Wednesday, January 26, 2011

A Treat for Me!!!

Today I had to do one of my least favorite things!!!  Yes, I had an appointment at the dentist for my bi-annual clean and check-up!!  Sooooo, afterwards I thought I would reward myself and visit Happiness Is... quilting shop in McKinney!  Oh it was just wonderful.  I bought my favorite quilting magazine, some yummy wool felt, a summer bluebonnet pillow pattern and some cream fat quarters to use in my basket quilt.  It was wonderful to walk around and just drink in all the exquisite fabric and quilts.  True eye candy!!! It has been a great day so far and I hope you are having a wonderful day too!

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

The Many Ways of Applique

 I thought I would talk about hand applique as I am working on a project at the moment.  There are many different ways to do applique and at the end of the day you have to find out what works best for you.  I have tried needle turn applique after drawing your shape onto fabric.  I have tried "painting" the seam allowance with liquid starch and ironing it under.  The method I love the best involves good old Freezer Paper which you buy from your grocery store.  (Great for English paper piecing too as your paper does not shift around after ironing it on).
 I make a template out of  plastic template material.  This is sturdy to use to draw your shape onto the freezer paper.  I am making a little basket quilt from a quick drawing of a basket that I did.  My friends know how much I love baskets (and tins!!).  A half basket traced onto a folded double piece of freezer paper gives you a symmetrical shape if symmetry is what you are after.  It also halves the cutting time.  Once the shape is cut out, I iron the freezer paper to the right side of the fabric.  Then I cut the shape out roughly leaving more than a quarter inch seam allowance.  This I trim down when I am doing the actual applique.  The next step is to baste the shape to the background material.  It stops any shifting and makes the whole process easier.  Then just go ahead and applique as you would for all the other methods.
 Here are a few of the basket blocks that I have made thus far.
I wanted to show some of the tools I use which really make a big difference to the process.  Firstly, a sharp pair of scissors is a must for clipping the seams.  Next, a block of beeswax is wonderful to run your thread through so that you don't get those annoying knots while in the process of sewing.  A wooden toothpick with a sharp point is wonderful for turning the fabric under the freezer paper.  It "bites"the fabric way better than the sewing needle.  Some finger protection is useful too.  I am trying out adhesive thimbles at the moment.  They feel better than clunky hard thimbles.
If you have not tried freezer paper applique I hope I have piqued your interest.
Until next time, bye!

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

And now for something completely CUTE!

Whilst browsing through blogland, I have come across soooooo many pictures of beloved pets.  It seems to me that cats are truly attracted to quilting.  I have many yards of material that have been napped on and cat approved.  I just loved seeing all the cats sleeping on Christmas Tree Skirts.  I have two orange cats and they too love the tree skirt.  I think one of my cats thinks we do him a great favor every year by bringing a small forest into the house.  You see, he is a house cat and does not venture out into the great wild world.  He loves the soft glow of the tree lights and curls up most nights to nap under the tree.  He becomes quiet disgruntled when Santa visits and places gifts under the tree.  So I have to re-arrange them to include a space for Mr Cat under the tree!!!  This is a picture of him having a nap on my daughters bed.  Oh, both blankets in the picture were made by myself.  The pink and black afghan is a recent finish and my darling daughter just loves it.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

One Finish and a work in progress!

 Hello, I hope this blog finds you in good spirits.  I thought I would post a picture of the cute Ruffle Scarf that I have just completed crocheting.  This one is for me.  I have made five others and all the recipients have been completely thrilled with it.  The pattern can be found on Lion  It is a free crochet pattern.  The number is L0003AD.  It takes one skein of Homespun yarn and about a movie's worth of time to make it in.  Give it a try, you will be pleased with the results.
 I started working on A Christmas Wish BOM that was doing the rounds of Blogland.  I love embroidery and really enjoy making these blocks.  I am nearly done the fourth block.  I hope to finish this project soon and not leave it to become a UFO!!!
The blocks are cut out much bigger than the finished block so that I can fit it with ease into the embroidery hoop.  They will be cut down to size once I am finished embroidering them.
I finished another afghan block while waiting for my daughter at the dentist yesterday!!!
Have a great day.  Thanks for stopping by!!

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Snow in Texas

Many people would not find this photo remarkable in the least!  However, this is Texas, so it is pretty exciting.  We had a wonderful winter storm today.  Snow really brings out the kid in me.  I grew up where there was no snow, so I still get pretty thrilled to see the white stuff!!!  Snow in Texas is wonderful though.  It snows, you get to enjoy it, and then it is usually gone the next day.  We don't get to deal with the slush, shoveling - all the aspects that make it a grind.
I had some quality time with the couch today, with the fire on.  I made two spools, and knitted two blocks for the afghan (pictures posted below).  Today was definitely a soup day, so I made a big pot of thick vegetable stew.  Hmmm, it is sooooo good.  I think I will go and heat some up for dinner.
Talk to you later.

Friday, January 7, 2011

Spools! Spools! Spools!

 Hello, I was so excited to find my package in the mail today containing the stamps for the spools which seems to be taking the quilting world by storm at the moment.  I ordered mine from Sew Unique  I chose Blue and Pink Stars for the quilt.
Here is a picture of the rubber stamps, ink and a few pieces that I have stamped and cut out.  It is soooo very easy just to stamp and cut.  It will save hours of tracing around templates. I use a small cutting mat and tiny rotary cutter to do the cutting with.
I had to just sit down and make a spool or two to see how they would turn out.  This is what the back looks like of one of them and then the front of the other one.   So cute.  This will probably take months to make a decent size quilt with.  However, what a fabulous carry-along project.
I am so excited to carry on with my spools / klosjes!!!
Thanks for stopping by to have a look and have a fabulous weekend.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

What's on the couch!

Hi!  I hope this post finds you in good spirits!  I am a crafter with fingers in many pies.  I thought I would show you a non-quilting project.  I do a lot of knitting and crochet work.  I like to have a portable project and the blocks for this afghan is one of them.  I will be joining the blocks with black or dark charcoal colored yarn.  Notice the bamboo knitting needles.  I just LOVE them - so easy and smooth to knit with.
This is a good TV watching project as I don't have to think about the pattern and really don't spend too much time watching what I am doing! This said, I have to admit that I have had to do some backwards knitting (unpicking).  I also took this project to our friends log cabin in Oklahoma for a few days and got a bunch of blocks completed.
Thanks for stopping by.  Until next time!

Monday, January 3, 2011

A few of my favorite things!

My sweet family spoilt me with some wonderful fabric and wool felt for Christmas.  I also received some very cute patterns.  I can't wait to start some of the projects.  There is a pattern for a Christmas quilt which I will tackle during the course of the year.  I aim to do a block or two each month and hopefully at the end of the year I will have a spectacular quilt to put up in our home.
I am about to rinse out the sizing from the beautiful wool felt.  I have to admit that I have not done this before.  I will air dry it so as not to loose too much felt due to shrinkage.  Hope all goes well with that.
Bye for now!!

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Hooray, I have a Blog!!!

Welcome to Ramblings of a Quilter.  A goal of mine for the New Year is to start a blog.  I am proud that it is up and running.
I intend to share my projects that I am working on with you, as well as bits and pieces of daily life.
I am looking forward to making new friends and being inspired by all the wonderful accomplishments of like minded people.
Please feel free to browse and comment.
Until later!