Tuesday, 20 March 2018

Spring arrived officially at 0915 this morning!

Yesterday I took this picture thru the window of my lobby, today the day is cold and grey.  Last Monday I was going to do a blog post and my computer decided to do a Window's update.  It would only load to 77% and then stall despite repeated attempts.  So I took it into the same place I did about two years ago and they had a back up so I didn't get it back until late last night.  Then I realized they had my power cord.  Good news, it's all loaded and hooked up again.
Remember the mug rugs I made in February?
I did a test of how I would machine quilt them on a scrap of muslin and batting to check the tension on a machine I've never used.

 I checked the reverse side and everything looked good.

 I also tried a mirror image as I made two with the vase on the left.
 The back also looked alright.  I may just trim and bind these with some fun binding.
 Test driving over, let's get started on the actual pieces.
 Unfortunately I didn't check the backs until I did all four.
 One I could live with and the other three I reverse sewed.
 Lesson learned?  Always check your piece before moving onto the next piece. I've un-stitched them all and will probably do them on my own machine.
 I also went up to my local quilt shop and got some of the new Tula Pink All Stars fabrics, they had sold out of solids and many of the stripes but I found these three to come home with me.
 A friend had picked up some Opal Essence quilt templates designed by Lorena Uriate from Australia while she was here doing two workshops at the beginning of March.  I just need to get the pdf and I'm ready to start another new project. Check out Lorena's website for details and pictures here.

Spring has arrived here on the quay and every day new blooms are popping up.  I believe this is called Scilla'
 Love how it wants to bloom before getting very tall!

 Here is a pink version of the Scilla flowers
 The rhododendron bushes are in full bloom

 Love the colour of the buds.
 The Grape Hyacinths are also starting to bloom, soon there will be thousands of them under the rose bushes.
 They also start blooming as soon as they break thru the ground.
 In the courtyard the Cherry blossoms are about to burst forward.
 Love these ones on the side of the trunk.
 The forsythia is also in bloom.

 These three weeping cherry trees are going to be beautiful in a few days.
 They are a deeper pink.
 Looking forward to their full bloom beauty.
 The view thru the lobby window without the added graphics.
 I got my Simply Moderne quilt magazine from Quiltmania.  So many wonderful choices, hard to pick which one to do first.  Birches?
 Whimsical phones?
 Here's the cover if you want to check it out.
 I also went to the Creative Sewing show last weekend and got some 80 weight Aurifil to try for applique and some 28 weight for quilting.
 Some of Sue Spargo's new Ellana wool thread to try out.
Now to catch up and get back to sewing!

Monday, 5 March 2018

Simple Folk, Grasshopper, Mug Rugs, Wonky Stars...

Here was the lay out for my first Simple Folks block
 Block two was a pair of swans.
 Block three is this whimsical flower arrangement.
 My friend Anna and I were talking about applique prep and I said I used heat resistant Mylar and do a running stitch to gather up the edge.  I took these pictures with the Mylar removed to explain how I do it.  I cut a larger seam allowance and then do a running circle outside my pencil mark from tracing the circle.  Then I draw up the stitches around the Mylar and do a quick press.  I then use a paintbrush to apply the starch around the edge and iron it again.  Pop out the template and repeat the process.  I usually have several circles in play so the piece can cool down before I pop out the Mylar to save my finger tips.
 If I have only a few leaves I'll use freezer paper and run the basting stitch around the curve and place my fingernails against the paper to ease up the sides without curling the freezer paper before ironing and starching.
 For inner curves I clip and use a wooden tool to hold the fabric in place before adding starch and ironing but clip the curves a few times.
 Bottom gathered top eased in.
 About an inch or so before I start the basting.
 For this shape no stitches just use the wood tool to save my fingertips.

 Clip the notch of the heart with two basting lines for the curves.
 Nice smooth curves.
 Clip the notch and use the running thread to ease the bulk of the fabric.
 Gentile curve no stitches, a notch and more gentle curves again.
 I'll trim that corner on the fabric and ease in the bulk.
 Swans stitched, those eyes were tiny and challenging but they are done.
 A closer look.

 Nice round circle.
 Pointy skinny heart.
 Love this fabric for the white swan.
 And this for the black swan.
  Pieced blocks for the Grasshopper prepped for hand stitching.
 I may mix and match my prints once I sew my half triangle squares.
 Different scale of dots.
 I'm in love with grunge.
 Some mug rugs I'm working on.
 The pattern was in a magazine but I decided to add the second flower.
 I also decided to flip the image.
 My first stitched block.  Not sure if I'll do the turquoise corners.  Will stitch block three and then decide.
Got the last set of blocks from Illinois.  They took 6 weeks to arrive, I think they walked here.

 I love the stamps!

 They are both so wonderful.  Another thing to add to my list to do.  There are running a second wonky stars exchange but I decided not to do it as of right now...