Thursday, November 29, 2012

Projects, Holiday Banner/Table Runner

 I recently visited my sister - she is NOT a sewist.  I don't see her often as she lives in Florida and Canada.  She started pulling out some Christmas decorations and my first impression was "those are stunning - they look hand made!" and then I realized it was ME who made them over the years!  I'm sure when I sent them, I was cringing, feeling apologetic, knowing each miss-stitch, etc., but now, looking at them, I am amazed at how lovely they are.  This was a good lesson - I never considered myself skilled or talented, yet when I saw these items, I WAS impressed -- I'll bet each of you would feel the same when you see those gifts made long ago for loved ones.

The first banner of "trees" was just as she asked, black and white, with bits of that blue.  I had forgotten how cheerful it is and how it fits with her decor.

Below was a tasselated holiday banner/runner originally made for my Mother. 

And this was another Holiday banner, in different colors, made for my sister..

Soooo, being near the amazing Rainbow Quilt Shop, near New Port Richey, Florida, I got all enthused, bought a bunch of Christmas FQs,  and decided to make a few banners for gifts. Here is the pattern, and below is the banner I made for me years ago.  I especially like how some of the pinwheels blend into the background.

Now, don't go bonkers with this example, but while this pattern is easy sewing, a person MUST be organized.  I have notes in the pattern written in different colored pens, a different color for each time I made the item, and the steps that are checked off each time I've used the pattern.  I do NOT suggest making it without the pattern.  One must stay disciplined and focused.  Surprisingly, I managed!   
I don't have a design wall and learned to lay it out on the batting.  Brilliant idea! 

Below is the top, about half-way sewn.  Only one seam  needed redoing.  8-))  I have enough fabric for several more of the same project.  And there is my backing - is that not cute???  And it was $3.00/yd!   The binding is green. This is a 2-3 day project, with a lot of getting up and down.  The size is about 18 x 44. 


Monday, November 26, 2012

"1448", Machine Quilting Stitches on a DSM

Over Thanksgiving moments, I was able to finish my recent small quilt, (see previous post of whole quilt on fence) "1448" so named because that is how many pieces are in it.  It was made using only gifted fabrics and stash, and I pieced the batting - my gosh, Mom and Grandma, (I am thinking of you with love AND respect)  I hope you notice that your lessons of frugality, have "taken!!"

When I was new at DSM quilting, a number of bloggers asked me for "help" with stitches, ideas, designs, or suggestions, etc., so here are a few closeups of various quilting I did on this quilt.  Since it's a very straightforward "sensible" little quilt, I kept my stitches "sensible". 

The "jaggedy" stitching in the dark area was fun, as I had lively music playing, helping to keep the rhythm.  It works well for me to always do an extra stitch before I change directions - that keeps the stitches neat and sharp at corners.  I did loops and hearts/leaves in the lights and short jaggedy lines in the dark.  Around the edges in the triangle areas I did a feathery-viney thingy.

These squares finish at 1 1/4 inch.  I had purchased a DVD from Jackie Robinson, demonstrating her technique called Strip and Slash and watched it numerous times for both inspiration and relaxation. 

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Thanks, New Fence, 1448

Thank you all for your kind messages, note, and conversations following my Mother's death.  She had a good life, almost 97, which was full of adventures, travels, and experiences, and each of us 4 kids all turned out OK  8-)) .

You may remember that a wind storm a while ago, blew down our fence that shielded us from the alley and the handy, but ugly dumpster.  Well, we are back to enjoying the view out our back door.  DH and I had some  heated discussions conversations about wood or vinyl, and he won the argument differences of opinion -- it turned out OK.  If there wasn't a tree overhead with many birds roosting overhead, this might make a good sitting area.  We are lucky cold weather did not occur to delay the process.  It looks like a small job but involved hoists, chains, a jackhammer to remove old posts and concrete.  Thanks Mike!

However, there is an unexpected benefit to that fence.  I am happy!!! Ta tahhhhhh!

This is a small piece I've been working on, Jackie Robinson, Strip and Slash technique.  The finished size is about 50 x 57, and there are 120 blocks, so you see, the blocks are small.  It's basicly a Split 9-Patch.  It's only pin basted in this photo. 

I didn't know how to fasten it to the fence for photos.  These heavy, humongous clamps on the end of the quilt and thrown over the top of the fence, did the trick simply by their weightiness.

I will give myself a "C" for Accuracy in completion, but an "A+" for Perseverance.  Yes, there are 1448 pieces, including the border, and all fabrics were from my stash, although many were gifted. 

Wednesday, November 14, 2012


Alyce Adair - March 4, 1915 - November 6, 2012 - What a gal!  I am so lucky to have been her child.  She was artistic, energetic, creative, had a can-do attitude, willing to try anything, a good sport, beautiful, musical, well-read, worldly, driven, outspoken, and intelligent.