And it continues…..outside and inside……

Note: To see the start of this story, see this post. Outside, we have a “hard hat” (de)construction zone………002 

with “lawn ornaments” that are a (big) guy’s delight!!!! And they keep coming ‘cuz, of course, if you’re messing with one thing, something else will require some attention. Ummm, like our LP tank, which had to be moved to the back of the house and a new, temporary, line run in until the larger tank is placed on new  concrete (which comes next!)……

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Getting crowded out there!!!!! But the clean-up is continuing right smartly…………………….023

Ah yes, it’s truly amazing to watch  the hints of smiles on the “boys’” faces as big ‘toys’ do what big ‘toys’ do!!!!! Meanwhile, the prom dress was waiting and time is afleeting. The gal is, shall I say, a “twig”? Yes, the dress is a tad minute and my task is to make it more so. The hem is first (logically, I guess) because if the pins were to fall out of the overlayer, it would equal doom for the project! Attacking the lining, I folded it up at the appropriate marking (3” shorter than the top layer’s finished length), stitched closely next to the fold, cut the excess off, turned it up again and stitched. Photos……………

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The top layer is a sheer, nylon tricot-type fabric. The same process is followed……………………………………………019020021 

And, yes, when I cut off the excess fabric after the first stitching, I use my scissors “upside down” so the more rounded blade will slip along neatly and closely to the stitching. A “duck billed” applique scissors will work, also. Taking in the top was a bit more challenging as it had a side seam zipper and the back of the bodice was hand applied beads and crystals. Each of the straps needed to be shortened from 3” (each) to 2” (each). A little hand work needed yet and another finish!!!! Yay!!!! 022

My local quilt group meets tonight, so I’m off to get things together for the sharing time. Til next time, and a couple of photos from my workshop on last Saturday……

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What was is no longer or How I spent my Sunday afternoon………

For the last several years, the topic of replacing our original garage has been discussed. Many factors placed this project “on the back burner”. Well, it’s now “on the front burner” (so to speak) and, behold, the ‘old’ has now begun to pass away…going from this…………. IMG_3012

(my view from the house)

To this (in just a matter of a VERY little space of time)………..

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I won’t bore you with all the steps in between, but suffice it to say that it did provide some idle(?) entertainment for us!!!!!!!!   IMG_3085 (A quick photo ‘shot’ of great grandpa, great granddaughter and DIL relaxing in the beautiful afternoon sun!)

Now, on to begin my week with a prom dress alteration looming……….

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It’s Thursday Already!!!!!!………

So wonderful to look out my living room window at green grass and Spring-plowed fields. Although the temps seem to struggle to get above the lower 30s, warmer days are knocking at the door (this said trying to forget the snow showers of a couple days ago!!!!).

I did my first (and only?) prom fitting last eve….seems like I just completed last year’s dress for this gal!!!!018 The event is scheduled for May 2nd so, I think, this is a project for next Monday!

This Saturday is 2-sessions of a beginner FMQ workshop that I’m teaching at a Winona quilt shop. I’m amazed at the rise in interest in FMQ in the recent months. I do believe that many realize that a frame-mounted long-arm machine set up is not necessary to do the final quilting stitches and that it might even be an enjoyable process…once the skills are practiced a bit! Anyhow, my bags and materials are prepped and packed, with just some final thoughts needed to present all that I want to share in those 3 (very short) hours of each session.020        Both sessions are filled with a waiting list besides……future possibilities!

To change gears a bit…….  The National Quilters Circle is a new (to me) fab resource for all those who are passionate( or dare I say merely curious/interested?) in the art of quilting and its processes. Their blog, videos and tutorials are more “tools” for the quilters’ “tool box”. Be sure to check it out! You may read more about their mission here.  Getting back to the above ‘badge’, they are hosting an on-line competition to nominate your favorite blogs/bloggers in these 7 categories:

• Best Traditional Quilting Blog
• Best Modern Quilting Blog
• Best Quilting Patterns Blog
• Best Fiber Arts Blog
• Best Art Quilts Blog
• Most Humorous Blog
• Best Overall Quilting Blog

The voting runs through April 29th. It’s a great opportunity to acknowledge your favorite blog sites and make new friends! To nominate and vote, just follow the link here. “Bookmark” their blog to keep up with the next phase of the voting, which begins in early May and ends May 15th. I’m sure you can think of one (or two) blog faves that you may want to give recognition to?

Have a great rest of the week and weekend and I’ll see you back here next week with some interesting “happenings” that are scheduled (one, in particular, is NOT quilt related!!!!). Til then, I’m so glad you stopped by!!!! Hugs………………….

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Is it “Picnic Time” yet???????

The seasons continue to be in a bit of a battle with last Saturday’s temps in the glorious upper 70s which, then, gave way to rain overnight and into Sunday. Today begins with rain (it really is needed here as moisture has been lacking for a long while) and some serious wind conditions. BUT, it is the perfect day for………….quilt guild meeting!!!!!! There will be photos later, but this little cutie is one of the items I will be sharing. My “Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner” watermelon wall quilt is now complete! (See here for its beginnings)002

Such a fun project and, like “April Showers”, is an exercise in using paper-backed fusible web and blanket-stitching on the edges of the pieces.

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I outlined/echo stitched/SID using Fil-tec’s Essence ‘Smoke Gray’ nylon “thread” with Connecting Threads Essential Pro Poly, 70 wt, in the bobbin. The “ant trails”/meander was done with black CT Essential Pro Poly in the top thread, also. And, for the finish, a quick photo of the backing (always necessary!!!)……………006   Now, is this not the most perfect fabric???????

Picnic weather is sure to come but not this week, as temps will hover at 30F at night and the 50’s for the daytime. But, while I’m waiting there’s much quilting business to be taken care of. Stay tuned.

Thank you all, once again, for your wonderful visits and taking the moments to leave a few words. I treasure them all. Have an awesome week…………………………hugs……..

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“April Showers”….finished……

  

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Coming to life………

That’s what happens when a pieced/fused project gets put together in a “sandwich” and some thread is added. Right now, “April Showers” (first shown yesterday, here) is looking quite respectable…………006

I’m using both my Bernina 440 QE (for the blanket stitching, which was done before the 3 layers were put together) and my Juki TL2010Q for all the FMQ. Following the pattern’s directions, the flowers, stems, leaves and raindrops were drawn on paper-backed fusible web, fused and blanket stitched with matching thread colors. The umbrella and boots were cut and adhered to the background using Mettler’s Web Bond TA 101. It is an aerosol that sprays an adhesive web rather than a mist so that unpleasant overspray and inhalation issues are almost non-existent!!!! I use this exclusively when a spray baste is needed. I don’t like the appearance of larger applique pieces that are totally fused. I think they look a bit ‘stiff’ and I didn’t want those pieces to appear so flat.

After sandwiching, I, then, SID (stitch in the ditch) around the outer pieced blocks and appliques using Fil-tec’s Essence Smoke Grey nylon thread. It has very little shine and blends very well. No pressing with a hot iron, though, as the nylon is more heat sensitive than polyester mono- filament. The umbrella’s “ribs” had  gold perle cotton004 couched on to better define them.008

A couching foot would have been dandy but, generally, I’m not one to rush out to buy specialty attachments that are possibly used only once in a while. So, out came my blind hemmer foot………nah…..not quite working. Then I grabbed the edge stitch foot (Bernina #10) and “bingo”…..success!!!!! 001

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I’ll have to remember how well this one worked!!!!!

Now, on to some background “rain”……………………..007

I can almost hear the dripping!!!! The border blocks will have to wait a bit…….I wonder what I’ll do??!!!

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Fusible Fun on a Wordless Wednesday………

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Now, just to do some machine blanket stitching, sandwich it and…………………

This pattern taken from Kim Schaefer’s pattern packet I posted about here.

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The arrival of………

The rest of the “family”……………………001

just in time for a summertime treat!!!!! This little wall quilt is from Kim Schaefer’s packet of patterns for 12 months of fun fusible ideas………002

This was  purchased so long ago I can’t even put a date on it…..maybe 2011. The watermelon idea was what I spotted first but, now, the “April Showers” project has just got to be next (of course, it’ll probably be sometime after this month that it will see completion!). The cute ant fabric the packet is laying on is for the backing. Perfect, hmmmmmm???? Now, let’s get this sandwiched and on to the real fun!!!!! Stay tuned………………………………..

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Design wall Monday…..adding pieces, parts and…….

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critters!!!!!!

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Stay tuned as the rest of the “family” comes to dinner!!!!!!!

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My world today………..

Is gloomy and overcast, outside, with the prospect of storms for the next 36 to 48 hours BUT, inside, there’s this going on………….012. It’s a practice piece of a very different (for me) feather border pattern. It came up on Facebook recently and I loved how it filled the area. The gal who posted it said it works well in an 8” to 10” border but I had neither of those to work with. What I did have was an orphan block turned pillow that had been out for the Christmas holidays and had really ‘bugged’ me the whole time! Why?? Well, it wasn’t quilted but merely made into a pillow cover…… 001 I posted about it here. I promised myself that “someday” I would do something with it and today was that day!

   A while back Jamie Wallen had done a video on a similar technique but I wasn’t diggin’ it at all (you can bring up the video here) but, when I saw a slightly different process on Fb….it piqued by interest. You may check out Emma’s blog post on this (with tutorial!) here. As I mentioned earlier….these feathers were to fill a wider border and that red/white block doesn’t even have a 2& 1/2 inch space!!!!! A challenge!!!!!! Will it work????? I can make it work!!!!!

  First, some practice (ha! you thought I would skip that???)…………012

I marked my circles, using a small cone of Sulky quilting thread and I was on my way!!!!! BUT…….I wanted to use my DSM (domestic sewing machine)….Ms Juki…..The smaller feathers work much better on a domestic (my opinion!) and I was rather pleased with the results! 010

Here’s some close-ups with a penny for size contrast………008007   and a back view……..011 

And the finish………………….013015

Now………that’s an “orphan” block to be proud of!!!! LOL!!!!!!

   Other activities today…….DH pulled the RV off its winter resting spot and took it for some needed servicing….. 001   That home in the background is #2 son/DIL’s who live on the farm, also, and add to the varied happenings here. DS is a biker (as we all are!!!!!!) and does custom paint and bike work……so, on this day, he is busy in his shop with these………………..

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And that’s how we roll around here. Rarely is there a dull moment and, just maybe, you can see why!

Til next time……….keep those machines hummin’…………………

Note:any photo may be enlarged by just “clicking” on it!

 

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You know it’s Spring when…………

The Flamingos have returned to join their friends…………..

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And one more little friend who is a bit of an “air head”……..IMG_2966

And that’s it for the “giggle of the day”…………………………

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He is not here…………

He is Risen

God sent His Son, to pay a price He did not owe, that we might be made righteous, pure and holy through His shed blood. It is a gift. One that is not earned or deserved but must be earnestly sought and accepted! I pray the reality of the empty tomb is known to you this day. (John 20:1-8)

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Friday Finish…..on Saturday……………

Yeah, I know……..well….ummm…Friday kinda slipped on by, so here we are………..(warning: photo heavy document!!!!)

I give you the front views:

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And the obligatory (and often more enjoyed!) back views:

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As always, I used Connecting Threads Essential Pro poly 70 wt in the bobbin. Top threads: Superior Metallic #025 Variegated Gold, Isacord and Aurifil Mako 50 wt.

The battings are Hobbs cotton/poly (80/20) topped with a poly batt…med. loft.

The panel is Robert Kaufman Fabric: “Winter’s Grandeur Christmas Tree”…24”x 42” (finished).

Previous posts regarding this panel may be found here & here. Click on any photo to enlarge.

Working with a panel is a great way to practice FMQ (free motion quilting). There are no seams/junctions to deal with and it’s a quick buy, ‘sandwich’, stitch project. Many of the designs ‘speak’ loudly with suggested motifs and the rest falls into “the sky’s the limit” category.

Thanks for tagging along on this most recent finish. Now, it’s your turn to get to that 15 minutes of “play” to practice, practice, practice!!!!

Easter Blessings to you all, my dear Bloggy Friends. Til next time……………………………….

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Pleased=understatement…….

There are very few magazines I subscribe to these days. One, that I feel so valuable, that I do get is “Machine Quilting Unlimited”….awesome magazine!!!!! They, also, have an e-newsletter you can sign up for, if you go to their site here and share the necessary info. Now, why am I so excited???? They shared my quilted piece that I finished for Wendy Sheppard’s book (read more here) and wrote a super article (with link) about my post in their most recent April mailing!!! I am over-the-moon excited!!!

This is the little piece that has brought this about……Wendy's book project

I must share that I quilt/stitch because I must. It is the creative spirit within me that flows out in that art form. I am very humbled by their acknowledgement of this finish. My desire in this post is to share my overflowing joy with you, my dear bloggy friends, for it is you who inspire me in this journey and who have spoken so many kind words of encouragement along the way. “Thank you” seems so “feeble” but please know that I love you all and you have blessed and enriched me more than you will ever know. My desire is to share the excitement I feel about FMQ (free motion quilting) and enable others to take that first step on their path. Now,let’s go stitch…………….hugs………

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There are 2 types of bunnies……..

treadlemusic:

Because it’s Spring once again (at least, for the moment!), I’m pulling this post forward from a couple of years ago. This was a vintage tablecloth purchased at a thrift store in Sprearfish, South Dakota (the Spring of 2013). It was purchased to quilt as a “whole cloth” and to be donated to the Moore, OK, tornado victims (2013 saw a vicious outbreak of tornadoes that decimated much in the Oklahoma area and across the South). This was my first real venture into linen/whole cloth quilting. I hope you enjoy this little trip down memory lane……….

Originally posted on Treadlemusic:

     There are those that seem to know exactly when something in the garden is at the perfect tenderness/sweetness and the buffet is open!!!! Then, there are the bunnies who epitomize sweetness, cuteness and all the lovely cozy things we like so much. These photos are all of the second kind and I am in love!!!  Beware!!! This post is picture heavy!!!!!!

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Didn’t I tell you???Aren’t they just the sweetest????? In the white area (very center) there is a little micro-stippling and McTavishing. The larger white area was marked in an “on point” grid that was stitched with curved lines. I will definitely do that again! The effect is quite impressive for such a simple stitch pattern, don’t you think?? The flowers and bunnies  were outlined and the outer edge of the tablecloth/border fabric seam  (the blue ‘strip’) was straight stitched for definition.

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Above is the border stitching. I…

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Am likin’ it……on a “Wordless Wednesday”………

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We’ve made it!!! It’s April!!!!!!!!!!

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Sometimes……….

After a time of “texturizing”, I find that I like the view from the back the best……………………………009

We’ll see what tomorrow brings………………………

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It takes time

treadlemusic:

Another friend’s quilty journey is shared today on Teri Lucas’ blog. Please, take a moment to read this and, perhaps, wander back to some of her previous posts. They are filled with beautiful, inspirational example of her DSM quilting. So, grab a cuppa, sit back and enjoy!!!! THEN….spend some moments in …….. practice, practice, practice………….. Have an awesome weekend!!!!!! Doreen

Originally posted on Teri Lucas - TerifiCreations Blog:

hand quilting 001Spending time quilting is a great joy. When I get to I relish each and every moment, particularly when I get lost in the stitching and lose track of what’s going on around me. It’s freeing, meditative, relaxing and joyous all in the same moment.

49-pieces-of-chocolat-flower-close-upQuilting wasn’t always that way. It was downright painful and hard. Sometimes things would be so awful that I’d knock my head on the front of the sewing machine or leave the room in sheer frustration. The tension was off the stitches were uneven, ranging from so tiny that no seam ripper ever invented would ever fit to toe catcher size. Pigtails formed on the back of the quilt as I’d stitch in one place for just a wee bit too long. I didn’t know how to fix it, any of it. It didn’t help that the common practice was floor it.
gizmos-tote-full-sizeEventually, with the help…

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Background Experiments

treadlemusic:

In the spirit of sharing awesome gals who have totally inspiring artistic/quilty creativity AND give us ideas on how to not add to our stash but utilize all that’s waiting in the shadows of our personal fabric treasures!!! Enjoy!!! And, please, feel free to leave your thoughts on all that Debbie shares………………………………

Originally posted on debby quilts:

A few posts back, I showed you the pile of 3″ squares and the snowball quilt I was working on.

Here’s the finished snowball quilt. I put a simple wide black border on it, influenced by the great Amish quilts I saw at the San Jose Museum of Quilts and Textiles. By the way, if you are ever in the area, I can’t recommend this museum highly enough. They have great exhibits, and it is so lovely to see quilts displayed in such a beautiful way.

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Well, it seems my figuring was a bit off, because I finished that snowball quilt top, and still had a huge pile of 3″ squares. When auditioning backgrounds for the snowball quilt, I came across a piece of dyed golden beige fabric. It was really pretty with the jewel tones of the squares, so I put it aside, thinking that I might…

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Engineer vs. Artist: Sneak Peeks

treadlemusic:

Continuing the FMQ love and feather frenzy, I share with you, my friends, a very important/primary influence in my quilting journey……Miss Wendy, one awesome stitcher and sweet friend………

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Originally posted on Ivory Spring:

Hello Friends, I meant to check in yesterday, but I had an Engineer vs. Artist moment (thus the name of the quilt for now), and the Artist won.  You see, when piecing is involved, I am all engineer because of the precision aspect of things.  Then, when it comes time to decide what to quilt, oftentimes the engineer within me takes over for the efficiency aspect of things, due to project deadlines, and I have to be efficient with what I quilt within the amount of time I have…. but yesterday, the Artist in me won!

I was already late because the piecing took longer – piecing ALWAYS takes longer for me because I am a snail-speed piecer. I knew I had a limited amount of time to quilt the quilt.  I could just quickly quilt an allover motif, and be efficient, or I could go all out and…

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FMQ is on the minds of many these days………..

Spiral Lollipop, Free Motion Quilting, LKennedy

And Lori, over at Inbox Jaunt, has done a TBT (ThrowBack Thursday) post that explains a bit of her beginnings in the art. Hop on over and check it out!!!! 

 

Spiral Lollipop, Free Motion Quilting, LKennedy

Now, let’s go stitch…….practice, practice, practice……..

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