Tuesday, May 27, 2014

New Products

On my last post I showed a new applique block I am working on. Eventually, I will make all the blocks for Mim's Bloomers. Because I do not know if it is okay to post Erin's photo on my blog, here is a link to what the finished quilt will look like. I am using purples in place of the blues. 

Kathy, who blogs at Empty Nest but Full Heart asked how I got my applique pieces so nice and crisp. So, I will share with all of you about the new products I am using for this project. At my last guild meeting, I purchased a product from our guest speaker. It is called Wash-Away Applique Sheets by C&T Publications. There are 25 sheets in a package. The sheets are thin enough to see the pattern underneath. Or, the sheets will fit into your inkjet printer. 
I traced my patterns onto the sheet and cut them out. I just used a pencil to trace. The block design below looked simple until I realized there were 80 petals to trace and prepare. I'll save this one until later.
There is a fusible side to the sheets and I ironed the pieces on to the wrong side of my fabric. I left a scant 1/4" seam around the pieces when I cut them out. I applied Elmer's Washable Glue Stick (the one that goes on purple) to the edges to be turned under and finger pressed into place. Another product I had not used before was Roxanne's Glue Baste. I glue basted the pieces into place on the background fabric with tiny dots of the glue baste.
I also used bias pressing bars for the first time. I cut my stem fabric on the bias. For this project I cut them 1" wide. I put the long edges wrong sides together and stitched 1/4" seam, making a tube. I found the correct size bar and inserted into the tube and turned the seamline to the backside. Then, I pressed with the iron. When I removed the bar I did have to trim the seam down some.

Now, here is what I have learned. The Wash-Away Sheets are supposed to dissolve when washed or soften up over time. As I am stitching, the pieces are beginning to soften. But, on future blocks I will probably not glue baste all the pieces on at once. My thread was constantly getting hooked around the loose pieces. The pieces were very stiff at first and made it difficult to maneuver. But, for a take-along project, glue basting all into place might be good. Also, I glue basted the basket a little too close to the edges. It makes it a little more difficult to stitch down.

Now back to stitching.

Sunday, May 25, 2014

My Quilt Vacation

It's been 2 weeks since I posted here. Time flies when you're having fun, as they say. Last week I took a vacation of sorts. My sister and her husband, who live a few miles from my mother's memory care facility, were going on vacation. I live 200 miles away so, I drove down and stayed in their beautiful house alone. I went to see my mother everyday and babysat my precious little grand niece for a few hours one day. The rest of the time was my own. Luckily, I enjoy my own company. LOL My own house is small. But, there was plenty of room at Karen's to lay out and baste a queen sized quilt (disappearing 9 patch). I wandered in her garden, too. Look at these beautiful clematis.
Each day I would go visit Mother, then I would go to a fabric store or quilt shop. On the first day, I went to the Hancock Fabrics in Collierville. One purchase was a 10 yard bolt of white Kona cotton fabric with a 40% off coupon. I bought several nice pinks, purples, and greens for a new project. 

The next afternoon, I drove to the Cordova area to a small quilt shop called Quiltsmiths. It was a lovely store and the staff was so helpful. I found some nice fat quarters of baby gingham checks. And, they cut me some more. Aren't they great?

On my third day, after I went to see Mother, I headed to Arlington, TN, to the Quilting Barn. This was a slightly larger shop and I went polka dot crazy! This was a nice shop, too. 

Pinks, greens, and purples are for a new applique project that I started at Karen's. It's a BOM from 2012 called Mimi's Bloomers. You can find it on designer Erin Russek's blog called One Piece At A Time. The small blocks and corner block patterns are free on her site. I purchased the large center block pattern called Miss Mimi from her store. I have the pieces of one corner block prepared and glue basted to the background fabric. Just need to place one more piece on bottom of the basket and it will be ready for some slow hand-stitching.

 Linking to Kathy's Quilts.

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Happy Mother's Day

Happy Mother's Day to all you wonderful mothers out there. Thought I'd share a photo of me and my mother, circa 1945. I was the first born. My parents had 3 more daughters later.
I got my love of sewing and doing creative things from my mother. She began to teach me to sew when she got her first electric sewing machine when I was about 8 or 9 years old. My most treasured quilt is this one that my mother embroidered and I hand quilted.

I am continuing to hand quilt my applique wall hanging. I began a new hand piecing project this past week. I am leading a group of quilters in a Sampler Bee. Our guild bees (sewing groups) are held after our guild meeting each month. I am beginning to hand piece The Farmer's Wife Sampler blocks. These will be 6" finished. Doesn't take long to hand piece a block. Here are the first two.

Linking to Kathy's Quilts for Slow Sunday Stitching.

Sunday, May 4, 2014

Spring in Full Bloom

Yes, it really is spring time here in Music City. Thought I would share some of my flowers. Excuse the weeds. I prefer to quilt. Hummingbirds are showing up, too. Usually don't see until mid-summer. Feeders went out today.
Snowball Bush- Started from my mother's plant.
White iris
Yellow irises

Light purple iris.
I have no idea what this is. It is tall and more purple than in this photo. 

 I have been hand quilting my applique wall hanging. Here is my progress so far.

I am using black Coats hand quilting thread. I do not care much for it. I have been using Guttermann for other hand quilting and like it.

Marked and ready for some Slow Sunday Stitching. I am linking up to Kathy's Quilts.