Saturday, June 19, 2010


Hurray! A finish. "Little Patchwork Village" is done. For pattern information, please see my previous post. Last Saturday, I posted a picture of the completed first row. A week later, I have a finished quilt. The redwork took the longest of the process but not as long as the basket blocks I have been embroidering.
Once I got the star blocks all put together, I realized that I did not want to go much bigger with this quilt. The star blocks are 12" each so that the piece was 36". The pattern shows three borders of 2" each. A light one first, a red one, and then another light one. I had enough of the same background fabric to cut 1 3/4" strips to go around. That gave some space around the star blocks before binding. I used pieces of pinks and reds that were used in the quilt to create the binding. Though I liked the quilt as the designer made hers, this makes me happy.

Today is the monthly meeting of The Sew 'n Sews. It is about a 90 minute drive for me today to get there. I need to gather my stuff up and get ready to go. Another post soon. This is post 198. I have a give-away coming on post 200, so be on the look out.


Saturday, June 12, 2010


Welcome to my blog! Today I want to share some stitcheries with you. I am taking a break from stitching baskets, though I do have two new ones done. I have started working on "Little Patchwork Village" by Rosalie Quinlan. You can see the pattern here. And for those in the USA, the pattern is available here. I have the top row done. There are nine Village buildings and each is the center of a star. One of the buildings is a bird house. The stitching goes fairly fast in backstitch. Once I got three stitcheries done, I pieced the stars because I was anxious to see what they would look like. I am working on a 4th block now.
Here are the two basket stitcheries I have finished since my last post. The light is not the best this morning. Click on the picture to get a better view. The patterns are also by Chestnut Junction and are called "Patty Basket" and "Basket 'O Cats". I will be returning to stitching baskets soon as I still have a pile to go.

I am off to do some stitching. Come back soon.


Sunday, June 6, 2010


Yesterday, I was reading a little bit on a blog about commitment to showing the process of making our quilts instead of just showing a finished product. I am going to go back and read more on it as I found it interesting. I know that I like to see the different stages of a quilt that a fellow blogger is making and interesting to know that many others feel the same way. In that spirit, I am going to show you just a bit of the raw edge machine applique I am working on today.

The first picture is of "Grace". There is no explanation with the pattern as to who Grace is but I have to say she looks like a garden angel to me. This is a Cheri Saffiote-Payne pattern and I showed the fused piece in a recent post. I want to do the machine stitching on the raw edges so I can complete the wall hanging. I used Heat 'n Bond Lite for the fusing process. The pieces still have a softness to them as I used just a ring of the fusible around the edge. About 1/4" wide. Since I have already done that, I will show the process on another post when I am working on a new piece.
I use 50 wt. cotton thread for the edge stitching. I use whatever I have available that is very close to the color of the particular piece I am about to stitch on. I have Guterman, Mettler, and DMC threads in my container. The plastic container they are stored in is two-sided. I purchased three of these containers quite some time ago at Walmart in the toy department. They are meant to house the little metal cars that the boys collect. I wish I could find more of them but Walmart no longer has them.
I have a plastic case for bobbins. I am thinking about purchasing some of the rubber donut shaped rings that hold the bobbins or a better bobbin case as this does not hold the bobbins up for viewing the color very well. These were freebies that came with some plastic storage containers I bought. I keep these bobbins separate from any other bobbins I might use so that I know that I am using the correct weight and type of thread on my project.
I have a Bernina sewing machine. The foot I use is a #20 open toe foot. This allows me to easily see where I am stitching. I also have an open toe foot that has a light green bottom and is teflon coated. I don't use it but it might be handy depending on what kind of fabrics you are stitching on.
I use a #45 stitch on my machine (Bernina Aurora QE440). I found out that the stitch numbers are not the same on all Bernina models and I wonder why. I set the stitch width and length to 2.0. Oh, the stitch is what I call a button hole stitch. One that travels along the edge of your applique piece and then takes a bite in and back out. I can take the width down when I am doing sharp points or narrow edges. I also change the needle position by moving it all the way to the right. That way I can use the inside edge of the foot as a guide for it to travel along the edge of the applique fabric. I study the quilt and, just like in hand applique, choose a piece that is fused down first. In other words, the most under part. I chose the angel wings on this one as the dress is over the top of the wings. I try to think about what other pieces I might be stitching with the same color thread and plan in advance. You can have a lot of thread color changes on a more complicated applique piece. I select a thread color that is as close as possible to the applique part I will be stitching on. I find it better to go a bit darker than lighter if I can't match exactly.
After I have stitched around the applique piece, I cut the threads leaving them long enough to bring them to the back, tie a knot, and then thread them through some of the stitching. I use a self-threading needle for this. I prefer the John James self-threading needles. If you are not familiar with a self-threading needle, they have a small open slot at the top. I pull the threads taut over that slot and they pop down in. Saves trying to thread an eye of a needle. I prefer the John James because I had thread breakage using another brand. Sometimes the slot opening would fray and cut the thread as I attempted to get my threads down into the eye and leave me with too short of a piece to work with on the back.
Once I have the threads pulled to the back, I tie a double knot (surgeon's knot) and then thread the ends into the needle top again. I run the threads through 3 or 4 or five stitches on the back and then trim. This keeps the thread ends from showing through to the front. Sometimes while I am machine stitching, a thread end on the back will get caught under my stitching. I just leave it by trimming the loose part sticking out. I know you can't see any too well in this next photo but it is of the threads about to be pulled through the machine stitching.
I just recently discovered aged muslin and that is what I have used for the background on the quilt. Aged muslin is different than the tea dyed muslins you can purchase. Aged muslin has variations of color all over the fabric. It looks to me like it has been scrunched up before going into the dye bath. The purchased tea dyed muslins look solid in color to me.

I hope you found my process description interesting and helpful.

Stop back again soon.


Wednesday, June 2, 2010


Welcome to my blog! June has arrived and time to change my monthly stitchery sign on the antique wringer. June is the last one that I have the stitching finished with. I have July through December prepped. That means I have to do July sometime this month so I can be ready for another change. I like the beehive on this one. Beehives are popular in stitcheries and applique. I have never seen a real beehive like this but would like to. Has anyone seen one?
I finished some more basket stitcheries. The top one is from a pattern called "Basket O'Candy Canes". The lower one on the left from a pattern called "Lil Basket Tree". And the lower one on the right is "Basket 'O Berries". A commenter said that I needed one called "Basket 'O Baskets". That would be a good pattern to find! I have another basket stitchery almost done so I am still on a roll with them. These three stitcheries are all from patterns by Chestnut Junction.
My first finish for June is the little wall hanging I showed previously from a pattern called "Sew Good" by Cheri Saffiote-Payne. The pattern has a total of three little quilts. This was my favorite. If you are interested in prim style and have not seen Cheri's patterns, you can see them here. There are lots to select from. I had traced the month and year onto the background beside the basket and used May. That gave me incentive to get it done during May. I finished it with 40 minutes to spare!
Back to my stitching!