Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Owl applique

I was supposed to be figuring out how to post patterns for sale on payhip.com (because they, unlike Craftsy, will handle EU digital VAT collection for me on sales to the European Union starting January 1st).  Oops.  I got sidetracked.

Isn’t he just too cute?


The design is from Five Sprouts Stitching and was free in their Craftsy shop when I went browsing on the weekend. I feel almost guilty getting this cute design for free. 

If you have followed my blog for a while, you’ll know that this kind of sewing is not my usual fare.  To be honest, after one not so successful attempt I’ve been too chicken to try machine applique again.  Just how do you get around the points and curves neatly? I thought it would take too much time to learn, and there are too few hours for all the things that are on the “to do” list!  Clearly, though, this was higher on the list than the business stuff, which is why I’ll never be a millionaire!

After I commented on yet another of 2strings’ lovely applique projects, and said again how I should really put learning to machine applique on that “to do” list, she pointed me to two tutorials on her blog.  Her tutorial on how to get around the points and curves with machine blanket stitch is wonderful.  It’s very clear and takes all the mystery out of it.  That’s not to say that I didn’t goof a few times, but that was due to me losing track of which part of the stitch the machine was working on.  The tutorial told me to keep track!

I have a half-formed project idea for this little owl.  Some borders and prairie points and a pillow back…  It could work.

OK, back to business stuff.  If all goes well and I don’t get sidetracked too often there will be new links on my pattern page by the end of the week.

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Christmas runner

I have two healthy teens who take care of the shoveling, so I’d welcome a decent layer of white stuff outside for Christmas.  However, according to the current weather forecast these snowflakes are the only one we’ll have for Christmas this year.


We had a small party last night and I really wanted this on the table so I bound it by machine to get it done in time.  I sew the binding to the front, then fold it around to the back, pin it in place, and stitch in the ditch beside the binding on the front.  It looks very much like hand binding on the front.

finished 2014-12-19

I had planned for a while to share a tutorial on how to do this, but look at the link someone posted on a discussion on a Facebook quilting group: http://www.elsiesgirl.blogspot.com/2012/01/machine-binding-explained.html  This is pretty much how I do it (I don’t have a “quilt in the ditch” foot but it is now on my wish list!) so I’ll just link to it and go bake Christmas cookies instead of writing it all up myself!

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Last UFO?

Brace yourself….I am working on my last UFO!  Will I actually make it to zero UFOs? To be clear, in this house, once it’s a finished quilt top it moves off the UFO list, even if it takes a while to get quilted!

IMG_8947You might remember my musings back in February about what to do for borders on Vintage Sparkle. At that time I decided to let it sit awhile while I considered my options.  Sometime last spring I got as far as piecing these half stars for a pieced border for plan C.

This is currently my only UFO so a couple of weeks ago I pulled it out of its box, determined to piece those borders.  Uh oh.  I didn’t like it anymore.  At all.  I just stared at it, completely uninspired. 

My kids and hubby just rolled their eyes at me and told me to leave it out for a few days and let it grow on me again.  This was very wise of them.  (It’s almost as though they know me well!) It did grow on me again after I decided to drop Plan C and go back to Plan A.  I still think Plan C would have been a great plan if I had thought of it first and planned the setting accordingly.  As it was, adding the half star pieces to the half stars in the sashing looked tacked on.  It just wasn’t looking good. Thankfully I figured this out before I cut up all my border fabric for Plan C, so I had enough to cut the wider borders I needed for Plan A. 

After Plan A came out on top again, I proceeded to take a whole week to add on 8 border strips, a few at a time.  That’s me.  I really dislike measuring and pinning borders, and sewing those long seams.  If there hadn’t been the zero UFO carrot dangling, I might have procrastinated even longer!  However, that’s an awfully tempting carrot, so the last border finally made it onto the quilt tonight.

Vintage Sparkle flimsy

It’s not a great picture.  The ceiling is a little low in my quilting space so my two volunteer quilt holders couldn’t hold this queen sized quilt top up all the way off the floor. Still, you get the idea.

It is not quite off the UFO list.  It still needs scrappy prairie points all the way around.  The fabric squares for the points have been cut and waiting for a year, so I just need to fold, press and distribute them around the sides.  Stay tuned!