April 2012 - Posts
I completed an embroidery of Bambi & Thumper, that also announces the information of my newest granddaughter's birth. I purchased the stamped embroidery linen, as a part of a baggie of similar items, at an antique shop last Fall. I paid all of $3.00 for the baggie, which you can read about in my previous blog. I looked it up online and discovered the stamped item was put out in the 1960's, about the same time that the Disney movie hit the big screen. Maybe some of you remember going to the drive-in or theater to see it. My sister does, but it's a vague memory for me. At the time I purchased the embroider, I thought it would be something different to make and give to my daughter, when she gave birth.
I actually finished the embroidery before baby Carly was born. I went home the Thursday night of her birth and planned out the lettering of her name, birthdate and weight, finishing the stitching the following Sunday. I sent it out for professional framing at JoAnn's, with a 50% of coupon and an extra $20 savings coupons. They did a beautiful job. Check it out below. (Sorry about the glare from the camera flash). It was well worth the extra money for the glass, which will keep it protected from sun damage and dust.
It will be a beautiful keepsake for my granddaughter.
The final block, in the series of the MMQG Applique Club project, is the Hawaiian applique heart. The reverse applique is done with a cut-away technique. The most difficult part was to get the points to tuck under without too much bulk. I completed the applique to the outside of the heart first, but the center design can be worked first, followed by finishing the edges of the heart
The next step is to put together the blocks and add borders. The borders have a vine, leaves and cherries entwined around the edge.
More to come....
It’s time to start putting together our mystery quilt. A newsletter went out to the MQN region members with the first two piecing instruction steps. For anyone outside the MQN group, that had an interest in completing my mystery quilt, here is the first step of piecing instructions. We will begin with the baggies labeled Clue #1 and Clue #2. Remember that the numbers in the parentheses are for the smaller quilt top.
Step 1 Piecing Instructions:
1) Remove five (2) dark 2-1/2 inch strips from Clue #1 baggie and five (2) light 2-1/2 inch strips from Clue #2 baggie.
2) Stitch one dark strip and one light strip together across the WOF. Chain piece three (1) more strip combination together. For the larger quilt, cut the fifth dark strip and one light strip in half. Stitch these half strips together.
3) Press all the seams to the dark fabric.
4) Cut dark/light stitched strips into 72 (32) 2-1/2 inch sections. Be sure to square up the end first, trimming off the selvedge. Each section should measure 2-1/2 X 4-1/2 inches. Place these sections back into Clue #1 baggie. Each dark/light strip should make 16 sections, with the half strip making 8 additional sections.
5) Cut remaining light strips into 72 (32) 2-1/2 inch squares. Each strip, folded, will be cut eight times to make 16 squares. Place these light squares back into Clue #2 baggie with the larger 4-1/2 inch light squares.
I cut strips by trimming away the selvedge end, then measuring & cutting a 20-inch section. I then sub-cut into two 10-inch sections, followed by two 5-inch sections on one end that is again sub-cut into two 2-1/2 inch square sections. I repeat cutting the second 10-inch section, making sixteen squares from the folded strip.
Below are my finished Clues.
Each step will include a clue to the block pattern. Here is the first clue.
Clue #1 to the pattern:
This block is found in the collection of Carrie Hall historical blocks at the Spencer Museum of Art at Kansas State University.
Have fun with this mystery and I will have the next step in a couple of weeks.
Last week-end was full of activities, so I wasn't able to get online to write a blog post. Here it is Tuesday night, already. Where do the days go.
Saturday, my two sisters spent the day at my house sewing. I actually started my sewing on Friday night, preparing a group project. We often get together to sew, and recently began planning projects to sew together. I had chosen to make vegetable-shaped hot pads from a pattern in the Simple Quilts & Sewing 2011 issue put out by the editors of Quilt. I purchased the InsulBright and vegetable fabric prints at JoAnn's several months ago and spent Friday evening cutting out all the pieces. It was like buying a pre-cut kit from the quilt shop and all we had to do on Saturday was sew. Check out my finished tomato and green pepper hot pads.
We planned a luncheon for the occasion. I provided a homemade beef vegetable barley soup and butterflake dinner rolls. We also enjoyed a tossed salad and a pasta salad. Dessert consisted of peanut butter filled chocolate Easter eggs. We even made the event multi-generational, with my niece joining us to complete an Easter tutu project she was working on for her daughters. Her goal was to give them something to wear that she made all by herself. Being a daughter of a stitcher, Mom always seems to be the one making the outfits. My niece was so proud to have put together these tutus by herself. She looked up how to make them on YouTube, bought the netting and ribbon, then set to work cutting strips of netting to attach to the ribbon. They are so colorful, that the girls will definitely enjoy wearing them. See the completed ones beside her on the floor.
Easter Sunday was filled with activities of it's own. I enjoyed having my youngest daughter, son-in-law, and two granddaughters over for dinner. The newest baby is growing and Grandma was able to hold her for a considerable amount of time. My three-year-old wore Grandma out playing outside on the swingset, dressing up and dancing, and helping in the kitchen. Even so, Grandma loves doing all of those things. Hopefully, you enjoyed spending time with your family this Easter and celebrated the Resurrection of Jesus. Christ is risen, He is risen indeed!
I am amazed that I have been able to keep up with making two blocks in my guilds Applique Club project. Yet, here I am with the second Mola block finished. This is the first time that I used the exact same pattern for the heart design. For each of the other blocks, I modified the design. I could tell you that I planned it that way. But, I was caught up in tracing my design onto the fabric that I forgot to make a different design for the second block.
I have kept to the theme of using wool and plaids in the applique blocks. However, I found it more difficult to applique the homespun plaids in the Mola design. The homespuns want to stretch across the bias more than cottons. You can see that my designs lost some of their shape. As well, they can only be snipped in small sections, since they are loosely woven. The edges raveled easily and I had to tuck the edges carefully and make closer stitches. Overall, I am pleased with the result. Since my quilt is intended to be a folk-art style, fine stitching is not a necessity. In fact, the design flaws give more character to the design.
After writing about quilt labels, I got to looking at the labels on the quilts hanging on my walls. One of my oldest labels is dated "1997", but I know there are quilts prior to that time that I also added labels. The quilt labels made for a mini quilt show of their own, which got me to thinking, I should take photos of my labels, as well as, my quilts. Look for a future blog about more quilt labels. I want to share them with all of you.
I just returned from visiting with my daughter and son-in-law. More importantly, I visited with my two, dear granddaughters. The almost three week old was wide-eyed when I arrived, lying on Daddy's chest. Grandpa held her for awhile, but she got to fussing. So, Grandma took her and she soon fell asleep on my shoulder. Of course, not to be outdone, her three-year-old sister had to have the attention. She talked about the cat which she often carries about the house, frequently irritating the cat. She preened in her Snow White costume dress, then put on butterfly wings and a crown. She insisted on flying about the house and into her room, where we read a couple of stories and put together puzzles, one of her favorite activities. How precious are our little ones.
My visit had a purpose, beyond just seeing my grandchildren. I also presented my finished baby quilt to the parents of the new little one. The quilt top has been done for awhile. Many of you will remember that I made my Mystery Quilt V for the baby. However, a quilt is not finished until the label is attached. I was finally able to make and attach the label last night. Here is a look at my label.
Quilt labels have become popular with quiltmakers. In years past, quilters often embroidered names and dates on their quilts. This provides modern day historians with documentation on the age of a quilt. But, more than dating a quilt, the modern day quilter uses the quilt label to tell the story behind the making of the quilt. The label provides identification information such as who the recipient of the quilt is; how the quilt was made, such as pieced, appliqued or hand stitched; who completed the quilting and whether it was machine or hand quilted; the occasion for the quilt; and, of course, the date the quilt was competed. It also may contain stories, quotes, poems, or other tidbits of information that allows the reader inside the life of the quilter. Special occasions are often commemorated by the giving of a quilt, and the story about the event can be depicted on the label.
Quilt labels can be as creative as the quilt pattern on the front of the quilt. I often carry over the fabric from the quilt into the label, seen in the example above. I also look for designs that are appropriate for the recipient. The label for my other granddaughter's quilt has a little girl standing by a #1. The quilt was finished in time for her first birthday, so the design was fitting. Fabric pens are the most used tool for writing or coloring designs on handmade labels. Use your imagination for designs or look for books with lots of premade ones to trace. I found a book on woodpainting designs at a yard sale, that I've used many times. Printing grayscale designs from your computer printshop program is also a source for designs. If you are intimidated by the fancy labels others' have made, consider a preprinted label that can be personalized. Or, purchase paper backed fabric sheets to create labels from your inkjet computer. I've made a few of these and inserted family photos. However, you make your label, be sure to add one.
I have made labels for quilts for many years. Hopefully, many of you are placing labels on your quilts. Years from now, historians will look back upon quilts made during our lifetime and the labels will certainly be a topic of conversation. I wonder what they will be saying.
Aaahh! A steaming cup of flavored coffee, mine's mocha latte, and an opportunity to relax. Sunday mornings are my opportunity to relax and catch up. I've already exercised, made waffles for breakfast, and straightened out the bed. That had to wait until DH got up. Now, I'm browsing the computer, checking out QCA, sipping my coffee, and thinking about what I have planned for Toddler's Church later.
I've gotten back into an exercise routine, again, this week. I find that if I stretch and do yoga in the morning, I feel better throughout the day. But, when I wake early enough to do it, I tend to roll over and say to myself that I'm too comfortable and tired to get up. This week, I was up early four times and I feel so much better for it. As we age, ladies, our bodies need to stay flexible. Tight muscles and stiff joints will only lead to decreased mobility and possibilities for falls. I've seen it too many times working in a nursing home. Too much time sitting at the sewing machine, bending over a cutting mat or lying on the floor basting a quilt, makes for an aching body. Get up every 30 minutes and stretch. Just a few words of advice from Sue.
Palm Sunday, the beginning of the holy week. I've been spending more time praying as Easter has approached. The results are amazing. Maybe, I'm just more focused on God, but I can see so many things happening that I didn't see before, so I believe they are due to my prayers. My newest granddaughter, Carly, is growing despite her first few days with a possible infection. She is now over two weeks old and Grandma needs to go see her. Mom has been having some difficulties of her own and is finding that two little ones is tiring. Luckily, Daddy is a great help. Yesterday, I also attended another baby shower for my oldest daughter, hosted by her mother-in-law. I was able to take my mother-in-law, who just got back from Florida. Daughter and Grandmother hugged and were very happy to see each other. I look forward to my granddaughters and grandson feeling as excited as my daughter was to see her Grandma.
I have been continuing to work on various sewing projects. Many are in stages of production, but none have been finished. Finishing seems to be the toughest part for me. Probably because I have so many projects in the works. Without planning, none of them would get done. I have made progress on my plans for my grandson's quilt using The Hungry Catepillar fabrics. I've decided to make it into a picture story quilt with blocks that proceed through the quilt to tell the story. I made designs of a leaf and fruit, with holes in them, that I can applique onto the quilt blocks. I also have decided to make 16-patch blocks and pinwheels as part of the pattern.
Yesterday, I dropped off my Just Emma quilt for a local quilt show this month. I spent time chatting with several quilters, something we all seem to easily do. I spoke with a lady, that I have met before, that is one of the two quilt appraisers in the State. She gave me some tips on books to read and classes to take that would prepare me for becoming a quilt appraiser. I really enjoy quilt history and old quilts. In fact, you will likely find me in the historical quilt section, first, at a quilt show. Every quilt has a story and I enjoy reading about them and checking out what inspired quilters of the past. Now, to finding time to study and take classes to meet that goal of becoming a quilt appraiser.
My cup of coffee has long been emptied and I need a refill. Enjoy your Sunday morning. Sue's up to stretch, refill, and work on a sewing project, before heading off to church.