Friday, January 8, 2016

Making my own stencils

Hi there,

So I'm working on the quilting for my baby's star sampler. (Yeah, he will be two  in a two weeks!) It's totally a theme of Winter Stars, so I want to quilt lots of snowflakes.

I've found lots of snowflakes in QM's "501 Quilt Motifs" book, and other places. I trace the motifs on clear, ruled stencil plastic, then cut with a craft knife. I just can't decide whether to cut channels for the pencil, or just cut out the negative spaces.

I love the Celtic snowflake stencils I found at the Artful Stencil, too!

Thursday, December 31, 2015

December goals and progress

Happy New Year's Eve!

I made progress on both my goals:

Quilting the baby's crib star sampler.

Cut all pieces for the final 2 blocks of 2015 Pat Sloan Mystery.

Today, I also played with my new machine, Katrina. Isn't this snowman cute?!!! I followed the Quick Start Guide, and the snowman is the design the guide used to get started with embroidery unit. It was definitely a process--the snowman has 15 colors! I got pretty good at threading the machine to change colors, finding thread colors in my stash that are similar in the guide, and using the menus and function buttons. I also used just about all my types of thread that I have to get the colors, from Superior Masterpiece, to Connecting Threads Cotton, to Gutermann and Mettler polyester, and the Sulky rayon. It was a good opportunity to try out the threads and see which I liked and which Katrina seemed to like.

Does anyone know some places for good embroidery thread deals, especially for starter packs of multiple colors? Which types do your Bernina/Bernette embroidery machines like?

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Merry Christmas--After

Hi all!

I meant to post on Christmas, but I guess I just posted on Facebook! Whoops!

Christmas at our house was splintered into a few pieces. My husband's shift at the firehouse should have been working both Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, but his department decided to split it with C shift. My husband worked the 23rd, drove home on Christmas Eve morning and we did family gifts. My husband's family came for the afternoon and dinner with gifts. My boys love their uncles and grandma.

Then I went to work for a few hours in the evening. When I got home, my husband was ready for bed, so I played Santa and put out gifts, sorted stockings, and put out cookies and drank milk. Ha ha ha. Hubby left for work in a snowstorm Christmas morning, and the boys were so excited for "Santa".

Christmas was fun, though.

He loves Nick Jr's Paw Patrol!

The older boys love Star Wars and Marvel Avengers.

Santa got me a special gift: a new Bernina Bernette, Chicago 7. It's got very similar features to my Bernina 1090, it's a little smaller, but it has embroidery module, and lots more decorative stitches. Hubby/Santa even bought me the embroidery computer software to go with it! The maximum embroidery area is only a 5x7 hoop, but that's a great start. My favorite Bernina dealer is so wonderful, Dave's Bernina in Provo, Utah. It was an amazing deal from corporate Bernina, which included a free Bernina suitcase!

During the past few days, I've been making some space for my new machine, unpacking it, trying it out.

I think her name is Katrina, to honor my Scandinavian roots. Ha-ha, it's close anyway, since Bernina is Swiss !

I've also been working on the baby's star sampler quilting. I've finished up all the ditch-stitching/outlining, and started some free-motion work.

Then we had Seamus's birthday. I can't believe he's 9 years old already!
We had a great time with family again on Sunday for gifts, dinner, and cake. Then Monday, we took the boys bowling and yummy lunch at Cracker Barrell ! (That's our new favorite, family-friendly, yummy-comfort-food restaurant to eat at.) My brothers-in-law came again to play and eat, and my dad came as well. I'm so happy that my Dad was able to get a new job in Utah and move back "home". Seattle is just too far away, and we're enjoying having Grandpa near us!

It was the baby's first time bowling, and I was thrilled to get the look of pure joy on his face as he watched his bowling ball hit some pins!

Blowing out some candles! I let my firefighter hubby light candles.

Monday, December 7, 2015

December 2015 goal

Gee, I really fell off the goal-setting wagon this year, didn't I ? No wonder I haven't gotten any complete quilts finished this year?

My goal for the month is to:

A: quilt the baby's star sampler

B: cut and piece the finishing blocks and sashing for Pat Sloan's Mystery quilt. (And hopefully piece the quilt top together.)

I should be able to handle that, right?

Oh, and please give a prayer and a thought to Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day. 74 years ago, today.

Friday, November 20, 2015

Friday finish

Hey hey hey!
It's been so long since I've had a finish!

I finally dug into my stash and made the Brown Bear by Eric Carle from the kit I purchased from Fons and Porter Love of Quilting, several years ago. Even though I dipped into the kit to make this teacher gift,

I still needed to make the quilt in the pattern/kit. Amazingly, I had enough fabric to make the quilt two rows longer than the pattern called for, and the only thing I substituted was a solid red for the inside sashing instead of the stripe. I didn't need to order any extra fabric! (Good thing, too, because the fabric is out of print by Andover, and is very hard to find. I can't find any of the panel print.)

So, I have no idea what I'm going to use for backing, since I'll need about 5 yards.

Any ideas?
Go with something bright but totally different?
Find some other print of Eric Carle's books to use for backing? (Andover got the licensing to produce fabric from his books.)

Unfinished top: about 62" x 76"

My toddler loves the Brown Bear book right now. You should hear him try to "gu-ack" like the duck or pant like the dog.

Friday, November 13, 2015

Brown Bear

Hi all,

It's a good thing I can type, because I can't talk, because of this nasty cold virus! I'm the last one in my family to get sick the past two weeks.

The baby's star sampler is all basted and ready to quilt.

I finally dug into the Fons and Porter kit of "Brown Bear, Brown Bear" (book by Eric Carle). My baby loves the book, and I've had the kit for quite a while, so I really need to get it made while my boys are still little.

The center of the top is finished. It needs trimming on the sides, since I matched centers. Because I had dipped into the kit for the teacher's quilt, I didn't have enough stripe for sashing. I used my favorite Legacy Solid Red for the sashing,  since it matched the collection and red animal tone-on-tone print quite well.

Now all the borders need to be cut and attached. How fun. Hope I have enough!

Tuesday, October 13, 2015


Quilting the Swoon, and I'm almost finished with red background quilting. It really does pay off to do some Free-Motion Quilting every day. I'm feeling more relaxed and comfortable, and I'm getting more confident. I'm just limited in space, and somehow feel that if I had more space to maneuver, my lines could be straighter.

This quilt is so heavy! And big!

Here's my little handsome munchkin! Isn't he getting so big?!!! I can't believe he's 20 months old! He's a little climber, a cuddler, and into everything! Yes, he climbed into the table and onto the quilt. He thinks it's fun to climb in mama's lap and "help" by pushing all the button settings. Hence, I put the hard machine cover over the top of the machine, when I'm finished or ready to step away.

Ha, this is the other night...I ran out of thread, just as I finished that red background triangle. That is the edge of the center block!
It doesn't feel like I'm making progress, but if I've finished another spool, that proves progress, right?!!!!!

Tonight, I'll do a bit more, then pull the quilt flat to see if I missed any background sections yet.

I'm also finishing up the hot glue on my design walls. Hubby is on shift, and my goal is to get them finished before he gets off. That way, they will be ready to hang when he gets home. He actually bought the wall hooks, months ago! He's picky about wall mounts and scews, and using the drill. And he'll actually need to measure some.

What I used:
--2 Fons and Porter Design Walls (basically felt-covered vinyl sheets with a 2" printed grid"
--2 cardboard cutting boards
--plenty of office staples and a standard stapler
--duct tape
--hot glue

First I measured and stapled the Design Walls to the top of the cutting boards, deciding where I wanted the hanging grommets. Then, I stapled along that top edge, and started down one side. Then I moved from the grommets and followed along the opposite side, pulling the vinyl slightly taut against the cardboard and stapling. I did need to trim the vinyl because it was too wide for the boards. I made sure to bend the staple points to lay flat on the back side. Then I covered all the raw edges with duct tape, especially where the staples, to cover the staple backs and prevent the staples from snagging, and two, to create a nicer visual edge. After I worked on the first, I've noticed that the duct tape kept curling away from the felt...not creating a nice stick. I tried Tacky Glue, then tried hot glue. I like the hot glue for bonding the tape into the felt fibers.

Wa-la ! Two design boards that I can hang on a wall. Each a little more than 36" wide and about 72" long. Stiff, lightweight, foldable, portable. I can taken them down to take to a class, or take a project with me, or hang them on a different wall. Or even lay them on the floor and cut big pieces of batting off the roll, or measure backing.