Sunday, January 25, 2015

Tessellated Leaves Pattern Testing Blog Hop

I am beyond excited to help introduce a quilting pattern by Yvonne Fuchs, AKA the Quilting Jetgirl!  Yvonne has written her first pattern for publication and I want to share my experience in testing her pattern.

First, my finished crib quilt!  I love it, and I hope you do, also!

Tessellated Leaves has been carefully and thoroughly written.  I chose to make a two-color, crib sized quilt as it seems as if all of my coworkers are reproducing.  Fortunately, Hawthorne Threads was able to send me the most  beautiful fabric in baby girl colors, from the AMH line, Honor Roll.  

Yvonne's pattern gives detailed instructions, from how much fabric to purchase to precutting your fabric into the needed strips (very helpful).   There are 8 HST's in each block, and things will go so much more smoothly if you just sit down and construct them in advance.  I like the method that Yvonne uses, which produces two HST's from each set of squares. The pattern calls for 3.5 inch squares; however, I found too much fabric waste when I trimmed my HST's  I cut my next strips at 3.25 inch, and got perfect little HST's with little waste.  Yvonne immediately included that tip into her pattern!

One of the many things I truly liked about the Tessellated Leaves pattern was the use of the diagrams.  I took the page with the basic construction diagram (page 6) and taped it on the wall in front of my machine.  Then all I had to do was look at it as I sewed my pieces together.  Still, being me, I managed to do several things backwards.  

Note the HST's which are determined to go the wrong way.

Tips?  Again, makes your HST's ahead.  Also, be consistent in pressing your seams in the same direction.  They will "nest" nicely if you do. In this pattern, every piece that you have cut ahead and stacked in order will mean a very flowing and easy process for construction.

Double check the direction of your HST's before you stitch your rows together to avoid seam ripping or possibly missing a stray HST going in the wrong direction (see above photo).

I ended up with very little fabric left over.  Just enough backing fabric to let me cut some squares for my AMH scrap quilt (yea!) and then a small piece (not even a fat eighth) of the pink focal fabric, so the fabric requirements are spot on.  

I would make this quilt again, using the two-color or the four-color design.  

The Tessellated Leaves Pattern Testing Blog Hop continues through the week, and I encourage you to visit the sites below to see more quilts, more tips, and the wonderful color arrangements that are possible with this pattern!

Here are all the stops on the Tessellated Leaves blog hop:
By the way, the pattern is available for purchase!  To introduce Tessellated Leaves, the pattern will be available in Yvonne's Payhip Store for $6 during the blog hop (through January 31st) before it goes up to its regular price.  

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Time for New Projects!

It is SO time for me to start something new, and also to use up something "old".  Last night I downloaded some Valentine embroidery patterns, and thought that I might start some gift pillows.  I also have been itching to use some of my vast store of AMH fabrics, much of which is in small pieces, but all very much loved and usable.

Hubby and I ran out to enjoy some breakfast and stop at the grocery store, where a new quilting magazine popped right into my face.  Quilters World. (Spring, 2015)  On the front was a double Irish Chain in all it's glory, and the decision was made.

First, I had to set up the embroidery machine to start on the gifts:

And according to the machine, I had ninety minutes to go crazy cutting fabric squares for my new quilt.

Soon I had a lot of pieces cut and pressed and ready to go.  After testing the pattern directions, I realized that the blocks lent themselves nicely to chain piecing.  I believe the pattern called for 55 four-square sets, which I pretty much made up at random (as random as I allow myself to be).

Next up will be making up the blocks AND finishing the pillows.  I have pulled out a lot of pinks and reds from my stash for the pillows, but really have no idea where I am heading with them yet.  

Ah, sewing! What a joy!


Friday, January 2, 2015

Starting the New Year with a WIP {No More} !

A lot has been happening, and the Holiday Season is just about tucked into our memories.  I am so happy to have a finish for the end of 2014!

Shards!  Persistence does pay off, and the further I got on it, the more inspired I was to finish it.

Interesting things happen when you do so much sewing on one small wall hanging:

For one thing, the batting is really worn out all around the edges.  I have turned and turned and rolled this baby so many times!

Here you see some of the batting and also the rows of stitches.  You can get an idea of just how close the rows are!

At each intersection of the squares, I turned back and repeated the direction I was sewing from.      No stitching crossed over the seams.  Letting the strips of color remain unquilted was wonderful.  The strips stand out, both visually and in texture.

One last thing, if you can see it-- the hanging it quite wavy!  The constant manipulation caused a lot of rippling in the final product.  I don't intend to wash or press the hanging as I want to maintain the texture, so wavy it remains!

Oh yes--the back!

The entire back is the crisscrossed with tight stitching.  I included two sample squares, one of which was too small to suit, and one which was too large.  The squares on the front, Goldilocks, are just right!  There is a hanging sleeve sewn into the top binding.

AND--we are linking it up--finally--to TFIFF, and I am happy as pie to do so!!

Hugs and Blessings,

Saturday, December 13, 2014

15 Quilty Resolutions for 2015

I really don't have 15, but I certainly need to make resolutions.  Especially after today.
Here goes!

1.  Focus on my projects.  I've always been Type A, and it is hard for me to have only one project going.  I think that you can have too many projects, and not give enough attention to each one.  

2.  Clean up!  No, really.  First of all, at the beginning of the year I need to clean up my big, wonderful studio, and get it organized.  Then I need to keep it organized.  It's easier said than done but I know it will make me more creative!!

Those two resolutions were kind of boring and basic.  I have more!

3.  Keep on trying projects that I think are difficult.  For instance:

Paper piecing.  I had to make SIX of these blocks to get four geese sets that flew in the same direction.  But I did it!

Or maybe this:

Yes, Shards!  To me, this kind of piecing is not intuitive at all.  However, I wish, I really do wish, that you could see in person what I see close up!  Somehow the marbled background fabric picks up the strips of color, and as I stitch my very close quiilting, I see that over and over.  I am about 3/4 done with that stitching, and it has been a joy!

My NQB Bee keeps me busy with blocks which are also new to me, and make me think:

It's like vegetables--if I don't try them, how will I know if I like them or not?

4.  Finish the UFO's.  

Everyone has UFO's.  Why?  Most of mine are things that I have allowed myself to put away so that I can work on projects I like better.  Some of my UFO's are very early quilt tops, made when I had no idea what I was doing.  There isn't much of myself in those tops, and so I lost interest.  

5.  Learn new things, go to classes, enjoy, enjoy, enjoy!!!!

And to me, this is what sewing, quilting and embroidery is all about!

Linking up to  Yvonne at The Quilting Jetgirl!

Hugs and much warmth and good wishes!


Thursday, December 4, 2014

Fabric Makes My Heart Sing! {Well, I AM A Quilter!}

A quick post to let you peek at a couple of things in the making.  First, a special delivery from Hawthorne Threads-- a sample of AMH Honor Roll!  I have a plan for this fabric but I cannot show you yet.   I love this fabric!  It feels like silk, too!

The other quilt-in-progress is one of two that I am making for Christmas gifts.  Sigh.  My daughters both requested playmats for my grandsons, who love to play lego-blocks on the floor.  I willingly agreed; however,  I managed to choose a pattern that was apparently untested, or possibly not tested enough.  I found that by staring at the pictures I got through the first top, and the second should go more quickly. 

The back of the playmats will be a grass green Kona, and will probably be the more "functional" side when in use.

Quilting the tops should be MUCH more fun than piecing them, which is not my usual frame of mind!

Christmas sewing continues, and I am so truly pleased that I can participate in creating gifts for loved ones. 

Linking up to NTT at My Quilt Infatuation!


Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Crafty's Thanksgiving Sale!

Although I rarely do this, I am a Craftsy affiliate, so I want to point out the big sale they will be having this weekend.  I have several favorite on-line fabric retailers.  What Craftsy has is fabulous sales--not the biggest selections but great sale prices!  Check it out!!!  I've never been disappointed. 

Shop Craftsy's Pre-Black Friday Sale!
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This week, Craftsy is hosting an amazing sale! Here are the details:

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I've already checked out the fabric!!!
Hugs and most of all have a safe and Happy Thanksgiving!
As soon as I can, I have so much to show you!!

Saturday, November 22, 2014

If it Isn't Broke, Break it!!! {Make it Work for You}

I brought home a sample zip up jersey from work.  It had an embroidered patch on it, kind of curled and ugly, but there was nothing wrong with the jersey.  It was a freebie.

After some thought, I decided to cut out the ugly patch.  Now I had a hole.  With a iron and some samples of stabilizer, I very carefully patched the hole, front and back.  My focus was to maintain the shape of the fabric.

You can see the size of the hole and also the patch.  About 2 inches by 3 inches-- a little larger maybe.

I hooped a tearaway stabilizer, sprayed it with a very happy amount of temporary adhesive, then smoothed the jersey in place over the hoop.

Now I was ready to stitch.  That was the easy part.  Finding the right design.  Hard.

The design needed to be fairly dense to cover the patch entirely, and not to leave any kind of indentation where there was no fabric underneath.  I didn't want another "bulletproof" design, but I did want good coverage.

I found this red shoe design in my files.  I do love a good pair of red shoes, don't you??  It completely fit the bill.  I covered the fabric with a topper to keep the stitches  orderly, and off I went.  It worked out so well!  I will absolutely try this switch-out in the future, probably on thrift store finds.

And we are done!!!  A Christmas design would have been great here, also!

Happy Thanksgiving to you all, if my posting lacks in the next week!!!

Linking up to Show off Saturday at She Can Sew!!!

Hugs, Debbie