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!

Thursday, December 6, 2018

Elm Street Quilts December OMG: Make and Attach Labels for Two Quilts

Two quilts are in need of labels before they can be wrapped and put under the tree.  Betty's Original Embroideries offered two reindeer alphabet fonts that should make perfect labels for these quilts.  Hopefully, I will get to the embroidery this weekend and finish the labels before Christmas.  They are my my Elm Street Quilts OMG for December.

Hanukkah is this week and unfortunately the Hanukkah quilt is still sitting in pieces.  It will be a future goal.  I am not planning on staying up all night to get it done before Hanukkah ends.

Friday, November 30, 2018

Elm Street Quilts November OMG Link Up

I have had bronchitis and have been getting behind in most things except one.  I binged on Christmas movies and finished the binding on my November OMG for Elm Street Quilts.  The original goal was to finish the top but I found time to make a back and quilt it.  

Wednesday, November 7, 2018

Elm Street Quilts November OMG: Order Arrived

My dilemma is resolved.  I didn't really like the red metallic print for the last border with all of the other prints.  A Google search yielded the print in the top left of the photo and then the shop just happened to have another one of the prints in that line that will work for the binding.  The fabrics have arrived and I can proceed with borders and finish piecing the top.

Completing the top is my Elm Street Quilts November OMG.

Monday, October 29, 2018

Elm Street Quilts OMG Finish: First Christmas Quilt

October flew by but my Elm Street Quilts OMG was met.  Except for a special label, the first Christmas quilt is finished.  The candy cane print binding was a near perfect match for the shades of red in the Rudolph layer cake blocks.  I am waiting for the letter "J" in the free Reindeer Peeking font to come up at Betty's Embroidery for the special label.

I am waiting

No Words Can Say Enough

Saddened by the events at Tree of Life in Pittsburgh, I am offering two versions of the Kaddish sung by Cantor Ari Schwarz.

English Translation of the Kaddish

Let the glory of God be extolled, and God’s great name be hallowed in the world whose creation God willed. May God rule in our own day, in our own lives, and in the life of all Israel, and let us say: Amen.

Let God’s great name be blessed for ever and ever.

Beyond all the praises, songs, and adorations that we can utter is the Holy One, the Blessed One, whom yet we glorify, honor, and exalt. And let us say: Amen.

For us and for all Israel, may the blessing of peace and the promise of life come true, and let us say: Amen.

May the One who causes peace to reign in the high heavens, cause peace to reign among us, all Israel, and all the world, and let us say: Amen.

May the Source of peace send peace to all who mourn, and comfort to all who are bereaved. Amen.

Wednesday, October 24, 2018

Should I?

I finally broke the procrastination barrier and have the top below ready for borders. 
The fabrics in the top were fat quarters in the stash and except for the black print in the 4 center side blocks and one of the small creature prints in the cream background, online offerings in this line of fabrics are nil.  I can't decide whether the fabrics below are acceptable.  Maybe I need to go shopping.
If it weren't for the checkered 4 patches, I actually like the red and gold print as the outside border.  SIGH!  

Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Rabbit Trails and Diversions

After a very busy day hosting a family BBQ for our 3, the spouses, and the grands, I took a break to make up some earrings.

The sewing charms in the earrings above were a recent purchase on a day trip to the beach.  We made a stop at the Latimer Textile Museum in Tillamook, OR.
Mural at the Latimer Textile Museum
The featured artist at the museum was Victor Pirtle.  His quilts are composed of of many layers of fabric and even more yards of thread in the dense quilting.  My photos are very poor but they are a glimpse of his extraordinary and laborious work.  All quilting is done on a standard home sewing machine.

After the textile museum we walked on the beach and then headed back to Tillamook for lunch, a tour of a local historical museum, and then the quilt shop.  It was a glorious day.  Fall in the Pacific Northwest can bring mild beautiful weather to our coastal towns and beaches.
Quiet beach in Oceanside, OR

The owner of the Fabric Patch in Tillamook, OR loves PINK!
If you look closely in the photo above, two of the county's 100 plus quilt blocks adorning buildings are in view (one on the garage door and the other on the wall of the paint store next to the quilt shop).  Read more about the Quilt Trail here:

Monday, October 1, 2018

Elm Street Quilts October OMG: Christmas Countdown

Christmas sewing has begun.  One quilt is ready to bind and another is in the planning stages.  My Elm Street Quilts October OMG is to get the binding on the first holiday quilt off the Incredible Hulk

The Rudolph quilt was quick and easy layer cake quilt inspired by a freebie from the Fat Quarter Shop.  I made a couple of revisions to accommodate the theme fabric blocks in my layer cake.

Sunday, September 30, 2018

Elm Street Quilts OMG September Finish Linkup: Brief and to the Point

Elm Street Quilts OMG Finish for September
Goal met, binding is on.  I am pleased to have another UFO completed for the September Elm Street Quilts OMG.  DH likes the quilt so much, I haven't gifted it.   Hanging or otherwise displaying the quilt is questionable.  The two rooms where it would look best don't have wall space for hanging or furniture where it can be draped.   We are still debating the issue.  My good intentions of blessing someone with this quilt have been temporarily sidetracked.   

Saturday, September 1, 2018

Solution to Bobbin Thread Tangles

Yesterday, I went to get my travel sewing machine kit with little tools to remove a throat plate and the odd bobbins I keep for testing machines were a tangled mess.  Years ago I saw a tip for making an inexpensive bobbin tray from 5/8" OD - 1/2" ID vinyl tubing.  The tubing was purchased and sitting in my workbench drawer waiting.  I finally made the tray and it works great!  It holds the bobbins tidily in the pencil case I use to hold the tools.
Use sharp and strong craft scissors to cut the tubing to the length preferred and then make a lengthwise cut to separate it.  The heavy tubing has enough strength and memory to hold bobbins of slightly different diameters securely.  Additionally, the tubing can be cut to make small collars for each bobbin but I find them more difficult to cut for the narrow Class L bobbins for my two Pfaffs and they are difficult to remove on larger Class M bobbins that have only a small amount of thread on them.

Elm Street Quilts OMG Link Up: Challenge met with Success

An earlier Elm Street Quilts OMG for the month of July was not on my list as a pleasing finish.  The quilt top was done and the monthly goal was met on time but the borders were rippling and I was seriously contemplating removing them to correct the problem. 
The top was set aside while I finished another older UFO for the month of August.  I also watched other longarm quilters in YouTube videos take on quilts with worse borders than mine.  With 10 years of longarm quilting experience of quilting mostly my own quilts with no issues, I decided I needed to accept the challenge and leave on the wavy borders.  The results were an amazing and I am very pleased.
All fullness was worked in with no pleats or puckers.  The quilt is flat and square with straight borders.  Additionally, the pale minty green thread blends perfectly across the different batiks with no tension issues.  I am a happy quilter!

My Elm Street Quilts OMG for September is to finish binding the quilt.  The binding is ready to attach and with Fall weather bringing lower temperatures and some rain, it should be a pleasant task to sit with the quilt on my lap while I listen to a book or two.

Tuesday, August 28, 2018

Elm Street Quilts August Finish: Binding Made and More

Binding done for August's Elm Street Quilts OMG
With some determination and a cancellation, more was accomplished this month than I had hoped.  When our niece's maid of honor decided to stay with a friend, I didn't have to focus on cleaning and meals for a house guest.  The quilt binding was made on schedule and then attached and hand stitch down while DH attended his 50th high school reunion and I sat at home indulging in audio books and movies.

We also squeezed in the trip to Silverton, OR.  The focal point of the outing was the Oregon Garden.  After a dry hot summer, the garden is still beautiful but not as lush and green as they would be in May or early June.  The free tram tour is well worth the time with bit of humor added to the informative overview of the park.

Unfortunately, I didn't take any pictures in the gardens, only on the entry to the park. The only Frank Lloyd Wright structure in Oregon was moved and reconstructed near the garden gate.  We didn't pay for a tour as there are several videos on YouTube that show off his interior design that includes an extensive use of built-in storage to avoid the clutter of furnishings.

The exterior of the Gordon house may appear simple but the striking features are the unique use of natural light and the way the architect brings the surrounding landscape into the interior of the home with floor to ceiling windows on the ground floor and the light filtering, wood trimmed upper windows.  Also, the use of wood on the exterior of the house makes the cement block home appear more luxurious.   

Just above the Frank Lloyd Wright Gordon house, is an Angel of Hope Garden.  This is one of many angels scattered around the world dedicated to parents who have lost a child.  The first angel was commissioned at the request of the author, Richard Paul Evans, in a response to readers of The Christmas Box.  The Silverton Angel is one of two in the state of Oregon.  The other is in a cemetery in Portland.
Other Angel Locations:
I am not ready for Fall.  Temperatures have dropped significantly and rain has signaled the change of seasons.  The immediate and important benefits are clean air and forest fire control.  If it weren't for consequences of tinder dry land, Summer could last another month or so.  

Monday, August 6, 2018

August Elm Street Quilts OMG: One Step Forward

It seems like the piles on my cutting table are multiplying.  I should be making progress on cleaning it off so I can use it for cutting instead of sorting fabrics for quilts and other projects but I keep getting distracted and instead of organizing, I sew or quilt instead and pull more fabrics out of boxes, adding to the disarray.  Of course, buying more fabric doesn't help either. 

Two small projects for the month would subtract from some of the mess on the cutting table.  If I make binding for the quilt I just took off the quilting machine and the pillowcase that goes with the quilt I made my newest grandson, I can put some extra fabric away.

There is a diagonal print stripe that will make great binding for the Yellow Brick Road below.
Elm Street Quilts August OMG:  Make Binding
And there is surplus of the scattered bunny fabric in the last border of this quilt for the pillowcase.  I promised a pillowcase would appear sometime in the future.
I hope to accomplish more but my sister has doctor appointments, our niece's maid of honor is staying with us the week of the wedding, we have missionary friends dropping by the same weekend, and at the end of the month, it would be nice to take a day trip down to Silverton and Mt. Angel to see the sights.  

Thursday, July 26, 2018

July is a Productive Month

While I ignored the challenges of the quilt top in the previous post, the youngest of the 2 grands and I tie dyed.  Well really, the 6 year old was the only one that really had any interest.  Our efforts were rewarded and he was very pleased with the results.  So was mom.  We dyed some flour sack dishtowels for her.  The three basic colors in the Dharma kit were very bright and attractive.  I will order them the next time I plan a tie dye event.

The week before I completed a patchwork skirt.  While it is not exactly as I envisioned, DH likes it and that is a huge plus.
Rafiki Skirt Pattern from Craftsy

The skirt goes well with a recent bracelet I made. 
Now to complete a necklace. 

From all appearances, some think I have returned to my hippie days.

Elm Street Quilts July OMG Finish: Waves. . .

It has been said:  "Life is a series of waves to be embraced and overcome."  Some longarm quilters would say to embrace the challenge of this quilt top.  The wavy borders are not that bad; some quilters have taken on far worse.  Proof exists on YouTube as they demonstrate their prowess with their longarm using varying techniques to conquer the waves.
Elm Street Quilts July OMG Finish

Two weeks ago, I was planning to take the borders off and use a different sewing machine to stitch them on again.  I am convinced it was having the Pfaff's dual feed engaged that caused this problem because the previous quilt with all bias edges was completed with the Janome 9400 without the AccuFeed foot attached and the borders went on flawlessly with no issues or challenges for me to conquer.

My fear of the challenge has diminished and the thrill of conquest is building.  Stay tuned to see if I rise to the occasion or cave in and retreat to my favorite chair to remove the offensive borders.

Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Little Labels

All quilts deserve a label and all quilters should sign their work.  With those two directives in mind, I finally ordered some small labels for my charity quilts and small projects.  All special quilts will still show off a label made with my embroidery machine. 

The labels are from a company called Wunderlabel.  They have a US office in Springfield, Illinois.  I was pleased with the price, service, and quality.  They are easy to pierce with a needle so I had no trouble taking tiny stitches to secure them.    

Tuesday, July 3, 2018

Elm Street July OMG: Properly Aged

With the addition of three borders by the end of July, this top will be an Elm Street Quilts finish.
Yesterday afternoon, I pulled these blocks out of a cupboard in the sewing room and squared up the remaining 16.  I know why I left them to age for a few years.  They refused to square up so that the seams would match.  Additionally, I was having a terrible time getting a layout that pleased me, but the time had come to finish this quilt top.

The only seams that match reasonably are the large block intersections but with the lattice or love knot layout that emerged when I discovered that I sewed all of the strip sets with with light to dark repeat, precise intersections just weren't worth pursuing.  With a few twists and turns that didn't match the pattern designer's scrappy layout, I found one that satisfied me.  Now to find some batiks to complete the borders so the top is in the stack to be quilted.  Finished is better than perfect.

Tuesday, June 26, 2018

Clip Things

A few years ago, there was a chain fabric store in our neighborhood that had a great sale on those little red clips by Clover.  I bought some and liked them but didn't have enough to go around a quilt.  Someone pointed out that the very same clips were available on ebay and Amazon for a great savings.  I bought this cute little tin of generic clips and now have enough to go around a quilt to hold the binding in place when I machine stitch the binding.

Some have said the clips are difficult to pick up and pinch open.  My recommendation is to line them up on the edge of a little basket like the Lazy Girl Button Boats.  The are much easier to grasp and pinch when sitting upright.

Another product that is saving me much time and hassle are the Clip-n-Seal Mondo 10 Pack Bag Clips.  These are the same thing as the Red Snappers longarm quilters use for attaching quilt backings to leaders on roller bars but cost about half as much.  They are a faster and safer alternative to using long corsage pins to secure the backing fabric to the heavy canvas leaders.

I originally purchased a similar brand of bag clips in shorter lengths and fun bright colors but when they became more flexible with use, they didn't hold the backing securely.  They are still useful when positioning the quilt backing to hold it in place until I swap them out with the longer and stronger version (and as designed for keeping bags securely sealed).  Also, I made side clips to replace the heavy clamps that keep the edges of the backing from sagging that are just like the Leader Grips side clips

Check Joey's blog entry for a link to the Mondo 10 Pack because she kindly answered my questions and she gets credit for referrals if you purchase.

June Elm Street Quilts OMG Finish: 3 in 1

June was a good month for binding quilts.  Don't ask me why because usually the winter months are best for curling up in my chair with a quilt on my lap and a few movies or a good audio book to entertain me while stitching away. 

Here are the quilts in order of completion.  The first is my June Elm Street Quilts OMG finish:
The flowers peeking out here and there remind me of my neighbor's passion flower vine.  We love the beautiful flowers but the roots of the plant are invasive and the plant came up in her garage and other unlikely places.

The second quilt to the finish line was a long time in the queue.  I started this quilt in Walla Walla and it was waiting for me to do the borders when we decided to pack up the HandiQuilter for our great move to the WE(s)T side of the state.  It was my intent to freehand vining flowers and leaves in the last border but instead the borders offered an opportunity to practice placing computerized patterns.  For a first try, I am satisfied even though the program with my new machine doesn't self correct if the borders are not totally straight.  But if I had tried the same pattern freehand in the first and second borders, they wouldn't be any better and maybe worse.  My freehanding skills are limited to a few meandering E2E designs.  This one has loops, leaves, and flowers that were inspired by the fabric prints.

The back of the quilt was
a collection of fabrics in the same colors from my stash.

The last quilt is a favorite of mine and I have enough strips to make a second quilt from the remaining rainbow of strips in a moire print jelly roll:

This quilt is a Cozy Quilts pattern.  The piecing method looks time consuming and tedious but only involves making strips sets of a colorful fabric framed by a white and black strip.  For the first time since I started making quilts in the '70's, I chose to cut continuous borders.  The rainbow batik in the outside border just didn't look as nice pieced so not only do I have the other half of the jelly roll left but I have just enough for the borders and binding, too. 

But don't get me wrong, batiks don't offer much give so don't even consider cutting the binding on the lengthwise grain.  I don't recommend it for another important reason.  The strongest threads run lengthwise and the weakest are crosswise.  A lengthwise fold will cut across the weakest threads and they will more easily fray.  The longest wearing binding is bias cut and with a stripe that runs lenghtwise or crosswise on the fabric, it definitely adds a special finishing touch. 

The binding for June OMG was quickly cut on the bias using a GO cutter.  Just 17 inches of fabric and a simple folding technique produced just the right amount of strips.

Saturday, June 2, 2018

June Elm Street Quilts OMG: Movie Time!

This is a special quilt for a best friend who was my dear neighbor until the end of February.  It was her birthday recently and a few weeks ago she saw this quilt top and loved it.  So, once the binding and a label are on, she will get a personal delivery.  I don't send quilts in the mail.
June Elm Street Quilts OMG: Bind the Whirligigs in the Garden quilt
While I sew on binding, I watch a movie or listen to a book.  There are too many movies on my queue so I have a good excuse to curl up in my favorite chair and stitch away.
The Go Cutter made just the right amount of bias binding from 17 inches of the bubble striped fabric.

Wednesday, May 30, 2018

Project Completed: May Elm Street Quilts OMG

Wendy and I are happy to announce the completion of her first quilt.
May project for Elm Street Quilts OMG
Wendy tried her hand at binding after I finished quilting simple meandering loops I call bubbles.  The quilt is ready for the baby shower in June.