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Thursday, April 17, 2014

Applique Garden

I don't have enough projects to fill my time--HA, HA, HA--so I decided to do another "mystery" wall-hanging sponsored by Susan Claire in Australia of Gourmet Quilter. She's refreshing and offers many free tutorials on YouTube. Her slogan: "...because quilting is delicious!" I like her spirit!

Each month she's sponsoring a free mystery piece of the Garden wall hanging, which started in March. I've just finished March's panel:

This first panel is about 42" in length.

Topmost flowers.
Long stems.

Butterfly at the top.

Flower and leaf.
I love the background white on white fabric--nice find for a nature theme. I've been using scraps of fabric as I go along. This project gives me an opportunity to work with my machine's blanket stitch, and since she's "revealing" each month, it helps me to pace myself.

If you'd like to join the fun, Susan offers the pattern for a small fee on her website for any of the months you've missed which is only March at this point.

Happy creating!

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Sweet, Unique Star Blocks and Labels

I'm working on the fourth installment of the Mystery Quilt sponsored by Eleanor Burns. Each installment has included different types of stars. She uses techniques that help me quilt more accurately. I think you'll agree that these fabrics from a fabric line called "In the Beginning" make it sparkle. I'm using yellow toned "Architextures" by Carolyn Friedlander for Robert Kaufman fabrics as a background. I threw in other fabrics from Michael Miller, Clothworks, more Robert Kaufmans, and some I can't identify now.
Two of four stars, which will be joined by background triangles and another large scale green fabric triangles to become the corner squares of the borders.

Close up of Mystery Star 4

On my design wall, four different stars. 
These new stars are not in their corner spot yet because my design wall is too small.

My sister, Diana of asked me to machine embroider another label. She is an ACTIVE quilter! I can't keep up with her, and she works full time, raises kids, and cares for pets!! I always collaborate with the individual requesting the label concerning colors, label size, motifs, fonts, etc. I'm able to send screen shots via the internet during the design process so that modifications can be made before stitching it out.

The label looked like this on the computer screen. Diana asked for bright thread colors and the butterfly motif to match her fabrics.

The finished label, measuring about 4.5" x 4.5" (note: I'm still snipping threads that connect the design on the front). I always leave an additional half inch or more around the label for the seamstress to trim and attach with their chosen method. As I stitched this out, I decided against the black thread for the script. It seemed too severe among these lively colors.

Other labels I've designed:

Designs can also include appliques, as seen of the Snow-girl on the left. 

Stitched out on selected fabric.

Screen Shot of Label

Screen Shot of Label

I've made and designed others as well, in various sizes. If you would like to order one, feel free to collaborate with me. It's a nice addition to whatever you're making, and so important to document the work.

Linking up with friends at: 
WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced                                              Sew Fresh Quilts

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Be Liberated! Go Wonky with a Star

A Wonky Star Block: note the uneven/unequal rays of the star points.

I began attending my local "chapter" of a Modern Quilt Guild in January this year. If you have an opportunity to be part of a guild, club, class, you'll be inspired like I am! I love seeing what people produce! Each month some members of the guild are participating in a "quilting bee exchange" in which we make blocks for one another according to the designated "queen bee's" instructions. For the Queen Bee of March, I made this star block yesterday which I'll be returning to her at tonight's meeting. Each of her blocks will be different color themes. She asked us to select fabrics from our stash according to the particular colorway of the fabric swatch she'd attached to each individual bag, in which she also included fabric bits for the wonky star's parts and 2 yummy pieces of chocolate. Great idea!
Notice how the seams are ironed on the back to interlock & reduce bulk.

Wonky stars, and other wonky patterns, are simple to make. They liberate the quilter, regardless of his/her level of experience, from the worry of matching points, being exact, and all the other "rules" that can intimidate us. My goal is to have fun and be creative by sewing something to enjoy as art; to inspire, soothe or create passion in a room; to grace a table as a runner or place-mat; to "garnish" my life and the lives of others in any number of ways: potholders, mug rugs, apron, jacket, handbag, and so much more! Let's not let the details get in our way. :-)

For tutorials on how to construct this block:
  1. See Kat's instructions:
  2. If you haven't discovered Jenny (specializing in fast, easy, and fun quilting) of the Missouri Star Quilt Company, you need to! See lots of incredible tutorials on their website, and her goal is usually. Here's her: Wonky Star Charm Pack Quilt
The block I constructed used 3.5" squares and finishes at 15.25". It wouldn't take long to produce and enjoy a quilt made with these delightful, liberating stars!

Linking up with friends at:
WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced                   AND                      Sew Fresh Quilts

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Marriage Proposal, Engagement, Pillowcases!

Great News!

Our sweet-pea of a daughter became engaged to a lovely young man on March 9. Her fiance invited us to the after-event to surprise her. She had no idea all the plans he made to bring this about! Bobby graciously talked with my husband, her dad, to ask his "permission" to marry her a couple of weeks before the party at his parents' home.

So this called for something handmade, don't you think? I decided that I could do pillowcases in a week's time. It took a week to think about, plan, purchase more fabric :-), print a photo on fabric for the first time!, and then fit it all together. We're all on nice, happy new adventures!

I started with this lovely photo.

I printed it onto fabric prepared for inkjet printing.

And here are the results! Each gets their own pillowcase, to dream about one another, and when they come together in marriage, they have a set.

Now I may have to come up with a very special quilt. I have until late December, apparently.

I'm linking with "WIP Wednesday" with Lee at FreshlyPieced, and "Let's Bee Social" with Lorna at SewFreshQuilts.
Sew Fresh Quilts                                                                          WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Piles of Stars as the Mystery Quilt takes shape

I made 24 of these stars.
I hadn't sewn this one together yet.

I believe my "mystery quilt", made up of various stars, may turn out to be one of the loveliest I've ever sewn. I am really happy with how it's taking shape. Since January, each star and its position is revealed monthly, and there's still 3 months left!

Friday, March 14, 2014

Popular topics: Chicks & Spring!

My post with photos of the applique chicks and the flowers of spring really attracted viewers! Thank you all for stopping by. Either we're all desperate for spring (probably!), or everyone really likes chicks! My sister, Diana, says I need to work on bunny appliques next.

Besides playing with machine applique, I'm still working on the mystery quilt sponsored by Eleanor Burns. Here's a sneak peek at the current blocks on my design wall (felt fabric tacked to the wall) and border panels that I'm working on for this month:
This hasn't been sewn together yet.

One of the corners finished in the past 2 months.
For those of you who are desperate for spring, here's the latest bouquet:
Camellias & daffies :)
For those who love food, here's the buttermilk dark chocolate cake I'm making for my foreign student's birthday, homemade (even using my own vanilla extract!): 
Yum! Never forget to eat chocolate!

Little Dickens, rest in peace :(
Have a wonderfully creative day, 
whatever your endeavors! 

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Spring Chicks...Is it too early??

Applique Chicks

WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced
It's WIP Wednesday!

I decided to applique some chicks with my machine. My Pfaff Creative Performance is only a little over a year old, and I still have so much to learn about it. In the past few months, thanks to my sister's interest in purchasing some appliques and embroideries online to use on my machine (see her creativity at:, I followed their instructions and taught myself how to do applique. While it's a bit tedious and time intensive (changing threads frequently for color changes, adding fabric bits for parts, snipping fabric to stitch lines), I really like doing it. The appliques turn out cute, and, one part I really like, I get to use bits of fabric lying around--got plenty of that! So I went a bit "chick wild":

I also made some lavender scones (homemade!)  and picked some daffodils from the yard. The weather's getting spring-y!
Crocuses in the yard are blooming, too!

Linking up with:
Sew Fresh Quilts