Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Finished Fall Table Runner

Here are photos of the table runner I was working on.  It was a gift for my Mom.  I gave it to her on the Monday before Thanksgiving. I usually have my boys hide behind my quilts and hold them up.  But there really is no hiding behind this table runner.  

Close up of the back.

Sitting on my Mom's table.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Trying To Bind...

I am still working on my table runner.  I will show a finished picture of it later on in the week.  I don't want to show it all now because it is a surprise for someone.  :)

It would have been finished last night if it hadn't been for my grey cat, Sheen.  He could have just sat next to me on the table and I would have been fine, but he had an itchin' to play and he wanted to play with my table runner.  He just had to...

Play with my thread....

Bite the pins and pull them out...

And try to eat my needle.

Since it was already late, and I was tired, I decided to put it away.  Sometimes I leave my work out on this table, but with Sheen being in the mood that he was in I decided I better hide the pins.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Spare Time Spent Quilting

I spent most of my spare time today quilting this table runner.  I finished about half of it today. Hopefully I will find some time tomorrow to squeeze in more quilting time and finish it up.  This is the first time I have done such close quilting on an actual quilt.  So far I have only done it on fabric postcards.

All that practice on those small cards has sure paid off. I am really loving how it is turning out.

Do these fabrics look familiar?  I used the scraps from this project to make my fabric postcard tutorial last week. As you can see, I got sidetracked and made the postcards before I finished the main project.  I suppose I will always be that way, starting one project before another is finished.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Turkey and Pumpkin Pie

More fabric postcards for the coming Holiday.

Some embroidery designs are too cute to only stitch out one time, so I like to stitch them again and use them on my fabric postcards from time to time.  That is what I did for these two card designs.  I also added some of my own freehand quilting around the stitched out images.

This Turkey is now enjoying the Thanksgiving Holiday with my Mom.  Since it is my year to be at my in-laws for Thanksgiving, I sent this turkey to represent me for the holiday.  :)

The pumpkins below were made for the "Pumpkin Pie" swap for my Fabricards group.  I only needed one for that swap, but I made three anyway.  The other two are going to be surprises in the mail.  I love sending fabric surprises in the mail.  

The card on the right is a little blurry.
For some reason the scanner blurs the images when the items don't lay perfectly flat.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Fabric Postcard Tutorial

As requested, here is my version of a fabric postcard tutorial.  This is my very first tutorial so if you have any suggestions for improvement, or see any errors, please let me know.

Fabric postcards are made of three layers: the top (which is the art work), the middle, and the back.  They are very similar to quilts in this manner, just stiffer and smaller. This tutorial shows how to make a fall themed postcard, but these same concepts can be used to create any themed postcard.

*Out of peltex, or similar stiff stabilizer, cut a 4 x 6 inch rectangle.  
         This is your blank canvas.
*Out of your base fabric, cut a 4 x 6 inch rectangle.
*Using a green leafy fabric, cut a 2 x 6 inch rectangle.
*Using a light brown fabric, cut a 1.5 x 5 inch rectangle.
*Using Scraps, cut out three leaf designs.  
          For this postcard I used my Sizzix die cutter to cut out my leaves.  
*Out of muslin, cut a 4 x 6 inch rectangle.  This piece is for the back of the card.

Cut enough Wonder Under, or other similar fusing material, to fuse on the back of all your fabric pieces.
Iron them onto the back of your fabric.  I like to cut my wonder under the exact size as my pieces and then iron them on.  It helps keep the iron and the ironing board cleaner.

If you are going to use a die cutting machine to cut your leaves, it is best to iron the wonder under on the back before you cut out the shape.  It will save time by elimnating the trimming of the wonder under, and will help prevent getting sticky stuff on your iron.

Peel off the paper from the wonder under on the base fabric and the green leafy fabric.

Iron the base fabric onto the peltex.

Center the green strip of fabric on the base fabric and  iron on.

Using thread to match, add some decorative stitching to cover the raw edges of the green fabric strip.

I used a close zig zag stitch.
The width was set at 3.6
The length was set at .6

Peel off the paper from the wonder under on the light brown rectangle fabric and center it on top of the green leafy strip of fabric.  Iron it down.

Change your thread color and add some decorative stitching to cover the raw edges of this strip, just as you did for the first green strip.

I used the same zig zag stitch as above.

Place your three leaves how ever you like on the center of the light brown strip.  Once you have them where you like them,  iron them in place.
Since these leaves are too small for me to zig zag stitch around or use a blanket stitch, I decided to do some freehand stitching on top of them to make sure they stay on the card.  Wonder Under usually keeps things in place, but I like that extra security, plus the stitching looks good.  Put your feed dogs down, and "draw" some veins on your leaves with your sewing machine needle and thread.  I used two different threads for this. For the orange leaf I used a light brown thread and the other leaves I used an orange thread.

For extra flair, I did some free hand quilting on the outer edge of the base fabric.  This space is a good place to practice free hand quilting designs.

I didn't add any extra embellishments for this card, but If you wanted to add items such as beads or buttons to the card, this would be the time to do it.

We are almost finished. The hardest part, decorating the front, is complete.  But now we need to cover the back of the postcard to hide all our stitches.  Peel the paper off the wonder under and iron the muslin to the back of the postcard.

Trim off all the loose threads, fabric sticking out, or other fly aways.

 You can use your rotary cutter and ruler for this or a pair of sharp scissors.  I prefer to use scissors.  In the past when using a rotary cutter I have cut the peltex slightly and then my card gets all wonky instead of being a true rectangle.  It is these little things that make a fabric postcard look wonderful even if you only spent 30 min on it.

This step may seem super easy, but it is very important for a smooth edged card.

Choose a thread to accent the postcard
and set your zig zag stitch to:
Width = 3.6
Length = .4

Zig Zag stitch around all the edges of the card.  When doing this, you want your needle to only enter the fabric on the zig, but not the zag.  Take a look at the photo. When the needle comes down on the right, it is not catching any part of the card. It is resting right beside it.  If you master this technique, your card will have a nice clean edge.

For the corners, gradually turn the card as you enter the turn.  This helps give you nice smooth corners.

Add another round of zig zag stitching, with a stitch width of .2 to get a very dense filled in edging.

This photo shows my finished second round.

I don't like to clip my threads on a zig zag stitch.  If I do they keep wanting to pull out from both sides and I don't like getting the fabric glue out to keep them in place. So to prevent this, without breaking the thread, I change to a straight stitch and stitch just on the inside of the zig zag stitch all the way around the card.  At the end I tack the stitches and then clip the threads.  This extra stitching also adds a nice touch to the finished card.

Using a pen that can write clearly and legibly on the muslin, I usually use an Ultra Fine Tip permanent marker, write the words "Post Card" on the back.

 Address the card and put a stamp on it.

Flip the card over and admire it.

Don't forget to take a photo of it and then drop it in the mail.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

3 More Mosaic Color Play Blocks

Three more Mosaic Color Play blocks swapped.
The first went to Ionne in England, the second is at Barb's house in Michigan, and the last one is on its way to Nellie's house in Canada.

I have also collected 12 blocks of my own from my partners, all with the same center.
I will post Photos of those soon.  I just need to come up with a way to tie them all together.  

Now I am sending out a pink floral square to my partners.  (Before it was a blue and yellow starry night piece of fabric.)  Hopefully I will get enough of the flower blocks returned to me in order to make a smaller lap sized quilt before the swap is over.  

Monday, November 8, 2010

Waterfall #3

Waterfall Drawing #3
I finished the black and white part on Sunday.
I colored it in this morning.

I have now been challenged to draw a beach scene....

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Postcards from Quilt Leftovers

My newest postcards are made scraps leftover from a quilt I made in the summer of 2007. It was a rail fence quilt.
When I was making the quilt and cutting the squares for the rails, I didn't have quite enough fabric to get another full square, but I kept the leftovers figuring I would eventually rip out the stitches and have some 2in x 5in fabric bricks to play with later.
Well, three years have passed and I still haven't ripped out those stitches.  Then came along my newest postcard swapping theme "Skinny Skinny Strips",  and I knew just what fabrics to use.   These leftover rail fence blocks, or wannabe blocks, were just the right size to fit on my 4 x 6 postcards with enough fabric left over to make the skinny skinny strips on the top.  I added a flower and leaves to go with it and Viola!  My newest postcard!  I only needed 4 for the swap but I made seven.  So now I have some extra to send out.  Time to enter some 1 on 1 swaps and send a couple in the mail to some friends.  :)

This is the rail fence quilt I made in 2007 with an extra photo of the quilting.  I practiced my feathers on the blue and green fabrics and did some swirly Qs on the pink fabric and bug fabric.  It now resides in Tennessee with a good friend.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Framed Hexagon Swap

IFQ has a new swap, the Framed Hexagon Swap.
This is the first one I made to swap.

I am debating on how many I want to collect.

Monday, November 1, 2010

La Petite - A year of Small Projects - #1

 The Paganini pattern was the first pattern posted for the La Petite, A year of Small Projects.  Last year was A Year of Schibbles and I really enjoyed looking at the parade of quilts posted in October and was wishing I found out about those projects sooner.   Now a new "year" of projects has started and this time I signed up to play. 

I wasn't excited about this pattern at first, it just didn't seem to jump out at me, and I would never have purchased it on my own, but since I wanted to play, I jumped right in and bought it anyway.  Then as I started making it, I really began to like it.  It is sort of like shopping for clothes.  You see something not too great on the rack, but decide to try it on anyway.  Once you get it on, you find out you look great in it, fall in love with it, and take it home.  That was the same for me and this pattern.

The pattern was designed to use charm packs, but I don't usually buy charm packs, I have only purchased one in my whole 
lifetime.  So I cut the squares out of my yardage.  But when I cut one 5 inch strip to get enough squares, I still had half the strip left. So I kept cutting squares and decided to make two quilts.  After all, there are four designs to play with in this pattern,  I made V3 first, and with the extra squares I will make V4.  

Since this project was for the month of October, I decided I needed another Halloween decoration. So I cut into my collection of Halloween fabrics and my oranges for this quilt and I love how it turned out. I Absolutely love it!!  I wish I could work on the second one right away, but alas, I have other quilts that have deadlines looming, so I will have to put the rest of the fabrics in their own project bin till next year when I have free time to work on my own quilts.

Enough squares for two quilts.
Triangles laid out on my makeshift design wall to make sure I sewed my HST correctly.
HST stacked in 4 rows of 4 to start block construction.

I added some close up photos of the quilting for Tarnyia. :)