Saturday, February 28, 2015

Ready For Spring

I'm not alone to say, "I'm ready for spring!" This winter has been cold and gray; we all need to see color around us again. 

Last year, my splash of spring during the blah days of winter was the making of this banner. 
It was displayed right by my front door as a reminder if what was coming! And it's there again right now!

My sister was my inspiration this week. She gathers her beautiful decorations and tablecloths and dishes that are reflective of the seasoned sets them out around her home. We went to some shops and she bought a pretty platter that had daffodils on it so she could use it special during spring. Love it!

Now my table had a dark topper on it. It was one of the first projects I made when I started to quilt. 
As much as I love this mini quilt, it doesn't say spring. At all. It had to come off my table. 

While I was grocery shopping yesterday, I saw some beautiful tulips that were near the registers. I'm a sucker for tulips! And even more so for multi-colored tulips! I got a bunch and brought them home. 
Notice the bright tablecloth? Better!

These are some Easter things that I grew up with. 
The bunnies were always set out at this time of year. My mom did some seasonal decorating too! And these eggs are very old and so delicate; made by my mom's grandma, I believe. The designs were painted on with a metal tip coated with melted wax, were let dry, and then were dipped in color. After that, they were dipped in hot water to remove the wax and the designs magically appear! We always blew out eggs and decorated them each year but didn't make them like this. There aren't many of these eggs left in our family so I try to take good care of them!

Now that's better! My kitchen needed this spring facelift!

Do you decorate for spring? What are your seasonal treasures?

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Bikers Like Memory Quilts Too

I have a friend who makes tshirt memory quilts and I have been dubbed "her quilter" for them. Me! We have put together some fun quilts and this one is by far the wildest! And one of my biggest that I've done in a while. 

It covered the entire table behind my machine! The chairs would keep it from sliding onto the floor. 

Check out these shirts! They needed something more special than a simple all-over design. 

I would do lots of outlining around the art.

The wording would be bubbled or underlined.

There were places where echoing looked good. 

Sometimes you can't see much of the stitching. But it's in there!

The stitches in the flag made it look 3D in the folds of the wave. 

There was quite a bit of stitching in here but the graphics hid it well. 

Outlining the three features in this block made them pop. 

Crazy graphics!

The red stitches in the eyes, nose, and mouth made this one look really unique.

I never realized there were so many biker events in so many places. 

I love the way this one came out. I almost want to be a biker!

Circular outlining came in handy here!

Curve lines fit this bill. 

And straight anglular lines were a must here. 

This one wanted echoes. 

This was another one where the red stitching added a lot to the look of the face.

The south gets in on the biker action!

It's hard to see here but every rider and all the words and banners are outlined. 

The red looked really cool in this grey-toned shirt. 

The head and headlight are outlined and they puff up. 

All of the borders were sewn in this flamey stipple. 

Here it is in action! I'm going to have to smuggle it out of the house to keep it away from my hubby!

And the back has black and flames. Perfect for any biker!

If you would like a custom tshirt quilt made for you, leave a comment to let me know! We'll get it done for you!

Monday, February 16, 2015

FMQ - Then and Now

I began having a desire to learn free motion quilting in 2012. I would watch videos made by Leah Dayfor months before I actually decided to give it a go. I had a quilt to quilt! It was an ambitious goal but I was ready to take it on. The quilt I began on was pulled out of the closet this week to go on the bed. I have learned much sine then. Mostly because of practice! 

Here are some "then" shots with my comments. 

This square shows my early stage of stitching near the ditch. I knew I couldn't be that exact so this was my solution to that technique.

In the corners of this block, I attempted to place straight and curved lines. 

This one has looped corner boxes in the brown squares. The one in the center is quite wild!

I remember feeling good over the fills in these drunkard's path circles!

I wasn't overly concerned about poor tension or loops in the back. Obviously, that's not a good strategy. Many lines in this block are unraveling. 

The FMQ learning process is an amazing one. With practice, skills and abilities expand to exciting levels! Here are some "now" pictures.

This is a fun example of interesting possibilities. 

Who doesn't love feathers? The entire butterfly is traced around with stitches. I'm definitely doing better at that!

The organic feel of the bamboo is quite nice.

The sky's the limit when you get good at FMQ! Have you tried this skill? Don't be discouraged! You will improve every time you practice. You'll stop holding your breath when you're sewing. You'll recognize the sounds that your machine makes as it slows and speeds up. You'll get more creative and more brave. More focused and more interested in expanding your ability. You'll make audition swatches and practice sandwiches just for fun. You'll find your favorite and least favorite patterns to sew.  You'll be a Free Motion Quilter!

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Dazzle Burst - Clue 6, The Final Reveal Video

Here is the video for this clue! Check out my post for the write up and photos.

Thank you for joining in on my mystery project! I'd love to hear your comments or see links to your post about what you made or share your pics on my Facebook page.

'Til next time!

Dazzle Burst - Clue 6, The Final Reveal

This is the clue we've been working towards. I made a video post for this clue so check it out if you want a visual!

It's the reveal! Aren't you excited? I am!

But first things first. There's a few steps to do before the top is together.

Last week, we made a pile if these blocks. Do you know the name of this block? 
It's called Fox and Geese! And we have 42 of them ready for quilt-top action. 

Take two of them and set them up like this. Take the right block and set it on the left one, right sides together of course!

Line up the seams in the center of all the edges. You can pop a pin at those points if you want help holding them in place. 

We will sew that center seam. Starting at the dark blue triangles...

...down the side to the light blue squares. While I sewed this seam, I would stop and made sure the two yellow points were lined up to each other as I approached them, adjusting them if they were not matched up. 

Sew all the pairs of the blocks together until you have 21 sets that look like this. 
That center seam will be bulky where the triangles meet. Press it open to minimize the lumps. 

This is where the magic starts happening! Take two sets and set them up like this! Can you see the burst effect?

Now place the sets right sides together and start at the dark blue triangles...

...and sew down to the other dark blue triangles. Just as before, stop and line up the places where points and seams need to meet. There are 5 to line up this time!

Open it up and look at the beautiful light colored star dazzle bursting inside the dark colored star!
Just like before, press the center seam open. I know it's fiddely to do but it'll be worth it later!

Now keep making these big blocks until you have nine and there will be three of the original pairs left. Sew them together in a row as a final row. 

When you're done, you'll have a top that looks like this-

See how the stars interlock with each other? It's dazzling! 

You can choose to add borders or not. It's up to you. Without borders, your quilt will measure out at 48" X 56", which is a great size for a sofa throw or a crib. Add a 2" and a 5" border around the entire top and you'll have a quilt big enough for a twin sized bed! Or keep making more burst blocks and adding them to the side and top until it's as big as you want it to be! 

This is totally customizable to your liking, just do the math and divide your totals by 16, which is the size of the completed burst block. So if you want your top to be 80" X 88" for a full sized bed, you need 5 burst blocks across (80 divided by 16) and 5 long plus a row of half of the burst block (88 divided by 16) and you're there! We made 9 burst blocks and a row with 1/2 blocks. For a full sized bed, you need 25 burst blocks and a row with 1/2 blocks. So you would need to triple the fabric requirements for that size. 

I hope you enjoyed this mystery project! Please leave a comment and share what you've made. You can leave a link to your blog or photo site or upload one to Pamelyn's Postings, my Facebook page! Thank you for participating and see you next time!

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Dancing Butterfly - Set 2 of 12

The second set of blocks I finished were of Bamboo Forest in the butterfly and border and sharp stipple in the sky. 

Bamboo Forest has a natural, almost oriental feeling to it. 

Here's the small block featuring this design.

Sharp stipple has a flame effect. It's lively and energetic!

The back of the main block really shows off the lines and angles of the free motion quilting.

If you are interested in this pattern, go to to get your copy emailed to you!