Sunday, September 28, 2008

Binding, Bobbins and Free Motion

Binding Progress

I cut my binding strips in red and black and setup the ironing station in the livingroom using my double sided craft board. I created over 500" of binding.

After creating the binding, I was looking for somewhere to store it. I found this empty external hard drive stander upper thing on my floor. Perfect! The sides keep the binding in alignment.

Rediscovered Bobbin Winder

Right in the middle of the sewing the binding strips the bobbin thread ran out. I dreaded the thought of having to disconnect the thread to connect the bobbin winder on the top of the machine. Wait a minute, I have one of those sidewinders... where is it. Long story short, I gave it another try and I loved this! It was so fast and saved me the agony of trying to rethread my sewing machine needle which I swear I can't see anymore without a magnifying glass. Now it only works if you have two spools of the color you need. I was using black, so we know everyone has plenty of black.

Finishing the Halloween wall hanging and Free Motion Quilting.

In the evening I sandwiched my Halloween wall hanging. I was dreading the fact that I have to twist and turn the wall hanging at every angle to sew down the branches of the tree. Can't I just move freely left right up down? OK, I'll try it again, I'll put on the free motion foot. Last time I tried this foot on the machine I had a disaster of a birds nest. Now, where do I drop the feed dogs? OK, got it. Tested out some sewing and OMG, it didn't turn out as the same birds nest as I remember before. Hey, this is easy!! I'm hooked.

Thanks for stopping by.


P.s. SAD NOTE: If anyone is following our butterfly raising entries. Our last butterfly started emerging yesterday. It got caught up in the cocoon on it's way out and after hours emerged with crumpled wings and just did not make it. This was very sad after the long journey, but, we knew going in, there could also be some sad things to witness in addition to the beauty.

Friday, September 26, 2008

All Bound Up on a Rainy Weekend.

Yep, I'll be bound up in binding over my head this weekend. I have two quilts to cut and apply binding on. I'll be cutting, pressing, adhering and binding the "Oopsy Daisy" quilt below. I'm going to use one of the red fabrics in the quilt. That is, if I can remember what I did with the fabric. It's somewhere around this place. This quilt will be a little over 315" of binding to create and add. I plan on hand sewing this one down on back. So, I don't think I'll finish it all this weekend. I'll be happy if I finish creating the binding and sew it to the quilt.

Which raises a question from me to you. When you add a different color binding to the quilt other than the quilt fabric itself, what color thread do you use? On this one, the red binding will be a huge contrast to the b/w front and the black backing. Should I use black thread or red?

The second quilt I will be creating binding for and adding is my friend's memory quilt. This one will be about 250" of binding. This one, I'm adding black binding on black border. This way allows me to machine sew down the binding without it being so evident when I come in close on the binding on the back.

I'll have plenty of time to add this binding since it's going to be a rainy weekend here in Central PA. That's OK, hubby's off today with me and we'll do a little running and then Saturday and Sunday will be spent sewing since hubby works weekends. I'll just plop in my new "Sex and the City" dvd and start sewing the binding.

Hope you have a great weekend!
Thanks for stopping by

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Loves Me, Loves Me Knot or Oopsy Daisy

I am so excited that I received my Turning Twenty quilt back from the Rachel-sewbehind blog and the Sewbehind website. I am so mesmerized by the consistency of the daisies on the quilt. One the front, they are nice and subtle and don't take away from the overall quilt design and on the back, WOW, they just add a great element!

I asked that Rachel use two different threads for the quilt. Black on top and White on the bottom. Usually this is such a no no. But, since the overall quilt was already black and white I figured when the bobbin white thread pulled up to the black top thread, i would get this polka dot like look. It is more evident on the back and it looks exactly as I was hoping.

I can't say enough about Rachel. I just met her while blogging (which you all know has not been very long) . Quality work, fast turn-around and great prices. Please visit Rachel's sites to see more (Rachel-sewbehind blog and the Sewbehind ) when you have a moment

Just look at how great these photos are. Ok, it's early morning here and the lighting is not perfect. The colors are much more vibrant. There are close-ups of the front and back and full front (well, couldn't fit the whole quilt in the photo) and back. You can click on the photos for more details.

Also... help me choose the quilt name. Either Loves Me, Loves me knot or Oopsy Daisy. Send me an email or post a comment.

Thanks for stopping by

Monday, September 22, 2008

Weekend Work and Quilt prep Shortcuts

This weekend was spent finishing up my friend's memory quilt. I at least got it to the point where I'm ready to add the binding and label so it was a big accomplishment for something I've been putting off. You see, most of the fabrics are knit and it was a struggle just keeping the squares aligned.

Preparing the Backing

I love my steamer! I steam everything I can. It's a Rowenta large standing steamer. I've even used it to help remove wallpaper. Now that's a multi use product. This time, as I was preparing the quilt backing, I noticed how wrinkled it was. I folded it up and introduced it to the steamer and I was done in maybe 3 minutes. Most of the steam reaches through the layers to hit all but I reached in touched up the layers with a swipe of steam. Took out enough wrinkles to work with the backing.

Pinning the backing without the aching back

I have tried several ways to pin the quilt sandwich without all the back strain/pain of crouching over the quilt on the floor. Since most of my quilts are smaller than a queen size quilt top, I started using the top of the bed. I make the quilt sandwich on the bed and then I place a small chair at the end. I pin a row, then roll the quilt/batting/backing sandwich and carefully, evenly pull the quilt closer to the edge for the next row. To help not pin the bedspread below, I drag my flat cutting board from left to right under the sandwich to catch the pinning. I pin left to right and roll, then right to left and roll. Before you know it, you are done and your quilt is in a nice tight roll to place under the basic sewing machine. It works great for me.

Where are my magnifying glasses

I decided to rip out the clear thread sewing I started on the Halloween quilt wall hanging below. OMG, it is hard to do. Finding all the thread is a pain. Won't do that again. But now, I'm back to square one and ready to sew down.

Found my coupon book

When I went to Joann's this past Saturday, I was looking for the Fall Fusion pattern book for $2.99 that had coupons on the back. Normally, I don't pay for coupons but 50% of is a good one for me when I buy large amounts of fabric for a backing in one piece. Needless to say, I found the magazine and bought 3. They're great since they last until 12/2/08 so I just stuck them in my purse and ready for impromptu visits to Joann's.
Thanks for stopping by!

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Digital Scrapbooking Day for Me

Well, when I got home for work this evening it was digital scrapbooking time for me. From time to time I like to create digital scrapbooking pages to share with family / friend. Here are some pages completed for my Great Niece Justice. Now, keep in mind, I'm a little behind on my pages, these photos were from about 1 years ago.

I used PhotoShop Express 5.0 for my digital scrapbooking pages. I subscribe to several digital scrapbooking newsletters that usually provide 1 or two free samples daily or weekly. Some of my favorite sites for digital scrapbook items are:

I usually send the pages (after resizing them to a smaller size) to relatives as a surprise or I will do a series of them as .jpg images and then add them to a slide show with music. It puts a little twist on the same old digital photo slide show. Here are the photo pages I did of Justice. Her headband reminded me of spring so that is the theme I went with on two of them.

Thanks for stopping by


Monday, September 15, 2008

Up Up and away....

Well, they are all hatched and two are on their way out in the big world. Here's some photos of the priceless results of this whole process. It was a long journey but the end result of having the butterflies cling to you before they take off is "priceless".

Thanks for stopping by


Turning Twenty Quilt & Before and After

Well, the quilting on my turning twenty has been finshed. It looks fantastic and was completed by a fellow blogger. Her name is Rachel and she has the Rachel-sewbehind blog and the Sewbehind website. I asked her to do something quilters rarely do and that is use different colors for the top and bottom of the quilt. See for yourself. She does a fantastic job on the quilting. See for yourself how it turned out.

Weekend Goal Progress

Goal 1 - Nope, didn't finish my friends memory quilt. Ran into a snag in that when trying to sew cotton borders on stretch clothing squares I now have wavy borders. I tried twice and still ended up with wavy borders. Set it aside until I talk to my friend.
Goal 2 - Started the Halloween Wallhanging and have the full top almost completed. Just need to sew down the applique. Here's the photo work in progress with borders. Goal 3 - Half way done, I watched half of the Kim Brunner dvd and then got sidetracked from bulletin board conversations that another dvd was better for beginner long arm quilters so I ordered that one to start with first.
Goal 4 - Thank you card completed and ready for mailing.
Clean computer room - done on Friday and disorganized by Sunday :-)

Buttefly Before and After

Hard to believe here are the before and afters of our butterfly journey that started with an egg on August 22nd is now the most beautiful butterfly on September 14th.

Thanks for visiting

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Huge Lightbox and the First Monarch

I've used this before when I was completing my stain glass quilt but never showed photos of it. If you have a glass patio door or sliding glass door, you have the largest and best light box for tracing applique patterns. Here's a photo of my natural light box and how much the pattern shows through the fusible web for tracing.

Then I started tracing with several things, tried chalk but kept rubbing it off when I crossed over lines. Too erasable. Tried pen which worked well but I kept having to stop and write normally to have the ink come back down. Too time consuming. Then I moved on to a pencil. Why didn't I use that first, duh. Just right. You can see by the following photos I try and reuse every bit of the fusible webbing I am using.

I used painters tape to adhere the pieces. This is still tacky enough to keep the paper and fusible web with paper sides up. However, you still need to be careful taking it off, it can rip the pattern.

Butterfly Update

Of course, I turned my back this morning and I have a visitor. The monarch has emerged. The other two cocoons are about to hatch as well. Once they start moving around I'll get a better photo. For now, I don't want to disturb them while it is drying it's wings. I hope I can catch one of them emerging from the cocoon.


Monday, September 1, 2008

Treetop finished and We've got butterflies!

Have you ever worked on a project and something just pushes you on until you finish the pattern? That was me yesterday. DH was working and I had some free time and I started working on the last 4 blocks of the Christmas Tree Wall hanging.

From there, I was driven to shape the blocks, sew the blocks into rows, assemble the rows and complete the Christmas Tree Wall Hanging. Now, backing and binding it is another thing. I have some time yet so I may postpone that step. I also want to embellish the top once assembled with it's backing. Maybe strings of beads and crystals. We'll see.

Yesterday, I was looking in our mesh container at the Chrysalis's and noticed one of the Chrysalis was a very light tan. I called over DH and showed him, he said the butterfly was gone.

Sure enough, he was down on the bottom. He was up and moving around drying his wings. One still needs to unwrap fully. This morning, I noticed two more hatched butterflies hanging from their chrysalis's. It's pretty early and hard to see but their wings look fully extended. These are called painted lady butterflies. I'll keep you posted. Note, the white the butterfly is on is tissue balls soaked in sugar water. That's what the pamphlet we have says to do. It addition they like flowers and fruit.

Finally, the monarch butterfly caterpillars are HUGE. We'll put 5-6 leaves in before we go to bed and in the morning, they are completely vanished. I have to keep reminding myself that these will be monarch butterflies and be large. This process has been such an interesting project.

Happy Labor Day!