsies.

Buttons for the strips in a couple differnt places.  I'm considering more buttons in other places but I wanted to 'live' with it first.  I followed the snowflakes for the partidge.  Don't love this.  It's messy.  I thinkI need to go back in and give the leaves some veins, maybe a few feathers on the bird.



Giant U's for the prestent.  Again, ran out of ideas.



The small ornament was the first one I did.  I used the walking foot to follow the plaid fabric.  It was much more successful than the free motion plaid.  The candy canes were my first free motion block.  I had to rip it out and do over.  I started off with a simple meander.



The strips above the snowman got teardrops inside teardrops.  I like it.  I'm considering some buttons in the middle row.  The snowman got meandering hearts.  Ahhh.  See how he's reaching out to give you a hug?



The ice skate background got swirls.  This was my second free motion block and I had trouble remembering what shape I was supposed to be doing.  So, the consistancy is pretty bad.  But, not bad enough to rip out.



For the applique border on top, I just went around the applique and did a spiral in each star.  I was afraid of overpowering it with too much background work.



A picture of the whole thing, pre-quilted.  In case you forgot what it looked like...


So, now that I've got my first quilting project done on the machine, I can return to normal life.  I know, that made me laugh before the sentence was even typed...

Happy Sewing!

Thursday, July 9, 2015

Perfectly Useless Pinterest Pojects


I've been working on a couple of useless projects lately.  I've had these cute little scissor keeps pinned on Pinterest for a couple of years.  Aren't they the cutest darn things?  Completely useless.  I don't even own scissors small enough to fit in the strawberry.  I really should have taken the photo next to my embroidery scissors to show the scale.
The toad stool isn't as small but I seriously doubt I'll ever bother to put my scissors in it when I'm done with them.  They're really more of a cute Christmas ornament.  Or, work cubby decoration.  Gift tag?

















Another Pinterst project I was always going to do was this button lampshade.  A few years ago Lisa D. gave me a wet wipes box full of old family buttons.  I diligently saved them for just the right project.  So, when I got my sewing machine lamp last month, I just knew what had to be done!  There's roughly 750-800 buttons on it.  I think about 8 hours of stringing buttons.  It's really simple but time consuming and thumb/finger crampy.  Maybe don't be crazy like me and do it all at once.  I did watch a series of documentaries on the English Monarchy that was really interesting, though.

Because I know you want to make one too; I stripped the fabric off of an old lamp shade.  Hot glued the frame back together because it was a crappy frame.  Then used jewelry wire to weave through the buttons.  Small at the top, larger as you go down to help fill in the shape of the shade.  Loop the wire over the top and back through the top couple of buttons.  Same on the bottom and trim excess wire.  Easy peasy, lemon squeazy.

That's all I've got for now.  I'm going to try really hard to finish what I've got started but I just bought a new pattern that has me itching to try my hand at ribbon embroidery!

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

New Babies, Hearts & Tulips


Hello, dear friends.  How have you been?  It's been wet around these parts the last few weeks.  My old, decrepit basement flooded last week.  I gotta tell ya, the smell was AMAZING!  I decided to clean it myself as a Father's Day present to Rich (that sort of thing has always been his job).  I think I've had a headache ever since.  Damn sinuses!  My allergist assures me I'm not allergic to mold but my head disagrees with his diagnosis.   Everytime I'm near it!  Any who, that stuff's boring!  On to the fun stuff!
A pregnant co-worker came across a picture on Facebook a month or so ago of a little doll in a crocheted cowgirl outfit and fell in love.  She showed everyone, including the girl who sits next to me.  Naturally, Karen says "I bet Heather can make that."  And, that's how baby gifts are born.  I'd already made a quilt that I've shown before.  Now I'm prepared for the next new baby.  When you work with young women, their's always a next new baby.

The color in the picture is off.  The fringe and trim is actually a pale pink.  Was able to watch all three original Star Wars movies and Django Unchained during this project.

Well, a very well baked baby Bridgette is here and I'm guessing too big to fit in this.  So, Mommy's going to have to buy her a doll to wear it...  The hat gave me fits!  My kids were impressed with it though.  Hunter wanted his own crocheted cowboy hat.  He's 21.

I managed to piece together my Hearts and Tulips quilt.  I've got the top banner pattern layed out and started.  My problem now is that it's a lot larger than I envisioned.  The wall it was planned for is no longer an option.  So, now do I add borders all around and call it a bed quilt?  If I do, I think I will leave them solid cream and let the quilter do something great with them.  Maybe some scallops?  It's crap like this that makes me wonder why I didn't sit down and actually do the math before I started.  I never learn.

In case you were wondering, the penis tulip block did not make the quilt.  I did keep the red and blue block.  Dana D. was right, it doesn't look out of place in the grand scheme of things.  At the advice of Ann from TAS, I added some more embroidery to a another block I thought was boring and then felt like it also deserved to stay.


 In my last post I reported that the watermelon block of Roberta Anne With an 'E' was June.  It was actually July.  It took me 20 minutes of frantically searching for my July pattern before I realized it was the one I had just finished.  Please tell me I'm not the only one that does that!

This is August.  The colors look a little fallish to me but I think it's pretty.  I still have no idea about my end game on this one.



Enough with the words!  Time to get ready for work!  Have a lovely day!