Thursday, October 30, 2014

Throwback Thursday

 For many years I've been collecting older quilt books.  I'm sure none of you have this obsession(wink wink)  Most of them are from the 80's and 90's so I wouldn't quite call them vintage or collectible.   Every once in awhile I pull out a few of them just to flip pages for inspiration.   As if there isn't enough temptation online.   I've been throwing around a project in my head, a more traditional quilt is needed.  You see my parents have a 50th wedding anniversary coming up in two years, so I thought a special quilt would be the perfect gift.  Well... I better get busy on the quilt.  Starting it early will give me time for my other issue of getting tired of working on the same quilt.  The first pattern that came to mind was the Heart of Roses.  Simple applique with gorgeous quilting, but in true Lea Anne style it needs some tweaking.  Lets pull out more books and see what I can find.
Just a few of my favorites.  
The book below is top of the favorites list.  I became obsessed with finding it a few years back.  Really it wasn't the book but a pattern inside.  Better Homes and Gardens always puts together a great collection and variety of quilts in one book.  Anytime I run into a different volume I snatch it up.
Below is pattern that started the search.  Why?  I've no idea why this quilt draws me in, could it be the colors?  And I haven't made the quilt, but I feel better knowing I have it.   I could have drawn out the applique myself, but NO, I HAD TO HAVE IT!
It's a wonder that the pages are still in tack.  Seriously, I thumb through it at least once a month.  
Here's another one that I think momma would absolutely love just because I do!
After a few books I lost track of my mission, falling into a deep quilty trance.  Mesmerized by all the stunning quilts. (Please tell me you gals do this also) 
Luckily a few good chuckles brought me out of my hypnotic state, or I'd still be ogling the pile of books.
 The Shining Star Quilt book had me rolling on the floor...
 ...with the jigsaw like quilt pieces.  Of course they're to scale for my convenience.  How thoughtful!   Today's quilter is so spoiled with strip piecing, paper piecing, fancy rulers and quick piecing methods.
 The one below really had me rolling.  It should have been called 
"Lessons in drawing".
This could be the reason why quilting had a lull for a few years in the U.S. 
I use graph paper but never for drawing applique.  This book was one of my granny's books that my parents bought for her, why I don't know, she could barely write let alone read at this level.   Who am I to talk, I never use these patterns either, I just look at the pretty pictures.   All that looking and I'm still no closer to a quilt pattern for mom.  Good thing there's plenty of time.  

~ Lea Anne ~

For the last few months I've been putting a free pattern at the bottom of my post.  Today I'm going to mix it up a bit and post a site that has tons of vintage free patterns.  Not just quilt patterns, there's embroidery transfers, crochet and much more.  
French Knots is one of those sites where I can get lost for hours.   Here's a sample of what you'll find.




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Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Time for a quicky!

Once again I'm feeling the need for a quicky project that uses up some scraps.  So when Daryl from Patchouli Moon posted pictures of her recent bowl project it gave me an idea and I  grabbed a couple of leftover binding strips.  You can find a tutorial over at CraftSylish for the fabric bowls.
 My stitches are uneven but I don't care.   For my strips I decided to press under a 1/4 seam so I wouldn't get any fraying.
No bowl here, but it sure is a cute little mat/rug thingy.
I got a little carried away and it's way to big for a sewing machine mat I had planned.  Now what to do with my latest creation?
   Or Dinner for one?
The perfect spot!  This should keep that pedal in place.
Could you imagine a large area rug done with scraps?  I wonder just how large a person could go?  Maybe a project that size would need to be stitched by hand? With a little Google power I found a tutorial at a BeautifulMess for a larger rug using a similar method.  Oh maybe someday, today I've quilting to do!

~ Lea Anne ~

Freebie Alert! Click here


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Sunday, October 26, 2014

Questions Answered

Usually after posting a finished quilt my mailbox is loaded with inquiries about my quilting.  The number one question is what type of batting do I use.  Most of the time 100% poly.  A lot of quilters have sworn off poly, but due to my allergies it's the best option for me.  I keep a roll of 100% cotton Warm and Natural on hand but it's rarely used.  It has a chemical odor that burns my nose and makes it run, and the dust/lint produced while quilting sends me into a sneezing marathon.  Cotton isn't known for it's poof factor, I NEED POOF-ability.  Poly and poly blends are used when a quilter wants to show off the quilting.
For the last year I've been using Soft and Crafty purchased at Joann's with a 50% off coupon.  As you can see it's only 48" wide. The shorter width works well for me because I quilt on a frame that doesn't have a batting bar, and I don't want one because it would get in the way when I'm using my stool at the frame.   Rarely do I sew batting together to make one big piece. Only when I know the quilting will be light.  So when reaching the end of the first piece of batting I need to attach another piece of batting, so I spray basting spray on the exposed backing fabric.  Lightly and just a very thin line.  It's enough to hold the batting in place until quilted to death. 
Another question is what type of machine I use.  Well here she is.  I've been a BHQ 15 owner for about 4 years.  I love her!  She allows me to do quilting I could never do before at a reasonable price.    As with most BHQ owners I've made some modifications to the machine and Hinterberg Stretch frame to make them work for me.
The question I've been getting a lot lately is "How do I decide what to quilt?" Well it doesn't come easy.  More often than not I do the quilt stare for LONG periods of time.  Below you see my quilting design books that I flip through over and over.  Then when all else fails there's 3 different sites that offer inspiration.  Pinterest is great for searching close up shots of quilting.  Mqresource is a site for machine quilters.  Most of these gals have what I call "Big Girl Machines", and they know how to use them well, very inspirational!  And when all else fails I'll search Google for specific types of quilting, such as "Stunning border Quilting" or "Quilted Cherry quilt"
There you have it, simple girl, simple life with simple tools.

~ Lea Anne ~
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Friday, October 24, 2014

Promenading Tulips Finished!

Come on in and join me in a rug cuttin happy dance!  It's so exciting to finally have this finished.  The idea for the quilt started well over a year ago.  The tulips are from Lori Holt's book Quilty Fun.  However I started this quilt before her book was published.  She originally gave the pattern on her blog for free during a row along.  So I saved it.  Of course I bought her book anyway with the intentions of making one of her patterns.  But you know me...I can't stick to a pattern.  In the book it calls for one tulip as a block.   Using 4 tulips and some math I came up with the Promenading Tulips block.
(not my tree, its Charles front yard)
When I get an idea for a quilt it's just that...an idea.  The details are always changing and morphing.   You can read more about how I came up with the different elements of this quilt here and here.
 Planning the quilting is another hurdle.  The same technique is used in this process which means I do the quilt stare and keep my eyes open when surfing the web.  With the inner scalloped border I knew I wanted the quilting to be dense enough to make the 3D effect really stand up, but I didn't want a quilt that was a stiff as board with that quilted to death feel.  Finding that balance somewhere in the middle.  The decision was made to leave some "poofy" areas towards the center of the quilt.
 Now I bet you all are wondering about this truck.  Ain't she a beauty!  There's a story behind her too.  A few months ago I was on my way to momma's, of course I always take the long way, windy through the country roads and enjoying the scenery.   My meandering takes me through a small town of Providence.  It's one of those 4 way stop towns with a church and a few houses.  Well I spot this truck (not for sale at the time), how could you not see the bright yellow paint and orange wheel rims.  I told myself should I ever drive by and see the owner outside I'd stop and ask permission to use his truck as a quilt prop.  Well low and behold about a month later Charles and his wife were standing there just waiting on me!  I whipped my ole hunk of junk up in the drive and introduced myself.  You never know if people are going to welcome you or not when it comes to country folk, some live out here because they don't like people.  But Charles and his wife were the good kind of country folk, telling me to feel free to use the old truck whenever I wanted.  They've recently put it up for sale, and I love to take it home but....all I can do is wish and dream.  Thanks Charles for letting me drool all over your girl!
 Okay let's get back to the quilt.
 You've gotta have crosshatching and feathers in every quilt, right?  I love the traditional look from the simple crosshatched blocks.   The yo-yo placement was marked with blue water soluble pen before quilting.   After the quilt was quilted the yo-yo's were stitched in place with a few tack stitches.  I wanted to the the 3D effect on those also.  
The backing is vintage baby prints from my stash.  Might as well make the whole quilt scrappy!
Thanks for stopping by and dancing with me today!

~ Lea Anne ~

today's freebie from Lori Holt of Beeinmybonnet

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Thursday, October 23, 2014

Picking out embedded threads tutorial

I clip, check and recheck and still these stray little frays happen.  And of course they're never seen until it's too late.   I've shown this method of picking out embedded threads before but thought it was a good tip to show again.
No need crying over spilled milk if you have one these handy little tools.  It's not a tool used often but I'm sure glad I have it when I need it.  
Soft Touch Thread Pic is a lifesaver if your like me and worry about the occasionally embedded fray showing through on a finished quilt.
Insert the fine tip close to the stray thread or fray.  There's no fear of it ripping or damaging the fabric, it's super tiny hook slides right between the weave of the fabric.  The trick is to go slowly with the hook facing you when inserting, being careful not to grab the batting.  Ideally keeping the hook in the space between the top fabric and the batting and when you get to the thread push the batting down out of the way and grab the thread.
 I wasn't so lucky this time.  There's a small amount of batting in my hook so I removed the hook leaving just a small portion of the thread exposed. 
 Grab the thread and pull it out.  Super simple!  Clipping the thread and the small little poof of batting.
 A quick little rub with the finger and the fabric weave distortion is fixed.
All that's left to do is soak this quilt in cold water to get rid of the water soluble blue quilting marks.  I'm so excited to finally have this one finished.  I think it's my new favorite.  See you tomorrow for the big reveal.

~ Lea Anne ~

Today's freebie from Samelia's Mum


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Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Binding and a winner!

The binding is my favorite part of the quilting adventure.  It means that a finish is finally here, which in my case can take forever due to my project hopping.  I've tried several different methods for attaching the binding and I always go back to the the old stand by of machine stitched to the front and hand sewn to the back.  But even after all these years the last seam always gives me trouble.  You know the one I'm talking about, with the two tails sticking out.    If I had a dollar for everytime I had to take out the last seam and restitch I could buy a fat quarter bundle.  For some reason it always ends up to short or to long on the first try.  
So anytime a different tutorial crosses my path for bindings it gets my full attention.   You never know when someone is going to come up with yet another great idea.  While surfing (at 2 A.M.) this morning I stumbled across a new to me blog,  Baltimore Garden Quilts.  Lots of eye candy! And another really good tutorial for binding with a few tips I'll be trying out on the next quilt.
I want to thank everyone who entered the Fall Festival Giveaway.  There were so many responses I couldn't reply to them all.   But I did read them all and I could tell by the responses that most quilters have a great sense of humor.
The winner of the LOL charm pack is
BARBARA WOODS from Wont-to-beQuilter !
Congrats Barbara!, I've sent you an e-mail.

~ Lea Anne ~

Today's freebie from Amanda@JediCraftgirl

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Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Pretty Messy and Give Away Reminder

While standing at my cutting table squaring up the backing fabric for the next quilt, I took a moment to enjoy the view.  Don't you just love pretty messes?  
I also wanted to remind you there's still time to enter my giveaway for the Fall Festival Giveaway hosted by Vicki Welsh over at Field Trips in Fiber.  Don't forget to hop over to Vicki's and enter her giveaways.  She's also hosting a linky for other bloggers to share their giveaways.  Several chances to win some lovely prizes!
I'll be announcing the winner from my giveaway first thing tomorrow morning.  So you have until then to enter!

~Lea Anne ~

Freebie Click here

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