My Sewful Retirement

A Quilting Journey

Archive for the month “January, 2019”

Pillow Talk

Happy Wednesday!

The second session of the Embroidery Extreme class was an eye opening experience for me — I learned how to take my editing skills to the next level. I definitely have a new respect for those that digitize embroidery designs to sell — it’s much harder and time consuming than I thought it would be.

We spend our time in class using Embroidery software on our laptops, and do the stitch outs at home. Our assignment for session 2 was to find Valentine Day home decor word art pillows. We had to choose something we could re-create using designs we already owned.

Pillow 1 – XOXO. I edited parts of 4 different purchased designs to create the one design. I LOVE it 🙂 Amazing right?

XOXO Love Pillow

Pillow 2 – Together Forever — three different purchased designs edited to create the one design

You Me Together Forever Pillow

Pillow 3 – Hugs and Kisses- no editing on this. It is a purchased design. This was my first attempt at improv piecing. Definitely fun for me!

Improv Hugs Kisses Pillow

Design Frame – we also learned how to take a single design and turn it into a monogram frame. I tested it on a kitchen towel.

February 2019 Kitchen Set

The machine I usually use for piecing is having problems. It’s 19 years old so I will be replacing it soon. In the meantime I’m using one of my embroidery machines for sewing. I’m learning how to use it — I tried the echo quilting foot on this mug rug – overtime I’ll get better, it was fun trying something new.

Heart Mug Rug – Echo Quilting

I also started a couple new projects:

Batik heart table runner for my daughter.

Scrap Red Batik Heart Runner

Scroll Heart Nine Patch Quilt: Yes, the hearts are machine embroidered applique. I used an ombre fabric for the hearts. I used some of the original Mama Said Sew fabrics and the Volume II Mama Said Sew fabrics by Sweetwater for Moda for this quilt.

Scroll Heart Nine Patch WIP

Linking to Linky Tuesday with Free Motion By The River.

Happy Stitching 🙂

Friday Finishes

Happy Friday!

I have two small finishes to share today.

Earlier in the week I was trying to decide what fabrics to use for the Jolly Bar Merinque quilt so I watched this video on how to make the quilt. Kim Jolly explains how to use the perfect rectangle ruler. I also looked at the Creative Grids video on using the same ruler and fell in love with a block the designer was demonstrating and decided to make that first and start the Merinque quilt later.

Ohio Star HRT Octagon

I love the circular illusion! Using half rectangle squares surrounding a 12 inch quilt gives the circular illusion. I added a border to make a small table topper.

Autumn Ohio Star

I can now check off the snail trail quilt block on my to do list! The snail trail block also has the circular movement. I’ve been following the black and white blog hop this week and decided to make a mini quilt with the snail trail block in black and white.

Snail Trail Mini Quilt

I used this tutorial from Missouri Star Quilt Company — of course I added a little embroidery 🙂

Snail Trail Mini Quilt

Happy Sewing!

Learning Something New

Happy Wednesday!

I started my first embroidery extreme class last week. It is a 4 week course held at my local quilt shop learning to improve editing and digitizing skills.

The class is two hours in length so there will be lots of prep work before each meeting. Our guide (instructor) is a local resident who shares my passion for machine embroidery, the only requirement was having a basic knowledge of digitizing. There are only 4 of us in the class so it was cozy and fun!

Our first assignment was to create a single word or simple phrase appropriate for a mug rug in a word processing software and save as an embroidery file for applique.

In class we worked on how to create several finishing stitches to our applique as well as other things to consider for good stitch outs.

With Valentine’s Day approaching I chose “Be Mine” in a script font. Below is my finished mug rug using the popular triple bean stitch for the text and satin for the heart. I also added echo quilting lines within the heart. Far from perfect but not bad 🙂

be mine mug rug

Our other class project was digitizing a strip pieced heart. Again I used a triple bean stitch finish. I made mine into coasters to match a table runner I finished earlier.

I finished my drunkard path heart placemats and made a mug rug for hubby! The LOVE design was purchased from Planet Applique.

Continuing my quest to reduce my pre-cut stash I made a charm pack baby quilt using Blueberry Brights by Karen Lewis for Moda . I used this tutorial to create the X-Plus quilt block. I adjusted the size of the block to use a charm pack.

blueberry brights finished
blueberry brights finished
blueberry brights finished cu

Joining Linky Tuesday at Freemotion By the River.

WIP Wednesday – Heart Blocks

Happy Wednesday!

I love anything with hearts in it, and I’m sure I’ve mentioned how much I love the log cabin quilt block.

Since Valentine’s Day is coming up quickly I decided to make a log cabin heart table topper. I found lots of inspiration online for log cabin heart quilts to help me draft my own layout.

I’m a fan of specialty rulers and based my sketch/layout using both the Creative Grids 6 inch curvy and 6 inch regular log cabin trim tool I came up with my very low tech quilt pattern! 🙂

curvy heart layout

Using 4 scraps batiks fabrics I had this:

curvy log cabin heart wip

I also wanted placemats and came up with the brilliant idea of using my creative grids round up tool to make a drunkard’s path heart block. Again same pattern, this time 4 inch blocks.

curvy heart placemat wip

Not going to win any contests but it was fun thinking outside the box and I have something that we will definitely use.

If you are looking for more traditional valentine ideas Julie from The Crafty Quilter has some great ideas in this post.

Linking with Linky Tuesday at Free Motion by the River!

Happy Stitching!

Weekend Sewing

Happy Monday!

We didn’t have anything planned this past weekend so I spent my time sewing and watching football.

I had two charm packs of Valley by Sherri & Chelsi for Moda. I love the southwest vibe to this fabric line. I was able to finish a mini quilt I started last summer with one of the charm packs and a set of 4 placemats with the second pack.

Southwest Star Mini Quilt

The placemats have an odd/interesting shape — I found the pattern in the magazine Annie’s Quilting with Pre-Cuts.  

southwest charm placemat

Lastly I did finish my winter blues table runner! I used a heavier rayon thread for the snowflake embroidery to make them pop!

Winter Blues TR Finished

Happy Stitching!

Winter Blues and a Charm Pack

Happy Thursday!

You might think Winter Blues sounds odd coming from a person who lives in the sunshine state! I am very happy we no longer have to shovel or drive in the snow! However, I do miss the beauty of snow falling from the sky.

Out of habit I decorate with blue and white during the month of January. I recently read a good post written by Carole Carter from My Carolina Home about decorating with white in January – maybe in 2020 I’ll start a new decorating habit.

One of my ongoing goals is to use more of my pre-cut stash with patterns made for pre-cuts. I started working on a charm pack project and discovered the cutting instructions were wrong. I was angry with myself, I bought the magazine 5 years ago, I checked online and yes there was a pattern correction — shame on me 😦 .

Originally I was going to throw out the fabric and chalk it up to experience but I could hear my mother saying “pick up your chin and keep moving”! I cut the fabric into smaller squares and usable rectangles to make something I can use– more potholders and a pillow cover!

I’m still finding time for embroidery projects…

snowflake toille mug rugs
Baby its cold outside pillow

Today I started a table runner using this tutorial from Free Motion by the River. I replaced the chisel blocks with plain blocks to use for the snowflake embroidery designs. Hope to finish it tomorrow.

Winter Blues WIP

Linking with “Linky Tuesday“. Stop by to see what others are creating!

Happy Stitching!

First Friday Finish 2019

Happy Friday!

My first finish of 2019! We purchased a new coffee table which means I have one more place to display quilty goodies!

I wanted to make a simple table runner with snowman faces, I found something I liked, no pattern or tutorial but figured it would be easy to make.

snowman face table runner

Matching coasters…. embroidery design purchased from Itch to Stitch.

snowflake coaster set

Happy Stitching!

Holiday Mini Quilts – Day 3

Happy Thursday!

I hope you enjoy the last of my December mad sewing adventure …

I decorated a couple of kitchen towels to match the quilt-as-you-go potholders I blogged about here. We have new friends who are also from Maryland and I wanted to give them a welcome gift.

Christmas 2018 Kitchen Towel Set 2

Before retiring I had an online embroidery business, monogramming bath hand towels was one of my best sellers. I still give them as gifts and I’m always so happy when I see them displayed in my family members home!

Christmas 2018 Monogrammed Hand Towels

I made this set for one of my guest bathrooms. It’s a holly leaf laurel wreath with monogram. The wreath design was a bonus design with my machine purchase and I added the single letter. The “Joy to the World” and “Peace on Earth” mini quilt designs came from Embroidery Library.

Making star mug rugs using Missouri Star Quilt Company’s – periwinkle tool is super fast! Watch Jenny’s YouTube tutorial here.

I made these fabric baskets to keep fruit and candy available for my guests. I used metallic threads for the quilting! I love the fabric!

I had three orphan quilt blocks from a couple years ago and turned them into gift bags. Two of the blocks I used as front and back for one bag and used scraps to piece together a back for the second bag.

I tend to gift wine or other alcoholic beverages as gifts and I always make wraps for the bottles. I start with a quilted 14 x 16 top with some type of embroidery or just a monogram. This piece is used for the front and back of the wrap.

Wine Wrap Quilt Top

Below are the four I made this year.

Gag mug rug gift for my good friend named Chardonnay!

Christmas 2018 red wine mug rug

Thanks for stopping by! Happy Stitching!

Holiday Mini Quilts – Day 2

Happy New Year!

Today is a work day…company is gone so I’m stripping beds, taking down decorations and overall house cleaning! My Santa kids were super generous this year giving me a robotic vacuum cleaner. I’m so impressed with how well it cleans and most importantly saves time 🙂

2018 made me realize that I am a small project quilter. I enjoy making items I can use right away or give to family and friends. On my bucket list I do have making hubby and I queen sized bed quilt and having it professionally quilted! In the mean time I will stick with the small stuff 🙂

Today I’d like to share a few more of the mini quilts with embroidery that I made during December.

I added craft magnets to the back of these mug rugs to hang on the refrigerator. The “Ho Ho Ho” design was purchased from Planet Applique, the Merry Christmas design is a combo of designs purchased from Five Star Fonts and Itch to Stitch, both were edited by me to make the mug rugs.

Christmas 2018 Mug Rug Magnets

Snack mats – I’m not much of baker but I do make really good brownies! Hubby and I like to have snacks during TV time in the evenings. I digitized the machine applique letters using software, but was inspired by a design I saw on Etsy.

Christmas 2018 Snack Mats

We have a dedicated coffee counter in the kitchen. I made a little runner for that area. Embroidery designs purchased from Embroidery Library.

Christmas 2018 Coffee Mat

Small wall quilt I used for a guest bathroom. Chevron tree applique design purchased from Planet Applique.

Christmas 2018 Chevron Tree Mini Quilt

Same design — one I framed one I gave as a gift. Applique design purchased from Linnie Pinnie.

In my opinion you can never have too many pillows! The two embroidery designs shown I purchased from Embroidery Library. The quilt above the pillow I made in 2017. Matches perfectly! Pillow on the left is 14 x 14 inches , pillow on the right 12 x 16 inches.

I used this tutorial to make the gnome block from Sew Can She. The block finishes at 12 x 12 inches. I added borders to fit a 14 inch pillow form. The quilt shown is the supersized hash tag quilt I made using 2 Kate Spain Joy charm pack two years ago.

Christmas 2018 Gnome Pillow

For those of you who only have a 4 x 4 embroidery hoop – coasters are a quick gift to make. The tree coasters match the place mats I made for my daughter. I digitized the tree and holly designs .

I will stop now for today….come back tomorrow I still have more to show you!

Linking to Linky Tuesday with Freemotion by the River.

Again, Happy New Year! I wish all of my quilting friends many blessings and lots of creative energy for 2019!

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