There is so much information, and so many wonderful people in the blog world. For the past week or so, I had been stuck in the creating process. In my usual unorganized manner, I looked through Pinterest, viewed tutorials, pulled books and magazines…and got nowhere. Then I visited with quilters and associates at the Mesquite Bean Quilt Shop. I purchased the Floral Pets fabric, but still had no real plan. I just knew that I wanted to do something different than the free pattern.
That’s where Melanie McNeil enters the picture. I read her post, Project Process, and that was the jump start I needed. Each step of the process got me closer to visualizing what I wanted. I am now “executing chosen solutions”. Thank you, Melanie!
The blocks are still not in final order. I have run out of Kaffe Fassett floral remnants, so, I guess I will be making another trip to a fabric store. 😉
Right now, it still looks pretty traditional. My plan is to jazz it up…somehow.
I need to repeat steps 1-3!
I have been trying to figure out what I want to do next. I have a long “Someday” list, and I have been studying tutorials in preparation for some of these small quilting projects. It had been a while since I visited the Mesquite Bean, so I grabbed my shopping bag and headed out. I had some errands to run after a hectic morning, so I knew a trip to the fabric shop was just what I needed.
I knew that on Tuesdays, the store opens up the back room for a sew along. The shop was humming with activity, both in the store front and in the back room. I shopped around for some fat quarters, then I found two cute panels called Floral Pets.
One of the super helpful associates, Mechelle, told me that the ladies in the backroom were all making quilts with a pattern that used these panels. The pattern was designed by Mary Kay Davis for Thread on the Floor. It is a free pattern that can be found on Blend fabrics.
I meandered my way to the backroom and was immediately welcomed by all the quilters. What I found interesting, was that each person was working from the same pattern, yet each quilt was different. Some just made a dog house quilt. Some just made a cat in a basket quilt. Some made it wider, others made it longer. They used the same suggested fabric, but utilized it in different places. I apologized for being nosy and asking dumb questions. One of the quilters reassured me that there is no such thing as being nosy or asking dumb questions when talking with quilters. Each one shared their techniques for adjusting to the different sizes of the the individual panels. I also learned ways to problem solve other technicalities. When I said I was thinking of making a quilt using both the dog and the cats together, some of them said they wished they had thought of that.
The suggested coordinating fabrics are pretty, but they are a little too pastel for me. I held the panels next to some Kaffe Fassett floral and polka-dot prints. I loved the way the bold colors made the pastel floral pets pop out. I have some good remnants of the Kaffe Fassett polka dots, so I just bought some floral designs and some white and black polka-dot fabric. I am going to play around with this a bit.
It is so much fun to meet and share with other quilters. There is always something new to learn.
Francine, from Las Colchas, had told me to drop by on Thursday so she could assess the faded photo problem I had with the quilt I made for my grandson. I could not wait until Thursday. Since I needed more fabric for the log cabin quilt, I dropped by the Mesquite Bean this morning. There were quite a few experienced quilters there, since they meet on Tuesdays to work on projects. The consensus there was to keep the faded photos, wash with fabric color catchers ( I always do), and try adding some Retayne.(to stop the bleed). I then drove over to Las Colchas. Francine wasn’t there, but Vicky was working. She is a super talented and artistic quilter. Vicky confirmed what the quilters at the Mesquite Bean recommended.
I just pulled the quilt out of the dryer, and I am happy with the results. It did not fade or bleed any further. The dryer poofed up the quilt and it looks bright and bold.
I guess this is my Wabi-Sabi quilt.
After being cooped up for two weeks, I ventured out with one of my Meemaw friends.
We hit two quilt shops, Mesquite Bean and Las Colchas. We squeezed in a lunch in between shops.
I found some Grunge fabric that I have been wanting.
Then, I let myself be talked into getting a pattern for a bag. My friend and I plan to make the same purse this Sunday. I really do not need another bag, but I found some linen fabric that convinced me. She chose a fabric with owls.
The pattern is by The “Lucille” Bag by Abbey Lane Quilts.
This is my stitch meditation for today:
It is great to be back on my feet again.
Of course, I had to spend this day shopping for fabric!
Recently, I have come down with an interest in making hexagon blocks…hexagon-itis.
It all began when I read a book by Sandy Gilreath; 52 Tuesdays-A Quilt Journal.
Gilreath told the story of her year in 52 hexagon blocks. She uses many different techniques for each block; including raw edge and needleturn applique, free motion quilting, hand embroidery, etc..
I really liked the idea of making a journal with fabric, and the author encourages people to do the same.
Previously, Mary Puckett, from Zippy Quilts, had posted about One Block Wonder quilts.
I checked out the book she recommended, plus some others, and I am fascinated by the beauty of this kaleidoscope quilt made of hexagons. The books give great directions and have helpful photos, but I am a bit concerned about choosing the correct fabric and cutting it accurately.
I checked with the Mesquite Bean and also with my friend at Las Colchas.
My friend, Francine said to drop on by her shop and she would give me some guidance.
The Mesquite Bean is offering a one day class in OBW in January.
They also offer a free sewing time every Tuesday available for people to come work in the back room, and ask for guidance if needed.
I know I want to make a OBW, and I am thinking of making a 52 hexagon journal quilt.
I also viewed many tutorials online.
The problem I still have is with the quilting of the hexagon.
Do you quilt through the top fabric, the batting, and the backing; or, do you just quilt the top and batting?
I saw a video on You Tube by CraftyAttic. In this video, the top layer, a layer of sheeting were quilted.
After these two top layers were quilted, they were embellished with embroidery, beads, and other things. After the decorative stitches and things were done, a backing was added.
Today, I used one of my wonky blocks that I had in my “What Do I Do With This?” box.
I practiced with free motion on a practice block.
This is the first time the threads did not loop or pucker. I had read a tutorial on how to fix this problem.
My meandoring is not the best, but it looks okay on a 6.5 ” hexagon. I embellished it with ribbon-thread embroidery and some buttons.
I also chose to follow the directions from CraftyAttic, and just free motioned the top and sheeting; but I placed the batting between the two.
I stitched in the ditch.
But this is what concerns me.
Is this too loose, and will it separate?
I am planning to visit Las Colchas on Saturday, on Support Local Business Day.
I think I will take this hexagon and ask the experts in the shop.
What do you think?
Would you quilt all layers?
Would you quilt only the top, batting, and sheeting?
Anyway, this is all for the rest of the weekend.
I plan to enjoy the holiday.
I am thankful for my blogging friends!
My favorite hair salon is close to Mesquite Bean.
So, naturally, I drove on over to the fabric shop after I got a badly needed hair cut.
I found the three fabrics I needed for the borders on the Transformer quilt.
I was able to finish the autobot face today.
I will put the borders on next week, since I am taking a few days off.
It was so much fun being back in the classroom yesterday.
Being with first graders…always good for the soul!
These are the two blocks from Block a Day I made yesterday afternoon.
Block # 273 Block Cross
I had purchased the gray and white polka dot fat quarter from Hobby Lobby on one of my recent trips.
The purple floral fabric fat quarter was purchased at Mesquite Bean.
They looked good together before I pieced the block, but now that it is pieced I think it sort of washes out.
I will have to rethink this.
Block #294 Kew Garden
The floral print is from a quilt I made one of my daughter-in-laws.
I am also questioning my choice of colors on this block.
While I was at the Mesquite Bean, I consulted with Joy about how to best sash this quilt.
I found some fabrics that I might choose for the sashing.
My friend told me that she had made Burrito pillowcases for her granddaughters.
I found an online tutorial , twiddletails , where I learned that these pillowcases are also known as Magical Pillowcases.
The tutorial was very easy to follow.
I’m still learning and trying to build my sewing skills, so I was happy to learn how to make a French seam!
I made these pillowcases to coordinate with the space quilts I made for my two youngest grandchildren.
Now, I am looking for a good pattern to make organizational fabric baskets/containers.
I found a few on Pinterest.
There is also a round fabric canister kit at Mesquite Bean.
Any suggestions are welcomed.
It’s been two years since I started quilting.
So far, I have made 18 quilts.
Currently, I am working on #19.
Out of the eighteen quilts, 12 were my original design, 2 were kits ( plus the kit I am working on now ), and 4 were patterns I found online.
I really prefer to design my own quilts, and I plan to continue to learn about different quilt blocks and new techniques in order to improve my designs.
Maybe, ONE DAY, I will also learn how to quilt my own quilts…
In the meantime, I will concentrate on designing and piecing.
Recently, I discovered Pat Sloan online. She is a quilter, author, and designer.
I learned about Pat Sloan through a blog that I follow, Texas Quilting.
Thought I would share information about these quilters, since they have been very helpful in my efforts to learn and improve.
Recently, I found a kit that was just bright, cheery, and ready to make.
I purchased the Morning Sun kit at the Mesquite Bean.
The quilt in this kit was designed for Northcott, using fabric created by Deborah Edwards.
The pattern was printed by Sew Little Time.
The fabric is beautiful and the directions are easy to follow.
This is all I have completed so far.
My back is still very “iffy” from when I twisted it last week, so I am moving rather slowly on this.
The last three rows are ready to attach as soon as I complete the sashing.
My goal for tomorrow will be to complete the sashing, and possibly add the first border.
“When we give cheerfully and accept gratefully, everyone is blessed.”
― Maya Angelou
In previous posts, I have written about the quality of people I have met in fabric stores.
My experience has been very positive.
The people in the shops I have visited have always been willing to give cheerfully.
They shared their expertise and demonstrated a genuine interest in helping me be successful in whatever project I shared with them.
Today was just another example.
Michelle, at Mesquite Bean, greeted me with a smile.
She had heard I was coming, since I had called ahead.
She knew my frustration with the process of applique.
Everyone had said that it is easy to learn how to applique.
I have studied many tutorials, and made many attempts.
But I had gotten no where.
Without hesitation, Michelle helped me set up my machine.
A good teacher lets the learner learn by doing.
She had me explain every part of my machine…something I did not really know.
I had never really taken the time to learn each part of the machine.
Michelle explained the tension, the length and width of stitches, and the different types of stitches.
We then figured out which setting would be best for satin stitching.
After different attempts, we found what would work best for my applique project.
I returned home and completed the first set of circles.
Michelle also gave me tips on how to use the Lite Steam-A-Seam 2 more effectively.
When working on the orange circles, I had found it difficult to spread the fusible smoothly across the length of the fabric.
Well, I followed Michelle’s tips on the blue circles.
It came out smoother, but I did it on the wrong side!
So, I will have to purchase some more tomorrow so I can complete the blue circles.
Thank you, Michelle.
I accept your help cheerfully.
I am blessed to meet so many wonderful people.