I have enjoyed posting all of my projects over the years and sharing tips and tricks. I hope you have enjoyed reading my posts and watching my videos. Over the last year I have decided it is time to move on to the next chapter. So I will no longer have items for sale including free items and my sites will go dormant. Thank you for supporting me and keep sewing.
Veterans Day is fast approaching and I always like to remind myself that thanking the people who have served is easy and rewarding. Are you looking for a small inexpensive project to gift to a veteran? How about a pair of customized suspenders?
Here is a rendering of a pair of plain suspenders with a patch added to it. This blog post is a reboot of an older one where I initially digitized and listed several embroidered suspender patch designs in my store. You can read it here. I made a pair for my husband and put a NERD patch on them. He loves and wears them all the time. Suspenders come plain and with patches already attached. I did a You Tube video showing how a patch like this can be created and easily added. In the video I go into removing an existing patch and creating a new one. Check it out at the bottom of this post. Click the link to be taken to the Veteran Patch design you can use. Check it out here.
I have noticed that as men get a little older, they tend to want comfort over style more. A belt may not be their favorite accessory. Suspenders are a great way to help keep the pants up and not cut off circulation to the belly area when they are sitting or bending to work. Also, Veterans are very proud to display their service by wearing hats and shirts. A custom pair of suspenders is perfect to add to their wardrobe! Have I inspired you to make a pair of suspenders today for a Veteran? If you want to see how easy it is, watch the video below. Then visit my store here to get the Veteran Suspender Patch Embroidery Design. I hope you have enjoyed this post, share what you learn and are generous with what you create. Someone will appreciate your hard work.
I have released a brand new Quilt Block Sewing Pattern in my store. It is a Pink Ribbon Block. The sewing pattern includes two size variations; an 8 and a 16 inch finished block. I really enjoyed designing this updated version of the ribbon for causes.
Here is the pattern cover and looking at the fabric requirements, I bet you have these in your stash. What do you think you could make using one of these Pink Ribbon Quilt Blocks? Maybe a pillow? Or a tote bag? How about a wall hanging?
If the wall hanging idea gets you inspired, I have included a bonus pattern in the download. So you can make the eight inch blocks and put them all together into something very special. Don't forget the ribbon is used for several causes with different colors. So this pattern can be used many times.
Pink fabric is literally everywhere right now. In fact, I found these fat quarters at my local Dollar Tree. Aren't they pretty? The quality is nice also. That dark pink is the one that I used for my block and it was sturdy.
I pulled out some remnants from my stash for the background since it didn't require much fabric.
Here is a little preview of the units in the block. It really goes together nicely. I have a short video that I filmed showing how it is sewn if you are interested. Look for the link below
I hope you enjoyed this post, share what you learn and are generous with what you create. Someone will appreciate your hard work.
It is looking pretty spooooky around here! That is because I just finished the Mystery Haunted Halloween Quilt Sew along sponsored by Fat Quarter Shop. You can visit their site here and get the pattern for FREE!! This was such a fun quilt to make. I had fabrics in my stash purchased from Tuesday Morning several years ago. I miss Tuesday Morning. It was my secret place to get notions and fabrics. Sadly, it is no more as they went out of business. I am glad I had a choice of Halloween fat quarter bundles purchased when I didn't need them. Who says buying fabric for no reason is a bad thing?
The pattern is easy to follow because they have broken it up into four sections. When it was initially introduced, Fat Quarter Shop did a weekly sew along. Their site has all the links to piecing tutorials on their You Tube page also. If you need more inspiration just head over and watch the videos. It will get you pumped up.
I can't explain the feeling of satisfaction when you get everything cut up and labeled. Just look at all of those pieces ready to create something beautiful. The letters make so much of a difference when grabbing pieces. If you have never tried this method, give it a shot on at least one block. You will never go back to stacking random fabric shapes hoping you get it right.
I also used project boards made from foam core and batting. This is the brain child of Lori Holt from Bee In My Bonnet. Lori is one smart lady and everyone in the quilting world seems to have adopted these boards to move pieces of fabric between pressing surfaces and their machine; or to lay out the blocks and ensure they are correct before stitched. She has so many other ingenious ideas. If you haven't seen her blog, patterns, books or You Tube page, you need to check her out. Until a couple of years ago, I had never heard of her. So I guess I was under a rock.
Sewing the blocks the way they have them organized really breaks up your sewing time. I felt like I totally managed the pattern and didn't feel overwhelmed.
This Kitty looks complicated but honestly I was able to get it sewn in under 30 minutes. It turned out to be the easiest block of the quilt for me. I also had a craving for candy corn.
The blocks are all done here and ready to sew together. Matching was easy also.
Ready to load onto the longarm. You can quilt this on your domestic machine. I knew I had a spiderweb design in my Pro Stitcher software so I had to try it.
Look at that design pop on the quilt back. So cute and since it is a smaller size I was able to knock this out in a couple of hours including loading time.
Perfect for a wall hanging to decorate my house. Don't you love smaller projects that have a big impact? This one sure does. I do have a video you can watch below that goes into more detail and shows some of the quilting. I hope you have enjoyed this post, share what you learn and are generous with what you create. Someone will appreciate your hard work.
October has come around again and it is of course Breast Cancer Awareness Month. If you have followed my blog, you know that I usually have a project working to donate to my local Cancer Treatment center. I have several free patterns and embroidery designs you can download here.
I have digitized a brand new Sassy design that I think you will really like. The font is curly and feminine and oh so pretty stitched out. It sews up quickly so in no time, you can make yourself a cute polo. Or sew this for someone in the medical field on their scrubs.
How about giving your doctor a gift of embroidery on their medical coat?
The kitchen staff at your local hospital or clinic would love to have this stitched onto their aprons.
Here are a couple of Polo examples so you can see color choices.
Breast Cancer is currently 30% of all new female cancers each year. This embroidery design is a small gesture you can easily do to show your support for finding a cure. Plus it's FREE! Grab the Free Think Pink Embroidery Design here.
I hope you have enjoyed this post, share what you learn and are generous with what you create. Someone will appreciate your hard work.
My Baby Lock Destiny 2 is a very nice combination Embroidery and Sewing machine. I have gotten a lot of use out of it so I understand that maintenance is crucial to good performance. A couple of months ago, I did bring it in for a thorough cleaning and servicing. When I got it home, it was like a new machine. Smooth and even stitches. After a while, I noticed when doing embroidery, my satin stitches began pulling the bobbin up to the top. The first thing I thought was it needed to go back to the dealer. Then I realized it might be my bobbin case.
Some of the Baby Lock and Brother embroidery and sewing machines will use a "Green Dot" bobbin case. You might not realize yours has a small dab of paint over the screw that would usually be rotated to increase or decrease the tension. This "Green dot" is Loc-tite installed from the factory. They do this so you don't have to adjust your bobbin case. It means that you should get a consistent tension from your default bobbin with the bobbin thread your machine has been calibrated to. Mine works best with 60 weight thread. The picture above shows the bobbin case with paint on the left side. On the right side, I have a second bobbin case that came with my machine. It doesn't have green paint on the small tension screw.
The bobbin case without the green paint on the small screw can be adjusted if you are using a different weight bobbin thread. You may choose to use thread that matches your top color in your bobbin. If so, using the case that can be adjusted might give you better results if it is say a 40 weight. This thread in the picture above is the type I am using. It is 60 weight. Since I had an extra bobbin case with my machine, I had a great way to test the tension on the one I thought might need to be replaced.
The first thing I did was remove the case and clean really well underneath it. This should be done periodically. I try to remember after each project. You would be surprised how lint can affect the bobbin case. Follow your instruction manual and do any maintenance according to it. My sewing machine was turned on for this picture so you could see the lit up area. Normally I would turn the machine off when cleaning and replacing the bobbin case.
I found my tensions were different when using the original "green dot" bobbin case and the non painted case. I also ordered a replacement green dot case from an online source. I did a satin stitch out using each case so I could see a side by side comparison. Very scientific don't you think? I kept the same thread in the top and bottom also.
All three stitch outs are different. The center satin stitch was the original case. The white thread is being pulled up along the edges. This tells you that the bobbin case is not keeping the tension tight enough allowing the top thread to pull it up. The satin stitch on the left is the non painted bobbin case. It was vastly improved and immediately I knew after seeing the stitch out that the bobbin case was the problem . The right satin stitch is the "New" green dot case I purchased as a replacement. It was also much better than the first stitch example. I did this with my embroidery unit but you could do the same thing by using a wide zig zag stitch that had been shortened to create a satin stitch. Using different colored thread on top and bobbin will also allow you to see the stitch variations.
So it was definitely time for me to get that bobbin case replaced. Take a look at yours and if you are having similar issues, maybe you have a second bobbin case in your accessories. The replacement I ordered online was very affordable and now I am so happy I can sew with confidence again. I filmed a video you can watch bellow showing the stitch outs. I hope you have enjoyed this post, share what you learn and are generous with what you create. Someone will appreciate your hard work.
Talk to quilters and each will have their favorite quilting task. Some enjoy the planning with fabric shopping. Others really like cutting all of the fabric and laying out for sewing. Piecing is probably the big winner among quilters as their most enjoyable thing. A rare few I have spoken to really love binding their quilt. Most have mentioned to me that they finish their binding by hand after attaching with a sewing machine. In classes I have attended, there are usually quilts on display and I always turn the edge to look at the binding. How was it finished? Did they do it by machine and if so, what is their secret to even binding and stitches? That is the million dollar question because every machine is different just like every quilter. I have even had teachers refuse to answer because it is their trade secret and part of classes they offer. I can't blame them because it is how they earn their living. Even so, this method isn't something I have ever seen so maybe you haven't either and it will be that magic process for you.
I have been on a continuous search for a better machine, a better binding foot, better clips, pins, glue, pressing etc... I think I have watched every binding tutorial and read magazine, blog and web articles looking for some way to get consistent results. Results that look as beautiful as the piecing I work so hard to make match and meet. I think that is why quilters dislike binding so much. We have worked and sweated on the pieced top and to get a mediocre end binding result with a machine infuriates us. Maybe you want a quick binding method with a machine because hand sewing isn't your forte. I think I might have stumbled upon a great method just from trying literally every sewing foot out there for my machine. I have done sewing tests, made samples with other methods; and to date, this one is the most consistent.
Meet the blind hem foot. This is an unconventional foot to use for binding but it gives great results because of the center flange. It will ride the left side of the binding and if your needle placement is moved to the right side of the flange, you will be able to get a consistent stitch line.
Your machine may not come with a foot like this. I have a Baby Lock and a Brother so the foot will fit both of them. It is a snap on and you might be able to purchase an adapter to fit your machine. Please do your research before you try this or damage your machine. Every manufacturer should have some kind of blind hem foot. Your results might be slightly different from mine, but you can practice and make changes until you get your best results. If you will notice, the flange has a small indentation. That area has a spring movement that allows the fabric to ride along the flange and then as it gets to the indentation, the edge will slightly fold upwards. If your needle is in the crease of the fold, it will land a stitch exactly inside.
A very important measurement to look for is the needle width or position. Every machine is different and older ones might not be able to articulate side to side. If yours will, try to use a 5.5 millimeter width. That seems to be where my fabric makes that tiny fold against the blind hem foot flange.
Here are the other tools you will need. A 1/4 inch foot. I like one with a flange. I use this to sew the quilt binding to the BACK of the quilt. Two binding Wonder clips are all you need. Make sure they measure 1/2 inch from the hinge of the clip to the end. You will use these to fold and "measure" your binding fabric as you move along the quilt edge. I also usually keep a bamboo skewer handy to help manipulate the fabric.
Here is your placement of the blind hem foot. The flange rides the left side of the binding. The needle is in the 5.5 mm width setting to the right of the flange. The binder clip has 1/2 inch width of binding folded into the hinge area. Adjust the fabric width as you sew. Move the binding clip about 6 inches in front of you as you sew. That is plenty of fabric to manage. If the binding width needs to be adjusted, do it as you go along. Working in short bursts or length like this will allow you to avoid having to pin or glue the entire binding edge before sewing. I have done both and never got excellent results.
When you get to a corner, use the second clip to hold the bottom fabric width to maintain the 1/2 inch. Sew until the needle catches the binding at the turn. You will probably have to backtrack a couple of stitches when your turn that angle to get the flange along the next run of binding.
Here is the quilt after the turn. You can see the binding clip placement. It needs to be moved about 6 inches forward to continue sewing.
Taking your time will ensure straight even stitches. You will see this stitch line on the reverse side. That is why a matching bobbin to the back fabric is a good idea.
The stitches on the back are slightly visible. Gone are the days of trying to land in the ditch for me. I am more interested in having a binding that will withstand washing and drying because we use our quilts. If it needs to be show quality, I will finish them by hand. Remember, it's your quilt. I didn't see the quilting police sweating with me while I sewed this together. No comments allowed except compliments!
So pretty don't you think? Have you been inspired to try this method of machine binding? Would you like to see it in action? I have a YouTube video you can watch below with lots of detail. I hope you have enjoyed this post, share what you learn and are generous with what you create. Someone will appreciate your hard work.
This summer has been quite busy. I have several projects I am working on around my house and fitting sewing in has been a challenge. When I found out that Lori Holt from Bee In My Bonnet was doing this Bee Vintage Sew Along, I really liked the quilt, but I literally had one day to prepare before it began. There were several things I couldn't get my hands on like her interfacing and ruler to trim the blocks. I also didn't have time to shop for fabric so using my stash was my best option. The bonus is I saved money and freed up some space in my studio.
The quilt sew along guide is free to download from her webpage and Lori does an introductory video on her YouTube channel to start the quilt. Then you follow the schedule in the guide and read her blog on the scheduled sew days. She goes through each block with techniques and tips. This was the first time I have done one of her sew-alongs and to be honest, I was always a little confused when I watched videos because it seemed like there was a lot of information to keep up with. Other bloggers and YouTube channels show their way of keeping up with the simple shapes that you use to create the applique blocks. There are binders you can purchase that Lori Holt has designed specifically for that purpose. You can also buy several cute tools that are color coordinated. In other words, there can be a lot to keep up with, but if you have the sew along guide and her simple shapes, you can make this quilt. Now that I have finished one, I am confident I could do another
Lori's Blog Page And Simple Shapes
If you have never done applique before, this quilt will certainly make you decide if you love it or not. By the time you are finished you will have worked with many different size applique pieces. The basic premise is you trace the simple shape onto a piece of lightweight interfacing. Then you layer that interfacing on top of the chosen fabric and sew along the traced line. A small cut in the interfacing allows you to turn the shapes so the edges are not raw. Then you sew the shapes to a blank block of background fabric. My best tip is to keep a turning tool close by. Some of the small shapes are a little finicky and I did have to use a pair of locking clamp pliers to assist.
The sewing guide will also show you all of the fabric quantities and colors you need to purchase or find in your stash. At first it looks confusing because there are a lot of different fabrics. I didn't cut or organize my fabrics at all. In fact I just had them in stacks and each sew day, I found the block to work on and pulled fabric out of my stash. It was very unplanned so I felt like I had a little more creative thought as the quilt went together.
Here is my stash of fabric and my clear project box where I stored finished blocks.
Here are the completed applique blocks in order of the schedule starting with the Vintage Strawberry. They get a little more complicated as you go further along. Some of the blocks had hand embroidery on them. I used my digitizing software and machine embroidered those like the antenna on the butterfly. There are also a couple that need buttons. I will add them after it is quilted. Lori is very easy to follow in her instructions. I did make some fabric color alterations like the umbrella. I had a piece of fabric I loved but it wasn't similar to the original quilt. No worries. Lori says it is your quilt. DO what YOU love.
Laying them out as they are completed really gets you motivated to continue. The design is very simple and I think that is why her quilts are loved by so many quilters. I enjoyed having this quilt to do and appreciated the guide so much. It kept me focused even though my days have been full so I could get it done. I have not quilted it yet but plan to as soon as those home construction projects are done and I can get back to my longarm machine.
Here is the quilt top laying on my queen size bed. If I added another border, it could fit nicely. I don't think I will though. There was so much work in this that I would be upset if it was ruined or stained. Maybe I will hang it on a wall instead. We will see once it is quilted. I filmed a video you can watch below showing some of the construction. I hope you have enjoyed this post, share what you learn and are generous with what you create. Someone will appreciate your hard work.
I love getting promotional bags when I go to events. Sometimes large companies will reward customers with neat products like this bag. It came with a branded patch on it and luckily it was stitched and not glued to the bag. I actually got two bags and thought I would customize one and gift it to a dear friend who is expecting.
This is a really neat baby bag because the bottom zipper compartment is a cooler. The top netting area is large enough to hold lots of items. I think it would be perfect to hold bottles in the bottom. Diapers, wipes and a change of clothes will fit nicely in the top. Having airflow in the top is a great idea for baby items that might need a washing. You know babies go through lots of clothes. I first removed the branded patch and measured the stitching area.
I used my embroidery software to digitize a new patch with the baby's name and then my Echidna hooping station assisted with hooping. I did not use any stabilizer because the fabric of the bag had more than enough stiffness to it. Sometimes I will do this if I feel stabilizer is not needed.
The Mighty Hoop holds everything together very well. It is ready to load onto the embroidery machine.
The PolyPatch Twill from DIME is a perfect material to make this patch. It is already stabilized and this multipack has a lot of color choices. I did use white so it would match the trim of the bag.
Here is the end result and what a beautiful patch! I even added a cute butterfly in the corner of the design. It always amazes me to see simple embroidery designs elevate ready made items.
If you have embroidery software, you can create your own patches. I have a video below that shows how I digitized the patch and then the stitch out. Take a look at it to get inspired to customize your own bag. I hope you have enjoyed this post, share what you learn and are generous with what you create. Someone will appreciate your hard work.
This summer has been a busy time for me with my quilt making. I have done several donated quilts and this is the third free Quilt of Valor pattern in my series. It can be completed using a panel or large scale fabrics. Visit my link here to see several projects you can sew and donate.
I was lucky enough to have this panel gifted to me for the purpose of sewing a quilt to be donated. The panel was not totally intact so I did get creative with using it in the corners of the quilt. The printed squares were 16 inches finished so this one was very easy and quick to piece together. I also used the narrow areas in the borders of the quilt. All other parts of the Quilt Of Valor were from additional fabrics my friend sent along with this panel.
There was even a block in the fabric I received. It became a focal center of the quilt with patriotic sashing and cornerstones. You could instead use a large scale print or part of your panel for the center. Remember it is your quilt so do what makes you happy. The pattern shows the measurements required for cutting all pieces but you are the designer.
Here are the borders using the remainder of the panel. Careful placement in the middle of each side really shows off the text.
Do you press your quilt top and back before loading it on your longarm frame? This really prepares your quilt in a way that makes it easily accessible. I will mark the top left corner of the front and backing with a safety pin also before hanging it on a hanger. The back is squared nicely so there is an even edge to pin to the leaders. Orienting large pieces of fabric that have been marked already ensures they are loaded properly on the frame cutting down on prep time. Seeing this hanging next to my longarm excites me so much more than a rolled up wad of fabric and batting that has to be measured, trimmed and pressed. Your longarm quilter may require this as a step so make sure you read their fine print when sending your quilt off to be finished.
Quilted and trimmed right on the longarm frame. Ready to be bound. This top goes very quickly because of the 16 inch block sizes. Using a panel or large scale fabric and pulling solids from your stash will be so satisfying.
Simple, but sometimes less is more. Have I inspired you to sew a Quilt of Valor using a panel in your stash? Get the Free Pattern here. Look for my first QOV1 free pattern here and my second Free One Block Picket Quilt Of Valor Pattern here. Watch the video below showing this panel project from beginning to end. I hope you have enjoyed this post, share what you learn and are generous with what you create. Someone will appreciate your hard work.
Sometimes you purchase a panel or have a focus fabric that you hate to cut up. Recently at my quilt guild, one of the members brought in several different panels and said whoever wanted to make a quilt could have them for the use of the guild. I jumped on this piece because it would be perfect for a car lover. I knew if I made it the perfect person would end up with it.
I found three different remnants in our stash of fabric from the guild. I love the first geometric border. It looked like vintage car interior to me. The black border was great to frame the panel and the brown print helps to soften the top from that black transition.
I used a brown fabric on the back and what do you think about that geometric quilt pattern? It looks like a schematic to me. Right in line with cars and mechanical things.
Here are all of the measurements I used for this quilt. It finishes to 58x58 inches. A nice throw size. I filmed a short video to inspire you. Check it out below. I hope you have enjoyed this post, share what you learn and are generous with what you create. Someone will appreciate your hard work.
If you are looking for a project that will use up those leftover quilt scraps and batting, think about sewing cat toys. I recently made a trip to the animal shelter local to my quilt guild. We sew pet beds using leftover fabric scraps and needed to make room for new projects so the beds were loaded up in my car.
That is a ton of beds the dogs will love to snuggle up in. While I was at the shelter, I asked them if they had any other needs and they requested small blankets to put in the cat rooms as well as some cat toys.
They let me go in the back with them and see how big the areas were. You know this really grabs at your heart. The areas were very clean and well cared for but I will always feel sad seeing animals waiting to be loved.
So I reported the request back to my guild and started working on it. I always have leftover batting and fabric from my quilts. In fact we have bins full that we use to make the dog beds. These little guys don't care what color or if the seams are straight. They will be excited to have a new distraction from a long day in their enclosure.
Here are some of the toys I sewed using my scraps. I added some crinkle with potato chip bags to some. I also sewed mice with long tempting tails. The square hearts have ribbons that can be hung from the kennels to be swatted at. Have I inspired you to sew some cat toys? There is a short video showing how I made the crinkle toys. I hope you have enjoyed this post, share what you learn and are generous with what you create. Someone (maybe a kitty cat) will appreciate your hard work.
I love quick projects that are useful and recently I sewed this needle book. I had just purchased a new pack of quilters needles and opened the corner carefully when I took one out. I used some tape and thought it would be enough to hold those thin needles in once they were stored in my sewing kit. Not enough I found out quickly because when I moved the kit, carried it or tried to open it, there were needles floating around. Very unsafe. So I put everything down and immediately sewed this project. I am so glad I did because it has definitely given my needles a stable soft place to wait until I need them.
Look at that tape. I don't know what I was thinking except maybe I was in a rush to work on something else. You know that is not going to last very long is it? I love how the needles are lined up in a row and I can wrap my thread around them so I have a threaded needle ready to go.
Here it is in my sewing kit. I carry this to my guild meetings so I have everything I need. Having your own sewing needles is a good idea if you are going to be sewing in a communal setting for sanitary reasons. Have I convinced you to make your own needlebook yet? How about making some for your sewing friends? All it takes is a piece of flannel and batting and a small length of elastic. A cute button is the final finish.
I filmed a video you can watch also below. I hope you have enjoyed this post, share what you learn and are generous with what you create. Someone will appreciate your hard work.
So how brave are you to work on another quilter's quilt? It is intimidating for sure! I have been working very hard to learn about my Handi Quilter Amara and Pro-Stitcher software since I bought it last summer. I have made several quilts for myself, family members and donation quilts. So it was time to get adventurous. My guild has requests to make several Quilts Of Valor this year and one member asked me to finish hers.
So here it sat with the top, batting and the backing ready to become a masterpiece.
I laid it out with the backing and measured everything to make sure I had enough fabric. I also needed to know what to put in the Pro Stitcher software as far as quilting area size. This was a good time to check for any areas that the stitching might be coming loose and look for potential problems. I did find one and I repaired it so it wouldn't get caught while quilting.
I doubled checked the backing to make sure I had it turned the right way several times. I was so nervous that I would stitch something wrong. Isn't that funny how nerves can play with your mind?
The quilting design is perfect for a Quilt Of Valor with the stars and swirls. Her piecing was beautiful and a pleasure to watch stitch out.
Here she is trimming away the extra backing and batting so she can bind the quilt. That smile on her face really made me feel good. By the way, she hand binds her quilts.
She was so happy with the quilt that she asked me to do a table runner as well. I was very proud that they both turned out like expected. I filmed a video that you can watch showing them being quilted. Maybe it will inspire you to be brave and do some longarm quilting for others. I am sure I will have more in my future. I hope you have enjoyed this post, share what you learn and are generous with what you create. Someone will appreciate your hard work.
Don't you love a free pattern that is quick and fun? This Patriotic Wall Hanging designed by Kaye Collins from Oh, Kaye Quilting is perfect for this time of year. We have several patriotic holidays coming up and if you like to decorate I think this might become a new favorite. I took a longarm class with Kaye at the Sewing And Quilt Expo In Atlanta. She is a Handi Quilter educator. I really enjoyed the class and now receive her newsletter emails. This project was in one of the emails and I printed it off thinking I really want to make that.
I like the pattern because it doesn't require much fabric and you have lots of options. The fabric requirements are easy especially if you have scraps. She has two different finishing options. One has a binding and the other is envelope style. I chose the latter because I didn't want to fuss with a binding. I also altered the stars a bit. On the pattern, she has you do raw edge applique.
Instead, I used some wash away stabilizer and traced the included pattern with a heat away Frixion pen. Then I layered the stabilizer on top of the right side up fabric, sewed around the traced star and trimmed away the excess. I cut a small hole in the stabilizer and turned the star right side out carefully poking out all of the corners. This is an easy way to get a hem finish around those edges. I used a zig zag seam to attach the stars on the pieced panel. A small amount of fiberfill made the stars puffy. I finished with some hand sewing.
I did the quilting on my domestic machine with variegated patriotic thread. I used one of my specialty stitches and the edge of my presser foot to guide me around each star.
All of the other quilting was simple straight lines. I matched the bobbin to my back fabric.
Here is a close up of my other fabrics. Stars everywhere! You could really make this wall hanging your own by using different fabrics. How about using camo or subdued military fabric? Maybe the Army prints for one strip and a solid khaki grunge with black stars? I see your creative wheels turning now.
Look how pretty my front porch looks with my wall hanging. I love the size of the finished project because you can really see it from the road. Those dimensional stars pop! Are you inspired to make your own wall hanging? You have time before Memorial Day and then use your hanging to decorate through the Fourth Of July! Check out Kaye's website here. She has lots of great content. I hope you have enjoyed this post, share what you learn and are generous with what you create. Someone will appreciate your hard work.
This is the time of year for all things patriotic and I have a brand new FREE Quilt Of Valor Pattern. I am calling this a One Block Picket because the angled pieces remind me of picket fences. Every block is sewn exactly the same way and when they are rotated, a star will show up from the light fabrics.
Here is a view of the block and how they are rotated. See the beautiful star along with a secondary pattern that is formed. The best part is you can use light colored prints or solids for those star areas. You can also use medium to medium dark prints for the other end of the pieced block.
Much like my last Quilt Of Valor Free Pattern, we grabbed leftover fabrics from our Quilt Guild stash and designed this pattern around what was available. We did also have a sweet fabric donation that arrived in our mailbox from Texas. Some of those were used in this quilt also.
Here is a view of some of the many different scraps we used. Our long strips were blue and we used what we had so they are two slightly different colors. This was a fun project to sew together. There is not much to match up when sewing the blocks.
The top has two borders and finishes to 70x78 inches. A nice size for a Quilt Of Valor. The free pattern is available here. It's easy to add to your cart and then you will receive an emailed link to download the PDF. I did film an instruction video that will show you how the block is sewn together along with the quilting I chose on my longarm. Download, sew and donate one today! I hope you have enjoyed this post, share what you learn and are generous with what you create. Someone will appreciate your hard work.
I love bowl cozies and I have been sewing up some for my quilt guild. These are great sew and sell items. When we trim off the batting and fabric from quilts, there is a lot of usable materials. If the batting isn't wide enough, you can use a zig zag stitch and piece it together. Make sure it is 100% cotton batting if you want to use the cozies in the microwave. In fact all materials, fabric and thread need to be 100%cotton if you want to heat them in the microwave.
I actually did another blog post on bowl cozies several years ago about sewing them from Dollar Tree Towels. You can check it out here. Those are so cute for kids birthday themed parties. I made an instruction video, but I never actually wrote a pattern. One of the guild members asked me for it so here it is. Just add it to your cart as a FREE Download
These go together really quickly once you have them cut out. There is just a little bit of marking for the darts. After you have made the first one, you will want to make many more. A large needle like a 90/14 will be necessary through all of the thick layers and a longer stitch length like a 3 - 3.5 mm.
Are you ready to get sewing? Download the FREE BOWL COZY PATTERN HERE and watch the video below. I hope you have enjoyed this post, share what you learn and are generous with what you create. Someone will appreciate your hard work.
I have been busy sewing a Quilt of Valor. Recently I was at my quilt guild and I found a box of donated fabrics. Like treasure waiting for me, there were four orphan blocks that are represented in the pattern by the nine patches above. Since some of the piecing was already done I thought I would take it further and design a quilt using these blocks. I also found solid red and blue fabrics in the box. These were used in the large half square triangles. I did have to purchase white fabric and I had the navy blue in my stash which I used for the cornerstones.
Using the measurements of the orphan blocks, I was able to design the rest of the quilt easily around them in EQ8. I am starting to really like this program because it takes the math out of the cutting equation. That makes quilting more fun for me.
You never know what you are going to get into when you work with blocks that you haven't pieced. These were stretched out a bit in the centers from being handled over time. I knew that once they were in the quilt and on the longarm, there would be some fullness that needed to be worked with. I did press them with steam and that helped a bit.
Here is a photo of the rows as I got everything sewn together. If you download this Free Pattern just be aware that even though the blocks are large, they can still be confusing with the angles. So pay attention when you sew the rows together. Looking at the picture versus the rows above and you can see I have some upside down. Glad I caught them so I didn't have to rip.
I did quilt this on my longarm using a continuous block pattern available in Pro Stitcher. I used a silver thread and it came out really nice.
The binding was sewn on by machine as this quilt will be donated and I wanted it to be very secure.
Here it is hanging outside my house. I had to rotate the picture so it didn't drag the ground. I love how simple this pattern came out. It took me a couple of days to piece and then an afternoon to quilt. So I think it would be really good for a beginner. The pattern will have all of the cutting and fabric requirements. I didn't include a lot of sewing instructions because you can easily follow the picture which is what I did. I just sewed the big pieces first and then worked down to the smaller units.
Are you ready to sew and donate a Quilt Of Valor? You can find a group local to you for donation by searching the Quilt Of Valor Foundation Website. I filmed a video showing the quilt being put together and the longarm quilting. Maybe it will inspire you to make one! I hope you have enjoyed this post, share what you learn and are generous with what you create. Someone will appreciate your hard work.
I think I have been spending more time on the road recently than in my studio. It has been a beautiful spring in my area and I am so glad I took this recent day trip to Oneonta Alabama. You know it is always a sweet surprise to find something local to your area and realize you don't have to go very far to find beauty. I drive past the Oneonta exit when going to Birmingham and have never gotten off the interstate. I can say it will be a destination in my future because there is a lot to see if you love mountains, rocky outcrops, creeks, parks and small town home cooking restaurants.
Oneonta is located about 36 miles north of Birmingham Alabama in Blount County. It is known as the Covered Bridge Capital of Alabama because there are three located within a short drive of each other. I used Map quest to see how to plan our trip and found that visiting Horton Mill Bridge, then Easley Bridge, on to Swann Bridge and then ending up in Palisades Park made for a nice drive. In fact you could do all of these destinations in an afternoon. You will want to plan for time to get out and look at each bridge and stay for a while in the park also. Maybe bring a picnic lunch and water too.
Horton Mill Covered Bridge was our first stop. It is right off Highway 75 and there is a small parking area. You can get out of your car and walk around easily.
The bridge has been closed to vehicle traffic but walking it will give you such a sense of nostalgia. This is the highest covered bridge above any US waterway and you will feel it when walking from one end to the other.
The Easley Covered bridge was our next stop and it is the smallest and oldest of the three bridges in Blount County. The location is about three miles west of Oneonta off Hwy 231. The small country road will lead you right up to the bridge which is still open to one lane vehicle traffic. There are a couple of gravel areas that can be used to park cars. We saw motorcycle riders enjoying the beautiful day so know that you can traverse the roads on two wheels.
Moving on to the Swann Covered bridge which is 1 mile off Hwy 79 near Cleveland Alabama. This is the longest covered bridge in Alabama and one of the longest in the United States. It is 27 feet above the Locust Fork Tributary.
The bridge has been closed to vehicle traffic but there is a parking area to use. Be careful if you have a low clearance car as some of the parking was washed out. You can turn around with a regular vehicle but if you are towing something like a trailer or driving something difficult to turn on a two lane road, you may have a hard time getting pointed out. The road signs will tell you that there is no outlet. This location looks like a well visited place because you can get right down to the water. The creek was really rushing on our visit so watch pets and small children.
It was a lot of fun to be able to park our car and get out at each location. The Locust Fork tributary is a popular white water kayaking destination as well. If you love nature and fast running creeks, all three of these Covered bridges will delight you. Once you have seen them, make your way back toward Oneonta and visit Palisades Park.
Palisades Park is located on top of a mountain which you can tell from the overlook and bluff pictures. The day we visited, there was no entry fee, but they do accept donations in a drop box at the main office. This a day use park so no tent or RV camping is allowed. If you like to hike or rock climb, you will love this location.
There are several lodges throughout the park that can be rented for events. We were curious about the electrical outlets through the park. After researching we realized that they do a fantastic Christmas lights display every year.
Gazebos, picnic tables and porch swings are scattered throughout for you to sit a spell and listen to nature.
If you like historical buildings you will love the cabins, barns and school house. You can walk right up to these buildings and admire the construction techniques. I love seeing how these structures have weathered time.
I am always surprised where sewing pops up. I am a true believer that it is literally everywhere if you look for it. The Blount County Quilters Guild is located in Palisades Park and what a cute little building they have.
They meet weekly at the cottage and they are very welcoming. I visited Palisades Park on a Monday but I was curious to get inside their space and see how it was set up. So I went back on Tuesday when they were meeting and got to see everything and talk to the members.
The members were glad to have a visitor and I had a great time. They are a Non Profit organization and have several service oriented programs.
They donate quilts to babies and children through the Blount County Sheriff's office. The group also makes pet beds to give to their local Animal shelter.
When you visit, you can purchase handmade items from the guild including hand quilted quilts!.
This beautiful hand quilted quilt will be raffled off in the fall of 2023. You can purchase raffle tickets when you visit also. Most of their yearly budget that helps them promote their service projects are funded though ticket sales.
The group is already hand quilting the 2024 charity quilt. Isn't it stunning?
In October they have a quilt show that anybody can enter. They also have Quilt Of Valor ceremonies in November. Several quilts are currently in the process of being made for this year's program.
Have I piqued your interest in Blount County? I think you would love to visit the area. You can watch my Travel VLOG below of my day trip. If you would like to support a fantastic organization, check out the Blount County Quilters Guild. I hope you have enjoyed this post, share what you learn and are generous with what you create. Someone will appreciate your hard work.
My current bucket list includes more travel and finding interesting sewing exhibits. I did go to the Houston Quilt Show at the end of last year and I attended a Sewing expo in Atlanta this month. I decided to visit Mobile Alabama as my son was on spring break. He is a history buff so a historic destination would suit both of us. Mobile is the oldest city in Alabama and although we only spent two days there, we were not disappointed.
The city of Mobile has a great website that can point you in the right direction if you are thinking of visiting.
Now you might not expect to find examples of sewing on the USS Alabama Battleship, but you would be mistaken. This is an awesome military park. It does not receive any state or federal funding and when you see the sheer size and number of exhibits, you will be amazed by that fact.
You can tour all levels of the battleship. Wear comfortable clothes and shoes. Daily life of the enlisted men is on display and of course if they were living on this ship they would have need of garment care.
Here is one pressing area available to the soldiers. I can't imagine how busy this would have been given the number of humans on this battleship. The requirements of their uniform code and the fabric types made this a daily task.
This was another pressing area on the ship. Look at the foot pedals on the bottom of the machine. Wouldn't you love to give this a try?
Here is a sleeping area and you can see there would have been a lack of privacy.
That makes this area more appealing to me. It is a room for a pressman. He would have worked on pressing the clothes and also slept in this room. So he was always next to his work but he did have a little more privacy.
Here is another example of sewing on the battleship. This soldier was a tailor. He would have done major and minor repairs to clothing and other items on the ship. Again he would have worked in this room and slept there. That rack is high off the floor isn't it?
The History Museum of Mobile was another stop on our trip. This is in downtown Mobile. If you have always wanted to visit New Orleans but are a little intimidated, Mobile would be a great alternative. It has the vibe of New Orleans with the old buildings and southern hospitality. I found it a little easier to navigate with less traffic.
When I found out that this exhibit was at the Museum, it kind of made my decision to travel there. I have wanted to see this and have been close on other trips or just missed it. I wasn't disappointed.
The Museum of History covers 4 acres. It is absolutely beautiful. You would have a difficult time building something of this magnitude today given the marble floors and high ceilings. The exhibits are large scale with horse and buggies, maritime fixtures, local history of Mobile and a wonderful trip through the decades of women's clothing.
Looking at the clothing that is on display really reminds you of the craftmanship that we don't see today in our clothing. These examples are not only fitted, but the fabrics are exemplary. Everything you see is natural fibers like silk. The lace is not the polyester lace we are accustomed to seeing today.
Just look at the back of this dress. This lucky lady looked gorgeous coming and going. I wanted to stand here all day admiring but there was so much more to see. I also had to keep my fingers away from the displays. You know you would want to touch it too!
The city of Mobile has a colorful past and it has survived many hard times. This photo shows women working in the garment factory. I love seeing their sewing machines and how they dressed for a day of work. I imagine this was a hot, loud place to work every day.
This display is part of Dressing The Abbey. If you have watched Downton Abbey you will love seeing this in person. The skill of the seamstresses who made these costumes is enviable. Of course all of the garments were sewn using real silk and velvets. There were some coats that had fur trim on them and I am happy to say those were faux.
Each of the garments were staged using furnishings from the appropriate era or time period. It made the exhibition all the more authentic.
We stayed at a very nice Hilton Garden Inn hotel. I chose the small town of Daphne on the east side of the Bay Of Mobile. It is right off Interstate 10. There are choices of shopping and restaurants close to this location so if you are planning a trip, I think you might like to stay there.
I have a lot more to show you and instead of making this a very long blog post, there is a vlog you can watch below. More sewing travel will hopefully be in my future and you can see the trips with me. I hope you have enjoyed this post, share what you learn and are generous with what you create. Someone will appreciate your hard work.
Lagniappe Peddler believes that the process of working with our hands can be one of the best forms of healing the hurts in our lives and welcomes all who visit this safe little corner of the world.
What is a Lagniappe Peddler?
ˌlanˈyap,ˈlanˌyap - something given as a bonus or extra gift
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