Moda and silly dolls

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Today is Wednesday and another Moda block arrived in my e-mail.  This is block 49 and very easy to make. It is a 6″ block.  The block consists of four half square triangles, four sets of two flying geese and a single block.  It went together easily.

 

I finished quilting the light green blocks on the challenge quilt today.  Tomorrow, I’ll start quilting the darker green blocks.  Then I will quilt the three borders.  Somehow, the borders take as long to quilt as the center of the quilt.  This quilt needs to be finished in time for the quilt show, so I should concentrate on finishing it.

I watched a you tube video about applique today and  learned a new procedure that I will try as I applique the Flower wall hanging. When I learn a new technique I sometimes use it for a while and then go back to my original way.  I might continue with this technique as it added to what I do already.  The past three nights, I’ve worked on one rose and it’s not finished yet. The new technique should make appliqueing quicker and easier.  When I try it, I’ll take pictures and explain what it is.

Several years ago, I went to a monthly machine embroidery class. We met for two full days in a row each month and had a great time.  One of the fun projects was silly dolls.  IMG_2085

We started by free motion machine embroidering lots of faces.  After the faces were finished, we had to decide if they were male or female.  They were mostly female. I have only one male doll.  The faces were sewn to a round stuffed tube.  Arms were made with wire that was wrapped around a pencil.  The dolls were dressed with scraps and embellished with junk.  The hair was made of yarn or anything that we could find.  It was so much fun to see how the dolls took on personalities when they were dressed. IMG_2086

 

 

 

 

 

 

Here are three dolls that are waiting for arms, hair and clothes.  I still have a box of junk to choose from when I decide to dress them.  IMG_2084

 

 

 

 

When I was in that class, we didn’t throw anything away.  Not even the threads that we swept from the floor.  We used anything and everything in our work.  Now that I’m not going anymore, I can finally throw fabric and thread in the waste basket.

Have a great day and happy quilting

Dear Jane and the flower quilt

IMG_2082When I started making Dear Jane blocks, I intended to start in the center and work each row around the center block.  Somehow, that plan has gone by the wayside and I am making blocks all over the quilt.  About 1/4 of the blocks are finished so I have a long way to go to finish this quilt.  I’m so glad that I decided to make the quilt in the pot holder method.  That way, when the last block is made and attached to the body of the quilt, the quilt will be finished.  All the remaining block patterns have been printed. Some of the blocks are very easy with just a few pieces.  Others are much harder and need to be hand sewn.  There are a lot of applique blocks.  As soon as the Moda quilt is finished, the Dear Jane will be the only long term quilt to make.  No more blocks of the week or the month for me this year.  I have to many unfished quilts to finish.

IMG_2081I designed the border of the Flower Quilt today. It was a lot of fun.  I used the flower patterns that were in the body of the quilt.  This is an unusual quilt as I decided the quilt size and designed the quilting pattern before I began.  The flowers fell in place where they belonged.  I’ll start appliqueing soon and show the progress from time to time.

Have a great day and happy quilting.

Moda Blockhead

Two more Moda Blockhead blocks are finished.  Not many more to go.  I started to put some of the blocks together.  One quarter is finished, but the last three quarters have blocks that haven’t arrived yet.  I still have lots of the Japanese fabric and decided to piece the backing with that fabric.  There are some large pieces so it won’t take long to make the backing.  I can have the backing ready by the time the last block shows up. I can start quilting the first quarter and then quilt the others as soon as I receive the last block.

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The Sweet Pea from David Taylor’s class is finished. IMG_2078

I made a facing instead of a binding.  The edge looks different when made that way.  The Good Housekeeping magazine had  an article about pink leaves.  They were so pretty.  I thread painted the sweet pea  leave like one of the leaves.   A copy of the picture is in my file so that I can make leaves like the ones shown in the future.  Inspiration comes in many different ways. IMG_2079

Have a great day and happy quilting.

Flower Garden wall hanging

IMG_2070The applique on the center of the Flower Garden is finished.  Or so I thought.  It’s amazing what one can see in a picture.  The right side is a little lower than the left.  I think that I have to add some small leaves to even it out.  That won’t take long.  I just have to find the time to do it.

 

I had found a quilting pattern on another quilt in a magazine. I liked it very much and designed this wall hanging with the quilting pattern in mind.  There is a lot of very close quilting.  I had originally planned to hand quilt but after having David Taylor’s class, I might machine quilt.  I can decide that when all the appliqueing is finished. Now that the main body is appliqued, I have to design the border.

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When I design floral applique, I start with colored pictures of flowers and place them on paper.  I use an end roll of newspaper that I bought at the Concord Monitor.  I draw  squares or rectangles that are the exact size of the finished project.  The flowers can be moved around until I like what I see.  This can be done several times, each time taking a picture so that I can compare them and decide which one I want to use. I don’t use the flower pictures for the applique patterns.  I use them for their color.  I have several of Nancy Pearson’s flower patterns and like to use them for the flowers. I cut out the flower patterns that I need and glue them to freezer paper in the spot where they will be appliqued.  IMG_2074

Using a light box, I copy the completed freezer paper pattern to heavy weight stabilizer.  It is the permanent pattern with a lot of information.  The color value, Light, medium dark, etc.,  is written on each part of the flower.  Also the order that the pieces are sewn down and markings for pieces that do not have to be turned under as another piece is appliqued on top of it.  This seems like of lot of work, but the stabilizer is used for placing the pieces in the right position on the fabric. The stabilizer is placed on a light box with the fabric on top.  The pieces are pinned one at a time and sewn down  to the fabric in the proper position.   I don’t have to pencil the flowers on the fabric.  That way, I can change the type or size of a flower if I want to.  It allows for a little wiggle room.

The sweet pea is quilted.  I saw a quilting show tonight that told how to make a facing instead of a binding.  It looked interesting. I might try that.

Have a great day and happy quilting.

 

Quilting

Last Friday night, David LaValley from the Bittersweet Fabric Shop gave a talk at the Guild meeting.  He spoke about thread and needles.  We learned a lot about thread and using the right needles in our machines.  He had some supplies and I bought purple machine quilting  needles and some Teflon needles to use if I make something with fusible applique.  It’s always nice to be able to buy something that will make quilting easier.  I did use the purple needle today and it made a smooth stitch.  I also bought a little black plastic thing that holds a needle when a needle is replaced in the machine.  It does work.  It was much easier to change the needle.  I have always had trouble hitting the right spot.

On Saturday morning we had a rescheduled class with David Taylor.  He taught invisible machine applique.  I did have the same class last year at the Vermont Quilt Festival, but wanted a refresher.

IMG_2065The other students made a small piece with an apple tree, a basket and a wine bottle.  I had already made that piece last year, so I was able to make a sweet pea piece.  I was given a beautiful piece of hand dyed fabric to use for the sweet pea. It took a while to position the freezer paper pattern on the fabric. I wanted the lights and shadows to be in the right spot. I took two pictures of the pieces with different colorations and decided which one looked better.

 

 

When the sewing machine settings were just right, I took a picture of the screen so that I could finish at home if I didn’t finish in the class.  I can also use the setting to make other projects.

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The applique was finished this morning.

 

 

IMG_2064David has a CD that teaches how to quilt pictorial quilts.  The CD is short, but it has a wealth of information. He quilts slowly on a Sweet Sixteen.  All the instructions can be transferred to a domestic machine. When I started quilting I found it harder to forget my way of quilting than to quilt his way.  David recommends using the stop and start button when quilting.  I found that hard to do at first, but by the third petal, I was remembering to push the button to stop. After a little while, I really enjoyed quilting his way.

IMG_2068He quilts with variegated thread.  I have some, but not the right colors so had to use plain thread. The thread is the same in the top and bobbin.  The quilting starts in the middle and works out to the sides.  Each petal has to be completed before going on to the next one so there are many thread and bobbin changes within each petal. It was worth winding all the bobbins before I started.  Every thread is pulled to the back, knotted, and buried between the layers.  This seems to take longer but when you are done, the back doesn’t need to be cleaned up.  The tension can also be checked on a regular basis. IMG_2069

Maybe, I can make the old world Santa wall hanging, now that I am comfortable with this procedure.  I’ve had the pattern for years.

Have a great day and happy quilting.

 

 

This and That

The past few days have been busy, but there are no new quilts to show.  The quilt show is coming up soon and my quilts have to be ready.  I’ve been sewing binding on the back of quilts.  Also sewing sleeves so the quilts can be hung.

I have one more quilt to quilt before the show and started working on it yesterday.  I had already stitched in the ditch around the alternate blocks to stabilize the area where I would be quilting.  After I quilted one block, I removed the quilt from the sewing machine to see if I liked it and to check the tension.   In doing that, I noticed that two blocks were incorrect.  There is a definite color on each corner and the colors were not where  they were  supposed to be on those two blocks.  Fortunately, the blocks are on the outside row as they have to be removed and sewn in the right orientation.  It was very frustrating.  I solved that problem by turning off the sewing machine, leaving the room and shutting the door. There are times when we just have to walk away,   Today is a new day and I can deal with the mistake.  Tonight was spent unsewing,  One block is out and the other is almost out.  I’ll resew them tomorrow and continue quilting.  If I concentrate, the quilt can be finished before the weekend.

I’ve decided to not make any new blocks of the week or long term quilts this year.  Last year, I had four long term quilts.  The Moda Blockhead, Splendid Sampler, the Temperature Quilt and Dear Jane.  The Moda Blockhead is almost finished. I only made 20 blocks for the Splendid Sample.  Others are continuing on with more blocks.  I will sew the blocks into a top when I find a setting that I like.  The Temperature Quilt is finished and  will be in the quilt show.  Dear Jane will be a work in progress for a long time.

IMG_2058I found a few small quilts that I made several years ago.  The teddy bear and the cat are applique with embellishments.  I’m not sure why I didn’t quilt the background.  They were made while I was still hand quilting everything and I probably didn’t think that they were worth quilting.  It wouldn’t take much time to machine quilt the background and finish them. I’ll do that some day when I have nothing else to do. I could use them for free motion quilting practice. IMG_2057

 

 

 

In my sewing room are many tools and patterns that I bought on impulse, thinking that I would use them right away.  It would be a nice project to use them at least once. Then, if I didn’t want to use them again, I could find someone who would like them.  Tools are not worth much if they sit there and are not used.

Have a great day and happy quilting.

Annie Louise

It’s March and Annie Louise needs a new dress.  I have pictures of my ancestors in their beautiful dresses and plan to reproduce some of them for Annie Louise.  In the early 1900s, ladies wore white dresses that were trimmed with lots of lace.  It was their best dress up dress.

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In this picture, the two young ladies are wearing their white lace dresses.  I’m amazed at their tiny waists. Annie Louise’s body has the same measurement on her bust, waist, and hips.  Her dress has to be straight and not curvy.  I believe that the girl on the right is my Grandmother.  Annie Louise’s March dress will be like the dress on the left.

 

 

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I drew a cartoon of the dress with as many embellishments that I could see in the picture.

The sleeves look as if they have pin tucks and one row of lace.IMG_2050

 

 

 

IMG_2051The yoke has flat lace in the front.   Gathered lace goes around the collar and down around the yoke.

 

 

 

There is a flower at the waist line. IMG_2049

 

 

 

IMG_2052There are two rows of ruffles at the bottom.

I haven’t made clothes for years. Especially, doll clothes.  I do have lots of patterns, pictures, and a cd with a complete batch of magazines about doll clothes from that era.  When I made her everyday dress, I made a muslin first before I cut the good fabric.  I use the muslin for the basic pattern.  Then I can add embellishments or tweak the good fabric to fit the muslin.  I think that I might make the second dress at a later time.  The skirt needs to be fuller and the lace larger.  One can always use two white lace dresses. Quilting had a rest today.  We need to do something else from time to time.

Have a great day and happy quilting.