Friday, March 25, 2011

Toothbrush Rugs at John C. Campbell

I had the honor of going to a toothbrush rug class at John C. Campbell Folk School.  I loved being in the mountains even if it only was a weekend.  The ever-amazing RJ (Chicago cop/weaver/goat midwife/blacksmith/quilter/egg raiser/log cabin building supervisor) taught the class. I'm hoping I can be RJ when I grow up!!!
RJ learned this technique/stitch from a wonderful 95 year old woman in Florida years ago.  She has taught this class 38 times at John C Campbell and always has a full class!!!

We didn't get a lot of rug made.  We did start about 5 so we could get the hard part out of the way and make sure we could start rugs on our own and understand how to make the different shapes.  We used 1 to 2 inch strips of cut fabric (depending on the weight of the fabric as to how wide to cut the strip-the thinner the fabric-the wider the strip).  RJ recommends old sheets for lots of fabric on the cheap and cutting them about 1 1/4 inch wide.  The girls were all pretty prolific and everyone was so happy to learn this cool technique!!!

These cool rugs can be round, oval, triangular, square or even hexagons!!!!!  She is such the overachiever!!!

Louise wins for the prettiest fabric!!!  Her batiks just made us so pretty!!!  Everyone drooled over them!!!

Monday, March 21, 2011

Quilting 202 - Cottage Rose 2 of 4

Why are we playing around with hearts and leaves???  Today we explored machine applique and I couldn't let the girls start out on their quilt tops!!  So, we played with our machines and made a stitch chart.  A stitch chart is two pieces of muslin with fusi-boo in the middle that I put a sample of stitches that I like so I will be able to remember what I did.  Can anyone say short attention span?  I stitch a row and then write down the particulars of that stitch.  My Pfaff 7570 gives me a stitch number and then length and width.  If I have something visual, it takes a lot of the thinkin' and rememberin' out of it and that makes me happy.

Linda used all kinds of stitches to go around these Two Star Design parts.  Funny how you think that one will be just perfect and then in real life it looks all yukky!!!  Overachieving Linda bought a new machine on Thursday and is exploring what all it will do.  Nice little machine with some really cool features.

Janet is such an overachiever, too!  I love that in a quilter!!!!  She took to the idea of playing with the shapes like she was born to it.  I think we share a colorforms history!  Man, I always was so happy when I could get the kids to play with their colorforms!
Both girls got ALL of their homework done!!  Might be a first!!!  Janet is ready to applique her medallions in the middle of the four patches she created.  Linda still needs to prepare her medallions but has all her four patches done.
We also took a field trip to the JoAnn thread department.  I have brought both girls over to the dark side and they love verigated thread!!!  Tee Hee!  I knew they would like it as much as I do.  We unraveled spools and pooled the thread on our fabric to get a real good look.  You can never tell what the thread will look like on the spool!!!  It has got to be laying all over the fabric!!!

•  Applique all the center medallions to the center of the four patches.  There are 70 of them!  Whoa!!!
•  Sew all the four patches together to form the main body of the top. Yeah, there's 70 of them, too!!!
•  Measure both sides and the middle and attach inner border to left and right and top and bottom
•  Sew strip sets together to form the border material.

I love giving a lot of homework to these girls!  They actually do it and that tickles me but really we are getting a lot of the work out of the way so we can really explore the techniques.  You go girls!!!!  Gold stars await the winner!!!  lol

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Qulting 202-Cottage Rose, 1 of 4

Today we had our first Quilting 202 class and are making the Cottage Rose Pattern from JoAnn Fabrics. Two intrepid quilters are along for the ride and their quilts are gonna be stunning.
Janice is using the fabrics that corporate suggests.  I took her most of the class to cut out the 70  5" x 5" center medallions for the top.   Each medallion will be machine appliqued on a four-patch block.  Sure is gonna be pretty!!!

Linda is using some of the recommended fabrics and some others that caught her eye.  She is going to have all her medallions out of the same fabric instead of two different ones.

•  Finish cutting out all fabric pieces.
•  Sew pairs together, cut 4 1/4"  sections and then make the four patches.
Next week we will be working on machine stitching the appliques to the four-patch blocks.
Bring a sample of some of the stitches that your machine might make to attach the applique blocks.  Try the zigzag, the blanket and the straight stitch.  We will play around with stitches and decide on the one you will use in our next class.  Good luck, girls.  You have a lot of work this week!!!

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Taa Dah !

Put a fork in it folks!  It's done!

Well, kinda. . . .

Jessica didn't seem to have any problems with the machine quilting!  Her stitch lines could have been straighter and she had a couple booboos at corners, but I got to tell ya - She is phenomenal!!!!  I did do the stitching in the very middle of the quilt, because you just have to mess with all that bulk in the throat of the machine.  Now, Jessica did a far amount of that.  But she did not cuss ONE TIME!  It was amazing!!!  Apparently she is a much better woman than I am!!!!

She was able to line the presser foot up with the edges of the border and off she went.  The small borders were much easier for her than the large ones though.  The edges were closer and she could feel and 'see' the middle easier. 

I did the outer border the other night.  Before she came over, I layered the back, batting and top together and used my FAVORITE batting "Fusi-Boo".  Fusi-Boo (made by Fairfield) is so easy to use and makes machine quilting almost ok.  I laid the back on my bed, smoothed out the batting on top and laid the top on all of that.  Smoothed everything out and then hit it with the iron.  I love doing this on the bed because the whole quilt is accessible.  Fusi-Boo is heat activated, so I place the steaming iron in a grid pattern all over the top.  Once I have it pretty much adhered everywhere, I move to the ironing board and really sock the heat and steam to every inch.  NO pinning, no moving of the layers, no puckers on the back and most important - no crying!!!!

Look at that smile!  Pippin is even happy!!!  I did the last border, did the machine quilting in the middle and because I is have MAJOR control issues, I made Jessica let me do the binding.  I applied the binding and then machine stitched it down from the front of the quilt.  This is gonna be a quilt that gets used and loved and washed alot- it needs to be tough!!!!  But, besides that - this is all Jessica's work!  How cool is that.  She is gonna be the talk of the baby shower!!!

These quilting lines are just not this bad at all!!!  Now, the needle down feature on my machine helped alot but Jessica is really good at making the machine take ONE MORE stitch!!!  She has got great machine foot pedal control!!!  I think she is a natural. 

I found some great fabric for the back in my stash - thank you Hancock's of Paducah!!!!  The colors were perfect and the sentiment is right on target!!!
Jessica is going to get a label machine embroidered and put it in braille, too.  That way, EVERYONE can enjoy her label.  And, if the baby turns out to have sight issues, we are going to go back and put some fur on the bear and schales on the fish.  So, do you really ever finish a quilt????

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Borders Galore!

Jessica was busy!  She started sewing sewing borders.  We had a real assembly line going - I was pinning and handing to Jessica and then pressing and pinning and handing back.  We had it worked out pretty good where we didn't have much down time.  Here she is with the first border.  I like this picture - she looks so happy.
And here we are with the next round.  Two points to the first person who sees what the sited instructor messed up!!  Jessica decided to go with it, instead of un-sewing.  I like that about her. . .  But really, it can be a big joke for folks with vision issues! 

Now, it is looking good.  Jessica is not real happy with the people fabric, but it sure did make all the colors pop!  She said the coolest thing - She didn't like faces on kids stuff.  If the face is blank then the child can make up their own story about what the doll is thinking or doing.  I had never thought about that but it is a good point.  I'm gonna have to mull that one for a while. . .

I got up early this morning and sewed on the last border. We ran out of time last night and tonight the plan is to machine quilt this puppy.  Oh, yeah, time schedule is a bit rushed - the baby shower is Saturday - so we HAVE to get this done!!!  So, tonight we will sandwich some Fusi-Boo and Jessica will learn to machine quilt!  This is gonna be fun!!!!!  I think I may just do the binding.  I need a little participation here.  Can anyone say control issues???

Oh, and Jessica is adding some of the people fabric to Ryan and Micheal's double wedding ring quilt.  Auntie Jessica has just joined the family!!!