Be productive or write a blog post?
I really like to document the projects that I have going on by blogging about them, but I can’t seem to be productive and write about my projects, too. I always want to write too much. So instead, I have written nothing for many months.
I am going to try to change that.
I think that if I share photos of my work, either in process, or complete with just a minimal description, I might be able to keep up better.
Keep It Simple, Silly!
I will start back today by sharing a quilt block that I made using fabric that I am sharing with my quilt group.
Each month for the past six months, two members of our group bring 12 Fat Quarters of their chosen fabric to be handed out to each of the group members. Each member then uses that Fat Quarter and additional fabrics of their choosing to make a 12” quilt block for the person that provided the Fat Quarter. The block maker choose that block design, as long as it makes a 12.5” unfinished block. The following month, the person that gave the fat quarters will get back their completed blocks.
Last night was my turn to give out Fat Quarters.
I can’t wait until next month to see the blocks that I get back.
Last Friday, I had the house all to myself for the entire day.
This meant play day, all day long for me.
I decided that it would be a great day to dye fabric.
The first project for this class is to use 3 primary colors to dye 12 different colors and make a color wheel.
I started with 3 yards of a White on White Feather Print and divided it into 12 Fat Quarters.
The smaller squares attached to each piece (they were attached all the way through the dye process) started as a solid white muslin so that I could also get the result of dyeing the plain white without having to do an entire piece, right now.
As I was pressing these finished fat quarters, I was thinking about the White Snowflakes on White Fabric that I recently saw at my LQS, and how much I would like colorful snowflake fabric, too.
I just had to make a small project using the new fabrics!
(Not the best fabric/project combo, but it was fun to make.)
The flower is from the book Aunt Millie’s Garden.
I digitized the flower for machine embroidery and used my Brother Scan N Cut to cut the applique pieces.
Even though I used the same dye stock for each fabric, I made a color wheel for each one to record the difference between plain fabric and printed fabrics, as well as the subtle differences between the concentrations of the dyes on the same fabrics.
Play time is such a fun way to learn!
I got my first embroidery machine way back in February of 1996.
It had a 4″ hoop that I did most of my embroidery with, and a multi-position hoop (but still only a 4″ x 4″ stitch area) that I only used a couple of times.
Here they are, last December, working together on my (still unfinished) Go! BeDazzled embroidery project.
Over these 18 plus years, I have accumulated a LOT of machine embroidery designs.
The embroidered flower design is from EmbroideryLibrary.com.
My week off of work is flying by!
Today I am taking care of 3 birds with just one stone.
Bird #1 – The Baseboards:
I have not made near as much progress on the baseboard install process as I had hoped that I would, but I am making some progress.
We have the rounded “bullnose” corners through out the house. The old baseboards had rounded corner pieces as connectors.
New round ones were going to cost about $3.50 each and I need 27. Ouch!
I decided to try to cut beveled corners instead.
I am VERY happy with this alternative.
Once the joints are caulked and painted, they will look great!
The boards are cut, painted and ready to install in the hall bathroom, one of the hallways, and the kitchen/family room.
Time to put the nail gun into action!
I still have the other hall way, the entry and the laundry room to start on.
The living/dining room and master bedroom will be the very last areas since they still have the old baseboards in place. We left the carpet in these areas.
** ** **
Bird #2 – Learning, learning, learning:
My entertainment, while working on the baseboards, is “watching” several Craftsy classes.
Mostly, I am leaning by listening, but I do stop frequently when I hear something that I am not so familiar with or have been wondering about and will watch with my eyes.
I also watch when I need to sit and take a break.
** ** **
Bird #3 – Trying to win some more Craftsy classes:
On July 1st, I got an e-mail from Craftsy announcing their “Watch and Win” contest.
Who ever watches the most minutes of Craftsy classes during the month of July will win some free classes.
Since I am off this week and I need the entertainment, I am racking up the minutes while I can.
** ** **
Not another bird, but an update on my Big Star Quilt:
I pieced the other 13 blocks for the Big Star quilt that I am working on.
(I need a bigger design floor!)
I need to arrange the layout so that the blocks with the darker star points are scattered more evenly through out.
I also need to “snowball” the corners of each block before joining them with sashing strips and corner stones.
This won’t be finished before I go back to work, but I am happy with what I have accomplished so far.
I still have 4 more days, but tomorrow is a play day. I get to go hang out with my sewing friends.
I enjoy watching the video tutorials by Missouri Star Quilt Company.
I came across this one a while back and decided that I was going to make it – King Size.
Well, I gathered my fabrics and got started.
I managed to get 3 blocks assembled before this project went into a project box and was put into the closet and became a UFO for several months.
I have the entire week of 4th of July off from work and I would love to finish this quilt top and get it quilted.
That’s a full 10 days off, but I also have many other distractions, including painting walls and installing baseboards in several areas of the house. This is stuff I NEED to do.
This quilt is something that I really WANT to do.
I pulled out the project box a couple of days ago and have made good progress.
Then they were then cut from corner to corner in both directions, grouped together and are ready to press open.
HST’s are pressed open. Time to assemble some blocks.
Now I just need to spend some time with a movie and my sewing machine.
The blocks are big, at around 24″,I hope 12 blocks, along with sashing, will be enough. I will figure that out later.
(I am pretty positive that I am going to need to add 4 more blocks to make it the right size.)
I really hope that I can stay focused on the project enough to get it done this week.
Yesterday I showed the floor quilt/mat that I was in the process of making for my dog.
It was my project for Friday Night Sew In.
The top was quilted before the back was attached. A zipper opening near the top of the back allowed my to insert a piece of foam after washing and drying the quilt/mat.
The outer edges are finished with binding.
I think she likes it!
She likes to lay near me when I am in my chair in the family room.
We recently took out the carpet in this room and replaced it with tile.
I know that she likes the coolness of the tile, but it is nice to have a softer option, too.
The next Friday Night Sew In will be July 18th.
You are welcome to sew along with the rest of us!
It has been forever. since I was able to participate in Friday Nigh Sew In. Last night I FINALLY got to participate again.
My FNSI was actually Friday Afternoon Sew In.
A while back, I pieced a floor quilt/mat for my dog.
It has been patiently waiting to be quilted and finished up.
Well, thanks to FNSI, I had a motivator to make progress. I only got so far as quilting it, but any progress is progress, right?
I knew I wanted a paws design scattered over the surface.
In the center of a sheet of printer paper, I drew a design that looked to me like a dog paw.
I then unthreaded the needle on my Tiara so that I could stitch through the design, leaving a pattern that could be transferred with a pounce pad.
As the needle punches through the paper, the back side of the paper has more texture than the front side. I like the texture to face up when using the pounce pad.
I just randomly rotated the design over the surface.
The powder left a nice image for me to just trace over with quilting. Each paw was connected with a loopy travel stitch.
It is quilted and trimmed, but not yet finished.
My plan is to make a pillow case type of back, with an opening, so that I have the option of inserting a thin pillow or cushion.
The edges will be finished with binding, so that it can be used as a “floor quilt” if I decide against any additional insert.
I did update yesterdays post with the link.
To save you from having to go look for it, here it is.
The cut file (.fcm) for the Brother Scan N Cut can be downloaded here.
My original intention was that I wanted to make a small, simple embroidery design for those that wished to try “In the Hoop Applique” on their embroidery machines while also utilizing their Brother Scan N Cut machines.
At that time, my focus was on getting the cut file and the embroidery file to work with each other, and then I needed to figure out a way to easily share them.
Once the files were finally out there being shared, I got several requests from those that do not have the Scan N Cut, but do want to stitch the embroidery design.
Here is how I would recommend doing so.
- After hooping the main fabric, stitch Color Stop One (thread color #1).
- Lay the piece of applique fabric (with NO fusible applied) so that it generously covers the placement lines. I like to put a light coat of glue stick within the perimeter of the placement line before placing the applique fabric.
- Re-stitch Color Stop One (thread color #1) (This would normally be incorporated into the digitized design as it’s own color stop)
- Remove the hoop from the machine, but do NOT remove the fabric from the hoop.
- Carefully trim the excess fabric, outside of the placement line, close to the stitches.
- Return the hoop to the machine and continue on, starting with Color Stop 2 (thread color #1)
- Stitch Color Stop 3 (thread color #1)
- Stitch Color Stop 4 (thread color #2)
I hope that this information is helpful in encouraging you to try In the Hoop Applique.
My (still unquilted) Go! Be Dazzled quilt has LOTS of In the Hoop Applique.
I got my Brother Scan N Cut back in January.
My main motivation for buying it was for cutting applique shapes for machine embroidery.
Yesterday, on the Scan N Cut N INSPIRE Facebook group, one of the discussions was about this very topic.
Several members commented that they have both, an embroidery machine and the Scan N Cut, and wanted to try a project that used both.
I have learned so much from this group and decided to digitize a small embroidery design, as well as the cut file to share.
This will fit within the 4×4 hoop.
(I still consider myself a novice when it comes to digitizing.)
It took me a bit of time to produce the cut file, but I learned a few things along the way.
Once the blue fabric and stabilizer were hooped, color stop 1 was stitched. This is the placement line for the applique.
The pink fabric was adhered to the sticky cutting mat and the mat was scanned.
Once the mat was scanned, I was able to move the cut file to the same spot on the screen that the fabric was.
It only took seconds for the machine to cut the applique piece.
The applique was placed within the placement line and fused into place with an iron. This Hobbico iron is the perfect size for my 4×4 hoop.
A perfect fit!
Color stop 2 just catches and tacks the edges.
Color Stop 3 is the main part of the embroidery. A rope border design makes a pretty edge.
You could stop at this point and call it done. I think it looks pretty just like this.
Or, you could stitch Color Stop 4, which is the accent to the rope design.
I used a grey for this, but afterward thought another pink might also have been a good choice.
If you are interested in stitching this design yourself, I have converted it to those formats listed below.
I DO NOT have the ability to convert to Bernina format.
I have uploaded the embroidery files as a free download at Craftsy.
The cut file for the Brother Scan N Cut, can be downloaded here (I hope, anyway):
One of the ladies that I work with is going to be a 1st time Grandmother this Easter week-end.
About a month ago, I made the baby (grandma) a quilt.
I decided on a square in a square layout because it would be quick, easy and pretty besides.
Plus it only required 2 different fabrics.
It was quilted with a light pink, 40wt polyester embroidery thread, top and bobbin.
The embroidered blocks were quilted in the background with a flowing swirly feathery design.
I filled all of the non-embroidered areas with small feathers that meet in a wreath kind of pattern through out the quilt.
I LOVE the dense quilting on this quilt.
A view of the back side.
I had a REALLY hard time letting this one go.
I kept telling myself that it was not just a gift, but a learning project, too, and that I will be making plenty more in the future.