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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.

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Sewing with Friends

There is nothing more memorable than a day of sewing with friends.  My friend Renee had been given a soiled and tattered quilt that had been made by her sister-in-law's grandmother and she wanted it repaired to give to her daughter. It definitely had been a utility quilt that looked like it had been made from possibly an old sheet and a blanket. After she spent months trying to get inspiration, I showed her a quilt I had made from the Bright Hope Design which had embroidery machine appliqued flowers on it. She decided that it was exactly what the fabrics needed. So she saved what she could of the threadbare original and bought some coordinating fabrics. In the photo below, the original fabrics are the light blocks that have green and blue large floral designs on them and the center green block. The colors were hard to match since they were so faded but the dark blue made the design pop. The binding will be done in this blue so it will pull it all together.

We used scraps form the blocks to make the appliqued flowers. We had 3 embroidery machines set up in my sewing room and were able to make the 16 appliqued blocks in under 2 hours.

At the same time, we had 3 sewing machines set up in my dining room to sew the blocks and rows together.
It is amazing that in about 5 hours, we were able to make an entire quilt top plus we did stop for a great lunch from Panera's also. I am thinking that I would like to make all my quilt tops this way since it goes so much faster.

The end result is a quilt top that weaves together remnants of a family's heritage into a new design that employs old and new techniques that will last for many generations to come.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

AQS Quilt Show

Last weekend I attended the American Quilt Society Quilt Show in Lancaster, PA.  The day spent at the show was both exhausting and enjoyable. I was in need of some new patterns so the three floors of vendors allowed me to prowl many vendors before deciding which patterns to buy. The best part of this search was getting to talk to some of the pattern designers. My favorite was Laura Blanchard with Plum Tree Quilts. We so enjoyed talking with Laura and her husband and ended up buying 4 patterns from her.  The patterns are relatively simple but the blocks can be set in different layouts so one pattern can make several quilts with varying designs. From Plum Tree Quilts I got the Kaleidoscope, Center Court, and Two by Two quilt patterns and the Glory runner and placemat pattern. I also got a crib quilt pattern from Starr Design Fabrics that uses graduated colors and has prairie points on the border.

My friends and I also visited many quilt shops in the area.  Honestly I have never been to one area that had so many large quilt shops. The good part of this is that the prices are lower due to the competition. The Batiks were everywhere and so many of them. A few of my favorites shops were The Old Country Store in Intercourse, Burkholders in Denver, Sylvia's and Weaver's Dry Goods in Lititz.

Another aspect was getting to see the many hand made items for sale, mostly made by the Amish. It was good to see that they attach a suitable price for most items.  It takes so much time to make the items that I hate to see them being sold at a low price because this devalues their work.

When I got home on Sunday, I went through my purchases and knew I had to make something on Monday. I chose the pattern for a Fanblade Table Topper, shown above. It was an easy topper to make and I plan to make several more. I free motion quilted the blades after it was all pieced together.
One of my other purchases at the show was pounce and several pounce design sheets from Full Line Stencils. I have never used pounce so I tried one of the linear designs on the dark blades. I discovered that following a marked design is actually very different than FMQ. The trick is to go slower and have your eye on the design ahead of the needle. I am going to need quite a bit of practice to get the hang of it.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

My Latest Baby Shower Gifts

I made this Elephant baby quilt for a baby shower this past weekend.  The colors of the room are yellow and gray so I used that color combination. I used 2 different machine applique elephants and when I did the quilting I echo quilted around the elephants. On the border, my favorite part, I meandered. The gender of the baby was not known so I tried to stay with yellow, purple and green.  I used the Bright Hope baby quilt pattern from Smith Designs. 
 A few weeks ago I attended a class given by a Pfaff educator and she demonstrated how to use the Sensormatic Echo Free motion foot; I bought it that day knowing that I was going to use it for the elephants. It was really easy to use to quilt around an object.  I actually have the same foot for my Elna and did not know the technique for using it properly.
I also made some burp cloths in the same manner as my tutorial Burp Cloths shown earlier on my blog. These are made with diapers and flannel.