Friday, January 19, 2018

Cotton Robin and other things

Got my Cotton Robin center done. It's going to be in the mail soon. Fun! Gosh, it's difficult not to show a photo of it since it is supposed to be a secret. You still can sign up to participate. Click on the LABEL on the right if you want to read more about my previous posts about it.

In the meantime I made these two hearts. Little projects. I am sorting out my files in my computer and in paper. Trying to decide what patterns to keep. These are Danish Woven Hearts, traditionally made with red and white paper.

When we were in Israel in September, we visited Nazareth Village and I was very interested to talk to a spinner/weaver. Here is the LINK to the blog. She had a bowl with different colored balls of wool and the natural material she had used to dye it. The dried peel of pomegranate stuck into my memory.

I peeled 3 or 4 pomegranates and let the peel dry forever ... until the pot kept getting into the way and it was time to try the dying. I had been told that the peel has to be dried first, then it had to be cooked. 

After it had cooled I strained it and soaked some pieces of white fabric. Let it soak for a long time.

I rinsed the pieces and put them into the dryer, and ironed them. I expected the color to be more intense and red, not yellow. The second photo shows the color more true. The brown spots on the fabric happened because I should have used a coffee filter instead of the sieve which was too corse. My first ever dyeing attempt.

I think dyeing is not my thing. It's easier to just buy gorgeous fabric (smile).

Sunday, January 14, 2018

NQC Quilt Block Challenge

I came across a new free BOM challenge. Here is the link to NQC Quilt Block Challenge.
The best is to sign up to also belong to the FaceBook group. Block #1 was published and the variety of all the different finished blocks posted is amazing. I learned a lot about choosing fabric by just looking. Couldn't leave it alone and had to try it. The block is 16 inches square. Here is my just finished Block #1:

One of the posted finished blocks was one where a border fabric was used. I "needed" to try that. The only border fabric I had in my stash was this:

It had to do. I cut the squares and pinned them on the rectangles to make sure I had them the correct way. You can see that the one in the middle still needs to be placed.

After I had sewn, ironed and trimmed the flying geese, I remembered that I had read a question on that FaceBook group site about "what to do with the cut-off".

Well, here is what I did. After cutting the rectangles for the inner smaller flying geese I marked them at 2 1/2 inches from both ends on both longer sides.

I paired up the 8 cut-offs from the larger flying geese and trimmed them to 2 1/2 inches on the top.

I placed them as if I had a square (on the marks to be sure) and sewed.

Ironed and then needs to be trimmed.

Here is a tip (you also can find under my Quilt Tutorial tab at the top = all those corner triangles). I don't mark squares across or iron like some, I put I piece of paper across (to be very accurate I pinned this time) and sew along the edge. It works out more perfect then anything else for me and ... it's fast! I would love to know if you tried it and what you think.

I do want to do this block again with a good color scheme in my mind. But I am very pleased right now anyway.

Block Lotto is back!

After a pause of 7 months Block Lotto is back to the enjoyment of a lot of us. I made this as soon as I saw there was a new pattern/challenge up. All the years I participated I usually made 1 block (and won twice) but since I was happy to see it again I made 2 and uploaded the photo.

Few days later I had a little more time to "play" and made 3 more blocks. More are cut out. I would like to make a charity quilt with it. It's a fast pattern.

Here is the link to BLOCK LOTTO if you would like to check it out and participate too (it's also one of the links I follow on the right side).

Thanks, Sophie!

Monday, January 8, 2018

More Postcards

Love doing these. It's my moment of play and relaxation between work.

At the January CR Quilters meeting I will pass along what I know and have learned about it. So, I decided to make a few more samples. I suggested to the group the "Valentine's theme".

I had read that you can also use index cards (or similar) instead of Peltex. That was my first new try. Well, yes, but I had to glue two more index cards over the first one to make it stiff enough. I also did not a very good job on the front. That probably could be improved though.

Having the index card on the back to write on is very nice though. Writing is easier.

Next: Not having a pattern my proportions are all wrong. I decided that doing real free motion quilting (little hearts) is good practice. Ha-ha, turns out to be more then just play.

Google free clip art hearts and ideas like this come up: Appliqué!

Another idea: Machine embroidery. Not perfect but quite cute (I think).

At the moment my favorite. Strip-pieced heart, cut out and appliquéd. I got fond of the shadow quilting. For the fun of it I mailed it to James to thank him for all the support he gives me with my hobbies. When it arrived five days later I asked him whether I could keep it. Really?

Hope I have lots to share after tomorrow's meetings.

Sunday, December 17, 2017

Christmas in a week

It's not too late. There is still a week to Christmas this year. And then there is always next year!

I have already made several of these ... and given them away. Now here is one I am going to keep. I also wrote a bit of a "How to".

Traditionally Fröbelsterne  (or Moravian Stars) are made with paper. I have made them since I was a child in Germany. Paper doesn't always last that long, but last year I decided to make them with fabric. I think they turn out pretty good. People seem to be excited when they receive them as gifts.


You can find something about it HERE.

In Germany you can buy 'kits" of precut paper strips to make these stars. This year I even found some kits before Christmas time at our new Lidl here in Richmond.

HERE IS A LINK which is very informative. It has a step-by-step drawing but also u-tube links etc.
I found out that the star is called by at least all these names: Advent Star, Danish Star, German Star, Moravian Star, Nordic Star, Pennsylvanian Star, Polish Star, Swedish Star or (!) Froebel Star.

Long time ago I also used stiff ribbon. But here is how I did it with fabric.

I cut a piece of HEATnBOND LITE 30 inches by 4.5 inches.

Iron on the back of a piece of fabric. I like this bonding material because it is used with a dry iron, no steam.

Trim all around, peel and iron on another piece of fabric. It can be the same material or different. The selection of front and back material or even different strips make a lot of difference.

Cut the fabric-sandwich in 4 strips each 1 inch wide.

In the internet instructions they say to cut slanted to the tip but that makes the tip week. I do it like this which makes it much easier.

Follow the online instructions. There are many. If you don't like one, there is another you might like better.

Tweezers are my most important tool. Instead of trying to stick the strip through I enter with the tweezers where the strip is supposed to come out and then pull it.

The next two photos show front and back ... different because my front and back fabric was different. I could have used two strips folded the other way ... etc etc.

I like thin gold or silver elastic and make an overhand knot taking the two ends together. A bit of glue into one of the tips and insert the knot-end.

Done! (see photos in the beginning)

Friday, December 15, 2017

My first ever fabric post card

Sorry, sorry, have not posted in quite a while. Life happened. All good though.

I am a member of the Country School Quilters who meet every month in Montpelier. The link is on the right side. The link is great because somebody takes photos of the "show and tell" and it is posted in files under "Our Flickr Site".

The leaders in this group are very active. One lady seems to be "the challenger". She always comes up with a new challenge. And people do participate and we get to see the results. Several month ago the program was about fabric post cards. She had lots of samples and it was very interesting. She past out material to take home and make one. I had good intentions but never got around to do it.

At the December meeting those who wanted too put their name into a hat. Then those participating (I think most) draw a name. Challenge: to make a card and mail it to that person.

I think this is a lot of fun. I made my card and it is in the mail. Actually it should have arrived. We even went to the postoffice to have it hand cancelled. The post-lady had no problem with it.

And then I made another card just because.

The first card is pieced like a crazy quilt but then I top-stitched it onto the Peltex. Silly me used green for that and the bobbin thread shows through the iron-on back fabric. Oh well.

The second has the background like it but I used the "quilt as you go method". This time I used a beige thread all the way. The angel is fussy cut and appliquéd with top and bottom thread different. I also machined the two stars on it.

I mailed the second one to a friend too but made a third like it to keep as a sample. I have a feeling I might make more. It's quite therapeutic to create something which doesn't take weeks and is a finished product.

Monday, August 21, 2017

Church Raffle 2017 ... done

I can't wait to give it to the church ladies Tuesday evening (monthly meeting) and check this project off my to-do list.

Yes, another Adnentcalendar!

Starting on the first of each December you select which Chrismon you want to add. 
Family members or visiting guests might take turns selecting it. 
The Adventcalendar will look different every year. 

Each Christian Symbol has its meaning printed on fabric on its back. 

HUGE THANK YOU again to my sister-in-law JANE in Windsor, England, for stitching all the Chrismons ... like she did two years ago for this project (see here)

Now comes the question: since this whole thing is my original design, I had to come up with a way to keep the Chrismons ready for selection. 

My first idea was this "hanging basket". I used two pieces of plastic crossstitch canvas for the bottom, back and front. I had a heck of a time making it and gave up half way through. 

I decided that this pouch might be s better solution. Again, no pattern or measurements but here it is:

I wasn't sure that I liked the pouch that much and (as you can see on the earlier photo) continued with the hanging basket and finally found a way to finish it (yes, glueing fabric can be a solution).

So, which one is better?

If there is enough interest in how I made the calendar and each Chrismon, I will concider writing the instructions.