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Sunday, July 29, 2018

Hexagon and Millefiori Pieced Quilts Helper




My son had asked me to help him find something to help occupy the neighborhood kids that land on his front porch, many from less than stellar home lives. So, he and his pregnant wife (my first grandbaby!) are showing love and kindness to these kids, but they do need some 'toys'. I love thinking outside the box to find uses for things that the maker never imagined it to be used for. For me I like giving children items that help them think and gain knowledge from the play. I think this is what is behind the STEM system that is currently popular with schools. So, when this item ETA hand2mind Pattern Blocks Games for Classroom or Home came up for review I got it. This set is well made, and quilts aside, does have activities and games for the children to play.

What I found is that the pieces of this game include, I believe, all the different shapes to make hexagon paper pieced blocks. If you want to try to design a different styled block you can do that. As there are only 10 each of the shapes, you may want to get a supplemental set of shapes such as Learning Resources Plastic Pattern Blocks (Set of 250 pieces of 6 different shapes). This is where you can find enough shapes if you want to design a Millefiori style quilt top. While you won't have the shapes in the colors that you want to use, being able to figure out a logical structure with premade shapes should make things go smoother. I am dyslexic and seeing those quilts, while beautiful, I'm pretty sure I couldn't put even a small quilt without some help of pre-made ‘templates’.

One of the things that comes with this kit which isn't made to help quilters but are for children are patterns to make of assorted animals and other objects. You can also buy Learning Advantage 8837 Pattern Block Activity Cards (Pack of 20) to help give your youngster ideas. At that point you and your child can design hexagon blocks together and make them into a quilt of different designs. What is better than getting a child into quilting and sewing and using their creative minds plus the bonus of working together on a project with an adult?

My apologies for not being able to have embedded links to each of these sets. Amazon wouldn't generate them for me. I will add them when I am able.

Embroidery Library Christmas Club 2018




Would you believe that Christmas is only about 140 days until Christmas? Hey folks, if you missed your email or have never signed up for, its that times of year to sign up for Embroidery Library's Annual Christmas Club 2018! This is your chance each year to get Christmas designs that are exclusive for the club. After several years have gone by, I see some of them in the designs that you can buy, but it is much nicer to pick them up when free, even if you don't have an embroidery machines yet or contemplating upgrading. I won't be upgrading my embroidery field size with a new machine, but I still download the bigger free designs "just in case". One never knows when you will find a great deal at a yard sale! Just so you know, I get nothing for promoting Embroidery Library, I just find them to be a great company and I have received oodles of free designs and I do this to help pay back what I have received from them.

Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Quilt Labels Using a Printer and Freezer Paper

We are in an extraordinary age for crafting. We have so many types of supplies that of foremothers never even thought of or hoped to have. Thus most likely WHY many never signed their quilts or documented them in any way except for perhaps embroidering their initials and the year. I suspect many never thought that their quilts would outlive them and they were meant for family use and everyone in the family already knew who made it. As I have read about vintage quilts, it seems the special, guest or gift quilts had the best chance of being documented. Now we have no excuse!

My son and his wife are expecting a baby girl in a few months. Since they live a distance from us, and were up visiting this week, I gave them the baby quilt I had made for them. I actually finished it while they were here. I also ran into an excellent YouTube video on Printing on Fabric using Freezer Paper. I watched it twice before trying the process and then once more to be sure I finished the process quickly. Here is a photo of the finished label:



As this was a baby quilt for my very first grandbaby, I wanted to be sure that all the documentation was there, just in case a few of us are dead before she gets old enough to know us! One of the nice things about doing the label this way was being able to show a motif from the fabric itself on the label.

In a nutshell here is how it was done and if you are interested visit the video about it at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DfzTXlkQr5o&t=4s  .  I set up the design and printing that I wanted on the computer. I used the Comic Sans MS for the lettering just because I liked it, but you can use any of the fonts you may have available on your computer. I printed out a copy of the paper so I could check if the label printed the correct way. My printer was acting up and printing out the label that took more than an 8 x 11 1/2" which was not what I wanted. So I juggled that. As the yellow fabric was the only light colored fabric that I had used in the quilt I decided to use that as the fabric for the label. Iron the fabric on both sides until there are no wrinkles. Then either cut a piece of Freezer Paper I use Reynolds if needed, but it needs to have a waxy coating on the back and can be picked up at grocery stores, Walmart and Amazon. I used C&T Publishing Pre-cut freezer paper to 8 x 11 1/2". I ironed the paper and fabric (it must be at least as large as a piece of copy paper) until it was stuck really well. Let it cool for a few minutes and then ran it through my Samsung Color Laser Printer CLP-365W . Note: If you aren't sure what side will print, I always place and large X on the next page to print, print something on the page and you can see if you need to lay your fabric/freezer paper combo up or down. Lay it in the machine. Adjust it to thick paper. There is apparently a manual feed to the printer but it must be behind the printer and my sewing room is too crowded to turn the printer around to look for it, so I only set the thick paper. It went through with no problem. After that I carefully took the freezer paper off of the fabric and pressed it with a hot iron  then cut it down to size As my quilt had already been quilted, I had to attach fabric to the label then turned it inside out and hand sewed it to the quilt. If you quilt isn't quilted yet, you could sew the label on with a machine if you wish.




The quilt is based off of design I found in a quilting magazine and I will have to find the magazine to give proper credit. My mother had given me all her boxes of quilting fabric when she just couldn't sew anymore. In one of the boxes was a lot of juvenile prints including this frog fabric, big frogs, small frogs and striped with frogs and lots of fabric to match. They came in both blue and the pink. I had originally made up the quilt top along with a matching blue one for Project Linus, but found I was having a horrible time just quilting in the ditch so while the blue one is almost finished with the stitch in the ditch, the pink one I hadn't even started quilting. Even pushing the bulk of a baby quilt around is almost more than my neck and shoulders can tolerate. My wonderful cleaning lady said she would quilt it for me and quilted it by hand in time for me to be able to give it to them when they were up visiting for the 4th of July. So thankful in many ways for Jeanette and the help she given me as I continue to battle arthritis. She knew it was important for me to get this quilt done.

If you need a way to make quilt labels and well as photos printed to fabric with lettering to say who each person is. This process would be wonderful! Every quilter should have freezer paper in their sewing room!



Years ago my hubby, the tall guy on the left, crocheted this baby blanket and hadn't found a bay to give it to. Now that he will become a grandpa, he has found his baby! He did a fantastic job on the blanket and the kids were very happy with the blanket and quilt, plus all the other goodies that grandma had rounded up since Easter when we found out she was expecting.

I forgot to give credit where credit is due. The pink frog quilt is based off a quilt in The Quilter Magazine February/March 2001 by Pam See called What a Hoot. That quilt was a bit bigger than the one I made.

Monday, June 25, 2018

Apron Machine Embroidery Design

Even though I haven't been posting a lot here, I have done some projects. Those with machine embroidered designs from Embroidery Library, I try to turn them in for their showcase. I have had several posted on their Showcase over the years. Today I received another email saying another item has been posted. Click this link to Embroidery Library, click on the inspirations button and then Showcase. Or you can click on this link to see it:  My project is the Peace, Love and Bacon design and my name Gail to identify it.



My oldest son loves bacon and eats it in many ways that would appear to be weird to most of us, so when I saw this design, I knew I had to use it for him! It was easy to embroider onto this apron that I had gotten to review for the Amazon Vine program. So it was a fun easy project to do. And yes, shame on me for not ironing the apron before taking it's photo!


Friday, June 22, 2018

The Fashion Designer by Nancy Moser

Why does it seem that the older we get, the faster time goes or is it just because I have so much I want to do? One of the things that keeps me busy is reading or using products from Amazon in the Vine program and then writing reviews about them. One of the last books I read, was a book that sewers might like to read called The Fashion Designer by Nancy Moser. It is the second in a series with the first book called the Pattern Artist.


I love to read 'feel good' books and this was one of them. I was hoping to be able to read the first book, The PatternArtist in the series, but never had the chance to, but this book was able to stand on its own unlike some books in series. A note to those it will make a difference to, it is written from a Christian perspective.

 
This book takes place in the early 1900's a few years after the Titanic disaster. A former house maid, and other immigrants to the USA are working together to get a business going of making women's clothing for the non-rich women that can't afford custom made clothing. They wanted to be able to have a selection of different styles of dresses in all sizes that they could offer in a store for women. In other words, off the rack clothes that weren’t being offered yet to women. ‘Unruffled’, as they said for women that needed clothes that they could do things in like go to jobs or just running their homes.  It sounds like starting a business back then wasn't any easier than it is now! They needed loans and backers as well as supporters to help get the word out about their fledgling business. And they were all poor as well so had to find a way to keep a roof over their head and their businesses head as well as food on the table. But these women were persistent. If you love fashion, the early 1900's, sewing and good friendships, you might enjoy this book. I did, and it was a change of pace from mystery and thriller fiction books that I normally read.

 
I saw the first book in the series, The Pattern Artist, as well as this one advertised in the sewing magazines that I read, so for me this was a bit of a blurring of the lines between my reading, my business and my hobby. Please remember that this book was not meant to be the great American novel, but entertainment especially focused on sewing and for Christian women or those that don't like books that are too 'raw'. It didn't take long to read, and it provided a bit of escape for a time.

I hope you will take the time to read this book, The Fashion Designer and I hope you enjoy it!

Friday, December 01, 2017

Want to make a Machine Embroidered Christmas card?



Want to make a machine embroidered Christmas card? Starbird stock designs has print out instructions to help you out and currently they even have a free design that you can use! I know I have wondered about what steps to take to make them. Now I know! You can use the above design or buy the design pack or individual designs from the designs. There are designs for anyone to use during this holiday month.





Wednesday, November 15, 2017

In Memory of Nancy Zieman

I have been interested in sewing since around the 8th grade when I started making my first quilt as well as making garments in home-ec and then moving on to making my own clothes without them being a class assignment. It was only when I saw Nancy Zieman's "Sewing With Nancy" over our PBS that I started to realize there was a right way and a wrong way to sew. The wrong way meant I might have something to wear at the end of the project, but I bet anyone looking could tell I had made the garment. The right way to sew was the way that Nancy showed us. Taking the time to do things carefully and well. I never got to see as many of her shows as I would have liked, but I do have many of her books to refer to. Her show was the first for me to see what an awesome thing a top of the line sewing machine could be (I learned to sew on a straight stitch only Singer). I believe that she sewed on a Viking at that point in time. I wanted a top of the line sewing machine from then on and, happily, I eventually got one. However, I still can't sew as well as she did.

Nancy died today, November 15, 2017, after a long battle with cancer. She will be missed. She was a special woman; one that showed she could handle a career, handle raising a family as well as walk in her faith with God. She is no longer with us, but has left behind a body of work in her taped TV shows and books she has written and the Nancy's Notions business she started. Many women in the US can sew now thanks to her. For those of us with the same faith that she had, it is nice to know that whether alive or dead, her good-bye to viewers at the end of her show is just as true now.

Bye for now......"



Friday, September 22, 2017