Sunday, June 25, 2017

My first Bargello

One day while sitting on the sofa with my hubby, I was looking through Pinterest at all kinds of beautiful quilts.  Isn't is amazing what you can find on Pinterest?  He happened to glance over and see one of the quilts I was admiring(pic from Pinterest, not mine!):

Here is the link to her blogpost:  bargello

He immediately said that was the quilt he wanted!  A little about my sweet hubby.  He's an old hippie. He loves tie dye, has long hair and is very easy going.  He supports me totally in my sewing/quilting/crafting hobby.  Even though with all the sewing I have done, I've never made anything for him.

I was a little intimidated by the thought of a bargello, but after looking at the instructions, I decided I would try to tackle it.  I don't push myself out of my comfort zone often enough.  I purchased the jelly rolls through Missouri Star Quilt Company   It takes two jelly rolls.

I took them to a quilting retreat and knew I could ask some of the wonderful people there for help.  I got extremely lucky and another lady was working on a bargello too!  Her's was much more complicated than mine and she had made a bargello before.  She was a lifesaver!  She showed me how to cut and label everything so I didn't get the rows mixed up.

I managed to get the top almost finished at retreat and then had to finish up at home.  Fortunately hubby works shift work, so I was able to work on it when he was working or sleeping.  When it came time to quilt it, I was stumped.  I didn't want the quilting to stand out so I ended up by lots of different colors of thread and quilting diagonally across the rows of color.  Hope that makes sense.

I finished it up in time to give it to him for Christmas.  He had no idea and was shocked when he opened it!  I was the first thing I had actually made for him!

Since I'm notoriously bad at remembering to take pics, this is the only one I have of his quilt.  It's hanging on the quilt rack in our living room.  He loves to show it off when friends come over, but he rarely uses it.  I need to remind him that quilts are made to be used and loved.

To anyone who has been too scared/nervous to try a bargello, I recommend you try.  They really are much easier than they look.  I'll definitely make another someday.

Happy Sewing,


Monday, June 19, 2017

Kansas City Regional Quilt Festival-What fun!

I dragged my sister to the Quilt Festival this last weekend.  The festival lasted three days, from Thursday through Saturday.  We were only able to go on Saturday, that danged work thing gets in the way of all the fun!

I went with wonderful intentions of taking lots of photos.  I knew there would be beautiful quilts and lots of inspiration.  Of course as usual, I got caught up in the moment and rarely remembered to take pictures...even when I had my camera in my hand.  

Here are the four pictures I actually remembered to take:
There is something about those butterflies and the quilting I loved.

I thought this one was fun and whimsical!

Isn't this one gorgeous??

Now for the background on the quilt below:  The woman who made and quilted this one is Becky Collis, she owns   Collis County Quilting    I met Becky through my sister, Kim.  Kim found Becky on Facebook.  Turns out we went to high school together, of course they are "much" older than me!   Kim figured since she kind of knew her through high school, it must be safe to have Becky quilt her quilt tops. I think Becky has quilted three or four quilts for Kim and they all have turned out beautiful.   Anyway, Becky had a finished quilt for Kim and they decided to meet when we all went to the festival.    Becky mentioned she had two or three quilts in the show but neglected to mention she won 1st Place with this quilt!  I talked with Becky about fangirling all the famous quilters there and she admitted she did it too, but I should have been fangirling on her and I didn't even realize it!

I love this one!  My new friend Becky Collis made this, just look at her quilting.  It is AMAZING!

I spent a good part of my time testing out long arms.  My hope is to purchase one in three to five years, so of course I needed to test them out!  That is a whole other blog post.  I will say my top three at this time are APQS, Gammill and Innova.  I need to do a lot more research before I make any decisions.

There were so many vendors with massive amounts of fabric, patterns, and quilting supplies.  It was somewhat overwhelming.  I wish I could have taken two days to go.  The first day for just walking around and taking it all in and the second day for actually making purchases.  Maybe in two years (it's a biannual show) I'll take a vacation day.  If I do that, I can take a class or two also.

It was a great show and sounds like it was very successful, thanks to all the quilt guilds who joined together to plan and organize it.

Happy Sewing,


Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Falling Charms

I recently had a wonderful opportunity to try out a long arm quilting machine!  Oh my I was soooooo excited.  I have a dear friend and her husband who have a long arm.  Don't ask me what kind, why I don't remember I don't know.  I think I was too excited about my finished quilt that I forgot to pay attention to important details.

Anyway, my friends Sandy and Al live about an hour away, with my busy schedule I don't get to visit them often.  One day I mentioned to Sandy that I had a quilt top I needed to quilt and she suggested I come up and Al could show me how to use their long arm.  I jumped at the chance.  We figured out a date that would work for all of us which was two weeks away.  I think I had a harder time waiting for that than I do for Christmas!  It worked out that sweet hubby was off work that day too so he was able to join us.

The quilt top I made was a falling charms pattern

The charm pack I used was Sweet Baby Girl Charm Pack by Doodlebug Designs for Riley Blake.  I think it's such a cute pattern for a little girl.  When I picked this out I didn't have anyone in mind, I just liked the fabric.

Al helped me pick out a quilting design and off we went.  He was so patient, taking the time to explain everything, sometimes several times until I understood. 

We picked this flower design, which goes perfectly with the backing fabric;

I chose the little frogs on the pink background for the binding.  I love how it looks like they are peeking over the quilt!

The finished quilt!

I had a hard time deciding what to do with this little quilt. It's the first quilt I quilted on a long arm, so it's special.  I thought about saving it until we have another granddaughter, but who knows how long that will be!  

I decided it's much better for the quilt to be loved, than to be stored in a box, so we gave it to the newborn baby daughter of one of my husband's coworkers.   They love it and were so touched that we gave them a gift from the heart.

I can't thank Sandy and Al enough for inviting us into their home and letting me play on their longarm.  I've decided a longarm is in my future, probably several years away though.  I'm starting to research them to see what I like.  As a matter of fact, the Kansas City Regional Quilt Festival is coming up later this week.  I'm planing on test driving several different longarms to see what I like.  I'll try to remember to take pics and report back.

Happy Sewing,


Sunday, June 11, 2017

Hooded towels

I'm very late with this seems I have wonderful intentions and then get sidetracked by life.

Every year for Easter I make baskets for my two grandbabies.  I try to be good and fill them with things they will use/need.  I may sneak a little candy in but for the most part I'm pretty good about following my rule.

I love my embroidery machine and don't use it near often enough.  I think my problem lies in the fact that I really only have one sewing machine and that's my Singer Quintet.  I know a lot of people somewhat look down on the Singer machines, but I love my machine.  Once I figured out all the little quirks, she and I fell in love.  Anyway, I use her (Barbara, after my mom) for all my sewing.  I do have an old Kemore, but it's been relegated to the basement.  There's nothing wrong with it, I just don't care for the way it sews.

 I do have a sweet vintage Singer given to me by a wonderful friend, but for some reason I'm intimated by it and haven't gained the nerve to take her for a test drive.  She sure looks pretty sitting there in my sewing area though!

Since I only have the one machine, it seems I'm always sewing instead of embroidering.  It's really not hard to switch back and forth, but it would be nice to be able to embroider on one machine while I sew on another.  So I really need to start saving for another machine.  I've been watching our local buy sell trade Facebook group, Craigslist and garage sales, but haven't seen anything exciting yet.

Wow, it's amazing how quickly I get sidetracked!  Back to the Easter baskets and embroidery.  Every year I make hooded towels to put in the Easter baskets.  My favorite place to get the designs for hooded towels is  Her designs sew out beautifully.  My problem is always picking out which ones to make!   They are really addicting once you get started and get the hang of them.  Just how many hooded towels does a 3 year old need?

If you have never machine embroidered before it can be intimidating at first, but if you take the time to follow the instructions and go slowly with trimming it's fairly easy.

I won't go into too much detail, it's a process and has quite a few steps.  That's a tutorial for another day.  The picture above shows trimming around the applique.  This part is probably the most stressful for me. Sometimes there are tiny areas that need to be trimmed.

Almost done!  Sewing the final satin stitch around the seahorse!

See the stitching along the right side?  That's where I need to cut and stuff a wash cloth in to make her fins.

All done!

I'm not the greatest at taking pictures of the process or of taking pics of my finished pieces either!  But here are the others I made this year for the kids:

See the little blue line between his tusks?  That's one of the  marks I make to line up the towel on the hoop.  It will disappear with a little water.

I love this little monkey!  After making him I think I should have gotten a different color wash cloth for the ears though.

I actually made two monsters, but forgot to get a picture of the other one.  The other one is blue with orange ears.  My granddaughter wasn't sure she liked him.  I think he scared her a little :(

Here are a few more I've made in the past:

I enjoy making these for my grandkids and they seem to love them too. 

 Of course I forgot to get a picture of the finished baskets!  I really need to learn to keep my camera with me all the time!

Happy Sewing!