Seeing stars…again……………

I’m just getting to know this next little gem. It’s a client’s quilt with pieced stars set in a sort of Irish Chain setting. As I’ve said before, I need a little dialog to determine my stitching direction. Between whom?…you say. Well, between myself and the lovely piecework that is before me. Let me introduce you……..

Marsha's quilt 001

Ah, some reticence!!! ‘She’ is a somewhat shy one! This is a partial view. There is, also, a lovely dark blue border that encircles the sparkling stars, no two are totally alike and seem to change……like a kaleidoscope viewing!!! That’s it!!! As the little pieces of colorful translucent bits change their formation, I think this one must radiate the same.

I begin with printing out a photo of the top….actually several copies. These will be doodled and sketched upon as I work through the direction of the stitching. Here’s the final photo with the black lines designating the stitching I will do (in addition to SID {Stitch in the Ditch} around all the stars and Irish chain blocks)……….

Marsha's quilt 004 

I do not have an EQ7 (or any other) program to work in but I’ve found that this, and a sketch book, works just fine. Working with such a photo, also, allows me to get away from the ‘puter to sketch out my ideas. I, then, clip this in front of me as I’m stitching. It helps a lot until I’ve done a few of the motifs a few times!!!

So, after a bit of sewing, I’m “launched” into this one with much fun ahead. Progress photos………………….

Marsha's quilt 002

Marsha's quilt 003

Marsha's quilt 001

With more to come.

To be continued………………………………………………

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There’s a “new kid” on the block………

To explain the above……..some of you know that I/we live in quintessential “rural America”! Specifically, 5 miles outside a town, pop. 900 (maybe!), and 12 miles from another, slightly larger, town named Rushford (MN). Finding a reeeeeeelly good cuppa is a challenge……..or should I say ‘was’ a challenge until yesterday, that is, when this place opened! Yup, the “new kid” is a new coffee/sandwich place, located in above named town, and that’s where DH and I spent some time this morning. The name (which is defined by the street on which it’s located) is “Jessie Street Java”. Awesome!!!! Jessie Street Java 011

Jessie Street Java 010

Come along as I introduce you to my friends (and owners), Amy and Kevin………..please, say “Hello” and kindly place your order…….take a moment, though, cuz the menu board gives so many choices!!!!!! Jessie Street Java 009

Are you ready to find a comfy seat???? Again…..choices…Jessie Street Java 003

DH has already settled in and has categorically stated that the coffee is among the best he’s had!!!!!! (Sorry about the ‘face obscured by cup’ pose! Kinda reminds me of the old TV sitcom “Tool Time” and the neighbor {“Wilson”} who’s face was always hidden partially but was available to dispense a timely piece of verbal wisdom.) Pardon the small aside!  To continue…………Jessie Street Java 001 

Maybe a bit of puzzle work with your coffee?????? Jessie Street Java 004

Isn’t that just the coziest corner ever???!!!!!

Jessie Street Java 008

Jessie Street Java 006

Well, I guess it’s time to move on through the day, but we’ll be back!!!!

Congrats and blessings in this new adventure, Amy & Kevin!!!!!                                             Note: Fb link added.

 

 

 

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In the Midwest………..

Each newscast devotes a significant portion of their broadcast time to the weather. It seems to captivate a high percentage of people’s time! Why??? Well, it is something we all have in common……we all experience some type of it, but, here, it is said that if you don’t like the current weather just wait a few moments and it will have changed! A very true statement (and how “Fargo”!!!). Looking out my livingroom window this morning I was greeted by this scene………snow 001

Yes, I know that it will be gone shortly. Yes, I know that 41F is the forecast high for today. BUT, it’s 27F, blustery and there’s 3” of icy wet white stuff covering my greening yard!!!!!!! And to add insult to injury, if you look closely (in the photo below) at the shed to the right of the dairy barn, you will notice some words faintly outlined by the snow…..yup “Merry Christmas” is spelled out in light strings and is now accentuated by the white stuff……………snow 002 

I think it will be a fab sewing day, I will leave it at that and I will be waiting those few moments while this crazy winter goes screaming into the history books!!! Til next time…………………………

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On a stormy Saturday………….

What better way to spend some time but at the sewing machine. This time the project was a very cute, well made prom dress that was in need of a bit(?) of alteration for the upcoming event the first part of May at the local high school. The ultra slender young gal who will be wearing this darling required a subtraction of several inches at the top of this strapless number, so off to the machine and a bit of UNsewing to begin with…………Prom 001  Sometimes just getting at the inside of a garment is a bit of a logistical challenge. The triumph achieved, the inches subtracted (4 in total!) and the closing stitches completed. Now, on to the rebeading. The gap in the beading is shown in the photo below.Prom 002 The beadwork at the top and raised waist was originally hand done after the dress was completed so before I initially opened the side seams I needed to secure the beadwork either side of the seams. Having done that, the task of stitching was quite simple.Prom 004 Beadwork is the relaxing finishing process that I always enjoyed during the time of my bridal sewing business. The key: do not hurry…take it one bead/sequin at a time.Prom 005

A very satisfactory result, don’t you agree?? And one final full length photo……..Prom 008Layers of pleated chiffon over lovely soft satin. Very nice.  You know it’s Spring when the prom dresses and tulips begin to appear!!!. Til next time…………………………….

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Drum roll, please…………….

Let the drawing begin. Faithful “Quilt Holder”/”Winner Picker”, a.k.a. DH, was standing by. The names are in the basket…….Mug rug drawing winner 001

The “hand” is at the ready……………………Mug rug drawing winner 002

And the first name is drawn……………Mug rug drawing winner 003

The first ‘winner’ is………………………….Mug rug drawing winner 005

On to the second name…………………..Mug rug drawing winner 004

Who is it??………………………………………Mug rug drawing winner 006

Congratulations to you both!!!! I have sent off an e-mail notification to you and will get your little gifts on their way soon!!! Thanks to all of my friends for your well wishes and wonderful inspiring words. Til next time………

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A QOV (Quilt of Valor) finish………………..

That is one of my favorites! I first posted about it here and was somewhat unsure how the stitching would turn out or what direction it would take. I have to say….it was a fun quilt to do that started out as a possible “edge to edge” quilting  project but it definitely spoke out against that plan! Yes, I, once again, “listened” and this is the result…………………QOV..CHAMBRAY STAR 003

QOV..CHAMBRAY STAR 008

QOV..CHAMBRAY STAR 001  QOV..CHAMBRAY STAR 002

QOV..CHAMBRAY STAR 004

QOV..CHAMBRAY STAR 005

QOV..CHAMBRAY STAR 010

QOV..CHAMBRAY STAR 007

I stitched this totally as FMQ (Free Motion Quilting) without any markings. Although this is heavily quilted it is still quite soft and will be more so after it’s washed and dried, I’m sure.

The blue fabric appears to be a chambray/shot  cotton. I used Invisafil 100wt thread in white and light lilac (not sure of the exact color #) and Connecting Threads Essential Pro Poly (color ‘natural’) in the bobbin. The final size of the quilt is 60”x 68”. It will have the blue as a binding.

A couple of busy days away from the machines and then on to several clients’ quilts……I’m really excited to do them!!!! I’m so glad you stopped by. ‘Click’ on any photo to enlarge it.  Any questions, please, leave them in the comments and I will happily address them. Til next time……………………………..

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(Almost) Wordless Wednesday…..

Current (in process) QOV quilting…………

From this………………………..QOV 001

To this………………..QOV 002

And this……………………………….QOV 003

And, now, this………………….QOV 004

QOV 005

QOV 006

Just finishing up the outside borders. A beautifully made quilt, Yvonne. She is a member of the larger group I belong to and this will be donated to the QOV program (one of many she has made!).

The rest of the week takes me away from my sewing so, just a reminder, don’t forget to make a comment on Monday’s post for a chance to win one of the mug rugs I showed. This is open to all my readers…in the U.S. and elsewhere!!!!!

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McTavishing Mug-Rug Monday………..

Once again…..I just canNOT resist alliteration (words beginning with the same letter in sequence)! And to answer the question that is possibly being whispered: NO, I haven’t fallen off the face of the earth!!! These past days have been busy ones (no real surprise there, I guess). Yes, I’ve finished the “challenge” piece that I’ve been working through (first hinted{?} at here). And, no I can’t do a reveal just yet………stay tuned. It will be a while….like May 16th, to be exact. Also, I’ve been busy with some little fun items. First, the above mentioned “mug-rugs”. I set up my DSM (Domestic Sewing Machine)….Ms. Juki (TL2010Q) and “went to town” a stitching merrily away. Both the construction and FMQ (Free Motion Quilting) were done on this wonderful machine. Note: if anyone out there is thinking of adding a machine to their “stable”, this one is awesome!!!! Any questions just let me know and I can elaborate!!!! Insert mugrug photos…………

mug rugs and door hanger (Leah) 007 mug rugs and door hanger (Leah) 008  

McTavishing close-up……….mug rugs and door hanger (Leah) 009

 

As I have mentioned before, I have been making “door hanger”/decorations for my friend, Leah’s, room at the long term care facility she calls ‘home’. (An example may be found here) I finished and delivered April’s hanger. The theme: Spring/Easter.

mug rugs and door hanger (Leah) 003

    The combination of felt and cottons worked well. I, also, went right to the next one that will be delivered shortly after Easter and has a traditional feel. A “Flower Basket” block…….perfect for Spring and May!

mug rugs and door hanger (Leah) 004

This time I used some of the batiks from my “Stained Glass” quilt. Very simple SID (stitch in the ditch) finished this one.

 

Calendars have a way of getting “stacked up” with family and friends-type events (made so much easier with the moderating weather conditions!!!!) And, oh yes, I managed to have another birthday! Many of you, who find me on Fb, are more than aware of this occurrence (which happened last Sat.). So, since b’days require(?) some type of gift …..yes….. I will be offering the aforementioned mug-rugs (1 each) as my gift to 2 of my dear bloggy friend/commenters who leave a word here through next Friday(April 11th). If your sewing nest or work spot is not in need of such, please, feel free to pass it along to someone who would like a bit of quilty goodness. Again, I will draw 2 names on this coming Friday to receive one of the above mug-rugs (to keep or give)……just leave a word or two to be entered!!!!!! Note: This is open to all my readers!!!

I thank you all for your enduring friendship, greetings and kind words of encouragement. Your skills and creativity have been an incredible inspiration to me. Til next time……………………………

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The Astronomical Star Challenge

treadlemusic:

Only one 9″ (finished) star block!!!!!!! I’m ‘in’……..how ’bout you??????

Originally posted on Catbird Quilt Studio:

Astronaut Karen Nyberg has invited all of us to join her in making a quilt! From NASA’s press release in October:

International Space Station Expedition 37 Flight Engineer Karen Nyberg of NASA, a lifelong lover of sewing, is inviting fellow crafters to join her in stitching together a global community space quilt.

Nyberg, who is in the final weeks of her mission aboard the orbiting laboratory, recently shared a star-themed quilt block she was able to complete during her limited free time in space. She is now inviting quilters from the public to create their own star-themed quilt blocks to help celebrate her mission and passion for the quilting arts.

“Now that I’ve tried my hand sewing in space, I can say one thing with certainty: it’s tricky,” Nyberg said in a video sent down from the space station. “This is what I’ve made. It’s far from being a masterpiece…

View original 69 more words

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“15 Minutes of Play”………

Is the title of a book written by Victoria Findlay Wolfe/”Bumblebeans”. I do not own this publication, but the premise is that even spending a brief 15 minutes at the machine doing FMQ (free motion quilting) will have great results. A while back I decided to try to do “some” doodle quilting each day, no matter how brief the time allotment I had. I really couldn’t do it every day but doing it with some regularity helped me become more and more comfortable with the whole process and allowed me to venture into motifs that I had seen but not tested/tried out myself. These moments gave me the opportunity to test out, and possibly refine, designs that didn’t have the “pressure” of being needed for an immediate quilt finish. Not having that sense of “urgency to create” for a specific quilt is extremely ‘freeing’ and relaxing.

I have been playing with the stitching known as “McTavishing”. It’s name derives from a style of quilting that Karen McTavish introduced some years ago. Its free-flowing lines are a glorious background fill or feature in themselves. More on her designs may be found here and here.

In order to perfect(?) this, I have produced a few/many test pieces!!!!! Houston quilt @ Ann's 029

Houston quilt @ Ann's 021

The second photo started out to have the goal of 15 minutes but quickly stretched to 45!!!!! The first photo is closer to the 15 min. goal. It’s totally addictive!!!!!!!!

Over at Amy’s Free Motion Quilting Adventures, she has been posting a Monday link-up for all those who are practicing her current series on McTavishing. Hop on over to her place for others’ examples who are participating in this sew-along. Feel free to join us!!!!!!

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