Thursday, January 29, 2009

Hand Quilting

My daily dose of quilting included spending a couple hours at a hand quilting frame. This Hinterberg frame is set up at my church where Hope Quilters is working on this Amish quilt. I've discovered that hand quilting at a frame is more challenging than using a hoop. I like to take quilting stitches toward myself--not always possible sitting at a frame. Guess I'm really a lap hoop gal. 

On my top hand I use a Roxanne's thimble. It weighs more than a regular sewing thimble, but it's custom-sized to fit my finger.

Do you know the test to determine if a thimble is the correct size for you? Put a thimble on your middle finger, then flick your hand. If the thimble flies off, tah-tah, it's not meant for you. 

My favorite under-hand gadget is this red-handled spoon, TJ's Quick Quilter. Gayle Ropp who owns the company is a friend, but that's not the reason I like her spoon. I like it because it helps me take small stitches. The blunt nose creates hills and valleys onto which I can easily feed stitches.

Hold the spoon with a fist putting your thumb into the spoon bowl. Touching the bottom of the quilt, slide the nose forward and backward while your top hand rocks the needle. It works for me! 

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

String Blocks

Here are photos of how to make string-pieced blocks following these String Quilting Primer instructions.

Here's an 8-1/2" X 8-1/2" unfinished square before trimming. This the largest block that can be made using telephone book pages as foundation paper. What a great way to repurpose an old phone book!
I'm intentionally placing a 2" (unfinished) strip of solid or tone-on-tone black in the middle of each block to unify the wide array of colors and prints I'm using.

After sewing strips to telephone book pages, trim the block to measure 8-1/2" square before removing the paper from behind the fabric. Phone book paper tears off quite easily without damaging stitches.
I couldn't four blocks are laid together for a preview. I think I'm going to like it! But the best part is putting to good use otherwise unusable strips of fabric...immensely satisfying to my frugal German nature!

Monday, January 26, 2009

Scrap Quilts

It appears I have so many strips and bits of fabric, I will surely be able to make at least a half-dozen adult-sized quilts! Thanks to Bonnie Hunter and her wonderful, free patterns on Quiltville I will be sewing for hours and hours. The weather is cooperating with sewing! Snow is falling and it's 13-degrees (-10 C).  

Australia Day

I'm American, but with a child in Sydney, Australia, I have a special connection to that lovely country. To honor Australia Day, January 26, I made pavlova for the first time. It's a meringue and whipped cream dessert topped with fruit, and it's absolutely yummy! Good on 'ya, Aussies!


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