My current project is using English Paper Piecing (EPP) to create these Brimfield wreaths. I will make 12 of them to applique onto 12 squares, then sew the squares together into a quilt. Although I prefer regular hand piecing over EPP, I do occasionally use EPP if I am going to applique it onto a project. Below are 6 of the 12 blocks I have completed.
Last July I finished hand-piecing this table topper. Yes, I hand stitched all those little pieces. Yesterday I started machine quilting it and finished it today. Whew! Glad to get it finished. The quilting is nice, but it doesn’t show up in the picture. It is all scallops/curves. So, now it is in its new home on our table. Love it!
The Designs and Pattern are from Inklingo and is a Blog Project.
While trying to conserve stabilizer, I developed the method described here. I took pictures as I went along, so hopefully it will make sense. Four things make this work well:
1. No need to hoop another piece of stabilizer with every stitch out.
2. No Duc Tape gets on project, or hoops.
3. Duc Tape HOLDS. It really HOLDS!
4. Duc Tape will peel off itself easily, so it can be removed each time to prevent build up of tape layers. This is important because it will keep the stabilizer flat against the machine bed.
This project involved 9 very small children's vests needing words embroidered in a narrow area of the vest. The vests could not be hooped, so they had to be stuck to the stabilizer. You can use any method to do this (spray, sticky stabilizer, etc.). I was out of spray, so I used a combination method ---- double-sided fabric tape and basting stitches.
The pictures follow my steps, numbering left to right:
1. I created a plastic template of the vest shape with the design area and centering lines marked. I used the template to mark the outline of the plastic, centering the marks so that the design would end up where I wanted it to be.
2. To hold the vest in place, I stuck double-sided tape (Stitch Perfection Tape) in various places within the drawn area. It can be used multiple times before replacing.
3. I placed the vest on the marked area, sticking it to the tape, and adding pins to keep it in place.
4. I attached the hoop in place under the needle.
5. The basting stitches square was stitched.
6. The design was stitched.
7. I removed the basting stitches, then cut a square out of the stabilizer to release the vest from the hoop.
8. I cut a square of stabilizer larger than the hole, and placed Duc Tape around the edges.
9. To cover the hole, I turned the hoop over and stuck the stabilizer square to the back.
10. It is now ready for the next stitch out, and IT WILL HOLD VERY WELL.
11. Stitch out completed.
12. After the next taping and stitch out, I began removing the excess tape, leaving only the original tape since it would destroy the stabilizer if I tried to remove it. So, LEAVE THE FIRST TAPE ALONE. Only remove the following tapings to prevent buildup of layers.
Well, it's time. Time to retire - again! I retired from my career job some time ago, but now it is time to retire from 14.5 years of teaching quilting at Paramount Sewing, plus another 7 years of teaching quilting in another state prior to my career retirement. So, today was my last day teaching. I will miss my students, and teaching, but it is time. I simply have not bounced back from my last surgery, so I must take this step. For all of you who have taken my classes in the past, I say thank you for traveling the road with me all these years. It was fun!
Today the students in my last class presented me with a plant & card, plus Paramout staff did the same. How wonderful to be remembered so sweetly by both groups! Thank you to all.
Gary took me to Olive Garden to celebrate. Yum!!! Here is a picture at dinner. Plus, here is another picture - this one of the lovely plants and cards from today.
I finally got around to finishing my "Case of the Diamond Necklace Mystery Quilt" from Inklingo.com. All pieces were printed on my inkjet printer using Inklingo. It is entirely hand pieced by me. I still need to quilt it, but at least I can show a picture of the completed top that I will use as a table topper.
Note: " Inklingo" is where you download pdfs that have the shapes for quilting patterns (with and without seam allowances). The pieces are easy to cut out and can be sewn together by hand or machine, and also as English Paper Piecing. I love it for it's wonderful accuracy, and ease of use. If you are interested you can visit the site for more information, many patterns, and lots of tutorials/videos to help you learn how it is done. You can visit Inklingo.com.
As of this date we have awarded 35 quilts (QOVs) at Westside Baptist Church. This is such a rewarding activity. The pictures below show me quilting one of them.
This blog entry will introduce you to another site, "Stitch and Sew" by Sally Perkins. Sally has some wonderful articles, including the one below. At the end of this introduction to her site, you will see a link to take you to read about her methods of "ending stitches." Enjoy.
How to End Stitch Your Quilting Project
Are you coming to the end of your quilting project and are not sure how to finish it off? After all the time and effort you’ve put into creating your beautiful quilted masterpiece, it’s important that you complete it perfectly. There are a number of ways you can do this - here is one example:
You can read about the various methods by clicking "Stitch and Sew"
I have had a request to provide pictures of the back of my POTC blocks to show how they are pressed. You can see my piecing method in my May 2013 posting, and a lot of my individual POTC blocks in the February 2013 posting.
This piecing method (stopping at the seam intersections) allows the seams to open at the intersections in a swirl. The result is that the seams and intersections lie very flat, without the bumps intersections usually have. Hopefully the pictures will be clear enough that you will see how they are pressed. Note that because this is hand pieced, we do not press the seams open.
Although I do not consider this block to be as pretty as some of the ones I have made, the picture of the back of it was the clearest to see the seams, intersections, and swirls.
The process for pressing these blocks is to wait until the block is complete before pressing, and when you do press, be careful that you do not stretch, or deform, the pieces. If you press while constructing, there is more chance to stretch the pieces, so please wait till the end. This is gentle "pressing" not strong-armed "ironing." Be gentle. :o)
After the block is complete, begin in the center with a swirl right in the middle - just finger press it to get it started. The seams will all go in the same direction to create the swirl. Move to the next round and make the seams go in the opposite direction, creating swirls at the intersections as you go around. Continue in this method, making sure the seams in each round go opposite of the previous round. For closer detail, please see the 2 pictures below. It may help you to finger press all rounds/seams before you try to press with an iron. Another option is to use a miniature iron to make each round more accessible.
NO SEWING DURING the storm of December 14 & 15, 2016. It didn't seem like an "ice storm" just lots of rain while it was cold enough to freeze it onto the trees, bushes, and grasses. With this storm, my sewing machines got unpluged to protect them from power surges.
When you live in Oregon where you get plenty of rain, it just means that if it gets to 30-32 degrees while it is raining, you get ice on everything. So, we woke up to a winter wonderland that did NOT include snow. It is strange that the roads themselves didn't get bad, so it wasn't bad to walk or drive since the ground itself was still warm. However, because the ground was already saturated with rain, the ice on the trees made them heavy. A lot of branches broke off, some falling on houses and into the streets, and some trees fell, pulling up the root balls - just too heavy with ice. The above-ground telephone lines had icicles hanging, making them look like they had fringe.
I took some pictures Thursday and Friday. The sun came out Friday and started melting some of it. When the sun hit the trees and bushes it looked like liquid silver - so pretty! The pictures just can't do it justice - you just need to imagine liquid silver.
My opinion - it just isn't worth the risk to my quilts. I've always said, that anything left in your quilt (not washed/rinsed out) can lead to future issues. I don't leave the air-erase pen marks in my quilts, either. You need to understand that these are chemicals and many chemicals don't like other chemicals (i.e. laundry soap, etc.) and may decided to come back to stay if another chemical affects it.
I would like to reference an article from a quilter (Jenny Lyon) who researched this question about using Frixion Pens to mark ours valuable quilts. I have avoided using them because I had heard of issues that have come up when quilters use them. As convenient as they are, I just didn't want to risk it. I like what Jenny did, because she went right to the manufacturer with her questions. You can go to this page to read her entire entry, or read an excerpt from her article below.
So in summary, straight from the manufacturer’s mouth so to speak, a summary of using the Frixion pens on fabric:
1. Frixion pens combine gel ink and thermo ink. You are marking your quilt with a gel pen that disappears.
2. The marks will reappear if the quilt gets cold (anything below freezing I think-I did not confirm the specific temperature) unless the mark is completely removed with an ink remover. Even after a thorough steam of the marks, they will reappear in the cold. This is part of the inherent chemistry of the ink combination.
3. To completely remove the ink so that it will not ghost or reappear in the cold, you will need an ink remover and also may possibly need to scrub the area. The manufacturer has tested Amodex and Mötsenböcker’s Lift-Off 3 and found them to be fairly effective in removing the ink.
4. Frixion pens sometimes leave a ghost mark after steaming. This is the thermo ink showing on the quilt, not the gel. The Pilot rep said to rid the piece of ghost marks you would need to treat it with the ink removers listed above.
So this is a definitive summary of the Frixion pens straight from the pen’s manufacturer.
For me, I will not use these pens very often because I frequently do competition pieces. I cannot risk having any problems with the marking method I use. I think they are great pens for other marking needs but we need to be aware of their limitations. And remember that the Pilot pen company did not design these pens for fabric.
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In reading other posts, I have seen comments that even these removers didn't help their precious quilts. Nope, not worth it.