Sunday, December 30, 2018

A Three Machine kind of day

Hi!  I just wanted to share some finishes.  I had a Three Machine kind of day!  

Last week I made this snowflake embroidery on my Pfaff Creative 1.5.  The design is from Embroidery Library, and a young man from church wanted something with snowflakes for a cover for his dog's pillow.  I made the pillow and other covers for him.  He likes changing it for the seasons, and I wanted to play with some of the designs I've been collecting. 

I used Superior Threads King Tut for the stitching, since I felt it was the best color for the background fabric.  I've had it a while, so I wanted to use it, and even though it was a variegated thread, the shades of blue were a good match.  It doesn't show the changes well in this design, but does add some depth to the stitching when you look closely.  I think the color is Mirage.  I turned the cone upside down on the machine, so it would feed from the regular spool pin.  I have a cone stand, but need to put it with that machine.  For the most part, it stitched well.  I did have issues with shredding, but that was fixed when I replaced the needle.  That in itself was a learning experience.  I had to remove the embroidery module, which deleted the program.  Luckily I hadn't moved the location, and just had to forward through the design file until I got to "about" where the break was.  Lesson:  Change needle before something with lots of stitches, especially after working on a number of other projects.  
 I thought the design worked well with the fabric's print.  I think I got this at JoAnn's a few years ago.  It has a cute silver metallic finish on the snowflakes.  Today's project was to quilt the top, finish the edges on the envelope back, and finish sewing the pillow cover.  This was done on my Viking Sapphire 850.  I just did a quick stipple over the top to the batting, only.  No backing on the batting.  
 I like to finish seams that are inside a pillow cover with my serger.  So just a few seconds after sewing the layers together, I did another round with the Babylock Imagine serger.  This project was done while the embroidery machine was stitching out a design in the other room.  I love being so productive that I can get 2 projects done at almost the same time. 

Here's the envelope back.  I happy I can deliver this tomorrow.  
 A friend had liked the Flourishing Machine embroidery I used for my Quiltsy Team Secret Santa gift.  
 I used Aurifil 40wt in 2525, Light Blue Violet, and paired it with some Island Batik for the background and borders.  My recipient loved it.  I sent her a few FQs and a stash roll from Island Batik, as well.  This friend requested black thread, so I used Island Batik solid white for the background and Aurifil 40wt black for the stitching.

I decided to list this as a custom available item in my Etsy shop.  You can pick the thread color and the background fabric color.  I put fusible interfacing on the fabric behind the stitching, for more stability.  You can finish it as a wall hanging or mug rug, or add it to a quilt with other sewing theme blocks.  It's so pretty in person, and measures about 6 by 8 1/2".  If you don't sew, but want a gift for someone who does, I can finish it as a wall hanging or small quilt.  Just ask! 

I have a few other finishes I want to do as soon as possible, but I MUST begin working on my Island Batik Ambassador blog hop quilt, featuring Crystal Ball, which is due next week.  I have the pattern picked and think it's going to be lovely.  Hopefully fast, as well.  Too bad I can't cut and sew at the same time, lol  I can't wait to share.  All of the Ambassadors are getting excited! There will be give-aways and lots of eye candy and inspiration.  Watch this space for more info!  

Thanks for visiting.


Saturday, December 22, 2018

Island Batik December Whimsical and Wonky Challenge

Hi and Happy December!  Happy Hanukkah and Merry Christmas, and happy holidays! 
The December challenge for Island Batik Ambassadors is Whimsical and Wonky.  

After making the Christmas Lights Log Cabin for November (it's almost done being quilted, and I'm working on the file for you) I wanted to stay whimsical for this challenge.  And since I've been playing with my Pfaff Creative 1.5 and wanted to do more with embroidery, I picked the project from Embroidery Library called Santa on the Edge

I picked a piece of older red Christmas fabric from a Stash Builder roll, and the new Solid White fabric, and a bit of pink from a scrap, plus beige from another background scrap, and some Buttermilk for the background.  

I used the Triangles fabric from Alpine Jingle in Forest for the borders.  I just purchased a bolt of this, and have it listed in my Etsy shop.  It's a great shade of green.

I created my own writing file from the program that came with the machine.  I think it would be fun for Santa to have his own placemat on Christmas Eve!  And of course, we need to leave treats for the reindeer, who are working so hard to make all the deliveries.  I know they like carrots.  

I didn't make Santa's coffee, and I must admit that Mom and I ate the little mini cupcakes, and she ate the cookies after the photo, since I haven't finished baking my treats yet.  They would be stale if I left them out for Santa. 
The backing is also Island Batik White and I quilted around Santa with Aurifil 50wt and used the green for the border.  I use the same thread in the bobbin as the top.  It makes the top look better.  I'll be listing the solid white batik in my Etsy shop soon!  

This shows a little more detail for the fabric.  I planned the placement of the mitten, so it has a gold snowflake on it.  Santa's hat and coat also have the gold painted snowflakes, and yes, it's Island Batik.  I loved the metallic accents when they came out with this group.  
I used a double layer of white for the beard, pompom and cuff, because I wanted to make sure the red didn't show through.  I used a Clover fusible web for the applique.  All the threads are Aurifil 40 wt.  The finished piece measures about 16 by 20".

Okay the color is off on this photo, but I finished this at night, and wanted to send it to my great-nephew and nieces in Colorado in time for Christmas Eve.  And I'm still learning about placement for designs that require 2 hoopings.  Santa is a little wonky.  So I guess I have both whimsy and wonky??lol  Each time I try something is a learning experience.  I do plan on listing this as a custom item in my shop.  I'll work on getting Santa a little more straight with the lettering.  

Want to see more?  This is a list of Island Batik Ambassadors with links to their blogs.  But it may not be to the current Whimsical and Wonky post.  Please check their list for the desired post.  But inspiration is in abundance.

Thanks so much for visiting!  I hope you have a wonderful time with your family, or whomever you wish to enjoy.  And eat a few too many cookies!  Thanks so much for following my quilting journey. 


Saturday, December 8, 2018

Better Late than never Island Batik Challenge October Needle Paper Scissors

I'm so happy that Island Batik isn't angry when an Ambassador fails to get a challenge in on time.  This is late, but it's done.  Not just a top, like many of my other projects lately.  They know I'm also caregiver for Mom, who has Alzheimer's, and her needs come before my sewing time.  I am so grateful for that, and for the fabrics they provide, and for being an ambassador.  It keeps me motivated and looking forward, when the daily issues and stress can drag me down.  

Enough about that.  October's Ambassador Challenge was Needle Paper Scissors.  We're supposed to do something with foundation (they specified paper, but I think they'll allow this).  English Paper Piecing is something I've done, and I do enjoy it, but wasn't in the mood to cut pieces for the shapes I have.  I thought about paper piecing a star or something, but again, couldn't come up with a design or pick fabric.  So I started cleaning, and remembered I have a few sample kits from Quiltsmart.  They had asked me a few years ago to try them, and blog about them.  Sort of like an Ambassador.  I've used the Mondo bag kit, and they have some for applique shapes, but again, those didn't appeal.  I did find the Tumbling Blocks kit, and thought that would be fun to try.  I had gone to a quilt show recently that had a Tumbling Blocks quilt in multi-colors, and had wanted to see what I could do with the foundation/fusible printed interfacing they provided.  But I also knew I had other projects, so this would have to be table runner size.  16 1/2 by 42 1/2, that works for me.  

But then Halloween Costumes and Mom's change in behavior put a "hold" on it.  And not deciding how to quilt it, too.  Sometimes a project needs to wait until it inspires the next step.  

So, Step 1.  Pick Fabrics.  Put them back, and pick again.  Decide, finally, on Alpine Ice, in shades of gray and slate, and Dot for the background.  I needed strips cut to rectangles.  And one sheet of the interfacing for the runner.  Step 2, put back the fabric.  Step 3.  Play with the idea on EQ8.  Step 4, pull the fabric again.  Yes, there was some indecision. lol  Finally, cut it, and sew the pieces together, sew it to the interfacing, trim it and turn it with the Dritz Quick Turn (Which I've had for years, and constantly find great uses for, in dressmaking and in quilting) and be careful because the interfacing may rip a little.  Step 5.  Decide again how to place the designs, and make sure the beginning and end pieces/blocks work for that design.  Step 6.  Fold background fabric and press it well to form lines for you to fuse the strips down.  Step 7.  Fuse, and use Aurifil Clear Monofilament thread to applique down the edges.  Step 8.  Admire it, sew on the side borders, and press again, then baste it with batting and backing (I used Island Batik's new White solid fabric. Awesome!!)  Step 9, (procrastinate, if needed, lol) Quilt about 1/4" from the edges of each strip with Aurifil 50wt 2605 Gray, with a walking foot (I know, it's not Free Motion for a change!), and bind with Island Batik's new Gray solid fabric.  Again, awesome.  So, here's the finished project.  

 That's the back, showing some of the quilting detail, and the White fabric by Island Batik and the Gray binding.  The fabric patch is a left-over, but basically that's what you make, before sewing them in a row, and then to an interfacing strip.
I think it looks like 3-D in this view.   
The whole thing.   
Not so much a 3-D look in this view, but kind of a cool zig-zag thing. 
Ah, the 3-D blocks appear again. 
I'm so happy it's finished.  I have some other projects to finish and start some holiday gifts, soon.  I will let you know when they're done.  The December challenge for Island Batik Ambassadors is Whimsical or Wonky.  I'm going for Whimsy this time.  I hope to share that soon.  In the meantime, I'm also ready to quilt the November Log Cabin challenge, the one I appliqued lights on.  I'll have the directions and file for the lights ready soon.  

Thanks again for visiting, and I hope you enjoyed reading this book, lol.