Thursday, April 23, 2015

"Miss Emilie" is quilted and the binding is done...

There's nothing like a show deadline to kick you in the butt!  The Sauder Village Quilt Show opens next week and I have to take the quilt to Ohio on Sunday afternoon for the event.  ("Miss Emilie's Garden," pattern by Lori Smith)

This border was really challenging for me...the fuddly piecing on the mitered corner...zeesh!  The corners are not perfect, but I am glad I pushed forward with them.  I'm not sure more seam ripping would have helped...lining up the appliqued sawtooth edges was very difficult.

The hand quilting was so soothing at a particularly stressful time...I am so ready for things to get less stressful in our family!

I tried to sneak in hand quilting my initials in the bird block, but I think the tiny block made it too crowded.  It just looks like a glob of quilting stitches.  Those applique blocks measure less than 6 inches square.

I was slightly more successful adding the date I finished it...

The whole quilt measures 42 x 42 inches.

Last night was the first "pay-off" event for a graduating high school senior at Washtenaw International High School...Honors Convocation.

Riley won the International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma Program Departmental Award for Literature and will graduate Summa Cum Laude at the end of May.  This is her Lit teacher making the presentation.

We are very proud of the way she has handled the family stress of the last year (better than her parents...).  She has made her college decision and will accept the Presidential Scholarship and attend the University of Alabama in the fall.  Roll Tide, Roll!  

(That is a little hard for me to say, as I graduated across the state from Auburn University...War Eagle!)

Now, on to the prom this weekend...

Anyone going to the 39th Annual Sauder Village Quilt Show in NE Ohio next week? Maybe I will see you there!

In stitches,
Teresa   :o)

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Hand Quilting on "Miss Emilie..."


I am still here!  I am hand quilting away, among other things, which really doesn't lead to very exciting pictures to put on the ol' blog.  I mean, there is very little change to the overall look of the pictures.  

These first two shots show "Miss Emilie's Garden" (pattern by Lori Smith) after I basted it in preparation for the hand quilting..,.pretty boring.

The next shots show the quilt after hours of work getting the center twenty-five blocks quilted.  See?  You can't really tell that much has changed!  For you readers, it must be worse than watching paint dry on the house-flipping TV channels!

I leave the basting thread in until all the hand quilting is finished. Removal of all that distracting lavender thread is my delayed gratification reward following the patience and perseverance...and therapy...of each stitch.  I am now working on hand quilting the borders.  I know, zzzzz...

Actually, with all the current life craziness, it is good to have hand quilting to do!  While stitching away, I have earlier seasons of "The Big Bang Theory" in the DVD player.  No matter how many times I've heard the episodes, they still make me laugh!

I will go back an put a little more filler quilting in the blocks...I want to "quilt" my initials and the year in one of the blocks.  I love seeing antique quilts where the maker has added these details, whether with applique, embroidery, or quilting.  

The quilt only measures 42" x 42".

I am also working on the border pattern for the "Baltimore Rhapsody - Symphony" - almost done!  That quilt was just in the AQS Lancaster Quilt Show, and is now on it's way to the AQS Paducah Quilt Show.

My little handmade thread catcher has worked out great for collecting the thread tails as I hand quilt away...

It has been another harsh, snowy, cold winter.  As the weather started to warm up and melt the accumulated snow, we had a couple of days that looked like everything was covered in a white, shiny, candy coating.  It was weird!

The sifting, packing and planning is underway in preparation of the summer move to NW Alabama.  Riley's senior year is filled with events and college decisions, and we continue to be involved in my in-laws' rehab and hospice.  It is a busy time!  My dad's birthday has come and gone and I am still standing...I still miss them terribly, but the debilitating sadness and anger following the accident is subsiding.  Life is going on...

Thank you for your thoughts, notes and emails,,,they have been greatly appreciated!

Has anyone ever used PODS for moving?  I would love to hear about your experiences.

I have been hand appliqueing on some delightful little 6" blocks using up some reproduction fabrics. They are my "to go" baggie project right now.  I will share all that soon!

In stitches,
Teresa  :o)

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

A Tutorial: The Sweetest Little Thread Catcher...

This is my new hand stitching companion...literally a THREAD CATCHER.  When I am hand stitching, there are little tails of silk thread and snippets of quilting cotton EVERYWHERE...I know things are out of hand when Weasley the cat saunters by with thread and fabric snippets are stuck to his fur coat!

And now, a view of the underside...(this is my favorite Kaffe Fassett fabric in my stash)...

Do you want to learn to make one?  Let me demonstrate the magic...first, I push DOWN with my thumbs on the pleated side...

The bottom pushes out and starts to untwist...

Now there is a cute, little container, open and ready to receive your thread tails...

When I take a pause from stitching, I simply push all my little thread tails to the bottom of the container, hold the rim, and twist the bottom compactly into the rim...ta da!!  The threads are trapped within the compact, little, twisted container.

SO neat and tidy!  I discovered a great video on how to do this on Pinterest, which I will link at the end of this post, but I found that some of the measurements needed to be updated to make it actually come out toilet paper rolls, and so many other things, packaging/product is shrinking while prices stay the same or increase.

The original directions have us make this little gem from "recycled" materials...(a cereal box, leftover batting, and a Pringles potato chip tube are recommended).  I think you could make it from other things, you would just have to adjust the sizes of your materials (and you wouldn't "have to" eat Pringles).  I have saved an empty plastic mayo jar that might work as well...

After gobbling up all the Pringles, wipe the tube (and your clothing) free of crumbs, cut off the lip of the container, and cut a 1/2" slice of the tube.  I used paper scissors, but a nice sharp craft knife might be easier.

Measure the circumference...I found mine to be about 9-1/4".  I added 1/2" to this to get the longer measurement for my rectangle of fabric needed for the body of the thread catcher.  (In the Pinterest video, the circumference measured 9-1/2"...see...things ARE shrinking in the stores...) 

My fabric rectangle measures 8" x 9-3/4" (before I folded over 1/4" on each long side and pressed).  (That's 8" x 9-1/4", plus the extra 1/2" on the longer side.)

The size of the components for the thread catcher bottom are dependent on the size of the Pringles ring.  The box board and batting circles need to be slightly smaller in diameter so that, once covered in fabric, they won't be too tight to to twist, push, and nestle inside the Pringles ring. 

I found this inside size/diameter to be about 2-11/16"...just shy of 2-3/4".   Cut two each of the box board and the batting.

Then I made my two fabric circles a little larger so that I would have room to baste and gather the edges around the box board and batting.  My fabric circles measured 3-1/2" in diameter.

Now I do a running stitch around the edge of each of the two fabric circles...

Then I center a batting circle on the wrong side of the fabric circle...

...followed by a box board circle, covering the batting circle.

Then I pull the gathering thread to surround my batting and box board circles.

I secure this with a couple of stitches and a knot.

Now I slip stitch these two padded circles to each other, wrong sides together, 

Then, I fold my fabric rectangle, right sides together, and stitch along the SHORT side with a 1/4" seam allowance.

Note that the stitching is on the 8" edge of the fabric rectangle.

Now I press the seam open so that it will lie nice and flat.

With right sides still together, I slide my Pringles ring on my tube of fabric and encase the ring as I bring the edges that are pressed under together.

I line up those pressed under edges and pin.

My Pringles ring is now securely located where the fabric tube folds.

I stitch right under the Pringles ring to lock it in a casing.

Ta da!

Then I remove my pins.

I push the inside of the fabric tube out past the Pringles ring.

See how my 1/4" seam is still neatly turned under?  I insert my thread catcher bottom and secure with pins.  The fabric tube will be slightly larger, so you will have to center the bottom as you pin to ease the slight fullness.

Then I slip stitch around, easing the fullness and removing pins as I stitch.

Then I push the bottom through the ring, and into the other open end with the pressed under edge, center, pin, and slip stitch in the same way.

Ta da!

Now it is ready to accept all your thread tails...

When I stop stitching, I push all the thread mess to the bottom of my thread catcher...

...and gently twist and collapse, trapping the thread tails.

SO easy and satisfying.  And it is so compact and small that it will fit nicely in my stitching bag.

Here is a the video I found on Pinterest.  She really lays out the steps very nicely.


Note:  I found my set of Karen Kaye Buckley large circles very helpful...there is one exactly the size of the fabric circle, and I used another to make my box board/batting template and just trimmed my template a little smaller.

In stitches,
Teresa  :o)