Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Tuesdays tricks and treats

While letting the design wall marinate(a phrase borrowed from Gari) I decided to catch up on bloggy reading.  I landed at  Donna's Lavender Nest, she has such a cute blog and online fabric shop with the cutest fabrics.  Anyway...I was meandering around her blog and found this tutorial and free templates for a Circle upon a Circle quilt, also known as Glorified nine patch.  Donna's block is so Cute!
It's get out of the "Comfort Zone Time"!  I've done curved piecing in purses and a jumper years ago, but never in a block.
Well what the heck, lets give it a try and do a test block using some of the teal scraps.   Printing the templates out on freezer paper and fusing to the fabric make cutting them out much easier.
 Added in some vintage print and scraps for the center.  Curved piecing should be as easy as pie!  Right?
 All you need to do is have an OCD for Paranoid pinning.  Wouldn't want a slip up, that would make for a yukky block.
Drive slow with the sharp pointy object in hand.  LOOKING GOOD!
By the looks of the wings flapping in the breeze on this quilt block I'm pretty sure its going to fly right into the trash can.  What did I do wrong!?  It's wonky like a tumbler block.  Perhaps it's the  cheap white fabric used for the background.
So lets try this one more time.  Referencing to my library of quilty books and found a TRICK that was very helpful.  Mark your templates with dots that you transfer to the fabric.  DUH!  just like when you make cloths.  It was a smack in the forehead moment.  
Here's my beauty, using Kona white, which I think made the biggest difference in how it lays.  Curved piecing is now mastered!
Before the other block fly's into the trash  I'll see if replacing the background with  Kona white will fix it. 
Almost forgot to mention the another treat!  Donna's also doing a block sampler quilt along with tutorials.  Block three comes out today, so there's plenty of time to join in!
Hop on over and give her some quilty love, she's having a book give-away!  I knew that would get you hopping!  And there's more tricks and treats still to come! Just hop on over to Free Motion By the River for Linky Tuesday. for tutorials and eye candy!

~Lea Anne~

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Monday, October 28, 2013

Oh what have I done

It's that time again, show off you're design wall, NO MATER WHAT!
Hop on over to Judy's and  Freshly Pieced to get a good dose of creativity.  

Do you ever think "Well I've gone to far on this one"?  Yep..too too far with the colors.  Maybe that teal was just way too TEAL.  What's done is done, the only thing I can do now is to find a way to slow down the teal.  My quilty Mojo has been on the fritz, maybe I should have left it alone.
Such a lovely block..and my intentions were good.  Go loud and proud!  Make'm go WOW!  Instead I get the HOLY $#!& feeling.  
 My thought was to come in and Hexi off the corners of the TEAL block with some white.  Maybe add some more applique in the corners of the blocks?  What's even sadder is that the yellow and the TEAL in the quilt are vintage.  Not super old, but from the early 80's.   Maybe I'm over reacting due to my crappy mood.   
This quilt reminds me of my first(and last) experience eating Cherries Jubilee.  Valentines Day, I was a 14 yr old country girl.  The nicest restaurant I'd been in was Steak and Shake.  Well dad and I had lunch at a REAL restaurant.  He ordered for us.  They brought out the Cherry dessert on a cart, parked it right by the table and set it on fire!  My first thought was how in the world  am I supposed to eat that!  So I sat back in my seat for fear of setting my over hair sprayed head on fire and watched as my dad blew out the blaze.   Oh it's like roasting marshmallows!  I like a little black on my marshmallows, so my thought was to let'er burn.  The waiter, seeing me hesitate with eyes the size of dinner plates, promptly put out the blaze with a metal plate cover.  Of course dad giggled, and said "I should have warned you."  
So how can I put out this blaze?  I think gale force winds would be hard pressed to put out this fire!  For now I'm walking away from this quilt so I don't get burned.  

Enough whining, I wanted to share also share the way I squared up these 18.5 blocks.  Last week Erin Russek made a short tutorial.  The only thing I did differently was to do this method on my cutting mat.  

Hope you have a Cherry Day!
Lea Anne

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Friday, October 25, 2013

She Made My Day!

Nothing makes me smile bigger than seeing a quilt that someone has made from one of my patterns.  Lisa over at Always Home contacted me yesterday to let me know she had a Cherry on Top  flimsy.  Just tickled me pink!
Love her fabric choices!  Hop on over to her blog and see the cute label she stitched up and backing she chose.  As I wandered around her blog and noticed that she has a love for vintage items, lots of eye candy!   Thanks again Lisa!
I must say that this has helped a bit with my quilty rut, don't you just love blog land friends?  Seems they know just what you need.  
So it was back to the studio, and a light bulb came on, an epiphany!  Well at least that's what I thought.  Remember I told you I needed new glasses in order to get an even tinier stitch?  The brilliant plan was to use my magnifying light.  Bad move!  Oh my gosh it was horrible on they eyes to look through.  
Even though the first plan was totally stupid, the lamp did provide the extra lighting needed to see better.
It's a good thing this machine has the ability to program in stitches(not as easy as the book makes you think it is, HOURS of  work). The makers of this machine must have thought that no one needs a stitch this tiny.  And the blanket stitch would take a stitch backwards in between each stitch.  Way to much thread build up.  The machine is  sold as a Quilters machine, what do they know!  The first block stitched was done at 3.5 width and 4.0 long. 
So what does that mean?  Here's a couple of pictures to show you how tiny that stitch really is.  Below is the needle in the white background fabric. 
 and below...it's in the red.  Super tiny!  As tiny as this gal can get it without getting a massive headache from straining the eyes.  Adjusting the speed control to a slow speed also was a big help, this helps with the temptation of putting the pedal to the metal.  The pedal is still to the metal but it's like Grannies Sunday driving.
 TADA!  Yep this is definitely more invisible.  Now lets hope those small puckers wash out.  Could it be the tension causing the puckers? After adjusting the tension over and over this was the best setting.  Switching up needles several times didn't help either.  I can live with it.  It's better and quicker than hand stitching!  There's enough of that in the UFO pile, so this ones getting machined.
Well it's time to put my eyes back on and get to work!

~Lea Anne~

"I am determined to be cheerful & happy in whatever situation I may be; for I have also learned from experience that the greater part of our unhappiness or misery depends upon our dispositions and not about our circumstances" - Martha Washington

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Thursday, October 24, 2013

Invisible Machine Applique

Finally!  Something accomplished, although it's not much it's a start back in the right direction.  It took all day to get the 12 background squares cut and the 
Dresden's glued down , then ONLY one block completely stitched down to the backing.
The free pattern for Cherry Blossom Marmalade block can be found in the tutorials tab at the top of the blog and on the right hand side of my blog.  
Two different colors for the background....that teal isn't as dark as it looks here.
And it's showing through on the white, darnit!  So after it's stitched down I'll need to cut away the backing.
Hand applique?  Heaven NO!  Its invisible machine applique.
Here's a couple of tutorials for this method. Here and here. If my eyesight were better and my glasses newer I could probably go even narrower on the tiny blanket stitch.  
I'm using an invisible thread to stitch every thing down.
A few months back with my Joann's 50% off coupon I purchased Signature Invisible Thread.  What a great find and deal!  This thread  also great for SITD quilting.  I've actually quilted an entire quilt with nothing but this thread.  
Today I'm linking up with two new to me bloggers.  
Julie over at 627Handworks
Kelly over at My Quilt Infatuation.

Thanks for stopping by my little place in Podunk!

Lea Anne

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Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Vintage Sewing Patterns

I spent some time yesterday piddling around in the studio.  Digging through the UfO's, looking for the inspiration to get me stitching again.  After deciding to work on my Cherry Blossom Marmalade blocks I needed the help of EQ to decide how to set them.  Well Look what I found under my desk!  (Funny how we spend money and forget.)
I hit the vintage pattern jackpot a few weeks ago!  $10 dollars for everything I'm about to show you.   
 A seamstress I'm not but who could pass these up!
So lovely...dreaming that I could actually make it and WEAR it!  Dream on girl!
 Some of the older patterns, funny how pattern making has change.  It was odd to pull out a pattern and no markings at all on them! Just funny shaped pieces of tissue paper.   We are so spoiled!
These below are dated 60's and 70's, I'm pretty sure my momma has some of these patterns.
 a banana box full of 80's and 90's patterns
 a bag full of mail order patterns with no envelopes
 And the one that I "think" may be the oldest.
I've no idea how to date them.  Anyone know anything about dating patterns?  My plan is to some how frame a few of these for the studio. Although most of the packaging isn't in perfect condition the patterns themselves seem to be in good condition.  Maybe I could use them for bartering for quilty goods!  Hmmm...
We'll see...
Now back to the studio, maybe I'll find some more hidden treasure!

Lea Anne


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Monday, October 21, 2013

My new buddy

It's finally back to normal.  Gramps passed last Tuesday morning and all of last week was spent running here and there helping the family make preparations for the funeral.  Even though it's a sad time, my up bringing tells me to celebrate his life and not focus on his death.  I'm honored to be the one to bring his buddy home to live with me.  Meet Lobo, Gramps best friend.  He's an 8 yr old German Shepard.  He's adapting well to his new home and seems to love it here.  We thought he might run right back to gramps place, but he hasn't even offered to step foot off the property.  
Getting back into the quilty mode hasn't happened yet.  This is the first quilt rut I've experienced.  Letting nature take it course but pushing myself at the same time seemed like the best strategy.  The inspirations and ideas are not flowing.  Its a good time to finish up easy to do projects.  Yesterday was spent sitting on the couch hand stitching the backside of the binding on the "Nostalgic Christmas" quilt.  I had planned to use the same fabric for the binding as in the border, but wouldn't you know I couldn't find enough scraps.  Digging through the scrap box produced enough homespun green plaid to do the trick.
The binding turned out better than I thought it would.  Happy mistake!
I've been thinking about making a brights version of this pattern.  It goes together rather quickly and I've tons of brights in the stash.  Now to decide on the center panel.  Something different...anything that is not Christmasy.  Well time will tell.

Lea Anne

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Monday, October 14, 2013

Finishing Cherry on top

Due to caring for gramps full time I don't have time to write a step by step borders tutorial for this quilt.  So here's the measurements for my borders.   To make the miter borders here's a great tute for measuring and adding multiple mitered borders.   EQ calls for 7 yds of backing fabric.  However I always buy more because I quilt using a longarm.  

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Sunday, October 13, 2013

Taking a much needed break

Just checking in after a few days with gramps.  Thank you to the many readers who have sent prayers and thoughts.  I'm not able to answer individual E-mails at this time due to lack of time.  
There's little time for my hand work project.  But I've managed to get one block completed an starting on another.
 This will be block number 10.  Only 2 more blocks to complete and then the large center block.  I've been working on this hand project for over a year.  The pattern is "My Tweets" By Erin Russek.   I've tweeked a couple of the blocks, simply because I can't follow a pattern exactly.   You can find her blog here.  She is just finishing up a wonderful FREE Christmas BOM.
I've made a new friend at gramps place, he's such an ass!  He'll wait by the fence for dinner scraps everyday.

Gramps built this place in 1953 and has never updated a thing except he added running water and a toilet in the 70's.  When I was a kid there was an an old chicken shed in the back yard for a bathroom.  The water still comes from a cistern, and right now the water has a bit of a yellow tint to it.  So we don't use it for anything to do with food!  Yuk!  My aunt brings us clean water to use for cooking and the much needed pots of coffee.   I suppose if gramps understood what was going on he would think that we were a bit spoiled for wanting non yellow water.   And water pressure, why bother with a shower because I can't get all the soap off.  Sink baths until I can run home and scrub down.  It makes you appreciate all the little things.  For the life of me I can't understand hoarding money and living this way.  It's not that he was poor, he is just very practical and CHEAP!  
 The place is a bit run down and overloaded with junk that gramps has hauled in over the years.  The old house that they used for about 10 years sat where the windmill now stands. 
 The backyard is worse than the front and to be quite honest, to embarrassing for me to share.  Even with all the mess I can still find the beauty in the life time of collecting junk.  This old windmill being one of my favorite pieces of junk. 

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