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Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Wednesday....WIP's and a little Liberty Love

Still tinkering with these cute shapes...wee wonky bow-ties.


and playing with some lovely Liberty....
Betsy....


Just a couple of reminders!
We will wrap up the Flowering Snowball Along on the 24th.
And be sure to keep following all the fun on Sewvivor!

Have a wonderful Wednesday!
mary

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Wow! It's August?

Oh my!  I can't believe this is my first post of August!  And it won't be much of a post ;)



I wish I could say I have been busy with some exciting travels or adventures, but that just isn't the case. Not even a whole lot of sewing going on...
I have been getting ready for our family reunion at the end of the month. The last day of the reunion will be at my house, so time polish the silver and prepare the menu...hehe! Do you have family reunions in the summer?          


I have taken a little time to play with a yummy pile of Liberty...


The beauty of Liberty is well worth the cost.  It is amazing to sew!


 Soon, I will have some fun makes to show you...

And I have extended the last day of the Flowering Snowball Along to August 24th.  We will wrap up the quilt along just before the official end to summer!  I am looking forward to Fall!

Before I leave....if you haven't looked at the first round of Sewvivor, you really must have a look!  How inspiring and amazing!  

 

You can find the post here....    

Rachel of Family Ever After is my superhero! Four adorable kids...three kidlets and one brand new baby....and she still has the energy to host Sewvivor!  Well done, Rachel!

Have a wonderful wednesday!
mary     

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Wednesday Works....

Again, I am in just under the wire!
My July block {Mid Century Modern Be} for the darling Susan of PatchworknPlay


And I have been playing with this sweet little shape. I think it looks like a bow tie...a wee bit wonky, just the way I like it...


I love the pops of color and the shape has a touch of whimsy!


  We have had lovely temperatures this week!
Hope your week has been a pleasant one!
mary

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Winners All Around!

Have you been seeing posts for the Sewing Party everywhere on Social Media?  

If you haven't had a chance to check out the website yet...I suggest you take a look. The schedule is a full day of fabulous classes!
 
 If you didn't win a free pass for the day, you may want to consider purchasing a pass, and, if you REGISTER between now and July 31st. you will receive a FREE SEWING PARTY T-SHIRT!!!!  Just remember when you register to enter LETSPARTY in the promocode box!!!! 
 
The winners for 5 free tickets from my giveaway are chosen!!!
Your email addresses have been submitted to the party organizers, so you should be hearing from them! Yay!
 
Here are the winners!!!
 
Carrie - Carrie said, I liked The Sewing Party's Facebook page. And I'm always open to learning about anything! :)
 
Kathy@kwilty Pleasures - Kathy said, Did thr FB "like" and I would like to get better with Longarm kwilting. Thanks for the chance to win a ticket.
 
Nicole -  Nicole said, I liked them on Facebook and am now following on Instagram. It's pretty cool to see a couple of Cosplay sewers in the mix. I'm always amazed by what Cosplayers come up with.    

Wendy - Wendy said, Wow, looks like a great party! Thanks for the giveaway - I'd love to learn about Pojagi style quilting (had never heard of it until I check out the website!!). Just liked the even on FB (I'm Wendy Robards there).

Robin - Robin said, Ooo. I would love learning to recover my furniture in patchwork with Bari J!

Congratulations!  You will be hearing from the event organizer to secure your pass for the Sewing Party!!!

Finally, as many of you are aware, I have been hosting a quilt along....The Flowering Snowball Along to be exact.  I am so fortunate to have quite a few stitching friends in my area and I was able to spend some time sharing the snowball block with them.  

Sara surprised me not long after our sewing session with a picture of her completed Flowering Snowball quilt!!!


 
 I love the solids with the neutral Essex linen!


 Sara used cross-weaves, or shot cottons for the bright solid pieces....
And the label was lovingly stitched for her dear friends...a wedding gift!!! Her embroidery is spectacular!

She used a sheet from Target for her backing fabric...very smart girl! 


    Yay for Sara!  What a fabulous finish! I wish I had been able to see Peter and Keilah open this gift. I am sure there were a few squeals and the tears were flowing!

Have a wonderful Sunday!
mary  

Monday, July 21, 2014

You Are Invited to The Sewing Party!

Well, who doesn't enjoy a good party?  
If you are a U.S. resident, this is one party you will LOVE!!!



On November 8, 2014, thousands of DIY-ers will gather for a fun-filled day of sewing and crafting classes taught online by leading bloggers and educational experts. It’s all about Connecting. Crafting. And Creating.



Attendees will have access to more than 30 online classes available on the day of the event and for an additional 90 days. There is truly something for everyone! Classes include home d├ęcor, fashion sewing, quilting and upcycling, crafting, costume design, techniques for turning your craft into an entrepreneurial venture, and more!


Space is limited and likely to fill up fast! For just $40, “The Sewing Party” participants can attend classes; chat with participants from across the country; interact with top bloggers and educational experts who are teaching; and explore the latest crafting and sewing tips, techniques and products in our marketplace.

The Sewing Party” brings together some of the best in the industry for this FIRST EVER event. Our stellar lineup of sponsors includes:





The educators include:  Bari J Ackerman, Amy Bell, Carrie Bloomston,  Devon Iott, and Malka Dubrawsky...just to name a few....


The cost for the event is $40....and if you REGISTER between now and July 31st. you will receive a FREE SEWING PARTY T-SHIRT!!!!  Just remember when you register to enter LETSPARTY in the promocode box!!!!

BUT WAIT...IT IS ABOUT TO GET SUPER EXCITING!!!

AS A FRIEND OF THE SEWING PARTY, I AM GIVING AWAY 5 FREE TICKETS!!!

All I ask is that you leave a comment here and LIKE one of the Sewing Party's Social Media...

Website & Social Links (Launching on July 15):

Don't forget....go 'LIKE' one of the social media links....come back here and tell me which quilt block, quilting technique or sewing technique you have always wanted to learn.  PLEASE, be sure I have your email address!!!  If you are a no-reply blogger, leave your email in your comment.  

I will choose 5 winners by random on Saturday, July 26th.


This event is open to United States residents only for 2014.  Hopefully, it will be an international event in the years to come! 

****NOTE:  You only need to leave one comment...One Comment per person and  5 winners will be chosen***

Best of luck!  
mary
  
         










  

Friday, July 18, 2014

Quilting and Binding....the Flowering Snowball

Hello....hello....are you still out there?!
We are getting close to the end....I promise!

Once your top is all together and the quilt has been basted...you are ready to quilt!  Yay!  

As many of you know, I LOVE hand quilting!
As a new quilter, I hand quilted all of my quilts...the traditional way.  As a matter of fact, I don't think it even occurred to me that a quilt could be quilted by machine.  

But in recent years, I have converted to quilting by hand with perle cotton using a big stitch.  In my childhood, this would have been called a pick stitch.  

    
I must have been destined to be a quilter because I love the repetitive nature of quilting.  Holding the layers, coaxing the needle through and back out to create the perfect stitch.  

Obviously, not everyone is able to invest the time it takes to hand quilt so free motion quilting or straight line quilting may be the option for you.  But even if you choose to machine quilt, you can still add some hand quilting...it is a lovely option.

    
I am almost finished quilting my Flowering Snowball quilt...

 
For hand quilting with perle cotton, I like to use size 8 perle cotton and I LOVE Valdani thread.  Perle cotton is similar to embroidery floss except the thread is twisted, so you can't separate the threads.  Size 8 is bold enough to be seen and yet not too heavy; making it difficult to pull through the layers. If you can't find size 8 or would like a thread that is not as heavy, look for size 12.

As far as needles, I like Fons and Porter Utility needles.  They are designed for size 8 perle cotton and the pack comes with a rubber disc that can be used to pull the needle through if it gets stuck.

I did a tutorial on the method I use for hand quilting and you can find it here....

I do use a hoop, and I use a Thimble Nimble {different from the thimble in my tutorial}

     
I am a sucker for simple designs in my quilting.  Even if I choose to machine quilt, more often than not I will use straight line stitching or just a series of big loops.  

  



I have never sent a quilt out to be quilted, so I can't really help much on that front.

After the quilting is all finished...the only step left is to bind!

    
 I have a tutorial for binding here....
this method ALWAYS works for me.  And I do prefer to hand stitch my binding on the back.

 
So many fabrics are perfect for binding.  I love spots, stripes, gingham, but don't forget a scrappy binding.  This Feather Bed Quilt is one of my favorite quilts and the scrappy binding just makes me happy!

 
Okay...I will let you get back to your Flowering Snowball!
I can't wait to see them!
xo mary 

 *** as luck would have it.....Lucy at Charm About You just did a post on hand quilting.....you can find her post here.  What a talented girl!***

Monday, July 14, 2014

Putting the blocks together!

Well, the end is getting near!  And for some it has already arrived!
The end of the Flowering Snowball-along, of course! Although, even after we have put the last stitch in the binding, you are welcome to continue posting your progress and finished pictures on Flickr!

This quilt-along has just reinforced my love for the Flowering Snowball block. Every quilt-in-progress or finished quilt I have seen on Flickr or on Instagram has been breathtaking!

It is thrilling!

But today we are putting the blocks together and the rows together.

This will be very easy and most of you know how the drill goes without any prompting.

Begin with two blocks....

  
Obviously, the area that is important to match up is the center section where the A/B template pieces meet.

This is just a teeny bit more tricky because the seams have been pressed toward the A/B piece. So the seams are not butting up to each other, but rather are pressed in the same direction. This makes that area a little more bulky (but not too bad) and if you aren't careful the two seams will 'slip' and not line up properly.  Pressing in opposite directions 'locks' those two seams into place.  
There are many ways to secure the seam before you begin stitching.  Of course, you can use pins...or forked pins which straddle the seam and secure the critical area.  Or you could use clips to hold everything in place, or even a dab of basting glue in the seam allowance.


Once you have stitched the seam, check for proper alignment.  If it isn't quite as perfect as you would like....try unpicking a few stitches before the mistake flub and a few after the flub.  Sometimes you can set your seam again and stitch over that area a second time.  This saves you from having to take out the entire seam.  


        
Stitch all the blocks for Row one, Row two, Row three, etc.  in this manner.  
 All of the seams in Row one will be pressed in one direction.  The seams in Row two will be pressed in the opposite direction.  Now you can 'lock' the seams between blocks for Row one and Row two.

Add each row this way and before you know it, you will have an amazing Flowering Snowball top!!!!

Keep posting pictures on instagram with the hashtag #floweringsnowballalong 
and the Flickr page!

But it can't be all about Flowering Snowballs....so today I worked on a little something different...


I turned the volume down a bit and machine pieced a few hexies!

 
      What are you stitching this week?
happy monday
mary