Moving to the border……….decisions……..

Last time I finished with the beginning of the end of the center portion/the vintage cloth itself. See here. The micro-stippling is complete. Photos…………….from this:IMG_0384 to this:.  .  IMG_0450. IMG_0456 IMG_0457 The dime helps to see the scale of the stitching…….contrast. I can’t emphasize that enough. It’s the “punch”/drama that we all love!!!! IMG_0452 - Copy    and, again, the contrast……IMG_0384 - Copy (3)    The back view is nice, too……….. IMG_0459   Leaving you with one more “front shot”. IMG_0449 And the question: a ‘feather’ or ‘piano key’ border????? The green border will be 3” (piano key) to 4” (feathers). There’s a lot goin’ on in this, so, maybe a ‘piano key’ stitching??  Either would work, I believe. Hmmmmmmmm…………

Note: click on photo to enlarge.

Posted in Connecting Threads Essential Pro poly thread, Feathers, FMQ, Hobbs Heirloom 80/20, micro-stippling, Ms Juki, piano keys, swirls, tablecloth, vintage | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 14 Comments

The next step……………….

In this vintage process is to emphasize the quilting motifs even more than they are at present. The quilt stitching, especially of a “whole cloth” type (mostly “negative” space) is most effective when the stitched motifs/designs are dramatically different in scale (larger vs smaller/micro) and style (curves vs straight lines/geometric). In this piece, a change of scale is what I have choosen and, in the process, will cause the “background” to recede by flattening it with micro-stippling (LOVE) which will result in the  open, puffier designs to become more eye-catching/light-catching=dramatic!!! This kind of drama I like!!! Check  here for the preceding steps to this project. So, we are at this stage….the purple arrows are towards the areas left to “flatten”…….IMG_0440_LI. Micro-stippling will take care of that!!!! IMG_0444. The purple arrow=”puff”. Pink=awesome! IMG_0448_LI IMG_0446. Moving on to the next section…….til next time………… ‘Click’ on photo to enlarge.

Posted in Connecting Threads Essential Pro poly thread, Feathers, FMQ, Hobbs Heirloom 80/20, micro-stippling, Ms Juki, pebbles, piano keys, swirls, tablecloth, vintage | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Monday’s meanderings…………..

Further into “feather land”………….IMG_0438.  I’m thinking I’m really going to love these corner designs—-with the added plumes!!! IMG_0437. For those of you who may have missed my initial information:The machine I’m using is a Juki 2010Q, straight stitch (only) industrial for home use machine. Thread: (top and bobbin) Connecting Threads Essential Pro poly, 70 wt. Batting: (single layer) Hobbs Heirloom cotton/poly, 80/20. I’ve used a dark green batik beneath the vintage piece (which measures approximately 33” square). The backing is bleached muslin…good quality.

Any questions, please, leave them in a comment and I will try to answer/clarify the process.

Note: to catch up on previous process posts, see here.

Posted in Connecting Threads Essential Pro poly thread, Feathers, FMQ, Hobbs Heirloom 80/20, micro-stippling, Ms Juki, pebbles, piano keys, swirls, tablecloth, vintage | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 9 Comments

A Sunny Sunday……..

And flowers have finally been planted! Better late than……….well, the local nurseries were really slow to get plants in, all because of the unusually cold weather that plagued the area. So…….the shed, now, has a “window”…….IMG_0435. OK….it’s not actually a real window. That would not be too practical. In my head (sometimes a troublesome place!) I visualized a cute little window, with a flower box, on the shed door. DH made a frame, inserted a Plexiglas sheet, I had a lace-look vinyl tablecloth for the curtains and…wha-la……………and, yes, the flowers are of the silk variety! IMG_0434 The Mexican pots do contain living (at the moment) plants and are looking pretty good!!!!IMG_0432. I’m going to try to bring them back to Minnesota at the end of April……hmmmm……..we’ll see what’s alive at that point! The front window box looks pretty good, too……… IMG_0436. A touch of Springtime, don’tcha think??

Now…back to the Vegas NASCAR race………..

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(Far from a) Friday Finish!!…………..

But having such a great time!!!! To catch up, see here. The center portion is reeeeeeelly close to a ‘finish’. I did the 4 sections that complete the center circle. Photo before stitching……IMG_0429   and after some ‘playtime’……IMG_0428   The obligatory back view……..IMG_0431   and from the front……IMG_0430   Coming along nicely! Yup…..I’m a luvin’ this one!!

Have an awesome weekend!!!! See ya next time………………….

Posted in Connecting Threads Essential Pro poly thread, Feathers, FMQ, Hobbs Heirloom 80/20, micro-stippling, Ms Juki, pebbles, piano keys, swirls, tablecloth, vintage | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 13 Comments


Yesterday’s start has taken the expected direction……..IMG_0397   Feathers, petals, and…….well, lots more fun ahead…IMG_0396. And the flip side……..IMG_0398   To see the unstitched beginning, see here. Thanks so much for tagging along on my (exciting to me) journeys. These results amaze and tickle me, also!! Yes, really!!!! Sending very warm Texas hugs (88F here w/ gusty 45 mph “breezes”)……..

Posted in Connecting Threads Essential Pro poly thread, Feathers, FMQ, Hobbs Heirloom 80/20, micro-stippling, Ms Juki, pebbles, piano keys, swirls, tablecloth, vintage | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

One Word Wednesday—-“Beginning”……..

IMG_0393 IMG_0395

Posted in Connecting Threads Essential Pro poly thread, Feathers, FMQ, Hobbs Heirloom 80/20, micro-stippling, Ms Juki, pebbles, piano keys, swirls, tablecloth, vintage | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

A new week and a new vintage stitchery…….

The vintage piece that’s next up is a 33” square piece I picked up in Harlingen (TX) at an event known as “Market Day on Jackson”. Several blocks of historic Jackson Street are dedicated to street vendors of various sorts each month on the first Saturday. It’s a street party with live music, food (of course) and sellers of everything from bee & honey products to cute ribbon bows and hair ornaments (a very big thing in Mexico and here in the Rio Grande Valley) to antiques, plants, leather goods, etc. To see a bit more on this event, see here and here. I picked this next piece up from the same gal who had the pieces in the first link, above. IMG_0384    I’ve been doodling some (feather) ideas……IMG_0386. I’m not sure where this will all go, but here’s a couple of detail photos……IMG_0384 - Copy IMG_0384 - Copy (2)   So many possibilities!!!! The teal green fabric just seemed to set off the cut-work well. The final binding will be this same fabric, but I’m getting ahead of myself a tad…lol!

Please, come again and see what’s in store for this beauty…………

Posted in Connecting Threads Essential Pro poly thread, Feathers, FMQ, Hobbs Heirloom 80/20, micro-stippling, Ms Juki, pebbles, piano keys, ruler work, swirls, vintage | Tagged , , , , , , , | 7 Comments

Friday Finish…..……..

My latest endeavor draws to a close. Begun here, it rapidly moved forward. First, quilting the back piece……….IMG_0355 IMG_0356. On to the front……………Of course, it just must have some feathers………. IMG_0349   Using a Frixion marker, I lightly gave myself some guidelines. IMG_0350.                Done. On to the side motifs……….. IMG_0362 A moment, or two, in the doodling sketchbook and on to the ‘real thing’…………………IMG_0364 IMG_0365   And some background ‘pebbles’………….IMG_0368    The lower area had already been given a bit of definition with a line of stitching, echoing the vintage piece’s scallop above. Below that—-“piano keys” would give dimension without competing with all that’s going on in the vintage portion! IMG_0363   Completing the ruler work, and stitching to front & back together, I give you the “Friday Finish”…………….IMG_0383 

Thread: (top & bobbin) Connecting Threads Essential Pro poly, 70 wt. Batting: Hobbs Heirloom cotton/poly, 80/20.

Another weekend is here…..go and enjoy! Til next time, sending warm Texas hugs to y’all!!!!

Posted in Connecting Threads Essential Pro poly thread, Feathers, FMQ, hangers, Hobbs Heirloom 80/20, micro-stippling, Ms Juki, pebbles, piano keys, pillowcases, ruler work, swirls, vintage | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | 13 Comments

Next up… surprise!!!…………

Yup….another hanger! Just call me a lady obsessed! I had been gifted an interesting vintage piece not long ago and, after looking at it a bit to figure out just ‘what’ it was, the ideas began to swirl. IMG_0327. What is not easily seen in the photo is the small ‘casing’ stitching at the top of the piece which would allow it to be hung on (what I imagine) a wire. Yes, this is a curtain panel/valance in one piece. Years ago, I remember visiting a relative who lived on a farm in south central Minnesota (Albert Lea area) and there were window curtain panels that were suspended by wire, twisted around nails/screws at either end. It is what they had to work with. Anyhow, I separated the valance from the larger portion and proceeded with the hanger idea.IMG_0328 IMG_0329. I was wanting a bit of color in this one and red/white is one of my faves! Please, notice that this is not a pillowcase item. Hanger candidates could be the ends of table runners whose aging has not been “graceful” resulting in the middle areas being rendered unusable.

I will leave you to ponder what you have in your vintage “stash” that might qualify. Stay tuned………..

Posted in hangers, Hobbs Heirloom 80/20, micro-stippling, Ms Juki, pebbles, pillowcases, vintage | Tagged , , , , | 8 Comments

Happy Valentine’s Day……….

Leah's Valentine, snow, Stained Glass 015   As you may notice by the watermark on this photo, it is from a while back. For details on the construction of these little cuties, please, visit this post.

Have a wonderful day! Another vintage piece, turned quilted hanger, is ready to make her debut. Please, be sure to stop back……….hugs………

Posted in FMQ, hangers, Ms Juki | 16 Comments

While in Texas…..there’s awesome shrimp……

I know that there are those who can take or leave them (for a variety of reasons) but….we are in Texas and it’s THE season! So, I will give you a fool-proof recipe that perfectly cooks each piece. The complete recipe is found on the “Just a Pinch” site here. It is what we had for supper last evening with a bit of a twist. Going into the oven……………..IMG_0357,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,coming out of the oven…………….IMG_0358and the presentation……………IMG_0359  All that buttery, lemony shrimp goodness is now combined with wonderfully al dente fettuccini……and a glass of DHs wine. I canNOT recommend this recipe highly enough!!!! Let me know if you try this.

Note: I’ve made this recipe for the last 2+ years with, up to, 2.5 pounds of shrimp. Also, I use 4 sliced lemons not just the 1 in the recipe. Enjoy!! 

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Another vintage finish………..

Where has the time flown??!!?? This little tale was related in this post and took some liberties in combining 2 pillowcases needing some “togetherness”. The back quilted piece was completed first: IMG_0319 On to the front piece with this result: IMG_0325. Maybe a tad larger picture is needed for perspective: IMG_0322. Almost a finish…just a small “neck” embellishment………My first choice was less than what I had in mind….IMG_0317. That blue is wrong! Hmmmmm??? So, enter this choice……..IMG_0361

Thread: (top & bobbin) Connecting Threads Essential Pro poly, 70 wt. Batting: Hobbs Heirloom, cotton/poly (80/20)

Note:Click on any photo to enlarge.

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Digressing…with a helpful hint…….

How many times has a pattern required that a diagonal stitching line be drawn on a high number of paired pieces (squares, rectangles, etc)??? So, the correct marker must be located…..light or dark color?? Will it show?? How about those lucky stitchers whose machines have come with a built-in laser light??!!! Wouldn’t that be handy? Well, I’m here to say my most wonderful Ms Juki is now so equipped for those tasks!! IMG_0333 Now, if you’re interested in a couple of testings….first, “snowballing” the corners of a 5” square……IMG_0331. These little white squares wouldn’t really need a line drawn, but the laser sure helps!!!…………….IMG_0335. Just line up the red marker on the diagonal and stitch!! How about a larger task……2 six inch squares needing that diagonal stitching…… IMG_0339 IMG_0341. I don’t have to worry about a marker that shows on the dark fabric (although, I would have used the lighter fabric for that line). The laser keeps me on track….yay!!IMG_0345. This small tool is mounted to Ms Juki with self-adhesive hook/loop tape (each machine has a different thread path, so you would have to check what works on yours). IMG_0334. Be sure that your thread will feed freely.

This handy addition is available at Harbor Freight for $5.99!!!! YES!!! That’s all!!!

Central Machinery® 93242 Laser MarkerI easily removed that mounting stand with one screw release.IMG_0337

If you have any questions, please, leave them in the comments and I will address them. Now…..back to stitching……………

Posted in laser marker, Ms Juki, stitching tool | Tagged , , | 18 Comments

Continuing the “Vintage Hanger” theme……..

With a bit of clarification. When the current blue & white project was begun, I had 1 pillowcase that had the blue flower embroidery and 1 pillowcase that had the beautiful blue crochet edging (and no embroidery). These items were purchased at 2 different shops so, they were not meant to be a pair. IMG_0164IMG_0165I reduced the width of the band on the embroidered case by merely cutting off about half the band width (allowing for a small hem). These bands are always double fabric and that made it possible to press both raw edges to the inside. I, then, removed the crochet edging (easily done because it was hand stitched to the case!) and inserted it into the newly narrowed band. Wha-la………IMG_0166  I secured it by topstitching it at the folded hem edge. I did this to both the front and back hanger pieces. IMG_0279  Above, a photo of the finished back piece. I did have to cut the crochet into 2 pieces (it was one continuous strip on the original case). I secured the cuts by machine stitching several times in the same spot. These raw edges will be further locked when the hanger front and back are seamed together. Note: I decided that there is a lot going on in the “body” of this and will be leaving that bottom band without fmq.

Thread: (top/bobbin) Connecting Threads Essential Pro poly, 70 wt. Batting: Hobbs Heirloom, cotton/poly, 80/20 (single layer)

Posted in crochet edge, Feathers, FMQ, hangers, micro-stippling, pebbles, pillowcases, vintage | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | 8 Comments

Stitching blue & white vintage…………

A piece that was last shown here will be my focus for the next days. The quilting on the back piece is completed. The backing for this part is a pretty blue/white pastel calico (stash) fabric. The bottom edge was finished the same as the previous hanger/tutorial here……….IMG_0285IMG_0286  IMG_0288  Now…..on to the front piece……..first step is to outline stitch the motif…IMG_0289 and some definition. First, without my fave micro-stippling….IMG_0290






The photo fails to show the “poof” adequately. Then, a little added backgroundIMG_0292 IMG_0291The “pop”/dimension is starting. IMG_0293    Now, to ‘frame’ this area and move on to the rest of the background ‘fill’……..Additional note: I am using Connecting Threads Essential Pro poly, 70 wt, as the top thread and on the bobbin. It’s great for this fine stippling and I’m able to load “tons” on the bobbin (so less time spent running out/changing them!). I am, also, using a Schmetz quilting needle size 75/11.



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And a little ‘warm-up’ before stitching on the front panel of this hanger cover (that means I usually stitch the back panel first to get a bit of a “feel” for what is needed. See here for my previous hanger cover and how I did the back panel—before doing the front)………IMG_0161   If you wish to see the “birth” of this project, see here and here.

Thread: (top & bobbin) Connecting Threads Essential Pro poly, 70 wt. Batting: Hobbs Heirloom 80/20 (bleached white cotton/poly).

Posted in Feathers, FMQ, hangers, pebbles, pillowcases, vintage | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Wordless Wednesday……Vintage…..Blue/white hanger….a beginning…………

IMG_0160    Stay tuned………….

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A hint of what’s to come………..

Yup….another pillowcase idea. First, to address a question of the size/width of the pillowcase/hanger that was used. IMG_0085_LI (2) The case was 18.5” and the hanger 16.5”. The next may be different.

I’ve selected 2 cases…..1 has a wonderful embroidery & piping at the “cuff” but plain on the hem edge.IMG_0164             The other has a gorgeous lace edging in blue variegated thread but no other embellishments. IMG_0165           So…how about combining them???? IMG_0166   These were purchased at an antique shop and were quite reasonably priced. There was only 1 of the embroidered case but 2 of the lace edged one, so there’s a future project possibility~stay tuned………..

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Vintage…..Part 4….a Finish………

Mid-week and it’s a “Finish”! This post will give you the “back tracking” info to the beginning.

  Switching to my little machine for a zig-zag edge finish…….IMG_0152 IMG_0153and back to the Juki to hem the opening for the hanger hook at the top…….IMG_0154_LI then on to stitching the front & back pieces together….IMG_0156_LIclip the seam allowance at the arrow (above) to facilitate turning to the right side.IMG_0157_LI Opening up the seam allowances, I topstitched them so that it would have a defined edge, once turned right side out.IMG_0158_LI IMG_0160_LI Insert the hanger. If you are using a plastic hanger, similar to this one, you may find that the hanger may fit better turned one way or the other…the configuration is a tad different on each side of the hanger hook. Add a ribbon at the top (I hand thread tack it in place) …….. and, wha-la…….IMG_0167IMG_0163    I love this one. Although the grid stitching is actually more “putsy” than an allover stitching, its simplicity is the perfect touch!

  I’m still in “hanger mode”, so…………… Stay tuned……………

Note:”Click” on any photo to enlarge.

Thread (top & bobbin): Connecting Threads Essential Pro poly, 70 wt. Batting: Hobbs Heirloom, cotton/poly, 80/20.

Posted in FMQ, Grid stitching, hangers, vintage | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 10 Comments

Vintage……Part 3…….almost finished……..

The journey is nearing its end. To catch up, see here and here. I laid the hanger on both the front and back (be sure to flip the hanger over, since these pieces need to be mirror images!) to double check the placement and marked a cutting line 1/4” beyond the already marked cutting line. This is generous but, once cut away, it can’t be added back! Possibly the more important point is to make sure that there is generous space between the two outer points of the hanger (below-between arrows). IMG_0136_LI IMG_0135_LI


1/4” added beyond original cutting line.


 Cut the front and back along these markings. Next, our attention turns to finishing the hem/bottom edge. Fold the backing up well above the edge.IMG_0138 The batting needs to be trimmed about 1/8” above the finished scalloped edge. This may be done from the back or the front..whichever is easier for you.IMG_0140_LI Release the backing and measure 3/8” below the finished bottom edge.IMG_0142_LI Cut away the backing on this line a clip the curves to the batting edge. With the front/right side facing up, press the backing up over the batting, with the folded edge just above the bottom finished hem.IMG_0143    You may find that a dab of glue will help to secure this process.IMG_0144“School glue” works well, as it goes on purple, dries clear and is water-soluble…..and cheap!

At the machine, I stitch the hem in place from the right side, just along the finished edge……IMG_0147IMG_0148_LI At this point, my grid stitching needs to be completed (or whatever fmq was done earlier). IMG_0151IMG_0150   Before putting the front & back together, I will, usually, serge the raw edges but this time (serger is up north!) I will use a zig-zag stitch (on my tiny portable).

Note:Click on photos to enlarge.

One more step and this will be a ‘finish’. Stay tuned……………..

Posted in FMQ, Grid stitching, hangers, vintage | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Vintage…….Part 2………

If you’re just coming along for the ride on this journey, you may want to visit here, first. So, onward……..

#1 Take the sandwich that will be the “back” of the hanger. This is the one without your beautiful embroidery. It has the nice finished bottom edge and lots of blank stitching space…do not be afraid!!!!!.IMG_0114_LI (2)  To help stabilize and get rid of some of the pins, stitch on the outer drawn line that is the outer seam allowance (red arrow). The other (green arrow) is the hanger outline. Please, note that the backing is generously extending below the scalloped finished edge (purple arrow).

#2 At this point, decide what FMQ you want to do to fill this. I use this as a “warm-up” to doing the front. In this case, I chose to (kind of) repeat the flower embroidery that’s on the front……..IMG_0095 (2) Using a water-erasable marker, I drew a motif……..IMG_0115

and outlined stitched it.IMG_0117    And filled in around it a bit to better define it. IMG_0118    Next, I realized that any stippling/fmq that would be the background, would result in my losing the curls/tendrils. One of the “cardinal ‘rules’” in FMQ is: If you want something to ‘pop’, there needs to be a dramatic contrast set next to it! In this case, that would be straight lines, rather than curved. I switched to my (homemade) “ruler” foot, grabbed a rulerIMG_0120 and did a few markings to get the grid started. Wha-la………..IMG_0124 IMG_0123   Note: I stopped stitching about 1.5” up from the bottom edge to allow for the hem finish. The grid will be completed to the edge at that time.

Thread: (top and bobbin) Connecting Threads Essential Pro poly, 70 wt.

Right click any photo to enlarge.

The weekend is here! Enjoy! See you next week!!!! Hugs always………

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