2018 Finishes

Wednesday, February 20, 2019

January Embroidery Lesson

Stitch out of class exercise
The January Bernina embroidery software lesson was all about reshaping letters and words. I worked on the first part of the lesson many evenings. It looked to me to be the most simple of the lessons. Using an outline of a fish shape, the goal was to insert the word fishing into the shape. It was an exercise to practice shaping the letters into the shape. I wasn't able to get the N to look as nice as the finished file; but, I did practice a lot!!!

One of the participants in class made a little bag that said fishing for change and she embroidered a small fish on the bag. It was really cute!

I thought the second exercise of stitching words at various angles would be the most difficult. Actually, it was easier than I had thought. Again, the finished file looked better than my attempt; but, I actually had fun with this part of the exercise.

One of the participants made a double heart shape and inserted all sorts of Valentine worthy words. It was such a cute design!

The third exercise was shaping the letters by blowing them up. It was an interesting part of the exercise. One of the class participants made a Valentine card for her husband with the design.

I was impressed with how nice the letters stitched. My solo attempts didn't stitch as well as these letters. I'll be working on adding a few words to a book club quilt project now that I finished the mammoth quilt (AKA Gardener's Mystery).

I don't know that in a couple weeks, I could repeat this lessons; but, I am pleased I completed it!

Now on to the February lesson!

Saturday, February 16, 2019

Pop Up--Fourth Finish 1st Quarter FAL 2019

View when collapsed
At least a couple years ago, I purchased this Pop-Up kit at a quilt show. I remember thinking that the sample sure looked doable as well as making a nice gift. I read through the directions and then I put it away. . .which was a bad move because when I took out the directions to start, I didn't feel nearly as confident as I did when I bought the product!

I cut out the pieces from fabrics that I had previously selected. For small projects, I've been trying to use fabrics from my fat quarter collection. These pieces were parts left from a previous project. I thought that I had enough; but, was short one six inch square for the bottom. I had to do a little searching but, I found a fabric that would work. I also needed to piece the fabric that I had selected for the inner part of the pop up. I like the extra sparkle the pieces added.

After I had cut out the pieces, I cut the leftover scraps into useable pieces using Bonnie Hunter's scrap saving system. I now have a few squares and a couple 1 1/2 " strips ready to be placed into a future scrappy project.
Finished Pop-Up

The Pop-Up went together well and I ripped nothing. . .which is rare! I thought that cutting and piecing the circle would be a challenge. I found that cutting the exact circle size with my circle ruler worked great.

The ties or the elastic are used to close the Pop-Up for transport. For this project, I decided to attach both the ties and the elastic strip to it. I didn't know which would work the best. I also thought it might be nice to have a choice!  I think that I like the tie closure best.  I also decided that I wanted the ties to be on the inside of the pop up. Another time, I might choose to put the ties on the outside for a more decorative look. This Pop-Up might be gifted. It could be used as a thread/scrap catcher when sewing with a small group or going to a class/retreat.

Although the pattern calls for two fat quarters, I used about a quarter yard of fabric. My goal this year is to use 57 1/2 yards of fabric from my stash. With this project, I have now used 26 yards and have 31 3/4 yards left. This was goal number 18 on my 1st quarter FAL list. It is my fourth finish for the quarter.

Wednesday, February 13, 2019

Gardner's Mystery Reveal--Third Finish for 1st Quarter FAL 2019

Quilt label
When it comes to preparing the quilt edge for binding, usually, I mark the line for the outer edge of the quilt and stitch it.

Sometimes, I add a piece of twill tape to stabilize the edge before I stitch the binding. After I've stitched the binding the first time to the quilt, I trim the excess. This time, as I basted the outer edge line, I kept catching the backing fabric.

After ripping and restarting a number of times, I managed to still catch the backing in several spots. Rather than rip and repair, I trimmed the edge before I stitched the binding. It worked well enough that I might follow that same process another time!

Although I enjoy hand work, I decided I needed to improve my machine binding sewing skills. It is faster to stitch all but the corners via the machine! This time, I set my needle at 1. I used the 39D (a dual feed foot) and stitched using the edge of the foot as a guide for the first stitching.

I had cut my binding at 2 1/2 inches. When I start stitching the binding to the quilt, I use a basting stitch for the first six to eight inches. Then, I check to see if the folded edge of the binding is going to cover the stitching line during the second step. If it is, I restitch using my regular stitch length. If it isn't, then I change the seam depth and do the test again.

Finished back
For the second step of the machine stitched binding, I glue basted the binding in place. I like running a little bead of glue on the binding and then pressing it into place. This step helps me top stitch the binding in place without pins. I used the 10D foot with the needle position at 2 to complete this step.

I created the label and the sleeve. Some time ago, I picked up a bunch of labels from the guild free table and this one seemed to be "just" the one for this project.

The label is important. I try to include the usual information: who it is for, the inspiration and materials used. Lately, I've been including how much the materials cost and how many hours I spent. Generally, people have no idea how much actually is involved in making a quilt. Also, I like knowing what batting went into the project, what thread I used, etc. Once it is documented, I can remember more of the story! I hope all of you label each one of your quilts. A simple date and your signature will suffice.
Finished front

I hand stitched the label and the sleeve into place and wella. . . .A FINISHED project. This project began as an online mystery BOM (Block of the Month) in September 2015. You can read the various posts here:
Piecing Posts: BOM Updates, BOM Update, Stitching the Clues
Quilting Posts: Quilting the Mystery, Quilting the Center, Square in a Square Border, Stitching Sunshine, Log Cabin Background, Shadows and Final Border

It looks great on a bed although you will have to take my word for it because I can't take a photo of the whole quilt as there just isn't room! I still like the back and think it could be a reversible quilt! I used 25 yards of fabric from my stash in this project. I've "petted" some of the batiks for more than ten years so seeing the fabric in a quilt instead of on the shelf is wonderful!

My goal this year is to use 57 1/2 yards of fabric from my stash. With this project, I have now used 25 3/4 yards and have 31 3/4 yards left.

This project was goal number 1 on my 1st Quarter 2019 FAL list. It is my third finish for the quarter. I will be gifting it to my mom for her birthday in January 2020!

Sunday, February 10, 2019

Quilting the Mystery--Sixth Step Shadows and Final Border

Large square pebbling
Since the last post of documenting this project, I finished quilting the narrow pink border. Since red thread was in the machine, I decided to quilt all the areas that required that thread color. I pebbled the center circles of the flowers. Pebbles are also in the center section of the quilt so this was a way to unify the quilting. There were two sizes of squares in this quilt. It took me about 10 minutes to quilt each of the larger squares and about seven minutes to pebble each smaller square.

I also pebbled the brown squares. My thought was the viewer, when standing in front of the quilt, would see the pebbles. When the viewer was nose close to the quilt, they would see that the pebbles were the center of a flower motif.

Loops added to the square in a square blocks
Once I had completed quilting the shadow in the squares, the quilt was telling me that it wanted a little more "something" in the square in a square border. When I have trouble figuring out what the "something" is, I look at other parts of the quilting to see if there is a "part" that could be repeated.

I decided a loop type filler would work. I used a silk thread that blended into the background. The additional quilting seemed the answer. It took me about three minutes per block to stitch the additional texture.

Getting ready to block
The large brown border was the last section to quilt. Originally, I had envisioned feathers in this section or some extra large pebbles stitched in a pink 40 wt thread. . . the quilt didn't want that plan. I decided to repeat quilting straight lines. The quilt was happy with that decision! Again, repeating what I did in the inner brown sashing made this decision work well.

I laid it on the floor expecting a lot of bumps and wonkiness; but, it wasn't bad. It actually measured fairly close to 89 inches square. There were a few lumps. Because I am unable to be on the floor more than a few minutes and because I no longer have floor space large enough for a quilt this size, I decided to steam the lumps on half of the quilt as that was the amount that will fit on the floor. I repeated the process several hours later with the other side.

Measuring it after most of the lump removal revealed the quilt was still about 89 inches square. I'm moving on to the binding, sleeve and label.

Wednesday, February 6, 2019

Bonnie Hunter Mystery (Good Fortune)---Post 2(Clue 5-7)

Clue number 5--three triangles
After working with the orange strings I was happy to see clue five which was piecing an orange and neutral fabric together with a blue fabric. It was a good break from stitching strings.  Stitching a few hours a day, I finished clue five the day that Bonnie released clue number six.
Clue number 6--neutral strings in two sizes

Clue #6 was all about paper piecing neutral strings. I had a few neutral strings so I pulled the ones out that would work for this project. It was great to be able to save my "neutral" chunks! For these strings, I followed Bonnie's directions about stitching on the phone book page as my pages were similar in size to the pages that she used.

I do save the fabric bits that are left when I finish stitching a page. Sometimes, I make a smaller sheet of strings or I piece the strings together.  I'm liking this string piecing. I like the look of the strings.
Clue number 7--a combo of parts

I need to play more with strings this year! I like the mindlessness sewing to paper piece these. I also have a lot of string materials from Martha's stash.

New Year's Day, Bonnie released clue number 7. What was fun about this clue is that I got to use the blue HSTs that I pieced in clue number 2. It is fun to guess at what might be the next step with these parts. I also got to put together the four patches I made in clue number 1.

After participating in this mystery, I understand why people do this each year. I would like to do this again next year! I do know that I'll be sorry when this mystery ends!

Sunday, February 3, 2019

Miss K's Cross Stitch--Second Finish 1st Quarter FAL 2019

Miss K stitching on her project
Floor games with Bowdee as "Head Licker"
Miss K came close to finishing the stitching on her little cross stitch project during her recent Monday visit. We had a great time stitching. Had we not had to do some unstitching, she would have finished. I marveled at how she can stitch in interesting body positions! I marveled at her concentration! Getting the needle into the hole you want is hard!!!

We took a little break and went on a field trip to visit JoJo and her puppy Bowdee. Both grands LOVED meeting Bowdee almost as much as he LOVED meeting them. He got to play chase. He got to lick and love them both.

There was a lot of giggling and comments like how soft his hair is. Throughout our visit, he would look at JoJo as if to say, "Hey, Mama. . .I want one of these toys!!

Photo shoot with Bowdee

Bowdee was the perfect gentleman. Both grands look forward to a return visit. I understand that he took a long nap after our visit!
Progress at the end of the day

Back at our place, Miss K returned to stitching. At the end of our time together, she was excited to pose with her project. She has two more colors of thread left to apply. She looks forward to putting it in the little frame that came with the kit. I think she likes it so much because it is a shade of pink!

Finished ornament
Yesterday, we stitched together and finished the leaves and flowers.

It was tricky getting the embroidery work into the little frame; but, we managed! After we were admiring her framed work. Miss K said it needed a hanger. So off to the studio we went in search of an appropriate material to make a hanger.

I thought she would choose a pink ribbon. . .was I ever incorrect! She saw that little strip of pearls and I knew the search was over. We wrapped some thread around the beads to tie the ends.

I sure hope that her friend appreciates this gift. It is so cute in person. She plans to gift it for Valentines Day. This was goal #15 on my 1st Quarter FAL list and my second finish for the quarter.

Finished ornament with the maker
Miss K was so proud of her creation.  I'm so proud of her work. She has a great eye for color and texture. I look forward to working with her on her next project. We re making a wall hanging out her mermaid drawing.

Like last year, I will be posting at either the end of the month or at the beginning of the month the participants that I trained. Last month I taught 27 participants in Basic Life Support CPR, 18 participants in Bloodborne Pathogen training, 42 participants in swimming lessons and 22 participants in an inservice training for a total of 109 people.

Wednesday, January 30, 2019

Bonnie Hunter Mystery (Good Fortune)--post 1(Clues 1-4)

Fabrics selected for the project
For at least the last five years, I've thought about joining in on the Bonnie Hunter mystery. This year, it is Good Fortune which was influenced after her trip to China. Each year, I got hung up on choosing the fabric. This year, I decided that I would change my thought process of "This picking fabric is so hard--it is impossible!" to "I will have all the fabrics I need in my stash and it will be fun!"

Bonnie releases the first clue on Black Friday and then each Friday until the holiday, there is a new clue. After Christmas, the clues come as they come as even the delivery of them and how many clues there will be are all part of the mystery!!!
Part way through clue #1

So her followers are ready for the first clue, around the end of October, she releases the fabric amounts and a list of colors. I like that she use paint chips as her color palette for all her followers to see and to access. Changing my thought process enabled me to choose fabrics that were close to her her paint chips and it was a fairly easy process. Actually, dare I share these next words--the choosing process was actually FUN!

I'll admit, I may not have enough yardage. I hope I'll have enough precuts in my scrap saving system that I follow of Bonnie's to fill in the gaps! If not, I could. . .gasp. . .purchase some fabric! The not pictured bag of neutrals are parts that I've picked up from the guild free table. I added one fat quarter to the mix.  Again, if I need more neutral fabrics, I can cut some yardage from the stash!
Bleeding before the treatment
When she released her first clue, I was busy with Black Friday shopping with my oldest daughter, Amanda. It is an annual event that I look forward to each year.  Bob, my husband, and I also attended a college football game--the Civil War for our state. (Our team lost by a landslide.) Sewing didn't happen until Sunday.
After the treatment

Bonnie suggests that you try to do at least half of the clue each week so you will know all of the steps. I'm going to try to do at least that much and if I can complete a clue in a week, I'll pat myself on the back!

I'm inserting a side note: This is a free mystery and anyone can join in at any time. Bonnie asks that unit numbers and sizes not be listed so I will do my best to honor her request. If you want to participate, know that the link isn't for always. She will take it down and gives advance notice of this happening.
Water and color catcher during the process

For the first clue, we were to make a bunch of four patches with the red and neutral fabrics. Luckily, I had about half of the neutral fabrics either cut into the correct size square or cut into the correct sized strips. I had about a quarter of the "paint chip" red fabrics in the right sizes in my scrape saving system.

So I started stitching. Stitching this step went fairly fast. I had stitched about a third of the four patches when I spilled some water on a four patch. The batik I was using bled. This batik fabric is in my Ruffled Roses top. I did prewash it so I was sick to see this. I reviewed my options:
--*I could remove that square which would mean I would need to purchase some fabric to take its place. Removing the many squares would take time.
--*I could try rewashing the square in Synthrapol. I decided I would try the synthrapol treatment. It worked. So I rinsed all the squares. I also rinsed the chunk again and any strips that I had cut. I used Shout Color Catchers.
HSTs finished for clue #2

It was shocking to see how much red was in the water.  The color catchers came out a beautiful hue of pink. Two red squares in a four patch had a bit of bleeding on them after treatment; but, not enough to be super obvious.

I don't know what I will do about that fabric in the skinny border of the Ruffled Roses project. At least, I have a heads up about that fabric.

After about 15 hours of stitching I finished the first clue. Had I cut my fabrics from strips, it would have been faster. I had the right sized squares in my scrap neutral and red scrap bags so I used those first. I like the extra variety that I had using the bits!
Clue #3--Chevrons and more HSTs

I finished the first clue the same day as Bonnie released the second clue. For this clue, we made a lot of blue half square triangles. (HST)

After the red fabric incident. I re-washed the blue fabrics. One fabric bled a bit; so I treated that one with Retayne because it was a print fabric and not a batik. I cut 2 1/2 inch strips from my scrap neutral bag. It is surprising how quickly I've depleted the contents of that bag!  I spent about 10 hours on this step. I used about five blue prints in this step, the value is about the same so it resembles one fabric.

For the third clue, we stitched chevrons using the green fabric. From the bonus triangles, we stitched more HSTs. The seam allowances are skinny; but, it is great to be able to use all of the fabric. Miss K helped me sew a few. She kept asking me questions like:
Clue #4--Orange strings
--How do I stitch the blocks together?
--What kind of design do they make?
--What was the quilt going to look like?
--What was the quilt story going to be?

She thinks I'm crazy to stitch when I don't know what it is going to look like. She sees no "fun" in this mystery!!!!

Miss K sorted the remaining neutral scraps. She wanted to know where the rest of the fabric from the bag went and was surprised how much fabric it took to make the backgrounds in all the previous blocks! She pulled out a piece of fabric that was a sewn sleeve and she asked how I was going to use it. I showed her how to rip out the stitches. She ironed the sleeve and then I rotary cut strips and squares out of it. She thought that the person who left the bag on the free table had really left a treasure. I told her that it is only a treasure if you USE it!
Segments ready for use!

For the fourth clue, we string pieced a bunch of orange units. I didn't have many orange fabrics. At the December guild meeting, someone left a bunch of neutral and orange scraps on the free table so I loaded up! It was a serendipitous moment!!!

Some chunks were close to a fat quarter size. There were about a dozen 2 1/2 inch strips that were about 12 inches long. The scraps were great to add to this quilt project. I did have a few strings in my string bag that I retrieved to add to the mix. After I had pieced the orange units, I spritzed a bit of Mary Ellen's Best Press on each before I cut the units to size. After I stripped off the paper, I decided the Best Press was a good choice.

Although, I had finished the third clue before receiving the fourth clue, I had stitched less than a third of the units needed before Bonnie released the fifth clue. It is all a process and as long as I'm making progress, I'm happy. I am pleased that I'm staying close to being caught up with this project!!