My Sewful Retirement

A Quilting Journey

Baby Quilts – Work In Process

Happy Wednesday!

I’m working on gifts for two beautiful babies.

One of the father’s loves to fish so I created this quilt to honor his hobby. I sketched out a fish block on graph paper and made it come to life with fabric. The exaggerated eyes are fused on and I will stitch them down while quilting.

fish baby quilt
Gone Fishing Baby Quilt WIP

The second quilt is for a baby girl. Her room is decorated in bright colors. The wall paper border in her room has really cute spinning tops as part of the design. I wanted to create something to complement the border.

flying geese quilt
Spinning Top Quilt WIP
pieced flying geese quilt
Spinning Top WIP

Hope you are finding time to sew this week 🙂

Friday Finishes

Happy Friday,

Once a month the quilting group I belong to does a “meet and eat” with a crafty gift exchange.

My partner this month is new to the area and is also an East Coast transplant like myself. She loves Fig Tree fabrics and pears are her favorite fruit.

I had some Somerset scraps, an older Fig Tree collection from an earlier project so I made a few potholders and small runner for her.

I exceeded the gift exchange requirement so I’ll give her the runner after lunch. 🙂

quilted table runner
Somerset Pears

Happy Easter!

New Machine Obsession

Happy Wednesday!

My new machine arrived last Friday and I have literally been sewing non stop ♥♥

Juki DX7
New Juki Sewing Machine

This is the first time I’ve ever owned a Juki machine, so far I’m loving it. The Juki DX7 is replacing my Viking Designer SE that I’ve owned for 19 years! Thankfully I didn’t need another embroidery machine at this time so my search focused on something small to take to classes and travel with.

My background in sewing is primarily garment and home dec items and I have purchased many, many types of presser feet accessories over the years. I was super happy to find that many of my favorite Viking accessories are compatible with the Juki.

My favorite presser foot is the Interchangeable walking foot – I have the quarter inch foot, stitch in the ditch, open toe and decorative stitch foot, they are all snap on and I truly love using them. I wish you could have seen me do my happy dance when I found out they worked with the Juki. I did purchase a ruler foot and Angela Walter’s quilting rulers with the new machine — hopefully I will get brave and start practicing free motion quilting.

Below are a few of the items I’ve started and finished over the past few days…

Lastly a picture of Miss Evelyn…I bought a personalized chair for her. My DIL says she loves it!

Happy Sewing!

Friday Finish – Modern Triangle Baby Quilt

Happy Friday!

This week has been busy!

I’d like to share with you my first commissioned quilt! The customer wanted something in yellow and gray and left the design choice to me and most important wanted the quilt in the mail by Friday (today) for a shower next week.

I had a few yellow and gray fat quarters in my stash so I got busy.

  • cut the FQ’s into 2.5 inch strips
  • sewed 3 strips together
  • cut each strip into 6.5 inch squares
  • paired each pieced square to a white 6.5 inch square to create half square triangles
  • squared the hst’s to 6 inches
  • arranged the blocks into a 6 x 6 layout
  • added a 1.5 inch inside border
  • added a 3.0 inch outside border
  • straight line quilting along the seams with my walking foot
Modern Triangle Baby Quilt
Modern Triangle Baby Quilt

I usually gift most items I make so it was weird/good to get paid 🙂

Hope you have a pieceful weekend!

Another DrEAMi Moment

Happy Wednesday!

Last week Carla from Creatin in the Sticks hosted the All About Strings Blog Hop. OMG, there were so many amazing projects shared! I think I added at least 7 ideas to my “someday” list.

I fell in love with the diamond star string quilt layout, and decided I had to make one for myself! I created a template using these instructions from MaryQuilts.com and started cutting strips in increments of 1.5/2.0/2.5 and 3.0 inches wide from a fat quarter bundle of batiks. I used a couple of Grunge fabrics in off white as the foundation. Using the fabric as the foundation was perfect, my blocks were nice and stable, yes a little heavy but not too much.

I made 36 blocks creating a 48 x 48 inch wall hanging. I love the bright colors! We have high ceilings and lots of wall space so hubby and I are trying to decide where to hang it!

string quilt
star diamond string quilt

Happy Sewing & Quilting!

Sun Kissed Carrots

Happy Thursday!

Tomorrow is my day for “sew and tell” with my sewing group. Our local senior center offers a large room with tables, folding chairs, power strips and ironing boards twice a week for quilters that are snowbirds a place to sew for a very low fee. I live here now but I still use the room to fellowship and baste quilts !

During “sew and tell” an item the assigned maker has made is displayed while she talks about her process, things learned, as well as mistakes made. I love learning new techniques from others!

In February we were shown how to create a double friendship star block with a square in square center block easily using two Creative Grids rulers – flying geese ruler and square on square trim tool. I thought it was brilliant and had to go home and try it immediately ♥♥ It really was an efficient way to make the block come together easily without waste. I made a Christmas table runner – using batiks I had in my stash. I’m super happy with the results.

Christmas, table runner, quilted, star
Twisted Star Table Runner

I love raw edge applique and keeping with the Spring/Easter theme I designed a carrot table runner for my sew and tell project . I have a bundle of hand dyed batiks in bright colors and used the orange ones to create the triangle shaped carrots. I used one of the green fat quarters to make orange peel shapes for the leaves. Both (carrot and leaves) were appliqued to a background fabric alternating the carrots leaving approximately a half inch between the carrots to give the illusion of sashing. The carrots on the end were cut in half. The runner measures 16 x 36 inches.

I’m hoping the ladies will find this a fast and fun project as much as I did.

Easter,quilted table runner, carrot applique
sun-kissed carrots table runner

Happy Quilting!

Hello Spring

Happy Monday!

It’s been awhile since I’ve posted, sometimes life gets in the way of spending time in my sewing room.

We had a great visit with my son’s family .

Evelyn Disney family

Here’s Evelyn in one of the outfits I made.

Evelyn Disney update

I also started a low impact boot camp course — I am so out of shape. I am definitely enjoying the work out. It’s been two weeks and I feel the improvement in my energy level.

My Viking Designer SE sewing machine of 19 years is slowly dying and I’ve decided not to repair it. I’ve been shopping for a new machine, this is the first time in many years that I don’t have to consider embroidery features in my decision. I want a machine that I can travel with, locally I found Babylock and Janome machines. We decided to do more shopping so we took a road trip to a few shops in Central Florida. I’ve decided to go with the Juki HZL DX7. The staff in the shop Sew Mini Things in Mt. Dora, Florida were wonderful! I was able to spend quite a bit of time using many of the machines they had on hand. The Juki stitches are beautiful, it is a fast machine, and quiet but the selling point for me was the ease of switching to a straight plate and the multi function foot pedal. The Juki DX7 machine doesn’t have as many decorative stitches as my Babylocks but it does offer the popular ones. The DX7 has an automatic thread cutter, separate motor for winding bobbins, lock and separate reverse stitch, sensor buttonhole and automatic tension settings –same as my Babylocks. The only feature I’m not crazy about is the stitch selector, and it’s not a big deal — I’m spoiled my other machines are touch screens. The price was reasonable but I’m not one to buy on the spot, I came home and did some online research and talked to a couple of people who own Juki machines. I will order the machine online today since the shop offered free shipping!

Sorry for my rambling….

I made a couple of St. Patty Day pillows to use as door prizes for a local event.

A new mug rug for myself.

st patty mug rug
st patty mug rug

I started on Easter table toppers/placemats for my daughter, DIL, and myself!

These were fun….I didn’t have a pattern. I had my sweet hubby draw out a 12 x 18 egg shape, which I used as foundation for piecing. I used my Creative Grids Scrap Crazy templates for the patchwork topper. The place-mats were made with Kaffe Fassett shott cottons cut into 2.5 inch strips. I used the scraps to make the mug rugs and coasters!

Happy Sewing!

Disney Snow Break

Happy Friday!

My son and DIL needed/wanted a break from the snow in Indiana and decided to come visit hubby and I in Sunny Florida, and bringing my little darling with them.

Evelyn


My daughter from Houston is also coming for a short visit. The plan is to spend time at Busch Gardens in Tampa and visit both Magic Kingdom and Animal Kingdom in Orlando.

We have family Disney shirts but I wanted to make a little something extra for Evelyn. I created the Minnie mouse applique design, I didn’t have a pattern for the skirt and pants — using the measurements her mom sent I drafted a pattern on copy paper. I’m hoping they will fit 🙂

I’m so looking forward to their visit ♥♥

Hope you have a wonderful weekend!

Stringalong 2019

Lori, with Humble Quilts is having a string-along this year. I didn’t discover the string-along until February 1 so I missed the January link up.

String piecing or string quilts are named for the strips (strings) of fabric sewn to a foundation such as muslin or paper. As with all other quilt blocks there are numerous layouts for string quilts.

Creating string blocks is one of my favorite ways to relax and sew. I can make a block while I wait for my embroidery machine to stitch out a design. String piecing is stress free because accuracy and perfection aren’t required. The only drawback is removing the paper foundation — I usually remove the paper during TV time so it doesn’t bother me that much.

My February string projects are below.

The African Print string quilt measuring 46 x 56 inches was a UFO from 2015. The fabrics were gifts from my mother in law. I am happy to finally have it finished.

string quilt – african print finished

I used my blue and neutral fabric scrap bags to create the star baby quilt. I am quite happy with this layout.

string quilt – blue star wip

I made this 22 x 22 inch string heart quilt for my sewing room. I used the last bit of my Kona scraps to make the mini quilt. I LOVE the scrappy binding ♥♥

Love Yourself Mini Quilt

For the star and African print string blocks I used the Missouri Star 10 inch foundation papers. 250 sheets come in one pack – the paper tears away super easily and quick. For the heart string mini I used 8.5 x 11 inch newspaper print. I cut the sheets into 3.5 inch squares for the foundation. I purchased the newsprint paper from Amazon — 500 sheets for $10.

You can find the February String along link up here. If you get a chance stop by to see other amazing string quilt ideas.

Happy Sewing!

My Introduction to Paper Piecing

Happy Tuesday!

I’ve had Paper Piecing on my “to do” list for a few years now. The technique both intrigued and scared me. Stitching on a line seemed easy, but sewing in reverse seemed odd.

Cherie, from one of the blogs I follow Cherie’s Quilting Journey finished piecing a beautiful quilt in January that had some paper pieced components to it. You can see Cherie’s quilt here.

Granted I’m not ready to tackle something so big..I did some research and decided I would start with a triangle in a square quilt block as my sample. This block only has 3 pieces and no severe angles.

I watched lots of You Tube videos demonstrating paper piecing techniques. My favorite was by Amanda Rolfe and you can watch the video here if you are wanting to learn how to paper piece.

I made a mini quilt, measuring 16 x 21 inches. Below is a picture of my focus fabric. I used it as the backing for the mini quilt.

PP-Triangle In Square Back

My triangle in a square units measure 4.5 x 4.5 inches unfinished. I decided to go with a diamond layout. The points are perfect — I was extremely pleased.

PP – Diamonds Mini Quilt

I didn’t tear off the paper until the entire mini quilt top was finished. Sewing on the lines kept everything aligned. Below is how it looked before removing the paper.

paper piecing TIS B

I moved on to another paper piecing project “Blooming Tulips” a pattern I found in one of my quilt magazines. The tulip pattern has 7 pieces, a little more challenging but the results were great.

PP – Blooming Tulips

Now that I’m feeling a little more confident there are several really cool patterns I hope to try someday!

Linking with Connie at Free Motion by the River.

Happy Sewing!

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