Tuesday, January 31, 2017

you got to have heart....... ❤️ ♥️ 💜 💙 💛 💗 💚 💖

I took a weekend off.  I went to Vermont to go to King Arthur's Flour pasta making class.
It's good sometimes to try new things.... I kept telling myself, knowing full well I was out of my comfort zone.  No BERNINA machines there, not even a spool of thread.... Some of us are meant to cook and some of us are meant to sew.... 
After the 3 hour class, I did have some pasta to take home... only one disaster, as my eggs escaped from the flour nest... but the instructors were wonderful and helped save the day.  
I knitted in the car, making a hat for my future daughter in law...... all the time missing my BERNINA machines,  
Finally this morning, I walked back in my sewing room and got busy.  Project 1.... the Scandinavian Heart project from We all Sew
Then I remembered my 780 is still being serviced.  Ahh, this is why I have 2, ( ok maybe 4 ) BERNINA sewing machines.  You need a backup... 

This is my BERNINA 550.  Talk about a workhorse.  Never moans or groans about anything.  I had to do some decorative stitching on this half a heart shape... I didn't even think about my 780, I just went to the menu of stitches on my 550 and picked one.  
Red side done.... now to do the white part.  
So good to be back with my BERNINA machines.  
Happy sewing everyone

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

today is the day

Today is the day, my 780 goes to the dealer for a cleaning, a tuning, a sensor replacement, and some TLC.   I hate when I have to do this, but I know it is the most important thing I can do for this machine if I want it to keep being there for me.

4 million stitches since I got her, 1 million since my last service.... back in July.  Yes, I go every 6 months.  I use my machine every day, I keep it as clean as I can, change the needle for each project, oil it when I hear it needs it, etc.   Nothing replaces a cleaning and tuning from a BERNINA technician.  Mine is going to Pins and Needles in Mt Kisco.  I know they appreciate how I feel about my machine.  I just hope he works fast.  :). Only kidding Tony, take your time.

While the 780 is gone, I do have lots to do.  Clean the sewing room, Reorganize projects.  Then I can pull out my BERNINA 550.   Yep, I have a back up machine, actually several!  
Do you miss your machine when it goes for a service?  Or am I the only one.... somehow I don't think I am.   It is important. When was the last time your machine went for a spa treatment?
Time to pack her up....
Happy sewing

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

how do your flowers grow....

  I am working on my double wedding ring quilt.... the center is done, but I decided to add an appliqué border.  I used Quiltsmart interfacing for the ring part, so I have this built in border, which is perfect for adding appliqué

If you have never used Quiltsmart interfacing,  it is a wonderful product.  It is preprinted fusible interfacing.  I was going to trace my own flowers, for the border, but when I found this preprinted panel of flowers, flower centers and leaves, I ordered it.  Here is how you use it.  
Cut apart your panel into sections....
These are the leaves.  Each leaf has a solid line for sewing, and a dotted line for cutting

I set up my machine, I lower my presser foot pressure, to about 40.  Makes it easier to sew the interfacing.  Then I lower my stitch length to 1.85,  just a tighter stitch so it will be secure.  
I put my preprinted piece on the right side of my fabric. the fusible side is against the fabric. I sew around the shape,   I cut on the dotted line, on these flowers I needed to clip in the curves.  Then I made a small snip just in the interfacing, near the center of the flower.  I use my hemostat tool to turn it inside out.  

Slowly and carefully, turn it inside out.  I use a point turner to gently work out the edges
and there is my flower.... 
ready to be fused and appliquéd to the quilt top.  

I use this stitch, 1331 to appliqué it to the quilt top. 
Check out the Quiltsmart website.... Quiltsmart preprinted interfacing

I wrote a tutorial about how to do the double wedding ring with the quiltsmart interfacing.  You can find that here.  
I'm sure your local quilt shop would be happy to order this for you.
Happy Sewing

Saturday, January 21, 2017

the eyes have it

Quilt number 1 is done.....

 I wasn't happy with the puffy elephant.... He needed to be quilted, so back to the machine we went..
 There that is better!
and Quilt Number 1 is done....
Now for quilt number 2....
I started with this..... but once again, it needed something
So I went back to my Shiny Happy World Safari pattern
Who to pick?  I finally settled on....

this happy hippo...
this snake.  I love the way their eyes turned out.  On the pattern you are supposed to appliqué these itty bitty circles.  I found this stitch...an oval satin stitch shape.  I used the repeat pattern function, to have it do one repeat.... and I had 2 perfectly shaped eyes. Yippee
Off to layer it and start quilting.  But how?  All ideas welcome please.

Friday, January 20, 2017

Ta da....... almost

I finished quilting the first of 2 baby quilts.  ( twins).   My Q20 and I bonded quite nicely.  Giving it a days rest today and starting to quilt the second quilt tomorrow.

I did my binding this morning, all on machine.  My friend Debby Brown is trapped beneath piles of quilts waiting for binding.  Here is how I do my binding....   Pay attention Debby.....

I cut my strips 2 1/4 inches.  ( I like a full binding).  Sew them together, press in half.  I attach it to my quilt with 1/4 inch seam.... Once my ends are joined, then the magic starts.

 Yes, I get out my glue stick.  I keep it in my bowl with my Clover Wonder Clips.  It is an Elmer's washable School glue stick... Yes it washes out.
This is not a great picture... but you put a little glue on the binding, not on the quilt.  Then fold down the binding so it just covers the seam.  Press.  Then put a wonder clip to hold it in place.

I put my all time favorite foot.... number 10, the edge stitch foot.  I move my needle 3 clicks to the right, and line up the blade on the foot, with the edge of the quilt...  See how my blade is lined up with the white part... If you think of stitching in the ditch, the blade is against the "high" part of the seam.    Sew..... ( stop and check your back.  make sure it is being caught.  If not.... move the needle another click to the right).  

 Here is the front......
and here is the back!

Done.  Now if I was making an heirloom quilt, or a quilt going in a show to be judged... I'd hand sew, but for a baby quilt, that will be washed and loved and dragged around, this is a great way to do your binding.  
I just removed my blue marks, the quilt is in the dryer.  I'll post a picture later.  
Happy sewing1 

Thursday, January 19, 2017

hold my head up high again

 I am doing the Pat Sloan, Winter Solstice Quilt Along.  Each Wednesday Pat posts a set of block directions online.  When I saw this block yesterday I was excited as I got to do machine applique.  I saw many other people put things inside their basket, some used special fabrics, other put buttons, etc.   I pondered yesterday about how to do it.
This is what I came up with....

I used stitch 1330 on my 780, the double blanket stitch, and chose my favorite thread for that stitch Cotona.  It is 100% cotton, but on the thicker side.  It almost makes your work look like it's done by hand.  So once the basket was done, the question was, what to put in the basket.  I decided the best thing you can put in a basket is love.  I found the satin stitch heart stitch, used the combination repeat function....
I touched the function icon once, a number 1 went in the space where the x is.... I lined up the stitch and held my breath.  It did one heart.  Just like I wanted.   
I love this machine!  

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

practice makes perfect

They always say to do a sample stitch out .... yup.  always a good idea.
I have been going to spin classes at the gym for years.  You can wear sneakers to spin, but you can also wear bike shoes.  That means you need to bring them with you.   I've made lots of bags for my spinning friends, but each time I go to class, I carry my shoes in a Shop Rite plastic bag.  
I purchased fabric for a bag last summer, so this morning I thought I would do a stitch recipe to add to my bag...
I found the bike stitch on my 780, a cute heart banner stitch, then I decided to play with the alphabet... doing.  "I love spinning" with a heart at the beginning and at the end....

This is what I got.....

The words say..... I love sphnning.     I didn't use the stylus to choose my letters, I used my finger, which I guess touched the wrong letter.   Lesson learned, use the stylus.   At least I have an idea of what to do for my bag....
If at first you don't succeed, try try again.  :).

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

My Cutting Table

  My friend Debby Brown is in the process of reorganizing her sewing room, and sharing the process on her blog.  It's fun to watch her progress, and really fun to see all of her projects that she "rediscovers" in the process.  Yesterday she posted about her cutting table, it was cleaned off!

 Debby Brown Quilts

So she inspired me to show my cutting area.  I have a counter, it is perfect size for a 24 by 36 inch cutting mat, though I rarely see the numbers from 22 to 36 on the mat, as it usually is covered up with assorted important items like fabric, patterns, etc.
Near the wall I keep some special things.

That little statue has been with me since I was born I think, or maybe before.  It was always in our house growing up.  He's been through some rough times, as he has been glued back together several times, even right now the head is a little loose, but he sits on my cutting table.  A little divine guidance never hearts.  The painting behind the statue was done by my friend Maureen.  We were really close friends at one time, but she moved to St. Louis, and we have lost touch.  She was a wonderful painter.  This was done on top of a calico fabric.    I know I tried it once....
Those strawberries were the only project that I kept.... I keep it near my cutting table to remind me that I can do hard things!
I have assorted boxes and bins to hold things I will need while using my cutting area.   It never stays neat.  Sometimes I wish it was bigger, but I'm happy to have a space.  Thank you Debby Brown for the inspiration!

leaves and stones.....

   Yesterday I wound up in the ER for a kidney stone, which I think has now decided to leave!  So no sewing yesterday, but today I am back to my BERNINA.
I pulled out the double wedding ring quilt.... and started the seemingly endless border work
  I am trying to do vines and flowers on the border. I used the QuiltSmart Double Wedding Ring interfacing for the center of the quilt.  Visiting their website I discovered that they also had flowers and leaves preprinted on interfacing.  It's called Zig Zapps Blossom and Petals Pack.  I've been saving 30's reproduction fabrics forever, so I pulled out a bunch and started making flowers, flower centers and leaves.
 My BERNINA has a very small appliqué stitch that I am using to sew the shapes to the quilt.  My new best friend on my machine is the hands free pressure foot lifter, especially around the curves of the flowers.  I can sew a few stitches, left the foot with my knee and move the quilt, slowly and carefully to maintain the curve of the shape.
Of course I have lots of help adding the flowers and leaves....
I set a goal, to try to get all the appliqué done by Valentine's Day.  Then the fun starts.... Quilting it on my Q20.  
Happy Sewing everyone!  

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

get busy! Those wedding bells are ringing.

My son is getting married in May
I started a double wedding ring quilt on the day he said he was going to get a ring.  The top is done, I am now working on appliqué borders. It is all done out of 30's reproduction prints. that I have saved forever!  I wrote up a guide to show how I did it.  If you have never tried Quilt Smart interfacing, it is amazing.  My BERNINA 780 did an amazing job with appliqué on this... I can't wait to quilt it on my Q20.  I put it away for the holidays.... but I better get moving....    and yes, I need a dress.  UGH.

Stay tuned to see my progress.  

Check out How to Use the Quiltsmart Double Wedding Ring Interfacing by Roni Anger-Gerhardt on Snapguide.

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

napkins, placemats....classes

I will be teaching at Quilt Basket in Pawling NY on Friday Jan 13 and Sunday January 22.  We will be making Debby Brown's fun napkins
It's an easy fun pattern, very addictive.  It's a great way to show off your special fabrics.
As a surprise I will be showing everyone how to make this matching placemat....
It's made the same way as the napkins, adding fusible interfacing.
Wouldn't a set of placemats and napkins make a great shower or wedding gift?  
Or just a way to "fancy up" your table.

Hope you can join us!

Saturday, January 7, 2017

how do I love thee, dear BERNINA, let me count the ways....

I am teaching BERNINA Club at Pins and Needles in Mt Kisco NY.  I love it.  Being with BERNINA owners and "want to be" BERNINA owners, letting me share my passion for all things BERNINA, well there is nothing better.  Each month I try to plan something for everyone to learn more about what their machine can do.  It doesn't matter what BERNINA you own, you can learn a tip or two about your machine.  
In February we are doing Machine Appliqué.  
I made up this little sample, it's like a table topper,  
I reached in the back of the stash cupboard and found a piece of this BERNINA batik I had from years ago.  The big heart shows satin stitch appliqué, then the heart on top using blanket stitch
The middle size hearts are invisible appliqué, using fusible interfacing,

I even did some appliqué with decorative stitches.  
Picture not shown, I did raw edge appliqué too.  
If you have a BERNINA dealer and they offer BERNINA Club, try and take the class.  You always learn something new that your machine can do.  
BERNINA has great online lessons too.... 
They are great reference materials to have on hand when you want to try something new.  
Check them out!  
Mailing my sample out today to Pins and Needles... once I get it away from my cat Phoebe
 My BERNINA Q20 has become her new favorite place to sit... especially as I am attempting to quilt.
Happy Sewing!  

Friday, January 6, 2017

one more, two more, 3 more?

I was muttering to myself as I did the giraffe.  Somewhere in my pile of fabric, there is a scrap of giraffe fabric I had... could I find it, nope!  so I just followed the pattern, cutting out 13 giraffe spots and fusing them down,  ( now I'm glad I did).  I kept saying, I could have done the flamingo... he only has 2 pieces....

I know I'll start muttering again when I go to appliqué him down... I do think he is adorable.
So then I added a friend....

Every quilt needs a purple elephant.    Now comes the question.  Do I stop, or do I add more animals?
I don't like the spot above the giraffe's head...  If I follow the fabric... I can add a monkey, or a zebra,  Or I can just add whatever I want from the Safari pattern... 
I'd love any and all suggestions....   Thanks everyone!

Thursday, January 5, 2017

caught up....

Why I did this.... I don't know.  I am doing 3, yes 3 blocks of the month.  Actually one of them is a block of the week.  I'm going to try hard to keep up.

1.  Pat Sloan's Winter Solstice block of the"week".
 Block 1- Churn Dash
 Block 2- Day and Night
Block 3, In the Pond.... I added some BERNINA love to it.  
I'm using all red and white.  

2. Pat Sloan's.  The Children's Library, Block of the month.   Now Children's Literature is my favorite thing, next to my BERNINA machines.  I taught elementary school for over 30 years, I love children's books.  So I had to do this one.  The first block was called Mother Goose Rhymes.  This is why you need a stash.  I dug into my 30's reproduction prints, I found Mother Goose fabrics, Hey diddle Diddle, and Humpty Dumpty.... I had to use them.  

3.  Cutie block of the month at Quilt Basket in Pawling NY
That starts Saturday.  Nice part is, you work on the block there at the store.  
I'm anxious to do that.  Quilting is a social activity, It's always great to meet new people, or old friends in a quilt class.  

Back to my giraffe....:).