Wednesday, September 30, 2015


Since this fabric arrived in the mail last Friday, I've been itching to start sewing. "60s Scrapbag" is a fabric collection by Emma Jean Jansen for Ella Blue Fabrics (Australia), and I've been looking for it all over the online shops! I was tickled when my friend Lora, who has an Etsy shop - DragonflyQuiltworks - began stocking it... at my request. What a friend, huh?

Right away I pulled out the Sorbetto top pattern that I've been wanting to try. It's a free downloadable pattern by Colette Designs! I'm happy to report that it's super! Only two pieces, easy to sew, and a great fit. Choose your measurements and then follow their advice to choose the next size up. The top is a pull-on style (no buttons, zippers, or closures) and the fit is meant to be tailored. 

I made my first Sorbetto top - sleeveless - with the 60s Scrapbag quilting cotton, embellishing the front placket with three orange buttons. 

The second Sorbetto top is made with double gauze fabric - I've been wanting to try sewing with double gauze, and bought this piece from The Cloth Pocket in Austin, Texas. The fabric is really nice! As you can see, this Sorbetto version has sleeves. I found that sleeve piece free online, designed by someone else. I couldn't believe that the two different designers' patterns worked together, but they did.  I really like this version too! I'm pretty sure Sorbetto tops are going to be my new wardrobe staple. 

I knew I wanted a skirt from 60s Scrapbag too, so I pulled out my favorite skirt book - The Essential A-Line, by Jona Giammalva. This is the seventh skirt I've made from that book, and the second time I've made this layered version. I like this style because it allows me to show off three 60s Scrapbag prints!

Off-topic of sewing... last week I went with a friend to see the wonderful movie "War Room." It's a Christian movie starring Priscilla Shirer, a Bible study writer/leader, and apparently an actress too. I had no idea! I was stirred to make a few changes in my prayer life, including writing and praying Bible verses that keep me in the Word.

My hairstylist told me she often leaves messages for her children by writing on a mirror with a dry erase marker. What a good idea! For myself, I chose to write on my mirror this meaningful verse from "War Room."

Submit yourself to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you. James 4:17
The movie certainly spoke to me, renewing my desire to pray for myself and others, and to expect results. 

If you plan to go to the movie, better hurry! It's been out since August 28. Take tissues! Linda

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

And So It Goes

It seems that when I'm teaching a quilting class and that class takes four hours a week of my time (prep, set-up, teaching, and take-down), I manage to make more time for my own projects. Perhaps it's a case of "the more you do, the more you get done." 

Saturday and Sunday saw me making quilt sandwiches. Anticipating that I'd need backings, I had recently bought several wide backs. This is another time when I really appreciate having a cordless iron. It's so nice to press without the cord dangling and hanging up on all that yardage.

After using all my safety pins to pin-baste Triangle Tango (65" X 73"), and most of Scrap Vortex (89" X 91") I finished basting the latter with 505 Basting Spray. Guess I need to buy more safety pins.

Last week my Pfaff Grand Quilter was serviced, trying to determine why the upper thread has been snapping. My tech-friend, Al, decided the Pfaff needs a new throat plate. Though he was able to buff out most of the nicks in the small opening of the throat plate I have, there is still a problem spot. So a new one has been ordered. I couldn't wait to start quilting though, wanting to do some ruler work. I wondered whether I could quilt circles with one of the 1/8-inch thick circle ruler in the set of 12 rings I already have. Well, it takes nimble fingers to hold the ring down while quilting around the circle! Though it worked, I don't know how often I'll do this. At least the machine thread didn't break even once.

However, when I got to this all-over design (such a refreshing quilting design change after the detail in my Prism quilt), there was thread breakage. While quilting about a fourth of this quilt, threads broke four times. Ergh. 

This Hook and Swirl design is from Angela Walters' book Free Motion Quilting. The pattern isn't intuitive for me, so I practiced it first, and found myself pausing often to think about where to go next.

A couple days ago, Hogan started barking frantically at the front sewing room window. Typically he barks when someone walks past the house, but this particular bark was more urgent. "Walking" past our house was this not-so-handsome Florida Softshell Turtle. He abruptly stopped moving and drew his head in when I took this picture...

... continuing down the street, near the curb, after I walked away. We're pretty sure he reached his destination - a pond further down and across the street.

And speaking of Florida, this lovely bed of coleus was a delight to see on a morning walk. There are many such beds of color throughout this area, and we appreciate every one of them. 

On Monday I completed this 60" X 72" scrappy quilt top. I've been piecing a couple 12-1/2" x 12-1/2" (unfinished) block each week at Big Cypress Quilters using my pretty aqua Janome Derby sewing machine that I carry in a shoulder tote. Yes, it's that lightweight and portable.

The quilt design is based on a quilt I saw on Instagram and recreated with EQ7. Because I learned long ago, from my friend Carla (Lollyquiltz) to habitually cut fabric scraps into 2-1/2" squares, this quilt was ready to make, except for background fabric. This project uses 1,080 2-1/2" squares!

If you like this scrappiness, I'm happy to share the block with you, just because you're my blog follower. It makes me terribly happy when you comment once in a while, and I always respond... if your email address isn't blocked.

Here's the link to download a color JPG of the block. Note that each Nine Patch variation block is repeated four times to make a 12" X 12" finished block. Cut patches 2-1/2" X 2-1/2". Cut 3" X 3" squares to make half-square triangles. To make a 60" X 72" quilt like mine you need 30 12" blocks.

At my weekly Happy Stitchers group I started this embroidery. I've got a set of four stitcheries, and all of them are about Iowa. They came from Stitch, a shop in the East Village near downtown Des Moines where I also bought Cosmo embroidery thread and Valdani pearl cotton. It was a lovely shop to do mail-order business with. My very small start is on the Iowa sampler.

Gosh, this makes me miss living in Iowa. Mostly I miss my friends, my church, and the church quilt group, Hope Quilters. And then there's the state fair, the sweet corn, Iowa chops, Hy-Vee popcorn, UNI football games...  But Florida is a good place to live too. Linda

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Machine Quilting With Style, and Giveaway

Welcome! I'm glad you stopped by on my day to tell you about Christa Watson's new book Machine Quilting With Style: From Walking-foot Wonders to Free-motion Favorites, and enter the book giveaway at the end of this post. This giveaway is now closed.

"Candy Pop" is the quilt I made from Machine Quilting With Style. It's pattern number nine of 12 in Christa's book. Obviously, I'm a fan of rainbow gradations, so it was fun to choose an assortment of prints from my stash.

Candy Pop, 44" W X 45" 
The background blocks were pieced with Kona Snow and Kona Silver. Silver is my new favorite shade of grey solid.

I didn't follow Christa's instructions for making the circles as she did with fusible, raw-edged appliqué. My fabric circles have finished edges. I made them using my most favorite quiltmaking tool - a 12" set of 1/8"-thick, acrylic nested rings (I swear, I used them all the time!) I picked the proper ring size to trace.

Adding 1/2" to the diameter when I cut circles from fabric, I then hand-basted with quilting thread around the perimeter of each fabric circle, gathering it around a finished-size template cut from iron-able template plastic. A word of caution when pressing heat resistant template plastic... don't set your iron too hot. My T-Fal iron actually warped the plastic! 

Machine appliqué was fun and easy. Threading my machine with monofilament thread on top, and 50-weight Aurifil in the bobbin, I remembered to put the thread through the bobbin case finger, to give a little extra tension on the bottom. (A feature on Bernina sewing machines.)

You really can't see the tiny, nearly invisible zig-zag stitches all the way around each circle.

A note here. When I finished machine appliquéing the circles, I cut away the background fabric behind the fabric circle, about a quarter inch from the appliqué stitches. That way, there's less bulk to my quilt - another reason I prefer turned-under appliqué. If you use fusible web, you can't cut away the background. 

After each block was finished, putting the top together was a snap using my favorite Web method of assembly. If you're not familiar with it, here's my How to Sew a Web tutorial. The quilt sandwich was  made with Quilter's Dream select loft poly.

The beauty of Christa's book - actually a somewhat unique feature for a quilting book - is that she has  not only has 12 great designs, but she offers lots of helpful instruction for quilting - numerous straight line and free motion suggestions - and she peppers the book with practical and helpful tips.

For her Candy Pop quilt, Christa quilted a spiral in the center of each appliquéd circle. I copied that design, sit-down quilting on my Pfaff Grand Quilter.

Next, I quilted a ring of approximately quarter-sized pebbles around each circle appliqué. They're not all perfectly round, but from a distance - while riding on that proverbial horse - they look just fine.

And last, I quilted hooked swirls in-between the circles, occasionally improv-quilting designs Christa refers to as "box texture" and "triangle texture."

Never one to leave a quilt unlabeled, and believing more information is better, I added this.

Then I was off to take pretty, styled photos in the entry to the Big Cypress Rec Center, where my Big Cypress Quilters group meets every Tuesday afternoon. Perfect! How about that hot pink table?!

Candy Pop should take up permanent residence.

To get your own copy of the book, here are two suggestions: 
For a print version get it on Amazon.
For an eBook version, go to Martingale Press.

Or, if you like to first take a chance at winning an eBook, Martingale Press is allowing me to give one away. By the way, an eBook makes it super-easy to follow patterns on your computer, or just print the pages needed for the project you want to make.

This giveaway is now closed.

To enter my giveaway, comment below to answer my question:
How do you quilt your quilts? By domestic machine? By longarm? By check?
Also, please be sure I know how to contact you. If you're a "no reply" commenter, I can't tell you that you've won! A winner will be drawn Saturday night, September 20. The giveaway IS open internationally. This giveaway is now closed.

In the meantime, check out the other 11 patterns made by quilters. You'll enjoy visiting each of them, and you'll also find additional opportunities to enter giveaways!

9/14 Color Crystals – Vicki Reubel from Orchid Owl Quilts
9/14 Technicolor Backing – Ida Ewing from Ida Rather Be Quilting
9/15 Pearl Gray – Alyce Blyth from Blossom Heart Quilts
9/16 Broken V – Sharon McConnell from Color Girl Quilts
9/17 Candy Pop – Linda Hungerford from Flourishing Palms You are here!
9/18 Ripples – Melissa Corry from Happy Quilting
9/19 Little Man’s Fancy – Tina Guthmann from Mod Geometry
9/21 Square in a Square – Stacy Cooper from Farm Road Quilts
9/22 Static – Lee Heinrich from Freshly Pieced
9/23 Rain – Cheryl Brickey from Meadow Mist Designs
9/24 Lightning – Leanne Chahley from She Can Quilt
9/25 Facets – Kristy Daum from St. Louis Folk Victorian
9/26 Focal Point – Amy Garro from 13 Spools

Visit the blogs below too! You'll find additional insights including book reviews, interviews, sample blocks, and other interesting content you won’t want to miss.

9/15 Andover Fabrics
9/16 Amy’s Free Motion Quilting Adventures and Leah Day’s Free Motion Quilting Project
9/17 Do You EQ? from Electric Quilt and Darlene from Quilt Shop Gal
9/18 Jacquelynne Steves’ The Art of Home and Scott Hansen from Blue Nickel Studios
9/19 Moda Fabrics – The Cutting Table
9/21 Krista Hennebury of Poppy Print and Katy Cameron from The Littlest Thistle
9/22 Debbie Grifka of Esch House Quilts and Generation Q Magazine
9/23 Rebecca Bryan of Bryan House Quilts
9/24 Stitch This – The Martingale Blog and Riley Blake Fabrics
9/25 Michele Foster of The Quilting Gallery and Teri Lucas from TerifiCreations
9/26 Pellon Projects and Amy Ellis from Amy’s Creative Side

P.S. If you're in Central Florida, beginning in late February, I will be teaching this "Candy Pop" quilt at the Lifelong Learning College. Watch my "Schedule" (see tab above) for more information. 

Monday, September 14, 2015

Austin Time

The hubs, dog, and me returned home Sunday after being in Austin, Texas for most of the past ten days. Our son and family live there, and we always look forward to being with them, and enjoying Austin - both Austins! Our grandson and the city. 

We took a family hike in Reimers Ranch Park, Dripping Springs...  

... where everyone got a chance to skip rocks in the Perdernales River.

A couple months ago, at home, we saw a TV show about ice cream/gelato places in Austin. I noted several of them, intending to check them all out... one by one. Fresh-made Italian gelato at Dolcé Nevé on 1st Street, in Austin. Check. Austin's flavor choice was 70 percent caçao.

Popcorn fiend that I am, I travel with my Whirly-Pop popcorn popper, and favorite Hy-Vee white kernel popcorn. I'm determinedly teaching my grandsons to like it too!
Isn't Luke a cutie? Cherubic. When he's happy, he's all sweetness. And when he's not... Well. 'Nuf said.

We took two days away from family to go to Boerne, Texas to visit friends from our Iowa days. Great hospitality, snacks, drinks by the swimming pool... and my win at Mexican Train dominoes. All fun!

A critical deliverable on this trip to Austin was DIL Lyn's new-to-her Bernina Artista 230 Patchwork Edition sewing machine. She wanted to dig in while I was there to teach and guide, so she started making place mats following the free tutorial by Alyssa Haight Carlton. After considerable fabric deliberations she cut out four place mats...

... and managed to complete one during my visit. In spite of not having a walking foot, she's a natural at sewing and shouldn't have any problems making the other three place mats.

While a walking foot would make a great birthday gift for Lyn's this-Friday birthday, she asked for a different sort of foot. Texan style.

Helping Lyn shop for boots was educational. I learned to listen for the "whoom" sound when the heel and boot heel meet as the boot is tugged on. That means it's a good fit. Now I want to be a Texan so I can wear boots too!

Quilt shop visits are always in order, and because I follow The Cloth Pocket on Instagram, I planned a special trip there. The owner's mother generously gave me fabrics to give as prizes for an upcoming Central Florida MQG challenge. For myself, I selected double gauze. I've only heard about it, and will make a couple tops.

I also visited Valli and Kim in Dripping Springs. Oh. My. Goodness. To have a quilt shop like anywhere in Central Florida would be heaven! Modern fabrics, innumerable ideas, and wonderful notions.

So, what do you do when your husband does all 16 hours of driving each way - to and from Texas?! Of course. You plan lots of handwork. First up was to hand stitch these prepped segments for My Small World quilt. Done.

With Sugar 'n Cream and size 10 knitting needles, I made seven dish cloths. Done.

This stitchery, on 20-count canvas, has traveled with me several times. Since I've worked on it only while on the road, I call it my "I-10 Palm." It's 4" X 5-1/4", and only needs framing. Done. 

Now unpacked, I've been scrambling to get ready for Monday. It will be spent line dancing; teaching the first of five First Time Quiltmaking lessons to 14 students enrolled in my Lifelong Learning College class; and giving the 6:30 pm program for Central Florida Modern Quilt Guild. If you're in the area, join our MQG chapter for: "Social Media and the Modern Quilter: 10 ways to engage in the quilting world."

Don't forget to stop back here Thursday for my day on the Machine Quilting With Style blog hop, with a giveaway! Linda


Related Posts Widget for Blogs by LinkWithin