Saturday, August 31, 2013

A Happy Sampler

I love samplers. The second quilt I ever made was one that I named My Calendar Quilt.

And so was the one I did a couple years ago. All the blocks I was making were set on point to become an interesting bed topper.

The happy sampler I am talking about today is a collection of FMQ practice stitches. I didn't really intend to have it be something but I really like the way it looks so its getting binding and can live happily on a wall or tabletop while bringing smiles to those who see it. 
It's pinned with double fold binding. What do you think of the red? 

Do you make samplers? What do you like about them? Share the link to your blog post or photo site so we can enjoy your samplers too! Thanks for stopping by ThistleFire. I hope you have an inspired day!

Friday, August 30, 2013

Wrap Up August 30 '13

Another week has gone by. What have you done in your sewing room? This week, ThistleFire has many projects in the works. Here's all of my updates!

SSQC - this is the Club I go to - Second Saturday Quilting Club is beginning year 8 in a couple weeks. We have prep work to do for class 1.
This is for the mystery project we will work on at class. My main color is purple. Yay!

I am also signed up for the Round Robin project and the Sampler Quilt Project. Here is what I made for the Sampler. I LOVE samplers! I had to choose my favorite colors and I picked turquoise and peach. I'll show my block, the Crossed Ohio Star, to the other quilters and they will make a block to go with it but I can't look at any of them until June. Can't wait to see what my sampler will look like!

Winding Ways Throw - This has been an interesting progression. I'm trying out some techniques I learned in Craftsy classes.

The quilt is on the long arm and I came up with these ideas for the narrow border design. Wanting to keep curves in the motifs, I chose the top one.

Here it is quilted on the red border.

I wanted to make the circles predominate the top's design. I decided to put three stitched circles in each of them. You can see them: one in the center, one around the edge, and one in-between them. There is crossover with the lines on the half where the light and dark overlap. I'm likin' it!


Apple Core Sunset - All the sky strips are together and they need to be connected. Then the green grassy field will be added to the bottom of it.

I wish I took this in the correct "landscape" layout. If you tip your head over your right shoulder, you can make out the view. LOL Next week's image will be better!

FMQ Practice Panel - Hi fellow FMQ-ers seeing my post from the link with FMQ Friday at Leah Day's site!  I did a couple of my own ideas from sketches this week.
This was supposed to look organic and fern-like but I think it looks more like a scorpion. What do you think of it? Not sure I like it.

I do like these though. Little yellow flowers attached in a string. It's fun and pretty and reminds me of summer. I found that sewing them while moving side to side gave better results than when sewing up and down.

My practice panel is full! I could squeeze more stuff in it if I really want to but I think I'll leave it just the way it is. I like the fact I can see my progress in my FMQ ability over the time I took to make this. Some of my early stitches are just terrible but you can also see better stitches in the piece.

Here's the back. It looks good too!

BKF - All of the corner blocks were made and the edging strips are sewn together. They are pinned along on the sides where they need to be stitched.

Crazy Strip Blocks - Since BFK was worked on, I made more crazy blocks. The one on the bottom needs to be pressed and cut to size, obviously! These are such a riot to make! I did a short video about them.

YouTube Video - Yes, it's about how I go about making the crazy blocks.

Thank you so much for stopping by! I'd love to hear your thoughts on my updates! If you like what you see, please follow my blog and subscribe to my YouTube channel. If you want to post something for me to see, you can do that at my Facebook page, Pamelyn's Postings. Have a fantastic holiday weekend! See you next week................

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Periodic Table of Sewing Elements

Sharing! Courtesy of Scientific Seamstress. 

Friday, August 23, 2013

Wrap Up August 23 '13

This week has been so fun in ThistleFire! I had a few major peaks in some projects and others were on hold. C'est la vie! Here's the latest-

Winding Ways Throw - we have a sandwich! Yes! This one has a front...

And an interesting, creative looking back. This was developed according to the methods given on Creative Quilt Backs on Craftsy. I like it!
I have WW on the long arm but have to finalize the quilting direction for it. But I have ideas! And can you envision this about four times this size for a queen sized bed? Wow! Maybe someday...
Apple Core Sunset - five rows done and one to go before the sky is half-way pieced. 
You can start to see the look of a sunset in there. Next, the long sides of the cores need to be sewn together. Sparkie thinks it will be nice to lay on. Haha!
FMQ Practice Panel - I do believe the items I received in Leah Day's ultimate quilting kit has made a noticeable difference in my FMQ work. My stitches seem much more even and consistent. What do you think? Is it looking better? Speaking of Leah, I'm linking up with her FMQ Friday post! Hi everyone who is checking out my post from there!!!

If you have a Supreme Slider, you will recognize these practice patterns!

This cabling pattern was from a template. The travel stitching is barely noticeable. That alone makes me happy with my new FMQ "tools" that I am now using.

I made some happy faces by the date, August 18, which is a date that is important to me. =)

BKF - my blue kaleidoscope flowers waited patiently to be sewn on, but there was no time this week. I recently learned to paper piece with freezer paper and I am thinking about continuing with that method and how it is that I could pull that off. Mwah-ha-ha! 

Crazy Strip Blocks - I have 30 blocks made so far. None were made this week. They are bonus blocks that are made from scraps cut off of BKF so if I don't work on that, then these pretty much aren't made either. It will be interesting to see how many I wind up with when BKF is done being pieced. I do have more of those blocks to complete so I'll make some more of these.

YouTube Video - my thoughts were all about cutting tools this week. Hope you get some ideas from it!
So that's it for this week! I am enjoying making these wrap ups. If there's anything you'd like to see in a video or have comments for me, please let me know! I'd love to hear from you. Thanks for stopping by ThistleFire! Sew with me!

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Great Night To

Make a sandwich! 

A ThistleFire quilt sandwich, of course! 

In order to get to this point, I had to "do the math" for figuring out measurements for the back. 

Make sense? I learned how to do this stuff from the Craftsy class, Creative Quilt Backs. There was an aspect of this that I was trying to do. Now I understand how to do it!

So, here's the view of the back. I think it's really interesting!

The front is even more interesting to look at! What do you think?

Now, it needs quilting and then binding. I will be putting this one in my craft shop. That's the sandwich I made tonight. What's happening in your sewing room?

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Necessity Brings Forth Invention

You've heard that saying. I probably didn't quote it exactly but the idea is the same. I had an issue and had to come up with a way to fix it.

I've begun to realize the importance of quality thread. Especially in the world of FMQ. It will improve your stitch integrity and craftsmanship. The thread I recently began buying is Isacord, as recommended and sold by by Leah Day. 

It sews like a dream but the issue I had was it didn't sit upright on my machine's spool holder. The inside of the cone is spacious and it would tilt off to one side. 

This didn't keep me from sewing with it. It just bugged me. Who's with me?

I came home with this contraption one day. It looks very pro like next to my machine! But I found the thread would twist more than I liked when it was pulled upwards, instead of more straight when being spun off the spool. Nope, that contraption wasn't going to help me. 

I was laying in bed last night and it just popped into my head, "try putting a straw over the spool post to lengthen it." So today, I got one of my bendy straws and amazingly, it fit perfectly over the post. Now the spool stands much straighter. Joy!

I was going to trim down the straw but it looks so much more fun this way. Don't ya think?

So that was my big lightbulb-on invention today. Maybe I can market them! Anyone want to send me a buck for the ThistleFire Spool Post Extender? Probably not since you already have a box of them in your kitchen drawer! Have a great day today - sew with me!

Saturday, August 17, 2013

My Very Own YouTube Channel

That's right, folks. I have opened my own You Tube Channel to place my videos in one place. It was the best way to catch quick recordings and put them online and link them here. I hope you find them helpful in your sewing adventures!

So far, there are two videos posted. You can find my channel if you search for Pamelyn B and you can subscribe to it so you can get to them quickly from your channel feeds. As of today, I have 2 subscribers already! How exciting! You can also find them in my blog under the label YouTube.

I hope you enjoy the mini tutorials and lesson plans I have in mind for the future. Sew with me!

Friday, August 16, 2013

Wrap-up Aug 16th '13

This week has been handled a bit different in ThistleFire, since my DH and I were on vacation. We were out and about, going places, doing things, and enjoying the beautiful weather. I managed to get a few things done on the rainy day and later in the evenings after all other activities wound down. 

FMQ Experiment Sandwich - There was a nice looking FMQ on Leah Day's project, of which I link up with, at that caught my eye. It was found in the hair of a woman on a quilt and I really liked the way it flowed. When I was making it, I thought it would look great as waves or air currents in a quilt. I already have it in mind where I'll be using this one!

Blue Kaleidoscope Flowers - The four sides are sewn together. It was done in two sessions since I was distracted by making up some more crazy strip blocks!

Crazy Strip Blocks - Four more are done. The count is up to thirty!

Apple Core Sunset - I hand sewed another row of the sunset. I have four more rows to go, not three as implied in the picture. 

This is nice to have around to pick up and work on while in the chair or out on the porch. It also goes together fast. Nice for a little something to do during down time after dinner. I came to quickly realize that I cannot sew in the car; it makes me woozy. One product that was recommended by a friend was Thread Heaven thread conditioner. That stuff really does keep hand sewing thread from knotting up on you. Glad I got some to use on this!
Winding Ways Retro Throw - Getting to this point was a bit of a challenge for me. I didn't have templates to make the border pieces go from curved to straight. There was one template I had for another curved project that worked just right for the corners so that was a happy accident! I managed to figure out how to make an original template for the center sections and cut them out in their prospective colors. 
I am very pleased with how this is coming out so far! I plan to add red and turquoise borders in order to make it larger. So far it is only about 30" X 40" and I'd like to see it larger as a "throw" size, such as 50" X 60", as my project name suggests.

YouTube Videos - Yes, I started a YouTube channel! I hope you enjoy watching them as I share thoughts, reviews, lessons, and more. Here is my first video as I encourage you to Sew with me!
If you would like to see any specific topics, let me know! This is pretty exciting for me. I have plenty of things to say about sewing. Subscribe to my channel so you don't miss anything!

Some fabulous things came in the mail this week. See this post for all the details and video!

That's my week's wrap up. Pretty intense, isn't it?! What are you working on these days? I'd love to get your links to pictures here or on posted onto my Facebook page!

Thursday, August 15, 2013

I Got Great Mail

Here's what was delivered to my door today.

I made up a video with thoughts and reviews of these items. If you don't have the 10 minutes to watch it, just keep reading. :)

From Leah Day's store to me- the Supreme Slider, Little Magic Bobbin Genies, and Machinger's Gloves. They are all fabulous. I have noticed a better FMQ experience. Glad I ordered them!

And from Kimmy Brunner's store- the nested circle and melon template sets. These will be monumental in stepping up quilting designs on the regular and long arm machines. I can't wait to get them in use!

This baby didn't come in the mail but I wanted to show it. Fons & Porter Mechanical Compressed Chalk Marking Pen. So easy to use and see the marks on fabric. It brushes off when you're done. They are at Joanne's - get it!

What treasure have you bought for your sewing room lately? Recommendations or disappointments are ok here.

Monday, August 12, 2013

Adirondack Museum

We finally got there! Much to my delight, they had a building with antique quilts from the upstate New York area.

Here's a few of the exhibits that caught my eye.
There was something I really like about this one. It might have been the colors - they are ones I love to use!

The one on the wall looks like it would fit in to anyone's room today, but it was made in 1853. The one on the bed is a wholecloth quilt that, even though it's hard to see here, was absolutely beautiful.

Applique quilts showing things the north country has to do. I like the croquet one on the top left! I am a sucker for samplers!

Can you even stand this treadle machine? It was in superior condition!

There was much more to see around the museum. This is only one of the many buildings housing amazing artifacts from times past. Have you been there? What was your favorite display?

Friday, August 9, 2013

Wrap-up August 9th '13

I just realized that I usually have quite a few projects in the works and it would make sense to do a weekly wrap-up of the progress of each one, starting with the oldest project's progress and ending with the newest ones. I will label these posts as "Wrapup" so you could click on that in the Labels menu on the right side of the blog to find them all easily. It will be fun monitoring the progress what's happening in ThistleFire!

FMQ Experiment Sandwich - The sandwich has several sections on it with open space to try out FMQ stitches. The last one I put on it was the twisted ribbon and applique.

Blue Kaleidoscope Flowers - BKF has been set aside while other things are being done. This is an in-the-wings quilt project, ready for me when I'm ready to work on it some more. The blocks of the four outer rows are ready to be sewn together.

Crazy Strip Blocks - These are fun blocks to make from leftover fabric from other projects. Mine are being made out of the paper piece scraps from BKF and are all cut into 4-1/2" blocks. I plan to use them all over the back side of that quilt to give it a more interesting look. Last count, I have 26 of them! Here's some of them.

Apple Core Sunset - This is an interpretation of a sunset using the Apple Core pieces. The cores are cut, the row pieces are pinned in their order, and I am hand stitching them. I gave a short tutorial about that. Sometimes I want to sit in my living room and sew.

Curvy Placemat - DONE! The set of placemats were a really fun project to do. Sewing curves seems intimidating but it really isn't once you get the know-how. The FMQ was echo around the flowers and part of an 8-point star in the solid sections. See more at this post.

Winding Ways Retro Throw - Taking curve piecing to the next level, Winding Ways is the block to make that happen! I really like the look of the big circles that surround the blocks and played it up by keeping the edge curved instead of squared off. I am very happy with this project and look forward to finishing it up! Here it is laid out on my design wall... or should I say design floor.

So there you have it - my many projects and their progress. Check back each week (every Friday or Saturday) to see what has been given attention, what is done, and what has waited. There will be new projects that I will be working on as well that will be added to the list. I hope you enjoy visiting my sewing room, ThistleFire. Leave me your comments and come on back again anytime!

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Winding Ways Block

Craftsy has inspired me again. Here is another example of what you get from the Playing With Curves class by Anne Petersen - Winding Ways block. 

I had this fabric in my stash for a small blanket or throw. 

Isn't it a great combination? Turquoise and brown looks so great together!

The Winding Ways pattern was offered in Anne's class and I really liked the way it looked. This fabric was my top choice. 

There are three pieces needed in each block. You alternate where to place the lights and darks.
They remind me of a slice of pie, a "T", and a Star Trek communicator badge. 

But when you place them down as the pattern instructs, you get something that looks like this. 
These aren't sewn together yet but you can already start to see circles forming within the bigger design. I love that effect!

Here it is with almost all of the pieces used. It's a real eye-catcher!

At this point, I have cut enough for 18 blocks. I think I have enough fabric to make 24-25 and that would make a decent sized lap quilt. Or it could make a very nice tablecloth. Or I could leave it just like this. Oh the possibilities!

Have you made the Winding Ways block? Learn more at Craftsy if you need the pattern and lessons on how to make this block. I hope you give it a try!