Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Valentine - UFO

Remember this one?  It's been lurking in my UFO basket for nearly 9 years.  Time to pull it out and work on it.  My thought when I began it years ago, was to add more borders and some wording in the border.  I called it "Conversation Hearts" as the applique heart blocks have embroidered sayings in the center.  Just like the conversation heart candies.

 I got tired of it.  Trying to think past the business of the center and bringing some elements out to the border, it was just hard to concentrate on, so it ended up on the bottom of the basket until just the other day.  I pinned it up on my design board and sat across from it and stared at it for a while.  Dug out all the bits and pieces left over, then it slowly came to me.

I knew I wanted the words, "Be My Valentine", I just wasn't sure how I would arrange so few words around the entire border.  My bits and pieces were minimal so I couldn't make more words.  Why not bring the heart shape out into the border?  There was just enough pinks to cut some hearts out.  When I applique, I use a fusible and an interfacing on the reverse so that the stitching doesn't tunnel on the top.  The "interfacing" I used are clothes dryer sheets (used and saved).  Iron them flat onto the back of your applique shape and it will "stick" to your fabric if you sew around it right away.  I didn't have to use pins to hold it in place.  After you've stitched around the shape, just trim away the dryer sheet from the reverse close to the stitching.  Since the dryer sheet is very soft and fine, you could leave some of it attached, especially if your applique shape is really small, don't worry about trying to cut out every bit of it.

So this is the layout I liked the best.  I like the effect, the white in the border was needed to rest the eye from all that is going on in the center.  The wording and hearts pull the theme out of the center.  I don't want to add anymore confusion to it so my quilting will be an invisible thread in a simple design, probably large hearts and loops, free hand/free motion of course.

I have posted a step-by-step approach to binding a quilt here.  I want to add that instead of using a piece of cardboard for your binding spool, you could use an empty heavy cardboard roll from clingfilm or foil, and a little piece of 2 sided tape to hold the end to the roll.  Using the roll, it will be easy to unroll the binding while sewing and not leave any crease marks.

Instead of the binding being a tangled mess.....Use this to roll the binding to store until you need to sew it onto the quilt top.

The binding is ready to go and the top is now completed, but this is where I have stopped for now.  The next step is sandwiching, but it will have to wait a day or two.  I am just so happy to get this far on it.  No longer stalled on the design, it's decided and done, that alone feels like a big accomplishment.  And, there's a big void in my UFO basket!  ;o)

Thursday, June 23, 2016

A Birthday and A Finish

Not everyone in my age bracket is happy to celebrate another birthday.  This year, I was thrilled when my DH wonderful took a half day off work to come home and spend quality time with me on my Birthday.  He took me out to lunch and we went to two quilt shops, where I chose these items...
He offered to buy me a new Bernina 770 machine,  "at the moment, we can't afford it" was my response....while also noticing both these shops were seeking help, he mentioned to me that I could work it off.  It is something to consider.  When we returned home, I received a box from my DS which contained these goodies.....
How did he know I was interested in these things?  Making a wish list certainly helps.  I am so grateful for these two men in my life.  There's plenty here to keep me busy for a long time.

I just mailed this baby quilt off to the recipient.  The small border strip was fun to do, I did a free motion cursive stitch-writing of the alphabet and numbers 0-9 all around.    
Temperatures are on the rise, so a good reason to stay indoors and do some sewing.  ;o)

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Hit the Ground Running

When I wake in the mornings, I feel like I hit the ground running from that moment until evening.  I am convinced this is true for the majority.  This can be a good thing, but not always for me.  I love those golden silent moments when they occur.  This morning, I woke very early watching the sunrise and listening to the singing birds.  Usually my mind races making mental notes and lists to fill the day, but today's golden moments have set me up for the day with a smile on my face.  Just to stop and take a deep breath, letting the mind rest which relaxes all the muscles in the body, is refreshing.   

Ok, with that said, I will get on with this post.  It's been too long since I last posted anything, but with good reason.  

We went on a three week vacation with our DS.  It was wonderful to get away and spend time with him.  
We've also been so busy with the gardening and repairing the shed.  Skunks, rabbits and snakes seem to love making holes digging under our shed making a mess along with being somewhat of a danger.  The skunk in our area have been reported as being rabid, so we had to come up with a way to deter the animals.  

DH has filled in all the holes with rock and dirt.  Then, dug a trench and buried half of the wide planks against the sides all around and replaced the dirt.  We will also put rock around all sides and hope they won't want to dig through all that.  He also removed some of the brush, tree trunks, weeds and roots from all around the sides.  It looks 100% better already. So hopefully, the animals will give up and move on.
On our walks, I have come across these flowers and couldn't resist taking some photos of these wonderful wild flowers.  In the back of my mind, I would like to make something very artful with them.  Holding on to files and files of photos for reference.  Maybe you do this as well?  

At the moment, I am working on a quilt for my cousin-in-law's daughter which is a 6' quilt.  She just graduated from Clemson University, so you can imagine this quilt is nothing but orange and purple.  What a combination.  I took the advice of some fellow quilters and just simply quilted this because she will use it for tail-gating.  So I did some quilting in the ditch and a meander pattern in the borders.  Honestly, I can't wait to be done with it so I can tackle my UFO's and start a quilt for my DS.   He has a space for a wall size quilt in his office.  I will make him a patch quilt with the Utah National parks theme.  

It is predicted to be over 90°F for the next 5 days.  That's too warm for me anytime of the year, so I plan on staying inside working on these sewing projects.   ;o)