Thursday, February 28, 2019

Embroidered Trees--OMG

My One Monthly Goal for February was to do the embroidery for a new tea cozy for my dad, who brews a pot of tea every morning.  I chose a really lovely embroidery pattern by Cozy Blue Handmade that I thought he would like.  Since I want the design on both sides of the tea cozy, I needed to stitch the design twice.

I'm pleased to say I got them both done!  I actually spent the first two weeks of February with my dad, so he's seen the pattern and approves. Just so you have proof that I really did stitch it twice, here they are side-by-side.

I stitched some of it on the plane going to visit him, but much of it was stitched while we watched movies from his DVD collection.  During my 12-day stay we watched 9 movies!  Here is our final count:

Funny Face
The Music Man
His Girl Friday
Seven Brides for Seven Brothers
State Fair (1945 version)
Kiss Me, Kate
Arsenic and Old Lace

Many of these are among my favorites.  The only one I had not seen before is Charade. 

Linking up with Patty of Elm Street Quilts.

February OMG Finish link-up is OPEN!

Thursday, February 21, 2019

Night Fairy: An Island Batik Magnificent Mini

It's my very first Island Batik Ambassador challenge!!  February's theme is Magnificent Minis.  The only requirement is a maximum size of 24" x 24".

I chose a fairy block designed by Juliet of The Tartan Kiwi.  The date on my download is December 30, 2015 so I've had the pattern for a while.  I am so happy to now have a completed fairy mini quilt!

The fabrics were provided to me by Island Batik.  Hobbs and Aurifil also provided materials that I used in this project. 

The original pattern is a 12" block.  I enlarged it to be a 15" block and I'm glad I did--even enlarged, some of the pieces are pretty small.  I still don't love paper piecing when I'm doing it but I sure do love the results when I get an image it would be impossible to piece traditionally. The fairy's feet were really close to the bottom and I wanted a little more space between the feet and the binding, so I added a strip at the bottom.  Then, to make a clear rectangle, I trimmed a bit off the sides.  The final mini measures 13 1/2" wide and 16" tall.  I don't see the pattern for sale any more but here is the original post with Juliet's fairy.

I used only three fabrics in this mini.  The background is a blender from the basics collection called Bubbles in grey.  I imagine that the "bubbles" are stars and the fairy is flying around on a star-lit night, which is why I chose to name this quilt Night Fairy.  The fairy is also a blender, Dandelion in jelly.  The wing fabric is from one of the strips in my stash builder roll.  I wanted the wings to look like light and this blue-and-white batik really captures the look I was hoping for.

I know it looks like it doesn't blend, but given that you can't see the part I unraveled, it does!

For the quilting, I used Auriful 50 weight thread color 2783, medium delft blue.  I used Hobbs Thermore batting which is nice and thin, perfect for a mini that will hang on the wall. 

The first quilting I did was to outline the fairy herself.  I shortened my stitch length for this part for more precision in the outline.  Then, I envisioned straight lines radiating out from the fairy.  I thought about how to do this for a while.  Ultimately, I decided that a Dresden Plate wedge would give me the look I wanted.  I found this article that explained the angels for the Dresden Plate and used one of the printable templates linked in the article.  I chose the 18 degree Dresden.

My first step was to mark the vertical and horizontal axes at the halfway point.  I wanted the quilting to radiate out from the fairy so I didn't stitch any lines through any part of the fairy's body, including the wings.  Once I had the center point established, I filled in the top half of lines using my template.

I marked my lines with a Clover chaco liner.  I know a lot of quilters like a hera marker for lines but I  suspect those people are actually magicians.  My indentations are never visible and that method just does not work for me, so I use visible lines that are easily erasable.  The white chaco liner works great on dark backgrounds.  I find that most of the chalk disappears when stitched over. It can also fade when touched too much, which is why I only marked the top half to start.  Once I stitched those lines, I marked the bottom half.

You can kinda see the radiating lines in this picture. I'm happy with how the quilting turned out.

I am so happy with this fairy!  I love her bright purple color and background of stars.  I plan to add her to my recently relocated wall of mini quilts in my office.  I've got a spot picked out for her by the window so she can easily fly out and have adventures.  Thanks, Island Batik, for giving me the opportunity to create this Magnificent Mini!

Monday, February 18, 2019

Scrap: An Adventure

I spent the first two weeks of February in Portland, Oregon.  I was there mostly to see family and be in a caretaker role, but I did have a few chances to get out and about.  On my first outing, I had walked downtown from my dad's apartment.  When texting me directions on how to walk back, my brother gave me an address I would pass on my walk home and said "it's like a thrift craft store."  Obviously, I was going to check that out.

Oh. My. Gosh.  You guys, this place was like thrifty craft nerd heaven.  It's a nonprofit started by a teacher as a way to share supplies and keep stuff out of landfills.  It's donation based, so it is a thrift store in that way.  Things are loosely organized by craft type (collage, paint, yarn, fabric, etc) and there is a lot of random stuff that could easily be used creatively. Prices are really low.  They also do kids camps and various maker events for adults.

I spent $6.30 and this was my haul. The three fabrics on the left are fat quarters ($1 each) and the town/truck fabric is a full yard ($3).  That town fabric was a real find for me because it features some of my son's favorites: a fire station and a fire truck. There is also a police car, an ambulance, a police station, and an ice cream truck, all notable on their own. I'm working on an idea for an ocean quilt so the two sea life stencils (ten cents each) were both inspirational and timely, and the two plastic things in the upper left are pencil grips (5 cents each) that I'm hoping I can attach to the pegboard in my sewing room so my pencil is easier to find.

The window in the yarn section
I first visited on a Thursday. The following Tuesday was my last full day in Oregon and I walked downtown to have lunch with my sister-in-law.  On the way home, I stopped at Scrap again, because why not?  They had clearly gotten some new fabric processed because it is unlikely I would have missed the fat quarters of novelty fabric.

My second haul was $8.75.  There are five more fat quarters, a fat eighth (50 cents), a tracing paper that I'm planning to try in an upcoming project ($1), a package of lite steam-a-seam-2 pages that look to be in great condition (25 cents) and a substantial roll of heat-n-bond lite ($2).  I'm hoping that I can trim the steam-a-seam slightly and use it in the printer, but even if that doesn't work I am set on fusible web for a while to come.  I've already used some of the heat-n-bond for this month's Stash Bee blocks.

snowflakes in the window made out of craft supplies
The store is called Scrap and you can see more about it here, and there are now a few other locations in the US.  I had a great time looking at everything and would have loved to take my son to see what crazy stuff he would like to make from other people's craft leftovers.  It's such a great concept; I wish there was one in my area!

Monday, February 11, 2019

Hand Pieced Quilt Along: Block 1

When I first started quilting in the mid-to-late 1990s, I tried some hand piecing. I was working at a summer camp and thought it would be a way I could keep sewing.  I didn't like it and only pieced a few blocks.

When Patty at Elm Street Quilts announced that she would be co-hosting a Quilt Along focused on trying hand piecing, I thought it would be a good time to try again.  And though I'm a few weeks behind, here is my first block:

This is the simplest of the nine blocks for this quilt along.  The piecing went faster than I expected.  I'm using a fat eight bundle of Blueberry Park that was one of the Black Friday deals at Fat Quarter Shop last November.  I didn't have a plan for it at the time, but I think the variety of bright colors will be lovely in this small sampler.

I am going to cut the pieces for blocks two, three, and four today.  Told you I was behind!

Saturday, February 9, 2019

Island Batik Ambassador

I am beyond excited to announce that I am one of the 2019 Island Batik Ambassadors!!!!  Many of the blogs I follow are written by people who have been Island Batik Ambassadors for a year or more. I love seeing the monthly challenges and how each person did something so different with the same theme and sometimes the exact same fabrics. 

When the call for applications for 2019 came out I decided to apply.  Batiks are my first love, fabric wise.  While I don’t use solely batiks these days, I’m still drawn by the colors and designs in batik fabrics and that’s usually my favorite section of a quilt shop. Island Batik has such beautiful colors and patterns that the idea of getting to make something with the lovely fabrics *every month* is just so exciting!

All the goodies!
Isn't this just amazing!!!!  Look at all the awesome!!  Disclosure: all items pictured were given to me by Island Batik and their industry partners Aurifil, Hobbs Batting, and Accuquilt.

Lovely Island Batik fabrics.  Look at it all!
First, the fabric!  Island Batik sent me a 10" stacker of Flea Market (in stores now!) and coordinating light and dark yardage.  Flea Market is lovely greens, teals, yellows, and oranges.  There is yardage of Island Batik’s new solids in white, gray, and black.  I also got generous yardage of a neutral from their basics collection, as well as several half yard cuts from that collection.  My basics are mostly in the purple family—someone knows my favorite color!  And there were two packages of Stash Builder rolls.  Stash builder rolls are precuts of 5” by width of fabric and unrolling the bundles is like the best kind of grab bag! Each Ambassador was also given a secret package--you can see it wrapped and marked Surprise!  That is a collection that is not yet released and will be unveiled during a blog hop in August.  Everything I’ve mentioned so far are standard batiks (cotton).  There were also two rayon items: a lovely black and white scarf and a two-yard cut of multi-colored rayon.  I don’t normally sew clothes but part of the point is to venture out of my comfort zone and try new things.

Thread from Aurifil
There were also 5 spools of thread from Aurifil.  I am in love with Aurifil thread AND they have fantastic customer service support.  I’m especially excited to try their floss; mine is the gray spool on the far right.

Batting from Hobbs
Hobbs batting really spoils us!  There are two queen-size batts here, plus silk batting and polyester Thermore to play with.  I have never used black batting before and am very interested to see how I like it--and I have a project in mind!

Accuquilt GO!
Accuquilt is a new industry partner for Island Batik.  Each Ambassador was sent an Accuquilt GO! cutter, a GO! cube, which is their set of die shapes to make tons of different blocks, a 2 1/2" strip die, and the Quilt in a Day GO! Qube book by Eleanor Burns.  I've had an Accuquilt cutter for a few years now and I LOVE it!  I use mostly for cutting my scraps to certain sizes (it's fantastic for scrap management!) and also have a few fun applique dies. 

I cannot begin to say how honored and thrilled I am to be a part of this program for 2019!  My first challenge project is done, but I'm currently in Oregon with family and didn't get to take photos before I left, so you'll have to wait until the second half of the month to see it.  In the meantime, visit some of the other 2019 Island Batik Ambassadors!

Carolina Asmussen ~Carolina Asmussen
Gene Black ~ Gene Black
Pamela Boatright ~ PamelaQuilts
Connie K Campbell ~ Freemotion by the River
Anja Clyke ~ Anja Quilts
Tina Dillard ~ Quilting Affection Designs
Becca Fenstermaker ~Pretty Piney
Jennifer Fulton ~ Inquiring Quilter
Barbara Gaddy ~ Bejeweled Quilts by Barb
Dione Gardner-Stephen ~ Clever Chameleon
Sarah Goer ~ Sarah Goer Quilts
Vasudha Govindan ~ Storied Quilts
Lori Haase ~ Dakota City Quilter II
Joanne Hart ~ Unicornharts
Mania (Magdalini) Hatziioannidi ~ Mania for Quilts
Carla Henton ~ Creatin’ in the Sticks
Stephanie Jacobson ~ Steph Jacobson Designs
Connie Kauffman ~ Kauffman Designs
Joan Kawano ~ Moosestash Quilting
Kim Lapacek ~ Persimon Dreams
Emily Leachman ~ The Darling Dogwood  THAT'S ME!!!
Leanne Parsons ~ Devoted Quilter
Bea Lee ~ BeaQuilter
Toby Lischko ~ Gateway Quilts & Stuff
Bill Locke ~ Studio Bill Locke
Denise Looney ~ For the Love of Geese
Leah Malasky ~ Quilted Delights
Sally Manke ~ Sally Manke
Maryellen McAuliffe ~ Mary Mack’s Blog
Kathleen McCormick ~ Kathleen McMusing
Carol Moellers ~ Carol Moellers Designs
Karen Neary ~ Sew Karen-ly Created
Lisa Nielsen ~ Lisa Lisa and the Quilt Jam
Jackie O’Brien ~ If These Threads Could Talk
Laura Piland ~ Slice of Pi Quilts
Michelle Roberts ~ Creative Blonde
Vicki Schlimmer ~ Vicki’s Crafts and Quilting
Gail Sheppard ~ Quilting Gail
Sherry Shish ~ Powered by Quilting
Anita Skjellanger ~ Quilt in a not-Shell
Tish Stemple ~ Tish’s Adventures in Wonderland
Jennifer Strauser ~ Dizzy Quilter
Jennifer Thomas ~ Curlicue Creations
Terri Vanden Bosch ~ Lizard Creek Quilts
Alison Vermilya ~ Little Bunny Quilts
Sandra Walker ~ mmm! quilts
Suzy Webster ~ Adventurous Applique and Quilting
Anne Wiens ~ Seams like a Plan
Geraldine Wilkins ~ Living Water Quilter
Janet Yamamoto ~ Whispers of Yore

Friday, February 1, 2019

February OMG

My dad is a big tea drinker and the tea cozy he's used my entire life is on it's last legs.  He asked me to make him a new one, leaving color and fabric and design completely up to me.  I found a great embroidery pattern from Cozy Blue Handmade that I think he will like.  My One Monthly Goal (OMG) with Patty of Elm Street Quilts is to finish the embroidery.  I'm currently planning to use the design on both sides of the cozy so I will need to stitch the design twice, but that plan may change.

February OMG Goal link-up is OPEN!