Fabric Thursday

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!

 

Hexagon-itis

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.
Happy Thanksgiving!
I am thankful for my blogging friends!

Yesterday’s Blocks

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.
20170110_214617475_ios 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.

20170111_002303186_ios 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.

 

Magical Pillowcase

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.
20161209_212434098_ios

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.

Present Project

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…hopeful
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.
20161127_012719202_ios
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.

20161127_014212371_ios

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.

Quilters

“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.

20161117_212043107_ios   20161117_231140050_ios

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.