Wednesday, July 27, 2016

More testing and finding the silver lining

Funny Bunny Blocks
These two blocks were tested for Lorna at Sew Fresh Quilts (here). She has done many nature based designs. Last week she had this block and three others up for testing. The big one is 10" x 12" finished and the little one is 5" x 6" finished. Her finished pattern has directions for several different sizes of quilts. These were just fun to do.
Now for the silver lining part of the post. Yesterday I went to the local pharmacy to pick up some eye drops. I had phoned ahead to renew my prescription and it was to be ready at a certain time. I went 45 minutes after that time to allow for whatevers to happen. Well of course there was a big line up so I did the rest of my shopping and came back and there was still a line up so I got in line and waited. After I had been waiting for about 10 minutes a female person walked her shopping cart in through the groups that was waiting and when the "can I help who is next?" was called she just waltzed up to the counter. I will admit I pointed out to her that there was a line and we were all waiting our turn. There were still two people in front of me. So I got to wait some more. The silver lining you ask??? Three months ago I could not have stood at the counter as I did for a few moments short of half an hour so I am gaining my strength and stability back tiny bit by tiny bit. Enough negativity. I am heading back to my sewing room. Piecefully, Joanne

Monday, July 18, 2016

Welcome to Day 6 of the 12 Days of Christmas in July Blog Hop

Thank you for stopping by.  I am thrilled to be part of this particular hop. Sarah over at Confessions of a Fabric Addict has done a fantastic job of organizing this varied gaggle of bloggers and keeping us in line (well sort of).  Make certain to visit her blog daily for the next installment for the quilt along.  She had us test the project ahead of time so that it worked into about an hour or less of sewing per day.

We have reached the midpoint of the blog hop.  Based on what I have seen so far it looks like there is something for everyone who celebrates Christmas and with a little tweaking there is something for everyone who celebrates anything.

For my turn I am going to talk about Folded Fabric Ornaments or Fabric Origami.  There are all kinds of videos on YouTube showing how to do the folding.  This I discovered after I started my love affair with folded fabric.

The red and green "flower" above started as two 21" circles of fabric and finished at just over 10" square.   I have found good contrast between the front and the back improves the final look of the flower.  I thought this one could be a hot mat for the table so it also has an insulated layer of thermolam inside, much as you would have layers of a quilt.  I layered the batting, then the back (green) right side up and then the red print right side down and stitched around the circle, leaving a hole to turn the circle right side out. Before I turned it right side out I went around the circle and took tiny little notches out of the seam.  This reduces the bulk in the seam and helps the seam lie flatter when turned right side out.  Once turned right side out and the opening is stitched, the directions for all sizes are the same after adjusting for the newer size.

The maroon and green ornament shown above started as an 8 1/2" circle, and finished at 4 1/4" square and the smallest one, next to it, started as a 4 1/2" circle and finished at 2 1/4" square.

Steps to make your own:

1.  Start with two fabrics that have fairly high contrast.  Determine the size you want and cut two circles to that size. The final product is approximately half the starting circle size and in this case a circle becomes a square.

2.  Place the two circles right sides together and stitch around the outside edge with 1/4" seam, leaving a break large enough to turn the circle right side out.

3.  Clip the curves on the seam or if using a batting take little V notches out of the seam.  This reduces bulk and allows the seam to lie flat once turned right side out.

4.  Turn right side out, press and stitch the opening in the seam closed using a blind hem or other nearly invisible stitch.

5.  Fold the circle in fourths and find the centre and mark that with a pencil on the good side. this will be covered over when you are finished.

6.  Lay the opened circle on a flat surface with the good side down or the back facing up.

7.  Fold in the curved edges all the way around (1/2" for the small, 1" for the medium and 2 1/2" for the large).  This photo shows the back of the piece with the edges folded back.

8.  Turn your piece over so that the side that has the folded over edges is at the back.  Pull each corner to the centre.  That is the spot you marked in step 5.  Stitch these four points together.  To "hide" these stitches you can add a button or a bead to this center location.

The book Flower Origami by Kumiko Sudo has this and many other flower shapes made using origami techniques. The instructions are clearly illustrated and easy to follow.

Be sure to "hop" over and see what today's other 12 Days of Christmas in July blogger, Suzy over at Adventurous Appliqué and Quilting, has to share! Piecefully, Joanne

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

The Wait Is Almost Over

The 12 Days of Christmas in July blog hop is coming to a blog hear you starting before you know it.  Beginning tomorrow and for the following 12 days you can blog hop here and there, travel across an ocean or two and meet bloggers famous and not so well known. Each and everyone will be sharing an idea or two that could apply to Christmas.  If Christmas isn't your thing there will be gift ideas and thoughts of cooler weather for those of us in the NorthernHemisphere who are finding the weather a trifle warm these days. I will make my entrance on Tuesday July 19 so see you then.

Sarah over at Confessions of a Fabric Addict has us all organized and she is also running a quilt along while the blog hop is running so make certain you stop by her blog (here).

Piecefully, Joanne
Here's a list of all the blogs and their posting dates:

July 14th:     Sharon Vrooman @ Vrooman’s Quilts
                    Carole Carter @ From My Caroline Home

July 15th:    Yanicka Hachez @ Finding Myself As An Artist
                   Chris Dodsley @ made by ChrissieD

July 16th:     Marsha Hodgkins @ Quilter in Motion
                    Leanne Parsons  @ Devoted Quilter

July 17th:     Tonia Conner @ All Thingz Sewn
                    Selina @ Selina Quilts

July 18th:     Lara Buccella @ Buzzin Bumble
                    Soma Acharya @ Whims and Fancies

July 19th:     Joanne Harris@ Quilts by Joanne
                    Suzy Webster @ Adventurous Applique and Quilting

July 20th:     Vicki in MN @ Vicki’s Crafts and Quilting
                    Jennifer Fulton @ The Inquiring Quilter

July 21st:     Michele Kuhns @ Crayon Box Quilt Studio
                    Jan Ochterbeck @ The Colorful Fabriholic

July 22nd:     Alla Blanca @ Rainbows. Bunnies. Cupcakes.
                     Zenia Rene @ A Quilted Passion

July 23rd:     Joanne Hubbard @ Everyone Deserves a Quilt
                    Paige Alexander @ Quilted Blooms

July 24th:     Carolyn Jones @ …by CJ
                    Tisha Nagel @ Quilty Therapy

July 25th:     Susan Arnold @ Quilt Fabrication
                    Beth Sellers @ Cooking Up Quilts
                    Linda Pearl @ One Quilting Circle

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Test Pattern Reveal

I am so excited to be able to reveal this particular test pattern. It is called Ellipse and the pattern can be found in Gudrun Erla's newly released booked called Stripology Squared. On the final two pages of the book she shows one test quilt for each quilt in the book and mine was picked for this particular pattern. The patterns in the book are all designed to use layer cakes. I used scraps to make a layer cake and then put together the design. Each of the ten designs in the book come in multiple sizes, so if you like her modern geometric style you will likely love this book. She started shipping the book Monday so watch for it at your local quilt shop or check out Gudrun's Etsy store.
I continue to make tiny steps of progress with my knee and have a return visit with the surgeon coming up next week. Piecefully, Joanne

Linking with Lorna at Sew Fresh Quilts for Lets Bee Sewcial (here)

Friday, June 17, 2016

A test project I can now show

Jen, over at Patterns by Jen (PBJ) (here) is launching her Star Light, Star Bright sampler today. I made the small size it is approximately 30" square. She has a larger quilt and a couple of table runners in the pattern also. As one might expect I made mine scrappy. A friend had given me a baggie with many of the pieces of used for this little project. I put a nice soft flannel on the back and it is now ready to donate.
I am so happy to be back sewing again and am back to pattern testing also.
Physio is progressing reasonably well. Knee is bending, just not as far as it is supposed to. I see the doctor again in early July.
My main sewing machine has had a trip to the spa and it isn't the same sewing on the back up but I imagine there are many thousands of people who either don't have a machine or for sure don't have a back up.
It is starting to look like a fairly busy summer. The boys are going to spend a big chuck of July with their other Grandma and then they will spend three weeks (every other week) here in August. Piecefully, Joanne
Linking up with Sarah at Confessions of a Fabric Addict (here) and Michelle at Michelle's Romantic Tangle (here)

Monday, June 6, 2016

Modern Quilt Guild Ireland QAL

The Modern Quilt Guild of Ireland is having a Quilt Along featuring the Dutch Rose block. One of those blocks I love. They are making it a rainbow block and have explained a bit about the colour wheel in their first post. You can make a small (baby) quilt with 5" squares or a larger quilt with 10" squares or likely even fat quarters. A couple of years ago our guild did an exchange of 5" charms. Each month was designated with a different colour. At the end of the year we were given a pattern to use but it just didn't fit so I had two baggies full of rainbow inspired charms to pick from. You can find the beginning details of the quilt along here Even if you don't decide to do it you will learn something about the colour wheel from reading their blog.
I got the go ahead to drive today so that is good. He wants my knee to bend a little more and says that when I go back in a month he can give me an anesthetic and "tweek" it a little to make it bend more. So I will be celebrating the 4th of July with another trip to the city to see the doctor. Piecefully, Joanne

Sunday, June 5, 2016

Scraps as therapy

This was a strong motivator for me to get back to my sewing machine and working. I had to be able to bend my knee enough to sit at the table. I am happy to say, I reached that point about two weeks ago and have been stitching ever since. Mind you it is in short bursts of time and then I need to move around a bit. Guess I need to build up my tolerance again.
I do not remember who gave me these scraps. Or most of them. I cut them all to 1 1/2" squares and added some from my scrap heap that I thought would work well with the core group. I stitched them together Leader and Ender style. First one I saw as light with one I saw as dark. Pressing all to the dark. Then those were joined into four patches and then sixteen patches. Once we were at that stage I let them talk to me from the design floor. I had 60 sixteen patches which would have made a really long skinny quilt. So I went with using 56 sixteen patches and kept four for corner blocks. One of my friends drove me to the local quilt shop and I picked out this border fabric. I will be happy to be able to drive myself places after tomorrow's check in with the surgeon.
I have done a lot of reading in the last few weeks but am anxious to get back to doing something more hands on. Piecefully, Joanne
Linking with Cynthia (here) for another session of Oh Scrap!