Friday, August 30, 2013

Boo - Boos!

I'm rushing.  

And making mistakes. 

Well, more like little "BOO - BOOS"! 

Our next "Party with Patrick" project for September.

But I want to get as much done on my second "Party with Patrick" project as I can before we take off on our road trip out WEST. 

I have a confession.

I hate measurements.  

Percise measuring and cutting are soooo NOT me.  

I have to force myself to measure several times...before cutting.  

So why do you ask did I not precisely cut out my first three five and a half inch squares?  

Because I told myself I could square them up after they were appliqué. 

Used spray adhesive to stick the appliqué pieces together before sewing them down.

Want to know why that theory didn't work?  

Because "dummy" (that's me!) sewed the thick black buttons on for the owl's pupils and then the cutting square wouldn't lie flat on the fabric to measure and cut it precisely.  

What to do?  

I decided to cut out three more six and a half inch squares and appliqué the owl squares to them. 

Because I precisely cut them they are true and square!

First layout I discarded because my brain couldn't figure out how to sew it together.

And if that wasn't enough of a challenge for me. 

I turned the larger squares on an angle.  

Now this first pattern I laid out didn't work (see photo above).  

I couldn't figure out how to sew these pieces together. 

(Of course now that I look at the layout I finally "see" how I could have sewn it together.)  

So I cut up the outer pieces that were giving me trouble (i.e., the four black with green leaves fabric on the corners) and then it all came together nicely and precisely.  

 And after hacking up all my fabrics I didn't have enough of one fabric for a solid fabric back so I pieced together strips of all the fabrics I used on the front for the backing.   

The purple fabric with the black witches was my first choice for the back.

However, the witch fabric didn't work to use for the back.  

I have to start paying attention to how designs run on fabrics because when I got home I discovered the witches ran up and down the fabric not across.  

I didn't have enough witch fabric to run the design the correct way.

Anyway... I kind of like the different fabric strips for the back. 

The next step is to layer it all together:  the back, batting and front and quilt it.
Front panel of the wall hanging and under it on the right is stripy back panel.

It's a "wonky" Halloween Hoot Owl because not all the owls are straight and one owl has his wings touching the outer square (bad owl!).  

Even with my Boo-Boos mistakes I'm surprised it looks as good as it does.  

It's going to be beaut-i-ful when it's done.  


Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Presenting "Winter Redwork"

Fabric binding machine sewn on top of runner.

You know when you crochet you have yarn ends everywhere?'s even worst with sewing!  

You have threads ends everywhere. 

 On the floor, on your clothes, all over your surfaces.   

Clinging, clinging....

Practicing decorative font writing for my label.

So I'm glad we have outlets in our basement for our central vacuum system.   

I sucked up all those threads.  

But it's sort of like dog fur.  

No matter how much you vacuum there's always more.  

I was smart and practiced some stitches for my binding.

Today I finished my first ever quilted piece, a table runner, which I have named...

 "Winter Redwork" 

Remember my inspiration?

Inspiration and my handwritten design plan.

I chose Redwork designs that could be viewed from any angle.  

So out the door went my first redwork choices... Santa Claus, Mrs. Claus and my Reindeer. 

Five and 1/2 inch squares - ten of redwork and twenty fabric squares...a total of thirty squares.

I prewashed all of the fabrics and bought some cotton batting.

The back with binding finished.

The fabrics came from Joann's...100% cotton fat quarters for the 5 1/2 inch squares and extra fabric yarnage for the back and binding.  

Quilt runner label.

I tried out several new sewing attachments...including the AccuFeed feet (dual feed) and the 'Stitch in the Ditch' foot.  

I love Janome's AccuFeed system - all layers fed beautifully and there were no puckers on the top or the back!


I also bought a neat new foot ~ the Border Guide Foot ~ for sewing decorative stitches in parallel rows.

I used this foot for lining up the rows on my quilt runner label.

I love it.  
Winter Redwork Table Runner

All in all I'm very pleased with the results. 

It's my first quilted project.  

And only the second time I have sewn on a binding.  

I know many serious quilters wouldn't think of machine sewing on a binding but I dislike hand sewing.  

Plus I wanted the binding to be solid so this runner can go through the wash. 

I used iron on tape to set the binding in place and then 'stitched in the ditch' on top of the binding. 

It was "sew" easy with the special 'Stitch in the Ditch' foot!!!

Final size is 19 and 1/4 inches by 53 inches. 

Click (here) to see all previous posts related to my "Winter Redwork Table Runner".  

All done!

Now on to my September 'Party with Patrick' sewing project.'s going to be a Halloween Wall Hanging!


I had fun picking out the fabrics for it.

(To see my finished October's "Party with Patrick" project ~ a Christmas Stocking ~ click here)

Last night I picked up my hook {{{{FINALLY}}}} and started crocheting hexagons in solid colors using yarn from my stash.

My inspiration... "Crochet in Color" Hexagon Pattern (here).  

Maybe it will be a little laptop quilt.

You'll have to wait and see.

It will be going with me on our road trip out WEST in September. 

Have a lovely day and thanks for stopping by! 

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

'Stitch In The Ditch' Foot

I love my new 'Stitch in the Ditch' quilting feet.   

It was "sew" easy to quilt around the squares with this foot.
Practice piece in fore ground.

Even more surprising when the top of my 'Winter Redwork' table runner was all quilted all the squares matched perfectly.  

I was in shock.

Quilted all around each square using that dandy little 'Stitch in the Ditch' foot!

I spent quite a bit of time watching videos on YouTube on FMQ (free motion quilting) trying to decide if I wanted to try adding more quilting to the top on the border and non-redwork squares. 

Next step...cutting excess fabric off and squaring up the corners.

I finally decided not to add any FMQ... mainly because I noticed my stitch tension was off on the bottom threads on my practice piece and I have been unsuccessful in correcting it.  I've moved my thread tension up and down and it doesn't seem to make a difference.   Maybe I'm not moving the fabric at the right speed for FMQ.  Another question for my embroidery club session.

My next step is to make a quilt label for my table runner.  

Then even up the sides of the runner by cutting off the excess to form perfect right angles in each corner of the runner.  

And finally finish the binding which I will machine stitch on.  

No hand stitching for me if I can help it.   

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Wales At Last !

Finally... I'm posting about our tour of the U.K. last spring...

 as we continued through the beautiful country of  Wales

We had a delightful home cooked Welsh supper with a local couple in their home in Caernarfon, Wales.

They hosted six of us from our tour group and served a delicious Welsh meal that included mushy peas.   

Afterwards we had a lovely chat with them and their two teenage boys as they entertained us by speaking the Welsh language and telling us about life in Wales.

We met the owners of an art store in Llangollen and had a nice long conversation with them regarding the Welsh influence in the USA,  particularly in the Philadelphia area with the establishment of the women's college, Bryn Mawr (here).

The phase "Bryn Mawr" means "big hill" in Welsh.

And we enjoyed an excellent lunch at The Buttered Crust in Llangollen. 

One of the hotels we stayed at in (Caernarfon) Wales was the Celtic Royal Hotel. 

Queen Victoria stayed here too.

The rooms were huge!

That's an ancient castle in the background in Caernarfon, Wales. 

And here's a closer view of Caernarfon Castle.

Signs are in both Welsh and English.

Much to our dissapointment we didn't have time to tour the castle.

How about a neat train ride through the Snowdonia National Park?

We are having fun!

And the scenery was beautiful.

Our tour continued on to the village of Portmeirion, Wales.

Have you ever watched "The Prisoner", the British Spy TV Series, with Patrick McGoohan, that was filmed in the 60s? 


This little village in Wales is where most of the exterior TV shots were filmed.

Patrick McGoohan, a co-creator of the series, starred as a former British spy agent who resigned and was imprisoned in a remote village where the leaders tried to find out why he resigned.

Villagers had no names and everyone was assigned a number.

Patrick became "Number Six" and was always trying to escape the island.  

We have the TV Series on DVD and we must watch it again!

I found this tour of the village on YouTube and it shows how hilly the village is.

I always remember the huge white bouncing ball (i.e., The Rover) rolling across the sea whenever anyone tired to  escape the village. 

We had lunch at the hotel by the sea in the village. 

The hotel was the old folks home in the series.

It's so funny to visit a place that we watched as teenagers and now we are visiting it as seniors!

I never knew the show was filmed here in Wales.

Luckily we were able to escape the village! 

Monday, August 19, 2013

Squares Matched & Border Added

I'm still working on my Winter/Christmas Red Work Table Runner.

Let me tell you it's not easy to sew squares together so all corners match perfectly!

Some squares I fussed with sewing and ripping out several times. 

Until finally I said "That's enough...  

I can live with this". 

Next I added a two and 1/2 inch border in the same fabric as the other side of the table runner.  

Yesterday I cut out the backing and lightly sprayed adhesive to the polyester batting and backing. 

I decided to go to my sewing store today and buy the new Janome 12000 "stitch in the ditch" specialty foot advertised recently on the Janome website.

(Sorry!  If you are not a sewer you probably aren't interested in these details.) 

Hopefully that will help keep my quilt lines straight when top stitching my quilt layers together.  

I drove over to my Janome sewing store this morning and decided to buy some cotton batting in addition to the new Janome "stitch in the ditch" foot. 

I read that polyester batting can melt at high temperatures.  Since I plan to iron this runner on a cotton setting (with steam) it seemed that a cotton batting is a better choice.

I also purchased the "stitch in the ditch" S foot.

When I returned home I realized that I wanted to buy the

  AcuFeed (duel feed) "stitch in the ditch" SD foot.

That foot works better with layers of quilting than the regular "stitch in the ditch" S foot.

So after lunch I returned to the Janome sewing store and purchased the "stitch in the ditch" SD foot.

I decided to keep the "stitch in the ditch" S foot as I think it can be used with all decorative stitches.

I'm still learning about this quilting/embroidery machine.

And many of these functions are new to this "AcuFeed" function (lots of videos here).

And I've never had a specialty foot for "stitching in the ditch" either.    

Now I have to replace the polyester batting with the cotton batting and then I will be ready to start actually quilting the top of the runner.

Did I ever mention that I am a slow crocheter...well, I'm also a slow sewer.

This project could go on forever.

I hope I'm not boring you.

At this rate, I doubt I will ever sew a bed size quilt!


Sunday, August 18, 2013

Oh My...Ten Years Is Too Long!

The camp store was filled with "bear" items.

Can you believe it had been ten years since we have camped with my Hubby's twin brothers!

Our campground.

Way too long!

We met up at Bear Run Campground in western Pennsylvania.   

Hugged by a bear!

Hubby's twin brothers are eight years younger and they are still working full-time jobs.  

Busy lives!

So it is difficult for everyone to get time off together.

Our site and little travel van.

Plus one twin brother has three natural grandchildren and one step grandchild.  

The grandbabies are keeping them hopping...and they love it!  

But, they needed a break and managed to get away for a few days.  

Hubby's brother arriving.

We arrived first at the campground last Sunday afternoon and set up camp trying to find a level gravel/grass spot for, "Little Guy", our travel van, 

,,,saving the nice leveled paved site for Keith and Jane's travel trailer and truck. 

Me and my sister-in-law, Jane.

Hubby and his brother, Keith.

Monday we drove an hour and a half to visit Hubby's cousin, Carol.   

Keith, Carol and Hubby.

Carol is the sweetest lady who happens to be a gifted artist and quilter.  

One of Carol's beautiful quilted table runners.

Her quilts have won ribbons at quilt shows.  

And, boy, can this woman draw and paint.  

Carol painted this for her uncle when she was only 19 years old!

While visiting Carol I noticed she had a beautiful wildlife scene on her walls in her foyer.  

I assumed it was wallpaper. 

Imagine my surprise when Carol asked if we saw the wildlife scenery she painted!  

This is NOT wallpaper!

Jane asked if she penciled in the deer before painting them and Carol said "No".  

 She just painted (with latex paint) the figures and scenery as she went along.  

Could you draw and paint this without drawing it in pencil first?

I couldn't!

 She doesn't even realize how talented she is and that most people can't do this.

No clue at all!! and wow!

Isn't this just stunning!

I asked Carol if she would come visit us for a month.

But she didn't get the hint.

The other wall.

After visiting with Carol we drove over to another cousin's farm and had supper with a bunch of  cousins.  

Now I should mention that Carol had fixed delicious sloppy joe sandwiches and strawberry shortcake for dessert for us for lunch.  

Carol's black lab, "Cash", named after "the man in black", never tired of playing ball.  

 So...we were pleased we managed to keep a straight face when Hubby's other cousin called us to supper and served guessed it... sloppy joes!  

And when she  asked who wanted strawberry shortcake for dessert we didn't say a word or crack a smile.  

We had a good laugh later though about the duplicate meals but really we didn't mind because it's one of our favorite meals and desserts.  

 The kicker is I had bought hamburger to make sloppy joes for one of our camping meals.  

Needless to say we skipped having sloppy joes for a third time!  


Me and the cutest little horse.

After supper we went across the road to the barn to see and feed the horses.  

They all came out of the barn to eat.

This is a real treat for a city gal like me.  

Hubby's uncle raised Appaloosas horses on his farm for many years before he passed.  

Me giving "Ollie" a treat.

There are a few horses left on the farm including, "Ollie", a miniature horse. 

Niko petting one of his horses.

I caught myself saying "pretty" as the horses approached me...but as they got closer I changed to saying...

 "pretty... B.I.G!"

Trying not to act nervous as the BIG horses came nearer.  

I have always loved horses but more by worshiping them from afar.  

Lovely...they really are beautiful animals.  

What about you?   

Are you a horse lover?

I had never seen a life-size horse on top of a barn before!

This barn was by our campground.  

 We had a wonderful surprise greeting us when we returned to the campground.  

Hubby's other brother, Kevin, drove up to join us.  

He stayed at a deluxe cabin with his own bathroom, kitchen, cable TV and WiFi. 

We tried to not be jealous.   

We huddled around the campfire and roasted marshmallows and made s'mores and laughed and talked and just had a great time.

The adventure stay tuned!