Tuesday, October 29, 2019

~ Walking the Dog ~ #sewmessy ~

Everyday as soon as the sun comes up Khaleesi and I go for a walk.  We first start out on the road for our long walk.  We walk between one to four miles everyday.  This long walk benefits us both.  German Shepherds are high energy dogs requiring lots of exercise and attention.  Making sure she gets lots of exercise so she isn't so demanding inside the home is a must.  On rainy days when we don't walk she is quite the challenge.  It's worse than having a 2 yr. old child.   The walk for me is about staying healthy and active.  We quilters tend to get a little thick in the middle if we don't take a stand, literally!...LOL!   With Autumn in full swing our walk has become more about visuals and less about being inside my head.  The picture below is the field beside our home.  The picture doesn't do it justice.  

Once we finish our road trip walk it's time to let Khaleesi off her leash for a little freedom on the property.  She's calmer after the walk which means she less likely to use the chickens as squeaky toys.

The chickens are very aware of her presence and high tail it out of the coop and across the yard.  

Now we can continue on our nature walk.  The huge sassafras trees are bright red this year.  So lovely.  Honestly I spend more time outside in the fall than I do any other time of year.  The color and smell of Autumn just can't be described.  It's when I feel most at peace.  Sure Spring is great after a dreary ole winter but there's just something about Fall.

On our road walks I lead the way.  But on the nature walks she's the leader.  Well she has boundaries that we enforce but as long as she stays inside those boundaries she has totally freedom.  Let's see where we end up today. 

As usual she moves much faster than I.  It becomes of game of where's Waldo.  She came down this path but is now out of site.

Sneaky little gal.  I find her relaxing and waiting for me down the next path.  Looks like she's laughing at me doesn't it?....LOL!  What took you so long mamma?

One more stop at her favorite tree before we head back home.  There's a hole in the base of the rotten tree.  She sniffs and paws at it everyday.  Maybe someday I'll be brave enough to look into the hole.  For now instinct tells me I might not like what has taken up residence in there so it's best to just leave it a mystery.

Back into the house so my baby girl can rest and I can get busy doing what needs to be done.  Lots of housework and sewing time for the day ahead.  Before tackling a few chores I check my social media.  That's when I see Mister Domestic has challenged quilters and crafters to bare it all by showing our messy sewing spaces.  Sounds like fun to me so I took the bait.  Below is my #sewmessy studio.  Be sure to go over to Instagram to see other #sewmessy spaces.  With so many beautiful photos of projects in progress or finished, it's nice to see what really goes on behind the cameras.  All I can say is my studio is clean compared to some....well for now.  It has be much worse.  Luckily the challenge came on a somewhat clean day.  Be sure to turn up the sound on my video.

#sewmessy #khaleesithegermanshepherd #autumnlove #quiltstudiotour
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Monday, October 28, 2019

~ Playtime and Rotary Cutting Tips ~

Do you remember this cute little bundle?  This bundle of  Flower Sugar Rose Kiss by Lecien was curated by Pat at CottageCoutureFabrics on Etsy.  It's been next on my cutting table for months.  I can't tell you how excited I am to finally be working with these darling prints.  

After pressing each fat quarter I had to lay them all out for the full effect....GLORIOUS!

Then it was off to the cutting table where I noticed an issue(below).  Can you see the waves in the fabric?  That's not a fabric error, it's a pressing error, my error.   It's what happens when you spray starch and iron in a back in forth motion instead of pressing up and down.  What can I say other than I was excited.  Cutting into this will cause some cutting errors.  So it will need to be fixed.

The fix is easy.  A simple spritz with water then repress to allow the steam to pull the fabric back into shape..  There's still a tiny bit of wave but I think it will be fine.

My tip of the day is one I learned many years ago from Bonnie Hunter.  Over the years I've learned so much and rarely do I remember from who but this one was such a game changer there was no way I could forget.  First tip: buy a ruler with thin lines.  Second tip:  when cutting place the line on top of the fabric right on the edge. 

Below was my old method of cutting.  You would have thought I could have figured this out on my own when all my piecing was coming out a little too small.  Some think it won't make a difference in your quilt when it's such a small amount, but believe me it does!

My tip:  If you have one of these rulers with glow lines around the black line, GET RID OF IT ASAP.  I purchased this ruler after a friend told me it was the best ruler she had ever used.  I find it to be the most difficult to use due to I can't see where the black line is except for in the teeny tiny little window at the inch marks.  This is far too time consuming. Sure I could use my die cutter(Sizzix) but they waste fabric.  I find my scraps much more manageable when using a ruler and rotary cutter.

So here's the test to see how accurate my cutting has been so far.   Before cutting the strip into squares, line up the lines on the ruler with the edge(on top) of the fabric.  Perfection!  Now I can proceed with cutting the squares.  By the way I've stacked three strips together to make the cutting go a little faster.

Pretty maids all in a row.  Sigh...Florals...Love'em, Love'em, Love'em.

Now it's time to let my baby out of mud confinement.  She likes to play in the mud, digging for moles.  I don't mind that she digs and catches moles.  However I do mind the muddy feet on my cream carpet.   She's giving me her best ASPCA look.  And it worked, time to clean her muddy feet so she can be released from solitary confinement.   Poor baby.


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Tuesday, October 8, 2019

~ Laura Ashley Quilt Finish ~

It's done!  This simple Disappearing Nine patch took way to long to complete and way to long to photograph.  How long have I been working on this?  Since the beginning of July!  You can see the original post here where I discuss the pattern source and fabrics pulled.

The quilting went very smoothly.  I used a couple of different size heart templates, one made from paper and the smaller heart in the green squares was a plastic template.  Both were traced using a water soluble blue quilt marker, then free motion traced using Superior Threads 100 wt. White Micro Quilter Thread.  

It's my go to thread because it's strong, light and backtracks beautifully.  Backtracking is when a quilter stitches over the same stitches 2 or more times.  In the image below the arrows are pointing to feathers with 2 layers of stitches.  No heavy thread build up!  The light weight white thread also blends nicely with all colors of fabric.  No need to buy several colors of thread that you may never use again.  Multiple thread colors in one quilt requires changing the thread spool may times throughout the quilting process.  

As with all my quilts the quilting isn't perfect.  Picking out quilting almost never happens in my studio.  Quilt show quality they are not.  

Even with all it's little flaws I still love the feathers and hearts.

Here's one of the reason I can't seem to get anything done these days.  My baby girl, Khaleesi, she has come a long way and doing well.  I'd make her a quilt of her own but she still has a lot of puppy bad habits.  Maybe in a couple years when everything isn't a chew toy! 

#disappearing9patchqal #thecraftyquilter

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Monday, October 7, 2019

~Happy Little Things ~ Block 3 ~ GIVEAWAY! ~

Howdy Happy Quilters!  Today I'm sharing my block 3 of the Happy Little Things block of the month by Jacquelynne Steves.  If you have not yet joined this block of the month there's still time to join in the fun.  Just click the Image below to go to the sign up page and start receiving the blocks by email.  Click here to go to Jacquelynnes blog post about this months block.  Once you make your blocks you can share them on your own social media sites using the following hashtags 
#HappyLittleThingsBOM and #HappyLittleThingsQuilt 
There's also a Facebook group where you can post your pictures and be inspired.  Click here to go to the group 

I'm going to keep this short and sweet.  If you would like to see my previous blocks you can find them here and here.  So lets get right to my block for this month.   I started my block by tracing most of the outline to center background fabric.  I also used a 4.5" ruler to outline the finished block size.

My colors are red and white.  This makes it really hard to keep my fabrics consistent in each block.  So labeling is very important.  On the labels I also add the cutting sizes and amounts.  These have been blacked out to protect the copyright of the pattern.

Below is an example without the measurements.

The tiny little applique was a little tricky to work with especially when putting them in place.  I used an old hat pin to help push them into the correct spot for fusing to the background fabric.

Raw edge applique is so quick and easy!  A quick shot of heat and they are ready to be stitched in place.

OOPS!  Don't forget to add a small square of light weight fusible interfacing to the back.  This will help reduce puckering when stitching around the applique.

In the excess fabric around my block I tested and previewed the tiny blanket stitches. 

A few minutes later she is ready for assembly!  So much faster than handwork.

TADA!  How cute is this?  

Okay lets get right to the giveaway! 

Make sure you visit all the bloggers listed below for more chances to win and for block inspiration.  You can only win once a month.   Each blogger also has there own set of rules for entering the giveaway on their blog, so read carefully!

A Quilting Life  

The Crafty Quilter   https://thecraftyquilter.com/

Flamingo Toes   https://flamingotoes.com/

Allie-Oops Sweet Happy Life   http://allie-oopssweethappylife.blogspot.com/

 This months giveaway is sponsored by Martingale.  It is open to all! 
 Giveaway is open to US and International residents. Print copy to US residents, digital copy to International residents.

All you need to do is leave a comment on this blog post.   Just click on the word comments at the bottom.  After clicking you will be taken to a comment box.  Type in your comment and click on the publish button.  Make sure I have a way to contact you, leaving your email address in the comment is a good idea.  Giveaway will end at the end of the day Oct. 13, 2019.  Good Luck to everyone!  Thanks for stopping by my little spot in Podunk!

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