My Sewful Retirement

A Quilting Journey

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!

My Dresden Plate Obsession

Happy Friday!

I spent a lot time sewing this week, mainly working on a baby shower custom order for twins!

I did get a couple of quick projects for myself finished 🙂

I had a drop everything and make it moment when I read this post from Michelle. Hubby and I had just had a conversation about not using plastic bags. Since retiring we shop more frequently to buy fresh veggies and fruit and I have shameful amount of plastic bags underneath my sink!

Using Michelle’s tutorial as inspiration I make this market bag. I added a pocket and zipper inside. I used duck canvas fabric and pulled out my serger to finish the seams.

Dresden market bag

I’m loving how it turned out! Probably will make another soon, to keep one in both cars.

I’m also remodeling one of our guest bathrooms. Found a shower curtain on clearance at Target . I’m using the shower curtain as the focal point for decorating.

shower curtain inspiration

I used a charm pack I purchased from Bluprint to make the Dresden wall hanging and the patchwork rug. For this Dresden plate I used a 30 degree ruler, only 12 blades needed to make a circle. I wanted a chunkier blade So I started at the 2 inch marking on the ruler. I added a little motivational embroidery to the center ♥♥

Linking with Connie at Free Motion by the River.

Happy Stitching!

Friday Finishes

Happy Friday!

I have three small finishes to share today just in time for February – the month of Love!

Curvy Log Cabin Heart Wall Hanging — measures 23 x 30 inches – made with batik fabrics from my stash.

Curvy Log Cabin Heart WH Finished

Batik Heart Table Runner – measures 14 x 40 inches – made with batik fabrics from my stash

Batik Hearts TR finished

Swirly Heart Quilt – measures 50 x 60 inches – made with prints from Mama Said Sew I and II by Sweetwater for Moda.

Swirly Heart Finished

I pulled out an old UFO, a string quilt I started many years ago and as you can tell I hadn’t learned the secret for getting the center strips to match!

String Quilt WIP

The fabrics were given to me from my mother-in-law before she passed. I was looking at a picture of her last night and decided it was time to finish the quilt.

Happy Stitching!

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!

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