Friday, August 31, 2012

I Can't Keep This Up For Long

I have loaded another quilt on my HQ16...another easy one on which I will just do some free-motion meandering.

But I won't be working on this one quite as quickly as I did on the quilt seen in the last several posts because the next week will be quite busy with preparations for the opening of my guild's exhibit. It opens ONE WEEK FROM TONIGHT at the Gmeiner Art & Cultural Center in Wellsboro, PA. I'll be helping with registration tomorrow, hanging on Monday, reception on Friday evening, and hostessing next Saturday.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

A LOT of Progress

All the quilting is done, and all that's left is the binding! (oh, and label, too)...

Wednesday, August 29, 2012


The quilting has begun (after a couple of false starts with the tension)!

I can't begin to explain how much of a relief it is to quilt something so freely like this after having spent many, many long hours quilting the itty bitty little blocks of my Jane Stickle quilt one at a time. And only needing one color thread throughout the whole quilt!

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

As Promised

As I vowed in yesterday's post, I've loaded one of my quilt tops on my HQ16 and it's now ready to be quilted....Maybe today...

It's a very simple quilt and I'll probably just do a simple meander or looper meander all over it.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Out of Control

What's on my design wall today?

 Nothing, absolutely, zilch, nada, nothing.

That's because I am determined not to start piecing another quilt top (unless it's an emergency, of course) until I get some of these quilted and bound....

I have seven, count them, seven quilt tops (and one small wallhanging) waiting to be loaded onto my HQ16 and quilted. That's way too many. Things are starting to get out of control. Five of the tops have the backing, batting, and binding all prepared and ready to go.

I really need to get started on them, so I vow to load at least one of them today!

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Bonnie Hunter Photos

If you're interested in seeing photos of Bonnie Hunter's visit to my guild last month, check out the guild's blog.

Friday, August 24, 2012

Will I Ever Run Out of Batiks?

During our vacation out West a few months ago, we discovered that most hotels now provide neckroll pillows as well as the standard sleeping pillows. The neckrolls were perfect for reading in bed or watching TV (not that there was much worthwhile to watch) and my husband said they kept him from getting neckaches. So, when we got home, I went searching for neckroll pillow forms to buy for ourselves. I found a small one at Bed, Bath, and Beyond which was OK, and then two larger ones at Joann's (when they were 50 percent off, of course). Anyway, all three of them are white, so I've decided to make covers for them.

This is the smaller one. I didn't want the cover to be too flimsy, so I sewed batik strips to batting using the stitch and flip method. I then sewed the whole piece into a tube, inserted the form, and gathered the ends. At first I tried to make a casing for elastic, but the batting made the gathered ends way too thick, so I just serged the edges before gathering. Of course, I only had gray thread in my serger (and there is no way I'm changing the thread unless absolutely necessary), so it doesn't exactly match, but it will do as a prototype.

I gathered the ends just like I've done on wine bottle bags (read about that here).

Here it is with other projects  I've recently made...

It goes well with all of these...

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Latest Finish

Here's my latest finished quilt. It's a fun kids' quilt using Dr. Seuss fabrics and the Quick Strippie pattern from Mary at Maryquiltscom. Thank you, Mary, for being so generous with sharing free patterns.

This is one of my all-time favorite kid quilt patterns. It's so easy to make, but makes quite an impression when the recipient gets it. And it's perfect for showing off all sorts of fun novelty print fabrics.

Here's a closeup of the free-motion loopy quilting I did....

 ...and a shot showing some of the backing fish, two fish....

...and one last shot taken outside....

I love this pattern -- making a quilt like this always puts a smile on my face!

Friday, August 17, 2012

Three Weeks and Counting!

My guild's exhibit opens three weeks from today with a gala evening reception! Wellsboro is located in Tioga County, PA and is an easy drive from most of the NY Finger Lakes -- one hour from Hammondsport, Watkins Glen, or Elmira; 90 minutes from Ithaca; 2 hours from Geneva or Binghamton. We're one hour north of Williamsport, PA and about three hours from Harrisburg. 

The exhibit will be on display for three weeks, September 8-30, 2-5 PM daily -- admission is FREE! There are no vendors at the exhibit; however, Needles Quilt Shop is located on Main Street just a couple of blocks from the gallery. If you'd like to see slideshows of our past exhibits, check out the guild's website and click on the "exhibit" page. Bring your friends and enjoy a visit to our lovely small town!

Click here for more info on the exhibit.

Here are some photos of our raffle quilt...It's based on Kim Diehl's "Passing Fancy" pattern.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Iron Update

A couple of years ago, I blogged about my issues with a new iron. I thought it was time for an update.

Thankfully, this replacement iron has now been working for more than two years, with just a minor issue or two. I can't say if those issues are due to the quality of the iron or because it fell from the ironing board to the carpeted floor in my quilting studio all by itself operator error. The operator error resulted in a pretty good-sized crack on the side of the iron, but it didn't seem to affect the performance much. 

Once in a while, the iron gets a little temperamental and starts beeping every 10 seconds or so without stopping. It still heats and produces steam, but the beeping can be a bit annoying. So far, it usually goes back to normal once I've turned it off and left it alone for a while.

I'm keeping my fingers crossed....

Friday, August 10, 2012

Fiber Fun Complete!

Here's the completed project that I've been blogging about all week....

I used a zigzag stitch to sew the yarn down on wash-away stabilizer, making a grid by sewing eight long rows down and then the shorter rows across. I left a bit of yarn hanging off of the long ends of the stabilizer to make some fringe (not really visible in this photo). Once it was all sewn down ( it's a great way to use up thread), it went into a pan of water until all of the stabilizer dissolved. I kept rinsing it until I got all the stickiness and stiffness out.

This was very easy and fun to do and I love the result. There are so many gorgeous yarns available now and I've been very envious of my knitting friends who get to use that yarn. Well, now I can use it, too, without having to learn how to read a knitting pattern!

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Fiber Fun Continued

This is what I've done with the yarn and my sewing machine...

It will look a bit different tomorrow...

Stay tuned!

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Fiber Fun

Here's a sneak peek at what I'm doing with the yarn mentioned in yesterday's post...

Again, stay tuned....

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Another Fiber Project

I recently purchased this yarn from my favorite fiber thrift store, SewGreen in Ithaca, NY. (If you don't know the store, click here to read a previous post about it). I'm now making something fun out of this, but not using knitting needles or a crochet hook.....I'm using my sewing machine!

Stay tuned...

Monday, August 6, 2012

Only A Few Steps Remain

As you can tell from this photo, I'm now working on sewing the binding of my Jane Stickle quilt...

Normally, I love to sew the binding because it means that the quilt is almost finished. And although I am very happy to be doing this now, I really hate using black thread on black fabric. But at least this way my stitches will be well-hidden!

Oh, and it's also not much fun hand sewing binding when it feels like it's the tropics around here....with no A/C....I want my cool Pennsylvania nights to return ASAP!

Friday, August 3, 2012

Tea Time

I spent the morning here...

 ...making these...

(the colors are much prettier in person, believe me)

The Friends of the Green Free Library here in Wellsboro are having a tea party for ladies of all ages tomorrow from 2PM until 3:30PM (with real teacups and fancy dresses), so I decided to whip up a few pillowcases as door prizes. I found the lovely tea-themed fabric at Sew Pieceful in Campbell, NY (alas, no website or Facebook page).

If you're in the area and know of any little girls who'd like to come, please let them know. Tea, lemonade, and light refreshments will be provided, accompanied by some lovely harp music. Dressing up is welcome, including hats and gloves if you like. Girls are welcome to bring their dolls to the party as well. The event will be held at the Gmeiner Art and Cultural Center, next door to the library.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Please Be Seated

Earlier this summer, I finally got around to using some vinyl fabric that I had bought at Joann's on clearance last year. I basically used this tutorial with just some minor adjustments. Instead of using my sewing machine, I serged the seams, which made the project go very quickly. I also used just two ties instead of three. Unfortunately, there was probably a reason why I got the fabric so cheap -- the seams are already starting to come apart a bit where the ties pull on them a bit. Now that I know how to make these, I will probably invest in some better fabric and make them again. And I may just skip adding the ties.

(Ignore the ugly old discount-store tablecloth -- it needs to be replaced, too.)