Sunday, May 16, 2021

Another Year

So, 2020 came and went and now nearly half of another year.  To be honest, this new normal is not all fun and games.  I don't like it but as I child I learned to cope with change because we moved frequently from one state to another as my father was an administrative engineer and changing locations was an opportunity to receive a pay increase and gain expertise.   That being said, my method of coping is to keep busy with tasks and hobbies I enjoy.  Knitting has taken a back seat as I have focused on free motion quilting.  

Free motion quilting is meditative and hypnotic or like a runner's high or a zen moment or maybe an obsessive compulsive disorder.  The steady hum of the machine is so soothing that the addiction of filling fabric with thread patterns is my drug of choice for easing tension and relaxing when the options for travelling and quilt shop hopping have been reduced.  

Here are a few of my recent projects to learn the idiosyncrasies of new stationary longarm machine.  

From a quilted fat quarter came 3 little baskets.  The instructions for the 3 little baskets from a fat quarter are from a discontinued pattern by Christina Cameli.  She has been offering an updated version for blog followers, 3 nesting baskets from a quilted half yard.  The smallest basket in the current pdf is the same size as the one below:

Christina's classes on Craftsy/Bluprint and Course Craft were the first of several that have influenced my work and motivated me to keep working on my skills.  Others include challenges and classes by Angela Walters, Lori Kennedy, Helen Godden, and Rachelle Denneny.  I am extremely grateful that these artists are dedicated to teaching and sharing their love of quilting. 
A trip to the beach was inspiration for this piece.  I haven't used it in a project yet but it may become a decorator pillow:

A small sampler was inspired by a pre-printed practice panel by Jane Hauprich.  She featured her panels on Instagram and I didn't want to wait for an order so I drew sections on a fat quarter and filled them free-hand from her photo.  Her panel is 20 inches square but my version is 16 inches.  My goal was to work between free motion quilting and ruler work without breaking thread and switching feet.  I hope to take Jane's feathers class in the near future.  Her quilting is exquisite.  Mine is coming along but not as consistent as I would like but seeing progress is encouraging:

A recent birthday gift for one of the DiL's.  This pillow cover started as a challenge to try Jen Eskridge's Free-Motion Framework technique.  I designed my own framework for free motion fills in EQ8:

This is the video introducing Jen's technique and book, Free-Motion Framework.  If anyone is interested in the pattern for the fills, I will upload it to the side bar of links for free patterns.  I will be trying more designs like this in the future, hopefully on original tie dye fabric from our annual tie dye event with the grands.  

These are just a few of the projects that have taken my focus away from the dreariness of daily news and the passing of my mother and 2 aunts since October.  Spring and warm weather means the garden and yard work will be distracting me from sewing and quilting.  The promise of flowers and garden produce is always a lure to enjoy the sunshine and dig in the dirt.  

Sunday, June 7, 2020

Bluprint Blues

I took a year off from blogging to focus on acquiring a new skill.  Since Bluprint began as Craftsy, I have been purchasing online classes but I hadn't really joined the forum as a member.  In March of 2019, I bought a year's membership with the goal of learning to free motion quilt on a domestic machine and eventually my longarm.  My membership came with free forever classes and almost all the classes I enrolled in for the last year have been on free motion quilting.  Bluprint has been my favorite online class delivery system and educational community.  

Now Bluprint is closing and I am exploring ways to save my content, almost 10 years of classes and the accompanying resources.  I have managed to collect all of the patterns I had in my library but now the task of downloading the class videos.  This program looks promising, Allavsoft.  For the price of a Bluprint class on sale, one can use Allavsoft for a month.  Stay posted.  I will be busy.

It's Been a Long Time . . .

I could write about many topics.  So much has happened but I will be brief and stick to the isolation sewing details. 

In the last 3 months I made more masks than I care to count.  It all started with a nurse on our block needing a few to wear on her house calls.  Then her friends at the hospital wanted some, really a lot, and now it's special requests from family and friends.
My personal favorite for my small face is from I Think Sew.  It is free, fast, and folds flat.  I put them in my purse, jacket and jeans pockets, the car gear boxes, and in zip bags to give away.
In between masks, I have done a bit of happy sewing.  Today, I finished up a piece of thread painting and free motion quilting into a zip bag for a belated birthday gift. 

This zip bag is the second I have done with coloring on fabric with crayons and then adding some thread painting.  The first was for my DiL's birthday in May.   
My daughter asked for a sturdy book bag for her birthday.  She found the perfect fabric but thought the batik print would be too thin.  I said, "No problem, I can quilt that." 
It's been a productive start to 2020 in spite of all the distractions.  Now, I hope to get back to quilting on the Incredible Hulk (Innova longarm).  I have a top I just finished so I can practice some ruler work and free-hand fills from Natalia Bonner's online classes and YouTube videos.  The pattern for the quilt is a new one called Quick QST Quilt from Colorfun Quilts by Erin Ryan.  
So, there is the last few months in one quick overview.  I guess I should cover the last 6 months of 2019, also, but maybe in another entry.  

Saturday, June 29, 2019

Quilt Camp 2019

Great kids, beautiful quilts, and an awesome volunteer team made quilt camp a success from beginning to end.

Saturday, February 2, 2019

What Happened?

The month of January flew by and my Elm Street OMG didn't get finished.  The quilt label will have to be done in the next few days before we see our longtime friends whose daughter had the baby girl just this week.

Other projects were finished.  A Hanukkah quilt top was pieced, quilted, and bound.  Now to make a label.  Ten quilt blocks were made for a 2019 Christmas quilt.  I am really trying to avoid the holiday rush this year.

Just today, I made a new bib for Jojo and two pillowcases for my little sis's best friend now living in Texas.  They won't get there for Chris' birthday but they will by Valentine's Day.

The bib was needed and I wanted to play with my new toy, a genuine KAM Snap Tool and snaps.  I have been wanting a tool to apply plastic snaps for years.  With enough Amazon Prime Points saved, I splurged for my birthday and ordered one.  It works amazingly well.  I wish I had it all the years I was making clothes for my babies and toddlers.  The KAM snaps go in easily and perfectly.  My old tools applied the pronged metal snaps and I had a very high rate of application failure with those style.  I have lots of those snaps left but I am afraid they will not be used unless I am desperate.  The new tool is too much fun!

Monday, January 7, 2019

Elm Street Quilts January 2019 Link Up

Just a quickie to link up to the Elm Street Quilts January 2019 OMG.  My goal is to put a label on this sweet little quilt that was originally intended for a new adopted granddaughter, but we were blessed with an adorable grandson who has stolen my heart.  It will go to friend's whose daughter is having a little girl.

Wednesday, December 26, 2018

Elm Street Quilts December Link Up: Christmas Quilts Labelled and Gifted

The Christmas quilts with coordinating pillowcases were well received.  The labels complemented the themes perfectly. 
Christmas Bear loves to posed with the holiday quilts
Jonah's label:
It was a wonderful year of finishes for the Elm Street OMG.  I am looking forward to another year of fulfilled goals.  Thanks to all who make the event successful!