Sunday, October 19, 2014

And a Little Yarn for Texture . . .

Thrift shop find - just discovered it's wool!
There is a local thrift shop that has a "yarn wall" with a variety of plastic bags filled with a vast assortment of yarn. I discovered this marvelous hank two summers ago. I should have known that it would be high-end yarn by the way it was presented. No paper wrapper with generic labels by the main stream yarn vendors (ie,  Lion Brand; Red Heart). I uncoiled it and wrapped it into a giant ball.

The weather is turning cold here and it's time to pull out the crochet hooks and various yarn. I rediscovered this and decided to find out whether it's wool or just acrylic or polyester. Tested it by fire (match) and it turns to ash. If it had melted into a clump and smelled awful, then it would have been synthetic. That bundle above is 100% wool!

Yarn samples
I found a huge assortment of these yarn samples with some serious "bling" last year (yarn wall, of course). Pulled these out and am determined to use them for something. I see that I approach yarn in the same way as I do my fabric:

Buy it because it's pretty.
Stack it up.
Pull it out and stroke it.
Dream about possible projects.
Put it back on the shelf.

I taught in Ft. Worth this past week. Three and a half hour flight back and forth. What to do? Grabbed two skeins of Lion Brand Homespun (again, purchased on that yarn wall) and a size K hook.

Crocheted a scarf on the trip out there . . .
Scarf made with Lion Brand Homespun, Fiesta colorway
Crocheted a second scarf on the trip home . . .

Scarf made with Lion Brand Homespun, Tudor colorway
Needed this scarf when my plane landed at 11 pm, waiting for the taxi to pick me up. Pulled it out of my tote bag and wrapped it around my neck. Cozy!

I never did learn to knit. But I can crochet!

Friday, October 17, 2014

Classes in Minneapolis & Tinley Park

  Final classes for the Sewing Expo in Minneapolis and Tinley Park (Chicago)

 This fun wreath is a stencil . . .

Draw with a stencil; complete with free motion outside
 What a FAT CAT! Of course! That's his name. My own pattern that we trace the simple outline shape onto freezer paper, iron onto fabric, stitch around freezer paper, peel off freezer paper and then fill inside this very fat cat!

Fat Cat is a pattern I've had for a very long time


Buzz Saw using a multi-sized 12-1/2" Dresden Plate ruler (included in kit)
This is Dresden Plate blades on steroids! Easy and quick and dynamic.

Hosannah Quilt from my book, Paper Piecing Perfect Points
 Cupid's Arrows is a paper piecing project using just 3 of the Hosannah/Palm Blocks:

Cupid's Arrows
 Check out the Twisted Hexagons!

Twisted Hexagons
This only looks hard. There are no y-seams and the blocks are large. The table runner uses 12" blocks.


Twisted Hexagons Table Runner
The Table Topper uses 10" blocks (6 of them) and a large, interfaced center hexagon appliqued on last.
Twisted Hexagons Table Topper
 And, last but not least, my Mariner's Compass paper pieced on a 20" coffee filter!
Mariner's Compass drafted on a 20" coffee filter!! Yes, you read that right! Add a paper pieced halo of Flying Geese and then the super-sized background for an awesome 32" block.

32" block - 20" compass
 And a Mariner's Compass in modern colors . . .

Using solids and grey, with a fabulous floral background
 You can read more about the techniques taught, the supply lists, the class prep, etc at the Sewing Expo site - click the links for the projects above. Hope to see you there.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Updating a Hexie Post from Last Year

Do you remember this post? Let's review (because I actually got around to finishing it!)

Create a ring of hexagons. Stitch them together as shown.
Grandmother's Flower Garden Hexagon Ring: each hexagon finishes to 4-1/2"
 I faced the 6 hexagons with medium weight interfacing
Faced Hexagon Ring using interfacing
Applique the focus hexagon (which is also interfaced) onto the center
Don't you just love interfacing? It's AWESOME!
Now it's ready to be appliqued to a 15-1/2" background square of white on white fabric:
Center and machine applique with invisible mono-filament thread
And then cut away the white background fabric from behind the Hexagon Block
Clip away fabric to reduce bulk. This would make an interesting applique, huh?
Everything clipped away and you can see the seaming and applique stitches
I finally got around to quilting this. Used my HandiQuilter Sweet 16 and it was so much fun.

My Ring of Hexagons
What am I going to do with all these small quilted samples? Too big for a mug rug. Too small for a table runner. But they are good to take on the road as teaching samples.

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Columbus Day Tribute

The Nina, Pinta, and Santa Maria
This quilt is over 22 years old. Jinny Beyer created this collection to commemorate the 500th anniversary of the "discovery" of America by Christopher Columbus.

What a beautiful mariner's compass - as only Jinny Beyer could draft!

I remember buying the fabric, in fact! I still have a small piece SOMEWHERE in my messy stash. I used a pattern from a Quilting Today magazine (now defunct) exactly as it was presented. I hand quilted the little quilt and bring it out every year around October 12th.

I'm of Italian heritage as was Columbus. And one of my sons in law is from Spain and we have to remember that it was Queen Isabella of Spain who financed Columbus' trip so he could "discover" us.

Tomorrow is a holiday here in the States, though some people scorn Columbus. Revisionist history and all that.

I blogged about Columbus Day in 2012 and presented a Mariner's Compass quilt HERE

Galaxy Compass
Hope you enjoyed my little - and really old - quilt!

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Amish Triangles Quilts

Antique Amish Triangles quilt
I saw an exhibit at the Textile Museum in Washington, DC back in 2008 that was curated by Esprit. There were some amazing quilts on display. While this wasn't one of them, there were many that had the same personality. Isn't this just glorious in it's muted colors and exquisite quilting?

I decided to design and sew one of my own. I actually made two using the newly released (at that time) Gee's Bend solids by Windham Fabrics. Here is my first one, trying to stay with the same basic design as the antique quilt above.

Amish Triangles - 48" x 66"
I had to simplify it because I got exhausted thinking about piecing all those triangles! I rather like the orange next to the red for an unexpected shock of color (no, I would never put those colors together in my clothing!) This quilt was picked up by Fons and Porter Magazine the following year and it appears as the October quilt in my 2014 wall calendar of quilts.

Amish Classic Shadows also appears in my 2014 wall calendar of quilts. Again, using the hand dyed Gee's Bend fabrics, it gave such texture to these solid appearing fabrics. This was published by McCall's Quilting Magazine in 2010 (I think).
Amish Classic Shadows - 52" x 63"
I love these two quilts. I still have small amounts of the Gee's Bend solids around and I may just create something inspired by another Amish quilt.

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Feels Like Fall Blog Hop - and Fabric Giveaway

Spooktacular Fabrics by Benartex
BOO! Uh, I mean, welcome! Thanks for stopping by to see what I've got behind the curtain. Last month at the Benartex Sew in Love with Fabric blog I shared about how to create hexagons. Today I share about making octogons into snowballs. I will be making the Snowball block to showcase these novelty prints.

Take a hop over to the Benartex Blog to see how I transformed these fabrics into something Spooktacular! There's a fabric giveaway for one lucky winner, too!

Sew in Love with Fabrics blog for Benartex

Monday, October 6, 2014

Halloween Quilts

Little pumpkin quilt has a new home
Audrey comes and raids my fabrics. "Oh, mom! Can I have this? Ooohhh. And this?!!" Of course, I say yes - but there's a caveat to some fabrics. "You must bring back all the scraps to this one. You can't pass them on to your friends because I still may have plans for that!"

Now she grabs quilts off the walls - yes, she did! See that Gee's Bend sample on HER wall? It was on the wall of the guest bedroom where she stays when she visits and I came home one day and it was GONE! Yes, I know. It used to be on the wall in her previous apartment and she brought it back when they moved. I hung it. She remembered how wonderful it looks and took it back. Sigh.

Halloween should last all of October and she needed some decorations. Why - mom has some quilts! She also took the little Circle of Bats quilt from 2012's Wicked Blog Hop.

Bat Wreath now lives at Audrey's house
Come back tomorrow for a Technique Tuesday post using Benartex's Spooktacular Collection. There's a GIVEAWAY, too!
Halloween Blog Hop at Benartex Blog

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Five Days to Celebrate Fall - and Fabric Giveaways!

Sew in Love with Fabric - Benartex Fabrics
Are you ready for FALL? Let us help you think about the golds and browns and even the Halloween colors. Sew in Love with Fabric is having a blog hop for 6 days with giveaways of fat quarter bundles each day. WOW!

Check in each day to see what treats the bloggers have to share with you. Make sure you leave a comment. And certainly come back on Tuesday, October 5 to MY blog for a tutorial and an offering of fabric!

Here are the bloggers for the next 5 days (and make sure you check in with Kelly from Day 1):

Day 1: Kelly from My Quilt Infatuation featuring the Harvest Song collection
Day 2: Christina from Sometimes Crafter featuring the Spooktacular collection
Day 3: Melissa from My Fabric Relish featuring the Daily Zen collection
Day 4: Benartex blog design team featuring the Fall Festival collection
Day 5: Debby from Debby Kratovil Quilts featuring the Spooktacular collection
Day 6: Erin from Why Not Sew featuring the Indian Summer collection