Friday, June 30, 2017

Friday Knitting

      Set camera on stacked kitchen stools, set timer and burst mode, head up, stretch neck to get rid of the wrinkles, look at pictures and make an appointment for a haircut. My sweater is finished and believe it or not it has been cool enough to wear it.  The warm days of June have been a little cool.
 Slow progress on socks, the footies are a little long on my foot but I'm sure they will fit darling daughter.  I made that pattern a couple years ago and ripped because they were too short so I added a few rows maybe too many. I'm not good a gauging where to start the heel when there is no gusset.  It may take some tweaking to get them right.
I've been busy with company and strawberries, the great nephews and niece helped pick berries Wednesday "these are the best strawberries ever" amazing the difference in a five mile drive to the patch or a thousand some miles in a refrigerated truck does to a strawberry.  And the sweet smell when we opened the back of the car..........heavenly.   --Ann--

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

9 patch quilt top

 I was working from the fabrics in my stash to finish this quilt top and ran out of the black with red print for the border squares so had to find something in the stash that would work, then I ran out of the dark red mini stripe but found a dark red with tiny stars that worked then I ran out of that too so I was piecing the red mini stripe to finish the corners.  Its times like this when I ask myself what would Grandma have done to finish the quilt.  Piece the pieces.  I pieced some of the black squares too, and now those fabrics are gone.  Scrap happy and making due --Ann--

Monday, June 26, 2017

Design Wall

 I'm back to working with my nine patches leftover from click and click.  I cut strips and sewed strips and cut segments and sewed nine patches for one quilt and have enough for four quilts. Has anyone else ever done that?  This is number 3.  The pattern is in Miss Rosie's Farmhouse Favorites by Carrie Nelson and my nine patches were the same size as in her pattern  I didn't have to do the math myself!  This looks so different with the black than the first two quilts even though its the same bunch of nine patches.  Linking to Em's Scrapbag. Happily playing with blocks --Ann--

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Poppies and Peonies

More flowers at McCrory Gardens we have had rain and wind so the old fashioned, wonderful smelling peonies have all fallen over I wish I could have picked them all and brought them into the house.  --Ann--

Tuesday, June 20, 2017


A bowl of sunshine to celebrate the longest day of sunshine of the year then sadly the days get shorter tomorrow.  And sailboats, a cousins daughter is having a baby in August the buggy barn pattern is so easy and so much fun to do in bright colors.  Happy summer solstice --Ann--

Monday, June 19, 2017

Machine quilting with a Sweet 16

 When I first got my Sweet 16 machine I was doing the same kind of quilting as I was on my Bernina only I had more space and it could sew faster.  Then always striving to learn more and do better I bought tools, big fat thick tools with straight edges and curves.
 I could quilt straight lines that were straight and equally spaced and they have improved since I did this one.  I could quilt curves that mirrored each other.
 I still did some free motion quilting when it was easier than using tool.
 I could make the arc the same for every block and sew a second line that was close to parallel then free motion the feathers and the ovals.

the right tools made the job so much easier and accurate.

I have made this quilt pattern 5 times and quilted each one different, I can see how my quilting improved with each.  Planning, practice, patience, perseverance, and a really good pair of garden gloves with rubberized fingers and palms to help you grip the tools and the quilt.  Happy quilting  --Ann--

Friday, June 16, 2017

more machine quilting

 Scrolls and waves are good for borders and all over quilting.  They can be big or small and lots of fun to practice.  Go in circles going in then go in circles going out, scrolls teach your hands to move clockwise and counterclockwise.

 Echo quilting improved with practice and was so much easier on a smaller quilt.

 I did these faces on a buzz saw quilt each of them was different so I had lots of practice, when I made these stars the faces were easier and it was especially fun to quilt the rays.
I drew the faces many times over until my hands memorized what my brain wanted it to do, I also drew many pages of the hooks and crooks before sat down to quilt.  Planning, practice and patience.  --Ann--

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Machine quilting the early days

Thirty some years ago and back in the beginning of my quilting obsession I was turning out quilts faster than I could hand quilt so the next step was to learn to machine quilt on my Elna.  At first I was stitching in the ditch but what's the point of showing pictures of that?!?  Gradually I tried free motion quilting on my domestic machine.  Puzzle piece stippling was all the rage,  just put your hands on the quilt and move it under the needle but don't ever cross a line.  Talk about a stress creator and it does very little to enhance the piecing.  But the quilts were finished and on the beds and kids were thrilled because Mommy loved them with all her stitches.

If I were to sit down with someone and teach them how to fmq I would start with loops.  I remember saying to myself as I worked on this "here we go loop de loop, here we go loop de li all on a.........." I don't know the rest of the words,  it took so much stress out of the process.  Go ahead and cross the line! Cross it this way, cross it that way.  Make big loops, make little loops, make double loops,  just make lots and lots of loops.  The loops progressed to daisy chains and flowers but I cannot find a photo of the many loopy flower borders I have done.
 Then I did loops and stars because everyone learns how to draw a star in first grade maybe kindergarten but they didn't have kindergarten in country school so I learned in 1st grade.  Make big stars, make little stars, make stars with long points, make stars with short points, make stars with long and short points, make them all different.

Sometime along the way I learned the meandering feather and concentric teardrops.  Practice drawing this on paper, a very large sheet of paper like the newspaper and a big marker, something that flows easily across the paper and use your arm to draw the teardrops and see where they go.  Machine quilting uses your big arm muscles to move the quilt under the needle. So use your big arm muscles to draw not your little hand and finger muscles like writing.  Its still my go to design for scrappy quilts.

 Another natural step in fmq is to swing arcs from point to point especially if you want to enhance the piecing.

 More arcs from point to point and loops just for fun and to fill in the space.  Practice, practice, practice and patience.  --Ann--