Monday, May 12, 2014

Jungle Tumbler Quilt

Talk about cheerful colors!  I used fabrics that had a jungle theme and were very bright.  This quilt will be wrapped around a precious baby boy that my little friend is due to have any day now.
I have never tried tumbling blocks before but was pleasantly surprised to find they went together very easily.  I cut a template out of thin cardboard and used it, along with a plastic ruler to cut out the blocks.  They sew together in horizontal rows.  Those rows' seams are then press in alternating directions, first row to the right, next to the left and so on.  This allows them to "sandwich" together when the rows are sewn.  You get such nice points that way!
  They hardest part was laying out the blocks!
 I machined quilted both sides of each seam.  The binding is hand sewn on.
The back is strip pieced with fabric I had left over from the blocks!  I really liked doing it that way.
Hope the little guy loves it as much as I do.

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Old Book Becomes Photo and Postcard Display

When I was a little girl my mother made Christmas trees from old Reader's Digest books.  Is anyone else old enough to remember those?  I think they were spray painted green and used as center pieces.  Lately I have been seeing a lot of  folded book projects that have been so cool.  I love the look of aged paper and bindings.  I saw a very simple one a few days ago that was practical as well as pretty.

All the pages were folded in half lengthwise causing the paper to make a pretty fan.  The pages will now hold photos and postcards upright.
 So pick up an inexpensive old book at the thrift shop and make a sweet vintage display for all your photos.

Monday, May 5, 2014

Quilting on a Home Machine Part 2

Now that you have your quilt sandwich prepared (see this post) get your tools ready!  I use a clear removable extension table made for my machine.  Cost me about 150 bucks but I use it all the time so money well spent.  I tape it to my machine to prevent movement.  You can kind of see it in the second picture below.  I use quilting gloves that have little grippy nubs on the fingers.  These are comfortable and allow you to have greater control over your quilt.
I also use a silicon sheet on the surface of my machine bed to help the quilt glide easily.
 The sheet has a hole for the needle.  Be sure and pull the bobbin thread up through the hole and out of the way.
 I leave my feed dogs up and set my stitch length to 0.  
 I use a generic darning foot that I modified for free motion quilting.  Here is a great utube video that tells you how.  I used a rubber band to adjust the hopping and nipped off a bit off the front of the foot so I could see the needle better.
The quilt is smushed onto the machine.  All you really need to keep smooth is the small area you will be quilting.  Remember, you have pinned the heck out of the quilt sandwich.  Now you are ready to start quilting!
 The next tutorial we will go over how I free motion quilt!
One other thing.  I always have a small (6x6) practice sandwich ready to test my stitches after re-threading either my bobbin or the machine.  Every time I re-thread either area!   Better to find out something is off on the practice piece than on my quilt!  So get into the habit of having that little piece of quilt next to your machine. It will save you tons of ripping out stitches.

Saturday, May 3, 2014

The Rural Society

Ask me how I spent my The Rural Society Spring Sale!
 Dozens of quality antique booths (with a few handmade item, food and nursery booths thrown in too) fill the farm and barns.  So much to see......
 A Streamline trailer was the office.......
 Two story barn......
I picked up a few goodies for myself and even got a few decorating ideas.  Love the color aqua that was everywhere.  It threatened to rain off and on during the morning but that didn't stop the crowds that come from all over the Columbus Ohio area.  The sale is held twice a year and is a must see!  If you live in the area you really need to mark the next one on your calendar.

Friday, May 2, 2014

Ode to the Glue Gun

I actually should have two titles for this post.  Ode to the Glue Gun and Pinterest is So Addictive......
First, here is the before picture of a bench I got for next to nothing ($2) at a church rummage sale.  It was rickety and ugly.  I spent a few minutes gluing and tightening screws.  Then I got out my glue gun, painters cloth, some old lace (another rummage sale) and satiny rope. 
  Where did I get my inspiration?  This Pin from Shabby Chic Tiny Retreat.  I LOVE her blog!  The idea of living in such a tiny house is so fascinating!  But back to the bench.  Took off the old fabric and, don't gasp, I hot glued everything on.  Yep!  I admit it.  I didn't sew, staple or attach any part of this project the correct way.  Went through two sticks of glue.  Burnt my fingers a couple of times too.  Still don't feel bad about using the glue gun (well, except for the burns.....).  The lace skirt hides the less than perfect wood finish.  Total cost for this project.  About $5.00!
Shabby Chic?  Check.

Thursday, May 1, 2014

What a Pretty View

Winter was sooo long this year.  Sometimes I wondered if Spring would ever arrive.  Weeks turned into months of snow covered fields and below zero temps.  One of the few things that let me know that life would someday return to the Ohio Valley were the sweet little birds that visited our bird feeders.  Now that Spring is finally here those birds are finding food in the wild and hardly ever come to the feeders.  I miss them.
 I found this old window with super cool panes and knew I could do a little something above my garden tub to remember all those days spent bird watching.
I used my Silhouette to cut out vinyl stencils.  Craft paint seemed to be the best thing to use as I could later wash it off (or use a razor?).  I wanted the image to be on the back of the glass so that is why I didn't use vinyl cut outs instead of the stencil.  The image would have been on the front of the glass and not as cool.  Now I have a calm view to ponder while I soak in the tub.  Ummmmm.