Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Meh? or OK?

I'm undecided again.


Is this "ready for prime time"?  Or does it need work before I write the tutorial?

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Ho- Ho-Ho! A Santa Postcard Tutorial

I'm full of the holiday spirit and having fun making Christmas postcards like this Santa postcard:


If you want to make one yourself, here are the details:

Cut two pieces of red fabric 2 1/2" x 4" each and one white piece of fabric 2" x 4".


Stitch together.


Cut into two 2" segments.


Cut a piece of black fabric 2" x 6".


Stitch in between the red and white segments.


Cut two 3"x3" pieces of Steam a Seam 2* and a 3"x3" piece of yellow fabric and a 3"x3" piece of white fabric.


Using one piece of Steam a Seam 2*, fuse the white and yellow fabrics together.


Fuse the second piece of Steam a Seam 2* to the back of the white fabric.  Cut into a 2 1/2" square  with a 1"x1 1/4" rectangle cut from the center.  Set in place over the center of Santa's belt.


Using a pressing sheet, fuse the buckle to the postcard.


Place stabilizer behind the belt buckle.


Thread your machine with FabuLux Mellow Yellows thread and set the zigzag stitch to 4mm wide and .3mm long.


Zigzag around the outside of the belt buckle.


Zigzag around the inside of the belt buckle and remove stabilizer.

Fuse together 5"x6" white fabric, 5"x6" Peltex, and postcard front.  Cover Santa with a pressing sheet before pressing.


Trim to 4 1/4"x5 1/2" or use my Postcard Trimming Tool.


Still using FabuLux Mellow Yellows, set your machine to zigzag at 4.5mm wide and .4mm long


Zigzag around the postcard edges.


Set your machine to zigzag at 5.0mm wide and .2mm long.


Zigzag around the postcard edges a second time.


Ta-Da!


Write your Christmas greetings, address, and place in a cellophane envelope.


Ho Ho Ho!  Merry Christmas!
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*Affiliate link.  If you purchase through an affiliate link I may, at no additional cost to you, receive a small commission to keep this blog and website running.

Monday, December 11, 2017

On Ringo Lake -- part 3

It's week three of Bonnie Hunter's Free mystery quilt, On Ringo Lake.  I'm still working on last week's clue, but I hope to get caught up before Friday's clue.


Maybe when I finish all of these flying geese and diamonds, I'll finally be able to see my cutting table surface?

Check out everyone else's progress HERE.

Sunday, December 10, 2017

Expert Help

Confession:  Even though I am an extremely confident machine quilter, I am scared to death of my embroidery machine.  Scared. To. Death.

Lisa Archer reached out to help me overcome my fears.  I have a copy of her new book Modern Machine Embroidery*


and now I have no excuse to not start using my embroidery machine.

Look forward to seeing my baby steps toward machine embroidery mastery!

Saturday, December 09, 2017

Ho-Ho-So-So

I'm working on another Christmas postcard.  It's not ready for a tutorial yet, but I wanted your opinion.  Is this close?  Should I keep working on this until it's just right?  Or should I scrap it?


I need to line the buckle so the belt doesn't show through and I want to shrink the belt and buckle to show more of Santa's suit.

Today's outgoing mail makes me smile:


I hope these spread those smiles around.

This blog post is part of the 31 Day Blog Challenge from Muppin.Com.


Read what others are writing HERE.

Friday, December 08, 2017

More than Christmas Postcard Tutorial

I am a Christian and celebrate Christmas, but people I love dearly celebrate other holidays. I'm having so much fun making Christmas postcards, but I can't send them to all of my friends.

I asked a close friend if it was appropriate for me, a Christian, to send her, my Jewish friend, a Hanukkah card.  She said that she'd be delighted if I did.  So I shall.

I scoured Pinterest to get ideas for Hanukkah cards and decided to make a Menorah.


Before I tell you how I made this Menorah card, I'll tell you how NOT to make this Menorah card.

First, get out some circle quilting templates* and draw your Menorah on 6"x6" of gray fabric:


Layer with stabilizer, thread your machine, and attempt to satin stitch in a small circle smoothly:


Realize that the picture in your head isn't going to work on fabric (at least today), and move on to plan B.

Trace Menorah onto Steam a Seam 2* and cut out the pieces.  Then iron onto a 5"x6" piece of blue fabric because blue is your friend's favorite color:


Layer with stabilizer:


Thread your machine with my FabuLux Mellow Yellows and blanket stitch carefully around each curve:


Then begin the "quest for fire."  Consider appliqueing fire, but remember that the Menorah is only 1/4" thick and the pieces of fabric for the fire would be very very very tiny.  Grab some fabric markers and practice drawing flame on the edge of the postcard (the part that will be cut off).


Carefully draw flames on the postcard:


Tear away stabilizer. 
Fuse to 5"x6" Peltex and 5"x6" backing fabric.
Trim to 4 1/4" x 5 1/2" or use Postcard Trimming Tool.

Thread machine with FabuLux Blue Heaven thread and satin stitch the edging.


Write a message of love, address, pop it into an envelope, and mail it in time for Hanukkah.

Thursday, December 07, 2017

Deck the Halls Postcard Tutorial

I'm decking the halls.  Well, not my ACTUAL halls, but the halls of my Christmas postcards.


Let's all pause a moment to enjoy the insane sweetness of this card, shall me?  

Awwwwwwwwwwwww.

OK, so here's how it all started.  I keep a bag full of 1 1/2" squares of fabric (of course I do!) and I decided to use them to make Christmas tree ornaments.


I picked out some fun fabrics (cough*Hello Kitty*cough) and fused them to some Steam a Seam 2*:


I traced around coins to make the small circles:


Steam a Seam 2 is tacky on the back so I could stick the ornaments to the fabric without using an iron.  Then I drew lines for the ornament hangers.


I grabbed my FabuLux Mellow Yellows thread and stitched a 3.5mm zigzag stitch over each line.  I peeled back the ornaments so the zigzag ended behind each ornament and then stuck the ornaments back in place.


After I stitched each of the hangers, I stitched a 2.5mm blanket stitch around the edge of each ornament.  My HQ Stitch 710 machine is always up for the task!


I thought that this was cute, but not nearly cute enough.  So I added bows.  Because if bows are good enough for Hello Kitty, they are good enough for me!  I threaded a big needed with 12 weight thread and took one big stitch at the top of each ornament.  Then I fumbled through tying the bows with these clumsy fingers of mine.


Then I tore apart my sewing room looking for Fray-Check*.  Then I tore apart my remote quilting supply storage roomd ining room looking for Fray-Check.  Then I tore apart my sewing room another three times.

An hour later, I dropped a dab of Fray-Check on the knot of each bow so that they wouldn't come untied and waited for them to dry.  I covered the postcard with a pressing sheet and pressed it.  Still using the pressing sheet, I fused the postcard to Peltex and postcard backing and trimmed with my Postcard Trimming Tool.

I stitched a 5mm satin stitch around the edge of the postcard.


And then I stared and petted this postcard because of all of the adorableness.

I need to make a bunch more of these, but I might just have to stick this one in an envelope and mail it back to myself!
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* Affiliate Link.  If you purchase through an affiliate link I may, at no additional cost to you, receive a small commission to help keep this blog and website running.

Wednesday, December 06, 2017

Snowflake Postcard Tutorial

In an effort to clean up my cutting table, I've been stitching with my scraps.

I just made some Snowflake Postcards:


Materials:

5" x 6" Blue background -- scraps pieced together
White snowflake strips -- 1/2" x 4 1/2" scrap strips
5" x 6" Peltex stabilizer
5" x 6" white fabric for backing
DecoBob for bobbin thread
FabuLux Blue Heaven for satin stitch
Envelope for mailing

Watch the video:



How many postcards will it take to clear off this cutting table?


Millions, I suppose.

Tuesday, December 05, 2017

Cutie Quilt: Share and Share Alike

I have been playing with my walking foot on my home machine lately so I pulled out some Country Days fabric from Heidi Boyd (affiliate link*) and pieced a Share and Share Alike Cutie Quilt just so I could quilt it.  That's perfectly normal, right?  Lie to me.


The farm animals and crops on this fabric make me want to live on a farm (or at least buy more of this fabric).   And they make me want to quilt carrots.  Oh how I wish I were kidding about that.

I've always been intrigued by quilting spirals.  Fortunately, the fabulous Pat Sloan taught me how to quilt a spiral with my walking foot in her Teach Me to Machine Quilt book! (affiliate link*)

I threaded Hedwig, my HQ Stitch 710 machine, with my FabuLux Rocking Horse thread


and started quilting my spiral.  This thread color is my secret weapon.  It seems to blend with everything, but it would be more precise to say that it has blended with everything I've tried it on thus far.


This quilt is now bound and in my giveaway pile, but I'm not sure who shall receive it.  When the right person comes along, this quilt will be waiting for them!

Yesterday was day one of thirty-three days at home.  I am more excited than I can possibly express to be home for 33 straight days!  During that time I'm trying to find my cutting table.  It may take all 33 days, but I'm committed to the task.

I am working on On Ringo Lake and stitching up the scraps from my table into little Strippy Charm Pouches


Maybe if I make 1,000 pouches, my sewing table will be cleared off?
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*If you purchase something using an affiliate link I may, at no additional cost to you, receive a small commission to help keep the quilty love flowing.