Monday, January 13, 2014

Back to my log cabin star

Our quilt guild members met on Saturday for a day of sewing and eating fun. A few brought their machines to sew, some just brought fabric to cut. Me I carried my log cabin blocks to square up. We sure had a lot of good food and fun!

Sally showing what she is working on.
Frances is busy getting her machine ready.

Here is a nice, neat stack of blocks all trimmed and ready to stitch together in a star setting. 

I laid the block out on my bed to see how they would look. I just couldn't resist sewing a couple rows together. Getting closer to looking like a quilt top.
I plan on quilting this with lots of feathers. I sure do have a lot of practicing to do before I get started. I think I will head to the machine to get in a little practice before time to go to bed.

Saturday, January 4, 2014

DH was at work today (Jan. 3) so I got a chance to cut strips for a log cabin star quilt I have been wanting to make. I got all the strips cut out and in order. I used eating utensil trays to line up the strips from color 1 to 5. It worked out rather well! I have the 'darks' in one tray and 'lights' in another one.

I have sewn the first 2 strips together so tomorrow I will press them and cut them apart. DH will be home any time now so I will quit for today and spend time with him.

OK, another day (Jan. 4) with my DH at work. I am not cutting separate logs but am working like Eleanor Burns and 'stripping'. I love this method when making a quilt that uses strips. The blocks go together so fast and when you finish sewing one block then all of the blocks are finished about the same time. They are then ready to sew together in your favorite quilt setting.

I cut the first strip set apart in 2" segments and have sewn them to the next strip.
Time to cut them apart, press & then sew to the next strip. When I sew them to the strip I butt them close together so I won't have to cut but 1 time between sets. 
You see where the needle sits, right at the edge of the last 'block'. I will place the next 'block' right beside the needle. You can see in the previous picture how close they are.

I cut them apart and them press them toward the log. Cutting them first makes them easier to cut straight without using a ruler.

There are 36 blocks to the quilt. The 4 center ones are made as a log cabin but not in the normal log cabin way. These four block are sewn in rounds in all darks. Then 32 normal log cabins will complete the quilt setting.
The rest of the blocks are normal log cabin blocks. I will post more pictures as I go along. Tomorrow DH has to work again so hopefully I will get to the point that I will be on the last round and be able to post another photo. Although the quilt takes 36 blocks I am making 38 so I will have enough to make shams.

I normally have a friend quilt my quilts on her Tin Lizzie longarm but for this one I am going to FMQ. I want to take time on this one and make it a show piece. Just for me, not for competition.

Well enough for tonight. Will try to post my progress tomorrow. For tonight....... ta ta.

I have just been looking at Leah Day's FMQ blogspot. I love her idea of using a coloring book for practicing free motion designs. I will go to the store later and get books and markers.

I believe I will join in on the 'Building Blocks' project to enhance my FMQ skills. Maybe I will see your project there!

Friday, December 27, 2013

Well Christmas is over for this year. Now to get back into the daily routine!

I treated myself to an ebosser for Christmas. I had a chance to try it out yesterday. I purchased the 'Rose of Sharon" and the 'Trianle in a Square' dies and my daughter gave me the 'Grandmother's Flower Garden' die. It uses all brands of dies such as accuquilt, spellbinder,and sizzix. I am anxious to try them all. You have to buy adapter plates in order to use the 24" dies from Accuquilt. I have those plates on order from Sew Simple in Lynchburg, VA.

I had a chance to try the Accuquilt 'Rose of Sharon' die but have not put that on a block yet.

I cut some grandmother's flower pieces yesterday and made one block. Here is a photo of that block. This is the 2" finished octagon.

I also played with the triangle in a square block. I finished 4 of them then made a star block. It finished  9 1/2 " sq, for a 9 inch block. I hope to make some more of these in various reds to complete a small quilt. Maybe for a baby gift. Here is a photo of that block.

Well, other than getting the house put back together that is about all the sewing I had a chance to do yesterday. If I can sew for 15 or 30 minutes at a time at least I feel like I have accomplished a little something.

Well, until next time!

Sunday, December 8, 2013

December 8, 2013

OK, so I didn't get to practice with rulers today. I worked on the house and laundry some then spent a little time at the sewing machine making a couple 'oven door' dresses.

I use these towels all the time. I just love having them hanging on the oven door. They are so convenient to have close to dry your hands on while working around the kitchen.

I did take pictures of the quilt that I am practicing on. I have been free motion quilting for a long time. I don't remember when I started but I just went edge to edge, loop d loop, stipple or meander. I never even thought about custom quilting each block and certainly never ever thought about trying longarm quilting rulers. I thought custom quilting with rulers were only for longarmers.

I took a few pictures today of a Christmas quilt I made in the early  90's. I fussy cut squares, then finished out the block with 2 rounds of log cabins. I used red with gold pin dots and green with gold pin dots to make the logs. When I completed the quilt I tacked it rather than quilting. That was before I started machine quilting. The colors from the camera does not do the quilt justice. It is really a pretty quilt. I have washed it every year since I made it so the fabric has shrunk and the batting has thick and thin places in it but I am still going to use this to practice feathers, paisleys, spirals and any thing else I can think of.
That ugly print at the top edge there is a strip of fabric I added all the way around it so I could have something to hold on to while I 'practice' making feathers in the outer borders. I have have to froggy stitch them when I finish quilting it.

Here is a close up of one of the feathers. It looks really pretty on the green, but brother when it goes into the red you can see all my mistakes since I am using green thread.
You can see how full the quilt is in the inner border. I haven't figured out what I am going to do in that border yet. I am thinking that is where I am going to use my new Fine Line rulers.

Here is a close up of one of the spirals I put in each block. The blocks really do look nice. I wish you could see it in person. 

As you can see the blocks lay really flat now, hopefully they will stay that way as I get further into quilting.

Here is a block that i stitched paisley designs around. I tried to mimic Leah Day, not sure how well that worked! It looks good tho, I will just keep plugging along.
Now on this next block I practiced feathers again, only much smaller in size. The logs around the block are only about 3 inches each color. I think the green looks really good, again the red yo can see my every little wiggle. 

That is enough for tonight. I have just about shown you all I have done. I probably won't get a chance to work on this until next week. I will keep you posted on the progress.

Until next time.
December 7, 2013

I worked today at Sew Simple in Lynchburg Virginia. Sew Simple is a locally owned Janome dealer. We were really busy trying to get the shop ready for Christmas. Next Friday John (the owner) is going to have open house for Christmas. Amy, one of his customers, is going to be demonstrating free motion quilting throughout the day. This will be a fun day for all.

Just a little info about the items I like to use when sewing/quilting. I have a few Janome machines. I have the Horizon 12K, Horizon 8900 and the 1600 QC and a Cover Stitch Pro 1000. I have a pair of Machingers gloves and a Queen Slider, both purchased at Sew Simple that helps tremendously.  I was using a pair of gloves with rubber coating on them but once I saw the Machingers the day  Amy was working at the store I decided they might do better.

The Machinger gloves are also available from Leah Day and Amazon. These have rubber type tips that make it easier to grip your quilt while FMQing. Janome has a slider made for their machines that has a small opening over the bobbin cover.  I laid my slider on my machine and felt for the bobbin cover, marked it with a sharpie then took an xacto knife and cut it out. Works like a charm.

For FMQ I use the convertible quilting set from Janome. I also purchased the ruler toe for this set once I found quilting with rulers. This is also a Janome part and available at Sew Simple. It is called Convertible Free-Motion Frame Quilting Feet, Part #767433004. As far as I know only Janome has the ruler toe like this.

Tomorrow I hope to get a chance to practice my free motion quilting. I received my new Fine Line rulers last week. I have been too busy to use them so far but tomorrow will be the day. I learned about these rulers from Amy's blog.  I watched her video and thought "YES" I can do this. So I dug out a ruler that I had purchased, not Fine Line, and gave it a try. It was a lot easier than I thought.  I can't wait until tomorrow and I can use the new rulers.

Until next time, Happy Sewing

Friday, December 6, 2013

Latte Quilt Project

December 6, 2013 8:29 p.m.

This is a quilt that I recently completed. The setting is a medallion setting. The blocks were embroidered and quilted at the same time on my Janome 11000 embroidery sewing machine. Every block was completed in the hoop and then joined. My friend quilted the top/bottom and side borders on her longarm. The borders were then joined to the completed blocks.

I worked on this quilt off and on for about 1 1/2 years. I am glad to have completed it. It looks beautiful on my bed.

Since I completed this quilt I have become the proud owner of the Janome 12000. I am really enjoying this machine. It really sews great. I purchased this machine from Sew Simple in Lynchburg, VA. He is the nicest man. You can learn more about him at or by visiting his facebook page.

I have lots more projects I would like to share but that will take time.

Until next time.