Friday, September 30, 2016

Last Day! First Day!

Today ends this year’s National Sewing Month! I hope sewing for the experience of it continues for us all! It’s been a fun rewarding month of new adventures and techniques I’ve tried or have put on my bucket list! How about you?

Oh, and The State Fair of Texas opens today – through 10/23/2016!!!

If you’re looking for me, I’ll be at Thomas Sewing Center in Mesquite, Texas! They have such lovely fabrics, and oh… the… sewing, embroidery, longarm machines… what will be left in the store that is, as most will be at the Fair!

If you’re heading out to the Fair, check out their booth, located in the Grand Place building directly behind Big Tex!

I’ve already started my sewing to-do list for when I get back to the country after spending this next week helping out at Thomas’s! I’m certain the exposure in a lovely shop will fill me with even more ideas, not to mention supplies!

Remember, sewing for the experience of it benefits others, as well as us! 

Thursday, September 29, 2016

In a Perfect World

Not long ago, a friend shared on Facebook this photo from National Sewing Circle. (Thanks, Donna!) So I, in turn, shared it on Lanetta’s Creations Facebook page!

It would be a perfect world if it worked this way….

How many people quilt?

Every four years independent companies provide a “Quilting in America” survey (although I’ve never been contacted!). The last one, conducted in 2014, indicates the market is worth $3.76 billion (yes, that’s BILLION) annually! They report we have more than 16 million active quilters in the USA – one out of 20 Americans quilts!

I am one.

What’s the difference between a quilt and a blanket?

A quilt has three layers – top, batting, backing.
A blanket is a single layer of fabric.

Cost to create a quilt:

Although dated 8/31/2013, I found an excellent article on Katie’s Quilting Corner that discusses all the aspects of quiltmaking. What do you think of what Katie explains?

I found this cost sheet on the internet. I’m sorry I failed to note who created it, but it’s more in line with 2016 cost of fabrics and materials to make a quilt.

It’s all just a reminder, for those of us who quilt.

It’s an expensive endeavor.

But, one so worthwhile! With every cut made and stitch sewn, it’s a thoughtful prayer and hope filled with love. Wrapped in a quilt, it’s the hug that keeps giving!

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

T-Shirt Quilt - aka Memory Quilt

Have you created one, a t-shirt quilt, also called a Memory Quilt? I haven’t ~ yet ~ but would like to… someday! Any tips or techniques you’d like to share in the comments will be greatly appreciated!

From what I’ve heard here and there, there is a trick to working with the knit (jersey) fabric. Knowing how stretched out loved t-shirts can be, I totally understand it will be different from using “regular” quilt quality 100% cotton fabrics!

Fortunately, we have the internet filled with great tutorials! I’m on a mission to find and list some resources I come across, for future reference!

I went straight to Pinterest and did a search for t-shirt quilt tutorial.

A common suggestion throughout:

Although the loved t-shirts have been washed/dried many times over the years, all the sites say to wash/dry once more!
NOTE:  I received a suggestion by a reader: when re-washing one more time, do not add fabric softener to the wash, nor place a dryer sheet in the dryer!

Before stabilizing the t-shirt’s logo (the common core found throughout all the websites I visited), I found Wee Share, her tips and tricks are certainly worth the read-through once you’ve gathered all the memory shirts you want to use. It only makes sense, because not all the logos are the same size, it’s critical to measure and design on paper what goes where ~ FIRST! She’s provided us a cool .pdf to record the t-shirt and it’s measurement!

Quilters Diary also explains well how to stabilize the t-shirt, before cutting out the logo!

Goose Tracks Quilts has listed how many t-shirts it takes to make certain size quilts. This is based on all t-shirt logos cut out the same size - 14.5” finished square.

12 shirts will make a throw-size quilt, approx. 48" x 64" - 3 across x 4 down.
20 shirts will make a twin size quilt, approx. 64" x 82" - 4 across x 5 down
30 shirts will make a full size quilt, approx. 82" x 96" - 5 across x 6 down.
36 shirts will make a queen size quilt, approx. 96" x 96" - 6 across x 6 down.
42 shirts will make a king size quilt, approx 110" x 96" - 7 across x 6 down.

In addition to her tips and instructions, Almost Casual listed “Important Notes” worthy of repeating here!

**Important Notes**
Put your machine on zigzag stitch - this helps when working with jersey
Use a needle made for jersey - a needle that is too sharp can break! This, for some reason, took me forever to figure out. I broke many needles and had many cries when I first started sewing with jersey.
Use a lightweight cotton thread
Go ahead and thread a few bobbins so that replacing them is easy

Already Loved has a two-part series on how to make a t-shirt (memory) quilt filled with step-by-step photos!

One more thing I discovered during my research, and let out a huge sigh of relief, the sashing and outer space fabric – say if logos are on point (like a diamond shape), can be out of “regular” quilt quality 100% cotton! It will help stabilize the over-all quilt!

Creating a t-shirt (memory) quilt isn’t as scary as I thought before I started this quest of knowledge!!! I am so grateful others have shared their tips and techniques!

Again I ask you, will you comment with your suggestions?!!!

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Mini Quilts

When you sew for the experience of it, do you create mini-quilts? 

I’ve been in a couple of homes where friends have created mini quilts, enough of various themes and colors to cover an entire wall! Oh! My! One was in her living room, the other in her longarm room. Both were stunning displays! Although quilts in a much larger size, another friend comes to mind that has quilts she’s created over the years brilliantly displayed going down the length of her hallway. Each one has a story.

Back in 1992, when we bought the ranch, our first neighbor to meet ~ God rest her soul ~ had many bed-size quilts she’d created spread out, layered on top of one another on the bed in her guest bedroom. They, too, all had a story, and were waiting for the appropriate time to be gifted.

I’ve made a few mini quilts wall hangings before. This is totally different from an Action Quilt – aka Fidget Quilt.

Most of the mini quilts have been gifted. But, we do have two hanging in our living room. I would like to make more, to hang on our walls. For me, it’s a way to make our home more inviting, warm, cozy and comfortable. That’s how I feel when I’ve gone into my friends homes.

Not to mention, it’s a great way to practice skills!

What caught my eye this morning was this Heart of Hearts mini quilt on the Brother’s Stitching Sewical blog!

One of my favorite go-to website is Cluck Cluck Sew. She’s created a mini quilt book (or PDF) with the patterns and instructions for these quilts! Aren’t they lovely!

At Favequilts, they have lots and lots of mini quilt patterns! I really like this one, especially its title: Life is Better with Friends:

I’m gathering ideas… which is your favorite?

Monday, September 26, 2016

Nature's Music

Back in March, I purchased the book The Farmer’s Wife 1930s Sampler Quilt by Laurie Aaron Hird from Amazon. I’ve yet to make one of the 99 blocks, but have thoroughly enjoyed reading the “inspiring letters from farm women of the Great Depression.” In fact, the CD that comes with the book… is still attached!

As the author explains, the letters she’s included were originally published in The Farmer’s Wife magazine from 1930 – 1933. Names were not included in the magazine ~ simply initials ~ and no city/town but only the State in which they lived.

Not long ago, I happened upon a website, Gnome Angel, where Angie is doing a sew-along based on the book! Whenever I do pull out the CD and begin sewing the blocks, sewing for the experience of it, I will have a resource if I can’t follow the instructions!

I want to share with you a part of the first letter Ms Hird titled “Proud of Her Calling”

Dear Editor:
The finest advantage I can offer my children is this chance to know nature intimately. Perhaps we will never be able to give them training on musical instruments, but if we can train them to attune their hearts to nature’s music, we will have given them something that will stay with them through life, no matter where they may be.”

Although I am not a farmer, I am a rancher.

I know ~ and hear ~ the nature’s music to which she refers.

Saturday, September 24, 2016

Bucket List: Master EQ7

A friend of mine, Gail, has mastered the EQ7 (Electric Quilt 7) software program. She’s kindly offered to show me how. It’s just a matter of working out a schedule that works for us both. But, before I can do anything, I must reinstall the program on my new Windows 10 (YUCK) operating system! There is a trick to it, something I’ll have to research the next time I’m in Dallas – on unlimited bandwidth!

I’m used to the pencil, straight edge, and graph paper technique when designing a quilt, or sometimes what I refer to as “seat of my pants” designing. I’ll have an idea in my head, and just start making blocks, until I get the desired quilt size. Sometimes, things go wrong with following instructions or I don’t like the way the fabric’s print looks in the design. That’s how I came up with the Wings Quilt Block!

I do believe, learning EQ7 would be a great help, especially calculating the yardage needed once the design is created. Gail has often suggested for me to watch the YouTube videos available on the internet. I need to focus and do that soon!

Ann, another friend, recently posted on Facebook a beautiful red, white, and blue quilt she’d seen on the internet. I went to Knitnoid’s website, and sure enough, the contributor explained how she ended up with the design – all through using the EQ7 software! She worked it out, changing this and that, until she ended up with this beauty:

This process would sure save on the trusty eraser, or printer ink when printing out graph paper! I do need to get going on this software program!!!

Friday, September 23, 2016

Acts of Kindness – aka Happiness Heroes

When we “sew for the experience of it” (the 2016 theme set by organizers of National Sewing Month) we make something special, a unique one-of-a-kind creation. When sewing for others with a giving heart, it lifts our spirits!

What is your favorite thing to make for others?

Quilts?   Pillowcases?    Doll Clothes?    Bags?

I love the mission statement found on Mum in the Madhouse’s website:

·         Spread the word – encourage other people to join in and become happiness heroes
·         Have fun and enjoy making other people happy
·         To be kinder than you need to be

It’s her key phrase: Happiness Heroes that caught my attention!

Such a wonderful idea!

Although the article’s focus is on kids doing random acts of kindness, many of her suggestions apply to all ages!

Are you into free printables? Click here for their offer!

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Mixed Media

Today is the First Day of Autumn! Happy Autumn everyone! I certainly welcome cooler temperatures after a horribly hot summer! This is a special time of year, the season that brings us such a vibrant mix of colors!

I would encourage you to take a look at the amazing Images from Texas “Rob” has taken in his journey around the Texas Hill Country! This is just one example:

Such inspiration!

Now on to today’s topic…

Mixed media is also known as Fiber Art, Textile Art, or Multi-Media Art. It is the process of using a mixture of fabric textures, paints, embellishments, and other mediums to create amazing works of art! Just look at all the lovely creations I found on Pinterest…

I’ve dabbled with mixing textures and objects (doo-dads) when creating Action Quilts (aka Fidget Quilts).

I’ve also created a Prayer Flag using a mixture of applications. Ideas of many more designs and techniques are filling my mind!

In addition, Crazy Quilts are a prime example of mixing different forms of embellishments to create a beautiful work of fiber art! Beautiful embroidery stitches, beads, and ribbons are among few items artisans use on fabric to create unique pieces.

Thanks to Sharon B’s over at Pin Tangle, for providing us – for free – a gold mine of detailed information (WITH PHOTOS!) how to hand embroidery! If it’s your thing, I highly recommend exploring her TAST website (Take a Stitch Tuesday), and joining her Facebook Group!

I love the free style of Sharon Blackman!

I had never heard of the British artist Mary Fedden, until I stumbled across Sharon’s tribute to her. This is another great example of where and how folks get inspiration.

Sometimes I shake my head, silently saying, This is way over my head, especially when I see works by fiber artists like Lea McComas! This is a snap shot of her website. How these beautiful quilts are created, I haven’t a clue. I also include the listing of the various classes she conducts. If they were held in Texas, do I want to learn?  Maybe…. Someday…

But for now, I’ll create another Prayer Flag using some of the ideas found today!


Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Following Instructions

When working on a quilt top, I don’t understand why I have such an issue following written instructions for a specific pattern/design. But, I do. Something in my brain clicks and it’s like the pattern is written in Greek rather than plain English! I know it’s me because others follow the same instructions and it works!

Let me study a photo of the block. I usually can figure out how to create it without any problems.

I saw this photo on Facebook the other day…

It gave me a good laugh, and reminded me, how many disasters I’ve created due to not following the instructions!

But, it’s not a total loss! I keep going, modifying and changing until it works out some way – some how! Maybe not like the original design. What I end up with is a new design!

I tried making the “Quilt for a Better Tomorrow” I wrote about the other day…

It didn’t work out. I ran out of fabric! When I made 6 blocks, I knew I would not have enough of the listed yardage requirements of fabric (purchased on our road trip) to make 6 additional blocks! It’s then I stopped trying and created a sashing and cornerstone between the blocks. Now I need more of the black fabric to do along the sides – before adding side borders.

I just couldn’t figure out the instructions to create the flying geese section. So, I did the “flying geese” like I knew how… which ate up the last bit of the black fabric.

Now I have bunches and bunches of the black half square triangles the instructions said to cut. I’ll figure out something to do with them!

I’m not going to give up on the original design! One day soon I’m hoping to get someone else to read the instructions and show me how, and what I did wrong!

Bottom line, when you get a kit of any type… follow the instructions to avoid a disaster!

Fortunately, while sewing for the experience, a disaster can easily be turned into a new design!

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Art Attack

Have you ever experienced an Art Attack? It’s like a panic attack, but in the creative sense. Oh. My. Goodness, I sure have! Especially after our Road Trip to the different Quilt Shops around North Texas. Then, spending even the least amount of time on Pinterest really gets my juices flowing! Do you realize how blessed we are to have people share so many fabulous creative ideas?! It can be a bit overwhelming! I want to do and learn so many different things…. my “storage” stash reflects it all!

Okay… slow down, Lanetta…

I’m making a list – what I consider priorities. I’ve learned, however, to be flexible!

Actually, I’ve made several lists…

Then life gets in the way…

Or, a friend contacts me and asks me to do a huge special project for her! How can I say no?

Priorities change…

What joy it can bring to slow down, focus on one thing! While working on the special project (don’t worry, I’ll share later!) has been the best thing that could have happened to me!

The other things I want to do and learn, will come in due time!

Monday, September 19, 2016

Paper Piecing

From what I can tell, there are two types of Paper Piecing – English Paper Piecing (EPP) and Foundation Paper Piecing (also simply called Paper Piecing).

Tales of Cloth gives us an example of EPP, along with a tutorial –

It’s not that I don’t want to try EPP. I just know it’s too much handwork for me.

Maybe Foundation Paper Piecing…

Ah! Sometimes it’s the only way to get precise points… like the 5-pointed star, also known around here as The Texas Star!

I’ve tried paper piecing before… a long time ago. If I remember correctly, I’m thinking the paper I used didn’t tear off nicely. I didn’t care for the way it pulled on the small stitches and left loose paper fibers I had to pick out. No. I decided then and there, there are too many “regular” piecing quilt patterns to make without adding something that totally frustrated me!

However, the focus of this month’s theme ~ Sew for the experience of it ~ is stepping outside the box, out of my comfort zone, and try again with the foundation paper piecing technique!

Over on Right Sides Together stitches & spunk, they provide this cheat sheet and lots of tips! One in particular talks about types of paper to use, with pros and cons on each one!

Back in February, I wrote about a couple of Block of the Month websites I found. One in particular, The Splendid Sampler will have 100 blocks when done! I’ve made many so far, but honestly, they started having lots of appliqué and paper piecing blocks I would just skip over! Designed by Janice Ryan, Block #15 was the first of the paper piecing I skipped!

After I test my abilities on something much simpler like this, the Texas Star!

I will then have the “experience” and confidence to go back & master Block #15!


Friday, September 16, 2016

The Magical Mystery Tour – Day 2

Because I’m an early riser and didn’t want to disturb Momma and sister, Day 2 began quickly after getting up, getting downstairs to find coffee, then playing at the ROAD TRIIP slot machine!

Goodness Gracious. After simply feeding the slot machine, I learned quickly that Momma is my good luck charm! Fortunately, Sister called me about 6:15 to let me know Momma was ready to also get coffee and start playing!

Momma proved me right.

It didn’t take me long to win back what I had lost!

After breakfast – yes, we did stop to eat – Sister joined us for a while playing slot machines before we had to check out. No one won enough to stay over another night!

So, we went back to our Quilt Shop Hop Road trip.

We decided to head south on Highway 75, to McKinney, by-passing two scheduled stops further west on Highway 82 and the other just south of 82 on I35. It was an excellent choice… We’ll catch them another time!

Happiness is…Quilting is such a lovely shop! It’s near the town square in McKinney. I’ve added a bit more “projects” to my to-do list after shopping here!

There are two more quilt shops in McKinney we had planned on “hopping” and then over to Denton,  but Momma’s energy level began falling quickly. She wasn’t feeling well at all. We made the collective decision to simply head home.

And, not until we dropped off Sister, and picked up Momma’s Baby Doll (furbaby), and got back to her house, did I realize exactly how tired I was!

What an exciting, wonderful time we had! It’s amazing we did all that we did in 24 hours!

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Quilt Shop Hop Road Trip – Day 1

The last time Momma, Sister, and I went on an overnight trip anywhere – just the 3 of us – was over 60 years ago! It was time!

The experiences, and memory makings we created over the past couple of days are priceless. I was silly thinking I would write a post while out on the road trip!

Also known as “The Magical Mystery Tour” and I’ll explain why a bit later! Oh my goodness… the perfect way to start off any road trip…we all got pedi’s

and Momma and Sister also got mani’s! (Of course, I could have gotten a mani as well, but I can’t handle someone messing with my hands! Been there, done that. And it hurts!)

Doesn’t Momma look relaxed…

I’m sorry, I didn’t pick up a card, to know the name of this lovely shop. It’s in Mesquite, Texas, my sister’s favorite shop. Hopefully, she’ll share with us in the comments!

Ready to Hop!
Then we headed north. Somewhere around Greenville we stopped for lunch at the Cracker Barrel. GREAT FOOD! And did a little shopping…

On the way to our first quilt shop, Quilt Mercantile in Celeste, Texas, I took a couple of pictures of Historical Markers. Although we passed many along Highway 69, we focused only those on the right side of the road… easy off/easy back on.

What a delightful little shop! The Quilt Mercantile shop also has a retreat facility behind the store! Although there is not much left in this small Texas town by way of businesses along the main drag, the shop is worth the trip! It’s here I found the 3 pieces needed to make the Quilt for a Better Tomorrow! Oh, and some other goodies!

We traveled north a bit further and stopped in Savoy, Texas, at Savvy Quilters. Another quaint little shop! Sister and I found some perfect ~ take me home ~ goodies here! I pointed out some wool rugs (promo for an upcoming class to be held there) to Momma and I found out her brother used to make them!

I don’t know if it’s still open, but across the street from this quilt shop is a Domino Hall! This sighting brought back lots of memories for my sister and I, of our Papo and his favorite place in Naples, Texas.

That was IT on the quilt shop hopping on Day 1. As far as Momma was concerned, our next stop was going to be the Best Western in Denison to rest and relax.

Sister kept driving north, however! She told Momma she wanted to share the view of the Dam leaving Oklahoma heading back into Texas, so we were taking a slight detour to get to the hotel!

But it was then when the Magical Mystery Tour began! Our next stop was actually Choctaw Casino and Resort! This surprise absolutely blew Momma away! She LOVES casinos and hadn’t been in years!

I’d never been!!!! 

Getting it done…this is OC Bell Hop…

We did give her a chance to rest for a while before she hit the slot machines.

I did go down to the floor while she and sister stayed up in the room to rest. I wanted to explore and (sort-of) get the layout down! I looked at all the different slot machines, trying to grasp the concept (other than eating money) and happened across a machine called “ROAD TRIP”!!! Guess what machine I played on 99% of the time!!!

I was so excited when I got back to the room and presented a $4.70 voucher of my winnings! It had cost me $2.00 to get it! I’m a big time roller for sure!

We couldn’t take any pictures of the casino itself. We were told they frowned on picture taking! But, our hostess at Gilly’s (within the casino/resort) took our picture before we ate supper (at 8:00)!

We had a delightful time! Momma was a real trooper! She stayed up long past her normal bedtime! (Mine, too!)

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