Saturday, November 22, 2014

#Creative Goodness

I'm linking up with SewCal Gal's #Creative Goodness party.

The theme is #FallGoodness this week.  I wanted to share my table runner.  I love the pattern Autumn Leaves by Quilt In A Day.  You can watch the video by Eleanor Burns HERE. And there's a free pattern to make a turkey out of the same block HERE.

I've made this pattern a few times, and love it!  The leaves come out so pretty, and the directions are great.  Plus, you can change it up and make the borders the way you want.  I love stitching the veins on the leaves.  I basically pretend I'm drawing in the veins, only I do it with my sewing machine.  Start at the stem, go up to the top, come back down, add a few angled veins, and before you know it, you have a leaf!

Here's the most recent one I've done.

I love this one, too.  There are fiberoptic lights surrounding the center square.  

So, if you're looking for a great pattern, check out Quilt In A Day.  I checked the website, and they're currently out of stock, but you can find it elsewhere.  There are also free Leaf block patterns available.  Make something fun for your Autumn table!  
Thanks for visiting. 


Christmas is Coming

Normally I can wait until after Thanksgiving to begin decorating my house for Christmas.  This year, because I was working with this gorgeous Island Batiks fabric group, I've been itching to hang my stockings and put the wreath on the door!  I'm in the spirit!

As an Island Batiks ambassador, I receive collections of various prints.  I can use the collection as I wish.  But that can be a little intimidating.  First, you get a bundle of fabrics, often 1/2 yard pieces of each.  I want to use them to show off the gorgeous colors, and that wonderful hand dyed texture, but what can one do with just 1/2 yard?  I don't like wasting the fabrics, and want to use as much as possible.

I also love Quilt In A Day, and have subscribed to their Block Party this year.  These last few months have been new patterns.  Sew Radiant is one of the latest, designed by Pat Knoechel, Eleanor Burn's sister (and someone I've met a few times at her show at Pocono Sew & Vac).

Well, this pattern uses fat quarters and some yardage.  I picked 3 reds, 3 greens and 3 golds from the Island Batiks bundles, and one more print for the binding, and used almost all of it on this quilt.  I think I have 2 4" strips left, and some 1" strip scraps.  Yippee!  I can make some mug rugs out of the remaining fabrics.

The Island Batkis fabrics are gorgeous. 
After cutting the blocks, I had pieces that were about 4" wide, so I pieced them to the right length for the borders.   

 The red fabrics have stars and snowflakes, in gold metallic paint, and a batik print with green leaves.  The greens have pine branches or reindeer, snowflakes and words like Rejoice, Joy, and Noel in gold, or a batik pine print.  The gold had the gold pine branches, stars and swirls.  All the backgrounds are hand dyed batiks.  And the threadcount of the base fabric is wonderful, too.  It's so nice to work with gorgeous colors and fabrics that are sturdy and don't fray.  
 Backing is a poinsettia print with gold accents, but not from Island Batiks. 

Quilting was done on my Viking Sapphire, all hand guided (FMQ) with Superior metallic thread in light gold.  I did a snowflake in the center block, and feathers surrounding it, and in the border.  6 bobbins of Aurifil 50wt for the backing, in red.   Most metallic threads are difficult to work with.  Superior is the best I've found, and it gives a lovely accent to the fabrics from Island Batiks. 

So, don't you want to light a fire in the fireplace, turn on It's A Wonderful Life, and snuggle in with a cup of hot chocolate, next to your favorite person or dog?  Yeah, me too.

Friday, November 14, 2014

Catching Up

I can't believe I haven't written in a while.  Things have been a little crazy, though.  Other things have been more important, so...

I'm working on a quilt top featuring Island Batiks and the Sew Radiant pattern from Quilt In A Day. I need to figure out the last border, and then get it quilted.  It's gorgeous, though.  Pictures to come. 

I am also getting ready to do some craft shows.  I made some stemware coaster sets.  If they don't sell at the show, I'll list them in my Etsy shop.

I built a display rack for my quilts, for the shows.  It's similar in design to the ones I borrowed at Memorytown over the summer, but not "furniture" grade.  I don't have the tools to really build it like that, so I did what I could,  I purchased the wood pre-cut to the lengths I needed, at Home Depot.  I used Red Mahogany stain, and need to do another coat or 2 of polyurethane, but since the first craft sale is this week, that'll have to wait.  It stands about 4 feet high and is 5 feet wide, and is made out of pine.  I discovered that I need a new sander.  The vibrating one I have is very old, and barely moves.  I laughed when I plugged it in.  Anyway, this design may hold up to 10 quilts, if I fold them correctly.  I can fit it in my car, and I can lift it.  That's some of the reasons I did it this way.  Plus, it folds for storage.  

The yellow and blue Log Cabin quilt is one my cousin Liz's mother-in-law started for Liz's son.  When Leona passed away, Liz asked me to finish 4 quilts for her.  Two are done, this is the third (needs a label) and the last one will be done next week.  This will be given to Leona's great-granddaughter.  I'm honored to finish this hand pieced, quilted as you go quilt.  I'll share more details on Leona's quilts soon. 

And, I needed to get my car inspected.  I had been told that the headlight lenses would not pass inspection again.  That's a sore spot for me, since I complained about them when I purchased the car.  The dealership promised to replace them, but instead did a really bad job of using a "restore" kit, making them look worse, and charging me $99.  I seldom drove at night, because the lights were not bright, and with keratoconus, it's a huge issue.  I decided to check with the auto parts store, and the guy recommended a 3M kit, basically a series of sanding disks that attach to a power drill, and some cream polishes and wax.  The kit cost about $28.  It took about 30 minutes per light.  Here's the before and after shots. 

How about these for after?

It's not perfect, but for a 10 year old car, I think they are wonderful.  I am finally able to drive at night!  I can even see the overhead street signs.  It's amazing.  

I've also been working on the machine Liz gave me, Leona's Singer 15.  The cabinet was in bad shape.  I thought it only needed sanding, but I ended up having to strip the finish on all the horizontal surfaces.  There was either black paint or thick black oil imbedded into the wood.   I got it out, and so far have a nice coat of red mahogany stain, and one coat of polyurethane.  I'll get to the rest after this weekend.  The body only needed some Howard's RestorAFinish and wax, and looks good.  I plan to get a 1/4" foot with guide for this machine, and use it for piecing blocks.  It's similar to the 15-91, and they will both be getting good use.  More details on that soon, too.  

AND, I picked up some of the chrome polish and carnuba car wax that the vintage sewing machine group on Facebook recommends.  I decided to play on the 15-91, and I think it came out great.  
The chrome polish did a great job of removing the gunk in the cover on the back of the machine.  It was yellowed and thick with crud.  About 5 minutes did this. 

I plan to use this on Leona's as well.  

And I finished a Fall leaf table runner.  

And I attended a quilt show and did the Eastern PA quilt shop hop.  See?  I told you I was busy.  More to come and photos soon!  If you're in the PA area, come see me at the craft show at the American Legion hall on East 5th Street in East Stroudsburg, Saturday, November 15, 2014.  I think it starts at 10.  Proceeds benefit Relay for Life.