Friday, August 28, 2015

Busy! Busy! Busy!

Just because I haven't been blogging, doesn't mean I haven't been busy.  I've been doing things a bit slower since I injured my hand on the way home from the Michigan TOGA (bottom of post).  I finally went to the doctor earlier this week.  He sent me for x-rays (no fractures, thank goodness) and I now have an appointment with a hand specialist for next week.  I still think I damaged the ligaments, but, we'll see what the specialist says. 

Here are some of the things I've been working on recently.  I've worked on my Red, White and True quilt along tops.  I've changed mine up so that they fit the sizes needed for a Quilt of Valor.

I took a row out of the middle of the quilt to make them a bit shorter.  Yes, I'm making 3 of these, but, I only have 2 tops this far.  I took apart the blocks from the row that I didn't use, and, I figured out how to use them in the border instead.
my graph showing how I will finish these tops
I only have to cut some of the white to add to the block pieces that I took apart.  I also need the white for the little, inside border.  I don't think I have enough white left over for the quilt in the top picture.  Maybe I'll 'frame' it in red or blue instead of using the white for a frame, before I add the pieced border.  I like the white better, since it seems to make the top 'float'.  Hopefully I'll get more done on these at the next Quilts of Valor sew-in on Tuesday.

Remember this frog quilt top? 
Frog quilt top
Not only did I make a backing for it (not basted or quilted yet) but, I started on a 2nd Frog quilt, using different frog fabrics.  I have the blocks made.
blocks for 2nd Frog quilt
Here are the fabrics I'll be using for the sashing and cornerstones.
stripe for sashing, green frogs for cornerstones
The first Frog quilt is for a friends husband, but, the 2nd Frog quilt will be for charity.  Both need to be finished before Christmas.

Remember the baby quilt I made that turned pink?  Well, that baby quilt is due in 3 weeks.  I made a new top.  I pre-washed the Minkee (red) this time.  Guess what?!?!  The Red Minkee bled again.  I've treated it with Retayne, and washed it again with another color catcher.  This time the color catcher came out white (thank goodness).  This is a WARNING to all of you out there!  Pre-wash your RED Minkee, just in case!  Now I need to baste and quilt this.
NEW Churn Dash baby quilt top
And YES, I pre-washed and pre-treated ALL of the fabrics for this quilt BEFORE I cut anything out.  I'm not taking any chances. (all the quilt top fabrics for the last quilt had been pre-washed and treated, too, just not the Minkee).

I've also been working on some other projects, bit by bit.  I've started the blanket stitching on these RV placemats and pot holders (8 of each).

The blanket stitch on my Janome works great for a while, then the tension starts messing up.  Do you know how hard it is to remove bad blanket stitches?  Let me tell you, IT'S HARD!.  I've already changed the needle once on this project.  I'll change the needle again, when I go back to it.  A new needle seems to help a lot! 

I've also been working on my little guild's challenge block.  We are supposed to make a 12.5" unfinished block with either a witch or a scarecrow for our October meeting.  As usual, I'm making two blocks (one for the challenge, and one I will turn into a wall hanging for me).  This is as far as I've gotten so far.
Witch blocks
I still need to draw on the words so that I can embroider them.  This is the pattern.
Hopefully I'll get the words traced onto the blocks this weekend.

I did get a fun package in the mail yesterday.  I was involved in another pin cushion exchange with my Treadle On group.  I forgot to take a picture of the finished pin cushion that I made.  Here are pictures of the unfinished pin cushions I made.
I sent the pin cushion on the RIGHT (I kept the one on the left for me)

back of pin cushion, signed
Well, I got my exchange pin cushion in the mail yesterday.  I even got a bonus pin cushion from the hostess (how sweet).
pin cushion from exchange, isn't he CUTE!

pin cushion from the hostess of the exchange
Usually people send a gift to the hostess.  I've never heard of the hostess sending gifts.  Thanks Stephanie!

Oh yea, I did get a FINISH in the past few weeks.  I finished the binding on the twin size Churn Dash quilt.
twin size Churn Dash quilt (DONE!)
Now to go FINISH some of my projects!

Friday, August 14, 2015

Some Whoop! Whoops! and a Major Disappointment!

This post is supposed to be all Whoop! Whoops!, but, I have one major disappointment included. 

I made a baby quilt for a friend.  The baby shower is one month away.  I'll have to make a whole new baby quilt now. :(

This is the quilt, before the binding, and before washing.  Yes, I'd washed all the fabrics on the front of the quilt, but, I didn't wash the Minkee backing fabric.  I've never had a problem with Minkee before.
quilted, before binding and washing
This red Minkee bled all over the baby quilt.
baby quilt after binding and washing
 Check out the background fabric I used, next to the washed baby quilt. 
background fabric is now pink, not off white
Almost all of the color fabrics on the front of the baby quilt were what was left over from my son's wedding quilt.  I'd washed and treated each color with Retayne before I started making his quilt.  Now I have to go buy more fabric, since I don't have most of the colors needed anymore.  For once, this was NOT a fabric purchase I wanted to make. 

I do have a few Whoop! Whoops! that I've been working on.  Not much sewing going on this past week, but, I have lots ready for stitching now.

I made 8 of each of these RV's.  Four of each will become pot holders, and the other 4 of each will become placemats.  These are for hubby's aunt and uncle, who live in an RV full time, and for my brother and sister-in-law, who own an RV.
I'll stitch these thru the batting and backing, and, then the quilting will be done.  I just have to cut out the placemat fronts.  The placemats will be a yellow with white geometric print. 

I'm also working on a secret project.  The fusible isn't sticking very well on this one for some reason (same fusible as in the RV's).  I'll stitch across everything with a mono-filament thread.  I've not use mono-filament thread in several years.
hiking mini quilt
Hubby is a back packer, hiker and camper.  He can hang this in his cubicle at work.  I hope I don't mess it up, trying to stitch over all the pieces.  Some of the pieces are tiny!  I was using tweezers to hold them in place. 

I'm off to pick up another sewing machine.  When people know that you collect old machines, they keep offering them to you.  The lady said that this machine needs some work.  We'll see.  If it works, I will give it to a friends sister, whose machine just broke.  A win-win for everyone.

Sunday, August 2, 2015

Slow Stitching Sunday

I am slow stitching today.  I'm not hand quilting, but, I am hand stitching the binding down on this quilt.
hand stitching the binding down
This is the front of the quilt.
twin churn dash quilt
This quilt will be going to Illinois tornado victims, thru Quilts of Compassion.

I'm linking up at Kathy's Quilts.  Check out her post today, and, go read the great story about finding the 'owner' of a thrift shop quilt.  Great story!

Friday, July 31, 2015

Beginning, Middle and End

I have a couple projects that are in 'stages'. 

I started 8 snowmen mug rugs this week.  These don't have to be finished until January, but, it was nice to get them started.  So, here is my 'beginning'.

8 mug rug tops
My 'middle' was actually done last week, but, I didn't post about it.  The Frog Churn Dash quilt top is done.  Now to make the backing and get it basted and quilted.
Frog Churn Dash quilt top
Since the colors don't show well in the picture above, here are pictures of just the blocks, before I stitched them together.
blue Frog blocks

green Frog blocks
Now for my 'finish'.  I still need to stitch the binding down by hand, but, other than that, this quilt is DONE!  This quilt will be going to Illinois tornado victims thru Quilts of Compassion.
twin size churn dash quilt

 The colors are washed out in this picture, sorry.  Here is a better picture of just the quilt top.
twin size churn dash top

OK, not that much better.  I never said I was a photographer. 

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Repairing a quilt

Several people asked me how I repaired the quilt that the dog chewed thru.  It was pretty simple, really.
hole that the dog chewed
The hardest part of this repair was finding a white fabric that matched this.  The white fabric (and the red fabric) in this quilt are poly-cotton mix.  I don't purchase poly-cottons, usually.  I finally found a white that was close (all cotton).  I cut a circle out of that cotton, that was slightly larger than the hole.  I blind stitched it on the front of the quilt.  You can see the circle in the picture below.
white fabric stitched over the hole.
Next, since the batting in this quilt was a poly batting, I pulled out a scrap of poly batting and cut an oval shape, slightly larger than the hole in the quilt.  I pinned it on the back of the quilt (no picture, since I wasn't going to blog about this).

Next, I found a pale muslin fabric that was closest to matching the backing fabric.  This time I cut a larger piece, since the fabric on the back was damaged in a slightly larger area.  I cut a square with rounded edges and blind stitched it to the back (yes, I moved the pin that was holding the batting in place).  You can see the muslin patch in the picture below.
muslin patch on back of quilt
I then took my Frixon pen, and lightly marked where the quilting should go, on the front patch.  This stitching was enough to hold the batting in place. (picture of the quilting is in the top picture).

Here is the finished quilt repair.  I bet you can't find the patch.
finished quilt repair
Nina picked her quilt up this afternoon.  She was very pleased with the repair.  Happy customer, happy me!

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Slow Stitching Sunday

I was contacted a couple of days ago, and asked if I could repair a quilt.  Her puppy had chewed a hole thru the quilt.  This quilt was made in the late 1980's.
Quilt I was asked to repair
Here is the hole the dog made.
dog chewed thru quilt
This is a pretty quilt, but, both solid colors are not 100% cotton.  I finally found a white that matches pretty closely.  The backing is a bleached muslin, and the batting is poly batting. 

After I finish repairing the hole on both sides, I'll try to match the quilting pattern.  This entire quilt was made by hand.  Look closely, and you can see the stitches holding the 2 red pieces together.  Both the red and the white are poly cotton blends. 
all hand stitched and hand quilted
Thank goodness this hole isn't very big.  Unfortunately, no matter what I do, it will show the repair.  This is a special quilt, as a family member made it for her. 

I'm linking up with Kathy's Quilts for Slow Stitching Sunday.

Saturday, July 25, 2015

Red, White and True Step #4

I am participating in Jean's Red, White and True quilt along.  This is a fun and simple quilt along.  It is also quick.  I'd be quicker, if I wasn't making 3 different sets at the same time. 

I finished step #4 last night on all three kits.  I'll show the blocks from last week, along with this week's blocks, so that you will get a good picture of everything together.
Set #1, last week's blocks
Set #1, this weeks blocks
Set #2, last week's blocks
Set #2, this weeks blocks
Set #3, last week's blocks
Set #3, this weeks blocks
Jean has 2 different sizes that you can make this quilt, lap size and twin size.  It would be easily adapted to other sizes, too.  I'm making the twin size for all of mine. 

I'm ready for next Monday's directions.