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Sewing and cooking are two of my favorite things. In the past, I often found myself searching for pictures and details of projects I have done, without success. So I decided to start documenting my creations. Then my son suggested I add my recipes to the blog so that they are documented also.

Friday, April 4, 2014

The McCalls's Quilt Along Continues

I haven't posted about the Quilt Along since March 2nd but I have kept up. Weeks 6 and 7 were spent making the Star in Star blocks. By far I have enjoyed these blocks the least. I needed to make 16 corners for the blocks that consisted of 1 inch strips set on the diagonal. Although they look cute the next time I see this block I will just cut a solid block. It has been suggested that they would benefit from paper piecing but I will probably never find out.


Week 8 was 12 pinwheel blocks and week 9, this week, was 12 nine patch blocks. I love the cute pinwheel blocks but the best part is that next week I will make 9 economy blocks and then the assembly of the quilt begins - thank goodness!


Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Simple Applique

Yesterday I made this simple appliqued wall hanging that will be used for a class.  I had batiks that were given to me from 2 dear friends and I used them all in this whimsical project.  I hung it in the dining  room and fell in love with it!

I usually use Wonder Under for my fusing material for the applique parts but I tried Pellon Steam a Seam II so that we could use it in class.  It offers more ease in placing the parts on the background but I did find it to be a little fiddly to work with. However you do not need to use a Teflon sheet for placement which is an advantage in class.

It is hard to tell from this pic but I used the blanket stitch for the leaves and stems and the satin stitch for the flower petals; this will allow students to practice both.  I honestly want to stipple quilt the background fabric but never got to it yet.

Monday, March 24, 2014

Hubby's Monopoly Quilt

Hubby's birthday was yesterday and I made him his own quilt. I wanted something masculine looking, or at least not floral, and I saw this monopoly fabric and just had to buy it. Since he loves our doxie I made the center block out of dachshund fabric I had picked up in Harrisburg a few years back. Since I did not want him to see it I actually quilted it at work on the Pfaff sit down quilter. It went pretty fast but I also decided to use a template ruler for the border and that did not turn out too well. Apparently one needs to practice with those rulers for awhile - anyhoo my hubby does not seem to notice my irregular quilting on the borders!


Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Visiting Darling Daughter

Hubby and I are visiting our daughter for a few days.  She is getting ready for her annual St. Patty's Day party so we are previewing some of her props. Apparently she and her cat will be wearing only the latest fashion in head coverings!

Saturday, March 8, 2014

My Class Finished Their Doll Clothes

I had 5 attendees for the 18 inch doll clothes class and they did not disappoint me.  Everyone had a different taste in fabric so we got quite a variety in the finished product. In the class we learned how to do French seams, use decorative stiches for adornment, make a casing with a zigzag stitch and how to finish with a double needle. Additionally, we used elastic thread in the bobbin to do shirring. Here are some of the clothes they made. You can go back to my previous posts http://juliannasjourney.blogspot.com/2014/02/more-doll-clothes.html to see what I started out with.

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Weeks 4 and 5 of the McCall's Quilt Along - And So it Continues

Well I am into week 5 of this online quilt.  I am learning many new blocks; more than I had anticipated. Last week, week 4, was the diamond block. 12 diamond blocks made from 8 half rectangle triangles. So I have them done but many, many points were sacrificed in the making of them. Working with triangles is a bit tricky because they are all cut on the bias and bias stretches. The center points met up but not too good at corners. I am thinking I can fudge when they get sewn into the design of the quilt.

This week's is the sawtooth star which I have never made. I have half of them made and this block is so very pretty. Don't you think so?

Ruby Loves the New Quilt

Well I finally finished quilting the Rail Fence quilt.  I did a stipple design all over it and stars on the border. I am practicing leaves but this just wasn't the right quilt blocks for them. Hubby is quite happy that he can use this quilt since most of them are given as gifts or hanging on display.

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Making Free Motion Quilting Easier - The Elna 740 Table

I have had the Elna 740 sewing machine for about 2 years now but have resisted buying the Elna table that goes with it. I use the 740 primarily for free motion quilting and usually just leave it set up for that purpose only. The advantages of the table is that the machine sits recessed into the table thus allowing a flat surface for the quilt to slide over. Well I took the plunge and cannot believe how much easier it is to FMQ with the machine in this table.

Notice how the bed of the machine is flush with the table. Plus the table itself is finished with some type of Formica that is extremely smooth and allows the quilt to glide over it without a Teflon overlay. It allows use of the knee lift and has a drawer on the left front for accessories.

The table has adjustable levelers on each leg so I was able to make it the same height as my cutting table. I rearranged my sewingroom to have the 740 back to back with my cutting table which now allows me to have over 60 inches of surface for my quilt to lay on and avoid the drag while quilting. I am more than happy with my new table and have already stippled a quilt with more ease than ever before.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Pattern Weights

I cut out many things on my rotary mat with a rotary cutter. It is so much faster than pinning. Now you need to have the fabric and patterns weighted down and over the years I have bought a few pricey pattern weights. I have also used soup cans but they are quite bulky. Last week my hubby and I stopped at a local hardware store and I was browsing their hundreds of little drawers of bolts, screws and washers. I discovered their large washers were quite weighted so I bought 4 different sizes to see how they will work for pattern weights. They work great, hang on my pegboard when not in use and, best of all, were inexpensive.

Valentine Change Purses

On Valentine's Day my hubby and I met 3 other couples for lunch. I wanted to take a small gift for the ladies so I made the change purses shown above. They are so handy because you can throw them in your pocket with your credit card and cash and not have to lug your purse along.  I used the pattern for the strip zip version of Cash and Carry from Atkinson Designs http://store.atkinsondesigns.com/stores_app/Browse_Item_Details_ws.asp?Shopper_id=6044421648456044&Store_id=913&page_id=23&Item_ID=1033
and personalized it with their names. So my friends loved them but their husbands all complained because they did not get them!

Monday, February 17, 2014

Week 3 of the McCall's Quilt Along

Week 3 of the McCall's Quilt Along is a lesson on the Friendship Star block.  I have not made this block before but it is pretty neat. Quite a bit of cutting and piecing for each block but I like the star. Here are some of mine I have done this week. I need to make 16 this week.

The Japanese print in the blocks above were bought in Bar Harbor, Maine  last fall. The black and beige floral came from Keepsakes Quilting in New Hampshire.

Check out my previous posts for blocks done in lesson 1 and 2.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Lesson 2 of the McCall's Quilt Along

Well I am finally finished with lesson 2 of the quilt along as I posted about last week. http://juliannasjourney.blogspot.com/2014/02/a-quilt-along.html

The video with lesson 2 showed how to make the half square triangle units. Well making the units was not too bad. Trimming 144 of these units to size was really tedious! So glad to be finished with this task. Looking at some of the blocks makes me wonder what I have gotten myself into with this project.

On another front I have finished the railfence quilt top I started in January and now call it Starry Night. I need to get backing so I can sandwich it and start to quilt it.

Saturday, February 8, 2014

Trying Out Handlook Quilting Stitches on My Machine

So recently I had a friend get a Sashiko machine to get that handlook stitch to quilt her quilts.  By the way Babylock has a promotion on them right now if you are interested http://babylock.com/promotions/. What I don't need is another machine but I am intriqued by the idea of handlook stitches.  Well a few of my machines have catgories of handlook stitches so today I played around with the Pfaff stitches. What actually happens with these stitches is that you use invisible monofilament thread in the needle and colored cotton thread in the bobbin. You turn up the needle tension- I put mine up to 9- it pulls the bobbin thread up to the right side. Here is my sample of a straight stitch and one of the decorative ones.

I am not sure I would quilt a whole quilt this way but I really like the look of the straight stitch.  I am sure I will find projects to use it on.

A Quilt ALong

So I have decided to do my first quilt along. It is being displayed at McCalls Quilting.  Here is a pic of their sample. It consists of 12 lessons in 12 weeks and has a video and a corresponding printable lesson. It consists of 8 different kind of blocks so there is a lot to learn.

Yes it is very pretty in pastels but I am not really a pastel kind of gal so I have chosen a different palette.

So feel free to join along. Just go to the above link and get started. I will caution you that on lesson 2 you must cut your long strips first before cutting out your 72 - 3 inch squares; ask me why I am warning you!!