Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Work In Progress Wednesday

I'm happy to report that my 2nd attempt at Shadow Trapunto went much slightly better than the first attempt!    For a good laugh -- you can see the first attempt here

Now, onto my 2nd attempt -- I'm using the technique called out in Geta Grama's book "Shadow Trapunto Quilts" -- see her blog here and her most awesome book here...

I decided for my first second attempt to make a larger design - so I pulled the design from Hari Walner's book "Continuous Line Quilting Designs".  

Lessons Learned:
1.  My batting was not thick enough -- my fabric showed through the batting  -- I used a cheap med loft poly from Joann Fabric -- I'll use something thicker next time!

2.  I DID NOT have any water soluble thread on hand, so I used "regular old thread" in top and bobbin (how do we spell M-I-S-T-A-K-E!)

3. The paper that I traced my design on was TOO Thick!  next time, pick up the tracing paper that Geta recommends in her book!

Anyhow - for my first attempt and considering MY MISTAKES -- I was happy with the outcome...

I still have to trim and bind -- and although it's not perfect -- it's a keeper - a one of a kind (for sure) .. hahaha.

One thing is for sure -- this technique, if done properly can produce some stunning results.

Take a look at the wonderful things that Geta makes using this method!

Thanks for stopping by.

Linking up to Esthers' & Lee's WIP Wednesday!  and to Leah's Free Motion Friday !!

Thanks Geta for a great book, great tips and most awesome projects! 

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Fun Peasant Skirt

I had a blast making these cute little peasant skirts for our DGD Angelina and her new doll.

Angelina is 8 years old and she LOVES wearing the layered "Peasant" Skirts.    Having never made one before -- I thought I would give it a try.

The fabric is a fine corduroy from Joann's and it was a real bargain -- 60% off plus an additional 30% off coupon for the entire order -- I can't pass up those types of deals!

I used a great little tutorial from JCaroline Creative! that has since disappeared.  It looks as though the business has shutdown and the tutorial is GONE. 
It was an awesome tutorial that included an online calculator that provided exact measurements for width and length of fabric pieces after you enter a waist line number into the formula.

Here is the tiny doll skirt -- so cute!
Once I finished Angelina's skirt I had enough fabric to make a matching Doll Skirt -- Angie got a new blond haired 18" doll for Christmas!

So now that I've worked my way through this skirt -- I can cut into the beautiful Easter Pink Linen that I also picked up at Joann's.  (Did you visit when the Clearance Fabrics were an additional 50% off of the CLEARANCE price ?  woohoo !!).

With the linen, I will attempt to make Angelina and her mom (Dari) matching mother, daughter skirts for Easter - or Spring (or maybe to line the cat box ?).
I did french seams so there are no raw edges
Another French Seam

I hope she loves this skirt -- I had fun making it!
I'm excited to give this to her for Valentine's Day -- now to find Super Mario fabric (or sheets) to make Lucas (her brother) the bedroom curtains I promised.

Have a wonderful week all -- Linking up to Connie's Linky Party Tuesday and Fabric Tuesday at Quilt Story!  Go checkout the awesome things that creative people make!  (see my sidebar for the links)...


Sunday, January 27, 2013

Cute Twin Bed Runners - 2012 Finishes

I had the opportunity to whip up these cute little bed runners for our twin grandsons for Christmas.

Caleb and Benjamin are 4 years old - they have these sweet little toddler beds that are low to the floor.

These sized down bed runners were a perfect addition to their "twin" bedroom.
The runners were simple to make -- I used fusible machine applique -- with machine blanket stitch and Stitch in the Ditch around the letters and a little straight line quilting here and there...

I started with a design called out in the book "Bed Runners Using Pre-cut Fabrics".

In typical fashion, I made a few modifications.

1.  Scaled pattern down to fit a toddler bed
2.  Added a fabric lining on the inside of the pocket using fusible fleece between the layers
3.  Added their names in applique
4. Did NOT use pre-cuts...

The side pockets are sweet -- large enough to fit a book or a stuffed animal... a little night light or whatever...
You can see the pocket here -- at the end of the runner.

Because I had to scale things back in size, I did not put the divider in the pocket.  It makes it a little more flimsy but will fit a larger book!!

Here is a peak at the back of the runners.  On the back of Ben's runner I added some green fabric and opposite on Caleb's.

They are twins - so they share more than each others color schemes.

Caleb loves Firemen !!


Two little sweeties after a day of sledding at our home last weekemd....  Love these little men who look just like their daddy and their grampa...

 Thanks for stopping by all.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Trapunto Thursday?

Well - that was my intention...
I started here:  I LOVE this book by Geta Grama - she has beautiful pictures, excellent information and many samples to drool over.

Because it was late at night, I decided to pick a much larger sample to start out with.  I had this book -- by Hari Walners -- and I've been anxious to try one of these designs.

So I choose a large design (so my first attempt might be successful) and traced the design onto some paper.

I then layered my batting (bottom), organza and paper template on top with pins.

I set my machine up like I would to FMQ -- using my my Supreme Slider and my FMQ foot.  I changed my threads to white (I didn't have any water soluable to use) and put on my Machingers.   I started sewing through all three layers in a very small stitch (to cut the paper as I went)...

The Accident Report - : (
Well gosh -- I thought to myself -- this paper seems pretty thick -- or the needle was dull...  and for some reason, my sample layer was not moving all that freely.   I stopped and looked down... and to my surprise I see that my Supreme slider SLID alright... NOT GOOD !!


The rest is history...
The back side of my slider once I removed it from the machine

A view from the top - after I had ripped a few stitches
Oh goodness Karen -- way too late at night to be using technology!  LOL

Thank goodness my husband bought me a new QUEEN Supreme Slider for Christmas !!
Needless to say -- I'm not sure I'll be using that slider again -- but really -- it is all MY FAULT -- did you notice how dusty the back side of that Supreme Slider was ?

Lesson Learned.  Always clean your slider with Water and Mild Detergent before you put it down...

Silly me !

Hugs all !

Sunday, January 13, 2013

First 2013 Finish - New Red Bird FMQ

Whew -- Some of you may remember early in 2012 when I machine appliqued this piece - a variation of "Winter Holly" from Blackbird Designs "You're Invited" book.  You can click here to see the WIP post from 2012.

When 2013 arrived, Christmas Parties mostly over, no work for 7 more days (sorta), I put my mind to quilting this little devil.  

 Last year I had convinced myself to wait until my FMQ skills were perfect a little more honed - what I have realized is my expectations of my quilting skills are a moving target -- and this WIP needed to be classified as a Finish sooner rather than later.

A year ago I had completed the cutting, fusing, machine blanket stitch -- I had even prepared the batting and the backing... I just NEVER quilted it !!

All history now -- quilting done, binding done,  hanging sleeves on...  and it was all just in time for an "after Christmas" party in our home...

You can see around the bird that my tension was a bit "off"...  I promptly fixed that.

When I quilted it, I first used Aurifil Invisafil Invisible Thread to quilt around the applique (thanks Joanne Thread Head)!

I then switched to a 50wt Gutterman cotton thread on top and the bobbin for the remainder of the quilting. 

I did echo quilting with a little filler quilting here and there... and around the stars I quilted a subtle curve design.  I have a L-O-N-G way to go before I can jump into FMQ with confidence.

I consider it practice - and I love to Free Motion Quilt - so any finish is a step in the right direction.   Each day I learn more and more about my Janome Horizon -- and I get more comfortable with picking up a quilt and working on it ; )

I used the "Fast Finish Triangle" Sleeve that I learned about from the Alzheimer's Art Quilt Initiative

They go on so quick and easy -- and there is no hand stitching required.

I'm happy to report this first 2013 finish !

Thanks for stopping by. 


Linking up to Angie's Applique Thursday (on Saturday)

Friday, January 11, 2013

Folk Art Melody on Quilters Show and Tell

Hi everyone !!

Michele over at Quilting Gallery is hosting a "Quilters Show and Tell".   Thanks Michele!

This week the theme is "Favorite Quilt from 2012".

I entered "Folk Art Melody" into the show.  I started it in 2011 and finished it in 2012.
I believe it's the first time I've entered any work into a Contest or a Show and Tell.

Folk Art Melody - Design by Lori Smith - Taught by Debbie Wick - Hand Appliqued and Quilted by Karen Miller 2012
You can view and vote on your favorite quilts by clicking on this link!  Just scroll to the bottom of the post and check mark your favorite quilt.  There are many, many beauties there -- including several from folks that I admire!

More about Folk Art Melody:

This quilt is special to me... it began my love of  wool applique and grew my love of Free Motion Quilting.

A friend and fellow student encouraged me to quilt it myself, rather than sending it to a Long Arm Quilter (thanks Bonnie!)....

You can see the layers of wool used on this block.  The center was 4 layers thick!
This block was designed by me and my friend/instructor Debbie Wick. I love it!  Thanks Debbie...!
Each piece is cut by hand, and blanket stitched by hand.  Choosing Pearle Cotton or other floss to accent!

Again, if you have a minute, go look at the beautiful quilts and vote. There is much to admire.

Just review the pictures, scroll to the bottom of the page, and check mark up to 4 of your favorite quilts!

PS - Special thanks to my sisters -- Janet and Michele -- If it weren't for Janet I wouldn't be sewing, quilting or doing any FMQ at all.   I'm very blessed to have her.  As for my sister Michele, she is always encouraging and supporting me in everything I do.  I'm very lucky to have them in my life.

Thanks for stopping by today and special thanks to Michele at Quilting Gallery for hosting the Show & Tell.

Quilters’ Show and Tell

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

FMQ - Red Bird and Another Giraffe!

I had fun quilting two more SuzyBee Growth Charts recently.

The "Bird Chart" (below) was finished in November -- and was a gift for our great niece for her 1st Birthday!   She just loved it -- it was so much fun to quilt.

It is by far my favorite of the three Suzybee Charts!  I wonder why ??

You can see the others that I quilted here==> Mary had a Little Lamb and here==> Giraffe for Eric

For the Bird Chart I did not have coordinating fabric -- so I pulled the border and binding from my stash -- and it worked out fine !

I decided to minimize the quilting on the birds themselves. 

With all the pretty circles in the fabric -- I couldn't resist but to quilt circles for the background!

I'm in the hang of making ground for the birds & giraffes.. it's fun!

Finished Chart !!

Here is the 2nd Giraffe Chart that I've quilted.  Thank goodness Christmas with our kids and grandkids was delayed until Dec 30th -- it gave me time to finish a few projects!

This one was for our Grandson Zachary -- when I held him up to it - he just kept petting the giraffe face... so cute !  

This giraffe went much faster than the first one I quilted for my sister to give to her Grandson Eric.

Can you tell I love to do echo quilting ?  I struggle with leaving the rest of the background unquilted.

I did much less quilting of the body this time - I think the little stipple worked out fine ?  Do you ?
So what do you think ?   I still consider my self new to this....
I'm always looking for opinions -- would you have quilted more of the background?
Made different choices ?

**Updated Jan 2016 *** We're having a *free* 2016 Free Motion Quilt Along using another Susybee panel.  Click the image below for more details and to join in the fun!

Feedback is always welcome & appreciated.
Fresh Poppy Design

Linking up to Fabric Tuesday by Quilt Story!

And Connie's Linky Party Tuesday !!

Late link-up to The Free Motion Quilting Projects' FMQ Friday -- Check out the great projects by clicking on the link on my sidebar !!


Thursday, January 3, 2013

Happy New Year & Fun Pics

Happy New Year everyone -- I hope you had a restful and joyous Holiday...

I sure was busy over the holiday preparing gifts for my family -- adults and young ones alike!  It was Sew much fun ; )

Thankfully, we had snowstorm in the Northeast last week -- it is a great time to get pictures of all the birds that visit my feeders -- here are a few of my favorite shots from 12-29-12.
Male Northern Cardinal - waiting his turn at the feeder

Male Downy Woodpecker

Female Northern Cardinal -- also being patient

A view of 3 cardinals from my front window
The morning of December 27th, 2012 I was graced with 12 pair of Northern Cardinals in the two trees outside my window.  What a spectacular sight -- the male birds are so bright and colorful they look like Christmas bulbs in the trees.

I will post more about my projects next time -- for now, wishing each and every one of you a Happy and Prosperous New Year!