Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Lap App

While I was working on my Happy Days BOM by Sarah Fielke, I saw that she had posted about using a Lap App for applique.  I had never heard of it.  I did a little research online and decided to get one.



I love it!  It is made from wood and is adjustable both in height and angle.  It comes with a piece of sandpaper attached to the top for ease in tracing your shapes on to your fabric for applique.  The padded fabric cover has a pocket to put your scissors into or whatever you prefer.  It also comes with an ironing cover.  On the base there are three posts perfect for holding your thread, and a small magnet to hold your needle.  

It is comfortable to use and works so well for applique.  I think that it would also work well for english paper piecing or anything else that you are more comfortable resting your arms on.  I bought mine on Amazon through the Lap App company, but there are other places available.  Sarah Fielke also sells them on her website here.  You just need to do a search and you will find them.

Happy Sewing,
Jean

Friday, June 2, 2017

Happy Days

It has been quite a while since I have blogged, which I am sure you have noticed.  :-)  We moved last year and have been off on new adventures.

As far as sewing goes this past year, I have mainly been working on Sarah Fielke's Happy Days BOM 2016.  This quilt features a lot of applique, some pieced and some paper pieced blocks.  One thing that I decided that I really wanted to do this year is to try some things that I would not normally do.  One of them was needle turn applique.  I tried it many years ago, but decided it wasn't for me.  However, since working on this quilt and following Sarah's wonderful instructions and videos - I am HOOKED!  I love it!

I still don't have the quilt totally finished, but I thought that i would share some pics.  This one shows what the layout of the center of the quilt will look like.  I have 2 applique blocks to finish for the bottom yet.


 This is a close up of the blocks that I started with.

Here are a few of my favorites!



I never in a million years thought that I could applique this block!  But I did it!  Love it!

I have found hand applique to be so relaxing and now look forward to just sitting and stitching.  If you would like more info on this bom, you can find it here.  Sarah also has a new BOM for this year called Down the Rabbit Hole.  You can find info at that same link.  Of course, I signed up for that one too!  I haven't started it yet, other than picking out some fabric.  It is now officially on my list!

Happy Sewing,
Jean

Sunday, November 1, 2015

Old Quilts New Life





I just purchased Sarah Fielke's new book called Old Quilts New Life.  I absolutely love it.  She has made 18 projects inspired by quilts from the American Folk Art Museum.  She includes the history of the quilts and does 2 projects for each quilt that she has shown.  One project is her interpretation of the quilt and the second one is taking an element from the quilt and designing a quilt using that element.

I love antique quilts and also the use of color and design that Sarah does.  So the book is a win, win for me!

Here is just a small sampling of the quilts from the book:





More quilts just got added to my list!! :-)

You can check out her blog here: http://thelastpiece.typepad.com/

Happy Sewing,
Jean

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Fat Quarter Traditions Churn Dash

I have always loved the churn dash block.  I love to see it coordinated, scrappy and with decorative touches.

A number of years ago I designed a series of small quilts called "Fat Quarter Traditions".  There were 3 different designs and each one was made with just fat quarters.  One of them was the churn dash.  I just updated that pattern and it is now available as a free download on craftsy.com.

I made a new sample in a more blended watercolor style.  I really like the lightness of it and I think it is perfect for spring and summer.  It reminds me of sherbet.  Light and refreshing.




My original sample featured country colors and plaids.  I couldn't find my quilt, believe it or not!  So here is my EQ drawing of it in similar fabrics.  Not as scrappy and using one background.


This size quilt is perfect for hanging on your wall, putting on your table or even for a doll quilt.

Years ago I got the idea to hand embroider small flower designs in bluework and I designed a quilt in blues and yellow using churn dash blocks and putting the bluework designs in the centers.  I still haven't gotten that done.  As a matter of fact, I only embroidered one block so far! :-)  Well, it's on my list!

A couple years ago, a friend of mine was moving to California and I wanted to make something special for her and her husband.  So I thought about doing an embroidery design and putting it into a small wall hanging.  My block of choice was the churn dash.  It was perfect for framing my embroidery.



I think that the churn dash block lends itself beautifully for embroidery, appliqué, cross stitch, fussy cut fabric, lacework, a photo or anything else that you would love to feature.  It is the perfect frame!  This project finished to 15" square so it would also make a lovely pillow.

This larger churn dash project is also included in my pattern.

I think the sky's the limit with what you can do with churn dash blocks!  I hope you will try one too!  Let me know what you do with it.  I love show and tell!

Happy Sewing,
Jean


Saturday, June 27, 2015

Love of Country

I can finally share with you the project that I have been working on for months.  You may remember my pics on Facebook with the 2 1/4" friendship stars and the 5" stars.  Well, here it is finished!

Love of Country

I made this for the Wall Hanging competition at the Kutztown Folk Festival.  The festival opens today.  You can find more info here.  This is the first year that I have entered their competition.  They send you a certain fabric and you need to make your wall hanging using a good portion of this fabric.  The competition fabric this year was a red paisley print.  I really like paisley so I thought "Cool!"  The wall hanging could be any shape but the combined total of all of the sides could not be less than 108" or more than 144".

Of course, I came up with many ideas, but I had to decide on one.  I actually asked my hubby for his favorite and he chose this one.  I had done a similar design for a shop hop quilt one year, but I did different stars and settings and shrunk everything!  The finished quilt measures 30" square.  Some of the pieces in the stars are 5/8" in size.  I wanted to have the stars look like they were floating so I used the same fabric for the backgrounds, sashing and alternate blocks.  I added a narrow flat piping of gold before the border and carried the gold through in the cornerstones of the sashing and the binding.  I foundation paper pieced the red and cream part of the border sections.  I machine quilted everything.  I was hoping to do hand quilting in the alternate blocks, but ran out of time.

If you check out my Happy Sewing Room Facebook page you will find information as to how I did my quilting on the alternate blocks and also how I started and ended my quilting throughout the quilt.

A little story about my binding.  I only had a small amount of gold fabric left to use for the binding.  I went ahead and cut my strips.  I usually do a straight grain binding.  However, after cutting my strips, I remembered reading in the competition rules, that we need to do bias binding.  I thought, "OH NO!"  How would I ever cut more strips from such a small amount left.  Thank goodness for the internet.  I did a search for bias binding and found a couple of sites that used a rectangle rather than a square piece of fabric to make their bias binding.  And one of the sites was Bonnie K. Hunters' - quiltville.blogspot.com under the tips and techniques tab.  Thank you, Bonnie!  I had a piece 9" x 42" to make my bias binding from.  It worked out beautifully!  I did have a lot more seams, since it was a narrow piece, but it worked!

Although I did not get one of the 3 prizes, I feel I am still a winner.  I enjoyed the whole process of creating the quilt and being able to try some new things, that I may not have tried without this challenge.

A close up of some quilting.

A close up of the border.

I hope to write a pattern for this wall hanging soon to sell on my store on craftsy.com.  I will let you know when it is available.

Until next time,

Happy Sewing,
Jean

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Bloc_Loc Rulers

I love trying new notions.  Anything to help make my sewing easier or more accurate.  I have been making a lot of half-triangle square units right now.  I thought that I would use my Bloc_Loc ruler to square them up.  I bought this a year or so ago and only used it just recently.  I really, really like it!


There is a groove on the underside of the ruler that you butt next to the fold of your seam on your half-triangle square block.  (You must press your seam to one side in order for this to work.)  The great thing is that the ruler doesn't move to the side so that it your cut is accurate.



I needed to trim these down to 1 1/4".  I made sure that the 1 1/4" markings were inside the edges of the block and trimmed 2 sides.



 Then I lined up the 1 1/4' lines on the two sides that I had cut and trimmed the last two sides.


Perfect 1 1/4" squares!  As much as I don't want to spend more money on extra rulers, this one is well worth it.


I also have their flying geese ruler, which I have not tried yet.  You can find more info on their rulers and videos about them here.  They have a lot of different rulers available.

Happy Sewing,
Jean


Tuesday, April 7, 2015

New Small Sewing Table

I needed a small table to use my Singer Featherweight on.  It had to fit between a pole and my large sewing table and I needed to be able to get into my set of drawers that I have under my large table.  I had been using a tv tray table, which was not very sturdy at all.  I worried that my featherweight would wind up on the floor!

I remembered a couple of my friends getting small tables for pressing at retreat.  I did some research and found some online.  The table is a Lifetime table and it is called a 26" Personal Folding Table.  It is 18" x 26" and is the perfect size for my space!  It is sturdy and adjusts to 3 heights.  My featherweight fits on it perfectly even with it's surround table.





I have sewn a number of blocks on it and there is no wobbling!   I am a very happy camper!

There are Lifetime tables available in many sizes.  I have a 4 foot one which I really like too.  My friends got the one that was 20" x 30" which would also be great for sewing.  I would have liked that, but it never would have worked in the space that I had available to me.  I ordered mine from Amazon and received it very quickly.

If you are looking for an inexpensive table for sewing, crafts, or as a desk, this is perfect.

Happy Sewing,
Jean