Wednesday, December 28, 2016

My Dad--April 9, 1935-December 24, 2016

Christmas Eve, my dad passed away. He was a rancher/farmer who lived a mountain pass and about 120 miles from my driveway. The drive would take about two and a half hours. . .depending on the weather and the traffic.
My dad reading the label on his quilt
In honor of my dad's 80th birthday in 2015, I stitched him Dad's Stars. Last August, medical staff determined that his bladder cancer had returned. His lung and heart conditions prevented him from having surgery, radiation or chemotherapy. He opted to go into hospice care at home. He was unable to walk or stand which bugged him because he led an active life. (His hobbies were hunting, fishing, trapshooting and playing cribbage.)

I appreciate the care his wife provided as she was the motivating force for me being able to visit with him for a couple more years. His long term memory stayed sharp. I enjoyed our evening  phone conversations between seven and eight.

My DH and I surprised him on Friday, December 23, showing up on his doorstep for coffee and a cookie. He said the visit was the best Christmas gift we could give him. We visited; then we headed home. We had planned to make the trip Christmas morning; but, the weather report was looking like chains required to get over the mountain pass with heavy snow fall so we decided to go earlier.

Christmas eve day about lunch time, we chatted again. I called earlier that day because I knew that my family would be celebrating with him and I knew he would be busy. During our conversation, he let me know that his quilt was still nice and warm. He told me that he was glad I had an activity that I enjoyed so much. He said he liked trap shooting that way; but, he didn't do it but on the weekends and over time he collected a number of guns that he didn't use all that often. He thought I was smart to pick an activity I could do every day as well as have enough machines to get the job done. He sort of understood the time it took to make a quilt when I involved him in the process of making him his quilt. Although, he would look at a block and ask how long it took me to quilt it, then shake his head at my answer. His response meant, he had a crazy daughter!

Christmas was one of his favorite times of the year. The season, for him, always began when decorating the fresh tree commenced. He liked tinsel on the tree, added one strand at a time and thick! Christmas morning, he was so excited to see what Santa had left everyone under the tree and delighted in package unwrapping because there were new toys and games to play. He didn't care if it was a top for the toddler, a train set for the first grader or a basketball for a middle schooler. All toys had to be "tested!" He remained the oldest "kid" when it came to Christmas joy.

His wife called us at 11:25PM Christmas eve to let us know that he had passed. I guess he decided that he had some deliveries to make himself and couldn't stick around to greet Santa after all.

I appreciated all of our visits, I left nothing unsaid. Monday, I wrote his obituary.  It will appear in his local paper soon. Service arrangements and a celebration of his life are pending. I won't be surprised if both are held in March in conjunction with an event he established 15 years ago in the memory of a friend.

Today, I worked and shared his passing with one person. I didn't realize how difficult it was to say the words!

Love you, Dad!

Quilting will wait.

Saturday, December 24, 2016

Merry Christmas!

Wishing you all a Merry Christmas or a happy whatever you celebrate! May your holiday be full of friends and family with lots of good food and cheer! I always wish for a white Christmas; but, we often aren't lucky enough for one! May there be much happiness and peace in the coming year!

Tall Tree
Our quilts are hung.
This very tall tree hangs on a door. My mother-in-law made and gifted this to us years ago. I enjoy listening to the bells jingle when the door is opened and closed.

Home Grown Santa

This is the small wall hanging that hangs in the kitchen. I made this for my grandmother in 1992 and it hung in her house every year until she passed. I think of her when I hang it each season. She always liked a little sparkle on her packages so I used lame on the bows!

Angel on High

This is the little larger angel wall hanging that hangs in the bedroom. I made this in 1994 for a friend. She called me a couple years ago saying that she was moving from a 3500 square foot house to an 800 square foot apartment and would I like it back? Of course, I would welcome it back!

Life happens. When I give a quilt, I tell the recipient that if the quilt outgrows its usefulness, it is always welcome back--no questions asked!

For many years of my quilt making, I gave what I stitched away and as life has happened, a number of those projects have returned. They are like past friends coming home to retire!

Santa's Sleigh
This wall hanging of Santa in his sleigh, I made in 1998. It was an early attempt to free motion quilt with metallic thread and to create texture using different stitch designs. It is one of my husband's favorite quilts. I had quite the challenge figuring out how to attach the cord that I used for the sleigh runners.

Better Homes and Gardens
Block of the Month

My mother-in-law made two of these quilts from a block of the month through Better Homes and Gardens. She started the quilt in the late 80s and gifted this one to us in 2009. The other, she made for her daughter and son-in-law. Ours decorates the bed.

Serenaded with a song

The tree is decorated with many homemade ornaments from friends and family members. There are even a few ornaments that I picked up during some of my travels. This year, it is extra special because the grands helped with the decorations. The oldest grand was terrific with the decorations. Although, when I showed her the first box, she was concerned that there weren't nearly enough to decorate such a big tree. She delighted in touching the ornaments and hanging them "just so!"

She tickled me with the comment, "Look Gran, I made a line!!! It looks so nice!! It is just the way I want it!" When I was about her age, I remember our tree was "redecorated" to disperse the ornaments in a more pleasing arrangement. That redecorating hurt my heart. I said, "Hmmm, we need to step back and look. Do you see any bare spaces? No?? Terrific, because I LOVE it!" Then the grand had to sing and dance a song for me. What a special memory!

The cookies are baked, the breads are ready for gifting. The packages are wrapped. Christmas is here!!!!


Thursday, December 22, 2016

Ultimate Stencil Use

Ultimate Shape stencils 
Using Cindy Needham's Ultimate Shape Stencils, I quilted the purple squares in the star blocks.  I used the smallest size for the two inch squares and the medium sized stencil for the four inch center squares. I plan to use the medium large size for the six inch nine patch blocks later even though the large size stencil fits the nine patch with the setting triangles!

I liked using her stencil because it was easy to mark with my chacoliner. I also liked that I got to work with curves!!! There were a lot of stops and starts. Again, I used the variegated 40wt cotton Valdani thread.

Chalked Lines
It is easier to see the chalk marks than it is to see the thread. Those other chalked lines are lines I drew to audition whether I wanted to quilt those next . . or come up with a different design!

Finished small squares
This is what the design looks like stitched. Notice that because I used a variegated thread that was about the same value of the purple fabric, the thread blends. Also, because it is variegated, I think the bobbles don't show as much!!! This step only took about 18 hours!

I played around with some alternative patterns for the pink/purple section of the quilt and that is what I'll be quilting next. I also did a little brainstorming on what to do for the background in this area; but, nothing "spoke" to me. Maybe tomorrow I'll hear what the quilt wants in those areas.


Bernie to the Rescue

Quilted design in purple squares
I had hoped to finish quilting this project by the end of the year. Well, I didn't make it!!!

Quilting is a journey and it is okay that I didn't finish at the end of December. My plan now is to finish it by the end of January. (My fingers are crossed!!!)

I had to decide how to quilt the pinkish star points. I decided that I would use the design on the right side of the star points.

These were quilting okay. Again, I tried to use the ruler; but, I found that from a sitting position, I could only use it on one side as I was unable to hold the ruler in position when it was behind the machine. Also, I find the foot "heavy" in that some points are bulky and as I approach those areas, the foot acts as if it has run into a concrete wall!
Also, as I began and ended each stitching line, it was harder and harder to get the balance wheel to turn to bring the threads to the top of the quilt. Then. . .I heard a rattle as I stitched and when I tried to move the balance wheel, the wheel turned; but, the needle didn't move. I packed the machine to take in for a check. The part is on order and my fingers are crossed the part arrives early next week! The repair man said he hasn't seen this issue with this model of machine. I sure hope this doesn't happen again as I have to be able to pull my threads to the top of the quilt!!!!

Bernie at work!
I do have a back up machine. . .thank goodness! I saved her so I would have a machine that I could take to class if I needed to zig zag. Meet Bernie who has lived and worked hard for many years! She is a 1630 Bernina and my first Bernina. Recently, Nick  from Ace Sewing and Vacuum rebuilt  her mother board so she could hang around and be productive for a bunch more years!!!  He has serviced Bernie for 20 years!  If you live around Newberg, Oregon, check out his shop.

Right away, I missed the light, the extra harp space and the speed of stitching that Joie, my newer Bernina exhibits. Still, I was thankful that I didn't have to put this project away while I wait for my other machine to be repaired!
Three of four legs of the star quilted

Although I also almost had to get out the manual to wind the bobbin. I guess, I bonded more with Joie than I had realized! In the end, I remembered. It took me about ten hours to quilt these lines!

I sure wish I could have used a ruler, but with this small harp, there isn't room! Also, I doubt that the ruler foot will fit this older machine. I'm hoping that the bobbles don't show up all that much. After all, there are going to be a lot more quilting lines in this piece!

The block thus far!

I like how flat the block is laying. I like the quilting. . .I'm still thinking about those background squares and yet, no idea of a keeper design has entered my head! This quilting took me about 12 hours. Pushing and pulling the fabric through Bernie's smaller harp is a workout! I find I must take more breaks.

Next part to quilt are the nine patch blocks that are in the alternate blocks. I'm planning to use a larger size of the Ultimate stencil.

No ideas have lit on those background squares. . .hmmmmmm

Sunday, December 18, 2016

A Bit of a Detour

J learning how to fold a strip in half.
There was a folded star tutorial on "The Quilt Show" a bit ago. Those folded stars looked interesting and would use some of my smaller scrap stash. So I made one.

These are addictive. I couldn't stop at one. Although, it took me quite awhile to make that first one! I think these would make a good give away at a retreat. They would be a good give away to cheer someone or thank someone too. They are small enough that they could be tucked into a card.

So far I've made 15 and used about 2 yards of scraps! Each one takes a 12" x 3 1/2" strip of fabric. The tutorial says to use a 3 1/4" strip; but, I save 3 1/2" strips so that was what I used. It takes four strips of fabric. I suppose that you could repeat two of the strips; but, I liked the scrappy nature of four different strips.

K's favorite step of the process. . .spraying the Best Press!
When I was folding the strips, the oldest granddaughter was really interested in making one. So I walked her through the process. She did some strip pressing and is just about at the point where she could use the iron on her own. . .except that she sometimes forgets where her left hand is. I wouldn't want her to burn herself!

After we put her star together, her sister decided she needed to make one too. So she took a stint at the ironing station with her Miss K supervising each step!

Some of the stars. . . Look out. Making these is like eating candy. You can't stop at one!

If you want to make one, or two, or more, check the link for a tutorial. It was fun to take a little detour from my quilting process. Next time, I'll share my progress on that project.

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

72 Star Points--Grid Quilted!

Design inspiration
This was the inspiration behind the grid quilting in the 72 star points. I wanted quilting that would blend with the overall design. I thought about the squares that make up the chains in the design. I was looking around the studio and my eye stopped on the leftovers from K's skirt.

Auditioning the lines
I drew a few lines and decided. . .hey, this could work. It did! Again, I found that the ruler wasn't the ticket. I stitched most of the lines free hand. Yes, the lines aren't super straight. But, this is a learning experience and as a teacher once said, "Done is better than perfect!" These are done!

Also, a thanks to Nancy at Dizzy Dog Quilting, who in one of her comments said that she liked it when she was stitching in the ditch because she knew where she was going next and she knew what she would be stitching. I took her comment to heart. In the past quilting those repetitious lines, I have had a difficult time staying on course. This time, telling myself that I knew where I was going to stitch next and also what the stitch was going to look like kept me on course! Thanks, Nancy!

View of the finished star points. 
Hey--This part of the process only took 36 hours! (Ripping was involved; but, I won't go into that part of the journey!)

The next section to quilt will either be the dark purple small and large squares or the lighter purple/pink rectangles and half square triangles.

What will be quilted there? Well, I haven't figured that out yet!

Sunday, December 11, 2016

Outer Border Beginnings!

Thread that I auditioned and used
Quilting this project has been such a trip outside my comfortable box! First, there is the work to incorporate rulers. Second, has been the work to create designs that are more on the modern side. Third, has been the use of straight lines.

Moving on to the outer border, I just had to have some curves in this piece SOMEWHERE!!! So, I again used the blocks and setting triangles to be the markers for dividing this border too. Hey, this way of dividing the blocks into quilting units works great!

First, I chalked a straight line.

The basic design
Then I added a couple curved lines.
Yes!!! Curves!! Curves are usually what I like to use on blocks that have straight lines. It has felt so odd to be quilting straight lines on a block with straight lines!

The corner
Next, I got to decide how to handle the corner. I played with a few chalk lines and came up with design. I didn't draw it on paper first! I don't have a plan for the embellishing and that could present an "opportunity" for me when I get to that point!

Chalked line of the outer border
Because it is hard to see the thread, this is a small section that I chalked. My plan for the outer edge of the border is to quilt lines that are perpendicular to the purple border. I also plan to quilt some of the spaces with a fill that is similar to a fill that I will use on the inside of the outer border.

This is my idea for now. . .it could change!

Adding additional lines using the ruler
Once I had this part of the outer border completed, I went back to the purple border and added more lines.

I was able to use the ruler this time. I still find it challenging to stay lined up on my stitching line, adjusting how much pressure I need to apply to the foot to hold it against the ruler as well as how much pressure it takes to slide the quilt. That foot is difficult to maneuver over seams.

The box or X in the purple border
The thread blends well with the border. I'm still thinking that it will be an adequate transition between the two borders.

Purposely, I chose a sort of thread that would blend in the spaces because I wanted the quilting to be more of a texture than an eye catcher. The piecing should be the eye candy that draws the viewer to the piece and the quilting should be what brings that viewer closer to it. Additionally, if some of my lines aren't right on. . .well, it will be less obvious!

The next step is to determine what the plan is for the 72 star points.  Originally, I wanted to stitch a curved design; but, my concern is that a curve design will look off from all those straight lines!

Check back on Wednesday!

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Border Design and Ruler Work

Checking the spacing
Here it is Wednesday. I won't bore you with my pencil drawings of the X design I thought would be a good transition for this narrow border. To check how the X would fit on the border, I carefully chalk marked it. Of course, I didn't get it quite right--I had a little more border than I had design. So I remarked, and although better, it wasn't right on.

Then, I realized that I could extend the markings from the block into the border and my design would fit perfectly! That plan worked. I need to remember that tip because no math was involved! Because I needed a chalked line to start, I didn't use the ruler.

 Perhaps, when I get to adding the additional lines, the rulers will be just the tool I need to finish the design! My free motion quilting on a line is improving!

Auditioning this design
My plan for this border was to stitch one line and after I stitched some of the outer boarder, I would return and stitch the remaining lines on this border.

Remember, I'm working to keep the quilting density even as I work on this project. At the end of the process, I will evaluate whether or not I have less distortion working in this manner.

It's difficult to see in the photo that I used a blue variegated thread in the purple border. I liked the effect! See how much the chalk disappears after stitching?

Next up, is designing that wide outer border. Hmmm. . .I've been doodling; but, I haven't penciled a design that I want to use yet. You will have to check back on Sunday!
First line stitched; Notice how the points line up with the points of the previous setting
triangles and setting squares.

Sunday, December 4, 2016

The Design and Rulers

Corner Setting Block 
I'm learning that straight line ruler work is challenging. I've made certain design elements work great with the ruler. With this design, I ended up just going on my own!!

These were the challenges:
*The design required the use of a longer ruler. The longer ruler was difficult to use because the slide on tray of my machine has a bit of a curve. I wasn't able to keep the ruler flat and lined up on my markings as I needed.

*The stitching line in some cases was less than a quarter of an inch away from the next stitching line. I found that I didn't have "reference points" to be able to use the ruler. Had I marked some reference points, I decided that I would have confused the reference points with the stitching points!

*My view of the stitching line was difficult to see moving backward. I have my puddle of fabric so that I have "room" to stitch. But, this puddle then makes it challenging to use the ruler.
Triangle Setting Block
*The ruler I have has some posts that are handy for gripping; but, these same posts won't glide past the foot if used in back of the machine. The ruler won't slide past the posts on the right side of the machine. So, I'm limited using it to the left and front which would make me do a lot of quilt turning to use it consistently. Not turning the quilt was why I wanted to free motion quilt. Also, since my car accident seven years ago, I just don't have the strength in my hands to be pushing and pulling all that fabric through the harp!

*I'm continually challenged to keep the ruler lined up, the fabric flat and then stitch smoothly all at the same time!

My solution was to use a blue ink pen and draw the lines. The lines will disappear when wet with cool water. I didn't want to "mark" the quilt; but, in the end, it was the best option this time!

A sign of having just enough thread!

Check out how much thread I had left after stitching the main design lines. . .not much! It was a good estimate on my part! This spool was part of a retreat gift a number of years ago. It feels great to use it up!

Getting back to the ruler subject, I could quit. I have given rulers a good try; however, I want to work with rulers. I just need to keep practicing until I figure out what is going to work for me with the set up I have. With this in mind, I drew a more simplified shape to quilt in the four inch border. Using what I learned from stitching the previous section, I think, although I'm not confident, that I can use the ruler for this stitching!

Side Setting Block

You will have to check in with me on Wednesday to see if I was successful!

Note: If I had unlimited resources, I would have purchased a longarm years ago. The longarm would be the "cheap" part of the purchase because a serious remodel would have to happen to fit that piece of equipment in the studio! Actually, the only room it could fit in now, is the living room.

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Quilting Process--Past the Ditch

Quilting in the Ditch in Process!
Nancy from Dizzy Dog Quilting left me a comment from my post on Sunday.  In my post, I was lamenting about how boring ditch quilting is. (Ditch quilting is where one stitches as close to the seam as possible.) She said that she enjoyed doing it because right away she knows which ditches she is going to quilt and no marking is involved. I hadn't looked at ditch quilting that way; but, now that I have, I agree! Thanks for your thoughts, Nancy.

Perhaps on my next project, I won't grouse about ditch quilting ESS (every stinking seam)! I know the importance of ditch quilting--it helps the quilt lie flat! I generally start planning how I'm going to quilt my project from the time I begin choosing the fabric. Isn't that crazy? This works when I know what the pattern is. It doesn't work so well in cases like this mystery BOM (block of the month). I didn't know what it was going to look like until I stitched the pieces together with the last clue!

Often, as I'm stitching in the ditch, an idea comes to me.
Stencil Audition
This time? Not so much! So. . .I got out some of my quilting books and stencils. Sometimes that helps. . .Nope!
I decided against the stencils for a couple of reasons--marking will be involved and I didn't have stencils that I felt complimented the stars blocks in the quilt. For me, quilting must enhance the piecing or the appliqué!

The books were fun to review. But, there wasn't a design that said "pick me!"

I selected some threads to use on the project. I haven't quilted with 40wt. cotton threads in a while so I chose a few of those. Sometimes picking thread opens the quilting ideas. I like the threads; but, I didn't have a vision yet.

Next, I started drawing. Sometimes that helps. Okay. . .now, I'm making some progress. I draw small thumbnails on the back of an envelope or another piece of waste paper. Thoughts of possibilities are beginning to materialize; but, nothing definite has struck me.
A Sample of Free Motion Quilting books
Then, I thought about how I wanted the quilt to feel or what techniques I wanted to try or practice.

 Sometime ago, I bought a pounce marker and some stencils. It would be great if I could use them on this project. Maybe, I'll revisit those stencils later!

Then again, I would like to be more comfortable with the quilting rulers and I would like to quilt in a more modern style.

With the rulers in mind, I drew some more and came up with a plan for the 8 1/4 inch squares. Once I have a sketch in mind, I often draw it full size on a piece of newsprint to play with other filler designs. Then I will draw it one or two times on a piece of paper until I get what I think I want to quilt!

In the photo above, the square for this design is above the Freehand Filler book. I plan to use the bottom of the design for the setting triangles adjacent to the squares.
Full Size Drawing of the Design
I even have an idea for the purple border and an inkling of an idea for the outer border. It is style I haven't tried yet.  So to keep the quilting density consistent as I go, I'll be doing a part of the squares now and as I finish other parts of the quilting, I'll come back and fill in the details. I haven't tried this before. This is my plan today; now whether or not I can stick with the plan. . .well, I guess you'll need to stay tuned!

Sunday, November 27, 2016


The family at Thanksgiving
Thanksgiving was terrific and special. What made it terrific was that our small family was united! This is a big deal as our oldest daughter is married with two "littles" and is conscientious about sharing the holidays equally between us and her husband's family. Our youngest daughter lives in England so her home visits are few. What made it special was that our youngest granddaughter, J, celebrated her third birthday on Thanksgiving!

Of course, there was a lot of cooking. My sweetie, brined and then cooked the turkey on the traeger. It was delicious. He also made the green salad, the mashed potatoes, green beans as well as purchased all the supplies! He chopped and diced the ingredients I needed for my part of the dinner. He even roasted a piece of salmon for me because I turkey doesn't agree with my stomach! I baked a pumpkin pie and a carrot cake--both dairy free so Miss J could have both if she wanted! (She chose the cake. Miss K chose the pie!) I roasted sweet potatoes, made the stuffing and gravy. Daughter N and her friend J helped with preparations and provided wine, cheese and charcuterie. Daughter A and her husband J made a fruit salad and brought a wonderful selection of breads. We wanted not for food!

Still quilting in the ditch!
Every dish was delicious. Of course, the day passed too fast and we all ate too much.  We kept the salmon and A's family made out with the turkey leftovers. A and I made plans for black Friday shopping. Black Friday shopping is our tradition. Our goal is to leave the house around 4AM and return about 7AM! Daughter N was leaving for the airport when I was headed out to shop. She would have loved sharing Black Friday with her friend J as he couldn't believe all the Black Friday advertising or that people shop at that time of the day!

Now, I'm looking forward to getting back to the ditch quilting on this project. Ditch stitching is necessary; but, oh so boring! I still haven't an idea of how I want to quilt the blocks. Hmmm. . . maybe I'll come up with something for those borders and start there.

Wednesday, November 23, 2016


With Thanksgiving tomorrow, hubby and I will be in the kitchen cooking dinner for the family. This is the time of year that I reflect on being thankful.

Dad with his 80 star quilt
 First, I'm thankful to report that my dad whose doctors told him he had one to six months to live as he had a terminal lung disease in February 2015, has beat that timeline. Although his health continues to fail, his brain is still sharp and we continue to visit each evening about what happened in each of our days!

Daughter "A" and me at a fall football game

The "grands" "J" and "K" with Papa 
Second, as I've written, I had two arthroscopic knee surgeries to repair meniscus tears. The first was in December on my right knee and the second was in April on the left knee. Unfortunately, I had too much arthritis under my knee caps for the surgery to be successful. Yesterday, I had my third gel injection in each knee. I hope that the injections will provide enough space under the knee cap so that I can extend my leg without my knee catching. I hope that I will be able to return to my daily two mile morning walks which I have greatly missed! I am thankful that I was a candidate for the gel therapy and I am thankful that physical therapy has helped me regain some function. I am hopeful that I will be able to kneel again. I am a candidate for knee replacement; but, I hope to delay those surgeries for as long as possible!

Third, I'm thankful for my family. My husband has supported me through the knee challenges and continues to support my quilting habit. Our daughters are two terrific women. Getting to spend time with them is so precious to us both. 

"N" and Dad at a London Market
Our oldest daughter and her husband live about half an hour from us. They are extra special because they are the parents of the two granddaughters who play with us on Mondays and Wednesdays. I often blog about their antics and how I'm doing my best to inflict them with the quilting bug!

Our youngest daughter currently lives in London, England. We visited her there last summer and I blogged about our trip. I'm planning to visit her next year. . .not sure when; but, although we FaceTime each other at least once a week, I really appreciate those in the flesh visits which don't happen but a couple times a year.

Finally, I'm thankful for my quilting friends. Thanks for reading my blog. A special thank you to all of you who leave a comment! Thank you to those I get together with to stitch or who offer suggestions about a project or who encourage me to try something new or different. 

So as we dine tomorrow with family and friends, let us all take a moment to at least be thankful for getting together to share a meal and great conversation!

Monday, November 21, 2016

Fabric Purchases for the Year

A collection of stash fabrics for a project
This has been an atypical fabric purchasing year for me. Last year, I completed a goal of using 50 yards of fabric from my stash; but, I also purchased nearly that same amount. In the end, I didn't open up much shelf space nor reduce the size of my stash!

There was a time that I didn't have much of a stash. I purchased the fabric for a project and stitched it up. It was a good system. Then, I became hooked on pretty patterns, a type of fabric, new fabric lines and great bargains!! Over time, my stash grew to over flowing the tub system I had in place. It is quick and easy to buy items and there is so much out there that I like to buy!

A friend said that I needed to put the fabric on shelves to see it because I would use it if I looked at it. For me, this was partly true; but, didn't work as well for me as it does for her! My definition of stash is fabric or embellishment not used in a year, becomes part of the stash.

This year, I have been careful with my fabric purchases. If I bought a fabric, the primary goal was to stitch it soon so it didn't become part of my stash!  I was successful for eight yards of fabric purchases. Those eight yards became "Tinkling the Ivories," binding on "Totally Hexed", a blue skirt for K, a flower WIP and a pink skirt for K. When I stitch that blue skirt for J, I will have stitched ten yards of fabric that I purchased this year.

A bag of selvages waiting to be stitched
into a tote!
--I did buy a yard of a 1930's fabric that I just liked. It is in the stash and I don't have a purpose for it; but, I still like it!
--At the same time, I bought three yards of silk print thinking it would make a wonderful skirt. It is a small floral print on a navy background. It was six dollars!!
--I also bought five yards of an orange batik because the price was right ($3/yd). It is also part of my stash, but, I will use it when I work on a mastery BOM that I collected the fabrics--but, never started. --I also bought three yards of a dark almost black fabric for a background. I didn't start that project either. I've been thinking about the project for a while; but, for now, it can marinate in my head! The remaining fabrics I've stitched.

So, that brings the total fabric purchase this year to 22 yards. I've stitched 10 yards into projects. Making my stash increase by 12 yards. BUT, I've also used 22 1/2 yards of fabric from my stash in completed projects. I'm thinking of doing a BOM beginning in January. . . .the background requirements are 11 yards!

Hmmmm. . .I'm going to need to FINISH more of my WIPs to bump that total stash yardage used! On the other hand, I'm pleased that I still have a net loss happening with my stash!! Back to stitching!!

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

#FALQ4 Finish #5--a second skirt and a photo shoot!

Miss J finished her skirt--again with help from me. She loves animals so the print on this fine wale corduroy fabric with the kitty print was perfect! I think blue is her favorite color. . .at least the last few times I've asked!

We did the usual sewing. She thought that threading the machine was fun!

She got such a kick out of fusing the interfacing to the skirt facing. She felt the texture on the interfacing. She patted the interfacing--bumpy side down--on the wrong side of the facing. Then we put the iron on it to fuse. She was surprised to find that she couldn't separate the layers and that the fabric was "hot!"

She tried pinning and did a little driving. She is more into the power phase of the project though! Then she would pass off the work to her sister, K. K would stitch a few seams so J would finish her project sooner!

J liked doing the hand sewing; but, said the needle was too "ouchie!" She stitched a few inches of her waistband and that is ok. She worked a little on each step of the process.

Then she tried it on. She liked it and I thought we were finished; but, for taking up the waistband a bit. But, we were missing a part. . .the tie. So we made one and then when she tried it on she needed to have her photo taken . . .

here. . .

and like this. . .

with these props. . .

and take some here. . .

We had a photo shoot!!!! (I hope Mama approved!)

My original list of finishes for the quarter is here.