Getting The Pillow Fever Again


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I have always loved making pillows. They are just so fun and relaxing to make. Especially when just piecing little squares. But be warned. They can be addicting.

This is my latest one. I spent a week on it. 😀 (I hear you. Stop laughing.)

Here’s what happened… Two weeks ago, I made a table runner from some of my leftover Hugs and Kisses blocks. The blocks were collecting dust in a pile in a corner. I always feel bad when I start a new project without finishing sewing some of the UFO’s. So I gave the X and O blocks a bit of my attention.

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Making the runner did not take long since the blocks were already made. Just needed stitching together, borders added and quilted. Simple quilting. Straight lines. Plus a bit of stippling. And done.

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Then I decided a pillow was needed to go with the table runner. But had to search high and low for the fabrics used in the X & O blocks. That took a day and ended up with me dismantling one leftover Scrappy Trip block for the exact peach fabric I needed. And then, wouldn’t you know it. I got some sort of stomach bug and ended up being all queasy-stomach sick for five days. Didn’t feel like doing much of anything. Certainly not sewing. At least not for long stretches. I would sew a border and then take a nap. That was my routine for days.

Finally yesterday, I was able to sit in the sewing machine chair longer than the loo chair and managed to work on my pillow. It is made with 2 1/2″ squares and several borders. One border is a strip of squares cut in half. Quilting is diagonal lines.

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I put binding all around the sides just as I would a quilt.

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My machine sewn binding is getting SO GOOD, don’t you think? I may never go back to hand sewing.

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Before I got sick, I had finished another doll quilt with matching pillow and a little handbag. Never got to show them to you.

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All inspired by one of my leftover Scrappy Trip blocks. I have so many of them left that I could turn each one into a doll quilt. One for each day of the month. But I won’t do that. I have other ideas for them. (Or I could send them to you if anyone wants them.)

I also finished sewing together ten Wonky HST blocks. They sit waiting for their polka dot corners.

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None of my other on-going scrap projects got worked on. Need to do that before month’s end. Got to show some progress, right?

Well, that is it for me. That’s all of my Show and Tell.

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What have you been working on? Do tell….


Linking to.

http://crazymomquilts.blogspot.com/2013/05/pin-cushions.html

http://www.confessionsofafabricaddict.blogspot.com/2013/05/can-i-get-whoop-whoop-lots-of-quilting.html

http://richardquilts.blogspot.com/2013/05/link-finish-friday-68.html

http://aroundtheblockdesigns.blogspot.com/2013/05/really-random-52313-portlandia.html

http://www.sew-much-ado.com/2013/05/we-did-it-wednesday_21.html

Added Borders To My String Circle Blocks


Want to see what I have been working on for two days?

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I decided to give my String Circle blocks some love. Last you saw them I was pondering whether to add borders on all four sides of each block.

As you can see, I went with just two. An “L” design. That way I don’t have so much of a color conflict on all sides. Looking at the blocks, one kind of flows to the next without being a standalone block.

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Six blocks across and six blocks down. Each block measures 11″ by 11″. I started off with a 10″ square for the back and added 1 1/2″ borders. For the borders, I selected two fabrics from the circle.

I am thinking I may add a seventh row. I have 10 blocks leftover. But for now, I am going to start sewing the rows together.

Wish me luck that the seams line up!!

Happy Thanksgiving.. don’t eat too much turkey and pumpkin pie. 😀


Linking to…

http://www.confessionsofafabricaddict.blogspot.com/2012/11/can-i-get-whoop-whoop-better-late-than.html

http://richardquilts.blogspot.com/2012/11/link-finish-friday-42_23.html

http://crazymomquilts.blogspot.com/2012/11/finish-it-up-friday-112312.html

String Circles: Starting Over… With Applique #3


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Thanks so much for commenting on which of the three applique techniques you liked and why.

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Three, it is… Not only did #3 get the most mentions, my eyes kept scanning all three and I have to agree with you that #3 does have the “cleanest” look. The applique blends with the circle and doesn’t stand out as much.

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It wasn’t the easiest. Sewing-wise. That would be Applique #1. But I took my time and did my best to be consistent. Trying for the same look.

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Those circles done with Applique #1 have been ripped out, redone and finished. I got different results from the various background fabrics. Some I loved how the applique turned out.

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A few others. Not so much. This ivory fabric with black dots acted so ugly. I think it was too stiff for applique.

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I was only able to get two using the ivory with dots to lie flat. I ripped out and redid them so many times, the fabric looks like swiss cheese. For sure headed to the scrap bin. Or the Trash Bin!!

Remember the yellow ones I HATED? Well, I have to retract that. I am liking them more now. Here is one of them.

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It looks OK. Better this way than before.

Now that the applique decision is behind me, I can move on. I have to decide whether to go borderless or with borders. Log Cabin borders.

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And if I go the Log Cabin route, where should the border go. Sides? Top and bottom? Two borders? Four. More decisions. Or I could just sew all the blocks together plain, no individual borders. And do sashing horizontal or vertical under or between the rows. Decisions. Decisions.

It will be more work and more scrap bin diving but I think I like the individual border arrangement.

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A border on each side using four of the fabrics used in the circle. We shall see. It depends on how much time I want to spend working on it. I have so many other quilt designs in my head. Itching to start on something “fresh.”

Thanks again for commenting and helping me make my applique decision. Hope you will stick around and come back to see my progress.

I just might be finished by Christmas. 😀

One last thing to show you from October. My pillowcases. I made the usual charity ones PLUS I also made a few I will put in my Etsy Shop. So please come back to see them. I will post them in two days. Trying to spread out my posts so you aren’t overwhelmed. 😀

So… What Do You Think? Applique 1, 2 or 3


My String Circles project has stalled. I am still undecided on how to proceed. A week or so ago, I thought I knew what I wanted. I merrily appliqued the circles to the background fabric. You can see the ones done here on my design wall.

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BUT…

I was still not thrilled. So I continued to experiment. (Actually what I was really doing was making a mess of my background fabric. Lots of ripping out and redoing.) 🙂

So… These are my current options. What do you think?

Applique #1: Top stitched directly to the background fabric.

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Applique #2: Muslin circle sewn to the back of the String Circle, turned inside out, stitched down.

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Applique #3: String Circle sewn to background fabric face down, background fabric trimmed all around leaving about 1/4″ to expose string circle, stitched down.

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I want all to have the same applique technique. So I am at a standstill until I decide which way to go. 😦

There are probably more ways to do this but of these three, which do you like?

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Testing, Testing… Dipping My Toe Into The “Applique” Waters


HELP!! I am so out of my comfort zone. Going to applique my String Circles.

I have only done mostly zig-zag stitches around raw fabric edges. I have to rewind back to St Pat’s Day to remember the first time I tried something different. Blanket stitching. Remember? But this time I wanted to try the applique stitch.

Got my sewing machine ready. Cleaned out the bobbin area. Put in a new needle. Swapped my quarter inch foot for the “F” foot and practiced making a few stitches to see if I needed to adjust anything. Nope. Stitch length seemed about right.

The first string circle I practiced on was one of the yellow ones.

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I pulled it from the pile for two reasons. It wasn’t my favorite. Kind of pale looking and I had been thinking it wouldn’t make the cut. Wouldn’t be used in my quilt. And also the strings crinkled when I ironed them. Meaning either bad fabric or bad sewing. So I figured, what the hay, stitch around it to see what happens.

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Not happy. Nothing to write home about.

On to the 2nd one. Turquoise/Aqua. A circle I liked and for sure wanted it to be part of my quilt.

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I got about the same result. Pulling in around the edges of the circle. Not the flat look I was trying for.

OK.. so what gives.. what was I doing wrong?

Ah, Ha. I know!! Something in my head said “stabilizer”. Some sort of backing. Off I went to dig out what I bought YEARS ago around the same time I purchased my sewing machine (which BTW, embroiders).

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Since I was clueless on which did what, I experimented with both, using the same background fabric.

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And they both turned out the same. No pulling, no ruffles. So… that is what I needed. A stabilizer. (It appears I spent WAY too much on one of these.) But glad to know I could achieve a flat look.

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These aren’t the best applique but with practice and perhaps using my embroidery thread, I should get better at it.

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Questions for you applique experts out there.

  • What stitch do you use for applique?
  • Do you use any special thread?
  • Any tips for me, the Newbie?

Thanks in advance for any help you can offer. 😀

American Heroes Quilt Update and String Circles Status


UPDATE

If you remember from my post back in July, I made a quilt top for charity, American Heroes. It was patriotic themed and would be presented to a wounded American soldier returning from the war. (Original post at bottom)

Just wanted to show you what my quilt top looks like now after being quilted. It was quilted this month by the amazing Nancy, from one of the many quilt guilds around the country working with charities.

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If you look closely, you can see the design. Banners and stars.

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Isn’t it wonderful!!

Pretty soon, my quilt will be headed to one of the hospitals charged with mending our wounded soldiers. It warms my heart knowing it will go to someone who almost gave their life making it safe for ME. To allow me the freedom to write this blog. Craft all day. Do as I wish. For that, I am truly grateful.

Thank you, American Hero Quilts, for founding such a worthwhile charity. Thank you, Nancy, for giving of your time, talent and supplies. Also thank you for the photos.


STATUS

I haven’t done much with my String Circles since I last showed them to you. BUT… I did decide on how to connect them and make them into a quilt. I am going to top stitch (applique) the circles onto a 10″ fabric square of beige/cream/ivory.

This is what a portion looks like.

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Lots more to do. I am hoping for a this year finish.

Well, that does it for me. Working on more stuff but none at a stage I can share. Soon.

What are you working on? Do tell….


Go here to read my post on my American Heroes quilt top.

https://thisyearsdozen.wordpress.com/2012/07/16/soldiers-quilt-top-is-finished-and-2-new-umbrella-blocks/

https://thisyearsdozen.wordpress.com/2012/07/12/american-hero-quilt-6-rows-one-to-go/

SS Holiday: St Patrick’s Day Table Topper


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I wanted to make a St Patrick’s Day quilt. Something small. Table topper for my SS Holiday series or a wall hanging. Maybe even a mug rug. I have a St Pat’s Mug Rug project due soon in my quilt group that I needed to be thinking about.

I have lots of green fabric but none in what I would consider a true St Pat’s green. A bright kelly green. And nothing even close to a traditional St Patrick’s Day fabric (think green shamrocks). Not wanting to add to my ever increasing stash, I decided to make do. Make it work!!.

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And “making it work” means just that. Time to put on the BLINDERS. Time to block out what has gone on before. Time to just make what I want with whatever colors and fabrics I want.

This was my Inspiration Fabric. Some green. Even cups and mugs. Perfect!!

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These are the fabrics and colors I picked from my stash. I cut little 1 1/2″ squares from each.

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Brown polka dots would be the center, the base to build around.

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I Googled shamrock template and found a couple I could use. The largest one, I enlarged it twice to make two slightly bigger shamrocks. Then I ironed lightweight Pellon to the backs.

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Here I am testing shamrock placement and a green border.

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I used Steam-A-Seam2 to hold the shamrocks in place.

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And now ready to applique.

Well, actually ready to test out the Blanket Stitch on my sewing machine. But first, since I had dusted off my sewing machine manual and WAS READING IT (be still my heart)… I did a bit of Twin Needle stitching. Yuck!! Don’t know about you but not my cup of tea. It bunched in the back so I removed all of it.

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OK, back to applique blanket stitching. Here’s my practice piece. (You can see my twin needle practicing here too.)

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Ready to sew. Blanket stitching we go!! My 1st time ever doing it.

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Applique done. Quilting done.

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Ready for the binding. I selected this color to bring in the shamrock navy.

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And FINISHED!! Ready to place on a table or hang on the wall. It measures 22″ by 17″.

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You can read about my SS Holiday series here.

https://thisyearsdozen.wordpress.com/2011/12/23/s-s-holiday-table-runners-for-the-holidays/


What are your plans for St Patrick’s Day? Are you sewing anything?


Linking up to:

http://crazymomquilts.blogspot.com/2012/03/finish-it-up-friday-week-17.html

http://www.confessionsofafabricaddict.blogspot.com/2012/03/can-i-get-whoop-whoop-busy-week.html

http://conniekresin.blogspot.com/2012/02/linky-party-tuesday_28.html

http://howsweetthesound.typepad.com/my_weblog/2012/03/pink-saturday-march-17-2012.html