Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Can you learn something new????

Kitty, from Left-Handed Quilter (see pretty pink button!) asked a question that has sort of lead me to my post today.  Can you learn something new even if you already do what's being taught????  Would I pay to take a class to learn how to do something I'm already doing?  Ummmm, probably not.  Well, unless a friend asked me to take the class with her and it was a good time to spend with a friend.  But.... if I was at a group function and someone was demonstrating/ teaching a technique, I'd absolutely be there.  There are so many ways to accomplish the same end result and my way is not the only way.  The way I do something now I do because I've tried or read about different ways and I've found what works best for me.  And I'm always on the lookout for anything that can make life easier, more efficient.... faster :-) 
If you've been following along with me for a bit, you'll know that my granddaughter is learnig to sew, quilt, craft.  With every new technique I teach her, I try to give her other options.  Just last week when I told her, "Kari, some people do it like......."  she said, "But, Grandma, I'm learning from you......."  I told her that I would teach her the way I found easier, but that as she learned more she might find something that worked better for her and that when it came down to the brass facts, she needed to work things 'her' way (and as independent as she is - she will!)
Okay, so with all my nonsense to this point, what brought me to this post???? Well this is a bit of a rant so if you don't like rants, you may want to stop here... but I am curious as to whether you feel you can learn something new?
A few years back I was asked to demonstrate/ teach paper piecing at a group function.  I'm going to say right up front here that I use Carol Doak's method as it's what I found works best for me.  Anyway.... I had printed out some tips that I found useful and also did a sort of picture tutorial to go along with my demonstration.  As the group gathered around, one of the ladies walked away.  One of the other ladies said, "Hey, Katie's doing her paper piecing class."  The lady walking away said, "Oh, I already know how to paper piece."  My thoughts were not voiced but in my mind I was thinking "and good for you to be so perfect".  As the function progressed (it was 5 days long), I discovered that this 'lady' was someone who did it all and knew it all - well good for her!  Okay enough about that one!  After my demonstration, a young lady who was attending with her mother, who was not a quilter or even much of a sewer, went back to her table and proceeded to make a paper pieced quilt block from a pattern that I'd provided.  She was so proud of herself and I was too.  It made me feel good to know that I could pass on something to someone and they 'got it'! And..... during that 5 day function, I learned how to do a few things from others that I found easier than the way I was doing them ------ imagine that!

Katie who doesn't know it all and is always looking for new things to learn.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Scrappy Saturday!!!

My Scrappy Saturday project:

It started as this:

Someone (thank you, Kitty) asked me if I'd ever foundation stitched on a coffee filter?  Well, no, I hadn't tried that so thought this would be a good opportunity to do so.  Naturally, this picture is after I trimmed it to the size of the coffee filter.  I then used a light weight stabilizer to create an applique.

I stitched around the circle, then slit the stabilizer and turned right side out and pressed.  But just one wasn't going to be enough and I wanted to have a smaller circle.  So using a round template, I simply drew a circle on the coffee filter.

and proceeded to stitch strings.  I started all my circles with a triangle scrap and went around from that center. 

then I used my light weight stabilizer again, right sides together and stitched on my drawn line, trimmed and turned and yes, removed the paper :-)

To secure to my base fabric, I used little spots of washable school glue and then pressed to set.

Once I had all my circles secured where I wanted them, I sandwiched my little quilt using liquid starch and a few pins to hold in place.  The liqud starch is sticky enough to hold everything without shifting. I spray the batting, then smoothed the backing and pressed dry; turned over, sprayed the other side of the batting, smoothed the top over the batting and pressed dry again.  I wouldn't suggest using it with poly batting, though.  I'm sure it would compact/melt the batting!    Then I used a blanket stitch around the circles - I suppose you could do this before you sandwiched the quilt, but I wanted it as part of my quilting.  Then I just did some straight stitching to quilt.  

I did not want cross hatching, so you can see I only stitched to the lines and tried not to cross them.
For my binding, I just reached into my left over binding drawer and pulled out a couple brights that I had and used those.  Really, the striped one was almost enough.... but what the heck, this is Scrappy so needed that little extra anyway :-)

This little piece measures about 18 X 13 and will probably be used for a placemat for my grandkids.  I'm thinking I'll do a couple more with different shapes on them. 

Happy, Scrappy Saturday :-)


Thursday, June 23, 2011

change in taste

How often have you looked at piece of fabric you've bought and thought "what was I thinking?" or "what did I have in mind for that fabric?"  I love color - lots of it.  If you look at my stash, most of my prints are very colorful, multi color fabric.

  Florals - not so much.  Pastels - not so much. I like 'blender' fabrics, you know the ones that won't 'fight' with a print.  But lately......I've been seeing some pastel floral prints that seem to be speaking to me.  What's up with that?!  And... what would I do with them?  Well, okay - yes I'd make a quilt (of some sort) but would I keep it? I have some fabric in my stash

Now, it's not really pastel, but it's floral.  Not my usual taste, but I guess it could work with the right pattern.
This is more my taste in floral:

well maybe it's more 'leafy'  but I do love leaves as I love the colors of autumn!  But maybe, just maybe, if I put it all together............

I'll come up with a 'sort of' pastel, floral quilt...........ummmm, now to see if I can come up with a pattern.  That is the question.

Katie who hopes no holds their breath waiting to see what I do.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Kari Quilts

My granddaughter has been learning to sew/quilt.  She saw some "Hippie" embroidered blocks that I'd received to put into a comfort quilt and asked if she could help me with it.  She went to my fabrics and chose what she liked.  She's still intimidated by the rotary cutter, but she did all the sewing and quilting on this quilt.
She really, really likes the TL:

I had a practice piece set up and showed her a few things that I thought might be easy for her to do.  She played a bit and decided she likes to do loops.  She did a fantastic job and is just so relaxed using the TL and now is looking forward to helping me quilt some more comfort quilts I have 'in waiting'.

The finished quilt.  Sorry I didn't get a close up, she really did do an amazing job!


Sunday, June 19, 2011

Father's Day

I no longer have my dad with me but he was a big influence in my life and loved him dearly.  I thank him for his patience as I was not the easiest child to raise.  I thank him for his unconditional love - I'm sure there were times I didn't make it easy :-)  And as I remember my dad today I look at my two favorite guys - my hubby and my son - who also are great dads.  My hubby who took me on with two little girls and raised them as his own.  Who also helped me achieve the birth of my son :-) who has simply amazed me at how wonderful a father he turned out to be ('course he had a good example to follow).  Father's Day is about all the dads out there who deserve some special recognition, but for me it's also a day of being surrounded by the people I love.  That said I'd better get into the kitchen and get busy :-)


Saturday, June 18, 2011

Scrappy Saturday

This is what I made for my Scrappy Saturday:

I layered a poly batting on top of a plain muslin and started pulling strips from my scrap bin.  If the strip wasn't long enough, I added another strip to the piece!  I just did stitch and flip and finger pressed as I added strips.
I knew I wanted to have enough for a 19" square, and this is what I ended up with:

When I was done stitching and flipping 'strings', I had about a 22 X 24 piece of quilted fabric:
I was so impressed with this: http://thestitchinchicken.com/2009/06/13/tutorial-fabric-bucketbasket/
That I made this:

And I really wanted to have a pocket to put a note pad and a pen in, so I added one to the lining,   And because this is scrappy, I used a discarded quilt block that was in my scrap bin to cover the plastic canvas bottom insert:
The bottom insert gives the basket more stability.

I like the handles folded in better!

I've made small baskets and used a fusible fleece and they were plenty sturdy, but using simple batting on this larger basket..... it's a bit 'wobbly'.  When I make another, I will probably use a canvas inner lining to give it more stability or maybe get a heavy weight fusible interfacing....... 

So.... do you have a scrappy project to share???


Friday, June 17, 2011

Scrappy ......... when?

As some of you have seen, I have an overflowing scrap bin and have been trying to find ways to use those scraps and maybe get them under control.  Because of other committments, I don't feel comfortable joining some of these 'quilt alongs' or 'sew-ins', etc..... In theory, I think they're a good idea if you can stay on track - I find I'm too sporatic to do that.  That said,  I will be 'trying' to post a scrap project every Saturday.  I would love to see some of your scrap projects as well!  Come see me on Saturday (or whenever you get the chance) and post that you've also posted a scrappy project and I'll come take a look.  Sorry, no give-away at this time, but if I see some people taking a look and using up some of their scraps, maybe I'll consider putting a give-away together........
Okay, for my projects, they will be everything to coasters to baskets to who-knows-what.  Look for my first Scrap Saturday project tomorrow!!
Have a great weekend.


Tuesday, June 14, 2011

The Burly Quilter

Bryan, over on The Burly Quilter  http://theburlyquilter.blogspot.com/ , is having a really nice give away.  Might want to check it out, but Bryan's also a great quilter and well worth visiting.


Monday, June 13, 2011

Antique Baby Quilt

This baby quilt has been in my family for almost 60 years.  It was made by a lady that we grew up knowing as "Grandma Corey" and was a gift for my mom's first baby, my brother.  Mom used it for all three of her kids and as you can tell, it truly was well used!  The colors are really faded as mom bleached everything that had to do with a baby.  I have managed to get possession of this quilt from my sister with the promise to try to replicate it.  I know I will never find the exact fabrics, but I am going to try and find as close as possible.

Here are some pictures of the individual blocks:

 These greens shouldn't be too hard - the trouble I'm seeing is finding the white polka dots on color.  Most of what I see is color polka dots on white.

The colors in this block are so faded it's hard to see that they are, for the most part, florals.

Look at that double circle fabric - how cute is that.

 I have found some nice cotton gingham, but it's a lighter blue.  I have some smaller blue floral calico that I think might work for the small floral on this one.
Replicating this quilt - well finding the right fabrics - will be a challenge, but I think it will be very gratifying when it's done.  I plan to make 3 quilts - one for each one of my mom's kids!  And - I'd better practice my hand blanket stitch!


Saturday, June 11, 2011

OMG - I can't believe it!

I love to read "Stash Manicure" with all Madam Samm's guest bloggers.  I've learned so much from all of them.  And what great inspiration.  Well, I commented on John'aLee's post about the hexagon templates and her tutorial.  Lo and Behold I won a set of those mylar hexagon templates http://thescrappyappleyard.blogspot.com/!  Thank You so much to Madam Samm and John'aLee!  I never win anything, but I know those hexagon templates will be put to good use and maybe my scrap bin will go down a bit!

Katie who's so surprised!

Friday, June 10, 2011

so...... I did it!

My very first ever hexagon flower.  I did not use a 1" hexagon template.  I used a 1½" hexagon template.  Folded the fabric over the paper template and basted in place.  Then I stitched the 'petals' to the center.  Not too hard, but there are a couple 'spots' that the thread shows through to the front.  I will have to work on that!

Then I tried a different way.  I cut freezer paper templates and used the edge of that as my stitching line.  Just did a running stitch and this is what I got.

I found it easier to use the basting to the paper template method.  I will finish the above 'flower' and see how it all aligns. 
Will I make a bunch of these hexagon flowers??? Probably not.  I'm thinking of pressing the one I finished and removing the paper and appliqueing it to a solid color square of fabric.  Guess I'll have to play a bit more :-)

Wishing everyone a great weekend.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

My Scrap Bin!

Yes, this is my scrap bin.  And I can actually get the top on this if I really scrunch everything down!!!  Okay, so this might not be the best method of scrap organization ever produced, but hey, the hunt is half the fun!  I've read Bonnie Hunter's method of scrap organization - WOW that would be great if I'd started about the time I decided to start saving scraps.  I supposed I could start from now, but then what would I do with all these?  No, I simply don't see myself pulling these out, pressing and cutting and cataloging.   And really, I used to never keep anything this small (well some aren't too small, but less than a quarter yard)  Then I started paper piecing and making fabric post cards and lo and behold, I could use really small pieces.  I remember actually rummaging through my trash basket in seach of a small piece that I knew I'd thrown away.  It was yellow and was needed for a flame in a paper pieced block - I think that was the point when I realized small pieces were a valuable commodity.  I keep a large gift bag next to my cutting table and whenever I trim and cut, the small strips go into that bag.  When the bag is full, it gets put in the bin - well used to.......I either need to use some of what's in the bin or buy another bin!  See, another reason for me to try my hand at those hexagons :-)
This is a little of what I've used my scraps on.  A Snack Mat (a bit larger than a Mug Mat) and some fabric postcards for a swap. 

This is a picture of some of my spoils from yesterday's outing with my granddaughter.  Some are simply pieces and some is yardage.  We go to a place called SAS  in Tucson (on Speedway if you're familiar with Tucson).  I liken it to a Fabric Thrift store.  They have just about every kind of fabric you can think of.  Trims, lace, buttons, zippers, elastic - you name it, they probably have it and at great prices!  The cotton fabric is in boxes and the fabric spills out over the top in a wonderful array of color (next time I'm in, I'll have to ask if I can take a picture!).  I like to dig down into the boxes to see what I come up with :-)  As you can see, I came up with a variety.  My granddaugher pulled out one piece that was probably only 3" long, the width of the fabric.  Anyway, it was a really good day spent with her.  And to see the discovery of fabric from a 'newbie's' eye just gets me excited all over again!

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Never gonna happen!

As I watched a lady patiently sewing little, tiny hexagons together at a quilt show, I admired her work and told my friend "Nope, never gonna happen!"  I simply can't see myself sitting patiently, sewing little bitty hexies together.  I want more instant gratification.  So that said, and me trying to figure out something to do with my hands in the evening, I have decided to try those hexagons that seem to pop up frequently in blogland.  Will I do one inchers?  Ummm, no.  I think I will try 2" and hope to have enough to make one of those flowers.  Seriously...... I will try these hexagons, but I have my doubts that there will ever be enough to make anything of substance.  A coaster?????? umm, that should be doable!
No sewing today.  Spending time in Tucson with my granddaughter.  Starting off with an early appointment for me.  Then to the Apple store so she can pick her IPod.  Then over to SAS as she loves that store with all it's trims and fabric.  We have to be back in our little town by 3pm as she's scheduled to give blood at 3:15.  When she turned 16 she started donating blood and says she will continue to do so as it makes her feel like she's giving something important.  What a great gal!  I, unfortunately, am not able to donate because of hepatitis when I was 7.  But I do believe that blood donation is as worthy a cause as organ donation.  Okay,  enough of that...
Hope all have as good a day as I know I will.

Katie who promises pictures forthcoming..... (maybe even a hexie or two)

Monday, June 6, 2011

Are we all tired of the Comments issue yet????

I read a post (sorry can't remember who posted it) about they were able to post comments when the comment was done in a pop up window but not if the comment box was readily available below the post.  So I checked it out, and sure enough, I can post in a pop up box but not in a box that appears below the posting.  I have gone in and changed my option in my settings for comments to be done in a pop up box.  I know it won't help me, but it may help anyone who may have wanted to post here but was unable to.  I do like hearing what others have to say :-)

Katie who has bunches to do and here I sit!

Sunday, June 5, 2011

still no comments

I found a "help" post on what to do about not being able to comment - I did all the steps and I still am unable to post.  I do read daily everyone's blog that I follow, if you're not seeing any comments from me, it's not because I'm ignoring you - it's because Blogger won't let me!


Saturday, June 4, 2011

A little here - a little there

I actually have been getting a little done:

You've seen this quilt before, but not in it's finished state.  I had decided to leave it unbordered and after quilting just bound it with black.  I did like the way it turned out except because I'm so NOT a perfectionist, I lost some of the points around the edge.  A longway from proficient on feathers, but the 'sort of' feather wreath around the bird embroidery doesn't totally embarrass me.

You've seen this one before, too, also in it's unfinished state.  I used just a pale yellow to border it and quilted it will a simple floral and leaf free hand design.

The fabrics are busy enough that the quilting doesn't show up real well - but you get the idea :-)
I've also made a couple fabric Post cards and another Mug Rug (pictures later) for a swap I joined.
I had a couple days of not feeling too well, so those were days of total unproduction - bummer! 
I had made the decision to have my cataracts removed and went in for another evaluation and consult with the doctor.  Because I have astigmatism, the doctor recommended a lens implant that would correct that, but unfortunately insurance wouldn't cover that expense as they consider it 'enhanced'!  At first, I thought well, if I'm going to have this done, I might as well go for broke - and with out-of-pocket expense - that's exactly what I'd be.  But even after that, I'd have to wear readers and glasses for computer work.  So... I spend probably 80% of my waking hours either sewing or on the computer (I know I need to get a life!) - which would require glasses of some sort or other AND I've worn glasses for over 40 years so why would I put that sort of extra expense out for 'enhanced' lenses???  Seriously, I spent most of Thursday night awake running all this through my brain....  Okay, decision made - going with the standard lenses with a whole lot less out-of-pocket expense!  So call doctor's office and talking to his 'financial secretary' discover she's a quilter - and she agrees with me.  With having to wear glasses for sewing anyway and with having the cataract removed, I'll have the clearer vision so major issue corrected and I'm happy.  Okay enough about that, but I would like to hear other's experiences with cataract surgery and how it improved your vision and sewing experience.
Well if I haven't bored you to tears at this point........Update on granddaughter's sewing days with me.. Still tons of fun.  She's learning difference aspects of sewing.  Yesterday, she spent time with the embroidery machine and learned the frustration of breaking threads :-)  I slowed down the machine and, voila, smooth sailing.  I told her "well, it'll take a little longer to sew out the designs"  her response was "probably not because I'm not spending time rethreading the machine" (Smart girl!)  She's already planned our next day - she has fabric chosen and patterns ready and she wants to spend time cutting things out for a couple tops and a pair of shorts.  She really likes wearing what she's sewn for herself.  That said, if you've followed along and read about the used machine I bought her, well, now it's time to buy her a machine that won't leave her frustrated......... NOTE: her grandpa has already started looking at them :-)
Okay, I'm done - sorry so long, but I'm making up for a few days of no posting :-)


Wednesday, June 1, 2011


Give me a flippin' break!  Yesterday I was able to make comments, now today again I can't.  This is getting ridiculous - maybe it's time to find another blogging site if Blogger can't seem to fix this one.