Monday, March 3, 2014

February, short, sweet and cold

2014 NewFO Challenge 

I did not accomplish much this month in the sewing room.  We had many cold and icy days and the power companies were asking that we conserve power so that we would not have rolling brown outs or black outs.  So no sewing machine, iron and extra lights! I did comply.

The first full weekend I went to my first retreat!
The Quilt Mercantile in Celeste, TX offers a Free motion quilting retreat.  Four of us went together and I has a wonderful time. The teacher was Jackie Brown (no relation) .  View her work here! I enjoyed the food and the friendship.   I went in as an advanced beginner and came out with a good knowledge.  The beginners started out on a skill builder panel.  I finished that before lunch on Saturday.  I ventured out to more advanced things.  I traced a pattern on cotton sateen and worked through that very quickly.  So I did a second piece.  I would get to a point and ask what can I do to it now and Jackie would challenge me to do  more.

This is the first piece I did.  We were told to bring a 16 inch square of fabric, backing and batting.  So that is what I did.  Then when we got there  we are told to cut the backing and batting at 18 inches. Oh, well.  This piece should have had a rope border but my block was not big enough so I learned how to do rays! The center hatching was part of the design.

This is the second piece.  I traced the flowers and went around them.  Then I added the circle frame. 
Next I did the cross hatch on the outside of the frame.  What now?  It is only Saturday afternoon.Jackie suggested that I add the squiggles in half the hatch boxes.  OK, that did not take long.  So I changed thread color and did squiggles in the other half!. It is now after dinner and I have hours to go.   Learn how to make pebbles.  I practiced on scrap for an hour and went to work.  I finished my pebbles around noon on Sunday.  By then, we were all exhausted and were ready to go even though we could have stayed till 3. 

Next on my list for the month were Block of the month.  

I finished block one from January on the Texas Treasures!  

Then I started and finished Block 2.

Next I did my Third Thursday Block from Old Craft Store in Carrollton, TX.
(I could not fine it on the Old Craft Stores site)

This is an eight month BOM and we are on block 5.  I am making a smaller version with out the outer star.

Next I went to my kit bin and pulled out two small projects.

Seasonal Silhouettes. This is a BOM, but I did not join.  I found this kit at the Plano Quilt show. 
It came with the background fabric and laser cut applique that already had fuseable on the back.  I did not have the book or any layout guide except for the tine picture on the package.  Thanks heavens for Google!  I found an image I could print for a suggested guide.   I created it on an applique press sheet and transferred it to the backing. I started stitching it down and noticed the flower points were coming up.  I ironed it again.  When I started stitching this time, the leaves were loose.  Back to the ironing board.   I did not know what I did wrong, but the whole mess fell off!   I grabbed the fabric glue stick.   That was not happening either.  The glue would not stick.  So as a last resort, I used double sided washable tape.   I find it hard to believe that I did any thing wrong but something happened.  If all laser cut appliques are going to be like this, I will not be buying any more.   The back ground fabric looked like cracked paint  so I used those lines to quilt.  In the borders, I quilted tiny boots. 

The second project was fall and wool.  I do like working with wool some times but did
not have any.  I was telling a friend that I would have to get some and she said that she would give me hers. She had all the right colors!  This was a combination of hand embroidery and machine work. 

The rest of the month I spent helping friends in their sewing rooms. 

I spent 5 days helping one friend clearing out sheds.  She moved 7 years ago and a lot of things were misplaced or not unpacked. My husband helped with the heavy lifting.  We totally emptied one shed and opened every box.  There were 30 boxes of fabric and probably that many more of other things. The second day we continued that.  On the third day, we started clearing her garage so she could get her car in before the next ice storm.  The next two days were spent in a second shed.   We moved 50 boxes to her patio for her to go through.  There are at least another 75 or more in the shed.  The 50 we moved had fabric, patterns, and notions.  She has unpacked all of the boxes and has sorted the fabric by color so we can pack it in to plastic see through boxed for storage.   It  will probably be a week before she is ready to put things away. 

Empty shelves waiting for plastic tubs of fabric.

I spent 2 days helping another friend folding fabric and organizing her sewing room.  needless to say, I will be helping these two ladies more this month. 


  1. Wow, I love that BOM. Looking forward to seeing more progress on that. The colors are so pretty.

  2. You got lots done. I really need to go thru my stash in buckets and get it organized.

  3. It looks like you learned a lot in your free motion quilting class. Your samples look great. I like your background quilting in the Seasonal Silhouettes piece as well - how you followed the crackle print. That's a good idea. I'm also glad to hear about the pre-fused applique pieces as I haven't tried them yet. You must be very organized and a great friend to have so many friends turning to you for help with their sewing spaces. I hope your weather turns warmer soon!

  4. Texas treasures looks so sweet, and how bout that Texas boot! Fun patterns!

  5. Awesome practice quilting! Sounds like you are a nice friend to have around. My maiden name was Brown. thanks for stopping by my NewFO post.

  6. I love your two BOMs -- the mason jar and the old bean pot -- those are darling! And don't you just love working with the seasonal silhouettes?? I so do!! I've got the October, November and December ones . . . I need to just add one a year or something! :)

  7. Wow! you are a terrific friend to do that kind of heavy-duty help. I bet they're both extremely grateful. Those are daunting tasks to do alone. Your FMQ blocks are gorgeous. I would have finished off earlier than 3, too - free-motion is intense-concentration work, and if you're working with a fuller-size quilt at a domestic, it's also physically demanding. I can't do more than about 75 minutes at a stretch, and not more than 2 or 3 of those across a full day! The Texas boot mini is TOO COOL! How frustrating about the peeling-up. I've considered trying a pre-fused laset-cut kit, but was hesitant because surely the fusible stuff covers the entire back of the pieces? I always meticulously cut out the "guts" of the pieces before I put them on the fabric so that there's only 1/4" around the edges and the centers aren't all stiff when I've ironed the pieces down, and I don't think I'd like the stiffness of the pre-fused pieces. Adding the peel-up issue just turns me even more away from trying them out, so I appreciate you sharing that experience.