Saturday, August 19, 2017

Spooky Trees and Culcita

Yesterday I finished the outline quilting in the Spooky Ride panel blocks and then spent some time on Pinterest looking at ideas for spooky trees. I want to stitch a big tree going up the right side of the quilt in heavy 28 weight thread. I've chosen an orange and a gold from the Mettler silk finish line for the tree.

Here are the trees I liked the best:

Think those give me a framework to start with.

Also got two packages in the mail this week:

One was the Culcita box with the beautiful Lagoon fabrics and a Quilt Theory pattern.

They don't really work together as the pattern calls for Layer Cakes and there isn't enough yardage in 12 fat quarters to match up, but I loved the fabrics and the pattern, so they will go their separate ways in my (such as it is) quilting supplies organizational system.

I don't subscribe to the monthly Culcita box, although that is a slightly less expensive way to go. I preordered three months starting with the Alison Glass shipment last month.

The other package was my Fat Quarter Shop order:

Mini dots!! I already had the two yardage cuts in the lower right hand corner. Dots are such great blenders that I took advantage of the bundle sale and added to the dot stash.

Today will be a lazy Saturday, running errands and probably going out to dinner tonight with my husband, who has been super helpful as I've recovered from the foot surgery. Still hobbling and I'll be in a surgical boot for another few weeks. Get to start working out with my trainer again on Sept. 5! That date will get special stickers in my planner!

Plan for today: Have a happy quilty Saturday!

Thursday, August 17, 2017

One Down....

Posey Patch is in the washer to get all the marker lines out. I'm a big proponent of washing my quilts before I use them, show them in workshops or give them away. I got an email this week from my friend Paula Lidyoff about a nasty surprise she got when she washed a quilt. Her takeaway was: Always wash a quilt before you give it away so that any problems occur on YOUR watch! Bad situation, but good lesson. Sometimes we have to push through those teachable moments!

Next up: 


This must be Tiffany Hayes month! She did the applique on Posy Patch and designed Spooky Ride for Andover Fabrics using their Chillingsworth Spooky Ride fabrics. I bought the kit for this 70"x80" quilt at Bolts in the Bathtub (my local quilt store in Lancaster CA) and made it in a day or so at a retreat at Sierra Stars in Truckee CA.

Pinned it up with a scrappy pieced back and Winline wool batting.

Stitched in the ditch with Mettler's Transfil monofilament and now I'm ready to stitch around the characters, bats and other scary things in the panel squares. Here's my machine setup: Transfil as my top thread, Mettler 100% cotton, 50 wt silk finish thread in a yummy orange (#122) for the bobbin. Should get the outlining done today and then I can start on the spooky tree I want to stitch on the right hand side!


Tuesday, August 15, 2017

On the Mend

After foot surgery on August 1, I wasn't able to sew -- still technically cannot sew or drive because it was my right foot. However, I have played around in the sewing room and, while I can't piece worth a crap, I can quilt on the Q-20 with my left foot; the Q-20 couldn't care less which foot is on the pedal, pressure on the pedal is only telling the machine that you're sewing, not how fast you want to go. The two built in stitch regulators take care of that!

So I've spent portions of the last two days sewing in the background fills on one of my works in progress from a few years ago and should get it finished up tomorrow!


Are you pulling out any old projects to work on? It goes pretty fast because you already have so much done, right?

Monday, July 31, 2017


Don't think I ever posted a final picture of the Wishing Tree:

Double batting, lots of quilting -- I'm very happy with how it turned out!

Sunday, July 30, 2017

Good Couple of Days!

I've been going back and forth this weekend, quilting on the Q-20 and piecing on my Dream Machine, working two projects at once. 

Grabbed this out of the Partially Quilted stack. The pattern was published in the April 2011 issue of American Patchwork & Quilting from Better Homes & Gardens; it's called Posey Patch. I did the piecing, my friend Tiffany Hayes of Needle in a Hayes Stack (great pattern line and she is a fellow Craftsy instructor) did the applique.

Yesterday I finished the curvy lines in the background; still deciding on what fills I want in them. Today I quilted feathers in the floral area around the inner star and did a freehand design in the pink squares that I found in one of Angela Walters' Shape by Shape books. Those books are a gold mine of ideas!

This is another design from one of the books; I did this with a ruler foot and a straight edge quilting ruler from Westalee Designs.

I started by marking two lines. The top one is 3/4" from the tip of the triangle, the second is 1-1/4", so they are spaced 1/2" apart.

I was able to do two adjacent triangles before cutting the thread and moving to the next pair.

Started in the corner where the two triangles joined, then used the spacing gauge tool to make sure I would hit that first mark. I'm using the 1/4" leg; since the outside of the ruler foot is exactly 1/4" from the needle, one side of the spacing gauge tool (let's call it a SGT, OK?) touches the ruler and the free edge shows the path the needle will take as you stitch along the ruler with the ruler foot.

Stitched to that top mark, then moved the SGT to the corner to align the ruler properly for that section.

Moved the SGT to the lower of the two marks and aligned the ruler to stitch to it.

Then stitched to that mark and back to the beginning to finish that boomerang shape. Repeated it on the other triangle, then cut the thread and did the rest of them. There are only 5 pieced blocks, so it didn't take that long.

Dan decided that this would be a good day to hang all of my stencils up on the wall next to the new machine, so I moved over to the other machine and stitched a few triangles.

Now they're easy to get to!

Back to the Q to stitch that same boomerang shape in the border triangles. Then I cut, sewed and pressed the binding. I'm having foot surgery in a couple of days and thought that maybe I could do the hand sewing on the binding while I can't use the machines.

Yep, it's my right foot, so no driving for two weeks! Maybe I can teach myself to sew with my left foot?

Friday, July 28, 2017

Quilty Surprises!

I love subscription boxes! I've done Stitch Fix for clothes and a couple of sample beauty boxes -- those were great for snagging travel size cosmetics to take with me on my teaching trips. So of course I can't resist the allure of fabric from the latest collections, inspiring patterns and notions! I'll share with you the ones that came in recently:

Someone asked me the other day what my favorite subscription box was and my answer was the Sew Sampler from Fat Quarter Shop. It's a good mix of fabric/pattern/notions at a good price and I usually like almost everything. I think I gave away a ruler from one box and a needle keeper from another, but mostly I keep and use everything in the box.

As usual there is a card explaining what's in the box and the pattern for the basket block of the month. But a 15% coupon on Moda? Oh, yeah!!!

Here's the pattern and fabric this time. First time I've received a box where I wouldn't have purchased the fabric if I had seen it in a store. Guess I'm just not a muted blue person. This is a junior jelly roll and I'd be happy to trade for an equivalent value in fabric that is brighter in color? I know this Snowberry line is really popular so maybe one of you would love to have it and are willing to trade? I'll throw in the table runner pattern as a bonus.

Like all of the notions -- no one can ever have too many Wonder Clips or seam rippers. The little scissors are cute, too -- polka dots!!

The next box I opened was from Culcita, which means "quilt" in a language I don't speak. The Weekend Candy quilt top that I just finished was also from Culcita and used a Cotton & Steel line called "Sleep Tight".

This one features "Chroma" by Alison Glass -- "hand stamped, hand dyed, one piece at a time, so each bit of fabric is unique and different from the next, adding to the beauty of it. No two bolts are alike and cuts from one bolt will likely look different from cuts from another. Like natural leather or stone, these variations make each piece perfectly imperfect." Quote from the card accompanying the fabrics. Each Culcita shipment has 12 fat quarters of the featured fabric line.

Love the range of colors! I am definitely a "brights" person!

Found this pattern in one of the magazines that also came in recently and think that it would look great in the Chroma fabrics. It's in the October 2017 issue of American Patchwork & Quilting from Better Homes & Gardens. I like the pattern that came in the Culcita box, too; I'm a big Quilt Theory fan.

With every Culcita box there is a fortune cookie with a sewing/quilting related fortune. Dan ate the cookie, but left the fortune on the kitchen table for me.

The last box I opened was from Cotton Cuts. This used to be called Stash Builder and I think I originally found them through an article in Generation Q Magazine that was reviewing subscription fabric boxes. This is the first one I have received since the company changeover.

Three one yard cuts from the Meriweather line by Amy Gibson for Windham Fabrics were in the box plus the Super Nova Stars pattern by Krystal Jakelwicz. The card included with the shipment showed some of the other fabrics in the collection. There are a couple of text fabrics that I'd like to buy and maybe a background....

Have you purchased subscription boxes? Which ones and what are your thoughts? I love them, even knowing it's kind of a shot in the dark thing in that you don't know what you're getting! 

Thursday, July 27, 2017

Appletree Quilting Center -- What I Bought

A box of fabric and goodies usually follows me home when I teach here, but this time I left room/weight in the luggage so I could bring my finds home with me:

First, I got to add to my collection of low volume neutrals that I started buying with the Pacifica quilt. And, since I am such a sucker for polka dots and love grey, I had to have that.

Wendy had this quilt made up using Marvel comics fabric; I have a Wonder Woman border print that I will have a big piece left over after I cut the borders, so this would be a great way to use it.

This quilt has been hanging in one of the restrooms at Appletree for a while; I saw it when I was there last October and wanted to make it. So this time Millie pulled the kit together for me, along with cutting instructions from the panels, and Wendy took the picture so I'd have a reference point when laying it out. Is this an awesome Halloween quilt? Some of the fabrics even glow in the dark! And there are lots of bats!

We were sewing in the evenings -- Wendy was working on her Tula Pink Sugar Skulls quilt from the book that Tula wrote with Angela Walters:

Wendy picks out the best fabrics!

I was working on a quilt that I found in Issue 12 of Make Modern, an Australian digital quilting magazine. I'm using the scraps of Blueberry Park left over from my Pacifica quilt. I had enough to make lots of HSTs and then bought a charm pack so I would have enough for 60 blocks. Here's the stack of 60 blocks and two that are joined with the grey cross fabric that was left over from the backing provided by Culcita in the Weekend Candy quilt kit.


As for the box following me home, I bought a Rowenta tank iron that I fell in love with -- lots of steam, hot in 2 minutes, lots of good reasons to add it to the sewing room!

What about you? What is your favorite iron and why?

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